Balancing the Bricks and Clicks with Jarrold Department Store Neil Park (episode 378)

Neil Park is the Head of eCommerce at Jarrold Department Store. The store was founded in 1770 and is a shopping, beauty, and dining destination in its hometown of Norwich. They’ve had an eCommerce store for 10 years, that really came into its own during the last 2 pandemic years pushing sales up 250%, and leading to 3.8 million visitors a year online.

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Neil’s Backstory

Neil ran his own website in the early days of eCommerce that sold outdoor and camping equipment. It spawned off a second website and brought in a revenue of £3.5M before it was acquired by Jarrold.

Jarrold thought it would be impossible to build a website for a department store because of the vast range of products, so they bought a niche website in the outdoor industry to get started and build on.

About Jarrold Department Store

  • Based in Norwich in the UK
  • Delivers nationwide, with 80% nationwide orders and 20% local
  • Uses Divendo, an eCommerce platform that’s also based in Norwich

Neil says they also do integrations with other various things, which they need to keep adding in order to make their online store work smoothly.

The eCommerce Team

Neil heads the eCommerce team of Jarrold, and he looks after the loyalty club and customer service for the store.

Under him, there’s also the fulfillment team and content team. The latter looks after the fast-changing range of products on the website and also does SEO among other things, and Neil says they do a fantastic job considering the wide range of items they carry.

About Marketing

On the marketing side, Neil says they do a fair amount of Google Shopping and they also work hard on their email marketing.

They have a host of campaigns including welcome campaigns, anniversary, cart abandonment, and browse abandonment. Neil also mentions personalization which can be tricky to do because of their huge product range.

There’s the Jarrold Privilege where members get quite a number of benefits, and they also do a lot of retargeting.

A Balancing Act

For Neil, it’s a lot of work handling an eCommerce site that gets customers to check out, but also encourages them to visit the store.

They use a lot of imagery about the store, but also make sure they come across as a familiar place to make it easy for any customer to shop, regardless of where they are in the country.

Jarrold Store Folk

Jarrold Store Folk is a marketplace that showcases brilliantly curated craftsmen, artisans, and small businesses from the area of Norfolk.

Coming up with the marketplace was Jarrold’s way of supporting the local businesses and retailers. Neil says that they’ve learned a lot from just the first several months of running it, and are now even offering pop-ups in-store. He also mentions that the key to Store Folk’s success is being able to allow sellers to integrate swiftly and easily.

Marketplacer, a software company from Australia, provided the backend system for the platform.

The Gift Finder

Last Christmas, Jarrold worked with Mike and Dylan at Boon and used psychological analysis and artificial intelligence to generate a tailored gift finder.

With Boon’s technology, Jarrold put pop-ups on applicable pages and recommended gift ideas specific to users and their recipients based on responses to several questions.

Neil says this worked for them and converted well.

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • For Neil, email is an important driver for traffic.

Tool Top Tip

  • Monday project management tool

Growth Top Tip

  • Find your marginal gains and be as efficient as possible to grow your business.
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  • 263: Story, brand and the cross channel selling balancing act with Quicke’s Cheese’s Tom Chatfield

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