Five Retailers who are Leading the Way in E-Commerce

By Ralph Robinson, Head of Retail & Consumer Markets, BJSS

Picture the scene. You’re scrolling through social media. You stumble across a promoted post for a pair of shoes you like. You click the link. One, two, three, four, five seconds, and the website finally loads. You select your shoe size. Pick a colour. Add it to the basket. You proceed to checkout, and then wham! Page error.

Frustrating for the customer, damaging to the retailer

This is just one out of a host of common examples whereby a retailer has done the hard work to capture customer attention, only to blow it all with a poor e-commerce experience. In fact, some studies show basket abandonment rates to be as high as 96%. That’s a staggering figure that is causing many retailers to lose millions of pounds in potential revenue every year.

Disjointed customer journeys, unclear payment processes, slow site speed, lack of mobile optimisation, and poor user experiences – these are just some of the issues customers encounter when shopping online. And with 89% of UK consumers shopping online in the past year, the spotlight has been well and truly placed on the retailers who are failing to meet customer expectations online.

Give the customer what they want and more

Retail customers want fast site load times. They want a site that is easy to navigate and provides the information they need. They want personalised recommendations. They want a unified in-store and online experience that allows for a seamless transition between the two channels.

Of course, customer trends, wants and needs change all the time. So your e-commerce platform also needs to be nimble enough to change and respond to tomorrow’s customer.

Five retailers who are getting it right

Having said all this, some retailers are getting this right and leading the way in e-commerce. In our latest white paper – Retail E-Commerce: Laying the Foundations for Growth – we explore these stories in more detail and uncover the six secrets to their success.

Net-a-Porter and headless commerce

Net-a-Porter, a pioneer of online fashion retail, completely transformed its e-commerce platform to become the envy of its competitors. It opted to move away from its previous monolithic Java e-commerce platform to a Headless cloud commerce solution that has dramatically improved performance. Net-a-Porter now has an e-commerce platform that is cost-effective, scalable, and highly reactive, enabling the retailer to adapt to market changes at pace.

Allbirds and Shopify

Sustainable clothing company, Allbirds, used Shopify POS to transition from e-commerce only to omnichannel. By creating an in-store experience through retail pop-ups, its store associates can use Shopify POS to enable buy in-store and ship-to-customer technology. As a result, Allbirds has significantly increased its conversion rates compared to sending shoppers home to order the product online themselves. The friction between store and online has been removed, providing customers with a seamless omnichannel experience.

John Lewis RPA for price matching

Automation can have a profound effect on the performance of your e-commerce platform. John Lewis has capitalised on Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to process thousands of competitor price match queries that would’ve previously taken months to complete. Consequently, John Lewis is more competitive on price than ever before.

Very homepage personalisation

E-commerce giant, Very, continues to leverage personalisation to drive online sales, citing in 2020 that personalisation was one of the key drivers of its 2019 sales growth. It has previously delivered over 1.2m different versions of its home page, tailoring the content based on customer purchase history and even the local weather. This level of personalisation is the benchmark for other retailers to follow, and those who get it right are likely to boost their online sales significantly.

Dollar Shave Club

Dollar Shave Club made the most out of e-commerce to create a Direct-to-Consumer male grooming brand. The retailer demonstrated the power of blending a direct-to-consumer approach with a subscription purchasing model and its e-commerce platform. As a result, Dollar Shave Club has been able to control up-selling and cross-selling within its website. This approach allowed it to successfully compete in a market dominated by brands owned by multi-national corporations.

As the shift to e-commerce continues to accelerate, retailers need to step back and assess their capabilities. Failing to deliver an e-commerce platform that is fit for the future could have severe consequences for your business. But, as highlighted in the previous examples, it is possible to transform your approach to e-commerce to achieve positive growth.

If you’re interested in discovering the six secrets of successful e-commerce brands, download our latest white paper Retail E-Commerce: Laying the Foundations for Growth or simply get in touch.