eCommerce – The warehouse space challenge

LogistCompare will be exhibiting at eCommerce Show North this year.

As the e-commerce business continues to increase, retailers need more storage space to grow.

With the current demand volatility, faster delivery time and shortage of warehouse space available, being closer to the customer is becoming essential. New smaller satellite facilities have been created to facilitate the drive for convenience: faster delivery times is now an integral part of the last mile process.

Whether small sheds or larger hubs, location is of paramount importance. A major factor in identifying suitable warehouse locations is the quality of access to and from the site. Depending on the retailer requirements, warehouses need to be located in the right spot to be able to not only supply the customer but also receive goods from suppliers.    

For the traditional “brick and mortar” retailers, the implementation of such development, brings a lot of pressure across the supply chain which was originally designed to replenish only a few stores on a regular basis. Accessing volatile space to supply customer demands becomes a real challenge.

We estimate that the UK has over 400m sq. ft. of warehouse space. It then comes as no surprise that the retail sector occupies 85m sq. ft. of this space for high street and homewares retailers and 62m sq. ft. food retailers. It is also important to mention that the online retail sector currently accounts for 8.5m sq. ft. of space and still continues to grow.

The availability of big hubs has fallen by 75% since 2010, with only 2.6m sq. ft. of space available across UK, while there is just 17m sq. ft. space currently under construction.

The world of warehousing is becoming quite unrecognisable. A vast underground warehouse near Heathrow has received planning permission. Amazon has announced plans to use a 580-acre lake as a submerged warehouse for goods.

As retailers increasingly move their business online, warehouse flexibility becomes an essential component in meeting their customers’ requirements. Whether it’s a large or small shed, the warehouse needs to cope with the volatility of the customer demand. Seasonal demand is not limited to online retailers. This inevitably brings serious pressure on warehouse capacity, potentially damaging both the possibility to maximise sales returns during peak times and retailer reputation.

Disruptive technology has given the opportunity to provide customers with easy solutions to better their shopping experience. Visibility allows them to locate their products, buy what and when they want and access their products easily and conveniently.

Online business also brings a high level of flexibility when dealing with returns. Online customers value a faster return process. This can be facilitated by either the use of a local store or fast return to warehouses. This puts a lot of pressure on hubs to maintain availability of both large vehicles and smaller vans or even motorbikes and scooters.

Finding the right warehouse space to accommodate the current e-commerce client is becoming a challenge especially when lack of space availability is the biggest culprit. Technology is now allowing portals to support customers with this process.

The latest and most advanced portals able to support the “Race for Space” is LogistCompare. This online portal that brings together customers looking for storage space and warehouse providers. The portal is interactive and therefore able to offer a direct communication between providers and customers.

The platform provides a selection of warehouse options and costs, allows customers to request customised quotations and provides live visibility of available space in the warehouse.  It’s currently free to use for retailers.

For a long time, retailers have rightly focused their efforts merely in selling their products to clients. With the change in the shopping behaviour, retailers need to turn their attention to these crucial areas: cost, location, flexibility and immediacy. All these can be addressed by the right warehouse solution.

Running a digital department can be a lonely job.

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The brand new Journal of digital commerce has launched to help you hack your way through the digital jungle, with potent case studies and technology insights. In this issue you will hear from technology giant Magento, the resurgence of iconic toy brand Rubik’s Cube and sustainable fashion designer RAEBURN and many more.

Get the inside track on what other clever people in the industry are working on, with volume one of the Journal of digital commerce:

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Magento 2.3 Has Been Released – Here’s What’s New…

Nublue will be exhibiting at eCommerce Show North this year.

28th November marks the first major release for Magento in almost a year with them releasing version 2.3.

This version focuses on packing more features into Magento out of the box, whilst also bringing Magento up to date with performance and security enhancements. Here’s what we can expect to see:

New Features Include:

  • Elasticsearch for all!
  • Multi-Source Inventory (MSI)
  • Improved Security Features
  • PHP 7.2 Support
  • Import/Export Enhancements
  • Asynchronous API
  • Page Builder

Elasticsearch for all!

Elasticsearch is an extremely popular search indexing tool which has been available for Magento Commerce customers for a while, allowing them to utilise more complex search queries and faster result responses to better sell their products.

With the growing popularity of Elasticsearch, Magento has opted to provide this support to everyone, including Open Source Magento stores. Elasticsearch can make your search results faster and has much less overhead than the usual MySQL search.

Multi-Source Inventory (MSI)

The Magento Community Engineering team has been working hard on the introduction of multi-source inventory management – allowing merchants to manage the movement of stock from multiple sources and the reservation of stock amounts for other purposes such as retail stock.

Alongside this also comes a more advanced stock allocation system, which should enable the ability for stock to be properly ring-fenced at the point of order placement. This should help merchants prevent over-ordering.

“Magento 2.3 has major focus on providing new features that’ll pack more punch out-of-the-box. More integral features means less reliance on extensions. With less extensions comes stability.” Sam Butler-Thompson, Lead Deverloper (Back-End)

Improved Security Features

Magento has packed in more security features for merchants to feel safe when selling their products online. Firstly, is the integration of Google reCAPTCHA out-of-the-box, allowing customers to prove they aren’t robots.

The second addition is Two-Factor Authentication on the Magento back-office. When enabled, back-office agents can confirm their identity using an app such as Google Authenticator. This allows merchants to be rest assured that only they can access their Magento admin panel.

PHP 7.2 Support

The latest release of PHP provides, amongst other things, a noticeable boost in performance to applications that use it. We’ve seen response time increases of approximately ~10% with internal tests – so it’s great news to hear that Magento has baked support for the next major PHP release into 2.3.

Note: Patches for 2.1.x and 2.2.x too which provide PHP 7.2 support will also be released, plus an official SUPEE patch for Magento 1 providing PHP 7.x support.

“Magento 2.3 provides new features to allow developers to integrate, extend and run Magento stores with stability and ease.” Siggi Sveinsson, Senior Front-End Developer

Import/Export Enhancements

Improvements in the data import and export tools of Magento should provide faster and more flexible tools to enable easier data management within your store.

Asynchronous API

The introduction of Asynchronous API into Magento’s already powerful API tools will also allow developers to produce integrations that can make requests to process large data without having to wait on the result. This is ideal for merchants that rely on integrations that require the management of a lot of data (such as stock of catalogue information), because it enables the integrations to be leaner and less resource-intrusive on a Magento system.

