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#AroundTheGlobe: 5 Key Takeaways from F8
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Poor Mobile Experience Leads to $24bn Loss for US Retailers
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A Few Words about Why Magento is Ideal for Ecommerce
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Ecommerce Trends for 2015

Friday - AroundTheGlobe

 

Each week, in our segment “Around the Globe”, we curate a list of recent & significant tech updates that have potentially far reaching consequences. This week we are concentrating just on Facebook’s Developer Conference – F8.

We do so because Facebook’s offerings (and we not just talking about the social media platform here) form a large part of our lives. A lot of our interactions, expressions, discoveries and even commerce is being shaped by this tech giant. So it’s only prudent to take good note of the new possibilities that the company promises to usher in.

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This year’s sessions featured leaders from across the Facebook umbrella of apps and services. We got to learn about the latest tools and best practices for designing and building an app. They even spoke about new surfaces for discovery and expression and innovative ways to make the world more open and connected. Following are the key takeaways from the conference:

Chat with bots

This may easily be considered as one of the biggest announcements in the conference. Facebook just announced that it will allow businesses to deliver automated, e-commerce guidance, content and interactive experiences through chat bots in Messenger.

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As most tech experts believe bots have the capability to replace the toll free numbers and many call centres.  We will talk more about how we can put these bots to effective use in a later blog.

Virtual Reality goes Social

We had known for a while that Facebook is betting high on Virtual Reality with Oculus. But now it promises to change who you spend your time with completely with its “social VR”. Mark Zuckerberg even said that Virtual Reality has the potential to be the most social platform.

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Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer stood on stage in front of a live audience in San Francisco, put on one of Facebook’s Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets and “teleported” to London. There, he met up with another Facebook employee, who was actually wearing his own headset at the company’s Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters.

Watch demo here.

https://www.facebook.com/mike.booth/videos/10209079684853818/

New Developer Tools

Facebook is releasing a slew of new developer tools to help people design, develop and monetize their apps. Some of them are

Account Kit: A new plug-in for apps that lets users sign up with their phone number or email address, not just their Facebook login.

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Quote Sharing:  Developers can now add a button that automatically pulls a quote, or surface the button when people highlight text so they don’t have to copy and paste.

Customizable Push-In App:  Developers can now run push campaigns to pull people back into their apps, and help them navigate to new content or options while they’re already inside.

Developers get Live

Facebook is giving developers and publishers to see how they can add to the immersive and interactive live video experiences on Facebook. The Live API can seamlessly incorporate Live in a broadcast setup of their choice and also create new ways of interaction. Read official blog here: https://media.fb.com/2016/04/12/introducing-the-facebook-live-api/

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Publish Instantly

Facebook will now allow all publishers the provision of Instant Articles. Until the F8 conference, Instant articles were only available to a handful of publishers. These were introduced in May 2015 as lighter versions of articles that open almost instantly. One of the great advantages of these Instant Articles is that, you don’t have to juggle between apps to keep up with your reading.

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All in All, F8 was eventful to say the least. Apart from the 5 takeaways that we have highlighted, there were several other announcements that some way or the other will affect our lives. Follow our Twitter handle to be constantly updated with all of that.

Cheers!

Capital Numbers_Landing Page_Blog

A landing page is the first digital experience that a user has with the brand. And considering the two types of landing pages – Click-Through Landing Page & Lead-Gen Landing Page – it is of paramount importance that there is a definitive closure to a user journey on the page. And how does one define the closure of a user journey? Simple; by just measuring the conversion!

Here is a list of 10 elements that are essential to a landing page if conversion is the key objective.

#1 – Buyer Persona – 2 words you should hold very close to your heart!

Create the page keeping the Buyer Persona in mind – now wait, what is Buyer Persona you ask? They are the group you would like to reach through your marketing activities.

As per the Buyer Persona Manifesto, a brand should know whom they are talking (not selling) to. With Buyer Persona in mind, you would be knowing who you are selling to, their micro-moments, their perception barriers and their problems. And once you know the problem(s), it is easy to convert the audience by offering apt solution(s).

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#2 – Above the Fold

A cue from the traditional newspapers, it is equally important thus to have a super/b above-the-fold content when it comes to landing pages. The important elements have to be present in the most visible format so that the user will read it definitely before scrolling her / his way down.

What should ideally be a part of the ATF content?

  1. Value proposition – how this site will benefit the reader
  2. Visuals – to support the value proposition claim(s)
  3. CTA – what is the intended closure that the site expects from the user?

However, do not ignore the page load speed.

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#3 – Testimonials

Credibility is a must these days, when one is about to explore the domains of a digital journey. And what best than having a few strong testimonials right at the start? A user should be assured right at the beginning on her / his probable association with the brand – and only an existing / past satisfied user can bring that in, in the form of a testimonial.

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#4 – Social proof

Taking cue from the above point, social proofs are a great way to convert a random visitor to a brand-loyal. Here’s how (apart from the testimonial trick) –

  1. Case studies are a must. Nothing works like success stories do.
  2. Social share buttons embedded at some area of the landing page.
  3. Share the positive enthusiasm that the users have around the brand, on social media. Monitor the social media accounts, look out for appreciations and share them for the world to see.
  4. Trust seals are a great way a user can be assured.
  5. Last, linking the privacy policy somewhere will definitely assure the user that the data collected will not be used for commercial purposes by the organization.

