Why You Need to Test Your E-commerce Features

E-commerce is a trending business platform that connects customers and businesses over a technology-driven digital process to purchase items and/or services. In the latest scenarios, e-commerce websites are bringing in more profit by attracting more and more customers each day. The customized shopping experiences and ease of use bring customers to shop these platforms. According to Statista, the number of digital buyers will increase to $2.14 billion by 2021.

Another major technological advancement that has stimulated the e-commerce trend is the smartphone. These smart handy devices are a powerful gadget that brings a 24/7 accessibility feature while at home or on the go. In recent years, there has been a remarkable drift in website visits from desktops to mobile devices. In addition, the survey by Statista states – Mobile accounts for approximately half of the web traffic worldwide. In the first quarter of 2019, mobile devices (excluding tablets) generated 48.71 percent of global website traffic.

This clearly shows that mobile is the basic and the most important platform and mobile optimization of websites is equally vital.

In order to give users a great shopping experience, it is important to identify the features that might be a hindrance in a good user experience. Remember that even the most useful features go obsolete and can be replaced by something new and trending. So, you need to regularly experiment and test your most trusted website features to get the best ones in place. Let’s consider these 3 features to see how this will work.

1. Removal of the ‘wishlist’ feature will increase user interaction with the e-commerce website:

For a long time, there has been a wishlist feature in almost all e-commerce websites that contained the products that customers might purchase in the future. Removing this feature will help in reducing customer distractions and determine their actual buying needs. Moreover, some e-commerce websites who have removed this feature report an 81.6% rise in sales.

2. Removing product-level breadcrumbs:

Though breadcrumbs act as a navigation guide for the customers, a better approach would be to filter products based on their categories. According to a report, the removal of breadcrumbs will boost RPV in mobile users by almost 17%. But, complete removal and oversimplification of breadcrumbs is not suggested to give users the basic navigation ease without understanding it.

3. Remove the ‘continue shopping’ option at checkout:

As a common feature on shopping websites, the ‘continue shopping’ button normally appears at the checkout process. This button is reported to confuse many customers and takes them away from the checkout process. As another distraction, this button impacts overall sales.

These 3 features in an e-commerce website might not impact the customer, but the customer bounce rate due to them reduces the profit percentage of businesses. These and a few other features need to be analyzed and updated as the current customer navigation trends.

Moreover, Magento is a robust platform which incorporates the best features that help in reducing the customer churn. While Magento constantly improves its services, many e-commerce businesses have opted for Magento 2.0 upgrade service to get the best of it.

Conclusion:

Technology is ever changing and so is customer demand. The increasing customer awareness and demand trends require e-commerce businesses to stay updated and to experiment with the best possible solutions for the users.

Top 5 E-Commerce Trends That Will Add Value to Magento

Magento is a leading e-commerce platform that has left other e-commerce software far behind. Magento mixes a high degree of flexibility and functionality with the ease of customization and scaling to empower large and evolving businesses to reap the benefits more effectively at the global level. Plus, Magento themes are very popular among business stakeholders who want to focus on customer engagement as Magento provides power to your website by making its presence known through SEO techniques.

Magento has been progressing at a fast pace. In 2017, Magento made improvements in speed for a better experience. For 2018, Magento focused on increasing conversion rates for websites. So, what’s going to empower Magento in 2019?

1. Artificial Intelligence and Chatbots:

In the latest scenario, artificial intelligence is taking thelead. By attracting many users globally with better user interfaces, AI is assisting businesses with engaging customers. AI is revolutionizing the Magento e-commerce sector in understanding user behavior and preferences, which aids in giving users a personalized e-commerce shopping experience.

In parallel to AI, Chatbots are no less important. Chatbots are among the most liked features by many end users today. With 24/7 customer support service, chatbots are adding value to business owners as well as customers. With seamless service and better customer management, they add to the strength of Magento. Moreover, the chatbot market is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 34% from 2018 to 2024.

2. Smarter Organic Search and Engagement:

A well-made e-commerce website will give a smooth navigation experience, but will it engage your customers? The smart search with Magento engages customers by making them dive deeper into the website with quick and easy searching options.

3. Mobile First:

Today’s tech-savvy world is more smart and alert. With smartphones and high-speed internet, people are accessing the required information within seconds. As far as e-commerce is concerned, they expect the same. According to a survey, by 2020, almost 54% of e-commerce sales will be done using mobile e-commerce applications. So, it is very important for you to have a mobile optimized e-commerce application for your business.

