Robert Beerworth Team : Web Strategy Tags : Web Strategy e-commerce

Woolworths and Wiliam win big: including Australian Online Retailer of the Year 2011

Robert Beerworth Team : Web Strategy Tags : Web Strategy e-commerce

We’re really proud of the work we produce at Wiliam.

We believe it is consistently excellent and it delivers consistently excellent commercial returns to our clients.

That said, I’d like to think we’re unassuming about what we do or achieve. We work hard, we rationalise our work and we consistently seek to improve on the success we deliver to our clients.

Our clients come to us because we’re very hard working, we never compromise and we’re honest. Our client’s success is our success.

I rarely write a blog about what we have achieved, if only to protect client confidentiality. We have our role and we know our role.

Today is different however because we have some incredible affirmation of our work and we’re proud to tell about it.



Woolworths is by far Australia’s largest retailer.

Over the past few years, they have taken an incredibly impressive and accurate strategy about capitalising on online retailing rather than defending against it, or pretending it doesn’t exist.

Such defense is quite normal in Australian retailers (think Harvey Norman’s position on online retailing to date or Westfield’s cynical move into online retail).

For a retailer such as Woolworths with a staggering bricks-and-mortar footprint, tackling online retailer isn’t gutsy, it simply makes sense… at least from the perspective of anyone that isn’t a retailer; i.e. a customer.

From the perspective of retailers however, their efforts have been gutsy.

In hindsight, their efforts have not only driven enormous return from their online investments, they have driven hugely successful multi-channel strategies which have benefited all parts of their businesses.

Whereas many retailers are petrified of killing their physical stores, Woolworths has rightly taken the view that online can invigorate their entire business – online and offline.

That strategy has paid off.

Wiliam has been working with Woolworths since 2009.

It has been a brilliant relationship and they are an excellent client. That Australia’s largest retailer has entrusted Wiliam with their key websites makes us enormously proud.

We work across three of their key brands: Dick Smith, Big W and Dan Murphys.

I remember my first meeting with them where I asked one of their key executives over a coffee before discussing the design and development of the new Dick Smith website, “Are you really taking this seriously?”

He said “Yes.”

And he wasn’t kidding.


Online Retailer Awards

The Online Retailer awards are the peak awards for eCommerce websites in Australia.

Trade shows, conferences, drinks and a dinner for 400 people.

It’s the place to be seen if you have anything to do with eCommerce in Australia.

At last night’s awards, our client Woolworths nailed it.

We are so proud to have been a part of their success; of the eleven awards handed out, Wiliam was behind three of them.


Dick Smith

Dick Smith is almost the benchmark of how to sell online.

Its investment in content and strategy is incredible. Almost like a textbook.

Dick Smith won two awards last night. Including ‘Online Retailer of the Year’.

The highest award any eCommerce website in Australia can win; you can imagine the competition is pretty tough.

We can by no means take all of the credit. The people behind Dick Smith Online are very impressive though we would like to think that our collective work has delivered recognition of a website that is the best eCommerce website in Australia.

Indeed, they drove the result – they’re the client.

To be part of a website that has been recognised as the best in Australia in eCommerce however is just awesome. Our team has put in hours and sweat and we’re getting better and better.

The graphs below – published by Dick Smith themselves – tell the story:


The graph above shows sales, especially since the launch of the new Wiliam designed website in late 2009.

The graph above shows the impact of Click & Collect (i.e. being able to see real-time store stock and have it set aside in your preferred Dick Smith store). As a consumer, I find this one of the most impressive pieces of integration between online and offline and everyone I have referred to it has gone on to use it. (If you compare the graphs, online lay by is adding sales to Dick Smith and its physical stores, it is not taking away from online sales – contrary to what many traditional retailers might think.)

Well done Dick Smith. Awesome relationship, brilliant win. Entirely deserved.

Big W

We haven’t worked with Big W as long as Dick Smith and our first major engagement was Online Lay by.

We scrambled on the opportunity and both ourselves and the Big W team crunched – for literally months – on its execution.

I can’t disclose sales, though to say it exceeded expectations would be an understatement. As far as we are concerned, we not only smashed expectations quite literally, we have set the clear benchmark for online lay by in Australia.

Big W won ‘Best Online Marketing Initiative’ for online lay by; well done. (And especially well done to Adam T and James H of our team who spearheaded it – quite incredible result.)

Dan Murphys

The new Dan Murphys website is the best liquor eCommerce website in the world as far as I am concerned.

It is simply so continuous, the content of such high quality and the experience so complete, I can’t believe people would shop online anywhere else. Look at the quality of the content, the pricing and the rest and it leaves other Australian liquor retailers well behind.

We designed the Dan Murphys website closely with the Dan Murphys online team and we could not be more proud of the collective outcome. The Dan Murphys team are incredibly driven to produce the best outcome and to be part of the story is just awesome for us.

Dan Murphys won last week’s Amber award for Online Services Innovation. This is an award about usability and to that extent, Dan Murphy’s nails it.

The website has only been selling since March of this year and we’re already winning awards for the work. More importantly, we’re selling mountains of liquor online.


Ten years ago, I was cynical about the predictions of my industry that online would destroy offline.

All it did was offend existing retailers who pulled back rather than embracing the opportunity. They still are.

Offline is massive and always will be. Shopping is fun and online is complimentary.

Sure, some offline sectors will be harder hit than others, though survival means adaption. People are human and they are more likely to remain in your brand/shopping eco-system if you support them. 

Woolworths have demonstrated that it is not one or the other.

Price matters, though for many people, that is not all.

The experience is what counts and delivering a brilliant experience online integrated with a brilliant experience offline is the key.

The numbers don’t lie.

Well done Woolworths and well done to the Wiliam team who have worked on this.