May Ecommerce Digest

Many exciting thing happened this month in the digital ecommerce world. First, Adobe users were shocked to learn that Creative Suite 6 was the last version of Adobe’s perpetual licenses. Then Google announced the demise of their Checkout service and Amazon created a new virtual currency for its digital apps. Our e-commerce digest examines some of these issues and others through the lenses of our favorite ecommerce blogs.

Why Adobe’s big cloud bet really isn’t a huge gamble at all | Gigaom – Earlier this month, Adobe announced that it was scrapping its on-premise Creative Suite in favor of the Creative Cloud. The announcement created a firestorm of controversy from media and users who were fearful that they would be limited to a web-based SaaS application. This blog post from GigaOm tones down the hype and gives a realistic analysis of the change in product versus the change in how revenue is captured.

Amazon Coins - Virtual Currency

Amazon’s new “virtual currency” of dubious benefit to customers | Ars Technica – For a while now, major tech companies have been experimenting with a variety of virtual payment methods. Facebook tried getting its users to buy Credits hoping that these virtual coins would be used to purchase items in webstores. It turns out that people prefer to pay with the currencies and payment methods they already use. Which is why Facebook closed that project midway through 2012.

Google Checkout attempted to streamline online shopping, and now that venture is ending. Like Facebook’s venture into virtual currencies, Google’s attempt to have sellers adopt an alternative payment method fell flat and is merging with a different Google ecommerce project – Wallet. The lesson we see again is that vendors and buyers alike prefer familiar shopping patterns to adopting the latest “new thing.”

And now Amazon introduces Amazon Coins. This new virtual currency can be used to monetize games distributed through the Amazon Appstore and Kindle Fire. And it has value as a way to engage customers through offering free Amazon Coins as promotion tactic. But ultimately, a tangible long-term benefit to ecommerce customers remains to be seen.

3 Key Google Analytics Reports for Ecommerce Merchants | Practical eCommerce – This post offers ecommerce managers several practical reports that track different events along a customer’s path towards conversion. There is advice on measuring traffic sources and building goal funnels at various points along the checkout process. The author provides a helpful link that will take you straight to your Google Analytics account and create a report for measuring conversion rates by day of week and by hour of day. By understanding broad metrics like overall traffic and then drilling down to details like conversion rates by day of week, you can better see where your strengths and weaknesses lie.

Channel Partners Are Embracing The Cloud In A Big Way – But Still Need Help | Forrester Blogs  – With the rise of subscription products in ecommerce, channel partners are finding big opportunities for selling subscription products. But there is also a strong need for channel partners to embrace a new role in how they interact with end-users and manufacturers. Some of the challenges include compensation models as well as more actively engaging end-users to promote customer confidence and loyalty.

How Should Your Mobile and Desktop Sites Differ? | Baymard Institute – In general, since mobile sites have a smaller display interface, their content should be more limited than its desktop counterpart. As this blog post indicates, limiting product selections and help sections on mobile ecommerce sites frustrates and confuses users to the point of abandonment. Still, the format and display of your products and FAQs are challenges and you must make sure your layout and formatting of these elements on a mobile site match the smaller screen.

Be sure to catch our posts from earlier this month, focusing on B2B ecommerce and Adobe’s shift to subscriptions.