4. High-Quality Content:

A website might look beautiful, but it cannot fetch much traffic until it attains a level of quality content. User-centric high-quality images and content are very important to attract customers and get them to buy what you are selling. Fine product images and catchy product descriptions are key to growing a customer base.

5. Augmented Reality Experience:

Augmented reality is one of the popular technologies that help give immersive user experiences. Many top-rated e-commerce mobile applications like Amazon have incorporated an augmented reality feature that allows customers to see the products superimposed in the real environment. This means that if you are planning to buy a couch, you can simply select the couch and click on the augmented reality view. Next, you need to focus your smartphone’s camera towards the place where you want to place the couch in real time. Augmented reality will show you the view with the selected couch placed. Isn’t that a great shopping experience? With Magento, you can also reinvent your e-commerce website and incorporate augmented reality.

According to a survey, 71% of customers say that they would want to shop again and again with an e-commerce application that caters the augmented reality feature.

The Inference:

The growing e-commerce market is attracting a lot of traffic, and it is very important for e-commerce businesses to adapt to the latest technologies. Magento is one platform that brings a powerful pack of features with robust security leading to increased customer retention. The above-mentioned technologies blended in Magento are expected to revolutionize the e-commerce development services and its market in 2019.

Let’s Get Started with MFTF

Introduced by Tom Erskine at Merge Test Fest, the ‘Magento Functional Testing Framework’(MFTF) is an open source solution for creating functional tests for Magento applications. This cross-platform solution aims at replacing traditional functional testing framework and reducing mistakes due to complex functional flows.

MFTF is a series of readymade tests to check the functionality of Magento 2 systems. In some scenarios, auto tests are run to cover extended functionalities. These auto tests are easy to code and implement, even by manual testers in a Magento development company.

The Features of MFTF that Make It Desirable

As MFTF is based on technologies like Selenium, Allure, and Codeception, it caters a wide variety of testing scenarios and cases. The following features of MFTF make it a popular trend over other primitive technologies.

Guarantees security and stability

It’s built completely by Magento and for Magento and provides great customer support services

Infrastructure scalability lets MFTF run different tests in different environment

Provides flexibility with modularity support

Easy to customize existing tests

A reporting/logging tool makes it more informative

Highly compatible

Setting up Environment for MFTF

1. Upgrade your PHP Version: First of all, you need to upgrade your PHP version according to the Magento instance that you prefer to use.

2. Install the Composer

3. Install Java to run Selenium Server

4. Use Selenium Server on your System: The Selenium jar file will help you to run MFTF test cases.

5. Get a Web Browser Driver: A web browser driver is required to run the test cases. You need to install the correct one according to your choice of browser.

Setting up MFTF Framework

The following steps will guide you through MFTF setup process.

Step 1- Install Magento 2.3

The first and foremost step is to install Magento 2.3. For this you can either follow this link
https://devdocs.magento.com/guides/v2.3/install-gde/install-quick-ref.html
or download from a trusted source and extract to your local host directory. Next, go to the Magento directory on your web browser and complete the setup.

Step 2 – Install the Dependencies

Use the following command to install MFTF

composer install -d dev/tests/acceptance/

Step 3 –Build Project

Run the following command in the Magento Project Root

vendor/bin/mftfbuild:project

Step 4 – Edit Environment Settings

Edit the .env file in [Magento_Root]/dev/tests/acceptance/ directory, with

vim dev/tests/acceptance/.env

Furthermore, set the following parameters required for tests –

MAGENTO_BASE_URL: should contain a domain name of the Magento instance that will be tested.

MAGENTO_BACKEND_NAME: must contain the relative path for the Admin area.

MAGENTO_ADMIN_USERNAME: should contain the username required for authorization in the Admin area.

MAGENTO_ADMIN_PASSWORD: must contain the user password required for authorization in the Admin area.

Step 5 – Enable the Magento CLI commands

Run the following command in [Magento_Root]/dev/tests/acceptance directory

cp dev/tests/acceptance/.htaccess.sample dev/tests/acceptance/.htaccess

Step 6 – Create and Run the Tests

In order to run the tests, you need to have a running Selenium server and ‘MFTF’ commands

Rcd /Java -Dwebdriver.chrome.driver=chromedriver -jar selenium-server-standalone-3.14.0.jar

Generate the tests

Run the following command to run complete test cases

vendor/bin/codecept run functional

You may also run a specified group (vendor/bin/mftfrun:group product)by using vendor/bin/mftf command.

