Liberty is laying the foundations around its online presence to introduce what it claims will be a “functional and fun” approach to omnichannel marketing as it looks to bring technology such as beacons and social media into its retail experience.
To create a true omni-channel single customer view, the retailer has hired Sapientnitro. A strategy for a new website will be signed off in the coming weeks, paving the way for a more coherent route between all its physical and virtual channels.
Details are yet to be finalised but the site will attempt to communicate the quirky and quintessentially British values of the store more clearly online, the business said.
Other digital initiatives including the use of beacons throughout its shop are also being considered but their introduction will be dependant on the success of the site and how consumers use it.
Liberty’s gradual move into the digital arena reflects apprehension internally that a flurry of technology all at once could dilute the in-store experience, which has become a core part of its positioning. However, support for digital is growing at the top of the business as it looks to evolve the brand experience in line with how people are shopping.
Ryan Thomas, multichannel director at Liberty, said: “As one of the best known and loved British retail brands, we understand how to delight our customers. We also understand that today’s customer wants more and as the landmark British retailer we continue to invest in engaging and serving our shoppers. SapientNitro will help us towards greater integration and realisation of a truly omni-channel strategy - and part of this challenge will be to create an experience that is both functional and fun.
“Our heritage means that we try and create the best possible customer experience to justify them making an investment in our brand, and if bricks and mortar stands any chance against internet retail, then we have to continue to offer our unique experience.
Liberty is not as active an advertiser as some of the other luxury retailers yet the limited marketing it has done has boosted visits and sales. Sales at the store rose 7 per cent to £124m in the year to 1 February, while annual visitor numbers climbed 5 per cent to 4.5 million.