Majority of online retailers are embracing social media but a third are yet to see business benefits, ChannelAdvisor reports


ChannelAdvisor, a leading provider of cloud-based e-commerce solutions that enable retailers and manufacturers to increase global sales, today revealed the results from its customer survey conducted during Catalyst Europe, ChannelAdvisor’s annual e-commerce conference.

The survey focused on e-commerce issues/trends such as the use of social media engagement, cross-border trade (CBT) and legislation.

ChannelAdvisor interviewed small to large online retailers from a range of sectors including: fashion/apparel, sports and outdoors, grocery, health and beauty, entertainment, electronics etc. Key trends derived from the survey result revealed:

  • The majority of online retailers are already embracing social media, but one third of these retailers have yet to see direct business benefits: 66% of online retailers are already embracing social media to increase customer engagement and amplify sales with the most popular platform being Twitter, closely followed by Facebook. Despite this positive trend, only one third of those utilising social media platforms have seen a direct business result or spike in customer engagement, meaning there’s still no huge perceived impact on sales. The results also revealed that businesses are failing to capitalise on the value of Pinterest despite its growing popularity and heavy focus on imagery
  • The majority of online retailers are already taking part in cross-border trade, however China does not seem to have a huge part to play in current strategy despite its boom: 80% of businesses are already operating overseas. Respondents highlighted that UK, broader Europe and North America are the core markets where they see the best business results with cross border trade. Only 11% are selling to Asia
  • The biggest challenge to CBT is legislation, taxation and language translation: 56% of businesses asked suggested the biggest challenges to trading internationally included differing tax and legislation processes, as well as the language barrier. These results indicate some of the reasons retailers are struggling to expand into new market places