Beauty Store Business

SEP 2013

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Editor's Note Benchmarks From Shop.org/Forrester Marc Birenbaum Executive Editor mbirenbaum@creativeage.com More than seven in 10 will optimize paid search for smartphones and tablets. 4 September 2013 | beautystorebusiness.com RECENTLY, SHOP.ORG—A DIVISION of the National Retail Federation (nrf.com) that's the world's leading community for digital retail—along with global research and advisory firm Forrester Research (forrester.com) released their report, "The State of Retailing Online 2013: Marketing & Merchandising." A first report by them, "The State of Retailing Online 2013: Key Metrics and Initiatives," was released this past January at NRF's BIG Show in New York City. Based on a survey of 65 online retailers in apparel, footwear, general merchandise, home furnishings and personal care, this report noted: • Nearly nine in 10 online retailers have either already implemented or are planning to implement mobile email optimization this year. • More than seven in 10 will optimize paid search for smartphones (71%) and tablets (73%). "As consumer adoption of smartphones and tablets in the United States reaches critical mass, retailers know that their marketing mix has to work optimally for all customer touchpoints now," says Shop.org executive director Vicki Cantrell. "Email has always been one of most effective customer-retention vehicles in the market so it's no surprise to see retailers investing to make email engaging and relevant for the increasingly mobile consumer." "The State of Retailing Online 2013: Marketing & Merchandising" also reported online retailers saying that on average 28% of emails sent to customers are first opened on a smartphone. Small online retailers say that on average 42% of their emails are first opened on a smartphone. In addition, across all digital platforms, email and search are where four out of five online retailers are most likely to invest more this year than last. Forty percent plan to hire for open positions in marketing analytics this year. For merchandisers, improving the customer shopping experience is key. And for online retailers, those enhancements come in the forms of video, personalized content and more. According to the report, product-detail page improvements— especially video offerings—will be a top focus this year. Seventy-two percent will invest in integrating video on their sites. And 62% indicated that recommendations and personalization features will be priorities, including integrating capabilities to create different homepages and creating unique pages for their customers based on their purchase histories. "Retailers continue to optimize the customer experience on their sites and to that end have made investments in A/B testing, product-detail page enhancements, and personalization mainstream," states Forrester Research vice president and principal analyst Sucharita Mulpuru-Kodali. "Going forward, however, we expect to see much more emphasis on checkout enhancements—as that is a key obstacle for direct transactions on mobile devices." Shop.org's Annual Summit 2013 will take place inside the Lakeside Center at McCormick Place in Chicago Sept. 30-Oct. 2. For more information, visit http://summit13. shop.org. ■

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