13 October 2006

eCommerce is easy if you have a brand name

My younger son has just bought a new computer game. He is familiar with it, but he hasn't played at home yet. If he goes to the site where he made the purchase it tells him that his order is due for despatch on 10 October. Since today is 13 October we can guess that this isn't a very efficient eCommerce site.

Who is the seller offering such poor eCommerce service? Some small micro business, struggling to balance cash flows with supply chain considerations? Err, no - it's Tesco, the giant of UK retailing with a surplus of every type of retail, computing and supply chain skill at its disposal. I imagine that Tesco normally performs better than this with its online sales of computer games. However, what Tesco has in bucketloads is a brand. Given two sites selling the same product for a very similar price I imagine that most British consumers would give their card details to the Tesco shopping cart because Tesco has already overcome the trust issue. For many online retailers, trust is a problem - the newspapers and magazines are full of dire warnings about identity theft and online fraud, all of which makes life more difficult for smaller players.

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