Insights
Posted by on 11 Apr 2014
demandware
I spent three action-packed days at the Demandware XChange Conference in Miami Beach earlier this week, an event that brings together Demandware, its world-class clients, eager new prospects and a great group of LINK technology and solutions partners. Demandware put on a tremendous show that included great entertainment mixed with thought-provoking keynotes from the likes of Malcolm Gladwell and Harley Manning from Forrrester, insightful breakout sessions and interactive roundtables. I left the sunny beaches of Miami with four key takeaways I’d like to share: Customer Experience Matters | View post
Posted by on 10 Apr 2014
customer loyalty
Consumers are constantly bombarded with messaging from online retailers and are presented with an increasing number of outlets to buy from. However, online retailers should be seeking to instill a stronger sense of customer loyalty. According to a report by Adobe , returning purchasers and repeat purchasers account for 41% of all eCommerce revenue. However, these purchasers only account for 8% of all traffic to eCommerce websites. This is a staggering discrepancy, especially when you consider that 80% of online retailers’ marketing budgets are spent attracting new shoppers to their website – | View post
Posted by on 28 Mar 2014
Flash Sale sites
Private Event Retail, or flash sale sites can be great tools for online retailers to reduce the cost of customer acquisition while fostering customer loyalty and increasing the likelihood of repeat purchases. In fact, retailers that leverage these types of sites see the cost of customer acquisition drop by 44% while repeat purchases jump 35% when compared to traditional eCommerce sites. There is a ton of opportunity out there with flash sale sites and Private Event Retail, however a key component to seeing this type of success is having a detail-oriented marketing strategy. Here are just a | View post
Posted by on 24 Mar 2014
ecommerce report
In a recent Forrester research report, 52% of eBusiness leaders cited an eCommerce Platform as their top investment priority for the coming year. This means many businesses are undertaking the process of defining requirements, selecting technology and putting implementation plans together. Recently , we wrote about how growing mobile and omnichannel demands are making this process even more complex. Adding to the confusion is the dizzying array of technology options available to eBusiness leaders. There are traditional on-premise options, SaaS models, managed/hosted solutions, on-demand, and | View post
Posted by on 21 Mar 2014
mobile commerce
I meet with our clients and prospects frequently to discuss mobile trends and possibilities and I really enjoy these conversations. Talking about the new and exciting things going on in the mobile world is a lot of fun, mostly because we’re talking at the 50,000 foot level and are safe from the chafe-causing regions where the rubber meets the road. By the time the conversations get down to ground-level and actual functionality, design, and implementation strategy are being discussed, there are usually a lot of “navigators” and one very lonely and scared “pilot” racing along a few feet from | View post
Posted by on 20 Mar 2014
omnichannel commerce
According to a recent joint study from hybris software , Accenture and Forrester, 94 percent of retail decision-makers surveyed admitted that their companies are facing significant barriers to omni-channel commerce. This is holding many retailers back from keeping up with shifting customer expectations that demand a blending of the online and offline shopping experience. “Customer Desires Vs. Retailer Capabilities: Minding the Omni-Channel Commerce Gap,” Takes a deeper look into exactly what these expectations are and where retailer shortfalls are creating a gap. The study is drawn from | View post
Posted by on 13 Mar 2014
responsive ecommerce design
According to a new study by Goldman Sachs , 535 million consumers will make a purchase via mobile this year. Moreover, mobile spending will jump from $204 billion this year to $626 billion in 2018. These purchases are not limited to a single device, however. Mobile sales on tablets are expected to increase from $134 billion annually in 2014 to $453 billion annually in 2018, while smartphone sales will grow from $70 billion to $173 billion over the same period. This should serve as a clear indicator that online retailers must have a mobile presence that is conducive to the manner in which | View post
Posted by on 12 Mar 2014
b2b ecommerce
Meet Bill. Bill is a 41-year-old father of three. He and his wife both work full time, so they tend to do most of their shopping online. It’s more convenient than battling the weekend mall madness, and they’ve found that with a little research they can also save some good money. During the week, Bill works for the city as the Director of Procurement for one of the largest school districts in the United States. His job is to provide expert advice on all purchasing decisions and to negotiate large purchases. But in reality, his job is to find ways to stretch an already razor-thin budget. Bill’s | View post
Posted by on 07 Mar 2014
flash sale sites
