2015 E-Commerce Trends: What to Expect

September 2nd, 2014 No comments

Editor’s note: The new academic year has just started and this is a signal for e-Commerce merchants to intensify their preparations for the upcoming holiday season and looming ahead 2015 business year. What should we expect from this year and what are the main tendencies to be ready for? We are providing the assessment of the current situation in the e-Commerce market by Natalia Kliashtoforska, a marketing manager at Cart2Cart.

Each year yields something new and useful in all spheres of our life. The e-Commerce market keenly feels those novelties and modern tendencies as it is directly connected to technologies, which go forward non-stop. Do you remember the previous year trends like localization, personalization, social media integration?

It has not been easy to cope with all the changes, but those merchants who are succeeding now, have surely been working hard to keep pace with the times and satisfy their customers’ needs. However, what are the major expected e-Commerce trends of 2015 and the ways they can affect online business?

E-Commerce Trends

E-Commerce Trends

Mobile Age
It is expected that mobile online sales will grow up to 25% of the total number making this tendency hard to be ignored. However, the figures are not the reason to argue, but the hand of help, which shows you the right direction. Therefore, as a number of smartphones and tablets is growing increasingly merchants need to focus on apps creation and implementation to make their stores responsive and convenient for mobile users.

Mobile shopping retail sales

First of all, you have to take care about positive experience via computer, as well as portable devices. So, if your business strategy is not optimized for the mobile age, then you’d better pull up the rear, for sure.

Social Commerce
Have you ever asked yourself the question – what your target audience is and where you can reach it? Nowadays the variety of social networks gives you a possibility to contact your potential customers in a straightforward way all over the world. Moreover, you may perform multiple researches for better understanding of their needs and requirements.

US social commerce sales

Facebook, Google+, Twitter and other popular resources have become the points, where vendors get a chance to encourage customers. Different notifications about discounts, special offers, and bestsellers can influence their decision to make purchases. So, create events, offer giveaways, run promos, post product videos, and get in touch with your fans easily.

And finally, it is not a secret that a large part of purchases are influenced by recommendations, comments, and information, which are placed in social media. Thus, as social networks become an integral part of marketing strategy, keep an eye out for this trend, which can affect your business significantly.

Big Data and Analytics
Catching customers’ attention is a very promising task, which can bring multiple benefits to thousands of online merchants. The year of 2014 presented an effective tool for it – big data and analytics. How does it work and what are the secrets of reaching success using these opportunities?05

Develop the strategy, which is going to be beneficial for users, grab the possibility to get needed information, and collect the necessary data, which can be useful for your e-Commerce goals. Eventually, big data and analytics may become a business lifeline and way for understanding of the customers’ behavior and creating a successful business model.

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    aheadWorks Discounts and Special Offers – Save and Purchase More

    August 29th, 2014 No comments

    We all know that most online merchants provide numerous promotional incentives to their customers: discounts, coupons, special offers, etc.

    But sometimes customers just have no time to aggregate the entire list of available opportunities for savings.

    Price is not an Obstacle

    We do not want our customers be among those fellows and provide you the list of available discounts, coupons, aheadWorks Reward Policy terms, and other benefits for your convenience. Just bookmark this post and wisely plan your purchases from aheadWorks since that time.

    aheadWorks Discounts

    Our company offers several regular discounts to our customers, which are delivered to all customer groups on an ongoing basis.

    5% discount for two and more items in a cart
    This discount is applied to the subtotal amount of the cart, which contains two or more products.

    Discounts Facebook followers coupon code
    All Facebook followers can take advantage of the provided discount applicable to all extensions and themes in our store. The coupon code with the 5% discount one can find here.

    Special Offers

    Each product page in our store contains a “Special Offer” tab, where you can find current best offers on our products. So, don’t forget to visit it during your sessions at our store.

    One free month of aheadMetrics use
    Today we provide free one-month trial period of the aheadMetrics analytics service, which allows you to import an unlimited number of orders for your reports.

    Note: Multiple reports of the aheadMetrics service allow you to generate detailed statistics of your business in real time.

    Special Offer

    30% off the Market Segmentation Suite 2.0 extension
    The discount is guaranteed for those customers, who buy Market Segmentation Suite 2.0 along with one or several following extensions: Advanced Newsletter, Points & Rewards, Z-Blocks, Follow Up Email, Checkout Promo, Pop-up+, Order Tags.

    Note: Market Segmetation Suite is integrated with all these extensions and vastly expands the functionality of each mentioned above module.

    SAS + Advanced Search = 20% off when bought together
    Trying to make valuable Magento functionality more affordable for our customers aheadWorks provides sufficient discounts on integrated modules. And now we offer a 20% discount on the Advanced Search and Search Autocomplete and Suggest extensions, if these modules are purchased within one order.

    Note: The integration of the mentioned above products allows you to use all facilities of the Sphinx search engine multiplied by the rich functionality of the SAS extension.

