Life in the Retail Space October 2015 - Page 18

18 LITRS OCTOBER 2015 big online fan. When it’s done right… So, as I speed from seminar to my next client, the only way for me to benefit from sale shopping is via my mobile, online. With a big shopping list, I visit 5 National retai lers and try to order. A couple of sites are ‘ok’ – they have annoying glitches – eg allowing you to browse, select and ‘add to basket’ before telling me it’s out of stock. A further site seems to have some menu ‘mash-up’ problem whe re it’s search facility becomes random – I presume due to sale traffic. The final two websites are so bad, I feel I have gone back in time. They throw me out of the site, freeze and emp ty my basket – is it Black Friday all over again? Hours later, then days later, I manage to place some orders – which I will live to regret. Over the following weeks we experience orde rs that never arrive, items cancelled – but no funds retur ned, a bit of fraud from one of the courier companies who took a shine to our items, and nearly a month later – still awaiting goods and refunds. Of course, I have experience in the retail worl d and can stand up for my rights – but what about thos e who can’t. Investigating how many customers have take n to social media and forums about similar experienc es with the same retailers – I find the complaints are in abun dance. Ever y year, the cost to the UK businesses due to poor customer service, grows. Is it really acceptable to surv ive as a business on a ‘take now’ culture? The wise brands know it’s not. Take a look at the new Harvey Nichols Rewards programme. It’s smart, intelligent and it shows appreciation at ever y spend level. Allowing the customer to sit in the driving seat, they can customise their own rewards, get daily benefits like free coffees and smoothies, and link in their instagram. It’s the companies that celebrate and love their customers that will survive and thrive. So instead of breaking the Internet this summer, let’s go back to those hippy days and mak e it a ‘summer of love’. Kate Hardcastle The ongoing lovefest with the Kardashi ans and crew continues – a summer of Glas to, Cait and oil slicked derriere’s. The truth is though, as many UK multi channel businesses fail to prepare – you might experience a bit of Internet breakage yourself… or a website, at leas t…or in my case, my tablet out of sheer frustrati on! I was born for Internet shopping, despite havin g a quite ‘hippy-heart’ – the ease, slickness and spee d allow me to “multitask” in an airport lounge, back of a cab, or calm myself when I wake from slumber to remember I need an astronaut replica outfit, aged 6, for Friday. I am a champion for a real life, retail experienc e, and save myself for the good stuff out of work. The places where it’s a joy to shop. But, day to day, awk ward to find, and high demand times – eg Christmas – I’m a I broke the internet... OCTOBER 2015 LITRS 19