Report: Brands continue to struggle with online commerce

Research finds marketers are too narrowly focused on point-of-sale at the expense of the entire customer experience

While marketing and IT decision makers agree a fully comprehensive digital marketing platform is crucial for customer loyalty and business growth, the lion’s share of brands are unprepared for driving the growth of online commerce, according to a new global study.

The report produced by Sitecore found many brands are too narrowly focused on the point of sale at the expense of the entire customer experience, with less than a quarter prioritising post-purchase and less than a third seeing pre-purchase phases as most important.

The research analysed responses from 826 marketing and IT decision makers, and 414 IT partners and suppliers in 14 countries about their attitudes toward and strategies for online commerce.

A key finding indicated that although 42 per cent of an organisation’s total sales have come from online channels in the past year (and this is expected to grow by nearly 6 per cent in the next year), on average, only 14 per cent of the online sales budget is dedicated to managing the digital consumer experience.

And despite 73 per cent of survey respondents agreeing that customer loyalty is lost without a focused brand experience, organisations are still not providing a holistic experience online that spans across web and commerce systems.

The research also uncovered a number of key challenges for brands wanting to maximise returns from commerce. Chief among them is that more than a third of brands (36 per cent) that use a Web content management solution (CMS) are unable to personalise the purchasing experience, and 33 per cent lack insight into and data about the purchasing experience.

For IT providers, the top three challenges include the ability to integrate new solutions into legacy systems (51 per cent), the struggle to deliver a seamless customer experience (51 per cent), and an ability to deliver constant innovation (50 per cent).

Other findings reveal the most desired features of a digital marketing system are opportunities for upsell and cross-sell (55 per cent), search engine history (54 per cent), and geo-location (39 per cent). It also found only a third (32 per cent) say their organisation is completely successful at having clear lines of communication in place between senior management and departments involved in online sales.

Sitecore CMO, Scott Anderson, said it’s important for brands to step up and deliver digital marketing platforms that integrate the customer experience across Web content and online commerce systems.

“As consumers now expect a seamless and immediate shopping experience, the importance of delivering the right experience directly affects the brand. But right now, brands struggle to fulfil the optimal customer experience due to a disconnect between content and commerce driven primarily by the complexity of technology integration,” he said.

“As consumers’ expectations are paramount to business, it’s time for brands to focus in this area.”

On a positive note, the report found when it comes to IT partners innovating and evolving digital marketing and commerce platforms, the most likely respondents to believe they are market leaders are in Australia (60 per cent), Germany (50 per cent), and US and Canada (49 per cent).

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Using artificial intelligence to surprise your customers

​We have expected artificial intelligence (AI) will become part of our everyday lives for quite some time.

Katja Forbes

Founder and chief, sfyte

Is customer segmentation dead?

Ginni Rometty, the CEO of IBM, announced the death of customer segmentation five years ago saying, "The shift is to go from the segment to the individual. She might have been a bit premature for most marketers, but if customer segmentation isn't dead yet, it's definitely on life support.

Richard Taylor

Senior digital strategist, Spinach

How people buy brands

Andrew Ehrenberg was a giant in the field of marketing science. He believed scientific methods could reveal law-like patterns of how people buy. In this post, I summarise one of Ehrenberg’s most important discoveries and its implications on how people buy brands.

Kyle Ross

Strategist, TRP

What a great article. Thanks for sharing. Today Digital Marketing is the basic need for a business to survive. As online presence is very...

Ecomsolver Private Limited

Want to master digital transformation? Stop thinking about your own problems

Read more

Feeling grateful that customer led digital transformation could improve business and generate more business growth. Many companies are no...

Lilly Lawrence

How a customer-led digital transformation has helped this CMO generate $6m in incremental business

Read more

If a business games me happy than there is a higher chance I will go to them.

Martinez

The Iconic: becoming customer-focussed transformed our business

Read more

That’s a great example of surprising AR ad that went viral because it was first of its kind. Probably a similar effect to some scale can ...

Natasha Kvitka

Using artificial intelligence to surprise your customers

Read more

Hey there! it is a really meaningful post. I too have written a few similar articles about SEM, SEO, Social Media, Digital Marketing Tren...

Rohit

Digital advertising continues to dominate marketing budgets

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in