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      12 Useful Tips for Successful Cross-Selling

      August 27th, 2014 No comments

      The current level of competition makes the acquisition of new customers a very challenging task and, it’s no wonder that, merchants try to increase repeat purchases and the AOV by all means.

      Cross-selling is one of those advantageous marketing methods, which makes it possible. This marketing tactic obtains several benefits valuable not only for merchants, but for customers, as well.

      Automate the Cross-Selling Process

      Advantages of Cross-Selling

      Benefits for both sides
      Cross-selling is profitable for sellers as it allows them to sell more, closely tie customers to their products, and make them purchase again. However, it is also advantageous for customers since they can buy required supplementary products in one place and save time.

      Sellers get more sales
      Even though, the price of related products can’t be compared to the price of the original purchase, if properly arranged, cross-selling can draw really substantial revenues. For instance in 2006, Amazon reported that tremendous 35% of the year’s sales came from cross-sales. This example confirms a great potential of cross-selling marketing for e-commerce.

      Sellers retain customers and extend their lifetime value
      Customers perceive unobtrusive cross-selling products as useful and sometimes necessary add-ons and therefor positively treat them. As a result, sellers can gain more trust and extend the lifetime value of each customer.

      Nevertheless, any marketing method has some restrictions and effective ways to be successfully implemented in practice. Below you will find 12 tips, which can make your cross-sells even more efficient.

      Effective Cross-Selling Tactics

      Know your customers before cross-selling
      Relevant products may differ for different customer groups. Cross-selling offers of cameras for professional and amateur photographers will likely require different supplementary items. You can offer interchangeable lenses in the first case, and a camera case – in the other.

      In 2006, Amazon reported 35% of the year’s sales came from cross-sales. Source: Amazon

      Sell only relevant items

      Make sure that the offered additional items complement the original product or better create additional value with it. Irrelevant items just distract your customers and create useless informational noise.

      Make your cross-selling offers sound natural
      Customers usually higher evaluate a valuable advice rather than urging calls. So, you should create easily perceived and neutral enough names for your cross-selling promotions: “Customers who bought this item also bought” or “Frequently bought together”. These are the axiomatic examples by Amazon, which were successfully tested and accepted by multiple marketers worldwide.

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        Kimberely Thomas: “MMNY14 – Gathering in NYC with All Our Magento Friends”

        August 25th, 2014 No comments

        Editor’s note: Organizing a Magento conference is always difficult especially when you do this for the first time. We asked the organizer of Meet Magento NY 2014 to share with our readers the experience and impressions about this extremely complex challenge.

        Please welcome Kimberely Thomas, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Interactiv4.


        KimberlyKIMBERELY THOMAS

        CO-FOUNDER OF INTERACTIV4

        Kimberely Thomas is a Magento Developer and Consultant in NYC where she started a web consultancy 10 years ago. She focuses on custom Magento implementations that extend the core functionally to expand the platform’s offerings.
        Kimberly is an active Magento Community Member leading collaborative development for responsive design via github. She also organizes NYC Magento Developer Meetup and Pre Imagine Community Tweetup.


        Interview

        aW: Interactiv4 was created in 2001 as an E-commerce consulting and development company. Does it mean that you started working with Magento from the very beginning of the platform?

        Kimberely: Yes. Our CTO, Ivan Cherpyuni was one of the original developers of the Magento Platform, so yes he has been working with it since 2007. Interactiv4 started working with Magento with the first beta version 1.0 a year later.

        aW: I know that Interactiv4 organized the Spanish edition of Meet Magento in Madrid this year. What made you start a new conference on the other continent? Is this caused by the merging of Interactiv4 and Red Light Blinking companies?

        Kimberely: When we were in Spain for Meet Magento, the group was excited about the idea of having an event in NYC – a place they all wanted to visit. After RLB and Interactiv4 merged, it was the next logical step.

        aW: It was always interesting for me, how difficult it is to unify two separate companies into one effective unit. Especially when two companies had own business strategies and even products before.

        KimberelyWe are really very similar so it has been an easy process. Although we havent’ fully combined our tools – NY favors Assembla and Spain uses Jira. The biggest challenge is that we speak (and write) in different languages! But, we all speak PHP/HTML/CSS so it works.

        aW: Well, now let’s proceed directly to Meet Magento NY. What is the main purpose of the event?

        Kimberely: The main purpose of MMNY is to allow members of the Magento community to come together and share information, ideas and network. Also, to have fun!

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          Z-Blocks. Directions of the Efficient Use

          August 21st, 2014 No comments

          Z-Blocks is an extremely useful and multipurpose extension, which suites to every Magento store.

          The universal nature of the module originates from the diversity of configuration opportunities applicable to any situation or audience.

