Building an effective customer journey across multiple touchpoints was the topic passionately debated by Paul Kraftman, Chief Executive at Menkind, Rachael Jones, Former Head of E-commerce at Seedlip and David Kohn, Director of Ecommerce at Heal’s at Ecommerce Expo last week.
Moderator Nick Everitt, Director of Advisory EMEA at Edge by Ascential, opened the panel session stating “the retail environment is transforming at pace, destruction is accelerating and of course the growth of e-commerce is largely driving that along with the digitisation of the store network. We forecast and predict that in five years’ time e-commerce globally will account for 30% of chain retail.”
Paul Kraftman – Menkind | A new way of acquiring customers?
Speaking on how to acquire customers in-store, Kraftman stated that it should be simple and cost-effective. Menkind have implemented a system where people are given a scratch card, they are prompted to go to the website, enter their email and have a chance of winning a prize.
For a retailer who has a relatively low average spend, usually on impulse purchases, trying to capture a customer’s email address was very difficult to do effectively. “With 60% of our business being done in 10 weeks of the year, customers don’t take too kindly to queuing up while people try to quote their email address to correctly input it into the system. The data was very poor doing it that way.”
Since implementing the scratch card initiative, about 25% of Menkind’s customers go online and enter their address in order to be included in the competition, leading to over half of customers subscribing.
Currently 65% of those subscribers are still on the retailer’s email list. Additionally, when customers use the gift card to make a purchase online, the retailer can then track the customer and monitor the ROI.
David Kohn – Director of E-commerce at Heal’s | Putting people from the stores into our technology experience
David Kohn boldly challenged the “obsession with putting tech into stores as if it’s going to magically improve the experience…we’ve done a few initiatives of that nature in Heal’s and they’ve all proven to be almost entirely pointless,” he continued.
He describes how Heal’s have inverted it. “Rather than putting technology into the stores, we’ve bought people from the stores into our technology experience and we do this via a really interesting distributor live chat…handled by our store associates.”
Hero’s live chat solution allows customers to connect with somebody on the shop floor who is passionate and knowledgeable about the product. They can take a photograph or video, so if somebody’s worried about how comfortable a mattress is, the store associate, can show them what it’s like.
The 200-year-old company has also recently been working with tech provider BounceX, deploying its best-in-class email capture techniques and proprietary identity resolution technology to increase online conversions and reduce basket abandonment.
“We’re bringing the store and the people back into the technology and the results are amazing…There’s nothing like a person-to-person interaction. VR/AR, it will never substitute for the in-store experience and certainly for a brand like us where there’s such an emotional connection with the products, people are turning up there for inspiration that you simply can’t get on the website”.
Rachel Jones – Seedlip | Small brand data in building relationships with retail giants
Rachel Jones brought a different perspective to the panel, with her comments coming from a boutique brand standpoint. She shed light on how the data that start-ups and direct-to-consumer brands are able to gain in the beginning of their life cycle can be used to build relationships with retail giants down the line.
On customer journey optimisation, Jones commented: “It’s tricky. Not only with direct-to-consumer but how you work with retail partners.” On the brand’s launch with Waitrose, she said, “to be able to go to massive companies as a small brand with data showing that consumers really wanted to see the product in-store was effective. It was a huge project and because brand side we were so small, it largely took place between the buyer and sales team.”
“The real struggle is things like SEO”, Jones continued. “[We] spend a huge amount of money to improve it but [we’re] not going to see results for at least six months; it’s difficult with start-ups that need a return immediately.”