Mothercare’s latest set of financial results (May 2016) were positive and came with a reconfirmation of the organisation’s top two global strategic priorities to become a “digitally led business”, “supported by a modern retail estate”.
While click and collect is generally available from its stores the next working day, Mothercare does not offer collection from other locations. Additionally, click and collect is not offered for “website exclusive” products. While it is possible to select a collection date, there is no email confirmation of this, but a text message is sent once an item is ready for collection. The collection points in store are very clearly signposted and conveniently located next to the “tills”. Online purchases, other than “website exclusive” items, can be returned and refunded in store. Offers are replicated across all channels: website, mobile and tablet apps. Order information does not always seem to be retained, however, as an order placed via the iPhone app was not stored in the order history and could not be tracked.
In-store experience & technology
Mothercare’s vision and strategy statements refer to “the introduction of digital screens and video walls, iPads, customer Wi-Fi and click-and-collect to all our stores”. While there is already evidence that some of this technology has been put in place, this does not yet extend to digital screens.
In store, customers can browse, order and pay for items via store assistants’ iPads – and if necessary return unwanted goods to any store. Mothercare also promotes the use of iPads within its personal shopping service, to support staff many of whom are skilled in specific product areas.
Mothercare, has made progress on delivering its corporate strategy and facilitating the transition from online to store. 41% of all online sales were generated in-store via iPads in the 12 months to end of March 2016. Clearly in store digital is very much a work in progress as there was no evidence of iPad usage by assistants or video walls or Wi-Fi during our store visits. However, telephone research revealed that its staff does have access to iPads, in particular, in the travel and home departments and video walls and Wi-Fi are present in some stores.
The Mothercare model consists of a wide range of product categories and its target audience comprises of digital natives. It is therefore necessary for the organisation to future proof by delivering and fulfilling its digital ambitions.
Digital Review — Score 18 / 25:
Collection in-store: 3
Mobile app: 5
Mobile web: 4
IPad app: 4
In-store tech: 2