Top 2023 resources on key
Best key resource in 2023.
Learn more about key to improve your e-commerce strategy.
10 Key Things Your Subscription Box Business Needs to Have
Take a look at the 10 key things your subscription box business needs to have in order to have the best chance at success.
Topics: subscription, box, sure, website, key, customers, needs, tip, products, things, boxes, business, experience.
11 Key Metrics to Evaluate Potential Marketplaces
There are dozens of worthwhile marketplaces worldwide. Amazon, Walmart, eBay, and Etsy are examples. What follows are tips for using data to identify (and optimize) marketplaces to sell your products.
Topics: product, marketplace, sell, amazon, conversion, volume, audience, marketplaces, evaluate, key, potential, products, metrics, cost.
12 Reasons to Integrate Visual Content Into Your Marketing Campaigns [IG]
With some 1.7 billion websites worldwide, it's fair to say the web of 2020 is a cluttered place.
Topics: opportunities, visual, marketing, social, mindful, elements, lie, content, campaigns, key, integrate, meaningful, reasons, including, ig.
15 Key Performance Indicators to Help Improve Your Marketing
When I was cooking steak the other day, I had to use a meat thermometer to check and see if the meat was cooked all the way through.
In other words, I had to look for an indicator to see how the cooking process was coming along.
Marketing is fairly similar.
Topics: leads, kpi, customer, social, indicators, sales, marketing, key, performance, track, help, youre, improve, kpis, media.
19 Powerful Ecommerce Statistics That Will Guide Your Strategy in 2019
Data is incredible. With it, you can make informed strategic decisions that will pay dividends in the future. Without it, you must resort to guesswork that may cost you dearly. Still, not all data is created equal. Many of the statistics touted online can be at best outdated, and at […]
Topics: statistics, statistic, strategy, guide, ecommerce, powerful, takeaway, customer, website, learn, customers, shoppers, key, online.
3 Key Retention Marketing Lessons from Papier, eve Sleep and MADE.com
#Lifecycle18 has come and gone but with #Lifecycle19 on the way, a fresh reminder of the pointers shared by the keynote speakers and panellists work as a reminder of the lessons we can look forward to in the upcoming conference.
All three disruptive brands have highlighted important practices retail marketers need to have in place to make sure they are creating the best possible experiences for their customers. As the market continues to become more competitive and the standard of customer engagement soars, it is integral that brands have a clear strategy and idea of where they plan to take the marketing messages they send out to expectant customers. As Millennials and Gen Z continue to dominate with spending, now more than ever, it is important to know what customers want, and there is no better way to learn than from disruptive brands that are firm favourites.
Topics: feel, marketing, sleep, relevant, customers, dont, lessons, key, papier, noted, success, madecom, brand, customer, making, eve, retention.
4 Easy Steps to Get a Custom Email Domain [+ Key Features to Look For]
There are a few things in life that can earn you that "official" status.
Topics: key, select, create, easy, provider, providers, custom, business, emails, steps, features, inbox, domain, look, email.
4 Key Factors That Impact Email Deliverability
Getting an email to an inbox is not always easy. Many factors determine whether an email is delivered, blocked, or even filtered into a subfolder. In this post, I'll explore four key factors that determine email deliverability
Topics: impact, emails, sending, deliverability, factors, subject, senders, key, address, ip, volume, reputation, shared, email.
4 Key Questions We Have for Mark Zuckerberg
It's official: Mark Zuckerberg has landed in Washington.
Topics: information, key, zuckerberg, facebook, mark, zuckerbergs, question, hearings, week, questions, user, marketing.
4 Key Ways to Gain Customer Trust as an Ecommerce Business
Do your website visitors trust you? You need to build customer trust to turn website visitors into customers. Here are 4 ways you can start.
Topics: help, customer, business, products, gain, ways, users, ecommerce, trust, key, customers, website, youre.
4 trends that will define e-commerce in 2022
As we approach our third roller coaster year defined by the pandemic, what will happen to global commerce? What new trends will define e-commerce?
Topics: merchants, key, techcrunch, trends, web3, privacy, define, ecommerce, zeroparty, brands, data, facebook.
5 Steps to Run a Project Post-Mortem Meeting [+ Key Questions to Ask]
No project is an unmitigated success or failure.
Topics: questions, questionnaire, postmortem, meeting, identify, help, project, ask, steps, projects, agenda, team, run, key.
6 Crucial Ecommerce Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to Track
Knowledge is power. But many ecommerce businesses aren’t utilizing the knowledge from their data that they could be. As Avinash Kaushik, digital marketing evangelist at Google and author of Web Analytics 2.0, says, “Most businesses are data rich, but information poor.” In other words, they can’t see the wood for […]
Topics: margin, average, business, crucial, kpis, key, indicators, conversion, ecommerce, sales, gross, customer, track, performance, rate, profit.
6 Key Components of Product Videos
Video is a crucial part of selling online. What once was a secondary, supporting element is now a primary educator about what a product is and what it does. When creating a video, be sure it includes the following core elements.
Topics: product, videos, dead, air, components, marketing, views, vat19, key, video, pain, sound.
67 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Ecommerce
Tracking and analyzing key performance indicators (KPIs) is crucial to improving and growing your ecommerce business. Find out what a KPI is, see 60+ examples of KPIs to consider for your business, and access templates to help you get started.More
Topics: customer, average, kpi, kpis, key, performance, indicators, total, tells, site, number, ecommerce, rate.
7 Key Details to Enhance an Ecommerce Blog
Many ecommerce merchants publish a blog. But they don’t always assess its overall effectiveness. Has it boosted sales? Does it generate reader engagement?
In this post, I’ll review a strategy for ...
Topics: business, dont, visuals, blog, readers, details, company, ecommerce, key, youre, post, posts, know, enhance.
