October Ecommerce Digest

We hope the topics covered here on Building Keystones are providing the insight you need to improve your ecommerce performance and your customers’ online shopping experience. This month we analyzed:

For those who prefer visual learning, our Ecommerce Eye Candy entries tackled:

For the October Ecommerce Digest we focus on South African ecommerce, pricing strategies for subscriptions and more.

Ecommerce in South Africa and Beyond | Forrester Blogs This post from Forrester analyst Zia Daniell Wigder delves into the South African ecommerce market, which has the largest market share on the continent, and continues to grow. A related post from BDlive confirms this growth

“Online shoppers continue to increase…with 58% of the country’s 8.5-million internet users shopping online, and with the industry consensus aiming for 40% growth this year…”

However, as Zia and BDlive point out, the South African market is far from mature. Low numbers in credit card adoption, challenges in using PayPal, and a sporadic but expensive broadband infrastructure are obstacles that must be overcome if the African market is to mature.

In our post, The Trouble with Offline Payments for Subscription Products, we suggested that software companies should encourage customers to choose less frequent billing intervals for subscription products. Martin Westhead offers additional reasons for this practice in his post on Charge Thru.

“Annual customers are typically worth far more than monthly customers simply because a lot of monthly customers are likely to churn before they get to their first anniversary. For this reason it makes a lot of sense to encourage adoption of annual plans and giving deductions of as much as 20% is common.”

Small Companies Seek to Push Sales and Marketing With Own Apps | NYTimes.com This gem of an article from the New York Times shows a variety of companies who build apps to complement their offline products.

Though mostly focusing on brick-and-mortar business companies, the article should get software companies considering options on how to tap into the app world. Should an app simply be a mobile version of their basic products? Or should software companies enhance their current digital offering by cross-selling complementary services or products?

Forrester: 66% Of Employees Use 2 Or More Devices At Work, 12% Use Tablets | TechCrunch Although the reports on the death of software have been greatly exaggerated, it doesn’t mean that mobile devices aren’t disrupting the market. TechCrunch (based on findings from Forrester) shows that this disruption isn’t limited to individual consumers. Even corporations rely on mobile devices to conduct business. Software companies, even B2B ones, need to contemplate how to take advantage of the mobile market before their competitors do.

Should the 97% Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate on Mobile Devices Concern You? | SeeWhy In May Gartner predicted, “Worldwide mobile payment transaction values will surpass $171.5 billion in 2012, a 61.9 percent increase from 2011.” Mobile shopping numbers are clearly growing, but companies need to improve the mobile user experience. One area to start optimizing is information fields. The way you enter information on a desktop computer and how you enter information on a smartphone are vastly different. If you want to avoid your customers shaking their heads and abandoning your cart in frustration, make sure the fields have been optimized for mobile devices.

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1 Comment

  1. Michael, The Tax Clinic

    I’m not surprised that 97% of users abandon a shopping cart when navigating from a mobile device. The user experience on the majority of sites is horrendous. The sooner people realise they need mobile ready form fields the better for all involved. Great post.

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