Homewares chain Bed Bath & Beyond has 57 physical stores around New Zealand, but after seeing online sales grow by 40 percent in 2016, is capitalising on this by investing in a new ecommerce website.rn
Chief executive Trevor Brown says Bed Bath & Beyond has been seeking a replacement website for the last two years. The current set-up was launched in 2012.
The new site will be created by ecommerce solutions company eStar, and will go live in May 2017. Brown says Bed Bath & Beyond wants “all the bells and whistles going” before September.
Bed Bath & Beyond chose eStar out of a desire to go with an ecommerce specialist, Brown says. The chain’s ERP software will remain unchanged, and will be “decoupled” from the ecommerce platform.
“We want a flexible functionality that allows multilayered promotions,” Brown says.
The new ecommerce platform will introduce click and collect facilities, and integrate inventory across online and physical stores. In store, staff will be able to see customers’ integrated purchase history including warranties and receipts. More options will be
available to personalise the buying experience for high-value customers, such as enclosing handwritten notes in deliveries.
Brown says that because the company has a lot of SKUs, a need has developed for a platform which gives the customer efficient ways to browse through them – the new website will deliver this.
Social media will also become a bigger part of Bed Bath & Beyond’s strategy once it has a website that’s better equipped to integrate it.
Bed Bath & Beyond gained headlines at the start of this year after snapping up a number of Dick Smith’s vacant sites. Brown describes this as “an opportunity that presented itself”, but the chain is now concentrating on expanding a new ‘home store’ format.
The format was launched late in 2014. The 11 existing home stores are around twice the size of standard Bed Bath & Beyond outlets, with a broader range of products on offer. Brown says the website will allow Bed Bath & Beyond to offer that range to all of New Zealand.
Bed Bath & Beyond plans to roll out four to five home stores per calendar year.