Thought leadership

 In its "Annual Merchant Survey 2012," the e-tailing group surveyed 147 top retailers to examine the various methods businesses are using to measure customer engagement. Sponsored by Baynote, the study explores how successfully companies are integrating their findings from customer engagement analyses with their various customer strategies.

The following statistics show the most popular measures of engagement among the retailers surveyed and how merchants are incorporating those metrics into their customer strategy:


  • When it comes to merchandising and other tactics that encourage customers to navigate through a store in a specific pattern, 93 percent of respondents say that data analysis is their top strategy for learning how those areas impact customer retention. Eighty-one percent rank promotional or pricing strategies high on their list of priorities, while 79 percent also rank site redesign or enhancements that improve customer experience among their top tactics for building customer engagement.

  • In comparing mobile versus website conversion rates, respondents note that mobile websites (10 percent of respondents) and tablets (22 percent) saw significantly more conversions than their website. Only 3 percent saw significant conversion rates from native apps.

  • Retailers are increasingly incorporating social media into their analyses. Ninety percent of respondents say that this year they're using their number of Facebook fans to measure social media success, as opposed to 78 percent in 2011. Sixty-six percent use their number of Twitter followers, up from 61 percent in 2011; 58 percent measure click-through rates from social media, a 5 percent increase from 2011.

  • Sixty-three percent of retailers agree that their view of personalization focuses on segmentation of shopper groups or types.

  • Sixty-one percent of respondents say they're very deliberate with personalization strategies to ensure they will not degrade the brand in any way, while 61 percent also test a range of marketing strategies to understand which methods perform well and best align with the brand's vision.

  • When measuring cross-channel customer behaviour, 49 percent use anecdotal feedback from customers, 44 percent use lifetime value analysis, 33 percent use loyalty and other CRM programs, and 29 percent use cross-channel customer surveys as their top metric.

  • When measuring store or catalogue-centric cross-channel customer behaviour, 36 percent use coupon redemption across channels, 35 percent use call volume to the call centre, and 29 percent use coupons or promotional codes collected at the point of purchase as their top metric.

With measurements in place, retailers must establish which customer insight will deliver the greatest business impact. These companies also should prioritize which information requires their attention and when so they don't get bombarded with irrelevant numbers. Retailers can then develop customer engagement goals that align with the company's broader business objectives, focusing only on actionable items -transforming numbers into the next steps on a company's journey toward an improved customer experience.

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