Customer Experience and Mobile Optimisation are Most Important Priorities for E-commerce in 2016, According to Survey of Leading UK Retailers

Nearly 35% of UK-based online retailers list customer experience as their highest priority in the coming year, with mobile optimisation coming in a strong second (26%). These results, released today by SLI Systems (SLI.NZ), a market leader and worldwide e-commerce provider for mid-to-large size Internet retailers and B2B sites, come from a survey conducted among more than 200 participants at the third annual SLI Connect UK e-commerce forum in London.

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The three site features retailers list as most important for customers are relevant search results, ease of navigation and mobile friendliness, with personalised recommendations also featured strongly. Personalisation (16.5%) and omnichannel (11%) lag as top priorities in this survey as retailers identify a stronger focus on improving the overall customer experience and specifically the mobile shopping experience.

“The features they’ve identified as most critical for their customers will all help improve the customer experience,” said Shaun Ryan, Chief Innovation Officer and Co-Founder, SLI Systems. “With great search, easy navigation and a mobile friendly site, customers will naturally have a better shopping experience because they’ll find the items they’re looking to buy.”

Another interesting finding is that the highest number of survey respondents (47%) believe that customers are only willing to make two search queries on their sites before moving elsewhere.  A smaller but significant number of those surveyed (11%) believe that visitors will only make one search.

“By using technology that learns from user activity to provide relevant search, navigation and recommendation results and suggestions, it is very possible to show shoppers the products they want on their first query, providing a great experience, which will drive higher revenue,” added Ryan.

Nearly 85% of retailers surveyed said they measure customer engagement in terms of revenue. Time-on-site was the next most important measure of engagement, as more retailers add site content like how-to articles, videos and social posts to build customer loyalty and improve the user experience.

SLI Connect is an invitation-only e-commerce summit held annually in multiple global locations by SLI Systems. Sponsors of this year’s UK event were Bronto, Dotmailer, Feefo and Shopware.

Survey Results in full (rounded to the nearest percentage point):
Which of the following initiatives is the highest in priority for your e-commerce business in the next 12 months? (Choose 1)
Mobile/tablet optimisation – 26%
Customer experience – 33%
Omnichannel – 13%
Personalisation – 15%
Data Integration – 13%

Which channels are most important to your business in the next 12 months? (Choose up to 3)
Mobile – 71%
Tablets – 35%
Online – 74%
Kiosks – 0%
Bricks & Mortar – 14%
Catalogues – 10%
Social Media – 22%

Which of the following site features do you think are most important to your customers?(Choose up to 3)
Relevant search results – 66%
Easily understood navigation – 46%
Mobile/tablet friendliness – 45%
Personalised recommendations – 42%
Non-product content (blogs; video etc.) – 18%
Fast load times – 32%
Other (please specify) – 1%

How do you measure customer engagement? (Choose up to 3)
Revenue/order value – 84%
Time on site – 42%
Increased Social Media (Likes, Follows) – 32%
Loyalty program enrollment – 13%
‘Tell a friend’ referrals – 4%
Promotional ad/email clickthroughs – 33%
Other (please specify) – 4%

How many search queries do you think your customers are willing to make on your site to find the exact product they want?
1 – 11%
2 – 47%
3 – 26%
4 – 8%
5 – 1%
As many as they need to – 7%

About SLI Systems
SLI Systems (SLI.NZ) enables the world’s leading e-commerce retailers to accelerate sales by connecting shoppers with the products they’re most likely to buy. With offerings that include site search, navigation, merchandising, mobile, product recommendations and user-generated SEO, SLI is the most chosen cloud-based site search provider to U.S. Internet Retailer Top 1000 retailers. The company’s patented technology continuously learns from the actions of visitors to deliver the most relevant results possible. Whether via PC, tablet or phone, a site powered by SLI delivers the kind of satisfying search experience that increases conversion rates, secures brand loyalty and results in higher order values. SLI operates on five continents. For more information, visit

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