Zooplus, E-commerce and why I love it

Being E-Commerce specialists it is very easy to criticise every e-commerce website out there. We can usually find something that’s wrong, even with the famed John Lewis website that everyone loves referring back to – but very rarely do we come across a company that just does E-commerce right. Sure, it has its flaws – but Zooplus demonstrates that it knows its stuff and I thoroughly recommend using it if you have any pets!

The Design

A clear layout is essential, with very clear calls to action. Promotions are carried across the website with a clear red indication that it relates to a special offer, a subconscious thought process that the discount hungry shopper will associate with value throughout the rest of their experience.

A link to a Christmas Advent Calendar, offering daily deals indicates added value and seasonal campaigns, while the McAfee secure button above the payment box reassures the customer in knowing that their order will be processed safely and securely.

The delivery price is clear at a glance like it should be, promoting their free delivery on orders over £19 and the £2.90 fixed charge for all orders below this. In todays economic climate, it is very easy to get caught up with complicated delivery options.

As you navigate the site, the design remains consistent with clear calls to action and is not cluttered with banners.

The Experience

The order experience is intuitive. Enter in the quantity you want and click add to instantly put this in your cart. This pops up a mini cart and also marks the row for that option with a tick so you don’t accidentally put it in more than you need. Being in a list format means the user is more likely to buy more, and the fact it is put together with similar products gives each product a benchmark against the other ones. On its own, the user would have a much harder job giving it an absolute value and determining just how good value for money it is.

The telephone number could be a bit larger but it is great to see it on every page to the right. Each product has a number next to it so I know that if I had any queries, I could pick up the phone and ask about it. A 01 number indicates that a representative is far more likely to pick up on the other end than an automated service, which even a free phone number may indicate.

As I move into the cart to finally review my purchase, I can see my welcome coupon has been applied and if I was outside the UK, I can easily find the shipping costs which are clear and easy to understand. Finally there is a breakdown of the order, the discounts I have received and a clear button to proceed to the checkout.

The checkout reassures me constantly that it is safe and secure, segregating it from the rest of the site removing everything except the top header and the checkout process itself. At this stage, the user has committed to their purchase so you need to keep them there. Oh, they take American Express too!

The site makes it easy for me to just make the purchase or sign in if I already have an account, which I do (this was easy to do and just one extra field to put in a password!)

At this stage, all I needed to do was put in my cv2 code from my credit card and as it remembered everything else from before, my order went straight few in a matter of seconds.


The after-sales process

My purchase had been made, it was easy and I feel confident that my products will arrive soon. It would be nice to have an exact delivery date, which if they had the right processes in for wouldn’t be hard to do – but I can understand how it isn’t always possible. I received an e-mail to confirm my order and the next day had a dispatch notification e-mail to give me the parcel tracking number and when they expect it to arrive.

Since my order, I’ve received targeted campaigns around the products I have ordered. As I’ve ordered cat products, the most recent one I received was for tinned cat food. The e-mails make me feel valued as a repeat customer, they send me deals once a week and most importantly they run a loyalty scheme, allowing me to collect points with my orders – leading me to more and more repeat purchases.

In conclusion

It is very easy to go into a lot of detail here and explain the ins and outs of why I think it is such a great example of E-commerce, but this post would go on for pages! Sure, there are a few minor things that could be tidied up here and there but all in all, one of the best examples I have ever seen of E-commerce.

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