E-retailers failing at e-marketing, study finds

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on August 21, 2009

Many of the UK's major retailers are missing out on opportunities to build more profitable and longer-term relationships with consumers by failing to integrate email marketing with their e-commerce operations, according to a study by dotCommerce.

The study found that only 30% of the 20 online retailers examined give customers the option to sign up for their email newsletters during the web checkout process, and only 40% try to develop ongoing relationships and customer engagement by sending a follow-up email within ten days of a purchase.

According to dotCommerce, at a time when retailers are facing increasing online competition and harsher conditions in bricks-and-mortar stores, e-retail marketers are missing the chance to exploit the lower cost, revenue generating opportunities offered by integrating email marketing with the company web site.

Surprisingly, 20% of the retailers do not have any kind of data capture mechanism on their web site's homepage. And, of those who do, 55% have placed the link toward the bottom of the page, making it ineffective for all but the most attentive visitors. More worryingly, dotCommerce reports that only 5% of follow-up marketing emails sent to new customers were personalised or somehow targeted toward the individual.

According to Simon Bird, technical director for dotCommerce, "Many retailers are not using email marketing as effectively as they could, whether to maximise their e-commerce revenue or to build stronger, more profitable customer relationships. At the very least, retailers can collect permission-based contact data from the online customer journey and then use that information to provide timely, relevant, and personalised marketing email messages."

The 'Hitting the Checkout' benchmark study has been made available from dotCommerce's web site - click here (free registration required).

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