For many commercial brands worldwide, the last few years have been nightmarish. As physical stores die out, the UX bar continues to rise and shoppers conduct more price and quality comparisons than ever before. Being a household name simply isn’t enough to secure a prosperous future anymore.
During 2018, one of the last bastions of the high street, John Lewis, hit a revenue slump as profits fell by 77%. The store attempted to cause a stir with its staple Christmas advert, which boomed customer ad awareness by 30% but failed to live up to revenue expectations. Other brands also suffered revenue losses and continue to struggle in 2019.
Even though 2018 proved to be a challenging year, there were a few brands which thrived both in revenue and brand value. Next is one of them.
For over 150 years, the retailer has been a part of the British high street furniture; but as times have changed, Next have adapted to survive. A quick browse on their website shows these changes as they bridge the gap between online and in-store shopping. Most notably, their Shop My Local Store service allows customers to reserve an item online and then collect or try on in-store one hour later, depending on location and stock. Other functionalities like QuickShop and Express Check-Out all adhere to the same mantra that online shopping should be quick and easy, and the site lives up to its name. It’s quick, easy to navigate, accessible and can be personalised. All of these factors help create an immersive experience with positive UX - in other words, ecommerce revenue.
On Next’s site, it’s clear to see that it’s customer focused. At every stage of the browsing and buying process, the customer is intuitively following along a specific customer journey and offered multiple delivery and payment options. Customers love having more options which are clear and easy to use.
For other ecommerce brands trying to take inspiration from Next, it can still be hard to stray from the way things have always been done mindset. Intuitive thinking, which includes the user’s perspective and puts emphasis on UX, is a starting point to help brands rethink their online shopping strategy. And the easiest and most cost-effective way to do this is through usability testing, just like Next.