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Rapid online growth experienced by Superdrug

Thursday, July 7, 2016 - 11:10 by Sarah Collinson

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While it is still a popular presence on high streets across the UK, Superdrug has also managed to make a major impact in the e-commerce market. It reports that last year it saw a 50 per cent spike in sales via safe shopping online, according to Internet Retailing.

The growing impact of its website helped the firm to increase profits by 62.4 per cent in 2015, making sales both in the UK and Ireland.

As well as offering home delivery, Superdrug has set up a popular click and collect service which lets customers order online and then pick up products from their nearest outlet. And with more than 800 shops across the country, it already has a comprehensive network in place to make this work.

Another aspect of Superdrug’s e-commerce success has been its loyalty card scheme, which entitles members to free delivery when they place an order online. While the growth in sales made by members was relatively muted, the seven million people who signed up to this initiative have helped the firm to build a loyal user base.

Spokesperson, Peter Macnab, said that as well as focusing on increasing its impact in the online marketplace, Superdrug has not neglected the in-store experience and has made investments to improve staff training, so that customers’ needs are always met.

The firm plans to open more stores this year and is also carrying out major refurbishment work at its hundreds of existing outlets. It is this marriage between online and in-store retail that continues to prove to be so effective, both for the businesses themselves and the customers that use them.

This should also be seen as a strategy which struggling firms should adopt in order to stem the issues faced in the wake of the rise of e-commerce.