With so many companies making the jump to online shopping, why do so many fail to break even?

Online ecommerce is older than the World Wide Web. The first online shop was tested 15 years before the birth of the internet as we know it, by Michael Aldrich in 1979. It was a basic system, designed to make shopping easy from the homestead and available at the click of a button.

This being said, the boom of online shopping has only just begun. The majority of shops transitioned to an ecommerce format (complementing brick and mortar shops) back in the early 2000s, allowing for customers to browse their stock online. Since then more and more retailers have made the transition, and yet so many have lost money through their online shops. The question is: why?

Why shop online?

What is often misunderstood is that, conceptually speaking, ecommerce offers the exact same experience as a bricks and mortar shop. This may be an odd statement, but if online shops wish to make the most out of their customers they need to understand that the digital customer expects the same level of service and experience online as they do in store.

Customer journeys are interesting things. The ultimate goal is always the same; to receive a product or service from a distributor or store. This is the basic fundamental point of capitalism and shopping, neither of which is going to change any time soon.

What does vary from store to store is how the customer reaches that goal. In some places it is a very straight forward journey; they see what they want, interact with the sales assistant, and purchase said item before leaving the establishment. In others the journey is different. One example of this is in the hobby sector, where the customers can often be fans and so the required interaction can be more or less depending on the type of hobby.

The Customer Journey

The customer journey is the key to any online shop as it adds a skeletal structure to the entire user experience of an ecommerce site. Online the customer takes the same journey as they do in store. They see a shop front, move on to browse in the section they are interested in, select the item they want, and move to the checkout.

What makes ecommerce?

Simply speaking what makes an ecommerce store is the user experience. It can make or break a digital business, and keeping it simple seems to be the way to go. Customers need to easily jump into, and pop out of, an online store. Let them search what they want and let them buy it with the least possible fuss. Offer them recommendations, upsell and remarket things they have looked at or may be interested in. Ecommerce offers so much potential, potential that is often not harnessed.

This week we will be looking at all kinds of ecommerce experiences and break it down bit by bit. To find out more about who we are (and why we are talking about this subject) please click on the button below.

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