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Shop News
26 Apr 2010

E-shopping: functional diversity attracts customers

A stronger product presentation increases sales

Half of online shops neglect Web 2.0 elements

Technical diversity pays off
Functional diversity in e-shops helps sales. Of those online retailers who provide their customers with more than 20 functions when shopping, 93 per cent are satisfied with their sales levels. But only 43 per cent of operators who stint on technical shopping services are satisfied. The likelihood of a purchase is increased by a broad range of sales-assisting tools such as video shopping advice and more advanced filter features for searching, as well as Web 2.0 elements. These are the findings of an e-shop survey conducted by novomind, in which 200 e-commerce decision makers were questioned.

Basic functions are no longer enough
A quarter of all online shops, however, limit their service to a maximum of ten functions to assist customers when shopping. These tools often focus on contact methods (such as e-mail addresses), service hotlines and FAQs. But when it comes to presenting products, online retailers only offer basic functions, which means that customers do not get much more from the website than they would from a printed catalogue. Half of online shops also neglect Web 2.0 elements that would allow them to make their sites interactive and therefore user-friendly. The predictable result is that in the age of social media and online videos, customers will be increasingly unwilling to tolerate e-shops with insufficient functions and will go elsewhere.

Product presentation boosts sales
Internet retailers who use new presentation forms to make their sites better to use will, on the other hand, be able to move more visitors from simply browsing to actually buying. Products that are presented more effectively sell more. Visitors stay much longer at the site, and the proportion of shop visitors who turn into customers also rises.

Large and new e-shops at the forefront
Large Internet marketplaces and new online shops are the ones who make most use of modern technology and provide many more functions in order to captivate customers. Smaller e-shops, on the other hand, often lack those service improvements that will attract even spoilt Internet customers and give the Web shop a unique angle. Technical sales features - such as virtual changing rooms used by clothing retailers - are no longer only worthwhile for high-traffic shops. The same applies to personal consultants who explain product details in videocasts. "Technical possibilities have moved on enormously since e-commerce began in the 1990s. Detailed presentation of products and thorough advisory features represent a new dimension in e-commerce," explains Peter Wiedekamm, Technical Director at novomind.

Background information
The study entitled "Technical and business evolution of e-shops" is based on a CATI survey (Computer-Assisted Telephone Interview). On behalf of novomind AG, a total of 200 decision makers working in the IT area of online shops were questioned in November 2009 about the functions that are used or planned in their e-shops. The survey also examined a cross-section of 18 German-language e-shops whose shop systems have been relaunched during the past 12 months.

novomind at ECOM Berlin 2010
The latest strategies for successful multichannel and cross-channel solutions will be presented by Peter Wiedekamm, Technical Director at novomind AG, on 27 and 28 April at the ECOM congress fair at the Maritim porArte Hotel in Berlin.

For more information visit:

novomind AG: innovative e-business solutions for the modern Internet world and for professional customer communication
Since 1999, Hamburg company novomind has been developing innovative e-business solutions for the modern Internet world in four e-business disciplines: e-commerce (e-shops and zoom server), ePDM (electronic product management), e-marketplace (marketplace integration) and e-communication (solutions for contact and service centres).

novomind is a European technology leader in every service segment and covers the whole digital value-adding chain in retail and electronic customer communication. The Hamburg-based software house is the fastest growing company in the fields of electronic customer communication and mail management.

novomind also provides comprehensive consultancy services for people choosing a suitable IT system for e-commerce. Established licence software like IBM WebSphere Commerce Server and INTERSHOP ENFINITY is considered, as are custom-made novomind solutions based on novomind iSHOP.

novomind AG is currently assisting more than 80 companies including Citibank, Der Club Bertelsmann, Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund, Ernsting’s family, EnBW, gebrüder götz, OTTO and QVC.