Well, here we go, after 71 days of not blogging why not start with a clean sopping experience form a kids store. Polarn o. Pyret a Swedish quality kids brand just (recently I believe) launched a web shop. After looking around for some short for my son I realized, Po.P got e-commerce. A clean and intuitive interface which is “on brand” to use a cliche, but this is Po.P straight through. Good clean product shots, color picker, complete info surrounding the products with a great cart function. And almost everything is within one click… Even got a blog this function (somewhat basic) and a used section (köp o. sälj) where you can sell your used Po.P. This makes me realize that a good shop experience can defiantly strengthen a brands… surprisingly uncommon . Lesson learned, if you are thinking of e-commerce, think before you launch… don’t pick an “out of the box” solution, build a branding experience and conversion will follow.
Coming back to the subject of companies need to be both smart and humble to open up to their customers. Dare to have an open discussion and let them have a chance to feedback. Now a big brand has joined the race – the ever so closed Wal-Mart. This is big for a such a giant company, 5,000 stores, 1.2 million workers and annual sales of nearly $400 billion. Ok, so the corporate blog are not new as we know, but this is somewhat different – Check Out (checkoutblog.com) as it is called, is not relying on the traditional “management” level for the stories, it is written by a small staff (experts at Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club) of bloggers which is then commented by the consumer – here is the cool part – (largely) unedited. Now this is both gutsy and brilliant. The largest tailer/e-tailer has understood the opportunity.
“Wal-Mart says the Web site helps buyers solicit quick feedback from consumers on the merchandise”
“We are real people, and that gets lost in the to and fro of business”,
“It puts real personality out there in a real conversation.” – Nick Agarwal, a Wal-Mart communications official.
A few quotes form an article from a newtimes.com on the subject (above) and also a outcast from the About section (below)
This is a blog, simply, about a team of experts at Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club who have really cool jobs working with gadgets, games, sustainability and more. Even better, these jobs are centered around helping people save money and live better.
Finally, in terms of blogging, we like the advice Robert Scoble gave back in 2003 when he wrote his version of a “Corporate Weblog Manifesto.”
Strongly believe that is will be more and more common as we catch up to full web 2.0 transparency. Now this will open doors and is defiantly a case to run with when convincing… Will benefit both sides as well – Wal-Mart get good feedback on their stock of product and the consumer get valuable reviews/comments while shopping and get the chance to comment. Once this take off this need to be managed in a smart way, lets hope they stay on track with the potential of the information. Now while on that subject, another good example of using customer feedback to you advantage is Circuit City which has a very good integration of review content.
Will now enjoy following this as we go along.
Admiration to companies that listen to their customers/users and make the experience (web site, service, product) better based on this. It takes a smart and humble company… but all should. It is only logical, right? This is what the evolution of the web is… communication both ways. And then reaction to make the experience/service/product better.
Found two cases – two completely different markets and purposes and methods – on the use of such tactics – form Get Elastic and Creuna (sorry this one is only in Swedish for now).
Get Elastic Outtake:
Customer Feedback Inspires Eddie Bauer Redesign – by Linda Bustos
Eddie Bauer recently revamped its online store design using customer feedback. At first glance, it’s hard to see much difference other than the doesn’t look like much has really changed. But when you look under the hood, you find Eddie Bauer’s packed its new site with plenty of Web 2.0 to improve usability and customer satisfaction.
And the product presentation – brilliant in name and function…
Eddie Bauer calls this “virtually picking up” an item, and “putting it down” to continue browsing that category.
The favorite – a consumer friendly shopping bag with great options and cross-selling.
Eddie Bauer’s “Add to Shopping Bag” confirmation gives full details of which item, size and color was added, the price, availability (in stock), cross-sells and links to check out, “>continue shopping or add a gift box. Trust me, I’ve looked at hundreds of “add to cart” confirmation methods, and I really dig this one.
The revamped cart page has larger product thumbnails, tax and shipping calculations and holds items in your cart for weeks, so if you abandon your cart, you don’t have to start over (a.k.a. “persistent shopping cart”.)
Must say, one of the best e-shop i have use… Feels like they have thought of everything… forgot, their customers did 😉
Check out the site here – www.eddiebauer.com
Offentligt i världsklass
Creuna och Stockholms stad har ett strategiskt partnerskap kring Stockholm Webb, som innefattar den stadsgemensamma intranätslösningen och www.stockholm.se. Creuna har arbetat med Stockholms stad sedan 2005 med koncept och interaktionsdesign för båda webbplatserna, användarstudier, fokusgrupper, webbutveckling, integration, redaktörsutbildningar, funktionell och teknisk förvaltning samt tekniska förstudier inför satsningen på e-tjänster för medborgarna.
Beta-version av nya stockholm.se växer fram successivt under våren. Under tiden den nya sajten tar sin fulla skepnad finns gamla stockholm.se kvar. Med den öppna utvecklingsprocessen ges chansen att involvera stockholmarna i slutresultatet.
Creuna har arbetat fram koncept, interaktionsdesign och form och gör även utvecklingen. För att skapa förutsättningar för kommande e-tjänster till medborgarna används den senaste tekniken och funktionaliteten inom området. Nya stockholm.se följer WAI och Vervas riktlinjer för tillgänglighet.
Utvecklingen av nya stockholm.se sker med starkt fokus på medborgarna. Fokusgrupper har genomförts på ett tidigt stadium för att utforma interaktionsdesign och struktur.
Webbplatsen utvecklas i en öppen utvecklingsmiljö med en beta-version där medborgarna ges möjlighet att spela en viktig roll i utformningen. Kommunikationen sker via utvecklingsbloggen för Stockholm.se.
Here we have a very interesting way of developing a new site with the help of the users/citizence. For a public service site such for Stockholm city this is defiantly the way to go – get the users/citiceze involved in the process and make them feel as a contributing part of the project. Benificial for both parties and seriously good for the bottom line. If managed right you will end up with a great site.
While the new site is under construction the old one lives but with clear CTA to take part int the development of the new.
The main page of the developing site. Here you get info on what this all is about with some nice animation. Your are encouraged to click around (the site in development) and enticed to take part in the development thought the blog. It also shows in percentage how far the project is as well which is a nice feature.
And the blog page or conversation page as they call this. Here one can follow the story, get more info, vote and take part. The posts generally asks the user to comment and give feedback.
This is a great example on how to make a new site with user input through the whole process. Again the way to do it… Great show Creuna. If you live in Stockholm and know Swedish check this out and take part…
As you see some great effects of customer/user feedback. Now let us all be wise and adapt…