ROI Forecasting for E-Commerce Activities

Jena, Germany, July 7, 2011 – Uncertainty around the cost-to-benefit ratio of e-commerce activities indicates an urgent need for decision-making support. That is particularly true with regard to recent trends like mobile commerce, according to the just-completed SimProgno study conducted jointly by Intershop Communications AG, the Institute of Applied Informatics e.V., and the University of Jena. The SimProgno research project, which receives funding from Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research, is examining problems currently affecting e-commerce.


Improving online marketing and content management functions

Although more than three quarters of decision makers are satisfied with the functionality of their online store solution, almost 30 percent are either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their (online) marketing functions. In addition, 35 percent are dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their content management systems. Search engine optimization (SEO) and e-mail marketing are by far the most popular marketing tools, with mobile marketing and augmented reality functions (used by less than 10 percent and 2 percent respectively) firmly at the niche end of the spectrum. There is a clear correlation here with the fact that these areas feature the highest levels of ROI uncertainty (see graphic).

Social commerce more popular than mobile commerce – so far

When it comes to social commerce, Online Shop Managers are more committed: over 50 percent intend to make customer reviews and product ratings a bigger part of their online store, and more than a third are boosting their engagement with social networks. “Online Shop Managers can leverage robust practical experience of the market in this area. But even with more recent developments, such as mobile commerce, it is possible to increase decision-making certainty,” says Dr. Arnd Döhler of Intershop. Free Web analysis software has dominated the market so far, being used by 86 percent of the companies surveyed. Less than 10 percent deploy specialist software to support their forecasting and decision-making processes.

Forecasting ROI in e-commerce and online marketing:

Dr. Döhler: “The results show that many Online Shop Manager would benefit from simulation solutions to help predict the impact of their decisions on KPIs. With mobile commerce, for example, the development costs of a mobile solution can be compared with anticipated traffic and sales.” Accordingly, the SimProgno research team is now exploring potential scenarios arising from the findings of the study where support is needed and developing corresponding solutions for simulation forecasting. 

When participants were asked about their satisfaction with specialist providers, Intershop’s Enfinity Suite architecture performed very well. The packaged software was singled out for its internationalization capability and high level of security.

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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