HiFi-Klubben wants to elevate customer experience to the next level

Meet one of our supernovas. HiFi-Klubben is of the best omnichannel retailers in Scandinavia.

In recent years HiFi-Klubben has made a vast increase in their digital turnover. Now, the high-end electronics retailer wants to boost customer experience by turning physical shops into arenas of sound and vision.

Director of E-commerce and Omnichannel at HiFi-Klubben, Karsten Birkelund, has invited us inside the showroom of the sound specialist in the recently built headquarters in the small town of Lystrup, just outside Denmark’s second-largest city, Aarhus.

The sleek furnished showroom is painted in stylish toned-down colors. With its cozy couch environment, state-of-the-art stereo systems, and screens it bears a resemblance to a living room in the upper echelons of society.

“This is not a 1:1 depiction of our future stores, but it’s a bit of the same feel and vibe we want them to ooze”, Karsten Birkelund tells.

Hifi klubben
Room for improvement

It is no secret that HiFi-Klubben has invested heavily in a digital transformation, and according to Karsten Birkelund, in the financial year which just ended, HiFi-Klubbens saw digital revenue leap from 20 to 30 percent of the business’ 1,2 billion danish kroner turnover.

The next step is to get the retailers’ physical stores to play a significant part in regards to HiFi-Klubbens overlaying future strategy: HiFi-Klubben 3.0. The boost of the in-store experience is a part of a ‘Back to core’ strategy where the aim – in an omnichannel perspective – is to get even more of their customers to visit the physical stores to experience the high level of customer service, expertise, and products.

We want our stores to act more like a showroom where our employees can present impressive sound and screen experiences, guide the customers towards an online sound purchase

Karsten BirkelundChief Digital Officer at HiFi-Klubben

A tactic to make room for more arena-like customer experiences is freeing up space by removing counters and minimizing the shop’s local stock, centralizing inventory in larger warehouses. The latter will help to streamline and increase the speed of the order and delivery process which – to many peoples surprise – is needed, Karsten Birkelund tells.

“From a customer perspective HiFi-Klubben has always performed well, but what hasn’t been visible from the outside is that we, concerning the customers’ orders, have been working too manually. We’ve looked into that and now the task in front of us is to continue to professionalize the chain-of-supply and make it scalable”.

Effectiveness frees expertise

A feature that Hifi-Klubben is especially proud of is the infamous passion and knowledge possessed by the retailer’s employees. And Karsten Birkelund sees the new digital transition as a vehicle to utilize this passion and therefore cater the customers even better:

“Many of our dedicated expert-personnel have used a disproportionate amount of their working hours to carry the order through in an ‘analog’ fashion and performing unnecessary accounting tasks. Now that we are getting automation up to speed, these sound and tech-savvy persons can use their time on their core competence – counseling and guiding our customers”.

In regards to product pages, Karsten Birkelund thinks that HiFi-Klubben already does a pretty decent job, highlighting the online pros and cons product page as a feature he thinks works very well. The next step for HiFi-Klubben will be to utilize their employees’ expertise even better online.

The product knowledge our personnel possesses in our stores is enormous. But we want it to show it online as well. We want the faces and passion of our employees to live on our digital output, so the customers can see who they are communicating with and where all this unique knowledge stems from.

Karsten BirkelundChief Digital Officer at HiFi-Klubben
More online milieu

According to Karsten Birkelund, another area HiFi-Klubben wants to improve online is in the feeling of milieu surrounding the products. This is important because HiFi-Klubben has realized that many potential customers have the preconception that speakers are ugly, which proves to be a stumbling block for purchase.

“We need a visual upgrade on our product detail page. I want us to present our speakers in a setting that makes people realize that they look awesome. And that there’s also a viable option of a build-in solution”, Karsten Birkelund says and adds:

“Many of our products are very stylish, and of course the online milieu needs to keep up with that”.

Amazon on the horizon

Every retailer in the Nordics is well aware that Amazon is luring in the bushes, ready to take on the Scandinavian markets. The digital journey and transformation of HiFi-Klubben aim to equip the company to compete against big international chains. Karsten Birkelund is well aware of the shift of paradigm, but he and HiFi-Klubben is up for the challenge:

“Of course Amazon is an entity that we must take very seriously. We need to continue to develop our digital universe, make it better and challenge them on parameters where we are superior – such as service and expertise”.