Having an ecommerce offer has become the minimum expectation of many consumers today, as Primark found when calls for it to move online escalated during lockdown.
Online sales have grown steadily over the past 15 years, though they rocketed when Covid-19 led to widespread store closures. Although official figures show they’ve dropped from their record high of 37.8% in January 2021, they still account for just over 27% of all retail sales and this figure is only likely to go up further in the coming years.
While barriers to entry are lower than opening a bricks-and-mortar store, finding success in an increasingly crowded market is tough, whether you’re a start-up, or an established retailer.
You’ll need to invest in your website and digital marketing to ensure it can be found by the people most likely to buy. Then you have to continually refine the user experience (UX) to convert traffic into sales and draw customers back. With a bespoke ecommerce platform, mid-sized firms are able to innovate at speed, respond to changes in the market and compete with larger retailers.
Everyone knows how frustrating a slow-loading website is and with so much competition just a few clicks away, poor functionality can quickly lead to lost sales – undoing all your efforts in product selection, marketing and fulfilment.
In fact, one report from Google found that more than three-quarters of consumers had abandoned a retailer after not finding what they were looking for, and 48% had gone on to buy the item elsewhere. Conversely, 69% said they’d buy more if they find what they’re looking for, while 99% say they’re likely to make a repeat purchase if they have a good experience.
Introducing the 2022 Digital Retail index
Understanding what a top-performing website looks like today is a good way to benchmark your own and make any improvements. The UK 2022 Digital Retail Index, developed by Remarkable, is based on a regular analysis of retailers from the IRUK Top500 list.
The criteria used to create the index use Google’s Lighthouse tool to monitor performance based on four groups of metrics, these are:
User experience (UX)
Site speed (milliseconds of load speed)
Further details on these metrics are available here. The total scores were calculated using all available metrics of the Google Lighthouse report, including the 4 columns of stats shown in the report.