Web Presence a Priority

While a retailer’s ultimate goal is to sell, other strategic initiatives need to be met in order to attain the best profitability. For instance, “Though customers have always been a company’s top priority, customer satisfaction will get a huge facelift this year,” says NRF president and CEO, Matthew Shay, after seeing the results of, “Retail Horizons: Benchmarks for 2011, Forecasts for 2012,” report, sponsored by NRF and KPMG LLP. According to the survey, nearly 67 percent of companies rank customer satisfaction as the top strategic initiative for 2012, along with 82 percent saying that customer service strategies will be a top priority.

Brick and Mortars Investing in Web Presence

According to survey results, retailers, whether they are independents, big box stores or ecommerce operators, have to come to terms with online channels continueing to be a top consumer choice for researching, browsing and purchasing products. As the NRF reports, “For the first time in the survey’s 10 year history, retailers’ websites and online channels eclipsed physical stores as the top channel for marketers, 81 percent for brick and mortar vs. 86 percent online.” Whether or not you run a brick and mortar does not absolve you from needing an online presence, whether it be a B2C site, social networking, etc., in today’s shopping culture.

Retail executives say they will invest in programs that directly resonate with today’s shopper. Of the 247 retail executives surveyed, 85 percent (up from 83 percent in 2011) plan on increasing online sales, and 38 percent (up from 29 percent) plan on increasing their focus on mobile commerce. Aiming to grow customer interaction, 45 percent of companies are also actively developing widgets, gadgets or advanced links that can be incorporated with their social media pages, while 43 percent plan to do so over the next 18 months.

Other top priorities of 2012 as indicated by the survey include:

• Nine in 10 respondents will focus on leadership assessment, development and succession.

• Nearly six in 10 say new customer acquisition is the top strategic priority for 2012.

This article is from an original report on NRF.com.