Session 1 – walking in your customers’ shoes

GeekMeet is a regular digest roundtable of ecommerce minds from the consumer branded world, sharing learnings from their everyday work.

Under Chatham House rules, the forum provides a vehicle for like-minded individuals to freely discuss trading conditions, issues, trends and innovation whilst benchmarking online marketing strategies, people and agencies.

Do you think like your customers? Do you know what makes them angry? Does paying £4.99 for delivery and then the same again for returns irritate them? Or getting an email to tell them that you have slashed prices a day after they bought something?

These may be twenty-century rich world problems, but ones that customers frequently complain about when we at Piper undertake research on these matters. The GeekMeet forum discussed how all too many brands still pay too little attention to these frustrations.

Amazon (projected to have a turnover of $100bn by 2015 and voted the best for online shopping according to Brits snapping up Christmas gifts) and John Lewis (has seen growth of 25%+ and 1.5m click & collect orders) were both mentioned as industry benchmarkers in the online space. By spoiling customers through their ingenuity, they have become purveyors of simplicity, guiding them through their imaginariums, treating them no differently to in-store customers.

Other brands must learn from them as a way of refining their ecommerce platforms and showcasing their personalities by targeting Joe rather than Jo. As an ecommerce manager, try answering ‘yes’ to these questions and perhaps someone will even make your brand’s online experience a noteworthy conversation at a (dull and dying) dinner party:

  • Have you and your colleagues ever gone through your own payment or online customer journey?
  • Has your CEO ever talked to a customer?
  • Have you ever tried out maverick brand’s online customer journeys and learnt from them?
  • Have you ever cancelled an offer mailout to a customer after they have bought an item?
  • Have you ever asked the customer how they like to pay or be communicated with?
  • Have you ever tried giving customer free shipping or returns and monitored the impact?
  • Have you ever looked at what point customers are most likely to abandon their baskets?
  • Have you ever asked your customer how they would like to collect their purchase?