How The Good Guys embraced research online, buy instore

The Good GuysWithin three clicks of visiting The Good Guys’ (TGG) online store, the whitegoods retailer knows whether you’re replacing, upgrading or buying your first fridge or washing machine.

By the next click, without asking you to log in, its already tailoring digital messaging to what you’re shopping for and why, understanding that you probably won’t even make your purchase online.

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These days approximately, 70 per cent of TGG’s customers visit the website before making a purchase in store, but it hasn’t always been that way.

Six years ago, TGG’s general manager of digital Bevan Morris was copping flak from colleagues over the performance of the company’s e-commerce investment.

“I was sick of being accused of spending more money in the business than what the website represented in pure sales,” he told an audience at the Online Retailer conference in Sydney on Wednesday.

Convinced that online had a crucial role to play in TGG’s future, Morris undertook a major research project to find out exactly how customers were interacting with the online store.

Before long, he was standing before CMO Robert Ambler-Frazer with data showing that research online, buy instore was behind the majority of TGG’s business.

That revelation, which was also inspired by the likes of John Lewis and Marks & Spencer in the UK, kicked off a transformative process that’s seen TGG, now part of the JB Hi-Fi group, refocus its website.

“We asked, ‘What part of our website was driving people into stores? What was the website doing to get customers into stores?’,” Morris recalled.

“Not everyone on the website is there to make a transaction. Most are on to research something else.”

With a renewed mandate, Morris oversaw the creation of an e-commerce model that’s been designed specifically to capitalise on the research online, buy instore phenomena.

Everything about TGG’s digital marketing has changed, from how media is bought to the creative department – even the shopping cart isn’t safe.

“On most e-commerce sites, the number one call-to-action is the shopping cart,” Morris explained. “But 70 per cent of people aren’t adding to cart, they’re going in-store.”

“So why isn’t the major call-to-action something like ‘Remember this product’, ‘Email me this product’, or ‘Tell the person in-store what product I’m looking at’?”

Customer experience has been embedded into the job description of everyone in Morris’ team, driving conversion rates on products like Dyson vacuums that rival the manufacturers’ own online store.

“Customer experience doesn’t have to be something that only involves hipsters with Macs in a room. Everyone in the team can be involved,” Morris said.

TGG now spends roughly the same amount on online marketing as it does on offline marketing, no small feat given that only 0.2 per cent of online customers even login to the website.

The criticism has well and truly stopped, with sales now being assessed holistically rather than channel-by-channel.

 

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