The retail and wholesale market and its customers are ever evolving. As new disruptive brands enter the market, changing the way retailers interact and connect with consumers, long-time industry players need to be innovative to be able to keep up with these new competitors.

This article offers you an inside look at four Australian retailers and wholesale distributors who are absolutely killing it when it comes to delivering exceptional customer experience. As we outline the winning strategies and technologies being used to keep their customers at the heart of their business, we hope you too find new ideas that you can implement into your own business. 


The quick rundown

Just four years ago direct-to-consumer retailer, Koala, entered the competitive furniture sector, disrupting the stagnant big players in the mattress segment with their idea for a comfortable mattress-in a box, ordered online and delivered almost instantaneously. Customer support is core to their service and central to their organisation. And because the customer service team knows the needs of Koala’s customer best, it plays a central role in moving the company forward.

How do they get the winning edge through customer experience?

Delivery | Delivery is one of the keys to delighting their customer base. Koala offer free express delivery with delivery times under 4 hours in some capital cities. A highly optimised fulfilment process paired with a smart box packaging system is their not-so-secret-sauce to their lightning fast delivery.

Trial and returns | 120-night trial with a full refund offered if customers are unhappy. They even pick it up for free in selected urban locations. This offer provides assurance to buy knowing you can always return if things don’t work out.

Customer feedback | Koala meticulously gather insights about customer satisfaction, loyalty, advocacy and share them throughout the company – using an integrated customer feedback tool. More recently, Koala has invested in advanced data and analytics to bring customer insight into every step of its decision-making processes.  


The quick rundown

Since 1995, T2 have gone from strength to strength as they reimagined the potential of the humble tea leaf, eventually becoming a global lifestyle brand. Not only do they boast nearly 100 bricks and mortar retail stores, they also have thriving wholesale, eCommerce and marketplace channels. Over the years T2 embraced digital transformation through a unified strategy incorporating the digital world and the physical store to create a truly connected experience for the customer.

How do they get the winning edge through customer experience?

Customer feedback loops | T2 understand that listening to their customers helps them understand customer needs and purchase behaviour to ultimately exceed customer expectations. This is made possible by leveraging the case management capabilities of their NetSuite ERP solution to automate and organise T2’s customer inquiries and feedback. T2’s integrated ticketing system allows the support team to quickly and easily manage customer enquiries and support issues while providing insight into customer needs and expectations.

United eCommerce & POS | The systems implemented by T2 are driven by the need to deliver the best possible level of ecommerce experience. A newly introduced POS solution – Infinity - is enabling T2 to unify the in-store and online experiences, offer alternative payment methods such as After Pay and Clearpay and synchronise customer data to deliver consistent offerings and messaging, wherever the customer shops.

The Iconic

The quick rundown

The Iconic are an Australian and New Zealand fashion and lifestyle eCommerce powerhouse and part of a global fashion group also comprising Zalore, dafiti and lamoda. They recognise that their customer have been critical as they transformed from an eCommerce online retail start-up to what they are today – an organisation that liberates the customer through technology, fashion and innovation.

How do they get the winning edge through customer experience?

Exceptional delivery and fulfilment | Year-on-year growth of 50% has driven home the need for modern fulfilment practices that can maintain consistency at scale. Their dispatch warehouse has grown alongside the company, currently able to house around 2 million items at once. Despite these big numbers, their fulfilment centre runs on a 99.8 percent on time dispatch. Achieving this means working in close partnership with their delivery partners and allowing only a 0.2 per cent tolerance of late delivery. For the customer this means super fast deliveries – the same business day in most capital cities, and free, easy returns.

Monitoring NPS or Net Promoter Score | For The Iconic, their NPS – usually around the high 8s - is a core focus that guides their technology roadmap. By using the NPS to understand and listen to the customer they are able to better understand what improvements the customer wants, how they can boost the user experience, and what future innovations would benefit the customer. For example, they knew that online shoppers struggle to find the right size, so they developed Find Your Fit, an online tool to assist customers in determining an item's best size for them.

Mobile-first experiences | With over a million downloads, The Iconic app offers shoppers media rich app experiences such as curated daily edits, trending articles and recommended products, helping to create a more engaging and immersive digital experience.

Linen House

The quick rundown

Linen House is an online and in-store retailer specialising in designing, sourcing and bringing to market a diverse range of textile homeware products. Beyond Australian shores, they have partner companies in New Zealand, South Africa, Hong Kong, and the UK plus distributors in North America, Europe, and Asia.

How do they get the winning edge through customer experience?

Cloud business solutions | When Linen House decided to expand from wholesaling into bricks and mortar retail and online B2B, they upgraded their entire business system to the highly robust NetSuite OneWorld, enabling them to efficiently operate their diverse, complex and expanding business. 

They then integrated POS solution, Vend, with NetSuite, Payment Express and Afterpay, rolling it out to nine brick and mortar outlets. With a new integrated POS in place Linen House are fresh on the path to customer service improvements by offering new in-store payment methods such as Afterpay or gift card and loyalty functions.


Feeling inspired to provide your customers with an unforgettable experience, but don’t know where to start? Download our guide to learn how you can build the foundation to a great customer experience into your own business. 

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Annexa is a leading NetSuite partner providing Australian B2B and B2C retailers with customised omni-channel business solutions that support and grow their companies, from point-of-sale and ecommerce solutions to marketing automation systems.