As we move into summer, we see no slowdown in the world of e-commerce and digital marketing. Checkout some of the interesting articles, inspiration and stats that we came across in May.
So many articles this month confirm what we already know – e-commerce adoption in the B2B world continues to rise. We have seen this in our own business, with a continued increase in demand for B2B e-commerce platforms.
B2B operations tend to be more complex than B2C businesses, so it shouldn’t surprise us that their online requirements mirror this. Often more extensive than B2C, B2B projects require multiple pricing tiers and customer dependant product access, for example. Additionally, integration into other systems and effective data flow through the business is a critical part of any B2B project.
Looking for a comparison of B2B and B2C e-commerce? Checkout this article “B2B E-commerce is different.”
According to a recent Marketo study, email is the most effective digital marketing tactic………..but let’s do a reality check.
At Accorin, we don’t believe that you can lump all of these marketing tactics in together. It is a bit like comparing apples to oranges. There is no doubt that email is effective, however we tend to see it as a tool for e-commerce conversion marketing (e.g. following up on abandoned carts) or customer retention marketing (e.g. personalized email programs). Email is undeniably great for getting existing customers/subscribers to increase their buying frequency; IF someone is willing to let you communicate regularly with them. But it is not an effective tactic for acquiring new customers – an unsolicited email is SPAM and is a non-starter for modern buyers.
All the other tactics in the chart are focused on acquiring traffic, so no doubt they all have their use, but further clarity is required over which are best for conversion/retention and which for new customer acquisition.
If you want to see the details behind the chart, you can download the Marketo whitepaper.
Our team is endlessly curious and is constantly looking for inspiration and great examples of e-commerce design. Often the inspiration comes from sites that our team has designed and developed. The launch of the Mattress 1 website is a perfect example. With 300+ stores, Mattress 1 is expanding online and offline.
The new Mattress 1 E-commerce site was built on Magento and designed to includes many best-practice design features which are becoming the navigational standards visitors expect. For example, the header logo provides a link back to the homepage from each page. The quick-search box is prominent and allows the user to enter keywords quickly – this is also in a standardised style which matches the ‘account’ and ‘items’ icons. All of the images are rich and vibrant with enough information to make a purchasing decision. In addition, Omni-channel selling is fully supported (e.g. store finders, newspaper circulars for reference, local delivery options, easy access to speak to a person etc.)
In a world of “me-too” e-commerce sites, the Mattress 1 site clearly highlights the company’s promises to their customers – icons such as ‘Lowest Price Guarantee’ and ‘180 Day Comfort Guarantee’ show the company living their values online. Finally, the site is optimized for mobile, to support customers accessing from different devices (and even doing showrooming in higher cost competitor stores).
The design is clean and modern, and provides a lot of information, without being cluttered. All images and logos are clear and rich and they provide multiple paths for visitors to go down to finding the right mattress.
Product Listing Page
Each product page allows you to easily filter products by category and gives you the option to compare your top choices. The listing page includes faceted filtering with all the important categories needed for visitors to find the perfect mattress. Also, notice how the top navigation bar compresses to show more products. This design element draws on the design principles of top performing landing pages. Once visitors have navigated into the site, reduce distractions and show as much merchandise information as possible.
Product Detail Page
The product detail pages have rich information and images of the products Mattress 1 carries. Since mattresses are bulky purchases, delivery costs are important. The ability to confirm Free delivery is a core part of the site design and functionality – one more way that the site design supports making mattress buying stress free.
Integration has become a huge focus in the world of e-commerce technology. There are many good platforms for e-commerce integration but these are often very specialized. About 3 years ago Accorin invested in building an integration extension for Magento. Our mission statement was “to build an extension that makes it easy to connect Magento to external systems so that order, product, inventory, customer and shipment data can move back and forth. It should have reusable components to speed time to launch and reduce integration costs”.
Since deploying the integration extension, we have integrated Magento with SAP, Ecometry, Epicor, Workday, MAS90, PowerReviews and Google Product Feeds – and we have many more to come!
Having a single integration extension for Magento is tremendously helpful. It allows a standardized way for planning, mapping, testing, deploying and monitoring e-commerce integration points.
For any company that is serious about e-commerce, keeping costs low is critical. To do this you need to have integration with back-end systems. The integration extension helps you do just that. If you want to integrate your backend systems to your Magento storefront, take a look at our integration extension for Magento.
THE BOTTOM LINE
That’s all for May! As always, we will be keeping our ear to the ground for latest trends in the world of e-commerce and digital marketing. Check back for more insights next month.