From time to time we will be featuring guest blog posts from our customers who have an interesting story to tell, or a useful nugget of information to pass on. First up we have Alex Gartland of Piply.ie, a healthy meal delivery service based in Dublin. Alex talks about the idea behind Piply.ie and what he learned about setting up an e-commerce site.
It takes 90 seconds for a customer to complete a purchase on piply.ie. That’s because we built exactly what was required and not a pixel more.
The idea for Piply came about when myself and partner Eamon were working very long hours and finding it difficult to eat well. We dreamed about what it would be like to have our own personal chef that could cook delicious and healthy meals in the evenings.
We soon found that all of our friends and family were having the same problem. Every evening was a struggle to find good recipes, source all the ingredients from the different shops, spend an hour or more cooking… then the dreaded clean up. BANG – another evening is gone.
The only alternative is to have a takeaway or get restaurant food delivered – which is either poor quality, or rich and not made to deliver. In both instances the quality is poor. We were sick and tired of feeling poorly, both mentally and physically, after eating these convenience foods.
And so Piply.ie was born. A service that makes and delivers healthy dinners.
Look at the entire service, not just one channel
With my product designer hat on, we set out to design the entire service and not just a web app. We were not building a web app to sell our goods; we were setting out to build a holistic product whereby the quality of the web app was as important as the quality of the food.
I think many businesses fail to convert traffic online when they see their digital presence as a channel rather than an integral, equally important part of their product.
Eliminate unnecessary elements
I was taught in my first part-time job, age 15, that every business sells two products; one is customer service and the second is the actual product. Fast forward 11 years and for many industries, that customer service is no longer driven by human interaction but by digital interactions.
Bearing that in mind, we used one simple question over the 12 months of architecting Piply
“Is this absolutely essential?”
We applied this question to every design decision. In doing so, it allowed us to double down on what features were most important. For example, we didn’t design and build the functionality to pre-order because it wasn’t absolutely essential to access and enjoy the service.
Think about what your customers want
Similarly, when we got down to wireframing the screens we decided not to collect first name and last name on the checkout even though this data is traditionally collected by businesses in order to remarket to their base.
Using the method above we realised not only does the customer not need this, they don’t even want it!
This one simple question helped us remove all the bells and whistles. It forced us to double-down on exactly what was required and provided the laser focus to build only the screens needed for the customer to have an excellent experience.
Online store a key part of your business, not just an add on
When measuring the time it takes converting customers to complete the entire process on Piply we were pleasantly surprised to find the average was just 90 seconds. And some customers, who know what they want to order, are able to open the site and order in 28 seconds!
My advice to all businesses looking to trade efficiently online is to invest in a good product designer who will build your online store into your business rather than tacking it on to your business.
Have you recently set up a new company or introduced a new digital channel to your business? We’d love to hear from you. Email Carmel.Ryan@eir.ie to tell us your story.