An underperforming website taught Nicholas Jermyn Shirtmakers the value of investing in a world-class site
The company came to Solutionists looking for a website that would stand out from the crowd. Specialising in the development of ‘next level’ e-commerce websites that help its clients sell to the world at a competitive level, Solutionists was primed to deliver.
“A typical client will come to us after their current online venture fails to keep up with their business expectations, whether it’s in terms of sales, branding, customer service or something else,” says Creative Director James Gilbert.
This is often due to poor design and usability, lack of access to the latest online promotional tools, an inability to integrate with back-end systems, and/or lack of strategy, he says.
“These problems make it difficult, if not impossible, to get your webstore performing at the level it should be. To be successful, an e-commerce website should replicate your in-store customer experience, delivering the same promotions, merchandising, branding, pricing, product range, customer service and conversion rates.”
For shirt-makers Nicholas Jermyn, the main issues were an inability to run full promotions and easily manage their own content and poor usability and navigation. Customers had a hard time locating products they wanted, and weren’t prepared to shop online if the website couldn’t deliver the multiple deals they could get in store such as “four shirts for $320” or “all ties for $59”.
“Even though the website traffic was there, customers weren’t making a lot of purchases,” says Nicholas Jermyn’s managing director Nick Harris. “The customer experience of the website just didn’t match up with the premium Nicholas Jermyn brand.”
The effort of loading stock and making changes to the old webstore wasn’t worth the time—it could take weeks before a new page or a new product could be uploaded —and the return was low. With his overseas competitors making their biggest revenues online, Harris needed to get his webstore onto a new platform; as a premium retailer, it was essential to run a premium online store.
Harris wanted a partner “that understood best-practice ecommerce and kept up with the latest international trends” —one that provided a quality product and could deliver full integration with back-end systems. He chose Solutionists.
Nicholas Jermyn chose the Advanced Fashion Webstore package, a full redesign and some custom-built elements, such as allowing customers to choose a custom sleeve length, or to remove or add a shirt pocket.
“The Advanced Fashion Webstore includes our sophisticated promotions engine,” says James Gilbert. “It lets Nicholas Jermyn create multiple complex promotions that match what they are running in store.”
A ‘You may also like’ section on the product page lets them merchandise their products, and a design and navigation that follows best-practice e-commerce standards ensures customers can find a product, add it to their bags and check out in the simplest, most intuitive way possible.
Harris says the search filters are another important part of matching the in-store customer service— customers can select a preferred size, colour, cuff style and pattern when searching for items.
This minimises customer frustrations and acts as an online sales assistant, only showing customers products they want to see.
The new Nicholas Jermyn webstore hit the ground running from its launch, with sales around ten times their usual volume in the first month. While Harris puts this down to the Christmas period, and promotions and advertising, sales have remained consistently high at an average increase of about 500% per annum. The number of customers who bought something after browsing, commonly known as the conversion rate, has increased by over 400% in the 14 months since the new Nicholas Jermyn website went live.
“Our webstore now competes revenue-wise with our physical stores,” says Harris, and it consistently beats several of the company’s physical stores in weekly sales. “Eventually, we aim to have our website as our top performing store.”
Expansion plans to help achieve this include full integration with the Nicholas Jermyn POS system, Infinity, which will fully automate the stock-loading process, transactions and customer database, and a multi-currency module to service overseas buyers.
For more information about Solutionists or online retailing, visit www.solutionists.co.nz or phone Frank Gilbert on 09 630 3074.