Bunnings Group managing director Michael Schneider, revealed last year the hardware giant intentions to fire-up its digital and omnichannel offerings across Australia and New Zealand. That decision has put them in a great position during COVID-19.
Australia’s strict social distancing measures and the closure of all non-essential businesses have helped control the spread of COVID-19, but has also severely hurt most retailers aside from supermarkets and led to large layoffs in the sector.
While some of the Bunnings stores in New Zealand remain closed in line with the country’s stricter measures against COVID-19, in Australia, the business has experienced significant demand and growth due to the introduction of a number of digital and low touch economy programs now up and running.
With a workforce of 43,000 people, the Wesfarmers-owned business rolled out in 2019 a number of test and learn projects to make sure the company could harness digital commerce and to learn the impacts of shifting sales into a different channel to see what worked and what didn’t.
As Wesfarmers announced financial results this week, sales growth has accelerated at Bunnings since December 2019 as customers work from home and undertake home improvements during the lockdown. Sales growth in Bunnings in the March quarter and the first three weeks of April increased compared to levels achieved in the December half, when Bunnings’ sales rose 5.3 per cent.
Schneider’s vision to focus investment in technology, not just as an enabler but also as a line item that people, homes, and lifestyles are become increasingly digitised.
Over the last twelve months Bunnings have created and now offer a wide range of products available to buy online, click to collect, click to delivery and drive and collect, including lighting, sheds, bathroom, kitchen, and plants.
Click & Collect is available on any product that is marked ‘Buy online’ and ‘Pick up in-store. Once your order is processed, you’ll receive confirmation letting you know that it’s ready to pick up. To pick up your order, bring your confirmation email and ID to the Online Pick-up Counter at the front of the store.
Click and Delivery is offered to customers in most locations, this includes stocked key items. Depending on the location, size, and service requested, a reasonable delivery fee will be applied to the customer’s order.
As Bunnings continues to follow government advice relating to COVID-19, they have adapted to how they operate to make sure customers are safe, while ensuring customers have access to the products they need. Another more recent addition is Drive & Collect option available at 250 of Bunnings’ larger stores around Australia — excluding Tasmania.
DIY enthusiasts just need to complete their purchase online, wait for notification that their order is ready, and select their preferred pickup date and time. Then, when you drive to the store, you’ll park in a designated drive and collect bay, and text or call the store to let them know you’ve arrived. All you need to do next is wait for a staff member to bring out your goods and put them in your car boot.
While finding and ordering products from home have plenty of options. The real-world channel has also received an addition with the recently launched a Bunnings Product Finder App to make shopping in-store even easier. The app is available now in the iOS app store and will available for Andriod devices in the future.
Bunnings strategy that their customer and their families will be spending more time working, learning and relaxing at home could not be more true during COVID-19. Wesfarmers said at last weeks quarterly results, the Bunnings sales growth for the third quarter and the first three weeks of April speeding up over the first-half.
Bunnings commissioned research and found consumer segments on Australians who were planning on working on their home garden in the coming months so Bunnings went forward and launched a new seven-part gardening podcast series called Staying Grounded.
The podcast series offers listeners gardening advice and handy tips. It’s hosted by Chloe Thomson of gardening and cooking show The Gardenettes, and feature plant psychologist and landscaper, Dale Vine and plant designer, Jenna Holmes.