FEATURE12 October 2017

Understanding Halfords’ customer journey

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Features Impact Retail UK

When Zoe Nicolay joined Halfords in 2015 as head of customer, just 3% of the retailer’s sales could be matched to an identified customer. By focusing on creating a single customer view, Halfords now has a clear understanding of them and their journey. By Bronwen Morgan


Nicolay had been with the company for one week when CEO Jill McDonald joined and put her first question to the business: “What do we know about our customers?”

“The answer she got was: ‘Not a huge amount’, ” says Nicolay, who is the first person to hold the customer-focused role at the company. 

The paucity of customer insight was a result of previous CEO Matt Davies’ focus on transforming the company’s operations. 

“At that time [during Davies’ tenure], Halfords’ challenges were more around staff morale, knowledge and training. 

“He [Davies] completely transformed that. His focus was on getting the staff in the right place. There wasn’t a huge requirement then for thinking about customers, because they needed to set up the foundation with the staff beforehand. 

“So I think it was just at the point that they were recruiting the next CEO that there was this recognition that, ...