Consumers view websites as the ‘front door’ to their online shopping experience, and their effective design has been a rich topic of debate for years.

However, a recent report claims that some of the UK’s biggest retailers are still missing out on around £500million in extra sales due to poor quality web platforms.

These findings should ring alarm bells to overworked sales managers. Why would these seasoned sales experts, who spend every second of every working day looking for new methods to drive revenues against a dreary economic outlook, deliberately overlook such an enormous revenue opportunity? What have they done wrong?

The answer lies not in the retail sites’ layouts per se, but rather in a simple lack of optimisation for interactive customer touch points. It needn’t be that way. The Internet offers a wealth of multichannel pay options, selection tools and product tips that will leave customers excited, intrigued and keen to learn more.

Customers are used to being bombarded with innovative merchandising in-store, and are therefore seeking those experiences online.

The retail sector is well-known for its fierce competition on pricing and deals. But how can customers reap the benefits of these opportunities when the sites they visit simply fail to clearly promote them? If a retailer really wishes to maintain the loyalty of its core customer base, then the best deals need to be offered in both online and offline environments.

As online retailers ponder the potential £500million shortfall in their sales figures, they can take comfort in the fact that the problem is easily remedied. By overhauling out of date and expensive web platforms, retailers can simultaneously engage customers whilst driving up sales figures.

Only by unleashing the power of online innovation will retailers be able to deliver a truly optimised ecommerce service to their customers.