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

Klevu – sophisticated site search offering

Klevu – sophisticated site search offering

We recently met the team from Klevu, a sophisticated search technology company.

Klevu is an NLP-based (natural language processing), self-learning e-commerce site search solution, designed for enterprise-level and mid-level online retailers. Founded in 2013, Klevu is used by over 3,000 merchants, from all over the world. Klevu’s primary objective is to enable online stores of all types and sizes to have the most advanced and powerful, yet affordable search solution.

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The majority of Klevu’s clients are using the Magento platform and they have an existing integration with both Magento 1 and Magento 2. Some of Klevu’s clients include Agent Provocateur, Oneills.com, Jack Daniels, Yamaha and Zimmermann.

Some of Klevu’s core features include:

Natural language processing – Klevu’s natural language processing capabilities represents one of their core benefits over their competitors, as they go deeper into understanding the query and the intent behind it. An example of this could be a user searching for “floral drapes” when a product is listed as “curtains with flowers”, Klevu would understand the similarity in the query and serve the correct products.

Automatic catalog enrichment – Another key feature of Klevu is around how they enrich the product catalog to add further context. Klevu take as much data around the product as possible and then add synonyms and additional adjectives and similar terms in order to match far more queries. This is one of the key features for stores with larger product catalogs and is a big part of how they handle synonyms and errors / mistakes.

Content search – Klevu also allows merchants to serve and promote content as part of the search function, allowing for queries like “delivery information” or “terms and conditions”, as well as enabling users to serve things like buying guides for more generic queries.

Self-learning capabilities – Another very important feature for users is Klevu’s ability to self-learn – meaning results are automatically optimised based on how users are engaging with results and purchasing behaviour.

Advanced merchandising and boosting – Klevu gives merchants far more control over which products, attributes and categories are being promoted for different queries, by providing boosting rules. Users can simply add different weighting scores against each product, category or attribute in order to boost their visibility.

Instant search layout – Klevu’s instant search box helps to improve the user journey and speed up the product discovery process, as can be seen below. When a user starts inputting a query, results are served via the instant search box far quicker than if they were to go to through to the results pages.

klevu2This example also shows how faceted search can be used to improve the search experience, which can also be used on the results page.

Fully customisable layout – The layout of the instant search box and the results page is completely flexible and the CSS can also be edited from the Klevu admin interface.

Advanced reporting suite – Klevu provide comprehensive reporting around your search function – including detail on the keywords being used, the location of searchers, the keywords driving sales and common errors that could be optimised.

This Works launches re-branded & upgraded website

This Works launches re-branded & upgraded website

This Works was created in 2003 by former Beauty Director of Vogue UK and International journalist, Kathy Phillips, as an antidote to modern life, its impact on skin and wellbeing. As both yoga teacher and beauty expert, Kathy understood the link between lifestyle and skin health, creating intelligent, targeted solutions that optimise skin performance 24 hours a day, based on the body clock.

Screen Pages has been managing This Works’ online shop since 2012. E-commerce revenues have more than doubled over that period.

The re-designed website’s main characteristics, developed in Magento, include:
  • A full responsive re-design and re-arrangement of the entire site catalogue & content structure whilst keeping the branding of the site consistent with the previous non-responsive site
  • Addition of subscription-based purchasing for products
  • Upgrade to the latest version of Magento
  • Creation of AJAX add to basket and category page loading functionality
  • Integration with a new back office system – Netsuite – concurrently with the re-design
  • Integration of Elastic search for categories, products and content pages
  • Addition of user generated social content tools within the site

 

“We have worked with Screen Pages since 2012 and earlier this year Screenpages were tasked with delivering a significant set of upgrades to our Magento site. The chief rationale behind this project was to create the foundations on which we can continue to scale as a business. The Screen Pages team worked diligently to help us meet our very strict deadlines, whilst maintaining quality of delivery. We are encouraged by the early results of the upgrade”

– Joe Fletcher, E-commerce Director at This Works

 

“It’s been a great pleasure working with the team at This Works over the years and to watch its business thrive and expand.”

