Salmon Case Study: Halfords Multichannel eCommerce
Halfords – A Breakthrough in Multi-Channel Retail
Halfords is the UK’s leading specialist retailer for automotive parts and
accessories, cycling and leisure. Salmon have been helping Halfords implement
their multi-channel strategy since 2005. Responsible for designing, developing,
integrating and supporting the various solutions that optimise the Halfords
shopping experience across store, web and mobile.
Historically Halfords did what most other retailers do when it comes
to multi-channel retail, they offered customers an in-store shopping
experience OR an eCommerce experience. This single channel approach
meant that Halfords main differentiators, their helpful store colleagues
and well-stocked stores, were not there to close the deal.
Consumers like to interact with Halfords products, and discuss them with
shop assistants. Whether a bike, a car seat or just a windscreen wiper,
in fact, for every pound spent online, ten pounds is spent in-store by
people who clearly need the store experience that is Halfords
Salmon worked with Halfords to offer a hybrid solution, Reserve and
Collect; all the benefits of online shopping including product guides,
customer ratings, selection tools, videos, plus the benefit of being able
to save on delivery costs, and the convenience of store collection with
Halfords benefiting from additional sales of accessories in store. This
was a great success, driving an increase in web customers visiting
Halfords stores and Reserve and Collect accounting for 81% of online
sales. Customers now had the best of both worlds. The value and
choice of a great website, plus the physical interactons of a great
retail environment, one enriching the other.
In August 2010 Salmon enhanced Halfords existing commerce
infrastructure to launch a mobile optimised website, a first for a non
clothing brand. The mobile site was so successful that Halfords saw
an immediate 200-300% growth in website traffic to the mobile site.
Halfords were one of the first mass UK retailers to offer PayPal as
a mobile payment method, allowing customers to choose to pay
by credit/debit card or PayPal.
Easy to use. The store locator
was particularly useful when
I was stuck somewhere in
London needing wiper blades!
Very helpful, very convenient.
Halfords current mix of channels now looks like this:
466 stores in the UK and Republic of Ireland
More than 40 million store visits/year
Over 9,300 employees
Over 14,400 in-store product lines (Over 400,000 available to order)
Fitting and repair services carried out in-store by trained staff
43 million visitors (year to March 2012)
Web traffic is growing at an annual rate of over 10%
Online sales currently (FY12) represent approximately 9.0%
of Halfords retail sales
Reserve and Collect and Free Delivery to Store, Home
and Work delivery
81% of online sales come through Reserve and Collect
(as outlined above)
Text and Reserve, Reserve and Collect, Free Delivery to Store
Accounts for 17% of online traffic and 12% of orders (by value)
Since launching the mobile site, conversion has doubled and traffic
has grown at almost 250%
In June 2011 Salmon developed iPhone and Android apps for Halfords
enabling customers to:
Find a shop using GPS, check opening hours, access store pages
for every UK store, access comprehensive advice centres and ring
the store if necessary.
Scan in-store barcodes, accessing additional product information
that previously only online shoppers could enjoy, like detailed
product specification, related accessories, customer reviews
and informative videos.
Scan in point-of-sale QR codes to access more advanced product
selection guides, like entering your car registration number to see
which oil you should buy.
Order items for home, work or store delivery as well as Reserve
A fantastic app that’s easy to
use and gives you all the info
you could need to shop at
Halfords. The camera scan
is an excellent addition
by Cameron Cornish
Useful app, very easy to get to the
stores opening times
Great app, simple to use!!
Halfords did well here as always!!
Halfords believe they have the richest form of truly integrated and
simultaneous multi-channel retail ever, which is already being enjoyed by
over 60,000 people who have downloaded the apps to date.
The app has earned an average three star rating (the average is 2.7 for
retailers) with numerous five star ratings and comments including “A
fantastic app”, “This app is brilliant” and “Very helpful, very convenient”.
Halfords staff are also enjoying the apps. Store managers have reported
that their staff use the apps to support face-to-face discussions with
customers, providing critical information they may not know off the top
of their heads. A completely unexpected positive by-product.
Improved Customer Experience
Customers can now mix and match the best of eCommerce and retail
like never before. For example:
Nipping out in the lunch break, trying out all the bikes until they
choose one they like, and then scanning in the code and ordering
it for delivery to their home address.
Ordering a car bulb online, and then driving to the store to have
Ordering a product not stocked in their local store and having it fitted
when they collect.
Smartphone owners can now access the depth of product information
and selection tools normally only enjoyed by online users, with the scan
of a barcode, including:
Customer ratings and reviews
Product and price comparisons
Buy or reserve
Interactive tools that identify vehicles from their registration plate
and then recommend the right product for that specific model
Transactional texts (opted into by over 90% of customers)
The strategy has had a profound impact on sales:
Traffic from mobile has increased by 248% (2.8m to 9.8m visitors)
Multi-channel revenues have grown from £19.4m in 2008 to 70.1m
in 2011 (year-on-year growth has been +36.4%, way ahead of the
industry average of 19.9%).
New functionality encourages cross-and up-sell
Year on year Halfords has seen a ten point increase in their Net
Promoter Score, largely because of a substantial (ten point) increase
in the number of people citing “ease of shopping experience” as their
reasons for giving a high score.
This has helped Halfords grow its revenues by 4.6% for the year
ending March 2011, now totalling £869,700,000.
Growth in multichannel in 2011
The following graphs show 2011 has seen substantial growth
in multichannel sales and online customers visiting stores:
Multichannel Revenue Growth
2008 2009 2010 2011
rose by 36.4%
The Order & Collect
service has driven
a 5.3% increase
in web customers
Return on Investment
Halfords has enjoyed £20 cash margin for every £1 invested in the
mobile site and apps in the period since it launched in August 2010,
meaning an ROI of 20:1.
Halfords approach has been so successful that they are continuing to
invest heavily in an evolving multi-channel development strategy with
increased focus on mobile, including:
Further communication of mobile capabilities in-store
QR code tracking for in-store mobile optimisation
Personalisation and re-targeting using IBM Coremetrics and Criteo
Tablet optimisation: ensuring the app detects the device and
so tablets and smartphones get suitable sites
Salmon is a highly innovative global systems integrator whose commitment to on-time, on-budget projects
is increasingly embraced by the leading names in retail, insurance and financial services markets. Since 1989,
leading brands have been turning to Salmon for its ability to build, integrate and support business-led systems
that add measurable competitive value to their day-to-day operations – and to their bottom line. Salmon quickly
understand business needs, creates realistic development schedules, and efficiently delivers solutions to plan;
based around an ethos that marries a depth and breadth of development skills, with a management process
that removes virtually all risk from successful project roll-outs. Customers include Argos, Boots, Bristol & West,
Halfords, Novae, Swiss Re and W.R. Berkley.
Salmon is headquartered in Watford, Hertfordshire and has offices in the US, China and Australia.
For more details about Salmon visit www.salmon.com.
64 Clarendon Road • Watford • Herts • WD17 1DA
Tel: +44 (0)1923 320000 • Fax: +44 (0)1923 320023 • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
*All rights reserved. All company and product names, brands and symbols mentioned herein are brand names and/or registered trademarks of their respective owners.