This win follows on from last week being awarded the Best Customer Experience of any website in Australia for the second year, in addition to the Best Site Optimisation and Design, at the annual Online Retailer Industry Awards (ORIAs) .
John Winning, founder and CEO of Appliances Online, who started the company five years ago with a laptop, a rented truck and a 1300 number diverted to his mobile phone, said he was honoured the company he started was again recognised as a leading Australian business.
“The past six years have been a tremendous learning curve – we started the business with a desire to sell to people who love the convenience of shopping online and were looking primarily for replacement items. I believe our model, which focusses on customer service as a key differentiator, is the reason behind our success. We control each phase of the customer’s experience: from before the sale, through first contact, to delivery and beyond. Our Sydney call centre is open 16 hours a day, seven days a week and customers who aren’t comfortable making payments online are catered for with the option of paying cash, cheque or credit on the arrival of their new purchase,” Winning said.
Appliances Online is Australia’s largest online retailer of appliances, delivering to 98% of the population and stocking more brands than any other online appliance retailer. Between 2005 and 2011 more than 150,000 unique customers have purchased from the company. The online retailer increased its customer base by 50% and its total revenue by 100% in 2011.
Winning said: “We spend half of our time listening to, and learning what our customers want, and the rest of our time ensuring we deliver exactly what they’re asking for.
“Revenue has doubled every year since inauguration, and in the past 12 months the number of employees has grown by 300% , from 20 to 80 people in our head office. I’m extremely excited by the future and the vision of our company as we continue to grow and provide our customers with the best customer service available,” Winning said.
“Being online doesn’t mean you don’t have to deal with our customers, in fact we want to create loyal relationships that last into the next generation,”
Appliances Online is the largest pureplay online retail of whitegoods and appliances. In the last six months, the company has signed up leading brands to complement their range. This includes: SMEG, Asko, GE, St George, Dimplex and more. For most of these suppliers, this is the first time they have dealt with an online-only retailer in Australia.
John Winning has put together three tips for ecommerce success:
1. Listens to your customers at every opportunity. Customer feedback is proactively sought at Appliances Online, and is used to improve company processes and customer touch points. Customer feedback is tracked and analysed to detect issues that may be otherwise missed when feedback is looked at in aggregate.
2. Empower your staff – your employees are the biggest asset of any business - we encourage all employees be innovative and we listen to all our staff’s ideas, regardless of their position within the company.
3. Stay agile– no matter the size of the company, being able to adapt quickly to the changing e-commerce landscape and to embrace new ideas and technology is a necessity.