Woolworths looks to digital's impact on in-store sales

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Woolworths looks to digital's impact on in-store sales
Woolworths' shopping list functionality (Credit: Woolworths/Google AUNZ)

Not just on how much it drives customers to shop online.

Woolworths is looking outside of just e-commerce sales when measuring the impact of investments into digital, instead seeking to understand how digital also impacts in-store transactions.

Director of new business, digital and media at WooliesX, Faye Ilhan, told a Think with Google series that measuring digital’s impact on e-commerce sales alone did not provide a complete picture of the “connected customer experience”.

“Do not measure the success of digital through ‘eCom’ alone,” Ilhan said.

“Around 60 percent of our customers who shop in-store start their journey on our web and apps so that they can plan their shop, and the key here is understanding the impact that digital investment has on in-store transactions.

“If you measure the success of digital through ‘eCom’ sales alone, you will do a disservice to your customers, to your teams, and to the future success of your organisation.”

Ilhan suggested that data science may play a role in understanding how digital activity translates to in-store.

“Using our data we’re able to quantify and see what influence exposure to a campaign’s digital properties generated in our in-store transactions,” she said.

“Being able to link and really influence and measure digital and in-store shopping journeys is really the key opportunity for brands.”

Ilhan said that Woolworths had also set up its apps and features in a way where digital complemented in-store shopping.

“An example of a connected customer experience for a Woolworths customer is when they’re creating their shopping list online,” she said.

“Whether that is through looking at specific products, or their previous purchases, or just doing meal planning through recipes, the customer can add all of these into what we call a shopping list.

“With that shopping list, they can go into a store, and it recognises the store that they’re in and the planogram that is in that store, so it will actually sort your shopping by aisle so that you never forget anything and you’re out pretty quickly.”

A planogram is essentially a floor map of where to find different things in a retail store.

Ilhan added that she has taken a keen interest in data science at WooliesX, and took monthly briefings from the company’s data practice “so that I have a better understanding of their craft”.

That enabled her to “become their advocate and also connect the dots when I’m in different areas and discussions to create these business opportunities,” she added.

In its FY21 results on Thursday, Woolworths said it saw 12.1 million weekly visits across its web and app each week, a 25.8 percent increase on FY20 levels.

E-commerce sales came in at $3.5 billion, up 74.7 percent year-on-year, while the retailer cracked the 2 million mark for the number of customers transacting online, which is up 24 percent compared to in FY20.

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