Electronic commerce is gaining in importance, according to a new study by Retail Systems Research. While not exactly breaking news, the survey puts some concrete numbers on the scope of the change that has taken place, and hints at what may be ahead.
For example, a quarter of retailers say that online sales are ten percent or more of their business. However, three years from now, that will grow to half of all retailers, says the study. Interest in mobile commerce grew from ten percent to 25 percent of respondents just over the last year. Interest in social media sites grew from 19 percent to 36 percent. Retailers are looking to ecommerce platforms to now provide much more than online site support, including dragging the platform into the store, whether to support the mobile channel, provide employee-facing assistance, kiosk support, or even as the point of sale.
The number one business challenge facing retailers is keeping up with changing consumer shopping behaviors. Winning retailers are more about engaging with customers as much as possible through as many touch points as possible. As a corollary, retailers also find themselves challenged to deliver personalization and relevance, particularly in an world with many channels. However, everyone is struggling to keep up with a new environment where mobile and social make larger contributions to online revenues, forcing a shift in priorities for the online channel. The study, After the Storm: Connecting with the New Online Consumer, was conducted by RSR on behalf of Oracle.
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