After becoming known as one of Australia’s greatest e-commerce laggards, David Jones has finally released a website worth taking a thorough look at.
For an embarrassingly long period of time, the David Jones website was treated as a joke among online retailers. For a high-end department store brand, its e-commerce portal spoke little of elegance, let alone function.
As of just a few weeks ago, all of that has changed.
Following a horror sales period and the closure of its iconic Newcastle store, the C-level at David Jones decided to go all-in on an updated omnichannel strategy at the beginning of this year. This strategy involved partnering with IBM to provide an e-commerce platform on which the retailer would upload 90,000 SKUs, multiplying its original online inventory by ten.
The result of this gargantuan undertaking is the recent iteration of the David Jones website – as much alike to its previous iteration as a racing yacht is to an inflatable life raft. Clean lines, a cogent aesthetic and a healthy helping of on-trend e-commerce principles places this website streets ahead of the one that stood before it. There are some further tweaks to be made that may further improve conversions, but it’s safe to say this iteration is a vast improvement on its predecessor.
“We are delighted that we are able to launch our new online store with such a strong representation of our Australian designer brand portfolio,” says Group Executive of Merchandise for David Jones, Donna Player. “For the first time, customers anywhere in Australia will be able to access the breadth of brands you would find in one of our flagship downtown doors.”
Of course, an undertaking of this scale and speed could not occur without developing a few gremlins and the issues that can be identified on David Jones’s new site can be squarely blamed on human error, with perhaps a few performance issues thrown into the mix. Developing content and copy for tens of thousands of SKUs in six or so months is no easy task, and so it’s no surprise a few hitches have developed.
These errors include issues with sorting products (sometimes they take a long time to re-assort, or they just won’t at all), mislabelled items and identifying stock levels (which can result in the odd error message when selecting an item to be placed in the cart). David Jones also seems to be working through a number of SEO-related issues, as some pages and tags continue to display generic information.
However, the most glaring of these issues are the mislabelled items, which can result in poor customer feedback as well as negatively influencing conversions. During our initial appraisal, we discovered the following example within five minutes of visiting the site:
Taken on its own, this error isn’t exactly catastrophic. However, it isn’t the only example lurking on the new website and the e-commerce team is sure to be working very hard over the coming weeks to rectify anything that is pointed out. It’s safe to say that by the time you read this, many problems will have already been eliminated.
Overall, this release from David Jones demonstrates just how far the retailer has come, revealing a true dedication to an omnichannel future. While problems still abound, the retailer has proven that it understands the online space by embracing the ‘don’t let perfect stand in the way of good’ ethos, which also encompasses the ‘fail, but fail fast’ principle of e-commerce.
David Jones now has an opportunity to test its new offering, analyse feedback and continue to improve. It will be interesting to see how this offering evolves further in the coming months.
What do you think about the new David Jones website? Have your say in the comments section below this article.