Many e-shopping carts have been poorly designed (Amazon.com, Netsol, airlines companies, eBay, Buy.com, etc.) They have terrible navigation tools. They force you to browse 10 pages to complete your transaction, trying to sell you all sorts of irrelevant products. In short, they make you waste 30 minutes of your time for a basic purchase, creating a bad user experience, and increasing the chance that next time, you will purchase over the phone (a much more costly option for the retailer), or not at all, or go to a competitor.
The problem is that large retailers have business units that are almost independent: web analytics, user retention / cost of user acquisition, user experience, up-sell / cross-sell, inventory management, sales forecasting, competitive intelligence, market research, etc. Optimization takes place separately: one department optimizes landing page, another one optimizes cross-sell, another one optimizes pay-per-click ads or SEM/SEO, but they don't work together.
Are there any e-retailer using a global optimization system? A system that really takes into account the long term impact of cost of user acquisition and churn? Should such a system be difficult / impossible to implement because of internal politics?