Blog Post - Joanna Temple, Oct 22 2014

Selfridges revamps online presence

Selfridges revamps online presence

Having lived out of a “baby bag” for the last three years, following the birth of my twins, I felt I deserved a treat, in the shape of a “luxury” handbag and thoroughly enjoyed the window shopping and in-store experience, on a recent trip to London.

Knowing that my colleagues at Wunderman Thompson Commerce have helped Selfridges revamp and deliver their new responsive website which launched early October, I thought I’d check out the online experience as well.

With added click and collect and enhanced functionality designed to make the shopping experience easier for customers using their smartphone or tablet (60% of Selfridges traffic comes from mobile channels), I wasn’t disappointed. I experienced a very nice looking site and digital experience that was, quick, clean, easy and informative across different devices.

Browsing the handbags, I was easily able to refine my search and really liked the mouse over image that showed the inside of the bag. I really did feel a sense of quality, as I investigated further.

An alluring description, written with skill, accompanied the item along with a handy wish list functionality, that will be great for Christmas :-).

The checkout was easy and I like the fact that they offer a 30 minute free parking service when you click and collect from the London store, or the option of delivery at a time that suits me. It’s those things that make the most difference to good customer service. I like the fact that the site is also aimed at international customers with landing pages in a variety of different languages, a tax free service as well as international delivery. I might be biased, but I think the site is pretty impressive and goes a long way to exude luxury and mimic the instore experience, while providing the added benefits of shopping online, including convenience and the ability to thoroughly research my choices. And I love my new handbag!

Graham Charlton at Econsultancy has done a more in-depth review of the new Selfridges site and interviewed Selfridges’ Simon Forster on their Multichannel Retail Strategy .

Some other interesting facts about Selfridges online

Selfridges online sales have doubled each year since it launched the business online in 2010. The site has over 1 million weekly visits, 30 percent more traffic than its nearest department store competitor, according to data from Hitwise, which monitors online consumer behavior.

  • currently has around 1 million visitors per week, with 60% using mobile devices, compared to 24% this time last year.
  • The site offers delivery to over 60 countries with landing pages in Mandarin, Arabic and Russian.
  • Selfridges has taken its Wonder Room online. Using click and collect, customers can buy high value jewelry and watches online and either collect and buy in store or try them in store with personalised advice and service. Cartier is the first brand to trial this with other Wonder Room brands located in its Oxford Street store to follow in the next year.

UPDATE: 04/11/2014 - Selfridges records highest profits in its history Veebs Sabharwal, for Retail Gazette

The luxe department chain, which has something of a landmark flagship store on London’s busy Oxford Street as well as branches in Birmingham and Manchester, saw sales rise in the 2013 fiscal year to £1.2bn - a 10.4% increase compared to the previous year. Operating profits increased 12.3% to £150m, the highest in its 105 years of trade, as the store continues to push into the luxury market.

Selfridges said it continued to see year-on-year growth in all retail channels. This includes its online business, particularly international sales, after the launch of international delivery to more than 60 countries last August. More here.