Analyzing the 2015 eShopper Report Pt. 1

For the past three years, iVentures Consulting has put together an exhaustive report detailing over a hundred of the top retailers in the e-commerce world. This report, The eShopper Index, is one of the only indexes that examines and ranks the e-commerce performances of leading e-retailers and the customer’s journey from landing page to checkout.

This year’s index takes a deep-dive into 111 online retailers and the customer experience those retailers provide. With over 250 pieces of analyzed criteria, studied metrics included the retailer’s:

  • Social media
  • Mobile offerings
  • User interface
  • Content marketing efforts
  • Product pages

Surveyed companies comprised several different industries but had a strong focus on fashion, luxury and perfume & cosmetics.

eshooperdemographic

This year, the top five winners all shared one unique commonality. Every spot was home to a retailer, not a brand. The top five; Saks Fifth Avenue, Zappos, John Lewis, Net-A-Porter, Neiman Marcus are all in the unique business of being a hub where consumers can browse and purchase a variety of different brands, all under one roof.

In this two part series we will be examining some of trends and notable data that this year’s eShopper Report found. In this installment, we will be taking a closer look at some of the high-level, key findings.

The Fruition of Mobile, Content Marketing and Amazon’s Exit

All Thing Mobile

As more and more merchants jump on board NFC (near field communication) based payment options like Apple Pay and Google Wallet it becomes increasingly difficult to ignore that mobile commerce is here to stay, and in a big way.

With 50% of the studied retailers integrating an iOS app and 37% using an Android app, merchants are looking to increase the amount of touch-points they have with consumers. A well-structured app can provide healthy amounts of credibility and convenience to ad campaigns, branding initiatives and of course, your bottom line.

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BestBuy’s mobile app lets you compare prices in real time

The report also found that many brick and mortar retailers relied on these mobile apps to supplement a consumer’s in-store experience. Exclusive coupon offerings, store maps and real-time inventory are a few of the ways these apps are being leveraged. In fact, mobile coupon adoption has steadily increased since 2013 from 78.69 million to a projected 104.11 million in 2016.

Takeaway: Spend some time evaluating if a mobile app makes sense for your business. With mobile payments expected to exceed $431 billion dollars this year, there are plenty of opportunities to be bad in the mobile world.

Content is King

Gone are the days of flashy images and bland product images. This year, the eShopper report found that more companies than ever are jumping on board the content marketing train to reap the benefits of increased engagement and higher conversions.

The findings quite literally speak for themselves:

  • 65% of polled companies incorporated aspirational messaging within their normal marketing efforts
  • 61% of companies had created an online magazine or a blog to provide useful tips and industry news to shoppers

airbnb

AirBnB created an excellent example of this with the editorial-driven and wonderfully laid out Neighborhood Guide.

Takeaway: Do a deep dive into your content marketing efforts. Have multiple members of your team contribute. Need inspiration? Check out what your competition is doing. Paring aspirational messaging with traditional marketing initiatives can do wonders for conversions.

A Farewell To Amazon

In each previous iteration of the eShopper Survey, Internet retailer behemoth Amazon sat within the top five year after year. However, this year Amazon slipped a number of spaces down the report to ultimately land in the number 15 spot.

Takeaway: While Amazon has done a phenomenal job at diversifying their brand and with things like Amazon Fire and the newly announced Amazon Dash, not as much time was spent refining the process, which made them a household name.

The lesson learned here is to never grow comfortable in your processes. Internet retail is and never will be a set-it-and-forget-it industry. With markets more competitive than ever before you will need to discover the next best thing before your competition does.

Join us in a few week for part two of the series where we will take a deeper dive into the lines that separate American and European retailers, the power of video and creating customer advocates.

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About the Author

Brett Chesney