Page Builder

Earlier in the year, Magento purchased Blue Foot CMS – formerly a powerful CMS extension for the Magento platform. Version 2.3 marks the introduction of that functionality out-of-the-box, now called Magento Page Builder. This will provide out-of-the-box tools to easily and quickly produce stunning CMS and home pages with a reduced need to develop bespoke widgets.

Note: Page Builder is still in development – and will not be fully introduced till later in the year (Q1 2019). You can sign up for the Page Builder preview now if you wish to give it a go ahead of time.

Overall, the 2.3 release of Magento has more focus on enhancing and provide more features, enabling merchants to do more without the need to install add-ons. With the reduction of extension requirements alongside other performance improvements this version provides, merchants can take advantage of a more robust, more stable, and more flexible Magento store.


Kelkoo Group will be exhibiting at eCommerce Show North this year.

Your eCommerce business is up and running, your marketing strategy is reaching your target shopper audience, but you soon notice that nearly all your orders are averaging out to a low overall total.

For online shop owners, plateauing revenue and a drop in sales can be a worry, if this begins to become a monthly trend. However, you may be failing to manage your average order value (AOV), crucial if you are looking to boost your product sales.

Your AOV is the average amount of money that each customer spends during a transaction within your store. To increase this amount, you will need to encourage shoppers to add more items, or to up the number of high-value items that they add to their cart.

There are few easy ways that you can increase your AOV, taking your online store out of the danger zone and seeing your revenue soar.

Add reviews and recommendations

Adding reviews and product recommendations is an easy way to encourage shoppers to browse around your store, rather than simply clicking through to one product or worse, leaving your site. Add product reviews and recommendations to popular items and on the checkout page, a quick way to increase the overall AOV and stop cart abandonment for good.

Do consider the vocabulary that you use for each review that you write. “Customers also bought”, for example, is a great way to drive traffic to other products.

Consider discounts

Who doesn’t love a discount? Incentivise your customers to spend a minimum amount, so that they are rewarded with a coupon, free gifts or free shipping. Pop ups or a promotion bar are a quick an easy way to encourage stubborn shoppers to add more to their carts.

Customer loyalty perks and programmes

A loyalty programme is the ideal way to set up a retention strategy, meaning that you create relationships with your customers – in particular if you stock consumable products, that sees shoppers making weekly or monthly repeat purchases. Incentives such as a points scheme, offering shoppers rewards dependent on the total amount that they spend,

Product bundles

If you are struggling to get customers to purchase more items, then creating product bundles will appeal – by setting the total cost at a lower price than if each item was purchased individually. Bundling products together will help to increase the perceived value of a customer’s purchase. You can also tailor bundles for your target demographic, such as creating beauty boxes or allowing shoppers to pick and choose which fashion items they would like in their own bundle. Creating product bundles will increase your AOV, while improving your customers overall shopping experience.

Take time to focus, engage and encourage your customers and those who already know and trust your brand – your shoppers feel like they get more while your AOV gains a boost.

How To Build an eCommerce Brand

Smartebusiness will be exhibiting at eCommerce Show North this year.

Imagine for a second that your ecommerce store is a market stall, and it’s in the middle of a market square with all the other market stalls selling exactly the same stuff as you are. This is what online is like, it’s a really tough world and it’s very competitive. As a customer online, this is what they are faced with, an online market square with a number of retailers selling the same thing. So how can you stand out from the rest?

Imagine you are at the back of the market square, and the guys at the front are offering free delivery, and 365 days return, and if you buy today we’ll give you £20 off your order, and we guarantee to be the best price. And you’re at the back, saying well, we’re more expensive, our delivery is 3-5 days and our returns policy is non existent! Who would you buy from?!

Your value proposition has to be right… so make sure it is. Before you even come to think about building a brand, make sure the value proposition is right as this is the first step to success online.

Don’t compare yourself to the big retailers

The biggest mistake you can make when you’re still a small eCommerce store is comparing yourself to the big retailers, and by big retailers, we mean the brands that have multi-million pound advertising budgets. It’s so common for us to meet a new retailer and all they want to do is be like (for example.) but what most retailers don’t consider is that have been in exactly the same position they are. It’s taken them years to build their brand and they have been extremely successful, but everyone starts somewhere! Apple is also a great example. They can get away with just using their Apple logo because everyone knows who they are, but when they first started out, they wouldn’t have been able to do this. People would be questioning who they are.

A really cool trick is to use waybackmachine to look at what the big brands messaging/CTAs and USPs were when the started, its fascinating and really helps when thinking about your value proposition and your strategy for growing the business and your brand.

Are you selling problem solving rational products or emotional lifestyle ones?

Think about what you are selling. Products normally fall in 1 of 2 camps, its either a rational problem solving purchase or an emotional one. And this completely dictates what the ecommerce site says and does. Think about the differences between selling a luxury throw for the sofa or a car battery (these are 2 of our clients!) If I tried to get you to buy a car battery when you didn’t want one I couldn’t even pay you to buy one! But when you need a car battery it’s a life or death situation and you need one NOW! The car battery is such a problem solving rational purchase that you have only 4 hours to get the sale. But the luxury throw is such an emotional one that we might have 30 days to get the sale, and we’re selling the dream here, the lifestyle. You can see here that the brand messages are completely different and so the eCommerce site has to be also.

Are you selling your own products or is it your own brand?

This is a massive one as it will dictate your whole offering. Consider the differences between AO and Boohoo. AO sell other peoples brands, and the value is in the brands they sell, so they have to focus on ‘something else.’ They chose brand values of price, availability and service. We all know that it can be a nightmare when your fridge breaks or your washing machine and you need to get back up and running fast. Their speedy delivery and complete flexibility over timeslots instantly creates a fantastic experience for their customers. And to have them turn up and fit it for you and take away the packing for a small extra cost takes away the need to ring a number of tradesmen getting quotes, finding out when they can come over, and it may be two days after the fridge arrives. AO really have thought about what their customers want and it’s paid off hugely. Boohoo sell their own brands so this is a completely different proposition and focus for them. They focus on fast fashion and playing with the pricing architecture by offering time bound deals. They are fantastic at making you feel like you have to buy that dress right now or you are going to miss out and this works fantastically for converting those customers that may be just browsing.

The KPIs really matter,  and you need to know what they are.

At Smartebusiness, we could talk about this one all day, in fact I actually wrote a book about it! It’s something i’ve always been really passionate about throughout my 15 years at Smartebusiness when after some time working with retailers, I realised the key to their success was really all in the numbers. It’s just basic maths.

