Today’s Top Ecommerce News

Ecommerce and the Future of Retail: 2014 [Slide Deck] (Business Insider)
“The retail industry is undergoing a dramatic shift: E-commerce is capturing a larger share of sales than ever before. We’ve created a slideshow highlighting the retail categories where e-commerce is having the most impact, and where there is still opportunity for disruption. The shift away from physical retail toward digital retail is happening faster than many observers expected.”

Nordstrom invests heavily in e-commerce (Internet Retailer)
“Ecommerce isn’t just growing at Nordstrom Inc., it’s growing dramatically with e-commerce sales up 33% in the first quarter. With web sales accounting for even more of the chain’s overall growth, Nordstrom, No. 24 in the Internet Retailer 2014 Top 500 Guide will invest deeper resources into e-commerce and information technology upgrades, the retailer said on a recent earnings call.”

Why Personalization Is Doomed Without Strategy (Get Elastic)
“Personalization is a marketing strategy, not just a tactic. It’s a mistake to implement a tool, and set-it-and-forget it. Think through your hypotheses of personalization. What content should be shown to what audiences, at what time, for what ends? Determine which rules, constraints and exclusions should be applied to your tools for the most effective targeting.”



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The Effects of Color on Conversions [Infographic]

We’re featuring another great infographic today, coming your way from the folks at KISSmetrics. It includes some fascinating findings about how consumers perceive colors when they shop. What kind of impact could changing the color of your website’s CTA buttons have on your conversion rate? Read on to find out!

How Colors Affect Conversions
Source: How Colors Affect Conversions – Infographic

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It’s Music Monday!

It’s the beginning of another work week, and it’s time to start it off right. Check out the top song picks from the Ecommerce Outtakes team. Listen in with us below!

*Find the audio player on Ecommerce Outtakes.

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Today’s Top Ecommerce News

Email is not dead. Here are five reasons it’s alive and well (eConsultancy)
“Econsultancy’s annual Email Marketing Census tracks the percentage of sales that responding companies achieve from their campaigns. The 2014 survey found that on average, companies are attributing 23% of their total sales to the email marketing channel, up from 18% in 2013. Furthermore, nearly a quarter (24%) of respondents attribute 30% or more of their sales to email marketing, up from 18% two years ago.”

Driving B-to-B Ecommerce with Personas (Practical Ecommerce)
“For B-to-C businesses, the shopper and the buyer are generally the same person. The path to purchase is a more direct: product research, pricing research and comparison, and purchase. In B-to-B, the path to purchase may include many different people in different roles with different levels of authority. These people, roles, and processes make ecommerce much more challenging than a typical direct-to-consumer store.”

On Pins and Needles Over Pinterest (Ecommerce Times)
“Pinterest last week announced that it had raised US$200 million in a new round of fundraising from existing investors SV Angel, Bessemer Venture Partners, Fidelity and Andreessen Horowitz. The latest funding puts its valuation at $5 billion, which is quite a tidy sum for a company that has little to offer in terms of revenue. What Pinterest does have to offer is its name and its brand and its legions of users. Its user-provided pins now number around 30 billion and its array of boards around 750 million.”


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Badge of Honor:

Today’s Ecommerce Outtakes Badge of Honor is being awarded to Hammacher Schlemmer for some really nice recommendation and cross-sale features. Let’s dive right in! When I was browsing the huge selection of interesting and unique products this retailer has to offer, I was intrigued by this transparent canoe kayak. I mean, come on. It’s a canoe-kayak hybrid, and, it’s see-through! Of course I headed to the product detail page to see more pictures and learn about this item.

The product detail page showed me an in-depth description, along with some additional high-quality images that made this little boat look even more awesome. But what I also noticed was the cross-sale feature. As you can see, Hammacher Schlemmer offers four related products in the “May We Recommend” section toward the bottom. First of all, I really like how all the product names on this website begin with “the,” as in “The Electric Motorboat” and “The Best Swim Goggles.” It makes them seem like truly stand-out, one-of-a-kind products. I also like how it also recommends a variety of items here. Sure it offers other types of small boats, but also a beach mat and goggles, because people who like boats likely also enjoy the beach and swimming.

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Making Sizes Simpler on

After seeing a promotion for Helen Jon swimwear, I decided to explore this ecommerce store. When I did, I found that finding the correct size is not an easy task for the shopper. In the swim section of the site, I wanted to use the left navigation to narrow down my selection. I can filter by color, which helpfully shows swatches, and also by size. However, when I opened the size menu, I was very confused. Look at how many times the sizes repeat! If I want a size Medium, how do I know which letter M to select?

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Opening a product detail page for a bikini top, I came across yet another sizing problem. The drop-down menu shows the sizes, S, M, L, etc. However, these kinds of sizes vary from brand to brand, and it’s difficult for the consumer to know which they will need, particularly if they have never purchased from a brand before. Sadly, there isn’t a size chart on this page to help me out. This is especially bad for this product, which fastens with a clip rather than an easy-to-adjust tie. Helen Jon really needs to provide measurements to help the shopper make the right size selection!

