72% of online retailers will invest in making their website more personal, video integration and recommendation features a priority

Nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) of online retailers will invest in integrating video on their sites this year, according to ‘The State Of Retailing Online 2013: Marketing & Merchandising’ report released today, 16 July.

For online merchandisers, improving the customer shopping experience is key, with another 62 per cent stating that recommendations and personalisation features will be a priority focus for the coming year, including integrating capabilities to create different home pages and creating unique pages for their customers based on purchase history.

“Retailers continue to optimise the customer experience on their site and to that end have made investments in A/B testing, product detail page enhancements, and personalization mainstream,” said Forrester Research Vice president and principal analyst Sucharita Mulpuru. “Going forward, however, we expect to see much more emphasis on checkout enhancements, as that is a key obstacle for direct transactions on mobile devices.”

The report also found that as mobile traffic continues to grow, 87 per cent of online retailers have said they either already have implemented or are planning to implement mobile email optimisation in 2013, and seven in 10 will optimise paid search for smartphones and tablets (71 per cent and 73 per cent, respectively.)

Optimising digital marketing campaigns across various devices will become the top investment priority, with email and paid search commanding the most attention. Four out of five retailers (80 per cent) are most likely to invest more this year than last in those platforms.

“As consumer adoption of smartphones and tablets in the United States reaches critical mass, retailers know that their marketing mix has to work optimally for all customer touchpoints now,” said Shop.org Executive Director Vicki Cantrell. “Email has always been one of most effective customer retention vehicles in the market, so it’s no surprise to see retailers investing to make email engaging and relevant for the increasingly mobile consumer.”

On average, 28 per cent of emails sent to customers are first opened on a smartphone; however small retailers say that on average 42 per cent of their emails are first opened on a smartphone.

The State Of Retailing Online research series was conducted by Forrester Research and Shop.org, a division of the National Retail Federation.

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