I can’t talk about this all day so i’m going to give you a whistle stop tour in 2 minutes!

We all know eCommerce revenue comes from traffic x conversion x average order values. i.e. its very much a mathematical equation, and a very simple one. Stop thinking emotionally about your eCommerce store and focus on the fundamental maths of the revenue. These are the basics, but when you delve a tiny bit deeper you can see where your eCommerce site is strong and weak within about 20 seconds!  The main KPIs you need to know about are:

·       Traffic – average is 50000 per month

·       Average Order Value – average is £50

·       Conversion rate – average is 2.7%

·       Add to basket % – average is 8%

·       Proceed to checkout % – average is 40%

·       Checkout to order – average is 85%

·       Internal search usage of overall visits – average is 9%

·       Internal search conversion is x4 average conversion rate

·       Overall bounce 40%

·       Home page bounce 25%

·       Category page bounce 50%

·       Product page bounce 60%

·       Average items per basket – 1.5

·       Average purchases per customer per year – 1.6

So, how do you compare to the above?

Own these, love these, they are your friends, and don’t stop looking at them, ever. They are the only things that matter in your world. This is why you are in business, and the only way to scale your growth.   

If you want, I can share our ecommerce KPI dashboard which puts all this together in a simple excel sheet and shows how you can grow over the next 3 years, its fascinating to see what the revenue can be if you tweak the kpis. Just email and we’re happy to share this with you or send over a copy of our book.

Once you have understood your KPIs and value proposition you can start thinking about your brand a bit more… so now you think about…

Why should people buy from you?

It doesn’t matter what your eCommerce site looks like, what ecommerce platform you are on, if people don’t want to buy from you, you can’t scale your revenue. It’s simple, you have to have something people want. Start thinking about all the anxieties people go through when buying your products, what are they worried about, write them down. Here’s some nuggets of wisdom I always tell our clients.

People trust the reviews, questions and answers more than the description you will write.

We can thank Amazon for this, because they really made us look at them, and so we should. People like them because they are real and we trust them. Social proof should be a huge part of any retailers strategy. Especially with the increase in influencers, and the use of video. We heard this week that instagram are moving IGTV to the feed and so video content is going to be used much more. This gives a massive opportunity for retailers to use this to not only tell their story, but to use powerful social proof like video customer reviews or product demonstrations.

Look at your reviews that are middle ratings as this is where the golden information is.

Reviews that are 5 out of 5 tend to say, ‘excellent, great’ and the reviews of 1 out oft 5 tend to say, rubbish, avoid! So we don’t learn much here, but if you look at the 2/5, 3/5, 4/5 you start to get some awesome insights. I always suggest categorizing them into groups e.g. how many were delivery related, or price related, and then monitor them over time.

Now you have all of the above in place, it’s time to start thinking about an emotional connection. You should have a well defined niche.

Do you remember the story of how the yoyo became the coolest product in the playground? It goes something like this…

They asked a child at school, ‘who is the coolest kid you know’ and he told them it was James. So, they asked James the same question, and he said Peter. They ask Peter the same question, and over and over until they found the ‘coolest’ child in the school. They eventually found that the coolest kid was a lad called Kevin, and they gave Kevin the yo yo. They knew that Kevin was the one child that influenced the whole school. This is exactly what Instagram is like. The rules haven’t changed. We are all still influenced by influencers whether we like it or not!

Building an eCommerce brand doesn’t happen overnight. You have to first ensure that the fundamental drivers of your business are in place, the value proposition, the KPI’s and then start to create that emotional connection with your customers. And remember, eCommerce is a process, and so you will always be making tweaks to keep up with your customer needs. The worst thing you can do is think that what is working now will always work forever. You will become stagnant and your customers will start to go elsewhere. Look at the buzz ASOS created when they introduced ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ so people could try on the clothes and send the ones back that they didn’t like, all without having to part with their money. It revolutionised the way people shopped and now a lot of fashion retailers are following in their footsteps. Innovation and new ideas will make you stand out from the rest of the crowd. But make sure you do your research and make sure your innovative ideas are going to delight your customers! After all, your customers are key!

Smartebusiness are eCommerce Growth Specialists that provide Paid Digital Marketing, Magento Development and Growth Consultancy Services. With a team of ex retailers that have worked in house for big eCommerce brands such as Lullabellz, Missguided, Simply Be and many more, Smartebusiness have 15 years eCommerce experience and are well placed to give retailers turning over between 2 and 20 million online some fantastic growth advice at the show this year.

We’re offering a free 1-2-1 KPI Growth Benchmarking session for retailers at Ecommerce Show North and we have limited spaces left at the show. Please email to reserve your slot.

I will also be on hand delivering an awesome speaking session about scaling from 2 million to 20 million. Be sure to watch the session and pop by to our stand next to the Magento theatre.
Written by Ian Hammersley – CEO of Smartebusiness, eCommerce Growth Specialists. And Author of The Ultimate Guide to Ecommerce Growth.

When Does Online Fraud Prevention Start to Turn Away Real Customers?

Kooomo are exhibiting at this year’s eCommerce Show North. The below blog originally appeared on their website.

There’s no way to completely avoid eCommerce fraud. There, we said it.

Sure, there are plenty of measures that retailers can take to ensure that they’re as protected as possible against fraud. Having a world class eCommerce platform with a built in automatic order system and algorithms designed to detect fraud is one that we happen to know a thing or two about!

And sure, there are lots of ways that you can limit the amount of fraudulent transactions coming through your online store. Like using CVV numbers. Making sure that you are fully PCI Compliant. Always checking that billing addresses match IP addresses. Tracking your packages. Honestly, we could go on all day.

Whether we like it or not, fraud is and will probably always be the number one threat to online retailers. Account takeover fraud rose by 45% in Q2 2017 alone, at the monstrous price tag of $3.3 billion. Merchants are up against it in a big way.  Fraudsters are no longer just stealing card details – they’re using local data to ensure that all of the information they provide online stacks up – names, postal addresses, IP addresses, the lot. Throwing even more fuel on the fire is the timeline that brands face when dealing with chargebacks, sometimes up to 180 days of investigation before liability is ultimately determined. Oh, and that liability tends to fall back on merchants more often than not, with an average of 8% of retailers’ revenue being pumped into managing online fraud.

Now on one hand, you can ramp up your security measures in a bid to shift liability and keep chargebacks to a minimum. But on the other hand, by doing that, your customer experience is undoubtedly going to take a hit.

