Gap, one of the last high street chains to sell online in this country, finally launched an e-commerce site this week. 

I picked out ten well known retailers that didn’t sell online two years ago, so I’ve been reviewing this list to see if any are still any that are missing out…

The drawbacks of not selling online

The most obvious point is that companies miss out on the chance to drive additional revenues by selling online and broadening the reach of their stores.

According to IMRG / Capgemini, the e-commerce market in the UK is predicted to grow by 110% over the next decade, reaching £123bn by 2020, and retailers that still don’t sell online need to get involved in this market. 

Kevin Gibbons has outlined some ways that not selling online can damage a brand. For one, people expect well known brands to be online, so not having an e-commerce site can make a company less credible, while making competitors that are online look more progressive and successful by comparison. 

These retailers are also missing out on a potential global audience for their products, while failing to collect a wealth of valuable data, from email addresses to online shopping and search patterns, all of which can be used to inform and improve offline retail. 

Retailers that have recently started selling online

In the last couple of years, the following brands have launched e-commerce sites: 

Fashion retailer Jigsaw launched its first e-commerce site last year.  

Clarks also launched online last year, here’s the site review

Habitat now has an e-commerce site, though the text needs to be more readable… 

Selfridges launched a transactional site in March. Here’s Matt Curry’s review of the site. 

Planning to launch an e-commerce site

Both H&M and Zara, two brands with a strong high street presence in the UK, are launching their first e-commerce sites next month. H&M’s site launches on September 16, and Zara two weeks earlier. 

Still not online

Claire’s Accessories just has a site with general information and a store locator. Considering that this is a retailer that is very popular with a younger demographic used to shopping online. It stocks easy to ship, high margin products, so not selling online is a missed opportunity. 

Fenwicks is a department store retailer with ten stores around the UK. Instead of an online retail presence, it has a rubbish Flash site. 

Somerfield (Now The Co-operative) was online in the early days, but closed its site back in 2000, but hasn’t been since, while other grocery retailers like Tesco, Asda and Sainsburys have a massive head start in this market. The same also applies to Morrisons

Who else should be online? 

With 141 stores in the UK and upwards of £2bn in sales last year, you would think Primark would do well online. Indeed, a survey recently found that it was the fashion brands shoppers would most like to see online. 

Have I missed any? Let me know below…