Matalan Direct: ‘We can do digital marketing better than 99% of the people out there’

Digital marketer Shane Quigley, who is being tasked to lead Matalan’s new online-only homeware brand Matalan Direct, claims the new ecommerce player will stand out ahead of rivals due to its in-house marketing expertise and mix of transactional and editorial-led content.

Matalan has acquired entrepreneur Quigley – who co-founded £18m digital marketing group Epiphany – along with his self-proclaimed “Amazon of interiors” Earth Bathrooms brand as it aims to disrupt online homeware rivals such as B&Q and Homesense.

Initially launching with bathrooms and bathroom furniture, the online retailer’s range will eventually expand to include homeware furnishings.

Despite making a late entry into an established online market, Quigley is convinced Matalan Direct can stand apart from the competition.

He told Marketing Week: “After 10 years of running a digital marketing agency, I’m now stripping out the unnecessary cost Matalan would get by working with an agency.

“Matalan Direct will offer the right products at the right price so we’re taking very little stock risk. I also know I can do digital marketing better than 99% of the people out there.”

Quigley said Matalan Direct, which will launch with 1,800 individual products and up to 4,000 SKUs, will aim to stop shoppers from visiting lifestyle websites for homeware tips by “being more than just a transactional website.”

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Quigley says Matalan Direct’s product range will give it an edge over rivals such as B&Q

He explained: “We’ve got an ‘Inspiration’ section to the website so if you, say, want to buy a bath, there will be a feature letting running down the ways to make the most out of a tub.

“Matalan Direct will combine beautiful imagery, good prices and great editorial content – I don’t think any of our rivals have that mix. We want to ensure the consumer isn’t having to go somewhere else to get inspired and ultimately only using Matalan for the transaction.”

Matalan Direct on its rivals

The online brand will also look to utilise Matalan’s store network by launching a click and collect service, although Quigley said it is still “early days” and jokes that he’s looking to find a way “where there aren’t bath tubs and toilets waiting at the front for people to pick up.”

Matalan Direct will also launch a “major” television campaign within the next six months to promote the online brand among its 12.5 million customers.

The outspoken Quigley also took a stab at Matalan Direct’s rivals claiming that their approach is becoming “outdated”.

“At Homesense there isn’t a consistent product range while B&Q are failing to provide customers with proper advice and a lot of their estate is looking very outdated,” he claimed.

“With Epiphany we launched a number of interior goods startups and took £10m off the big players in 12 months with ease. I’m confident I can do it again with Matalan Direct.

“The B&Q’s and Dunelm’s think a lot about digital marketing but none of them have the same in-house breadth of knowledge. I’m confident Matalan Direct can change the face of online homeware retail.”