Blog Category: eCommerce

  • Cross-border e-Commerce is complex but is fastest growing

    M-Commerce

    M-commerce or Mobile commerce has been a growing phenomenon for some time now. Forecasts from various sources continue to show the potential growth if Mobile commerce were to continue its path forward (which is expected). Our previous article ‘The importance of M-commerce’ emphasized on the current state of the concept, as well as highlighting the main important aspects that explain the reasoning behind the popularity. This article will focus more on the upcoming/rising trends for M-commerce. Keep a look out for these trends as jumping on the wagon early might leverage your company significant growth increases and competitive advantage.

    Let us briefly recap the concept of M-commerce. M-commerce entails all activity regarding the purchase of goods/services using a monetary transaction through a mobile device such as a smart phone or a tablet. The mobile commerce market has shown to develop at a rapid pace with contributions such as: mobile money transfers/mobile banking, electronic boarding passes and location-based services such as Uber (Mobile Commerce, 2022). These innovative implementations have completely changed the way we handle specific things. Going on a flight and not needing to keep your boarding pass close due to the mobile variant has destressed the process. Or take grocery shopping for example. Many people only take their mobile phone as the monetary transaction solely requires your phone. No bank passes or credit cards are needed anymore.

    Your phone is becoming an increasingly important extension of yourself. Companies realize this and attempt to innovate continuously. This is the main contributing factor towards the increase in growth for M-commerce. Now, what is the growth forecast for M-commerce exactly?

    According toWurmser (2021), retail M-commerce sales’ share in the US as a percentage of the total sales is continuing its growth expecting to reach 10.4% in 2025. This means that M-commerce in the US market will nearly double its share of total retail sales between 2020-2025.

    Figure 1(M-commerce as a % of total sales – US market)

    https://www.emarketer.com/content/mcommerce-forecast-2021

    M-commerce Trends

    The growth of M-commerce, again, can be mainly contributed to the remarkable innovative concepts introduced. Many of these concepts, as discussed earlier, gained strong traction in the early stages. This is important to keep in mind as it shows that many companies understand the notion of following promising trends early to leverage their market position. As such, the trends below are upcoming and should be followed closely.

    • Shopping Personalization

    Adjusting the shopping experience based on the individual customer in question has not been anything new, However, the Mobile commerce market has shown to make great use of this concept as the methods that are being used to personalize the mobile shopping experience are innovative and strongly effective. Pixel tracking, following advertisements, mobile reminders after downloading applications, these are all methods that are highly effective aimed at increasing mobile commerce conversion rates. When conducting M-commerce, pay close attention to the ability and opportunities to personalize the shopping experience for your customer as new methods are introduced frequently. Companies now make use of ‘Predictive Analytics’. Predictive analytics are achieved through the use of Big Data. Data is being used to discover relationships and patterns between the historic data and outcomes to predict likely future behaviors.

    Cryptocurrency payments

    Cryptocurrency has increased growth tremendously over the past years. It is no longer unusual for anyone to invest in cryptocurrency. The cryptocurrency market is expected to reach 1.40$ billion in 2024. The security and decentralization of cryptocurrency restrict government intervention, in turn stabilizing the security of the monetary value. The decrease of trust in Fiat further builds on this notion contributing to the expected increase in popularity of cryptocurrency. Many companies agree with the above and implement cryptocurrency as a possible method of payment for various purchases. Customers appreciate the introduction as large companies show that the method of payment is being used increasingly frequent. It is important for any m-commerce business to follow the crypto trends. It is recommended to introduce this payment method, when possible, through API’s or other integrations.

    • AR (Augmented Reality)

    Perhaps one of the newest concepts/trends is the concept of Augmented Reality. Companies such as IKEA have proven to gain leverage using this early concept by introducing innovative methods such as the famous ‘Try-On’ before you buy. This is essentially an integration within the IKEA mobile application that makes use of the mobile camera to visualize the object of purchase in your own living room. You are able to place and view the object in your own environment before purchasing. There are plenty of other companies seeing the value of AR and rightfully so. Keep an open mind and follow this trend accordingly.

    M-commerce trends are important to follow, keeping in mind the growth of the concept. Would you like to know how more on how to implement M-commerce correctly within your business? Talk to a ModusLink Expert today by clicking here.

