Great customer experience at Zappos

A post by M’Boh ASSOUMA, MSc student in Digital Marketing @KEDGE Business School.


This story is about Channel. Channel has been a Zappos customer for a long time. She like them, she trust them and she love the fact that she can order something, and if she doesn’t like it she doesn’t have to jump through a gazillion hoops in order to return it. This is especially helpful if you have a slight shoe addiction.

On Monday, she lost her favorite sunglasses. She was at the beach and needed sunglasses. She could have hunted all over the island for someplace that sold them, but that would’ve cut into her happy time. Priorities, people.

Instead, she logged onto Zappos at 4pm the day of her unfortunate wave diving incident, and ordered a replacement pair. As soon as she hit “buy” she realized she hadn’t selected expedited delivery (which was an extra $15-25) and thought that was a stupid move on her part. She can’t swim without wearing contacts, and if she is wearing contacts, she really needs sunglasses. Surely that’s worth an extra $25, right? She immediately called Zappos’ customer service number to modify her purchase. The nice rep  she got took just a minute to look up her account and said, “Well, Channel, even though you didn’t order expedited delivery, you’re a VIP customer. We upgraded you as soon as we got the order, free of charge.” Free. Expedited. Delivery. Without asking for it. Without paying for it.

She asked when it would ship and he said that it would ship on Tuesday (since the order was received late in the day) and that it would arrive on Wednesday. Perfect.

The next morning – one day later — she got up and went out for a bike ride and breakfast. When she got back to the house at a little before Noon, there was a Zappos box on the front step.

That’s not only expedited delivery, it’s how did they make this happen so fast, ridiculously awesome delivery.

Based on Channel experienc,e we have two characteristics to make great customers experience.

1-Confidence: Based on her history the company made the delivery without getting delivery cost.

2-Right moment: They deliver the product a the right moment as the know what were happened to the customer.

Then to make a good customer experience company should be able to anticipate the right moment to provide a great experience for the customer. 


Luxury: immediate boarding to the “phygital” store?

A post by Chloé RIGOMIER, MSc student in Digital Marketing, @KEDGE Business School. 

Who has never hesitated to enter in a luxury shop, frightened by so much prestige and coldness? I definitely have (in spite of the fact that I love luxury), and I’m sure you have too! Strangely, we speak about a place of contact with the customers, a showcase for the image of luxury brands. Dissuasive guards, immense and spotless shops, absence of prices, rarity of products… Everything is reunited to institute a distance with the customer. Yet, luxury brands use these spaces to demonstrate their power: the surface must be the most spacious, the neighbourhood very posh, the layout designed by prestigious architects… I believe that luxury attracts us, moves us and makes us dream… But luxury can also scare us off! Then, how can luxury brands develop their stores towards a pleasant and attractive customer experience? Is digital the key?

Première photo Chloé jpg

Source :

Are Luxury and digital incompatible? There’s a huge stereotype claiming that digital would put luxury in danger because it would oblige the brands to lose some of their prestige and secret aura. Well, let us take the example of the pioneer in the domain: Burberry and its digitalized luxurious flagship store (London). The ambition is clear: make visitors live the same experience online and offline. Sellers have iPad to consult the last purchases of the customers. They can create the trench of their dream on tablets. There are screens to broadcast fashion shows and concerts. Products have RFID chips to show similar articles thanks to screens also acting as mirrors. Customers can pay by mobile terminal. Nevertheless, Burberry is a brand with a traditional image, very anchored and backward-looking codes (tartan, trench). They included the current stakes by proving us that there aren’t borders anymore between the real and the digital world. If you wish to see images of this remarkable Burberry store, it’s this way:

In an oppressing context where e-commerce faces the exclusive distribution of luxury, it’s time to enter in the “phygital”. The digital needs to enter in physical stores to appeal to the future clientele: the Y generation. It will revolutionize the point of sale making people live a memorable experience. However, luxury needs to stay a singular world inventing its own digitalization: an astonishing and magic digital experience. The human needs to be put back at the centre to provide a real distinction between online and offline. Sellers need to find the pleasure of the customer relationship again, delighting the experience with a refined quality of service.

In the video below, Eric Briones (the famous @darkplanneur) proposes strategies for a singular digitalisation of the luxury:

Let us be carried away by the imagination of the luxurious shop of tomorrow: I dream of an immense cosy space (noble materials, furniture design, wine and smoothies bar, makeup and hairstyle spaces, personal shopper, sound and olfactory atmosphere…) but still very modern (sellers informed about our needs, connected shop windows for a shopping 24 hours a day, hangers with RFID chips for further information on screens, connected fitting  rooms to share on social media, customization of products on tablets, mobile payment…).

What about you? What could incite you to enter a luxury store? Tell me what you think about the “phygital” for these brands. Comment, share, like… And have an amazing day!

Deuxième photo Chloé jpg

Source :


To get in touch with Chloé, find her here on Twitter & LinkedIn

The phygital trend: a good thing or not?

A post by Frédéric PAILLET, MSc student in Digital Marketing @KEDGE Business School. 


Day after day we can see in retail spaces the emergence of more and more digital platforms. I am sure that, like me, most of you have seen these and wondered, what is that? How does it work? With these platforms, customers can, for example, check the product offer on interactive terminals, they can see demonstration of product on TV screen and many other things. But are all of these digital platforms really interesting for brands who decided to implant them in their stores?

In this article, we are trying to identify what are the arguments for and the arguments against the utilization of this type of platforms in retail space.

First, the arguments for:

The “phygitalisation” allows brands creating a real customer experience in their store and improving and facilitating customers’ shopping . Customers can have more information about the product, more quickly. Moreover, the experiences into the store are more playful and allow to the customers to have a good time. Sellers can be more efficient because they can use tablets to find information more quickly. Moreover, “phygitalisation” allows concluinge sales which would not have been done in the past. For example, before the digitalisation, when a product was not available for size or colours reasons, the sale failed. Today, the seller can find the product in another store and propose to the customer to deliver it at home in two days.

