Improving the on-site conversions is the biggest challenge for e-commerce businesses, according to a new survey by SLI Systems.

Almost two thirds of respondents (63%) cited improving conversions as their biggest challenge, closely followed by attracting more visitors (62%).

Improving logistics came third with 22%, followed by international expansion (16%) and increasing advertising rates (11%).

It should be pointed out that this was a closed question that only had five possible responses, but it still highlights the fact that boosting conversion rates is a high priority for e-commerce sites.

Currently businesses tend to focus more energy on driving traffic than improving on-site conversions. Data included in our Conversion Rate Optimization Report 2012, shows that for every $92 spent on acquiring visitors, only $1 is spent converting them.

SLI’s survey also asked businesses what their top priority is for 2013. The most popular answer (18.4%) was to improve their overall e-commerce platform. 

This was followed closely by site search (17.9%) and SEO (17.5%), while 14% said mobile was their top priority.

It should be noted that the survey was conducted by SLI Systems, a site search vendor, but that doesn’t mean the results have been biased in any way.

Please rank the top priorities for your e-commerce site in 2013:

When asked about the most important priority for choosing a site search solution, 46% said relevance of results, while 19% said ease-of-use.

Our new E-commerce Best Practice Compendium includes a section on site search, with stats showing that up to 30% of visitors will use the site search box, and that use of the search box results in an average conversion rate of 2.4% against a site average of 1.7%.

Other interesting results from the SLI survey show that 35% of respondents already have a mobile optimised site, while 40% plan to build one in 2013. A further 20% plan to build an m-commerce app.

The survey interviewed 457 e-commerce professionals from a broad range of companies, 21% of which conduct all their business online, while just over a third (37%) of respondents receive less than 25% of their business through e-commerce.