Australian book retailer Dymocks has admitted that it isn't giving its customers the best experience via its online shopping channel and flagged a need for an overhaul.
Speaking at CeBIT's Retailer conference in Sydney, Steve Cox, general manager of Buying, Marketing and Operations for Dymocks, said that while the site is relatively easy for customers to buy from, it could be easier to use.
"Is it as easy as it can be to shop from? We recognise that it's not yet, and make the process as smooth as it can possibly be within the constraints of the system," he said, adding that if he had his way, he'd like to be able to improve the speed and agility with which new information is published to the site.
Cox added that the book retailer is still trying to get the balance right between online and its franchisees.
"At the moment, we're absorbing all the costs [of the online store] because it's not part of the business at the moment. It's an investment that Dymocks has made. The cost is equivalent to a very large store within our network and we communicate very clearly to the franchise owners that that is what it is," Cox said.
The Dymocks manager added that franchisees are seeing some benefits from the online store, as it currently drives traffic into stores.
"They understand the value of the consumer decision-making process that if we don't have that online process they can go and choose somewhere else," Cox said.
Dymocks isn't the only business struggling to find the balance between its online stores and franchisees, with retail magnate Gerry Harvey forced to "cannibalise" his retail stores with an online offering earlier this year.