Experience the Purchase

GCM Blog Posts
As brands take customer experiences to the next level, the purchase process has become a thing of beauty. The new wave of e-commerce websites like Shoes of Prey are giving their offline counterparts a serious run for their money.

Online can be beautiful

The challenge with an online sales experience is that there is no direct human contact. Your website is your client’s personal shopper, salesperson and customer service rep. And yet, some brands like Shoes of Prey have managed to create an experience that is jaw-droppingly amazing. An elegant site in pleasing colours, the use of tasteful images and intuitive navigation make the customer purchase experience something to covet.

Personalise it

Bespoke services and products are all the rage today as successful young professionals as well as well heeled older customers seek out something unique. The need for having something that you can call your own has spawned customisation services that adapt brilliantly to the online medium. Since a customer self selects features, there is little scope for mix-up and a customer walks away feeling great about having played a part in designing their product.

For instance, Shoes of Prey lets you pick everything from your shoe colour, style and even what kind of leather you would like to use. Heel heights can be customised with a nifty inch rule, embellishments can be added on and you even get to decide on the way the back of the shoe is cut (doing away with pesky shoe bites).

Elegant simplicity

Shoes of Prey gets it right with their easy to follow step-by-step process to customise a pair of shoes. At each stage, you are shown lovely sketches or images of options to choose from. A customer begins by picking a basic style ranging from flat oxfords to heeled gladiators and ballet flats and more.

Once you make this initial selection, little help buttons pop up to guide you through the process. The trick is to simplify things as much as possible so the customer focuses on the products on offer and doesn’t have to waste time on how to actually get around the website.

Inspire the customer

Your customers may sometimes need a little nudge in the right direction. You would have your staff bring over designs they might like based on what they’re browsing through on the racks at an offline store. Online, Shoes of Prey throws up previously designed shoes which came off similar selections made by you.

These images can inspire a customer to experiment with different patterns and add-ons for their own product as well. You may also have a blog or inspiration boards to give them ideas to make their own. Shoes of Prey has a Style Advice section where you can pick up tips, and a gallery to browse through shoes that may inspire you into doubling up your purchase or picking something ‘off the shelf’ and then customising it!

The last leg

Service is everything. And this last leg can make or break the purchase experience. Make it simple for them to pay. Offer prominent helplines or online chat support if possible. Let the customer know by when they can expect a response to an email. Then keep your promise.

The way a product is packaged when it is delivered can also be a big part of the customer experience. Brands like Shoes of Prey have recognised it as an opportunity to create another ‘wow’ moment for the customer. Shoes of Prey put a printed image of the shoes on the box so you can quickly locate it when you tuck your new pair away with your collection.

A personalised note in the package, and some beautiful packaging can blow the socks off the customer. And that’s how some brands have taken a purchase experience and turned it into an experience of a lifetime.

Check my own Shoes of Prey, “Green Chilli Marketing” heels my husband custom designed for me:

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Does your website have the wow factor for your customers? 
Is your website simple enough for the customer to use?
What small changes could you implement to improve your clients online experience? 

And that’s the Dish!  Until next time, Belinda


Belinda Bow

I am Belinda Bow

I love all things marketing and I thrive on seeing a business become re-energised and flourish. I am excited about life and I adore my family.

Within these articles, you’ll find some helpful tips and some real guidance to help you make the most of your business, and gain a good understanding of all things marketing.

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