Posts Tagged “e-commerce”

5 good reasons why eCommerce is better in the cloud

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5 good reasons why eCommerce is better in the cloud

More and more retailers are finding that the cloud is the best place to host their ecommerce solution. Whether you need to scale up or down at speed to cope with sudden fluctuations in traffic (and who doesn’t?), need to stay on top of digital security (as we all do) or crave the versatility of a solution that’s always available everywhere (however your customers want to access it), then ecommerce in the cloud is for you. Here are five reasons why ecommerce is better in the cloud.

In the not too distant past, many organisations felt the need to develop their own ecommerce solutions to try to give themselves a competitive edge. But it’s expensive, resource-heavy, and not particularly effective, so many more are now looking towards proven solutions that can be adapted for specific needs. Those proven solutions that have been developed to maximise the advantages of running ecommerce in the cloud create compelling business reasons for adoption. Here are five reasons why:

Flexible scale

Sales solutions are never static. There are peaks and troughs regarding seasons and special events, perhaps even for a specific product. A strong ecommerce proposition needs to be able to handle those peaks in demand, whether they’re expected or not, by sharing the load through a series of servers. The resources of a cloud solution can flex to accommodate spikes in demand, as well as steady growth as and when necessary. Updates aren’t a problem either, as public cloud solutions will use the latest software innovations as and when they become available, so your solution always has the latest software and insights.

Security and recovery

Cyberthreats and digital extortion are on the increase, and it’s every organisation’s responsibility to make sure they’re as well protected as they can be. Cloud solutions, having a responsibility to a variety of clients, typically ensure they have the latest and most effective security systems to prevent attack. And should the worst happen, either through malign intervention or act of nature, they’ll have secure back-up systems in place to ensure business continuity in the event of a disaster.

Versatility

With your ecommerce engine in the cloud, customers can easily access your site and all its functionality from virtually anywhere in the country, or the world if necessary, and on any device or web browser. Employees can do the same for upkeep, allowing the option of more flexible working. Cloud providers make it their business to ensure their services are available to all and keep up to date with new developments. This can be extremely costly for an organisation, but economies of scale make it essential for providers. A/B testing is also much easier with the versatility of the cloud, so you can optimise and bring new initiatives to market more quickly and effectively.

Manageability

Maintaining a complex ecommerce system at its peak can also be a drain on internal resources. But with a cloud solution, all essential aspects will be located centrally, without the siloing that can often result from the development and introduction of a bespoke internal system. So updates, BAU maintenance and campaigns can all be handled more efficiency. You’ll also benefit from better back-end support – core business functions such as customer service, inventory and order management, search engine optimisation tools and even tax-integrated accounting services can all be incorporated into a single cloud-based solution. Despite your solution being hosted, you’ll still have full control, allowing you to make whatever changes you feel are necessary, whenever you need them.

Predictable costs

Since a cloud solution will typically be a pay-as-you-go subscription model, you’ll easily be able to plan your spend well ahead of time – and predict your investment requirements accordingly. Your initial costs are likely to be much lower because you simply implement the software to your requirements, and scaling up or augmenting your investment will be on a clearly defined payment scale. So you get the kind of solution you want, at the kind of scale you want, for a predetermined price – with no surprises.

Runibex is an MSP specialising in e-commerce with it’s own NGI Commerce Suite allowing you to increase your customers’ shopping experience and delivering unlimited technology, functionality, and flexibility.

Runibex’s NGI Commerce Suite has a modular structure, a fully integrated and PaaS based architecture enabling you to focus on your business perfectly.
While your business is growing, our NGI Commerce Suite provides you with the means to increase your revenue with omni-channel functionality. It prevents you from redundant investments with platform scalability.

Runibex is an MSP specialising in e-commerce, cloud services and SAP consulting. Find out more about how we could help your business.

The 7 deadly sins of ecommerce – and what you can do about them

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The 7 deadly sins of ecommerce – and what you can do about them

Virtually all retailers are now aware that an online buying experience is not only essential for growth, but also for survival. But time and again, too many suffer from the same basic pitfalls that stop their site from achieving its full potential. There are many elements to consider, but they often come down to the same basic elements, elements which retailers either ignore, or don’t get quite right. Take a look at the 7 deadly sins of ecommerce – how many are you guilty of?