Next, run all the Magento tests

In the dev/test/acceptance, run the following command to run all test cases

vendor/bin/mftf run functional

Step 7 – Generate Reports

MFTF generates test reports in CLI. For visual representation of reports, you can also use Allure Framework.

Install Allure

Install ‘npm’using the following command

sudo apt install npm

npm install -g allure-commandline –save-dev

Next, run Allure to check the final report

To check the test result report in Allure, use the following command–

allure serve dev/tests/_output/allure-results/

Conclusion

Finally, MFTF facilitates the testing of user interactions with web applications. It helps testers with easy automation of regression testing. The above-mentioned steps will help you start MFTF from scratch and generate test reports with ease.

Headless eCommerce (A Comprehensive Guide)

Every ecommerce has been trying to separate the frontend and the backend. That is the reason more and more ecommerce platforms are shifting to a headless ecommerce approach.

Unlike traditional ecommerce platforms (WordPress, Shopify), headless ecommerce decouples the solution, which clearly separates the backend and frontend.

In this article, we have covered almost every aspects of headless ecommerce i.e.

1. Platforms & Implementation Options

2. Example Websites

3. Headless Commerce Vs. Traditional Commerce

4. Why You Should Have A Headless CMS

Good read: Why You Need a Magento 2 Certified Developer for Your eCommerce Business

To begin with, let’s talk about them.

1. Platforms & Implementation Options for headless eCommerce

The solutions that support Headless eCommerce are based on an API-first headless CMS, enterprise DXP / personalization platform, react-based, PWA framework, vue.js-based PWA framework, or react.js-based PWA framework. Here a list of CMS’s supported:

Contentful

Adobe Experience Manager

Amplience

Acquia

Kentico

Sitecore

Prismic

Gatsby

Vuestorefront

Deity

Examples of eCommerce platforms that support a headless approach

CommerceTools

ElasticPath

Moltin

Magento

BigCommerce

SAP CX Commerce Cloud

OroCommerce

Spryker

2. How headless Ecommerce Websites look? :

Braun: is a headless ecommerce-based grooming product website.

Braun Headless eCommerce

Yoga Girl: As you can see, this website sells packages and has a beautiful front end.

Yoga Girl

AugustinusBader: This website won’t even look like normal ecommerce websites that we see on a regular basis. It is a perfect example of Headless eCommerce.

AugustinusBader

3. Headless commerce vs. traditional commerce:

Front-end developers have very limited options in traditional ecommerce

Traditional eCommerce: Has limited capabilities of updating and editing without causing problems for future updates.

Headless eCommerce: Front-end developers don’t have to worry about modifying the database. A simple API is called that allows the data to be available in the UI.

Customization and Personalization options are limited in Traditional eCommerce.

Traditional eCommerce: It allow the users with its limited editing capabilities, making them believe that if they are able to edit the themes and fonts then they are getting the perfect end-user experience, which is not true.

Headless eCommerce: Developers are free to build the entire user experience from scratch. Headless eCommerce solutions allow you to define what you want your user experience to be like, making it possible to still customize themes and have it look amazing at the same time!

In Traditional eCommerce, the front-end is directly linked with back-end.

Traditional eCommerce: In traditional solutions, the front-end is directly related to the back-end code, and this makes it difficult for any customization. For one customization change, you need to make changes to the database layer as well.

Headless eCommerce: Creates a wall between the front-end and back-end, providing flexibility in order to customize whichever way you want. A front-end developer is only needed in such cases.

Good read: Important Tips for New Ecommerce Entrepreneurs

4. Why you should have a Headless CMS?

Companies who fail to implement innovative ideas fall behind in the marketplace. If you implement headless CMS, you can future-proof your application by separating your presentation layer from your logical layer.

Headless ecommerce makes the development of mobile applications very easy. When you use headless ecommerce, you do not require a content manager administrator for your website. There is no need for a database which means there’s no data storage layer to be attacked.

If you are fascinated with the benefits of headless ecommerce, sit with an ecommerce developer or a Magento expert to see if it would really help your business.

