Survey: E-commerce retailers missing sales opportunities

Montreal -- A survey released Friday by e-commerce visitor feedback analytics firm iPerceptions found that, despite online retail sales being up, online retailers are missing out on revenue opportunities.

Third quarter 2011 Retail Ecommerce industry report showed that, while U.S. retail sales estimates show online retail spending rose 13% year-over-year to $36.3 billion for the quarter, task completion fell significantly for visitors at nearly every stage of the retail purchase cycle.

As e-commerce sales grab a larger share of total retail sales, visitors’ task completion fell from 73% in third quarter 2010 to 69% in third quarter 2011, according to the survey. The most notable decrease in task completion occurred for visitors who came to make a purchase, from 63% to a mere 54%.

“With online retailers increasing investment in Search Engine Optimization programs and web analytics in general, this noticeable drop in task completion demonstrates that e-tailers are not in touch with what’s most important to customers,” said Claude Guay, president and CEO of iPerceptions. “Sales would be better if online retailers identify and address the biggest barriers to task completion, which include understanding customer intentions -- not just what customers click on.”

For visitors who came to make a purchase and did not complete their task in third quarter 2011, 35% claimed they couldn’t find the product they were looking for, while 34% said the product they were looking for wasn’t available. Other significant barriers were unclear pricing and comparisons (13%) and a lack of product information (9%).

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