In the fast-paced and ever-changing Commerce landscape, staying up to date with the latest trends, emerging strategies, and technologies is crucial for success. That’s why we have curated a series of insights from our expert technology partners to share their unparalleled advice and commerce expertise for your business.
Our technology partners are renowned for their cutting-edge solutions and innovative strategies. From personalisation techniques and debunking misconceptions about customer loyalty programs to holiday season marketing tactics and the key to building a successful commerce marketplace, they’ve shared insights to help you grow your business.
Whether you’re a B2C brand, D2C business, or B2B merchant, this compilation of insights from 2019 is a must-read for any commerce business looking to grow.
- 5 Ways to differentiate your B2B eCommerce Channel from TreviPay
- 5 Personalisation techniques for converting price-sensitive shoppers from Barilliance
- 5 Unrivalled gains of blogging for eCommerce merchants from Amasty
- 5 Misconceptions about customer loyalty programs from Customology
- 5 Marketing tactics you need to survive the holiday season from dotdigital
- 4 ways testing can improve your eCommerce sales from Nosto
- The key to a successful Marketplace from Omnyfy
5 Ways to differentiate your B2B eCommerce channel
This partner update is from TreviPay — the global B2B payment and credit solutions provider that specialises in commercial transaction management, facilitating transactions for customers in over 190 countries with 40 years of experience. TreviPay helps businesses reach new heights by entering new markets, expanding their footprints, and globalising their opportunities.
For B2B sellers, keeping pace with customer expectations is anything but easy. Accustomed to the simplicity and convenience that have become increasingly common across B2C transactions, buyers expect more from B2B sellers than ever before. Make the most of a growing B2B eCommerce market by considering the unique needs and preferences of each customer. Here are 5 ways to differentiate your B2B channel effectively:
1. Personalised payment experience
Identifying ways to make things personal can help sellers overcome outdated business processes – such as funnelling customers through a complicated buyer journey. More than 70% of B2B executives report customer expectations for personalised experiences are growing. And nearly two-thirds of business buyers are likely to make a switch if a brand doesn’t personalise communications. Satisfy buyer demands and rise above the competition by swapping out archaic business methods in favour of more personalised services.
B2B sellers can cater more closely to each customer by employing several different strategies tied to personalisation. From extending individual lines of credit to offering a number of different payment options, paving the way for personalisation promises to enhance the overall buying experience and boost business.
2. Multiple payment options
Most B2B buyers aren’t afraid to drop out of the purchase process. In fact, nearly 70% have abandoned an online shopping cart. Sellers can improve the customer experience and keep buyers from leaving by implementing a payment option that best meets their unique needs and preferences. The more payment options that are offered, the easier it will be for sellers to appease a wide range of buyers.
In 2018, 54% of B2B buyers across North America chose automated clearing house (ACH) payments as their preferred option while 41% cited checks as their least favourite payment method. Sellers can develop a convenient customer experience by building a good mix of payment options. From credit lines to electronic funds transfer (EFT), buyers should be able to select the option that works best for their business.
3. Offer terms (invoicing at checkout)
When B2B sellers take their sales online, they run into different problems than B2C sellers. The biggest issue is determining how buyers will pay for services. Credit cards are the familiar solution, but expensive fees and insufficient credit limits reduce margins and limit purchasing. When offered payment on terms, buyers tend to purchase more. So, why doesn’t everyone offer payment on terms? The complications of underwriting and the risks of bad debt can be a limitation for many companies. Credit as a Service™ (CaaS) is a TreviPay payment solution that manages payments between buyers and sellers, providing a seamless purchasing experience. Its solution allows the seller, to offer credit to the buyer, preserving the sellers working capital and offloading risk. TreviPay’s technology underwrites and approves buyers for credit in under 30 seconds. The CaaS suite of tools includes InvoiceMe, which allows online invoicing at checkout at transaction fees of 30% less than credit cards. The CaaS platform easily integrates into B2B eCommerce platforms, including Magento Commerce.
