David Jones’ new ‘click and collect’ service is launching this week, as the department store retailer strives to harness consumer spending from all avenues of retail.
The click and collect strategy enables customers to order their products online and then personally collect them from dedicated pick-up areas in David Jones stores.
The move is part of the retailer’s Horizon 2 Omni Channel Retailing Strategy, due to be rolled out nationally by Thursday, August 28.
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Horizon 2 is designed to offer greater flexibility for customers regarding when and how they purchase goods, whether it be physically in store, or via computer, mobile phone or iPad devices.
‘Social Commerce’ is also key to the move, with the retailer’s new Facebook store facilitating sales. In the retailer’s first-half financial year 2012-013 report, it had over 400,000 digital contacts, including over 200,000 Facebook followers and 11,000 twitter followers.
In addition to click and collect, other initiatives include incremental delivery, which means customers can choose same-day delivery or standard delivery services. ‘Store check’ via the David Jones website means customers can check the availability of a product they want at their chosen David Jones location.
Drop-ship capabilities are also introduced, enabling suppliers to send goods directly to customers, after they have been purchased on the David Jones e-tail site.
Another element is ‘shopable videos’, which mean customers can shop from videos posted on the retailer’s website, such as its seasonal fashion shows. Earlier this year David Jones had over 20,000 views of its autumn/winter 2013 collections live-stream video.
Retail Doctor director Brian Walker told SmartCompany this morning that compared to global benchmarks of department store retailing, David Jones is lagging behind.
He says the click and collect strategy is a good step in the right direction.
“Click and collect is a classic cross-channel strategy to engage customers in both an online and in-store experience”, he says.
“It brings them into the store to collect goods, and it is attractive to some customers, particularly for the big-ticket items.”
Walker says that many international online retailers are struggling with the free-freight element of online retailing, with unwanted returns causing financial and logistical issues.
“They need to work out warehousing on site. If a customer orders a lounge, where does it go out the back until they collect it?” he says.
Walker says that the ‘click and collect’ system is an “education process” for customers who could learn more about the retailer’s online offer and become more accustomed to ordering goods online.
He says it will also enable David Jones to further refine its online logistics, without dealing with as many product returns.
The click and collect strategy comes ahead of the retailer’s full-year 2012-13 annual report. Its first-half financial year 2012-13 results were down 0.7 % on the previous corresponding period.
David Jones chief executive Paul Zahra announced in July the department store had entered into an agreement with Dick Smith Electronics to operate the existing electronics business in David Jones stores, with the name “David Jones Electronics Powered by Dick Smith”.