Because what do real-life, legitimate customers want? They want frictionless checkout. And by frictionless, we mean one page wherever possible. They want the option to check out as a guest if they haven’t already registered on your site. They probably don’t want to be taken away from your website to complete 3D Secure authentication, then try to remember their password and possibly have to contact their bank to either set or reset their credentials. And they certainly don’t want to be contacted by a loss prevention manager for further authentication details simply because they decided to have an online shopping spree on payday!

A fine line

Clearly, we’re dealing with a fine line here. So are you damned if you do and damned if you don’t?

Well…yes and no.

Apart from the obvious financial implications around eCommerce fraud, the key cause for concern is really the reputation of your brand, and how it’s being viewed by your potential and existing customers. If, for example Dave randomly checks his bank account and sees transactions from your online store that he never made, he has to go through the rigmarole of contacting his bank and being out of pocket for however long it takes for the charge to be returned to him, through no fault of his own. Sure, chances are that Dave understands how online fraud works and that he’s one of the unlucky ones that unfortunately has to take it on the chin. But from that moment forward, every time Dave sees an ad for your company, or someone mentions the brand in passing, he will always remember the grief that the experience caused him. At some point he has probably questioned the level of security behind your website. And you can bet your bottom dollar that he has told his friends, family and colleagues all of the gory details. Not ideal. Not ideal at all.

Finding the balance

When it comes to detecting, preventing, and managing online fraud, it’s really all about balance. Because it’s just as important for brands to create as seamless a purchasing experience as possible as it is to deter hackers from their online stores. Should brands be implementing one page checkout as much as possible? Absolutely. Should they also be taking the appropriate measure to protect themselves against fraud? Of course they should! But how can you effectively achieve both? Well, we’ve already mentioned how important it is to have an eCommerce solution that will not only safeguard your store against scammers, but that also has data share in place to detect profiles that have performed fraud elsewhere on the platform’s network.

It’s also vital that behind that platform sits a highly qualified loss prevention specialist with the knowledge and experience to be able to 1) quickly take action on potential fraudulent activity, 2) determine which transactions are ok to authorise, and 3) strike a balance between the two.

At Kooomo, we call that person Peter.

But wait, there’s something else you can do to keep the fraud scales balanced and that is to test, report, and optimise. If you’ve decided to add another layer of security to the online checkout process with the likes of 3D secure, that’s all well and good. But while you’re doing that, you may also want to monitor your shopping cart abandonment rate. If it suddenly starts to go through the roof while your conversion rates simultaneously start to plummet, you could actually be putting your brand at a greater risk by losing legitimate customers. If your cart abandonment rate remains largely unchanged on the other hand, you could quickly start to see a fall in the number of chargebacks coming through. The point here is that you shouldn’t be making a judgement call on the security of your online store without testing out various measures, tracking the results, and optimising for customer experience while still limiting the risk of fraud.

There’s always going to be advances in technology to protect merchants, as well as advances in all of the ways that scammers can outsmart that technology. The big question always tends to be ‘who is two steps ahead?’ The answer is debatable. But in terms of what sits at the root of all this chat about security, and the answer is always the same – the customer.

3 Ways to Dramatically Reduce Your Return Rate

Kooomo are exhibiting at this year’s eCommerce Show North. The below blog originally appeared on their website.

Returns. They’re the bane of any online brand’s existence. 

We’re talking escalating supply chain costs. Stock that needs to be repackaged in order to be resold. Stock that can’t be resold due to seasonality, damage, or fraud. Oh, and did we mention all of the admin that’s involved?

There’s no doubt about it – returns remain to be one of the biggest challenges that online retailers face on a daily basis. Shopper expectations, partnered with the need to keep up in an outrageously competitive market means that if your returns process isn’t a) free, and b) easy, you’re going to a) miss out on potential sales, and b) lose return customers.

As a result, returns have become such a routine part of the online purchasing process that buyer’s remorse is arguably a thing of the past.

At least 30% of all products that are ordered online are returned, compared to just 8.89% of items purchased in physical stores. So we can’t help but wonder – is providing an excellent customer experience by making the returns process a piece of cake just encouraging your customers to buy more stuff, so they can return more stuff?

Well, as important as it is to create a seamless returns experience for your customers, companies often forget to focus the same attention on decreasing the rate of returns that come through in the first place.

Today we’re going to look at 3 simple ways that you can start to tackle the returns rate for your online store.

Up Your Product Description Game

About 22% of online returns are made as a result of products looking different in reality to what’s displayed on your website.

We’ve all been there. You order an item that seems to ticks all the boxes. Maybe it’s a knee-length dress that, in reality, skims your ankles because the model’s height wasn’t highlighted in the product description. Maybe it’s a watch that appeared to have an oversized face, but in reality is only the size of a 20 cent coin, because the product image didn’t show what it looked like on a wrist.

Context is everything. So your product descriptions need to be, for lack of a better term…descriptive. Detailed sizing guides, product specifications, and additional benefits should be included wherever necessary. And even if you do all of this, there’s a very good chance that your product descriptions are only going to be skimmed by shoppers. So cover all your bases with high quality, true to life product images and videos to ensure that they also tell your customers the story of exactly what the product is, who it’s for, and why they need it.

And while we’re on the topic of context, how could we not mention the mack daddy of bringing context to the purchasing experience – augmented reality.  40% of consumers would be willing to spend extra money on a product if they could experience it through augmented reality. So it might also be time to embrace AR technology to add a more sensory experience to your product pages – Sephora does it with Virtual Artist, IKEA does it with IKEA Place – so what’s it going to be for your brand?

Integrate User Generated Content & Reviews

Decreasing your returns rate is just one of the many benefits of integrating reviews and user generated content into your e-shop. In fact, there are more statistics about the power of UGC and online reviews than you can shake a stick at. 93% of customers find user-generated content to be helpful when making a purchasing decision. 71% of consumers feel more comfortable buying a product after researching user reviews. And 70% of consumers trust online peer reviews and recommendations more than professional content and copy.

So even though your online store needs to have top notch product descriptions, images, and videos, chances are that most shoppers are still going to want to see what other people who bought your product thought about it before they commit to the purchase. They want to see your products in the light of day. If you sell clothing, they want to see how they look on different body types. If you sell furniture, they want to know what kind of wear and tear can be expected. So the best thing that you can possibly do for online shoppers is to plug all of this information into your website, so that it not only adds that layer of social proof to your offering, but further supports the decision-making process, as well as the overall customer experience.
One of the best examples of a brand that has mastered leveraging user-generated content and reviews is Glossier, who attribute an incredible 90% of their revenue to word-of-mouth, free promotion. Reviews feed into every product page, with the most liked positive review and most liked negative review featuring side by side at the top of the feed for all to see. They don’t gloss over (see what we did there…) any negative reviews. All feedback is welcomed.  Meanwhile, over on Instagram, customers are encouraged to use the hashtag #glossier to share their photos and thoughts on the products – often reposted by the brand to their 1 million plus followers.

