Ecommerce News

Ecommerce Industry Roundup – Week of 8/22

Here are the news and headlines that grabbed our attention this past week:

Why context is king in m-commerce design via ClickZ: 

Across all industries, mobile traffic is eating into PC web traffic in a big way, even in economies which have a large installed base of consumer PCs.

But ecommerce sites aren’t seeing mobile web visitors, particularly those who use smartphones, converting to mobile web shoppers with the same success as PC shoppers.

Marketers have high hopes for automated content via Search Engine Watch: 

Given the difficulties companies face in producing content, it’s probably not a surprise that according to a study conducted by Forrester Research on behalf of cognitive content platform provider Persado, a growing number of senior marketers in the US and Europe have high hopes for automated content production.

Three-quarters of those Forrester polled believe that automated content creation will make it easier “to maintain and update content,” a logical expectation.

More than half (56%) expect that automating content creation will give them the ability to produce content that is modular and can be assembled dynamically, while nearly half (47%) see automated content as a means to adjust and respond in real time.

Google Expands ‘Post Directly to Search Results’ Feature to More Small Businesses via Search Engine Journal: 

Early on in the 2016 US Presidential race, Google introduced a feature which allowed candidates to publish messages directly to the front page of search results. In March 2016, Google was spotted testing this feature with a limited number of small businesses.

Now, Google has confirmed to Mike Blumenthal that the test is being expanded from “tens” of small businesses to “thousands”. In addition, the test is expanding beyond the US to include Brazil and India. According to Blumenthal, this was confirmed by the Google My Business team during a Google Hangout.

The yet-to-be-named feature gives small businesses the ability to create cards with short messages in search results that are presented in a similar way to how Google presents AMP carousels. When the business’s name is searched for, the most recent messages from that business will appear on the front page of search results.

10 UX best practices for ecommerce success via CIO: 

The biggest challenge for ecommerce businesses is how to convert visitors into customers. One of the best ways, assuming that you are providing great products or services that people want, is to ensure that people visiting your site can quickly and easily find what they are looking for – and then are able to buy it quickly and easily.

So how can online businesses make the customer journey as pleasant and rewarding as possible? Following are 10 tips from ecommerce business owners and user experience (UX) pros.

Ecommerce Industry Roundup – Week of 8/8

Here are the news and headlines that grabbed our attention this past week:

Smartphones Overtake Computers as Top E-Commerce Traffic Source via Bloomberg: 

For retailers at least, the most important screens are now the small ones.
Smartphones accounted for 45.1 percent of web-shopping traffic in the first quarter of this year, edging out computers at 45 percent, according to a study from Demandware, an e-commerce software provider. The firm, which was acquired by Salesforce.com Inc. this month, projects that number will continue to increase, with phones accounting for 60 percent of e-commerce visits by the end of next year.

23 clever uses for colour in ecommerce UX via Econsultancy: 

Colour plays an important part in web design and ecommerce.

From little UX quirks and best practice, to stylish branding and aesthetics, Econsultancy rounded up 23 uses for colour in ecommerce, including examples from Virgin Airlines and ASOS.

Why retailers still struggle with omnichannel—and how they can conquer the challenge via Retail Dive: 

Shoppers want it all, and they want it now. They want to shop seamlessly across devices, anywhere and anytime. They want online visibility into product inventory, store-based fulfillment of web orders and a range of delivery and pickup options. They want personalized offers when they’re in stores, and additional incentives when they’re nearby. And because they no longer see any distinction between the online and offline retail realms, they want merchants to see the world the exact same way.

Retailers are racing to keep pace, investing in personnel, processes and technology in order to meet the heightened expectations of the omnichannel age. Based on the findings of a survey of more than 250 store managers published earlier this year by JDA Software Group, 62% of U.S. merchants now connect their brick-and-mortar stores to their desktop and mobile experiences to offer consumers an evolving range of services.

