How to present e-commerce shipping information [via @econsultancy]

How to present e-commerce shipping information [via @econsultancy]

Excellent study by Econsultancy of 12 different approaches to explaining & presenting shipping information.

Per Econsultancy: “The number one cause of checkout abandonment is unacceptable delivery costs. A study conducted last year by eDigitalResearch and IMRG found that 77% of online shoppers have abandoned their basket in the past year, with 53% citing unacceptably high delivery costs as the main reason for bailing.”

The article considers – inter alia – Amazon, John Lewis, Office, ASOS & House of Fraser.

Read the whole article here.

Delivering B2B e-commerce with Magento [article]

At Magento Live (London, July 2014), we attended a session entitled “B2B Commerce in a B2C World”. Having now worked on quite a few Magento B2B implementations (Elektron Technology, Watco, SnapOn, QC Supplies, Demco & Aston & Fincher – as well as integrating trade purchase capabilites on several B2C e-commerce websites), we are able to set out some whys and hows for B2B e-commerce on Magento in our latest article at:

The article looks at:

  • Key statistics behind B2B e-commerce
  • Basic implementation & configuration
  • Automating fulfilment via integration
  • Incremental advantage by offering more “transactional” services
  • Added value through better content
  • Mobile adoption
  • Acquiring new customers
E-commerce opportunities and trends [infographic & interviews]

E-commerce opportunities and trends [infographic & interviews]

Interesting set of insights from Drew Sanocki, who set out to understand what the key e-commerce issues were for 2014.  She went out to “all the smart ecommerce people” she knew and asked them some variation on the same question: “it’s a new year, what is the biggest opportunity in ecommerce right now?”

The responses are compiled into two sections:

Part 1 contains insights from the e-commerce “ecosystem”: investors, analysts, tech providers etc. “These people don’t run retailers: they observe them. Lots of them. And as a result they see what is working and what isn’t”, says Drew.

Part 2 contains insights from e-commerce Operators: CEOs and marketing directors at large and small retailers. These individuals speak more to what they are seeing work internally at their own companies.

For the benefit of ecommerce retailers/marketers who may be too busy to read all of it, Referral Candy has put together a summarized infographic version for easy-scanning.

The Biggest Opportunities in Ecommerce right now, as revealed by Retail Experts [Infographic]


E-commerce checkout design & follow-up email best practice

E-commerce checkout design & follow-up email best practice

I recently made a purchase on Baker Ross’ website (supplies for a children’s party) and was impressed by two small pieces of detail: the order confirmation page and a follow-up email two days later.

This is the page after you have completed your order (the “order confirmation page”). As well as the standard communication around order details, it has a discreet reminder why we should shop there (sales reinforcement). Best of all, however, is the “incentive” to create an account (which will create and store the account, which in turn will enable follow-on marketing). The incentive is simply “upgrade for FREE”. Whilst I can see that there’s no reason on earth why I would pay for a Baker Ross account, it made me  think. The wording and promise is effective and communicates the value of having an account well: convenient shopping, storage of address and other details, follow-on communication around offers and new products [see below].

The site is built in Magento which has a “guest” checkout as standard (the visitor can choose to be a guest), which you can enable/disable via the Magento Admin Panel. There’s an extension for placing the above option in the checkout from Commerce Extensions.

Two days later, I received the following email:

Basically, an automated follow-up email offering me a £5 saving if I made another purchase in 4 days (with a promo code), together with some relevant products (well, they seem in some away akin to the products I purchased to go in the party bags), but I can’t tell whether they are actually manual associations or automated via merchandising. Anyway, the main point is the immediate follow-up and promotion (my original goods have not arrived) which would definitely be a strong recommendation.

Post by Roger Willcocks

Home page usability: can you infer the whole catalogue?

Very interesting post from the Baymard Institute (e-commerce usability experts) regarding how first-time users were observed to rely heavily on the main navigation options and the homepage content to determine the type of site they’d landed on.

Here’s a few snippets:

“25% of the test subjects consistently scrolled far down the homepage and then back up again in order to quickly establish an impression of the site’s product range. Alas, this lead to many misconceptions as numerous of the tested sites displayed a very narrow selection of their product catalog on the homepage.”

“Most of the sites where first-time users were correctly able to infer the type of site, visually featured at least 30-40% of their main product categories on the homepage (i.e. the first level of product categories).”

“The litmus test is easy: does a quick glance over your homepage adequately convey your store’s product diversity? If not, first-time visitors may be drawing false conclusions about the scope of your site’s product catalog.”

E-commerce Website Administrator [job description]

E-commerce Website Administrator [job description]

We are often asked what kind of person would be suitable for the day-to-day management and operation of a Magento website – or even a job description for staff recruitment purposes. At Screen Pages, we spend a lot of time interacting with such folk using Magento day-to-day for their e-commerce activities, so we have built up a clear picture of what it takes to be effective. Bear in mind that – day-to-day – there’s going to be a lot of ongoing change and updates, working in the Magento Admin Panel and managing e-commerce processes operationally (as opposed to strategic or conceptual activities).

Here’s the ideal description, based on feedback from our project and account management teams as well as our customer support staff who have been working with 50+ businesses tirelessly to give them the tools, resources and support to be successful (& self-sufficient) with their Magento websites. Some clients get on extremely well, others find it hard: this description will help you focus on what matters – in our humble experience.

Summary of role

  • Generate and update website content (products, content, promotions)
  • Work with agencies to build traffic & sales via the website (PPC agency, email marketing provider, e-commerce provider, etc)
  • Plan, define and implement website changes and functional improvements
  • Maintain and update the online marketing plan for the website
  • Monitor key performance indicators on the website and develop plans to improve them

Key Experience

  • Understanding of the disciplines required to drive traffic to retail websites (ppc, email marketing, link generation, online pr, SEO, offline marketing and pr, affiliate programmes, etc)
  • Understanding of order management/customer fulfilment in an e-commerce context
  • Experience using packages like Excel and Photoshop
  • Computer literate and understanding of basic web technologies (FTP, browsers, basic HTML, data files)
  • Familiar with data management
  • Previous experience of website or e-commerce CMS
  • Basic understanding of Google products such as Webmaster Tools & Analytics would be desirable
  • Experience of Magento would be a plus

Detailed responsibilities would include:


  • Update product information and content on the website
  • Create banners, images, promotions etc for display on the website (using products like Photoshop)
  • Update content managed areas (copy & artwork)
  • Manage website configuration & parameters (eg payment options, stock management)
  • Investigate and report any operational/technical issues arising
  • Scope and document ongoing website functional projects /improvements
  • Test and deploy functional projects /improvements
  • Liaise with e-commerce agency regarding the day to day management of the website
  • Liaise with internal resources regarding the day to day management of the website
  • Evaluate approaches & strategies to improve website sales conversions & customer engagement


  • Understand and develop sources of traffic (& the factors that influence it): email, SEO, PPC, affiliates, social media, catalogues etc
  • Liaise with agencies or in-house teams to implement and support campaigns
  • Investigate, evaluate and assess new ways of generating additional traffic/orders
  • Produce reports to analyse the performance of all online marketing campaigns and promotions (via reports, analytics, surveys etc)


  • To meet and exceed all agreed performance objectives (sales, conversions, engagement)
  • Continuous improvement of customer satisfaction
  • Meet internal service levels for website activity and management
  • Maintaining an excellent level of service to the business


Happy recruiting!

By Roger Willcocks

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