Web Concept for the Reorganization of HEMAs Website

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HEMA is an internationally recognized retail organization domiciled in the Netherlands. Today, the company operates a number of stores in other countries across Europe, including Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany, France, the UK, and Spain. The company operates according to the multichannel business model; it offers customer services via physical locations, which are strategically located in respective regions. It also ensures its online presence via the official website (hemashop.com) and social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter. Through these channels, the company effectively interacts with its customers who can purchase goods online and have them delivered at an extra cost or choose to pick them up physically from the local stores at their convenience. Moreover, customers also have the option to visit local stores, choose the goods physically, and pay as they go. Nevertheless, this multichannel strategy is proving to be problematic for the HEMA Shop; this fact is proved by the losses that the organization has suffered in the recent past.

In the context of HEMA operations, the main issue addressed in this portfolio is how the company can represent itself in the multichannel environment in order to create superior customer experience, improve interaction with customers via online platforms, and meet its objectives in a better and more effective way. In order to achieve this lasting customer experience that will create and enhance customer loyalty and help in improving the financial position, it is important to create an efficient omnichannel that will involve reorganization of the company's website. With the reorganized website, the customers will be able to navigate and find the required information conveniently. The product and services offered by the organization will be easily visible while the execution of orders will be less costly for both customers and HEMA shop.

This portfolio presents a web concept for the reorganization of HEMA's website and all other online engagements of the organization. The aim of the portfolio is to communicate how the organization's website can be effectively and efficiently reorganized and how it should look like after the reorganization and reconstruction. In order to make it easily readable and comprehensible to the third parties, the web concept portfolio attempts to provide a figurative expression of the required changes; it also outlines the goals of the new website organization <hemashop.com

This web concept is supported by the desire to address a problem that falls at the heart of the operations of HEMA Shop that, so far, have contributed to financial losses, failure in stiff competition, and decreased customer loyalty. These problems were found to be caused primarily by the multichannel approach that the organization applies alongside a poorly constructed and organized website.

In that light, the new web concept addresses the concern, “How can the HEMA shop official website (hemashop.com) be improved in order to attract more customers, as well as enhance customer loyalty, for both online and physical shoppers?”

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In order to develop a new and more attractive website for HEMA, the group engaged in the exploratory study that sought to address each of the mentioned research questions. The research involved a lot of desktop analysis with the researchers actively concerning the issue of creating a user-friendly, economically feasible, and appealing website that would enhance the traffic and customer loyalty. Plenty of data concerning HEMA are available; this information was readily accessible on different open source websites such as Retail News. The secondary sources provided ample information about the events and perennial problems facing HEMA's brand and general issues related to its market conditions in the industry. Additionally, the secondary sources research provided some points concerning how the modern web development theories could be employed in order to improve the company's website.

The second major source of information for this portfolio was the actual interaction with the organization's official website. The idea of this research was to map out the customer journey and experience with the website since the moment the user enters the name query in the search engine to the moment he or she logs out from the website. Incidentally, the customer journey is closely linked with the physical journey of customers since the decision whether to purchase a product from HEMA or not depends on the customers' interactions with this critical asset of the company.

Lastly, the research involved intensive and extensive engagement with representatives of HEMA. The team of researchers had a rare opportunity to interact with Ms. Eva Raat, who granted an interview. Ms. Raat is an ex-store manager at HEMA; during her employment in that position, she was charged with identifying how the HEMA brand was perceived by the customers and managing any issues that customers might raise with regard to any operations of the company. The interview with Ms. Raat was more or less spontaneous; it was a purposeful strategy, which was used to make the session more interactive and informative. The research team did not record the interview on any digital device due to the sensitive nature of the information that was revealed. However, all the relevant data gathered from the research have been incorporated into this portfolio and are critical in the improvement of the organization's website.

After an extensive research, the team concentrated on determining what must stay on the website and what must be deleted. The researchers also deliberated on the effective organization of the information that would remain on the website, as well as the information that was to be added. The argument was both intensive and extensive, and to some extent, even tensed especially when the views of the researchers differed. Nonetheless, all communication and interactions were constructive as the team was able to come to a conclusive decision with regard to what the final product, the reorganized website, would look like. After assessing technical aspects of the website, copywriting concerns, its overall appearance, and the requisite tabs, the team came with the conclusions that are documented below:

The landing page: The landing page of the company's website if poorly constructed. To begin with, everything one sees on the landing page is a short statement describing HEMA and where it operates. However, this information is literally blocked by a large blue icon requesting the visitor to select the region of interest, which will be organized by country. Thirdly, the landing page has a small ribbon at the top left corner indicating how long the organization has been in existence, and all the data are easily visible since it overlays the white background.

