Boring Is Better

Allocating an eCommerce budget is an increasingly complex decision. So who do businesses listen to and how do they prioritise? ‘Boring’ fundamentals are the foundation of eCommerce success, consistently providing the greatest ROI – but what exactly are the boring fundamentals?

An outage during peak trade has significant impact on revenue and brand. The Wall Street Journal reported that the Amazon Web Services outage this year cost companies in the S&P 500 index an incredible $150m. Retailers need a stable and robust infrastructure – target uptime should be 99.95 percent or greater.

Customers have little patience for navigating slow loading sites. Hubspot provides a compelling statistic – a “one second delay means a seven percent reduction in conversions”. Ideally the Time to Interact should be sub-three seconds.

If businesses don’t present their range online, the assumption is that it is not stocked, and the sales opportunity is lost. Retailers should start with 100 percent of SKUs, then exclude only where absolutely necessary. A business should invest in technologies that can assist with expanding range, like integration capability and fulfillment options.

Online customers can’t physically sight and handle stock, so it is particularly important to present accurate information. Accurate pricing and availability relies on frequent or live integrations, a powerful and flexible promotions system, and, of course, good source data. Incorrect price and availability information results in cancellations and refunds. Even for loyal customers poor customer experience will reduce repeat purchase or referral.

Poor fulfilment processes will affect online growth, as well as repeat custom and referral. The primary KPI retailers should track is Delivered in Full on Time (DIFOT) – what percentage of orders are delivered to the customer in full within the published service window. A 98 percent DIFOT would usually represent an acceptable target.

These fundamentals might be considered boring, but failure to measure and excel in these areas will render investment in the latest and greatest near worthless.