Topps Tiles today underlined the strategic importance of giving its customer a convenient shopping experience across channels.
The tile and flooring retailer says for its customers, convenience means a seamless integrated shopping experience that encompasses PC and mobile, stores, telephone and tile fitters. While 99% of its customers visit one of its 340 stores at some point when buying tiles, it’s also the case that more than 75% of its customers use its website at some point. Fewer than 1%, however, only use online. By investing in the online and in-store digital experience, says Topps, it is seeing visitor numbers, conversions and online orders grow.
Investment in both the store and online experience in the first half of the year, it said, have included the introduction of an online tile visualiser, that can be viewed from in-store tablet computers. Online, a new checkout process and delivery options menu have been introduced, while tile selection has been made “more intuitive” and areas of the website have been redesigned to be more inspirational.
The company is also trialling smaller store formats in the London area. Its Topps Tile Boutique format has produced “encouraging” trading results and the format, currently in five stores, is set to be extended to 12 or 13 stores by the end of the year.
The update came as Topps Tiles published results for the half-year to March 28. Total sales of £104.0m were 6.4% ahead of the same time last year while like-for-like sales were up by 5.3%. Pre-tax profits of £9.1m were 15.2% ahead of last time.
Matthew Williams, chief executive, said the first half had been encouraging as Topps grew both sales and market share. “Initiatives to upgrade and rebrand our stores, making the shopping experience even more inspirational, have been well-received by customers. Our well-established trade offer is also ensuring that we keep pace with the accelerating ‘do it for me’ trend, as more customers than ever use a professional fitter for their tiling project.
“We have made a positive start to the second half, with like-for-like sales up by 5.1% in the first six weeks of the period. Looking ahead, we are well-positioned to grow our market share further as we continue to extend the appeal of the Topps brand.”