Every retailer's favorite time of the year is upon us! This means late-nights, sassy customer service reps, and an advent calendar counting down until the day after Christmas when things 'start' to return to normal.
As partners to these retailers, we'll be balancing whatever support is needed (don't be surprised by a few late calls next month), and reflecting on our own businesses going into the New Year.
This month's collection of resources covers both sides of prepping for the holidays and thinking about where your agency might be going in 2016.
Ecommerce and agency articles
The guys at Justuno provide some great insights on what drives shopping cart abandonment, a problem for retailers estimated at $18B in size. They offer solutions for reducing cart abandonment as well. Given the expected upswing in ecommerce traffic during the holiday season and timeline-to-buy, this will likely be a top-of-mind issue for many clients.
The end of year is often a time of reflection and forecasting for many companies. Last year we took some time to look back at some of the many lessons we learned at our agency during 2014 and put together a list of items that we felt other firms might benefit from considering. We'll be updating our list again for 2015, but most all of these items are still highly relevant (and continue to need improving)!
Many of us are service providers who spend a majority of their time helping product companies grow their businesses. It's not uncommon to experience a bit of 'the grass is always greener' syndrome and fantasize about dabbling on the dark side of the product world. Although making the total jump from design/development shop to physical product company might be a stretch for some, WP Curve provides a great thought piece on how service companies can 'productize' their offerings and get some of the benefits seen with software/product companies.
This one is just for pure entertainment and can only be appreciated by those in the design world that have been asked to provide free 'spec' work before getting selected for a project. Created by agency Zulu Alpha Kilo, it's a hilarious look at the reaction other businesses have when being asked to provide their services for free.
At our firm, we've become increasingly interested in improving not just the navigational structure of our client's e-commerce websites, but optimizing the customer search experience as well. We've found a significant amount of 'lost opportunity' with dead-end search results, un-prioritized search results and minimal product data displayed in search results. Tools such as Swiftype, which has a Shopify app, plug right into your e-commerce store to add enhanced search functionality and analytics, allowing retailers to personalize and optimize their customer's searching experience.
One challenge we often run into with our Shopify clients is getting the various platforms they use to run their business to 'speak fluently'. Data is being stored a significant volumes but often in isolation. Wombat helps companies to get their various platforms to communicate and shared data based on whatever rules are configured within it's system. For example, 'create customer record in XXX support platform based on new customer created in Shopify'. What's even better is that the platform does not require a developer to get involved in configuring these rules, meaning designers looking for a way to integrate their client's various platforms might have the capability to tackling that internally without a custom solution.