Magento top e-commerce platform for mid-market [research]

Magento top e-commerce platform for mid-market [research]

Magento e-commerce offerings are now the top platforms for midmarket merchants—defined by Internet Retailer as those with $20M-$75M in annual online sales. Magento grew from 13 midmarket merchants on the list in 2013 to 24 in 2014, overtaking Oracle in the top spot in this segment.

Screen Pages adapted Magento as the platform for delivering its e-commerce services in early 2009 – five years ago – believing it to offer the best price/performance for “niche” (European for “mid-market”) e-commerce businesses – on average our clients are trading at the £0.5-£10m per annum level – with a few either side of that. Magento Community Edition is a great platform for custom, bespoke websites at the lower end of this scale and Magento Enterprise offers better scaleability and configuration – with additional marketing capability as well – backed by an eBay-supported maintenance program and product development roadmap.



Source: Internet Retailer Top 500

“The doubling of our presence on the IR Top 500 is a great advance and clearly demonstrates the ability of Magento products to scale to support merchants doing hundreds of millions of dollars in online revenue,” says Roy Rubin, Co-Founder and COO of Magento.



Nosto: solid targeted, personalised marketing service for Magento

Nosto: solid targeted, personalised marketing service for Magento

We recently received a briefing from Nosto regarding its personalisation & recommendation engine for targeted marketing.

We liked the software: its benefits are clear, there are plenty of case studies, the pricing model is “appropriate” for our kinds of clients who are working off modest budgets and importantly for us – it has well constructed Magento integration and is easy for clients to manage.

The theory with these kinds of products is that a recommendation engine will transforms online shops from one-size-fits-all offerings to relevant, personalized experiences, updated dynamically and in real-time. To do this, Nosto tracks visitor behavior across the site ienabling you to tailor shopping experiences with automatic product recommendations based on individual behavioral data. Thus, when a visitor returns to your site, Nosto displays products she considered previously but have not yet bought, helping her continue their shopping and increasing conversion. Alternatively, the site can sell additional products by showing visitors what other customers have viewed, searched for and bought.

Nosto’s marketing video

Usefully, Nosto also has a trigger email capability. It detects if a customer has not visited your store for a while and inspires them to return to the store with a ”We Miss You” email containing relevant product recommendations based on their previous behavior. You can send customers automatic follow-up emails after they have received their order, recommending products related to what they have just bought and enticing them to continue shopping with you.(This could save a retailer money – because other extensions would not be required.)

Nosto offers over 30 different recommendation types, including personalised merchandising, cross-sell and up-sell, best sellers, search, landing page recommendations : you can also modify recommendation types and settings.

Nosto’s suggested placement of recommendations on Joy’s category page

As well as the conversion uplift potential offered by Nosto (& some of the case studies are fairly impressive), we are always aware of the time (& difficulty) of automating cross-sells and up-sells: imagine hand-populating these for hundreds and thousands of products.

We also liked the Nosto dashboard, which presents a real-time view of what visitors are doing on the website across the board.

Essentially, the process of implementation and integration involves downloading the Magento module, connecting to the Nosto service, adding page tracking to the various page types in Magento, then creating Nosto recommendation templates in Magento content areas and adding individual “recommendation slots” to them.

Regarding pricing, Nosto operates either an overall revenue share or a “click-thru and buy”.

Further material

Nosto website )(main website)

Nosto Academy (good material for marketeers on what it is & how to use it)

Joy case study (worth a read)


Email re-marketing & abandonned cart follow-up: #magentolive

Our notes from the entertaining and statistic-laden Charles Nicholl of SeeWhy at Magento Live on email remarketing to reduce basket abandonment.

No purchase journey is the same (Google conducted 000s of studies).

Here are some compelling statistics re. abandonment and returning visits:

-O.25% is the percentage of first time visitors to buy on first visit.
– Browsers are 9 times more likely to purchase upon return (2.25%)
– First time returner to an abandoned basket converts at 18% – that’s 60x better.
– A serial returner (or abandonner of baskets) converts ate 49% – which is192x better

On the subject of mobiles and tablets: 67% of people have used multiple screens sequentially to shop online (source: Google). At different times of day, people do different things for different devices. The “comfort” device is the desktop. Consumers are still wary of mobiles for purchasing.

Research shows that most shoppers prefer the full (or optimised for mobile) website, as opposed to apps. Tablets outperform smartphones 2:1, in terms of sales. By the end of the year, more emails will be opened on mobiles than anywhere else – the primary marketing weapon often falls on a non-mobile device.

A case study from Guthy-Renker showed that one of the best follow-up email subject lines was “oops, was there a problem with your checkout?”. Follow his with “9 reasons to buy……”. Incidentally, “Oops! Was there a problem with your checkout” has a 56% open rate and the inclusion on Christian names in the subject line is not as effective.

72% of purchases happen in first 12 hours. On average 8% will return overall unprompted, but 26% will return after remarketing.

Best guesses are often wrong – so test all this!

Remind/reassure/promote = a good starting point for a campaign, if yours new to the concept of emil re-marketing. You should use predictive heatmap software (e.g. Attentionwizard, at relatively low cost) to assess how emails will be viewed.

The end game of course is “targeted” and “personalised” trigger emails’ which i surveys, offers is the highest ROI, per top retailers in US.

But only 5% of retailers personalise their remarketing: without it, the recovery rate is 2.6 %, with personalised material (eg your products) that can be 32%.

In Magento terms, all this is easy: use Magento trigger emails for abandonment and integrate Predictive Intent for personalised content.

E-commerce checkout evolution

E-commerce checkout evolution

Interesting piece on checkout evolution: “checkout is the lynchpin of e-commerce. It’s how customers buy and retailers get paid. Yet despite years of evolution, only a few changes have significantly impacted checkout conversion online.”

While some e-commerce checkout forms vary from a standard sequence, most don’t. In fact, even the order of questions has become quite standard: personal information, shipping information, billing information, and a final verification step. This sequence actually builds on itself as shipping addresses determine final costs (shipping plus tax) and are often re-used for billing addresses. Details like this have been analyzed and optimized over the years to make sure that checkout throughput is everything it could be.

“Yet despite many years of optimization, online shopping cart abandonment rates reached 75% in the first six months of 2011. No wonder many companies are looking beyond standard form designs to improve their e-commerce conversions.” See source: Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate Tops 75%

Then follows a number of suggestions for improvement….such as saved accounts, free shipping, real-time feedback, better layout, psychological motivators and paying more attention to mobile.

E-commerce approach: do carousels work?

Interesting article from Predictive Intent on the effectiveness of carousels (those hero content areas which rotate images).

“Last year we carried out an A/B split test with a client using a vertical scroller, displaying 3 products at any one time on the left-hand sidebar, whilst requesting 12 suggestions in total – enough for three “scrolls”. Clickthrough to a suggestion was just 1.38%, generating 1.6% of their revenue.

In the version without a scroller, which requested and displayed only 4 products, clickthrough to suggestions shot up to 6.54% – an increase of 374%! Direct revenue attributable to this block also rose to 4.8%.”

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