Harrolds is launching an e-commerce platform with eStar. The recent pandemic has encouraged the retailer to accelerate its online offering while maintaining a strong customer experience. We sat down with Ross Poulakis, Managing Director of Harrolds, to discuss the launch.
The luxury department store is one of the country’s oldest privately owned retailers and has made the switch to e-commerce as a result of an accelerated digital space.
“From the onset, the challenge we set for eStar was to convey the in-shop experience as closely as possible online,” said Ross Poulakis, Managing Director of Harrolds.
“Digital is now a critical part of the customer journey for luxury goods and without a premium online offering, we couldn’t serve our customers as effectively as we wanted to. eStar delivered what we had envisioned for our customers and the response to our e-commerce service, especially during this unprecedented time, has been very positive.”
Harrolds decision to launch an e-commerce platform has been escalated due to the rapidly increasing digital offering across the country. while stores remain operating across Sydney, Melbourne and the Gold Coast, the new platform allows shoppers to organise a virtual styling consultation and use click and collect.
The operation began 12 months ago, thanks to an uplift in interest from consumers. “Our clients have been waiting for the launch of our e-commerce site and so far it has been well received,” Poulakis told Power Retail.
While creating the platform with eStar, there were a handful of requirements to establish the right boundaries between digital and physical. “We wanted to ensure we translated the same luxurious experience our clients received in our Harrolds stores online,” Poulakis explained. “We feel as though we have delivered this through our concierge services and elite packaging suite.”
While the brick-and-mortar stores remain the leader for the retailer, the untapped e-commerce potential couldn’t have come at a better time. Social distancing forced customers to stay inside, turning to online to continue their every day lives.
“At Harrolds, we’re grateful that even during this downtime, our customers are still supporting us. In turn, via our e-commerce platform, we are continuing to serve, delight, and give options to our customers as we safely ease out of social distancing,” Poulakis said.
As with all retailers, customer experience is one of the key aspects of formulating the perfect shopping journey. Emulating the same experience from physical to digital can be tough, but the luxury department store believes it has done it well.
“I think for our client the instore experience is essential,” Poulakis told Power Retail. “Online will not trump, this however, will play a crucial role in the future of our business.”
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