One business, many brands: Dick Smith plans to divide and conquer the market

Despite a large (and growing) store network, there are Dick Smith customers in Australia and New Zealand that shop with the publicly listed company without ever setting a foot inside a physical Dick Smith store, says Neil Merola director of marketing for Dick Smith.

“There would be people that shop eBay and shop Catch of the Day that have probably never been into one of our stores even though we’ve got over 380 store across Australia and New Zealand,” he says.

One of the major trends affecting consumer behaviour is the increased demand for personalised or customised of products and services. Dick Smith is succeeding in presenting the most relevant offer to each customer by segmenting the market through its different brands and online storefronts.

Dick Smith now operates its electronics stores, ‘Fashtronics’ retailer Move for the kids and David Jones powered by Dick Smith which targets a more up-market clientele. Online, each brand has its own transactional sites, with the exception of Move which is launching soon. There are also Dick Smith stores on eBay, Catch of the Day and the recently launched Trade Me in New Zealand.

“What we’ve learnt in our experience with eBay and Catch of the Day and our own Dick Smith.com.au and .nz sites is that we’ve actually got different customers that shop our business,” Merola said.

“It’s no different to what we have learnt in the last 12 months with David Jones powered by Dick Smith, Move and Dick Smith electronics stores; there are different customers and different customer segments that actually shop different stores.”

Finding these new customers and targeting them with more relevant offers is an important part of Dick Smith’s growth strategy Merola said.

“We have made public that we are chasing 10 per cent of our total [retail sales] volume online in the next three years, so that’s a pretty big target when you consider where retail in Australia is, which is significantly below that. We are obviously putting energy and resources into ensuring that we can meet that target we’ve set ourselves.”

Merola said that the way Dick Smith’s customers shop varies, a lot do their product research online, some make their transactions online while others head in store to make purchases. The important part is to allow customers to shop how they want to.

“We are offering customers choice and allowing them to really shop with us in any environment they chose to.”

In the New Year, Dick Smith will be opening seven Move stores in Sydney Airport and is also looking for sites both nationally and internationally to continue that roll out.

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