Argos: get on the fast track - The Strategy and Innovation Report 2015
Argos first announced its digital transformation plan back in 2012. Since then, the retailer has worked hard to reinvent itself, introducing a number of initiatives. The retailer has introduced a number of initiatives that illustrate its determination to deliver on strategy and innovation.
In October, it unveiled its in-house Fast Track home delivery service – allowing customers to get same-day deliveries up to 10pm for £3.95 on items that can be ordered as late as 6pm. The service is available seven days a week, 364 days a year on a range of 20,000 products. The company has recruited its own fleet of more than 3,300 new drivers, who will be based at the companiy’s stores supplementing the same-day Shutl service it previously used.
The new service comes only a few weeks after the company also launched fast-track store collection in-store, allowing those who have pre-paid online to pick up goods at the store’s Fast Track collection counters within 60 seconds of being served.
It’s yet another innovative move from the company that popularised the click-and-collect model in the UK. “Argos led the way with click and collect 15 years ago, and customers can continue to shop with us in the traditional ways if they choose to,” John Walden, chief executive of Home Retail Group, said at the launch of the new service. “But we believe Fast Track is the next big innovation and brings shopping into the digital age for customers, allowing them to get 20,000 products in their hands faster than ever before. No other retailer can offer the breadth of products immediately or at that speed.”
The functionality has been enabled by Argos’ focus on stock availability and visibility – another key focus within innovation for retailers today. Argos claims an enviable 99.99% accuracy on stock compared to an industry average of 70%.
Innovation has continued throughout the business – from the launch of iPads in-store and web-based browsers for product viewing, to the introduction of top-end brands such as Mamas & Papas. Argos has also launched a digital hub above its offices in London, which is focused on digital innovation.
The change to a new way of working is crucial for Argos and its customer base. Argos has predicted three quarters of its sales will be digitally led by 2018, so innovation remains key.