February has been an interesting month. Our team here at Accorin has come across some intriguing developments in the world of e-commerce and online marketing. And we are looking forward to sharing them with you as part of our ongoing Accorin E-Commerce Newsletter.
So, what are the latest developments in e-commerce this month? What are the latest trends that you need to be looking at to stay ahead of the curve? Let’s take a look at some of the best articles published online this month. Of course, there is so much content produced on the topic of e-commerce everyday that we have sifted through it to bring you the very best of the best. Here, we share only the most relevant, current and important advancements in e-commerce and online marketing with regards to strategy, marketing, trends, technology, design and some inspiring online marketers who we can all learn from.
Trends & Strategy
The beauty market is growing like crazy and Sephora is without a doubt leading the pack. This presentation from Bridget Dolan, Vice President, of Sephora Innovation Lab gives some tremendous insights into how they monitor trends and how they are using digital to get in front of the trends.
Bridget offers some interesting observations showing how the more traditional surveys and focus groups can be augmented by structured monitoring of trends and different types of posts in social media.
Watch the video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/2fVEFbJwY14
Our team has found a great case study all about guided questionnaires and how they can help you grow your sales and create more leads. This might not be strictly 100% e-commerce (or how we traditionally think about e-commerce in terms of catalog driven sales), however, the lessons to be learned from this case study are extremely applicable to e-commerce sites. We are big fans of this approach and find it to be especially valuable when helping customers sort through complex product offerings.
Read more here.
Here at Accorin, we understand the importance of keeping up to date with the latest design trends and we know how design can influence website metrics. With this in mind, we are always keeping an eye out for interesting stats on how design changes can have a quantifiable impact on site metrics. This wonderful article from Practical Ecommerce discusses how tweaks to a site slogan had a 2x impact on a category of custom sales orders.
When it comes to e-commerce design best practices, we recommend highlighting exactly what you do and what you sell front-and center on your homepage (and interior pages as well since not everybody comes through the homepage). You can use text or graphics or perhaps a combination of both to deliver the message effectively to both your customers and potential customers.
Read more here.
February’s e-commerce inspiration comes from Mrs. Meyers (www.mrsmeyers.com) who sell a range of cleaning products through their website. They have gone for a clean, attractive and inviting website design which we love. The product content is well laid out, easy to read and draws the reader in. We are really excited about the clean and elegant design they have incorporated using a very strong color palette while reinforcing the brand throughout.
Overall, we feel the design compliments the shopping experience but does not overwhelm it. Check out their website for some design inspiration this month and while you’re there sign-up for their email newsletter – they run some excellent promotions and provide some fantastic content.
Piggy-backing off of Mrs. Meyers as an inspiration, the technology aspects, features and functionality on this website are equally impressive. Making the complex look simple is always a tremendous challenge but Mrs. Meyers has done an excellent job of doing just that.
With a little digging using BuiltWith and Ghostery, you can see some of the integrations and complexities that have gone into the website. Built on Magento, they use OrderGroove for subscription ordering and conduct all user feedback and reviews through PowerReviews.
Subtlety on the front-end is also impressive. This website is fully responsive which is so important nowadays with people shopping from multiple devices. Check out how the colors change on the Product Detail Page as you choose different fragrance categories! Making that type of functionality work typically requires a good amount of CSS and category level parameters in Magento and they’ve pulled it off very well. While, we all agree that Magento is a fantastic e-commerce platform and provides a lot of great functionality to build upon, there is always a point where the technology must be enhanced to support the design and brand requirements. The Mrs. Meyers site shows how this can be well executed.
The Bottom Line
That’s it for our February roundup. Our team will continue to keep an eye on the emerging trends, strategies and technologies through March and will be searching for those websites that inspire. Stay tuned.