We all love old favourites, or as they are commonly called oldies but goodies. Whether it’s the timeless digestive biscuit or a classic episode of Coronation Street, which is now 20 years old, we love nostalgia and the feeling of simplicity it brings with it. But, unfortunately for online retailers, the old fashioned ways simply aren’t enough to keep a brand afloat in our modern and ever-changing digital world. Websites which are perceived as being too simplistic or have a dated website design, are often viewed as less secure and lower in quality against more innovative sites.
It’s evident that the eCommerce world evolves quickly and trends have a lifespan of only a few months. Keeping up with ever-changing customer expectations can feel like an endless race. But for those websites which tackle current user behaviours through additional functionalities and a clear, concise design, conversions only seem to increase as they smash their yearly growth and revenue targets.
Of course, right now this all seems like a hypothesis without any actual evidence, and it can be hard for more traditional sites to adjust to the modern times, without overly congesting or complicating their customer journeys. Which is why we have performed an in-depth analysis of two sports clothing brand sites, using previous data from our website wars ebook and current news stories/articles.
The two branded sites we compared were Sports Direct (owned by Mike Ashley) and JD Sports (owned by the Pentland Group). Both sites sell sports clothing and products to similar target markets and both own brands which are promoted on their sites, such as Umbro or Speedo. Even though these brands are similar there are huge differences between the two.
Sports Direct achieved a growth target of only 10% during the first financial year of 2019 with an estimated overall revenue of £3.70Bn. Whereas JD Sports experienced a growth increase of 49% over the same timeline, with an overall revenue value of £4.71Bn.
And it’s not just the numbers which are showing drastic differences between the two brands. Customer perceptions are also hugely contrasting. Sports Direct was placed within the bottom 5 retailers for quality, reputation and overall impression by YouGov’s BrandIndex, whereas JD Sports is the 30th most popular fashion & clothing brand in the UK and the 13th most famous, according to the BBC.
Kasper Rorsted, Chief Executive Officer, at adidas quoted one of the most important phrases in the ecommerce world:
“Our single most important store in the world is our dot-com store, there is no comparison”
And this is one of the reasons why Sports Direct and JD Sports are so contrasting. We all hear that the UK high street is dying meaning a strong, loyal digital platform is the final decider on which retailers will survive the next 5 years and which won’t. So how does this affect Sports Direct and JD Sports?
Check out our full website analysis of both sites, including UX testing and site improvements to find out more about the separation between these two brands, and how you can avoid experiencing an eCommerce flop.