By empowering your customers with all of the information they need to make an informed decision about whether to buy your products or not, it’s going to have a knock-on effect on your rate of returns.

Get Returns Feedback That’s Relevant

You may already be gathering customer feedback in the form of checkboxes on return slips. And that’s great. But those return slips are only going to be of actual value to you if these two things are happening:

  1. You’re gathering information that’s relevant
  2. You’re actually doing something with it!

It’s all well and good discovering that the top reason for your online returns is down to items not fitting correctly, but what exactly does ‘correctly’ mean? Take it a step further and give customers the option to indicate whether the item was ‘too big’ or ‘too small’. That way, you know that you need to add more information to your product descriptions or change the positioning of the sizing guides on your product pages, for example.

Or maybe you start to notice that you’re getting an influx of returns citing ‘damage’ as the primary reason. And maybe, you just switched to a new form of packaging in a bid to offset shipping costs. Coincidence? Probably not.

You need to understand why customers are returning your products. It’s really as simple as that. Because all of those return slips will undoubtedly spell out for you what you need to do to take action and turn the returns train around.

The reality of running any kind of online store is that returns are always going to be part and parcel of the process. There’s no escaping them. And sure, you can leverage free and easy returns as a way to amplify the customer experience and even boost sales, but at the end of the day, prevention is still better than cure.

And you can bet your bottom dollar that having an online store that’s optimised to limit the rate of returns provides just as powerful a customer experience than one that makes the returns process as smooth as possible.

How User Generated Content Creates Engagement For eCommerce Brands

Digital Media Team can build, target and re-target specific audience’s and ensure product placement which in turn generates a fantastic ROI.

There’s a real buzz around User Generated Content at the moment and marketers are only just realising how influential it can be for eCommerce brands.

UGC can be any content created by a company’s audience, which shares the brand through the use of a consumer’s own social media.

Consumers are an incredible source for championing products and are able to show potential customers an unbiased view of your brand.

A whopping 86% of millennials have said that User Generated Content shows the true quality of a company and these campaigns should be the next step for any business looking to promote themselves in a positive way.

Here are a few of our favourite User Generated Content campaigns over the past few years…


This time last year we saw American women’s clothing company Aerie launch the #AerieReal Campaign, which encouraged users to post unretouched images of themselves wearing Aerie swim suits.

Not only did they receive thousands of images, they also donated $1 to NEDA (National Eating Disorders Association) with every hashtag, which ended with over $10,000 being sent to the charity.

The campaign was so successful that the hashtag is still frequently used today, with the topical subject matter encouraging users to continue to engage with this body-positive message.


This well-known music streaming service is no stranger to UGC campaigns and nobody can forget their immensely popular “Thanks 2016. It’s been weird” project from last year, which saw lighthearted billboards showcasing Spotify users’ play history.

This year they’ve upped their game by targeting individual users and highlighting some of the more bizarre and unique playlists that have been created.

This campaign has been splashed across billboards, as well as quirky videos where artists have commented on a playlist which includes their song.

It’s been a roaring success so far and we can’t wait to see what Spotify comes up with next!


Apple’s #ShotOnIphone campaign has been going for over two years now and it doesn’t look like it will be losing traction any time soon.

After consumers approached the brand about being less than satisfied with the iPhone’s camera, Apple decided to address this upon release of their new device by encouraging consumers to post images with the #ShotOniPhone hashtag.


They even brought in amateur and professional photographers to take images through an iPhone, blowing up the results on billboards across the world.

The campaign continues to be a major success for the brand because Apple not only listened to their consumers concerns, but tackled it by showing that they’d made improvements instead of just saying it.

User Generated Content campaigns are on the rise and we suggest jumping on the bandwagon. It’s a brilliant way to create brand messaging in an enjoyable and engaging way and shows how influential social media can be.

3 Ways to Reduce Packaging Waste (and the Eco-Friendly Brands to Learn From)

The below article originally appeared on the Kooomo website. Kooomo will be exhibiting at this year’s eCommerce Show North.

Have you ever received a giant box in the post and thought to yourself ‘Hmm, I don’t remember ordering anything this big…have I been shopping in my sleep again?!’

Then you open the box to find that it actually consists of 50% packing peanuts, 30% inflated airbags, 10% tissue paper, and the remaining 10% is the small, non-fragile items that you purchased online (probably also wrapped in a plastic bag for good measure).

In 2017, packaging waste in Ireland grew 27% to over 7,000 tonnes for the year, equivalent to the waste generated by a town of 16,000 residents. Furthermore, a recent study by MacFarlane Packaging found that 41% of online brands are using too much packaging for their items.

With global eCommerce sales due to reach $4 trillion by 2020, there’s never been a more crucial time for brands to do their part to reduce waste and be as environmentally conscious as possible. Because not only does reducing packaging have a substantial effect on the environment, it also has a knock-on effect on overall shipping costs. Win win!

Today, we’re looking at three ways that online retailers can be greener when it comes to utilising packaging and shipping materials as well as the brands that have taken major steps towards making eCommerce a more eco-friendly space.

 Tip #1: Use recyclable and bio-degradable materials wherever possible

It goes without saying (but we’re going to say it anyway) – you should ALWAYS choose recyclable shipping materials (paper, cardboard, bubble wrap, corn-starch items, and biodegradable plastic) over their non-recyclable counterparts. Better yet – try to use 100% recycled material when shipping your products. Polystyrene (aka Styrofoam), though it can technically be recycled, typically can’t be done locally, so either ends up in a landfill, or unknowingly gets tossed in a recycle bin, where it could potentially slow down the entire recycling process by damaging the machines that sort materials. A survey by Dotcom Distribution found that 61% of online shoppers take into account how green the brand’s packaging is before they make a purchase. Therefore it’s vital that you choose your shipping materials wisely – not only for the greater good of the environment, but also to enhance your overall customer experience. One brand who has nailed both is Puma, whose ‘clever little bag’ replaced the traditional shoebox in 2010. The non-woven bag, which holds shoes in place with a single piece of cardboard is responsible for saving 8500 tonnes of paper, 1 million litres of water, and 65% of cardboard material to date.

