I bought a new pair of boots recently. Long black ones – they are truly beautiful things, and I’m putting them firmly in that box called “investment pieces” because I don’t plan to buy another pair for quite a few years.
This may not seem like an earth shattering event until you take into account that I’ve spent the last two winters without a pair of long black boots because I couldn’t find any that were just what I wanted. And that I chose to order them from a small company on the other side of the world, over the internet, without the opportunity to try them on.
So, how did this happen?
Love at first click: CX is transforming retail
I’m not even sure how I first saw them – most likely a photo on the internet of someone wearing them – but in that instant, I knew that they were the boots I was looking for. Bonus: They were also arriving from the UK, a country with a solid history of making specialised products very well.
Once I looked on their website and saw free shipping in both directions – to get the boots to me, but also to return them if necessary – it significantly reduced the risk relating to purchasing sight unseen from so far away. And even better, this wasn’t just free shipping, but free “overnight” shipping, or as close to it as global air travel allows.
On every product page, multiple reviews for the boots with the particular combination of product and colour were front and centre, not hidden down in the corner behind a few extra clicks. Suddenly I was getting a view of a company that cares about their customer experience and understand the benefit this brings their business.
Product I wanted? Tick.
Risk reduced? Tick
Other customers who’ve had a great experience and are willing to call this out publicly? Tick
Me2B: The new retail reality
Recognizing the power of the consumer, SAP announced the launch of SAP Customer Experience and our new platform C4/HANA, with President Alex Atzberger noting that, “The desire for experience is fueling the customer revolution.”
He goes on to say “I call this a revolution because disappointing customer experiences have led people to revolt. They are exerting their independence and taking charge of relationships with their favorite brands. They don’t think in terms of B2B or B2C. This is the “Me2B” world. The implications are clear: the customer dictates the terms and determines how they interact. If they aren’t happy, they don’t stay.”
Beginning in July 2018, the Australian Government will impose 10% GST on internet shopping coming into the country, having been convinced by local retailers that the public buys from overseas sites because of price alone, and that this disparity creates an uneven playing field for them.
In some cases this is probably true, but for many customers the prices are similar and delivery is often slower, and the attraction lies more in the range of products available, the ability to buy quality products not available domestically, and, importantly, inconsistent experiences across online and offline platforms locally.
So back to those boots. Did I buy them? Yes, I did. Was it a great experience? Yes it was. And I’ve been telling everyone that will listen how good it was. Would I do it again? Absolutely.