Increased Revenue and Investment in E-Commerce Expected by Retailers

According to the e-tailing group 9th Annual Merchant Survey, given the e-commerce  essential role for today's retailers, 59% are planning to invest somewhat more in e-commerce than the 36% who did so in 2009.

With a recovering economy and shifting channel priorities, 92% anticipate 2010 Internet revenues to increase over '09 with significant growth in the 6-15% range; just 8% report a flat or downward trend in their e-commerce business vs. 34% last year. 

Expected Internet Revenue Change in 2010 (% of Respondents)

Change (% vs. 2009)

% of Respondents

-6% to -20%


-1 to -5




+1 to +5


+6 to +15


+16 to 25


+26 to 50


≥ 51


Source: e-tailing group, April 2010

In early 2010 e-commerce dynamics put forth a favorable climate for cross-channel optimization. Marketing plans are performing at or above plan for 47% of merchants up from 37% in the prior year while merchandising is moving beyond redesigns towards industry standards and category-centric differentiators.

Lauren Freedman, President of the e-tailing group, says "Seasoned sellers, emerging retailers and manufacturers are... positioning themselves for growth as the economy rebounds... taking a laser-like focus on performance... "

Anticipated E-Commerce Investment Change in 2010

Investing Compared to 2009

% of Respondents

No change


Somewhat more


About the same


Somewhat less


Significantly less


Source: e-tailing group, April 2010

Conversion remains a proverbial challenge as 56% of respondents report that the conversion rate sweet spot is still 3% or lower, even more than the 48% in that range last year although increased online researching and value pricing may be contributing factors.

Conversion Rates Expected in 2010 (No. of Orders Divided By Unique Visitors)

Conversion Rate 2010

% of Respondents

0 < 1%


1.0 - 2.9


3.0 - 4.9


5.0 - 7.9


8.0 - 20.0


Don't know


Source: e-tailing group, April 2010

With an emphasis on margin and profitability, where both impact tactical feature selection, the top three impact points where analytics have successfully been leveraged are conversion (52%), search marketing (44%) and cart abandonment (38%) all providing ample opportunities for revenue generation.

To improve website performance 79% of the respondents report planning more targeted email, 72% will refine onsite search and 70% will be enhancing onsite merchandising. Beyond these top initiatives the following will also be contributing factors:

  • Cross-sells/Up-sells rise 66% vs. 55% with AOV focus
  • Merchants move beyond redesign/upgrades (60% vs. 67%) to embrace strategic merchandising  
  • More than one-half are planning to invest in usability or A/B testing (58%) and/or web analytics (53%) to better guide decision-making
  • Customer service (53%) remains an important initiative for over half of the merchants
  • Personalization/Customization sees long-awaited attention for 52% vs. 41%
  • Outreach efforts gain ground with social networking strategies being planned by 58% and blogs (32%)
  • 39% vs. 19% last year are planning expenditures on mobile initiatives  
  • Added to the list this year - videos (48%) see strong adoption

Top Five Tactics for Customer Retention in 2010


% Considering Most Important  or Very Important

Free shipping and private sales for current customers


Site redesign for enhanced customer experience and navigation


The "right" in-stock assortment


Enhanced onsite search, relevance, landing page optimization


Tactical email sent on pre-established frequency


Source: e-tailing group, April 2010

In conclusion, Freedman states, "Merchants must ensure that their e-commerce roadmap is clearly defined yet fluid enough to embrace new opportunities throughout the year... being proactive in securing the necessary funds... (for) future demands... keeps merchants on the fast track."
To read more of the topline data, please visit Exact Target here, or to acquire the complete, aggregated findings, contact e-tailing here.


1 comment about "Increased Revenue and Investment in E-Commerce Expected by Retailers ".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Kyle Lake from Done In Sixty Seconds, LLC, April 29, 2010 at 1:44 p.m.

    Very thorough analysis. Would very much like to see some of these stats hold true for 2010 and glad video was added to the list! I think video can tie in to help increase numbers in all areas especially relevance, landing page optimization, personalization and customer service. "An Online Video Creation Tool"

Next story loading loading..