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In conversation with Cox & Cox: Building Resilience to macro-economic challenges

We recently spoke with Aynsley Peet, Director of eCommerce at Cox & Cox, about how the online homeware retailer builds resilience to macroeconomic challenges through innovation and iteration. 

In this discussion, we see how Cox & Cox builds resilience to the macroeconomic challenges that we’ve all experienced or heard about recently. As part of that, we delve deeper into the company’s strategy and some of the successes that it has achieved over the last couple of years.

The Economic Situation in the UK 

We are seeing consumer confidence at its lowest levels since the 70s and with issues like the cost of manufacture or shipping and delivery worrying retailers, what is Cox & Cox doing to monitor and tackle the situation?

Communication within the team

Cox & Cox value high levels of communication and the current economic situation is high on the agenda in recent meetings. Aynsley Peet shared that these meetings always incorporate news stories and general trends.

‘These are tough conversations we’re often having but by communicating we feel that we can address things and hopefully move the business forward.’

Overcoming traffic concerns

Traffic decline ‘seems fairly common across a lot of eCommerce websites’ but Cox & Cox is seeing what ‘we can do to be positive and focus on delivering fantastic performance’.

‘What we’re really looking at is the change in behaviour we are seeing when we get customers onto the site. They are spending longer on the site. So we’ve been looking at how we can improve that journey.’

If traffic is lower than usual, consider taking the same innovative mindset that you apply to your web optimisation to other touch-points in the customer journey too. You might publish a print catalogue, a newsletter or a survey campaign to see if this improves conversion rates.

Adjusting pricing

As other brands look to bring in lower prices, are Cox and Cox changing what they’re buying and merchandising in the next 12 months?

‘We’re looking at what price points are going to work best for our customers. We’re expecting that customers will be looking for discounts and it will be harder to sell at higher price points, so we’re just going to have to be very conscious of that, and of what’s going on in the world.’

Building a resilient strategy

Over the past two to three years, Cox & Cox has continued to invest in technology, which has allowed them to expand and accelerate. The pandemic heightened this growth further as it drove people to invest in indoor furniture. 

“We’ve been doing a lot of AV testing and using an optimization agency to kind of bring in innovative and fresh ideas into our business. That will be our focus over the next six to 12 months. We’ll be bringing in any big tech and big tech projects.”

The team at Cox & Cox also credit confidence for their resilience as a company: ‘We’re listening to the board, sharing what ideas, data, optimizing technology we need to be looking at so it’s just about communication, for everyone to be confident to offer ideas.’

A roadmap to success

To help them through macroeconomic challenges, Cox & Cox is working through a roadmap of 6-12 months. Yet Aynsley Peet believes that sometimes it’s best to delay a roadmap or hit pause if something isn’t working: ‘don’t be afraid to pull that project and start something new.’

Thanks to this dynamic approach, Cox & Cox is still able to bring energy and flexibility to the way they do business, regardless of how the economy is faring. 

Key Takeaways

  • Keep your team in the loop as updates come in
  • Overcome traffic concerns by optimising and innovating
  • Maintain a positive attitude – Optimism is the answer!
  • Consider adjusting pricing approaches
  • Build a resilient (and flexible) strategy roadmap