David Jones overhauls online shopping infrastructure

Present system dates back more than 10 years

After resurrecting its online shopping website in 2010, Australian retailer David Jones has responded to customer demand for improved e-commerce with a new website to be unveiled in September this year.

Its current system dates back more than a decade ago — 1999 was when the retailer acquired a company called The Spot. However, its e-commerce facility shut down in 2003 and reopened seven years later.

David Jones group executive of retail services, Tony Karp, said its current system was “clunky with limited capacity”. He admitted that the company was slow off the mark to embrace online, but said it had learnt from the mistakes of other retailers.

It has partnered with IBM for the new website and Karp said customers will be able to browse and buy using their smartphone, tablet or PC. If they use a credit card from partner American Express, deliveries will be free.

In addition, there are plans to integrate social media, promotions and analytics features to give the customer the ability to view items online and post items to wish lists.

Known as the Smarter Commerce portfolio, IBM will integrate the offering into David Jones’ corporate systems to provide order and inventory management that support both the online and store channels.

“Customers are shopping online with our competitors and shopping overseas. Our research suggests that they are not shopping with us because we don’t have a product that meets their expectations,” Karp said. “All I can say is the two offerings in terms of online presence will not be comparable.”

In addition to the IBM project, the retailer is replacing its NCR point of sale systems and will start rolling these out later this year.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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