Female online shopping

Retailers who invest in online see huge boosts to revenues and growth potential

Stories of both success and failure should act as drivers for all retailers to develop and evolve their online platforms

Following reports of strong growth and revenue prospects by retailers who attribute such successes to the robustness of their online platforms, developing strong eCommerce options for customers needs to be a top priority for every retail business. With customers increasingly relying upon online retailers to shop, it is essential that retailers invest in their online presence to drive profit margins and strong growth. Online retail now accounts for 15 per cent of all shopping sales, with the British public purchasing more online than any other developed country.

Andy Burton, CEO for ecommerce systems integrator and managed service provider Tryzens, advises retailers to seriously examine the strength of their online shopping platforms, given examples of both success and failure in the retail sector

“Fashion retailer M&CO recently reported its best financial results in five years, while Avenue32 recently reported in the Sunday Times it saw its site engagement jump 55 per cent since its website went live back in March of this year”

“The ability to serve customers looking to shop online has become ubiquitous in the 21st century. Consumers are increasingly demanding access to stores on their own terms, in their own time and in their own way and wherever in the world they are – increasing .  It all stems back to how customers are choosing to make purchases in general. According to data from the IMRC Capgemini eRetail Sales Index, online clothing retailers have grown by over 20 per cent year on year, with an increasing share of these taking place on smartphones and tablets. It’s hardly revolutionary that retailers who are able to offer online alternatives to bricks-and-mortar shops stand to reap the rewards of increased sales and customer satisfaction through an increased addressable market, but it is important to understand that it is not just about having a website, but optimising the online experience to adapt to the changing pressures and competing forces from advances in mobile technology to social community to payment methods and the like.”

Burton draws attention to a number of retailers who have worked to develop their online platforms and competences, with many reporting higher growth results and improved customer service.

“We have worked with a number of high street fashion retailers to develop or enhance their online platforms and they are seeing the rewards of having a strong online presence. Fashion retailer M&CO recently reported its best financial results in five years, while Avenue32 recently reported in the Sunday Times it saw its site engagement jump 55 per cent since its website went live back in March of this year. These strong figures speak volumes about how a focus on improving a customers’ eCommerce experience can dramatically and positively impact a retailer’s bottom line.”

“That being said, many businesses are still falling short of the mark. Just this past month, a major fashion retailer reported a slide in revenues that analysts are already attributing to a lack of a robust online sales platform. The retailer in question is missing a key market opportunity by not accommodating increasing desires to shop online.”

Burton concluded:

“Retailers across the board are seeing the difference that an agile online sales platform can have on their companies trading. Similarly, those that do not serve consumer demands for ecommerce effectively are quickly seeing how essential an adaptive internet trading platform is for strong growth in today’s market. The lesson is clear: It is essential that retailers are able to keep their finger on the pulse of what is, and is not, working online,and work with the competent providers to deliver the best experiences to their customers online. We’re incredibly proud of the work we’ve done, and the partnerships we have formed through collaboration with our clients.  Through trading knowledge (such as TradeState), innovation, focus and common sense there is a tremendous opportunity for retailers to grow healthily in this dynamic market.”