8 Key Personnel Roles for Ecommerce Success in 2020
It is easier than ever to launch an ecommerce business. Sourcing products is not a problem. Platforms equalize the capabilities of competing stores. Success, therefore, depends on your execution.
Topics: customer, site, products, team, ecommerce, merchandising, product, roles, key, manager, content, success, personnel, business.
Amazon offering deliveries to vehicles
Expanding on its Amazon Key, which enables access for in-home deliveries, Amazon has started offering deliveries to vehicles.
Topics: compatible, deliveries, delivered, key, amazon, prime, packages, vehicles, enables, offering, members, service.
Amazon opens Key delivery to garages
Starting today, Amazon can drop off packages to your garage. Assuming, of course, you’re cool with that. The massively multiplayer online retailer just expanded its Key delivery options to include garages, a feature it announced at the beginning of the year at CES. Customers will have to opt-in, of course. And the whole thing requires […]
Topics: customers, amazon, va, garage, number, options, including, opens, techcrunch, delivery, myq, course, garages, key.
AmazonFresh expands to three key markets: Houston, Minneapolis and Phoenix
AmazonFresh, one of two main grocery delivery services Amazon operates, is expanding to new markets, the retailer announced this morning. The service will now be available to Prime members in Houston, Minneapolis and Phoenix. Notably, this list includes a test market for Walmart’s new grocery subscription service, Delivery Unlimited; Target’s corporate headquarters; and an early […]
Topics: delivery, markets, prime, walmarts, techcrunch, grocery, members, online, phoenix, service, houston, available, key, minneapolis, amazonfresh, expands.
Biometrics in retail a key to building customer engagement
How biometrics in retail can create deeper customer engagement.
Topics: biometrics, data, stores, key, experience, building, engagement, identification, technologies, retail, customer, payments, store, credit, card.
Boosted Posts vs. Paid Ads: Key Differences and When to Use Each
For many businesses, social media is an intimidating landscape. You know that you need to be on several platforms to reach your audience, but you’re not entirely sure if your content is getting enough organic reach to make the time investment worth it.
Topics: audience, know, posts, differences, reach, post, paid, business, choose, key, vs, ads, facebook, boosted.
Branding Is the Key to More Ecommerce Sales
Positive branding is key for any business. It takes a lot of work over time, but the benefits make it worthwhile. The products you sell, interactions with shoppers, transparency — all impact branding.
Topics: value, sales, work, customers, content, sell, shoppers, branding, product, products, ecommerce, key, photos.
Building a customer centric ecommerce strategy and roadmap
This article is the first in our B2B Ecommerce: Mastering the Basics series. It’s our editorial focus to support B2B practitioners through various stages of their digital journey. This series includes topics on establishing a clear customer-centric ecommerce strategy, resource allocation, user experience, change management, technology selection, optimization and trends.
Topics: building, ecommerce, customer, state, need, initiatives, roadmap, strategy, centric, key, jbd, customers.
Checkout is the key to frictionless B2B e-commerce
Checkout is a platform play, not a payments play, and now is the time to build the category in B2B. Business buyer behavior is changing, and the stars are aligning on the fintech infrastructure front.
Topics: frictionless, checkout, transactions, ecommerce, transaction, techcrunch, form, key, payments, quickly, purchases, b2b, credit.
Community Is Key in Building a Multimillion Dollar E-commerce Company
Community-focused programming helps create a cult of loyalty for your e-commerce company.
Topics: ecommerce, building, value, members, key, member, communities, community, business, teams, brands, companies, multimillion, company, dollar.
Customer Onboarding: The Key to Repeat Customers
Marketing shouldn't stop when a customer makes a purchase—not when you can onboard them afterwards to help them realize the full value of your products. In this episode of Shopify Masters, you’ll learn from the founder of Supply who believes the most important activity you can do to generate repeat business is to onboard new customers after they purchase.More
Topics: actually, onboarding, repeat, thats, yeah, key, business, customers, think, customer, product, products, really, kind.
Digital payments: a key to success for entrepreneurs
When an entrepreneur can easily monitor their daily cash flow through digital payments and collections, they are in a position to better manage inventories and increase profit margins.
Topics: payments, sales, digital, greater, payment, benefits, success, according, growth, companies, key, entrepreneurs.
Digitalisation key to helping Asian retailers emerge from Covid-19
Retail business leaders in Southeast Asia see digitalisation as the driving tool in returning to growth in the post-Covid-19 era according to a study by Ernst & Young.
Topics: surveyed, strategy, cent, retailers, business, online, shift, helping, covid19, key, driving, retail, survey, asian, emerge, digitalisation.
Ecommerce Expert Jay Wright on Why Being 'Client Obsessed' is Key to Success
What's right for the client is best for everyone, he says.
Topics: businesses, marketing, ecommerce, whats, key, jay, obsessed, im, expert, right, client, wright, success, business, good.
Ecommerce Product Releases: May 1, 2019
Here is a list of new platforms, services, and integrations for late-April from companies that cater to online merchants. There are updates on blockchain, video production, email marketing, international shipping, and returns.
Topics: marketing, announced, product, blockchain, returns, key, garage, releases, customers, ecommerce, fraud, email.
Eight Ways to Build a Community and Create Long-Lasting Customer Relationships
Building a brand is about more than sales. Developing a true community of followers is the true root of success. See top strategies and real-world examples.
Topics: feel, ways, share, product, sell, points, build, products, key, customers, customer, post, community, brand.
Facebook Messenger Marketing for Ecommerce: How to Write Facebook Messenger Messages that Increase Sales
Increase the effectiveness of your Facebook Messenger marketing campaign with these tips to help you write better FB Messenger messages so you get better open rates & higher conversions. This Facebook Messenger marketing strategy will get you closer to your traffic & conversion goals.
Topics: write, better, youre, fb, message, facebook, email, users, messages, key, user, messenger, marketing.
Facebook for Dating, and 5 Key Takeaways From F8
We kind of saw this coming, did we not?