To begin with, the importance of having text describing the areas, in which HEMA operates, and at the same time providing large and blocking icons with the names of the regions is just off the limits. Secondly, the landing page does not motivate a visitor to continue the journey especially when considered that not a single word describes what the organization does or even what products and services it offers. It means that it is highly likely that users that do not know of the company's physical addresses and brand are likely to leave the website as soon as they land on it.

The text: The text of the content of the website is also quite off key. The first thing that visitors realize as soon they start navigating the website is that almost every other word begin with a small letter except for the organization's name, which appears in capital letters. While many people do not see any big problem with this issue, it is important to note that as many customers are expected to use the website, there is no excuse for ignoring the basic writing rules such as the necessary capitalization, for example, at the beginning of a sentence.

At times, visitors may point the company at the writing errors and misprints. However, the text also provides another impression that the website is out-of-date and is not properly maintained and managed. This issue may even develop further to instill worries about the security measure and trigger general concerns about the interaction with the website. Moreover, one is likely to get tired of finding the same information being provided in several submenus.

Bland font face: One thing that is common for many successful online stores is the use of a font face that communicates to the target market and often invites users to visit the online store more often. The website of HEMA ignores such a simple strategy by having a bland font face that does not create an impression of a quality product offered by the website; consequently, clients may think that probably, they will not be able to get a good deal for their money.

Excess text: One weird thing about the official website of the HEMA shop is the quantity of data that one gets while interacting with the website. It comes with excess text on the entire website meaning that it is really likely for a user to get tired of reading all the available information. Logically, any excess text and information overload beats the very logic of shopping online in that an online shopper will more often than not be looking for convenience and efficiency. To illustrate the information overload and excess text as it appears on the company's website, it is important to look at how many tabs are put on any single webpage and the number of dropdown submenus that appear in each main menu tab. There are at least ten main menu tabs on each webpage, all of which begin with a lower case letter even though they stand for the general categories of products offered by the company.

Customer journey: Assuming that a customer easily spots a product, firstly, reaching a physical store where one can collect the product is a problem and, secondly, the website does not clearly indicate that one has the option to get a home or office delivery. To be more specific, a buyer who wants to pick the purchase from a physical store must be aware of the name and exact location of the store. Logically, online shopping crosses geographical borders and the first thing that a user should be able to see when shopping online regards how he or she can get the purchased product. In other words, it should not be the user's concern to go online and start searching the locations of physical stores.

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To understand how the identified concerns affect the mood of customers visiting the website and their likelihood of coming back again, the researchers also conducted a mood board test. It helped in determining the customer feelings and impressions of the website; this information, in turn, would be employed for the website improvement. The results of this analysis are discussed later in this portfolio.

E-commerce Applications Development Process

A thorough research led the research team to the conclusion that though expensive, the best solution to the HEMA concerns would best be addressed by redesigning and reconstructing the company's website. This new web concept will include a modern and clean landing page, clear menus, and better organization of the content, as well as a better design of icons on the website. In order to actualize the redesigning of the official website, there are a number of steps to be followed in order to be both efficient and effective. The process is divided into five stages, which include developing a concept, designing, coding, testing, and launching.

The concept stage is covered in this portfolio. It involves the collection of data and all relevant information that can help in understanding and comprehending the problems facing HEMA and how the research team can manage those issues. It involves addressing all available options considering the go and no-go zones that will be involved in redesigning and reconstructing the website.

The designing stage will involve coming up with a wireframe of the website. The wireframe presents a visual structure of the website that includes content to be added to various web pages and the location of various icons. Additionally, it will include some other peculiarities such as navigation paths through various pages in addition to the general organization of the products on the website.

At the coding stage, programming of the website will take place. The purpose is to ensure that the website is not only user-friendly but also safe and secure for online shopping. Based on these requirements and some additional tasks, programmers will determine the most appropriate programming language for developing an online shop.

