RSR Research: How Retailers Are Investing in Online Technologies
Steve Rowen, Managing Partner
a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of an article
Retail Systems Research’s weekly analysis on emerging issues facing retailers.
to our recent study on eCommerce, Online Commerce in
2009: The Game Has Changed – Have Retailers?, practicality
and feasibility permeate our retail respondents’ thinking around investing
in new online technologies. They are focused on the tools that provide the
insights (and core operability) to hone the basics of online retailing: determining
who is shopping the site; what general patterns emerge from their overall
behavior; and insuring availability of cheap and easy recommendations and
reviews to help sway and connect shoppers with products.
In the responses, site analytics (63 percent), product recommendations
(59 percent), and site performance monitoring (46 percent) are highly prized.
User tagging for personalization purposes and product reviews also hold significant
interest (44 percent of the total pool assign “very valuable” status to each).
have consistently been leveraging the easiest-to-implement systems, like
site analytics (75 percent already have basic systems in place, including
such tools as Google analytics). Further, roughly half of our retail respondents
have already folded in site performance monitoring, product recommendations
and product reviews. These tools are now table stakes for an effective, operative
More budgetary dollars are allocated for mobility than any
other technology. Sixty percent of respondents reported that mobile applications
remain a big untapped opportunity for their companies. Twenty percent have
discretionary dollars set aside for development of a mobile (WAP) site,
while an additional 20 percent have funds allocated to developing mobile
applications. Another 43 percent have plans in place awaiting funding.
While few are willing to bet the farm on how shoppers will really use online
communities and social networks, a safe bet is that consumers will appreciate
the ability to shop from wherever they happen to be – in a store, in an
airport, or in an airport store.
Some notable differences by performance, revenue, and percentage
of goods sold online included in the report:
Pure-play retailers have more plans (though still no budget)
to examine social networking opportunities than any other group (50
percent vs. six percent of mixed-model and 16 percent of multi-channel
Nearly half (47 percent) of multi-channel retailers have
no plans to utilize employee or corporate Twitter accounts in any way;
Pure-play and mixed-model retailers are already far more
invested in call center/CRM solutions than are multi-channel retailers
(50 percent and 47 percent, respectively, vs. multi-channel retailers’
25 percent). This represents a viable opportunity to steal away market
share based on an enhanced service model;
Mobile is the domain of Retail Winners – 22 percent of
Winners have budget allocated for new mobile applications, while 24
percent have budget set aside for mobile sites.
What do you think should be the key focus for retailers, in time and
money, around e-commerce? What investments will provide the most near-term
ROI? Which ones are necessary for long-term ROI?
- Where the Dollars Are: How Retailers Are Investing
in Online Technologies – RSR Research Retail Paradox
- Online Commerce in 2009: The Game Has Changed
– Have Retailers? (full study) – RSR Research