Topics: zuckerberg, amanda_zw, zantalwiener, oculus, facebook, dating, key, friends, feature, amanda, takeaways, keynote, f8.
Flipkart CEO Binny Bansal resigns over allegations of ‘serious personal misconduct’
Flipkart, the India-based e-commerce firm owned by Walmart, has lost its Group CEO Binny Bansal after he resigned from the company following an investigation into “serious personal misconduct.” Bansal founded Flipkart in 2007 with Sachin Bansal (no relation) and had served as its CEO since 2016, before going on to become CEO of the Flipkart […]
Topics: sachin, bansal, key, personal, serious, walmart, misconduct, ceo, krishnamurthy, investigation, tiger, allegations, flipkart, binny, resigns.
Focus Is the Key for New Entrepreneurs in More Ways Than One
Every entrepreneur at some point learns the true meaning of "focus" and how it applies to so much more than just time management. In this episode of Shopify Masters, we talk about how to apply it to your product, your marketing, and more with a founder who built a million dollar jean company.More
Topics: entrepreneurship, really, think, yeah, key, entrepreneurs, jeans, youre, product, focus, early, kind, ways, going, know.
Focus on Key Capabilities to Scale Your African Tech Business: Andreata Muforo, Partner, TLcom Capital
I conceived of this article at the beginning of March and by the time I was done writing, the Coronavirus had spread to most African countries leading to major social and economic impact due to lockdowns, restrictions and the newly formed reality.
Topics: partner, muforo, key, capabilities, think, africa, companies, capital, african, scale, coronavirus, focus, tlcom, business, tech, article.
Focusing on a Single Product May Be the Key to Dropshipping
How the trending e-commerce practice can work for you.
Topics: product, key, single, ecommerce, customer, hilse, model, experience, started, focusing, dropshipping, facebook.
Four Key Metrics For eCommerce Profitability
All businesses start with a specific goal in mind. For most, it’s profit. Even at not-for-profit organizations – or when the main driver of a business is a personal goal, like being able to work in a more flexible way or spending more time with family – income is almost always required for sustainability. Entrepreneurship […]
Topics: profitability, key, woocommerce, profit, business, cash, strategy, metrics, cac, ecommerce, products, margin, gross, discount, revenue.
Franprix tests home delivery while customer is away
French supermarket chain Franprix has started tests with delivering groceries to the customer’s home, while the customer isn’t at home during the delivery. Franprix is the first company to test this kind of service in France. If the experiment is a success, Franprix wants to launch the service in the Continue reading
Topics: wants, franprix, trust, key, end, tests, delivery, customer, away, customers, service.
Gamification: a key to experiential retailing on and offline
Can gamification help breach the retail digital divide, building customer loyalty and engagement?
Topics: offline, retailing, gamification, consumers, experience, experiential, physical, retailers, consumer, traditional, retail, customer, shopping, key.
Gartner Survey Review: Digital Commerce Revenue Skyrockets with B2B Surpassing B2C
Industry analyst Gartner released an eye-opening look at the digital commerce landscape, largely influenced from pandemic aftershock. Based on evidence from 2021’s State of Digital Commerce Report, and 2020’s B2B Digital Commerce research, the survey examines digital commerce through the lens of multiple verticals and business models.
The results are in. Significant shifts occurred in the presence of digital commerce platforms, but also a turn towards B2B initiatives versus what has been historically B2C led.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the survey’s key statistical findings:
By 2025, 75% of B2B manufacturers will sell to their customers directly via digital commerce
By 2023, 15% of medium-to-high gross merchandise value (GMV) digital commerce organizations will have deployed their own marketplaces, thereby creating a digital ecosystem on their path to digital business
By 2024, 15% of B2B organizations will use digital commerce platforms to support both their customers and sales reps in all sales activities
The New Normal:
Digital commerce is becoming more mainstream. According to survey results, manufacturing leads the charge in B2B focused digital commerce initiatives. In an environment once dominated by retail, more industries across the board are adopting the digital path. Further point of interest is that as B2B businesses were hit hard by COVID-19, they were forced to adapt from a digital perspective at alarming speed to survive - or took the opportunity to accelerate their digital strategy given their new circumstances.
Maturity influences decision making:
Another key insight involves the digital maturity of buyers. As B2B buyers become more tech savvy, their experience expectations change. They expect more self-service options to avoid calls or emails and better business tooling; ultimately, they want a shift to a digital sales experience –an intuitive platform that anticipates their needs as a human representative once did.
The drive to cut cost:
So what is at the core of the shift to digital commerce? The Gartner survey points to 4 key drivers; one of which is cost savings, stemming from the automation of the sales process to a more self-service model. Cost savings is more on the minds of B2B organizations; in fact, according to the survey, almost three times as many B2B companies cited it as a motivator versus their B2C counterparts.
Omnichannel experience remains a pain point:
A major hurdle to achieving a robust digital commerce presence, as outlined by Gartner’s survey, is how a B2B company may struggle with the customer experience across channels.They struggle with the complexities and access to the tools for an optimized experience; if their existing customers can’t have a comparable, or even better than digital experience than what they currently have, they will not participate. This leads to additional insights gleaned from the survey on how B2B companies are increasingly looking for more composable solutions they can easily deploy and scale, especially those companies with large enterprise clients.
Food for thought: additional survey statistics:
By 2023, 80% of organizations using AI for digital commerce will achieve at least 25% improvement in customer satisfaction, revenue or cost reduction
By 2023, 75% of organizations selling directly to consumers will offer subscription services, but only 20% will succeed in increasing customer retention
Take a deeper dive into the digital commerce landscape as it stands today by downloading your free copy.
Topics: sales, customers, survey, surpassing, gartner, skyrockets, review, commerce, key, b2b, organizations, experience, customer, digital, revenue, b2c.
