E-Commerce Sentiment Index 2015 | Fighting technical weaknesses

19. October 2015

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The mood among online retailers is currently satisfied, but by no means euphoric. Many companies estimate their own development prospects to be worse than those of the market as a whole, because they are not yet sufficiently prepared in technical terms. These are the core findings of the E-Commerce Index 2015, prepared by Poet GmbH.

Many companies with online stores are becoming increasingly aware that their commitment to e-commerce to date has been insufficient for them to participate adequately in the possibilities of Internet retail. This is the conclusion suggested by the findings of a study that determined current sentiment based on ten different rating factors. There was an analysis not only of the present situation, but also of how future prospects look for the next 12 months. To this end, 137 e-commerce managers gave their estimates on scales of 0 to 10 in each case. The E-Commerce Sentiment Index 2015 was calculated from the weighted sum of the individual results.

INSUFFICIENT INVESTMENT BUDGETS

At 63.78 points, the index is clearly still below the maximum value of 100, although particularly the assessments of internal conditions for Internet commerce prevented a better result. As such, although e-commerce is mostly well anchored in the corporate strategy, this is not expressed in the investment budget available. The performance quality of the technical solutions used is viewed even less favorably. With 5.36 points, this aspect has one of the lowest individual ratings of all parameters.

“In technical terms, many online stores are not actually very mature,” says Gerlinde Wiest-Gümbel, Chief Executive at Poet GmbH, based on her own experience in consulting and projects. “The reasons for this can be found in the fast tempo of the development of e-commerce, which many companies are failing to keep pace with sufficiently, despite all their needs.”  This in turn results from the fact that in many cases there is still no adequate response to the question of how fixed and online businesses can be brought into a harmonious coexistence. “Vague or as yet inconclusively defined strategic positions inhibit commitment to investment and create technical shortcomings.”

ONLINE STORES FACING BIG CHALLENGES

Apparently, something is due to change in these conditions in the near future, because when companies were asked to estimate how demanding the additional e-commerce requirements will be in the next 12 months, the result of 7.72 points was the highest of all the individual values. This obvious drive for optimization also relies on positive budget expectations for this period. The corresponding index value rises to 6.78, signifying an increase of at least 0.9 points relative to the opinion of the current budget situation.

With regard to the future direction, the trends of social commerce and mobile commerce are particularly popular. These types of solutions were already of high priority in the previous solution strategies. However, online retailers also want to dedicate themselves to them with largely similar intensity over the next 12 months.

PERSONALIZED APPROACH INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT

However, the situation looks different particularly for the topic of customer-centric commerce, for individual approaches and support for customers. So far, this has been of only moderate relevance, but it is due to become significantly more important, as is reflected in the above-average increase in the corresponding index value from 4.82 to 6.22 points. There is a similar trend for predictive analysis for forecasts of customer behavior with probability data. Again, a clear increase in the corresponding index value is recorded.

For Wiest-Gümbel, there will soon be another trend apart from these topics, however, and this is so far only being discussed on the sidelines: the fusion of e-commerce solutions with ERP and CRM systems. “In the future, this will open up entirely new options for an individual approach to customers.”

 

The following chart shows the results of the E-Commerce Index 2015. Download the E-Commerce Sentiment Index 2015 for free.


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