          The Z-Blocks extension for Magento

          The features of the extension allow you to create promotions perfectly developed in all destinations (what, where, when, how, etc.):

          • Use Z-Blocks both for text and image publications;
          • Employ Z-Blocks for multiple purposes, including promotions and notifications;
          • Target Z-Blocks to different customer groups;
          • Schedule your promotional campaigns;
          • Use different blocks on different product pages and My Account page;
          • Rotate independent items within each block;
          • Display an unlimited number of blocks within one position;
          • And much more…

          Thus, you obtain almost unlimited opportunities to tune and target you messages and make them 100%-effective. Using the provided configuration options and some necessary knowledge you can turn z-blocks into real sales assistants on your site.

          Z-Blocks Usage Tips and Tricks

          What: Effective Images
          Z-Blocks allow you to create both image and text blocks for your promotions and notifications, but images are usually more attractive and provide greater impact. So, if you have an alternative, we would better recommend using of images and photos for any particular purpose.

          In order to make images effective you should know some basic facts about web graphics on your site:

          90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, 3M Corporation and Zabisco

          • All images and photos should fit the ultimate goal and directly correspond to the style and content of your store. As promotional blocks perform only a supporting role, they should not distract or annoy visitors. So, don’t get carried away with prodigious visual effects, which can spoil the overall impression.
          • Try to use only small and mid-sized images, which do not overload the store without need.
          • Web graphics should highlight the main content of the page.
          • If you use some bright graphic pieces, do it only once and don’t multiply them throughout the site.
          • Do not use images for delivering textual information as it confuses users, loads server vainly, and excludes this piece of information from the internal search and search engines index.
          • Provide textual alternatives to graphic notifications. You can do it in the ALT and Title image attributes, at least, or on separate dedicated pages.

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            Meet Magento Russia 2014: “See You in Moscow!”

            August 18th, 2014 No comments

            Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.
            Winston Churchill

            This is the second visit of Meet Magento to Russia, and it seems that this conference is firmly settled in Moscow.

            Meet Magento Russia 2014

            The previous event was a true success and this year we can confidently expect the same. Russia gradually integrates into the global Magento community and we would like to tell you some basic facts about this amazing country.

            Russia

            Russia, also officially known as the Russian Federation, is a country in northern Eurasia. Russia is the largest country in the world, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth’s inhabited land area, and one of the biggest nations.

            Quick Facts about Russia

            • Capital: Moscow;
            • Population: 143.5 million (2012) World Bank;
            • Biggest cities: Moscow (11,503,501), Saint Petersburg (4,879,566), Novosibirsk (1,473,754), Yekaterinburg (1,349,772), Nizhny Novgorod (1,250,619), Samara (1,164,685), Omsk (1,154,116), Kazan (1,143,535), Chelyabinsk (1,130,132), Rostov-on-Don (1,089,261), Ufa (1,062,319), Volgograd (1,021,215);
            • Currency: Russian ruble (RUB);
            • Official language: Russian;
            • The main ethnic group: Russians – 81.0%;
            • Government: Federal republic, Semi-presidential system, Constitutional republic.

            Russia Sights

            Moscow

            Moscow is a true city of contrasts and each visitor can find here something special for himself. This diversity of architecture, people, and lifestyles becomes an inspiration for numerous Russian famous writers and poets at all times.

            You will be greatly impressed by the difference in description of Moscow, for example, by Pushkin and Bulgakov. Pushkin’s Moscow is festive and elegant with numerous balls and receptions, while Bulgakov’s Moscow is mysterious and mystical full of unexplained accidents and phenomena.

            Aleksandr Pushkin“Moscow… how many strains are fusing in that one sound, for Russian hearts! 
            What store of riches it imparts!” 
            Eugene Onegin (1823), Aleksandr Pushkin
            Mikhail Bukgakov“We have no idea whether there were any other strange occurrences in Moscow that night, and we have no intention of trying to find out…”
            Master and Margarita (1967), Mikhail Bulgakov

            The true spirit of the city lies in that multiplicity and complexity, which is formed by the endless number of layers added to Moscow by each century and citizen.

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              AJAX Cart Pro – Almost Invisible Still Powerful Functionality for Your Shopping Cart

              August 15th, 2014 No comments

              The aheadWorks store contains numerous high-quality Magento extensions and themes, and sometimes it’s easy to get confused with all this variety of products.

              In this case, we suggest you refer to our blog and get comprehensive information about the module you are interested in. For easy browsing, each product page in our store contains the “Docs & Articles” tab, where you can find all blog articles related to one or another product.

              This time, the AJAX Cart Pro extension is in focus; and in this post we’ll revise the features of the module and benefits you can get.

              The AJAX Cart Pro Magento extension

              5 Reasons to Use AJAX Cart Pro

              Allows you to retain shoppers as long as possible
              The AJAX Cart Pro extension allows customers make purchases seamlessly and add products to carts directly from category sections without jumping to product pages. Customers should not continuously click the “Update” button during adding products to carts and can continue their shopping process without any distractions.

              This functionality makes the purchasing process easy and seamless and allows you to retain customers’ attention on your products and services.

              Note: The extension supports all native Magento product types.

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