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Building a first class digital experience – StartupSmart

Nothing turns off customers faster than a poor website, but retailer Kogan.com tells how to master the art of customer loyalty.


In a market where consumers hold the power, businesses often have just one chance to attract and maintain loyalty. This means an exceptional digital experience is vital, with a smooth journey through the discovery, transaction, delivery and support process.


A great digital experience can drive loyalty and build greater revenue, according to a recent SAP Australian Digital Experience Report (PDF, 2.5MB). However, many businesses aren’t taking digital seriously enough, with the report revealing many companies are sending away consumers due to poor experiences.

How Kogan did it

Ecommerce retailer Kogan.com knows first-hand that meeting its customer’s user experience expectations is central to its success.

“As a 100% online, direct-to-consumer business, our customers’ digital experience of Kogan.com is their entire user experience,” says executive director David Shafer. “We see our digital experience as a core competency of our business, and a key competitive advantage that we enjoy.”


Kogan, which sells household furniture and appliances, takes continual steps to improve the shopping experience on its site.


“We focus on speed, accuracy, beauty, a great user experience, and simplicity across the Kogan.com digital experience,” he says.


This approach involves a simple and quick buying process, easy search and filtering for products, an ‘intelligent’ checkout process which remembers a customer’s key details, and quick delivery achieved through streamlined back-end systems.


“We constantly A/B test variations to our website in order to optimise customer experience flows, and ensure we give our customers the optimal buying experience,” he says.

Get the strategy right

There’s no silver bullet to a perfect customer experience, Shafer explains, so you must have a quality content management system for your site, and employ the right team members to get the results you want.


“In order to maintain this competitive advantage, we hire the best and brightest coders and designers,” he says.


He says every change to the experience on site is tested to ensure decisions are based on what the customers actually do on the site, rather than what the team guess customers do.


“We think about all the improvements we have made to the website and operational processes as a series of ‘one percenters’ that collectively add up to a strong competitive advantage.”

Use the data at your fingertips

To drive loyalty, the Kogan team not only listen to customer feedback, but make decisions based on data and intelligence, Shafer says. Data determines the products sourced, the quantities bought, and the number of staff employed – right through to its choice of marketing channels.


“We consider ourselves a statistics business first and foremost, rather than a retailer. Our buyers and marketers generally have a stronger background in statistics, accounting and mathematics than they do in buying or marketing.


“If we can cause a one percent saving in our supply chain, it means we can offer an additional one percent benefit to customers in the form of a loyalty program.”


This loyalty program is integrated seamlessly into the existing digital experience, and is aimed at driving repeat purchases.

No end to perfection

Shafer says there is never an end point to making the customer’s online experience better.


“The continued happiness of our customers is the key driver of Kogan.com’s success. It means we need to constantly improve the experience of shopping on our website, and the systems and processes in the back-end that power our operations.”


For more information on the digital experience, read SAP’s Australian Digital Experience Report or visit the SAP website.


Written by: Thea Christie

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