ChannelAdvisor commissioned JupiterResearch to survey online retailers on issues driving multi-channel online retailing. They surveyed a subset (115) of Internet Retailer's IRNewsLink email newsletter subscribers in March 2008.
Seventy-five percent of online retailers surveyed cited multi-channel expansion as a key component in their marketing strategies. Ninety-eight percent report they market on at least two online channels. More than three-quarters dedicate explicit efforts to email and search marketing (including both organic search and paid listings).
Among those retailers who reported using multiple online channels:
- 75% enjoy increased sales.
- 80% realize increased customer acquisitions.
- 71% report significant growth in qualified customers.
- 73% operating in six or more online channels require additional support staff.
- Over 60% cite the ability to target new demographics or enhance lifetime customer value.
- 55% of those surveyed outsource some marketing initiatives.
Among those retailers who reported outsourcing their multi-channel initiatives:
- 69% report increased sales while 65% report increased customer acquisition.
- Nearly 60% experience higher returns on marketing spend.
- 70% report quicker adjustment to market changes and new initiatives.
For online retailers that have chosen not to expand into additional online channels, 71 percent said they prefer to focus their energy and resources on optimizing their existing online channels. The second greatest impediment to channel expansion is a lack of sufficient internal staffing or expertise, according to the report. The report goes on to talk about outsourcing.
Ina's take: Not surprisingly, retailers want to be on multiple channels in order to grow sales, and many already are multi-channel sellers. Holding them back from expanding further, according to the report, is a lack of resources (staffing, money and expertise) and desire to focus on optimizing existing channels.
From my own perspective, I believe the challenges are even greater for online sellers with fewer than 5 employees, such as small eBay sellers and mom-and-pop shops. I believe the popularity of eCrater among AuctionBytes readers is due to its ability to provide good SEO (search engine optimization) on Google. Small marketplaces and ecommerce facilitators need to think beyond technology and think like a marketer.
You can download the report, titled "Navigating a Multi-Channel E-Commerce Environment: Marketing and Sales Strategies for Online Retailers," by registering on ChannelAdvisor's website.
JupiterResearch Disclaimer: "This is a vendor-sponsored JupiterResearch report specifically commissioned by ChannelAdvisor. JupiterResearch stands by the integrity of its findings and the validity of the methodology employed in this research study. However, this vendor-sponsored report should not be confused with independent research produced by JupiterResearch's syndicated product line. This report is intended for use by the sponsoring vendor and may not be publicly disclosed, disseminated, used or relied on by others without JupiterResearch's consent."