We’re casting a line to lure you in to listen to the next installment in the Naughty X Nurture podcast series by dotdigital where you’ll hear Ariel Mordetsky (Kadro), Jeff Roth (Avalara) and your host Gavin Laugenie (dotdigital) discuss the similarities between eCommerce and fishing. Have we hooked your interest? Get on board starting Friday, April 23rd. It will be reel fun! Listen in https://bit.ly/3xdkutW
Regardless of the type of commerce you engage in, B2B or B2C or both, and whether you are online exclusively or omni-channel, something you can’t live without in 2021 are strategies and tactics aimed at maximizing customer retention and loyalty.
There are a lot of uncertainties in the world today, but the one thing we all know is that keeping existing customers is vital to the growth and sustainability of your business. For years we have read and heard the adage, it’s cheaper to keep a customer than to find new ones and this simple statement has never more true than in today turbulent business environment.
This time last year, where we were citing reasons retention is important like the Bain stat that says increase retention 5% and you’ll increase profits by 75%. This year poses four additional reasons to connect and stay connected at a new level with your customers, which reinforces why you really can’t pass on your loyalty strategy in 2021.
- Economic uncertainty and recessionary times
- Consumers demands (and needs) for genuine communications and real connectivity
- A far greater number of choices, especially in the eCommerce space
- Saying goodbye to cookies and other 3rd party data approaches
Economic Uncertainty Drives a Need to Focus on Customer Retention
When times get tough, money gets tight. People spend less and make more critical decisions as to where they do spend. In 2008, many organizations made conscience decisions to shift their limited marketing dollars to retention efforts. Those that did fared far better through and post recession period than those who kept spending consistent or slowed spend all together.
With limited resources, consumers are more concerned about making a purchase mistake. They tend to be less likely to try new things. With limited cash in hand, consumers tend to make the familiar choice, the trusted choice and the smart choice that has served them well in the past. If a consumer or business is a customer of yours, you want to be that familiar, trusted, and smart choice.
But to ensure your customers come back to you, you need to connect with them on a consistent basis. You need to reinforce the value you bring to their business. You need to remind them of the positive experiences they’ve had in doing business with you and reinforce those experiences at each touch point. You need to establish a personalized ongoing relationship of mutual value.
Consumers Need Genuine Communication and Real Connectivity
Fast forward 10 years, 2018 as consumers began to raise the bar on their expectations of the organizations where they do business. It was no longer okay to just personalize with my name in an email. Or offer up product selections based on the items they purchased. Consumers know they are sharing their data. They’re expecting organizations to be diligent stewards of their data and use the data to deliver a more relevant customer experience.
Additionally, people today are more focused on what they feel is important – doing good, giving back, sustainability, equality, etc. They expect organizations they patronize to share the same concerns and values they embrace. A few years ago consumers were asking brands to “know me, understand me, inspire me.” Today consumer’s expectations go further to “walk with me, walk in my shoes.”
To top it off, we experienced a year unlike any other in recent history which placed us in lockdown from which we are only now slowly emerging. People are focused more than ever on what’s important to them. They’re making more and more conscience choices based on their values. The right loyalty strategies and programs allow organizations to create a clear, unique, personal, even empathic value exchange with customers.
The Field of Available Choices Has Grown Much Broader
Changes that the COVID virus created in the global business sphere include a rapid expansion of online commerce with many new merchants opening online stores and a transformation in brick-and- mortar commerce with many brick-and-mortar merchants going online and offering new ways of shopping and pickup (BOPIS). With such a rapid expansion in available choices for consumers and businesses wishing to shop and buy online, companies must give strong credence to development and implementation of loyalty strategies and tactics since now more than ever it is essential to retain customers once you get them.
Bye Bye Cookies
As marketers, we’ve grown accustomed to building out our marketing strategies based on 3rd party data and technology tricks like cookies to identify customers and prospects and deliver personalized experiences based on these inferences. We’ve built our tech stacks and our analytics around look-alike models and personas. We’ve invested in CDPs that can get us to 70-75% accuracy in matching data. These activities have been working fairly well for organizations.
Now, all of this is changing. The stringent privacy laws to protect consumers and their data are finally coming to fruition. They are finally here. Organizations are now being forced to play by new rules. These new rules are affecting the technologies we’ve grown accustomed to using. A great example of these changes – cookies are going away.
With the dawning GDPR, CCPA – now morphing to a much more stringent CPRA, mean organizations will need to move from reliance on 3rd party data, to going directly to the source – your customer – for information. Organizations will be forced to work directly with customers to collect their information and gain permission to use their data in marketing efforts.
