By Author admin

How Progressive Web Apps and Magento Commerce Are Changing Mobile Commerce

As always Magento Commerce is paving the way, and with the help of progressive web apps, they are delivering a next-level mobile customer experience. Magento understands the e-commerce business like no one else, and to make sure you’re ahead of the curve they’ve already started developing to bring new capabilities for 2018.

Here is everything you need to know about progressive web apps and how they can help your e-commerce store.

Progressive Web Apps

What are Progressive Web Apps?

With the wide range of devices we all use on a day to day basis, chances are you’re well versed in responsive web pages. But progressive web apps (PWAs) take it a step further. Even if you’re not familiar with the name, I’m almost certain you’ve come in contact with a few PWAs.

PWAs are similar to responsive websites where content naturally fits the size of the screen it’s displaying on, but the range of capabilities and advantages of using a PWA instead of a responsive website are what’s causing such a stir.

Every now and then you come across a website or an e-commerce store on your phone or tablet that makes you stop and think, am I still in the browser? This is a progressive web app. PWAs are websites that look and behave as seamlessly as apps but runs through your browser.

This is fast becoming the new standard for building a modern UX. Magento Commerce, with the help of progressive web app technology, is creating a responsive, accessible and well-polished shopping experience for all consumers by integrating the latest innovations and merging the accessibility of the web.

So what’s the difference between a PWA and a responsive website?

You’ve probably realised by now that PWAs are more than JUST websites, but what are the main differences and how can they actually help your e-commerce store? Well, there are a few key features that progressive web apps are capable of, that a regular website just isn’t cut out to do.

These features are what’s making them so popular among e-commerce stores and the online developing community alike, and why PWAs are the all-important key to unlocking your real potential.

Progressive Web Apps

They’re not called progressive web apps for no reason, they actually function and run with many of the same features we have come to expect from a regular native smartphone app.

Being an app, PWAs give you the ability to send push notifications to your customers. This gives you a higher level of engagement and eventually re-engagement with the customer.

In an e-commerce sense, this is perfect because customers want you to know about them and personalise their shopping experience to them. Features like Push notifications allow your communication to be more contextual and personalised. Ensuring you are building brand loyalty and getting those elusive repeat sales.  

This is more than just Magento magic though; the ability to access your content offline is super important for reliability. Anyone running an e-commerce store will tell you that having a reliable website that your customers can always access is absolutely vital to your success.

Why replace responsive websites with PWAs & What are the advantages for Magento merchants?

Like most web development, progressive web apps aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution for all websites. They are ideal, however, for any site that updates regularly or requires real-time data to display. This fits e-commerce to a T!

We touched on it briefly before, but there’s a wide variety of ways PWAs can improve the online shopper’s experience like no regular website can.

Progressive web apps are currently compatible with most mobile browsers, which is excellent for Magento stores as it allows widespread access to your content. So, If you have any recent smartphone or device chances are you’re ready to access the world of PWAs.

Many browsers already recognise the advantages of having PWAs on your device and provide simple options to add the site to your homepage. The app then sits with a user’s native apps, allowing for easier access to your content at any time.

Progressive Web Apps

Yes, anytime! PWA’s can load while offline or with low connectivity which is a real benefit. I won’t go into the technical details on how this works but its thanks to a magical piece of script known as service workers.

This means they’re ready whenever your customers are prepared to shop. According to KPMG, 52% of online shoppers said that offline channels are important for their brand awareness and to create trigger moments.  

When the PWA is accessed from the device’s home screen, the app can load instantly. This always-open access allows you to create a far better experience than shoppers can receive from brick and mortar stores. At a time when everyone wants everything 5 minutes ago, this feature is excellent for your UX.

The ability to add your PWA to a device without the need for an app store improves the likelihood that those all-important return customers will actually download. After all, the web reaches three times more people than apps currently do.

It’s clear that progressive web apps are more accessible and perform better than traditional websites but what about the other features customers want like one step checkouts?

PWAs offer an even more seamless checkout process and expand upon the tenets that Magento has built into their OneStepCheckout process. For any mobile e-commerce, an easy to navigate checkout is a necessity. Not only is this great for your conversion rates and sales it can do wonders for your UX.

