SOURCE: MarketLive

MarketLive

January 27, 2011 13:31 ET

Following an Exceptional Holiday Season, MarketLive® Performance Index™ v14 Encourages Merchants to Focus on Customer-Centric Commerce

Report Details Five Strategies to Sustain Growth by Using Customer-Centric Commerce to Deliver an Integrated Brand Experience for Customers

PETALUMA, CA--(Marketwire - January 27, 2011) -  MarketLive, Inc., the leader in eCommerce software and solutions, today released the MarketLive Performance Index™ Volume 14, Top Trends for Customer-Centric Commerce in 2011. The report details five key strategies for retailers to build on momentum from the 2010 holiday season and yearly revenue gains of 13%, by using customer-centric commerce tactics across channels to deliver consistent, compelling brand experiences for customers. As previously announced by MarketLive on January 11, 2011, holiday sales for the company's merchants were up nearly 18% versus the prior year. This growth exceeded the industry average as reported by comScore by 50%. In addition, site traffic increased 21%, average order value rose 3%, and many MarketLive merchants achieved double-digit margin increases.

Mark Pierce, Chief Executive Officer of MarketLive, commented: "It was rewarding to see our customers achieve stellar holiday results and enter the new year poised for continued success. Now, it is important for retailers to build on that momentum by moving from multichannel commerce to building holistic customer-centric approaches across channels. By doing so, we believe our customers will build customer loyalty, increase the value of their brands and experience growth in 2011 and beyond."

Moving from Multichannel Commerce to Customer-Centric Commerce
With the explosion of social networking, smartphones and connected tablets such as the iPad, customers now expect a cohesive shopping experience. And with those channels and touchpoints multiplying by the day, merchants need to adapt a new model that consistently embraces core customer goals across all channels. That model is "customer-centric commerce."

To develop a customer-centric commerce strategy, retailers should make each phase of the customer lifecycle a seamless experience by implementing these five strategies:

1. Create a strong identity through lifestyle content that connects like-minded shoppers and establishes the expertise and credibility of the brand.

2. Offer more sophisticated ways for shoppers to efficiently identify the products that suit their needs. This includes making keyword search simple and easy, putting popular items front and center, giving shoppers multiple merchandising options at the product level, and providing comprehensive product discovery tools and information.

3. Make transactional tools available in multiple formats and channels to increase the chance of order completion. Merchants can do this by giving shoppers the freedom to buy on the spot or switch to other channels and platforms to complete their purchases.

4. Deliver readily accessible customer assistance throughout the shopping process. While it is tempting to establish a brand presence on every new channel, retailers should maximize the effectiveness of the customer service channels already in place by giving support staff access to comprehensive product information and customer data. Prominently promoting customer service offerings will also boost brand trust and loyalty.

5. Engage shoppers from the time of a transaction until the next purchase. One of the best opportunities for renewing customer relationships after a transaction is by inviting shoppers to provide feedback on the product and purchase experience. After that, merchants can tap engaged shoppers for feedback on everything from lifestyle topics to future product development.

Free Performance Index Report
Merchants can download a free copy of the Performance Index v14 at www.marketlive.com.

The MarketLive Performance Index is the original quarterly report of important trends affecting online retail. Now in its 14th quarter of publication, the Performance Index represents aggregate performance data from approximately 100 retail sites and provides actionable tactics that drive eCommerce success. To be included in Performance Index results, MarketLive analysts must have a full 12 months of data -- resulting in the most accurate year-over-year performance numbers possible. The MarketLive Performance Index provides a holistic, timely view of consumer behavior and reveals current retail trends.

About MarketLive
Since 1995, MarketLive, Inc. (www.marketlive.com) has provided enterprise-class eCommerce retail technology and services that help fast-growing companies successfully sell goods and services online. Designed to meet the unique requirements of catalogers, retailers, direct marketers, and manufacturers, the extensible MarketLive® eCommerce Suite and MarketLive's best practices-based Intelligent Selling® methodology enable merchants to enhance their customers' experience online while dramatically improving acquisition, conversion, and retention rates. The MarketLive platform is the most retail-targeted, fully featured, customizable eCommerce solution on the market today. MarketLive powers successful retail eCommerce sites, including Learning Resources, Peruvian Connection, Sports Chalet, Armani/Exchange, Gaiam, Helzberg, Party City, and many others.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Kelli Tejada
    MarketLive, Inc.
    415.271.9820
    Email Contact