Fresh from his ORIA win, John Winning from Appliances Online shares his tips for innovating with technology and committing to a customer-focused experience.
Last night, Appliances Online proved its credentials as a local e-commerce leader, attracting awards for the best customer experience and best site optimisation and design at last night’s Online Retail Industry Industry Awards (ORIAs) at the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre Parkside Ballroom.
Founder and CEO John Winning said that taking home the best customer experience trophy for the second year was the most crucial award his business could win.
“Our aim is to impress every customer. Even though we are an online retailer, our model is one that builds old-fashioned customer service into every aspect of the shopping experience. We listen to customer feedback and offer things such as free delivery, phone service available 16 hours a day, seven days a week, next day delivery to most metropolitan areas, and 360 degree camera imaging technology. Being online doesn’t mean you don’t have to deal with our customers, in fact we want to create loyal relationships that last into the next generation,”
Here are Winning’s five tips for online retail success:
1. Embrace technology to improve your business – Use available technology to monitor customer feedback in real time and give customers what they ask for. For example, Appliances Online developed a bespoke 360 degree camera imaging system because our customers told us they wanted to view every possible angle of the product.
2. Think about the customer experience – the most important aspect of running an online business is to impress every customer, no matter the mode of communication, be it via Facebook, Twitter, email, on the phone, or at delivery. Just because you’re an online company doesn’t mean you don’t have to deal with customers – we aim to look after, and communicate with our customers long after the sale has been made.
3. Design the site for your customers, not for you –Appliances Online’s focus is on maximising customer utility and conversion but not letting form impede function. There is no appetite to re-invent the wheel of successful e-commerce website design, however, there is a need to provide consumers with the online shopping experience they expect.
4. Empower your staff – staff are the biggest asset of any business – we encourage all employees to own their role and change it wherever possible to benefit the company. We trust our staff to use their initiative and have created a fun work environment where every door is open.
5. Stay agile and innovative – no matter the size of the company, being able to adapt quickly to the changing online retail landscape is a necessity. Our business has increased the number of employees by 300% in the past 12 months, and we have had to work hard to help ensure we remain agile and innovative.