Progressive Web Apps

The reliable performance and faster accessibility will drive traffic to Magento e-commerce sites utilising progressive web apps. Ultimately resulting in higher conversions and increased revenue.

Websites are already being rewarded for their switch to PWAs. In the case of Flipkart, they saw their mobile conversions increase by around 70%. For any current Magento store looking to boost their mobile conversions, a PWA could be a simple solution.

And just like that progressive web apps can integrate the best features of websites and mobile applications to build a second-to-none customer experience.

As Magento rolls out this breakthrough in web development to the entire Magento Commerce community this year, it may be worthwhile to consider utilising these features. When you’re ready to take your brand to the next level, contact us to make sure you don’t get left behind.

acidgreen is an award winning e-commerce agency specialising in Magento, Shopify Plus and digital marketing with over 15 years of industry experience. Our certified developers and digital marketers are highly qualified to create aesthetically pleasing Magento and Shopify Plus websites that generate the highest amount of conversions and provide the best ROI. Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, or give us a call to learn more about our services.

 

By Author Eloise Edstein

Harness Brand Loyalty: How To Hold Onto Your Customers

How do you convince consumers you’re worth more than just a one-night stand?

In 2018, eCommerce retailers are more than aware of the growing decline in brand loyalty. Fast fashion is thriving, cross-border eCommerce is on the rise and online shopping has never been bigger. However, with the perpetual growth of eCommerce comes a serious dive in customer lifetime value and brand allegiance.

Why?

brand loyalty

Because consumers are no longer limited by choice.

Most online consumers consider themselves internet-savvy or tech-wizards, and the majority are more than happy to spend hours crawling search engines to find the cheapest price or best value for money rather than remain loyal to your brand.

Many brands still fail to encourage brand loyalty because they rarely strategise beyond the initial purchase. Retailers must understand how to use marketing strategies to convert one-time buyers into recurring customers.

So, how can retailers and marketers harness brand loyalty?

Enhance Customer Experience

Consumers shop online based on four key factors:

    • Price
    • Quality
    • Speed

And most importantly…

    • Customer experience

In 2017, it was reported that 89% of businesses compete solely on customer experience.

Monogamy is dead. As a business, you can be in denial about it all you want but the truth is, consumers just do not care about you in that way. They can and will hop on any opportunity to shop elsewhere. However, by making sure you’re the best they’ve ever had, you may just be able to trick them into coming back.

You can do this by including clear and effective CTA buttons, and chatbots that appear as soon as a customer has landed on your site. LivePerson states that 71% of online customers expect help within five minutes.

You can also make sure your site is mobile friendly (in 2018, this is a must) as Google reports, 52% of customers state they are less likely to purchase from a retailer due to a poor mobile experience. The mobile device also offers other customised opportunities that the computer can’t i.e. location-based integration as well as social media, SMS interaction and push notifications.

Provide Total Transparency

95% of unhappy customers share their bad experience (Zendesk). It’s almost impossible to avoid negative reviews entirely. However, brands do have greater ability to control them. Be the first to reach out to your customers to ask them for feedback. Then reward those customers who respond. If they leave a negative review, respond to them publicly and acknowledge a resolution.

Acquiring customer reviews and promoting them throughout your online channels fosters greater trust and transparency, which in turn will aid brand loyalty. Customer feedback is also priceless to your ongoing marketing strategies, as that rich data can greatly inform future decisions and enhance your overall awareness of your brand’s target audience.

Provide Discounts & Loyalty Programs

Don’t be naive. Perform rigorous and constant research on your competitors. Find out exactly what they’re offering and what their differentiators are.

Beyond that, offer exclusive perks to your consumers that will encourage brand loyalty.

A proven method involves utilising loyalty programs. Give your customers free shipping or access to monthly promotions if they create an account or opt-in to receive emails. Enhance the VIP treatment by providing exclusive access to new products, then capitalise on this by requesting feedback.  

These programs don’t need to be designed as a one-size-fits-all, either. Deliver appropriate awards proportionately i.e. according to purchase volume and frequency.

