Investing in e-commerce increases despite the bad economy – The E-tailing Group Report

Despite the economic downturn, 70% of retailers surveyed plan to invest the as much or more in e-commerce this year as they did last year, according to a new report from The E-tailing Group that was sponsored by the Acquity Group.

Of 25 retailers surveyed, 8% say they plan no change in spending on e-commerce, 36% say they plan to invest more, and 26% say they plan to spend about the same as in 2008, the study found. 22% of retailers plan to spend less than 2008 and 8% plan to invest significantly less.

Engaging shoppers via the mobile channel is a low priority for retailers, the survey found. 89% of retailers say they are not marketing to shoppers via the mobile phone. But 3% of respondents say they are including opt-in mobile promotion codes in print advertising, 3% are asking for mobile numbers in stores, and 7% include mobile options within opt-in preferences for e-mail.

The survey also found that the biggest single driver of traffic to an online retailer�s site comes via consumers entering the site�s URL. Retailers say 26% of shoppers come to their sites via the URL, followed by catalog/direct mail (12%), e-mail (14%), paid search (16%), and natural search (11%). Affiliate programs generated 5% of traffic, followed by traditional and alternative portals (3%), comparison shopping engines (2%), partnership/sister sites (2%), offline advertising (2%), with the remainder coming from other or unknown sources.

More retailers are selling abroad, with 46% selling and shipping internationally this year, compared with 40% in 2008, according to the report. 4% say they plan to sell to consumers in other countries by year-end and 9% in 2010, while 16% say they aren’t sure when they’ll go international and 25% say they have no plans.

The report, T”he Multi-Channel Marathon: Differentiation and Prioritization to Thrive in Challenging Times”, is available on the Acquity Group web site.



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