    Bibliography

    Clearbridge Mobile. (2015, 12 november). Why Retailers Need To Pay Attention To Mobile Personalization. Geraadpleegd op 18 april 2022, van https://clearbridgemobile.com/why-retailers-need-to-pay-attention-to-mobile-personalization/

    Mobile Commerce. (2022, 11 maart). BigCommerce. Geraadpleegd op 17 maart 2022, van https://www.bigcommerce.com/articles/ecommerce/mobile-commerce/

    O’Connor, F. (2022, 31 maart). 8 mobile commerce trends that will dominate through 2022 and beyond. eCommerce Customer Service Software | eDesk. Geraadpleegd op 18 april 2022, van https://www.edesk.com/blog/mobile-commerce-trends/

    Samsukha, A. (2022, 21 januari). M-Commerce Statistics & Mobile Shopping Trends 2022. Tech Blog | Mobile App, eCommerce, Salesforce Insights. Geraadpleegd op 16 maart 2022, van https://www.emizentech.com/blog/m-commerce-statistics-mobile-shopping-trends.html

    Statista. (2021, 13 oktober). Global mobile retail commerce sales share 2016–2021. Geraadpleegd op 17 april 2022, van https://www.statista.com/statistics/806336/mobile-retail-commerce-share-worldwide/

    Wurmser, Y. (2021, 4 augustus). Mcommerce Forecast 2021. Insider Intelligence. Geraadpleegd op 18 maart 2022, van https://www.emarketer.com/content/mcommerce-forecast-2021

     

  • Importance of Payment Service Providers (PSP)

    What is a Payment Service Provider?

    Customers, in general, want flexibility and choice where possible. This is especially true when looking at business transactions, from a financial perspective. Generally speaking, the more payment options a Business provides their customers with, the more likely the customer is to complete the transaction. Looking at an online payment transaction from the front-end is one thing, however, what about the other side? What happens ‘behind the scenes? Important, strategic choices have to be made regarding what Payment Service Providers to use. This brings up questions such as what exactly is a Payment Service Provider? How do I choose the right one? What are the benefits and drawbacks in general? This article will cover the basics of Payment Services Providers and what to look for.

    Payment Service Providers are essentially an intermedium that connect merchants to more extensive financial systems. This enables companies to accept certain payment methods from their customers such as credit/debit payments. Payment Service Providers make sure to connect all working parties together, customers, sellers, and financial institutions. This allows Payment Service Providers to provide a straightforward paying experience for businesses and their customers through quick and efficient payment processing. In essence, Payment Service Providers are key factors that keep (mostly) E-commerce businesses running behind the scenes.

    Key benefits

    We already mentioned that Payment Service Providers are able to simplify the payment process for businesses/customers. What exactly are the key benefits to using a Payment Service Provider? See then main benefits listed below.

    • Automation

    Payment Service Providers are able to automate payments by functioning as the process operator for your customers’ transactions. This enables you to save your resources and time and in turn, streamlines your transactional process. Well-known Payment Service Providers like PayPal also allow you to set up automated reoccurring transactions when dealing with, for instance, monthly subscriptions. This takes away a large amount of administrative and operative work that otherwise went into completing these transactions manually. This is especially the case for businesses with many returning customers.

    • Reliability and issue-resolving

    Large and experienced Payment Service Providers are deemed as Reliable since they provide guarantees when dealing with shady transactions coming from customers or complex payments. They often stand in for missing revenue caused by unsuccessful payments or handle the issue-resolving process themselves. Disputes are handled by the Payment Service Providers which again, contributes to your resource efficiency as you do not need to handle any sticky situations yourself.

    • Transparency and clear communication

    Most Payment Service Providers are also fully transparent. This means that they allow you complete clarity throughout the whole payment operating process at any time. This, combined with clear and straightforward communication, helps build a strong and reliable relationship with your company. They often provide 24/7 support meaning that issues can be resolved quickly, should they arise. Customers in turn should expect minimum downtime and are less likely to bounce before completing their order.

    Now that you have insight on some of the key benefits of using a Payment Service Provider, you might ask yourself, why shouldn’t I use one? Of course, everything comes with downsides or costs. Payments service providers usually charge you a fee per transaction. Some other Payment Service Providers might even charge additional fees such as initial partnership fees or just a monthly fee.

    Besides the cost, Payment Service Providers help contribute to the reliability and flexibility of your business in general. This is important to keep in mind as the use of a well-known, professional Payment Service Provider often provides strong benefits as mentioned above that outweigh the cost or investment needed.

    Innovations

    It is commonly known that the Financial Technology Industry is growing and innovating at a rapid pace. This results in the introduction of many innovate payment solutions. The paying behavior of customers is changing. You can see this through the increase in completed mobile transactions for instance. The number of contactless payments increase, cryptocurrency has been introduced as an accepted payment in many places, relatively new payment methods such as ‘buy now, pay later’ all these phenomena are strong indicators of the innovative direction Payments and Payment Service Providers are going towards. It is important to keep track of the newest and most popular developments in the Payment world in order to keep up with your competition and maintain a competitive advantage. Many businesses often seek external professional advice to maximize the efficiency of their Payment Providing landscape.

