If you have a retail website, it is vital that you should make sure that it has all the important ingredients that can be seen in top-rated websites AND that it integrates with the rest of your service, such as packaging and delivery.

In a survey carried out by www.which.co.uk (published November 2015) the four biggest complaints were:

  1. It is difficult to find the product that they are searching for.
  2. There is not enough information about the product.
  3. The site is difficult to navigate so it takes too long to carry out the buying process (thereby negating the convenience of shopping online).
  4. Spending a lot of time finding the product online and then getting an “out of stock” message.

When we looked at the results of the survey and saw some of the comments it reinforced our views about the things which make a retail site work well and profitably.

  1. They must be convenient. The purpose of shopping online is to make it possible to shop at any time and without spending time or money travelling.
  2. It must be quick and efficient to find the product that the Client wants.
  3. There must be plenty of information about the product so that the customer can check that it is precisely what they want.
  4. It helps enormously if there are reviews from other customers so that the customer can gain trust in the website’s products and service.
  5. The ordering process must be efficient and work smoothly – a lot of customers opt out of the purchase after they find it difficult to move from the shopping basket to confirmation of order.
  6. There must be a fast delivery option (even if it is an extra cost).
  7. Free standard delivery is preferred by most customers – it is worth building it into your pricing.
  8. Your packaging is important. Customers feel let down if their packaging is unattractive or not strong enough.
  9. If you have a shop as well, a ‘click and collect’ option is very popular.
  10. Free gifts – no matter how small – help your sales.

These 10 points of good practice demonstrate that it is not enough to have a good website; it is also important to make sure that your whole process is integrated so that the customer has enough information and receives the goods quickly and well-packaged.