OPERATIONS

Survey: U.S. companies are losing 23% of online revenue to poor service

BY Katherine Boccaccio

San Francisco — Survey results released Tuesday by online customer experience management firm Tealeaf and conducted by Econsultancy showed that nearly 23% of online revenue is lost annually by U.S. companies due to poor online customer experiences.

According to the findings, 18% of companies rate their understanding of the overall online customer experience as “poor” and 55% believe bad navigation is both the most common and serious problem plaguing customers. Just 3% of the companies surveyed believe they offer customers an “excellent” multichannel experience.

The survey of nearly 500 global senior business professionals revealed a limited understanding of the online customer experience. The majority of companies said they have “limited” or “no understanding” of why customers abandon a shopping cart (78%) or leave a site without converting (81%). Instead, most are reactive and rely on other channels to discover customer issues, with 76% most likely to learn about site problems as a result of calls to the customer service team or through customer emails.

“We’re at the point where it’s essential for businesses to maintain a competitive edge by gaining insight into site pain points and taking quick action to dramatically improve the customer experience,” said Matt Raines, VP technology, Bluefly.com. “Failure to do so will render companies powerless in making strategic changes to the site and, over time, this could result in lost customers and lost revenue.”

When asked to identify the single most common problem that customers might encounter on their websites, bad site navigation/poor ‘findability’ was considered to be both the most common (57%) and most serious (55%) problem.

Twenty-nine percent cited lack of information as the second most common and serious (31%) problem that might drive customers away from websites.

Linking online and offline channels and sharing insights across both is also a major challenge for businesses, according to the survey findings, with just 3% describing the multi-channel experience they provide as “excellent” and 24% rating it as “poor” or “very poor.”

Sixty percent of the companies polled admit that the offline parts of their business have little or no understanding of the experience a customer might have at their online store. Currently only 49% of companies have processes in place to prioritize and rectify the problems and issues customers face online. And 52% of those polled plan to invest in the mobile Internet this year.

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Skechers implements Oracle applications

BY Staff Writer

New York City — Footwear manufacturer and retailer Skechers U.S.A. said Tuesday it has upgraded and expanded its Oracle Applications investment, implemented Oracle Database and moved to Oracle On Demand to support rapid growth across its retail and wholesale channels.

The new business information systems are part of a larger initiative for the billion-dollar-plus footwear company to fuel growth, reduce total cost of ownership and enable the business to respond faster to market opportunities.

“As we manage growth, we are establishing a business structure that lowers costs and creates more value and flexibility across the business,” said Mark Bravo, senior VP finance, Skechers. “The Oracle systems and cloud services help us to lighten our IT overhead and enable us to respond more quickly to market opportunities.”

Moving Skechers’ applications to a standard technology platform allows the company to focus on delivering solutions to improve processes and provide accurate information, according to Skechers.

Skechers upgraded to Oracle’s PeopleSoft Enterprise Financial Management and PeopleSoft Supply Chain Management to increase operational efficiencies and improve controls by establishing an integrated, industry-specific platform.

OSI Consulting provided implementation and integration services to Skechers.

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Johnny Mac’s Sporting Goods selects Epicor Eagle Business Software

BY Staff Writer

Livermore, Calif. — Epicor Software Corp. said Tuesday that Johnny Mac’s Sporting Goods is upgrading to the Epicor Eagle˙ point-of-sale and retail business management solution to help run its eight-store chain.

“As our company has grown and expanded, it has become increasingly difficult to manage all aspects of our business with our current software system,” said Rick McArthur, CFO for Johnny Mac’s. “We needed one business management system to manage both sides of our business, namely the retail and wholesale channels.” McArthur said the Eagle solution is capable of managing orders, inventory and resources across the retail stores and outside sales force, and add another channel through the creation of an Internet storefront.

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