When visualizing online membership-driven sales, many people have the perception that this type of retail revolves around receiving one quasi-relevant offer – or daily deal – via email each morning. The daily couponing phenomena peaked during the 2008 recession and seemed to be a shining star of what the Internet could offer to downtrodden consumers. However, by 2011 consumer confidence began to regrow and suddenly retailers were no longer desperate for a mass liquidation strategy. On the consumer side, inboxes were being inundated with one-off emails from a litany of copycat start-up deal | View post
Posted by on 04 Mar 2014
global ecommerce
2014 marks a crucial shift in the global eCommerce landscape that U.S. online retailers need to tracking. For the first time, North America will no longer lead the world in B2C eCommerce sales. According to eMarketer, the Asia-Pacific region will surpass North America’s share by an estimated $42.6 billion in 2014, and the gap will widen to $142.9 billion in 2015. Other factors, such as increasing access to technology and emerging middle classes in nations like China, certainly have fueled this type of growth. However, this doesn’t mean US retailers will be left out in the cold. In fact, | View post
Posted by on 19 Feb 2014
best ecommerce platform
Choosing a new eCommerce platform has become a lot more complicated these days. As Chris Langway discussed in a previous post , the rise of Omnichannel has drastically altered the way we conceive and build an eCommerce experience. Underestimating the impact of Omnichannel is one error that many business leaders are making when undertaking an eCommerce re-platforming, but there are a number of other mistakes that can slow, stall or completely nullify the intended effect of implementing a new eCommerce platform. 1. Skimping on up-front planning Let’s start with the basics. A re-platforming | View post
Posted by on 18 Feb 2014
retail store closings
A few months ago I did some research on how retail was faring given current eCommerce pressures. What it revealed was not that astonishing to those of us that live in the eCommerce world, but the rate of change in the brick-and-mortar world was a bit surprising. It appeared that retail outlets had begun planning to close locations at an alarming rate across many retails sectors including clothing, entertainment, grocery, large retail and others. The picture became a little clearer when I consolidated the data on retail closings into the graph below: What was interesting is that retail | View post
Posted by on 12 Feb 2014
Given the recent credit card mega-breach at Target, it's no surprise that the Feds will soon be jumping in to add a new layer to the already existing compliance guidelines and regulations. I'm sure this seems like a reasonable response for many, given the publicity around this breach and the potential for widespread fraud that could result. But as usual, I am concerned that Congress will be placing an undue burden on credit card processing companies instead of taking a balanced look at the industry as a whole. Thankfully, Congress is considering ways to make credit and debit cards more secure | View post
Posted by on 10 Feb 2014
As Sr. Director of Customer Experience & Design at Optaros, it’s my job to lead the strategy, design, and delivery of user experience and visual design projects for our impressive client-base. This week, I’ll be conducting complimentary design and user experience consultations for 24 companies at the IRCE Focus: Web Design + Mobile conference in Orlando. While each site will receive a comprehensive review, here are just a few of the things I plan to focus on: Site navigation and structure: The fist thing I will do is ensure the homepage messaging is clear, that consumers can easily | View post
Posted by on 05 Feb 2014
omnichannel ecommerce
Omnichannel is reshaping the future of retail, and the pace of change is accelerating every day. According to a recent eBay study, 77% of shoppers now expect a consistent, integrated experience between in-store and online channels. In fact, Forrester says that 71% of shoppers expect to view store inventory online, with more than 50% expecting to buy online and pick up in store. At the same time, pressure from the C-suite is mounting. With digital commerce now representing more than 100% of the growth for some companies, CEOs are calling for omnichannel integration and innovation to drive | View post
Posted by on 03 Feb 2014
Flash Sale sites
Event-based sale sites (flash sales, daily deals, and loyalty programs) have grown by 50% over the past five years, and are projected to generate over $6B in revenue by 2015. But as the Great Recession continues to fade in our rear-view mirror, and as the economy continues to improve, tales of massive amounts of excess inventory are becoming fewer and farther between. As a result, brand manufactures are finding third-party flash sites less and less attractive, and pulling their merchandise in an effort to re-capture brand control. This is not to say that brand manufacturers are no longer | View post
Posted by on 31 Jan 2014
omnichannel commerce