4. Offer price flexibility – relationship pricing
Buyer loyalty no longer lies with brands themselves, but rather the experiences they offer. Once restricted to a handful of brands, buyers can now do business with virtually any online seller across the world. Although that convenience is a big benefit to buyers, it also challenges sellers to step up their offerings or lose out on loyalty. Nearly 70% of B2B industry executives say customers are less loyal than they used to be – and the rise of the internet is a significant reason why.
B2B Sellers can remain relevant in the eyes of existing customers by offering discounts as well as vouchers. More than 60% of B2B buyers say good prices and discounts can help keep them loyal to a B2B vendor or supplier. By taking a number of different factors into account – including services and solutions that are critical to a buyer’s success or the length of their relationship with an organisation – this will ensure any discount offered is both valuable and timely.
Not only will buyers be motivated to tack on additional products or services to their next purchase, but chances are they’ll continue the relationship moving forward. And considering the fact that it can cost five times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one, absorbing the cost of a discount every once in a while, is an easy decision.
5. Create an omnichannel sales experience
Omni-channel customers are 25% more profitable than customers who only shop in-store. But a chief complaint of B2B buyers is that moving between sales channels is not smooth. It is important for B2B companies to provide a liquid experience between sales channels by integrating customer data and purchasing requirements across all channels.
While there are many challenges in meeting the complex eCommerce needs of B2B buyers and sellers, the good news is that it’s not impossible. Credit as a Service (CaaS), which streamlines and optimises end-to-end payment and credit management offerings, is powering eCommerce for digital businesses.
5 Personalisation techniques for converting price-sensitive shoppers from Barilliance
This partner update is from Barilliance — the eCommerce personalisation tool helping merchants to increase sales and conversion rates by providing visitors with a personalised omnichannel shopping experience.
Australians love a bargain, right? You only need to walk through any Australian shopping mall to see the abundance of “Sale”, “Clearance” or “Up to 50% off “signs in just about every store. Unfortunately for retailers, we now live in a retail climate where everything ‘is on sale” just about all year round and customers are becoming savvier as they know a discount from their favourite store is just around the corner. So, in a seriously competitive market, how can online retailers be more effective in converting price-sensitive shoppers online? Personalisation might just be the answer.
Barilliance has been helping Australian Online and Omni Channel retailers to automate the shopping experience for their customers for over ten years now and with over 500+ retail partners globally has an incredible insight into the personalisation techniques that are most effective. Here are 5 personalisation techniques for price-sensitive shoppers:
1. Capture customers when they copy a product name on the site
Retailers spend significant dollars attracting customers to their site so it is critical you read potential signals when a client may be about to exit. Fortunately, consumers are always giving signals to retailers. Retailers just need to know how to read them. One common signal is when a shopper copies a product name from your site, there is a strong chance they are about to exit, search the name in Google and look to compare prices. Barilliance has built a personalisation pop-up that can trigger as soon as a product name is copied. The pop-up could promote a Price Mach Guarantee or possibly a secret coupon or shipping offer if the customer finalises the sale there and then.
2. Use social proof messages and the power of the crowd to create urgency
By nature, many consumers are reactive when it comes to messaging and today one of the strong urges shoppers feel when browsing a store is FOMO (fear of missing out). Social Proof Notifications play an important role in helping retailers build trust with potential customers by highlighting how other consumers feel and interact with that brand. These notifications are also very effective at creating urgency. Price-sensitive shoppers don’t like to miss deals so highlighting when a product is at the low point of the price cycle i.e., “10% price drop in last 48 hours, in limited stock and in high demand” is very effective at driving conversions. See a great example below.
3. Smart cart and browse abandonment campaigns with targeted coupons
Shopping has never been more competitive and with average cart abandonment rates still hovering around 70%+, running automated abandonment campaigns is still one of the highest-performing personalisation features a retailer can run. Whilst most retailers are now running some form of Cart Abandonment activity, research indicates that many retailers are under-investing in this area with very basic solutions. The best practice is to always send a series of 3 emails although you may wish to hold back coupons or financial incentives until the 3rd email. If you do wish to offer coupons to convert price-sensitive shoppers, make sure your provider has strong control over coupon distribution – Use exclusive coupon codes where possible, limit the coupon to once for each user’s lifetime and ideally have the ability to limit coupons to users with specific cart volumes, new users only or maybe loyal customers only. Use the same coupon techniques in Browse Abandonment campaigns too.