    Would you like to know more about how your Business can improve by staying up to date with the latest innovations regarding Payments and Payment Service Providers? Talk to a ModusLink Expert today by clicking here!

    Bibliography

    Fibontix. (2022, 9 januari). Top Payment Service Providers | Key Factors & What to Expect. Fibonatix. Geraadpleegd op 11 februari 2022, van https://www.fibonatix.com/resources/what-to-look-for-top-payment-service-providers/

    Innovative Payment Solutions Across the FinTech Landscape. (2022, 7 januari). FinTech Magazine. Geraadpleegd op 11 februari 2022, van https://fintechmagazine.com/digital-payments/innovative-payment-solutions-across-fintech-landscape

    The Top 11 Online Payment Service Providers in 2021. (2020, 27 november). WildApricot Blog. Geraadpleegd op 11 februari 2022, van https://www.wildapricot.com/blog/online-payment-services#save-you-lots-of-trouble

    What Are Payment Service Providers? – Insights | Worldpay from FIS. (z.d.). FIS Global. Geraadpleegd op 12 februari 2022, van https://www.fisglobal.com/en-gb/insights/merchant-solutions-worldpay/article/what-is-a-payment-service-provider

     

  • Fulfillment-as-a-Service

    Analyze – Optimize – Grow

    Life is a continuous circle of progress. From the moment we are born we continuously develop through learning and encountering life’s different aspects. This cycle of continuous learning and development is also widely prominent in the corporate world. In order for Businesses to grow and scale they must find ways to improve and optimize, even at peak moments. This usually means businesses are looking for ways to gain a competitive advantage within their current market. A highly attractive way of gaining such competitive advantage is by outsourcing part of your activities that are highly resource intensive. This make outsourcing Fulfillment a great option to look at for many businesses that are looking to scale (Busby, 2019)

    .

    The main reasoning behind the attractiveness of outsourcing Fulfillment is that the Fulfillment concept is broad. This essentially means that the number of areas of potential improvement are usually high. By outsourcing your Fulfillment and effectively acquiring ‘Fulfillment as a Service’ Business can gain a strong competitive advantage. This can be achieved as Fulfillment professionals are able to optimize many aspects of the logistical and Fulfillment process from Packaging to Returns, IT systems, Customer Service etc. Many areas of improvement/optimization thus result in many potential ways for businesses to leverage their market value and increase their competitor position. The well-known optimization circle, Analyze – Optimize – Grow is highly applicable here. Companies that are looking to outsource their Fulfillment process should follow these steps in order to do so effectively (Thill Inc., 2021).

    • Analyze

    As mentioned before, outsourcing Fulfillment is highly popular due to the mainly potential areas of improvement. In order to get the best results up front, a strong analysis has to be made that identifies key areas of improvement in the Fulfillment process. This, for instance, could mean a detailed lead time analysis, a performance courier report, return efficiency overview, etc. Professional Supply Chain experts often provide their insight before working with their potential partners. This allows the cooperation to flow smoothly and allows expectations to be met. Once the key Areas of improvement have been identified, the actual optimization commences.

    • Optimize

    The optimization process of course changes depending on the area that requires optimization.

    The main red line within the process is often the same. Professional Fulfillment experts that hold up-to-date knowledge on the current Fulfillment innovations are often very able equipped to implement disruptive measures to drastically improve the Fulfillment process for businesses. The best Fulfillment companies make use of the most innovative technologies such as IoT (Internet of things) e.g., temperature sensors for Cargo loads, AVG (Automated Guided Vehicles) to maximize warehouse efficiency. Common but effective measures are also often implemented such as a more effective returns process, or the implementation of a ‘same-day delivery’ Fulfillment option.

    • Grow

    The most important indicator of successfully outsourcing your Fulfillment process is of course continuous and stable growth. Outsourcing your Fulfillment process should effectively reduce your resource utilization rate and improve the efficiency of your overall business as you are able to focus on other internal aspects. Evaluating periodically will result in a better partnership and will ensure that expectations are met accordingly. An important thing to keep in mind is that knowledge and insight of professional Fulfillment companies should always be considered. A small ‘bump in the road’ can often be overcome by staying with the partner in question and keeping the partnership alive.

    Key benefits

    There are plenty of benefits that come with outsourcing your Fulfillment services. The main one, optimizing resource allocation, has already been covered. A couple of additional benefits are mentioned below.

    Cash flow optimization

    Handling Fulfillment services internally can potentially require a high investment cost. Warehouses need to be rented, Customer service staff must be hired, trucks and other moving vehicles have to be purchased etc. Making use of a Fulfillment provider essentially turns these fixed costs into variable costs as the costs often scale with products/sales moving through the Supply Chain. Making use of a Fulfillment provider can often impact your Cash flow substantially by increasing the cash in hand and reducing fixed costs.