Honestbee CEO departs, opening the way for fresh funding
Honestbee CEO and cofounder Joel Sng has stepped away from the business, clearing the way for a fresh round of investment.
Topics: funding, departs, sng, email, business, company, koo, ceo, way, honestbee, opening, team, honestbees, key, role, fresh.
How Emergent Leadership Can Help Your Team Thrive
Think of every group project you’ve been in – whether in high school, college, internship, or other.
Topics: team, help, approach, thrive, emergent, trust, leadership, leader, key, employees, group, work.
How To Choose the Right KPIs for Your Business
How can you tell if your company is growing?
Topics: kpis, indicators, right, business, company, team, sales, key, metrics, performance, kpi, choose.
How to Take a Screenshot on a Chromebook [FAQ]
If you’re new to using a Chromebook, one of the first things you might be wondering is how to take a screenshot -- while it’s simple, it’s certainly not intuitive if you’re used to a Mac or PC.
Topics: youre, youll, edited, courtesy, key, screenshot, screen, screenshots, chromebook, press, faq, illustrate.
How to Write Product Descriptions for Your Ecommerce Store
Writing product descriptions can seem like doing a puzzle. Between balancing bullet points, your need to show up in the search engines, and optimizing for conversion rate, it’s less like writing than it is assembling various jigsaw pieces together. But…
Continue reading How to Write Product Descriptions for Your Ecommerce Store
Topics: key, writing, features, descriptions, voice, write, youre, product, store, passive, social, ecommerce.
How to create content that matters: 3 key actions from Taylor Coil of Tortuga
As retail marketers you want any content you produce to reach as many customers as possible; you also want to be showcasing the brand identity via the creative editorial pieces you send out or have on your site. While this may look amazing in their inbox, it’s important to ask - is your content offering helpful to customers? Taylor, Marketing Director of Tortuga noticed a trend within content marketing that is halting retailers from making impactful content. We've taken her 3 key actions, as shared during her keynote, on how to create content that matters.
“Every piece of content you put out should be a tool to help” - Taylor Coil, Marketing Director at Tortuga
Topics: matters, marketing, actions, customers, marketers, value, brand, coil, tool, content, retail, way, create, tortuga, key, taylor, think.
Is Gamification the Key to Better Video Engagement? [New Data]
In June of this year, Facebook announced that it would add new features to its platform to make video more interactive.
Topics: video, facebook, engagement, users, watch, content, hq, interactive, gamification, key, better, data, gamified, traditional, trivia.
Jack Ma talks about the key to Alibaba’s success
Forbes Media has presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to Alibaba Group founder and partner Jack Ma, hailing the impact of Alibaba since its launch.
Topics: small, talks, businesses, million, forbes, key, success, consumers, alibabas, china, entrepreneurs, alibaba, jack, ma, financial.
KOLs: What They Are & Why They're Key to Your Marketing Strategy
Over the past few years, influencer marketing has become an incredibly successful strategy for brands looking to reach a targeted audience on social media. And, with an average ROI of $6.50 for each dollar spent, it's undoubtedly powerful.
Topics: kols, strategy, theyre, million, influencer, kol, audience, help, marketing, reach, specific, brand, product, key.
Keith Karlick Shares How to Build Engaging B2B Experiences at Make it Big 2021
With the rise of millennial buyers, more B2B businesses are looking to create B2C-like buying experiences. At BigCommerce’s 2021 Make…
Topics: b2b, shares, really, expectations, keith, think, karlick, big, b2c, need, youre, build, key, things, experiences, engaging.
Key Benefits Of An Order Management System
Customer expectations, product demands, and order management systems have changed. As customers increasingly drive the buying journey, merchants must adjust quickly to ensure they are delivering a seamless customer experience in a way that is cost-effective for their businesses. Read more.
Topics: inventory, customer, process, system, customers, business, expect, order, channels, key, benefits, management.
Key By Amazon adds garage and business delivery, new locks and Ring compatibility
Alexa may be front and center for Amazon’s play this CES, but the just unloaded a whole bunch of news about Amazon Key. The list includes a name change to the more passive Key By Amazon, a title designed to reflect the broader scope of the line. Alongside the vague rebranding, Key is getting a […]
Topics: week, business, locks, delivery, access, using, ring, amazon, schlage, addition, adds, garage, key, deliveries, wifi, compatibility.
Key Ecommerce Trends That Can Take Your Business to the Next Level
Ecommerce brands need to be prepared for the coming disruptions to succeed in their chosen industry. The trends described below are those I believe will have the most influence in the coming year.
Topics: customers, customer, product, important, social, brands, marketing, key, media, business, trends, ecommerce, level.
Key Marketing Principles, Explained
Today, we’re going back to the basics. If you’ve heard of the classic principles of marketing, you may also know that they’ve been around for a while. A long while, more than 60 years! It started with the four principles of marketing, also called the 4 Ps or the 4 […]
Topics: physical, customer, marketing, principles, online, youre, business, customers, brand, ps, guide, ultimate, key.
Key Takeaways from WooSesh 2019
We just wrapped the second annual WooSesh, a virtual conference that included more than 1,500 WooCommerce store owners and developers. It was a lot of fun, and in this post, we’re going to share just a few of our top takeaways. Let’s take a look at nine things we learned from WooSesh 2019! How many […]
Topics: second, woosesh, ux, stores, team, woocommerce, takeaways, shared, experience, store, key, things.
Key Ways to Improve Mobile Site Search
Website visitors on smartphones often convert twice as much when they conduct at least one search. Thus it's beneficial to not only provide a helpful mobile search experience but also nudge shoppers into using it. In this post, I'll review key ways to improve your ecommerce search experience on a mobile devices.
Topics: improve, key, results, searches, pages, search, product, site, ways, mobile, terms, curated, experience, shoppers.
Magento 1 vs Magento 2: Is the Upgrade Worth the Effort to Replatform?