4. Run tailored onsite messages to present discounts to customers who have recently browsed those categories
Personalisation is all about putting the right product in front of the right customer at the right time. Providers like Barilliance make it super easy to define a customer segment (based on past behaviour) and to serve an appropriate personalised message to that user when they are next on your site. This can be in the form of banners, message bars or pop-ups. Price-sensitive shoppers can be easily defined by the way they interact with your site. They may use the low-price filter on your site or regularly visit your clearance section. You can make the segment and messaging even more effective by targeting those same users with a discount specific to a category they were recently browsing.
5. Customise your product recommendation logic for price-sensitive shoppers
If you are using a sophisticated personalisation tool like Barilliance, you have the option to run with a very powerful and automated Product Recommendation logic but you also have the ability to override the recommendations to meet a specific business goal.
One common use case is the ability to default to lower-priced offers for specific users. This might be shoppers who have arrived at your site from a price comparison network or to shoppers who used the low-high price filter in that session. Having control over how and when to recommend a discounted offer can have a big impact on retailers.
5 Unrivalled gains of blogging for eCommerce merchants from Amasty
This partner update is from Amasty — Established in 2009, Amasty is a leading, Magento Marketplace-approved, Magento Commerce and Adobe Commerce extension provider. Amasty equips your commerce business to sell smarter, sell more and sell faster.
For e-vendors these large numbers are both positive and alarming: eCommerce profitability implies relentless competition for customers. Retailers naturally look for all possible ways to boost their chances to be spotted. This includes advertising in comparison search engines (CSEs), promoting the brand in social media and, of course, blogging. We’ll discuss 5 of the major gains from eCommerce blogging below.
Gain #1. 4-fold increase in traffic
Blogging increases traffic, and the stats here are impressive: 434% upsurge in indexed pages, and hence, in chances to be spotted by Google (according to HubSpot). What’s more, companies that blog have a 55% increase in site visitors. Sounds very tempting, right? But that’s not all blogging has to offer.
Gain #2. Top-5 position in Google search results
In fact, blogging (coupled with a comprehensive SEO strategy) is one of the best ways to improve your visibility and rank high in Google and other search engines. But how to rank high? Comply with the engine’s algorithms. We’ll consider how it works with Google.
eCommerce blogging: how to rank high in Google
In August 2018, Google introduced a new E-A-T algorithm. The algorithm sets Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trust as key factors that define the website ranking. Here are some things to bear in mind when striving for high ranking under the new rules:
Know your customer — Today it’s the usefulness and applicability that measure the quality of content, so if you produce content that offers solutions to the problems your customers face, the posts are very likely to grasp the attention and assist conversion.
Keep your blog fresh — It’s about regular updates to have your blog pages reindexed faster, which boosts your ranking in search engines. How often should you post? Experts’ opinions differ. But the key idea is as follows: the smaller your company, the more frequent the blog updates.
Be consistent — Why do potential customers come to the blog? In most cases, they look for answers or to-do guides that can help them resolve the issues they deal with. Therefore, you should be consistent with your message and the main idea. This is the only way to keep your customers coming.
Gain #3. 60% increase in trust
Blogging is a powerful tool for building customer loyalty and trust in your brand. The statistics here are amazing:
60% of customers are more positive about a company after they read their blog.
When it comes to learning about a vendor, 70% of customers prefer blog posts to ads.
Over 80% of US customers actually trust the info they read on a blog.
Gain #4. Two powerful marketing instruments
Marketing platform for telling your story
Blogs make a useful tool not only for attracting readers (potential customers), but also for self-presentation, or telling your story. Have you already tried storytelling? If so, there’s only one thing to remember here. Be consistent. If you’ve already created a compelling and emotional story about how your store got to where it is now, you have to stick to it without dramatic twists and turns. Otherwise, all the efforts you’ve put into telling your story in your blog will turn futile. Customer trust is the hardest matter to acquire and the easiest one to lose.