For many organizations, this means a whole new way of marketing and potentially a number of new technologies. The good news – loyalty technology is built on the foundation of permissible value exchange. These 4 major environmental changes point to the need to research and select the right technology partners to develop, integrate and implement your online eCommerce environment and to guide you through loyalty as a core solution and strategy you must have to be successful in 2021 and beyond.
Kadro, a certified Magento Solutions Partner with 20 years experience, is here to help make your vision for selling online a reality. We help clients, large and small, in a wide array of industries create full-feature, high-functioning, eCommerce environments on the Magento Commerce platform and then integrate those environments with applicable ERP, OMS, PIM, CRM and other backend systems. You can learn more by visiting the Kadro website. Also follow us on popular social media channels like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
And to ensure you are successful in your loyalty strategy, the Annex Cloud Loyalty Experience Platform is the perfect answer. With roots in the social space, Annex Cloud is the only solution that can track, understand and communicate with your customer with a personalized, empathic message at every touch point. Plus with our extensive integration and partner network, the launch process is swift ensuring you can make an impact in 2021.
This article was co-authored by Erin Raese, CMO - Annex Cloud
News, insights and information from the rapidly changing world of eCommerce designed for the online B2B and B2C merchant! In the November 2020 Edition.....
Holiday specials brought to you by select Kadro online merchant customers
A look back and at today for Kadro's first customer - REEDS Jewelers
Technology Partner of the Month - Vertex, a leading provider of business tax software and services
Did you know about Kadro's Marketplace services?
Kadro's Site Analysis & Optimization Services (SAOS) can help to ensure that performance issues don't interfere with your online business.
Meet Elyse Robillard, Kadro's Senior Project Manager
Kadro named a North Carolina Top Performing E-Commerce Developer
Explore recent blog posts
SAVE-AT-HOME HOLIDAY SPECIALS BROUGHT TO YOU BY SELECT KADRO CUSTOMERS
Groomers, kennels, veterinarians, breeders, and active pet enthusiasts have access to over 10,000 national-brand and exclusive PetEdge-brand products through our website and catalogs.
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Get special holiday savings from these Kadro online merchants by visiting our holiday promotions page! Holiday savings end 12/31/20.
Since 2001, Kadro has worked with REEDS Jewelers as their eCommerce solutions provider and partner. Over that time, we have delivered on multiple site redesigns, a re-platforming, the implementation of a number of custom site features and integrations, and evolved REEDS online business to an omni-channel solution.
We believe that this relationship speaks well of our ability to evolve with the needs of our clients, our extensive eCommerce expertise, and our commitment to customer service which has resulted in the common experience of satisfied and loyal clients.
Looking back a few years, in March 2018 Kadro and REEDS successfully launched the re-platform of REEDS.com B2C website onto Magento Commerce. The success of this project was largely measured by achieving functional parity with well-established business processes and mission critical back-office integrations required to operate their online business. It was a large collaborative effort between REEDS' eCommerce and IT teams, Kadro, and a number of other technology partners.
More recently, we worked with REEDS on a redesign of their website. You can see it here at https://www.reeds.com/.
The team at Kadro just received some exciting news from Clutch Analyst Jake Cox! He called to let us know that internationally-renowned B2B rating and review platform, Clutch, named Kadro one of North Carolina’s top e-commerce developers for 2020, praising our e-commerce strategy, consulting, design, and development! Now’s a particularly unique and important time to invest in your existing eCommerce business or to consider starting one, so we value that we’re being recognized as a great investment for businesses. According to Clutch and their research, amongst all providers in North Carolina, Kadro is consistently one of the best!
"We are honored and pleased to be recognized by Clutch as a leading B2B company in the United States. Since Kadro's founding in 2001, we have worked diligently to build a company founded on technical expertise, responsiveness to changes in the eCommerce market, outstanding customer service, and superior project outcomes. Accolades such as this and the positive words from many satisfied Kadro customers serve as a testament to the success of our ongoing efforts,” said Ariel Mordetsky, VP of Revenue at Kadro.
Clutch is the world’s leading B2B ratings and verified reviews platform. Located in the heart of the District of Columbia, Clutch has a team of dedicated analysts who conducts reviews with clients from around the world. Then, their editorial team independently verifies the content and curates it into the case study style format that Clutch offers, ensuring that you are receiving all the information that you need as you purchase B2B services! Clutch is the gold standard for B2B ratings and reviews, and we’re honored to maintain a stellar review average on the platform!