    Tap into new markets

    Looking for competitive advantage will always be a key element that businesses decide to focus on as it yields them the opportunity to outpace competition. The cycle is simple yet highly effective. Fulfillment as a service increases your resource effectiveness by reducing resource intensiveness, in turn allowing you to allocate your resource in a different manner. This opens up doors to diversify by tapping into new markets that provide you new prospects.

    Expertise results in lower costs

    Costs are almost always going to decrease when making use of a professional Fulfimment service provider. This has many reasons behind it. An example would be bulk transport contracting. Some Fulfillment experts make use of their connections which yields them cheaper transportation fares due to bulk consolidation with other loads/companies. In the Transportation sector, volume often means cheaper pricing per kg. Professional Fulfillment companies often know exactly how to leverage this concept which results in cheaper transportation prices overall, thus reducing your costs.

    There are plenty more benefits to using Fulfillment as a Service. Would you like to know how to choose a correct Fulfillment partner, and what to look out for? Read our next Blog article (here). Or talk to a ModusLink Expert today by clicking here!

    Bibliography

    Busby, A. (2019, 24 oktober). Fulfillment As A Service, Why The Future Of Delivery Is In The Clouds. Forbes. Geraadpleegd op 26 februari 2022, van https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewbusby/2019/10/23/fulfillment-as-a-service-why-the-future-of-delivery-is-in-the-cloud/?sh=6b83309d4af1

    business.com editorial staff. (2014, 25 juni). Benefits of Using an Order Fulfillment Service. Business.Com. Geraadpleegd op 2 maart 2022, van https://www.business.com/articles/benefits-of-using-an-order-fulfillment-service/

    Roggio, A. (2011, 4 november). 5 Reasons to Consider Fulfillment Services. Practical Ecommerce. Geraadpleegd op 5 maart 2022, van https://www.practicalecommerce.com/5-Reasons-to-Consider-Fulfillment-Services

    Thill Inc. (2021, 21 oktober). Fulfillment Center Pros & Cons. Thill Inc. Geraadpleegd op 5 maart 2022, van https://thillinc.com/blog/fulfillment-center-pros-cons/

     

  • What are Merchant of Records (MOR)

    What is a Merchant of Records?

    Upcoming Businesses often struggle to generate growth. However, once these Businesses are able to consequently and steadily grow, scaling is the next big hurdle. Scaling effectively requires very different strategy than growth generation. Businesses that can scale accordingly often show activities that are indicative of correct Resource allocation and optimization. There are plenty of ways that contribute to Resource optimization such as optimized inventory planning, well-designed CRM (Customer Resource Management) software, correct Marketing Strategies etc. Businesses use a variety of these ways to their advantage, aiming to scale together with their respective growth.

    One-way that contributes to the scaling of businesses is a phenomenon called ‘Merchant of Records’. Now, what are Merchant of Records exactly?

    As mentioned before, excessive growth often comes naturally with extra work. More orders need to flow out the magazine, backend/frontend customer service increases, different management decisions etc. Payments and the handling thereof increase as well. Depending on the business type, this might result in complex increase in resources needed to facilitate the extra work required. More payments, chargebacks and refunds need to be processed. Tax documentation complexity increases. Pricing negotiation becomes more difficult. Even Transfer pricing agreements might change. All this work requires extra Resources, or better Resource allocation.

    One-way companies optimize their Resource allocation regarding Payment services is by utilizing a Merchant of Records. A merchant of record (MoR) can be defined as an entity that handles the selling of goods or services to a customer. Companies can be their own merchant of record, but you can also outsource this work to entities that sell goods or services on behalf of a business and, by doing so, take on the liability related to the transaction (Collier, 2021).

    A merchant of records essentially provides freedom by lifting the burden of tax and payment compliance (issues). This helps a business to focus its resource on activities that are prioritized to increase growth and generate further scaling such as product improvements and R&D (Research and Development).

    As mentioned before, a company can choose to be its own Merchant of Records or choose to outsource. Outsourcing gives strong benefits when scaling is difficult. Outsourcing a professional and experienced Merchant of Records essentially relieves the burden of performance on all Incoming/Outgoing Payment activities. Well-Established Merchants of Records of course provide complete Transparency at all times. See the picture below for a simplified visual of the Merchant of Record process.

    Figure 1. Merchant of Records visual) https://blog.payproglobal.com/what-is-a-merchant-of-record

    As scaling is often difficult for many companies, lifting the burden of Financial operational responsibility through Outsourcing a Merchant of Records enables increase in focus and commitment that in turn, strengthens scaling and growth. According to Fortunly (2022), 71% of financial service executives outsource or offshore some of their services and 78% of businesses all over the world feel positive about their outsourcing partners. These statistics further reinforce the positive benefits by outsourcing and outsourcing financial services across the world. Further statistical research suggests that the outsourcing market for financial services will only continue to expand as time goes on.