A good medium for unintrusive advertising
Here is some inspiring data on blogging: about 80% of internet users read blogs. And 70% of them view promotion through blog content as quite acceptable. Besides, 61% of shoppers decide on a purchase upon reading the company’s blog, and online pre-shopping research is not only typical of individuals. Businesses are also in. According to Demand Gen Report 2018, 49% of B2B customers said they now rely more on content to research and make purchase decisions. So why not give it a try and pour some store-related content into a blog article? Just remember that the content should be related to your readers’ needs.
Gain #5. Affordable cost
Blogging costs don’t need to be exorbitant. Here are some tips to save up with no damage to quality:
It’s not necessary to engage 10+ writers to have a profitable blog. It’s better to cooperate with 2-3 professionals able to generate quality content, compounding posts included.
Choose quality over quantity
Though 16+ posts per month are great, can you be sure they all are equally great? If not, it’s better to post more rarely but to preserve the content quality.
Optimise efforts and costs
Adding a blog to your website may take additional time and programming efforts. Do you use some e-commerce platform? Then e-commerce extension vendors have most likely resolved the trouble for you, offering a relevant extension. Check Blog Pro for example. This module will make an integral part of your Magento 2 website without hampering store operation. Besides, a recent module update has ensured integration with PageBuilder, which replaces WYSIWYG with a convenient drag-and-drop editor for post creation.
5 Misconceptions about customer loyalty programs from Customology
This partner update is from Customology — specialists in customer lifecycle management and eCommerce loyalty. Customology helps retail merchants create customers for life, helping businesses to grow by understanding their customers and what keeps them coming back.
Gartner predicts that 80% of your future profits will come from 20% of your existing customer base. So basically – you need to look after your existing customers.
Many brands are investing heavily in customer loyalty programs, designed to not only generate loyalty but increase customer retention and provide a point of differentiation – ultimately to get their customers to shop with them again and again.
A lot of loyalty programs actually have a bad reputation. There are a number of misconceptions about loyalty programs, their purpose and value. In this article, we explore the most common ones and give our perspective on how a brand can drive genuine customer loyalty.
1. You need a loyalty program to have loyal customers
Customer loyalty comes down to having strong relationships with your customers, and knowing and understanding who they are. Anticipating their needs and want, and keeping communications relevant and timely. A loyalty program could enhance the relationship, however, it’s not a mandatory requirement to drive loyalty.
There is a huge difference between a loyalty program and a customer program. A loyalty program can be used as a tool within a well-crafted customer program. Take a look at Apple, one of the world’s leading brands, they have no loyalty program, but a sophisticated customer program to support their customers i.e., their Genius bar, every customer is entitled to a one-on-one support session to ensure they get the most out of their Apple product. It’s also a place to go if something goes wrong.
There are many ways to drive loyalty without a loyalty program through customer recognition, efficient use of data, enhanced customer experiences and strategic communications.
2. The loyalty program will sell itself
Don’t expect customers to come flocking as soon as you launch a loyalty program. Whilst marketing the program is extremely important, we would argue that staff buy-in and support is more important. Your employees need to truly understand the program, why it exists, and how it benefits the customer and the brand. After all, they are the ones essentially ‘selling’ the program to your customers. Get your employees excited about the program and ensure they have all the resources they need.
The user experience needs to be seamless and beautiful to deliver on the promise you made about how great being part of the program will be, don’t make the sign-up process frustrating and difficult.
3. Customers aren’t willing to pay for loyalty program membership
If a customer believes there is value in doing so, they are happy to pay for a loyalty program. Brands who don’t charge their customers typically don’t differentiate their benefits from their competitors i.e., free/discounted product when you sign up, birthday voucher, etc. is the same for everyone.
Look at Amazon Prime, customers receive multiple benefits such as free delivery and access to Amazon Prime Video. A local example, The Coffee Club’s VIP membership costs $25 per year to join. In return, members receive 2 for 1 hot-drinks any day, every day, half price ‘gift a friend’ membership. These are incentives that influence their customers’ behaviour, whilst delivering the opportunity for new customers. If you differentiate and add value, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t charge for your loyalty program.
4. Customers are loyal because we give them discounts
Rewarding loyal customers with discounts is counter-intuitive (they would have purchased anyway), instead reward them with value adds with high perceived value and low-cost incentives. For example, invitations to exclusive events, input and early access to new products, encourage them to sign their friends up in order to receive benefits themselves.
