It was great seeing everybody at the IRCE 2013 in Chicago! Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth; we feel the event was extremely useful and it was a great success.
The speed at which e-commerce is developing and fueling the fire of the global economy is incredible. It’s amazing how the Internet makes it possible to overcome nearly any obstacle an entrepreneur might encounter – businesses can now expand their clientele outside their locale, have an organized space to put products on display, and provide service 24/7. E-commerce is really revolutionizing the world of retail, and that’s what we focused on at the IRCE. Conferring about the changed landscape of retail in social, mobile, global, personal, and interactive aspects brought many new ideas to the table and created some interesting discussions. We were also lucky enough to be in the presence of some really great and knowledgeable speakers who shared some valuable insights.
When you think about what makes an e-commerce website successful, SEO and web development are important tools. With the popularity of e-commerce comes competition, and in order to rise above the competition, you’ve got to have a well-developed and well-optimized e-commerce website. That’s why choosing the right e-commerce platform is so important:
- A good platform gives you control of head and meta content. When you can customize your meta description, H1, title tag, and image alt attributes, your page is better optimized for Google.
- A good platform allows for URL rewriting. This makes for a well-optimized page. Similarly, a platform that let you control your redirects and 404 pages is more user-friendly.
- A good platform provides control of image handling. Some platforms will create new image URLs, which is a big don’t in the SEO world.
- A good platform is a speedy platform. As you may have seen in our whitepaper, site speed and performance is related to conversion. You don’t want customers navigating away from their shopping cart because of a slow-loading page or page error.
- Are you mobile? Of course, your e-commerce site should always have a mobile-formatted option so users can easily shop from their phones.
Don’t forget – it’s important to combine your solid platform with good social media, as it is becoming increasingly important in the online retail revolution. Social media makes it easy to target your ideal demographic – not to mention, 86% of American adults use social media daily, and 46% consult social media prior to making an online shopping decision.
Of course, these are just a few of many reasons why choosing the right platform is crucial to your e-commerce convers
Smartphone adoption and usage continues to increase in the US and throughout the world. Alongside this growth, however, is the surge in m-commerce behavior users engage in on their smartphones. The devices allow consumers to manage their entire shopping experience from gathering product information and comparing prices to making the final purchase. As such, mobile purchasing is increasing with just under 30% of smartphone users in the US having made a purchase using their smartphone. Marketers and e-retailers alike feel this number could and should be higher. Only 14% make purchases using the device with high frequency, according to ourmobileplanet.com, and 81% do so with low frequency. Opinions are mixed regarding the main roadblock to purchasing on smartphones, but a closer analysis tells a deeper story.
E-retailers and marketers can proactively improve how smartphone shoppers interact with their brand by strategically adapting their sites (both mobile and standard) as well as their apps for a better experience. For those that do not make purchases on the smartphone, 67% would simply rather use their desktop or PC and an additional 37% feel the transaction is not secure. These statistics point directly to the issues that need to be addressed.
Specific Tactics for Pushing M-Commerce to Next Level
First, developers and internet marketers need to make the smartphone payment process more like that which is experienced on the desktop or PC. One essential way to do this is to make the check-out process easier. Mobile payment company Clover is looking to do just that. Their one-tap service stores payment details in a secure account that can be accessed at check-out on participating e-retailer sites and apps. Once at check-out, consumers can simply tap the Clover pay button and bypass entering their details. This is especially valuable as debit and credit cards are the payment of choice with consumers using them 59% of the time to make their mobile purchases. This is one essential step to improve the payment process, and by extension the overall consumer experience.
From there, e-retailing developers can squarely address the privacy and security concern of shoppers by first ensuring the payment methods are 100% secure. Companies need to partner with reputable payment processers to establish a secure connection for their customers and offer guarantees to support this. Guaranteeing privacy and security will inspire the kind of customer confidence that is needed by online businesses to push their customers to do more mobile purchasing. Additionally, companies need to utilize security feature like Visa’s Verified By Visa program and pioneer similar measures built specifically for the mobile platform that add an extra layer of security from a name they trust.
