Performance Insights from TeCOMM Bucharest – eCommerce event. How to improve your online store performance?

On April 26 & 27, at Radisson Blu Hotel Bucharest, took place TeCOMM Bucharest, an eCommerce event.

Among the speakers: Richard Prenderville (CMO & Founder, Peloton Digital Marketing Group), Mike Bainbridge (Chief Digital Technologist, Rackspace), Nick Lansley (Innovation Insider, Nick Lansley’s Innovation Lab), Carlo Terreni (General Director, Netcomm Suisse), Jakub Minks (Regional Director, Central & Eastern Europe, Exponea), Sven Bally (Founder & Senior Consultant, XETA) sau Kunle Campbell (Advisor & Ecommerce Growth Consultant, 2X eCommerce).


Attila Birtha – Digital Marketing @ Proclick – Do you own an online business?

During this workshop, participants discovered 7 traps of using the data analysis instrument Google Analytics. The workshop contained introductory terms, the best practice for analysis, solutions for rectifying problems and case studies.

  • Google Merchendise Store is a web site for buying merchandise related to Google brands.
  • Geolocation on Google Analytics is not 100% accurate.
  • Direct and organic traffic is also not 100% accurate, according to some studies. Some of the visits overlap.
  • In Google Analytics, it’s best to have a:
    • Master view – complete configuration and settings.
    • (new and important!) Test view – testing before applying to Master view.
    • Raw data – no filters.
    • Sample filters – IP filtering of my own IP address(ess) – good to implement.
  • You should be setting automated alerts, like:
    • Spike in Traffic
    • Drop in Traffic
    • Spike in Goal Completions
    • Drop in Goal Completions
    • No traffic
  • You should closely watch sales funnel, by creating events on the web site.
  • By sending from user’s ID from the web site to Google Analytics, you can monitor the exact way of your user’s interactions with the web site. It also allows you to monitor closely the device a user is using when shopping on your web site.
  • Note – User ID cannot contain information of personal identification (Google Analytics’ Terms & Conditions).
  • When visualizing data in Google Analytics, it’s best to use a customized view, which implies comparing all data to the threshold.
  • You should be using notes/comments in Google Analytics when something important happens on the web site (a site redesign, for example), but also external events (like Google Algorithms changes), or marketing campaigns you do, or some offline events you create and handle.
  • Google Data Studio – It is considered one of the most powerful tools for data visualization. It’s still in beta. You can create a dashboard with the most relevant information. You can grant user access for different levels, for sharing vital information regarding the most relevant KPIs. You can also have side-by-side your own data compared with Google Analytics data.

User Experience for Online Stores – Eugen Potlog, UX Lead & Product Manager @ Conversion Marketing

At the workshop we were presented what tools & techniques to use to get insights about where are the issues, which are the usability heuristics everybody should know and which are the main usability best practices for eCommerce websites.

