As the technology is growing, Argos simplifies the business process to their customers. Giving them choices of making their shopping either online. With the online shopping, customers will be able to make the shopping on their home. They will pay for the bill via the Internet and given the choice of getting it delivers or pick up in one of the Argos convenience store. All the information that the customers will need about the products or services can be easily find on the website or the different social networking such as face book, tweeter and many more, the details can be in front of you in a minute.
It is very time-saving and effective way of purchasing goods. The online shopping creates avoidance for long queue and the stressed of parking around the store. Argos customers can easily go through the online site or visit to different Argos stores and search the product if not available on their nearest store.. Sometimes customers can avail a bit cheaper than buying on the store. By opting for the online shopping Argos customers can easily compare Argos price to their competitors online and make a quick comparison of prices or products.
On the Argos website when customers are looking for a product, they will have other products similar to what they are looking for available on the page or on another link for you to click on just in case you are interested. The good advantage for this aspect of purchasing is that customers are not particular anymore of the opening and closing time of its stores. With regards to the return services, Argos set the policy of 30 days if buyers are not happy or satisfied with the item or if it is faulty.
Argos competitive advantage towards their major competitors like Tesco, Asda, Pc World, Curry’s and online retailer Amazon with the internet presence is the value of low-cost product, integrated multi-channel capability, size of stock it carries which gives it a buying leverage and the ability to by-pass intermediaries in sourcing some other products. Argos uses a mixture of different channels for advertising their products and services such as television, radio,mobile,website, newspapers, magazines and posters or billboards.
These channels are the most effective and efficient from time to time. These all methods of buying goods seem to be very appreciated by the English people. Argos maintains a broad network of stores and distributes its catalogue to more than two-thirds of all UK households. Since its beginnings in the 1970s, Argos has been observed for its innovative use of technology. Computer systems have always had a huge impact on the way Argos functions as a retailer. Argos has used ICT to monitor stock levels, to identify market trends early and to avoid stock out situations.
Their electronic point-of-sale systems (POS) have led to great accuracy in the conduct of financial transactions. New technologies have had a profound impact on internal communication as well as on the way in which Argos communicates with customers and suppliers. A very important element in this context is the feedback, which Argos can collect through its various communication channels. Argos has implemented an innovative system of regular customer feedback sessions in which customers are invited to attend “open evenings” to make suggestions of how services could be further improved.
The systematic use of e-mail and Intranets in all stores, distribution centres and head offices since September 2000 has increased the speed and the volume of the two-way-communication. The business model of Argos is a multi-channel approach: customers are offered different types of outlets for shopping. Prior to the introduction of the new e-channels, the customers could only browse the offer in the catalogue or directly at the store. Now they can browse the offer on their mobile phone, on the Argos website and on television.
Customers with access to the Vodafone service can select Argos from the Shopping Menu and, via the main menu, browse the catalogue, check availability reserve in store or pay for home delivery. Argos customers can, since December 1999, place orders and buy goods through their digital television sets. Combined use of different channels is possible, as customers can for example browse and purchase goods from the catalogues and use the “Click & Collect” service via the website.
Fast technological developments and the spread of Internet access in households induced Argos to make an early start in online retailing. The Argos website was launched in 1995 and has been continuously developed since, with many features and services being added. Argos is taking great care that the website must be very user friendly, and that the services offered have real practical value for customers. For example, the site shows the delivery time for every product offered. Products can be delivered to any address in England or Ireland. Argos is also concerned about online security.
They only accept orders that are placed using the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) standard to prevent customers from inadvertently revealing personal information by using insecure connection. During payment, the company asks for the card billing address as an additional security check. No credit or debit card details are stored once the customer’s order has been processed. Online customers can register to receive an electronic newsletter that informs about special offers and promotional deals. As a matter of principle, there are no differences in products and in promotions between the physical stores and the website.
The customers can check stock availability and reserve goods through the “Ring & Reserve” call centre and the “Text & Take Home” (SMS) services using, respectively, their fixed or their mobile phone. Argos has recently teamed up with Vodafone Live! Argos gives customers the opportunity to view the catalogue on their mobile phone. As with Internet purchases, they can pick up the goods at the store or can make use of the home delivery service. None of these new sales channels are related to any specific warehouses, but are based on the existing Argos infrastructure.
A major problem for Argos to set up this strategy was to efficiently manage the flow of merchandising from an extensive base of more than 750 suppliers to any of the distribution centres throughout the UK. Argos selected UPS Supply Chain Solutions for this purpose, more specifically a solution called “Nominated Carrier Scheme”. This system helps Argos to ensure merchandising is in the right place at the right time. This supply chain solution by UPS receives, validates and handles consignments from several hundred Argos suppliers.
UPS checks that the order is correct, consolidates it with other orders and then sends it to Argos’ own distribution centre for the final delivery. This system works through direct computer links. It electronically validates the merchandise against the Argos orders, confirms that the merchandise is ordered and ensures that delivery occurs at the correct time. The UPS scheme, consolidating goods for delivery in only one lot instead of sending five or six separate loads, offers strong financial and organisational advantages to both Argos and its suppliers.