Survey reveals price competition will be a key concern for merchants in 2013
A survey of online merchants into the competitive pressures facing SME retailers and how merchants plan to pursue growth in 2013 has revealed that 48% of respondents are concerned about competing purely on price in 2013 and that free delivery is still considered to be key to customer loyalty.
Results of the survey by Rakuten’s Play.com show that 32% of the 200 merchants questioned lacked sufficient resources to manage their own e-commerce site and expressed concerns that running an independent website would not attract the required footfall to be sustainable. Meanwhile a third of merchants were looking for online marketplaces to extend their customer reach beyond their own website.
When asked about maintaining customer loyalty, 39% of merchants polled believed that free delivery remained the most powerful loyalty tool at their disposal. Nearly a quarter (22%) of merchants sought to reward their customers using vouchers and special offers, while 17% used social channels to engage fans with competitions and unique offers.
The survey also revealed that less than half (43%) of merchants had used social media to promote their business. Commenting on the results, Adam Stewart, marketing director at Rakuten’s Play.com, said: “We all know that price is a key factor in customer purchase decisions, but merchants need to think about more than just free delivery when seeking to create brand loyalty. Engagement, targeted offers and relationship building will be vital for retailers of all sizes next year.
“Whether it’s sharing a special offer, an exclusive competition or un-boxing a new product range through social media, the power of driving engagement and creating conversations to build brand loyalty should not be underestimated.”
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