Interviewee: Anupong Kuttikul, Founder.
The story behind Carnival
I always had a thing for sneakers. I was a collector, owning many pairs of limited editions – that’s where it all started. Back in the days when I first started my business, there weren’t many sneaker stores which specialized in limited edition items around. I started with a small store selling a single brand, then gradually scaled up to have many more options today.
From “Carnival Store” to “Carnival Online Store”
We have always been selling online since the beginning, but the term online back then meant that it was not supported by a proper website system. We posted items on Facebook and customers would either send a message or ring us up to place their orders. As the store expanded, more and more items became available and, of course, we had to cater to a larger group of people. Answering calls and replying to messages became a challenge. As real-time inventory check was not possible, this made it difficult for the team to meet customer’s expectations.
So, we came up with the need of a website to accommodate customers 24/7. A full-featured website allows customers to check items for availability, models, colors, and sizes. Whenever an item is unavailable, customers can browse through and explore alternatives right away without wasting time in chatting back and forth with the team. When it comes to checkout, the payment can be simply made on the website. That was the real first step of Carnival towards e-commerce.
Furthermore, the e-commerce trend is not something far away anymore as the global trend tends to maximize the use of online sales. Likewise, carnivalbkk.com is no ordinary website. It’s another main sales channel, just like any branch of our physical store. The Carnival Online Store has a separated stock management specifically for online sales.
We offer special editions, limited editions, and special price items exclusively for online; That will encourage store shoppers to shop online too.
From “Street fashion influencer” to “E-commerce leader”
Well, we don’t see ourselves as an e-commerce leader because, in Thailand, there are so many websites with better function and sales volume. While at Carnival, we merely want to provide the best customer experience. Simplicity, comfort, security, and trust worth are the things that matter. The entire shopping journey, everything from layout to design, is meant to build trust and reliability which will convince customers to convert with us. This is our main priority. Of course, there will always be room for improvement and we never stop working on it to best benefit our customers with added functions and shopping experiences.
Carnival’s key differentiator is not only the limited edition items, but also pleasant customer experience we care to deliver.
Everything that is delivered to our customers – the finest selection items, website interface, look book, or content – is considered means of communication. It has to represent the feelings of street fashion and the coolness. Customers will remember the experience of how cool it is to shop at Carnival. So, we try to control that experience in the same mood and tone at every customers’ touch point from store environment, the team, our Facebook page, Instagram, and so on.
The experience with Omise so far.
With all the outstanding features and services, I would highly recommend Omise to my friends and business partners. Well, I am an avid shopper, especially on internationally recognized websites. I know a secure and trustworthy site when I see one. The checkout is seamless. The whole customer journey is kept on the website, there’s no unnecessary page redirections or popups to distract buyers from completing the purchase.
The payment gateway is integrated into the website and customers get to go through a seamless journey. That’s what we wanted for Carnival, and today, that’s what we have achieved. We owe part of the success of bringing a smooth and seamless payment experience to Omise.
Previously, it would redirect customers out of the site to the payment page or the bank page, which would interrupt customer journey. Moreover, Thai customers are not familiar with the system and might be confused whether account registration is required or not. Our website did not look professional and leaded to a high rate of cart abandonment since customers could not checkout and decided to leave.
Once shifted to Omise, customers can see the differences of our system with integrated payment gateway. It is more hassle-free with on-site credit and debit card acceptance. Besides, we ensure uncompromised security with a certified payment service provider. All the sensitive data will be securely transmitted and processed.
Customers loved the solution and showed it right away. Since onboarding with Omise, our conversions have increased, while more and more buyers are now shifting from bank transfers to paying by card. This proves that a smooth and seamless experience can take your business a long way. The result isn't just about higher conversions, but also time saved from administration tasks.
It is an act of care. Customers can sense the professionality of business, which affects our brand credibility and standard.
Omise is using the process of Tokenization in replacing credit/debit card data into unique identification symbols (Token) to be transmitted, instead of the data itself, without passing through merchants’ server. The token can only be used once with the secret key from the merchant server. Therefore, it is assured that payment through Omise is highly secured.