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When working with clients, one of the highlights for them is the fact that as well as growing sales online, their online presence also boosts their offline sales in their physical stores. We knew this to be the case from anecdotal evidence. However the real benefits of online to offline were very subjective and there was no real effective way to measure how increased engagement online would result in higher offline revenues. We were just relying on the experiences of our clients speaking with their customers. While this feedback is better than nothing, it was difficult to get a clear and accurate view. Quite simply, there were no real numbers to measure the effectiveness. That was until now.

The next generation of Google Analytics is known as Universal Analytics. The objective of Universal Analytics (UA) is to give a holistic view of the results from your entire marketing spend. UA will enable conversion to be measured across many different marketing channels.....


Lessons from Amazon’s Personalisation Algorithm

Posted: Thu, 26 June 2014, 15:39

Amazon has been at the forefront of everything related to eCommerce since the term was coined twenty years ago. They have been online since 1995and while many companies from that period have faded into history, Amazon have thrived. They grew from being an online bookseller to becoming the largest retailer in the world. They have successfully moved with the times. Where they have led, many have followed. On average, an Amazon customer will spend $968 with Amazon annually* so it is worth taking notice of what they do. There is much that we can learn from such a successful company.

A key goal of every business is to sell more to existing customers. After all the business has spent the time and money to acquire that new customer, so why not use upsells? Amazon has become well-known for bundling up products in an effort to sell more to each customer. Everyone who has used Amazon will be familiar with the recommendations on their site and the recommendations that Amazon sends by email.....


Our Suggestions for your Mobile-Commerce Website.

Posted: Thu, 26 June 2014, 15:26

Mobile commerce or M-Commerce is rightly regarded as one of the hot topics right now. The potential reach of your website and other online marketing materials has gone up exponentially. Your window of opportunity is no longer limited to the small amount of time that people sit in front of their computers at home or on their lunch break at work. Your customers and potential customers can learn about and buy your products anytime, night or day. That means they can be shopping in your online store when they are waiting in line for the bus or maybe sitting in their favourite café.

According to a recent study, 61% of people in the US have a smart phone* and the number is thought to be similar in the UK and Ireland. This tells you how pervasive the smart phone is and how important mobile commerce is....


Data Beats Opinion

Posted: Thu, 12 June 2014, 11:26

In case you are not familiar with the film, Moneyball , it relates to the world of baseball. It tells the true story of how the Oakland A's General Manager Billy Beane used computer analysis and statistics to rebuild his team for the 2002 season. It is an intriguing David and Goliath story of how a team struggles to compete while under enormous financial constraints. Moneyball tells the story of what happens when a team is up against competitors with far deeper pockets? The Oakland A’s who had the third lowest payroll in the league overcame huge obstacles and triumphed over clubs that had the luxury of selecting the top tier players.

The narrative follows the story of how when Oakland lost its first team line-up, the team was left scrambling for replacements. Rather than going down the route of traditional recruitment methods and battling their competitors head-on, Beane (Brad Pitt) placed his trust in a new assistant (Jonah Hill) who would crunch the numbers and have an in-depth look at statistics to determine the game's most undervalued players.....


The Benefits of a Comparison Chart

Posted: Thu, 12 June 2014, 11:16

Here are two quick questions for you

  1. On a scale of 1-10, how knowledgeable are your prospects and customers on the products that you sell online?

  2. Do they understand all of the features and benefits of your products and how they are different from competing products?

Did you struggle with these questions? I would not be surprised if your prospects and customers only had a very basic understanding of your products. I would also not be surprised if they would struggle to differentiate many of your products’ features from those of your competitors.....


Thoughts on Increasing your Online Business Revenue

Posted: Thu, 12 June 2014, 11:14

There are three ways to increase your revenues online (and offline for that matter)

You can increase your prices, you can get existing customers to buy more or you can get new customers. There is a lot that can be written about getting new customers but for this post I just want to focus on increasing prices and getting existing customers to buy more from you. I want to make a few simple observations that may help you with your planning.

