Smoothing a Bumpy Ride

To combat the triple challenge of economic uncertainty, slowing market gains and seasonal swings, e-commerce merchants must shift focus to a previously neglected stage of the sales process: customer retention. Currently, online retailers allocate 53 percent of their marketing budgets to online customer acquisition and 21 percent of marketing dollars to online customer retention, according to Shop.org’s State of Online Retailing Study for 2008. By building a base of loyal customers, merchants can smooth their averages by driving repeat business over time.