Tool specialist encourages retailers to use digital to support and enhance their instore offer.
While stressing the importance of retaining a catalogue format in store, which remains at the heart of the Toolbank model, in the same way as it does for retailers like Argos, Toolstation and Screwfix, Toolbank believes the key to success for its customers is tying it to digital and offering a click and collect service.
Toolbank group sales director Simon Bicknell said: "Retailers can have the catalogue in store but also have a digital device to hand - whether it's a PC or tablet - to back up what customers are looking at in the catalogue and to take them on to the next step. The retailer can show them the product on the screen, check availability and order in for the customer to pick up the next day. No one has to pick up the phone or fax the order over. Consumers and tradesmen are looking for convenience."
He added, referring to Toolbank's online B2B and new My Trade Counter services: "Any physical catalogue can be out of date within minutes of being printed but an online service can be updated as soon as a new line is added. If customers can't find what they are looking for, retailers can help them browse online."
The sentiments echo speakers at the recent European Home Improvement Forum, who debated the issue of digital commerce supporting high street retailer's offers. Speaking at the event and referring to mobile commercie and digital, Paypal's Matthias Setzer said: "This is not just a little trend happening here... this is changing commerce as we know it. It's changing the way companies have to work."
Mr Bicknell added: "A laminated catalogue instore will help generate more sales but, if you partner it with online, the potential is much greater."
His comments come following last week's launch of Toolbank's annual Christmas 'Real Deals for You' promotion, which has already seen a positive reaction for retailers and merchants throughout UK and Ireland