Obviously the easiest thing to do from the three above is to increase prices. Many businesses would be scared stiff when asked to increase their prices. The automatic question would be

How much business would be lost?”

Well if you understand the figures, it may surprise you. For example let us say that your margins were 20% i.e. for every €100 worth of goods you sold, you would make a profit of €20......


The Benefits of Site Search

Posted: Mon, 31 March 2014, 12:26

We have been using a website search box on the homepage of a number of our larger client’s websites. To date, the results have been highly impressive. We have found that to be successful, the search box has to be prominent on the website. The goal of the search box is to make the user experience more efficient. A proportion of your visitors will arrive on your site looking for specific items. They do not want to browse through multiple product categories. A search box saves the visitor from having to go through multiple filters to find what they are searching for. The easier and quicker the visitor can get to their desired part of your site, the higher your conversion will be.

In our experience we have found that the average order value will be higher for people who use this search box. They reason being is that they are much further along the sales cycle than the peope who are just casually browsing. This increased focus leads to less sales resistance and consequently people are happier to part with larger amounts of money than the more sceptical browser......


Tracking Cart Abandonment with Google Analytics

Posted: Mon, 31 March 2014, 10:53

In your physical store, cart abandonment is most likely not a major issue.That is to say it would be quite unusual for a customer to spend their time filling their basket with goods only to discard the basket on your shop floor and then walk out of the shop. It is just not that common. However online, the situation is quite different. Cart abandonment is a massive issue.

According to 24 different studies that contained statistics on eCommerce cart abandonment, the average abandonment rate is 67.89%*. That is over two thirds of would-be customers start but do not complete the purchase.

There are a number of factors at play here.....


Using Metrics to Gauge Customer Loyalty

Posted: Tue, 25 March 2014, 15:48

While there are many differences between selling goods online and offline, there are also fundamental principles that remain the same.  One of these is that you will not be successful selling online or offline if you do not understand your customer. Understanding your customer can sometimes be a little tricky online. After all you do not have the personal interaction that you would have with a customer who comes into your physical store. You cannot speak and engage with them.

Thankfully this is where web analytics come to the fore. There is a tremendous amount that can be learned about customer behaviour from examining their actions as they sit in front of their screens. Visitors and customers leave a treasure trove of data behind. Unfortunately for most companies, they hardly scratch the surface and do not fully utilise this valuable resource.....


Dont go online for less than €500k per annum

Posted: Mon, 23 December 2013, 12:36

FOR B2C eCOMMERCE: Dont go online for less than €500k per annum (by Paul Montwill)

I have been working with retailers for 15 years and from my experience, you should not go online unless you believe that you can achieve sales of €500,000 or more online per annum.

I have worked with many successful retailers who have started at a low revenue point and have gone through the €1 million mark and are still continuing to grow their online market share at 50-100% per year.

But it's important to not dive into selling online without a properly thought out online business plan.

Selling online is not simply setting up your website and then letting the rest take care of itself.

Instead, consider the following points before you go online:

  • To achieve €500,000 in sales in 1 year, and if your average order value is €50, you need to sell 10,000 orders - each of these orders must be packed and posted out to each customer
  • Of these 10,000 orders, if 5% make an enquiry, this means that there will be 500 customer service enquiries that need to be responded to
  • If staff costs and shipping costs for going online cost €100,000 for every €500,000 you sell, then your margin must be at least 20% on all net sale values

I feel it is important to set your sales targets with your financial controller at the start of each year and measure progress against these goals each year.

However, retailers have also found the following from being online:

  • For every €100,000 of sales online, there is probably €200,000 worth of sales from web-to-store customers (customers who check online before going into the store to buy)
  • If your competitor has a better website than you, you will lose customers to them as customers regularly check websites via their phones or desktops before shopping these days

So to sum up, if you are going online, you must treat it like opening up a new store.  And if you do your plans correctly and succeed, it's a new market that is still growing and has not been affected by the recession.

But if you know your market very well and you feel that you cant make the €500,000 mark, then you must differentiate yourself on having a local and personal presence - and show your customers why it's important to not buy from your online competitors.


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