These Statistics Illustrate the Importance of Delivery in Ecommerce

You had better get your online delivery right or 39 percent of your customers might never shop with you again and that’s according to MetaPack’s 2017 State of eCommerce Delivery Consumer Research Report.

The Importance of Delivery in Ecommerce

The report states that half of shoppers (about 54 percent) say they base their shopping choices on the delivery options. An even more sobering stat indicates 43 percent of shoppers will use social media to share their displeasure over a poor delivery experience with others. And that’s not all. Expectations among metropolitan shoppers. Fifty-four percent of online shoppers in these areas want eCommerce sites to offer one-hour delivery.

Some 3,577 consumers from seven countries, including the U.S., France, U.K., and Germany took part in the study. It is clear from MetaPack’s survey that small businesses — especially online retailers — cannot become complacent about the strategic role delivery plays in the overall success of their businesses.

“When it comes to winning and keeping customers, delivery has the power to make or break the online shopping experience,” the report explains. “Indeed, our research confirms that the delivery options consumers encounter will determine whether or not they ultimately press the ‘buy’ button at checkout; half (50 percent) of the shoppers we surveyed this year admit to abandoning online shopping carts because the delivery choices on offer were unsatisfactory or did not meet their needs.”

And while shoppers are still conscious of price, the report says a growing number (35 percent) of shoppers are now prioritizing convenience over cost and are happy to pay extra if that means they would be able to get items delivered when and where they want.

Also important, the survey said, is to display delivery options prominently. An overwhelming 77 percent or respondents say they expect this information to be displayed  on an ecommerce store’s product page.

Image: Metapack

This article, "39% of Online Shoppers Vow to Never Return if a Delivery Disappoints" was first published on Small Business Trends

The Once Banned Kinder Eggs is Coming to the US

Kinder eggs are coming to the U.S. If you’re unfamiliar with this unique product that has lots of fans around the world, you might want to pay attention — it could be a great opportunity for your small business.

The Kinder egg, or Kinder Surprise as it’s known in some circles, is basically a chocolate egg that contains a small plastic toy inside. It sounds innocent enough. But until recently, the product was actually banned in the U.S.

This is because of an obscure law that restricts the sale of any food product that contains a non-food product inside. Ferrero International, the company that owns the Kinder brand, has found a way around this law with a product called the Kinder Joy. This product contains two individually wrapped half eggs. It still includes a plastic toy, but it’s not technically embedded within the chocolate because of how it’s packaged.

Obscure laws aside, Kinder products are incredibly popular around the world. And the previous inability for U.S. consumers to buy them could potentially lead to a lot of buzz for these products in their new market. Walmart will begin selling the Kinder eggs on Black Friday and will have exclusive rights to sell them for 30 days. But after that, smaller retailers can stock their shelves with these products.

Kinder Eggs are Coming to the US – How Can You Benefit?

Adding a small chocolate egg to your product line might seem like a pretty negligible thing. But the buzz around these products could lead to unique promotional opportunities for businesses. The Kinder egg has an interesting story behind it, and a feeling of mystery surrounding it due to the previous ban. So you can share these stories on social media and in other marketing materials to create even more buzz around your new product line. And if you can get more people through the door because of a unique product that you carry, you have a better chance of creating lasting relationships with customers and growing a successful business.

Image: Kinder.com

This article, "The Once Banned Kinder Eggs are Coming to the US" was first published on Small Business Trends

Shopify Live View Offers Real-Time Reporting for Your Online Store

What if you could view how your store is performing in real-time right from your mobile device or desktop? Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) has added yet another feature to its platform, giving small businesses more access than ever with Live View.

A simple click on Live View will let you see new visitors, items in carts, customers making purchases and more. And you can do this from anywhere on any device. With this data, you can make informed decisions about your inventory, marketing campaigns and customer engagement.

As small businesses carry out more of their operations digitally, it is becoming much easier to access a wide range of data. Shopify is using the technology to give users more features on its platform so owners can be more efficient.  Live View gives you a quick peek so you can delve deeper into your store analytics based on the information you receive.

Shannon Gallagher, Product Manager at Shopify, said on the company blog, “Before you dive deep into Shopify analytics, it helps to understand the big picture with Live View. Then you can explore the full dashboards and reports for a complete understanding of your store’s activity and performance.”Shopify Live View Offers Real-Time Reporting for Your Online Store

What Can You See With Shopify Live View?

Live View allows you to track the number of visitors on your site at any given moment. Not only that, but you will know where they are globally. Additionally, you can monitor daily totals by sales, orders, and number of visits.

Shopify Live View Offers Real-Time Reporting for Your Online Store

You also get more metrics from your website as visitors view pages and go through the purchase funnel. You can view everything from how many pages are being seen to the number of items added to each cart.

With this type of insight, you can make improvements across each point of contact to make the customer experience more efficient and enjoyable.

The Power of Shopify Live View

It goes without saying this is a very powerful tool. The fact a small business has access to it says a lot about how digital technology has grown in the past decade. With a Shopify platform you now have real-time information about your store, and how your customers are interacting with it. Properly used, Live View can introduce new levels of efficiency and higher ROIs in inventory management and marketing. 