Why E-commerce Retailers Should Upgrade Their Magento 1 Store to Magento 2?

The well-known open-source E-commerce platform, originally developed by Varien Inc., has officially called off its support for Magento 1. While the older version was taken off the downloading sites November of last year, support will last until 2020.

If you are a retailer with an online store that was built with an older version of Magento, now is the time to upgrade your platform version to Magento 2.x. We know that you might be sneaking around from quite some time to understand what would happen if you stay on the older version and what type of benefits you would have from Magento 2 that were not available in the Magento 1.

Here are a few reasons why online retailers using Magento 1 should move to Magento 2 sooner rather than later.

Better Performance and Speed

Slower loading speed is one reason that has often led to higher bounce rates for old version users. Magento 2 has worked the indexer and order accepting part. The results are amazing.

Magento 2.x can now attend up to 117% more orders than Magento 1.x. It offers a faster and more accurate search at the user’s end. The main server is less likely to suffer overload, giving a smooth browsing experience to users and helping you retain more customers.

Separate Database

In Magento 1, users and merchants worked within a common database that was shared between the processes. The new Magento 2 has divided the database, preventing the system from overload. This feature has enhanced the performance of the entire system.

Improved Checkouts

Magento 1 was often criticized for its slow loading cart page. The previous system would reload the entire page, which negatively affected the performance. With a large number of products in the cart, the conditions were worse. Many users ended up quitting the cart without completing their order because of the lagging.

With the new Magento 2, the cart mounting time has been reduced. Thanks to the newly added Ajax “Add to cart”, Magento 2 loads the cart up to 3 seconds faster than before.

A Simplified Admin Interface

Magento 1 wasn’t as appealing due to its complex Admin Panel. Magento 2 comes with a simplified and user-friendly Admin Panel, making it easier to navigate. The Dashboard now sorts everything on the same screen:

Average order

Last orders

Lifetime Sales

Top searched items

Last searched item

The dashboard of Magento 2 makes it easier to navigate through various parts of the admin panel. Managing and creating products is also easier with the new Admin Panel. Tasks are now performed up to four times faster.

Less Expensive and Easy to Update

Updating new extensions and modules is easier and costs less in Magento 2 than it was in Magento 1. The previous version used to take hours for every update, even on the high-end professional systems.

Good read: Why You Need a Magento 2 Certified Developer for Your eCommerce Business

The new version makes it easier to update with the usage of high-end technologies like HTML5, Require.JS, and CSS3 scripting. Magento 2 has also resolved the chances of conflicting extensions, which were common in the 1.x versions.

With a number of intelligent features and capabilities, Magento 2 is empowering ecommerce businesses with enhanced security, custom integrations, advertising and marketing automation, and comprehensive reporting. Plus, there are a plethora of benefits for retailers to manage and grow their online stores.

The migration from Magento 1 to Magento 2 is done with a Migration Tool and is carried out by a Magento solution development company. The migration relatively simple and the existing data is moved to the new platform in a stage-wise process. Upgrading to Magento 2 is a one-time effort, and retailers are aggressively making the move for long-term benefits and higher customer retention.

Still have question? Talk to a Magento expert.

Enhance Your Magento Store Conversions with Basic Yet, Effective Tactics

You already have a good customer reach. The campaign tactics have worked fine. The page visits’ is way higher than you had been expecting. Your ecommerce site ranks fairly high in the search engines. The only problem you are facing currently is the bounce rate, and of course the lowering conversion rates. At this time, you can’t blame your marketing tools as they have already done their part at reaching out to new customers. You can’t blame your SEO tools, as the tactics haven’t let you down with the page visits.

Good read: Important Tips for New Ecommerce Entrepreneurs

This is the time for some internal assessment and grooming your store for better conversions.

FOMO Tactics

We have availed ourselves on social media, due to the “Fear of Missing Out” (FOMO). Everyone fears losing their place to someone else. This includes the chances of getting products online. It is one tactic that most ecommerce websites have owned, with highly successful conversions. Users are more likely to buy things on the spot if the gateway is constricted to a few minutes. Here are a few tricks that have worked as FOMO tricks:

Flash sale: Where the product is available on the website on a weekly basis. Xiaomi has sold millions of phones with this approach.

Limited Stocks: Advertise the fear that the product is available in limited numbers. That numbers are decreasing every second and will soon be out of stock. It has often worked for the newly arrived items. The same can be applied to older products at a reduced price.

Discounts for a Limited Time

Amazon and Flipkart have recently performed this through a 4-day window for several products on sale with heavy discounts, cashback offers, and deals. The exact number of sales was extremely high. As a merchant, you can try for such a window annually. This will give you better exposure, accompanied by heavy conversion rates.

A Detailed Product Description

You are the window through which the user can imagine and connect with the product. Make sure you add quality images and video clips to let them see the product closely. If possible, add the necessary specs, additional warranty, additional items often bought with the product, and answers to frequently asked questions by the buyers about the product. Amazon and Flipkart can be seen mentioning the eye-catching details in the first few lines of their product listings. There is just enough detail to convert the user to a customer quickly. This will also help in decreasing the chances of asking for a refund as you had already mentioned the terms of purchase in the product description.

The Reward for Buying at Specific Time

Reward the buyers with additional benefits like discounts, cashback, or offers for the future purchase if they buy specific products at a specific time. Nobody says no to savings on purchases.

Happy Reviews Helps in Quick Decisions

Get genuine reviews and feedback from customers who find themselves lucky to purchase the product at that instant. Reviews play a major role in converting visitors to customers. Appreciate the positive ones and learn about the areas of improvement from the negative ones.

Upgrade Technology Platform

You might have built your online store on the technology platform that was perfect for the customers of yesteryear. A lot has changed in the last decade. Highly popular ecommerce stores like Amazon have put in a lot of effort and resources to provide both a great user experience and the coveted convenience for today’s customers. They have incorporated an advanced ecommerce technology platform to provide a win-win situation to both the customers as well as the sellers. Nearly all new stores entering the market every day are utilizing the Magento platform because of its track record.

For those ecommerce ventures that were built on Magento 1, they can now migrate to Magento 2 and capitalize on the intelligent capabilities of the platform. To learn why ecommerce entrepreneurs are setting up their online stores on Magento 2.x, read this blog.

We hope these small changes bring big changes to your sales graph.

Optimize Product Pages of Your Store with E-Commerce SEO

Is your eCommerce website’s sales-graph looking down despite your best efforts?

Do you still feel that the users are wandering off to websites other than yours?

Are the product pages missing something, but you’re unable to find the exact point?

In an era of fierce competition to reign and sustain in the ecommerce business front, you need to start analyzing your shortcomings and seek professional measures to get back on track.

Internet is vast. It is powerful enough to convert you from rags to riches in no time. The reverse is possible too; if you are unaware of the current trends, guidelines, and the best ecommerce business practices.

Google keeps upgrading itself every next hour. The first page on the search index might slip to the next page in the next moment. Losing your place in the Google search index can hamper your sales by manifolds. Do not hesitate and hope, head to the necessary solutions after analyzing what needs to be done. We have summed up a few important points related to product pages of online stores that can help increase web traffic and retain users.

Search Engine Optimized

Are the product pages of your e-commerce website optimized for search engines? If not, you are missing out on a deciding factor that affects your salability. Here is something you should start working on:

Research on the keywords related to the products.

Include the long-tail keywords in the product descriptions.

Link the important product pages internally with other relevant category pages

Product Description

Detailed information about the product is extremely important from a customer’s perspective. All your product pages should provide details such as:

Product title with the brand name, key specs, and offer

Explain the features and components of the products

Price of the item, discount & offers, shipping charges, and star ratings

Size/dimensions, color, bundle option, brand value, and pictures/videos of the products

Care and maintenance instructions, returns & cancellation, customer support, and payment mode instructions

Include other relevant information that would influence customers to make a purchase

Mention the Brand

When it comes to buying products online, buyers often prefer the brand. For example, a buyer finds two trimmers with the same set of features. One of them belongs to Philips and costs $50, and there is another offering the same features at $30. The buyer is more likely to buy the one from Philips. This is due to brand awareness.

Make sure you mention the brand behind the product in the product description. You can also add the Guarantee certification, genuine product assurance, and after-sales service support offered by the brand for that product.

Ensure High-quality UX

Let the visitors coming to your ecommerce store have an exceptionally satisfying experience. Give prominence to User Experience (UX), and it will greatly influence your ecommerce digital marketing strategies. A high bounce rate on your website is probably due to the dull theme and messy site architecture that makes visitors disinterested in exploring your online store any further. You are more likely to convert more users if they are offered a great user experience. Keep it simple, delicate and pretty.

Good read: Principles of Product Page UX for eCommerce

Use Professional Photography

There is a huge difference between the photos taken by a professional photographer and by a novice. The former knows which angle grabs more eyes. The perfectly photographed product images can be a great help in optimizing product pages. Give the users a brief idea about the product’s practical size through images and video clips.

Use Rich Snippets

Use Schema.org for rich snippets. A high-quality picture accompanied by a small description on the first page of the Google search will direct more buyers to your ecommerce website. Offer the readers something they haven’t read before. Users tend to read things that are new. They might end up purchasing the product, just because “you don’t copy things.”

Page Loading Speed

The higher the quality of the images, the longer it takes to load the product pages. Lower loading speeds affect your page visits to a large extent. You will need to balance the quality of the images and graphics keeping in mind the page loading speed. You should limit your DPI for the same reason. Adobe Photoshop will help you with this task.

Mobile Friendly

This is probably the biggest factor that you should focus on when optimizing product pages. With smartphones extending their reach, it is necessary that your ecommerce website works better on devices with varied screen sizes. If possible, get a mobile application version of your store.

Action Buttons at Prime Positions

The action buttons like “Add to cart” and “Buy Now” should be placed at places that grab eyes quickly. At the same time, that doesn’t mean it has to cling around, throughout the screen.

Final words

There is no perfect way of optimizing your product pages. It is supposed to vary website to website, from one kind of audience to others. As an ecommerce retailer, only you can identify the deciding factors apart from the ones discussed above. Try implementing these small, yet crucial changes with the help of a certified Magento 2 developer. We are sure you will see your sales-graph moving up.

Understanding New Trends in E-commerce Order Fulfillment

Your e-commerce store has some popular products that are hard to keep in stock as people flaunt the items they get from your store, share good reviews, and even spread the word among friends and families. You see more new orders every day. So, everything seems to be going well with your online business, like sailing smoothly on a cruise to a dream destination, right? But wait! What about the order fulfillment? Order fulfillment is the propeller of the cruise you are sailing and if it works well, you arrive at your destination smoothly and on time.

Ok. Enough of the stories. Let’s get straight to the point in a few simple words. Apart from all the other activities and processes that are crucial to your online business, e-commerce order fulfillment is also a key aspect that drives your e-commerce success. Between receiving an order and delivering it to a customer is order fulfillment. This includes:

  • Warehouse organization
  • Inventory management
  • Order management
  • Packaging
  • Shipping
  • Delivery
  • Customer communication

For small businesses, managing their inventory, packing, and shipping is less of a hassle. However, for medium-sized or businesses scaling-up their operations, additional support in the form of order fulfillment services is needed for rapidly growing e-commerce businesses. To facilitate order fulfillment, the three most popular and trending strategies used are –

  1. Drop-shipping
  2. Third-party e-commerce fulfillment
  3. Self-fulfillment

The crux here is to understand what each fulfillment technique is, when to use it, how it works, and how to get started. So, let us take a look at each separately.

Drop Shipping

In dropshipping, the seller does not own the inventory before their sale. It is like a middleman who never sees or possesses the products physically but is responsible for marketing, promotion,and selling to the customers. In a typical online sale, the seller will ship the item directly to the customer from a dedicated dropshipper or the manufacturer.

Dropshipping is not just useful for startups. Bigger e-commerce companies use dropshipping often through their suppliers as they know there is a risk of buying too much product that just may not sell. It also helps the seller understand the market demands before buying in bulk to add to their inventory.

For example –

On your online store, as well as in a physical showroom, you sell custom-printed tees. With the dropshipping model, whenever a customer makes a purchase, you would then place an order to your vendor to print those tees and ship it directly to the customer. In this process, you will make a profit from the difference between your retail price and the price you pay your source for each order. In simple words, your profit will be calculated as Profit = Retail Price – Price Per Product Bought from Dropshipper.

Third-Party Fulfillment

Here, the seller owns the item before the sale is made. In this form of fulfillment, the product is purchased or manufactured by the seller, and then added to the inventory of a third-party company, before marketing and selling it. Once the order is placed, the third-party company will process, pack and ship the order to the customer.

For example –

Let’s continue with the same example of custom-printed tees. With third-party e-commerce fulfillment, you may still have an online portal and a showroom for marketing, but when a customer places an order, the third-party with the inventory is contacted to pack and ship the order to the customer. In this process, you will make a profit from the remaining difference between the retail price, the price you pay per product, and the fees you pay your third-party provider. In simple words, your profit will be calculated as Profit = Retail Price – Price Per Product – 3rd Party Fees.

Self-Fulfillment & Shipping

Self-fulfillment was the most widely used option until dropshipping,and third-party fulfillment came in to play. In this model, as a seller, you own the inventory, process the order, and pack and ship the order to your customers. Generally, sellers utilize a large space, such as a warehouse, that acts as the distribution center, or “hub” for order fulfillment.

For example –

Continuing with the same example, in self-fulfillment you utilize warehouse for storing inventory and handle fulfilling the orders in-house. The profit you will make in this process will be the difference between your retail price and the costs associated with buying inventory, storing it, and fulfilling orders. In simple words, your profit will be calculated as Profit = Retail Price – Inventory Buying – Inventory Storing – Fulfillment costs.

Thus, the most appropriate solution for you will depend on the type of product or services you are selling and the rate at which your business is growing. Order fulfillment is an integrated part of your supply chain in which all other business aspects depend on, so choose wisely!

If you need help in setting up order fullfilment and in managing it when the dynamics of your online business changes, get in touch with our Magento eCommerce development experts.

Principles of Product Page UX for eCommerce

Let’s get straight to the point.

The design and user experience (UX) of product pages is crucial in converting visits into sales. This means that there are certain paths you must follow to optimize your ecommerce portal with features, including cross-selling, free shipping, up-selling and more, to ensure the best user experience for your customers.

A Picture Speaks Louder Than Words

For a great product page user experience to influence customers to buy a product, show images in the best possible light. For example, for an apparel retailer, a high-resolution close-up of the garment will allow the customer to evaluate the texture, color and flow of fabric from a virtual perspective.

Show the product ‘in-action’ in pictures to demonstrate how the garment can work as a whole. This will give the user a more authentic shopping experience, a sense of its ‘real-life’ dimensions and the ability to make a quick decision, thereby helping the seller with quick and frequent orders. If you are looking to enhance product page UX through pictures, it is worth including ‘in scale’ product shots.

No False Promises of Free Shipping

For a customer, finding the hidden delivery costs at checkout is always annoying. Don’t promote simply by saying Free Shipping. Instead, take a diverse approach to inform customers about shipping offers on banners or scrolls on your site. For example, Spend Over $500 for Free Next Day Delivery. This way, your customers will not feel duped at checkout.

Look at the homepage of this retailer for example. The section outlined in red showcases key information that stands-out to the consumer, detailing their options around free delivery. The threshold limit is clearly stated in their banner, so there are no nasty surprises at checkout.

Your customers should not need to navigate the entire site to find crucial information. Everything about shipping offers, delivery details and discount features in a dedicated page is a true portrayal of a stress-free product page of Magento UX.

A Customer Will Always Trust Another Customer’s Words

Online shopping does not work like brick and mortar stores in which they can inspect and touch the product. The last thing customers want to deal with is item returns. To make the best and final decision, especially on more expensive products, customers look at feedback and reviews from other customers who already bought the product and have used it for a while. Thus, when 95% of your customers rely on customer reviews, show it clearly on your product page to give a trustworthy user experience.

Moreover, it is important to have a review summary. If you show only the positive reviews listed, the customers would think that the reviews are fake.

For the best product page UX,

  • Show the reviews as graphical illustration (e.g., a bar chart)
  • The reviews summary should act as ‘star’ filters (users can click to view, e.g., only 5-star or only 1-star reviews)
  • Give the option to expand the reviews summary or make them exposed by default

To summarize, the top 3 principles of product page user experience are:

  1. A Picture Speaks Louder Than Words – Product imagery in different perspectives work.
  2. No False Promises of Free Shipping – State your shipping offers clearly. Don’t annoy your customers.
  3. A Customer Trusts Another Customer’s Words – Don’t include just positive reviews, show all the reviews and ratings with customer comments.

Still, there are things that you can do to make your product page UX stand apart from your competitors. If you need help in creating a better user experience, talk to a Magento eCommerce development company.

