Recent Office of National Statistics figures for 2013 state that retailers are projected to deliver more than £62 billion in revenues over the web. This is a growth of 13.7% on 2012 and current forecasts see this growth continuing by 31% over the next 4 years.*
With this in mind more and more of our clients are investing in a multi-channel approach to both high street retail operations and online ecommerce activity.
For a E-commerce platform to prove it's worth it must not only increase sales but also reduce on-going costs across the business. When designed with the customer in mind, a site will drive demand and improve customer engagement in the products and services on offer. The platform should also be integral to the business systems and provide access to new markets quickly and easily by streamlining the supply of goods to customers wherever they are.
Through our experience we understand ecommerce and how to make an online store work. Customer experience is paramount for retailers wanting to increase sales with 78% of consumers stating they wouldn’t continue to use a poorly designed site*. Our user centred approach to ecommerce website design ensures that the site works well for your users leading to a great experience and delivery against your objectives.
As a client you are faced with a number of choices in regards to the size, flexibility and cost of the ecommerce platform that will best suit your business. It is important to be honest about the volume of business you are expecting to do otherwise you could have a large system which is never properly utilised and won’t achieve the results you require. You also have to consider if your business provides a unique experience to customers, if so then your ecommerce site should do as well and therefore a fully customisable platform is required.
The 3 types of e-commerce systems can be broken down into the following:
An existing platform which is either a free open source code or licensed product that can be developed by an agency or in house development team. Infrastructure development is done by the developer who provides the background tools that allow the designers to create a bespoke environment without the need for ground up development. Scalability is delivered through further development and is decided by the client through the acquisition of hardware or licensed back off system.
A unique platform to the agency that can be developed and evolved to the specific needs of the client where there are very individual requirements due to infrastructure of the control systems with in the business etc. Complete control over the code and development direction is offered to the client however transfer from one agency to another is more difficult as the IP is usually controlled by the agency.
Examples include: our own GibeCommerce and systems such as Venda etc.
"Off the shelf" or "out of the box" platform that is built on templates providing a cheap but similar experience to other users without the ability to present a unique experience to the user. Fee based so as the business up-scales, so does the cost with additional costs for each new element or release. Platforms are improving however will always be behind bespoke developers and designers.
Our technical strength empowers great design and supports optimal functionality delivering an engaging experience for users. Your customers will thank you for this by spending more and recommending you to their network. We will also help you abide by the Ecommerce Guidelines as directed by the Government in order to protect consumers and our clients from unwanted activity or prosecution.
We have developed and continue to support a number of ecommerce sites based on the packaged application and full service offerings for various clients.
Our ecommerce sites
The sites we have developed include:
- Quba & Co. - a premium clothes manufacturer and retailer
- Pashley Collection - an iconic British cycle manufacturer and retailer
- Tap Warehouse – an online tap retailer
- Island Bathrooms – an online bathroom retailer
- Armit Wines – a fine wine merchant
- Floris London – a fine fragrance manufacturer and retailer
- Chatham Marine – a premium footwear manufacturer and retailer
- Rainbow Club – a wedding shoe manufacturer and retailer
- Really Wild Clothing - a country clothing designer based in Berkshire
We have experience working with both off-the-shelf and bespoke ecommerce platforms such as Magento Commerce, Microsoft Commerce Server, Ubercart and have developed our own ecommerce platform, GibeCommerce, which we've implemented for clients with smaller product ranges.
*ONS 2013 Retail Report