The year was 2008. Sony’s Blu-ray HD format seemed poised to replace the DVD. Apple introduced the ultra-thin MacBook Air…
Topics: key, security, magento, store, youre, need, ecommerce, platform, pci, vs, performance, site, differences.
Mobile Optimization Initiative: Key Findings and Why They Matter
With holiday’s just around the corner, now is the perfect time to get some experiments set up to capture more mobile sales
Topics: redstage, optimization, rpv, users, initiative, matter, magento, key, findings, merchants, tests, order, experiment, results, mobile.
Mobile, social-media key, says 10 Highlights of China’s Commercial Sector report
Mobile- and social media-centric online-to-offline strategies that provide seamless shopping experiences are a “must” in China’s new consumer era, according to the latest 10 Highlights of China’s Commercial Sector report.
Topics: highlights, mobile, business, commercial, report, sector, consumption, consumer, trade, chinas, key, socialmedia, growth.
Natural lighting is the key to Apple’s remodeled Fifth Ave. store
When it opened in 2006, Apple’s Fifth Avenue flagship quickly became a top destination for New York City residents and tourists, alike. The big, glass cube was a radical departure from prior electronics stores, serving as the entrance to a 24-hour subterranean retail location. Location didn’t hurt either, with the company planting its flag across […]
Topics: techcrunch, stores, outside, ave, lighting, fifth, plaza, natural, underground, remodeled, retail, apples, store, lights, key, light.
Need Data for a Key Decision? Try These 8 Sources
Data drives most businesses. But what happens when you lack data to make a critical decision? How do you collect the data, and at what cost?
Topics: research, sources, likely, understand, available, try, objective, decision, customers, include, need, key, data, products, product.
Neural Adaptation: 5 Key Ways to Boost Your Conversions Using this Psychological Principle
I have a seven-month-old male Caucasian Shepherd puppy called Fierce. When I started walking Fierce at about three months old, I noticed the all-too-familiar struggle I’ve had with pretty much every dog I’ve owned: a struggle with the leash.
Topics: boost, psychological, stands, green, neural, cta, using, conversions, key, principle, subscription, color, red, adaptation, ways, button.
Next Level RFP for Evaluating an eCommerce Provider
We’ve all been through the RFP process from vendor to customer. The hours of research and preparation, template creation, and ultimately a fair amount of cutting and pasting. Is a one size fits all approach effective to an RFP when selecting an eCommerce partner? Here’s our take…
Less static, more speed and agility
Traditional RFPs look more like a series of boxes to check; from the must haves to the nice to haves, peppered with timelines, the players involved for approval, pricing, and demos/free trial availability. When choosing an eCommerce partner, this static approach may not be as effective or accurate in evaluating your business needs.
A prolonged process without context around the future needs of your business is antithetical to choosing a good partner (or partners) who play well in the digital commerce sandbox, and who meet your needs, today and as you scale. When we talk about future proofing your eCommerce platform, it’s essential to talk about where you are and where you’re going. While it’s impossible to have a finite level of certainty from an environment so heavily rooted in change, the conversations are vital towards solutions versus outcomes.
Speed is of the essence. You’re looking for implementation in weeks versus months. You need Proof of Concept (POC), and you need it sooner rather than later.
For your consideration: an alternate approach to the RFP
Step 1: Assemble Your Team
Gather the key players from the business and tech side of your team and ask yourselves some key questions:
How are you growing the business?
Who is involved (business teams, tech teams) and what’s in it for them?
What are your revenue goals?
What is your business model or models?
What is your digital maturity?
Need help evaluating eCommerce Providers?
Connect with an Elastic Path expert to answer all of your questions, set up a demo, access a free trial, or discuss pricing options.
Get in Touch
Low – You’re new to digital commerce with little to no tech support in house with no intention of bringing in a team currently. You see the benefit of an eCommerce solution but don’t see it as integral to the here and now of your business. Your ideal fit from a provider is a more out-of-the-box platform like Shopify.
Medium – If you have marketers, merchandizers, and a tech team in house, or hired through an SI, to execute and manage your platform you most likely fall into this category. You’re looking for low risk, simplified solutions, and you understand the importance of digital commerce to your business. Elastic Path offers customizable options to fit where you currently are on the eCommerce journey and where you’re going.
High – If you have a dedicated team in house where you’ve already adopted or are looking to adopt a development operations methodology, you’re in the high maturity category. You aspire to be an innovator and leverage the newest technology to gain a competitive advantage in the market. Elastic Path offers a headless, API-first, multi-vendor commerce platform ideal for your needs now and as you grow.
Step 2: Initial Research
When evaluating providers, look at some key factors as you comparison shop:
How does the provider stack up against others?
What are their values and mission as a company?
What are their business capabilities?
Who are their partner vendors?
Who are their customers? What pain points has this provider solved for them?
Step 3: Initiate the Conversation
When evaluating providers, look at some key factors as you comparison shop:
Once you’ve identified where you are and what you’re looking for, request a discovery call from the provider(s) who meet those requirements and best fit your needs. Come to that initial conversation with use cases and your desired outcomes. You may have specific needs around promotions, catalog management, or cart/checkout in six months or under to market. Bring these key goals to the table so a provider gets a clear understanding of your needs and possible solutions. The benefit is two-fold; you may also discover a particular provider isn’t a proper fit. A big timesaver for both of you!
Wondering what else to ask? We’ve put together a list of great questions to evaluate providers.
What you need to know about Elastic Path
For both medium and high digital maturity companies, we offer differentiated experiences with an API-first, headless approach to commerce.
Here are a few resources to help you evaluate us:
eCommerce Platform Buyers Guide
Elastic Path Pricing
Additionally, while we believe there are better ways to make the right selection, we understand that some organizations are committed to RFPs. If you’re in that situation, here’s how we can support your RFP process.
