“Change is part of our DNA. It’s easy to decide to change when you have no choice: on the other hand, we are choosing to anticipate future every day, with the aim of becoming the benchmark retailer both for innovation and for the unique business model that we offer”
Giancarlo Nicosanti Monterastelli, Unieuro CEO
Unieuro’s strategic vision involves continuous profitable business growth thanks to the increase in the market share in the product categories supporting market trends (large household appliances, small household appliances and telephony), promoting the central role of customers and omnichannel opportunities.
To realise these intentions, Unieuro has adopted a strategy based on three strategic pillars – PROXIMITY, EXPERIENCE and RETAIL MIX – each of them applied to the three points of contact through which the Company interacts every day with its end-customers.
The Contact Points
As one of the largest Italian players to guarantee a smooth purchasing experience through all channels, Unieuro enables customers to have their own purchasing experience, when they want, how they want and where they want.
The points of contact where the brand interacts with people are offline – composed of the network of points of sale, the affiliate points of sales and stores located in airports and stations, online, represented by the new e-commerce platform, the Unieuro app and the Monclick pure player, and omnichannel which represents the convergence between physical and digital.
Proximity means being close to customers and it is the first important pillar of Unieuro’s strategic vision.
Offline, maximizing proximity means to cover unmanned areas, by developing nearby stores, and increase the number of points of sale in Italy, by aiming at smaller areas than the current ones.
Online, proximity develops through a greater integration of the Unieuro platform in the digital ecosystem, combining the functions offered by search engines and interaction with the main social networks, from home, via mobile phones and near the store.
From an omnichannel perspective, proximity translates into click-and-collect. Unieuro was one of the first to comprehend the potential of using its own stores as collection points for orders made online, guaranteeing the possibility of cross-selling and up-selling products and additional services. There were 384 pick-up points at 31 May 2017.
The consumer’s experience is a journey that starts with information gathering and ends with the purchase, through the comparisons with similar products and the test phase, i.e. the possibility of experiencing the product first-hand.
To maximise the quality of the offline experience, the attractiveness of the stores needs to be maintained high.
The point of sale needs to be a place where the consumer can spend his/her time in a pleasant way, getting adequate support from the sales force. For this reason, Unieuro has significant plans for the modernisation of its premises, for the digitalisation and for training qualified personnel.
The layout of the points of sale, scalable and adaptable to various available formats, from nearby stores to megastores, goes in this same direction, facilitating the customer journey in the store giving him/her an easy access to key products and creating areas to handle products in order to compare them.
At the online level, the redesign of the web portal was focused on the maximum usability of the website also through exploiting mobile opportunities. The new website, launched in 2016, is mobile-first because trends see users increasingly on the move and getting information via their smartphones. This is an approach that enabled a 40.8% increase in terms of visitors.
The improvement of the experience at the omnichannel level is achieved through measures aimed to foster the digitalisation of the stores through plans for the convergence of physical and digital stores and the implementation of new online communication tools. These activities further Customer Insight, to maximise opportunities for engagement, purchasing frequency, the average ticket and margins.
On the omnichannel side, marketing is moving towards an increasingly personalised shopping experience based on an analysis of customer behavior and preferences (CRM – customer relationship management) to eliminate the spatial limits of the individual physical points of sale and focus on the needs of individual customers.
The vast range of product types and brands available to customers is one of Unieuro’s strengths, which also allows it to establish a successful relationship with its suppliers.
In the offline channel, the optimisation of the retail mix goes through the differentiation of distribution formats, thereby offering every customer a correct format for the area in which he/she operates.
The product range is specialised on the basis of the store structure as for the points of sales Travel which have a greater focus on telephone systems and accessories. Over the years, Unieuro has been able to select a mix of points of sale suited to its various customer bases, and it will continue to carefully select distribution structures, assessing from time to time which is the most suitable for specific locations.
Without the physical constraints of the offline channel, the online channel is vital for expanding the range of products that allows growth trends in sectors with high margins to be covered. This perspective leads to the focus at the e-commerce level on the White segment, the one with the highest margins in the sector.
To gain the best advantage from the retail mix at the omnichannel level, by appropriately combining digital and physical channels, Unieuro strives to achieve a greater range of services with added value currently offered to give customers the best possible response to their needs. These include installation and configuration services, extended warranties and consumer credit, or telephone contract subscriptions.
Unieuro’s strategic pillars rest on three prerequisites, the development of which acts as an enabler for the implementation of the strategy. This involves:
- Brand equity
- Centralised supply chain
- Partnership with suppliers
Thanks to an awareness of 99% (source: Eurisko), the Unieuro brand is one of the strongest in the sector. The slogan “Batte. Forte. Sempre” was consolidated thanks to all the promotional campaigns and activities and reached over 47% in spontaneous recall. [Discover more about the Unieuro brand]
The centralised logistics hub in Piacenza (Italy) enables all Unieuro channels to be supplied, from the individual customer who orders a product online to the network of affiliates. The logistics hub will be upgraded in 2017 and extended to create an area of 100,000 m2.
Partnership with Suppliers
Over the years Unieuro has consolidated a strong partnership with its suppliers, becoming the preferred customer for launching new products on the Italian market.
The support of suppliers is essential to guarantee end customers the satisfaction of their needs, in the times and ways that they define themselves.