Selfridges invests £40m to 'future-proof' digital offering

Selfridges has ploughed £40m into a five-year plan to “future-proof” its multichannel offering, unveiling a revamped website, plans for a dedicated app in 2015 and a wider rollout of its click and collect service.

The move marks the biggest single investment in Selfridges.com since it launched four years ago.

Speaking to The Drum, the brand’s head of digital marketing, Claire Higgins, said the roadmap over the coming years is still being refined with plans for 2015/16 currently under review due to the pace of change in retail technology.

However, the immediate priority has been the overhauled site.

Created in-house with Salmon as its development partner over the past 18 months, it has been stripped back with a cleaner design while new options such as a quick view of products and wish list functionalities have been built in.

Curated content has been given greater prominence on the homepage, including user-generated content from social channels, with Nicola Copping —former digital editor at Marks & Spencer and editor-in-chief of Mywardrobe.com – brought in to oversee to its direction and integration within the site.

It is fully responsive across mobile and tablet – currently 60 per cent of Selfridges.com traffic comes from those channels. There is no dedicated app, but Higgins explained that it is in the works next year.

She added: “The site is integral, but there are also wider projects planned like Wi-Fi in-store – Oxford Street is just about to come - and thinking about how Selfridges’ consumers interact with the brand as well as the international business and how we can localise the offering [over a quarter of visits to Selfridges.com coming from outside of the UK.]”

Part of the digital roadmap is also the expansion of its click and collect service, The Wonder Room, which launched in 2013 exclusively with Cartier. The service allows consumers to purchase jewellery and watches online and then pick up via a Cartier concept store.

“We’ve been looking to bring the Wonder Room into Selfridges.com and how we can offer that one-to-one service with the other brands we have,” added Higgins, revealing that other brands are lined up to join the service ahead of Christmas – although she refused to be drawn on the finer details.

However, some 100 new brands have joined its roster to coincide with the site’s launch, including Victoria Beckham, Bruno Cucinelli and Burberry.

The new look Selfridges.com rolled out today (1 October).

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