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#5 – Navigation

Directional cues, arrows, pointers, anything that assists the user helps her / him go all the way

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#6 – Images (good quality)

A picture speaks a thousand words. Period! Good images will always rule the landing page, any day. Invest in good photographer(s), allocate a specific budget for shoots, and see how conversion grows.

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#7 – Copy

And this is another sure-fire way to grab the attention of the user, backed by captivating visuals. Killer headlines will definitely work – also, since the page will be aligned to specific Brand Persona, it is always advisable to have copy / content that is in sync with the Brand Persona.

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#8 – Shorter landing pages

We all try and achieve this; most of us fail. However, it is always a goal to have a landing page where there is no below-the-fold content. Results show that shorter landing pages perform better compared to the longer versions.

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#9 – Fitt’s Law and the CTA button

Before you freak out, Fitt’s Law is where the visual hierarchy of the landing page becomes very important. As per this law, related items should be placed together in a clutter format within the page. The more scattered related items, the more time and effort the user will have to take to find and interact with these items.

Thus, as a corollary to this law, a CTA button will have to be provided with the most important position in the visual hierarchy; else the conversion will take a considerable hit.

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#10 – Utilize the whitespace

Last, it is a common thought that too much space is being wasted if there is a visible whitespace on screen.  Please note, whitespace is the fundamental building block of good design. Here’s why:

  1. Whitespace increases content readability and legibility from a user’s POV.
  2. With increased content visibility, user has more interaction with the site / page / content.
  3. CTAs can be better highlighted with a strong whitespace in action.
  4. Whitespaces act as separators. After all, to us what is a fold may not stand true for a user.

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At Capital Numbers, we are always conversion-focussed. These references have been taken right from our daily experiences. Hope you have enjoyed them.

Do you have anything more to add to this list? Do let us know by commenting below.

A recent study by Jumio states that as many as 56% smartphone users in US leave mobile transaction mid-way dye to poor navigation, slow load time and complex check out system. This is causing a loss of around $24 billion in revenue each year for retailers of United States.

Apparel is has the largest market share when it comes to online retail in US. It has been noted that this sector alone loses at least 60% business with three out of five frequently abandoning the website while purchasing clothes, shoes or accessories. The rates vary by age and gender. While 68% women leave an apparel or clothing transaction mid way, only 51% men and 78% female millennials are found doing so. The study also shows that retailers who are using mobile checkout wisely have a chance to reap bigger returns.

A common trend had been observed with price of purchase – whether big or small it almost remains same. The abandon rate of online transaction is found neck and neck in case of smaller buys like movie tickets or online food or while buying a travel package.

23%, which in nearly a quarter, of online shoppers who have left a transaction half-way, have been noted as saying that their cart had items valued at $100 or more while they abandoned their shopping due to complex checkout process.

Another interesting fact the report provides is that 66% of those who left without completing the buying process, returned to take a second attempt to complete their transaction. This time they preferred to do it from a computer over mobile device.

Here are few reasons stated by the study that shows why most people leave shopping mid-way while using their mobile devices:

  • 45% said they were not sure of delivery process after purchase
  • 36% felt the delivery would take a longer time
  • 36% found the mobile site was too slow to load
  • 31% found it difficult to navigate through the site
  • 29% felt they were unnecessary charged for delivery
  • 28% found it way too difficult to type on a small screen
  • 27% got entirely confused while browsing through the site and were unable to find items they were looking for
  • 27% reported security concern around payment info
  • 26% felt uncomfortable with providing their personal details during checkout
  • 22% found the payment process to be too complicating

As mobile transactions continue to skyrocket, so do abandoned purchases, incomplete account openings, and lost revenue,” says Marc Barach, Chief Marketing Officer, Jumio. “Businesses have heeded the warning and are finally prioritizing mobile checkout experiences, underscored by the ten percent improvement in abandonment rates over the last two years,” said Barach. “But, experiences are still far from being as seamless as they need to be in order for retailers and financial services providers to stem the tide of lost opportunity and put nearly $25 billion back in their pockets.”

Abandonment rates by sector:

  • 60% – Retail/Apparel
  • 41% – Food (groceries or takeout)
  • 41% – Travel
    39% – Household items
  • 39% – Event tickets (concert, sporting event)
  • 39% – Entertainment purchases
  • 35% – Electronics
  • 27%– Online gaming (Opening an account)
  • 23% – Applying for financial services account (opening an account, money transfer)

What sets an Opensource platform like Magento apart from the rest are a user-friendly admin panel, availability of modules such as tax management, email newsletters, localization and multiple currency management systems. The interface is easy to use, which allows a ‘Not So Technical’ user handle basic as well as complex operations quite comfortably, without having to go through a manual every time they need to change something on the website.

