Burberry continues to ‘blur' online and offline for customers

iPad orders made in stores accounted for over a quarter of digital sales

Orders taken on iPads in Burberry stores accounted for over a quarter of the high fashion brand's total digital sales this year, showing the gains the company is making in creating a seamless connection between its online and offline presence.

The proportion of iPad orders had increased by around 10 percent since last year.

"Reflecting changing consumer behaviour, Burberry continued to blur the lines between the physical and digital, or offline and online, to enable customers to interact with the brand however they choose," Burberry said in its preliminary results for 2013/14 published today.

"For example, orders on iPads in-store accounted for over 25 percent of total digital sales - up from around 15 percent last year."

Burberry described its digital commerce in the period as "strong", and a major contributor to its 12 percent increase in comparable retail sales for the year.

It invested further in its .com site during the year, adding three more languages and improving the taxonomy of the website to make it easier to use and search, and providing more delivery options, including collect-in-store, which other retailers such as John Lewis have also found is a successful way of combining online and offline.

Meanwhile, the company has now implemented its Customer 1-2-1 tool in nearly 400 stores. This allows sales associates to digitally create and view customer profiles using visual wardrobes, and record product and fit preferences.

"Online, both traffic and conversion grew, with the integration of digital into the regional infrastructure driving the growth of sales via iPads in-store and collect-in-store," Burberry said.

The high end retailer has invested heavily in customer facing technologies, as well asback-office platforms.

With regard to the back-end, in 2009 Burberry successfully completed the rollout of SAP to the entire business, which it claimed saved the company £50 million. It was also revealed last year that it is using SAP's in-memory platform HANA to run real-time analytics and profile customers.

Burberry said that it would invest approximately £70 million in 2014 in IT, which it believes to be a real driver of growth across the business.

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