How does bol.com keep customers on board?
Online retailing is undergoing radical change. Boundaries are becoming blurred and webstore giants like Amazon and AliExpress are entering the Dutch market. Bol.com is market leader in the Netherlands and is keen to retain this position by offering its customers the best ever shopping experience.
The webstore wants to discover how to make its customers even happier. How can bol.com improve their shopping experience? To find the answer, Blauw conducted a community survey in which we put the customer journey under the microscope step by step. The focus was on the path-to-purchase - starting at the moment the customer decides to buy a product and ending when the product is delivered and used or returned.
Research method: high-quality community research
Blauw developed an online community for bol.com comprising 100 customers from the Netherlands and Flanders who are ready to share their views and experiences. The community was developed as a means to facilitate agile research.
Community research is extremely suitable for this purpose: respondents are always available, results can be obtained quickly and questioning methods are flexible. You gather lots of interesting insights plus a first-hand view of the context in which customers make their purchase. Because apart from answering the questions, many customers also add illuminating comments.
This deep dive into the customer journey was the starting shot. Since this initial exercise, the community has remained available for bol.com and has meanwhile provided valuable feedback on numerous issues. But let’s now take a closer look at that initial exploratory survey!
Customer journey research
During 1.5 weeks Blauw put several questions and assignments to the customers. Various key aspects in the customer journey were addressed – ranging from how customers searched for a specific product to the crucial factor in determining their choice of online retailer. Various methods such as forum topics, challenges and questionnaires were deployed to obtain accurate insights. The path-to-purchase was then put into context in order to make sure these insights were correctly interpreted. For instance, we discussed the extent to which top customers felt involved with specific retailers. We also looked at how the nature of the purchase and the device used for the purchase influence the customer journey.
Focus groups with top customers: even more insights
From time to time we came across certain topics or questions that called for more dialogue. After the initial survey was completed in the community, Blauw therefore organised four smaller focus groups, each comprising four top customers. In this more personal setting, we discussed what we had learned from the community in greater depth in order to pinpoint even more insights.
Results for Bol.com: optimisation of the customer journey
Finally, Blauw collected all the survey results and presented them in an effective and transparent manner. With this input, Bol.com discovered how it could optimise the path-to-purchase within the customer journey and identified the priorities for the short and long term. By removing thresholds, it can enhance the retail experience of customers.