The effects of 4G on mobile commerce

August 5th, 2014

4g on mcommerce

4G is rolling out to mobile networks across the Globe; users are beginning to experience faster, more reliable, mobile internet. Mobile operators are displaying TV adverts showing mobile users enjoying high quality HD content on the go, but what impact does this have on mobile commerce or mCommerce?

The guardian estimate 4G will increase mCommerce by a staggering £1.8 Billion in the UK alone. That is an increase of 113% year on year.

Is 4G going to make that much difference?

The ability to view products faster allows buyers to view more products per minute, this seems like an obvious fact but if a buyer puts aside 10 minutes of browsing time on a break this increases the number of products they can research on that break increasing the chance of a sellers item being viewed.

An increase in speed also cuts down buyer frustration when waiting for your item to load, this increases the customer experience and boosts the chance of a sale.

As speeds increase there is less emphasis needed on reducing site content and functionality for mobile devices, the best mobile experiences mirror exactly the function and content of its bigger brother: the desktop experience. If you want to convert as many mobile browsers as desktop ones then you should be delivering the same content, with 4G speeds and bandwidth you no longer need to worry as much about using good quality, rich content such as large images and HD video.

According to the Guardian, 49.6% of consumers are frustrated by the reliability of mobile commerce and 50.3% are frustrated by the speed. Reducing the number of frustrated consumers will have a positive impact on mobile sales.

If your website hangs or slows down during a checkout process then customers may lose confidence in the checkout or question security, all leading to an abandoned shopping cart…

Buyers often have the best intention of browsing on a mobile device and then purchasing on a desktop or tablet device at a later date; however this can lead to buyers forgetting, being hit with offers from competitors or simply feeling remorse for buying the product therefore not closing the sale.

Sellers will benefit from increased speeds as buyers can make more immediate purchasing decisions and checkout more easily.

What can I do as a seller to benefit from 4G?

Embrace mobile commerce. Do not view mobile buyers as different to their desktop counterparts (they probably exist in that segment anyway), create an immersive, instant, experience that doesn’t differ between device. Keep your content the same and just ensure that it works on mobile.

One strategy is to plan your ecommerce design and experience for mobile devices first; this means that you will not include anything extra that needs to be taken out for smaller screens. It also helps you focus on what are the most important features of the website as they will be displayed first on mobile. You can then translate this to hot spots on the desktop view.

The best way to deliver a uniform brand and experience across devices is to create a responsive design that responds to the screen size and formats the content accordingly. Think of it like looking at the same landscape through different windows, the landscape doesn’t change but your view of it does.

e.g.

At Frooition we design responsive websites for the Bigcommerce ecommerce platform with all the features being available across all devices.

Benefits of a responsive design include:

  • Only one set of content to maintain and manage
  • No duplicate content for SEO purposes
  • No need to design for specific devices & screen sizes
  • Updates are not required as new devices are released.

For more information on our Bigcommerce responsive design services see:
http://www.frooition.com/uk/bigcommerce-design.html

Getting ready for the busy time of year…

July 30th, 2014

busytimeofyear

It seems too far away; but the busiest time of year is just around the corner. For the majority of sellers Q4 is the busiest time of year and where most of their annual sales come from.

It all kicks off from early September, so to make life easier act now to have a smooth and successful end of the year.

Sellers “to do list” for August:

  • Decide on your product lines
  • Research this year’s “hot products” and how you can leverage them
  • Speak to suppliers and negotiate the best pricing
  • Ensure you have space for stock
  • Tidy out your warehousing space and ensure you are organized for the winter rush
  • reduce and sell off old lines that don’t sell as well (this will make space but also give you capital for better sellers)
  • Plan any promotions you may offer and make all of your staff aware of them
  • Create a rough marketing calendar of what you are doing when

Mobile Commerce and the holiday season…

Most online sellers get a boost through the lead up to the holiday season, and every year more and more buyers are converting to mobile shopping. EBay have released data stating they are now seeing 40% of all sales being touched by a mobile device somewhere in the buying cycle.

With this information it is even more imperative that your business functions just as well on mobile devices as desktop browsers.

Frooition have developed a number of mobile optimized products including:

Thinking about a design upgrade?

