Customer Experience in the Online World


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NPR recently did a story on Blue Nile, an online diamond retailer, entitled Digital Bling: Diamonds For Sale Online.  Blue Nile does not have any stores, and all purchases are made online, so how do they compete with traditional diamond stores when the sensual experience of evaluating diamonds is not available online?

Four ways-

1.     A top-notch product. 

2.     Open communications, education, guidance and a liberal return policy.

3.     Operations: Blue Nile cuts the diamonds afterthey are purchased, has a low overhead and does     not pay a sales staff commission. 

4.     Price:  Due to streamlined operations the price is significantly lower than traditional stores.

Blue Nile has essentially replaced the traditional customer experience of evaluating the 4C’s in person with a trusting educational process and it seems to be working.  Blue Nile proves that the customer experience process can be changed and 100% moved into the online world even when the traditional customer experience is mostly about the senses. 

Although, I’m sure many of the consumers that purchase through Blue Nile go into other stores to evaluate the diamonds of their choice before purchasing online, so the customer experience may not be completely replaced … slightly augmented though.      

As NPR states, this will not appeal to all consumers, but the diamond market is large so even a small segment of the diamond consumers is enough to support a profitable online model.        



Republished with author's permission from original post.

Roman Lenzen
Roman Lenzen, Partner and Chief Data Scientist at Optumine, has delivered value added analytical processes to several industries for 20+ years. His significant analytical, technical, and business process experience provides a unique perspective on improving process efficiency and customer profitability. Roman was previously VP of Analytics at Quaero and Director of Analytics at Merkle. Roman's education includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Marquette University and Masters of Science in Statistics from DePaul University.


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