Having a great product or service is one thing, but if the experience you provide is not convenient for your customers, you might be in trouble.
I recently read an article about how Birchbox is struggling. In case you’re unfamiliar, Birchbox operates by sending subscribers a box full of beauty product samples each month. While subscribers pay a monthly fee, the core idea of the business is for subscribers to buy full priced versions of the products they sample, directly from the Birchbox website.
Birchbox have created a very fun and clever way to break habits and get people to try out new products. But (and it’s a big but), Birchbox aren’t getting the sale conversions.
So, what is the barrier stopping their customers purchasing from them instead of other retailers? It boils down to convenience. Convenience is all about making the experience easy and clear. For Birchbox, there is no simple or convenient link between trialling a product and then ordering from them – it is easier (and likely habitually ingrained) to pop into Sephora or Ulta rather than log in to the website, search for a product, then place an order.
Birchbox need to think about how to make it more convenient to order through them than someone else. For example, the Coles app lets you scan the barcode of a product you’ve run out of to automatically add it to your shopping list, which you can then get delivered straight to your house at the click of a button; Domino’s is now delivering pizza to a patch of grass near you; Amazon will deliver to your car boot, wherever that may be; and Instagram has launched a shopping tool so you can buy stuff straight from your feed.
So what can Birchbox do to get on the right track? They can start by getting intimate with their customers. Talk to them and listen to what their pain points are, both when interacting with the brand and frustrations in their lives. Then, map out a customer journey that identifies opportunities to improve the customer experience.
I do really hope that Birchbox can get their customer journey right – they have a great product, they just need to tweak the trial-to-purchase journey.
Written by Emma.