Still further, internet marketers need to proactively promote the secure payment system that the retailers have displaying this information prominently on the site and making customers aware of it in all their online promotional content. Customers need to see the logos of the secure payment system as well as the details of the guarantees displayed where they can easily see it before check-out to inspire confidence throughout the shopping experience. In the end, between these different tactics, e-retailers will address the needs of their customers and push M-Commerce to the next level.
Reports surfaced that Verizon (with other major wireless carriers expected to follow suite) has blocked Google Wallet from being used on their devices including the new Galaxy Nexus. The wireless company stated security concerns over the ecommerce system caused them to make the devices incompatible with Google Wallet.
Jeffrey Nelson, a company spokesman for Verizon issued a statement to Bloomberg “Verizon is committed to having the best security and user experience” and further says Google Wallet will be considered again “when those goals are achieved.” Other wireless carriers including AT&T and Sprint are expected to follow the same course of action.
Google Wallet would put the company right in the center of the multi-billion dollar mobile payments industry. A direct competitor for PayPal in this industry, the plan was to introduce Google Wallet in a select amount of cities including San Francisco, CA and New York, NY. Currently, the NFC-enabled Nexus is the only device that contains the capabilities, and this major setback is expected to put a severe damper on the implementation of the service.
There is news, however, that Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint are in talks to invest more than $100 million to a similar platform, called Isis. Information as this becomes available will be updated
Google Wallet, the new electronic self-checkout system that aims to simplify common purchases, reportedly entered into a contract with New Jersey Transit, the NJ based mass-transit system that includes Trains, Busses, and Subway systems in and out of New York and Pennsylvania. The company announced this week that they are implementing the ecommerce system to its ticketing machines throughout the state. What does this mean for busy commuters? Simply wave your iPhone or Android device in front of the ticket machine to automatically purchase your ticket and hop aboard.
The new Google Wallet system was launched last month and strategically places Google right in the heart of the multi-billion dollar mobile payments industry. Although PayPal, Inc. has changed the way of mobile payments, Google appears to be the first significant threat to the industry largely dominated by PayPal.
New Jersey Transit is the first transportation agency to partner and implement Google Wallet.
“Our partnership with Google demonstrates that N.J. Transit and the state are at the forefront of emerging technology, paving the way for further exploration of new customer-service technologies”, stated New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Is there any competition? Reportedly, AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon are in talks of a joint venture to introduce a similar concept in the North-West. Specifically, the State of Utah also announced recently that their Transit Authority expects to introduce a similar system in 2012. That system is the joint venture with AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon.
Announced today, eBay, Inc. will acquire Magento, a popular (and highly reputable) ecommerce platform. Magento was founded several years ago and has grown from a basic open source platform to an industry leader. eBay is planning to use Magento to create a new open commerce platform, called “X.Commerce”.
The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter of this year, and fully integrated in October. Announced in February, eBay had acquired a 49% stake in Magento, an investment worth $22.5 million. With the recent selling of their Skype SARL acquisition for $2.4 billion, eBay has a lot of money sitting on the sideline, which they said will be used for “acquisitions”.
Magento will now be used as a further enhanced ecommerce platform (X.Commerce) that will allow eBay to provide additional services for merchants, beyond the ones that they already offer including point of sale (POS) systems, and credit card services.
In an email to all subscribers of Magento, Co-Founder and CEO Roy Rubin, stated that “Why is this acquisition so exciting for all of us? eBay is evolving to become a strategic commerce partner focused on delivering new ways for merchants of all sizes to drive innovation. As a centerpiece of this strategy, they are building a global, open commerce platform that leverages the worldwide developer community. And Magento will be at the core of this new, open commerce platform, called “X.Commerce.”
WebiMax utilizes Magento in their ecommerce solutions. “These platforms are SEO friendly, by design”, states Sean O’Donnell, Vice President of Marketing. “Magento also has open source code that we are able to custom develop, so that we can customize and integrates with other platforms that are being used by our clients.
It is unclear as of now whether or not Magento will have its reach to small businesses that utilize it. Also, what will it look like going forward?
eBay is expected to release further details in October (2011) during the X.Commerce conference.