Endeavour Group has recorded online sales growth of almost 25% in the first six months of FY22, with online sales on track to exceed $1 billion for the full year.
The company – which has drinks retailers BWS, Dan Murphy’s and Jimmy Brings in its network – has announced the investment of $35 million in ecommerce and technology innovation through its digital arm endeavourX in the same time frame.
“We are accelerating digital to support our customers right across their shopping journey,” said endeavourX Director Claire Smith. “For the first time, we are seeing more customers engaging with our brands via the website or app than in our bricks and mortar stores – for example researching a product before going into a store – so our digital platforms have become the front door to all of our retail brands.”
endeavourX was formed in September 2019 to lead the digital and ecommerce capabilities for Endeavour Group, and the COVID-pandemic has further accelerated customer demand for contactless delivery or pick-up.
“We just had our biggest digital Christmas on record, and we are constantly looking at how we can innovate to meet and exceed the expectations of our customers – and those needs are changing at lightning speed,” Smith said.
Personalisation remains a priority for endeavourX after it built a personalisation engine to enhance Dan Murphy’s loyalty program My Dan’s last year.
“Understanding our customers more deeply allows us to provide them with a better experience,” Smith (above) explained. “For example, we can personalise offers and suggest interesting products to customers that they might have never even heard of, in the same way a streaming service would suggest a movie or tv-series based on what you’ve enjoyed before.” .
Smith said that in addition to enhancing online sales, the company was also committed to using digital to support customers and team members in its bricks and mortar stores.
“We are looking at how we can use technology and innovation to continue to enhance the customer experience in our physical stores,” she explained.
For example, endeavourX successfully launched a Dan Murphy’s drive-thru with number-plate recognition technology in September 2020 – which was the first time a retailer in Australia applied this technology to enhance customer experience. The service has since been introduced to more stores in the fleet.
Endeavour Group has also started rolling out Electronic Shelf Labels (ESL) across its BWS and Dan Murphy’s stores, making the company one of the first major retailers to use the technology in Australia.
“ESLs reduce paper usage and make our store teams more efficient, but we are also exploring how we can use them to help customers browsing in store, leveraging the app capabilities we have built,” Ms Smith explained.
The labels have NFC (Near Field Communication) technology embedded, so customers can simply tap the shelf label with their smartphones to get more product information real-time or read customer reviews.
The ESL technology also captures geo-location data, which will be used when creating planograms for stores in the future.
“This data will be analysed to create optimal shopping paths for our customers, and will help us create the most convenient customer experience possible,” she added.
According to Smith, investment in technology and innovation is also benefiting patrons of Endeavour Group’s Hotels business, which comprises 342 hotels across Australia.
“During the first half of this financial year, we completed the roll out of contactless order and pay capability across our hotels network, while also making progress on other exciting initiatives to enhance the experience of our hotel patrons,” she said.
As a result of the continued focus on technology and innovation, endeavourX is growing and recruiting across many capabilities – including Business Analysts, Product Managers, UX Designers, Service Designers, Optimisation Specialists, Data Scientists, Personalisation Analysts and Software Engineers – to join its 350+ team members.
“We are looking for innovative collaborative people who think outside the box, who want to help us create experiences and services that will thrill customers today, tomorrow and beyond. We are committed to agile ways of working, and we recently introduced self-selection to further empower our teams and help them learn and grow as we continue to expand” Smith added.
The roles can be found on the Endeavour Group careers portal.