E-tailers risk losing sales in run up to Xmas

Nearly three-quarters of online retailers miss out on sales by promoting irrelevant items to online shoppers, according to new research from OrderDynamics.

As retailers prepare for the crucial festive shopping season, many could be driving customers away by promoting irrelevant products, failing to build customer relationships through intelligent follow-up, and ignoring consumer preferences on end-to-end order tracking, the study warns.

The OrderDynamics report compares customer acquisition and retention to a “dating game” and found that retailers “miss the mark” in many areas of the customer relationship.

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The study, based on more than 60 retailers and 2000 consumers, focuses on retailers’ effectiveness in securing a “first date” or purchase, as well as creating long-term relationships that lead to additional purchases and increased order values.

It found that 74% of retailers promote irrelevant items to shoppers, while a third of online stores never follow up with shoppers and others bombard them with emails.

Only 15% of retailers offer order tracking through their website, the report states, even though the majority of customers expressed a strong preference to receive tracking information in the study.

OrderDynamics chief marketing officer Kevin Sterneckert: “Our message to retailers is simple: customer relationships are theirs to win or lose, and retailers must focus on these disconnects in their customers’ experiences to succeed during the vital holiday push. They must use data more intelligently and effectively in order to engage and win shoppers.

“Retailers must walk a fine line between romancing customers and over-approaching them to ensure that shopping is a seamless experience. If retailers disappoint shoppers, they risk losing not only the initial sale but the customer relationship as well.”

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