Three Areas of Focus for Retailers in 2012
A recent report from Baynote, a provider of personalized customer experience solutions for multi-channel retailers, suggests three areas where retailers should be focusing more than any others right now.
The Marketplace Model
E-commerce giant Amazon has created an online retail model that proves to be a great example for any retail business starting out on the Web. In fact, 30 percent of all consumers who make purchases online begin their shopping on Amazon.com, according to the Baynote report.
Retailers can take note of Amazon’s success and apply it to their own business model by incorporating their products into online marketplaces. This will provide retailers with more visibility and can lead to an increase in customers and conversions.
Additionally, merchants should take note of Amazon’s aggressive pricing model. By obtaining a clear understanding of your business's pricing flexibility and ability to price match, retailers will be able to stay competitive and gain an edge over their competition.
Average Order Value
According to the Baynote report, most of the online shopping growth is coming from consumers spending more of their money online rather than new shoppers making online purchases. This is why retailers must take steps to attract consumers and increase their average order value (AOV).
One way to increase AOV is by adding suggested product functionality to your online store. For example, after a consumer adds earrings to the shopping cart, a suggested product window could appear that gives the consumer complementary suggestions like a necklace or a ring.
Other ways to increase conversions are by maintaining a strong social media presence, getting listed on sites like Google Places, and including customer testimonials and product ratings and reviews.
Although 91 percent of retailers had mobile strategies set in place by mid-2011, it is important that this channel isn’t neglected in 2012, especially with the rising usage of tablet devices.
Retailers should be offering more elaborate m-commerce functionality, including enabling their mobile sites or apps to support store shoppers and associates. According to the report, many retailers claim that in the near future their mobile strategies will include information about in-store events, real-time store couponing, and store maps.
Additionally, 14 percent of the surveyed retailers want to provide selling tools for store associates on their mobile sites.
Tablets are gaining momentum, and many users are utilizing these devices for online shopping – with Forrester Research claiming that 70 percent of tablet owners browse or research products, and 47 percent place purchase orders. This makes it increasingly important for retailers to utilize the tablet in creative ways, either in brick-and-mortar stores as a sales tool or by providing unique and interactive apps.