An e-commerce lesson from a local cafe

Posted on May 23, 2009

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(Photo by saeru)

Every morning I start my day at work by buying coffee in one of Singapore’s very familiar local cafes, Toast Box.  I order two cups of coffee for me and my wife, the normal coffee with condensed milk & evaporated milk,  to go or as they say it in SG, ‘take away,’ in separate plastic holders since we’ll be bringing our coffee to our respective offices afterwards.  That’s my morning coffee routine.

After ordering almost the same thing for about two weeks in a row, the guy who makes the coffee when he saw me behind the person ordering at the counter looked at me and asked, “two kopi?”  I said yes, and a minute later when I got to the counter and ordered, the 2 cups of coffee were waiting, according to how I’ve been ordering it  After that, it’s become an easy routine for me every work day.  I just say yes every time the coffee guy asks me if I’m still ordering the same stuff and when I get to the counter, the coffee is there, ready to go, and I just pay for my coffee.

Amazing how a guy who makes coffee in a local cafe here in SG actually gets a very basic principle in e-commerce.  This is how an online store should be.  When a repeat customer comes back to your online store, you should be able to recognize them, have an good idea of what they wish to purchase again and make it as easy and smooth as possible, from the time they reach your store until they reach that point when they’re about to pay for their purchases.  If you do this, then your repeat customers will not only keep coming back, they’ll be thrilled to tell others of their experience.

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Posted in: e-commerce