Print Email Facebook Twitter Web Retail Experience and the Outdoor Industry - Designing a new multi-channel retail strategy and web retail concept Title Web Retail Experience and the Outdoor Industry - Designing a new multi-channel retail strategy and web retail concept Author Allchin, A.R. Contributor Calabretta, G. (mentor) Creusen, M.E.H. (mentor) Faculty Industrial Design Engineering Department Strategic Product Design Date 2013-11-11 Abstract Equip Outdoor Technologies Ltd. (Equip) is interested in opening a web shop to sell its Rab brand of outdoor sports products directly to UK consumers. The rise of e-commerce creates an interesting opportunity for a multi-channel strategy with an online direct channel operating parallel to the existing independent retail channel. In this project a concept, strategy and experience are developed to allow Equip to pursue a successful multi-channel strategy. Equip is well suited to its role as a business-to-business company and the Rab brand is very strong in the UK. However, the company lacks some of the skills and framework necessary to sell directly to consumers. It also lacks insight into how its target market approaches the purchase of products. Equip is heavily reliant on its relationships with retailers. As a result Equip cannot compete on price and must sell products at RRP. In the new concept damage to these relationships must be limited and relative to the potential for success of the online direct channel. A study of business theory led to the selection of the model of the Buyer Decision Process as a structure for consumer research. Interviews with the target market showed that young climbers rely on the Internet during the early stages of the model but that brand websites (like Rab’s) play only a minor role in this. The target market’s three main product selection criteria were identified as performance, durability and fit. A shortlist of products is created that match these criteria based on information mainly gathered on the Internet. Price only becomes a factor when selecting from the shortlist. However, they very rarely pay full RRP for a product, instead they wait for a sale or choose another product from the short-list that is discounted. The target market tends not to buy premium outdoor sports clothing (Rab’s core products) online because they feel the need to try it on in-store first. The information available on the Internet is not sufficient to fully satisfy their perception of the three main criteria, especially fit. The findings of the consumer research made it clear that a Rab web shop with full priced products would be unlikely to attract many customers. The concept therefore looked to design an “information strategy” for the Rab brand website to make it a more important resource for information during the early stages of the buyer process. In the short-term this means more Rab products appear on short-lists and are therefore bought more often. In the long-term the outdoor sports industry is expected to catch up with other industries and also become more e-commerce based. The strategy will then help facilitate direct web shop sales. A number of features are developed and tested with members of the target market. Results from these tests are used to refine the final concept. The information strategy consists of a number of different features that are designed to appeal to the target market. The target market is provided with useful and interesting information throughout the buyer process. There are three main features that make up the information strategy. The three features are: Reviews by Rab’s sponsored athletes give professional views on products and their uses. An improved user rating system ensures more relevant and useful information from amateurs. Rab also provides more information on products; high resolution product photos show the quality of its products while activity categories help identify which products are suitable for different sports. A live chat feature offers customers personal product advice. Free delivery and returns help the web shop to be competitive with other retailers without dropping prices below RRP. A timeline for approaching a multi-channel strategy suggests first implementing the information strategy features fully before launching a web shop. The web shop can be launched in around two years although the first year of its operation should be focused on optimising conversion rates. Subject Direct channelE-CommerceOutdoor industrySportsInternet retailOnline retailStrategy design To reference this document use: http://resolver.tudelft.nl/uuid:f4ab750b-493a-4e1e-9885-e3b7e1a30148 Access restriction Campus only Part of collection Student theses Document type master thesis Rights (c) 2013 Allchin, A.R.