– Sarah Wilcocks, Screen Pages Director

Make an enquiry

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Marketing hacks for the holiday season

Marketing hacks for the holiday season


The holiday season generates 50-100% more revenue compared to other annual shopping periods. That’s why it’s crucial that your marketing strategy is ready to leverage the opportunities that come with the season. 
Email is a cost-effective marketing channel to support and deliver your holiday campaigns. And with good use of automation, you can deliver your campaigns on a mass scale.

Download this cheatsheet for insight and inspiration from three email campaigns that will help you seize the season.

Screen Pages 15th top agency in the South

Screen Pages 15th top agency in the South

Screen Pages is the 15th largest digital agency in the south, according to Wirehive.

The Wirehive 100 awards and league table showcase digital excellence and recognise the outstanding work and exceptional individuals we see time and again from agencies in the southern counties based outside of London.

13 great ideas to increase e-commerce sales this Christmas

13 great ideas to increase e-commerce sales this Christmas

Every year, Christmas seems to somehow appear from nowhere. Online retailers, both small and large, often wait until the very last minute to plan their Christmas marketing strategies. Why? Because they are busy doing a million other things throughout the year.

Christmas is too big for online retailers to wait until the last minute.

  1. The most critical factor to your online holiday success comes down to planning.

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Are you planning ahead – meaning, right now – for this Christmas? We’ve put together this helpful list of best practices to help you plan for every element of a digital holiday strategy.

Understand when your customers will shop. While you prepare for the holidays, check Google Analytics to see which days have been the busiest historically. For any online retailer, Cyber Monday (the Monday after Black Friday) is the busiest online shopping day of the year. ComScore recorded a 30 percent increase in sales last year for a total of $1.5 billion.

  1. Start where it matters most: with your products.

The foundation of a great Christmas plan is a solid, timely and somewhat new product line. Defining what products are available for Christmas – and whether there will be new and/or special options – is vitally important. Ask these questions:

  • Are there special products that will be offered only during Christmas?
  • Will new products be available?
  • Are there any gift bundles that will be available to drive up average order value?
  • How will you show your customer that your products make good gifts?
  1. Clearly identify your promotions and/or offers.

With your products firmly squared away, it’s time to start thinking through the myriad of ways that you can incentivise your customers to buy from you this Christmas.

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  • Do you offer gift cards? Can you offer them?
  • What Xmas specials will you run?
  • Will you offer any special discounts for Xmas?
  • Can you offer a giveaway to your customers? What exactly can you give away?
  • Will you offer gift guides to help steer your customers to the products that are most important to them?

Ensure you focus on bundles and gifting. Get stocking fillers in place, use incremental basket promotions (like get a set of cushions for £X when purchasing any sofa suite), merchandising your best selling, cross-category items together, create discounted bundles (Amazon do this really well), communicate this to your affiliates, update your paid search ads, experiment which gifting and bundles can perform for your business.

  1. Black Friday is great, but don’t forget about Cyber Monday!

Blackfriday

This day is huge and it can be quite easy to take full advantage of the digital push! Think through the promotions you’ll offer on Cyber Monday, and be as unique and as valuable as you can.

  • Can you tie those promotions into existing specials, but make them stand out so as to be extra irresistible?
  • What is valuable to both current and new customers?
  • What can you offer to ensure satisfaction for both?

 

 

  1. Offer gift-wrapping to support your customerspret_xmas_sarnie_launch_sj_012

While important year round, gift wrapping is a great way to stand out at Christmas. Ask these questions now to prepare:

  • Do you offer gift packaging for Xmas purchases?
  • If so, is there anything extra special you can do at Xmas to promote the service?
  • If not, can you offer gift packaging on items over a certain price point?
  • Operationally-speaking, would you be able to offer special packaging if you don’t currently do so?
  1. Consider offering free shipping AND free returns to make customers happy.

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Online shoppers can sometimes be a bit wary of making a purchase if they feel the need to pay an additional fee to receive it. Ask the following:

  • Can you offer free shipping?
  • What’s your return policy? Is it clearly stated on your product pages?
  • Are you clearly communicating your shipping and return policy on your promotions and holiday offers?
  • Make sure your last order date is prominent and consider including a countdown.
  • Create a Christmas donation campaign or implement a donation program to your site, dedicate your time as a volunteer or draw people’s attention to the cause you support with the content marketing – videos, printable posters, landing pages, blog posts, etc.
  1. Capture your promotions and products with new photography and video.

