Study shows some companies slow to adopt e-commerce solutions

Some merchants still lag in certain e-commerce areas

Experts say brick-and-mortar businesses appear to recognize the value of an online retail presence, but a study shows few seem to know the best ways to establish one. Companies looking to build up their internet brand may want to rely on professional consultation, which could link them to card-not-present solutions such as a new merchant account.

A 2011 CrossView report surveyed 25 top nationwide retailers and found that while each had a traditional and mobile website, the scope of their offerings on these platforms were limited. Of the companies analyzed, 48 percent did not allow for customer ratings and reviews to be posted on their website. Experts say that hampers consumers' desire to provide feedback and socialize through these channels.

In another troubling sign, that same report said 60 percent of merchants were inconsistent in their in-store and online promotions, a reality that could foster confusion and frustration among consumers. The study also showed companies' limitations when it comes to expanding across multiple retail platforms, particularly mobile devices.

For brick-and-mortgage businesses, retaining consistency between physical and virtual storefronts represents a significant challenge. While e-commerce retailers don't have this concern, there may be more pressure on these companies to make the most of their lone storefront – their website.

As a result, experts advise e-commerce businesses to put significant thought and work into developing their retail website. Those that start from the ground up can work with consultants that may link them with effective providers of new merchant accounts and payment processors. Additionally, an experienced merchant account manager may be able to see clients through the process, working with them to minimize loss through chargebacks and assisting in the day-to-day maintenance of a card-not-present strategy.