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Card Factory chief digital officer on ‘basic’ click & collect service, ‘vital’ omnichannel strategy and future plans

Sam Davies

Recently, card and gifting retailer Card Factory launched its new click-and-collect service, kicking off its “vital” omnichannel proposition.

The service, which followed a successful trial, allows customers to place orders online and collect from over 1,000 stores, with customers having a 10-day window for collection and no processing fees to be applied for orders over £10.

At the time of launch, Card Factory’s chief digital officer Sam Davies said: “The introduction of our click-and-collect service and ordering products at the click of a few buttons offer flexibility, more choice and adds an extra layer of convenience to shopping with us.”

However, speaking to InternetRetailing, Davies branded the new click-and-collect service as “basic” at its current stage.

Card Factory has been ranked as a Top350 retailer in the RXUK Top500 Report 2023, click here to download.

On the new offering

“Although the trial has been successful, at this stage the click and collect offer is basic, taking three to five working days for an order to be shipped to the store, Davies tells InternetRetailing.

“We know this needs to improve and plan to trial later this year, which will ultimately allow us to offer a faster collection and an improved experience.”

According to the retailer, it saw higher than expected customer demand with over one per cent of Card Factory online orders opting for the click-and-collect, despite only 87 stores being in the trial and over 50% of these customers being brand new online.

“We experienced 16% higher average order value over our online channel and 7% of customers buying additional items in store during the collection process,” Davies revealed.

“Assuming this trend continues, the national rollout will enable over ten per cent of online orders to be through click-and-collect.”

On improving the service

The service currently provides shoppers with the ability to click and collect the majority of Card Factory’s online range within a 10-day window.

However, according to Davies, the retailer has plans to launch a balloon collection service, which is currently not offered by the offering

The company also has plans to introduce assisted in-store selling and a loyalty programme, he revealed.

“Click-and-collect was the natural place to start for our omnichannel vision because it allows us to start seamlessly connecting our online offer with our nationwide store estate.

“This in the future will enable us to provide a seamless customer experience and increase sales through enhanced awareness, footfall, basket spend, and customer loyalty across both our online and physical channels.”

On its omnichannel strategy

Davies continues: “Offering an omnichannel service is so important. Customers have clearly shown their appetite to continue shopping with us in our stores. Through our omnichannel propositions, we will leverage this opportunity to maximise our ability to serve our customers seamlessly online and offline.”

This comes as Davies believes there has been a “considerable reversal “of the two main pandemic competitive trends of the shift to online and the switching to the grocers.

He explains: “The return of customers to normalised shopping behaviour has seen online sales decline and the gains made by the grocers reversed, while at the same time, we have driven footfall growth into our stores.”

“By connecting the channels we can bring the power of our extensive online range to every store in the UK as well as providing experience and loyalty benefits. For our stores, omnichannel also provides cross-sell and up-sell opportunities which we saw within the click-and-collect trial.”

On future plans

Davies adds that with over 1,000 stores across the UK, alongside a lot of work to grow its online market share, the company is targeting 7% of its sales to come from combined omnichannel and online sales by 2026.

“It’s important to remember that although many businesses have embraced omnichannel, we’ll be the first UK card and gifting retailer to do this.

“We believe transforming into an omnichannel retailer will give us a point of difference in the market and will allow us to build an exceptional experience for our customers and compete with both bricks and mortar and online-only competitors,” he concludes.

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