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A customer’s journey on a website should be as smooth as possible

Teun Jaspers, 31, was working as a Content Improvement Manager at online retailer when he was asked to join Nextail. It did not take him long to make up his mind. Since November 2014 he is Nextail’s Content & Publishing Manager, supervising three teams of 16 enthusiastic employees. His hobbies include photography – preferably taking pictures on the street – and travelling whenever he gets a chance: he and his girlfriend will soon be heading off to Asia.

Teun: ‘I’ve always been fascinated by content; I’m intrigued by how you can entice people using just copy and nothing else. As a Nextail employee, I get to work with some of the most talented web specialists around – there’s certainly a lot of knowhow here. Since Nextail is an all-new business unit, it has something of a ‘start-up’ feel to it, the difference being that we are actually part of a large and well-run holding company. That was certainly one of the reasons I ended up accepting the offer.’

The advantage of starting a new business unit from the ground up is that you are venturing into new territory. ‘If you start out the way we did, the only way is up. You see results very quickly. During my first few weeks on the job, I began expanding the size of the teams, figuring out the operating processes and ensuring that everything ran smoothly. That involved brainstorming, getting to know all the systems and making the right choices. We incorporated the results into a content plan, which we used as a basis for designing a roadmap for 2015. We migrated all the websites to the new, central platform and are currently looking at automating the content-entry process. You can use the labour you save through these processes to optimise the content.’

‘Our current focus is on coordinating online strategies, expanding the online product range, enriching the existing content and continuing to develop our websites. We want to learn from our customers and are constantly improving the sites based on customer feedback. A customer’s journey on a website should be as smooth as possible. Whenever we see any hiccups somewhere, we check to see what should be changed. This is one of the ways we improve customer conversion rates. Of course, the website is only part of it – there are a lot more services available, such as the in-store kiosks. We can make massive progress by doing an even better job integrating the online and offline experience.’

Nextail will therefore get cracking in 2015 to further improve the webshops. ‘We are very methodical in analysing specific product categories. Take garden furniture for example: you need to ask what do consumers want now, what information do they need and is this information clear enough? What filters do they use when searching online and do they have a need for video? And then there’s omnichannel: how fantastic would it be if consumers could simply check their phone to see how many units of an item are still in stock at the nearest store, or to offer customers dynamic price tags showing the current price? We could also display in-store customer reviews for all products. There are so many ways in which we could improve in the future – this job remains a fascinating challenge every step of the way.’