eStar's advice for creating amazing online experiences

  • In Association with eStar
  • August 8, 2018
eStar's advice for creating amazing online experiences

eStar digital strategist, Greg Randall discusses service design and how employees, tools, and processes contribute to creating amazing online experiences 

Service design is the function of dedicating resource, business processes and business tools to enable amazing online experiences. 

Those organisations who are globally known for having successful online channels are those who live and breathe service design. 

The act of constructing service design, separates organisations into two types:

1) Those who say they are customer centric
2) Those who are customer centric

Those retailers who are customer centric have a high standard of service design functioning throughout the business. 

Creating great front-end visual touch points in the form of websites and social content is not enough to deliver amazing online experiences and support the business-wide strategy.

Euromonitor’s economic/consumer trend experts have identified today’s consumer demands when engaging online with brands:

1) Personalised one to one experiences.
2) Authenticity.
3) Meaningful conversations (those that contribute to a consumer’s decision making).
4) To be in full control of their own journey.

Service design supports and enables all four and is broken down into two parts…

Type one - Pre-purchase. Activities to enhance experiences when the consumer is “in the moment to engage” and wanting to information gather and/or buy.

Type two - Post-purchase. Activities required once a purchase has been completed. 

“Activities” relate to the three components needed to make up a service design plan:

1) People. The employees and vendors/service providers.
2) Props. The diverse list of physical and digital tools like the ecommerce technology.
3) Processes. All the workflows needed to control the people and props.

These activities are a mix of “front of house” and “behind the scenes”, meaning, the consumer will come in direct contact with some but not all.

The theatre analogy:

Think of service design like the front and back stages of a theatre performance. The consumer sees and experiences the front…

  • The quality of the venue.
  • The theatre employees.
  • The actors and their performance.
  • Set design and props.
  • The music used.

Indirectly, the consumer is also impacted by the backstage activities.

  • The script creation.
  • The leadership from the director.
  • The support staff backstage.

Any issues/faults that lie within the backstage will translate to a degraded performance and experience for those watching. The director deems a perfect performance if both front and back stage work harmoniously together.

In business, the executive team (the “director”) works with teams to deliver a “perfect performance” at scale, for millions of “audiences of one”.

Service design examples

Retailers easily become stuck in segregating physical and digital retail, and structure the organisation accordingly. The consumer sees a single experience and doesn’t compartmentalise their journey to fulfil a need.   

Implementing service design needs to break down this compartmentalisation and is heavily reliant on the support of executive teams to change the mindset.

Example one - Online chat (pre-purchase front of house)

A recent study found the top three reasons for consumers engaging with online chat to be:

1) “I got my questions answered immediately.”
2) “Because I can multi-task.”
3) “It’s the most efficient communication method.”

Online chat (if implemented right) delivers personalised, one to one interactions that are contextually meaningful.

Many online consumers want help from a live person while they are shopping online; 44 percent of online consumers say having questions answered by a live person while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a website can offer.

Online chat offers a real person to answer specific consumer questions that could not be answered online. It is the equivalent to a consumer approaching an employee in physical retail.

This is why consumers who use online chat convert more than 10 times higher than those who don’t use online chat.

Example two – Consumer order fulfilment (post purchase behind the scenes)

The “experience” does not end until the product is in the consumer’s hands.

If the post-purchase experience is poor, the entire experience is poor. Which is why Amazon has invested heavily in this function for decades.

The importance and impact of order fulfillment comes from the anxiety commonly felt by the consumer once the transaction is completed. The consumer hands over money first and receives nothing tangible in return.

In 2017 research found one of the fundamental reasons consumers prefer to buy in-store is so they can take items home immediately. 

While everyone talks about the last mile and the pain it causes, this has been an issue for 50 plus years. 

Legacy "props”

The bigger business pain point in improving fulfillment is not the last mile, but legacy business systems.

Organisations are stuck on outdated legacy systems designed for the business first, not the consumer. These old systems struggle to accurately transfer information from one system to another in a timely fashion. 

Research on large organisations found, 44 percent have legacy systems affecting every or most projects, compared with 28 percent for medium sized firms.

These legacy business systems are crucial “props” and are not replaced due to the lack of appreciation of its negative impacts on end-to-end consumer experiences.

This ignorance becomes a business growth limiter.

Now be honest with yourself, do you think your business is truly customer centric?

About eStar

eStar is Australasia's leading specialist eCommerce solutions provider, delivering outstanding experiences with some of the region's best brands, through a combination of thought leadership, user experience, development, design and partners.

T: 0800 151 655

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.


Diamonds in a rhinestone world: How jewellers are holding fast

Pricier products from retail’s apparel segment are often described as an ‘investment purchase’, but finance professionals would disagree on most counts – except when it ...


Come and celebrate our industry with the who’s who of retail

  • News
  • September 19, 2019
  • The Register team
Come and celebrate our industry with the who’s who of retail

Our Gem Retail Hotlist is about celebrating the vitality and innovation of New Zealand’s retail sector. Get your free ticket and join our industry’s top retailers for the networking event of the year.

Read more

The simple excitement of inflatable advertising

  • News
  • September 17, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
The simple excitement of inflatable advertising

Our advertising landscape continues to rotate around the growth of digital and how digital can be used to further capture the attention of viewers.Yet there is one type of adverting so simple, so primal, so no-nonsense that even in this computer run society it has survived. We’re talking here, about inflatable, or balloon, advertising.

Read more

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Regional rollercoaster
What does retail look like in 2019 for ...
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...

Tourism’s changing landscape

When we last looked at tourism back in 2016, the general vibe was positive. Smaller town retailers were starting to again hear the hum of ...


Selling memories in the tourist market

  • Opinion
  • September 17, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Selling memories in the tourist market

NZ Retail editor and associate publisher Sarah Dunn invites retailers to consider the real significance of souvenirs: Tourists aren't just buying products, but keepsakes that carry their memories of a great holiday.

Read more

Macpac has created an online megastore

  • Technology
  • September 13, 2019
  • The Register
Macpac has created an online megastore

New Zealand outdoor equipment retailer Macpac found its website wasn’t keeping up with its $10 million plus international expansion, so it’s invested in a new site which introduces new content, accessibility and a frictionless experience.

Read more
Next page
Results for
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

The Register

Content marketing/advertising? Email or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit