Shock horror – you can learn from the government..!

Sit down and take a deep breath; this may come as a shock. But one part of the UK Government is better at online business than Tesco. I’ll say that again…Tesco is worse online than one arm of the UK Government. I know, sounds mad doesn’t it?

When you consider that Tesco generates £1.3 billion in sales via the Internet, this is some boast. But, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is doing even better. On average, each day of the year, the DVLA is “outselling” Tesco by £600,000. Every day the DVLA takes around £4.2m in car tax completed online. According to Computer Weekly magazine, the DVLA completes around 273,500 car tax applications each week online.

So, why is the DVLA out-doing Tesco? Simple. It’s convenience. Finding your MOT certificate, your insurance documents, writing a cheque and then trudging to a Post Office only to queue for 20 minutes is not the most pleasing task in the world. Getting your car tax paid online takes less than five minutes.

Tesco also offers convenience, saving people the time and bother trudging around the vast cavern of their local “Extra” store to get the weekly basics. But with tangible goods that people want to touch and feel it is more difficult for retailers to sell the idea of online shopping.

The DVLA success story tells us one thing – if you produce intangible goods and services, such as consultancy, business services, publishing and so on, how can you make it more convenient for people to buy from you online? It is pure convenience that has driven the DVLA’s online success in little more than a year. Focus on providing convenience for your customers and you too could succeed online.

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