I had an unbelievably seamless omnichannel consumer experience through all available shopping channels when I shopped with Shoes of Prey'sShoes of Prey's design your own shoe, an Australian-owned online company.
1. Choice of Channels with different but consistent experiences
As a time-poor, full time working mother of two and co-owner of a small business, I use my valuable spare time using digital channels to find what I'm looking for - but I equally like to touch and feel things I'm intending on buying - like shoes. I'm also limited with how much 'free ranging browsing' time I have, so I rely on my digital channels to guide me through the entire consumer purchase path. Miss me on Google, Facebook, Twitter and email and you've lost me.
2. First class customer service, regardless of channel
First up, had it not been for a bullet proof returns policy (full refund within 12 months of purchase for unworn shoes), I wouldn't have gone ahead with my purchase. Customer Happiness is at the forefront with Shoes of Prey. Whilst the waiting period was 4 weeks, I was delighted to be emailed during the 4th week to be told of a delay on the fabric – delighted because the delay was about the QUALITY of the shoe, what's another week for the perfect shoe? A $40 credit of compensation to my account only encouraged me to buy another pair. On delivery, my shoes were a ½ size too big – gutted. Like I'm going to have time to wait in a post office queue. Ahhhh – but with this amazing omni channel experience, I didn't have to. I dropped into the Sydney HQ office (or the David Jones Sydney store) for my refitting, met by the lovely Customer Happiness team who used my first name and instantly knew what needed to be done, at their own cost. Customer Happiness was the beginning of my amazing premium experience.
3. Premium experiences command acceptance and willingness to pay more
I'm not a premium type of person, but I appreciate quality. My actual decision to buy from Shoes of Prey was after hearing Joel, Acquisition Marketing Manager, describe what happens on delivery: “it's pretty cool, the shoes come in a black box with a black velvet shoe bag with a fabric ribbon." WOW, I wanted it right away. Look at what arrived – what was promised and some - a set of gel inserts and personalized letter, sealed with a shoe wax seal, plus a photograph of my amazing shoes. WOW again. The sheer luxury of the packaging made my willingness to invest $400 in shoes a reasonable argument with my husband. I effectively bought designer shoes at retail prices.
4. Slower funnels are not bad, it gives broader reach
I experienced designing my own shoe, some 50 clicks later, I was still changing aspects of the perfect shoe and not really sure if what I designed would work in reality. When I didn't buy my designed shoe, I received an email at the precise moment I was shopping online at home, to remind and prompt me to secure the shoe of my dreams. Then I saw the beautiful designer heel in my Facebook newsfeed. Got me. It may have meant a longer sales cycle, but I'm also a convert, because I explored every possible shoe in the gallery, looking at what others had created, voted in their Facebook poll, and more importantly, planned my very next purchase.
5. Premium Experience + Customer Happiness = Word of Mouth + Loyalty
Converted indeed. I brought my shoes to work so all the women in the office could share the same WOW factor. I've posted my shoes on my social networks, I'm even taking them to meetings with me so clients can experience the WOW. I use Shoes of Prey as an example in all the classes I teach – for their brilliant:
- Omni channel seamlessness
- Customer Happiness / Service
- Quality, connected communications
- Creating desire and consumer behaviour change
My Net Promoter Score (NPS) is most certainly a 10. As retail is horrendously competitive online and our mobile-centric lives start with peer related reviews, recommendations and forums, businesses simply can't afford to miss the boat with a poor experience, because the consumer will simply go somewhere else that looks after them, regardless of where their interaction is conducted. In the end, I didn't just buy shoes, I bought an experience, and Shoes of Prey won an advocate. Oh, they also won Best Online Retailer of Australia at the Australian Retailers Association's annual awards.