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Debenhams will be rolling out click-and-collect services from Doddle to all of its stores following a successful trial.
The department store’s 165 UK locations will have access to the Doddle click-and-collect services in 2019, with many being finished and available by Spring.
Ross Clemmow, managing director, retail, food, digital and events at Debenhams, said the Doddle trial gave customers visiting to pick up or drop off packages a chance to interact with the “re-imagined shopping experience” Debenhams is trying to offer.
“The fact that the partnership [with Doddle] has driven six figure parcel volumes within the first few months of trial provides testimony to the fact that together we’re providing a service UK consumers really value,” he said.
When Debenhams trialed the service in 50 of its stores, it found that 30% of customers who came into stores to use the Doddle counter went on to make purchases in-store to the average basket value of £25.
Around 150,000 customers chose a Debenhams store to click-and-collect, and of those Doddle customers who went on to make purchases, 40% had never shopped in a Debenhams before.
Since customers have access to digital technology which helps them to shop when and how is convenient to them, they have become less loyal to particular stores and brands, and so using Doddle to draw a more digital customer-based into stores could be helpful for helping Debenhams to draw in a new demographic.
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Since its partnership with Doddle will allow customers to collect and return items from retail partners such as ASOS, Amazon, Missguided and Wiggle at Debenhams stores, this could help to convert a different audience into Debenhams customers, and the retailer has recently attempted to give customers a better in-store experience.
This move towards customers being more digital and omni-channel in nature means physical stores are being pushed to change their purpose, and Tim Robinson, Doddle CEO, said click-and-collect is playing a role in making the highstreet more relevant in the digital world.
“The conversion of that footfall into such meaningful sales during the trial period demonstrates the crucial role click-and-collect services like ours can play during this critical time for the UK high street,” he said.
Increasingly stores are moving towards a “showroom” type approach where they are destinations for experiences as opposed to making purchases, and those who are failing are dropping off of the high streets.
Debenhams has been working to transform its business over recent years, hiring a new technology and supply chain manager in 2017 to work towards the retailer’s plans to make its stores part of a “shopping experience” and promote the concept of “social shopping”.
These plans include trying to bridge the gap between online and offline, moving some back-end staff into stores, and reducing the amount of stock.
The firm has also been cutting jobs in an effort to restructure its business to save money and make the business more efficient.