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Jayson Serrault, VP of Digital Marketing for Batteries Plus Bulbs, the nation’s largest and fastest-growing battery, light bulb, and smartphone/tablet repair franchise, is excited about his company’s new dynamic ecommerce platform aimed at providing a streamlined customer experience.
This week Batteries Plus Bulbs unveiled its new website to its nationwide network of more than 650 stores. Designed to reach customers wherever they are doing their online shopping - on a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone, the mobile responsive site features a new and improved system infrastructure comprised of enhanced search functionality, simplified navigation, geolocation technology and multiple purchasing options to create a more holistic and streamlined shopping experience that merges digital and brick-and-mortar.
Loyalty360 caught up with Serrault to talk about the company’s new ecommerce platform.
How will the company’s new website impact future growth, customer engagement, and the overall customer experience?
For a customer that buys online versus in-store, that online order amount is almost double what an in-store order is. If we can get a customer buying from us consistently online, we see what we call a “stickiness” develop and that customer will become a repeat customer, thereby increasing sales.
Batteries Plus Bulbs’ ecommerce platform will now lead to greater brand awareness through an aggressive digital marketing campaign comprised of increased SEO optimization and PPC. Additionally, it will allow retail and business account customers to shop online with greater access to a wide range of products from our growing inventory of over 50,000 battery and lighting solutions and related accessories. The enhanced website includes new features and functionalities such as product recommendations, and a more seamless search and navigation process that takes the consumer directly to the nearest store and recommends the best product to purchase based on their specific needs.
With the new website, we wanted to create a more cohesive and consistent shopping experience for the customer. Whether they start online or in-store, the person will be able to execute a simple, seamless transaction.
Upon entering the website, our first priority was to make sure customers find the closest store location. Batteries Plus Bulbs prides itself on its breadth of product, category knowledge and customer service, and our franchisees consistently excel at offering one of the best in-store shopping experiences. If the customer wishes to shop the offerings from that location, they can easily do so on their mobile device or drive to the store. Next, we wanted to improve search and navigation. We’ve implemented several backend functionalities to assist users in finding exactly what they’re looking for. For example, users can either do a keyword search or go through a drill down search to guide them along to the solution they’re looking for.
Finally, once users find the product they want, we now give them multiple purchasing options because we understand that immediacy is important to customer satisfaction. Now consumers will have the option to buy via online, pick up in store (beginning in early August 2015) and select from several shipping options. Overall, we enhanced the site to be as helpful as possible, emulating our excellent customer service in-store and making it as simple as possible to get products in customer’s hands as fast as possible.
For Business Accounts, we have a feature called “Favorites” which allows customers to tag their most purchased items, create custom descriptions for them, and we put all that into a quick order pad so that customer can quickly go in, find that product and put it in their cart.
Being a dynamic and evolving franchise, and staying on trend with our product, service, and ecommerce offerings, will also help us grow from a franchising aspect and open more stores across the country to better serve our customers’ needs.
What are the goals for the new site?
With the changing retail landscape, we are at a pivotal point where we need to make sure we are focused on growing and protecting our brand. We need to close the ‘gap’ in a number of areas and raise the bar to meet customer expectations. In today’s digital era, consumers are increasingly shopping on their desktops, laptops, and mobile devices. We realized that we needed to improve the consistency of our customer’s online shopping experience and immediacy to compete with other online retailers like Amazon.
Omni-channel retailing has become somewhat of an inevitable move for U.S. retailers. To compete in today’s competitive and constantly evolving industry, we felt now was the right time to introduce a new website in order to adapt to evolving consumer purchasing behavior, ensure that our dynamic in-store shopping experience is just as efficient online and that we are communicating better online.
Meet the demands of changing consumer purchasing behaviors and maintain our relevance in today’s dynamic retail environment
Create a more seamless consumer shopping experience between stores and online
Desktop and mobile (mobile responsive website)
Benefits for both the retail and business account customer
Increase digital marketing efforts to get people to our website
SEO optimization, PPC, re-marketing
Continue providing excellent customer service both online and in-store
How do you define customer loyalty and has that definition changed in recent years?
One of the core tenets of our business is loyalty. We are devoted to our company, our products, our strategies and most importantly, our customers. We cannot take our customers for granted and we have to exceed our customers’ expectations every opportunity we get. As we have reflected on the changing retail environment, we believe we have to put our business in a position where consumers can order product however they wish (in person at a store or online using any mobile device) and have that product delivered however they choose (buy online, pick up in-store or delivered to home or office).
To execute to this simple requirement, we have to execute the basics – our inventory must be accurate, stores must be open when the consumer wants them to be, stores must have the product customers need in stock, and we need a “high touch” experience for customers through energetic and knowledgeable staff.
Much of our business is about fixing people’s problems. With the new website, we want to drive more customers online to solve their problems as quickly and efficiently as possible.
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