Thorntons Chocolate lost almost £1m in sales thanks to delays in producing its new website. That’s nearly a 12% drop in online sales compared with the same period last year. You can’t blame the economic climate, because in their High Street stores Thornton’s saw a massive 16% rise in sales – people are clearly buying luxury chocolate.
Given that every other retailer you hear mention the web says it has significantly over-performed compared with their bricks and mortar stores, this must be something of an embarrassment for Thorntons. When everyone else seems to be increasing their online sales, the chocolate sellers suffered a reduction.
They blame delays in the installation of a new website – which lacked some functions when it was launched. They also had to downplay some marketing activities because they were not ready.
It is an example that if you don’t get your Internet offer right and you don’t launch fast, your customers simply go away because there is another shop just a click away.
No longer can businesses wait, cogitate or undertake “reviews” before acting; nowadays you need to act fast. Not only is there immediate competition, but there is also the impatient customer, who demands instant satisfaction.
These days businesses need to be much more agile and flexible than they have been in the past.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+