Virgin website to be born again

Virgin Retail is to completely overhaul its online shopping website to improve usability and integrate Web 2.0 technologies.

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Virgin Retail is to completely overhaul its online shopping website to improve usability and integrate Web 2.0 technologies.

The overhaul will see Virgin Retail’s website management and development brought in-house for the first time, giving the company greater control and the flexibility to build new features and functionality on to the platform.

Virgin Retail has had a transactional website since September 2002 and – in line with other retailers – has seen online sales increase sharply. Christmas sales figures for 2006 were up 191% on the previous year.

The company’s marketing and e-commerce director, Steve Kincaid, said: “The vastly improved site, geared towards the needs of today’s online customer will form a major pillar of Virgin’s multi-channel strategy.”

Virgin has selected Hybris, Mercado and Underwired to create the new website, which is expected to go live by late summer.

E-business software supplier Hybris will provide an e-commerce platform to support the merchandising, promotional and transactional elements of the site, which is expected to deliver improved customer ordering.

Specialist provider Mercado will provide search and navigation engines to help users find their way around Virgin’s large online catalogue.

The website will be designed by Underwired to combine simplicity, usability and entertainment, allowing Virgin to deliver rich media content via its website.

Virgin employed e-commerce consultancy Javelin Group, to manage the selection of suppliers for the website revamp.

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