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Imagine 2019 Recap: Insights to Implement in Your Ecommerce Strategy

6 Min Read
Erica Mazzucato

The Corra presence at Imagine was 36 employees strong. We’ve grown hand-in-hand with Magento since the debut of the platform and see every year as an opportunity to stay on the pulse of an ever-evolving industry.  

2019 was our 8th year in attendance; and as always, our team brought back valuable intel on growing trends, new innovations, and tactics to overcome pain points for our clients and ensure their continued success. We’ve narrowed down our findings to four core points we feel are most relevant to merchants that are looking to stay competitive in the commerce space. Now, let’s recap the key insights discussed throughout Imagine and learn how they can be implemented in your ecommerce strategy.
 
 

1. Optimize for mobile CX while your competitors linger on desktop.

When we spend our 9-5 days at a desk looking at a large monitor, it’s easy to lose sight of the industry stats that point to mobile as the dominant browsing model. A surprising 60% of all online traffic is attributed to mobile, yet the average conversion rate on mobile is only 2.03%. This mobile conversion gap presents a substantial opportunity for brands to capitalize on, as we want to avoid leaving revenue on the table by concentrating our efforts solely on desktop-first strategies. Here’s a few more stats to illustrate just how much mobile needs our attention:

  • Mobile Average Order Value remains about 40% lower than desktop ($58 vs. $96, respectively) and 85.65% is the average cart abandonment rate on mobile.  
  • During Q2 2018, smartphones accounted for 62% of retail website visits worldwide but only generated 42% of online shopping revenue.
  • Buyers on mobile convert at just 24% of their desktop counterparts, accounting for billions of dollars of lost revenue each year.

Marketers and ecommerce professionals should prioritize customer centricity as the basis of their strategy. UI/UX experts will be instrumental in this undertaking; so will the behavioral data of your customers. Since very few retailers have successfully conquered the mobile conversion gap, there is no playbook of best practices; just smart (and data-driven) practices. Every ecommerce site will have its own unique variables to consider, so continuous experimentation and micro-testing will be paramount in these efforts.

 

In addition to transactional data, merchants should focus on behavioral data to obtain a 360-degree representation of their user’s behavior. The majority of retailers are still entirely focused on analyzing transactions rather than the visitor’s intent or the movement of their mouse. Data revealing the ‘how’ and ‘why’ behind the transaction is far more intriguing. It will empower us to close the conversion gap, and better inform our UI/UX decisions.

 
 

2. Invest in site performance; it directly impacts your conversion rates.

With consumer’s dwindling attention spans, comes new pressure for companies to enhance site speed. By Amazon’s calculations, a page load slowdown of one second could cost the retail giant $1.6 billion in sales each year. And, according to Google, if their search results slowed down by just four-tenths of a second they could lose 8 million searches in a day– having a considerable impact on revenue driven from online ads.

It’s a very real concern that shouldn’t be overlooked, especially when it’s so directly correlated to conversion rates.  

According to Fast Company, four in 10 Americans give up on a mobile ecommerce site that won’t load in under three seconds– meaning, in just 3 Mississippis, potential customers would have already bounced from your site (another component contributing to the mobile conversion gap).

PWAs (Progressive Web Apps) are a potential solution to the site speed problem. When asked what PWAs were, James Zetlen, Frontend Architect at Magento, put simply, “A PWA is a very good website.” You’ve probably heard this trendy term discussed repeatedly in the past few years, but here’s a refresher: A PWA is a website that resembles and behaves as a mobile app, with superior CX, but without requiring the visitor to purchase in an app store.

 

We bring up PWAs because their primary advantage is an increase in performance. Visitors interacting with a PWA experience faster load times of over 50% (measured on Forbes and The Weather Channel). And, as we’ve learned, consumers purchase more on faster sites. A 1% page speed improvement can increase conversion by 7%. Performance translates to higher conversion rates above all else.

Another fact about PWAs that you might want to consider is that Google prioritizes PWAs in search results so they’re advantageous from an SEO standpoint as well.

Some resources, such as Gartner, see PWA as the future. Gartner predicts progressive web apps will replace 50% of consumer-facing mobile apps by 2020. They’re definitely a growing trend to keep an eye on, and a viable solution to increase the performance of your site.

 
 

3.Blur the lines between in-store and online

Drop the E, it’s just commerce. Your customer’s online buying journey isn’t parallel from their in-store journey, they’re intertwined.