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The hybrid customer experience may be the key to your eCommerce success
This post was originally published on March 11, 2019 and has been updated for accuracy and relevancy in the market.
Why a Hybrid Customer Experience is Essential for Today’s Consumer
There are 2.14 billion digital shoppers today. Having an eCommerce strategy has become not just a nice-to-have, but a vital component of any business’s long-term success; And the recent expansion of IoT, proliferation of smart devices, global crises like COVID-19, and trending mobile apps like TikTok, have forced businesses to shift their focus, expand their online presence, and accelerate their digital strategy.
After all, that’s where the customers are, right?
While yes, many consumers today do prefer shop online as it can be more accessible and cater to personal preferences, it’s not the end of the brick-and-mortar store. As it turns out, based on a 2019 study, many customers actually prefer a hybrid experience over one that is entirely online or in-person.
In fact, customers that shop using more than one channel have a 30% higher lifetime value than those that only use one.
What exactly is a hybrid customer experience?
The hybrid experience is a commerce experience that combines elements of both eCommerce and in-person shopping experiences, whether that’s in-store, at an event, or over the phone.
A good example in understanding the hybrid experience is how many companies now let customers order products online and pick them up at one of their local stores. Many businesses also now allow customers to return items they ordered online to a local store to receive a refund or even cash. We’ve even recently seen the adoption of in-store mobile self-checkout and COVID-19 introduced the concept of curbside pickup.
These hybrid experiences are driven by an integrated ecommerce strategy and solution that allows companies to carry not only brand messaging, marketing tactics, and product information across channels, but also customer data. This means businesses can give customers a more seamless, frictionless experience.
Their account information can be accessed by in-store representatives or pulled up on different devices, and shoppers can hunt for product data such as pricing or in-store availability.
At the end of the day, consumers can take that next step of their journey when and how they want. That level of convenience is one of the core underlying behaviors that drive all shoppers today.
Why all businesses should consider a hybrid approach
In 2016 and 2017, customer experiences that were fully online experienced a one percent decline, while customer experiences that were hybrid actually increased by one percent. For large companies, a one percent change in either direction can represent either a loss or gain of hundreds of millions in revenue.
Today, in 2021, companies that can build and deliver strong multi-channel engagement for their customers can actually see a 9.5% year-over-year increase in annual revenue.
Here are a few additional compelling trends and stats that highlight the importance of leveraging a hybrid customer experience:
Consumers of all ages – including 62% of Baby Boomers and 58% of Gen Zers, still prefer buying from a physical store (Source)
63% of shopping occasions begin online (Source)
45% of brick-and-mortar buyers check online reviews before buying (Source)
50% of Consumers Expect to Buy Online and Be Able to Pick Up In-Store (Source)
39% of consumers are unlikely or very unlikely to visit a retailer’s store if the online store does not provide physical store inventory information (Source)
71% of in-store shoppers who use smartphones for research say their device has become more important to their in-store experience (Source)
56% of consumers have used their mobile device to research products at home with 38% having used their mobile device to check inventory availability while on their way to a store and 34% who have used their mobile device to research products while in a store. (Source)
Given some of the stats above, it apparent that in-store moments matter to customers, whether they’re stand alone or augmented by a digital concept.
The reason why the hybrid experience was deemed better than online or traditional experiences is mainly about convenience. Customers aren’t necessarily looking for a specific shopping experience. Instead, they are looking for the best overall shopping experience for their wants and needs. Customers today demand shopping experiences that are simple, lack any friction, and can cater to their preferences and timeline.
The emotional response to the shopping experience is another important factor. Less friction, more personalization, and better convenience will satisfy consumers, and a positive emotional response increases brand affiliation and can result in positive reviews, word-of-mouth, more revenue and less churn.
When a company’s overall shopping experience is pleasant, customers tend to remember that and often become repeat customers as a result.
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Hybrid Customer Experience Example 1: Carvana
Carvana for example, is typically an online-only car company founded in 2012 that embraced the hybrid experience in a creatively big way. The company’s business model involves selling slightly used vehicles online for less than what traditional car dealers sell them for. Customers can order cars online and have them shipped to their homes. They then have seven days to decide whether to keep them or return them for a full refund.
But Carvana customers also have another option. They can travel to a Carvana location and pick up their new vehicles in person if they want. And to make things interesting, the company has created what it calls a “car vending machine,” which is a five-story automated car storage and retrieval system.
Carvana customers are given a large token. When placed in a token receptacle, the system is activated and the vehicle they selected is pulled from inventory and placed right in front of them – just like a vending machine In the Carvana example, and with other companies that have embraced the hybrid experience, the important takeaway is customers aren’t necessarily looking for a traditional retail experience or an online experience.
They are looking for a shopping experience that makes them feel like a valued customer. It’s about offering customers a superior shopping experience, and it’s a strategy you can embrace with your eCommerce business to take it to the next level, win over more customers, and close more sales.
Hybrid Customer Experience Example 2: Birchbox
Birchbox is another prime example of a brand that that took their mastery of online ecommerce and expanded to physical locations. Birchbox, founded in 2010, is a global online monthly subscription service for beauty products and cosmetics. They offer a wide variety of skin care products, makeup, perfumes, and other organic-based beauty lines to consumers in the US, the UK, France, Spain, Belgium, and Ireland.
In 2014, four years after launching their online-only business, BirchBox dove head-first into in-person retail and opened their first brick-and-mortar shop in New York City’s Soho neighborhood. Consumer data showed that shoppers in New York had a 3x higher lifetime value than any other customer. In an attempt to cater to their most loyal customers, they wanted to offer a personalized, in-person experience.
Customers can build custom boxes, in-person, just like they might online, but they’re also able to get the knowledge and expertise of the BirchBox representatives, ask questions, and get an even more personalized experience.
