This year’s Bricks & Clicks Franchisor Forum delivered an invaluable day of collaboration between 60 franchisor executives and 11 leading omnichannel experts. The case studies by CEOs and CMOs from leading brands, including Kwik Kopy, Howard’s Storage World, JAX Tyres and The Laser Group, were particularly insightful and one of the most popular aspects of the program.
If you were unable to attend but want to know what happened, here’s a recap. Plus you’ll find some useful resources from the Forum at the end of this page.
After opening remarks from our MC, Jewli Turier, we used FRI’s famous Group Scoop technique to identify current challenges for franchisors in the digital space. This included policing social media, choosing the right strategy partners, and ensuring consistency across channels to create a seamless customer experience. The beautiful venue and location certainly added to the collaborative mood in the room!
Glyn Parry from JAX Tyres delivered our first case study in an interview format with Greg Nathan. Glyn talked about how the JAX “Click & Fit” strategy is contributing directly and indirectly to their double digit sales growth in stores. Glyn talked about the importance of customers having access to the same information, including pricing, from all channels.
James Horne from Balance Internet delivered an expert update on eCommerce trends in franchising. We learned about the complexity of an effective eCommerce ecosystem, which includes payment gateways, logistics, data management, finance, marketing, social media and more! James talked through the considerations around delivering a great customer experience, reducing fraud and mining the data. This information is provided for you below.
Dominic Panetta, Chief Marketing Officer with Howards Storage World, delivered an informative case study on their innovative customer loyalty strategy that has generated a 30% increase in basket size and won several best practice awards. Dominic’s slides are provided at the end of this page.
In a recent survey of Australian franchisors and franchisees by Traffika, 72% of respondents named “lack of resources to implement and monitor the digital strategy” as their biggest barrier to success. Of those with a social media presence, 45% said digital was managed by a junior member of staff. Matt Forman from Traffika presented these and other findings from the survey. Traffika have made this full report available to you — see the link below.
Michael Schaper, Deputy Chair of the ACCC heads the team that monitors the Franchising Code of Conduct. It was great to get his thoughts on how online sales may affect the franchising relationship under the Code, especially as Item 12 requires additional disclosure about the ability of a franchisor and a franchisee to sell online. Dr Schaper has made his slides and some other resources available to you as the bottom of this page.
There are also a number of legal considerations when developing an omnichannel strategy, and Nick Rimington from Norton Rose Fulbright provided some useful tips. This session tied in nicely with the information provided by Dr Schaper.
When asked “Stand if you have purchased something online in the last week?” most delegates arose! That question was posed by Matt Godfrey from Australia Post & Star Track. Matt shared statistics on the growth of online sales in Australia, and importantly what we’re buying. For this and more, see the link below to the Inside Australian Online Shopping industry report.
We were then joined by two franchisor CEOs who shared their experiences using technology to improve franchise performance. David Bell explained how Kwik Kopy went about developing its own custom-built solution enabling franchisees to improve productivity and better analyse customer purchasing habits. Steve Keil from Laser Group, on the other hand, talked about their success implementing a range of “off-the-shelf” solutions for their business. Both CEOs stressed the need to get franchisees on board from the outset of the project through consultation and pilot testing.
Lunch provided a great opportunity for delegates and speakers to mix in a relaxed environment. Did we mention what a gorgeous venue the Encore at St Kilda is? And the food! So many people commented on the quality of the food. And then we were into our concurrent workshops.
Matt Forman ran a popular workshop on coordinating digital marketing and social media strategies. One key takeout was to link local pages to the corporate website to showcase your franchisees.
Brian Walker from Retail Doctor Group gave examples of companies who apply omnichannel as a “mindset” rather than a strategy. It should all be about the customer experience!
Matt Godfrey shared lessons on managing an eCommerce chain from fulfillment to shipping and delivery, through to returns and James Horne offered his expert advice on developing a profitable eCommerce site for your network. One key tip — your web pages should load within 4 seconds!
Graham McCorkill and Logan Merrick from Buzinga discussed the steps involved in developing an engaging app for your business. “Remember”, they said, “the first iteration won’t be perfect, and that’s OK!”
Greg Nathan and Nick Rimington hosted an open forum on about how best to manage franchise relationship challenges when implementing new technology, and shared a number of practical strategies to maintain good communication.
After a break Daryl Sadgrove from Telstra shared their innovative “Tap & Take” technology, which replaces printed brochures with a digital solution, allowing customers to review their favourite products at a later time. This was a great case study on what’s possible in the online space.
Our last franchise case study was presented by Bridget Blake from endota spa. Bridget spoke honestly and openly about the issues the business has overcome in sharing online revenues with their franchisees. There were a number of lessons from this case study, including to the be open and transparent from the outset, and don’t get caught up in the emotion of the situation.
In the final session our expert panel — Matt Forman, Brian Walker and James Horne — addressed questions from delegates and our resident psychologist, Greg Nathan, delivered a closing address on The Neuroscience of Creating Franchisee Engagement with New Initiatives. Greg emphasised the need to respect franchisees, keep them informed, give them choices, remind them we are in this together, and to ensure all decisions pass the “sniff test” of fairness.
Based on participant feedback, it was a fantastic day with overall satisfaction coming in at 86%, and 93% of participants saying they achieved their objectives for attending. In particular people said they appreciated:
A number of tools and slides have been provided by some of our speakers for you to use — so even if you weren’t able to make it on the day, you can access some of this great information (see Resources section at bottom of page).
Here are a few participant comments:
“An excellent and informative conference.”
“Well run, with great attention to detail, like music at the beginning and barista coffee. The good size crowd also made it comfortable.”
“I appreciated the openness of the whole day and the honesty.”
“An excellent mix of participants.”
“A perfect balance of stories and information.”
“Good coverage of current issues and great audience interaction.”
“The whole day was filled with engaging relevant sessions.”
“The complete program and format was really informative and I really liked the interaction.”
“Delivered really poignant and enlightening insights from people in similar positions to me.”
“I’m leaving with ideas, solutions, and experts to look to in certain areas.”
Earlier this year Traffika surveyed franchisees and franchisors from around Australia to identify their digital marketing concerns and capabilities. Matt presented highlights from this report to our Bricks & Clicks delegates.
You can access the full report here: http://traf.kr/1TIdlpv
Dr Schaper explained how online activity is affected by the Code. He has kindly made his slides available to us.
After the Forum, the ACCC also provided more information on excessive credit card surcharges: http://www.accc.gov.au/update/ban-on-excessive-payment-surcharging
The ACCC offers useful information and also sponsors free franchise training for prospective franchisees. To keep up with the latest news and events relevant to the franchising sector, sign up to their Franchising Information Network at https://www.accc.gov.au/media/subscriptions/franchising-information-network
After the Forum, James also created a really cool summary called "Our Top 20 Observations from Bricks & Clicks 2016". You will find it here: https://www.balanceinternet.com.au/digital-strategy-for-franchise
You can access the full report here: http://startrack.com.au/acquire
You can access Graham’s notes here: http://www.buzinga.com.au/bricks-clicks-forum-2016/