  • Why should you care about UX and CRO?
    • Increase sales.
    • Increase CRO.
    • Increase positive brand perception.
    • Increase customer satisfaction.
    • Increase ranking in search results.
    • Reduce costs with customer support.
  • Google Analytics – time on site can be a good indicator or a poor one. Good – visit more pages, is interested. Bad – doesn’t find what it looks for, leaves frustrated.
  • 10 UX Heuristics (Nielsen):
    • Visibility of system status – the user should be notified if there is a lag between clicking an item and the result.
    • Match between the system and the real world – what is the user perspective compared to the actual presence on the web site?
    • User control and freedom – the user should know how to get someplace.
    • Consistency and standards – the users are used to a way of being of different things.
    • Error prevention – avoid that the user can get to a page where it gets an error they can’t solve at all.
    • Recognition rather than recall – you should use graphical items, for example, which are already known/understood by user.
    • Flexibility and efficiency of use – clear as it is.
    • Aesthetic and minimalist design – the design should help with UX.
    • Helps users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors – help the user leave the error page. Document each possible error – if the email address is wrongly written, help me with that.
    • Help and documentation – when the design is complicated, create a help page.
  • Tools to use: Hotjar, Crazy Egg, Inspectlet, SurveyMonkey, Qualaroo.
  • You should use a minimalistic design.
  • Avoid complex background, with a heavy load for graphics.
  • Site speed matters.
  • You should create a mobile version of your web site, but be careful to what the visitors want (for example, eMAG’s clients wanted to know where the closest location of a showroom was).
  • Monitor site 404 errors.
  • Place the elements of authentication, for example, where people expect them (upper right corner).
  • Don’t ask for permission for notification in browser, without being initiated by the user.
  • Don’t launch a pop in the first 2-3 viewing of a page in session.
  • There should be a good contrast between font colors and background.
  • Use webfonts (for example, Google’s web fonts).
  • Recommended font size – 12 pixels (even 14-18 pixels).
  • Create a good first impression.
  • Should you use a template for your business or create a customized template for your web site? That depends a lot – is it a large store (use custom), or a small one (use a template).
  • Avoid carousels (sliders, they induce banner blindness).
  • If you use a banner, create a call-to-action.
  • The paradox of choice – if you give too many options, the user might get confused.
  • The search box should be prominent, big, on the homepage.
  • Try to use autocomplete on your searches.
  • The search results should be relevant.
  • If the search result didn’t bring any results, give two options – browse the web site or search for more.
  • The Enter button should work on searches.
  • Keep the search items in the search, after typing it.
  • Treat the errors of writing errors with a synonym dictionary (“leptop” vs. “laptop”).
  • Use breadcrumbs.
  • The menu should be accessible from all the pages.
  • Try to group a lot of sub-categories in smaller ones.
  • If a user orders on your web site without an account, offer an option to just add the password to create the account.
  • Adaptive Placeholders – solution to show labels to fields.

Content Discovery – a rising star! – Călin Rotăruș (General Manager Tailwind Romania)

  • There is a fight to discover content, the stories we tell so that the clients are kept.
  • There is another way of acquiring information than searching for information (Google) – you can read and browse resources online.
  • Key elements for a person browsing your content:
    • Who is a person who reads your content, and what are its interests?
    • What is the context in which a person browses your content (for example, reading a newsletter at work, among tens of other messages vs. reading the message at home, in peace)?
  • A person wants to buy a laptop? Create an article on your web site, with suggestions about this thing.
  • Taboola & Outbrain are large content recommendation units.
  • The conversion rates for Romanian market are not as good as the ones for International markets. It’s a process which is based on experience, it gets better as time passes by.
  • A person who browses Facebook is in social activity mode. If you promote an article in there, the conversion rate might not be as high. If that person goes to Google and searches for information, that person is in search mode, wants to find information based on specific queries. The advantage of using content recommendation system is that the person is on reading mode, wants to find information, and keeps on reading some other things.

How to Build and Scale a Long-lasting eCommerce Brand with the eCommerce growth triangle + the eCommerce growth pyramid – Kunle Campbell

Kunle Campbell is a trusted eCommerce growth adviser to agile online retailers seeking exponential sales growth through scalable customer acquisition, retention, referrals and product optimization. He is an advisory board member on a number of online retail businesses and funded eCommerce startups seeking to disrupt niche markets.

  • 55% of buyers in the US start their search for products on Amazon.
  • It is expected than within 4 years time, Amazon will handle 50% of e-commerce sales in the US.
  • In the UK, Amazon is not as dominant as the US.
  • Top eCommerce sales in Europe: UK, France, Germany.
  • About Amazon:
    • Amazon has over 400 millions on sale.
    • Their search results are very well optimized.
    • They have Amazon Prime, a subscription service.
    • Their customer service is very helpful.
    • Personalisation: Amazon has options to recommend other products.
  • Amazon as a threat:
    • If you are a merchandiser, and you compete on price.
    • Barriers to entry on your market very easily.
    • Customer retention and loyalty are an issue.
    • You are not adding enough value to customer experience.
  • Opportunity:
    • You are a customer brand manufacturer looking for an additional sales channel.
    • High barriers to entry – your products are patent protected.
    • You are most likely a specialist with expertise in a vertical / category.
  • Products / Retention / Word-Of-Month referrals – the triangle for e-Commerce
  • E-Commerce Growth Pyramid

Digital disruption in fashion and retail – from eCommerce to new business models – Carlo Terreni, General Director @ Netcomm Suisse [SW]

As Fashion and clothes were the most purchased products online, there are many trends which are growing and including the next steps of digitization. Among these new trends there were increasing service-based business models that are surprising the industry and imposing a radical innovation. Carlo Terreni has been working as a digital consultant and account manager for Tinext SA, a leading web Agency in Ticino, since 2010. He has provided consultancy services for companies such as Cornèrcard, Sanofi, AET, Bally, Diamond, Artsana, Royal Caribbean, etc.

