Improve ROI With Arrows In The Quiver

According to Direct Marketing News, a recent survey with 160 global retailers found the majority are missing out on significant opportunities to use tools that already exist in their arsenal to improve the ROI of marketing campaigns. In spite of online retailers prioritizing their e-commerce platform, site search, and SEO, as well as mobile and customer-focused analytics, nearly 60% admitted to not using site search reports and information to enhance marketing programs, and only 25% say they integrate site search data into email marketing campaigns to better customize offers for customers.

Half of the survey respondents said they are not doing more with site search to enhance marketing and sales programs due to limited resources, while nearly 30% say they just aren't sure how to do it and 10% note that their existing site search solution does not allow for integration with marketing programs. With the right approach, online retail marketers can glean valuable insights into visitor habits and buying behavior, which can encourage a purchase, says the report.

An example in the report say that gourmet candy maker Jelly Belly uses site search data to ensure that the appropriate top-searched keywords are incorporated into press releases, advertising, and marketing materials, then using site search merchandising capabilities to tune results and create landing pages for customized product groupings.

According to the study, half of retailers currently use site search data and analytics to enhance their business offerings or processes, while 28% use site search data to make smarter decisions related to inventory selection, 26% use site search data to enhance customer service, and 18% use it to augment predictive analytics practices.

The majority of retailers say they have not implemented site search features such as:

  • Auto-complete with graphics (55%)
  • Mouse-over pop-ups (59%)
  • Personalized search history (64%)
  • Refinements (43%)
  • Floating search bar (80%)

Most rely on site search features they have already, such as auto-complete (62%) and refinements (43%) to do the job, a significant miss for these retailers, concludes the report.

However, nearly half (47%) of retailers plan to change their ways, working to incorporate more features, functionality, and data gleaned from site search to enhance marketing programs throughout 2014. Doing so will be more effective ways to propagate information to their consumers, suppliers, and alliance partners that will lead to better online shopping experiences, brand-building opportunities, and revenue generation, says the report.

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