What impact will Primark’s new website have on sales?

Primark unveiled the latest step in its digital strategy with the launch of its new website on April 7. The retailer says the site has been created to better connect the journey between online research and in-store shopping, with the site showcasing thousands of products from Primark’s best-selling ranges and a new feature that allows customers to check stock availability at their local store. .

Launching first in the UK, before rolling out to Primark’s other 13 markets in the coming months, the retailer believes the website represents a shift in the role of digital within its business and recognizes the role essential that can play online to support in-store sales, as it seeks to generate footfall and reach new customers.

Primark says the site will feature a significantly improved proportion of its product ranges and contain more product information and what it describes as “better” imagery.

Primark adds that as part of its digital expansion, it is testing digital marketing to support the site. For the first time, Primark will collect customer data to deliver more personalized marketing, as customers will be able to create an account, sign up to receive regular company updates and create a ‘wish list’ of their favorite products. .

Primark says the new site will allow the brand and its product ranges to be much more visible online when people are browsing.

“This launch represents an important milestone for Primark, changing the way we use digital to connect to our stores,” said Matt Houston, Group Director of Digital and Strategy at Primark. “We know that consumers today inform a large part of their clothing purchases by browsing online. We see a significant opportunity to drive more footfall and more sales to our stores by upping our digital game and ensuring that what we offer is more visible online. The new website gives us the opportunity to reach new customers who might not enter our stores now and tempt them with the great products and value we offer.

Andrew Brothers, Chief Information Officer, adds: “We know our new website is something our customers have been expecting from us for some time and we recognize that we have moved later than most in this space. However, it does bring an opportunity as we have been able to spend time understanding the role digital can play in improving our business. The new site is based on a modern and flexible technological architecture to offer our customers the best user experience.

Brothers adds that Primark has strengthened its team behind the website over the past few months to provide the foundation to provide customers with an “ever-improving digital experience in the months and years to come”.

How will Primark’s new non-transactional website benefit the business?

Consumers are still unable to make Primark purchases online – a point, according to Louise Deglise-Favre, associate apparel analyst at GlobalData, will impact the retailer’s growth.

“While the new website enhances Primark’s online presence and brings an added modernity to the brand, the lack of a transactional website will continue to be a major impediment to Primark’s future growth. The website update looks great and adds a lot more functionality to the original website, especially with the availability checker, but it doesn’t give consumers the convenience and ease of shopping online that they are now used to it.

She adds: “Opening a digital channel is a major investment, which I don’t think Primark is ready to make. Primark would have to invest in additional logistics and fulfillment capabilities, which can be very costly. Additionally, Primark is able to keep prices low through lower margins on its products, relying instead on volume to make profits. Substantial cost increases associated with the investment in opening an online channel could eat away at these already low margins and cause the brand’s profitability to plummet. Additionally, having an online presence will also mean dealing with returns, which can once be significant costs and eat into profit margins.

Deglise-Favre, however, thinks the new site will most likely help sales to some extent, as consumers will be able to see more products and find out if they’re available in their local stores.

“Consumers will be able to navigate easily and potentially see something they might want to buy in-store. However, by requiring consumers to physically go to the store, Primark loses out to competitors on the convenience front. The new website will contribute to its brand image, if only for the fact that when consumers search for the brand, they will find a well-designed, modern and functional website, as opposed to the archaic and disjointed website that it was before. ”

In March, following Primark’s announcement of a click-and-collect service, Deglise-Favre said a potential click-and-collect launch would be a “great” first step to launch its commerce proposition. electronic.

Primark owner Associated British Foods recently said it expects Primark’s first-half sales to be well over 60% on last year, with footfall on most markets, especially the UK and Ireland.

This article first appeared in Just Style.

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