Infographic: CRM is biggest challenge for online businesses

25/04/2013

Online businesses are neglecting key parts of the marketing mix, with customer relashionship management topping the list, according to this new infographic from Barclays.

Highlights from the release include:

• 41% of UK online businesses claim they are unable to track repeat buying and browsing on their website

• Over a quarter of the companies surveyed (27%) cited effective customer relationship management as the biggest marketing challenge they face in 2013

• Social Media was identified as the next biggest marketing challenge facing online companies in the UK, scoring 25% of the vote

• The average online company in the research sample is growing 57 times faster than the economy

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Online companies are neglecting key parts of the marketing mix according to new research from Barclays’ Technology, Mobile and Telecoms industry team. Surprisingly, 41% of UK online businesses claim they are unable to track repeat buying and browsing on their website, so it comes as no surprise that over a quarter (27%) of those surveyed cited effective customer relationship management as the biggest marketing challenge they face in 2013.

Barclays Business Outlook 2013 revealed that social media was identified as the next biggest marketing challenge facing online companies in the UK, scoring 25% of the vote.
Sean Duffy, Managing Director and Head of Technology, Media and Telecoms at Barclays, comments: “Too much emphasis can be placed on acquiring customers, but to build a long-term business you need loyalty, so some online businesses are missing a trick when it comes to monitoring repeat buyers and behaviours. Addressing this could have significant results in terms of profit and revenue.”

Despite this and the tough economic conditions, the in-depth study carried out by Barclays found that the UK’s online economy has performed well in what has been an uncertain environment worldwide:

• The average online company in the research sample has experienced 11.4% compound annual growth over the last three years – 57 times faster than the UK economy which has grown just 0.2% over the same period

• Half of those questioned produced double digit growth in the last three years

• Nearly two thirds (64%) of online businesses are optimistic about their own growth prospects for the year

• 48% stated that they are optimistic about the UK economy in 2013

Sean Duffy comments: “Online businesses have bucked the trend over the last three years and experienced success in spite of the stagnant economic conditions. The next challenge for companies operating online is how to sustain this level of growth and keep pace with new and rising trends.”

As well as looking into the overall business picture and the marketing challenges facing online businesses, the research from Barclays also investigated attitudes towards mobile and in particular, the arrival of 4G networks. Already widely identified as a key trend to affect online companies, Barclays Online Business Outlook 2013 revealed many businesses are unprepared for this opportunity – surprising given that UK smartphone users are increasingly accustomed to making purchases from their mobile phone, with more than half making at least one transaction from their handset in 2012*:

• 64% of online businesses in the UK believe a mobile strategy is an important factor in their 2013 business success, yet almost the same number (60%) admitted they are yet to devise and implement such a strategy

• 89% of online businesses have not yet developed their website for mobile devices

• Online businesses that have developed mobile sites or apps generated 27.8% of their revenues from mobile in 2012, that’s an average £2,474,000**

• 34% of online businesses questioned reported a rise in mobile traffic to their website since Christmas, compared to the same period last year

• 53% believe that 4G networks will increase mobile traffic to their website further still
• Almost half (45%) are unsure whether their website will be able to cope with the additional traffic generated from 4G networks

The independent research comes as 4G mobile licences were awarded to leading mobile phone operators in an Ofcom auction worth almost £2.5bn. With 4G networks due to roll out to the majority of consumers this year, 4G mobile broadband will provide smartphone and tablet computer users with "superfast" download speeds, up to 10 times faster than current speeds.

Sean Duffy concludes: “Online business is certainly booming and our view is that it will continue to do so – provided the companies can look to the future and recognise the trends and opportunities around them, starting with the growing number of mobile consumers.”

www.barclays.com.

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