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Retail Technology, Retail technology News

CASE STUDY: Halfords assesses international opportunity

Tuesday September 18 2012

Engages e-commerce consultancy to evaluate off and online expansion potential overseas

Halfords, the UK’s largest, multi-category retailer of leisure and car maintenance products, wanted to assess opportunities to expand into new markets via the online channel. 

It needed a partner that could highlight specific challenges and provide recommendations on how to launch a pure-play, online operation in a new market.

In spite of a 466-strong store network across the UK and Republic of Ireland, it has no international store base and nor a strong brand presence.

Applying framework to retail ambitions

In order to appraise Halfords’ international opportunities and make recommendations on how to successfully launch an online retail presence in a new market e-commerce consultancy eCommera applied its '10Ps' framework to the business's situation.

The 10Ps is a model for international expansion that examines the ten fundamental areas of a business and identifies the questions that will need to be considered and the steps that will need to be taken to successfully enter a new geographical market. They include customer habits, government regulation and legislative dynamics, as well an assessment of the competitive market and Halfords’ own current and future business plans, challenges and barriers.

John Asbury, head of digital at Halfords, stated: “eCommera’s 10P consultancy covered everything from the size of the addressable market, to how to use both online and offline activities to raise brand awareness to what payment methods we should implement. The report is both comprehensive and specific. The ‘how’ of internationalisation for Halfords is now clear.”

The consultancy presented the findings to the Halfords team, as well as an 85-page report covering all findings and detailing recommendations.

Importance of localisation online 

“During the project, among many recommendations, eCommera stressed the importance of having locally-tailored website navigation. This sounds obvious, but research of international online retailers revealed that even retailers such as ASOS have opportunities to improve," Asbury added.

"We are impressed with eCommera’s methodical approach and expertise. Their analysis has provided us with insight, not only into how we could expand, but [also into] what we would need to do to get our home operation ready to support new markets.”

Tagged as: Halfords | automotive | online | web | multichannel | international | framework | localisation | consultancy | eCommera