House of Fraser is the biggest premium department store retailer in the UK. We have 61 stores, and our key position in the market is that premium level with multiple brands. We’ve worked hard to increase our sophistication in the multichannel arena, so that we offer our customers the ability to shop anywhere, anytime, any place.
We have been trying to meet those needs in a variety of ways. Including offering buy and collect, and we see about 35% of our sales come through that channel. As well as mobile site, redesigning our website for touch first.
We constantly try to push the boundaries in terms of our buy and collect service. So we know we have marketing leading proposition, so you can order up to midnight and collect the next day from 12pm in any one of our 61 stores. So we are constantly trying to shorten the time between order and delivery.
The touch first website that we rolled out last year and again won lots of awards, and seen some great increases in conversion rates. And saw a great response, huge redesign in terms of button sizes for fingers and in terms of some of the images and the performance on mobile devices. So we know tablet conversion increased by around 20%.
We see our online sales growing at a really fast rate, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing. So, last year we grew up 32.5%, year on year and that was one of the best in our competitive class. Obviously Commerce Cloud is there to support that growth, so it wouldn’t be possible without them.
We’ve worked with Commerce Cloud since 2007 and we feel very positive about the partnership. It’s really enabled us to innovate probably faster than we would have done other wise, with the release cycles, access to new features, support with experts, and great detail in terms of how to utilize the new features. It’s definitely helped us to innovate faster and supported us in terms of recommendations, and key initiatives in the market place.
We’ve experimented with lots of different store formats, and now we have a number of online stores. Customers can view the product before they order it, and collect at that location. So that allows us to increase of physical footprint across the country without opening 300,000 square foot store.
I think we are beginning to talk less about the different channels, different markets, and we’re now just talking about any place, any time, any where, and the fact that it’s got to be relevant. So with that comes some key initiatives around single view of inventory. To make sure that customers can view stock and stores online, and likewise can view online stock in stores.
So everything that can increase convenience and make it easier for customers so they don’t feel online offline separately and they transfer between channels without really noticing.