We recently met with the folk from Nanorep, an impressive online customer service hosted software application with a well-crafted Magento extension.
Nanorep is a “self-aware support system” that is capable of learning the answers to repetitive questions and updating its knowledge base software in real time. This innovative & automated software approach to self-service can dramatically improve the friendliness of e-commerce sites with resultant cost savings, increased conversion and improved customer satisfaction.
Nanorep widgets on any page allow to you to ask questions in self-service mode across multiple channels. There is no need to wait for responses from customer support agents – via email, telephone or forums. The responses provided by nanorep are instantly available and contextually correct – queried by “natural language” free-form questions/searches with responses driven by its clever search technology. Its knowledge base is “self-learning”: it instantly updates with questions and answers and learns in real time what is statistically relevant. If answers are missing or don’t hit the spot, you can enter answers directly through Nanorep’s web-based console.
As a website customer – on the front-end – you can easily use the widget to find answers to all product-related queries on site. Because each customer that visits your e-commerce website is theoretically unique, individual responses are based on user type, product,location, technical specs, stock, care & maintenance etc. So, the answer to a question depends entirely on the context in which the question was asked.
The Nanorep widget
Shoppers can ask any kind of question on any product page and get instant answers which help them to make up their mind. nanoRep addresses three specific types of question:
This does not refer to a specific product, nor to any action that the user may have taken. It is simply a general question — maybe about your company, or the process of ordering something or about who the management are. The answers are automatically retrieved from the nanorep Q&A knowledge-base.
These refer to a transaction (in general), either a product that has been bought or that is being considered to be for purchase. The answers are automatically retrieved from your Magento product catalogue data base.
The personalized question refers to a specific transaction, such as an order placed, or a service which was disrupted or anything else that happens to the individual customer. The answers are automatically retrieved from your Magento database.
Consider the following questions: How much does shipping cost? Is this available in my area? What payment methods do you accept? Each of these questions requires a specific personal response. The cost of shipping is not uniform; it depends on the product, on availability, on geo-location, and even the user.
Question topics automatically retrieved from the Magento database include:
- Orders statuses (status, purchase and shipping dates)
- Recent purchases
- Product ID
- Product Category
- Related Products
- Back-on-stock date
- Product attributes (color, dimension, weight, etc.)
- Product description
- Bundled products
- Cross-Sale products
- Up-Sale products
- Stock availability
Further, all nanorep self-service functions are available in multiple languages and is fully optimized for all mobile devices and smartphones.
The functionality of the Magento extension includes:
- Automatically pulls personalized ordering information from the Magento database.
- Automatically pulls products attributes information from the Magento product catalog.
- Automatically installs the nanoRep widgets per product, as well as the API and back office.
- Automatically installs an SEO-based knowledge-base for every product.
- Shoppers can ask personalized questions about the status of their shipping, billing and orders, and get instant and accurate responses.
- Shoppers can ask their questions in any of 64 different languages, and nanoRep will automatically provide translated answers.
The Nanorep module usefully includes analytics and reporting that show real time insights to the mind of the shopper: making it possible to know precisely how NanoRep has delivered value:
- Merchants can see every question ever asked by their shoppers, filtered by product or category, and use this data to optimize the knowledge-base with more instant answers for essential information.
- See which products get the highest number of attention by the shoppers with the highest level of shopper interest.
- See the list of the last three questions that lead to every purchase.
- See which products are being asked about most frequently.
- Actionable BI that shows which products receive the highest number of unanswered questions, allowing you to optimize the knowledge-base, based on the most needed information and especially on the most relevant products / categories.
There’s a great example on Zaggora
, a Magento website.
For further information:
Magento has released the newest version of Magento Enterprise Edition 1.14.1 and announced Community Edition 1.9.1.
Here’s a summary of the new capabilities:
Visual merchandising tool for product categories
Magento Enterprise Edition 1.14.1 enables retailers to organize products on category pages dramatically faster and easier. The new drag-and-drop visual merchandising tool lets merchants preview what a category page will look like to shoppers and adjust product positions with the click of a mouse. This lets them test and iterate to create more visually appealing pages and more easily make real-time updates in response to changes in consumer demand and inventory levels.
The visual merchandising tool also saves merchants time when establishing or updating categories. It gives them the ability to bulk-add or remove products, set up rules to automatically assign products to categories, and create dynamic categories (such as “new products” and “on sale items”) that pull in products from other categories based on product attributes.
Other new merchandising features, including the ability to consistently fix “hero” products at the top of a category and automatically sort products according to special rules, help to further optimize category sales.
New “swatch” capabilities empower merchants to show off a broad range of product attributes to boost conversion rates. Richer at-a-glance product information, like available colors, fabrics, and sizes, improves consumer confidence to proceed with their purchase.
Better collaborative support in the Admin Panel
This makes it easier for multiple administrators to make product updates at the same time, without diminishing performance.
Long list of other enhancements
Magento Enterprise Edition 1.14.1 includes over 70 updates to related products, payments, security, and other features as part of our commitment to continually improve product quality.
Updated Google Analytics
Magento Enterprise Edition 1.14.1 has been updated to support Universal Analytics, the new standard for Google Analytics. With this update, merchants can define more custom dimensions and metrics for tracking and gain access to ongoing feature updates that will only be available on Universal Analytics.
Read the full story on the Magento website.
Here’s a quick summary of what Apple Pay can mean for payments (courtesy of Retail Dive):
1. The fact that leading banks and credit card companies are partnering with Apple is a sign that the shift to mobile payment systems is getting underway.
2. Card numbers are never sent to Apple servers or retailers. They are stored instead in the new iPhones’ Secure Element, a built-in security method.
3. The payment system will only be available on iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and the Watch.
4. Apple Pay will be available at 220,000 retail locations starting in October. But when compared to the over nine million U.S. retail locations that currently accept credit and debit cards, Apple Pay has some catching up to do.
5. The payment system will only be available on iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and the Watch (when the Watch comes out next year). It also relies on near field communication (NFC) technology, something only 10% of retailers currently have.
6. If customer preferences really do change from plastic to mobile, the days of credit cards could soon be over for retailers.
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.
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”.
Nosto website )(main website)
Nosto Academy (good material for marketeers on what it is & how to use it)
Joy case study (worth a read)
Useful compendium of B2B online marketing statistics covering SEO, paid search, email marketing and website activity from Insight Partners, the private equity and venture capital firm.
Click through to downloand the PDF.