Retailers will grow online revenue by focusing on…

A majority of retailers are banking on three factors to drive their online revenue this year.

Most (91%) retailers expected e-commerce revenue gains in the first half of 2018. These will be driven by customer experience, personalization and mobile initiatives, according to the “H1 2018 E-commerce Performance Indicators and Confidence (EPIC) Report,” from SLI Systems.

When asked about their most important initiative, 25% of respondents claimed customer experience was on top of their list. This was followed by advertising or paid search (16%), and replatforming (15%). This reflects a change from the Q3 2017 report where the top three initiatives were: replatforming (17%), customer experience (16%), and inventory, logistics and fulfillment (15%).

However, retailers across the board believe that personalization is the key to customer engagement and conversion. Globally, one-third (33%) of retailers said their companies already provide customers a personalized online experience, and almost half (49%) plan to add it in the next year.

Almost half (42%) of retailers will deliver offers triggered by online behavior to delver a more personalized experience. Emails triggered by online behavior and category page results based on online behavior tie for second (both 38%), followed by recommendations based on online behavior (36%).

Retailers in housewares/home furnishings will lead the charge when it comes to personalization efforts. While only 18% currently use personalization, 71% expect to leverage it within the next year, according to the report.

Mobile is also integral to e-commerce success. For example, 91% of companies maintained (50%) their 2017 mobile financial commitment, or increased (41%) their monetary investment for 2018. Meanwhile, 80% anticipate revenue from mobile sites and apps to increase. A majority (95%) of those in the food and beverage industry, housewares/home furnishings (94%) and apparel (93%) expect an increase.

"This report echoes many of the themes we're seeing in our customer base," said Chris Brennan, CEO, SLI Systems. "Online revenues are increasing, but it takes a focus on the shopper's experience and the myriad of ways people find your brand and connect with your products to make it happen."