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E-commerce

Cult US brand launches local e-commerce site

Sonos, the wireless speaker brand that has gained a cult following in the US, has now launched a local e-commerce presence Down Under, citing the growing popularity of online shopping.

The Australian website, which went live today, sells the full range of home sound systems directly to customers and offers free shipping on all orders, as well as local customer support.

Australian customers could previously buy Sonos products from major retailers Down Under, including Myer, David Jones, JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman and specialty audio retailers, but were not able to purchase directly from the company until now.

A spokesperson for the company said that establishing a direct relationship with customers will allow it to gain a better understanding and deliver a premium experience at every touchpoint, not just at the checkout.

Sonos said it is committed to sharing the learnings it gains from the online channel with existing partners to further improve the customers’ overall journey.

The company in 2016 opened its first bricks and mortar store in New York City based on two simple principles: looking and sounding great.

The store features seven unique listening rooms, where customers can trial products in a home-like environment.

This was a conscious decision to convey the mission of the brand to fill every  home with music, according to Sonos GM Whitney Walker, who gave a tour of the store to Inside Retail editor Dimitri Sotiropoulos earlier this year.

“We decided we were only going to have seven fixtures in this store, where people could really demo our product and listen to and interact with our product,” Walker said.

“I say it’s a bold move because most retail stores are geared to be able to serve lots of customers all at once and we made this very clear choice to constrain that, and the reason is we needed to able to create these tiny homes where someone could get a whole audio experience, really get that ultimate demo that we’re getting at a friend’s house,” he said.

“The reason that most people go to visit the store is to see the design, and how beautiful it is. But when people have visited the store, most come away talking about the staff – we worked almost as long on how we would recruit staff.”

Sonos employs people with backgrounds in music, including sound engineers, to generate the vibe of an old record store. The store’s location in the Soho neighbourhood of New York City also reflects this.

“Right across the street from the store used to be Greene St. Recording studios where Run DMC and a tonne of great rap artists from the 80s and 90s worked,” Walker said.

All quotes from Sonos GM Whitney Walker are from a story first published on our sister site, Inside Retail Australia

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