32 A true transformation

Independent retailer, RDO, is a serious multichannel retailer and the success of its ERT Award-winning website is really something to behold. Having relaunched the site during lockdown last year, Manager Chris Sargant tells Jack Cheeseman what an important part this played in the company winning the award last December.

kitchens, as well as a small selection of brown goods. From day one, the retailer has operated from the


same showroom in Reigate, Surrey – a showroom that has been recognised with an ERT Awards trophy, no less! In 2014, the company was rebranded and the building renovated to account for its move into the luxury kitchen design market; now, a state- of-the-art kitchen studio is located on the first floor. Alongside all of this, RDO has also run an

impressive website with its efficient ordering system and next-day national delivery service for stock items. Senior Partner Roger Sargant, who runs the

true family-run business since 1952, RDO

offers premium range domestic appliances and the design and installation of bespoke

business today alongside his wife Jackie and son Chris, set up the site in 2000 and since then it has gone from strength to strength – so much so, RDO won the Best Independent Electrical Retailer Website award at the ERT Awards back in December. Backed up by a dedicated in-house web team and

with its impressive 20,000sq ft warehouse nearby – which holds thousands of appliances available for quick delivery or click and collect, the company relied heavily on its website during the recent lockdowns. And thanks to a major rebrand last year, it has transformed the business into a true omni- channel retailer, managing the interplay between bricks and mortar and online shopping to achieve a seamless customer experience. The retailer has explored methods of value

creation through its online channel to make it less of a search engine for product and more of a route to discovery. It did this through compelling product descriptions, captivating lifestyle imagery, a live chat facility to connect consumers with product experts, over 1,300 informative glossary terms and hundreds of aspirational product feature videos. It also has a perfect 5/5 Trustpilot rating from over 2,600 reviews (correct October 2020).

Speaking to ERT recently, Chris Sargant, Head of

Operations and who manages the web team, says while they were already working on updating the website early last year, the pandemic forced them

to relaunch as soon as possible. They worked tirelessly to successfully launch RDO’s new site on 1 July. “It proved to be transformational for our business,

resulting in consecutive record-breaking months,” explains Mr Sargant. “But it’s been such a strange time with the store closing and reopening again it’s hard to compare.” Mr Sargant believes consumer behaviour has really

cemented itself in place now because people got so used to the lockdown way of life; he says these behaviours will continue, which is why RDO is aiming towards a proper multichannel strategy. “We certainly don’t want to close our showroom

just because our online is doing well,” he says, “because what about the people who visit our store? So we’re looking to position ourselves in a place where every touch point the customer interacts with is going to be quality and reflects our brand – whether that’s physically or virtually.” Mr Sargant talks through the latest developments in the online side of the RDO business…

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