If you’re always offering discounts, customers come to expect it. You are influencing and encouraging this behaviour. Price is important but uses it occasionally or they will expect it all the time, or hold off purchasing until you release your discount emails.
Reward loyal customers with $ when you are trying to change their behaviour – i.e., turn a daily coffee drinker into a once-a-week lunch purchase (start with a discount until the new behaviour is created).
5. All customers are equal
One of the quickest ways to lose a customer is if you treat them as a number on a database, bombarding their inbox every other day with the same comms. The unsubscribe button is only one-click away. Mix it up depending on where they are on their journey with your brand. Use customer data to segment and target your customers based on their behaviour now and expected next behaviour to personalise each individual journey.
We’ve established that customer loyalty is not driven by a loyalty program, rather it’s about the relationship you have with your customers, understanding their behaviour and where they are in the customer lifecycle.
Having a loyalty program isn’t the answer to customer attraction and acquisition, but a strategic, well-executed customer lifecycle program is the answer to customer retention. Treat your loyal customers with the respect and recognition they deserve (and have earnt).
5 Marketing tactics you need to survive the holiday season from dotdigital
This partner update is from dotdigital. We caught up with the dotdigital team to hear their top five marketing tactics brands need to adopt to be ready for the upcoming silly season.
If there’s one time of the year that you need to capitalise on, it’s definitely the holiday season. According to Australia Post’s 2019 eCommerce Industry Report, there was a 24% yearly increase in online spending in 2018, with the five weeks between 11 November to 15 December accounting for 15% of all eCommerce transactions.
There are several important dates included in that timespan, starting off with the biggest global shopping day of the year— Singles’ Day — and including ‘Cyber Week’, an extension of Black Friday & Cyber Monday. For the first time, last year mobile spending eclipsed desktop spending, according to Salesforce’s Holiday Shopping Report. Retailers now have to be mobile-focused and ensure that they have an omnichannel strategy to make sure they are reaching the right person, at the right time, with the right message and — of course— on the right channel.
Last year, our Regional Director of APAC Rohan Lock shared his five hacks on this blog and this year we are adding five more, to make sure you take advantage of the festive season.
1. Gather good data
The holiday season is a great time to encourage new visitors to sign up for your email marketing. In the lead-up to this busy period, you can use popovers to grow your marketing lists. Hook visitors with exclusive access to pre-sales or free delivery during the sales when they subscribe. You can also progressively profile your database by requesting specific details through quick surveys; making sure to gather new data (don’t ask for information you already have). This data can then be used to enrol each customer in an omnichannel journey relevant to them.
2. Get the timing right
Amazon is the most successful eCommerce retailer globally over Black Friday weekend because they offer a full week’s worth of discounts. Kicking off at the beginning of the week, Amazon runs deals all the way from Monday to Cyber Monday. Again, this is a great way to stand out from the crowd, but it’s not the only way.
Do you want to build up excitement and anticipation with a series of ramp-up emails? Figure out what tactic you’re going to implement and get planning. The earlier you can do this, the more time you’ll have to plan your design, segments, and content, and build your automation.
Also, don’t forget to be thinking about delivery. Can you fulfil a promise to deliver before Christmas? Are you going to need to outsource or hire more employees to manage your warehouse stock?
3. Know your customer
Each customer or contact that you have is different. Be aware of the different personas in your database, and don’t send the same message to everyone. Use dynamic content to create relevant content, for example;
Champion customers: think beyond marketing. Engage with them directly and reward them for their time.
Customers who need some nurturing: focus more on incentivising them with discounts and offers.
4. Set up key automation
Automated programs or customer journeys are a great way to get relevant messaging to your contacts and the easy wins don’t change in the holiday season. A welcome program and an abandoned cart are still two of the most effective ways to increase revenue. 55% of people are still not sending an abandoned cart email, despite them being the highest-yielding email campaign. If you don’t have an abandoned cart communication set up, you are leaving money on the table. (As a side note, abandoned cart emails do not have to offer discounts.)
