The group is adamant that it will not operate full scale shops, but that it needs to make sure it has a presence on the high street alongside rivals such as Topshop and New Look.
Speaking to Marketing Week, Jonathan Wall, group e-commerce director at Shop Direct says the group is trialling a number of interactive marketing initiatives to engage with shoppers on mobile channels.
As part of the strategy it will ramp up its use of geo-location tools to target shoppers with promotions or content via smartphones while they are out shopping, which would encourage them to visit its sites while they are in the shopping mind frame on the high street.
The group is also preparing to launch a number of content-led fashion-focussed apps for brands including Very.co.uk that will be “immersive” brand experiences rather than transactional channels.
Wall says: “Our biggest challenge is to be where customers are, for us that’s the big question. We know we don’t want to open shops but we still want to be where they are, whether it’s online, through devices or the high street. We’re looking for ways that we can hijack the high street.”
The retailer launched its first trial of QR code-enabled window displays in Liverpool in December and Wall says response from customers has been positive.