Conquering Mobile is Greatest Business Challenge Facing European Online Retailers

  • New independent research commissioned by Intershop investigates the challenges facing European retailers
  • Online retailers struggle to implement sophisticated marketing tools such as A/B testing
  • Established retailers more likely to trust experience and gut feeling over data and analytics

Jena, Germany, September 12, 2012 – Conquering mobile commerce is the top business challenge facing European retailers today, according to new research commissioned by Intershop, the leading e-commerce software and services provider. The result of interviews with 310 senior IT and business decision makers at retailers in the UK, France, Germany, Nordics, Italy and Benelux, the research is available in the new Intershop E-commerce Report.

Key findings include:

  • Mastering mobile commerce is the top challenge for European retailers, with almost two thirds (65%) saying that online retailers that can conquer the challenge of mobile commerce will prevail
  • More than half (54%) of European retailers are confident they will see growth in their online operations this year
  • The majority of European retailers recognise the critical role that their website plays in their success - 74% say that the experience a consumer has on a website can influence what their customers buy, 73% say it influences whether they return and 72% say it influences how much they buy
  • Easy product management was considered the most important feature for a website (recognised by 71% of those surveyed), followed by intuitive page management (67%) and powerful merchandising (67%)
  • Integrated A/B testing is considered important by nearly half (48%) of online retailers, however 58% say it is something they currently cannot do
  • Real-time data and analytics are increasingly important to online retailers. Those who expect to sell more online than through physical stores are the most likely to recognise the importance of being able to monitor websites and respond in real-time (97%) followed by those who see online retail as a key area of growth (95%).

Jochen Moll, Member and Spokesman of the Board of Management at Intershop explains, “With almost all retailers operating both online and offline environments today, delivering a consistent customer experience remains a significant challenge for them. For European retailers as a whole, operating an effective and consistent mobile strategy remains the elusive prize. However, if retailers can build their websites with support for multiple channels right at the heart, then an effective mobile strategy should fall into place.”

While conquering mobile is the greatest business challenge facing online retailers, integrating flexible A/B testing into their website is singled out as the greatest technical challenge, with 58% of retailers currently unable to implement A/B testing into their websites.

“A/B testing adds a significant level of intelligence to any e-marketing strategy. By providing an evidence-based means of continually tweaking and revising marketing strategies until they are as effective as they can be, A/B testing is the magic bullet that every online retailer should have in their arsenal. Those retailers who can seamlessly integrate A/B testing into their websites will gain a significant advantage over their competitors,” states Moll.

“We believe the tools exist to enable retailers to capitalize on mobile commerce and overcome the challenges highlighted in this research. With Intershop 7 for example, our latest e-commerce platform, we incorporated the feedback of over 150 online retailers to build a platform that supports every aspect of the multi-channel business. Our aim is to give retailers all the control they need to manage their online business without having to enlist the help of web developers or programmers. Only by gaining this much control over the online business can retailers stay one step ahead,” concludes Moll.

About the research
The research was conducted by Vanson Bourne, a specialist, technology focused market research agency. Vanson Bourne interviewed 310 senior IT and business decision makers from retailers with annual online revenues ranging from £1 million to more than £100 million, in April and May 2012. Sixty interviews were conducted in each of the following countries; UK, France, Germany, Nordics while 35 were conducted each in Italy and Benelux.

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About Intershop

Intershop Communications AG (founded in Germany 1992; Prime Standard: ISHA) is an independent, internationally leading provider of omnichannel commerce solutions. The latter are available as cloud-based commerce-as-a-service solutions or as licensed models and combine the expertise from over 25 years of software development for online commerce. Upon request, Intershop orchestrates the entire omnichannel commerce process chain – from the design of online channels to the implementation of software to fulfillment. Around the globe more than 300 enterprise customers run Intershop solutions. Customers include large corporations such as HP, BMW, Würth and Deutsche Telekom as well as medium-sized enterprises. Intershop operates in Europe, the USA and the Asia-Pacific region.

This news release contains forward-looking statements regarding future events or the future financial and operational performance of Intershop. Actual events or performance may differ materially from those contained or implied in such forward-looking statements. Risks and uncertainties that could lead to such difference could include, among other things: Intershop's limited operating history, the unpredictability of future revenues and expenses and potential fluctuations in revenues and operating results, significant dependence on large single customer deals, consumer trends, the level of competition, seasonality, risks related to electronic security, possible governmental regulation, and general economic conditions.

Intershop Public Relations

Heide Rausch
Head of Corporate Communication