Record number of complex webshops built by Advania
A recent boom in e-commerce has resulted in firmly established companies reviewing their business practices and increasingly looking towards the internet as an important sales channel. The web development team in Iceland has considerable experience in guiding enterprises through this type of digital transformation but the team has never had as many large and complex clients. Advania takes care of the needs assessment and delivers webshops that are suitably aligned with business offerings. Advania‘s expertise in this field is largely centered around developing webshops that are connected to back-end systems for bookkeeping and inventory management and are firmly integrated with the business as a whole.
"Moving business online is not just about building a nice webshop. Businesses will fail if they think that e-commerce is all just about launching a neat website. Of course, having a great looking site is a part of this journey, but on top of that you need to take care of the actual webshop and all the related processes. User experience is a really important factor when it comes to closing sales. The images displaying the products must be outstanding and the interface should be comfortable and easy to use. The shop needs to display detailed information about the product and you must be clear on store policies, like returns. Post launch, the webshop needs to be promoted and requires regular updates. We routinely see that people underestimate the amount of time and effort that goes into maintaining a powerful e-business," says Sigrún Eva Ármannsdóttir, head of web development for Advania Iceland.
Sigrún points out that it can sometimes be troublesome for large companies to build online business if the project is set up to conform too closely to existing processes. "Companies may have to rethink their internal processes to conduct efficient business online. Product delivery needs to be reviewed along with store policies. A decision must be made on whether separate inventory should be kept and if the product offerings online should be the same, limited or even different. For large companies this can easily become very complicated, but Advania participates in the needs assessment. There is no single right answer to any of these questions. Advania operates its own large webshop which was very challenging to set up. It really helped us better understand the needs of our clients," says Sigrún Eva.
E-commerce has boomed all over the Nordics in the past few years. In Iceland, Gallup surveys suggest that 70% of the population has made purchases online in the past 12 months. Postal deliveries to Iceland have increased 60% in one year which is mostly explained by increased e-commerce. E-commerce has firmly established itself as a powerful sales channel and source of information about product offerings.
"A few years ago, you would say that if a business didn’t have any web presence, it didn’t really exist. Now you can easily say that if your product isn’t present online, people will assume you don’t have it and go buy it elsewhere," says Sigrún Eva.