When it comes to creating a great physical and digital experience, we do not have to many examples in TT that come to mind who do this well.
We still see many businesses telling you to DM for price, no website to order from online, making you pay for delivery and then want you to meet them somewhere, defeating the purpose of delivery, and the list goes on.
However, I wanted to share an experience I had with a brand that “gets it.”
This brand knows what it means to create a hybrid experience that can thrive in the post-pandemic world.
My shopping experience started with a Google search for “skincare products in Trinidad”, which generated a few blogs/articles on the top skincare products. It was then I saw Immortelle Beauty’s name pop up in a few lists as one of the top local brands.
Folks, there is great power in being Googleable since statistics show that over 68 per cent of the shopping experience starts with a Google Search.
From there I decided to check out if they had a website and I was pleasantly surprised that there was one.
As you already know, in TT, most businesses still don’t have a website and rely strictly on social media, however, social media accounts aren’t indexable by Google. This means that I cannot type in a query like “skincare products” and your posts on Facebook or Instagram show up in the results. This is why having your website is so important to get new business.
Once I landed on Immortelle Beauty’s website, I was impressed by the quality. Fast loading website, chatbot option for questions, all of the products listed, super clean photography and most importantly, it was e-commerce ready, meaning I could make purchases through the website and I didn’t need to DM for price, fill out a Google form to order or wait for them to tell me what they had in stock.
There were some key elements on the website that must be noted and I hope it gives you ideas on the types of things to add to your website for a better digital experience.
Because they sell to both local and international customers, there is a toggle for both TT and US currency. There are multiple payment options at checkout including credit card, Paypal, Google Pay and bank transfer.
For delivery options, you can select to pick up in-store or have them deliver to your home address anywhere in TT. You can also select the country you are in and the delivery fees automatically populate based on your region.
They understand that to generate business, you must expand beyond your neighbourhood.
I decided to do in-store pick up since I knew I was going to be in the area of their store that day so I selected that option.
Upon visiting their store over on Picton Street, close to the Savannah, I was equally impressed. Not only did they have an impressive website but it was just great to see that they took their time to put together a great in-person experience as well.
You see, your brand's reputation is built upon every interaction that a customer has with your brand and that could be anything from your digital touchpoints to the physical.
Right upon entry they had a nice sanitisation station, the store is bright, open and all of the products were laid out in a beautifully merchandised fashion.
I love the fact that they had a testing station and at that point, I knew they were serious about having a hybrid shopping experience.
When I met with owner Kathryn Nurse, we spoke about some of the technical elements to create the digital experience.
She had her business registered in the US to take advantage of key platforms like Stripe, Google Pay and PayPal. This is an option that businesses in TT can choose without having to leave the country, and can work with local accountants to ensure their taxes are on point.
She decided to use the WordPress platform to build the Immortelle Beauty website.
For local deliveries, she uses TT Post trackpacks to ensure that customers from anywhere in the country can receive packages. She uses DHL for all international deliveries.
What impressed me was the ability for the customer to select the country they are in and the shipping fees are automatically generated for DHL. The fees are added to the final cost and the customers pay for their delivery.
All of this coming from a small business owner is just impressive and it's great to see finally see a local business understand what it truly means to have a global standard level hybrid experience.
To learn more about building your business online, visit Keronrose.com or follow @keronrose on IG/Linkedin/TikTok/FB. Check out the Digipreneur FM podcast on Apple Podcast/Spotify/Google Podcast.