Online retail is showing a welcome resilience in 2009 as sales continue to grow, albeit at a slower rate than in previous years. But as the economy continues to weaken the battleground for online supremacy is shifting. Retailers can no longer rely on market growth to deliver sales growth and on-going success will depend on maximising conversion and repeat purchase rates.
Michael Ross, director and co-founder of eCommera, says: "Many online retailers have enjoyed flattering growth powered by the growing online market and discounting, but from the start of 2009 the intense competition and the adverse economic climate have meant retailers have had to work harder to sustain these growth rates. Today it is not just about having a web site and seeing the sales roll in, it's about having the right processes and systems to convert traffic and raise repeat purchase rates. Without them, retailers will lose sales to rivals, which in this environment could be fatal."
To help retailers understand the fundamental differences between selling online and traditional retail and eCommera has put together our top 5 tips to help retailers get in right in 2009. Success will be about focus and control of the site every day, intelligent use of data and detail and a differentiated offer. These elements are now the basics for ecommerce and those retailers that grasp this will pull away from the rest of the online pack.
eCommera's top 5 tips for getting the processes right:
1. Differentiate - Replicating your store proposition online is not a winning strategy. Retailers need to be clear about how they are going to differentiate on the Google high street.
2. Measure - Online throws up lots of data but just because you can measure an element it doesn't mean it is important. Too few players measure effectively and when they think they do, are unable to determine whether their measure is good or bad.
3. Focus not HIPPO - Many levers can be pulled and the challenge is to make the right and most effective changes based on data, not on the whims of the highest paid person's opinion.
4. Trade - Trade the site every day just as a store manager does. Too often retailers are unable or fail to trade their sites: promotions, positioning products, managing sort orders, dressing the home page and key landing pages, managing bids on Google all need to be addressed daily.
5. People -There is a dearth of online experience but critical to success is ensuring that you have the right people at the right level aligned with the right measures.
For more information, please contact Sophy Buckley on 01980 590802 or 07968 975694 or firstname.lastname@example.org
eCommera was set up in January 2007 by Michael Ross, co-founder and former ceo of figleaves.com, and Andrew McGregor, former marketing director at BT, to offer a comprehensive e-tail solution to clients. It is staffed by e-tail veterans from the biggest names in ecommerce including figleaves.com, net-a-porter, Tesco.com, Sky Interactive, Harrods.com, Amazon, the Easy Group and Fish4.
The company uses proprietary benchmarks and frameworks as well as best-of-breed third-party technology to help clients focus and navigate the path to e-tail success.
The eCommera platform combines best-of-breed components from Demandware, Scene7, Coremetrics and Sterling Commerce. It is designed to be fully scalable to meet the demands of medium and large customers. This platform already powers the ecommerce businesses for leading etailers including House of Fraser, Hamleys, Wyevale Garden Centres, Asda and Flying Brands.