Big Merchants Get It Wrong Too – Peloton and The Gap In Their Ecommerce Customer Experience
When it comes to online selling, creating positive experiences for customers is everything. In this ecommerce customer experience analysis, we will explore how to craft an exceptional customer experience that ultimately helps your brand sell more and grow faster.
The OnePeloton And The Customer Experience from Hell
During the pandemic, I decided to bring my exercise regime indoors. Just like a lot of people who no longer had access to their local gym due to government restrictions. I did research and looked into highly rated reviews. Then, I made the investment and purchased the highly popular interactive exercise spin bicycle, Peloton in November 2020.
At the time of purchasing, I was given a two-month lead time for the Peloton to arrive in January 2021. I eagerly awaited its arrival over the Christmas holidays as I wanted to start 2021 physically fit. When January arrived, I received an email communication that the bike would be delayed by two weeks.
As those two weeks went by, I received another email from Peloton that the bike will arrive in another month. At this point, I expected to receive my Peloton in February.
Inconsistent Ecommerce Customer Experience
During this time, I began conversations with other friends of mine who ordered their Peloton bike in January 2021. Surprisingly, they had already received it in a reasonable amount of time. Not feeling quite confident in Peloton this time, I received another email notifying me that the bike again would be delayed another two weeks.
After contacting Peloton directly about my incredibly long wait time and the anecdotal evidence of my friends bikes being ordered and delivered after my purchase time, I was unsatisfied with the fact Peloton was not responsive. Peloton could not provide any answers as to where my bike was in the supply chain, nor did they have visibility into their warehouse processes or where in the supply chain there was a hold up.
Product Errors and An Unsatisfactory Experience
My Peloton did eventually arrive in the early days of March 2021. Due to the pandemic, there was no traditional assemble of the bike by Peloton or its technological interface. Thus, it came with very few instructions. With some ingenuity and elbow grease, I was able to set up the bike after a time.
However, I discovered that the screen of the bike was inoperative. So, I had to send it back for replacement. After waiting another full week to receive the replacement screen, there were more defects this time with the bike gears and internal bans. I had to send back the bike completely and am currently still waiting for a new bike to arrive.
The Importance of Order Visibility and eCommerce Fulfillment
Working within the ecommerce and data integration community, I understand the importance of Merchants having complete visibility into their applications and systems to achieve successful fulfillment. However, this is something I see happening with smaller businesses trying to scale up to Peloton’s level from time to time.
Unfortunately, it is not surprising to see globally top-tier companies have unsophisticated back-end processes. Big Merchants who have sold millions of products often struggle with the same issues as smaller online retailers. Which is a lack of order visibility into their systems and a lack of agile integration between applications.
Without Order Visibility, The Ecommerce Experience Is Ruined
Brands need to be able to see and access fulfillment data and solve service issues before they become customer-facing nightmares. Especially when the eCommerce experience is similar to my online shopping experience described above. It seems a simple concept, that if a customer comes to a Merchant wondering where their order is, the Merchant should be able to find that order in the supply chain and understand where and how there are supply chain issues to fix.
But for many Merchants, big and small this kind of visibility is lacking throughout their supply chain, leaving the Merchant at a loss to know where their products are at any given moment.
Data Integration and Creating a Flawless Customer Experience
This is where the importance of data integration comes in for Merchants. Agile and scalable multi-point system integration allows you to connect your disparate data and systems together. Creating a strategic data integration plan means looking at each place in your supply chain an order goes through and ensuring that data is seamlessly flowing to each system correctly and on time.
Strategic System Integration
Automating your data movements significantly increases your ability to have order visibility from the first purchase order to final delivery. Giving Merchants confidence to know where their orders are and relay that information to customers.
Having all your back-end systems connected together in a strategic and holistic way that makes sense to you, empowers your brand to see where there are errors or snags in the supply chain and then being able to fix them instantly.
Tackling the Challenge Of A Bad Customer Experience
No matter how big your company is, or how expensive your product is, there is no excuse for unsophisticated back-end technology. Especially at this time in the eCommerce game. Peloton has become a global phenomenon, but a bad customer experience is a bad customer experience and each one matters. The bad customer experience will make you lose customers to competitors or dissuade others from purchasing.
How To Transform A Bad Customer Experience Into An Amazing One
Every Merchant must put their customer and their online shopping experience at the heart of everything they do. And that no longer means just the product itself. The whole ecommerce experience is fundamental when a customer interacts with a brand. Even if the product is fantastic and worth every penny (I have yet to find out), this customer experience with Peloton has been plagued with 5 months of delays. Plus, the lack of communication, and order visibility, and defective parts have spoiled my purchase experience with the brand.
Regardless of the industry or channel, customer experience comes down to the way customers perceive a brand based on the interactions with it. That said, improving your brand’s ecommerce customer experience is possible. It’s all about evaluating the sum of experiences in the customer journey and refining the constant flow of data and communication between customer and business. This is the most effective way to drive memorable customer experiences and revenue growth.
The Importance of A Unified Ecommerce Experience
I urge all Merchants, those just starting out and those who have reached the top of the eCommerce game to look at the customer experience in terms of their back-end processes. No amount of excellent front-end design, flashy product photography, and a killer social media strategy can make up for a lack of basic order visibility and a scalable system integration strategy.
Our VL OMNI iPaaS integration platform empowers scaling businesses across the world to fully integrate and automate their key workflows between applications. We help Merchants deliver on customer demands without juggling multiple systems and using manual processes and workarounds.
Integrate your systems, channels, partners, and applications together in ways that matter most to your business. Plus, apply business rules directly to data transformations. This will enable you to put your customers first and consistently deliver a customer experience across all touchpoints.