16 Ecommerce Trends That Will Drive Sales in 2019

My Post (14).jpg

Ecommerce is changing. Mobile conversions continue to be on the rise—mobile saw sales increase by 55 percent in 2018, and Forrester predicts that by 2022, smartphones will account for $175.4bn USD in retail sales.

Customer expectations are growing at the same time: 38 percent of shoppers now expect high street businesses to offer same-day delivery.

Other ecommerce trends are very much in line with the web design trends that are pushing the industry forward this year. Progressive web apps, for example, use advanced technologies to bring the speed and features of a mobile app to a mobile website, even allowing for shopping platforms to be accessible offline, points out fashion and beauty ecommerce specialist Mari Corella.

“The key benefit to retailers is that they no longer have to choose between investing in their mobile sites or their apps,” she explains. “Some retailers may even drop their mobile apps entirely in favor of a PWA.” – Read more

11 Ecommerce Growth Tactics

My Post302.jpg

2019 is just around the corner, and with the new year closing in, we knew it was time to gather data and assess the current behavior of ecommerce companies, their strategies, and how it affects consumer behavior.

Search engines and easy access to customers have only become more competitive, making it even more essential for businesses to be aware of how they measure up.

To help you assess where your business stands and uncover every single tactic you can use to give yourself an edge, SEMrush collected and analyzed data from more than 8,000 ecommerce sites, the Hallam Agency shared detailed insights from their experience with ecommerce clients, and we rounded up advice from 9 influential ecommerce experts from all across the world.

In this post, we have combined our data on the most successful tactics so you can improve your online marketing strategies as we move forward into the new year. – Read More

How (and When) to Hire An Ecommerce Expert to Level Up Your Business

hire-an-expert-ecommerce.jpg

One of the most unexpectedly instructive memes out there today is “You have the same 24 hours in a day as Beyoncé.”

It’s easy to look at it as an entrepreneur, drowning in tasks and to-do lists, and feel overwhelmed, or inspired, or even just irked. But there’s a valuable hidden lesson there that most people overlook: Beyoncé spends those 24 hours doing what only Beyoncé can do. – Read

5 Tips Marketers Can Learn From Seemingly Elusive Luxury Brands

598c89fc1400002800ed01e6.jpeg

Luxury is characterised by striving to capture the best of us, whether that is expressed through the clothes we wear, the food we eat, the places we stay or the cars we drive. While the goal is to achieve and deliver on the best of the best, the definition of luxury is always changing, shaped by and shifting to meet consumer sentiment and behaviour. Today, new defining criteria of luxury are emerging based on shifts in the scarcity of certain experiences and new priorities in consumer demand. Brands are able to charge a premium for privacy, security and anonymity—all characteristics of luxury experiences born in response to consumer demand in the age of big data. – Read

2017’s Top 5 Online Payment Systems

Online shopping is booming, of that there is no doubt. It’s reported that 87% of UK consumers have bought at least one product online in the past 12 months [1], with just over half of all online payments made on a mobile device [2]. With this being the case it’s becoming more vital than ever that hotels, venues and other hospitality businesses which sell products or services online, are using quality payment processing systems.

The following article outlines five of the best ranked online payment processing systems available today. For more advice on which platform offers the best features for your business speak to LeadDigital, contact us today.

Stripe

stripe.jpg

As stated on their website, Stripe is very much a payment platform designed for developers. Their robust API allows for easy integrations with minimal code writing, whilst also supporting the latest ecommerce developments, such as social selling on Twitter. Stripe can accept 135+ currencies and all major credit & debit cards.

Pricing: 1.4% + 20p per transaction for European cards, 2.9% + 20p for non-EU cards for ‘pay as you go’. Enterprise edition also available upon request.

PayPal

paypal.jpg

As the World’s #1 online payment processing service, we couldn’t exactly miss PayPal off this list – with 197 million active customer accounts, 15 million merchants and over 4.9 billion payments being processed yearly [3]! Its popularly is partially down to how long PayPal has been established, but also how friendly the platform is for its users. They offer a feature rich service that integrates with virtually all online shopping carts, working across all devices.

Pricing: From 3.4% + 20p to 1.9% + 20p per transaction when adding to an existing checkout. Fixed monthly charges when selling through PayPal, based on sales volume.

Amazon Pay

Amazon-Pay.jpg

In 2016 Amazon reported 310 million active customers worldwide [4]. Amazon Pay enables ecommerce businesses to utilise the information held on each Amazon customer, so as to conveniently and securely, speed up payment processing online. The experience for consumers is similar to buying on Amazon, helping maintain trust in transactional security. This is also beneficial to merchants, as a method to validate buyers and prevent fraudulent transactions.

Pricing: 3.4% + 20p to 1.4% + 20p for UK payment processing based on transaction volumes. An additional charge of up-to 1.5% can apply for payments issued outside of the UK.

