Woolworths'online shopping site is now taking credit card payments and is claiming a 40% boost in turnover as a result.
Richard Harrison, Woolworths e-commerce manager, says the increase has occurred since the introduction of credit card payments in March. He says the site, which has been going since November 1998, is now trading 135% up on last year's figures.
Prior to this customers had to print out a direct debit form from the site and mail it to their bank for processing. The delay was putting people off using the site, according to Woolworths project manager Richard Veber. Twelve months of customer feedback showed people were clamouring to pay by credit card.
Work began as soon as Woolworths got clearance from its parent company Hong Kong-based Dairy Farm last December. Woolworths e-commerce manager Richard Harrison says the company looked at all payment solutions available in New Zealand and selected Auckland-based (DPS) Direct Payment Solutions' Payment Express because of its scalability.
DPS hosts the solution which provides a gateway to all major trading banks. Woolworths is linked to DPS via an encrypted tunnel over the Internet.
DPS technical director Andy Cullen says DPS provides the payment system and partnered with Web developer Olympic Software to integrate it with the Woolworths site.
Harrison says the next move will be to tweak the Web site's search engine to make it easier to use, particularly for first-time shoppers.
The Woolworths Web site is used as a model by Dairy Farm, with subsidiaries deploying sites in Hong Kong and Singapore. However, Woolworths found this was holding back development. "We were all trying to keep together but we were being held back. It's a lesson for bricks and mortar businesses - you have to move quicker and be far more responsive."