Retailers can also increase brand loyalty by offering points to consumers beyond the purchase point; reward them for simply making it to the checkout page by sending them an abandoned cart email. Slip in a little discount (that only they can access). In 2018, this should be a tactic that all eCommerce stores utilise. In fact, consumers are smart enough to expect it.

Dotmailer reports that both UK (13%) and US (15%) consumers will abandon their shopping carts purely in the hope that retailers will offer a last-attempt discount to win the customer. Even more than that, around a fifth of consumers abandon their carts on multiple websites in order to find the best deal. Though it doesn’t guarantee your cart abandoner will return to complete the purchase, it does mean they’re less likely to go to a competitor because they found a lower price elsewhere.

brand loyalty

Know how to exploit the customer lifecycle; it’s cheaper to retain a customer than to acquire a new one.

Greater Personalisation Tactics

Make them feel special. Give them an intimate experience they won’t forget by providing personalised content. More than half of millennial consumers rate personalisation as one of the most important factors when deciding which brand to purchase goods from. This is just another way online stores can encourage brand loyalty; Virtual Incentives suggests that brands who personalise their customer experience are recognised by consumers as smart, unique and caring.

Brands can strengthen their personalisation strategies by implementing marketing automation tools e.g. utilising email marketing personalisation tags that can be added to both the subject line and email body. Promote offers using friendly, informal language:

  • “You might also like…”
  • “We recommend…”
  • “People who bought this, also bought…”

brand loyalty

According to Dotmailer, personal touches don’t just incrementally increase open rates, they also result in up to 6x more online conversions.

Implementing A Brand Loyalty-Centric Strategy 

To be successful in 2018, retailers need to take an unabridged approach to marketing and focus on the entire customer journey. Brands must rise simultaneously with consumer expectations in order to meet demands and consumer requisites. According to Bain & Co, increasing customer retention rates by as little as 5% could boost overall profit anywhere from 25% to 95%.

If you’re overwhelmed or unsure of where to start, acidgreen are your reliable, full service digital agency and eCommerce professionals. We use our own comprehensive business intelligence and analytics tools to identify our clients’ most valuable consumers and turn raw data into actionable insights. These insights then help us enhance the customer experience and consequently increase your brand loyalty.

 

acidgreen is an award winning eCommerce agency specialising in Magento, Shopify Plus and digital marketing with over 15 years of  industry experience. Our certified developers and digital marketers are highly qualified to create aesthetically pleasing Magento and Shopify Plus websites that generate the highest amount of conversions and provide the best ROI. Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, or give us a call to learn more about our services.

By Author Eloise Edstein

Australian Retailers Must Utilise Cross-Border Ecommerce Now

What is cross-border ecommerce?

 

cross-border ecommerce

Cross-border ecommerce defines online international trade. It involves the purchase of products via an online merchant outside of the consumers national borders i.e. the buyer and seller are not located in the same country and use different currencies (and perhaps different languages).

The norties have given rise to cross-border ecommerce for both B2C and B2B providers, as it offers an immense opportunity for merchants and brands to seamlessly grow their online customer space and effectively, increase online sales.

However, many merchants all too quickly render cross-border ecommerce too complex due to the perceived challenges that could incur for both the brand and the consumer. Especially for Australian companies; our distance from the majority of the first world can seem an intimidating feat to overcome.

The biggest challenge seems to be the fear of maintaining a frictionless and localised customer experience for the consumer, whilst simultaneously providing scalability, control and adaptability for the merchant.  

The general consumer poses the question:

“How can I trust a brand priced in a foreign currency with opaque delivery services? What if it’s not what I want? What is the risk? What taxes will be levie?”

The answer:

If you’re currently exercising your business as a successful domestic site that goes above standardized requirements, opening the doors to international borders could create a huge opportunity for your brand/business to grow your customer base, and incrementally increase sales. It’ll also simultaneously strengthen the overall merit of your brand.

How Can You Get Involved In Cross-Border Ecommerce?

Platforms like Borderfree (established 1999) provide hundreds of online retailers the opportunity to ship more than 200+ countries. Their platform allows shoppers to checkout in the shoppers local currency, take advantage of platform-exclusive offers, make multi-merchant orders and rely on trustworthy, international shipping regardless of where they happen to be placed in the world.

