INTERNET RETAILING AWARDS 2014 AO.com on being shortlisted for the Market Entry Award
We're asking companies shortlisted in the Internet Retailing Awards 2014 to tell us about themselves. Today Yossi Erdman, head of brand and social media at AO.com , tells how relaunching the business has helped it win new recognition – and a place on the Market Entry Award shortlist.
The white goods market isn’t exactly an interesting one. With the majority of our products existing for the sole purpose of helping with household chores, it’s difficult to get people excited about them. At ao.com
, white goods (and more recently televisions) are our expertise, and we like to think our enthusiasm for what we sell rubs off on those who buy from us.
We first entered the market as Appliances Online in 2001, after a friendly £1 bet made by CEO John Roberts (pictured)
, to revolutionise the way white goods were sold online. As with anything, it took a lot of hard work and perseverance, but thanks to the ‘Let’s go!’ spirit sewn deep into the roots of our company, we’ve made our way to becoming the biggest online retailer of white goods in the UK.
Relaunching as ao.com and re-entering the market in 2013 was our first big step to becoming a brand name that stood tall amongst our competitors. We may have seen plenty of success since first starting business, but up until our rebranding, we were one of the biggest retailers that no one had really heard of.
Our customers are anyone and everyone. They’re your next door neighbour, the postman, your boss, your best friend and your nan. Everything we do at ao.com revolves around our devotion to happiness and amazing customer service, and we have no hesitation in going the extra mile to ensure our customers get the service they deserve. A level of service they won’t find anywhere else.
Some would argue that online retail just isn’t the same as seeing the product in-store, but we beg to differ. ao.com has no bricks and mortar shops on the high street, but gives our customers the same level of product interactivity they’d expect from a shopping trip. Our product pages are packed with all of the essential information, including detailed product photography, specifications and descriptions written by our team of experts and video reviews filmed at our in-house studio. All of this without the stress of dragging the whole family out for a dull day of appliance shopping.
Unlike any of our competitors, we provide free next-day delivery as standard, or if you need your appliance in a hurry, we can get it over on the same day to over 70% of UK postcodes if it’s ordered before noon. Our customers can control when we deliver to them (no more waiting in for deliveries!) and our Gas Safe engineers will install your product on delivery. We run price checks several times a day to ensure you’ll never find a better deal anywhere else, and if by some small miracle you do, we’ll price match (even in the sales!)
We’re ecstatic to have been nominated for the Market Entry Award. The transformation from Appliances Online to ao.com was a considerable task, and we’re over the moon that it was successful enough for us to receive such recognition. There’s some tough competition amongst the nominees, but we hope the lengths we go for our customers really helps us stand out from the rest.
The future for ao.com is a busy one. As well as constantly working to build on the customer service model we currently have, we hope to further improve on our delivery service and increase spontaneous awareness of the ao.com brand. Most exciting of all, we have imminent plans to expand into Europe. It’s all go, but that’s what we’re all about!