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INTERNET RETAILING AWARDS 2014 Shane Lake on the growth of hungryhouse.co.uk

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INTERNET RETAILING AWARDS 2014 Shane Lake on the growth of hungryhouse.co.uk
INTERNET RETAILING AWARDS 2014 Shane Lake on the growth of hungryhouse.co.uk
We're asking companies shortlisted in the Internet Retailing Awards 2014 to tell us about themselves. This week, Shane Lake, co-founder of hungryhouse.co.uk, a contender for the Brand Award, tells us about his company and how it has grown.

Internet Retailing: What do you sell, and how do you sell it? eg online, through shops, multichannel retailer.

Shane Lake, co-founder, hungryhouse.co.uk: hungryhouse.co.uk is an online food ordering platform with over 9,000 restaurant partners across the UK. Consumers looking for an easy way to discover and order from local restaurants use our site or mobile apps to enter their postcode and locate restaurants, browse menus, order and pay for takeaway online. In short, we provide the easiest way to your favourite food.

IR: How long have you been in business, and how has your approach to retail changed or developed over that time?

SL: We launched the site in 2006 because we saw the potential of online food ordering and jumped at the opportunity to be at the forefront of the consumer shift.

Way back then, myself and hungryhouse co-founder Tony Charles were running the whole business as a two-man show, doing everything from sales to customer care and marketing ourselves. We've come a long way since then and the business has evolved significantly.

One of the biggest opportunities for us to develop in the last few years has been the growth of mobile. We were early adopters of the m-commerce trend and were first to market with our mobile app in 2011, and we haven't looked back. We now see over 50% of traffic coming via our mobile platforms, and over 25% of orders are made through our free iOS and Android apps. With great retention rates and ever-more effective mobile marketing tools available our approach is increasingly ‘mobile first’.

IR: Who are your customers, and how has e-commerce enabled you to get to know them better?

SL: Our continually expanding customer base is varied and located far and wide across the UK. Takeaway meals appeal to everyone, although of course some of our customers order more often than others!

Our approach to both product development and marketing is very data driven and we are continually analysing the customer data our platform gives us access to. We then use the intelligence we gather to better serve our customers and improve our approach to e-commerce. These improvements can be anything from optimising the User Experience of the purchasing process to sending out individually targeted marketing communications, serving relevant content to customers, such as geographically defined restaurant recommendations.

IR: What pleases you about being shortlisted for the Brand Award, and what does it recognise about your business that you're proud of?

SL: We launched a fully rebranded hungryhouse website and mobile apps in December 2013, and the process included a complete overhaul of the design and functionality of the platform. We relaunched the brand with a new tagline ‘Your hunger. Our mission,’ and upped our marketing and TV ad spend in support of the launch. To be shortlisted for the brand award is an incredible achievement and serves to validate all the hard work that went into the process!

As a business we have worked hard to create a useful and user-friendly platform with a memorable brand identity. As the company grows we have taken great care to ensure every aspect of the business, from marketing to customer care takes a strategic approach towards maintaining and positively communicating our identity.

IR: What's your plan for the future - and what will you be focusing on doing even better?

SL: The plan for the future is to continue to improve the online food ordering experience we give our customers. We will do this through every aspect of our business, including the development of new technologies, improved UX, increased mobile presence and greater restaurant choice.
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