Friday, July 27, 2007

Asda to sell clothes online

Asda has announced that it will sell the George range online from February 2008.

It is getting harder and harder for UK retailers to claim that "our customers aren't online" or "our prices are too low to sell online" or even "we have so many stores that our customers don't need to buy from us online". All these are excuses I've heard in the past.

Wal-Mart adds reviews

US retail giant Wal-Mart (owners of UK's Asda) has just added customer review functionality to its website, in response to customer requests.

Few UK retailers have dared to add customer reviews despite mountains of evidence that customer love reviews, that reviews reduce returns rates and that most reviewers give high ratings to most products. I wish I knew what was holding UK retailers back!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Over half of UK shoppers value reviews

A recent survey by US review provider Bazaarvoice has found that 53% of UK shoppers have more trust for retailers if their sites include consumer reviews. This is significantly lower than in the US, where 78% felt the same way.

I personally love reviews and when I researching any potential purchase of an unfamiliar or expensive item rely on reviews to guide me.

Action: Add reviews to your site. If your products aren't really appropriate for reviews (furniture, for example) then show reviews of your customer service.

Mobiles get comparative shopping edge

US mobile phone provider Sprint Nextel has launched a product search service for GPS enabled mobiles that allows users to find suitable local stores. GPS enabled mobiles are becoming standard in the US since the FCC ruled that mobile companies have to provide location details in the event of an emergency call. This has lead to a drop in the price of GPS chips and experts agree that sooner or later mobiles in all countries will include GPS features.

If consumers start to use this kind of service then it will bring the same relentless price pressure seen online into high street stores. It will also bring promotional opportunities for retailers to use hyper-targeted keyword search advertising.

Action: If you haven't already started getting your store inventory into an accessible format, do so now. Whether consumers are searching at home using postcodes or on the move with GPS, retailers will need to be able to provide shop by shop stock and price data.