Websites are your retail outlets. Imagine what the costs would be if you were to calculate the cost of a global reach with thousands of stores. Your margins would be squeezed to wafer thin. Consider your website as a shop that is the biggest as you can imagine. You may add a product group which in the real world would mean a store extension. All it means on a website is some more pages.
The cost benefit is clear.
However, what if you got all this in place but, your conversion process is poor. You’re going to lose customers.
In the real world why don’t you do the same thing and have a really objectionable sales assistant who makes customers feel uncomfortable. What about having a till than only accepts one credit card? How about only having product available?
Scalability and Customer Experience should be key words in any retail web strategy.
My mother loves shopping online. She has many interests and finds that shopping online from around the world gives her cost savings and many products that simply aren’t available in the UK. This is the ethos of global shopping via the internet. I must admit I wouldn’t like to see her PayPal account.
However, whilst sharing our usual morning coffee she was on a website. It was exactly what she needed for her next project. The site was so bad that she left. There was no clear customer journey. Products were hard to find and even harder to add to the cart. So after much hair pulling and annoyance she simply left to find an alternative supplier.
Imagine that a company has spent thousands (maybe a millions of pounds) on a new website. Have the think of how simple changes to optimise the conversion process could improve bottom line results. Think of how making products easier to find, telling customers what other buyers thought (positive and negative), grouping products into comprehensive categories and improving the on-site search.
What you must remember is that a website is living and breathing (and so are your customers!). It is constantly changing and you need to have the processes in place to make those changes. Don’t be afraid of testing the unusual (a/b or multivariant testing) you will get some things wrong but, at least you tried. Remember to get very friendly with your web analyst if you’re not him already) he/she is the one that will be able to tell you what is happening on the site with evidence!