Succeeding in the online space

Published on Wed, 30/03/2011, 02:31:27

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By Aimee Chanthadavong

Known to be Australia’s largest online appliance retailer, Appliance Online, reported 2010 Christmas trade increased by 150 per cent over Christmas trading in 2009. 

But the question was how a team of 50 was able to do produce such a positive outcome while so many other retailers continue to struggle in the difficult trading environment.

Company CEO John Winning, who is the fourth-generation of the private-owned business, told RetailBiz that they took the fundamental traditional shopping experience and transferred it into the virtual arena in 2005. 

“When we first started with Winning Appliances we wondered why people weren’t looking at our business to buy replacement fridges and washing machines. We realised that many people wouldn’t be able to take time off work to physically visit a retail store when their fridge died, but as long as the fridge fitted the specifications required, and was a trusted brand, they would probably look for the quickest way to buy a replacement item, which was to go online,” he said.

“We figured out that people would be doing their research online and so we came up with Appliance Online that would specialise in providing people with a replacement in a one day transaction.” 

The company offers next day free delivery, as well as the option of same-day delivery in some cities, where customers who put their orders in before 2pm and will receive their orders that afternoon. It also ensures in responding to customer query within 11 seconds via email, phone, text, Facebook or Twitter.

“As a consumer there are not many things that you don’t want now. When you have a passion for something whether it be a fridge or a pair of shoes you definitely want it now and don’t want to have to wait a few weeks for the stock to come through,” Winning said.

He also said that while there is growing competition he is unfazed by them both locally and internationally.

“There’s very few [retailers] that don’t have an online presence now but we see it as whether you’re online or offline you still have to provide your customers with an extremely high standard of service and that’s what sets our business apart. We’ll start to see even more online retailers than offline retailers and that’s following a trend and growth in online shopping services,” he said.

“We’ve always competed against offline retailers. Equally, if there’s more competition it means there’s more choice for the consumer. We’re constantly innovating in terms of customer service by releasing new technologies such as 360 degree images of our products to give Appliances Online a competitive edge.”

In terms of moving forward and remaining competitive, Appliance Online is rolling out its offer of next day delivery in Perth and Adelaide. The company also has a mobile-friendly website. 

“The site has been scaled for use on mobile devices and it’s mobile user friendly already. But we do have a further mobile strategy in place and when we launch, we want to move beyond our current benchmark, which is currently pretty high. We will have a mobile site in the near future that will be very easy to use.”


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