Bunnings is marking the official launch of click and collect in Victoria on Tuesday, with a pop-up ‘virtual store’ in Melbourne’s Federation Square and free snags for visitors from 7am to 6pm.
The hardware chain has been rolling out click and collect in stores across Victoria over the past week, following its rollout of the service in Tasmania earlier this year. The service is now available in 74 stores across the two states.
Bunnings is working towards having a national click-and-collect offer by the end of 2019. It also plans to expand the service to New Zealand.
“We had a really great response from our Tasmanian customers and while it’s still very early days for Victoria, we’ve already had a number of orders come through,” Mike Schneider, Bunnings’ managing director, told Inside Retail.
“It’s all about offering customers even more choice and convenience and making sure we are giving customers the ability to shop wherever they want and whenever they want.”
A latecomer to e-commerce, Bunnings launched a “special order” range online in February 2018. It now offers most of its products online, and has introduced a number of new features to improve its website.
“Live chat is one element in the evolution of our offer and we have had it in play for some time. It has enabled us to provide greater customer assistance online and we will continue to test and learn with this technology,” Schneider said.
“We also recently introduced ratings and product reviews online to support our click and collect offer, along with new payment method choices including PayPal and ZipPay.”
Click and collect is another aspect of Bunnings’ evolving e-commerce offer. Rather than switching the flip for this fulfilment method across its entire network, the retailer is staging a progressive rollout, much like Ikea did when it started selling online in Australia.
This allows Bunnings to work out the kinks in smaller markets and improve the offering over time.
At the same time, Schneider said he is looking to improve Bunnings’ back-end systems to make them more efficient and cut costs.
Schneider this week is taking several executives on a study tour to Israel, where they will examine technology solutions in areas such as cyber security, online fraud detection, data analytics, robotics and artificial intelligence.
“For us it’s not just about selling more products, it’s about making our back-end systems more efficient and integrating emerging and new technologies to reduce cost and reinvest in the customer experience,” Schneider said.
Shopping and snags
Visitors to Federation Square on Tuesday will be able to try out Bunnings’ click-and-collect offer by shopping a range of more than 35,000 in its ‘virtual store’.
They can also get a free snag by taking and sharing a picture using the hashtag #tagforasnag. Bunnings will make a $2.50 donation to the Melbourne City Mission for every photo shared on Instagram.
Chefs Shane Delia and Adrian Richardson will be serving signature snags at the event.
Editor’s note: This article was updated at 10:22 AEST on 23/07/2019 with additional comment from Bunnings CEO Mike Schneider.