In June 2012, CNA launched a refreshed online store specifically targeting gamers, and has since been taking gaming community feedback very seriously to improve the online store-front.
MyGaming spoke with David Gibbons, Edcon eCommerce Executive, to find out how successful the CNA Online store is proving for the company and whether gamers have taken to the new retail channel.
“Its early days for CNA; based on early successes we are adding more categories and want to expand the selection,” said Gibbons. “Long tail catalogue expansion, exclusive content and great month-end deals,” are part of the plan going forward, explained Gibbons.
“Gaming is the biggest category in the online store; we have also created a big market for pre-orders. Our console bundle deals picked up over Christmas, and of course, we have been selling quite a few copies of 50 Shades of Grey!” joked Gibbons.
Gibbons said it’s too early to usefully compare online to physical store sales, but added that the “average order size for online transactions is R816; more than double that of in-store sales.”
A unique feature of the CNA Online store is the ability to use an Edgars or Jet account to buy games, hardware and accessories on credit. CNA described this as “a huge win for gamers,” adding that “the vast majority of orders on the site are on store card (primarily Edgars cards) allowing customers to pay for items over 6 months.”
CNA Online joined the likes of Kalahari, Zaps, Takealot, and BT Games in putting forward a formidable online channel for acquiring games. We asked how successful they have been at competing directly with such established retailers.
“We have good evidence that customers are reviewing and researching products online and purchasing in-store,” said Gibbons. A recent IBM study indicated that of the people researching online, 15 times more people purchased in-store than purchased online – so this multichannel offering is meeting the needs of most of SA’s consumers. Additionally, customers can earn Thank U points in both channels and across the group stores.”
Discussing challenges, Gibbons said “online businesses grow slowly, so efficiently expanding a catalogue while sales remain low is challenging from an inventory perspective. Online shoppers expect a wide range and depth of goods, so it’s a challenge to meet this expectation.”
“Online transactions and payments are in their infancy and lack the sophistication required to investigate and prosecute potential fraud, so we have to build in house anti-fraud systems for credit card payments.”
“Courier deliveries are proving to be much more reliable and immediate than we had anticipated,” added Gibbons, “so customers should feel confident about online deliveries as lead times are short by global standards.”
We followed up on the promised in-store-pickups for purchases, a service still not implemented. Gibbons said it’s still in the pipeline.
Speaking about CNA’s gaming community interaction efforts through the MyGaming forum, Gibbons said this has proven successful. “It’s the place to be for this community and we have received extremely useful feedback from the forum which we are using to change the user experience in the online store.”
“We are listening to the feedback and take forum comments seriously, so please keep it coming,” said Gibbons.
CNA Online can be found on the MyGaming forum: CNA Online – Specials, Promotions, Support