04 Feb Internet Retailers Are Officially Onboard with Site Optimization
Gone are the days when selling marketing and website design services to an internet retailer was like pushing a boulder uphill. Due to firsthand experience of what SEO and improved design can do for their ROI, internet retailers are getting with the program where internet marketing services are concerned.
Last year, almost half of all respondents to a survey by Internet Retailer stated that they had implemented a complete redesign of their website. Site optimization was top priority for 73% of the same group. Better navigation and organization of their sites were the chief concerns in this category, underscoring the fact that improved navigability translates into higher conversion rates.
“Retailers are listing site optimization as their top design objective,” stated David Wartzheimer, director of strategy for Alexander Interactive Inc. This more practical approach to site design firmly puts the customer in the driver’s seat which in turn leads to higher sales. Gone are the days when graphic designers and the IT department are considered the gurus on the subject of navigability – experts, business and customers have all shown that site optimization is much more important than a pretty picture.
Close to 44% of the survey respondents will be updating their sites with video in 2009, probably due to demand from customers for more interactive instructions or product demonstrations. Respondents also want more personalization and customizability in their current online shopping environments, allowing more multi-channel sales and encouraging customer loyalty.
The good news for website design firms is that a full 60% of the companies responding to the survey plan to outsource their site design, and only 15% plan to use their current agency. While that may be good news for getting new business, we can all judge by those numbers that the industry needs to do some more work in customer retention and after-sales service.
Most internet retailers found that posting more customer reviews has not translated to greater conversion rates. Video and more interactive features on the site have, leading most of them to want to incorporate more of these services. According to this survey, 2009 should be a fairly busy year!