Tip #2: Size matters

If you want to ensure that your shipping materials are as eco-friendly as possible, you MUST start sizing to fit. The average package contains approximately 40% of empty space. Not only does this mean more emissions, but it also means a greater overall costs to merchants. Every inch counts just as much as every kilogram, especially considering the fact that most shipping costs are now based on dimensional weight. What this means is that weight is no longer the dominant factor in calculating shipping rates – how much room a package will take up in a delivery truck is!

Not every brand is going to have the resources available to integrate package design technology that will optimise every last inch of packaging, but every online retailer can absolutely take small steps that will make a big difference. Simply put, there’s no such thing as a one-size fits all box in online retail. So if you’re shipping a small product to a customer, let’s say a wallet for example – does it really need to be in a double wall 305 x 220 x 220mm box? Probably not. ‘But what about products that need to have the protection that only polystyrene blocks can provide?’ you might wonder. Well, look at Dell, who developed bamboo cushioning back in 2009 as an alternative to plastic foam following customer complaints about their shipping boxes. The cushioning, which can be recycled or composted in the same way as paper has played a significant part in reducing box sizes by 10% as well as cutting 20 million pounds of packaging and an 8% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Tip #3: Think inside the box

So assuming you have optimised the sizes of your shipping boxes, there’s another conundrum to consider – should you or shouldn’t you custom brand your shipping boxes? Well, over 40% of online consumers say that branded packaging makes them more likely to recommend products to friends and are more likely to share images on social media, so yes! You should absolutely consider custom branded shipping packaging for your products. However, if you’re going to pump considerable budget into creating custom branded packaging, you should try to ensure that it serves a greater purpose than brand awareness (or even *gasp*, customer experience). If you’re branding your shipping boxes, you should take the opportunity to remove a supplementary piece of material in your shipping box.

Take Farmacy as your source of innovation inspiration. The skincare brand constructed a 6-sided origami style box to hold their jars of ‘honey potion’ face masks. The box can then be unfolded to reveal the brand story and ingredient information, removing the need to include a separate insert into each product box. Try doing something similar with your own shipping boxes. Do you typically include a card containing your brand’s social media handles and official hashtags in each shipment to encourage user-generated content? Try printing this message on the inside of the box instead! And while you’re at it, always include a message asking your customers to get involved in making the world a greener place by recycling the box and/or various ways they can repurpose it!

It’s the responsibility of every online brand to ensure that they are doing their bit to reduce their carbon footprint. At Kooomo, we’re delighted to see so many of our partners and customers making strides towards increased sustainability through shipping and otherwise. La Sportiva recycles 50% of production waste through their adoption of the eco-sustainable ISO 14001 certification. Havaianas donates 7% of the proceeds from their IPE range to the conservation of Brazilian flora and fauna projects. Butlers Chocolates locally source packaging to reduce the amount of product materials used.

As far as shipping goes, who knows – maybe one day brands will somehow be able to get orders to customers without the need for packaging. But until then, every little change can make a big difference. Maybe that is removing a single non-essential piece of packaging from your shipments. Or maybe it means altering the sizes of your shipping boxes. Whatever that change may be, any change really is better than no change at all.

Setting Up Your First AdWords Shopping Campaign

The article below originally appeared on the adaplo website. adaplo will be exhibiting at his year’s eCommerce Show North.

For starters, you are in a great position because you have already decided to start (a good start is half the battle, right?).

You have also probably done your research and found out that Shopping Campaigns are one of the main growth drivers for eCommerce stores. Truth be told, they do get 75% of the search budget of sophisticated retailers (source: Merkle Digital Quarterly report Q2 2017) and have increased their share of total store orders by 160% in the last 2 years. Therefore, they are indeed a traffic source that lives up to the hype.

To help formulate your strategy for starting Google Shopping, there are plenty of resources available online. However, if you want everything you will ever need to start Google Shopping effectively and efficiently in one place, then this short guide is for you.

We did all the research for you and, combined with our experience working with different clients in different industries and countries, we give you a closer look into:

  • The requirements for Shopping Campaigns
  • The main steps involved
  • How to monitor the performance of your ads

Requirements for Shopping Campaigns

Before we get into the details, let’s first make sure that you are eligible to launch Product Listing Ads (the “other name” of Shopping Campaigns). There are some strict requirements to fulfill so that you don’t do all the hard work only to find out that you cannot run your ads.

The most important requirements are:

  • Your product and business must abide by the Google Shopping policies. These policies are different and on top of the standard Google AdWords policies. You can read the full policy but rest assured that you cannot advertise adult products, counterfeit goods or academic cheating goods.
  • You want to sell (and run ads) on a country that supports Shopping Campaigns. Although this product is out there for quite a while, it is not yet available in all Countries. You can find the full list of countries at the bottom of this help article
  • You have the ability to send updated information to Google about your products at least every 30 days. This is really important because data quality is important to Google in order to maintain a good user experience.

Now that you know the requirements to safely launch product listing ads, it’s time to set up your first campaign, which is an easy 4-step process that includes the following:

  1. Create your product feed
  2. Setup your Google Merchant Center account and sync your feed
  3. Create your Google AdWords account, if you do not already have one
  4. Link your Merchant Center account (MCA) with your AdWords account

Are you done with these? Let’s move forward!

How To Setup Google Shopping

Launching a new campaign is a straightforward process. On top of this, Google keeps improving the campaign setup process with a series of steps.

What I would like to share is a high-level approach to the most important decisions and settings you need. As with everything else, if you get the basics right, you are off to a good start.

1. Select a country

If you just sell in one Country, this would be a non-issue. But what if you are selling in multiple countries? Should you advertise in all of these countries or just a few of them? And, how do you choose which ones? I suggest you start with one country – preferably a country you are already getting sales from as it is a validated market – learn from it and then scale to more countries. Shopping will not work for you if you are trying to sell at a market in which you are not competitive, either due to product selection or due to price levels and competition.

A common bad practice that should be avoided:

More than often, I see Campaign Managers investing days of work trying to forecast or predict the results of new campaigns. I have lost count of the times I was asked to give an opinion on how the CPC (cost-per-click) will go per campaign and per country for an account that hasn’t even been launched yet. I suggest you don’t go down that road because:

  • It takes up a lot of your time to do these calculations/predictions (and for no good reason) – and time is money
  • No matter how good you are, your estimations will go really off, because you are not starting with good data but with ballpark assumptions

My recommendation is to just start and wait for a few days to have clean data (not assumptions) that you can base your calculations on.

