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Sports Direct sees online sales hit €551 million thanks to click and collect

Sports Direct announced its online sales hit 551 million euros last year, which is an increase of 14.4% compared to a year before. According to the UK sports retailer the growth was driven largely by the launch of its click and collect service in the second half of the year. It already accounts for more than 20% of all UK online orders.

Sports Direct says this performance is “exceptional, considering we charge £4.99 for this service”. Online sales now represent 16.5% of all Sports Direct’s retail sales. Sports Direct also performed well online, thanks to traffic coming from smartphones and tablets. Mobile accounted for more than half of all online visits during the year, the UK retail company announced. Sports Direct also redesigned their checkout. The checkout process got streamlined while the company introduced a guest checkout option.

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New payment methods and dedicated ecommerce sites
Sports Direct said they have also worked hard to improve the customer experience in Europe. The language and currency conversions options on their sites were widened for non-English speaking countries and the company plans to introduce dedicated websites for its European businesses and additional payment methods like iDeal (popular in the Netherlands), Giro and Sofort.

“We are also working towards the introduction of a fast pay check out system, allowing customers to purchase a large number of products in small number of clicks.” Also, customers are now able to purchase and redeem gift cards online.

With regards to the future, the UK retailers wants to continue focusing on online and on expansion into Europe. “Ecommerce remains a significant growth opportunity for the Group”, chief executive Dave Forsey says. “The launch of UK click and collect has driven a significant increase in online sales, and we now plan to continue to roll this out across the other Group websites. Further opportunities to grow this business include the launch of a loyalty scheme for customers including annual fixed price delivery options and the development of dedicated websites.”

Offline, Sports Direct opened 39 larger city centry stores in the UK, while closing 16 of them. There are also 16 new stores in Europe (and seven closures).

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