On Thursday 13th June Sir Philip Green spoke on UK national radio claiming he has saved his Arcadia retail empire from collapse. Announcing 50 stores in UK highstreets will close, with over 1000 job losses, not good news but the potential to be far worse. Meanwhile, Green has received media backlash for his lack of business attention whilst occupied with living on a luxury yacht in Monaco. Whatever role Green played in getting to the current situation is unimportant, the crucial fact is that his large retail group is behind the digital curve.
In today’s marketplace, all individuals and business either buy or inform their buying decisions on information that is received via digital channels. With the latest research showing that this trend is increasing. Is Arcadia digitally enabled? Yes, it is. Can you buy Arcadia products online? Yes, you can. BUT the quality of the websites and the content on those sites is poor in comparison to leading competitors. To find out compare the user journey experience between Miss Selfridge and H&M. Small things matter. There is, for example, a lot of white space and no chat facility on the Miss Selfridge site. These, apparently small, digital features improve the amount of time a potential buyer will stay on a website. More time spent browsing on a site will increase order values and conversion rates which then drives up revenue and profitability.
The organisations with the best content and the best “feel” to their websites are the ones that will win. Market leaders ensure that every single interaction with a customer reinforces their brand's values. This is hard and requires a lot of attention to detail, but such management makes it happen. Retail organisations don’t put tarnished and sloppily organised products in their shop windows. Likewise, traditional B2B market reps never pass on tarnished samples to prospects - only the best will do. However, when a website’s content falls behind its competitors this creates the digital equivalent of showcasing spoilt products.
Leaders in the digital space also use the freely available data from their site users browsing histories to help refine and develop their brand. Ensuring their brands trade on what customers want now, not what appealed to them in the past.
Consequentially, only the most digitally mature organisations in today’s marketplace will win. If you are not sure how digitally mature your organisation is? Then invest ten minutes of your day to download and read “Will you grow or shrink in today’s marketplace?”
Philip Green acted too late, you don’t have to.