2. Budget and bidding

Now you need to define your budget and bidding. Although Google first asks for your bidding, I believe that semantically you should first think about your budget and then decide how you are going to spend that money (aka bidding).

Start with a budget that you feel comfortable with, not the max amount you can invest or the amount that you would like to invest (to get to your sales growth targets). Keep in mind that this is a “testing budget”, given that in PPC (pay-per-click) you need to run things for some time so that you can see the real results after the system understands your case and after you have run some optimizations. Typically it takes close to 2 months before you start seeing the real performance. Then, you can decide how to scale the account. This does not mean that you will not be getting conversions for the first 2 months; it is just that you will not be getting the max returns for your budget.

To sum up, determine a short-term budget that you feel comfortable with and divide it by 2 months to get your initial daily budget.

Next comes setting your bidding strategy. These days, Google is offering different ways to bid, which is great. However, it also means that we have to choose. My recommendation would be to either choose “Target ROAS” or “Manual CPC”, depending on how much time you wish to allocate to your campaign management. Let me clarify. If this first campaign is just a start point in a quest to dive even deeper into this channel, then choose “Manual CPC”. You will get tons of data on various dimensions (campaign, ad group, product group, device, etc). Plus, you will be able to optimize the performance as you get more data. This is also the way sophisticated advertisers with proprietary algorithms choose. But if you do not have the time or skill set required to continuously optimize your account, go for “Target ROAS” since this is a machine-learning-based algorithm by Google that does what it says, namely increase your ROAS.

3. What products to advertise

As with countries, it is best to start with the product you are already selling like hot cakes. And, why is that product so popular? Because you have a good combo of product positioning, high-quality, relevant images, hard-to-beat pricing or competitive positioning. So, take what you already know works and start this new ad channel with it. The objective for your first weeks is to see if you can get more sales, not sell new items. Then you can scale your campaigns to other products.

The whole process needs to be agile, meaning that you should start small and then scale based on the data. Refrain from taking the “start small” approach to heart and have just 1 Shopping Campaign with 1 AdGroup which is a mistake many campaign managers make. This is not good practice as it will not deliver the results you expect and also minimises the learnings you can get from this first campaign.

My recommendation is to start with a single Shopping Campaign and break down 7-10 AdGroups based on a column of your feed (preferably category or brand). Then, as you get more data, you can further break down more campaigns into more granular targetings to optimise both the targeting and the bidding.

Monitor performance

As you start getting ad clicks (and hopefully conversions) from your campaigns you will want to monitor the performance of your ads and find optimization ideas. The obvious place would be to check Google AdWords UI daily and see the performance of your Campaign.

The main metrics that you should monitor are:

  • Cost (how much you are spending)
  • Conversions, and
  • Conv value/Cost (aka ROAS, or how many $ you are getting from each $1 on ads)

But wouldn’t it be great if you could periodically run an audit of your Campaign(s) and see if there are optimisations that you could do? In this case, we have some exciting news. We have worked hard and created the first Google Shopping Performance Grader, which allows you to run a free audit of your campaigns in less than 60’’.

Our Grader will analyze your campaigns across 9 dimensions and give you a beautifully designed report with your score, as well as actionable recommendations.

How to Optimise your Google Shopping Ads

CTI Digital will be exhibiting at this year’s eCommerce Show North.

The Consumer Decision Journey is changing. As such, users’ expectations from search results have evolved, and marketers must adapt their adverts according to users’ new behaviours.

Google is built to recognise intention and, as a result, it can offer smarter personalised search results, based on what Google knows users will like.

In order to capture the best of the potential market, Google Shopping ads are the fastest way to appear at the top of search results. This makes them a vital resource to harness.

For an extensive rundown of how to optimise this high-ranking resource, read our eBook: ‘7 Tips for Running Better Google Shopping Ads’.

New Behaviours

Users are no longer restricted to the information provided only by the brands and people they know. Social media, comparison websites, influencers, and magazines all make the decision more complex.

Users are also relying much more heavily on search results. While previously you may have asked a friend: “How much is my car worth?”, “What do I do with chilli powder?”, or even “What’s the best haircut for me?”, users are now asking Google these personal questions. As such, the number of very generic searches is decreasing and the reliance on long-tail keywords is on the up.

In order to target your Google Shopping adverts to achieve your business goals, you must elect to focus on a specific intention. Decide whether you want to:

  • Woo the Window Shoppers – engage those with little information and low commitment.
  • Sway the Serious Buyers – convince users with informed presentation of specific brands/products.
  • Attract the Abandoners – dominate the market, comparing USPs and coming out on top.
  • Cross-sell to Converters – incentivise a repeat purchase from your recent customers.

What you can do

Optimising ad titles and descriptions, and removing errors to ensure you’re seen in feeds, is standard practice. The stand-out adverts must focus on the user’s intention.

After defining your business goals and focus, there are several simple tasks to optimise your ads for search. Google Shopping ads are one of the best tools to employ when attempting to attract customers and increase conversions.

It’s important to balance visuals with descriptive text, in order to entice users as well as to inform search crawlers of what exactly you’re offering. Descriptive titles, rich with keywords, will help to boost visibility.

Depending on the target point in the consumer funnel, splitting campaigns and bids by specific and generic, branded and non-branded, can prove vital in delivering results most efficiently. Prioritising specific intentions can achieve your business goals specifically within your budget.

Beyond product descriptions and keywords, custom labels can also help to categorise and separate adverts. Ultimately, this is great for you as it provides more flexibility, hopefully saving time and money.

Finally, it’s well-known that repeat customers are the most fertile market for most businesses. Therefore, enhancing remarketing campaigns to target specific audiences and to nurture your pre-existing relationship can pay dividends in terms of conversion rates later on.

Benefits of an Effective Warehouse Management System

LogistCompare will be exhibiting at this year’s eCommerce Show North.

The Warehouse Management System (or, WMS) is a software specifically designed to support your warehouse operations, helping with core operational aspects such as tracking stock, picking, shipping and despatching goods.

WMS has been around for a relatively long time, as a tool to improve the performance. Nevertheless, not every software system is the same.

For a WMS to be considered effective it should do more than simply keeping track of stock within your warehouse operations. Thus, before selecting an appropriate system, you should ensure that you choose one that fits your business model, for ultimate efficiency. There are many benefits to an effective warehouse management system, but then this is no wonder as it incorporates many factors; for instance, storage equipment, computer systems, and people, etc., into one system.

WMS should work seamlessly with various automated features integrated by the warehouse control system, including the conveyor, label formatting and content, automatic label application, fixed overheads and scanning.