  • By 2022, 1 in 4 purchases of fashion items will be made online.
  • The crises of outsourcing model in e-Fashion depend on 4 limits:
    • Costs – majority revenue share model.
    • Conflict of interest in Omnichannel strategies.
    • Not direct access to online brand communication.
    • Missing direct access to customer data and insights.
  • Cowen: It looks even more like Amazon will become America’s top clothing retailer in 2017.
  • Key findings:
    • E–commerce is a key driver in Fashion and Retail.
    • Industry moving from Outsourced to Inhouse e-Commerce operations.
    • Investing in digital is a must to remain competitive.
    • The Market is evolving towards new business models to survive.

Debate panel: Bold Questions to Romanian eCommerce Warriors

  • Online business owners tend to be in a hurry to get results, not waiting to slowly develop a brand.
  • Another issue is not respecting promises (time for delivery, accuracy between what is advertised and actual product).
  • Some people invest in the technical part of a web site, even for a small business. You should start with marketing and sales, not a big business.
  • The market in Romania is not all educated. Also, it lacks a long-term vision.
  • A business owner should have a good sales process.
  • When launching an online business, it’s best to document yourself, talk to a consultant, create a business plan and set a budget.
  • If you want to enter another European market, it’s a good idea to list yourself on the marketplace.
  • In Romania, there is a lot of research online, but the actual buying is at a low level.
  • A very small number of web sites in Romania are mobile-optimized.
  • You can now order products from Amazon on Alexa.
  • Relevant on 2017: Facebook, mobile, democratization of services.
  • A niche web site and a small site, with only a few thousand visitors, don’t need dedicated mobile apps, a responsive web site / mobile version of the web site is just fine.

How to sell more! – George Iordache, Sales Team Leader @ eMAG Marketplace Romania

  • It’s best to have a stock of items, rather than constantly getting products from importers.
  • You should use emotions (for example, by saying “Thank you” when appropriate.
  • You should focus on solving customer’s issues.
  • If using a courier, choose a professional one.
  • Try using not a single channel, but a multi-channel to promote your items.

Do you really know what your costumers want? – Mike Bainbridge, Chief Digital Technologist @ Rackspace

For the first time, social and mobile technology has put power into the hands of the consumer. With so many features and functions available to the modern e-commerce store, it’s easy to get distracted and forget to the customer first. How can you ensure you take a customer centric approach and get things right? Mike Bainbridge has worked with over 300 online retailers to build world-class experiences.

  • Nike modified their shoes with a chip, to be able to connect it to the smartphone, in order to track their performance. They want to differentiate themselves from other brands.
  • When you sell online, some people think it’s more difficult to create a great customer experience.
  • Actually, the opposite is true – you have a lot of data. The adversaries of data in a company are HIPPO – highest paid people’s opinion.
  • Amazon is one of the most data-driven company in the world. They do a lot of A/B tests, rather than guessing, or taking a few people’s opinion.
  • The most important key metrics: # of visitors, # of conversions, # average order value.
  • Others:
    • Performance, the speed of web site. It’s linked directly to conversions. Faster web sites deliver a better experience. If you go to a web site and it loads fast, the customer will say “wow, that was fast”.
    • NPS – Net Promoter Score – “on a scale from 0 (lowest) to 10 (highest), how likely are you to recommend us to a friend or relative”;
      • 0-6 detractor.
      • 7-8 neutrals.
      • 9-10 promoter.
      • Banks tend to have low NPS. Apple has a high one.
    • It’s 7x more expensive to sell products to new customers, rather than old clients.
    • Amazon has changed what the expected criteria for buying products are. For example, you should give free delivery after a certain threshold of a shopping basket.
    • Apparel & clothing are one of the highest growing niches.

