Speaking at StarTrack’s 2016 Business Breakfast Series, held in Sydney late last week, Faye Ilhan, chief digital officer at Dan Murphy’s, said success is dependent on a constant, “cycle of adapting and evolving.”
“We all know that we have to focus on this new world because the way we shop has changed,” said Ilhan. “People say it’s changing; it has [already] changed.
“As an omnichannel retailer, we don’t measure the success of digital through the e-commerce it generates. That would be absolutely flawed in our instance. For us, success is measured by the seamless experience we provide for our customers.”
Ilhan said the biggest challenge facing a digital team within a large retailer is “challenging the status quo” and getting everyone to back the change.
“When you are in a large organisation where digital or e-commerce came afterwards, the mindset change that needs to happen in that organisation is the most critical, critical thing that needs to happen to achieve success,” Ilhan said.
“You can have the best structure in place and the best procedures in place and the best systems in place, but it’s only as good as the people who are willing to deliver it for you.”
Ilhan noted that it is the responsibility of the digital team to take everyone else in the organisation on that journey. Digital executives must have the interpersonal skills to demystify and simplify concepts for their counterparts across the organisation.
“If you are a fan of talking jargon so you can impress everyone with how clever you are in this industry, forget it. Because they [colleagues] won’t get you, and hence they won’t support you in the changes you need to do,” Ilhan warned.
Dan Murphy’s launched its online marketplace, Connections, in September 2014 to connect producers — wineries, distilleries and craft breweries — with customers.
Many of these products are small batch, not mass-produced, and therefore not ranged in the store network.
“We kicked off with 30 Australian suppliers and a range dominated by wine,” Ilhan said. “And now Connections has grown to stock 4000 products across wine, beer, spirits and accessories from 200 Australian suppliers.
“We’re pleased with the organic growth of Connections and we’re looking to quadruple the size of the business over the coming years.”
Over Christmas 2015, Dan Murphy’s used the Connections platform to expand beyond liquor by inviting premium Australian hamper companies to sign on to the marketplace.
“During Christmas we sold lots of hampers,” Ilhan said. “The stores loved it because they didn’t have to worry about shrinkage.”
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