merchandising plans

Survey Looks into Online Retail Marketing and Merchandising Plans for 2012

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Findings from the e-tailing group’s 11th Annual Survey are in, and the results are hardly surprising.

According to e-tailing group President Lauren Freedman, the survey’s findings have encouraged them to adopt a forward-thinking mindset for 2012. She predicts that this year will be messy for retailers, as they juggle the importance of new marketing channels and device growth with the mainstay power of websites when it comes to delivering a worthwhile shopping experience. The key, she notes, is adapting to the needs of today’s customers and making the necessary changes to strategies in order to take advantage of today’s highly connected market.

The 11th annual survey involved 147 senior executives tasked with ecommerce responsibilities. Respondents were asked a total of 55 questions to glean insight on their marketing strategies for 2012, channel initiatives as well any marketing and merchandising initiatives for the year.


One of the questions asked in the survey is, “What are the 3 issues that will take up the most time in 2012?” to which 31 percent responded by saying that focusing on enhancing customer experience is the most important. This is followed by 22 percent of respondents who said they’d be spending the most time on marketing and 19 percent who would choose to concentrate on channels.

Marketing Channels

In a world full of channels, the survey found that 99 percent of respondents were selling on the Internet, while 61 percent already developed a mobile commerce presence. When it comes to specific channels, 86 percent of those surveyed ran email marketing campaigns, 54 percent have store channels, while 48 percent still ran the traditional catalogue-based model of business.


The survey also touched on the top merchandising tactics respondents looked to employ in 2012. Respondents were asked to rank 50 features by importance using a 5-point scale, with ‘5’ being highly important and ‘1’ not being important at all when it comes to increasing revenue and generating leads.

The survey showed that keyword search is at the top of the list, with 98 percent of those surveyed giving it a neutral/somewhat important/highly important rating. This is followed by the traditional technique of sales and specials at 95 percent, email marketing and seasonal promotions at 94 percent, new stuff at 93 percent and product reviews and ratings at 91 percent.

Source: http://www.e-tailing.com/content/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/04-12-12_Press_MerchantSurvey12_FINAL-2.pdf