Over the next 18 months, Bunnings Warehouse will finally launch a fully functioning online store which will start out with being tested and trialed in Tasmania next month, followed by a national roll- out to the rest of Australia.
Why the late entry into ecommerce?
There are a few reasons why they chose a very late entry into the online market, but mainly it’s because they wanted to make sure it was done right from the get-go which makes sense as they want to replicate the successful in-store “Bunnings experience” for their customers to their online store.
By holding off they have been able to observe what competitors and other players in the online market have been doing and what they could learn from and incorporate or disregard when building out their own ecommerce strategy.
Another issue they’ve had was how to solve transport/delivery of their bigger, bulkier items, like their sheds or modular kitchen. However, they successfully tested this in January last year and will in their new online store have their full range of more than 60,000 products on offer for home delivery or click-and-collect (which is also offered in Melbourne’s Craigieburn Bunnings store).
What else are Bunnings addressing in their strategy?
In addition to launching their ecommerce store, their strategy addresses expansion of their product range and services in smart home living as well as moving into adjacent categories in order to address a wider market. They’ll also seek to deepen their engagement with customers and growing their share of sales in categories that are currently under-represented, such as kitchens, bathrooms, window furnishings and flooring.
Their strategy also includes continued investment of time and resource into making DIY even easier for their customers, with a particular focus on first time DIYers.
In addition to this they’re also putting a heavier focus on do-it-for-me (DIFM) in the forms of installation services including assembly and facilitated installation, addressing millennials’ needs in particular and their perceived lower interest and skills in the DIY market.
With all these changes to address a future focused strategy it is highly likely that Bunnings will continue their positive growth in sales as well as steal share from leading online players Mitre 10 and Home Timber & Hardware.