By Claire Reilly

Appliances Online – the e-tailing branch of appliance retail chain Winning Appliances – is celebrating its 6th birthday this year, but far from resting on his laurels, CEO John Winning has set ambitious targets for the future.

“While our growth has been exponential to date, we plan to continue to grow by 100% year-on-year as we buy warehouses throughout Australia and enable next-day delivery to most of the population,” said Winning. “We are also expanding into other product ranges and are launching a new business in the next few months. We have big plans for the year ahead.”

Since launching, Appliances Online has grown at a huge rate, with the number of staff currently sitting at 80 – a 300 per cent increase over the past 12 months. The company also boasts more than 150,000 unique customers.

Potentially thanks to the fact that the company has one of the youngest CEOs in Australia, (or because it focuses solely on the online sphere), Appliances Online is also ahead of many other consumer electronics retailers in terms of social media.

The company is active on Twitter with almost 19,000 followers – not quite the mammoth 14 million reached by Lady Gaga, but still a very impressive figure – and has a Facebook community of more than 171,000.

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In light of the company’s successes, John Winning offered five quick tips on succeeding online in today’s retail climate.

“Think about the customer experience – the best form of marketing is via word of mouth from happy customers,” he said. “Design the site for your customers, not for you – provide consumers with the online shopping experience they expect, don't get too creative reinventing the wheel.

“Empower your staff – staff are the biggest asset of any business," he added. "Encourage employees to own their role and change it wherever possible to benefit the company. Embrace technology – use available technology to improve business functionality such as monitoring customer feedback in real time.

Finally, Winning recommended that businesses remain agile and innovative in their field. “No matter the size of the company, being able to adapt quickly to the changing online retail landscape is a necessity,” he said. “Be first to market with a new idea.”