Online shopping has abolished any borders: you no longer have to sigh about Paris fashion if you live in a provincial village, or sighing for provincial artisan cheese if you live in Paris.
However, most users still prefer to buy in their national area, as for international shopping they expect high shipping costs, longer shipping times, difficulties in changes and returns, customs retentions, as well as the maintenance of prejudices against some countries.
Continue reading “Meet Your Clients: The International Shopper” »
Although this is a type of contemporary consumer, in fact the local customer is the oldest one of all. Traces of the old days still persist, when acquiring a product or service meant to rely on the recommendations of others, to inspect the business and merchandise in person, and to discover if the seller inspires or not some almost magical confidence.
Some time ago, Google replaced the local term with visit-in-person, referring to those users who make an online consultation with the intention of making a subsequent visit in person. Among the keywords to determine when a search is local, or visit-in-person, Google includes near me, gas stations, restaurant, cafeteria, bar, class (eg yoga), cinema / billboard, dentist, workshop or ATM. The SEO for this category of user must be considered, especially if your business depends more on physical visits than on final online sales.
Continue reading “Meet Your Clients: The Local Shopper (or Visit-In-Person)” »
In recent years, the use of electronic devices for buying products and services has skyrocketed, with an average of three devices per citizen. But that does not mean that all users use their smartphones, tablets, and computers efficiently or even confidently.
The smart shopper is the ideal customer type… but also a fussy one and pretty difficult to impress. These clients use all available channels and sources to gather the most valuable information before making a purchase.
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In July 1937, during her attempt to go round the world on-board the plane Electra, Amelia Earhart should have arrived to Howland Island from Lae, in the middle of the Pacific archipelago, but she didn’t make it. Electra had disappeared at some point over the ocean without leaving a trace, and among a spatter of islands, which practically no one could name, let alone point out on a map. Was it a technical error, an insufficient fuel level, or a navigational mistake between confusing radio directions?
Amelia Earhart never landed and we can only speculate without a solid foundation, but the disappearances that occur day-to-day in your online shop do have an obvious explanation. While planning on the internet, potential customers discover the sign of a business in the distance like the remarkable silhouette of a Hawaiian island. Then, if they decide to approach, the fog starts to surround them and they suddenly don’t find themselves in the place that they expected to go to. What happened? Where is the gain, the promised sale?
Continue reading “How to Design a Perfect Landing Page” »
In Hanna-Barbera’s cartoon series The Jetsons, which is set in a future full of gadgets, the most impressive of all was the one used to make cars disappear. The eternal problem of parking in the morning was resolved by a little gun that made the neighbour’s car vanish, in order to get a space.
It’s a curious thing that, despite getting ahead of many technological desires that are a reality nowadays, science fiction keeps considering vehicles as a nuisance. And they really are, due to the volume and space they take up while they’re not in use. That’s why the answer of the future (or our present) isn’t in the little gun that makes objects vanish, it’s in giving cars even more importance in our day-to-day lives.
Continue reading “Autonomous Cars and The New Possibilities for eCommerce” »
One fine day, a German fellow spent a Saturday morning searching for old editions in a bookshop. Then it occurred to him that he couldn’t be bothered trudging around the whole of Munich to ask if somebody sold a 1859 edition of On the Origin of Species. He much preferred sitting down in a terrace, drinking a beer and flicking through the pages of the book he was holding.
It was back in 1999, and this avid lover of literature was (with creative licences) Boris Wertz, the creator of one of the first marketplaces that is still trading today. We’re referring to the website JustBooks, which was taken over by Abebooks in 2002, and finally acquired by the giant Amazon in 2008. Why not bring the catalogues of all the bookshops in the city together into one place, one country, the whole world? The man would save himself many walks and would gain many calories from drinking beer. The evolution of the species.
Other book lovers would look down at Boris: where is the thrill of the search now? Well, Boris would have said, nobody wants to stop searching, but vain efforts in the process should be a thing of the past. And as easy as big and small online shops make it for us when it comes to revising their catalogue and stock, they are not convenient if we want to compare prices and products between them.
With this objective in mind, the first digital marketplaces were born.
Continue reading “The Best eCommerce Marketplaces for 2017” »
I want this! I want this! I-WANT-THIS!
