In the second episode of Adventures in Trade, we spoke to John Godwin, the director of digital and marketing at the UK's largest trade brand Travis Perkins.
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In this episode on Adventures in Trade, we chat about how Travis Perkins is evolving as well as some of the challenges the company has faced along the way.
How does a company with over 700 trade branches and 17,000 people working for it embrace digital? Now imagine if that company is over 225 years old and offers its customers a range of prices and products both in-store and online. This is the challenge John Godwin, the director of digital and marketing at the UK's largest trade brand Travis Perkins.
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How does Travis Perkins handle variable pricing in e-commerce?
It is an important topic and subject and the number one thing that we as merchants, as we move to a more digital-enabled world consistency is obviously really key. That's not just consistency about what products you are able to buy in the branch and what you are able to buy online but because we've got over 700 branches it's really important that customers expect the same price. Customers do naturally travel around the country in some shape or fashion and as a result, they will use multiple Travis Perkins branches, so having one price in your local branch and travelling 50 miles to another Travis Perkins, customers expect the same price.
We know that the consistency of our pricing is key and we're really committed to driving consistency across that. Online is now the biggest reference point so we have more digital interactions in our business than offline interactions equates we believe we've got this amazing acronym that people are now starting to use something called ROPO which is Research Online Purchase Offline, so we have this ROPO number we are actively looking at.
That in essence gives us how many customers use online as part of their journey with Travis Perkins and we can then start to see the impact of what we do online offline.
Customers sometimes don't feel overly comfortable making the commitment to purchase whilst they are online so they may want to find out what products are in stock, how many they have, what the price is and how do I then go and order it. Some customers today, will still choose to go into the branch to make the purchase.
If we have a really high price online or a price that is uncompetitive it can drive customers potentially elsewhere so we've got to be really mindful that shelf price or that retail price that we have got isn't high for the reasons it may have been in the past, which is to then negotiate down by the relationships you have with us.
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