(3 min read)
If your company sells anything online, this is the customer experience to emulate.
According to The Economist (Jan 2, 2021), online purchasing has moved forward at least 5 years in the span of one Covid year. But we all know that the experience of purchasing online can vary from downright poor to awesome. Here’s what shouldn’t and should happen.
After a quick Google search for a few wanted items I found a few deals.
Website 1 – DON’T: make buying hard
This was a big established bricks and mortar sports chain with established trust. They made me go through a rather convoluted process of finding items. When I went to check out, I was encouraged to be a member to get a substantial discount. That required dreaming up a very complex password and checking emails to activate my account. Back to the website and upon checkout I learned that I can’t order both items together because one item could only be picked up at the store! Wait, what? Why was that product available in the online store then? I need to pay now and then drive 50 mins to a store to pick it up! Order cancelled. Exit website, frustrated. Back to Google.
Website 2: DON’T: keep people in the dark
Placed an order for a rather expensive item. Website said it will ship in 5 days. Eight days later no communication. Checked the website, it hadn’t shipped yet. Inquiry resulted in an apology and note saying it will ship soon. Email received the next day saying it had been shipped, except it hadn’t according to the tracking number. 10 days later, still in the dark. Not cool. Not happy. Asked for refund. Not going back.
Website 3 – DO: communicate like this
onsport.com.au was a very simple process. Easy to find what you want and check out. Order placed. I get a really cool welcome email immediately after. Although it was a standard message, it was well written and I actually read the whole thing. It made me feel like I was joining a group of people with common interest. A second email told me that the order was received and again in very simple and pleasant English what’s going to happen next. The process made me look forward to what was to come.
Website 4 – DO: delivery like this
decatholon.com.au had an item I wanted at an amazing price. Again, simple process. Order placed. No nice friendly emails, but very clear email saying order received. The next day I get an email saying the order has shipped and the following day I get an email saying it will be delivered and sure enough it was. Amazing to receive an item in two days. Oh and Onsport’s product also arrived in 2 days and when it was the wrong size, I was able to return it free of charge after a very quick and pleasant email interaction.
It’s simple right. When someone is ready to buy something, make it hard for them to place the order and well, it’s too easy to find an alternative elsewhere. When someone buys something, they are excited and want to enjoy it asap. Keep them waiting and the excitement wanes. When you wow them with great service, you create fans.
Experience to emulate
Get your online experience communicating like onsport.com.au and then delivering like decatholon.com.au and you will not just have repeat customers but fans that will love you and talk about you. In today’s digital world, that is the holy grail. Over to you.
By Neshan Dias – founder and CEO of Bhoozt. Over the past 20 years, not only has Neshan learned some of these lessons the hard way through a few business startups but he has helped a number of companies save time, money and energy in growing their business. His latest startup, Bhoozt, helps companies grow repeat business by building digital fans. Here’s how.
Drop Neshan a note here or email: firstname.lastname@example.org