Debenhams’ Australian website strategy paying dividends ahead of store launches

UK retail giant Debenhams has seen a massive spike in online sales after launching a dedicated Australian website.

The doors are open to Debenhams' dedicated Australian site

The (virtual) doors are open at Debenhams’ dedicated Australian website

In the lead-up to the opening of its first bricks and mortar store in Australia next year, the location has yet to be confirmed by the retailer, the company has launched a dedicated Australian website with the goal to further entrench itself with consumers.

Dasha Melyushkina, Debenhams’ head of ecommerce international, said the Australian-focused site had delivered an immediate uplift in sales and was already helping the company decide how it would frame its first Australian store.

Dasha Melyushkina

Melyushkina: “We have experienced double-digit growth”

“We are pretty happy with the numbers,” Melyushkina said. “We have seen double-digit growth across all segments.”

While the retailer already enjoyed strong traffic in Australia through its original UK site, the decision to develop a focus on the local market has enabled it to capitalise on its strong position in fashion.

Marketing for the Australian site has been largely confined to Melbourne as Debenhams made the most of the Spring Racing Carnival, with out-of-home advertising, some magazine placements and a digital campaign alerting shoppers to the Australian site.

The digital campaign was also assisted by some programmatic buying.

Sales of womenswear has jumped by 47%, in revenue terms, on the local site compared with the UK site, while men’s accessories has lifted by 61% compared with the six months before the new site was launched.

Perth, Melbourne and Sydney have been the cities where the brand has proven most popular.

“In terms of plans for next year it is just to continue growing and tinkering with the site  and offering interesting products and exciting brands,” she said.

‘The next big deal is Christmas,” she said.

The retailer will also aim to leverage the big online shopping days, Click Frenzy and Black Friday and after Christmas will then turn its attentions to Back to School sales and Valentine’s Day.


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