SLI Systems Q3 2017 E-commerce Performance Indicators and Confidence Study Reveals UK Merchants Most Bullish About Holiday Revenues But Seeing Higher Order Fulfillment Costs
LONDON, Oct. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and related applications are making headlines. While many online retailers plan to embrace AI to enhance customer experience, a new report published by SLI Systems (SLI.NZ), a global leader and provider of e-commerce solutions and services, found many have concrete AI plans for the next 12 months, yet VR/AR, Voice-Activated Apps and Virtual Buying Assistants remain elusive.
In its third quarterly 2017 E-commerce Performance Indicators and Confidence Report, which reflects survey findings from hundreds of mid-size retailers worldwide, SLI Systems found UK-based respondents lead the pack when it comes to plans for Technology Implementation, Artificial Intelligence use and 2017 Holiday revenue forecasts. However, 26% see their Fulfillment Costs Per Order increasing this quarter compared to the same quarter in 2016, potentially hindering profits. The full report is available for download at http://sitesearch.sli-systems.com/DownloadEPICQ3-2017_EPICREPORTUK.html.
Q3 2017 EPIC Report Highlights:
Artificial Intelligence (AI) Plans Get Real
- Worldwide, 54% of e-commerce professionals reported their company uses or plans to add AI in the future, with the largest group (20%) expecting to add AI within 12 months.
- Among regions, e-commerce merchants in the UK report the most aggressive plans for implementing AI with 33% expecting to leverage AI within the next year, compared to the 17% in the U.S. and 15% in AU-NZ regions.
- In addition, 14% of UK retailers are already using AI in some fashion, making AI a reality for nearly HALF of UK retailers within a year.
Confidence and Performance Indicators
- 84% of UK retailers expect Site Conversion to increase in Q3, compared to Q3 2016.
- The number of UK retailers Planning to Hire rose to 51% in Q3, up from 41% in Q2.
- UK-based respondents expect 26% increase in Fulfillment Costs Per Order compared to the same quarter last year, far exceeding the global average of 17%.
- 86% of UK-based respondents expect an increase in Mobile / Tablet Transactions in Q3 2017, compared to the global average of 71%.
Top Priorities for UK Retailers
- 22% of UK-based respondents view Personalisation as their number one Q3 priority, with Replatforming a distant second (12%). In comparison, retailers in the U.S. and AU-NZ regions rank Replatforming as their top initiative for the quarter.
- 67% of UK merchants surveyed plan to purchase or implement new technologies in Q3 compared to 48% in Q2 - a near twenty-point increase.
Holiday 2017 Revenue Excitement
- Globally, most retailers forecast modest rises of up to 10% in holiday revenue, with only 4% of those surveyed anticipating aggressive revenue increases over 30%.
- In the UK, that number is 1.5x higher (6%); respondents are the most jolly about holiday 2017 revenue increases, with 82% forecasting an increase.
Q3 2017 EPIC Report results are from an electronic survey conducted between July 25 - August 23, 2017. SLI received qualified responses from 234 e-commerce professionals worldwide headquartered primarily in the U.S., Europe and Australia. All respondents sell goods or services online, with 57% selling in stores and 47% on Amazon. Eighty-two percent work in a manager position or above. Just under half reported their company's total annual sales to be above $50 million (U.S.) with 15% generating above $500 million. Thirty-seven percent of respondent businesses sell 1,000 to 10,000 SKUs, with 25% selling 10,001 to 500,000.
The next EPIC survey will take place in Q1 2018. E-commerce professionals who wish to participate may sign up at www.sli-systems.com/ecommerce-survey.
About SLI Systems
SLI Systems (SLI.NZ) accelerates e-commerce for the world's top retailers by generating more traffic, converting shoppers into buyers and maximizing order values through solutions that improve site search, navigation, mobile, merchandising, personalization, recommendations and SEO. SLI is the most chosen SaaS-based site search provider to Internet Retailer Top 1,000 retailers. The SLI Buyer Engine combines user behavior and machine learning to accurately predict what shoppers are most likely to buy, shortening the path to purchase. The SLI Commerce Console™ organizes key sales insight and tuning capabilities into one easy-to-use cloud-based console. SLI operates on five continents and offers solutions in 20 languages. For more information, visit www.sli-systems.com or connect with us on Twitter @slisystems.
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SOURCE SLI Systems