Debenhams has become the first department store to open a dedicated online store at both Amazon.co.uk and eBay.co.uk.
“A strong presence on the web is essential for any modern day retailer,” says Michael Sharp, deputy chief executive at Debenhams. “Our use of Amazon and eBay, as well as Debenhams.com, opens the door to millions of new customers allowing them to shop from our fantastic range of products wherever they are in the UK, all from the comfort of their own home.”
“Customers who visit Debenhams at Amazon.co.uk will benefit from the retailer’s famous mix of the latest designer looks from the likes of Jasper Conran, Ben de Lisi, John Rocha, Matthew Williamson, Betty Jackson and Julien MacDonald, all at high street prices,” says Debenhams, as well as an extensive range of homeware, sportswear and beauty products.
Debenhams eBay is an outlet store, featuring a range of homewares, electrical and gift ideas. The retailer is also using eBay’s deal of the day as an opportunity to sell large quantities of individual items.
“Amazon is delighted to be working with Debenhams and its range of clothing, shoes, accessories and homewares represents a fantastic addition to Amazon.co.uk, ensuring that customers continue to benefit from the widest selection of products from the biggest brands,” says Brian McBride, managing director at Amazon.co.uk.”The Merchants@Amazon.co.uk programme provides retailers with the opportunity to sell their products and promote their brand to the millions of customers who visit Amazon.co.uk.”
“Debenhams eBay store is part of eBay.co.uk’s new Outlet, which offers the best range of homewares, electrical and gift ideas to our 17 million monthly visitors, all at highly competitive prices,” adds Angus McCarey, commercial director for eBay UK. “Debenhams is also using it as an opportunity to sell thousands of exclusive deals through eBay’s ‘deals of the day’ programme, with their first promotion last week selling out in just a few hours.”
Debenhams Direct, the department store’s online business, saw an increase in sales of 31% to £55.1 million in the year to 29 August 2009 and visitor numbers increased by 36.8%, according the Debenham’s full year financial results, published last week:
During 2009 a change was made to the online fulfilment provider which has improved service levels for customers and reduced delivery times. New features added to the website in 2009 include zoom, video and catwalk/outfit projection; the online outlet which provides access to all current offers and promotions; shop by size; product reviews and surveys; and social networking capability.
Priorities going forward will be to develop a full multi-channel offering alongside the existing online operation. Integrating the instore and online businesses will be an important part of this, seeking to extend ranging for smaller stores and availability for all stores. Other opportunities include international online business and the use of affiliates to drive additional footfall to online activities.