Report: Facebook dominates social ad spend and this is just the beginning via ClickZ: 
Facebook will take the lion’s share – more than two thirds – of global ad revenues for social sites this year.

Total global social networking ad spend is predicted to hit US$32.97 billion this year. Facebook will account for 67.9% of that ($22.37 billion), followed by Twitter at 7.9%, according to eMarketer.

Of Facebook’s ad revenues, more than half ($12.08 billion) will come from outside the U.S.

Ecommerce Industry Roundup – Week of 5/30

Here are the news and headlines that grabbed our attention this past week:

Salesforce buys Demandware for $2.8B, taking a big step into e-commerce via TechCrunch: 
Salesforce made its name originally with cloud-based software to help salespeople manage their leads and close deals; and today the company took a big step into the business of sales itself. Today the company announced that it would spend $2.8 billion to acquire Demandware, a cloud-based provider of e-commerce services to businesses big and small. The deal also will spearhead a new business division: the Salesforce Commerce Cloud.

Demandware went public in 2012, and Salesforce says that it will commence a tender offer for all outstanding shares of Demandware for $75.00 per share, in cash. This is a big premium on the company’s current valuation — which was $1.87 billion at close of trade yesterday. The transaction is expected to close in Salesforce’s Q2 2017, which ends July 31, 2016.

Google AdWords launches new features for a mobile-first world via ClickZ: 
Google has introduced new tools and features to AdWords to specifically address the consumer shift towards mobile.

The changes and additions have been announced at today’s Google Performance Summit, and include expanded description lines, responsive display ads to fit different devices and formats, more customized bidding options, and pilot features for Google Maps which allow advertisers to introduce more information about their businesses.

Of the trillions of searches made on Google every year, more than half now happen on a mobile phone. Google has also found that more than half of all web traffic comes from smartphones and tablets.

Google is about to bombard users with more and bigger mobile ads via Mashable: 
Google’s advertisers may soon figure much more prominently into the terrain of the company’s maps feature.

A new type of ad offering will let companies buy the ability to place a small logo image over their physical locations on Google Maps, the search giant announced on Tuesday. Such ads are already available in Google-owned navigation app Waze.

Other new ads within Google Maps will allow retailers to peddle in-store discounts on specific products or display an inventory search of a nearby store when users search relevant terms within Maps. If someone were to do a search for “phone charger,” for instance, a Best Buy ad may appear in the sidebar with a related coupon and an inventory search bar.

Affluent Chinese web shoppers love foreign brands via Internet Retailer: 
Every retailer makes a special effort to please its best customers. And Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., China’s leading operator of online retailer marketplaces, is no exception.

Alibaba in 2014 created an invite-only membership program called Alibaba Passport geared to consumers who spend at least 300,000 yuan ($45,767) a year on Alibaba’s retail sites in China, mainly the Taobao and Tmall online shopping malls that account for well over half of all online retail spending in China. The Chinese e-commerce giant recently released a report describing these consumers and how it serves them.

While Alibaba did not disclose how many consumers belong to the program, commonly referred to in China as Apass, it did say there is one Apass consumer for every 10,000 shoppers on Alibaba’s sites. That suggests there are about 40,000 Apass members as the e-commerce giant has 400 million annual active users.

Ecommerce Industry Roundup – Week of 5/23

Here are the news and headlines that grabbed our attention this past week:

Google launches Firebase Analytics for mobile apps via SearchEngineWatch: 
Google has launched Firebase Analytics, a new analytics solution for mobile apps, at this year’s I/O 2016 developer conference.

Firebase was acquired by Google in late 2014 and helps developers build apps for Androids, iOS and the Web. Current features include Realtime Database, User Authentication and Hosting.

However, based on app developer feedback, Firebase is adding more tools to help developers improve app quality and the acquisition and engagement of app users. It is also introducing new monetization tools.

Google launches Google Assistant to take on Siri and Alexa via Mashable: 
Look out SIRI. Step aside Alexa, Google has its own voice-based digital assistant: Google Assistant.

