18 September 2015
eCommerce is growing at a substantial rate, six times faster than that of high street sales. Considering that UK shoppers make up the highest proportion of online sales in the world (approximately 13%), it is no surprise that digital innovation is top of mind for the majority of British luxury brands.
In a bid to help high-end interior brands, who are looking to explore the potential of online sales, we highlight seven key araes for consideration:
Before investing in advanced eCommerce functionality, focus on the fundamental building blocks of content, brand building, user experience and customer service. With high-end interior brands attracting a wealth of private investment, brands are forced to compete for the attention and loyalty of the high-end consumer and, as a result, customers have come to expect nothing less than rock-solid highly polished service.
Customers expect to be delighted and charmed as investors increasingly turn their attention to innovation within the sector. Spend time defining the qualities, both functional and emotional, that are differentiating and ownable and subsequently use these to craft an online experience that is truly distinct.
Once you have built a successful online business, then take advantage of advanced functionality such as bespoke offers, tighter integration with the core business, improved fulfillment workflows, integration with affiliate networks and so on.
Mobile commerce, or mCommerce as it has been nicknamed, is reported to bypass eCommerce sales by 2015 according to Gartner. There are many ways to cater for mobile devices and responsive design is one which offers substantial benefits to both your brand and your high-end interior business. Responsive web design allows the likes of us to focus our efforts on a single development platform with designs that are tailored to the dimensions and orientation of the user’s screen. By doing so, you can implement changes or extend functionality quickly and efficiently and respond, in almost real-time, to the demands of your customers.
Embrace Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools and put in the homework required to understand the data. All of the answers to what is and, more importantly, what isn’t working can be found there.
Choose your conversations wisely. Social media requires a great deal of time and resource, both of which can be quickly drained by focusing attention on the wrong areas. Instead, assess the desires of your customers and do something that really gets them talking.
Leverage the authenticity, authority and heritage of your craft to create content that differentiates you from your high street competitors and which customers will value, share and respond to.
We've all seen the pop-up boxes that ask us to sign up to newsletters - but do we? Don't they really just get in the way? Treat your potential customers, who browse your online store, in the same way you would in-store. Discreetly. Allow prospects time to dwell, browse, compare. Then consider bringing a live text pop-up, onscreen, to offer help. With potentially large ticket items, creating reassurance prior to purchase is very important.
Continuing our 'real-time' experience of customers browsing our store - we understand their need to run their hands over the finish, feel the fabric, inspect the paint finish. Allow that same experience to percolate into the functionality of the eCommerce site within products: Zooming in on high quality details, mini-clips showing cabinetry or products opening, sample ording made easy, 360º rotations of products, products shown in-situ for scale, all colour options visualised rather than listed as options.
The web is made up of more than 30 trillion pages so websites that aim to simplify the shopping experience can be extremely valuable. Curated sites aggregating an overwhelming array of products into professionally curated collections. However, just as quickly as the web has become saturated with retailers, so to will the market become crowded for curators. Be prepared, therefore, to offer a unique angle and exploit the credentials of the curator to gain exposure.