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…

Aerie

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.

Spotify

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

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

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.

Digitl

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.

Nosto

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

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.

Steamhaus

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.