    Tapping into new Markets

    ‘Identify à adapt à evaluate’ is a known cycle that implies the work ethic required for continuous improvement. Making use of the benefits of outsourcing a Merchant of Records enables more internal resources to be allocated to continuous improvement to stimulate further growth. Companies often use the gained resource efficiency generated by outsourcing to tap into new Markets and expand their customer base.

    According to Wunker e.a. (2011), one of the greatest contributing factors of success to any business is a company’s ability to capture new markets. This can be related to new products, customers, industries etc. Tapping into new markets is a great way to generate additional sources of profit and gain competitive advantage.

    Merchants of Records can often help with this as they are able to analyze the financial data once a Market entry has been made. For instance, Let’s say you outsource a Merchant of Records. Doing so has resulted in you being able to focus on allocating resource to expand your current customer base by tapping into a new Market. Research suggests that Germany might react positively towards your latest product, given a few improvements. As a result, you make the needed product adjustments and release a variant for the German market. The Merchant of Records now continuously provides you with highly detailed performance data that allows you to track, analyze and evaluate your operations within the German market (from a financial standpoint). The Merchant of Records enables you to keep your focus and facilitate your growth.

    As mentioned before, many successful businesses Outsource at least part of their financial operational activities to optimize their practices. Would you like to know more about how your Business can implement a professional Merchant of Records? Talk to a ModusLink Expert today by clicking here.

    Bibliography

    Fastspring. “What Is a Merchant of Record (And Why Should You Care?)”. FastSpring, 23 december 2021, fastspring.com/blog/what-is-a-merchant-of-record-and-why-you-should-care.

    Fortunly. “15 Must-Know Outsourcing Statistics for 2022”. Fortunly, 9 februari 2022, fortunly.com/statistics/outsourcing-statistics/#gref.

    —. “15 Must-Know Outsourcing Statistics for 2022”. Fortunly, 9 februari 2022, fortunly.com/statistics/outsourcing-statistics/#gref.

    Mansfield, Dani. “What is a merchant of record en why use an MoR as a solution for payments?” Paddle, paddle.com/blog/what-is-merchant-of-record. Geraadpleegd 9 februari 2022.

    Meir Amzallag. “What Is A Merchant Of Record: How Does MoR Cut eCommerce Risk?” PayPro Global, 23 november 2021, blog.payproglobal.com/what-is-a-merchant-of-record.

    Suess, Emily. “4 Tips for Growing Your Business by Tapping Into New Markets”. Small Business Bonfire, 2 januari 2013, www.smallbusinessbonfire.com/new-markets.

    Wunker, Stephen, e.a. “Achieving Growth by Setting New Strategies for New Markets”. Ivey Business Journal, 13 februari 2015, iveybusinessjournal.com/publication/achieving-growth-by-setting-new-strategies-for-new-markets.

    —. “Achieving Growth by Setting New Strategies for New Markets”. Ivey Business Journal, 13 februari 2015, iveybusinessjournal.com/publication/achieving-growth-by-setting-new-strategies-for-new-markets.

     

  • How e-commerce has changed CRM

    Customer Relationship Management and e-Commerce

    Despite the rapidly growing and changing environment of Business in general, the main priority of many businesses is serving their customers accordingly. Without a loyal and respectable customer base, many businesses would seize to exist.

    In traditional Business, it was often common to reward returning customers by providing appropriate discounts or friendly in-store service. This is more difficult to do in a complete digital environment. To service your customers correctly you have to look elsewhere.

    The primary means of CRM (Customer Relationship Managed) is to make sure your customer receives that what they seek in an enjoyable manner. Traditional Businesses keep records of frequently visiting customers to make sure their next visit will be a success. A customer that is a frequent ‘dress buyer’ would do well to be informed on the relevant dress discounts upon their next visit. In e-Commerce, creating an enjoyable customer experience is rather different whilst still being a challenged as all is digital.

    In e-Commerce, customer data is usually stored within big databases that accurately store all data of previous purchases. This allows an e-Commerce business to cater an online shopping experience exactly to a customers’ needs. According to Castillo (2021), most e-CRM software also has the ability to analyze your site’s metrics, for example:

    • Conversion rates;
    • Customer click-through rate;
    • E-mail subscription opt-ins;
    • Which products customers are interested in.

