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Established 1996
Saturday 30 May 2020


30% of retailers’ e-commerce work ‘offers no value’

Written by Peter Walker

Retailers in the UK expect 30 per cent of all their e-commerce work to give them back no value, according to a new study.

Greenlight Commerce questioned 100 UK-based e-commerce decision makers within the retail sector, finding 99 per cent are facing some sort of challenge, with the main problems being customer retention (41 per cent), customer experience (39 per cent) and measuring metrics (33 per cent).

These challenges are leading to UK retailers experiencing many failed e-commerce projects, with over two-thirds (68 per cent) experiencing at least one failed project last year.

These failures are expected to continue in 2019, with respondents predicting two thirds of their organisations’ e-commerce projects will hit all key objectives. This leaves the remaining third of projects either missing some (20 per cent) or all (15 per cent) of the key objectives.

The survey also highlighted several reasons why e-commerce platforms are failing and not living up to expectation. The most prevalent factor, identified by almost half of respondents (48 per cent), is that projects are rushed. Other problems include budgets and costs (47 per cent) and a lack of expertise within the business (37 per cent).

When it comes to measuring the success of e-commerce projects, many key metrics are being neglected by retailers, with 71 per cent failing to measure the return on investment, 48 per cent not measuring customer retention, and 47 per cent failing to measure the impact upon revenue.

Kevin Murray, managing director at Greenlight Commerce, commented that digital has completely revolutionised the way Britons shop, but retailers don’t appear to be keeping pace.

“The UK retail industry should not tolerate a situation where so much work and investment is failing to improve the bottom line,” he continued. “Retailers are right to be investing in e-commerce projects, but they need to be making investments that are benefiting the business.”

The survey also found 87 per cent of e-commerce decision-makers believe their retailer needs to improve when measuring the success metrics of a project, with 93 per cent stating that being able to demonstrate a project’s success is critical to getting budget for the next. Almost two-thirds (61 per cent) believe their organisation is behind its competition when it comes to the maturity of its website.

Murray concluded: “Rather than focus on the competition and compare themselves, brands should look in the mirror and ask themselves what will work for their customers? What will make them stand out?

“In answering these questions and ensuring the technology supports customers, they will generate success – if the sector doesn’t make these changes, it might as well just hand the keys to Amazon and give them the market.”


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