The penny has long since dropped – every retailer should have an online presence and sell via ecommerce. As footfall in high street stores drops across the country, customers are increasingly moving online, and finding plenty of options to excite them. But retailers rush online, there are a range of very common pitfalls that many fall into. All can be safely bypassed with the help of a good ecommerce partner, who can establish and manage your e-commerce platform – whether on premises or on cloud. Here are seven of the most common:

Sub-par design

Online design is about much more than pictures and colours (though that’s important). It’s about the user experience, the journeys that you expect customers to make when they visit your site. These should be clear and easy to follow – which sounds simple, but actually takes a lot of planning and expertise to make happen. Customers make split-second decisions when they’re online, and an ambiguous link can make all the difference between a sale and a drop-off.
Content also needs to be reviewed regularly to make sure it’s up-to-date and being displayed at its best, in a way that customers expect to see, with working links and that descriptions and reviews are well-presented and easy to find. Your ecommerce partner will help you with this, and with the optimal infrastructure solution to ensure your content is speedily and easily delivered to your site. Using a CDN is one example of this.

Poor shopping basket experience

Your checkout procedure must be as quick and simple as possible. Industry research [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abandonment_rate] shows that the typical shopping cart abandonment rate for online retailers varies between 60 per cent and 80 per cent, with an average of 67.91 per cent. Your platform has to make it very smooth and fast. The checkout process should be straightforward, simple, minimal and very easy to understand. If it takes more than five steps to buy an item, you’ll be losing customers.

Not taking SEO seriously

Yes, it’s important for customers to find your site. But it’s also important for the right customers to find the right product at the right time. You’ll stand much more chance of converting a visitor into a customer if your search engine optimisation strategy is carefully targeted to match the search terms that best apply to your products with the people who are using those search terms, rather than just going for high traffic numbers. Of course your onsite optimisation needs to appeal to search engines as well as customers.

Insufficient website maintenance

The internet moves fast, and it’s important to maintain a quality review schedule for your site to ensure that all product details remain up to date, that links are relevant and intact, that new innovations and improvements are being incorporated regularly. It’s a time and resource-intensive process, so if you can engage a third party to do it properly, such as your ecommerce partner, then so much the better.

Ignoring upselling and cross-selling

Upselling to customers on Ecommerce websites is 20 times more effective than cross-selling. A scrolling lookbook can help you offer products as bundles and catalogues which you want to highlight. Retargeting, digital marketing and personalization are very important methods that you should not omit. And don’t forget links to partner sites you might choose to affiliate with, so you can earn commission on services or products that they offer, but you don’t.

Susceptible to fraud

Online security is a key bugbear for ecommerce sites, with armies of hackers literally working around the clock to try to exploit any potential loopholes. Every so often, they succeed, and there have been some very high-profile scalps over the years, including British Airways and Dixons Carphone. So it’s important to be ever vigilant and use the latest security software, techniques and best practices to guard against the threat. A good ecommerce partner will have this as standard, constantly updating and maintaining your system to make sure it’s always the best it can be.

Website’s too slow

Websites that take too long to load because of excessive content or third-party applications are a big turn-off for customers – and the fact is that they don’t have to put up with it any more, they’ll just go to the site that offers the smoothest, most straightforward experience to help them find what they’re looking for. Partnering with a good ecommerce partner will ensure that your site is optimised for all browsers and all devices, providing a smooth, sleek, browsing and buying experience for your customers, every time. Consider that the most efficient, cost effective and scalable option for this can be to go with Cloud. The Cloud can empower your website with ways you never deemed possible.

Runibex

Runibex is an MSP specialising in e-commerce with it’s own NGI Commerce Suite allowing you to increase your customers’ shopping experience and delivering unlimited technology, functionality, and flexibility.

Runibex’s NGI Commerce Suite has a modular structure, a fully integrated and PaaS based architecture enabling you to focus on your business perfectly.
While your business is growing, our NGI Commerce Suite provides you with the means to increase your revenue with omni-channel functionality. It prevents you from redundant investments with platform scalability. Runibex manages many e-commerce projects with various e-commerce platforms like Hybris, in house solutions, as well as its own solution – NGI commerce suite.

Runibex is an MSP specialising in e-commerce, cloud services and SAP consulting. Find out more about how our insight and expertise could help your business.

10 best practices for ecommerce

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10 best practices for ecommerce

Best Practices for eCommerce

You probably already have eCommerce as a key part of your retail strategy. Or if not, you’re considering it – aren’t you? But whether you’ve been doing it for years or you’ve yet to start, there’s a series of best practices for eCommerce that will help you make the most of your online retail offering – some of them you may know, but a few may surprise you. Here’s our list of ten best practices for eCommerce.

Why eCommerce?

