{{ searchResult.published_at | date:'d MMMM yyyy' }}

Loading ...
Loading ...

Enter a search term such as “mobile analytics” or browse our content using the filters above.

No_results

That’s not only a poor Scrabble score but we also couldn’t find any results matching “”.
Check your spelling or try broadening your search.

Logo_distressed

Sorry about this, there is a problem with our search at the moment.
Please try again later.

FlashRiver Island is one of the only high street retailers which hasn't significantly improved its e-commerce offering over the past couple of years, and still retains an all-Flash website.

I have been wondering for a while when River Island would look to improve the site, and Paul Rouke of PRWD has a few answers after attending a Q&A with CEO Richard Bradbury last night.

The problems with River Island's Flash site were identified when it was first launched in 2006 - this discussion on the Econsultancy forum covers the issue - and it seems to have taken a long time to produce an accessible non-Flash version.

River Island made the mistake of not considering disabled users in the design phase of the website and consequently excludes a significant proportion of the population from its website. It has displayed this apology page for more than a year now, advising disabled users to 'watch this space'.

River Island Accessibility apology

Despite the accessibility issues, Bradbury says that River Island's e-commerce channel is performing well, though I wonder how much better it could perform? 

It isn't just the lack of accessibility, the website could also be more user friendly for all visitors. The navigation could be better, basics like contact details are impossible to find, while River Island has also suffered in terms of SEO by sticking to Flash for so long. 

Despite Google's recent moves to start indexing Flash sites, River Island still performs poorly in the organic search rankings, even for precise searches on products I know are on the website.

It has also performed poorly in a recent eDigital Research customer satisfaction survey, with the lowest mark out of 39 top UK e-tailers, and scoring badly for site search and navigation, as well as customer service.

In response to Paul's question about the Flash site, Bradbury did say that the company is 'in the process of moving away from our current flash based retail site', and that relaunch is due later this year.

I think that, however well River Island's e-commerce channel may be performing at the moment, losing the Flash site and moving towards more of a 'best practice driven e-commerce operation' as Paul puts it, could have a huge impact on its success. I'm just surprised that it has taken so long.

Graham Charlton

Published 18 February, 2009 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

2565 more posts from this author

Comments (7)

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Avatar-blank-50x50

holmes

i am not happy with this i am close to suicide its not fai why do river island do this to us?

over 7 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

cox

cannot access river island most put out about this as they are losing a valuable customer, i have adobe on my computer but not able to access this flash page. not good at all!

over 7 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

joanne juby

can not access river island site most annoying as want to shop on line

about 7 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Andrew Walker

OMG. This is outrageous! I absoulutly adore RI and i am likeee sooo upset! :(

R.I.P. R.I FLASH SITE <3

Btw, Facebook me ;).ox

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Loura

Please i love this shop so much dont ditch the site :(

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Caitlin

RiverIsland best shop ever but the've lost a few customers because of this.

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Dan

Last year I did some research into this site. When it is idle for more than 15 minutes it disconnects from the back database and lists everything as out of stock

about 6 years ago

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Daily_pulse_signup_wide

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Daily Pulse newsletter. Each weekday, you ll receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.