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Helen Jon’s ecommerce site could really use some updates to make finding the correct size easier. Fixing the redundant size filter, and offering size charts for their products, will certainly go a long way toward improving the shopping experience.

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Today’s Top Ecommerce News

3 Ecommerce Design Mistakes to Avoid, According to Science (Shopify Blog)
“When you’re offering too many product choices, displaying too many pictures of your products, or arranging your products in jarring ways, you risk overwhelming your customers. You don’t want bad design to kill your sales. This post makes suggestions for optimizing your product display by drawing on the cutting-edge of recent marketing research.”

eCommerce Grows But Physical Stores Will Live On (eBusiness Strategy Forrester Blog)
“The truth is that yes, eCommerce is growing – but physical retail is far from doomed. Let me take the two parts of that last sentence and address them each separately. First, the fact that eCommerce is growing. Forrester just released the latest five-year online retail forecast and to no one’s surprise, the numbers are big. We’re projecting $294B in eCommerce sales across 30 retail categories in 2014, expected to grow to $414B by 2018.”

How to Calculate Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) in Ecommerce (How to Win at Ecommerce)
“CLV stands for customer lifetime value and, put simply, it’s the value a customer contributes to your business over the entire lifetime at your company. The main methods of calculating CLV are split between historic and predictive CLV.”

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Oster and Their Unavailable Blenders

Browsing the Oster ecommerce site for blenders led me to a strange discovery. When I arrived on the site, I headed straight for the Blenders section using the top navigation tab. This page offers many product results over multiple pages, so it’s great to see some helpful filtering options in the left navigation. I love how relevant these are to the products. They’re not just generic options, but instead highly specific options, such as jar type, jar capacity, power and speeds.

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However, as I began to browse through the pages of blender products, I cam across something weird. Some of the products are not actually available on the Oster ecommerce site, but instead are available exclusively in other stores. Take a look. Some products can only be purchased at Walmart and, Kohl’s and, or Target and

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I clicked on one of these items and landed on the product detail page. Now, I assumed that the text might provide a link to the page on where I can actually buy this blender. But nothing here is clickable. Basically if I wanted to purchase this item, I’d have to go to the site and begin a search for it. This obviously creates a very frustrating experience for the shopper on…

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Back to the drawing board. I continued to browse the blenders until I came upon yet another weird issue. Some products say they are “Available for Parts and Accessories Only.” To me, this seems out of place. There is a tab in the top navigation on this ecommerce store specifically for Parts & Accessories, so why put these in the Blenders section? This only gets in the way for people who are looking to buy an entire blender, not just parts.

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Browsing blenders on this site can be a bit confusing. I would love to see an additional filter so that shoppers can choose to see only products that are available on, so they don’t have to sift through items they would have to buy on other stores. I would also love to see the blenders that are only available for parts and accessories listed in that category instead. This would help shoppers more easily find the best product they can actually purchase from the site!



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Today’s Top Ecommerce News

U.S. m-commerce will make up 29% of web sales this year (Internet Retailer)
“Purchases via smartphones and tablets will account for 29% of U.S. consumers’ online purchases in 2014, up from 21% last year, according to a new report from Forrester Research Inc. The estimates do not include travel and food sales. Mobile sales, not counting travel and food purchases, will hit approximately $86 billion this year, up 53.5% from $56 billion in 2013. Videos, music, books, clothes and consumer electronics will account for the majority of the 2014 sales, Forrester says.”

Alibaba: 30+ amazing stats on China’s ecommerce giant (eConsultancy)
“China’s Alibaba Group is gearing up for what could be the world’s biggest ever tech IPO, so it’s probably about time you discovered what the company is all about. Alibaba was founded in 1999 by Jack Ma, who is now said to be worth more than $12bn. He served as chairman and CEO until May 2013 but stepped down to follow other business interests. And to give an idea of the scale of the business, I’ve rounded up a load of stats that show why the world is so excited about its upcoming IPO.”

Julep Is Heading To iPhone With App That Lets You Customize A Monthly Box Of Beauty Products (Tech Crunch)
“The app (screenshots below) will clearly play into the company’s larger e-commerce strategy. The app will go live on May 20th, when the first window for feedback also launches for the new boxes.”

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Problems on the Birkenstock Ecommerce Site

Well, apparently Birkesntocks are making another comeback in popularity. I decided to visit their U.S. ecommerce site to check out the latest styles. What I found were some issues with the navigation of the website. Take a look at the home page, first of all. Okay, I see a top navigation and categories, a featured product with a description, but… no search function in sight. Why isn’t there a search function on the Birkenstock site? It would be a great addition to this online shop!

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