Bathstore modernising online and mobile platforms

Bathroom equipment retailer Bathstore will be launching a new website and mobile site later this year as the company continues to invest in technology to drive the business forward.

In October – ahead of what is traditionally the busiest period of the year for the company in January – shoppers will be able to access a new "magazine-style" website and a mobile-adapted portal that have been developed based on feedback from customers.

Chairman Simon Burke told Essential Retail that Bathstore has made significant investment in technology in recent years, with senior management at the firm keen to strengthen its position as a multichannel retail operation.

"You'll find that the current website is quite catalogue-like and there are pages and pages of photographs against white backgrounds that can sometimes overwhelm you," he explained.

"The new site will feature products photographed in context. We will have much higher production screen values and we'll offer a much more flexible approach to searching and combining products."

Burke, who is also involved in a non-executive capacity at mobile voucher solutions firm Eagle Eye, is keen for Bathstore's mobile website to utilise location-based technology to attract customers into its stores. A new mobile-adapted site, designed with these features in mind, is expected to launch around the same as the wider eCommerce changes are implemented.

Bathstore has also recently started using a sales management tool from Anthill to ensure that customer details and potential quotes can be held in a centralised system no matter where the shopper first interacted with the retailer – be it online or in-store.

And during the recent hot weather in the UK, when consumers are typically less inclined to buy big ticket items such as bathrooms, this technology has reportedly helped the company maintain productive channels of communication with its customers.

"Figures would suggest that our numbers are holding up well in the conditions," Burke noted. "You would think something like this would go through the floor in weather like this, but it hasn't. I think the online link is one the reasons for this."

You can read a full big interview with Bathstore chairman Simon Burke on Essential Retail this Friday.