Wesfarmers reveals e-commerce plans.

The Bunnings business in the UK plans to offer a transactional website and supporting infrastructure within 18 months – a move not offered to Australian customers of Bunnings ever before. Its digital eco-system will also encourage customers to research online but purchase offline by offering how-to pieces, product and project knowledge, as well as inspiration and ideas.

In a presentation to analysts earlier this week, Bunnings UK managing director, Peter Davis, said to compete in the £38 billion ($61.3 billion) British hardware market, the retailer needed to offer its customers the ability to buy online.

“Digital engagement is very important in the UK. We will have a transactional website within 18 months,” Davis said.

The Bunnings team are being supported with supplier product knowledge and accredited training programs, in addition to study tours to Australia, Europe and America. There is also a strategic retailing program for 130 senior staff.

Due to the success of the Bunnings pilot in St Albans, there are three more pilot store openings planned for FY17.