Optimizing e-commerce for a leading U.S. book retailer

KPMG helped a retailer create an e-commerce website that enhanced the customer experience, while reducing revenue losses by $10MM.

A leading U.S. retailer of books, content, digital media, and educational products
Consumer and retail
E-commerce website development
  • Client challenge
  • Benefits to client
  • Approach
  • KPMG insights

Client challenge

This client’s plans to replace its outdated, revenue-leaking e-commerce website had been delayed for a year, primarily due to internal issues, including lack of internal requirements determination and prioritization, formalized controls, and collaboration between the business and IT. This delay was causing significant revenue loss and severely compromising the brand’s competitive edge.

Benefits to client

Development of an ideal purchasing journey map was instrumental in helping the client launch a highly competitive e-commerce site that makes it simple and engaging for customers to purchase products, while also reducing revenue losses due to customer service, fulfillment and supply chain issues by an estimated $10 million. This retailer is now better positioned to support the ongoing innovation and evolution necessary to staying relevant in today’s marketplace.


KPMG worked with this client to create multi-dimensional journey maps for internal and external customers. Insights gleaned from these maps informed the development of a customer-centric online purchasing path. We detailed the step-by-step flow of business processes and their gaps, internal communication flow, and issue resolution mechanisms, ultimately leading to a sustainable e-commerce support solution.

We also established a PMO-like environment within IT to guide development decisions, effective resource allocation, sprint prioritization, and efficient site deployment and go-to-market strategy.

KPMG insights

Consumer behavior is situational

People can exhibit tremendous brand loyalty for some purchases and complete brand indifference for others. They can prioritize speed in one transaction and price in another. Understanding how behavioral dimensions intersect is essential to optimizing the digital customer experience.

Beware of advertising

Any advertising that draws the online customer’s attention away from completing a purchase is a risk. You should strategically assess the revenue gained from selling advertising against reputational risk and revenue lost from cart abandonment.

Make the e-commerce process simple and safe

Give customers easy visibility into purchase progress with a single-page checkout design. Disclose shipping costs early on to diffuse late-stage second thoughts. Allow users to register using social site log-ins. Emphasize that credit card information is secure.

Understanding how behavioral dimensions intersect is essential to delivering an optimal digital customer experience.