Triumph in e-commerce: What really counts?

Triumph in e-commerce: What really counts?
Published on: May 5, 2017
Updated: Aug 18, 2022

New is not always better - Back to Basics

Every year there are new tips and trends for online retailers when it comes to running their shops. Sometimes these are (more or less) sensible gadgets, sometimes they are the latest ideas for building the shop page. This can be confusing and following all the ideas may not always make sense. With all the new developments, retailers should therefore focus on the essentials: Their staff, smooth processes and - especially important - the customer. We have summarised some basic elements.

The optimal shop page

Your shop website must be attractively designed, but also easy to use. Usability is an important issue, especially in times of mobile commerce. If your site is too complicated or if customers can't find what they are looking for quickly enough, they will turn away and go to another provider - the competition is so great today that frustration is rarely forgiven. With an optimally set up shop, also with regard to a mature Customer Experience Management, the first hurdle is already taken.

However, the use of one's own data is also crucial. For example, the search queries of (potential) buyers in your shop: it is worthwhile to analyse what is frequently bought or which search terms are entered to find out which products are searched for that you have not offered so far. The order data is also a good starting point, for example on which days of the week people buy a lot - so you know when it is worth offering special promotions. In addition, examine your payment and shipping data to find out which payment and delivery methods are most popular.

Strategic storage & shipping

Warehousing & shipping should also be optimally designed. Overly rigid ways of working could incur costs that could be avoided by more flexible models. For example, working hours should be adjusted to order volumes and staff should be planned accordingly. Variable schedules agreed with employees make it easier to cope with particularly busy periods.

Strategic time management can also help to optimise dispatch. For example, by defining time windows that specify when which orders are to be processed. Orders that are not shipped as same-day delivery or are first ordered from suppliers should be processed between 7 and 11 a.m. in order to enable delivery as soon as possible. Orders that can be shipped immediately should be processed between 11 am and 7 pm.

Customers love communication

As in most fields, communication is extremely important for the successful online shop - especially when it comes to the customer. Let your customers know at all times when they can expect their goods to be delivered, as this is how you offer them a service with added value. This already starts with the order: Visibly indicate that same-day shipping is only possible if the order is received before 2 or 4 pm. If the goods are not in stock or can only be shipped after a prior order has been placed with suppliers, the customer must also know this. Otherwise, false expectations will arise - and disappointments accordingly. Of course, this also applies to shipping communication - an informed customer is a happy customer! In addition, additional but relevant communication provides you with valuable touchpoints.

Image Factors for successful customer loyalty in e-commerce (Image: IFH study Success factors in e-commerce)

Best practice - who's doing it right?

Every year, the Institute for Retail Research (IFH) Cologne, Germany, together with dotSource, determines which online retailers are currently particularly successful as part of a study and award ceremony. This year's winners in their respective sectors were Esprit,, Conrad, Musikhaus Thomann, Erwin Müller, Dänisches Bettenlager, GartenXXL, HSE24 and Zooplus. The criteria according to which the shops are evaluated are diverse: website & usability, assortment, price-performance, service, payment, check-out, shipping & delivery as well as customer loyalty. Result of the study: A good price-performance ratio or an appealing assortment are no longer sufficient to be successful as an online shop. The industry winners also excel in the area of customer loyalty - Zooplus, for example, achieved 98.2% here. The consistent focus on the customer is therefore also worthwhile in the long term. Accordingly: Back to basics for triumph in e-commerce!

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Create new reasons for people to love your brand. Build standout post-sales experiences tailored to your customers. Deliver personalized touch points that grab attention and spark loyalty.

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