Better Data Collection Will Help Retailers

According to a recent survey of retailers with online shopping carts, conducted in February 2013 by Retail Systems Research (RSR), 47% of retailers surveyed said they do not collect product-level site browsing data that can be associated with a specific email subscriber. This, even though during the pre-purchase stage, most consumers before buying, visit the retailer, manufacturer and product review sites to compare products and prices.

Do You Collect Product-level Customer Site Browsing Data?


% of Respondents



No... we cannot collect data


No... we can collect data but do not; will  not increase sales


No... we can collect data but do not; too complex, time consuming


Source: Bronto/RSRresearch, April 2013

The survey found that 22% of retailers are not currently exchanging data between their email service provider and e-commerce platform, thus limiting the potential for driving more revenue with in-purchase and post-purchase email campaigns. These activities help move shopping behavior from browsing to the transaction, presenting opportunities to upsell, cross-sell and build repeat business.

The report also examines retailer email opt-in, abandoned cart and transactional practices during the in-purchase stage, revealing missed opportunities for retailers. The survey revealed some retailers are still failing to take advantage of this opportunity, with only 24% saying that they customize campaigns to active purchasers beyond their transactional communications of order and/or shipping confirmations.

Email communications will be limited to transactional messages if an email opt-in is not collected, says the report. To be compliant with CAN-SPAM regulations, promotional emails can only be sent to consumers who have opted-in to receive such communications. Two-thirds of retailers are capturing opt-in during checkout whether implicitly or explicitly. 15% will ask customers to opt-in as part of their order and shipping confirmations, while nearly 1 in 5 retailers are not collecting opt-in at all during checkout.

How Do You Capture email opt-in During Checkout?


% of Respondents

Do not collect during check out


In post-purchase transactional emails


Implicitly opt-in all buyers


Explicit opt-in


Source: Bronto/RSRresearch, April 2013

A majority of respondents believe that collecting email during checkout is beneficial for both the brand and consumer, while 23% believe collecting the additional data point could lead to an increase in order abandonment. Setting the expectations of mailing frequency and content can help decrease potential confusion and hesitation about opt-in.

Collecting eMail Opt-in During Checkout

Retailer Perception

% of Respondents

Increases bond between brand and consumer


Is strong source for list growth


Increases order abandonment


Source: Bronto/RSRresearch, April 2013

Jim Davidson, Bronto’s manager of marketing research,  concludes by noting “... the RSR survey shows many retailers still struggle to make data actionable... missing... revenue opportunities... by integrating marketing and e-commerce platforms... “

More information from Bronto, as well as the PDF Whitepaper, may be found here.

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