web manager at The Body Shop
26 June 2003 11:03am
I am looking to recruit a consultant (or consultancy) with specific experience of migrating an offline brand onto an e-commerce site. Would anyone have an idea as to where I may find this expertise.
CEO at Econsultancy
26 June 2003 12:14pm
Something you might want to try is going to our Agencies and Consultants Directory at http://www.e-consultancy.com/providers/ and then in the Search area try 2 things:
1. Search on relevant keywords e.g. 'cosmetics' or peers and competitors of yours.
2. There is a filter there which says "Client list contains...". Always interesting to find out who is working for your competitors.
Might throw up some useful contacts.
On 11:03:41 26 June 2003 tbs_input wrote:
>I am looking to recruit a consultant (or consultancy) with
>specific experience of migrating an offline brand onto an
>e-commerce site. Would anyone have an idea as to where I
>may find this expertise.
Why Digital Marketing
26 June 2003 12:43pm
For me, the key task when delivering an existing brand online is understanding how the brand is communicated in other channels and, most importantly, how it makes people feel.
Speaking to actual users and customers are crucial to the process. It is rarely the case that we deliver the same look and feel online as appears either in print or in-store. What we do ensure, though, is that the website has the same tone and principles but make sure that it is in tune with how target audiences use the web.
A good example from our portfolio is the Early Learning Centre site. We achieved a look and feel - right through the site from home page to check-out - that reflected the same values as their successful store design and catalogue work by working with actual representatives of their target audience, by workshopping with the client to drill-down into their brand's core values and, of course, by considering the commercial objectives of the site.
For ELC, getting as close as possible to playing with product was important. This was achieved by showing as much product imagery as possible in the context of a child playing, providing multiple product shots and angles, and adding sound for appropriate products. This all helped to deliver against the company's core brand values.
Hope this helps.
Partner at Janet Grimes Strategy & Planning
I would be happy to discuss this project with you. My consultancy is listed on e-consultancy.
Client Fulfillment Manager at MarketingNet
26 June 2003 14:00pm
In our experience it is crucial to leverage the power that your brand has offline in your online offering. The brand values generated by your status as a leading high street retailer will give you a significant advantage when it comes to e-commerce. With a good understanding of the medium, a site can be constructed so that it feels like an extension of your high street stores.
However, it is vital to understand that the branding of the site should not effect it's usability, a site that is complicated and hard to use will damage your brand more than it helps it. If someone has a bad online retailing experience it is very unlikely that they will return and it can even damage their perception of the offline brand.
We have found that it is essential with e-commerce sites to run detailed user testing and implement best practise usability so that the process of buying online is as simple as possible. Your brand will already have generated trust for someone thinking about buying online so you just need to make sure that your online offering utilises that trust.
Hopefully this will be useful to you but please do get in touch if you want to discuss this further.
Project Manager at Nucleus Limited (020 8398 9133)
27 June 2003 11:16am
You already have some good feedback on this thread. Each consultancy that you approach will have a slightly different approach to the migration process.
But it is worth remembering some key points, and criteria for selection.
1: work with a consultancy that understands both online and offline channels. They should really understand branding — and how an e-commerce strategy fits into the whole picture. They should be comfortable helping a client to achieve internal buy-in for e-commerce, especially if the budget is significant.
2: they should know how customers interact with websites. In a highly competitive marketplace, no brand can afford to frustrate its customers through the experience of using a website. Your competitors are only a click away.
3: they should have a track record of successful e-commerce sites. It should have reached all the business performance targets, and perhaps the ROI has been clearly established. Ask some hard questions, and see which of your short-listed consultancies can deliver on this.
4: they should be aware of how users react with sites. Choose a consultancy that has usability expertise, and has the ability to undertake comprehensive user testing of e-commerce websites, prior to launch. The gap between expectation and reality can damage a brand’s reputation.
5: they should have a wide range of technical expertise — proven expertise with e-commerce platforms, and integration with back-end technical architectures.
6: they should be nice people, and you should feel comfortable working with them. The best work is done when strong, long-term relationships are established. Ask for client references.
Try dba.org.uk, or aargroup.co.uk for high-quality consultancies.
Hope this is useful. We would be very happy to talk with you about a project of this nature. Our projects include the brand repositioning of Superdrug, and an award-winning e-commerce site for Orient-Express.com.
Challenge seeker! at Individual
01 July 2003 10:52am
If it is allowed, I will put ourselves for ward for this. We're also listed in the directory here and our web site is at http://www.clockworx.com
Interestingly I actually launched The Body Shop on the Intenet in 1993, launched the first web site in 1994 and then retained TBS as a client for Clockworx until 1998, producing several iterations of the information-only site.
We have taken several major offline brands online with e-commerce to great success including Thorntons and Avon Cosmetics and I have frequently discussed e-commerce options for The Body Shop with Patrick Ballin over the years. I am sure he would be willing to share his thoughts with you.
If you would like to discuss this with me I would be most delighted to hear from you. My number is 01785 216150
Managing Director at The Yellow Yoyo Company Ltd.
01 July 2003 12:26pm
You have already have had some very constructive detail, especially from David Gilbert. All the stuff that David talked about was obviously important but more important is the need to understand where your particular enterprise should start the process of migrating online from.
I have been responsible for taking several brands online varying from the first websites for Marks & Spencer & Thomas Cook, the first trading kiosks for Daewoo and NatWest, the first iTV applications for Thomas Cook & Argos and multichannel strategies for Argos (wnich directly ended with their website turning over more than £100 million p.a. from a base of £50,000 p.a. when we started), IKEA and Knight Frank to name a few.
The differences in all of the projects was where they eventually started from in terms of change. As an example Argos already had a successful website given the time 3- 4 years ago and in their mind the project was all about re-inventing the site. However after the early exploratory exercises we did it was very soon obvious that a more fundemental change was needed to re-evaluate the way they handled data for the business in total rather than a re-design of the website. If we created what we called a 'Core Engine' for the business then that would facilitate migration onto any channel in the future and would be much better investment as has been proved correct. Witness the latest forays into mobile with 'text & take home' for example.
I would be happy to talk to you to share my experiences as I'm sure would be Andy Morrey at Argos who was our client and is probably the guy in retail with the most experience and best track record in moving brands online.
You can contact me at The Yellow Yoyo Company (01525 229 335 or
The Yellow Yoyo Company
01 July 2003 12:39pm
Just proving that we are all human the telephone number on my post to you above was wrong.....! It should have been 01525 229177.
I can take brands online but can't remember my own telephone number....muppet!
Director at Digivate
02 July 2003 17:43pm
Hi Adam, Digivate is an agency specialising in ecommerce and emarketing and has been taking multi channel and mail order brands online for the past 5 years. Clients we have worked with include Selfridges, Richer Sounds, Past Times and Sofa Workshop.
We would be very happy to share experiences and help you with your project.
You can contact me at Digivate on 020 7274 6071 or
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