While it lacks a proper or even pretty name, this could be the mother of all voice-activated assistants.

“Our ability to do conversational understanding is far ahead of what other assistants can do,” said Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who announced the new assistant from the Google I/O 2016 developers conference keynote stage on Wednesday. He noted that 20% of all Google searches are accomplished via voice.

Google Search Console now lets you group your sites together with property sets via SearchEngineLand: 
Google announced that you can now group together multiple properties within the Google Search Console, so you can get aggregate data in the Search Analytics report.

The main purpose is because Google Search Console has always reported Search Analytics data — such as impressions, clicks and CTR — on a property-by-property basis. And since each property had to be added individually — such as the HTTP vs. HTTPS version of your site or the WWW vs. the non-WWW version, your apps and so on — there was no quick way to get a snapshot of the whole site in one report.

With Google Search Console Sets, you can now create sets of and then see all the Search Analytics data for that one set in one single report.

Checkout best practice 101: trust and security: via ClickZ: 
It’s essential that customers feel they can trust a website with their credit card, but how can retailers build trust during checkout?

Logos can still be worth using, and are perhaps even more important for new sites, or those that may be unfamiliar to shoppers. However, it’s about all-round trust and retailers need to do more than just displaying logos.

Ecommerce Industry Roundup – Week of 5/16

Here are the news and headlines that grabbed our attention this past week:

PayPal Announces ‘Return Shipping on Us’ to help drive online retail in Canada via Yahoo Finance: 
PayPal announced the launch of a new Return Shipping on Us service in Canada. By directly addressing a concern of online shoppers, this service aims to boost consumer confidence and help drive online retail by refunding return shipping costs on eligible online purchases within Canada and around the world.

A study from Ipsos reports that 40 per cent of Canadians are worried about ordering the wrong item online and not being able to return it. A further 27 per cent said they have been forced to pay for shipping back items in the past year, with the majority (65%) saying it cost them more than $10 each time.

Five ways to incorporate social shopping into your digital marketing strategy via ClickZ: 
Social shopping is, more or less as you might have guessed, the name given to when social media and shopping meet online. It describes everything from integrating e-commerce features into a social platform – such as ‘buy’ buttons on networks like Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram – to dedicated websites that combine shopping with social media.

According to the Internet Retailer’s Social Media 500, the top 500 retailers earned $3.3 billion from social shopping in 2014, up 26% from the previous year. This is well ahead of the average 16% growth rate for the e-commerce market in the United States, as reported by Business Insider.

A study by digital marketing agency Greenlight found that 52% of UK marketers believe that social commerce will be the most rapidly growing trend in 2016. And 74% of consumers are said to rely on social networks to guide their purchasing decisions.

The SEO industry is worth $65 billion; will it ever stop growing? via SearchEngineLand: 
Since its early days, search engine optimization (SEO) has always had naysayers insisting that this marketing discipline is a passing fad, or that it’s dead.

Not only has SEO survived this long, it’s thriving: According to a recent study by Borrell Associates, companies are going to spend $65 billion on SEO in 2016. This is more than triple what they predicted for this year back in 2008, before major game-changers like Panda and Penguin even entered the equation.

What’s more, the company is predicting that the SEO industry will continue to grow to an estimated $72 billion by 2018 and $79 billion by 2020.

GoButler launches Angel.ai to offer natural language tech to commerce companies via TechCrunch: 
GoButler, the startup that originally offered a virtual assistant that let you request anything on-demand, appears to be pivoting for a second (and maybe final) time. This time the New York-headquartered company is shuttering the GoButler consumer-facing service altogether in favour of offering natural language processing technology to third-parties.

Angel.ai is based on the same NLP technology that previously powered GoButler’s “fully-automated” flight search and discovery, and will enable commerce companies to build ‘conversational’ user interfaces, such as Facebook Messenger chat bots, or other kinds of natural language search.