With the crucial holiday shopping season well underway, online retailers are risking a significant loss in sales by promoting irrelevant products and failing to build customers relationships according to new research from analytics software company OrderDynamics.

The study, which was based on surveys of more than 60 retailers and 2,000 consumers, links customer acquisition and retention to a “dating game”, revealing retailers are struggling to create long-term relationships that lead to additional purchases due to a lack of intelligent follow up, with almost three-quarters of online retailers (74%) missing out on sales by ignoring customer preferences.

Customer dissatisfaction

OrderDynamics reveals that despite a majority of consumers expressing a preference to receive order tracking information directly from the retailer, only 15% offer a tracking order service through their websites.

Moreover, despite 46% of shoppers preferring to search directly for products via a retailer’s website, many retailers’ e-commerce sites fail to provide online search accuracy, often leading to customer dissatisfaction, frustration and a loss in sales.

The study also found that while many retailers fail to follow up with customers, others will hound online shoppers with emails, many of which contain irrelevent product promotions.

OrderDynamics CMO, Kevin Sterneckert, warns that online retailers must walk a fine line between “romancing” customers and over-approaching them.

“Our message to retailers is simple: customer relationships are theirs to win or lose, and retailers must focus on these disconnects in their customers’ experiences to succeed during the vital holiday push,” he states.

“If retailers disappoint shoppers, they risk losing not only the initial sale but the customer relationship as well.”