Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Searchers spend 10% more on electronics

Research by Yahoo! and ChannelForce has shown that US buyers of TVs and cameras spent 10% more if they had searched online first than if they'd just walked into a store.

This shows that the informed customer will, on average, spend more money than the uninformed customer.

Action: make sure that your website clearly explains why the more expensive products are worth the extra expense.

Why customer reviews improve profits

US retailer Petco Animal Supplies has revealed that customer reviews reduce return rates by an average of 20%, and that more reviews means even lower return rates. Products with more than 50 reviews have a 65% lower return rate than products with no reviews.

Action: even if reviews aren't as relevant to your product area as for others, you should still have customer service reviews. Potential customers can't get too much information to help them decide to buy from you. And if you're scared of what your customers might write then you need to improve your customer service!

US survey: web essential to most women

A survey of 1,800 women by US publisher BurstMedia shows that over half of women turn to the internet first when researching products and two thirds say that their lives would be disrupted if they didn't have online access for a week.

Even amongst the over 65s 31.8% turn to the internet first for product research - showing that there are no age segments where the internet is unimportant.

Action: even if you can't sell your products online, you should ensure that you have a comprehensive website.

Monday, June 18, 2007

PwC: 'nearly all under 55 will buy online in 2011'

A report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers provides some hard numbers for the general feeling that ecommerce has plenty of growth left.

PwC surveyed 1,500 consumers and studied online penetration by product category to come to their conclusions. They cite three reasons why ecommerce will continue to grow rapidly:

1) As web-savvy youngsters age they'll bring their online habits with them
2) At all ages there is a sizeable group intending to start buying online soon
3) Greater online confidence means consumers will tend to increase the variety of categories they buy & the size of each purchase

Overall PwC predict that online sales (excluding eBay & travel) will account for 10% of retail spend by 2011.


1) Remember that 10% is the average across all sectors. Some sectors are already seeing significant high street impact from online sales - cameras being a good example, with Jessops announcing the closure of 25% of its stores this week.

2) Don't wait until your online competitors have the size and strength to hurt you, as it may be too late. Why isn't Jessops selling more cameras and prints online? They didn't start early enough.