    These features provide an e-Commerce business the ability to personalize a customers’ shopping experience to great heights. In an era of individualism, it is highly important to make your customers feel wanted and important. Giving your customers a shopping experience that is unique to them creates a feeling of wholesomeness and increases return rates significantly. The innovative and advanced CRM software that is currently out in the market has shown to be of immense benefit to many E-Commerce businesses as a result. An important question follows, “how is an e-Commerce business able to retain a high customer satisfaction ratio?”

    High customer satisfaction rates are a result of correctly executed Customer Relationship Management strategies. Any business that aims to correctly manage their customers should aim for a personalized strategy that caters to their business and product/services in question. However, this does not mean that there are no general ways to improve your customer satisfaction rates. Any high-level marketing/sales academy teaches many of the coming principles as important for e-Commerce businesses to create/maintain high level customer satisfaction rates.

    General tips to improve Customer Experience for e-Commerce

    • Keep it simple

    Many new e-Commerce businesses create the mistake of making their online shopping experience too complex. According to Santora (2020), 55% of shoppers abandon their virtual shopping cart due to reasons such as unexpected shipping fees, unclear taxes, and a time-consuming purchasing process. This statistic clearly shows that customers want their product with a simplistic shopping experience. A lack of transparency and an abundance of steps needed to complete a shopping process takes away from a customers’ shopping experience and forces them to leave their carts without purchasing.

    • Value Feedback

    The digital opportunities that come with e-Commerce offer a myriad of possibilities when it comes to gather customer data. It is important to document both your customers’ positive and negative feedback as these can be used to improve your e-Commerce website/shopping experience. Actually using your customers as a fuel to improve your business is a core component of many big e-Commerce businesses that are able to maintain loyal customer bases. Look at both the positive and negative feedback, take in what comes back frequently and adjust your business accordingly. Do this frequently and success is likely to increase.

    • Multiplatform Support

    Another way to improve your relationship with both your existing and new customer base is to make sure your e-Commerce Business is optimized for all platforms. This can be interpreted in many ways. Your Business must be optimized for all mobile platforms for instance (Apple/Android). Website quality deviation between platforms can be detrimental and exclude large parts of your customer base. This should be avoided as much as possible so the quality of between platforms should be checked frequently.

    You can also apply the Multiplatform Support philosophy to provided payments for example. Try to expand the payment options you provide to your customers by giving them the choice to pay with Ideal, PayPal, PayByPhone, After pay, Klarna, Credit card, Bank Transfer and so on.  The more options you provide your customers, the more likely they are able to continue with their purchase. However, don’t include too much payment options as this again might make the purchasing experience too complex-looking. Access the main paying methods made/preferred by your customers adjust accordingly.

    Many e-Commerce businesses also decide to outsource their optimization to external professionals such as ModusLink. Would you like to know more about the latest developments regarding e-Business CRM optimization? Talk to a ModusLink Expert today by clicking here.

    Bibliography

    Atchison, J. (2020, 18 november). How to Boost Customer Satisfaction on Your Ecommerce Website. Business 2 Community. Geraadpleegd op 16 januari 2022, van https://www.business2community.com/customer-experience/how-to-boost-customer-satisfaction-on-your-ecommerce-website-02363607

    Castillo, D. (2021, 8 december). What is the role of customer relationship management (CRM) in e-Commerce? Sana Commerce. Geraadpleegd op 16 januari 2022, van https://www.sana-commerce.com/blog/what-is-the-role-of-customer-relationship-management-in-e-Commerce/

    Ecommerce News Nederland. (2020, 7 december). CRM voor de ecommerce. Ecommerce News. Geraadpleegd op 15 januari 2022, van https://www.ecommercenews.nl/crm/

    Santora, J. (2020, 7 november). 5 Cart Abandonment Stats to Help You Win “Lost” Sales Now. OptinMonster. Geraadpleegd op 15 januari 2022, van https://optinmonster.com/cart-abandonment-statistics/

     

  • What your e-commerce website needs

    E-Business Website Essentials

    A formal and high-quality suit, polished and fitting shoes, and a pleasant smelling cologne or perfume. These three physical elements represent a professional and business-class image. Any experienced business professional is aware of the importance of conveying yourself appropriately. The reasoning for this is that we all know, image matters in the Business world. Your physical appearance is the first thing people notice when meeting you. Anybody knows, first meetings are crucial to the future development of a relationship. This goes both for private and business scenarios. For a business, the first point of notice is usually its website.

    Businesses that hold/maintain a strong, well developed, and polished website tend to convert more on average. The bounce rate (the rate at which people close a website after opening) increases significantly when a website has not been tended to properly. For businesses that get their main conversions/sales of their website, this is a highly important fact to keep in mind. When looking at successful E-commerce businesses, their websites are usually attractive to clients for the following reasons.