1. Improved Customer Service

A WMS can streamline overall your warehouses operations and, let’s be honest, your warehouse is essential to your customers’ buying experience. Being streamlined has in itself many benefits, leading to a positive effect on your customers who’ll be impressed with a quick and accurate delivery of an order in an age where speed is expected. This, in turn, will help with your company’s competitivity which will lead to repeat orders in the long term. Put simply, if a warehouse is efficient, order and delivery times will be both accurate and reduced, which will equal happy and repeat customers.

2. Labour Productivity

A WMS doesn’t just focus on products and your warehouses inventory but also improve the efficiency of your workforce and their tasks too. A WMS can also manage and organise essential tasks as well as prioritise from a list of pending activities, resulting in an improvement in productivity.

3. Stock Visibility

A WMS solution can help with stock visibility as well as traceability within your warehouse. By tracking stock, picking accuracy improves which helps prevent losses through non- deliveries, returns, or even mis-deliveries. This, in turn, leads us back to our original point about improved customer service and repeat business. Stock visibility allows warehouses to accurately evaluate the space availability to customers. This is “gold sand” especially during peak times for retailers needing to increase their local inventories for the peak sales season. Real-time visibility of space availability and fast cost comparison are critical when trying to cope with a surge of orders to be fulfilled.

4. Continuous Improvement

Another benefit of opting for a WMS, and incorporating one into your business, is continuous process improvement. This means that you should expect your WMS vendor to keep abreast of the latest industry trends and to champion new ideas. These new innovative solutions can lead to reduced costs, improved operational efficiency and process optimisation.

Temando, Global Payments, SLI Systems and More

Our ‘eCommerce Matters’ series includes the latest news and insights from our event partners. CTI Digital, explain why software testers are vital, Temando discuss why shipping technology is key to a successful integration, Global Payments take a look back at POS Systems of the past, SLI Systems discuss Amazon’s relationship with online retailers and Digitl want to ensure you’re ready for the christmas rush.

CTI Digital

Why do we need Software testers? This week, CTI Digital explain why software testers are vital for ensuring that the software being delivered meets the specific needs and expectations of the customer. You can read more, here.


Temando’s State of Shipping in Commerce report for the US Markets stated that 54% of shoppers abandoned their cart due to the cost of shipping solutions and 44% will do the same and head to a competitor when a shipping service of their choice is not available. With shipping being one of the main reasons why shipping is abandoned, Temando say that shipping technology is key to a successful integration. Read more, here.

Global Payments

The cloud has changed point-of-sale (POS) technology. Global Payments take a look back at POS systems of the past and how today’s technologists and developers are providing enhanced capabilities and substational operational benefits in the development of POS solutions. Read more, here.

SLI Systems

Amazon: Friend, Foe or Frenemy. Retailers’ Relationship with Amazon is complicated but SLI Systems set out to discover whether Amazon is a friend or foe to e-commerce merchants. You can read more, here.


Are you ready for Christmas yet? Head of Agency at Digitl explains what is expected of online retailers during the festive period and other peak times to ensure they can cope with increased demand. Read more, here.

Nublue Launch Extensions for Magento

Magento eCommerce specialists Nublue have launched two new extensions for use with the
Magento platform to kick start their new service offering of custom built, bespoke extensions to
help eCommerce websites improve their user experience and functionality.

The extensions – which can be found on Magento Marketplace, come in the form of a shipping
deadline countdown and an invisible ReCAPTCHA for newsletters, with more extensions being
developed for future release.

The Shipping Deadline Countdown is used on product pages and gives users an onscreen
countdown timer, notifying them of the expected delivery date if a purchase is made before the
timer reaches zero – giving potential customers confidence in delivery speed and an extra
incentive to buy before leaving the site.

The Invisible ReCAPTCHA for Newsletters utilises Google’s invisible ReCAPTCHA technology
to prevent spam sign ups to newsletter subscription forms. The Invisible ReCAPTCHA is tied to
the submit button, meaning only suspicious traffic is made to actively perform an action in order
to pass the ReCAPTCHA. Use of this extension stops mail lists filling up with spam, reducing
server load and administrative time.

Nublue’s new extensions are purpose built for simplicity and ease of use and the eCommerce
specialists offer installation and support services when required.

Developed and built by the company’s own Magento certified developers to solve real world
problems or create better user experiences, extensions are not only thoroughly tested for quality
and functionality but also engineered to increase conversion and add maximum value for
eCommerce businesses. With the added benefit that the extensions are easily updated and any
bugs are fixed quickly and efficiently by the development team.

The extensions add to Nublue’s existing development, retainer and hosting services and add to
a growing list of services on offer including SEO, UX and CRO audits and assistance.


Nosto, Space 48, Bronto and More

The Weekly Round Up is where we share all of the latest news and insights from our exhibition partners. This week, Space 48 discuss Black Friday strategies, Business Growth Hub explain how funding can possibly help you upgrade your ISO certification, Nosto share 6 layers of effective product recommendations, Bronto hosted an event featuring guest speaker Robbie Hardy and Steamhaus explain the importance of Site Reliability Engineering.

Space 48

eCommerce companies will already be working on their eCommerce strategies for Black Friday. Space 48’s Founder Jon Woodall was recently on UKFast’s webinar panel of eCommerce experts discussing Black Friday trends. Here is 5 key Black Friday takeaways from the webinar, including quotes from Jon and the other eCommerce gurus. To read more, click here.

Business Growth Hub

Are you ISO 9001:2008 certified? From September 2018 this certification will not longer be valid and your quality management system will need to be upgraded to retain its ISO certification. Manufacturing businesses can access funding to help them with this migration. Anne Campion, Manufacturing Services Manager at the Business Growth Hub explains everything you need to know. You can read more, here.


A 2015 study stated that the majority of online shoppers expect personalised shopping experiences, you can do this by recommending items tailored to their taste. In this article, Nosto explore the anatomy of effective onsite product recommendations to help you leverage the benefits for your website. To read more, click here.


Bronto’s OWL Committee hosted an event featuring guest speaker, Robbie Hardy. Robbie is a serial entrepreneur and author focused on mentorship and empowering women in business. Mary Flannigan, Customer Success Manager at Bronto discusses the points that she has learnt from Robbie that has helped her lead and grow in her career. You can read more, here.


Site reliability engineering is ensuring that a product/platform can scale up, is reliable and does all of that as stress-free as possible. Steamhaus explain the importance of SRE in this article. Read more, here.