As a digitally native, primarily e-commerce business, the online shopping experience is often our first and most important touchpoint with customers, and it’s where the biggest impressions are formed. Is our website easy to navigate, use and understand? Apart from selling, how do we educate and inform? How do we ensure that an order is placed correctly? How do we get orders sent out as quickly as possible?
The operations of an e-commerce company is often glossed over. It's a thankless job that goes unnoticed if things are done well, but receive the most heat when any part of the process becomes less than ideal. But we know how important these operations are, especially for an e-commerce business where almost all transactions are done online.
If a customer places an order, and the order is not fulfilled on a timely basis (and the definition of timely keeps getting more and more unrealistic. Thanks, Amazon.), it casts doubts on the professionalism of the business. If emails and chat messages do not get replied to within a day (or maybe its hours now), is it even a legitimate website?
Our goal, ambitious as it may be, is to be the gold standard when it comes to the online shopping experience. In the past year, we’ve made many improvements to our website, order fulfilment and customer service processes. This is necessary to not just keep up with the growth that we’re seeing, but to also get us closer to offering the best experience.
Talking about operational improvements may not be something that gets most people excited (unless you're in the minority and prefer thinking more about systems and processes more than new straps for watches), but we think it's important enough to showcase the good work that our operations team has done to keep things running smoothly.
A Refreshed Look for the Website
We have given our website a new coat of paint! Our previous website refresh was done in 2021, and over the past 2 years we’ve bolted on many new aspects and features, and the website was starting to look a little bloated and dated, and felt a little sluggish. You’ll notice a few new things with the website.
First, an updated navigation menu that is more in line with the current range of products that we have. We also wanted to introduce more ways to organise and shop for our straps, as first-time and repeat customers would have different requirements and preferences.
Second, we added a new section for people who are new to watch straps. While seasoned watch collectors may be very experienced and comfortable with changing straps, it can actually be an intimidating process for a majority of people who own watches. We hope that the Watch Strap 101 section will help to educate and inform, and introduce more people to the joys that can come with changing straps.
Third, we added a wishlist function so you can save your favourite products, be notified if there is a price drop, and also share your wishlist with friends (and drop a not so subtle hint on what gifts to get).
Fourth, we now have a comprehensive FAQ section that is integrated with our live chat to provide direct answers to many of the questions that you may have. You can also search within the FAQ section, or check out our Help Center for more detailed articles.
Finally, you’ll see more video content around the website. Pictures are great, but they only go so far in giving you an impression about the product. With videos, we can better show how the product is used, and you will also have a better sense of the hand feel of the product.
Of course, the sections that are loved by many of you will continue to see improvements. We’re adding even more watches to the Strap Finder, we’re continuing to develop more Strap Guides with help from members of the watch community, and our Custom Strap Gallery continues to be updated with details custom straps made by actual customers.
24/7 Live Chat - Actual People, Not Just Bots!
We know that finding straps for your watches can be a little confusing, especially if you're new to the world of 3rd party straps and you just found out that you have options beyond going back to the OEM.
While we do have our Help Center and FAQ section, we know that sometimes, you just want to chat with an actual person that would better understand the nuances of your specific situation.
And that's why we've been working on getting our website live chat up and running, with actual people responding to all questions, 24/7. Yes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Weekdays, weekends, public holidays, day and night. No matter what time it is, or what question you may have, just ask away on the live chat and our Support agent will get back to you within minutes.
You will still get a list of AI-recommended FAQ articles to read depending on your question, but if that doesn't quite answer it, please don't hesitate to chat with one of our Support agents! They are knowledgeable about our entire range of products, and can also provide some recommendations for your watch if you need another opinion.
Give it a try! Tap on the bubble at the bottom right corner of your screen!
Getting the Order Correct
With so many products, width and size options, even the most seasoned watch collector can make mistakes and order the wrong strap for their watch. We’ve made a few changes over the past year to ensure that our customers receive the right products for their watch.
Something we had noticed at the start of this year, was that many people were ordering the default width and length for their straps. Often times, this would be the wrong specification and not what is needed. In order to ensure that the right strap was purchased, we've removed any default selection for width and size, so every customer has to deliberately select the sizing for their strap.
This is just one of the examples of small improvements we've made to the website and operational processes to ensure that we get the right products sent out. We've also reduced incidences of customers ordering the wrong length for Elastic Loop, ordering extra buckles or quick release spring bars for their strap when it's not needed (as our straps come with those by default), and other minor but important tweaks to make everything run smoothly, like clockwork.
Fulfilling Orders Quickly and Accurately
Above all else, what matters the most is getting orders sent out as quickly as possible. Our goal is to send out all orders within 1 day. This means that we need enough people working on the order fulfilment, we need to have streamlined processes and infrastructure, and we need to establish systems and new processes to deal with large surges in order, such as when we run big sales events.
But speed is only one part of it. Accuracy is equally important. With so many different products and SKU, mistakes inevitably happen and we can sometimes send out the wrong product to the wrong customers. Having established SOPs, and with multiple layers of checks by different people in the fulfilment team, allow us to minimise the mistakes we make in fulfilment.
And lastly, we want to ensure that we do not forgo important processes solely in pursuit of speed of fulfilment. Doing one final quality control check before the order is packed helps to make sure that the final product passes our standards. Helping to swap out buckles and spring bars before shipping is something that we know customers value, and we want to continue providing those services.
I always believe in setting big goals, because these goals will keep us looking ahead. As a brand, we believe in the importance of always improving. We may not yet be the gold standard in online shopping experience (for example, we can certainly improve on our returns process, especially for our international customers). But the steps that we have taken in the past year are significant ones that will elevate the shopping experience on our website, and bring us one step closer to our lofty goals.