In a recent review, the owner of Garman Homes praised Kadro’s e-commerce development!
We’re incredibly grateful to all of our satisfied clients! To join their ranks, please contact us today!
See Kadro’s complete Clutch profile by clicking this link…. https://clutch.co/profile/kadro
The most important thing to note about the way the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped retail is that the change is not for the short term.
Shopping might return to something closer to what it was in February 2020, but it will never be the same. The staying power of the significant move to online shopping, the embrace of curbside pickup and the arrival of new online shoppers is evident from the magnitude of the trends and their endurance.
The numbers tell the story. The mass movement to buying online was the sort of social change you see in the midst of dramatic world events. In the first full month of the pandemic, global online sales on Signifyd’s Commerce Network doubled year over year. In month two, they were up four times.
The increase in sales began to settle down as consumers realized stockpiling wasn’t necessary. But they realized something else, too. Shopping online was convenient, provided a greater selection and fit with their lifestyles. Even in August — five months into the pandemic — ecommerce sales were up 34% over August 2019.
Looking at how consumers are shopping provides further evidence that there has been a tectonic shift — and not a change that will settle back to the way things were. Before the pandemic, curbside pickup was practically a novelty, save for some big boxes offering grocery pickup. In 2019, only 17 of the Internet Retailer 1000 offered curbside pickup, according to Digital 360.
Today, the number of retailers offering the service is hard to pin down due to the acceleration of the trend. But it’s evident that curbside has become a go-to for plenty of shoppers. Signifyd’s Pulse data shows that buy online, pick up at the curb sales grew nearly 500% in April, compared to the beginning of the year. While that figure has also simmered down a bit, curbside sales were still up about 250% during the first week of September.
So, where people are shopping has changed dramatically — the move from in-store to online. How people shop has changed dramatically — buy online, pick up in-store or at the curb orders are soaring. But the factor that is likely to cause the most lasting change is the dramatic change in who is shopping online.
A smart aleck would say everybody. But the significance behind the wisecrack is that a whole new cohort of consumers are shopping online for the first time. And the trend is enduring.
The number of new shoppers buying from the more than 10,000 merchants on Signifyd’s Commerce Network more than doubled at its peak in May. We define a new shopper as a consumer we have not seen on the Commerce Network in the past year.
More important than the number of new shoppers flocking to ecommerce during the pandemic is the fact that those first-time buyers return to shop online again. About half of those new shoppers make multiple online purchases within 30 days of their first purchase.
It makes sense, right? Someone who hasn’t shopped online or hasn’t shopped online in some time, finds there aren’t other options with non-essential stores closed and with the best advice being avoid leaving home. So, she or he orders online. And the experience is a little unfamiliar — searching for products, typing a credit card number into a form, maybe creating an account. But the goods arrive with no complications and pretty quickly, too.
At that point, the new shopper knows the drill; the buying process is familiar. Maybe she or he has some information autofilled, which makes things easier still. And so the shopper buys more from more places more often and in fact becomes one of those who makes multiple online purchases for weeks.
All this has catapulted ecommerce years into the future. Pre-pandemic, eMarketer predicted e-commerce would grow 19% in 2020. Signifyd data shows e-commerce growing at an average of 139% a month for the five full pandemic months of the year.
Of course, maintaining that torrid growth rate requires that retailers keep their new customers once they acquire them. Those new customers are arguably a retailer’s most valuable in that they required relatively little acquisition cost, compared to the pre-pandemic days of bidding up digital ads on Google, Facebook and Amazon.
To that end, retailers will want to build marketing campaigns that cater to new customers through promotions, personalized suggestions and loyalty programs. As importantly, retailers will want to audit their entire buying journey. The goal is to make sure the merchant is providing exceptional site search, seamless checkout, instant fraud review, timely delivery and responsive customer support.
After all, the world of retail has changed. And no one wants to be left behind.
BOPIS – Spicy Filipino dish or eCommerce business strategy? YES!
In a prior blog post entitled Your eCommerce store customers want this!, I pointed out the fact that in today’s world of online commerce customers expect both convenience and choice when it comes to paying for the items they buy online. But what about convenience and choices in other aspects of the online purchase? When actually receiving those online purchased items, not so long ago a consumer had two choices – buy online and have them delivered OR go to a store to buy them and take them home from the store. For what is sometimes termed a pure online retailer, the choices for their consumers remain the same, buy online and get it delivered. But for those merchants who have an eCommerce website and physical store location(s), their consumers often have another option called BOPIS, also sometimes shown as BOPUS or click-and-collect. This hybrid shopping and delivery choice can present a real competitive advantage over the pure online retail experience.
