New research released this week from eBay Enterprise shows that online retailers are poised for strong growth, and believe they are equipped to meet their customers' eCommerce demands.
The research, which consists of responses from more than 1,000 online retailers, delves into topics like mobile commerce, cloud-based enterprises, and global expansion topics. The research shows that online retailers anticipate revenue to increase 17 percent in 2015, in large part due to the growing customer demand to shop online. Retailers also believe that they are meeting those customers' needs.
In fact, 95 percent of survey respondents said they are confident that their eCommerce experience matches what their customers expect from them. Through the use of enhanced technology, cross-platform channels and new digital initiatives, retailers project a strong forecast in 2015. Even with the typical volatility seen in the retail market, 75 percent of respondents reported a positive outlook for the year.
“As retailers look to innovate throughout 2015, a critical understanding of customer journeys can help identify new channels to pursue and how to best maximize investment,” said Steve Denton, vice president, marketing solutions, eBay Enterprise. “eBay Enterprise offers a holistic suite of marketing solutions that provide advanced analytical capabilities and actionable insights, enabling brands to make smart decisions that impact growth.”
Other factors that influence retailer confidence include: new competition joining the market, which 28 percent of retailers said they fear will impact their sales. When it comes to larger retailers, top concerns to address are innovation, staffing and the need to re-platform their organization. The survey research also indicated that retailers believe that mid-sized organizations are bringing the most innovation across the commerce space. Large retailers revealed that they are looking toward new channels to engage customers, whereas the mid-size retailers are trying to reach across multiple channels to interest those consumers.
As far as factors that influence growth, respondents listed the following as top areas: Online engagement (33 percent), global eCommerce expansion (23 percent), mobile commerce (22 percent), digital targeting (22 percent) and product innovation (22 percent). Brick-and-mortar innovation that starts with in-store-investment was listed as another top priority by 14 percent. Global brick-and-mortar expansion was listed by 12 percent of respondents.
On the mobile side, here's how the responses broke down in terms of importance: mobile device optimization (54 percent) and mobile application development (46 percent). Of those who said they plan on investing in mobile commerce more this year, the respondents were split on if they were building their platform for Android or iOS.
In terms of global expansion, 73 percent of online retailers said they believe they're ahead of the curve on global expansion and 47 percent believe they're prepared for global expansion, but of the respondents surveyed, 87 percent said they are concerned about maintaining a brand's integrity when launching in a new market. ECommerce localization was listed by 39 percent as the top barrier to global expansion.