Online retailers will be keen to return to their roots over the coming months as they look for tactics and strategies to improve customer experience.

There is also the challenge of web conversion and encouraging loyalty, noted the State of Retailing Online survey from and Forrester Research which is not so much of an issue for bricks and mortar stores.

More than half of retailers said their main priority for this year will be optimising their websites, including improvements to the checkout process.

Users will also be given access to alternative payments and better product detail pages throughout the rest of the year. executive director Vicki Cantrell said: “Retailers this year are smartly investing to create a holistic customer experience across stores, desktop, and mobile to improve conversion rates, grow crucial repeat customer business, and even capture their share of customer demand from international markets.”

She emphasised that many companies have dedicated the past 12 to 18 months to developing mobile offerings as more people decide to make purchases via their handsets.

Online retailers have seen their conversion rates improve over recent months – 58 per cent of those polled said they had experienced a rise between 2011 and 2012.

Just over a third (36 per cent) said mobile sales and traffic have helped improve their company’s conversion rate, while 29 per cent reported a negative impact.

The need to retain existing customers is more important than ever, particular as there are fewer opportunities to attract consumers than there have been in the past.

A number of experts recently explained to The Australian that the power of brands is enticing shoppers at the moment, as opposed to hefty price reductions.

Among them was Aaron Faraguna, general manager of store operations at David Jones, who revealed that designer shoes, handbags and clothes are performing particularly well at the moment.