How Retailers Are Using Their Websites for Customer Acquisition
According to Forrester Research, online retail sales will reach $278.9 billion in 2015. It’s no wonder then that over the past decade, eCommerce websites have become incredibly fine-tuned conversion machines. The best of the best optimize the performance of technology, design, and content in pursuit of the holy grail of online retail—a frictionless, online environment in which every visitor becomes a loyal customer.
When gathering research for Retail Touchpoints Exposed, we visited the websites of the 100 fastest-growing US retailers and evaluated their efforts to build email, mobile, and social audiences. In doing so, we determined that while all the retailers surveyed had websites, only 72 offered eCommerce intelligence. Accordingly, we reviewed and evaluated each website’s:
- Email opt-in calls-to-action
- Social engagement calls-to-action
And in the case of eCommerce-enabled websites, we also reviewed:
- Product-related social engagement
- Purchase path through purchase confirmation
Unlike their brick-and-mortar stores, the retailers appear to be committed to converting website visitors into email subscribers. We found that 67 include an email opt-in form on their home page and other pages of their website (pre-purchase). We also found that 11 of the 100 retailers provided a first-purchase incentive discount to new email subscribers. Overall, only eight retailers failed to make any effort to acquire email subscribers on their website.
At first glance, the devotion of such prime website real estate to email acquisition suggests that the digital teams at these retailers at least understand the business value of each email subscriber. However, the fact that 26 of the retail websites surveyed made no pre-purchase effort to convert website visitors into email subscribers is certainly a missed opportunity. Even if those retailers are seeking opt-in permission as part of the check-out process, they are still missing out on acquiring subscribers who may still be “window shopping” the brand—those who are interested, but not yet ready to make a purchase.
Want more SUSCRIBERS, FANS, & FOLLOWERS research? Download the entire report series at exacttarget.com/sff.