Online shopping has matured to a point where the customer simply expects that they can buy their goods from the comfort of their kitchen table.
Amazon has set a standard for sure, but in its absence in The Netherlands, we have websites like Coolblue and Bol leading the way.
It’s not uncommon for webshops to offer the following service:
– Pay before midnight, receive the next day;
– Everyday delivery — yes, including sunday;
– No shipping costs above a bespoke purchase amount (usually €20);
– Return for free;
– Customer service in evenings and weekends (including live chats via WhatsApp);
– ‘Offline’ stores (which I think is an interesting development, considering the struggle of many physical stores).
Besides great service, a great deal of the conversion can be credited to a refined user experience on the webshops. In this article I want to highlight some of the thoughtful UX of Coolblue.
NOTE: Examples here are in Dutch and are loosely translated to English.
One thing that’s very noticeable is the way the shops inform and address the customer; The copy is very colloquial, or ‘everyday language’. Also, some of the copy is a bit silly — in a positive way. In the example below you see a screenshot of your basket (winkelmandje) with the subtext ‘Anything else?’. That’s usually what a clerk at a small shop would say when you’re ready to check out.
Another example is in the email you get when your product is being shipped. It says where you can check what time the mailman will arrive and tell you to give the mailman their regards.
One great difference between online and physical shops is the absence of a real salesperson-to-customer contact. Of course, this might just be one of the reasons people prefer to shop online, but as the examples below show, adding faces introduces a certain human factor to an otherwise distant webshop.
Sure, this is not new. We all remember the cringing ‘smiling woman with headset’ that is still used today, but at least the examples above are not generic stock images as they show people in shop outfits (whether they’re actually just models is irrelevant).
After hitting ‘Add to basket’, Coolblue recommends some other products to go along with your to-be-purchased product. Different from the candybars next to the checkout in physical shops, these contextual recommendations actually are relevant.
Newsletter in exchange for discount
Let’s face it, when was the last time you were really looking forward to the newsletter from that shop where you bought something 3 months ago? For retailers however, a newsletter can be very beneficial. At Coolblue, they offer a fair deal; You opt-in for our newsletter and in return you get €5 discount on your next purchase. Brilliant! Not only is the customer much more motivated to opt-in for the newsletter, the thought of the €5 discount voucher will make him come back to that shop. There ‘s a hint of gamification at work here..
Persuade to make an account
Same as with the newsletters — a customer may just want to buy something and leave it at that, no need for an account. Some subtle persuasive UX can be of use: In the flow of filling in the necessary shipping details, Coolblue presents a password field accompanied with the copy; ‘This will come in handy on your next purchase’, along with two USP’s explaining why having an account is a good thing.
Also notice the nice copy below the password field; ‘Enter at least 6 characters. Other than that, we’re not that picky’.
These are just a few examples of the UX at play at Coolblue. Needless to say, this is only the tip of the popsicle.
Be it a webshop, a music production app, an intranet platform or a social medium — a good UX is the sum of many aspects and activities (and people) and the result of trial and error. The benefits of a good experience are obvious and may well be the most crucial ‘thing’ to get right.. Good news for all those who are active in the field of UX!