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 Online shopping figures reach new highs

A record number of consumers are going online for their shopping this holiday season, despite the economic uncertainty.  

Forrester Research expects holiday season online retail sales in the US to grow 15 per cent from last year, with November and December as the busiest time of the year.  

Similarly, more Australians are buying their presents online than ever before. The Australian eCommerce market is set to reach AUD 37 billion by 2013, up from AUD 27 billion in 2010. However, 44 per cent of this is expected to be spent overseas, with the price and variety of goods available from international retailers attracting Australian consumers.

“Success comes down to knowing your customers, how they prefer to engage with you and offering the right promotions,” according to Amanda Suefong, eCommerce Merchandising Manager ANZ at Lenovo Australia & NZ, and a speaker at the marcus evans New eCommerce Era Conference.  

To drive revenue and gain more market share, Suefong recommends that Australian companies take a look at their current online marketing strategy and pinpoint the tactics that are generating the highest ROI. They should see a good return on email marketing, especially if it is segmented and targeted, she adds. Retailers should also have an integrated search, mobile and social strategy in place together with clear sales targets that are reviewed frequently.  

“Consumers are becoming a lot more tech savvy and expecting a personalised experience. They expect retailers to understand and know what they want, and engage with them on multiple channels.”  

Companies are also becoming more savvy in getting to know their customers, but a lot more can be done. “There is so much data that online retailers can utilise to provide a better consumer experience. They have access to customer feedback through many channels. It is up to each individual company to mine that data and improve services across different channels. This is where some online retailers fail. Amazon is exceptional at understanding customers and providing the personalised service that consumers are starting to expect from all online retailers.”  

Suefong adds that a good search strategy, both organic and paid, can generate a good ROI. “Companies must identify what customers are typing into search engines that drives traffic to their websites and what keywords they are using on the company’s website internal search, in order to provide relevant content and matching products.”  

As more and more people choose to shop online, reaching consumers and maintaining their loyalty throughout the whole year will become critical to the success of many companies.  

The marcus evans New eCommerce Era Conference will take place in Sydney, Australia, 27 - 28 February 2012. For more information, please visit the event website by clicking here







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