Retailers in the UK expect 30% of all their eCommerce work to give them back no value, according to a new study commissioned by digital commerce experts Greenlight Commerce.
The study, which questioned 100 UK based eCommerce decision makers within the retail sector, found 99% of retailers are facing some sort of eCommerce challenge, with the main challenges being customer retention (41%), customer experience (39%), and measuring metrics (33%).
These challenges are leading to UK retailers experiencing many failed eCommerce projects, with over two-thirds (68%) experiencing at least one failed project in 2018. These failures are expected to continue in 2019, with respondents predicting just under two thirds (66%) of their organisations’ eCommerce projects will hit all key objectives. This leaves the remaining third of projects either missing some (20%) or all (15%) of the key objectives.
The survey highlights several reasons why eCommerce platforms are failing and not living up to expectation. The most prevalent factor, identified by almost half of respondents (48%), is that projects are rushed. Other problems include budgets and costs (47%) and a lack of expertise within the business (37%).
When it comes to measuring the success of eCommerce projects, the study finds that many key metrics are being neglected by retailers. Over seven in ten respondents (71%) are failing to measure the return on investment, almost half (48%) are not measuring customer retention, and 47% are failing to measure the impact upon revenue.
Kevin Murray, managing director at Greenlight Commerce, explains: “The survey results are stark in their findings, with retailers experiencing far too many failed eCommerce projects and wasted resources.Digital has completely revolutionised the way Britons shop but retailers don’t appear to be keeping pace. The current climate presents a wealth of challenges and retailers need to adapt or face extinction.”
Murraycontinues: “The UK retail industry should not tolerate a situation where so much work and investment is failing to improve the bottom line. Retailers are right to be investing in eCommerce projects, but they need to be making investments that are benefiting the business. Senior management must step in and ensure projects are planned, implemented and the actual delivery properly measured. We have developed The Greenlight Code to address this market need. It’s a framework designed to ensure projects run smoothly.”
The survey also found 87% of eCommerce decision-makers believe their retailer needs to improve when measuring the success metrics of a project, with over nine in ten (93%) stating that being able to demonstrate a project’s success is critical to getting budget for the next. Almost two-thirds (61%) of respondents believe their organisation is behind its competition when it comes to the maturity of its eCommerce website.
Murray concludes: “Rather than focus on the competition and compare themselves, brands should look in the mirror and ask themselves what will work for their customers? What will make them stand out? In answering these questions and ensuring the technology supports customers, they will generate success. If the sector doesn’t make these changes, it might as well just hand the keys to Amazon and give them the market.”