Family-run online gift retailer, Prezzybox, was borne out of an emerging opportunity in the online space at the start of the Millennium. Nearly two decades later, founder and Managing Director, Zak Edwards, is at the forefront of the mobile commerce revolution.
Here, he shares his customer engagement tips exclusively with Retail Connections.
Prezzybox has grown significantly since launching in the year 2000 at the start of the dot com boom….
Yes, at that point in time there was a lot of companies with little substance that were highly valued, and we wanted to do it better. My father had recently sold his business so had some money to invest, and although we knew how to buy and sell product, we had no technical or design capabilities between us.
When we first launched, we were getting one order every 2-3 days. Fast forward to today and we’re processing thousands of orders each week and turning over £6 million a year.
How has the growth of mobile impacted your business strategy?
Gone are the days when the vast majority of visitors came from a desktop computer; in December 2016, 54% of our traffic was from mobile, and this was split across 3,000 different types of user device.
As a result, we’re having to do things a lot smarter and segment our customers within each channel. They all have their own specific needs that we have to cater for.
With our desktop shoppers, we’ve got the bandwidth to display HD graphics and incorporate a lot of content. On mobile, however, slower download speeds and smaller screens mean we really have to understand what information is important to website visitors. The flow and funnel of mobile users is key.
I think all retailers are guilty of overcomplicating things sometimes. You need to keep the journey simple and secure, so that mobile users can come onto your website, find what they want and check out quickly.
What other behavioural traits do you factor into your mobile strategy?
I think we, as retailers, need to understand how consumers use mobile devices. Conversion rates tend to be lower than desktop users, because smartphones are primarily a research tool. However, that’s not an excuse, as there are still opportunities to improve conversion rates.
Understanding who your customers are is really important. Baby Boomers are going to use mobile differently from Millennials and Generation Z, who have grown up with digital devices.
The same goes for region; one of the common mistakes retailers make when expanding internationally is not considering how mobile usage varies from country to country – or even which countries drive the most mobile traffic.
What are the customer experience points you need to get right to convert mobile shoppers?
Navigation really is key. I’ve recently been doing a personal research project around the top 20 retailers’ mobile offerings, and it feels like even the leading businesses are still experimenting with the best way to do things. The way companies structure their menu, build landing pages and put banners together varies between sites.
What it ultimately comes down to is user experience, particularly around search. Enabling shoppers to filter, sort and refine their searches is important, as is making the checkout really simple.
How will Prezzybox keep enhancing your mobile offering over the next 2-3 years, as mCommerce opportunities continue to grow?
Mobile is going to have more of an influence on what we do. At the moment it accounts for 54% of our traffic, but only 33% of our revenue, so there is work to be done around maximising return on mobile visits.
We’re doing lots of optimising and testing to see how it impacts conversion, and we’re also going to be analysing mobile shoppers’ journey flow through our website to see how we can provide a better funnel.