Retail review - Argos Internet Retailing In-Store
Review of Argos, Old Kent Road store, by Reeta Junankar, Consulting Manager, Javelin Group
Argos is one of the UK’s leading multichannel GM retailers with a strong cross-channel offer spanning web, mobile, tablet and stores.
In store customers can browse a digital catalogue on a touch-screen, which incorporates website features such as search, refinement and buying guides however, there is no seamless transition into the transactional stage of the journey. The customer is still forced to manually note down the catalogue number and take it to either a second ‘Quick Pay’ terminal or the till to pay (as the ‘Quick Pay’ terminal does not facilitate cash payments). The final stage of the customer journey is well-supported: the collection area is well signposted and a digital screen displaying the order numbers manages queues effectively.
The digital catalogue terminal user experience is functional but is not particularly inspiring or customer-friendly. Some good features are available, such as search, merchandising, buying guides and customer services information. However, navigation is uninspiring: mainly list-based and there are no category pages, and browsing can be disorientating as the terminals do not leverage pinch-and-swipe functionality and no breadcrumbs are shown. Moreover, the large number of product reviews and ratings available on the full desktop website are not shown on the in-store digital catalogue. Best practice in-store digital terminals would broadly replicate the full desktop website in terms of functionality and content but be heavily tailored for an experiential in-store touch-screen experience: Argos’ terminal, however, fails to add much incremental value beyond the paper catalogue sitting next to it.
Argos’ ‘Check & Reserve’ now accounts for over 30% of total sales and the corresponding in-store journey is smooth and facilitated by the Quick Pay terminal. Signage to support customer navigation is clear. But customers looking for home delivery cannot arrange this on the ‘Quick Pay’ terminal and must seek a member of staff to do so: this falls short of industry standards where in-store ordering for home delivery on digital terminals is fairly common.
Quick Pay terminal user experience is similarly uninspiring but functional (fast and efficient) and benefits from the integration of a secure card reader for instant payment.
Single customer view is limited at Argos: there is a card enabling payment by instalments but no loyalty card enabling the terminals to recognise the customer. Furthermore, mobile technology is not fully leveraged: Argos’ mobile app does not yet link with in-store terminals to trigger order details on screen.
Biography: Reeta Junankar is a Consulting Manager in Javelin Group’s Strategy practice.