Retailers spend plenty to attract consumers to their stores but they also see promise in the online market. To boost online sales this year, retailers plan to promote their sites with the use of email, search and deal of the day promotions. And to keep shoppers engaged with the online channel, many of these operators plan to spend some of their 2012 marketing budget improving the shopper experience at the site.
The latest RSR Research report indicates that retailer winners, firms which have growth rates exceeding 4%, will invest in their e‑commerce capabilities as follows in 2012:
- Improving online merchandising/assortment 65%
- Providing richer product detail 61%
- Investing in cross-channel capability 59%
- Improving site search/browse 43%
- Targeted email campaigns 43%
- Invest in sophisticated paid search 24%
The survey also found that companies with sales growth of less than 4% plan to increase in email campaigns at a lower rate (29%) and in paid search at a lower rate (21%) than their faster growing competitors. However, 29% of the slower growing firms plan to take advantage of branded deal of the day offers while only 14% of faster growing firms will do so. In addition, retailers overall said that third-party deals such as those from Groupon offer little value and 38% noted that deal of the day programs, even when promoted under their own brand, offered little value.
As we move through 2012, it will be interesting to see if retailers really do pull back their participation in daily deal promotions which was heavily championed last year as one of the fastest-growing sales tools for marketers in many sectors.[Source: Retailers Eye Opportunities in Online Merchandising and Rich Media. RSRResearch.com. January 2012. Web. 7 Feb. 2012]