If you are thinking about getting a design upgrade in time for the busy period: now is the sensible time to act!

Our designs look fantastic and really help your business, but this takes time. Frooition designs are typically installed in 4-6 weeks (customer dependent) so if you act today you would be ready for September and maximize your ROI.

“Don’t leave it too late to start your design project!”

Speak to one of our consultants and see how we can help you get ready for your busy season.

Linnworks Guest Post: Why go Multichannel?

July 23rd, 2014

linnworksblog

The folks at Linnworks have created a great guest article on the importance of ‘going multichannel’:

Why go Multichannel?

So you’ve started selling online and found the marketplace or website you are selling on is doing great!

It is bringing in the sales and orders are moving along steadily.

This is great, but imagine if you could duplicate the results, double your sales and then repeat this process again and again!

Well welcome to the world of Multichannel.

What is MultiChannel selling?

So what is multichannel selling? A basic definition is promoting your products through more than on avenue, in ecommerce terms this could be Amazon, eBay and your own e-store.

Further to this you can expand the same principle to cross border trade, selling on multiple international sites.

The benefits are very clear and probably don’t need explaining.

But to keep it to the point, new, untapped markets and potential customers you would of otherwise of missed out on.

So if it’s so great, why doesn’t everyone do it?

Well it doesn’t come without its difficulties; keeping track of stock is probably the biggest issue Multichannel sellers have.

Other issues include:

  • Opening multiple browsers for you online marketplaces.
  • Processing orders on different sites.
  • Copying and pasting postal information to your couriers.
  • Listing items on multiple sites.
  • Overselling.

So how do you tackle these potential issues?

The importance of an inventory management system

There are many inventory management systems out there, including Linnworks.

These systems are designed to stop the cons of multichannel selling by being an all in one solution; all aspects from order management to stock control and courier integration can be accessed through one single system.

Charlie’s Opinion

Multi Channel selling is a natural progression for most online businesses, and if you don’t sell on that marketplace, surely one of your competitors will.

So if you do decide to sell on Multiple Channels, I would recommend doing a little research and look for a tool that will satisfy all your requirements. This will allow you to be truly successful without any of the hiccups others are struggling with at the moment.

About the author

Charlie McBroom

Charlie works at Linnworks as an ecommerce specialist, he also offers free advice to anyone interested in ecommerce.
If you are planning to start your own online business or have one and want advice on how to expand, please feel free to contact Charlie anytime.

Charlie.mcbroom@linnsystems.com www.linnworks.com

Rakuten Expo East 2014 August 7th – Frooition are sponsoring!

July 15th, 2014

rakutenexpoeast

Frooition are attending and sponsoring the Rakuten Expo East, New York on August 7th 2014.

The event details:

  • Thursday, August 7, 2014 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM Eastern Time
  • Grand Hyatt New York at Grand Central Terminal 109 East 42nd Street New York, New York 10017

Come along, say hi and take a look at our latest Rakuten design offerings.

The Expo promises to bring the latest information about the Rakuten marketplace, whether you are currently trading on there or looking to add additional revenue through a brand new channel.

Sponsors include: Mastercard Advisors, ChannelAdvisor, SolidCommerce, Dell, Oracle, Google, Microsoft and Cisco.

Why Attend?

Merchants who attended Rakuten Expo in the past have experienced 35.8% year-over-year growth over merchants who did not attend our Expo. By attending Rakuten Expo East, you can:
  • Expand your business potential
Participate in educational labs, informative sessions, and one-on-one meetings designed to help overcome your current and future business challenges and grow your ecommerce revenues.
  • Share ideas & enhance partnerships
Rakuten ECC account managers, executives, support staff and more are all available to discuss current and future strategies, challenges and new opportunities geared toward furthering your business.
  • Network with industry leading service providers
Share ideas and find valuable services to add to and enhance your current business.

Exclusive discount:

Buy one ticket get the next half price exclusively with Frooition:

Discount code: FHALF

Register to attend here

 

Why your eCommerce company needs a warehouse management system

June 24th, 2014

SkuVault

Acquiring and maintaining accurate inventory quantities is a problem common to most all eCommerce retailers – from overselling (aka out of stocks, aka stockouts), mis-picks, and mis-ships, to forgotten stock sitting on a shelf, not even listed for sale. An inventory and warehouse management system helps to greatly reduce those inventory issues, and many other problems online retailers face.

