According to new research from SLI Systems, at least 91% of retailers expect online revenue growth this year.
The H1 2018 E-commerce Performance Indonfidence (EPIC) Report highlights top focus areas for the year, includiing how retailers feel about heated competition from Amazon, the investments they are making in new technology, how mobile initiatives have changed from last year, and retailers' approaches to personalization.
"This report echoes many of the themes we're seeing in our customer base," said Chris Brennan, Chief Executive Officer of SLI Systems. "Online revenues are increasing, but it takes a focus on the shopper's experience and the myriad of ways people find your brand and connect with your products to make it happen."
This year's findings show retailers have more aggressive estimates for large gains in e-commerce revenue compared to 2017. Variation in expectations between industries and regions highlights where the most online and mobile revenue growth is predicted. Additional findings include:
91% expected e-commerce revenue gains in H1 2018.
Of U.S.-based respondents, 59% predict modest e-commerce revenue growth of 1-10% and 12% estimate growth over 21%.
Personalization Key to Engagement and Conversion
Globally, one-third (33%) of retailers say their companies already provide customers a personalized online experience, and almost half (49%) plan to add it in the next year.
Offers Triggered by Online Behavior is the top way retailers plan to personalize for consumers (42%). Emails Triggered by Online Behavior and Category Page Results Based on Online Behavior tie for second (both 38%), followed by Recommendations Based on Online Behavior (36%).
Retailers in Housewares/Home Furnishings are the most aggressive with their personalization plans; only 18% report currently using personalization, but 71% expect to leverage it within the next year.
Most Important Initiative: Customer Experience
When asked about their most important initiative, 25% of respondents claimed Customer Experience, 16% Advertising or Paid Search, and 15% Replatforming.
This reflects a change from the Q3 2017 report where the top three initiatives were: Replatforming (17%), Customer Experience (16%), and Inventory, Logistics and Fulfillment (15%).