The Argos catalogue is probably the most well known of all the catalogue brands. They have been around for many years, and are seen as the pioneers of modern retail shopping on the internet and on the high street. They have a multi channel operation, and began with their argos stores on the high street over 3 decades ago. They are one of only a handful of catalogues that still have shops for customers to visit and buy things from. In fact they have hundreds of them, and the larger shops are located in retail parks and are known as the argos superstores, and argos extra stores. These are biggest by far, and stock most of the items found in the regular and extra catalogues.
Argos also operate a very successful online business, and their web site is the second most visited site in the UK, with millions of visitors each and every month. Argos also have the famous paper copy catalogue, and two editions of this are produced and distributed each year. The new editions are met with great anticipation, and the current edition has over 22000 products in the line up. It has proved to be a great success over the years, and is probably the most recognised of all the catalogues in the UK. Over half the UK population has a copy in their home, and regularly use it.
Shopping with argos is very simple because they cater for all kinds of customers. Those with computers can head online and do their shopping there. Others prefer to visit their local store and pick up their goods there. Others like to browse at home and order by telephone. This is the foundation of the success of argos because this multi channel business plan means they cover all the bases.
Whilst most of the competition has moved exclusively online, namely littlewoods, argos continues to use high street stores. At busy times there can be long queues, so the best bet is to go to the bigger shops. The process of ordering has been greatly improved in recent years, and is far more efficient than it used to be. You still pick your chosen items from the catalogue and then wait at the collection area for them.
The one thing that argos has led way with is the check and reserve service that allows customers to order online or by telephone and then collect these goods at their local store. If you do this the delivery is free, and it also enables you to collect at a time that is convenient for you. The home delivery is fine, but you do have to wait in at home for them, and this can be a waste of a day. Most people work during the day, and so do not want to take a days holiday just to receive an order. Because all the argos stores are open till late at night it is just a case of calling in after work and getting them. Bigger items may be more problematic because you may not be able to lift them and fit them in your vehicle. Home delivery is the best option for these items.
The actual argos web site is user friendly and full of a very large range of products. All the different departments are situated on every page, so you can easily navigate to them at all times. The departments are furniture, home and garden, sports and leisure, electricals, appliances, toys and games, photography, video games, gifts and jewellery and health and personal care. Within these different sections are a whole host of useful products.
There are an extra 7000 items available at the web site, and this is to encourage more shoppers to order online. It is the way things are going at this time. Building new stores costs much more money than simply adding the products to the web site, and high street shopping is having a downturn in the last year. Argos Uk makes good use of the web site to promote the latest deals and offers. You are met with a huge banner advertisement when you first arrive, and this advert changes every few seconds to another special offer. This is designed to grab your attention, and all the catalogue sites feature this. If you like the look of the prices then you are more likely to stay at the site and start looking deeper for other deals. This is how the business works, its all about generating interest and keeping customers on the site for longer.
You can shop by price, brand, category, item or if you have a paper catalogue handy by product number. There is a search box at the top of the screen and you just enter the code in there to take you directly to the page requested. For every category there is a buying guide. This can be very helpful if you are looking for the right kind of goods for your needs. You can quickly find out about all the technical jargon, and the specifications of the products. Argos also feature customer ratings on all their items, so you see what other people think about what they have bought. It adds an independent element to the shopping process, and creates more trust for the customers which is very important in retail.
Argos deliver their own things, and have built up a huge network of vehicles to do this. This also acts as a good advertising platform, as the argos name is all over these vehicles, and they are a common site on the roads throughout the UK. Delivery is pretty cheap as well at £5.80 for any item no matter how big it is. You also pay the same price no matter how many things you order, so the best way to save some cash is to order a few things at the same time.
There are a few other things that argos has moved into, and you now have the argos comparison site, argos entertainment and argos spares. They are using their strong brand name to venture into new markets just like tesco and asda are now doing. In fact the competition from the big supermarket chains is hotting up, and argos faces a huge battle to retain its position as the market leader. This price was is bound to bring prices tumbling, and the customer will get better deals in the future, so now is the time to buy things. It will all come down to bulk buying power because these catalogues are all going after the same type of customers, those who shop on a budget. They plan on selling lower priced goods and lots of them.
There are always many sales at argos online, and there is even a special clearance section, and an offers section where you will find the lowest prices goods. This is a very popular place to shop, especially when a new edition of the catalogue has been brought out. Old stock needs to be moved on to make way for the new stock, and the best way to do this is to have a sale. Argos is the master of the sale, and this is a main part of their success over the years.
Payment options are pretty numerous, and you can shop using your own argos account which entitles you to interest free credit if you pay off your balance by the end of the following month. The interest charges are high, but then again, so are all the other catalogues payment charges. If you use it wisely you will not have any problems, and this type of credit is useful at holiday periods when you may need to buy things without paying upfront.
All told the argos catalogue is the most popular catalogue in the UK. They have more customers than anyone else, and have a very strong brand name and trust on the high street. They lead the way with innovative ideas such as the check and reserve service, and the prices are always amongst the lowest you will find. The online site is functional and easy to use, and delivery is fast and efficient. The multi channel operation captures a wide range of customers and makes it easy to do your shopping with argos.
If you do need to return anything you have bought then there are a few ways of getting in contact with someone to help. By phone is the quickest way, just follow the “contact us” link on the main argos website. You can also use twitter if you are signed up. There are “argos helpers” on twitter who will answer your query asap. Another alternative is to e-mail argos using their customer service address. The final method is to just take your order back to the store you bought it from. Under the distance selling regulations you can return any item within 7 working days from when you received it for a refund.