Thomson is now selling holidays from new-look digital stores on the high street. The new format is now in operation at Bluewater shopping centre as well as in stores in Bristol and Liverpool. Doug Glenwright general manager, retail transformation at Thomson’s parent company Tui Travel will be sharing the thinking that went into the new stores and the experience gained through the process, at Internet Retailing Expo 2014 (IRX 2014). He spoke to Internet Retailing magazine ahead of the event.
What can a digital store add to a retailer’s online experience – and what can digital add to the shopper’s store visit? These are questions that Doug Glenwright, general manager, retail transformation at Tui Travel, has been tacklng as he’s led work on bringing digital into the store for Tui brand Thomson, which now has three next-generation stores in operation.
He’ll be sharing more details at IRX 2014, where he is a speaker in the Internet Retailing In-Store conference. But he also found time to give Internet Retailing magazine some early insights.
“The website is brilliant if you know what you want,” Glenwright told Internet Retailing magazine.
But, he adds, by visiting a store customers can tap into the expertise of staff, while also seeing content filtered in different ways. The aim of the digital store, he says, is to “stay relevant” on the high street and give customers choice about the way they discover and book their holiday.
In his IRX presentation, Glenwright has promised to “share a holistic view of the project with delegates.” He’ll be giving the warts-and-all view of the project from its conception to its launch and beyond. Issues including robustness and user testing, how new staff are trained, how existing behaviours are changing, and what staff and customers are telling Tui about the experience will all be covered.
Glenwright says he also expects to learn much during the course of his visit, as he listens to other leading retailers’ case studies and presentations. “Our design is as good as anyone else’s, but we need to be continually developing and not rest on our laurels,” he said. “Hopefully speakers at IRX will help highlight a lot that can be done.”
Find out more about the Internet Retailing In-Store conference here, and find out more about IRX 2014, and register for a free place, at www.internetretailingexpo.com.