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International expansion highest priority for SME retailers in 2012

International expansion highest priority for SME retailers in 2012
Wednesday January 18 2012

Survey reveals retailers plans for 2012 as high street worries continue

With the UK economic climate remaining in a fragile position, 87% of retailers feel that the high street will continue to fall behind in retail in 2012 and as a result are planning to extend their ecommerce strategy over the next twelve months, according to new findings released today.

The survey by eSellerPro, reveals the growing importance of multichannel for SME’s in the current retail environment. The research indicates that both social and mobile commerce will play a large role in retail strategies for smaller retailers over the coming year, with 90% planning to implement a social or mobile strategy over the next twelve months. Of these, 53% plan to use sell across both platforms in 2012, whilst 27% plan to use solely social commerce. Surprisingly only 10% plan to move towards mCommerce despite recent statistics indicating that a record number purchases were made via mobile phones in December.

“Moving towards a mobile strategy can appear a daunting task to smaller retailers, however it is a natural extension of retailers existing operations and is far easier to set up and manage than it might first seem,” says Keith Bird, CEO, eSellerPro.”

According to the research, international expansion is the highest topic on most retailers’ agendas, even taking priority over social and mobile with 40% highlighting plans to grow their business internationally over the coming year. Improving inventory management (23%) was also a key issue for the coming year, with many retailers suffering in a shortfall of resources when managing inventory across multiple channels.

“With the current economic climate, it is not surprising that many retailers are looking internationally to increase revenue,” says Keith Bird. “Consumers are increasingly shifting their focus from traditional retail outlets to online and overseas, and retailers are increasingly realising the benefits that a multichannel presence can bring,” continues Keith. “We are heading towards a converged landscape when it comes to retail and are likely to see the phrase “x-commerce” become increasingly common. Retailers should be approaching this fast-changing landscape, not by viewing each channel as a new, standalone route to sales, but as one converged channel.”

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