As we know many shoppers are making their purchases online. At first this was because of the saving is cost but these days it tends to be driven from a combination of selection and convenience.

Today’s internet has changed from those early days.  Selling online is much more competitive and some of the big retailers have adapted to the new environment quite quickly (and we know what happens to this who don’t like Clinton Cards don’t we?).  The result is that selling online involves so much more than it used to. The added costs of online marketing and a good website mean that setting up and running a store is no longer the “cheap” alternative to retail (although it can increase reach if done correctly)

Going “into town” used to be the Saturday afternoon destination for the family (do you remember when town centers included creches for the little-one’s?). But more often than not, it’s now a case of pouring a cuppa and spending a few hours checking reviews and prices before tapping in credit card details on the checkout pages.

But that does not mean that customers don’t crave or deserve a memorable experience. I was talking to a start-up business this week. They are selling a single item: a gift at a high price point. A lot of thought had gone into how to develop the product and how to present the website, but when I asked how the item it would be wrapped for postage the response was “brown envelope with a copy of the invoice”. How depressing is that?

I’m all too aware of the increasing costs of setting up an online shop – but if you are going to do it, do it properly. Think about how to wrap and present your products, slip in a thank you card or a loyalty voucher.

Be remembered and be recommended.  Find out more and be part of our eCommerce Conference on 29th May.

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2 Responses to Be remembered and be recommended

  1. Hi Zoe – agree with your comments completely.

    Online retailers need to take some of the best customer experiences from traditional bricks and mortar businesses. Think about the ones you love and why?

    I love a shop called Bravissimo as they’re marketing is spot on, with really good brand consistency, empathetic and knowledgeable staff, plus when you do buy (even online) they wrap all your pruchases up in pretty tissue paper and you get a swanky bag. A really enjoyable customer experience from start to finish! No broken points or disconnects in the customer journey.

    I’ve been helping an independent retail shop http://thestyleroomuk.co.uk and the marketing principals we have employed for an offline retail business, work equally well online.

    We have focused on:

    1. Building a strong brand centred around what makes the business different;

    2. Capturing customers email addresses at every touchpoint so no customer every comes in walks around and leaves – remaining a stranger to the business. This happens so much online, as well as in bricks and mortar businesses. Never forget the bag or package that goes away with the customer and think about what you could put into that to enhance the experience and encourage a repeat visit! We’ve introduced a good old fashioned Loyalty Card – the old techniques do still work!

    3. Embraced social media (Facebook., Twitter and Pinterest) and email marketing as cost effective ways to expand the shop’s geographical reach and stay front of mind, build the brand and engage the customers to repeat purchase.

    It’s working a treat!

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