BOPIS. WHAT IS THAT?
BOPIS (buy online, pick up in-store) is an increasingly utilized tactic for consumers to shop and place orders online and then pick up their purchases at brick-and-mortar stores, sometimes even the same day. BOPIS is a part of the larger multi-channel shopping trend that has been emerging since around 2013 when retailers like WalMart, Target and others began to adopt the tactic. It allows retailers and consumers to merge the online, in-store and mobile experiences when selling products and making a purchase respectively.
CONSUMER SEE TANGIBLE BENEFITS
A customer’s BOPIS purchases will be stored in any number of locations at a retailer’s store - the customer service desk, a storage locker or in a designated BOPIS location for convenient in/at-store pickup. At times, that pickup can occur on a 24/7 basis for extra consumer convenience. To help incentivize BOPIS activity, some retailers offer discounts on BOPIS orders. And the consumer knows for certain that the item is available in advance of a store visit, which in the past could result in out-of-stock disappointments. One additional benefit of BOPIS is the local effect. Consumers get the chance to buy local and pick up from a retailer in their local community which helps to support the local economy and at times local manufacturers as well.
RETAILERS GET BOPIS BENEFITS AS WELL
For retailers, it allows them another path to shape the customer experience by encouraging shoppers to visit their brick-and-mortar stores, while still doing the shopping online. This can provide a number of additional retailer and consumer benefits like providing an avenue for additional sales to occur in-store during pickup, a mechanism for strengthening customer engagement and affording the potential for increased brand loyalty. BOPIS can also reduce retailer delivery and fulfillment costs.
BOPIS CAN PRESENT RETAILER CHALLENGES
Yet BOPIS is not without its challenges for the retailer and their eCommerce systems. The retailer must be able to show inventory visibility in real-time at its store locations so customers know what's currently available and where it is available. With the trend towards greater online shopping continuing and the desire to be as contact-less as possible in retail transactions as part of the COVID response, stores are looking to rethink their layouts to better handle the volume of online orders and to accommodate things like curbside pickup services. They have to also examine their product ordering and inventory processes to ensure that they can fulfill orders quickly and without excessive out-of-stock occurrences. Plus there is the ever-present risk of a greater degree of fraud.
IS BOPIS BEING USED?
According to retail trend information published by Offers.com (2020 Retail Trends), 64% of U.S. adults will use BOPIS in 2020. It seems to be a particularly popular option among busy parents in the 35+ demographic.
Again referencing research published by Offers.com, consumers like not having to pay shipping and not having to wait for an item to ship as key reasons. There are others factors as well like avoiding possible package theft risks when an item is delivered and being able to instantly check their order and return it immediately is there is something wrong.
Not all items are ideal for being included in the BOPIS model, but plenty of today’s most popular product categories work well in this shopping and pickup model such as consumer electronics, apparel and even groceries.
HOW DOES KADRO FIT IN?
For the online retailer, whether you choose to offer BOPIS or not, it’s essential that you choose the right technology partner to help you create and support your ongoing ecommerce business. Kadro offers a broad spectrum of eCommerce services including B2B and B2C eCommerce website development, Marketplace solutions, analysis and optimization services, ERP/OMS/PIM/CRM integrations and more. With a team of knowledgeable, certified Magento 2 developers and as an Adobe Gold Solution Partner, we have been successfully delivering eCommerce solutions for our clients in a wide array of industries since 2001. When you are ready to make your vision for selling online a reality, we are here to help. Give us a call at 877-435-3453 and be sure to spend some time on the website for more information about Kadro and all of our services.
Oh and for those of you curious about the spicy Filipino version of BOPIS, Bopis is a spicy Filipino delicacy made of minced pork lung and heart cooked in onions, garlic, and chili peppers. Popular as an appetizer, it is also commonly served as a main entree. Like adobo, afritada, and other Filipino classics, there are many regional interpretations of this dish. Happy eating!
There are many keys to being a successful online merchant. But in the end it’s really all about the customer experience, whether your customer is a business or an individual consumer. As a person who has overseen the creation and operation of a number of B2B and B2C eCommerce websites over the years using Magento and other technologies, I can speak first-hand about the importance of customer experience and two essential factors that are sometimes taken for granted or simply overlooked – convenience and choice. Online shoppers value these two things greatly and typically make the decision about where to shop and buy weighing these heavily in their decision criteria.
