Britain is turning into a dot.com nation. By May 2001 10 million homes had connected to the Internet compared with 6 million a year earlier. In addition, many people access the Internet through cyber cafés and through access at schools, colleges and universities. In recent years, more and more people (particularly the young) have turned to electronic purchasing. The number is certain to increase.
Retailers simply cannot afford to ignore these developments. However, not all retailers are equally well placed to take advantage of this changing environment for trade. This case study looks at why Dixons turned to the Internet, and why for them it is proving a success.
The Dixons Group is the largest specialist consumer electricals retailer in Europe. The Group operates in eleven Western European countries. Its UK retail operations include Dixons, Currys, PC World and The Link. In 1997, Dixons created the first fully transactional on-line service in the UK. Its two main reasons for doing this were:
Dixons anticipated the growth in on-line e-commerce trading
Dixons wished to strengthen the visibility of the brand, particularly among PC and internet users.
If leading brands are to maintain their position, they need to be continually brought to the public’s attention. The Internet offered new, powerful opportunities for publicity and sales. Dixons is forward-thinking. Its consumers are changing all the time and looking for new shopping opportunities. Hence, it is highly aware of the importance of multi-channel selling, and of the need to exploit fully those channels that give greatest value to customers and which are growing in popularity. To meet the needs of today’s market place, Dixons has created systems that enable customers to buy at any time, from any place and from anywhere. Dixons concentrates its activities on: