By Nik Maguire, 2ergo
Evaluations of spending patterns over recent years have shown the increasing dominance of online sales, with retailers such as Amazon reporting strong results compared with retailers on the high street.Google+
By Jean-Marc Noël, managing director at Trusted Shops
There is a great deal of discussion about the conversion rate of a product detail page or the opportunities of a website. But the most important page of an online shop is often forgotten – the product list! This is the page that shows all the products and provides essential product advice.
After all, the decision to buy is made on the product detail page. This is why this page must offer all the information a customer needs to make a purchase. However, before he chooses a product, he asks himself the question: which one? The product list has the answer. Here are six ideas for your product list. Continue readingGoogle+
By Guy Cuthbert, managing director at Atheon Analytics
With upwards of 30% of retail turnover now coming from promotions, it is becoming essential to ascertain the most appropriate promotions metric for each product category or customer demographic. Brands and retailers need to work together to maximise opportunities, minimise promotional spend and meet evolving customer demands for value.
Yet the reality is very different: far too often one partner is using its business intelligence weight to dominate the relationship, enforce performance measures or demand certain discount activity. Continue readingGoogle+
By Sean McAuley, Commercial Director, FusePump
The e-commerce industry in the UK is currently worth £78 billion and set to exceed £87 billion in 2013. Businesses are starting to realise that having an optimised website is a must to attract new customers and gain business.
As businesses struggle to maintain their presence on the high street, companies need to make sure that they are utilising both on and offsite marketing to improve their chances of success. Continue readingGoogle+
By Jean-Marc Noël, managing director at Trusted Shops
“We’ll do that like Amazon”. I have heard this so many times in my concept workshops that I’ve lost count. It’s true that Amazon does a lot right and swallows about 25% of the German e-commerce pie chart. But anyone who wants to be like Amazon is setting themselves up for a failure.
Amazon’s concept is pretty simple: pricing combined with availability. Amazon lets you buy pretty much every product, mostly on offer for the lowest price on the market and delivered the following day. Amazon is, so to speak, the personal logistician for any desires anyone could possibly have. So the shop no longer needs the typical features of a good seller at all. For instance, trust-building using certificates or a phone number for questions and problems, authentic teasers on the home page to get people’s shopping juices flowing, etc. Continue readingGoogle+
By Tony Heyworth, International Marketing Director at LivePerson
Gone are the days when we traipsed up and down the high street from store-to-store comparing prices or variations in products to make sure we get the best deal. The power of the internet has made shopping much more efficient. The ability to instantly compare products at the click of a mouse has transformed the customer experience, and is having a major impact on the way we shop.
A study by LivePerson shows that 78% of shoppers’ research online before even stepping foot in a shop to buy, and 39% of shoppers globally now spend the same amount or more online as they do in store during a typical month.
So what does this mean for businesses? Continue readingGoogle+
By Anke Puscher, Director Business Development Europe at Valassis
E-commerce is the fastest growing channel in retail sales and is set to drive significant changes in the way customers access and redeem coupons. Managers responsible for retail technology in store need to adapt by ensuring, for instance, that coupons can be redeemed online as well as in store.
The high penetration of smartphones and tablets in the UK has made its mark on the way consumers shop with many browsing and purchasing online via mobile devices. What’s more, this trend is set to continue with the number of smartphone users nationwide predicted to more than double between 2012 and 2016, from 19.2 million to 41.9 million1. Combine this with the continued trend towards promotions, with our recent survey showing that a quarter of respondents are looking for promotional offers more than they were a year ago, and the need to embrace digital and mobile coupons becomes clear. Continue readingGoogle+
For all of the merchandise that gets sold on ecommerce websites, a fair amount of it may end up being a counterfeit or scam.
According to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations website, law enforcement agencies in Belgium, Denmark, France, Romania and the United Kingdom, as well as the European Police Office, joined their American counterparts in seizing 132 domain names that were selling shoddy or counterfeit merchandise to customers. This is something of a big step for the world of Internet security, as these websites usually go unchecked for extended periods of time and will have people continuously fall into their trap of fake goods without consequence. Continue readingGoogle+
By Andreas Kopatz, Manager Product Marketing, Intershop
Christmas is a busy time, especially for the retail sector. Here are some ideas to attract shoppers and boost sales:
1. Run Promotions
Promotions are the wheel that keeps Christmas shopping going. You may want to make sure you run them consistently across all channels, as you don’t want shoppers to be frustrated because the in-store offer does not align to the e-commerce promotion. The message is, no matter where they buy, the deal is the same.
