The third lesson in ecommerce the entrepreneurs received was an inside look at Spree’s innovative tech. Spree is the biggest online store in South Africa in terms of the monthly online traffic they generate. Their app currently receives over 30 000 downloads every month making tech an important aspect to their business. “We need to think about functionality differently in terms of our web design as most of our customers will be viewing us on their mobile phones, this was not the case three years ago.” says Visser. This is a positive technological move as individuals are more likely to go on their phones more frequently than a computer as it is usually restricted to one location. This trend explains why Spree currently receives approximately 61 percent of their traffic from mobile users, a statistic that is expected to increase in the near future. In order to keep up with the growing amount of traffic on their site, Spree has implemented some groundbreaking innovative technology for their app.
They are the first ecommerce site to utilize virtual search. Virtual search works by allowing customers to take a photograph of an item of clothing they want using their phone and then upload it to the app. The app then shows the customer all the similar items Spree has on offer.
When starting your own ecommerce store, you will probably not have the same amount as capital that Spree has to spend on ecommerce. However, Jonathan Muir, Spree CIO Exco member had some useful guidance to offer the Threads entrepreneurs. He advised that when first starting your online store, one should use minimal tech and then add more as it grows. “As the business grows, customers expect change as they have higher expectations”, says Muir. Muir also advises that it is important to ensure that your site is fast and customer friendly. According to Muir, “Every second a page delays in loading you lose 20 to 30 percent of your customer base“, emphasizing that efficient technology is paramount in encouraging website returns. His final advice for starting your own ecommerce store was ensuring trust. Offering guarantees such as free-returns and exchanges as well as designated drop-off points all adds to the purchasing trust a customer has in your store’s ecommerce website.
“Every second a page delays in loading you lose 20 to 30 % of your customer base.” Spree CIO Jonathan Muir. #ThreadsBySB
The final key lesson in ecommerce the Threads entrepreneurs learnt from Spree was a quick lesson in customer service. According to Tracey Volkwyn, Spree’s customer service manager, good customer service occurs when customer service workers understand the emotion behind a complaint. “It’s not just a red suit, it’s a red suit for my daughter’s wedding.” says Volkwyn. According to Volkwyn, the two main reasons customers call is to find out when their package will be arriving or when they will be refunded after a return. For Spree, customer complaints are also seen in a positive light as they offer crucial insight into how they can improve their online services.
The Threads entrepreneurs received crucial knowledge in ecommerce while visiting Spree’s headquarters at Media24. From pivotal insights into Spree’s buying process and marketing, to their innovative implementation of technology and customer service.
Thank you to Media24’s Spree for allowing the Threads entrepreneurs an inside look at what goes into running one of the most successful online store’s in South Africa and enabling them with crucial ecommerce knowledge that they can implement into growing their own online fashion businesses.