Frictionless eCommerce and the DTC Customer Journey Challenge Derek O’Carroll & Neil McKay (episode 186)

If you’re a regular listener to the show you’ll know I’m often talking about the importance of the customer experience, the importance of understanding what they want and giving it to them – in everything from the product, the service, the delivery right through to your marketing.

We’re increasingly in a world where the strength of the emotional connection you make with your customers is your biggest competitive advantage, has the biggest impact on your profit at the end of the year. Serving customer in a fast and frictionless way is the bedrock to building that connection.

The more I’ve learnt about this particular research report, and it’s contents the more I realised I wouldn’t be doing my job as the host of this podcast if I didn’t do an episode getting down into the details…

So Let me introduce you to today’s guests who are going to tell us all about the key lessons from the report that you can all use to improve your eCommerce businesses …

  • Derek O’Carroll, is the CEO Brightpearl, who provide a complete cloud-based back office solution to help retailers and wholesalers grow efficiently.
  • & Neil McKay CEO Endless Gain, who create, optimise and personalise customer experiences to increase revenue for their clients.

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Fast and Frictionless

Brands must act fast to implement a frictionless shopping game plan. Those who don’t risk being eaten alive by DTC native brands that own the entire customer journey. As digitally native brands explode into the DTC market, they pose a threat to retailers and established brands that are failing to own the end-to-end customer experience. Derek and Neil analyze this threat and address the vitality of full customer service in the report, Fast and Frictionless. With the technology evolution that has allowed consumers to become a lot more empowered and the emerging trends of eCommerce platforms, there is an opportunity for innovative business models that operate directly to the consumer (DTC). Derek and Neil took an elaborate survey of 4,000 consumers and 200 brands in the U.K. and in the U.S.A. to find out more about this evolution of DTC. In an increasingly competitive business world, brands must operate under optimized levels of service in order to satisfy the new standard.

Listen to get introduced to the concept of the Fast and Frictionless DTC report.  

Where to Start with Customer Service

From the moment a business reaches a customer, whether that be through an ad or directly on the website, it is vital to give that customer the best experience possible to allow them to actually make a purchase. From there, a business must ensure that fulfillment is managed correctly and customer satisfaction is followed up on. Derek and Neil found in their report that many businesses’ opinions of their customer service varied greatly from the reality according to the customer…and not in a good way. You can spend a lot of time and money trying to copy the tactics of successful businesses, but if you don’t internally analyze what your own customer base desires, then you are going to miss out on some essential information that could help you optimize in the ways that make the most sense for your brand and your customer base.

Buying Decision Influencers

When consumers are asked about the top things that influence their buying decisions, they list price, value for money, the quality of the product, delivery of returns. Contrary to popular belief, discounts aren’t all that important to customers. You can either instigate intrinsic (buying because they want to) or extrinsic (buying because they’re being told to) motivation from customers to get them to buy, and too often retailers rely on extrinsic motivation, educating consumers to wait until the discount comes to surface.

Listen to learn about the benefits of addressing key holes in your business as opposed to relying on a quick fix for a painful win.

What It Takes to Be D2C

Adopting the D2C method of operation is no easy feat for businesses who have already established themselves as B2B or wholesale oriented. That’s why businesses like Bright Pearl and Endless Gain exist; switching to D2C is typically going to be a fully involved transition that requires extensive expertise and time commitment. It’s also important to make sure that any existing customers are not heavily thrown off or alienated by such a drastic transition.

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • Derek: Understand the customer profile and run email nurture to send out personalized offers by understanding each individual.
  • Neil: When using large channels such as Google and Facebook, optimize landing pages so that they are relevant to customers in their quest to discover what they are looking for.

You can hear about all this on the podcast, for free – right now…

Tool Top Tip

  • Slack is a very convenient, efficient way to share material and increase overall productivity.
  • Inventory Planner is a great inventory forecasting tool for retailers that automates and regulates stock.
  • Ongoing research…never stop asking your customers what you can do better.

Growth Top Tip

  • Derek: Ensure that you and your team have an ongoing training program for your technology stack. A lot of issues with retailers are caused by high rates of attrition as compared to other industries, so it is that much more important to streamline an operational playbook to get all new hires on the same page.
  • Neil: Give your customers an amazing experience. Never forget to listen to what they have to say because everyday they are telling you what is working for them and what isn’t.

Interview Links

brightpearl by sage

Brightpearl by Sage provides a retail operating system (ROS) for retailers and wholesalers.
Their mission is clear: automate the back office so you can spend your time and money growing your business fearlessly, without limitations.

Their Built-for-retail features tick every box including inventory management, order management, warehousing, fulfilment, shipping, purchasing, accounting and even retail Business intelligence!
All enabling easy automation to free up your time to focus on growth. Find out more and book at demo here.