Amandine Durr | Interview
After a stint working for global telecommunications company Orange, Amandine began her foray into more product-focused roles back in 2013 — rising to the position of Director of Product – Partner Program at Dailymotion before becoming Senior Product Manager at AOL.
Amandine then moved over to We Are TV as their Chief Product Officer. Here, she was instrumental in launching a brand new B2B2C mobile app that leveraged augmented reality to help better connect TV viewers with producers/broadcasters. This was a great success — the app gained over 100,000 users in a single month — and she then stepped into the CEO role before leaving the company to work at Kering, the French luxury retailer, as their Senior Innovation Product Manager.
In January 2020, Amandine moved into her current role as Product Director at ManoMano. Here, she has one simple goal in mind: creating the best home improvement/DIY customer experience on the market.
Home and gardening e-commerce start-up ManoMano has announced its latest round of financing, Series D in Jan 2020 and has raised $139m. Its founders have banked on a highly-specialised brand of e-commerce, focused specifically on the home improvement, DIY and gardening sectors.
Where does the Customer Experience start and end for you?
For me, it’s everything from the moment that customers click on the website, to the moment that they check out. Our team’s job is to optimise every single touchpoint along their user journey — it’s as simple as that.
We break the customer experience down into three A’s:
Attract – how can we get people onto our platform? Not only that, but how do we make sure they keep on returning until they become a customer? Inspiration is a big part of this. If we can inspire people to think bigger about what they could do with their house, then we can also be there to help them along their journey.
Advise – it’s important that they find the right products to turn their ideas into reality, so that’s where the coaching side of our business comes in — we get experts to advise people on how to properly go about their projects.
Accessibility – lastly, it’s crucial that we’re highly accessible, ensuring our customers are easily able to navigate our catalogue and find the products they want. There’s nothing worse than attracting users to your site but then losing them not because you don’t have what they need but because they are unable to find what they need.
How important is mobile?
Mobile is critical for us — 70% of all our sessions are on mobile, despite the fact that the majority of purchases take place on desktop. I think people instinctively feel like they need to look at things on a wider screen before they go ahead and place an order, which I kind of understand… You want to be able to view things in more detail before making the final step. That said, we’re still testing the waters and seeing if there’s a way to make it easier and more user-friendly for people to buy on mobile devices.
What are some of your biggest challenges at the moment?
We are currently focusing on how to effectively scale our platform. ManoMano has a two-sided marketplace — one for buyers, and one for sellers — so it’s really important that we get both right, and at scale. We have the common growing pains that you’ll find in most companies, no matter the industry: upgrading projects, improving internal communications, onboarding new hires, building out set documentation and processes, etc.
How do you go beyond the product limitations on digital?
I’ve recently begun to take note of just how much people love having real advice from a human — sure, you can browse around and do the legwork yourself — but it gives consumers so much confidence to discuss their issues with an expert and know that they’re getting quality insights in return.
I think that this will become a very big part of marketing. Sometimes your products alone cannot solve all your customer pain points — it’s the products combined with the right human know-how. Get this right, figure out how to scale the process and your customer experience will go through the roof.
Can your User Experience be used as a competitive advantage?
Definition: UX, or user experience, refers to your customers’ overall experience of dealing with your brand.
Implications: A good user experience will entice customers to come back to your store in the future, leave a good review, or even recommend you to friends and family — however, a bad experience can have a big impact on your brand’s reputation and significantly harm your bottom line.
According to Forbes, having an intentional and strategic user experience can raise your conversion rates by a whopping 400%. On the other hand, Uxeria states that 70% of all online businesses fail due to having a bad UX.
So these implications matter — a lot.
The benefits of having a good UX:
- Increases revenue and ROI
- Skyrockets your conversion rates
- Helps your brand build a positive reputation
- Creates a never-ending stream of brand advocates
- Increases customer loyalty
- Keeps users in your store or on your site for longer
One example of great UX: IKEA has long been a market leader in the furniture retail space. Their range of affordable, pleasantly designed products has set them apart for many years now, but their success hasn’t just revolved around the products themselves.
For starters, the IKEA shopping experience is like no other. Their unique one-way system means that customers have to walk past every different department before they leave — while this might be a pain for some people, the vast majority end up picking up a few extra “bits and bobs” that they wouldn’t have otherwise thought about buying. On top of that, they have an in-store restaurant, which is perfect for families dealing with hungry and crabby kids.
But that’s not all.
IKEA customers have always had one major, unresolved pain point. Buying the products was one thing — but assembling them was its own mission. Receiving flatpack furniture might make it easier to haul items from the store back home, but it still means that you have to go through the arduous process of putting everything together yourselves: fighting with endless Allan keys, diagrams, nuts, and bolts.
So what did IKEA do?
Its first move was to introduce its own delivery service in 2015. This meant that customers could avoid those mega-trips to the store altogether, cutting out the hours spent being funneled through their one-way system. And a few years later, they took their user experience to the next level.
In 2017, IKEA purchased a startup called TaskRabbit. TaskRabbit allows users to hire handymen/women for a wide variety of tasks, producing a seamless user experience from the initial moment of inspiration when users found something they liked on the website, all the way through to having someone come round and build it for you in front of your very eyes.
IKEA didn’t just settle for being one of the biggest global furniture retailers out there. It recognised its users’ primary pain points, spent a significant amount of time and money to remove these issues, and are now reaping the rewards.
Now that’s good UX.
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