However, if you want to encourage people to use new channels, say because you have just launched your mobile channel, then use a different approach. Vary promotions between channels to entice shoppers to visit your new mobile store so they get familiar with it. You can push customers to the most cost effective channel to maximize margins, or enable them to shop through the channel that they like best – and then cross promote to other channels from time to time.
2. Introduce A/B Testing
Implement A/B Testing into your website. A/B Testing compares the effectiveness of two versions of a web page, promotion or similar, in order to find out which version has the better response or higher sales conversion rate. It provides an evidence-based means of tweaking marketing strategies until they are as effective as they can be, and is the magic bullet that will help you maximise the success of seasonal promotions.
3. The ‘Advent Calendar’
Try offering a specific product each day for a special price. Make this advent calendar prominent on your e-commerce site and send a daily ‘open the door’ email.
4. Promotion Combinability
On any given day an e-commerce site can easily have a handful of promotions underway, such as free shipping, 20% off discounts, half price items, and discounts on specific categories. However, most e-commerce systems will only allow one effective promotion to be applied. This is a short cut for not wanting to analyse how different promotions combine, but it can be a deterrent to sales since most people want to get half price and free shipping. And if they have to make a choice, it might be to go elsewhere. So, give yourself a useful Christmas gift – the ability to combine multiple promotions at the same time.
5. Daily Shopping Period
This is one simple way to help the very busy shoppers. Start a daily shopping period at a set time, lunch time or evenings for example, where people will get the most popular items on your e-commerce site together with a special Christmas gift and/or promotion.
6. Collect Data
Think ahead. Help prepare for Christmas 2013 by collecting as much analytical data as possible now. You’ll be glad you did when planning next year’s promotional campaigns.
7. Think CSR
Consumers get savvier about where their purchases originated and how they were made, so consider Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Sometimes this is more powerful than another special offer.
8. Hold Events
If you are a bricks and mortar retailer, try inviting your customers to a Christmas event at your local store. Celebrate a Christmas party combined with an offer or promotion. Use your e-commerce site to drive attendance by offering special deals to be had at the event.
9. Santa is Coming to Your House!
Let shoppers place orders to be hand-delivered by Santa, gift wrapped to their home. This is a very special delivery method and it might only work in your local area so be mindful not to over promise.Google+
By Mike Bainbridge., Solutions Architect for PEER 1 Hosting
Overcrowded shops with terrible music on repeat and the inevitable cold weather, or staying at home and having gifts delivered to your door? It’s no wonder eCommerce sales at Christmas are growing by around 20% a year.
Unfortunately, online retailers still aren’t always ready for the spikes in traffic the Christmas season brings. Get prepared with our top tips for better eCommerce hosting:
Consumers are increasingly impatient – a slow or crashing website will affect conversion rates. One in five shopping carts is abandoned because of slow page loading or crashes. That’s more than $3 billion a year in lost sales. Web hosting optimised for online storefronts decreases page loading times by at least 40 times. What’s more, Google’s search results are gradually changing so that a website’s speed has more bearing on its search ranking. Retailers with slow sites will be charged more for their paid search adverts.
Guaranteed uptime despite power cuts or server failures can be achieved with the right hardware setup. Some hosting providers promise up to 99.999% uptime in their service level agreements. Ecommerce-optimised hosting increases the amount of manageable simultaneous traffic by up to 5 times and doubles the number of manageable simultaneous orders.
Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is the industry standard for companies that handle cardholder information, so being ‘PCI compliant’ is the sure-fire way to ensure your ecommerce site is processing payments securely. Fortunately, you can cover yourself on the stringent security standards for credit card payments by partnering with a PCI DSS compliant hosting provider.
Gartner predicts that by 2015 50% of all web sales will be mobile, so a lack of quality integration across the emerging technological channels is now a major cause for concern. If your mobile website’s performance is not up to scratch, you’re losing sales. Search out a hosting provider that offers seamless multichannel performance across desktop, tablet and mobile.
Your hosting solution needs to support you in all the countries you want to trade in or website performance will be affected in locations that don’t have a nearby data centre. Partnering with a hosting provider that has a global infrastructure in place ensures web hosting is fast and reliable internationally.Google+