Ebizmarts – The future of retail

Ebizmarts – The future of retail

Technology is driving an unprecedented wave of innovation in retail. However, identifying which technologies will have a lasting influence, and which technologies are just ‘hype’ is not always easy.

On top of this, consumers’ expectations and behaviour are constantly evolving, meaning that creating great customer experiences both online and offline has become incredibly important. According to Cisco, 86% of customers will spend more money for a better shopping experience.

To put it simply, when it comes to ecommerce this means that putting an electronic version of your store catalogue on your company’s website doesn’t cut it as an ecommerce solution anymore. Even click-and-collect, unheard of not long ago, is quickly becoming the minimum standard for customers’ delivery expectations.

Moreover, the high street continues to be relevant to the customer experience, especially with the proliferation of pop-up and concept stores. Indeed, for retailers, providing in-store experiences that distinguish your brand from the competition is crucial.

So, as more and more retailers look for ways to distinguish themselves, it is important now more than ever to create a unified online and offline experience for your customers.

Whilst ‘omnichannel’ may be perceived as just another buzzword, it presents a key opportunity for retailers to create unique experiences for their customers.

Although the term ‘omnichannel’ has a number of meanings, overall the term revolves around merging your different sales touch points in order to put your customers at the centre of the retail experience.

Today, customers come to expect their experience in-store to be the same as online, especially in terms of inventory, product knowledge and pricing, as well as ease of check out. Meaning that even if you are an SMB with one physical location, omnichannel is something you cannot ignore.

At the end of the day, the retailers that will thrive will be the ones who allow customers to shop when, how and where they want.

For example, take click-and-collect. As the proportion of sales fulfilled in-store that were ordered online increase, you now have the opportunity to upsell to collecting customers. Meaning, your in-store customer engagement needs to be adapted.

This is where Magento comes in. Magento makes it possible for you to stay ahead of your competitors through customisable web options and extensions that connect your digital and physical stores.

Indeed, Magento, the world’s most flexible ecommerce platform, allows retailers to achieve commerce without limits.  Being fully open source, the ability to adapt and be nimble to changing consumer behaviour is becoming increasing important, so having the right foundations in place is essential.  Building on these foundations, a true omnichannel architecture can be achieved.

Overall, retail has come a long way from the traditional brick-and-mortar store, and although the advent of ecommerce led many to predict the demise of the high street, for retailers, it is no longer a question of online or in-store. Today top retailers are striving towards:

  • Clienteling – enhanced store assisted selling
  • Queue bustings
  • Apple experience checkout
  • Endless Aisle
  • Multiple in-store shipping options (takeaway, ship to store, ship to home)
  • Buy Online, return to store
  • Inventory visibility across estate
  • Ship from Store (enable store inventory to be accessed online)
  • In-store Carrier Integration

Four years ago, we at ebizmarts realised the importance of merging different retail channels and as a result ebizmarts Point of Sale (POS) for Magento was born.

Coupled with Magento, ebizmarts POS allows you to take Magento into your physical environment. The POS enables retailers to provide an omnichannel experience via a native iOS experience to access Magento, anytime, anyplace, anywhere.

To find out more about how ebizmarts POS can take your Magento operations in-store, visit https://pos.ebizmarts.com

Micro Scooters featured in John Lewis Christmas Ad

Micro Scooters featured in John Lewis Christmas Ad

We’re so excited that our client Micro Scooter’s products were featured in the much-heralded John Lewis Christmas ad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’d like to buy the Floral Sprite micro-scooter, here’s the product for sale online:

http://www.micro-scooters.co.uk/micro-sprite-floral-scooter.html

And here’s the dino helmet to do with it.

http://www.micro-scooters.co.uk/micro-safety-helmet-scootersaurus.html

The whole ad (& get your hankies) can be seen here:

E-commerce strategy: a review of Zulily

E-commerce strategy: a review of Zulily

Interesting article on what it takes to succeed: early success for Zulily wasn’t necessarily sustainable.

“Zulily was seen by many as an example of how entrepreneurs could build a big publicly-traded company in the U.S. that would not get crushed by Amazon….

  • But as Zulily started to expand its product selection to attract new customers, it ran into a few big problems. It began to carry items from bigger brands that are available on competing sites. That eliminated one of its big differentiators from Amazon. Along the way, it found that the new customers it was attracting weren’t becoming repeat customers as frequently as its earlier set of buyers.
  • It also found that its long delivery times — on average more than 10 days — were becoming a problem for more potential shoppers.
  • Additionally, the company didn’t allow returns on most products, a major pain point for many. They have recently begun offering returns for some customers.”

Luxury brands that do well & not so well online [@econsultancy]

Interesting analysis from Graham Charlton  (@gcharlton) in two parts that looks at 5 luxury brands who do online well & 5 that do it not so well.

To quote the author: “I think the key here is providing a great user experience. Too many luxury sites put creativity and visual appeal first and forget that people have to actually use these sites…This perceived clash between creativity and usability is nonsense in my view, and has been used as an excuse to ignore ecommerce best practices like testing and designing with users in mind.

This is not to say that convention and best practice should be slavishly followed, but luxury brands should aim to combine good usability and great design. After all, selling things is the name of the game.”

Here’s a list of the main issues to consider, again quoted directly:

  • Images. This is an important element whatever the site, but luxury sites should ensure that images convey the quality of the products on offer.
  • Video. The use of video on product pages is great for conversion, and luxury brands should make the most of this opportunity.
  • Attention to detail. Little things matter, such as detailed product descriptions.
  • Great copy. The copy on product pages should be reinforcing that luxury feel, while keeping one eye on SEO.
  • Great service. This is something luxury sites should be able to do well. This includes things like prompt delivery and packaging which matches the product.
  • Fonts. Fonts can play a huge part in how websites and content are perceived.

Here are the “good” five: Selfridges, Jimmy Choo, Burberry, Bang & Olufsen & Mulberry.

Here are the “not so good” five: Dom Perignon, Givenchy, Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel & others.

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