    • Personalization

    Successful E-commerce websites allow their website to adapt to their customers’ wishes and needs (partly)automatically. This enables customers to find more quickly what they were looking for and make the purchase, thus resulting in higher conversion rates. The ability to cater to a customers’ needs quickly is an important factor for an E-commerce website that is aiming to succeed.

    • Automation & Data collection

    An automated website that collects data from anyone who is active opens doors of opportunity when it comes to client retention and catering accuracy. Correct data acquisition through a company’s website will allow a business to acquire and maintain more accurate knowledge of their current customer base. In turn, the business can advertise and cater more precisely to the current and future customer.

    • Ease of Use

    Nobody wants to spend hours on a website trying to find the right product. Complexity is not always your friend. When it comes to successful websites, Ease of Use is a very important term to keep in mind. When websites become too complex, plenty of people give up when not being able to find the right product. Your E-commerce business should be defined and created in such a way to make the customer experience as simple as possible. No excessive steps within the buying/searching process should be present.

    The need to improve

    We are living in a fast-changing world. It is very important to keep up to date with your customers. Improving and reinforcing your main point of contact (your website) is thus a highly important step aiming to attract and retain customers. The above three point mentioned items will help to improve your E-commerce website. Many businesses, for scaling purposes, outsource their Supply Chain and Operational Activities to Professional E-commerce Companies such as ModusLink. These companies use many tools to create and improve websites. Some examples of impactful tools are:

    Chatbots

    Correct use of Chatbots can elevate your E-commerce website to new heights. Chatbots are known to yield increased customer satisfaction rates. This can be seen through their increase in popularity and uses. Chatbots are now part of many call-centers, E-commerce businesses and established companies. Chatbots are often implemented as a first point of contact/help before reaching customer service to better determine the customers’ needs and questions. However, many of today’s popular chatbot even provide other services that allow them to be more flexible (Neusser, 2021).

    24/7 Assistance

    Chatbots improve any E-commerce website as they can be operational all day, every day of the week. Having the ability to aid customers with their basic needs without having the need for human employment is what makes high quality Chatbots effective. Do note, in order to have your Chatbot work correctly, their commands must be highly refined and developed. The extend of your effort is directly linked to your ability to help your customers with your Chatbot.

    Shipping and Delivery

    Aside from aiding customers with basic questions, Chatbots can provide accurate information of Shipping/Delivery through order status lookup. There are quite a lot of customer service questions that can be answered rapidly. Questions about Shipping and Delivery or order status tracking can also be implemented within a Chatbot. This allows for even greater flexibility of your customer service team, giving them more time to focus on complex customer questions/demands.

    Establishing appointments

    Chatbots are also able to set up physical or online appointments with customers should the need be there. Customers can enter a Chatbot and provide it with their contact information which will allow the customer service team to contact the customer later to set-up an appointment. Chatbots that are linked to specific agendas are also able to automatically set-up appointments this way. However, this method does require strong anti-bot detection measures in place or some sort of security protocol as spam appointments can be made. A quick confirmation through e-mail could do the trick as well

    Would you like to know more about the latest developments regarding E-Business tools?  Talk to a ModusLink Expert today by clicking here.

    Bibliography

    E-Business – Technology and Networks. (z.d.). sideplayer. Geraadpleegd op 13 januari 2022, van https://slideplayer.com/slide/8765285/

    Neusser, S. (2021, 9 december). Technologies every e-commerce site needs. Sana Commerce. Geraadpleegd op 10 januari 2022, van https://www.sana-commerce.com/blog/technologies-used-in-ecommerce/

    Rahman, S. (z.d.). GRIN – Introduction to E-Commerce Technology in Business. Grin. Geraadpleegd op 11 januari 2022, van https://www.grin.com/document/280494

    Willas, S. (2021, 17 december). 5 E-commerce Technology Trends That Will Shape The Future [2022]. MoEngage Blog. Geraadpleegd op 13 januari 2022, van https://www.moengage.com/blog/5-e-commerce-technology-trends-that-will-shape-the-future/

     

  • Comparing traditional and e-business

    E-Business vs Traditional Brick & Mortar

    In the current world of fast-growing innovative technology, various business elements change rapidly. It is sometimes difficult to keep up with all the new, yet highly impactful technology released over time. Despite the changes within individual technology, there are also changes happening on a bigger scale. The very nature of many businesses has changed with the increasing popularity of E-commerce. E-commerce has allowed businesses to massively improve their lead times. In addition, performance for E-commerce businesses has been achieved at a much better rate than traditional businesses. Due to these results, it is no surprise that many businesses are switching their nature/structure from Traditional business practices to E-commerce practices. Some businesses decide to keep traditional elements within their core structure. However, most companies incorporate E-business practices to at least some degree to gain partial benefits.