How many times did you shout out that as a child, while you were marking your favourite toys in the Christmas catalogue with a pen? Some brochure made up by a designer with so much love was then suddenly turned into a drawing and writing platform for young children. But the catalogue had fulfilled its purpose: to reach its target market and encourage a wish that Santa (pssst: the parents) would take care of for it to come true.
A very dangerous factor intervenes here, and it’s the number one enemy of any online business: nostalgia. If there’s somewhere we have to look towards, it’s the future, and not the past. Not even childhood bliss. But despite all the new tools and technologies that we talk about, paper catalogues are still appearing in letterboxes, on doormats and among piles of publicity at shop entrances. How is this possible? What is this waste all about during a time of needed ecological awareness? Did you make a good decision when you stopped printing your catalogues, or was it a very bad decision?
Continue reading “Does Your Business Need a Paper Catalogue? Printed and Digital Catalogues in Ecommerce” »
It’s Friday night. You’ve ordered Indian takeaway food, but you feel like having a beer and a bowl of (peeled) cashew nuts while you’re waiting, and you’re not sure if there are any of those left in the fridge or the cupboard. You’re very comfortable wrapped up in a blanket (although you’d like another one made of a more comfortable material) and you already had to get up before to phone the restaurant. You hit the cushions on the sofa: why can’t things come quickly to us when we want them on Friday nights?
After taking your frustration out against the cushions, you take a look around you: no, there’s no butler who appears after having been attracted by the commotion, and holding a tray with beer and nuts. Your only private butler is still on the table where you left it after insisting on buying yourself Tandoori chicken: your mobile phone. No cosmic cats, nor spooky artificial intelligences. The most similar thing to the future just now lights up and vibrates from time to time, inviting us to open videos of kittens.
And the thing is that smartphones haven’t actually caused any new and harmful behaviour among the population of users. Neither has ecommerce supposed any betrayal to the future of the human race when convincing it to consume more and more rapidly. The reason why the smartphone and ecommerce have merged so easily with our essence is that we were already capricious from the start. People like immediacy and to satisfy their impulses with a click: they like magic. If science (or technology) ends up being indistinguishable from magic, the best tricks will end up being used to the liking of the majority (or the majority with money and smartphones).
Continue reading “Trends of Cross-selling between Retail and Ecommerce for 2017” »
Derek Zoolander, the character created by Ben Stiller in 2001, enthusiastically waited to be shown his project for an infant school. What a surprising disappointment when a Playmobil sized model was revealed from under the cover. «What’s this? A school for ants? How are the children going to learn how to read inside there?» Putting aside the fact that Zoolander isn’t the brightest lamp on the street, his reaction is actually repeated in many e-commerce users day after day: how is a shop, or a huge shopping centre going to fit into my little mobile phone?
The technological miracle isn’t difficult to understand, but it is complicated to apply correctly. Before the widespread use of mobile devices, many brands thought the iPhone was a scale model: you just had to enter all the information that was already compiled on web catalogues. The result is just worthy of ants. If we try to collect all the data from a website in a version which has less on-screen space, the elements, text and images are going to group together to the point where it is impossible to see them without the use of a magnifying glass. And we already know that all mobiles have a digital zoom… and that it is not very user-friendly.
Continue reading “The Importante of Mobile Ecommerce: How to Adapt Your Ecommerce to New Screens” »
Let’s say out loud what some salesmen tell us just by their look: they hate the sound of the doorbell and when we go through the doorway to sniff around and ask to be attended, or simply to serve us at the till. We have seen this taken off in many sitcoms where the introverted shop assistant hates all the customers. Moving clichés aside, when you go into a franchise or a small shop, it’s not strange to come across whispering, lack of visual contact, open archives used as little places to hide, or a screen that the aforementioned never stops studying.
The arrival of e-commerce meant a huge advantage for those who didn’t want to sell in person, or to physically deal with customers. Naturally, gigantic chains and large shopping centres kept waging for all the opposite, and for a physical and labyrinthine experience in which customers can easily lose their bearings to find empty information points and unfocused staff in hidden stock rooms. So, why does the TV comic seller hate the business so much if it seems like a videogame?
Ideed, buying is an individual process for the customer and the seller that requires the community’s support from time to time. What do e-commerce customers have to lean back on when everything is made virtual and the shelves, products and shop assistants disappear?
Continue reading “How to Be a 5 Star Ecommerce Business: The Positive and Negative Influence of Reviews” »