I don’t have lots of time to idly shop during the weekends, so I tend to do a lot of my shopping online. Last year I sunk a heap of cash into JCrew, and spent many evenings looking at ShopBop and Netaporter.
This year I’m going local(ish) and have been checking out Country Road and Trenery. There are a number of changes I’d like to see that could improve the customer experience online, but first here’s what I love about Country Road and Trenery:
- They have their logistics and dispatch cranking. I can place an order at midnight and it is shipped the next day – and I have new clothes the day after. That is pretty awesome.
- Anything I want to return or exchange I can send back to Mt Eden. That’s Mt Eden, Auckland. Or if I like I can pop into a Country Road or Trenery store and get a refund direct to my credit card. I’ve done this several times – never been a problem.
- They have great social customer support – I’ve asked them a few questions via Facebook and they’ve always been very helpful and prompt in their responses (not just fobbing me off to some FAQs).
- New stock appears in a ‘New In’ category, so there is no need to trawl through all the dresses, jackets, tops to see what is new each time I visit the website.
- There is a wishlist feature for making a list of the clothes you like the look of but don’t want to buy right now – and you can share it with friends and family! Great for present ideas.
- For sales that start at 6am Australian time, we are already up and awake in NZ and can get the jump on sale stock before Sydney & Melbourne wake up.
- They have a mobile app which integrates with their mobile website for shopping on my phone – should the mood strike!
- No nasty surprises from the Customs man who unexpectedly would like GST and duty on your purchase.
How can they improve?
To take their websites to the next level I’d like to see a few more features introduced – these could improve the customer experience and drive up sales and reduce returns, which can only be a good thing!
- Better descriptions of the garments – for example, is it lined? What with? What is the fabric composition? Can it be machine washed?
- Clothing measurements. At the moment I look at the knee length skirt and wonder if the model has long legs or short legs and where the skirt would sit if I wore it.
- Ratings and reviews – it would be great to see what other customers thought of the garment. Does this one fit slightly loose? Was the fabric prickly on your skin? Were they happy with it? So many questions!
- Both sites already offer a ‘Wishlist’ option for saving garments you like the look of. It would be great to get an email alert when these clothes go on sale, or when the stock in your size is running low (nothing like a limited supply to increase demand!).
- Suggestions of other garments based on the one you have viewed “If you like this, you might also be interested in”
- Live webchat with a shopping assistant on the website – so you can ask all the questions like “Does this come in green’ and ‘Is my size in stock at the Newmarket store’?
There is always an element of risk when you buy online. Sure that dress looks great in the photo, but when it arrives it might be the wrong fit, or the fabric is not great quality, or the colour in actual life is vastly different from the web. When you purchase from overseas, you have to weigh up the cost and hassle to return the garment – maybe it’s not that bad after all. Or maybe you can sell it on to a friend. Or maybe you will wear it once – because it only cost 40 pounds, right? With Country Road and Trenery, this risk of wasting your hard earned dollars is reduced down to almost zilch.
For those that don’t know, Country Road and Trenery are part of the same company – Trenery was launched about 3 years ago and has a more classic clothing range, Country Road features more fashion items.