This is where advanced planning really matters! It’s always nice to have Xmas specific assets to get the most out of your promotions and campaigns:

  • How can you stage your products to align with your Xmas promotions?
  • Are you using stock images? Yes, you can easily add the “holiday spirit” in Photoshop, but it’s much more fun to do something original!
  • Do your videos show how your products will make great gifts? Do they show off the best qualities of your product?
  1. Use your website and/or landing pages strategically.

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 Market with themed pages for Xmas SEO. Visit any of the top retailers’ sites, and you will see special landing pages for Xmas offers. This is an easy way to collect products and services around a particular occasion, and it also makes it an easy resource for people to share.

Outline your promotional schedule to ensure your website aligns with the overall Christmas strategy and what is being done promotionally (via email and PPC) to support the strategy. Ask the following:

  • What offer will you promote on your home page?
  • When will you want to promote specific products on your home page?
  • What promotions will you feature on your category pages?
  • Can you create a landing page for any special offers that you will run during Christmas?
  • Is your shipping schedule clearly communicated on every page of your website? We’re all guilty of being last minute shoppers!
  • Put a list of text links on key pages for most searched for or bestsellers

Create Christmas content for your blog (if you have one). While this might not tie directly to sales, you can build authority with great, shareable content, which helps to build your list and drive additional sales.

  1. Make sure that paid ads are in sync with your Christmas message!

seo_xmas

PPC can be a massive revenue generator during Christmas, provided you have a well thought out strategy. Plan thoroughly by asking the following:

  • Are your banner ads and search ads aligned with the promotions you’re running?
  • Does your creative include any new photography you’ve shot for Xmas?
  • Is your ad copy (the text on the ad itself) clearly aligned with your promotions?
  • Do you know what banner and text ads are running, when they are running and where they are running? Always have a clear schedule at hand!

SEO can definitely have an impact – if you plan now for content.

During Xmas, content is definitely KING for your search performance. You should be doing the following right now to rank when it matters most:

  • Do you have an editorial calendar created around your holiday promotions?
  • Have you identified the terms and phrases that you want to rank for during Xmas?
  • Are you creating relevant promotional content for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other sales?
  • Can you repurpose content you already have? This is where your gift guide can become a powerful asset.
  1. Remember: email is extremely effective at Christmas.

Simply put; if you aren’t doing email, start now. If you are doing email, it’s time to up the quantity. Then ask yourself the following:

  • How often will you send a promotional email to your customers?
  • Will you offer special incentives to your email subscribers?
  • Are you crafting subject lines that will win the attention of your customers?
  • Are you communicating your shipping options directly in the email itself? Are you telling your consumer about returns?
  1. Get the most out of social by being social.

Social is more than cat pictures, but you already know that. Here’s what you should be asking to generate engagement and awareness around your Xmas offers:

xmas_hashtag

  • Are you making it easy for shoppers to share your promotions and your products?
  • Which channel does your model consumer use most? Make sure that your most active content is reserved for this channel!
  • How will you use your holiday photography and video assets to create interesting posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest?

90% – if not more – of your success this festive season will be determined by how well you plan. Start your holiday planning NOW!

  1. Enhance your checkout.

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Many people lose customers on the checkout page, either because something doesn’t work right or because the shipping costs are higher than expected. Free shipping offers pay dividends. Also, you can improve your checkout page with related products, which is something Amazon excels at.

 

  1. Ramp up your customer support team.

Each query is a potential sale. Give your advisers the tools to convert from web enquiries. Keep them in the loop on what you’re doing online, online exclusives, promotions, targeted landing pages.

Don’t assume that everyone who visits loves Christmas. Some people don’t celebrate Christmas, others don’t find it a season of joy – so make sure your site caters for them – try a cheeky “Don’t like Christmas? Then you’ll love our Christmas free zone!” with free content and special offers based around non-seasonal product.

Don’t forget to put a strong follow up marketing plan in place. If someone buys over Christmas then target them again in the January sales.

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