4 Reasons Your ECommerce Business Needs an App

4 Reasons Your ECommerce Business Needs an App

4 Reasons Your eCommerce Business Needs an App

Posted by Screen Pages on 17/08/17

If you’re an eCommerce vendor, your shopping app is more important than ever.

That’s because mobile apps are the best performing channel in eCommerce right now. Case in point: ASOS Chairman Brian McBride recently announced that their app drives 50% more transactions than their website, with users buying more; staying longer; returning more often.

Meanwhile 29 of the UK’s top 50 eCommerce retail stores already have an app, and the remaining 21 are about to join them.

With that in mind, there’s no better time to take a look at what’s happening in the world of mobile apps today. In this article, we’ll show you what you need to know by covering the 4 main reasons your eCommerce business needs an app.

We’ll start with…

Reason #1 – Better Mobile User Experiences

User experiences are the single most important factor in desktop and mobile-based purchasing decisions. For example, a one-second delay in page load times can result in a 7% loss in conversions.

This means that a page that takes over 7 seconds to load will lose you half (49%) of your potential business. And this is just load times! As you can imagine, there are many other ways in which UX (user experience) can make or break your business. Because of this, native apps are a natural choice for eCommerce retail.

When it comes to eCommerce, this makes native apps a natural choice. These apps are different from mobile websites in two key ways.

First, they’re (partly) stored on a user’s device. Second, they’re developed for a specific operating system (like iOS or Android). These advantages mean native apps load faster, work more intuitively and offer extra features like push notifications. All of this improves consumers’ experiences, helping you win their business more effectively.

Just consider that research from Compuware shows that 85% of customers prefer apps over mobile sites because of reasons like…

1. Convenience
2. Fast product page load times
3. Ease of use
4. Faster, easier check-outs
5. Stored user information
6. Better deals

Naturally, these benefits apply to native apps above all other kinds.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that all your customers want to use your app. It’s best to give them a choice; for example, by prompting them to download your app when they visit your mobile website through a smart app banner. That way, consumers can decide for themselves – and you can win by using both channels for your marketing

Reason #2 – Retailers Need Apps to Drive User Engagement

You can have a perfect website, app or social media page, but if users aren’t engaging with it… If they’re not actively opening it, consuming content and driving referrals… Your asset is doing nothing for your bottom line.

That’s why it’s important to know that apps are not only superior, but necessary for driving engagement in 2017 and beyond. This is mainly because consumers aren’t using their browsers these days. Only 10% of mobile uptime is spent surfing the internet. The remaining 90% of mobile device usage is driven by apps. Put simply, this means you can’t have any real mobile engagement without an app.

This is especially relevant for eCommerce businesses. Retail apps get opened more than any other app type, at 17.5 launches a month. Marketing statistics can be misleading at times, but here, it’s clear that consumers love using (and returning to) mobile apps.

And they’re not just returning, either. Mobile app users make more repeat purchases too. With apps, users return 2x faster, spend 30% more and view 4x more products than they do on websites. This is confirmed in multiple studies – like the bol.com one where web app consumers beat the control group by 30% in terms of spending.

Of course, it helps that push notifications are opened up to 90% of the time, compared to 10-20% for e-mails (depending on industry). This means you can just about press a button and send most of your previous consumers running back to your store. Wonderful, right?

Next up, let’s take a look at how the engagement and UX advantages of apps affect conversions: the factor that shapes your bottom line more than any other.

Reason #3 – Retailers Need Apps for a Better Conversion Rate

Engagement and excellent user experiences are wonderful… But let’s take a minute to discuss exactly how they affect your bottom line: the one thing that really matters.

Today, mobile devices drive 62% of all eCommerce traffic. That’s a massive opportunity… But when consumers use mobile websites, they end up leaving their carts up to 97% of the time. Horrid, right? If you don’t have an app, almost all your customers are going to leave your store without buying anything. How disappointing!

Getting an app fixes this by dropping cart abandonment down to 20%: a massive difference of nearly 5x. Together with the boost provided by better user experiences and superior engagement, this results in 189% more conversions than you get with a mobile website.

This is the kind of difference that can make or break a business – and it’s the bottom line for why retailers need eCommerce apps. And as a cherry on the proverbial cake, apps don’t just help you convert a lot more business. They also drive hordes of interested customers your way, making it real easy to benefit from high conversion rates.