5. Communicate across different channels
Email, SMS, social, chat… there are so many channels that we can now interact with customers on, so use them! As we know, online shoppers are increasingly becoming savvier and will not always purchase on their first visit. Think outside the box.
With a 98% open rate within the first five minutes of receipt and close to 8% click-to-delivered rates, SMS is a marketing channel that can cut through the noise. SMS might not be the first touchpoint for your customer but can be very effective for last-minute deals. SMS works great for snap sales, like one-day-only promos where customers need to read and act fast.
Another good way to keep customers attention is to retarget via Facebook or Google Ads. Add your contacts to different audiences based on data, such as when they last visited your website, and what their average order value is, to ensure the retargeting is relevant.
4 Ways testing can improve your eCommerce Sales from Nosto
This update is from our technology partners Nosto — they’ve shared how to get started with improving your testing efforts: to drive sales and improve performance on your eCommerce site.
Most retailers are familiar with the concept of A/B testing and its potential to improve engagement, conversion and revenue. However, as the eCommerce industry continues to evolve, testing and optimisation strategies do as well — which means you may be missing out on a world of new and advanced practices that can increase your sales. From the placement and design of product recommendations to banner images on homepages, there are a number of site elements that can be tested to gain deeper insights about your customers and drive better shopping experiences.
1. Test and optimise your homepage banner
Most online stores display a hero banner above-the-fold on both mobile and desktop devices, which is meant to immediately draw in visitors. Given the large amount of space banners take up on the homepage, it’s important to make sure you’re making the best use of this space to minimise bounce rate and entice visitors to click on the banner.
In the example below, clothing brand O’Neills tested two banners: one which showcases general ‘men’s new arrivals’ and the other showcasing attire representing Ireland’s rugby team.
Homepage banner tests typically yield conclusive results. However, if your test shows signs of inconclusiveness, there may be a number of granular insights hidden beneath your customer behavioural data that can clue you in as to why there is no clear winner — and help you optimise your tests according to this data.
For example, perhaps the banner promoting Ireland’s rugby team’s apparel increases your click-through rate significantly for site visitors in Ireland. Alternatively, perhaps the banner doesn’t increase the click-through rate but it does increase the conversion rate of the apparel shown on the banner in terms of shoppers who do click through to browse more.
Understanding these granular customer segments allows you to make more informed decisions based on your customers’ behaviour and curate your homepage banner according to the affinities of your different customer segments — leading to more highly personalised experiences for each of your banner variations.
2. Test and optimise product page recommendations
Product recommendations are often used to tackle multiple goals. In the case of cross-selling and upselling, testing and optimising the actual placement of your recommendations helps ensure that you’re making the most of both of these strategies.
If the primary goal for your product recommendations is to achieve more upsells over cross-sells, then it makes sense to position your higher-ticket alternative products before your supplementary add-on products. Many retailers, such as ASOS, use a similar setup on their product pages:
However, showcasing upsell products before cross-sell products isn’t always the optimal option across the board, as different verticals yield different shopping journeys.
For example, furniture and home decor retailer Atkin and Thyme showcases cross-sell items — such as chairs that match a table — front and centre in order to inspire shoppers to purchase entire sets or collections of furniture:
By testing which product recommendation layout strategy aligns and performs best with your specific goals, you can better identify the difference between shoppers who never purchase add-on products vs. those who do.
Once you’ve optimised your price anchoring strategy and your recommendation placement, the only logical next step is to test and optimise the design of the recommendations themselves. Testing various product recommendation designs is a critical step in using testing to its fullest potential.
To illustrate the impact of this strategy, let’s look at some examples of product recommendation designs you can deploy in your testing strategy.
Sports apparel retailer Gym Shark showcases a single product recommendation at a time, giving each recommendation the biggest possible on-screen real estate. At the same time, the set-up also alludes to a carousel of other product recommendations that can be viewed with just a flick of a finger:
Outdoor apparel retailer Fjällsport includes two on-screen recommendations while alluding to more recommendations using a fading carousel design:
By testing product recommendation designs like the ones shown above, you can achieve a higher click-through rate, a lower product detail page bounce rate, or more cross-sells that can help you ultimately increase revenue potential.
