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Survey Reveals Customer Experience Key to Online Success

The 11th Annual Mystery Shopping Survey from the e-tailing group is out and it suggests that leading online stores are optimizing their sites features to generate more sales.

If you follow me you’ll know this is one thing I continually say. Your site must provide the visitor with a functional and pleasant customer experience and that often starts with elements relating to design.

The merchants who are seeing the best results are focusing on executing strategies that take the online shopping experience to higher levels. They are increasing efficiency of processes and developing customer retention programs; rethinking promotions, adjusting content, and refining search. These elements along with others combine to create a sense of community that directly speaks to their target.

Lauren Freedman, president of the e-tailing group states that e-commerce stores must consider rethinking promotions and include a variety of creative options if they want to remain competitive in a tough economy. She goes on to say that price is even more likely to be a key factor in consumer purchasing during this difficult time. I touched upon this very concept a bit in one of my recent articles Shoppers are Still Searching but Where They Are Searching has Shifted.

The trend among those successful online merchants is to structure marketing promotions that get the sale immediately. To do so they are often utilizing limited-time-only sales as evidenced by a 24 percent jump in such to 42 percent in 2008; up from 18 percent in 2007.

Here are several key findings of the survey:

What Does it all Mean?

In short, if you are to be successful online you should consider taking a close look at how you get customers involved in your business. It’s the total customer experience from the moment they learn about your business to the moment they make a purchase which will determine if you will win or lose online. You must consider expanding your marketing reach to include Social Media as a way to build community — a vital role in building trust and loyalty.

If you need help implementing a Social Media Marketing campaign I offer a few packages that will help you get that accomplished. Contact me for more information.

From weekly blogging packages to full media utilization of Facebook, Twitter and more, I’m sure there is something for everyone. Likewise, I am available to coach store owners toward developing successful promotional strategies which increase conversion and build business as well. Just drop me a note.

To your success!

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