AS AN UPMARKET retail brand, House of Fraser makes above average promises, so keeping those promises is vital. Customer research gives it valuable insights that it can act on and it has, for example, introduced a variety of delivery services while also enabling convenient collection from stores. Shoppers can specify whether they’d like home delivery before or after noon, the same day or next day – or on another nominated day.
It’s a well-honed suite of delivery services but the retailer has a demanding demographic in mind when it designs services. Speaking at InternetRetailing Expo 2016, Sarah Stagg, director of digital product at House of Fraser, said the increasing convenience of mobile was driving Generation Impatient, whose members won’t wait for anything. “They have high expectations and people have to meet them,” she said, noting that retailers that meet those expectations stand to profit. Stagg cited figures that suggest while 70% Mobile is, she said, key to bridging the gap between online and stores. House of Fraser innovations in online digital experiences include the use of augmented reality from Layar. It’s an approach that’s also illustrated through a mobile app that links the store and online: customers can easily find a local store and whether a particular item is in stock. Once in the store, customers can use the app’s barcode scanner to find more product information.
This app stood out in InternetRetailing testing for being bug-free, while House of Fraser’s mobile website loads quickly – in 8.9s, compared with an average 12.8s. The retailer is swift to respond to customers, answering an email from researchers in 24m and a Facebook query in 13m – far better than the averages of almost 52 hours and 26h 30m respectively.