For all of these reasons, the “phygitalisation” of retail space is a good things for brands and for customers, but on the condition that is it done in an intelligent way.

Second, the arguments against:

For some customers, the utilization of digital platforms is difficult and it’s not unusual to find them deserted by customers because there are no people to help them use them. In consequence, that makes the usefulness of this type of platforms flawed, and particularly unnecessary. Moreover, most of the time, sellers are not trained to use these platforms and are, as a consequence, powerless to help customers with it. The last more common argument for detractors of these platforms is the loss of human contact in stores.

To conclude, digital platforms in a store are a good thing for brands and for customers, but it is also required to have trained staff so they can help customers to use them. Even customers can appreciate the utility of these platforms and to keep the human relation with the seller. The most important thing to understand for a brand is that “phygitalisation” is not a tool which allows to spend less time with customers but rather to improve customer experiences and to allow customers to enjoy moments spent in store.

Frédéric PAILLET

“Gary told you so”, or the secret key to Snapchat’s marketing success

In 2013, Gary Vaynerchuk predicted that Snapchat would soon be the biggest social media marketing tool and urged advertisers and brands to use it. As today is #Snapchatday (yes, that’s a thing), it’s the perfect time to support the prediction.

The problem about Snapchat is that it’s really, I mean REALLY, confusing and hard to figure out if you are not a Millennial or tween, i.e. born with a smartphone in your hands (and that IS on purpose). So when dear G. made this statement, although people believed his flair, everyone was quite skeptical.

Now we are in 2016 and Snapchat has an estimated ad revenue of $300 million for the year and is valued at $16 billion, this are looking differently. I could not help but share this “I told you so” video from Gary Vee and give my two cents on it below.

The thing that I absolutely love and strikes me most is this idea of ATTENTION.

Forget about metrics and likes, comments and impressions. What matters and what Snapchat allows you to gain, is the attention of users.

In a world flodded with information, getting these few seconds of attention from users is the key to influencing their behaviour. On Snapchat, if you do not view content when it is available anf for the seconds it is set to be viewable, it’s gone. It does not mean that people cannot select what they watch and swipe away, but they still pay more attention because content is volatile. I truly believe in the importance of conscious attention in consumer engagement and in its power (more on this in a next post about my research). Far from being perfect, I think Snapchat is indeed activating this very important feature of digital consumer behaviour. Time to get your Snapchat on!

How to acquire a digital mindset?

As I am preparing my first course on Digital Marketing Strategy, I am forming the idea that a strategy is all very well and super important, but not enough: businesses really need to have a digital mindset if they seek to succeed in their digital endeavours.

The book “Digital Strategy: Integrating strategy and tactics with values” by Ira Kaufman and Chris Horton very clearly explains the role of values in creating an adequate digital mindset. A digital mindset is in fact the key to a business’ integration into the digital culture…The key to digital transformation.

But what IS a digital mindset then?

This video interview, I think, goes a long way in explaining it. It really made an impression on me and is worth seeing.

Penny Power (amazing name, right?) here explains that

Having a digital mindset means being Open, Random & Supportive”

So there goes, according to Penny: be social, unplanned and caring, and you’ll merge perfectly in the digital world. It’s easier said than done, of course, and most people will struggle with at least one aspect of the digital mindset triad (I know I am the opposite of random, like Penny), but I am a big advocate of meaningful strategies in marketing, and this is the message of this video for me.

What if you don’t care for your digital network and stakeholders?

If you cannot or won’t help them solve their issues?

If you cannot reinvent yourself in the face of an ever-changing environment?

Being open, random, and supportive, or at least trying to, should be a constant effort to support a successful digital strategy. What do you think ?

Have a great 2016!

PS: Follow Penny, Ira and Chris for further insight on digital marketing strategies.

Digital retail roundup

What does it take for retail environments to deliver compelling customer experiences in the face of soaring online and mobile-commerce figures?

Despite the rise of e-commerce, in-store retail keeps an important place in the lives of consumers who seem to move effortlessly between all consumption channels. The factors that might help physical stores stay abreast of e-commerce are hard to capture, but seem ironically reliant on digital technologies.

Retail stores will not disappear, but they need to evolve, integrate technologies, and rethink consumer loyalty to drive store visits.

In a white paper published this week, Samsung reveals that what customers are looking for is a blending of online and physical experience, with digital technology becoming more prevalent in-store. In-store technology should serve two functions:

  • Help the speed and ease of the purchase process;
  • Make the retail environment more engaging and interactive.

Here are a few exciting examples of retail/technology integration:

iBeacons, which deliver real-time, customised discounts, store information, or engage users in games. The Beaconcrawl in New York is a brilliant example: it gamifies the pubcrawl experience by notifying crawlers of secret spots and offering them special drinks and perks.

Instant printing and customisation can also be created through technology, like Topshop allowing shoppers to make their personalised, in-store, instant printed t-shirts with the Yr technology.

QR Codes: since 2011, Tesco’s branch Home Plus has implemented smart supermarket shelves in South Korean subways: commuters scan the QR codes of products on 2D shelves, order instantly and get the goods delivered directly to their homes.


3D scanning: Virtual Changing Room technology like Fitsme lets consumers visualise what they would look like wearing a specific item without needing to get undressed, just using 3D scanning. A similar tool, StyleMe, developed by Cisco, was tested in John Lewis stores recently:


These are but a few striking examples of how retail environments can make the most of online technologies, but it does not stop there and will continue expanding beyond current applications.

Keep your eyes and phone open on your next shopping trip!