Reason #4 – Retailers Need Apps to Rank Well with SEO

Modern search engines index app content alongside website content when determining your SERP position. This means that having an app, indexing it and syncing it with your site gives you a strong search engine boost.

If you do everything right, this can double your SEO and slingshot you up SERP and App Store rankings.

Results obtained through app indexing actually are prioritised above regular web results by both Apple and Google. Without an app, it will become almost impossible to be on page 1 of the mobile search results – and with an app, you’ve got double the chances to rank highly. Today, app indexing is available for both Android and iOS apps. Google recently announced that it will even index locked content inside apps, conferring even more SEO benefits to app owners and developers.

And there you have it – 4 key reasons retailers need and rely on apps today are:

1. Better user experiences
2. Superior engagement
3. Improved conversions
4. More organic SEO traffic

The only reason not to have an app in 2017? None.

A lot of people don’t know that you can turn a Magento online store into a native shopping app in just a few days or weeks without any big set-up costs. Once you’ve installed the plugin, the app is deeply integrated with your Magento backend and payment gateways.

Due to this integration all in-app orders, user id’s, payments and stock levels are synched 24/7, making app management super easy. This is why Magento chose to give its innovation award to JMango360: the #1 solution for shop owners who want a top-notch app quickly and for a fair price.

JMango-apps feature unlimited and rich push messaging, advanced app analytics, stored data for fast checkouts and customisable designs to match your brand’s look & feel perfectly.

You can request a demo here. During the demonstration you will see a sneak preview of what your app will look like and how easy app-management will be.

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New post design template

New post design template

How to increase post purchase engagement

Posted by Screen Pages on 14/06/17

How often do you thank customers for every purchase they make with your brand? Whether it’s their regular weekly grocery shop or a shiny new luxury car, customers have made a conscious decision to part with their hard earned cash to purchase your product or service but are often not rewarded for it. To help increase engagement and brand loyalty, customers need to feel valued and appreciated for more than just purchases. Many brands are great at rewarding purchases offline; coffee shops will give customers loyalty cards whilst fashion stores provide vouchers for future purchases. But how can brands translate this success online too?

Treat customers like Rockstars

Customers should always be celebrated and rewarded when they make that crucial decision to purchase from you. If you’re looking for creative and cost effective ways to thank them, why not give them the celebrity treatment by making them brand ambassadors instead of some glossy influencer? Leading fashion and beauty brands like Dove, Boots and TK Maxx are well known for using real customers in their advertising campaigns and this is a fantastic way to engage customers by not only putting them centre stage in your brand’s output, but also making them feel important and most of all valued.

Consumer marketing is often one of the best ways to encourage customers to evangelise about your brand; they have first hand experience using your products and unlike costly celebrity endorsements, they can provide unbiased reviews to their peers and wider network. Encourage customers to market on behalf of your brand by incentivising them with anything from VIP invites to product launch parties to a glittering drinks reception with your CEO; the more a customer feels invested and included in your brand, the less they feel like just a number and much more like an engaged stakeholder.

Personalise your communication

Email marketing is a crucial part of any successful eCommerce growth strategy and brands hoping to increase engagement rates following purchase must ensure their marketing communication is segmented, personalised and automated for effective email marketing at scale. Premium platforms like dotmailer are perfect for eCommerce brands looking for a more data driven solution that provides tangible and measurable results. When a customer chooses to share their email address with your brand, they are inviting you to send them relevant and helpful information without aggressively spamming them. You can do this by implementing a post purchase email strategy where you send a personalised email to a new customer thanking them for their purchase, invite them to leave a product review and encourage them to sign up to your company newsletter. Future email campaigns can be segmented by anything from gender, location and purchase history for a more targeted approach that will result in more conversions.

Even with thousands of customers on your mailing lists, your brand should still ensure all emails are personalised where relevant; for example addressing customers by their name and sending them a promotional discount on their birthday. With marketing automation you can ensure personalisation and segmentation is at the heart of your email strategy as that is the most effective way to increase both conversion and engagement rates post-purchase.

Would you like to find out more? Get in touch with us today and talk to one of our experts

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E-commerce benchmarks 2017

E-commerce benchmarks 2017

Screen Pages has released e-commerce benchmark data regarding visitor sources and behaviour, conversions for retail e-commerce websites, for the summer period April=May 2-17.