    E-Business/E-Commerce

    According to Kaur (2021), E-business practices relate to businesses that include activities through the Internet. Business activities can consist of (but are not limited to) industry, commerce and business. E-business also includes planning, organising, production, marketing etc. through the internet. Most of the people and business parties doing their activities electronically. These are the emerging modes of business.

    Furthermore, In E-Business, cost and time savings can be acquired through a reduction of spending on traveling and selecting the goods. The payments can be made in any form of digital modes such as Credit Card, Debit Card, Digital Wallets or Net Banking.

    In E-Commerce, good can be purchased 24/7. This gives customers around the globe a massive advantage as there are no restrictions regarding opening/business hours and time differences. This change alone massively increases a business’ potential customer pool which in turn results in many traditional businesses incorporating this aspect of E-business.

    E-Commerce provides greater benefits in buying goods and services easily (Thakur, 2021).

    Traditional Business

    Traditional business mostly refers to a physical instance (e.g. shops/stores) that provide a certain good/service to its local customers in exchange for the corresponding currency. A Traditional Business’ main method of payment is Cash.

    Operating costs are usually rather high as it takes a high amount of investment to keep a physical place running correctly. E-Businesses do not need to hold a physical unit which in turn gives them freedom (Kaur, 2021).

    Furthermore, Traditional Commerce started at the time of the barter system which was introduced a long time ago. This system basically covers the essential supply and demand principle. The exchange of goods for other goods without the introduction of money (as this was not introduced yet in the early times). Nowadays, Traditional Business has advanced to a more modern model with the element of cash and physical instances being more flashed out. The Introduction of E-Commerce in the early 20th century really decreased the popularity of Traditional Businesses and brick-and-mortar stores (Thakur, 2021).

    Benefit E-Business

    As mentioned before, the introduction of E-Businesses has forced many companies to change their core business model due to the immense benefits yielded when doing so. Please see the list below that further elaborates on these benefits. The main 3 benefits are mentioned below (Faris, 2019).

    Decreased startup costs

    Starting a new business often comes with high initial investment costs. This is especially true when starting a brick-and-mortar retail store. Think about money needed for furniture/displays/thematic elements/personnel/customer care/office space etc. If your business is starting to gain traction, you also need to think about upgrading and including a conference room.

    An E-business does not have to worry about any of these mentioned costs if it so desires. People can start E-businesses from anywhere they would like to, so to speak. The necessary requirement of a website is an investment, but a much lower investment compared to a Traditional Business. Shipping and warehousing are also part of your main initial investment as the network needs to be robust when starting to avoid initial complications such as delays.

    Staffing

    If you have a Traditional Business, there is a lot more staff required when wanting to manage your business effectively. You need people for HR/administrative reasons, logistical reasoning, customer services etc. E-businesses need one/a few people to start out merely for managing orders as much can be done online. Startups often outsource their whole supply chain/operating channel to other companies that manage Ecommerce Fulfillment from start to finish. This gives E-Businesses immense leeway regarding resource management.

    Shipping and Logistics

    Shipping and Logistical operations are and remain a challenge for both Traditional Businesses and E-Businesses. The key difference is that E-Businesses gain the advantage of clarity by being able to manage and overview all the step-by-step operations online. This can often reduce lead times by a significant amount.

    Return Logistics are also much easier to manage as products can be always tracked through a top-down view. SME’s (Small/Medium Enterprises) that conduct E-business also outsource their Shipping and Logistics to professional third-party industry experts. These experts often handle the whole Fulfillment process very efficiently.

    Would you like to know more about the latest developments regarding E-Business tools?  Talk to a ModusLink Expert today by clicking here!.

    Bibliography

    F. (2021, February 4). Updates, Insights, and News from FutureLearn | Online Learning for You. FutureLearn. Retrieved December 10, 2021, from https://www.futurelearn.com/info/courses/digital-transformation-e-commerce/0/steps/186161

    Faris, S. (2019, March 16). Traditional Business Vs. E-Business. Small Business – Chron.Com. Retrieved December 10, 2021, from https://smallbusiness.chron.com/traditional-business-vs-ebusiness-12563.html

    GeeksforGeeks. (2021, August 5). Difference between Traditional Commerce and E-commerce. Retrieved December 9, 2021, from https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/difference-between-traditional-commerce-and-e-commerce/

    Kaur, A. (2021, July 10). Difference between E-business and Traditional business. Tutor’s Tips. Retrieved December 9, 2021, from https://tutorstips.com/difference-between-e-business-and-traditional-business/

    Thakur, M. (2021, July 10). E-commerce vs Traditional commerce. EDUCBA. Retrieved December 9, 2021, from https://www.educba.com/e-commerce-vs-traditional-commerce/