Authorize.Net

authorize.jpg

Authorize.Net have been in the online payments marketplace since 1996, and with over 440,000 merchant customers today, they are often considered the most widely adopted payment platform available. Advanced features like automated recurring billing and their fraud detection suite help Authorize.Net stand out, as does their award winning customer support.

Pricing: 2.49% + 15p per transaction with a monthly fee of £19, all additional services included free of charge.

WooCommerce

woocommerce.jpg

If you’re a WordPress user then you should serious consider WooCommerce – as it’s an ecommerce platform designed specifically for WordPress. They power over 28% of all online stores [5] and have created a range of features that enable tight integration with WordPress, alongside over 300 free and paid extensions! Beyond this they offer secure and trusted payment gateways, and even support businesses with marketing through coupons and reviews.

Pricing: Free model with additional WooCommerce extensions available at varying costs depending on your businesses requirements.

What About Mobile Payments?

Whilst all of the above systems provide features for mobile payment processing, there are some companies who are simply experts on the subject. A few examples of these include SquareQuickBooks GoPayment from Intuit and Google’s own Google Wallet (popular for Android users).

If you’re still not certain which payment processing platform offers the best tools for your hospitality brand, then speak with an expert at LeadDigital. We have a long history of supporting businesses in their ecommerce activities, so know the best ways to get the most from services available!

 

Need Help Taking Payments On Your Website?

Contact Us Today

 

References

[1] https://www.gurufocus.com/news/492058/uk-online-shopping-and-ecommerce-statistics-for-2017
[2] https://www.gurufocus.com/news/492058/uk-online-shopping-and-ecommerce-statistics-for-2017
[3] http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/paypal-statistics/
[4] https://www.statista.com/statistics/476196/number-of-active-amazon-customer-accounts-quarter/
[5] https://woocommerce.com/

Top 3 Ecommerce Platforms in 2017

With over 3 billion global internet users [1], there’s no doubt that your hotel, bar, restaurant or venue should be selling online in 2017. The best way to get started is with an ecommerce platform, a collection of purpose-built software technologies that allows merchants to build, host and manage online storefronts in order to sell their products.

Phone-Online-Shopping-735439-edited (1)

Shopping carts are the most important part of any ecommerce platform. It is the part of the software that allows customers to browse items, build lists for purchase and then “checkout” when they are ready to buy. At checkout, the software will generally calculate a total for the order, including shipping, handling and any applicable taxes.

More advanced ecommerce platforms will fit into your current supply chain making things like payment, delivery, accounting, warehousing and event planning integrate easily with your existing systems. Some platforms are even capable of being run in physical stores by offering their own point of sale systems.

This all sounds great, but with so many ecommerce platforms to choose from now, how are you supposed to know which one to go for? There’s never going to be a one-size-fits-all here, a brand new events venue trying to sell tickets online has very different ecommerce requirements to a hotel that has been taking room bookings for years.

 

Need Help Choosing the Right Ecommerce Platform?

Contact Us Today

 

We’re here to help by telling you about the best ecommerce platforms available right now and how to choose the right one to suit you and your hospitality business. Here are LeadDigital’s top 3 ecommerce platforms in 2017:

1. Magento

magento2.png

Magento is an enterprise-level, open-source ecommerce platform and was first released to the public in March 2008. The ecommerce platform is being used by around 240,000 websites [2], roughly 13% of all online storestoday [3] and includes many popular brands like Burger King, SEAT and Graze. There are currently three versions of the software available; Magento Community Edition, Magento Enterprise Edition and Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition.

Magento Community Edition is a free version of Magento, built for emerging small businesses and will work well for small stores with few products. The faster code base and page caching that Magento Enterprise Edition brings to the table is a must-have for larger stores, but this speed comes at a price.

Pros

  • Good user experience, the interface is very nice to work with.
  • Being an open-source platform means you have full control over your store and allows you to develop and extend to fit your needs.
  • There are almost 10,000 plugins/extensions available.
  • There are many free extensions available to let you sell on social media platforms.
  • Magento has a huge online community of store owners and plugin developers, always ready to give help and advice when building or extending your store.

Cons

  • Magento needs separate hosting, leaving you responsible for updates and security. The software has been known to run slowly on poorly optimised servers so you may need to spend time and money getting this configured.
  • Any customisation work would need to be done by a developer and if you’re looking to extend your store, this could end up being expensive.
  • Unless you’re comfortable working with code, getting extensions and templates working properly can be troublesome.
  • Can be very expensive for an enterprise license.

Who Should be Using Magento?

Magento is considered by many to be the enterprise-level ecommerce platform of choice, built to work with large stores and large amounts of products. It is highly customisable due to it being open-source, but requires an expert developer to get most things done. Magento is not a simple solution and can only be recommended for advanced users. If you’re a startup or smaller store, then a hosted solution like Shopify would be a better fit.

