Andy Howard

Useful Brands in eCommerce

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We help our clients be more useful. Usefulness is the pursuit of all great companies, and Razorfish chairman Clark Kokich sums up a modern marketers’ mission in a line:

What do our customers need that they’re not getting now, and how can we give it to them?

Here are three brands being useful to their customers in the eCommerce space.

Skullcandy has customer-powered customer service (image above). The brand “fansources” customer service, turning their biggest fans into online customer service representatives. Potential customers browsing Skullcandy’s website can live chat with selected Skullcandy customers to hear hear how the products work from people like them who use the products reguarly. There are currently 27 brand ambassadors (from over 400 applicants) providing fansourced customer service, including semi-pro snowboarders, extreme skiiers, avid surfers, and musicians who all have this common: they are huge fans of Skullcandy, they own multiple products in each of Skullcandy’s lines, and they love talking to others about what makes Skullcandy great.

Prospects find customer-powered customer service useful; Skullcandy achieves 20% online conversion and 186% ROI through fansourcing.

ASOS offers customers free ‘Style Sessions’ via Skype. Selected participants can ask ASOS’ Style Advisors questions about ASOS apparel and seek out advice on purchases they’re considering.

Ticketmaster’s Facebook app suggests recommended gigs for fans based on their Spotify listening history. The app can also tell users where their friends’ tickets are located to enable people to sit together. Here’s a video of the customer experience. How can you be useful to your customers?

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