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Global Survey Reveals Retailers' New Year's Resolutions for eCommerce and Site Search to Drive Sales in 2013

SLI Systems’ Survey of Nearly 500 Retailers Finds That Site Search, SEO, and Mobile Commerce Strategies will be Biggest Priorities in 2013

News Highlights

  • Global survey of nearly 500 retailers shows improving conversions and attracting more customers to their websites are the biggest challenges retailers face, in addition to improving logistics and expanding internationally
  • To address these challenges in advance of the 2012 holiday season, retailers increased focus on SEO, better merchandising, better refinements and navigation, and more relevant site search
  • Enhancements to site search, SEO and mobile commerce strategies top retailers’ list of priorities in 2013, beyond improving their eCommerce platform strategy
  • A/B testing, refinements, merchandising and Rich Auto Complete get highest ranking of new site search features retailers will add in the new year to ensure an optimal customer experience
  • Nearly half (40%) of retailers will add a mobile version of their website in 2013, with 20% planning to create a mobile app

SAN JOSE, CA – December 10, 2012 – Global eCommerce sales will pass the $1.25 trillion mark in 2013, according to the Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG). As online retailers prepare to take advantage of this growth opportunity in the new year, a new survey of nearly 500 global retailers conducted by SLI Systems (www.sli-systems.com) shows improving conversions (63%) and attracting more customers to their websites (61%) continue to be their biggest challenges. As such, retailers plan to address these challenges by upgrading or changing their ecommerce platforms (18%), improving their site search functionality (18%) and SEO efforts (17%) and solidifying their mobile commerce strategies (15%).

In order to ensure website visitors can more easily find the information and products they are looking for, retailers plan to focus on improving or adding A/B testing (52%), refinements, (48%), merchandising capabilities (39%) and rich auto complete functionality (34%) to their site search strategies.

Mobile commerce will double in 2012, according to Internet Retailer, and this growth is predicted to continue in 2013. Retailers who took part in the SLI Survey support this prediction, as 40% plan to institute a mobile strategy in the New Year with 20% planning to build a mobile app. Of the retailers that already have a mobile site, 18% said they will take measures to improve the user experience and increase sales by enhancing site search functionality on their mobile sites.

Additional Survey Findings

Improving 2012 Holiday Shopping Outcomes

  • Retailers took a number of actions this year in preparation for the 2012 holiday shopping season. More than 40% increased their SEO efforts and focused on better merchandising capabilities, while better refinements and navigation (38%) and improvements to ensure more relevant site search (34%) also topped the list of holiday website enhancements.

Adding Non-Product Features to Increase Usability

  • In order to better educated customers and provide them the information needed to make purchase decisions, retailers also regard non-product related functionality and information important to increasing the effectiveness of their eCommerce efforts. More than half of retailers (57%) have already posted Twitter feeds to their sites, as well as articles and press releases (56%), blog posts (53%) and videos (53%). In the coming year, retailers plan to add additional non-product features to drive sales, including how-to-information, more video options and blog posts.

To download the full survey and related infographic, please go to http://sitesearch.sli-systems.com/Survey-2012-12-05-eCommerce-Registration-Page.html.

Survey Methodology

The “2012 ECommerce Trends Survey” was conducted online bySurvey Monkey on behalf of SLI Systems. The poll, which gathered feedback from nearly 500 eCommerce business managers and executives globally, was conducted from November 13 to November 30, 2012.

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About SLI Systems

SLI Systems provides full-service site search, navigation, merchandising, and user-generated SEO, and is the top SaaS-based site search provider to IR 500 and IR 1,000 retailers. Unlike traditional search software, SLI Systems’ patented technology continuously “learns” from the behavior of visitors over time to deliver more relevant results. This learning-based search and navigation technology empowers retailers and content sites to enhance customer satisfaction by helping site visitors find the products and information they seek as quickly and efficiently as possible, increasing site conversions and average order value. SLI Systems is a privately held company, with offices in San Jose, CA; London, UK; Melbourne, Australia; and Christchurch, New Zealand. For more information about SLI Systems, visit www.sli-systems.com.