Note – The images used in this blog are just for illustration purpose. We hold no ownership of these images and they belong to their respective brands.

Digital Delivery – The New Name for eCommerce Shipping Solutions

Shipping items ordered through ecommerce portals has evolved so much over the recent years. Gone are the days when you wait at home all day for a courier to deliver your items. Digital delivery is the new name for ecommerce shipping and has transformed the traditional system to personalized delivery according to the customer’s convenience. For merchants, conventional methods of shipping can be messy and require a great deal of manual effort and time. With the evolution of digital delivery software solutions, processing, packaging, labelling, dispatching and tracking all the orders from a single place has revolutionized the ecommerce industry.

Integrating today’s shipping solutions to existing or new ecommerce ventures is saving a lot of time and need of manual intervention, thereby driving sellers towards growth and expansion. They are now able to serve customers from thousands of different locations, both domestic as well as worldwide. The benefits are immense and if we have to sum up the advantages of a modern ecommerce shipping solution to a seller, these are what the seller can expect.

Modern Ecommerce Shipping Solution

  1. Integrations:Your digital delivery solution will accommodate orders from the different locations you sell online or offline. All the orders download automatically within the delivery solution. Once processed and dispatched, tracking numbers and orders status update are posted back to the selling platform giving accurate, real time information to you and your customers.
  2. Order management: Has all the necessary features to manage all of your orders. You will have the flexibility to sort, filter, split – multiple addresses, combine – orders going to same address, batch, and drop ship from a single platform.
  3. Discounted rates: The shipping software will allow you to manage discounts that are passed on to your customers on orders and delivery charges.
  4. Browse and compare rates: Your delivery solution will allow you to punch in all the major delivery service providers with their rates. This means you can compare rates and select the service provider that suits you best.
  5. Returns management:Customer satisfaction is prime and to facilitate the process, a digital delivery solution allows you to generate return labels and provide refunds in a timely manner, thus keeping the buyers happy.
  6. Tracking and customer communication: You will be able to provide real time shipment confirmations with tracking information to keep customers informed about their purchases.
  7. Rules and automation– You can automate repetitive tasks within the shipping solutions that will eventually save time and effort, giving you space to focus on core business activities.
  8. Pick, pack, and label– Everything from printing pick lists, packing slips and labels for the orders will ensure error-free delivery process.
  9. Reporting:Shipping software will record all the data of customers, buying habits, top products, trending items, most selling geographies, best delivery services and more to help you analyze performance and make informed business decisions.
  10. International:Many of your customers may live outside the US – so at some stage you should think about selling your products beyond the border. A shipping solution will wipe away most of the hassle associated with shipping overseas.

Act like a customer to customize your digital delivery solution

Before you choose for the best shipping solution for your ecommerce business, you need to understand what customers look for before clicking on that Checkout button. To be in their shoes, act like a customer who wants personalized delivery. Update your business processes according to industry trends and customer requests.

Order Tracking

In a survey, 19% of both men and women said they would shop online more if they were offered tracking capabilities. Order tracking is an excellent way of giving the power back to the customer but also taking the obligation off your shoulders. A tracking service is just one of the major benefits offered by delivery service providers to help take care of your delivery needs and boost customer satisfaction.

When it comes to order tracking, buyers want a range of options, such as –

  • Delivery date estimate at checkout
  • Regular email updates
  • Regular text/SMS updates
  • Make changes to shipping while goods are in transit
  • Regular messenger updates

 

Next Day Delivery

Nowadays, when customers see something online of their interest, they want to have it in their possession the next day. To facilitate this, sellers must try to offer speedy next-day or two-day delivery options in addition to their standard delivery mode.

Cater to Customer Needs with Shipping Options

“Although free shipping is generally preferred, shoppers (especially men) are willing to pay for alternative options that conveniently suit their needs at the time of purchase such as Same day or Next day delivery” – The State of Shipping in Commerce

When it comes to shipping, there is tremendous amount of information to consider. However, there’s no need to be stunned with the new name of ecommerce shipping – digital delivery. To make the best out of all the options, the best advice we can give you is to work on delivering the top three customer expectations. Most importantly, listen to what your customers want and do all you can to offer it to them. If you need help in selecting the right digital delivery solution, talk to Magento certified experts.