Comet revamps site for ‘e-tail’

Electrical retailer Comet is relaunching its Website as a fully transactional service later this month, to pre-empt rivals in the digital arena.

Comet Direct controller Andy Measham says the company has ensured its order-taking and fulfilment systems are geared up to cope with the anticipated growth in online sales.

“We’ve had to think strategically about what will happen in the next three to five years. In terms of systems, we have to ensure we are able to service these [digital] media,” he says.

The Hub Communications Company is working with Comet (www.comet.co.uk) on site design and e-commerce strategy, after winning a pitch against five other agencies last August. The previous non-transactional site, designed by rival DNA, was launched in the summer of 1997.

“Comet’s ambition is to become the benchmark ‘e-tailer’, across all electronic channels,” says Marek Grabowski, creative partner at The Hub.

“Our job is to be as aware of the IT drivers and possibilities as we are of the marketing considerations.”

The Website relaunch follows the roll-out of the Comet Direct catalogue, which is aimed at ex tending the volume of business beyond the chain’s 260 outlets across the UK.

The chain is also positioning itself to take advantage of merchandising through interactive TV once it becomes a viable market, says Measham.

“People are increasingly cash-rich and time-poor,” he says. “It’s part of our strategy to develop multiple channels. Currently 9.7 per cent of our market is handled through home order – mostly traditional mail order. I expect that to grow to a quarter of our business within ten years.”

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