For this customer story, we spoke to Rob IJzenga, E-commerce Manager at Chesterfieldbags.com. He tells us more about:
40 years of experience in the bag industry
Chesterfieldbags.com is part of The Chesterfield Brand and with 40 years of experience in the bag industry, we can certainly call them experts in their field. The company sells leather bags and accessories that are produced in a socially responsible manner. "We saw a need in a simple, basic collection with not too much colour at a fair and good price," says E-commerce Manager Rob IJzenga.
Every day, Rob is involved in optimising the customer experience on the website: "An online place where the focus is on visualising the collection to end consumers". These activities fall under his marketing and sales goals.
"Our online shop is a place where you can of course view and buy our entire collection, but we also try to provide an experience through photos, videos, and other inspiring content," says Rob.
Appearing trustworthy when product assembly takes place in a developing country
As part of the supply chain takes place in a developing country (India), it is a challenge to ensure the reliability of The Chesterfield Brand and its products. Rob knows all too well that customers and other brands can become suspicious when leather bags are offered at a highly competitive price.
"How can you guys do that?" and "Is it even produced in a fair way?" are just a few examples of questions that customers may have. "It is important, for this reason, that we are transparent," Rob says.
The Chesterfield Brand is very conscious of social responsibility. "India is a country with problems that we just don't have in the Netherlands". Rob emphasises that an organisation cannot solve those problems, but it can influence them. For example, if you produce products only in factories that have internationally recognised certifications attached to them, this helps give the brand its credibility.
"In fact, this means that you could theoretically pick up such a factory from India and drop it in Europe and it would meet European standards and values." By keeping the chain as short as possible, workers in factories get fair wages, margins are higher, and the brand becomes interesting for many retailers.
A trustmark, reviews, & more transparency: the key to reliability
In this day and age in particular, consumer buying behaviour is increasingly experience-based, "...so we are also working a lot with reviews and customer experiences." For example, Chesterfieldbags.com recently started collecting product reviews to be displayed with the products in the shop. The combination of service reviews and product reviews facilitates the purchase decision.
"Besides this, the reliability of reviews is currently an incredibly hot topic in e-commerce," Rob explains. An additional benefit of collecting reviews in this way is that it contributes to consumers' sense of trust. As Rob explains, "Customers may wonder how trustworthy a review actually is". Because the reviews on Trusted Shops' platform come from real customers, the reviews make a positive impact on the online shop and the customer. "I think that's a plus," confirms Rob.
The Chesterfield Brand has Trustbadges for their English, Dutch, German, and French online shops.
According to Rob, in the unlikely event that a product or service is not to their liking, customers do not even need to claim the Buyer Protection offered. "The Buyer Protection is basically unnecessary for us because we are a service-oriented company. If something is wrong, the customer can report it directly to us, after which we always and quickly solve it. Nevertheless, the Buyer Protection can always give a sense of confidence for new shoppers".
Rob is also very much into increasing product reviews, as previous customers can contribute to social proof. "More reviews are always better. Ideally, we would like there to be a number of reviews for every product because before a person makes a purchase, it is always nice to have some user experiences there." Reviews can really boost trust: the more people that describe a product in their own words, the better a product will match a potential customer's expectations.