Where Birchbox excelled was how they carried their online brand experience and messaging to an in-person experience. Consumers could still pick-and-mix while choosing from the top 100 products and brands that Birchbox had to offer. Even the store coloring and concepts matched their digital store, from the color and styling to the packaging.
Developing your hybrid experience strategy
If you want to cash in on the benefits of the hybrid shopping experience, you’ll need to develop a strategy to implement hybrid solutions in your own eCommerce business.
There are many different ways you can do this, and a strategy that works for one company isn’t necessarily going to work for another. Still, there is a general approach to developing a strategy that does work well for most businesses.
The first thing you want to do is to brainstorm ways you can transform your eCommerce business from a solely online or in-person venture into a hybrid business. What are some ways you can improve the customer experience by adding a physical or digital element to your business? Write down everything that comes to mind and then carefully consider each idea to see if it makes sense financially for you to pursue.
The next thing is to implement your idea to see if you see an increase in customer loyalty and repeat business.
If you do come up with more than one idea, it’s important to experiment with only one idea at a time. That way you will be able to easily determine the things that work and those that don’t. Consider split testing your ideas. Measure shopping outcomes prior to implementing ideas and after so you can have a clear comparison of the results.
You also want to consider investing in the latest technologies if a technological solution will be a part of your strategy. How long has a particular technology been around? You don’t want to run into a situation where you invest in a technology only to find out something better and/or more affordable is about to be released.
Which companies offer the technology you are interested in? Take the time to evaluate different options to see which company offers the best solution for your needs. Other factors to consider when evaluating options include how much customer support is offered, availability of product training, and overall ease of use.
Finally, when developing your hybrid experience strategy, it’s vitally important to always remember what customers are looking for. It isn’t an issue of online versus offline. Rather, it’s about the overall shopping experience.
The purpose of developing a hybrid strategy is to increase brand loyalty. Anything that takes away from that goal should be discarded.
Do’s and Don’ts of Building a Hybrid Customer Experience
Do Ensure Your Messaging is Consistent Both Online and In-store
You want your customers to have the same brand experience walking around your brick-and-mortar shop as they do when browsing online. This can include your graphics, copy, sinage, and even product labeling or packaging. They don’t need be identical, but should give your customers the vibe they know and love.
Don’t Try to Make the In-Store Experience the Exact Same as Your Digital Experience
In fact, you don’t want it to be. In-store shopping is a much more sensory experience than a digital one and should be treated as such. People shop in-person still because they like to see, smell, feel, or try on the products they’re evaluating, and this is something brands should take advantage of.
Take Sephora, the retail beauty giant. The brand look and feel and messaging is the same across the website and in-store experience, but when you go in person, you can smell the perfume when you walk in. You can get physical free samples and even get your makeup done at the counter.
Imagine Sephora decided to remove all that, but you could still use their digital app in-store to virtually ‘try on’ the newest lipstick color. Doesn’t quite make sense, does it?
Do Offer the Same Level of Communication and Education as You Do Online
Customers want to feel like they’re getting the same value as they do when hunting for product information online. You’ll want to ensure your ground staff has been trained on company branding, messaging, and are knowledge on product information. Having one-on-one recommendations come from an in-store representative feels personal, one of the other core trends consumers crave today.
The bottom line
At the end of the day, you could just continue doing the things that have already made you successful and not bother with embracing the hybrid experience. Why rock the boat? But ignoring the power of the hybrid experience is leaving money on the table.
Making the hybrid experience a part of your strategy is really about increasing customer loyalty, brand recognition, and revenue. It’s about scaling your business and growing the bottom line.
Topics: key, brand, customers, ecommerce, online, strategy, instore, success, customer, store, shopping, experience, hybrid.
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Top Technology-Driven B2B ECommerce Trends
B2B eCommerce has rapidly been changing over the past few years, and 2021 is no exception. With the disruption of COVID-19, new trends have emerged and the eCommerce landscape is transforming. B2B companies are implementing new strategies to adapt to the technological changes and take advantage of cloud-based technology, Headless Commerce, and progressive web applications (PWAs). Below are some of the major Technology-Driven B2B eCommerce trends of 2021, as well as some key calls to action for B2Bs to optimize their eCommerce strategy.
The spread of cloud computing and cloud-based eCommerce has continued to grow, with many businesses migrating ERPs to the cloud to adjust to the disruptions of the pandemic. Cloud eCommerce solutions have helped brands to discover new cybersecurity technologies, leverage analytics, utilize big data, and take advantage of developments in the internet of things (IoT).
Key data shows that:
30% of all IT budgets are allocated to Cloud computing, with 94% of enterprises already using Cloud services (Source)
83% of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020, and the public Cloud service market is expected to reach $623.3 billion by 2023 (Source)
50% of enterprises spend more than $1.2 million on Cloud services annually (Source)
More than $1.3 trillion in IT spending will be affected by the shift to the Cloud by 2022 (Source)
66% of enterprises have a central Cloud team or Cloud center of excellence (Source)
ECommerce solutions presented by the Cloud are also touted for their ease of deployment, scalability, and lower costs of ownership. Some of the key benefits offered by cloud computing to B2B organizations’ eCommerce efforts include:
Enhanced cybersecurity: With the evolving relationships between clients and Cloud Service providers such as AWS, Google, and Microsoft, both parties are responsible for separate aspects of cloud security. Bot detection, fraud protection, and endpoint detection and response (EDR) technologies have all grown, implementing real-time detection and automated response tools to maximize cybersecurity.
Scalability and flexibility: Migrating an eCommerce system to the cloud provides a highly scalable environment, empowering B2B businesses to respond to market fluctuations. Businesses can take advantage of the cloud to meet changes in demand and adapt to new scenarios with speed, flexibility, and precision.
Rather than installing new servers and experiencing development or implementation costs, organizations can modify capacity based on traffic, demand, and changing opportunities.
Removing maintenance and risks: With The Cloud, B2B businesses can run their eCommerce software in a safe external data center, with both hardware and software being monitored and maintained.
