Online retailers are doing it wrong

There’s been a load of cheering recently for the success of online shopping. At Christmas, for instance, many High Street stores in the UK reported lower than usual sales with less footflow than the previous year. But their online counterparts reported record sales. So everyone was happy. What tosh. The average conversion rate of the top retailers online is a mere 2.5% – and they are ecstatic about that..! If only 2.5% of the people who walked into their bricks and mortar stores bought anything they would be out of business pretty sharpish. One of the reasons is that customers online are “cheap”. It costs almost nothing to attract them; you can get millions passing by every day. The result is that the top retailers themselves perceive their online customers as ten a penny and treat them as such. Is it any wonder they don’t form great relationships and therefore don’t buy very much? A typical top retailer will tell you that their online store is worth about the same as one of their bricks and mortar stores. And, remarkably they think that’s great. Cloud cuckoo land I say. They are happy with the profit in an online store that generates ten times the amount of footflow as a High Street store? Again, this is an attitude problem. It’s highlighted today by a report on the way retailers use emails. This shows that few online retailers even personalise their emails to their customers. They don’t even use the proven methods of getting returns on emails and the vast majority don’t even promote their products in emails they send to customers. What? Say that again…! Yes, 77% of retailers who send emails to customers do not promote their products in those emails. Once again, this is evidence of major companies failing to understand the true nature of the Internet and how they can profit from it.

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