3. Test and optimise the flow of your page narrative
It’s widely known that online shoppers rarely navigate to the bottom of a website — even on mobile devices where real estate is limited. This adds a lot of pressure on website designers and business owners to optimise the flow of their page narratives. For example, should a ‘Best Seller’ product recommendation be deployed immediately below your hero banner or would category promo boxes work better?
Testing and adjusting elements to achieve an optimal page flow experience is a simple, but highly effective testing strategy. By changing the placement of your personalised onsite content, you can easily determine which layout performs better than any of the others.
4. Test and optimise your product recommendation algorithms
Finally, there are a number of product recommendation algorithms available to yield the most relevant results to your shoppers. To really optimise the performance of your product recommendation algorithms, the best possible strategy is to test how different recommendation algorithms perform according to your specific business needs.
To illustrate how you can test and optimise product recommendation algorithms, we’ll look at three algorithms that Nosto’s clients are often curious about optimising.
Brought together algorithm
The brought-together algorithm is a very simple model that recommends products that shoppers actually buy together regularly. In order for it to work efficiently, there needs to be a fair amount of sales volume, as the algorithm solely takes into account products that have actually been sold in the same order.
As we see in the example below, products that are most commonly bought together can vary greatly due to the fact shoppers don’t typically purchase multiple versions of the same product:
Viewed together algorithm
The viewed together algorithm is similar in that it recommends products that shoppers explore within the same site visit. This model doesn’t reflect actual buying behaviour, but browsing behaviour instead. Typically, the end result is a list of very similar products, so it’s a commonly used option for product page cross-sellers when a customer is arguably still contemplating different product options. As we see in the example below, products that are most commonly viewed together are often very similar:
The Relationship score-based algorithm strikes a balance between these two above as it tracks both actions by giving a relatively low relation score for products that have been viewed together, and a larger score for products that are actually bought together. As we see in the example below, this model ends up displaying both different versions of the same product and completely different products altogether:
A rule of thumb for choosing the right default configuration depends on the use case and your store. Sites with smaller sales volumes are likely better off using viewed-together and relationship score-based algorithms, while sites with high sales volumes can get more out of the bought-together algorithm.
That said, cart page recommendations are likely to work better when dictated by the bought-together algorithm, while product page recommendations are more likely to perform under the viewed-together rules. Like everything else on a website, this can change according to the vertical, store, or even segment. That’s what makes this a great test to run.
Eager for More Onsite Testing Strategy Techniques to Optimise and Improve Personalisation and Performance?
When optimising your online store, the testing possibilities can be endless. The most important rule to remember is that you should always choose tests that align best with your business goals and always continue to optimise these tests to improve your results. If you’re curious to learn more about testing strategies and how you can get started with testing and optimisation on your eCommerce site, get in touch with the Nosto team for a first-hand look.
The Key to a Successful Marketplace from Omnyfy
This technology partner update is from Omnyfy — the multi-vendor eCommerce Marketplace Platform for B2B, B2C or Service Marketplaces. The team at Omnyfy have shared three things that brands need for a successful marketplace execution.
At Omnyfy, we’ve had many coffees, zoom meetings and conversations with organisations and start-ups that have big bold ideas of becoming the next Amazon, Etsy or Fiverr. Over the years, we’ve realised the key indicators of what will lead to a successful marketplace.
Most marketplace advice talks about creating the “network effect” or “tribes”. They suggest striking a chord with the right target audience to attract more customers to your marketplace, thereby attracting more vendors — the holy grail of the two-sided marketplace. But we’ve seen that the “network effect” is an outcome of a quality marketplace, not a driver of its success. We’ve outlined the three things you need for a successful marketplace below.
You need: A sector or niche that is fragmented, both on the demand and supply side, with a sufficiently large number of buyers and a large enough group of disintermediated sellers with a product or service that are largely perfect substitutes.
Marketplaces work in industries that are fragmented. You need a sufficient number of vendors that would be happy to pay you a commission or a fee to be part of the marketplace that you create. This isn’t possible in industries where there are only a few established players or where there is consolidation. There simply isn’t a need for a marketplace and customers already know where to go to find what they’re looking for.
