Transactional websites are increasingly important to housewares retailers – but many find that their suppliers are competing with them online.
These are some of the findings of an exclusive survey conducted by HousewaresLive.net, which aimed to determine the role that online trading plays in retailers’ businesses and any problems it causes them.
Sixty-two per cent of those taking part in the survey had their own transactional website and, of those, 52% and 45% respectively strongly agreed or agreed that it was important to their business. Moreover, of those with websites, 62% and 34% respectively strongly agreed or agreed that their websites were likely to become even more important in the future.
Meanwhile, the great majority of retailers not currently engaged in online trading are keen to join the e-tail revolution. Sixty-one per cent disagreed with the statement: “I don’t want or need a transactional website”, while just 33% agreed and 6% strongly agreed.
The survey found that the main problem to launching a website was lack of time, with 17% and 67% strongly agreeing or agreeing that it held them back. However, votes were evenly split on the problem of lack of technical expertise, with 33% of respondents strongly agreeing, agreeing and disagreeing.
Of those without websites, 28% and 56% respectively strongly agreed or agreed that they intended to launch a transactional website: only 17% disagreed.
The survey also looked at more general online trading problems being experienced by housewares retailers. Seventy per cent of those surveyed strongly agreed that some of their suppliers sell direct to consumers through their own websites and that it was a problem, and 17% agreed.
Interestingly, though, asked to rank the statement, “I intend to cease trading with suppliers that sell direct”, only 28% and 30% respectively strongly agreed or agreed, while 43% disagreed.
Asked if some suppliers were dumping slow-moving stock with online retailers, 38% and 49% respectively strongly agreed or agreed, and on the question of products being offered online at prices lower than their buying price, 43% and 36% respectively strongly agreed or agreed.
The retailers were also asked if customers use their shop to compare products and then look for lower prices online: 53% and 32% respectively strongly agreed or agreed.
Read more on this survey in the July issue of Housewares Magazine.