PHP Genie: leading a global change
Shopping online has been a vital role of the internet for many years. In fact, online sales have continued to grow even during the current recession in the high street retail sector.
But e-commerce is maturing and new combined approaches are developing. Newport based PHP Genie are helping their clients around the world to lead this transition..
The next step on
Traditional online selling gave shoppers an opportunity to find products they liked on the high street, then buy them cheaper online - or at least compare prices to make sure they got the best deal.
Now the best online sales sites give shoppers far more information than they can get on the high street, but still lack that instant appeal of taking their shopping home with them the same day.
The next step in online selling combines the strengths of online and high street shopping.
'E-commerce is developing in really interesting ways. It's moving away from that real split between offline shopping and online shopping... Omni-channel selling is the next step on where offline sales and online sales start to merge.'
'An example is the click and collect services that we're starting to see now. You can look through the catalogue, see what's in stock, buy it online and then go and pick it up. The implication is a really strong role for bricks and mortar shops. What you're even seeing is that online businesses are actually opening bricks and mortar shops to complement their online business.'
More sales through better service
The combination of the bricks and mortar shopping experience with the sophisticated information and sales processes of the best online businesses present a real opportunity to improve the overall retail experience.
Just as many live TV shows are complemented by online content accessed through smart-phones and tablets, the high street shopping experience can also be complemented with online content - for example, customer reviews or different colour options, stock availability, special offers, etc.
'What we're starting to see now is live stock information displaying on screens in the shops... with better connectivity, customers are going to be able to compare prices, check stock levels, or you'll be able to see a pair of shoes in blue in the shop, and see on your phone that the shop actually carries it in red as well...'
When e-commerce started, there was really thought to be no alternative to actually seeing a product on the high street to decide if you wanted it.
But in recent years this has changed - now if you see something in a shop, you quite possibly wait until you've checked the online customer reviews before you buy. So making this available in store is another step in making that sale.
'Reviews are massively important: that's actually a key part of building a good e-commerce site... objective reviews from a wide range of people.'
PHP Genie is a prime example of a Newport business that is leading the way in a global market.
By working with clients over the internet, they can access markets anywhere in the world, from the traditional markets in America and Europe, to any of the developing markets as they emerge.
'Having a good internet connection can open opportunities for all sorts of companies, particularly service companies. With a good internet connection you really can work with companies anywhere in the world.'