Online sales and staffing surge at hhgregg
With e-commerce growing 25.5% year over year during the first quarter of fiscal 2016, home appliance and consumer electronics retailer hhgregg Appliances Inc.is plugging more resources into its e-commerce efforts.
CEO Dennis May told analysts on the retailer’s quarterly earnings call the company has doubled the size of its e-commerce staff while tweaking its site to improve its offerings. Among the changes: a new look to its main e-commerce site and back-end improvements resulting in faster load times. Hhgregg, No. 255 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide, does not provide dollar amounts for online sales.
“As an omnichannel retailer, we continue to see a strong correlation of brick-and-mortar sales, driven by our comprehensive website,” May told analysts on the call, according to a transcript from Seeking Alpha.
E-commerce growth helped buoy what was otherwise a dismal start to the new fiscal year. Hhgregg reported net sales of $441.1 million, down 6.6% from $472.3 million during the same time last year.
Heading into the rest of fiscal 2016, the retailer is investing in mobile. The company launched a mobile app on Apple and Android earlier this year, and May told analysts traffic on mobile devices is approaching half of all visits to the retailer’s website.
“Though it still amounts for a relatively small portion of the online purchases, it is a significant driver of in-store purchases,” May said. “There is a tremendous correlation between mobile research and in-store conversion. So we are spending significant resources there, dollars there, and we believe one of the great learnings that we are continuing to explore and exploit is using mobility, digital search to drive customers into our store.”
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