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Primark responds to the shift online with launch of new non-transactional website

Primark has launched its new website, enabling shoppers to find the clothes and homewares they want to buy and check they are in stock before going in store to buy. The discount retailer, owned by Associated British Foods (ABF), says the launch represents a shift in the role of digital in its business and a recognition of the role that online can play in supporting sales in its stores, while helping to reach new customers and drive footfall.

Andrew Brothers, chief information officer at Primark, says: “We know our new website is something that our customers have wanted to see from us for some time and we recognise we’ve moved later than most in this space. However, that brings with it an opportunity as we’ve been able to spend time understanding the role digital can play to enhance our business.”

The retailer has launched the site in the UK first before rolling it out to its other 13 markets in months to come.

Matt Houston, group digital and strategy director at Primark, says: “This launch represents an important milestone for Primark shifting the way we’re using digital to connect to our stores. We know that consumers today inform a huge proportion of their clothing purchases by browsing online. We see a significant opportunity to drive more footfall and more sales into our stores by upping our game in digital and ensuring that what we offer is more visible online. The new website gives us the opportunity to reach new customers who might not be stepping into our stores now and tempt them with the great products and value we offer.”

The site features more of Primark’s products than its previous website. It shows them through more images – typically between three and five images per product page – and improved product information. It is also designed to make it easier to search the site, and to find products through navigational filters including size and colour. Availability checkers show green when a product is available in shoppers’ local store in the right size, orange when stock is running low, and red when it is sold out. Items marked grey are not available in the store.

Primark is now using digital marketing to support the site, using customer data for the first time to deliver more personalised market. Customers can create an account, sign up for regular news and make a wishlist of favourite products.

As a result, says Primark, its brand and product ranges will now be much more visible to online browsers, attracting more people to its shops.

Brothers adds: The new site is underpinned by a modern and flexible technology architecture to give our customers the very best user experience. There has been a fantastic team behind this launch, which we’ve bolstered in the last six to 12 months by attracting some amazing talent into our new Digital and Digitech functions – which continue to grow. This gives us the foundation to bring our customers a continually improving digital experience in the months and years to come.”

EPAM Systems has been the primary design and technology partner for the new website build, working with the in-house Primark team. The site features solutions from Bloomreach, Amplience, commercetools, Microsoft and Salesforce, while Publicis Groupe is the lead digital marketing agency. Primark says its modular approach will enable it to scale its digital capabilities in the future.

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