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Customer service and technological focus power Burberry’s success story

Burberry has credited investment in marketing, technology and customer service for a 14% increase in revenues for the three months to December 31.

Revenues rose year on year to £528m thanks to what the luxury brand called a “compelling and focused” festive offer. Online sales outperformed, with click-and-collect sales doubling from last year following a wider roll-out of the service.

Comparable sales rose 12%, with the business blaming slow footfall for weaker in-store sales, although it noted multichannel transactions had increased as more users registered while in stores and went on to purchase online.

The three-month period saw Burberry bolster its customer services team by 30%, with undisclosed investment ploughed into developing ‘click and chat’ online services and providing sales staff in 100 Burberry stores with iPads. The retailer also rolled out a further three languages – Russian, traditional Chinese and Brazilian Portuguese – to the website, taking the total number of languages to 11.

Burberry’s chief financial officer Carol Fairweather said online customer service was essential to sustainable growth at Burberry as the brand becomes increasingly ‘channel agnostic’.

“As a luxury brand we are all about service, wherever and whenever for the shopper. It doesn’t matter whether it’s online or online, service drives growth,” she said.

“Our service differentiates us from our competitors globally. Click and chat, one-to-one iPads and personalisation services are all essential to servicing our customers, however they choose to shop. It’s a blending of the online and offline customer experience – we just want shoppers to enjoy the Burberry experience.”

For the full year to December 31 Burberry’s operating profit rose 17.1%.

In 2014 the brand is aiming for a“modest increase” from that level. However, it says the year ahead could see further macroeconomic uncertainty and challenging currency

rates that could wipe off £5m at year end.

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