The product of the web developers will then go to the testing stage. Various tests will be conducted on the website in order for the research team to be able to determine whether the redesigned website is able to meet the objective previously set and whether it will be more appealing than the one that HEMA is currently using. At this stage, and before the website is finally launched, any concerns will be addressed. The employees will be trained and informed about all the changes made to the new website in order to ensure that they clearly understand and can properly use the website and, at the same time, are able to guide a user through the system. While the main objective is to ensure that clients get an easy time while using the website, developers will also ensure that the redesigned product does not have any negative impact on the morale of the company's employees. The webpage will then be launched after a detailed consideration of whether the new website in better, safer, and securer than the previous one.

Wireframe of the Web Concept

The wireframe of the web concept presents the layout of the website; it majorly focuses on the interface elements. In this case, a three column layout has been selected to ensure that the website effectively communicates with the users. With this layout, more information will be relayed without necessarily making the website experience information overload. The following elements have been considered:

Website header. The website header will use the metadata of the company, simply stating HEMA Shop. The consideration is to retain the red ribbon, which also acts as the company's logo. It will appear on every webpage of the website.

In addition, the menu bar will have the Home, Products, Physical Stores, Payments, and the Contact Us icons in order to ensure that the visitors can easily access all the relevant information. Additionally, there will be a select-region icon above the main menu, which will be clearly marked out with flags of various countries, in which the company operates, and the search section will be situated next to it.

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Ordering system. The ordering system will be retained whereby a user will access it by clicking on the product icon. When ordering, a client will be able to see all the physical stores where pick-ups can be made and, at the same time, he or she will have an option of home delivery that will be clearly indicated in the ordering system. For delivery, the fee charged will depend on the clients' location according to the current flat rate.

Webpages.

Home. The homepage will include a slideshow with the major categories of products that HEMA trades. By clicking on a product in the slide show, a visitor will be redirected to a webpage containing the items of that category. The Home tab will be highlighted on the menu bar indicating that users are currently on the home page. To the left, there will be a brief message acquainting a client with the company and what it does. There will also be a sub-menu highlighting various sections of the home page.

Menu. The menu will comprise the Home, Products, Physical Stores, Payments, and the Contact Us icons. Anytime one clicks on a menu item, it will be highlighted. A drop down submenu will also be available in the left-hand column; it will highlight the major sections under an item in the main menu. The products icon will include images of all the major product categories. The Payments icon will provide information on the applicable payment options while the Stores icon will list the physical stores locations depending on the selected country. Lastly, the Contact Us icon will include company's contact information that will also be linked to the CRM system.

The right-hand bar will include information on the security certificate, links to social media sites, and icons of the payment systems.

Mobile. The website will also be optimized for mobile applications. This step is crucial in consideration of the fact that there is a high likelihood that people will be accessing the website via various mobile applications. The intention is to ensure that the same feeling and ease of use is maintained regardless of whether a visitor is using a desktop computer of mobile phone.

Mood Board

The mood board represents a type of collage that brings together all kinds of images, colors, tests, and symbols that represents a certain concept or idea. For the sake of HEMA, the mood board will be used to set the idea of an exemplary and convenient shopping experience that comes with online shopping and delivery.

Style Board

The style board represents a collection of elements that are employed in the development of a website. It will depend on the outcomes of the desktop research; it will include the colors, fonts, and images to be used on the website. Notably, the preparation of the style board is the very first step at the technical stage of the website development.

Group Evaluation

Throughout the project, researches worked as a team. The team had to deal with diversity owing to the wide scope of the members' technical understandings of various issues concerning the project. There are members skilled in business analysis, as well as those who properly understand how to turn ideas into actions. Most importantly, the team comprises people who properly understand the qualities of a good e-commerce website.

The work began with the group members trying to learn about each other's strengths and how they would contribute to a successful completion of the project. The good thing with it is that the team managed to understand each other better, and this issue translated to the better working relations and enhanced teamwork throughout the project. Ultimately, the understanding of each other helped in the fast identification of the organization and quick start of the project.

After identifying the company, the team discussed its choice with the instructor. The instructor, in turn, advised on how to conduct the research. The team also received advice on how to tackle every section of the project in order to meet the objectives of the project. Then, the company was contacted, and the team got the first chance to communicate with Ms. Raat, who would give a deeper and valuable understanding of how HEMA operates. Ms. Raat also allowed the team members to contact her whenever and information relevant to the project was needed.

With support from the instructor and Ms. Raat, as well as the cooperation of the members, the team managed to complete the project in good time. There were a few concerns about the tardiness of some members at regular meetings; however, all members contributed and fully participated in the project.

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