Key among the findings is although 42% of an organization's total sales have come from online channels in the past year (and this is expected to grow by nearly 6% in the next year), on average, only 14% of the online sales budget is dedicated to managing the digital consumer experience, on average.
In addition, despite 73% of survey respondents agreeing that customer loyalty is lost without a focused brand experience, organizations are still not providing a holistic experience online that spans across web and commerce systems. While 51% of those surveyed believe they are most successful during the purchase phase, only 23% see post-purchase as critical. What's more, only 3 in 10 respondents see pre-purchase as most important.
The research uncovers a number of key challenges for brands wanting to maximize returns from commerce. Chief among them is that more than a third of brands (36%) that use a web content management solution (CMS) are unable to personalize the purchasing experience, and 33% lack insight into and data about the purchasing experience. For IT providers, the top three challenges include the ability to integrate new solutions into legacy systems (51%), the struggle to deliver a seamless customer experience (51%), and an ability to deliver constant innovation (50%).
Unsurprisingly, 93% of marketing and IT decision makers agree that a fully comprehensive digital marketing platform—one that integrates the customer experience across web content and online commerce systems—would significantly improve their organization's sales efficiency, and that possessing more knowledge about their customer's online journey would allow them to improve their online experience (87%).
"As consumers now expect a seamless and immediate shopping experience, the importance of delivering the right experience directly effects the brand. But right now, brands struggle to fulfill the optimal customer experience due to a disconnect between content and commerce driven primarily by the complexity of technology integration. As consumers' expectations are paramount to business, it's time for brands to focus in this area." said Scott Anderson, CMO, Sitecore.
Additional key findings
- Among the most desired features of a digital marketing system are opportunities for upsell and cross-sell (55%), search engine history (54%), and geo-location (39%)
- Only around a third (32%) say their organization is completely successful at having clear lines of communication in place between senior management and departments involved in online sales
- When it comes to IT partners innovating and evolving digital marketing and commerce platforms, the most likely respondents to believe they are market leaders are in Australia (60%), Germany (50%), and US and Canada (49%)
About the research
The study is based on a survey of 826 marketing and IT decision-makers, and 414 IT partners and suppliers conducted by Vanson Bourne in July and August 2016. Brand data reflects country, sector and size across eight verticals including financial services, retail, hospitality & leisure, manufacturing and CPG.
Sitecore is the global leader in experience management software that enables context marketing. The Sitecore® Experience Platform™ manages content, supplies contextual intelligence, and automates communications, at scale. It empowers marketers to deliver content in context of how customers have engaged with their brand, across every channel, in real time. More than 4,600 customers—including American Express, Carnival Cruise Lines, easyJet, and L'Oréal—trust Sitecore for context marketing to deliver the personalized interactions that delight audiences, build loyalty, and drive revenue. For more information, follow us at @sitecore or visit: sitecore.net.
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Sitecore and Own the Experience are registered trademarks of Sitecore Corporation A/S in the USA and other countries. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Sitecore reserves the right to alter product and services offerings, and specifications and pricing at any time without notice.
© 2016 Sitecore Corporation A/S. All rights reserved.© 2016 Sitecore Corporation A/S. All rights reserved.
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