Opinions|September 29, 2011 09:26

Jim Shaw on ecommerce

Jim-shaw - Retail Design & Technology magazine

Jim Shaw

Further to the news that neglecting online services costs retailers £500m in lost sales – Jim Shaw, MD EMEA at web services company Acquia shares his thoughts.

These findings are a stark wakeup call to overworked sales managers, who spend every second of every working day looking for new methods to drive revenues against a dreary economic outlook. Why would these seasoned sales experts deliberately overlook such an enormous revenue opportunity? Where have they gone wrong?

The answer lies not in the retail sites’ layouts per se, but rather in their lack of optimisation for interactive customer touch points. It doesn’t have to be that way. The internet offers a wealth of multichannel pay options, selection tools and product tips that will leave customers excited, intrigued and keen to learn more. Customers are used to being bombarded with innovative merchandising in-store, and are therefore seeking those experiences online.

The retail sector is well-known for its fierce competition on pricing and deals. But how can customers reap the benefits of these opportunities when the sites they visit fail to clearly promote them? If a retailer truly wishes to maintain the loyalty of its core customer base, then the best deals need to be offered in both online and offline environments.

As retailers ponder the potential £500million shortfall in their sales figures, they can take comfort in the fact that the problem is easily remedied. By overhauling out of date and expensive web platforms, retailers can simultaneously engage customers whilst driving up sales figures. Only by unleashing the power of online innovation will retailers be able to deliver a truly optimised ecommerce service to their customers.


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