Scribbler Case Retailer Study
By / 06th Sep 2018
About The Client: Scribbler
Scribbler is a bricks-and-clicks personalised greetings card and gift retailer, known for their alternative and humorous designs. They sell from 36 shops all over the UK and online from their website, where they offer a print-on-demand personalised card service, next day delivery and free first-class delivery when you buy two or more cards.
“The Netacea support team are so helpful. They respond incredibly quickly – truly providing an amazing five-star service whenever we had questions which popped up unexpectedly. Nothing ever phases them, they are always happy to help and know their products inside out. Netacea has proven to be an excellent investment for Scribbler, it helped us improve our customer service experiences and maximise revenues during peak periods without significant infrastructure upgrades” - Kimberley Cullum, Head of eCommerce
As a gifts and cards retailer, Scribbler’s business model works around their seasonal calendar with their busiest times being the build-up to occasions and holidays such as Christmas, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Father’s Day, with general occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries being strong year-round.
Like many other online businesses, Scribbler experiences huge surges in web traffic during key trading periods. In the time preceding special occasions and holidays, traffic to the website increases. Surges in website traffic place strain on the infrastructure due to intricacies surrounding saving the personalised card artwork which making up each customer’s unique online order.
While working on a longer-term solution to improve the processing capacity, Scribbler made strategic plans to improve the user experience via an interim, cost-effective and tried and tested solution with the Netacea Virtual Waiting Room.
Netacea provided Scribbler with an immediate solution to respond to usability issues in the run-up to Valentine’s where order demand exceeded expectations and caused ad-hoc interruptions to the service, with customers experiencing longer than usual artwork processing times.
Scribbler was so impressed with the Netacea service and success of their Valentine’s Day campaigns they looked forward to driving even more traffic to their website for Mother’s Day, Easter, Father’s Day and Christmas.
Guaranteed Website Uptime During Peak Trading
Scribbler now precisely control when the customisable Virtual Waiting Room in front of the website would kick in and place visitors into a controlled queue to complete their orders.
This safety layer better manages customer expectations through customisable messaging, which explains why they are in a queue, and arguably more importantly where they are positioned in it. This improved visitor retention rates during peak times and maximised completed orders.
Kimberley Cullum, Head of eCommerce at Scribbler, said: “The Netacea Virtual Waiting Room is the perfect solution for Scribbler. The quality of the solution, ease of use and reassurance to have it kick in whenever visitor time extends past our preferences at peak periods gives us a year-round positive customer experience.”
Since deploying the solution, Kimberly continues to explain, “we keep on finding more reasons get additional returns out of Netacea and have since found further exciting uses for it too.”
Increased Customer Engagement
Kimberley said: “We learned that we could use Netacea in other ways from the Virtual Waiting Room we initially purchased it for – such as hosting branded maintenance messages or keep them engaged by introducing new products or even actively encourage them to wait by presenting them with special offers or discount codes. The realisation it could do more than we first thought was fantastic.”
Psychology research has proven when people experience a period of waiting with no explanation as to why they are waiting or how long they are going to wait, it feels longer than waiting for the same period when they have been told how long they can expect to wait.
Scribbler is notorious for their alternative take on humorous cards and reflect this in all their online Virtual Waiting Room messaging to keep their customers smiling, as per the screenshot below.
Scribbler PR and Social Media Manager, Vanessa Mallia, said: “The Netacea Virtual Waiting Room helped from a customer service point of view because it enabled us to manage customers’ expectations better. We found they had more patience and stayed loyal to us knowing the queue was very short. It helped maximise our peak time sales, versus before we had the service running.
Maximising Marketing Campaign ROI
Even a one second delay in load time can result in a 7% loss in conversions and a two second delay during a transaction results in shopping card abandonment rates of up to 87% as customers fear something has gone wrong with the transaction and abandon their purchase.
So, using what they learned from over their original Valentine’s Day period, Scribbler made further improvements for Mothering Sunday.
“We were empowered to manage traffic in a smart way using the reporting systems to see real-time queue data and trends. This helped us plan the best times to coordinate email sends – avoiding busy periods – so we always have as few people queuing at any one time as possible.”
Simple Integration & Ease of Use
The cloud hosted Virtual Waiting Room operates at a DNS level and is implemented in front of your web-based application where it manages all incoming traffic therefore covering all aspects of the web application infrastructure, not just specific pages.
Using DNS enables an easy and rapid implementation as it does not require any code changes to the website. By utilising a single redirection, Netacea covers all aspects of the web infrastructure, enabling larger enterprise customers to deploy to 10,000’s of sites in a single implementation.
Scribbler’s Head of eCommerce, Kimberley, said: “I found it incredibly easy to use. No training is needed, just a nice easy dashboard and clear instructions throughout. You are fully in control of how and when you choose to use the functions. It is straightforward to manage and edit the email alerts services. The real-time reporting means you can check queuing volumes as often as you like – or set up emails notifications depending on your preference.”
Supporting Website Maintenance Work
Planning maintenance works can be fraught with difficulty, balancing upgrade works against interrupting customer sales. Fitting this around a print-on-demand service with same-day delivery pledges only adds to the complexity.
When maintenance works were needed, Scribbler wanted to offer customer-friendly messaging to manage expectations about the anticipated down-time. The Netacea solution works from a different, cloud hosted, highly resilient environment and is therefore able to intercept and replace Scribbler’s web hosting companies’ default, monochrome error messages, allowing control over the messaging with use of branded graphics.
Year-Round Peace of Mind
100% Uptime and Happy Customers. Netacea ensured a great customer experience and gave Scribbler the ability to control seasonal spikes in traffic in a highly organised manner.
The Christmas trading period was a huge success. Scribbler not only sold a record number of cards online but also reduced their customer service queries. Vanessa said: “We felt very reassured to have it in place. The Netacea team are only too happy for you to find the best combination of services to meet your needs and manage your days as you see fit. Netacea has fantastic flexibility and is so easy to use. It is really hard to fault it!
About The Netacea Virtual Waiting Room
When the maximum number of visitors is reached, Netacea delivers a waiting page to all additional visitors without any access to your servers ensuring protection for your servers and quality of service to your site visitors.
By putting all additional visitors into a fair, first-in-first-out waiting room we ensure that all visitors get the best possible experience and your site remains available 24/7 no matter how busy it gets.
Netacea’s Virtual Waiting Room is a scalable, cloud-based service that sits in front of your website and controls access for all visitors. To learn more about our solution, sign up for a Virtual Waiting Room Trial to demo the product and test it on your live site or mobile app.