Archive for August, 2007

John Lewis launch their new website

Today, John Lewis unveiled their new website. I’ve used their ‘old’ (yesterday’s) version a few times and always found it very good if a little light in the product area. Apparently this new version will have nearly double the product range, up from 22,000 products to 41,000 and will be edited frequently so that should take care of that. An excuse for some retail therapy anyway.

One thing that has always stood John Lewis apart is the quality of their photography, it actually looks like some effort has been made to specifically shoot and repro their images for the web, other (r)etailers should take note.

Here’s a comparison of their old and new landing pages, and just for the sake of completion an image of the launch email.

John Lewis, yesterday's website
John Lewis, today's website
John Lewis, website launch email

Meanwhile back on the other side of etail here’s Matalan’s version.

Webtogs – An etail startup

Webtogs, is a new etail business, selling “the outdoors, online”. At the moment they’re due to open (according to their holding page) in Summer 07 and have taken the interesting step of documenting their progress towards their launch. I haven’t read all of their blog but what I’ve read makes interesting reading and is a good way of garnering interest pre-launch. Maybe we can expect to see more of this type of prelaunch writing to get us emotionally attached to a brand before it goes live, particularlywith the bigger brands. Some e.g. Topshop and New look have done it with Kate Moss and Lily Allen respectively but this seems very much the domain of fashion orientated businesses rather than businesses generally.

I think they’re missing the boat without an email sign up on their holding page and their logo’s lousy but that apart there’s a few good tips on the design and planning process. It’ll be interesting to see if they make the transition from internet people to retailers. If/when they do become retailers they’ll no doubt understand that when they say …

“The basic rule of successful ecommerce for us, is this: “If someone wants to buy a backpack, sell them a backpack, don’t try to sell them a tent”.

… is of course hopelessly wrong. Cross merchandising, upselling, increasing basket spend are all absolute requirements of succesful retailers, online or otherwise.

Handmade retail

The ‘handmade/popup’ retail trend continues to grow. This is de Bakkerswinkel in Amsterdam from the Style Files.

The Style Files is well worth adding to your RSS/bookmarks whatever, always a lot of good pictures for inspiration.

The BBC goes social

You can now bookmark news items on the BBC on your favourite social bookmarking/sharing website. More here.

A bit more about Social Commerce

We’re designing 4 websites at the moment (at the last count) that all include some sort of social commerce and social network, so here’s some timely research from e-consultancy.

My key outtakes …

  • More than half of UK online customers say reviews are extremely or very important in making an online purchase.
  • More than half of all online sellers (51%) consider User Generated Content (UGC) as either extremely important or very important to company strategy over the next year.
  • Customer ratings and reviews are being used by 28% of online sellers, with more than half (52%) saying that they were considering the use of this feature on their websites.
  • The most widely perceived benefit of ratings and reviews among online sellers is an improvement in site conversion rates, improved customer retention and loyalty, and better search engine optimisation.
  • The overwhelming majority of survey respondents (97%) said that they found ratings and reviews either extremely helpful or very helpful “as consumers”.

Meanwhile in the ‘real’ world nearly two thirds of fashion retailers still don’t have a transactional website. I know, I know I really must find something new to wang on about.