Do you know what my favourite thing about online shopping is? Well, for starters, you can shop from the comfort of your own bed. Oversized t-shirt, makeup off, face mask on – it’s a YES from me. 🙊
It’s 2019 and I’m in my mid-twenties – the less often I need to be out and about, the better. 👵🏻 #Nanna
I like being social and stuff, but if there’s a chance that I don’t need to get trampled by giants (I’m roughly 153cm and this happens daily 🙄) or bombarded by staff (I know you’re just trying to be helpful, but please 🙅🏻♀️), then you can bet that I’ll be staying at home.
Today, we’re going to discuss the OCE (online customer experience) framework (Rose, Hair & Clark, 2011) and my time spent on Mecca, the online retailer for high-end beauty products. If you knew how often I was on their website… it’d blow your mind. I can’t help it though – I love makeup, and skincare even more (sue me, I want to look 25 when I’m 40 🤷🏻♀️). But why am I constantly typing mecca.com.au in the search bar?
This is where the framework comes into play. It was developed to help understand what motivates and influences us as online consumers (Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick, 2019; Rose, Hair & Clark, 2011). If you think about it, there are so many factors which impact how we think and feel about our online shopping experiences, which leads to value.
… wait, what? 🤯
How about we simplify this framework and talk through each stage from antecedents, experience, ending with consequence.
Stage 1: Antecedents 🔵
The blue box on the left of the diagram below is all about antecedents, which are a list of concepts that influence our purchasing behaviour (Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick, 2019; Rose, Hair & Clark, 2011). These include information processing (IP), perceived ease-of-use, perceived usefulness, perceived benefits, perceived control, skill, trust and risk, and enjoyment (Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick, 2019; Rose, Hair & Clark, 2011).
Information processing (IP) is how we interpret the information that is provided throughout the purchase decision-making process (Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick, 2019; Rose, Hair & Clark, 2011). What do we know about Mecca? They stock over 100 high-end beauty brands covering not only makeup and skincare, but also fragrance, hair and body products (Mecca, 2019). When you hear “high-end”, you’d think of buzzwords like “quality”, “valuable”, “luxury” – everything you’d most likely want on your face. IP is all about how your brain understands meaning (Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick, 2019).
Perceived ease-of-use refers to how easy it is to use the site, whether it’s on a desktop or a mobile phone (Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick, 2019; Rose, Hair & Clark, 2011). Mecca’s website is super easy to navigate through and its aesthetic aligns with its brand, so you’d already feel luxurious just by being on their page.
Perceived usefulness is all about how it fits into your life (Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick, 2019). How does Mecca’s website fit into your routine? For me, I can check it out on my computer, my laptop, my tablet and my phone – all of the devices that I use for online shopping… and majority of my life. 💻
Antecedent #4: perceived benefits. The OCE framework states that if a consumer feels as if they’re being rewarded by making the purchase, it’s likely that he or she will provide support (more like, enjoy) the brand (Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick, 2019). Enter: the Mecca Beauty Loop (Mecca, 2019a). This loyalty program offers rewards such as quarterly Beauty Loop boxes filled with beauty-related sample products, complimentary makeup applications at the top-tier membership, birthday gifts (my favourite kind 😍), and much more (Mecca, 2019a).
Perceived control refers to whether the consumer can use a website or mobile site to function successfully within this environment (Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick, 2019). Where are all our millennials at? Digital princess over here definitely knows how to surf the web. 👩🏻💻
What about skill? This is more about your exposure to the site (Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick, 2019). The more often you visit Mecca’s website, the greater exposure you have to it, so eventually you can navigate to wherever you need to be in a seamless manner. For example, if I want to buy mascara, I know that I need to go to the ‘makeup’ dropdown menu and select ‘mascara’ under the ‘lashes’ sub-section (Mecca, 2019b).
Trust and risk are both very important in terms of how a consumer behaves online (Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick, 2019). You should be able to purchase your desired products without feeling as if you’re risking anything (Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick, 2019). Mecca is quite educated with the products they offer, and this is reflected in their item descriptions (Mecca, 2019) to ensure you’re purchasing the right product. Additionally, they have secured payment options and offer refunds, exchanges or store credit for return items that remain in their original and unused packaging (Mecca, 2019b).
The final antecedent is enjoyment. Pretty self-explanatory, right? This determines a positive online shopping experience (Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick, 2019). Can confirm I am always pleased with Mecca’s digital store. ⭐️
Stage 2: Experience ❇️
Let’s refer back to the diagram: the green box in the middle is all about experience and is influenced by some, most, if not all eight antecedents.
Experience is two-fold: your cognitive state and your affective state. These are actually quite simple. The cognitive state is all about how you think about your experience, whereas the affective state is how you feel (Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick, 2019).
If we refer to my online shopping experience with Mecca, I think it was positive because a) I was educated in the products that I was looking at, b) I was able to use the website without any hassle, and c) my payment was safely processed. Because of all this, I feel extremely satisfied with my experience. Which leads us to…
Stage 3: Consequence 🔶
The consequences of the OCE framework are customer satisfaction and repurchase intention (Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick, 2019). Customer satisfaction is when you both think and feel a positive experience when shopping online (just as I did), which can influence your intent to repurchase from “the same online channel from a particular retailer” (Rose, Hair & Clark, 2011).
For the record: I consistently have a positive online shopping experience with Mecca, and continuously repurchase from their website. 💄
Thanks for tuning in! Next week, we’ll be discussing all-things social media – the area of digital marketing that I’m super keen on. 😏
Chaffey, D. & Ellis-Chadwick, F. (2019). Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. United Kingdom: Pearson.
Mecca. (2019a). Join the Beauty Loop rewards program now | MECCA [Website]. Retrieved from https://www.mecca.com.au/beauty-loop.html
Mecca. (2019b). MECCA | Discover the Best Makeup, Skincare, Hair & Beauty Products [Website]. Retrieved from https://www.mecca.com.au/
Mecca. (2019c). Returns & Exchanges | Customer Service | MECCA [Website]. Retrieved from https://www.mecca.com.au/returns-and-exchanges.html
Rose, S., Hair, N. & Clark, M. (2011). Online Customer Experience: A Review of the Business-to-Consumer Online Purchase Context. International Journal of Management Reviews, 13(1), 24-39.