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Some Big Brands Still Aren’t Ready to Sell Online

In order to survive and thrive among today’s ever-connected consumer base, it’s crucial that brands have a digital presence and there’s a wealth of data proving the importance of being online.

So why are some labels—mostly in the luxury segment—still eschewing e-commerce in favor of more traditional sales methods?

In a word, they’re not yet set up to embrace the online channel and they don’t want to present anything less than a perfect digital persona.

So said Salsify, a Boston-based product content management solution, which recently recruited Echo Cove Research to ask 200 people with e-commerce responsibilities at major consumer brand manufacturers about whether they’re ready for the next phase of online selling.

Only 25 percent of those surveyed said their organizations are ready to adapt to future shopping channels. Likewise, only 29 percent of respondents agreed that their companies know how to capitalize on the growing e-commerce and mobile commerce markets.

With that being said, e-commerce is clearly top of mind for most:

• 40 percent of brands not currently selling through their own e-store will start doing so in the next two years
• 80 percent of brands plan to sell more SKUs through their own website
• 73 percent plan to sell more items through major online marketplaces
• 75 percent of brands plan to sell more on major retail sites

However, while 89 percent of those surveyed said their companies could stand to improve their product content management process, only 41 percent agreed that this was a top priority.

Moreover, only 43 percent of respondents think that shoppers spend based on content, yet a recent study by ComScore and United Postal Service (UPS) found that 73 percent of consumers cited detailed product information as the number one factor in the search and selection process when buying online.

“It is becoming clearly evident that to remain competitive and agile in today’s omnichannel world, brands need to pay special attention to what consumers need when they’re shopping online,” said Jason Purcell, co-founder and CEO of Salsify. “We are finding more strikingly than ever before that product content is core to the consumer experience. This research shows that companies addressing this need are more prepared to meet the challenges of new channels and consumer demands.”