Since The Good Guys’ launched its online platform under the mantra “Buy online, pick up in store”, it has grown to incorporate a mobile website, nationwide delivery, a blog and, most recently, expanded PayPal integration.
Current.com.au editor Patrick Avenell spoke to Bevan Morris, manager of eCommerce at the traditionally conservative retail group, about this experience.
How important is having an attractive digital offering for your consumers?
It’s very important. The quicker we can make the process for customers, the more times they might shop with us and the more times they might choose us over one of our competitors.
Is your goal to get consumers to transact online or is online just part of an ‘omnichannel’ process?
That’s completely up to the customer. If customers are happy to transact online, then we want to make sure that we’ve got all the tools and processes for them to be able to do that.
Mobile phones, particularly, are being used as a research tool, so if someone is standing in one of our competitors’ stores and using our mobile phone website to do some research, and then they walk into one of our shops across the car park, then that’s perfectly fine as well.
What research have you seen into mobile phone use?
Some of them say that up two-thirds of people are using a mobile phone at some stage through the process — not just in electronics: travel, hotels, books.
Our research tells us that approximately 40 per cent of people are using some sort of device somewhere in the process.
Has “Buy online, pick up in store” been a success?
It definitely has. One of the benefits of it has been that customers get after sales support and service from a person, not just from a machine or a computer. We provide them with the store’s contact details and they can ring and visit that store anytime.
Does that help keep the store owners onside?
Definitely: they like to see customers in their stores so it certainly helps from that point of view as well.
What’s more popular: delivery or picking up in store?
At this time of the year, a few weeks out before Christmas, delivery is quite popular, but as we get closer to Christmas, more people will do pick-up as they get into a bit of a rush and need to make some quicker purchase decisions.
Did you always believe that people would buy whitegoods online if you made them available?
Naturally we assumed that that would happen because we have a great range of that kind of stuff, it’s what we’re famous for — you can’t fake what you’re not good at.
What lessons have you learned setting up the website?
Consumers are craving more and more content and information. They want to be able to do 95 per cent of the research online, and in The Good Guys’ categories, people like to see how big a fridge is, to see what it might look like and to have a play with it. Online, consumers are demanding more and more content, the evolution of our sites has been to provide more and more and we continue to do so.
That’s one of the reasons why we started The Good Blog; to provide easier access to product reviews and new products, as well as to provide entertainment through competitions or humorous YouTube clips.
How many staff members do you have on The Good Guys digital team?
That’s something that I can’t comment on. We don’t comment on that kind of detail.
As a private company, we don’t make comments around anything to do with results, forecasts, employment, et cetera.
Has The Good Guys always had a belief in Omnichanneling?
Yes, definitely, and the blog is a result of many different teams’ work, including sourcing information directly from our stores and the events that they are holding in their communities. There is a good deal of people working on it day-to-day.
Does The Good Guys believe online will be a profitable and important part of the business mix into the future?
I won’t comment on whether we will consider it profitable but I think that consumers are demanding it so any retailer that doesn’t take that on board is likely to be on the wrong side of history.