DIY retailer Wickes has increased the value of its online sales by 70% in the past year after introducing a range of initiatives on its website.

The retailer introduced national next-day delivery of bulky items, such as cement and bricks, on its site in March last year. It said sales and market share had increased “significantly” as a result.

During 2010 Wickes also upgraded its website functionality, upped its TV and marketing spend, and improved the range of bathrooms available online.

The website launched in 2005 but multichannel director Simon Holder said the online drive in the past year had improved profitability. The retailer has been focusing on selling bigger items that shoppers can’t fit in their cars.

“A lot of people in our sector tried to take on, but we realised that our strength was big, heavy products - that makes us unique. We’re seeing incredible results,” he said.

The profitability of the website has given the retailer the confidence to invest in other projects, Holder said. It is looking at marketing on social networks and is exploring mobile and multichannel projects this year.

“We’ve done things that have worked for us and are profitable. This has enabled us to get the investment we need and start to change the culture of the business.”

Wickes is working on integrating store systems with online and building the infrastructure necessary to develop its multichannel offer.