In late 2016, Pitney Bowes launched borderfree.com in Australia, and now leading home-grown brands such as Tony Bianco, R.M. Williams and Adore Beauty are taking full advantage of the platforms reach and its assurance for international growth.

cross-border ecommerce

 

According to McKinsey and Company, in 2016 the value of cross-border ecommerce amounted to over $50 billion AUD. Moreover, Australia was estimated to be the fourth most popular source of products, just behind the US, Japan and Korea.

Australian retailers would be silly to disregard the potential opportunity. 

How Do Retailers Tap Into Huge International Markets?

According to Nielsen, in 2018 cross-border ecommerce is set to grow to US$307 billion across six core markets: US, UK, Germany, Brazil, China and Australia.

Australian merchants tapping into the Chinese market alone, will immediately afford access to over 300 million potential shoppers – those same shoppers who happened to spend over US$500 billion entirely online in 2015. As Jack Ma, CEO of Alibaba has stated,

“In other countries, ecommerce is a way to shop. In China, it’s a lifestyle”.

Moreover, it’s been reported by Startrack that 38% of Japanese consumers purchase goods overseas. With our (reasonably) close proximity to the asian market, this is an extremely exciting statistic for Australian merchants. One that is surely hard to brush off…particularly for retailers selling cosmetics, premium wine and vitamins/supplements (Startrack reports these as the most popular items Japanese shoppers tend to buy from Australian retailers).

Additionally, cross-border ecommerce for Australian merchants allows for many quick-wins with countries where English is their first language. Excluding the obvious US & UK, we can’t forget countries such as Canada, where cross-border orders account for 75% of the country’s entire ecommerce market. Other tempting markets include the Netherlands, Germany and Scandinavia where English is fairly proficient across the board – enough so that shoppers will not be put-off by English-based websites.  

How Can You Prevail In Cross-Border Ecommerce?

If you are going to go-ahead with cross-border ecommerce, it’s important to note there are a few things on your ecommerce website that will need to be enhanced and customised for cross-border success. This all comes down to knowing who your international shoppers are and how, why and what they shop for i.e. What country are they buying from? Which timezone are they located in? What season is it where they are? This is particularly important for clothing brands, as Australians typically follow a different climate pattern to the rest of the world. It’s also important to research your international competition and point out exactly what makes them successful.

Customising your online store to target specific regional needs (that are proven traffic-sources for your brand) will speedily increase the likelihood of converting your cross-border shoppers.

How Can Small Businesses Lead Cross-Border eCommerce?

“Local retailers have a huge opportunity to take advantage of cross-border shopping. The first step is to ensure your technology is aligned” – John Banfield, CEO of BPAY. 

As The Australian points out, cross-border ecommerce is not just limited to the larger, untouchable retailers. Business scalability has never been more painless. In fact, the flexibility and adaptability that all small businesses require in order to survive give them a landslide advantage over larger, less-adaptable corporations.

The Australian also reported that in 2016, the number of Australian trade businesses increased (for the third year in a row) by 2.4%. This can be put down to the extreme growth of small businesses. The growth of small businesses can then be put down to the billions of consumers all over the world making online shopping their number one location for consumer goods.

cross-border ecommerce

Borderfree says, cross-border ecommerce “should be just as easy to buy fine tailored tweed from the U.K as it is to shop at your local corner store in Australia.”

So, rather than sitting back and waiting for the rest of the country to do it before you do, stop procrastinating and find out how your online store can get involved in the cross-border conversation.

Here at acidgreen, we’re more than happy to help you accomplish those goals. As a full-service digital agency (Magento and Shopify Plus Partners), we have over fifteen years ecommerce experience helping our diverse range of clients achieve ultimate online success. Contact us today and find out how your company can confidently reach beyond the Pacific.

acidgreen is an award winning e-commerce agency specialising in Magento, Shopify Plus and digital marketing with over 15 years of industry experience. Our certified developers and digital marketers are highly qualified to create aesthetically pleasing Magento and Shopify Plus websites that generate the highest amount of conversions and provide the best ROI. Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, or give us a call to learn more about our services.