Simplify your digital marketing toolkit and get positive ROI in just 8 weeks – Jakub Minks (Regional Director Central & Eastern Europe @ Exponea)

As a regional director, Jakub Minks is responsible for sales, service, and support across 11 CEE countries. Prior to joining Exponea, Jakub spent four years with McKinsey&Co. helping telecoms and sales organizations and developing an expertise in large-scale digital and omnichannel transformations. Jakub has a Ph.D. in genetics, spending 10 years in research before shifting to the business sector.

  • For a lingerie company:
    • Photos of products on brunette models sold more lingerie than blonde models.
    • If a model touches her hair, rather than hips, the conversions increase.
    • If the photos are not retouched, versus if they are Photoshopped, they sell more.
  • Marketing clouds allow you to execute campaigns and analyze data across all channels. They allow you to turn your sales data into a pipe.
  • “There are X customers who are looking at this item right now” message can increase the sales.
  • Low stock alerts can boost conversions by 6.5%.
  • Marketers don’t need more data, they need data which is relevant to the business and for taking decisions.

When Big Data meets Emotion Data – Sven Bally, Founder&Senior Consultant @ Xeta

Experiencing and expressing emotions are integral parts of our life. In the retail area of commerce, emotion plays a fundamental role. When we choose or buy a commodity, our choice has a profound emotional dimension. We are social beings, we are influenced by others opinions, we have our opinions and we like to bargain for everything.

  • Even if you do small changes, test them.
  • Photos and visuals are important in the selling process.
  • Texts, images, buttons – all need to be tested.
  • You should keep your promises. If you say you can deliver in one day, or two, or three – keep the promise.
  • The persons which you aim as your client should be represented on your web site. If you target Hispanic males, use photos with this audience on your web site.
  • You can scrape your competitors’ prices and do a price matching on your web site.

Debate panel: Selling online, from a nightmare to a sweet dream!

You can sell to a celebrity or straight to the hearth of London from a small warehouse in Pascani! What do you need to know, to avoid and what to do, so that your online business be like a dream, a sweet dream?

  • The most important asset for an online store is scalability and also the focus on technology. Other than that, it’s a set of skills.
  • You should focus on profit, avoid going on losses.
  • In online marketing, you get instant results, versus the classical marketing the data gets to you at a slower pace.

How to think like an Innovator (And Stay Profitable!) – Nick Lansley (Nick Lansley’s Innovation Lab Innovation Insider)

In this presentation, Nick Lansley draws on his time at Tesco Labs and in his own consultancy to show how retailers working on thin margins can still focus on innovation techniques to solve customer problems and enhance experiences.

  • Five key innovation techniques (5 ‘Cs’):
      • Give your colleagues a voice.
      • Somebody in your organization may already know the answer.
      • Useful collaboration tool: Yammer.
      • Customer co-create.
        • Listen to customers.
        • Get ideas in front of your customers.
      • Create experiences.
        • Emphasis on customer experience, not simply a form or functionality.
        • The best innovation teams don’t innovate – they facilitate!
        • “It is better to ask for forgiveness than for permission” (Grace Hooper, US Navel Officer & early computer programmer) – it led to Tesco Labs.
        • Nobody in the company is the holder of the best ideas.
        • Provide controlled access to product data and basket through an ‘API’.
        • Reward third party developers for their efforts (usually via affiliate programmes).
        • Use customer event-based services as IFTTT.

Understanding and guiding consumer behavior in the multi-channel economy! – Richard Prenderville (CMO&Founder @ Peloton Digital Marketing Group)

Richard Prenderville is the former Vice President of global brand marketing at Reebok International, where he was responsible for marketing, media and advertising for the brand on a global scale. He joined Reebok in September 2006 from Reebok’s parent company Adidas where he was vice president of media and new media. His work at Adidas contributed to a team that won numerous industry awards including a Global Cannes Gold for the best advertising brand in 2006, over 10 Cyber Lions for excellence in digital media campaigns and brand websites in 2005-06 and Media and Marketing Gold for the best outdoor and interactive campaign in Europe 2005.

  • Use emotions to connect to your customers in all possible ways.
  • The attention span of a typical person is today around 8 seconds, down from 10 seconds.
  • Recommended ratio between utility and promotion: 70/30.
  • The newsletter needs to become the main tool for sustained audience communication.
  • Al content ultimately comes back to the web site for SEO purposes.
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