Working with a Cloud Service provider mitigates risk and shares responsibility. In addition to improving cybersecurity, B2Bs can reduce maintenance costs and avoid allocating resources towards uptime, back-ups, datacenter facilities, and data privacy.
Growing digital sales channels: More and more B2B companies are becoming highly dependent on digital sales channels, as emphasized by new market-driven trends. With COVID- 19, digital sales channels have become increasingly important to B2B sellers, and migrating eCommerce to a cloud-based system enables firms to reallocate resources towards digital sales channels and adaptive digital practices instead.
With headless technology, the data, business logic, and commerce engine are de-coupled from the front-end storefront. This “headless” architecture offers B2B organizations increased freedom, flexibility, and customization to develop unique front-end interfaces across multiple devices, simultaneously removing the constraints of back-end systems.
Key data shows:
61% of retailers claimed to leverage Headless commerce in 2020 (Source)
Approximately 80% of respondents to a Gartner survey claimed to either already use or made plans to use Headless Commerce or API-based architecture
Page load times showed a 50% to 83% decrease in load time when a Headless architecture was used
With Headless Commerce, developers can extend commerce functionalities across digital touchpoints, such as mobile applications and the Internet of Things (IoT).
B2B manufacturers have taken advantage of Headless Solutions to provide improved customer experiences; they are creating fast and frictionless digital interfaces while distinguishing themselves from competitors through expedited internal innovation processes.
With a headless architecture, B2B brands can deliver API-driven experiences using CMS, DXP, or custom front-end. In addition to the high flexibility, B2Bs are able to implement highly complex commerce requirements while saving time and maximizing their resources, avoiding issues related to development and back-end management without compromising on their overall vision.
With the high demand for personalized experiences, B2Bs are using Headless commerce to discover and capitalize on new personalization opportunities, finding new ways to leverage less traditional forms of purchasing. Some of the key advantages of a Headless approach include:
Faster loading times on webpages: Approximately 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if the webpage takes more than 3 seconds to load, with a 2-second delay resulting in the abandonment rate rising up to 87%.
With Headless Commerce, the de-coupling of the front and- back-end functionalities results in customers having a far smoother and frictionless user experience, with less performance issues and enhanced speed.
Unique, custom front-end design: Headless Commerce enables firms to customize the storefront on a strong taxonomy structure with rich product information. By de-coupling the front-and-back-end functionalities, B2Bs can ensure that their customers are presented a well-designed, sleek, and visually aesthetic site.
Using further functionalities presented by a Headless architecture can empower self-service capabilities and ensure that users can avoid complex, layered structures.
Consistency and Quality: Headless Commerce helps to reduce the loading time on product content from the back-end to the front-end. If information is stored in a PIM, poor optimization and inconsistent displays are avoided even further.
Content can be modified and improved in bulk, formatting can be achieved with greater ease, and customization is bolstered. This helps create a greater level of consistency without requiring a comprise in quality, which can be particularly crucial for brands looking to scale, add new products, add new sales channels, or make major changes to their digital storefronts.
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Progressive Web Applications:
Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) have emerged as a method for eCommerce businesses to provide their customers improved digital experiences. By using Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs), eCommerce companies have enjoyed better page load times, engagement, and conversion rates.
With the rise of mobile users and more than 50% of online traffic coming from mobile devices, improving user experience is the key to B2B companies bridging the gap between web experiences and mobile app functionality. PWAs have been touted for their high reliability, speed, and user engagement.
Here are some key statistics that illustrate the power of PWAs:
PWAs have 36% higher conversion rates than native apps (Source)
PWAs register 50% higher customer and user engagement (Source)
Businesses that have switched to PWAs have noticed a decrease in page loading speed of up to 10 times
PWAs cost 3-4 times less than native mobile apps (Source)
PWAs cost 33% less to maintain (Source)
PWAs have an average bounce rate of just 42.86% (Source)
By caching key resources and using service workers, PWAs can load instantly and meet buyers’ expectations for seamless and quick responses, all while providing a visual and immersive interface.
Web-based PWAs can also be more easily discovered with SEO, ranked by search engines such as Bing and Google. In 2021, more and more B2B firms took advantage of PWAs to improve the search engine performance of their websites, and Gartner predicts that PWAs will only continue to rise in popularity.
Some of the key benefits of PWAs for B2Bs include:
Increased mobile traffic: Given the higher conversion rates, increased user engagement, and reduced bounce rates, PWAs have proven extremely effective in driving increased mobile traffic towards websites. This is key for B2Bs seeking to increase mobile engagement and take advantage of the increasing mobile usage demonstrated by the market.
Decreased development costs: A single PWA can meet the requirements of all endpoints that it operates on, significantly reducing the effort, time, and cost associated with development. Despite this, PWAs also involve a shorter and simpler installation process, and can be customized to provide responsive and visually appealing user experiences.
Improved performance: By caching and serving text, images, and rich content, PWAs improve efficiency and can operate like websites with better running speeds and load times. B2Bs stand to benefit by adopting PWAs, as they provide an improved user experience that translates to higher retention and lower bounce rates.
This, combined with seamless offline operation, no issues with updating, and flexibility across endpoints makes PWAs an extremely efficient and effective alternative to native mobile apps.
2021 and Beyond:
B2B eCommerce showcased new opportunities and high growth in 2021. These are just some of the technology-driven trends that represent how B2B companies are adapting to the changes caused by COVID-19, providing customers with fresh digital experiences, and leveraging new technology to deliver on buyers’ expectations.
Check out our blog on the top Market- Driven B2B eCommerce Trends of 2021 to learn more about how 2021 has solidified B2B eCommerce in various industries and how B2Bs can form a new path forward.
Topics: headless, trends, key, commerce, ecommerce, technologydriven, cloud, pwas, user, b2b, b2bs, mobile.
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