Effortlessly Listing and De-listing

An inventory management system enables automation of the process of listing and de-listing (removing quantities so it can’t sell) across multiple marketplaces. Without an inventory management system, employees have to remove the product from each marketplace, leaving the business wide open to selling items they no longer have. Sharing inventory across these marketplaces is essential, but almost impossible to do manually – that’s where an inventory management system picks up the slack. Some of the immediate benefits of reducing out of stocks are fewer angry customers, lower customer service costs, and various marketplace benefits. On marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon, for example, you’re penalized for negative feedback from oversells and your products actually will show up farther down in the search results, causing you to lose sales.

Tracking Slow Moving Products and Seasonal Stock

The ability to identify what items aren’t selling is vital, because that product sitting in your facility is costing you money. You’ve invested in it, carry (holding) costs, and the capital tied up in products that aren’t moving is wasteful. A warehouse management system helps to identify those products and figure out what needs to happen to move it. Discounts, different marketplace or target audience, better picture, or making it part of a lot (AKA kit, AKA product grouping) are some options to help move that product. For example: Having trouble moving those surf boards? It may be winter in the US, but it’s summer in Western Australia.

Minimizing Theft and Losses

Accurate inventory management discourages theft by employees and leads to quick discovery of excessive loss due to damage or misplacement. Having a system where people know that everything they do is being tracked and understanding they are held accountable for their transactions also helps with productivity.

Reducing Carrying Costs

Warehouse storage and insurance are two crucial costs to holding inventory. More products generally mean higher expenses. With a good inventory management system, businesses can more accurately predict what products they’ll need, allowing reduction in the number of unnecessary items they hold. Tracking your inventory and having a goal for how many times you want to turn your inventory in a year is a key metric every retailer should know.  This can increase gross profits, allowing you to spend more money on learning the best way to expand into international marketplaces to increase sales and brand awareness worldwide.

Eliminating Mis-Picks and Mis-Ships

Like out of stocks, mis-picks (when a damaged or incorrect item / item quantity is picked) and mis-ships (when a damaged or incorrect item / item quantity is shipped out to the customer) are a strain on your business. A good inventory management system will come with built in quality control features to reduce such inventory errors. Inventory management systems achieve this through a variety of ways – from utilizing barcode scanners, to displaying a picture of the product to the pickers upon pick – which will ultimately ensure that your company fulfills your customers’ expectations.

Unlock the potential of your inventory

Wondering why I know so much about inventory and warehouse management? That’s kind of SkuVault’s, my company’s, whole shtick. SkuVault is a cloud-based inventory and warehouse management system that integrates with eBay, Bigcommerce, ChannelAdvisor, Amazon, ShipWorks, ShipStation, Shopify, and more, and is complete with barcoding and jam packed with other cool features to help eCommerce retailers prevent out of stocks, improve warehouse efficiency, and reduce human error.

SkuVault operates on a global scale, and makes sure that the inventory in your warehouse is accurately reflected on your various marketplaces. SkuVault is a great addition to Frooition’s eBay & Bigcommerce integration – where Frooition bridges eBay & Bigcommerce to exchange product data, SkuVault meshes with Frooition to also provide real time quantity updates between eBay & Bigcommerce.

Conclusion

The benefits of an inventory and warehouse management system like SkuVault are far-reaching, and its effects can be seen in lower out of stock percentage, increased rankings and therefore greater visibility on your online channels, more positive customer feedback, lower customer service costs, increased warehouse efficiency and saved man hours, and fewer mis-ships and undersells. Whether you decide to utilize SkuVault, or some other inventory and warehouse management system, do your eCommerce business a favor – get one.

andy-skuvaultAndy Eastes is the CEO of SkuVault. He has been active in the eCommerce community for 10 years, and has a passion for increasing efficiency for eCommerce and wholesale businesses. SkuVault is an inventory and warehouse management system for eCommerce retailers, that helps you take control of your inventory.

Interesting eBay Mobile Infographic

June 19th, 2014

MobilemailGraphicalSOCIAL

EBay launches eBay Designer Collective – with Frooition Design!

