Arguably the most masochistic part of window shopping is the knowledge that you can’t afford it. Nonetheless, I still catch myself wistfully perusing the online purveyors of high fashion: net-a-porter.com. I lust over the Marc Jacobs candy-coloured clutch bags, the gleaming Louboutin patent heels and McQueen mini-dresses – ever hopeful that the stars of affordability and desire align within close proximity to Pay Day… Which, as it so happened, they did a few weeks ago.
I placed an order for something very small and insignificant – yet it arrived the very same day, in an irresistibly chic black bag swinging from an impeccably suited arm. The said gentleman breezed in, smiling (but not too much), took my signature with a silken fountain pen, and disappeared in a puff of cologne. I have never before encountered such a smart courier.
The other surprise was the bag within the bag: inside was a note warmly welcoming me to the upper echelons of Internet shopping, and a tape measure – to help guide my next. A nod to sophisticated online tailoring.
Net-a-Porter is all about luxury – a luxury that is evident in the sleek design of its site, the glowering, bronzed models lavishing in the sumptuous items it sells. But now it’s also evident that this opulence extends offline, too – an often neglected part of the consumer’s online shopping experience. No matter that the item was (relatively) cheap, I experienced the luxury Net-a-Porter is famed for… From the very beginning to the end of my purchase.
Timbuk2 is another brilliant example of adding theatre to online delivery, as Mark explains here (giving the purchase experience a bigger thumbs up than the much wowed Zappos and Apple). It unexpectedly innovates around the outer packaging (ordinarily disregarded) to project its identity. It really is worth a moment to ponder your own customer’s journey – there is probably a part of it you haven’t paid much attention to yet; something that has the potential to surprise and get your consumer excited about.