The word disruptive is highly overused in retail, so we don’t apply it to businesses lightly, but Silicon Valley-based technology start-up, Enjoy, really is disrupting the traditional e-commerce fulfilment model.
Launched last year, Enjoy has set out to change the way people buy and experience technology by bringing a human touch to digital retail. They are already supplying the latest tech products in their highly different and personal way to consumers across four major U.S. cities – San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles.
So here’s how Enjoy works…for the same price you’d pay on other sites or at other retailers, every purchase made on Enjoy.com or through one of its partner’s sites is hand delivered by one of Enjoy’s highly-trained personal tech experts at the precise time and location of your choice, in as fast as four hours. The Expert will then spend up to an hour helping you set up your device, answer questions, share personalised tips and tricks and demo new features to make sure you’re getting the most out of your new device. This white glove service is free with every purchase.
To find out more about this digital upstart, and how a personalised last mile experience could upset the e-commerce apple cart, we spoke to Neda Navab from Enjoy’s product team.
Where did the Enjoy concept come from?
Our co-founder and CEO, Ron Johnson, led Apple Retail for many years, and a lot of Enjoy’s principles comes from his experience at Apple. When the Apple store first launched, the idea of any tech company having a retail store seemed ludicrous to many people, but he was able to create a phenomenal in-store experience with the genius bar.
Ron pioneered this idea that you should get great service because you’re an Apple customer, and not have to pay extra for it, and Enjoy is built on the same principle. We wanted to add a human touch to the precision and convenience of e-commerce.
How do you ensure the Enjoy delivery experience is consistent and fulfilling for every customer?
The things we’ve chosen to invest in are quite different from traditional retail and pure play commerce. The training and development of our Experts is our top priority, and we can afford to do that because we don’t need to develop big warehouses or store footprints.
We have also worked closely with data scientists from day one to make sure problem solving is in our DNA. We’ve quickly learned the differences between customers in each of the areas we are delivering to, and that enables us to adjust our approach accordingly.
The delivery model you operate is more expensive operationally than traditional shipping methods – what is the pay off in terms of customer loyalty?
We’re very fortunate in the respect that Enjoy is not completely dependent on customer acquisition; we partner with many best in class brands that are willing to assume some costs into their margins in order to be part of Enjoy. However, customer retention is a big part of our value strategy.
When an Enjoy Expert goes out to a customer and helps them get up and running, the seeds of a relationship are sown, and it makes people far more likely to come back to us with their future tech needs.
We can also do unique things like making sure the product is fully charged and has all the latest software updates before the Expert ever arrives at your door, so they’re ready to use out-of-the box, and we offer customers ongoing technology support from their Expert.
We’ve been pleasantly surprised with how important our Expert relationships are in driving customers to come back. Having someone who can understand what you want and personalise that retail experience to your needs is a powerful value add.
What lessons have you learned in your first year?
Our number one aim has been to eliminate any friction and road-bumps in the customer experience. We want to ensure that our Experts have the right information to personalise the service they are offering, and there are no complications – that means getting the back end (logistics) working, so they don’t have to worry about anything at the front end.
What’s next for Enjoy?
We’re expanding into four new markets this summer – Dallas, Houston, Miami and Atlanta – and we also want to focus on increasing the personalisation of our Expert visits. The e-commerce ‘golden children’ like Amazon and Birchbox are moving offline because they realise the importance of interacting with a brand in a multi-dimensional manner, so we need to keep innovating to stay ahead of the curve.