eCommerce Trend: Abandoned Cart Management

Guilty as charged.  I recently abandoned a cart with running shoes for an upcoming marathon.  I was about to complete the transaction when I decided to stick with a pair I recently bought.  Everyone has done this…and we abandon our carts for so many reasons–shipping costs, indecision, credit card security, account creation, etc.  To combat this issue, many eCommerce stores are investing in platforms with abandoned cart recovery.  Here’s why it’s so important to jump on the bandwagon.

If you’re an eCommerce manager, sales are probably a key metric for success.  Abandoned cart management is one way to recover those lost sales.  According to Business 2 Community, abandoned carts account for nearly 70% of lost sales every day!  Whether you’re a small online shop or Amazon, that is a massive portion of revenue.

In addition to recovering some lost sales, an abandoned cart management strategy can give you insight about your eCommerce strategy.  For example, if you utilize reminder emails, you might offer free shipping or other incentives to prompt a purchase.  Maybe your customers are getting bogged down with shipping costs or the requirement of creating an account.  Adjust accordingly to win these customers.

So what are some best practices with this strategy?  Reminder emails are the most popular simply because if the customer has provided an email address, there’s already some interest.  Within those emails, follow these tips:

1. Wait 24 hours before you send the first reminder.  Give them some room.

2. Make sure the customer knows it’s you sending the email.  Clearly identify yourself in a messy inbox!

3. Incentivize.  Offer free shipping or a 10% discount on the order.

It’s crucial to implement abandoned cart management on your eCommerce platform.  Whether you opt for emails, offsite retargeting, onsite retargeting, or something else, you should invest in this feature.  Znode’s Multifront platform has backend shopping cart recovery functionality.

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8 Things You Might now About Multifront 8.0

In 2015 we released Multifront 8.0, with 8.1 following a few months later.  The new upgrades feature a plethora of new features, making the platform more robust than ever.  If you’re curious about upgrading your current eCommerce platform or looking to start fresh, familiarize yourself with a few facts about 8.1.

1. Full MVC framework.  Multifront is now built with MVC 5 and brings a lean, scalable eCommerce platform.  You’ll be able to reuse and maintain the same code, saving your development team a lot of time.

2. Redesigned admin.  Our fresh admin is fully responsive, making the user experience clean and user-friendly.  Work from the admin on any device–mobile, tablet, or computer.

3. Extension framework.  Third party plugins can now be developed by clients, partners, and independent developers.  Take your eCommerce functionality to the next level with this framework and fully reap the benefits of a customizable platform.

4. Single page checkout.  We’ve added the option for your customers to checkout on a single page.  You can still offer step-by-step checkout as well.  All of this is managed by the site administrator.

5. Quick order pad.  We’ve simplified the online shopping experience even further.  Your customers can use the quick order pad to add products directly to the shopping cart for a quick shopping experience.

6. Improved site admin.  In addition to a responsive layout, the back end features category tree browsing and visual reporting.  You’ll gain even more extensive insight about your eCommerce store.

7. New templates.  Our templates are implemented with best practices in mind for search, navigation, and conversion.  Don’t worry about meeting Google’s algorithm requirement.  Everything is fully responsive and mobile ready.

8. Abandoned cart management.  Are you struggling with customers shopping on your site but not completing the transaction?  Manage those abandoned carts with Multifront and see those conversions.

These upgrades will take your eCommerce platform to the next level of functionality.  You may even see a jump in your SEO with the mobile ready templates.  Visit our website to learn more or request a demo.


The Value of Responsive Design in eCommerce

Responsive design is probably the hottest buzzword in the eCommerce world today, mostly because of Google (we’ll explain).  One of our last blog posts mentioned responsive design as a trending topic.  In this post, we’ll go into more detail about how you can add value to your eCommerce site with responsive web design (RWD).

The topic of RWD started trending earlier this year when Google announced that it will award responsive sites more favorably in search.  Essentially, sites that are mobile-friendly will fare better in search results.  Your SEO department or manager will be thrilled!  It doesn’t stop there, though.  Non-responsive sites lose up to 12% of web traffic, making SEO a nightmare.  If you want to be at the top of search results, you must adjust your site to be responsive.  Few people visit the bottom of the first page of a Google search, much less the second page.

Aesthetics and user experience are another piece in this puzzle.  No one wants to visit a site on a mobile device and struggle will the scroll bars and clicking links.  This is especially true for eCommerce stores because if I can’t easily purchase the product, I’ll likely leave the site.  The site should respond to you, the user.  Most users typically leave a site if they can’t navigate with ease.  In fact, 61% will leave a site if it’s unresponsive.  These numbers can’t be ignored.

Also, don’t use flash.  Google will not be happy with your site if this is the case.  It’s really the icing on the cake.

Moral of the story — listen to Google.  Google is king.  Your marketing or SEO manager probably wants to see your store at the top of a Google search because that means exposure, leads, and sales!

Znode’s Multifront platform is a top .NET eCommerce platform, which is also responsive.  Download our product sheet to learn more and discover what relevant eCommerce can do for your business.


eCommerce Trends: How to Keep Your Site Relevant

eCommerce itself was a trending topic once upon a time, but now it’s all about the latest buzzwords and trends within the eCommerce world. The eight trends/features below will help you convert more customers and keep your site relevant and fresh.

note: these are not ranked in order of importance and this is not an exhaustive list

1. Responsive design.   It’s one of the hottest topics in the eCommerce world because Google now awards responsive sites.  Think of the boost in SEO if you make Google happy!  What’s more, 61% of shoppers will leave a site if it’s not responsive.

