The firm boasts more than 5.3m customers visiting its 550 stores across the country on a weekly basis, and hopes to garner even more interest with the arrival of transactional web support.
Positive customer feedback prompted Poundland to go ahead with the launch, which will initially run on a trial basis. It’s a ripe time for the company to go ahead and embrace ecommerce, however, with the UK’s online shopping market on course to double by 2018.
Online-only fashion retailer ASOS has demonstrated the power of online shopping by achieving a 27 per cent sales increase in June – a growth that outpaced that of international sales.
Poundland will stock more than 2,000 items online, all of which will still be priced at its staple £1, including items from Cadbury’s, Heinz and Coca-Cola.
Food shopping aside, consumers will also have the chance to buy seasonal products for Halloween and Christmas, cosmetics, cooking utensils, tools, leisure and entertainment items and more.
The caveat is that the delivery service, which has no minimum order value, will take up to five days to make a delivery and cost shoppers £4. It means they’ll have to spend enough to make it worth their while – although orders worth over £50 will be delivered free of charge.
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“We’re very pleased to have launched online. We now have over 550 stores across the UK which provide our customers with magic moments when they find amazing value products at our famous £1 price point,” said Jim McCarthy, Poundland’s CEO.
“Our online channel will make shopping even easier, it’s convenient and caters for shoppers who may not yet have a Poundland nearby, but who still want to benefit from the amazing value and remarkable treasure trove of lines we offer.”
Products have been grouped into categories to make the user experience a simple one, while a shuffle button on the site will scatter goods into a random order for consumers that a browsing without a specific purchase in mind.
Interestingly, the website also comes with a “scratchcard” feature that will offer customers the chance to secure special offers, such as free delivery and discounts.
Multi-channel commerce agency Ampersand was enlisted to develop the platform for Poundland, and the tech firm’s MD Darryl Adie confirmed the site is fully optimised to support shoppers across desktops, tablets and smartphones.
“In addition to showcasing the extensive product range available to buy online and in-store, the new website features gamification and bulk buying. The new features are sure to appeal to Poundland’s loyal customer base and new customers too,” he said.
If the service proves to be successful, the company expects to introduce a click and collect trial in 2016. The online launch comes just after Poundland was cleared by regulators to acquire rival firm 99p Stores for £55m in late August.
“There has been a significant rise in prominence of value retailers for UK shoppers. On the basis of the evidence to date, we do not think customers will be worse off from the merger,” said Philip Marsden, chair of the Competition and Markets Authority inquiry group.
Social delivery service Nimber, which is a part of the UK’s growing sharing economy, secured an $850,000 investment to grow its platform in August. The company is out to double in size by the end of the year, which will be achieved by aligning with retail partners.
Speaking to Real Business about the Poundland delivery launch, Ari Kestin, Nimber’s CEO, said: “Everyone loves a bargain and convenience, so it’s no surprise to see Poundland announce the launch of its online delivery service.
“What is surprising is that the brand has gone with a delivery model that doesn’t fit with its proposition in terms of offering great value for money and deliveries could take a staggering five days to arrive.
“We’re seeing more and more brands explore social delivery, providing customers with a service that is quick and often cheaper than traditional delivery methods – Poundland could enhance its offering by tapping into our growing community making deliveries throughout the UK as part of their everyday commute.”
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