One of the biggest business stories that emerged from the COVID-19 crisis was regarding the huge clothing brand, Primark, consequently revealing the importance of eCommerce.
Primark’s Online Presence
During lockdown, Primark was forced to close in Europe and the US, with monthly sales going from £650m to nothing. It also had to write down the value of its clothing stock by £284 million.
Difference Between Primark and Other Retailers
#1: No eCommerce Platform
One of Primark’s biggest flaws which caused this damage was that it did not have an online presence. Prioritising their low prices in store meant they didn’t want an eCommerce shop, but this wass where they fell against their competition.
#2: Large Corporate Owner
Other retailers were able to make sales online, whereas Primark didn’t have this option. Luckily though, Associated British Foods is the brand’s owner. They were able to stay afloat due to their other brands such as, Twinings Tea and Blue Dragon.
#3: Not the Only Struggling Retailer
A similarity though, Primark weren’t the only ones struggling during the pandemic – and they even had an eCommerce site. John Lewis were also not performing as well as before lockdown was put into place.
Importance of eCommerce in a Crisis
Even though John Lewis had an eCommerce platform, which was fundamentally where it went wrong for Primark, it seems it was not constructed for a crisis. Although it’s good having an online shop, if it isn’t optimised, it won’t serve your business through crisis situations.
From bulk-buying to online shopping, COVID-19 affected the way consumers shop; what they were buying, when and how. With online sales increasing by 25%, it was important to be able to serve every different need customers had. Therefore, this crisis highlighted the importance of optimised eCommerce sites.
Ways to Optimise an eCommerce Site
#1: Checkout as a Guest
The pandemic increased the opportunity for new customers visiting your site. By offering the ability to checkout as a guest rather than requiring a customer account to make a purchase, this would save them time and encourage them to complete the purchase as well as shop with you again – and even set up an account in the future!
#2: Reduce Delivery Costs
Offering reduced or free delivery charges was a great incentive to reel in new customers during the pandemic. The truth of the matter is, people are much more likely to shop with you when there’s free or discounted delivery when you spend over a limit. With more people shopping online, delivery charges were an important factor – and still are!
#3: Clarify Shipping & Returns Policies
It is obvious, but customers always appreciate honesty. During such an uncertain time, it was more significant than ever to recognise businesses shipping and returns policies. They may have altered due to the pandemic so you needed to make sure they are clear – but this should always be the case. This way, customers feel informed and, ultimately, customer service enquiries or complaints are reduced.
#4: Responsive Website Design
It is imperative that your eCommerce site is user-friendly across all devices. Even out of lockdown, people are spending more time than ever online, whether that be on a desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile. It also needs to have a quick loading speed to ensure customers don’t lose interest and go somewhere else for their shopping needs.
eCommerce Website Design and Build by Logic Design
“In time we can rebuild the profits. We can’t replace the people we lose.”Primark’s boss stated during the pandemic
Since then, Primark have introduced an eCommerce platform which proves the importance of eCommerce, however they only offer Click & Collect as a delivery option. In order to be prepared for another event such as the global pandemic, they will need to implement other delivery services and optimise their ecommerce platform. Online sales channels have proven to be powerful and popular and, as long as they are optimised, they will prove to be successful in an increasingly competitive landscape.
Whether you need an eCommerce site designed or a bespoke eCommerce platform built, get in touch with us and discuss our website design services today. Alternatively, you can call us on 01473 934050 or email us at email@example.com. Interested to find out more about Logic Design? Visit our homepage or see our services.