Don't Trust Analysts About Website ROI

from the backpedaling dept

Well, this won’t come as much of a surprise to readers of Techdirt who have seen us point out the sillyness behind many analyst reports before. Here is a good article talking about two recent analyst reports that try to explain why most retailers are doing a bad job determining the ROI of their e-commerce sites. The reports point out (perhaps justifiably) that most retailers don’t consider the effect of someone researching a product on their website, and then buying it in an offline store. However, the scary part is that Jupiter claims they’ve figured out what that effect is – but never explains how they came up with that number (though, actually, it appears that the report only says that 69% don’t pay attention – but doesn’t give figures for how much that impacts ROI). The article points out that it’s a number that is nearly impossible to come up with, which explains why many retailers don’t even try. They suggest that these reports are useful to middle managers who convinced senior management to overspend on websites (partly with the aid of old analyst reports) – as giving them a way to backpedal and make the websites look more valuable (or, rather, less of a disaster) than they actually are.

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