What does a few million get you nowadays?

Wednesday, 17th December 2014

A couple of major retailers website launches have particularly caught our eye this October.

A couple of major retailers’ website launches have particularly caught our eye this October. First of all, came the news of Selfridges’ digital makeover. A reported budget of £40 million went towards the new responsive e-commerce platform, and the necessary systems integrations, to enable them to compete as a luxury multi-channel retailer.

However, this huge budget was soon trumped by B&Q, with the update of their diy.com platform. The total bill for their work came in at a staggering £60 million!

As is often the case with websites of this nature, a lot of the cost occurs behind the scenes. B&Q operate 350 retail sites across the UK and the new website has to interact with each, to enable the diy giant to offer a comprehensive ‘click and collect’ service. A concurrent upgrade to the company’s backend systems means that a shared product database now powers all their customer and staff-facing systems. This means that the website is instantly up to date with available stock levels at each store, and in turn can allocate products from shop stock to online purchase. The same site also offers a customised view for staff to use in-store.

To add further context, the site sees weekly traffic of 3.5 million visitors, compared to Selfridges’ none-too-shabby one million. In contrast, Realnet’s busiest site, Kickoff.com, achieves 1.5 million visitors per week.

That still sounds a lot of money to us though!

As a final note, both budgets are still minute in comparison to the former businesslink.gov.uk website (remember it?). A total budget of £105 million over three years still makes that the most expensive we know of.