2. WooCommerce

woocommerce2.png

WooCommerce was first developed by WordPress developer WooThemes in 2011 and has since been downloaded over 20 million times [4]. Despite a flood of competitors entering the market, WooCommerce has shown amazing resilience and is a major player in the game. Stats from BuiltWith show that 24% of the top million ecommerce sites are built using WooCommerce[5]. WooCommerce was acquired by Automattic, the parent company of WordPress in May 2015 [6].

WooCommerce is a plugin, not a subscription-based solution like Shopify or Magento and is built to integrate seamlessly with WordPress. The plugin itself is free, 100% open-source and is backed by a huge online communitythat is always ready to offer help and advice.

Pros

  • It’s free! It doesn’t get much better than that.
  • Highly extendable and customisable, there are many free and paid extensions and thousands of themes available to install on your store.
  • If you have ever used WordPress then WooCommerce will feel very familiar and anybody with past experience will easily be able to figure it out.
  • WordPress and WooCommerce both have huge community support, which makes getting help and advice on your store a breeze.

Cons

  • Even though the base plugin is free, many of the extensions are not. Total costs will soon go up when you start extending your store.
  • Customisation can be difficult and you may need to hire a expert to install the plugin, custom themes or extensions which could end up being costly.
  • WooCommerce is not a hosted solution so you must buy separate hosting, leaving you responsible for the security and maintenance of your store.

Who Should be Using WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is perfect for people already running their website on the WordPress platform because it’s simple to download and install on an existing WordPress site.

For a lot of small businesses, WooCommerce comes with everything you need; the ability to sell products, calculate shipping, calculate taxes and accept PayPal payments. It even comes with a customer login area to show customers the status of their orders. However, if your store needs anything other than standard ecommerce features, you are going need an expert to work on it and you can expect the costs to rise significantly with each extension you need to install.

3. Shopify

shopify2.png

Founded in 2004, Shopify was originally based on software written by its founders for their online snowboard store, Snowdevil. [7] Since its humble beginnings, the company has grown to over 1,900 employees, working from 6 different offices around the world [8] and after going public in 2015, posted revenues of $205 million. [9]

Shopify is one of the biggest ecommerce platforms in the world, to date they are hosting 377,500 online stores that have sold over $29 billion worth of products. [10]

Prices start from ~£23/month for the basic package and up to ~£234/month for more advanced plans. Shopify also offer an enterprise level plan called Shopify Plus for high-volume merchants and large businesses.

Pros

  • Free 14 day trial, no risk, no credit card required.
  • 100+ professional themes to choose from, made by world-renowned designers like Happy Cog, Clearleft and Pixel Union.
  • 1,500+ apps to extend your store’s functionality.
  • 70+ international payment gateways included. Shopify makes it easy for customers to pay for items.
  • Mobile commerce ready. Your Shopify store and checkout will work on any mobile or tablet device right out of the box.
  • Use the official app to access store analytics, update your store, fulfill orders or contact customers all from your mobile device.
  • 24/7 dedicated support team available via email, live chat or telephone.

Cons

  • Your total monthly cost may end up higher than you originally thought because you will find yourself installing one of the many apps to increase your store’s functionality, but these apps come with their own monthly costs.
  • The checkout page is locked down to Shopify’s design unless you upgrade to Shopify Plus. There are good reasons for this, but if you want to control the design of your store all the way through, you’re going to be disappointed.

Who Should be Using Shopify?

Shopify is a fantastic ecommerce platform for beginners with a very simple setup process and a great dashboard area for quickly adding products and managing your store. Combine this with a huge library of beautiful themes and you can have a good looking store up and running in just few hours.

Shopify is, in our opinion, the best ecommerce platform available today for Hospitality businesses. The level of customisation offered across all areas of your ecommerce store make it extremely powerful. With all the technical aspects of running an online store taken care of, you can focus on the important bit, increasing ticket sales.

As an official Shopify partner, LeadDigital can design and build custom themes for your store. We can sit down, discuss your business goals and work with you to build a Shopify store from the ground up in order to increase your event sales.

 

Want to Discuss Ecommerce Software for Your Business?

Contact Us Today

 

References

[1] ICT Facts and Figures 2016. International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Jun 2017.
[2] Magento Usage Statistics. BuiltWith. Apr 2017.
[3] Ecommerce technologies Web Usage Statistics. BuiltWith. Apr 2017.
[4] WooCommerce – The Best eCommerce Platform for WordPress. WooCommerce. Apr 2017.
[5] Ecommerce technologies Web Usage Statistics. BuiltWith. Apr 2017.
[6] WordPress Parent Automattic Buys WooCommerce. Recode. 19 May 2015.
[7] Shopify, a Start-Up, Starts Its Own Business Competition. The New York Times. 2 Feb 2010.
[8] 2016 Year in Review. Shopify.
[9] Shopify Expects Revenue to Surge in 2016. Fortune. 17 Feb 2016.
[10] Shopify Announces Fourth-Quarter and Full Year 2016 Financial Results. Shopify. 15 Feb 2017.