At MITX ’s eCommerce Summit yesterday, some of the brightest minds in the Boston area gathered to discuss the key issues that online retailers are facing as consumer expectations grow. Speakers at the event included experts from Google, Karmaloop, Rue La La, and many other innovative companies. Customer experience and omnichannel commerce dominated most conversations, but a few points stood out as particularly interesting: 1. 62% of online retailers say the primary driver behind investing in omni-channel initiatives is simple. Their customers are already expecting it. This statistic was drawn | View post
Posted by on 29 Jan 2014
abandoned shopping cart, mobile commerce
According to Jumio’s 2013 mobile commerce analysis , payment friction, coupled with poor user experience, cost retailers close to $16 Billion dollars in mobile cart abandonment this past holiday season. And while we all know that many smartphone and tablet owners use their devices for research and comparative shopping, the mobile cart abandonment rate is still estimated to be as high as 97%. Surely this is not all due to showrooming. And $16 Billion left on the table? That's just unacceptable. Let's put $16 Billion dollars into perspective: 1. The entire country of India spent $16 Billion | View post
Posted by on 22 Jan 2014
hybris global partner summit
We’re very proud to announce that Optaros has been nominated for two hybris Partner Awards in 2014. With several upcoming high profile hybris launches scheduled for 2014, Optaros was nominated for both “Best Newcomer of the Year” and “Partner of the Year, Americas.” The winners of these awards will be announced at hybris’ Global Partner Summit in Munich, Germany this week. We teamed up with hybris, one of the world’s hottest eCommerce platform providers, in late 2012 and are thrilled to be expanding our partnership over the course of the coming year. While hybris has experienced explosive | View post
Posted by on 21 Jan 2014
global ecommerce
This week, I’ve been spending time mulling over some thoughts after attending the National Retail Federation’s Big Show in New York City. In this case, “Big” is an understatement. This show was huge. Like 200,000 square feet of the Javits Center, 30,000 attendees, 500 exhibitors huge. There were former United States Presidents speaking, CEOs throwing Frisbees and international visitors abound. Numbers and names aside, there was something even more inexplicably massive at the Big Show; enthusiasm. This year, attendees seemed to embrace a more “Can-do” attitude and were genuinely focused on the | View post
Posted by on 16 Jan 2014
ecommerce trends
2013 was tremendous year for eCommerce and all signs indicate that next year will be no different. While it’s hard to imagine what the digital commerce landscape will look like 11 months from now, here are seven eCommerce trends that we at Optaros believe will help shape the eCommerce landscape in 2014. 1. It's boom time for B2B eCommerce Leaders of B2B and B2B2C companies will place digital commerce at the center of their strategic plans in 2014. We'll continue to see a movement toward a more B2C-like experience in terms of navigation, path to purchase, richer content, recommendations, | View post
Posted by on 14 Jan 2014
As I mentioned in my previous blog, the 2013 holiday shopping season saw its share of winners and losers. And as retailers begin the planning process for the 2014 holiday season, not only must they proactively up their game in order to remain competitive, but many will also have to make some major technical and strategic adjustments in order to avoid duplicating any mistakes made in 2013.View post
Posted by on 10 Jan 2014
Mobile Commerce, holiday 2013 retail
Holiday 2013 is officially in the books. And as retailers move into clearance mode before Spring arrivals kick into gear, most are already reviewing results and putting plans in place to improve in 2014. As usual, there were some winners (highlighted by marked growth in mobile commerce) and some losers. But for many, it was simply a mixed bag. Despite six fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and some nationwide weather challenges, overall retail sales between November 1 and December 24 were up +2.3% [i] . While this number fell short of NRF's expectations for a +3.9% YoY | View post
Posted by on 03 Dec 2013
eCommerce Put your money where your mouth is
There are plenty of compelling reasons why brands should be turning to digital commerce. And a heck of a lot of them already are. They're breaking down traditional silos, hiring proven leadership and teams, integrating digital into the core of what they do, and making the right investments and tradeoffs to set themselves up for growth. However, there are still a significant number of brands that are simply “talking the talk.”View post
Posted by on 08 Nov 2013
The Digital Commerce Revolution
I spent 2 days in Chicago this week at Forrester’s Forum for eBusiness and Channel Strategy Professionals , where Optaros was a gold sponsor. The theme was “Lead the Digital Business Revolution”, with an overall focus on how today’s businesses need to transform themselves in order to compete in this completely disrupted marketplace. I’ve attended many conferences just like this over the years. But what stood out most for me at this Forrester event was the level of urgency displayed by speakers and attendees alike. It was palpable. After two days, thirty-four presentations, and countless | View post

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