This is a next in a series of ‘road tests’ of a UK retailer’s online channel and the overall fulfilment customer experience. Aspects that affect the overall customer experience are reviewed, including: product pages, online help and FAQs basket, checkout, fulfilment, delivery and customer returns processes. Newlook.com was reviewed in April 2013.
Home Page and Product page
From arriving at Newlook.com’s home page, it is clear that delivery and fulfilment is a key part of the proposition. The headline made both the delivery and the returns policy clear, with the customer being able to click through to the relevant information page if necessary.
An additional explanation of their Click & Collect proposition is also at the foot of the site.
On the Product Page, all the information the customer requires to make a purchase decision was present. Images, product information, delivery options and costs and returns policy. This information is visible on the Product Page, as well as within the tabbed box (see below).
There is some room for improvement around the Product Page with the presentation of the images and the information describing the product. The images on the Product Page are not always that clear, particularly with darker coloured items, such as the jeans above. Also, with this particular item is also available in ‘Petite’ but it is not obvious as to how to view the petite item’s Product Page or to select Petite it as a sizing option.
More assistance to gauge product size needs to be provided. Although there is a New Look sizing guide, it is on a separate page, so that the customer has to browse away from the Product Page. Information about the size of the mannequin used to display the clothes and also with the relevant dimensions, for example skirt length would help greatly.
Delivery and returns information and policies
Delivery options and information and the returns policies were all clearly provided for, both on the product page and also in the FAQs.
Basket and checkout
Total cost of the order is a priority for New Look’s target customer. So along with compelling delivery propositions of free click and collect, and free home delivery over a specified order hurdle, New Look makes it easy for the customer to keep an eye on their spend with total cost of what is in ‘My Bag’ presented in the top corner of every page.
And if the customer needs to check what they have purchased, a quick mouseover of ‘My Bag’ will reveal the items in the bag, and the total excluding delivery – although for some reason this is limited to the last three items.
On the ‘Bag’ page,there was a very clear call to action, which was to checkout. And the delivery options offered were located above the fold too.
New Look present delivery in two ways: 1. With whether the customer has qualified for free delivery at the top of the page and, 2. ability to change the delivery option at the bottom of the page (which has a default set at Standard home delivery – compared with Zara’s approach of default option being the free delivery option).
On both the Bag page and also the Checkout page, the presentation of the delivery option on interactively toggles between delivery options, with a variation in the information provided.
On the checkout page (branded ‘Quick Checkout’), the customer was able to confirm delivery options, enter payment details and place the order without leaving the page. Further, the ‘Bag’ was also presented on the same page, with pop-ups for Delivery, Returns and T&Cs so that the customer had no reason* to leave the checkout page if they had any doubts about what they were ordering or the New Look’s policies.
* The only problem that I did have with basket and checkout is when it came to entry of a promotions code. The only place to do this is on the Bag page. There does not appear to be any other way to input the code at a later stage which meant that I did leave checkout in order to input the promotions code.
Finally once order was placed, a New Look branded Order Confirmation page was presented, with a clear explanation of what will happen with my order and with a “What Next” call to action: View Order Progress or browse some more on New Look.
Order confirmation and tracking
Shortly after, the order confirmation email arrived, styled in New Look branding and tone.
At order despatch, and again when the order had arrived at the store for collection, New Look sent me an email message about progress of the parcel, with the ability to track the order.
For all emails, there is a “Track Your Order”, that takes the customer through (via login/customer vaildation) to the My Account page. Where a customer has selected, home delivery orders, there is the ability to view the delivery status and progress from My Account, (see below) by clicking “Track My Order”. In this case, this opens a webpage on Hermes, the carrier that is delivering the order.
Delivery to Home
There was no-one at home when the carrier attempted to deliver the parcel. However they did leave a delivery card … within information about where my parcel was left – which was apparently over the side gate.
Well, the parcel landed quite a way over the side gate. A good two metres or so.
Pick-up at Store
I receive an email advising me of my click & collect parcel arriving at my selected store, containing a reminder of my order and instructions regarding bringing ID and a visual representation of the email (i.e. print or image on phone).
I arrived at the New Look, located on the 2nd floor of the Bentall Centre in Kingston, where I was confronted with a confusing sign. Headed “Ground Floor”, it listed what departments could be found, including where I could find my Click & Collect parcel. A little confused (was there another store on the ground floor), I approached a member of staff at the tills, who was busy with paperwork, who directed me to wait in the queue for someone to help me.
Once I got to the checkout, the process was super quick. The assistant reviewed my order and my id, retrieved the parcel quickly from a nearby cupboard and scanned the parcel, and sent me on my way.
Opening the package
The despatch note gives clear instructions to return items directly to the store or to drop off the returns parcel at a local convenience store that has Collect+ to accept the return parcel for me. And I am promised a refund within 5 days of product receipt.
Fulfilment customer experience summary
From an online perspective, New Look is a great example of a retailer that helps the customer through the journey to complete checkout, reassuring customer at each step and removing doubts from their mind as they progress. The one page checkout was great, particularly in the one that it ensured that it didn’t give the customer any reasons not to checkout their order (with the minor exception of the promotions code!).
Once the order is placed, all customer emails throughout the journey were clear and in line with the branding and tone of the site.
However, there is some room for improvement for the fulfilment and delivery processes, which affect how the New Look product is received by the customer. Finding my parcel having been chucked through (or over?) the gate and then opening the parcel to find a crumpled despatch note didn’t make for a good customer experience.
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