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  • Jan Gutkuhn, eCommerce Consultant at superReal talks about how the award-winning BENCH online shop succeeded

    Jan Gutkuhn was interviewed by Shop Usability Magazine

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  • The BENCH online shop won first place in the Fashion category in 2016 at Germany’s most famous eCommerce prize – the Shop Usability Award. How does a shop come to be considered the best? What makes this shop unique?
     
    Jan Gutkuhn, eCommerce Consultant at superReal, was interviewed by Shop Usability Magazine and gave an insight into the secret of the Bench online shop’s success:
     
    The Bench Shop did incredibly well. It’s a cool shop with lots of features. Who actually thought up BenchMusic?

    Bench was a labour of love from the outset at superReal, and we were able to include lots of pioneering ideas in it, which the client went ahead and implemented exactly as proposed. Sadly, that is not always the case in eCommerce, which tends to be rather averse to innovation, so it’s all the more exciting when a client trusts you as an agency. Music has always been part of Bench’s brand-DNA. As a lifestyle brand, Bench has always sponsored festivals and equipped artists, so a music player was kind of obvious. This is always the way we approach the design and concept process in projects: what is the brand all about, what are its USPs, what are its digital behaviour attributes, and how can we translate all that into a unique store? We seem to have succeeded especially well with Bench.
     
    Can you tell how many users actually listen to music when they’re at the store?
     
    Although the feature is inactive at first when you visit the store and users have to turn on the player themselves, there are an extraordinary number of them who want to hear the Bench Sound. The number of returning users is especially high. We also had very positive feedback about the player right before the launch. It shows you just how worthwhile it can be to build a feature which doesn’t generate sales directly, but which makes users like the brand.
     
    ‘Stories’ is another great feature of the store. Can you sell brand products that way?
     
    Ideally, yes. Customers don’t want to hear advertising platitudes, they want to be told stories. And, they will pass on the best stories they hear. That’s why our online stores use a combination of visual and editorial storytelling. It’s important not to create ‘content ghettos’ but rather to blend well-presented products with high-quality content in an intelligent way. If the quality of the content is high and the overall story suits the brand, the chances of users returning are good.
     
    How much innovation pressure is there at the Bench shop?
     
    A shop is never actually “finished”, even if Bench already has lots of good front end features. Most of the innovation is currently happening beneath the bonnet, which means on the logic and business rules side. The aim is to speak to customers more specifically and initiate optimised marketing activities.
     
     
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