Dunelm chief executive, Nick Wilkinson, says new website was key to brand’s financial success

Written by Beth Cunniffe: Content manager.
· 4 minute read

Despite not taking part in Black Friday and other pre-Christmas sales, Dunelm posted sales of £1.1 billion in its most recent full-year results.

The home furnishings brand was boosted by a 33.2% increase in online sales and they now plan on adding 6,000 new online-only products to their website, including the introduction of a new Mindful Home collection in spring 2020.

Chief Executive Nick Wilkinson said the company’s new website was key to its success: “The launch of our new digital platform during the quarter marked an exciting milestone for us.”

“The transition to a modern, flexible, cloud-native platform has already improved our customer experience and will allow us to step change our retail innovation capabilities going forward. Our customers have responded well to the new website during Christmas and winter sale trading.”

In 2018, Dunelm announced it was moving its core ecommerce business on to the Worldstores platform it acquired in 2016. This improved its digital development capabilities and enabled Dunelm to offer its customers the option to choose Click and Collect delivery which boosted footfall to stores.

Tablet-based selling has also been rolled out across stores to aid customer service in the physical shops.

It goes to show how invaluable a strong digital presence can be in the retail sector, and having a robust web platform with a focus on UX and CRO is vital. Additionally, conversions are much more measurable and trackable in a digital format and you can glean so much more information by analysing digital results. Information that can be then used to improve and inform strategies in the physical store.

Dunelm admit they were a little slow to get on the digital train but they’re certainly making up for it now.

Similarly, Next were slow to invest in the digital arm of their business but when they did, saw higher than expected returns which lead to them making plans to increase expenditure on digital marketing by at least 28%.