marketing for success

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Feb 03 2011

Lets face it, some of the big retailers were a bit slow off the mark when it came to developing online stores in the early years of ecommerce.


It’s a different story now though and the over the past 12-18 months some of the UK’s largest offline retailers have begun to develop really impressive online offerings. Of course some of these companies have been there since the start and they’re the ones now reaping the benefits of nearly 10 years of online experience.


So what are the top 5 ecommerce websites developed by Britain’s high street retailers?


1. John Lewis

With online sales for John Lewis up a staggering 45% since this time last year, it’s no surprise many retailers are in awe of the groups online operations. As a company built on their reputation for quality and customer service John Lewis have taken everything they’re good at offline and put it online – which is much harder than it sounds!


2. Apple

No one is better than Apple at creating incredibly simple, intuitive machines and applications and they’ve taken everything they’ve learned on usability and applied it to their website. The Apple ecommerce experience is clean, simple and extremely intuitive. It’s no wonder we’re beginning to see a lot of ecommerce sites looking extremely similar!


3. House of Fraser

Just like John Lewis, House of Fraser have succeeded in taking the experience of shopping in one of their stores online. House of Fraser is a premium brand built on a reputation of quality, steeped in tradition but at the same time being at the cutting edge of the latest fashions. Building an online presence that stays true to all of these factors is extremely difficult but House of Fraser have managed it whilst creating a dynamic and simple-to-use site.


4. Schuh

Schuh have an online presence the envy of many big retailers, not just other footwear retailers. An early adopter of ecommerce in the early 2000’s, they now have a multi-platform online presence selling not only on their own site but also on eBay, where they are one of the UK’s largest eBay sellers. 


What’s even better is the reason Schuh Chief Executive Colin Temple first took the company online: "I am ashamed to say the reason Schuh started selling its shoes online was so I could prove to the business that you couldn't sell shoes online because I didn't think they would.” (Insider Magazine)


5. TK Maxx

In some ways TK Maxx didn’t take what they had offline and put it online - they couldn’t . Raking through racks of clothes to find what you’re looking for just wouldn’t translate online so in some ways they actually improved the customer experience. The TK Maxx website is intuitive and easy-to-navigate that still maintains their core principle of big brands at incredible value.


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