European retailers should learn from the mistakes of their US counterparts and not sacrifice simplicity for the sake of glitz or they will lose customers.
And while many are already making their websites less complex in an attempt to exploit the wireless Internet boom, they should heed the fate of US ecommerce suppliers, which are likely to miss out on $6 billion worth of sales this Christmas because their sites are frustrating to would-be shoppers.
Phil Terry, chief executive of ecommerce consultancy, Creative Good, explained: "Merchants are too focused on the hype of the technology. They are getting 26-year-old HTML experts doing merchandising [deciding where and how products are promoted and sold] - the kind of job that is done by a professional in the offline world."
He gave the example of Levis.com, which recently pulled out of the ecommerce business amid complaints of slow loading pages and "irrelevant pictures of pouting models".
"Customers can't find the jeans, so they don't buy the jeans," he claimed.
In a recent Creative Good test of 10 websites provided by retailers such as Avon, Disney, Godiva and LLBean, 36 per cent of shoppers failed to finalise their purchases because the sites were too difficult to use, while a further 56 per cent failed in their search attempts.
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