Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

USP is a bare essential for online success

These days, if you don’t have a transactional website, you don’t exist in retail.

These days, if you don’t have a transactional website, you don’t exist in retail. If someone likes your brand and your USP, they want to be able to log on and check you out, wherever they are. Being online is almost like standing in the window naked – you’d better be sure you’re looking your best.

Bricks-and-mortar stores with transactional websites, and pure-plays such as Net-A-Porter, Mytheresa and My-Wardrobe have paved the way for online shopping experiences. They’ve invested the money and manpower, have tried all the marketing manoeuvres to tempt customers, and know how many clicks a customer is willing to put up with on the way to the checkout.

The trick is to learn from these trailblazers, take note of the things that seem to be working for them and then add your own tone, USP and bells and Whistles.

Customers who visit your bricks-and-mortar store and choose to log  on to your online store do so because they like theexperience in store. They like the merchandise, the way you put things together, the friendly and effortless service and the efficient and fun shopping experience. You just need to put all that into your online store.

Think about the things that make your brand unique.  There will be a few screamingly obvious things, so communicate those through a strong, punchy home page, highlighting a trend or must-have hero piece, then guide customers through the different looks and easy ways to wear them. And make it quick – my average residency on any page is a maximum of three seconds, and that’s if I’m really in love. Speed, efficiency and a belief that you can communicate your own USP through the online experience is the key to success.

  • Donna Ida is owner of the eponymous four-store premium denim indie, which has stores in London and Guildford

Readers' comments (1)

  • Websites aren't for every business and can cause many problems which aren't initially obvious. Pricing, the affect it has on your own store, the high level of returns, plus in the middle market, heavy discounting making it very price driven, meaning lower returns. Also, upsetting your brands which you potentially risk losing when they see their products being sold cheaply, so the whole thing can become counter productive.

    It isn't a bed of roses and the 'if you don't have a website, you don't exist' is the sort of naive corporate crap that your hear at business seminars for people who haven't a mind of their own. Websites can be brilliant news and very profitable, but they can also be a complete red herring. Tread with caution.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.