These are vital for ecommerce businesses as one needs to keep as many options in hand as possible, which can be handled in a very simple manner. So if standard version of Magento gives us payment methods such as credit cards, PayPal, Authorize.net, Payflow Pro, check, and wire transfer, we also have free and paid Magento extensions available for enabling other payment systems.

Moreover, for small and medium ecommerce businesses, Magento assists in managing stores with different domain names with a common backend quite conveniently. Besides, ready made extensions are available for addressing issues such as complex checkout processes and there is also provision for disabling unnecessary features.

But the irony is no small and medium business owner can predict what their business will become after a period of time and also each business is in some way or the other different or wants to be different from its competitor. In such a scenario ideally there should be provision to override existing files and thereby creating custom modules instead of using the default modules. Magento does provide such an option and you can also redirect default Magento controllers to your own.

Based on Zend Framework, one of the key aspects of Magento is an extensive built-in functionality which one get after installing a Magento powered online store. Once the store is set up we get features like multi-language versions, multiple currencies, multiple sites on a single platform, discount and coupons, wish list and access restriction at our disposal and its absolutely up to us, when and where we should use or implement them. Also, availability of the following delivery methods like table rates, flat rate, free shipping, UPS, USPS, FedEx, DHL and additional free extensions such as “Local Pickup”, “Multiple Table Rate” meet the majority of online store requirements. For instance, using the multiple table rate the online store administrator can permit a customer to choose the preferred shipping mode and the area. The cost obviously depends on the selected options.

Question is though we know fully well that by utilizing Magento our ecommerce website will enjoy multiple benefits, are we actually using it in real life? Does our present Content Management System used for our ecommerce business provides us this choice?

Million became billion for e-commerce business in 2014. The year experienced some major changes in the e-commerce scenario. Globally there was a sharp growth in the business resulting into formation of some very successful brands. In India acquisition of largest fashion e-tailer were observed like Myntra, Flipkart, Jabong, Zovi etc. It can be easily predicted that e-commerce will remain one of the most sought after business for fashion, financial services, real estate, infrastructure and several other industries alike.

Lets check how the Ecommerce business if going to shape up in 2015:

Mcommerce to Grow at Rocketing Speed
With most retailers to offer mobile shopping platforms, 2015 will experience a boom in mobile e-commerce. In order to trap more customers, now e-tailors have already started developing mobile sites. This trend is predicted to show a sharp growth in 2015. More and more customer browse internet through a mobile device that is leading them to instant buying.

Our Prediction: Every 7 out of 10 customers will use a mobile device to shop

Magento-2 to have Bigger Market Share
After a long wait from 2011, Magento 2 has finally hit the market. It is expected that this Ecommerce platform will have a huge market share in 2015, followed closely by WooCommerce. The new version of Magento will change the landscape and offer a diverse shopping experience to users. Magento 2 will be using HTML 5, CSS 3, PHP 5.4 and 5.5 and Require.js and will help pages to load faster.

Our Prediction: There will be a huge switch from other Ecommerce platforms to Magento 2

An Application for Everything
Even until mid 2014 consumers were using their mobile devices to research on products they wanted to buy. The gradual shift of purchasing through the mobile itself has already started taking place towards the end of the year. The year 2015 will be the year of mobile applications. There will be apps making it all the more easy for you to shop through your mobile.

Our Prediction: There will be a resurgence of enhanced versions of already launched apps

More Benefits from Enhanced Ecommerce
There will be simplified version of Google Analytics ‘enhanced ecommerce’ helping Ecommerce business owners to properly take off. This new add-on by Google helps to compare add to bag rates within and across all categories of products, to see click-through rates available on products in search as well as category pages and manage returns and promotions.

Our Prediction: Enhanced Ecommerce will become more user friendly

Easy Tracking through Cross-device
Tracking through multiple devices will make a huge difference. The usage of cross-device tools to track how regular customers switch between devices and how many customers buy using all the three devices will bring up interesting results. Tracking other things like basket size, time of day and first purchase will help businesses to take strategic decisions to improve sales.

Our Prediction: Cross-device tracking will make a huge impact on Ecommerce business

A Year of Adaptation, Customization and Transformation
Customers these days have become extremely well informed. In order to match the demands of such hyper-empowered customers one needs to adapt to newer technologies and customize their Ecommerce platforms to offer a much superior experience to buyers. Ecommerce business is expected to give a whole new transformed experience to consumers.

Our Prediction: Transformation will be the most significant part of Ecommerce business

Improved Social Monitoring
To keep a track of what customers want and how they feel about your brand, social monitoring is important, which is predicted to grow at large in 2015. This will help retailers and brands to meet customer’s demans and gain market share faster. Brands are expected to respond quicker than before to their growing customers needs and respond with end-to-end logistics flexibility.

Our Prediction: Social Media to play an important role in Ecommerce business helping retails to monitor customers needs

More Same Day Delivery
Already few known brands such as Amazon and Flipkart have started same day delivery services to grab a bigger share of the market. For brands that delivers in 3 or more days, will become difficult to meet their customers demands. Consumers will not only look for accuracy at check-out but receive their products on the same day. This is probably the biggest strategic advantage that any brick and mortar store has over online stores.

Our Prediction: Improved and faster delivery

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