2. Abandoned cart management.  59% of consumers agree that reminder notifications are helpful.  The most relevant advantage of abandoned shopping cart management is an increase in conversions.  This could be email reminders and/or incentives enticing consumers to purchase.

3. Shipping promotions.  Free shipping or shipping discounts can increase your average order value (AOV).  According to Deloitte, 40% of customers will purchase more if they qualify for free shipping.

4. Incentives to sign up for newsletter or register an account.   Providing a point of contact for your site is a cost effective way to acquire new customers.  Get Elastic suggests an overlay or a social sign-up upon opening the site with an incentive such as a 20% discount on your first purchase if you create an account.  Make these call to actions stand out and easily accessible for your visitors.

5. Product customization.  Can it be customized?  Today’s consumer wants to personalize everything.  If your product can be customized then provide a responsive, user-friendly configurator.  If your product cannot be customized, then meet with your marketing team to see if you can offer this.  Customized products are a great way to differentiate your offerings from competitors, according to Forbes.

6. Security.  Don’t store those credit card numbers.  Some shoppers are apprehensive about using credit cards online (especially after data breaches like Target’s), so PCI compliance is crucial.  Give your customers peace of mind.

7. Customer reviews.  Let your customers’ voices be heard.  Reviews and product ratings are a necessity for online shopping.  “Product page visitors who interact with customer reviews convert at a 58% higher rate compared to those who do not,” according to a recent report cited on Internet Retailer.

8. Personalized shopping experience.  This could be anything from personalized ads to shopping habits.  Mobile personalization is also key, especially tailored content.  For example, if you click on a Facebook ad focused on running shoes and clicking takes you to a landing page with running products and promotions.  In this example, marketing activities are targeted to individuals’ lifestyles.

Don’t get carried away with the latest buzzwords.  First ensure that the basics of your eCommerce site are strong with search, navigation, product details, competitive pricing, affordable shipping rates, easy checkout process, order notifications, etc.  Establish the backbone of your site and then build its robustness with these features.

Multifront is the industry’s leading .NET eCommerce platform.  It will help you capitalize on these trends and create relevant online shopping experiences.


SaaS vs. On Premise eCommerce Software: How to Make the Decision

SaaS versus on premise eCommerce software: it’s the hot question. The typical answer you get is “it depends,” with several follow up questions. During our sales conversation, we tackle this question on a regular basis and through those dialogues we created three questions that will help guide your decision.  The bottom line is that both have benefits and either can work for your business, but you have to do your homework about which will fit your needs.

note: the intention of the article is not present a pro or con or show one in better than other but more so to provide tools to define your strategy

What is your budget?  It’s usually the first question when you’re in the market for a product or service.  In general, initial investment for a SaaS is relatively inexpensive.  You sign up for the services you need and the vendor is responsible for all operations, maintenance, and software upgrades.  For on premise, the initial investment is higher because you have to buy the software license and invest in infrastructure to install and setup the system.  The common item in both SaaS and on premise solutions is the implementation cost.  Implementation cost depends on several factors: customer experience, operations/fulfillment, and the business roadmap.  One last point to consider when determining your budget is the total cost of ownership (TCO).  We recommend to compare a TCO for three, five, and seven years.

What is your business road map?  The business road map is tightly coupled with the budget because it defines what the goals are and key milestones you are planning to achieve over the next 12 to 36 months.  This is applicable for any business, whether you’re a startup or an established enterprise.  Two key aspects to define this are:

  1. How does the eCommerce channel fit in the overall ecosystem?  A general trend in the industry how revenue growth impacts procurement i.e. higher growth leans towards ownership and lower growth leans towards SaaS.

  2. Where are you in the business lifecycle?  Timing your investments is critical to success and gaining an advantage over your competitors.

In the long run, your company will need a platform to scale with your business.  If you plan to add a CRM or ERP, on premise might be a better route because you can integrate these solutions.

What is your goal for customer experience?  Customer experience is not just the look and feel of your site.  Your business’s fulfillment (i.e. how orders are processed, communication with the customer, shipping of goods) is as important as the shopping experience the consumer has on your site.  On premise software allows for the most customization because you typically have the most control over the system and integration with 3rd party systems like ERP, CRM, WMS, OMS, marketing automation, etc.  It allows you to quickly respond to changes in the market and offer tailored customer experiences, which is great to meet the demands of the market.  SaaS solutions offer extensions to fit similar demands.  The key takeaway is who owns the customer experience — you or your vendor.  Do you want a framework that along with the base features allows you to customize your solution or work from a template?

Shopping for an eCommerce platform can be overwhelming because the options are endless.  A strategy defined by the state of your business and where you want to be will move you in the right direction.  Both SaaS and on premise are viable solutions delivering results of all types and size of business.  Your choice will ultimately depend on your budget, business road map, and customer experience goals.

Znode’s on premise software is one solution if you go that route.  Download our product sheet here to learn more about Multifront 8.0 or visit our website.