Since being bailed out in the last moments, this is the first time I’ve returned to high street retailer HMV’s website.
I’m actually quite surprised how good the site looks both on a desktop and on my mobile. But I was initially baffled by the lack of content and function on the site. Each category hosts a nice selection of imagery, some of them will lead to a products page but none of them are available for you to order online. Which seems odd as once you find the right item, the next step is to purchase. But instead, with the current site, you will need to visit a store to make the purchase. You can’t even check stock levels at stores nor can you reserve items.
It seems that HMV have either become strictly a high street retailer who will not trade online or they’re in the process of launching a new site. I can think of only one reason why you want to go one way or the other and that is to reduce costs. People usually don’t think about the costs associated with online businesses because it’s less obvious. There is the common view that since you don’t need to pay the rent to keep your store in a busy high street, there are less bills to pay. But this isn’t true. These costs are there in the form of contracts with courier companies or the staff in the background answering your questions, dealing with returns and handling customer orders. It’ll be interesting how this turns out.