Is a checked out basket your first point of contact with your online customer?
Jun 2017
eCommerce: A Live Cart Process
John Ince
Consider your Bricks & Mortar Business
Whatever the size of your retail organisation the sales process hasn't changed perceivably in centuries. Your customer opens the front door, browses your wares, potentially you approach to help, you make a sale and/or they leave your shop. What if there's more than one client browsing and what if more than one customer wants to buy the same product? In your shop world stock is pretty well self organising. How does this compare with your online world? When is the first point of contact with your virtual client? At the virtual till when they've paid for their order?

What about your new stock. How long until it's up for sale in your physical shop? It's easy right? Just put it on the shelf and bingo it's available to buy (sure it can get more complex than this). If you want to promote just print a label or acquire some promotional material and stick it up in your shop front window. Ok, we're simplifying the process but that's basically it. Now think about your online world. What's stopping you updating your mobile app & website in just the same easy way? Skill, it's harder, takes too long... What if it was easier than your physical world?
The High Street Migration to Online and Mobile Phones
There's a strong movement from the high street to online. The financial aspects are obvious BUT isn't something being lost? Is today's online world giving you a shop feel? How do we improve our online world to be much more like your customers shop experience. We're not just talking about 'live chat' here, noone clicks it anyway do they! Maybe if we could tackle just a few of the points raised above we could significantly improve your customers online exerience by empowering you with live information and actions. Remember too that mobile use is becoming king. An online solution has to be better on mobile than on a laptop. It's essential. It's also vital that you yourself should be able to update, monitor and sell in your online world from your mobile phone or tablet. If we can get closer to the human to human selling on the high street then maybe we can fill the void between the old retail world and our new live eCommerce world. Maybe it'll give you the edge.
A Live Cart and Stock Control
What if you're in a business that doesn't have unlimited stock? Maybe you sell some one offs, originals or simply have a fixed quantity of an item in stock. It's pretty easy in your shop, shouldn't it be the same in your online world? Better still, shouldn't your online and shop stock be the exact same thing? Hold on they are the exact same thing aren't they. So how do we seemlessly blend online with multiple online customers and shop customers? Enter our live cart. In our world when an online client carts the last remaining product noone else can put it into their basket. This happens in realtime. Consider two clients browsing the last remaining product. One adds it to the cart. In the other customer's browser it becomes sold without refresh. The same with your shop which uses the same process. Our live carts are really smart and time down until checkout, it's returned to stock on none checkout or if uncarted. Perfect harmony between shop, online and your on the road salesforce.
Pre-Checkout Carted Items are Visible
So you're back in your shop. You can see your customer's shopping baskets. What are they looking at? What are they spending time browsing? What are they returning to repeatedly. You could perhaps tempt them with an nice discount. Normal selling process. Shouldn't your online world be close to this? How much better would this help you sell online? In our live world the moment that a customer adds a product to the basket we notify our admins in realtime. Of course our admins can also watch our customers browse live pre-carting too. But we notify on an item actually being carted. We can then monitor the checkout progress. We can interact via live chat or send tailored live discount codes if the user is taking a while, maybe they are in another browser tab shopping around. We can detect this too. It's much better. It's simply part of our live webstats. We bring what's going on at your online store into the present time. Webstats have tended to be historic, even if it's only a couple of minutes at best. What happens in our world is happening right now. This is the first step in our automation of the sales process using rules based logic and AI.
eCommerce: A Live Cart Process
What if there's a Longer Lasting Checkout Process?
Not all checkout processes are instant. Our extensible, realtime, eCommerce framework has the ability to inject other client processes after carting BUT before actual checkout. Consider some customisation step of the carted product. We worked with our client Knot2BMissed on this feature, you can check them out in our portfolio. The concept is to cart a wedding invitation style and then customise the words and personalise a guest list. This process can take some time and will often involve multiple visits to the webapp. A long checkout process. If we're online we can see the pre-checkout in realtime BUT what if they're part way through the process but not live online? We also monitor these multi-visit checkouts and also monitor a customer's progress. We can also help client's interactively via our built-in live multiuser. We can watch them type in their invites live without refresh. That's our world.
eCommerce: A Live Cart Process
Our Checkout Process creates Workflow
Just like any other online business we've a regular checkout process including collecting credit card payments. We've a few special features too. The moment the order is placed and paid for our live admins get a notification of the purchase and of course we send the customer both a live notification and an email to re-enforce with an order tracking link. The admin workflow as they deal with an order generates tracking notifications to the customer. Each state change from order confirmed to dispatched to receive creates automatic conversations as part of your workflow. It's simple, to keep your client bang up to date. Your stock is kept bang up to date too. Perfect harmony between your business stock and your online world. Our live eCommerce customers regularly get complimented on how their online world absolutely reflects the stock at their retail outlet. It's a refreshing, or rather no refreshing, experience.
Orders Generate a Customer Database and Mailing List
As part of our ordering process we build a comprehensive searchable client database including a customer's product preferences. Our flexible search allows fast, specific searching which dovetails with other features like eMail shots. Send sales emails to customers who have previously bought identical products. It's so simple. If you've a new product that's arrived then it takes seconds to add your promotion to the home page slides and email targetted potiential buyers. Our online eCommerce can react in realtime to changes in your underlying business.
Doing it differently since 2012. We're simply 10 years ahead. Our software is designed, coded, maintained, supported & hosted in the United Kingdom.
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