Merchants Want to Re-platform, Re-launch

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A report released today by ATG reveals mid-market merchants' thoughts about their current online storefronts and their plans for the future.

The survey found that 80 percent of mid-sized merchants see e-commerce growth as very important or critical to their overall business in the next 1-3 years. While driving revenue should be the objective of every company, 40 percent of the merchants surveyed said they are not satisfied with their site’s current shopping experience, as it pertains to maximizing revenue potential.

Ninety-eight percent of mid-sized merchants said segmentation and targeting are important to their overall Web and cross-channel merchandising strategy, yet the majority are not satisfied with the business tools they use. Below are some of the specific areas of concern:

• 62% said they would like to improve their ability to offer, control, and manage cross-sells and up-sells to encourage more sales
• 60% said they would like to improve their site search functionalities
• 55% said they would like to improve their ability to offer, control and manage promotions
• 37% said they would like to improve the “help” and customer service features on the site

In regards to current merchandising and promotions tools:

• 66% said they are too manual, not automated enough
• 38% said they are difficult to use
• 30% said they do not have enough control over site content
• 23% said they do not have enough control over the product catalog

When it came to how merchants plan to improve customer experience and their site’s performance to drive additional growth in the near future:

• 53% plan to improve by experimenting with emerging sales channels, such as mobile and social commerce
• 42% plan to improve by investing in add-on services, widgets and tools they can implement on their existing sites
• 33% plan to improve by completely replacing their existing commerce platform and re-launching their web store

"Our study reiterates the strategic role of online channels in growth strategies for mid-sized companies," said Nina McIntyre, ATG's senior vice president of marketing and chief marketing officer. "It's clear many mid-market brands are recognizing the need for more agile and sophisticated business tools that can help them target customer segments efficiently and effectively. Given the importance of e-commerce growth to mid-sized business today and the high dissatisfaction with current business tools and platforms, it's not surprising that a large portion of the market is planning to re-platform their e-commerce infrastructure."


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Tom 08-02-2010 5:54 PM

I have been asking my team this question for several years now. We have a medium sized business with 200 or so employees and have done great on the web in previous years, but I want to step it up big time.

We have 5 coders/developers and 2 seo guys, but I do not have a graphics person or someone who can really help us understand how to take the site to a new level. I want to hire or get a consultant to come in and show me screen shots or ways to help make our site more of a seamlessly integrated tool, rather than separate segments of information, e-commerce, industry knowledge, etc... We can do all the work, but I would love to see the site desinged with more CSS styling and cripser lines, overall better experience.

Can anyone offer any advice or guidance because I feel this posting is exactly the subject matter without the answer?

Scott M. Stolz 08-02-2010 10:41 PM

I just recently setup an e-commerce store, and after a lot of research, I concluded that there really are no good solutions out there.  And even the most promising ones with the features we needed were too manual and too buggy and too limiting in layout and design.  The whole concept of shopping cart needs to be rethought with a slant towards functionality, automation and customization.

AtulP 08-02-2010 11:12 PM

We are a software company fulfilling this exact need for many of the small and medium businesses.  We employ including web designers, developers, testers.  We work with businesses and consultants to develop custom websites, products, SEO/SEM services using Agile development methodology.  We have developed custom shopping carts, automated processes and promotions, build easy to use backends that gives full control to SMBs of their own website.

BeninB 08-15-2010 8:46 PM

Scott, have you ever looked into Core Commerce?  Prior to trying them out I was using OS Commerce and it was really tough, but I must say that the folks at Core Commerce have really impressed me with the amount of thought that they put into building out their platform.

Ok, the dashboard could probably use some work but outside of that its the most feature rich platform that I've come across and my design skills are admittedly poor.

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