Fortunately Magento Commerce, in conjunction with its many technical partners, provides an environment that gives you, the online merchant, an optimal mix of convenience and choice. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the area of payment gateways. In case you are unfamiliar with the term “payment gateway”, it is a third-party service provider that automates payment transactions between an online store and its customers.
In today’s world of online commerce, customers expect both convenience and choice when it comes to paying for the items they buy online. Choosing the right payment solutions provider is therefore something you should take seriously. When selecting a payment solutions provider you don’t have to pick just one, although many of the major players in this space offer a wide array of payment choices so it certainly is possible to select just one. The goal is to provide your customers with both convenience and choice, so providing several payment solutions options would typically be preferable.
The universe of choice in this area continues to expand. Today I’ll focus on a few options; some of which you mostly likely have heard of, others perhaps not. This is NOT an exhaustive list of available choices. Remember that the payment solutions options you choose should align with your short and long term business goals and should also meet your needs in terms of price, security and functionality.
So let’s explore in brief a few of the major players - Amazon Pay, Braintree, APS, Authorize.net, and Cybersource.
One of the top payment solutions available for eCommerce businesses today is Amazon Pay. Amazon Pay is a solution that hundreds of millions of Amazon customers know and trust. Offering Amazon Pay as one of your payment options can provide a number of advantages to both you and your customers including optimizing and simplifying the checkout process in just a few clicks for those customers with Amazon accounts using their Amazon account information; enhancing the customer experience and improving customer satisfaction with Alexa by allowing delivery notifications via Alexa-enabled devices to reduce customer concerns about their order status and advanced fraud prevention which is a critical element in the online commerce world.
Braintree offers payment solutions that cover a number of popular and emerging payment methods. The company points out that they are the only payments platform that delivers PayPal, Venmo (in the U.S.), credit and debit cards, and popular digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay in a single, seamless integration, so an online merchant gets a wide array of choices right from the start.
With Braintree solutions you can drive greater conversions, increase operating efficiency, expand your business reach and help to mitigate risk related to fraudulent transactions while keeping payment data secure and maintaining PCI (payment card industry) compliance.
APS has been in business for over 11 years providing reliable, omni-channel, B2C and B2B integrated payment solutions for businesses. APS Payments seamlessly integrates with multiple leading ERP, eCommerce, CRM, POS, and Mobile applications. APS Payments is a payment gateway and processor that is trusted by thousands of merchants daily to process payments.
The company works diligently to offer the lowest credit card processing rates, provide strong processes to help reduce risk and to supply the best payment solutions for its customers.
Authorize.net has been working with merchants and small businesses since 1996. As a leading payment gateway, Authorize.Net is trusted by more than 430,000 merchants, handling more than 1 billion transactions and $149 billion in payments every year.
Authorize.net makes it easy for customers to pay by accepting the payment types they prefer to use including major credit cards, signature debit cards, e-checks and digital payment solutions. Authorize.net supported payment types include Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, JCB, PayPal, Visa SRC (Secure Remote Commerce), Apple Pay, Chase Pay and E-check.
As with other payment solutions, Authorize.net offers retailers a wide array of convenient features designed to make it easier for you to focus on your business and customers. Take the worry out of payments and payment processing with solutions from Authorize.net.
Started in 1994, Cybersource pioneered online payment and fraud management services for medium and large-sized merchants. Today, Cybersource’s modular platform lets you select the payment management solutions you need, when it’s right for your business - to help maximize growth. Aside from payment acceptance solutions, Cybersource also provides robust fraud & risk management solutions and top-notch customer service. Plus merchants can access additional services, including global tax calculation, recurring billing and more.
You can find a list of more of our technology partners by visiting the PARTNERS page of the Kadro website.
So there you have it, a glimpse into the world of payment solutions for online retailers. As you can see, there are many, many payment options and solutions providers for an online retailer to consider. And most of the providers make the same general claims about their focus on data security, PCI compliance, fraud protection, range of payment options and flexible pricing, so it will take an investment of your time to learn about the option(s) that may be best for you and your online store. It’s time worth spending as the payoff in terms of more satisfied shoppers and customers can be significant.
Kadro is here to help. Should you want to learn which solution(s) is best for you, contact your Kadro Account Manager. Don't have one yet? Give us a call at (877) 435-3453.