The businesses indexed are limited to niche brands, generally selling online, via catalogues and stores, whose online sales range up to £15m per annum and average order values average £72. The websites all use the e-commerce platform Magento. In aggregate, the report tracked the behaviour of 2.3 million website visitors, placing 75,000+ orders and spending £6 million.

Online retailers whose data was benchmarked include Bella di Notte, Christopher Ward, Loake, Micro-Scooters, Van Dal, Rio Beauty, Force 4, Moss Europe, the RSPB, Really Wild Clothing, Salter, Baldwins, and This Works.

The data includes statistics regarding traffic sources and mobile usage, website engagement & conversion rates.

Overall KPIs 1st Quartile 3rd Quartile Average
Average order value £44 £126 £76
£ per visit £0.69 £2.49 £2.41
Conversion rates 0.69% 3.99% 2.7%
Engagement/bounce 1st Quartile 3rd Quartile Average
Bounce rate 40.45% 57.1% 46.3%
Home page bounce 12.9% 17.9% 19.2%
Traffic sources = organic search 1st Quartile 3rd Quartile Average
% of visits 30% 54% 43%
Bounce rate 29% 50% 42%
Conversion rate 1.05% 3.63% 2.38%
Traffic sources = paid search 1st Quartile 3rd Quartile Average
% of visits 2% 29% 19%
Bounce rate 15% 56% 34%
Conversion rate 1.2% 5.1% 3.3%
Traffic sources = email 1st Quartile 3rd Quartile Average
% of visits 3% 19% 12%
Bounce rate 31% 51% 37%
Conversion rate 1.1% 4.4% 3.0%
Traffic sources = direct (none) 1st Quartile 3rd Quartile Average
% of visits 11% 14% 15%
Bounce rate 43% 60% 50%
Conversion rate 0.7% 5.3% 2.7%
Traffic sources = referrals 1st Quartile 3rd Quartile Average
% of visits 4% 12% 11%
Bounce rate 35% 56% 48%
Conversion rate 0.7% 2.2% 1.7%

 

Stand-out out figures

* Overall conversions average at 2.77%, ranging from less than 0.7% to over 3.99%.

* The average £ per visit was £2.41.

* Email remains the best source of revenues: email (when executed well) produces extremely well, converting at 4.0%+ – some retailers do not use email effectively or do not track it properly. 6 of the sample had roughly 15%+ of their traffic from email, with 4 retailers enjoying conversion rates from email of over 7% (the highest being 9.8%).

* Paid search produces an average of 19% of all visits, converting at 3.3%. Five businesses enjoyed conversion rates on paid traffic of over 5%.

* Engagement (as measured by bounce rates) shows a large gap between home pages (which get a lot of marketing attention) and all other pages: 19% versus 46%.

 

Desktop usage 1st Quartile †3rd Quartile †Average
Viewed on desktop % 35% 45% 40%
Bounce on desktop % 38% 46% 38%
Conversion on desktop % 1.3% 5.8% 4.0%
% sales on desktop % 57% 66% 60%
Tablet usage 1st Quartile †3rd Quartile †Average
Viewed on tablet % 17% 27% 24%
Bounce on tablet % 30% 53% 41%
Conversion on tablet % 0.8% 4.3% 3.0%
% sales on tablet % 20% 27% 24%
Mobile usge 1st Quartile †3rd Quartile †Average
Viewed on mobile% 27% 43% 35%
Bounce on mobile % 39% 61% 47%
Conversion on mobile % 0.3% 1.7% 1.1%
% sales on mobile% 11% 19% 15%

 

Standout figures

Desktops account for less thab half of all traffic but still produce two-thirds of sales, but mobiles have improved to be just over one third of all visits (but lonly 15% of sales).

* 24% of visits are viewed on tablets, mostly iPads, generating 24% of sales.

* 35% of visits are viewed on mobiles, mostly iPhones, generating 15% of sales.

* 40% of visits are viewed on desktops, generating 60% of sales.

 

The best conversion rate on a mobile was 2.9% – on a responsive “responsive” website (compared to 6.1% for its desktop site).

 

By Roger Willcocks

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.

klevu1
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

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