 

In a panel hosted by Corra on ‘Leveraging an Omnichannel Approach to Engage Customers,’ ecommerce experts from Corra clients: True Value, Happy Family and Johnny Was, discussed how they’re bridging the gaps between online and offline customer experiences.

 

“Customers in the home improvement space are highly likely to research online first, before going in store,” says Lisa Fortuna, Ecommerce Director at True Value. “And even if the transaction does happen online, they’re often coming into the store to pick the item up .” This is a perfect opportunity to up-sell the customer while they’re in front of more merchandise in store, she also highlights. 

 

It’s about making the most of these touchpoints; i.e. creating DIY and educational content to greet them at their research phase. Kristen Santos, Director of Marketing and Ecommerce at Happy Family Organics (a premium organic children’s food brand focused on optimal nutrition) says content is extremely important to strengthen brand equity. They even have a registered dietician and lactation specialist on staff to provide high-value content and chat support to their customers.

 

“We’re able to scrub through thousands of search queries and hone in on what parents are asking for to deliver this scientific-based rich content.” Santos says. When Happy Family is there for their demographic like this, it establishes a connection that increases the likelihood of consumers purchasing from them.

 

Anne Hammond, Director of Ecommerce at Johnny Was (a luxury clothing brand) says they’re merging online and offline experiences by empowering store associates to pull together outfits in-store, and propose them to clients digitally through the Salesfloor app. The preferences of these shoppers then becomes actionable data to inform personalized email campaigns.

 

When there are multiple channels to consider, challenges are bound to arise. One of these challenges being the unification of data. “Globally, the average fashion retailer uses 8 different analytics and commerce technologies. And 65% of retailers are unhappy with their omnichannel data centralization,” said Nosto’s CEO Jim Lofgen, presenting on Data Trends Influencing Fashion Retail.    

 

Data unification is definitely a pain point for omnichannel retailers. When it comes to connecting the dots between online and offline customer experiences, Lisa Fortuna makes an interesting suggestion:

“80% of our customers research online before they buy, but only 6% of them purchase online. Surveys are a simple but effective tactic to track their offline behavior. The most important question is: “what are you going to do next?” Fortuna says the results are surprisingly valuable.
 
 

4.Expect further innovation from The Magento Community.

 

“I’ve never seen a community like this. Your passion for creative problem solving gives Magento the ability to exercise every imaginable business case.” -Jason Woosley, VP of Commerce Product & Platform at Magento.

Magento continues to invest in their global community, facilitating the expansion of new technologies and supporting future-facing implementations of their products. The community of open-source developers consists of 400,000 members sharing insight and contributing to the innovation lab.

 

One exciting new innovation being Magento’s integrations with Amazon and Google. Merchants are now able to manage their inventory on Amazon directly from the Magento backend. This feature is accessible to all Magento users via a free extension now available in the Magento Marketplace.

Magento also launched a free extension for Google Shopping. Users will now be able to manage their google ads on their Magento dashboard as well as access their Google Merchant Center, integrating their marketing efforts into the platform for optimal convenience. We also expect new developments and increased momentum in the field of Progressive Web Apps.

 

Corra has recently hit 100 Magento certifications, further solidifying our reputation as a leading agency with the highest number of certified experts. Our ecommerce specialists position us at the forefront of innovation within the Magento ecosystem.

And since the Adobe acquisition, we’ve worked hand-in-hand with both Magento and Adobe to deliver on their “Experience-Driven Commerce” mission. This synergy allows us to gain early visibility into the product roadmap, have our customer’s critical needs escalated quickly, and rely on our commitment to surfacing and implementing the latest best practices.

We’re thrilled to return from Imagine 2019, inspired and eager to propose new insights to our clients. If you’d like to schedule a consultation with Corra’s experts, you can reach out via this link. We hope you enjoyed our coverage of the Magento Imagine conference, click here to browse previous case studies of our work.

 

 

 

Erica Mazzucato

Erica Mazzucato is the Product Marketing Manager at Corra. In her role, she defines the go-to-market strategy of the services offered by the agency and serves as an in-house expert on market and industry trends.

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Corra is the global digital agency that lifestyle brands trust to accelerate their growth. Working at the intersection of commerce technology and customer experience strategy, we deliver complex digital solutions to leading B2C and B2B retailers.

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