A strong web presence in the UK as consumers change their buying habits
The demise of four major High Street retailers has highlighted the importance of the internet when it comes to selling to UK consumers. Selling online whilst maintaining a strong High Street presence is something which some UK firms, like Linens Direct, have been successful at.
Sadly, many British firms are struggling to get the balance right and this is not helping them to compete successfully in today’s global market. It would seem that British consumers want the best of both worlds. They appear to want the convenience of the web, but also want the chance to see what they are buying.
Most people still enjoy High Street shopping but simply do not feel that they have the time to go out shopping every weekend as they used to. They are more likely to buy that birthday gift for their niece on the train on their way to work using their Smartphone than shop for it on the High Street. The alternative of driving into town and back and spending an hour looking around and queuing does not appeal and is just not practical for most people.
However, when they want a wedding gift they are less likely to buy it online. They want to be sure that the gift is of good quality, so may want to actually see it to assess the quality before buying. Because a wedding gift is important, people do not want to leave anything to chance. For example, a delay in arrival of their gift because it gets lost or damaged in transit would be disastrous, so taking the time to physically shop for an important or special gift is worth the time it takes to do so.
Site design is vital
However, simply putting up any old website and expecting people to buy from it is not enough. Some products are more difficult to sell online than others are, but even they can be sold successfully if the site is designed properly.
Linens Direct are selling products, which on the face of it appear to be difficult to sell online. Traditionally linen and soft furnishings are items people wanted to see before buying. However, using high quality photos and an in depth description for each product they have been able to successfully sell linen and soft furnishings via the web for four years. The fact that consumers trust the brand has given them the confidence to buy such items on-line.