Identifying a fragmented industry or sector also isn’t enough. The sector must be one where each seller is relatively independent and offers a negligibly differentiated offering. Uber wouldn’t work if a small group of drivers differentiated themselves massively from the rest. The same goes for Etsy, or Fiverr or Airbnb. The cream does rise to the top at the end of the day and this is where ratings, reviews and “superior” offerings create differentiated tiers of the marketplace (think Uber Black and Airbnb Select).
2. Experience in the sector
You need: sufficient knowledge or at least a passion that runs deep enough that you are entrenched in it and can intrinsically see the gaps and opportunities that the sector offers.
Experience is critical! Every time we hear a marketplace idea that is unrelated to the sector that the person is in, we slowly back away. The most successful marketplaces we’ve worked on are ones where the founder or organisation has decades of experience and has a simple, clearly articulated opportunity that a marketplace almost instantly solves. Marketplace, not unlike eCommerce, is highly nuanced and it is the unique, often invisible user experiences and engagement mechanisms that drive the magic and the demand. After all, every marketplace is competing with Google — how do you make a customer want to find a service, product or provider in your marketplace? It’s because of the specialised focus on and the journey which is built through experience in understanding how customers search for, compare, select and transact in the specific sector.
3. Power and leverage
You need: sufficient immediate relationships to establish the supply side of the marketplace, thereby setting the foundations on which to build demand.
Finally, power and leverage on the supply side are critical. Two-sided marketplaces need almost double the effort of a basic eCommerce site because you don’t have anything to sell yourself. You need vendors to create products or services that customers can search for. Starting from nil is painfully slow. Having established relationships and “sector power” to influence and drive suppliers to join your marketplace provides a step-change in success potential and lifts your chance of success instantly.
The fourth factor – finding the technology to power your vision
Why would you consider building a marketplace from scratch when there are now powerful marketplace solutions that can deliver virtually everything you need straight out of the box?
Marketplaces live and die on their vendors and customer onboarding and creating a unique, nuanced engagement that is specific to the industry and buying requirements of the sector.
Omnyfy has created a marketplace platform that enables organisations to leverage 200+ features that are specifically developed to enable multi-vendor marketplace commerce, combined with the powerful eCommerce features right out of the box with Magento. The platform effectively takes the capabilities of Magento and multiplies them for every vendor in the marketplace.
With Omnyfy, the journey starts with creating a seamless vendor onboarding process, complete with vendor subscriptions and approval workflows. The versatile subscription solution allows marketplace owners to monetise their vendors through the creation of different tiers and inclusions; from product limits to enquiries, quote requests, and more.
The platform supports product, service and booking marketplace; and most notably, enables marketplace owners to create combo marketplaces where a single vendor can sell a product, while also being available for bookings and service products. The opportunities this creates for education marketplaces, trade marketplaces, service marketplaces and distribution marketplaces are endless.
Integrating a comprehensive commercials management solution, Omnyfy also takes care of fees, charges and payouts management and is fully integrated with Stripe for the plug-and-play launch of the marketplace payouts, KYC processes and withdrawal management.
Taking the plunge
Marketplaces are some of the most lucrative, scalable and valuable eCommerce businesses in the market today. Organisations and startups that tick the three critical boxes are in a prime position to be the first movers to take their entire sector with the establishment of a successful marketplace. Powering these visions just became a whole lot easier with a solution like Omnyfy.
Technology partners for high-performing eCommerce solutions
Delivering intuitive solutions to simplify complex digital commerce systems, Balance work with leading technology partners to innovate and power experiences that get results.
We understand the complex world of digital commerce, and we know that it takes more than just a great platform to deliver a successful eCommerce experience. That’s why we work with trusted technology partners to create innovative and high-performing solutions that deliver results for our clients. Our network of partners includes some of the most respected and innovative companies in the industry, and we leverage their expertise to develop tailored solutions that meet the unique needs of our clients. From payment processing and shipping logistics to inventory management and customer experience, our technology partners play a critical role in our ability to deliver intuitive and seamless eCommerce solutions. We are committed to excellence, and we believe that our partnerships with leading technology companies are a key factor in our success.