The high street has taken a battering in recent years, and it’s largely because of e-commerce. As people become more accustomed to buying online, the convenience, savings and choice mean that the internet is very often the first (and only) place they look when they need something. Research by eMarketer predicts that online will account for ten per cent of all retail sales for the first time in 2018. So if you’re not taking full advantage yet, it’s time to get involved. And if you’re already selling online, it’s worth reconsidering some of the basics to ensure you’re making the most of it.

1. Be distinctive

With so much competition online, you (and your products) need to stand out. It’s often worth using your own pictures rather than manufacturers’ product shots to establish an aesthetic that customers can recognise and identify with. Videos have been a proven sales enhancer for just about anything since shoe store Zappos introduced them in 2009 and found between a six and 30 per cent jump in sales. Strong, distinctive product descriptions with enthusiastic, informative copy that feels like it’s been written by a person rather than a machine is also essential. It’s worked out okay for Amazon…

2. Good navigation

It can be easy to get lost on an unclear website, and that inevitably leads to drop-offs. Breadcrumbs (those little lists of sections you can click on to find your way back to a sub section or home page) and extended navigation bars, perhaps with dropdowns of sub categories, can do wonders for helping your customers find their way around. Clear calls to action and back buttons also help spell out to customers where they’re going next.

3. Make it easy for your customers

Customers are on your site to browse and buy, and if they find it confusing or difficult, they have plenty of chances to go elsewhere. Product filters are a great way of homing in on what you’re looking for, and a short viewing history can be a handy reminder of where you’ve been. Related product suggestions are also a great way to inspire. A shopping cart where you can list items you’re considering without committing to buy is also useful.

4. Customer reviews

It’s all very well telling your customers how great your products are, but it’s more convincing if you can show them with positive customer reviews. Featuring reviews shows confidence in your products, customers respect peer reviews more than a sales pitch and even negative reviews can be useful, giving you direct feedback on why a product isn’t as good as it should be.

5. Mobile friendly eCommerce

Mobile is now an inescapable part of ecommerce. A study from the Nielsen Norman Group showed that 60% of online shoppers use their mobile devices to research a product before they buy. So you should always consider how your site will look on mobile, and how easy it is to use. All your designs should be ‘responsive’ too, so they’ll automatically adapt to whatever device they’re being viewed on, whether it’s desktop, tablet or phone.

6. Easy payments

Once your customers have made their choice, they just want to pay and get it. So keep your checkout process as simple as you can – despite the temptation to capture more information about your customers – and make sure you have clear signposting throughout. Don’t forget alternative payment options like PayPal and a guest checkout option where customers don’t have to sign up is also a great way to avoid drop-off – and if they like what you’re selling, they’ll be back.

7. A variety of campaigns

As well as standard sales and awareness campaigns, it’s worth keeping a close eye on ‘always-on’ campaigns such as pay per click and SEO to make sure your content is being found by search engines. You should consider an omni-channel approach too, bringing in social media, to make sure you get the widest reach and there are specialist campaign management tools to help you run several at once with ease. And don’t forget loyalty programs, with regular incentives to join throughout the customer journey – they can increase customer lifetime value, decrease acquisition costs, and build a significant growth asset in the form of recurring revenue.

8. Test, test, test

Trends and customer behaviour move fast on the internet, and it’s important to keep up. Try new ideas and improvements regularly, use A/B testing to see how effective they are, and keep the ones that work. Then do it again, and again…

9. Clear and transparent delivery details

It may seem obvious to you, but it probably isn’t to your customers. Make it very clear when and how they can expect their delivery, and if possible give them options to track it or contact you to check progress. This is reassuring and helps to offset that crucial last-minute drop-off.

10. Security and compliance for eCommerce

If people are giving their money in a faceless transaction, they want to feel that it will be safe. Make sure you have all the relevant security processes in place, as well as compliance obligations like GDPR – and make sure your customers know about it, with clear reminders and assurances.

Runibex’s NGI eCommerce Suite

Runibex is an MSP specialising in e-commerce with it’s own NGI Commerce Suite allowing you to increase your customers’ shopping experience and delivering unlimited technology, functionality, and flexibility.

Runibex’s NGI eCommerce Suite has a modular structure, a fully integrated and PaaS based architecture enabling you to focus on your business perfectly.

While your business is growing, our NGI eCommerce Suite provides you with the means to increase your revenue with omni-channel functionality. It prevents you from redundant investments with platform scalability.

Runibex is an MSP specialising in e-commerce, cloud services and SAP consulting. Runibex excels at managing e-commerce loads on cloud, because we know what it takes to develop and run an e-commerce application and we have already implemented such with other platforms.

Find out more about how we could help your business establish or improve your eCommerce system

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