GRAPEVINE, Texas, Sep 28, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) --
The new frontier in online retailing lies across international borders
as U.S. companies attempt to capitalize on the growing demands of
foreign consumers. According to the State of Retailing Online 2010: Key
Metrics, Multichannel and Global Strategies Report, conducted by
Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq:FORR) for Shop.org, nearly
three-quarters (73%) of retailers surveyed are already sending
merchandise abroad from their home country's distribution center, with
an additional 17 percent having an established foreign warehouse in
place. On average, retailers in the U.S. who ship abroad report that
approximately five percent of their revenue comes from foreign orders.
The survey of 87 companies is part of "The State of Retailing Online"
research series, which provides eBusiness professionals with annual
industry benchmarks for marketing and business investment and activities.
"International customers have visited U.S. retail Web sites for years,"
said Fiona Swerdlow, Head of Research for Shop.org. "While still in the
early stages, U.S. retailers are starting to monetize that traffic by
meeting global consumer demand for their products and services, which in
turn should help to bolster their bottom line."
U.S. retailers are still developing and testing their operations to sell
to and service overseas customers. For example, when it comes to
handling international returns, the survey found that nearly four out of
10 (37%) online retailers require customers to ship items to a returns
center in the retailer's country of origin. An additional 12 percent of
companies have an international returns center located in their own
country to handle foreign returns.
"A small but savvy group of web retailers is recognizing the promising
opportunity in international expansion," said Sucharita Mulpulru, Vice
President, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research. "If executed
successfully, selling globally can generate a healthy double-digit
percent of sales. The global online population stands at 1.6 billion
today, and the purchasing power of that group represents a significant
opportunity for web-enabled businesses."
Measuring Key Performance Indicators
Many online retailers are beginning to see their hard work pay off as
key performance indicators point to solid improvements in areas such as
conversion and repeat customer rates. According to the survey, more than
half (54%) of retailers surveyed say they have seen increases in
conversion rates over 2009.
The report also found the following regarding key performance indicators:
Recent developments in technology have made it easier for retailers to
effectively cross-sell and up-sell online. More than one-quarter (27%)
of web retailers say they have seen increases in units per transaction
and nearly half (47%) have experienced a lift in their average order
Forty-five percent of retailers surveyed say they have seen increases
in repeat customer rates.
Nearly one-third (31%) of survey respondents say they have seen a
decrease in their shopping cart abandonment rates.
"The State of Retailing Online 2010: Key Metrics, Multichannel and
Global Strategies Report" is available to Shop.org members and can also
be purchased directly at www.shop.org/soro.
Forrester clients will be able to access the report as part of their
subscription service one month from publication.
About Forrester Research
Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) is an independent research
company that provides pragmatic and forward-thinking advice to global
leaders in business and technology. Forrester works with professionals
in 19 key roles at major companies providing proprietary research,
customer insight, consulting, events, and peer-to-peer executive
programs. For more than 27 years, Forrester has been making IT,
marketing, and technology industry leaders successful every day. For
more information, visit www.forrester.com.
Shop.org, a division of the National Retail Federation, is the world's
leading membership community for digital retail. Founded in 1996,
Shop.org's 700 members include the 10 largest retailers in the U.S. and
more than 60 percent of the Internet Retailer Top 100 E-Retailers. It's
where the best retail minds come together to gain the insight,
knowledge, and intelligence to make smarter, more informed decisions in
the evolving world of the Internet and multichannel retailing. Shop.org
programs and activities include benchmarking research, events, and
SOURCE: Shop.org & Forrester Research, Inc.
Kathy Grannis, 202-626-8189
Jon Symons, 617-613-6104