Scents & Sprays has been selling luxury candles since 2002. And from the start, owner Kevin Richards has had a business partner: Yahoo! Merchant Solutions. Today, the company sells 1500 products and has five employees that run the e-commerce site and a brick-and-mortar store.
"Yahoo! Merchant Solutions has the perfect blend of robust features and ease of use," notes Richards.
"So it's very easy for us to train new employees to be able to fully operate the business. And that's essential when you're making the leap from a one-man shop to being able to have employees and take vacations and not work the business 80 hours a week all by yourself."
Customer Registration is a Yahoo! Merchant Solutions feature that offers customers a better shopping experience. It gives consumers the option to shop as registered customers–making checkout, reordering, and order tracking easier.
Merchants can allow guest checkout or require registration, and customize their Customer Registration content and design–giving them better control over their store's checkout flow.
"Customers can check out faster, without having to re-enter all their information every single time," Richards says.
"In our industry, customers are very brand loyal and fragrance loyal. Customer Registration makes it easier for customers to simply log in, see their previous order history and make a purchase decision right there."
Which explains the high adoption rate by customers on Scents & Sprays.
"We run regular surveys," states Richards,
"and our customers tell us they like the easier checkout, seeing their previous orders and checking their order status."
This feature benefits both consumers and merchants. It gives customers a faster, easier way to check out and reorder products. And it provides merchants with key insights that help them identify their most valuable customers.
Customer Registration benefits merchants as well as customers. For starters, it encourages reordering.
"Customers tend to order the same things over and over," Richards observes.
"And the fact that you have the ability to reorder with just one click makes it really easy."
Customer Registration also helps e-commerce stores in an unexpected way–by making the phone ring less frequently. When consumers can easily track their orders, they're less likely to call, which saves merchants time. Kevin Richards has noticed the difference.
"Customer Registration has made the number of phone calls with where-is-my-order questions go way down."
Customer Registration gives merchants detailed transaction information so they can identify, segment, and market to their most valuable customers. The Customer Manager tool filters customer data by total orders, total order value, purchase date, products purchased and other attributes.
"I like to arrange it by total order value,"
"That tells me who my best customers are in terms of revenue and allows me to look at their buying behavior and get some anecdotal evidence of what is happening on our website."
Insight provided by the Customer Manager tool makes it easier to drive sales through targeted marketing campaigns. If, for example, a merchant wanted to promote a new accessory to customers who had previously purchased the product it complements, they could generate a mailing list from the Customer Manager then send those customers a single-use coupon to encourage purchases.
I think the biggest reason to use Customer Registration is to make the checkout process easier for customers who demand it. As a merchant, you have to be flexible and work with your customers in the way that they feel most comfortable. Having login has given us yet another way to compete and to provide what our customers are expecting.
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