Availability

Live View is now available on both desktop and mobile to all Shopify merchants with an online store. If you want to see how you can use the metrics it provides, you can go to the Shopify Help Center here.

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner, you can take Live View for a spin and see how it performs during two of the busiest shopping days of the year.

Image: Shopify

This article, "Shopify Has Real-Time Reporting for Your Online Store" was first published on Small Business Trends

Singles Day Sales by Alibaba Shatter Another Record -- How Can Your Small Business Get Involved?

Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) set a new record for sales on Singles’ Day this year. The Chinese ecommerce giant sold $25.3 billion in merchandise, a mark that’s 39 percent higher than sales from last year’s Singles’ Day.

The annual shopping holiday is a growing phenomenon in China. It’s a day for single people to celebrate being single by buying gifts for themselves. The day, November 11, was chosen because it has no social significance in China and when written out in numbers, all those 1’s are perfect symbolism for a day that celebrates singles.

For U.S. small businesses, Singles’ Day might not even be on your radar. But this new record means it could be time to pay attention. In fact, expanding into the Chinese market using online platforms like those offered by Alibaba offers a ton of opportunities for small businesses to grow.

Singles Day Sales Takeaways for Small Businesses

Beyond that, Singles’ Day also highlights the potential of promotional holidays. Alibaba has continued to increase promotions for Singles’ Day year after year. And it has shown in the company’s sales. So if you want to grow your small business using a similar tactic, you could latch onto a lesser known holiday like Drink Beer Day or Wonderful Weirdos Day and offer special promotions to go along with those holidays and make them your own.

Or you could go another route and just make up your own holiday. Amazon has made use of this tactic in recent years with its Prime Day promotions. Prime Day sales haven’t gotten to the level of Singles’ Day yet. But it has grown every year so far. So there’s definitely potential for businesses of all sizes to grow using special holiday themed promotions.

If you’re interested in making use of this tactic, pick a date with no social significance to your target customers and consider the time of year when you really want to increase sales. For instance, an ecommerce business could create a holiday in the summer months when sales tend to slump.

Image: Alibaba

This article, "Alibaba’s Singles’ Day Success Offers Takeaways for Your Small Business" was first published on Small Business Trends

The Magic Touch: 5 Secrets to Turn Browsers Into Buyers

Enticing customers into your store is only the first part of the challenge for retailers. Once they’re in the door, you still have to convince them to make a purchase. Here’s a simple approach that appeals to human nature—and works: Get shoppers to touch and handle products.

There’s copious research suggesting that customers who touch a product are more inclined to buy. For instance, subjects in a study at Caltech were willing to pay 40 percent to 60 percent more for products they could physically examine (as opposed to just seeing images on a website or in a catalog). In another study, the longer subjects held an item, the more they were willing to pay for it. “Physically holding products can create a sense of psychological ownership, driving must-have purchase decisions,” according to Harvard Business Review.

How to Turn Browsers Into Buyers

Here are five tips to encourage shoppers to touch the merchandise — and to take it home, too.

Get Their Attention

Before shoppers can pick up a product, they have to notice it. Take a cue from the way that supermarkets merchandise their stores. They put high-margin products at eye level, where most shoppers look first, or in high-traffic areas of the store, where more shoppers will pass by. Display the products you most want to sell where customers are most likely to see them.

Use “Destinations” to Spark Impulse Purchases

Create a destination area for products you know lots of customers are interested in. For example, many retailers put sale items at the back of the store, so that customers have to walk through racks of tempting displays to get there. Line the path to the destination area with high-margin items and/or products commonly bought on impulse. Sephora was one of the first retailers to put impulse buys near the point of sale, and now plenty of others are following suit.

Encourage Touching

Have you ever been in one of those stores surrounded with signs like “You break it, you buy it,” “Do not touch,” and “Parents: watch your children”? You didn’t exactly feel welcome, did you? While it may go against your instincts, encouraging customers to pick up, examine and handle products is a far more effective approach to actually selling them stuff. What if you have fragile or breakable products for sale? Take a cue from Best Buy or the Apple Store and put display models out on the floor for customers to touch and explore.

Engage with Customers

When salespeople use touch appropriately, such as shaking a customer’s hand or lightly touching a shoulder or elbow to guide them, it can prompt customers to spend more money, according to Harvard Business Review. Salespeople who are assisting customers can hand them products to look at or urge them to feel the heft of a garment.

Cultivate Imperfection

If your store displays look too neat and perfect, customers won’t want to disturb them by touching the products. Create a little bit of purposeful mess so shoppers will feel comfortable plowing through that pile of sweaters. Remind your salespeople not to fold or straighten products while customers are nearby; plenty of shoppers will feel guilty about undoing the salesperson’s work right in front of them.

Rabbit in Magic Hat Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Apply These 5 Secrets to Magically Transform Browsers Into Buyers" was first published on Small Business Trends