Web sites can be a powerful marketing tool as well as a sales channel for retailers, but not all retailers are making the most of their online presence. "An effective retail Web site is search-engine friendly, which maximises opportunities for customer acquisition and minimises lost traffic to third-party Web sites," said Sandra Hanchard, senior analyst at Hitwise. "There are still many traditional retail brands that are not optimised for search traffic that is based on qualified consumer interest."

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