June 11th, 2014

Frooition are proud to announce the launch of the eBay Designer Collective.

eBay designer collective

Frooition worked closely with the eBay team to provide design for all of the brands in the eBay designer collective.

The eBay Designer Collective allows 16 fashion brands to offer full priced, current season, men & women’s clothing and accessories within an eBay shopping Hub.

The eBay Designer Collective includes fashion labels such as Calvin Klein, Nicole Miller, Rebecca Minkoff, True Religion and many more.

For the last few years eBay have been moving away from the traditional second hand, auction based, model they used to be known for towards an open marketplace where you can purchase quality new goods quickly and safely.

They understand that the better their customers and partners perform; the better the eBay ecosystem will perform.

Devin Wenig (President of eBay Marketplaces) said in Women’s Wear Daily:

 ”We’re transaction-based; we only succeed if our partners succeed.”

Some may argue that selling these current lines on eBay is direct competition with the brands’ other channels; however we strongly believe that if a buyer goes on to eBay to buy an item, they are going to buy the item – if a retailer is not on eBay they won’t win the sale.

Devin also states:

“[eBay Designer Collective] fits with our philosophy – as partner and an enabler of brands and not a competitor”

Many brands are beginning to see eBay as another channel that they need to sell core products on rather than an outlet for damaged and old stock:

“The larger brands see this as an extension of their digital footprint,”

Marcelle Parrish, eBay’s head of fashion.

View the Fashion Collective: http://www.ebay.com/rpp/designer-collective

ebay-designer-collective-template-by-frooition
Calvin Klein eBay Designer Collective Listing. Designed by Frooition.com

Frooition were privileged to work directly with the eBay teams to create the listing templates that the hugely successful brands use within the eBay Designer Collective. The partnership between eBay and Frooition once again shows that eBay believe in the positive benefits of using intelligent design on listings.

Frooition Partner Update: Announcing 3 New Partners

June 10th, 2014

PartnerUpdate

At Frooition we love partners that offer services that can help our customers grow their businesses even further or save them time. We find ways for our services to interact with partners to provide the easiest solutions for our customers.

We have recently added a number of new partners to our partner directory: http://frooition.com/partner/directory.php

Three of our newest partners are: Solid Commerce, Remove the Background and SkuVault.

SolidCommerce:

SolidCommerce offer Multichannel inventory and order management, their platform allows sellers to sell across multiple marketplaces including eBay and their own eCommerce website.

SolidCommerce also uses integrated shipping and order fulfillment allowing sellers to make the most of their time and re-invest their time back into the business.

A fully automated solution that centralizes all aspects of a multichannel business that saves you hours of work every single day. SolidCommerce also offer integrations and can tailor the package to a sellers specific needs.

SolidCommerce is compatible with Frooition eBay templates so your design can be integrated into the software and will automatically list to eBay with your fantastic Frooition design.

For more information visit SolidCommerce.

RemoveTheBackground:

Remove the Background provide a fantastic service removing unwanted backgrounds from product images leaving professional looking images for a fraction of the price of a professional shoot or studio.

Simply upload your product images to RemoveTheBackground and within a few hours you will receive your images back with the backgrounds removed and crisp, clean white backgrounds in their place.

RemoveTheBackground can crop, resize, remove backgrounds, add shadows, and combine images to create great looking images.

A Frooition design makes your listings look great but if your product images look poor then the professionalism will be lost, combine great looking design with fantastic product images to really boost your business!

For more information visit RemoveTheBackground

SkuVault:

SkuVault offer a global, cloud based inventory and warehousing solution that integrates with all major marketplaces including eBay and Amazon as well as eCommerce platforms such as BigCommerce.  SkuVault allows sellers to track inventory using barcodes to reduce human error, increase warehouse efficiency and eliminate out of stocks.

SkuVault is compatible with 3rd party inventory management tools.

With Frooition you can port your eBay product data over to BigCommerce (and vice versa) and then use SkuVault to transfer your quantities between platforms.

Find out more at SkuVault

Do you provide eCommerce solutions?

If you think your business offers a useful service that would help our customers and you would like to join our partner program then feel free to contact us or apply to join: http://frooition.com/partner/