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mCommerce – the word that goes viral in 2016

If it wasn’t apparent before 2015, it’s as clear as a slap in the face now – Mobile has changed eCommerce permanently.

Over half of consumers in the US are now using mobile for shopping and that figure will undoubtedly grow again this year. This is forcing retailers to evolve their businesses to support and leverage mobile commerce.

What will the explosion of mobile mean for retailers? We look at the key trends.

mobile, Mobile, MOBILE

A few warm-up stats to illustrate how mobile lit up 2015, and why we think “mCommerce” will become the word on everyone’s lips in 2016.

In the UK alone, the retail industry is sacrificing £6.6 billion by not going mobile (econsultancy). Expect that sacrifice to be well and truly forfeited this year.

The majority of US online sales stemmed from mobile, while mobile accounted for 40% of all online sales in the UK. Mobile is a hungry beast that’s going to keep eating.

Mobile sales have in the US have grown by 78% since 2013 and is predicted to grow by a further 95% by 2019 (Statista). There is acres of room for growth.

With the burgeoning of eCommerce, much of its global growth is being driven by mCommerce.

Reward Customers Anytime

Let the Nielsen Global Connected Commerce Survey explain (in academic terms) what sellers need to do.

“Retailers must move from a linear marketing approach to a value exchange model in which customers receive a tangible, personally relevant benefit for their time and attention.’’

In plain English, reward your customers.

The growth of mobile shopping means you can potentially connect to – and reward – your customers anytime, anywhere. Remember, it’s potentially seven times more expensive to get a new customer than retain an existing one (Invesp). Appreciate the loyal ones.

Be creative with how and when you choose to reward loyalty too. By surprising and delighting your customers, you enhance brand perception.

According to eMarketer, the five most appealing “surprise and delight” rewards are:

Special privileges for being a longtime customers

Surprise discounts after spending a lot with a retailer during a given month

Free samples of products based on purchase history

Special holiday gifts based on what they often purchase

Before smartphones, digital marketing was limited to desktop communications. Now you can connect to your customers at any time – from morning email checks in bed to browsing on the evening commute.

This provides sellers with unique opportunities to target customers with specific, but creative, messaging. You can tailor your marketing in line with the products you sell.

Take computer game sellers. Your customers may be in work on a Monday morning on a laptop going through a mountain of emails – a total good mood killer. Just as they get over the peak of their email mountain around 11am, comes an opportunity for the seller to cheer them up. Or better: surprise and delight them.

“Make it the best gaming week of your life. Buy (insert game title) before Friday for just $20!”

I don’t know about you, but as a moderate gamer, that would be enough to make my Monday.

This kind of granular, super-specific targeting is what makes mobile so unique in terms of how you reach your customers.

Mobile has given sellers new avenues to reach out to customers and offer a better shopping experience. Customers love variety. Think outside the box and change it up every now and then.

Why some sellers still won’t benefit

Bad Customer Service

It’s simple. Bad customer service = no sale.

A whopping 89% of shoppers stopped buying from online stores after they received poor customer service (RightNow).

Smartphones becoming the dominant shopping device means support ticket volumes may be less predictable. Your customer support teams may need to adapt. Being active during key online shopping periods has become more important than responding within business hours.

The knock-on effect is powerful. Timely, swift and problem-solving responses will lead to more sales, better feedback, better response times, leading to a better seller rating, which in turn will lead to even more sales. It’s a beautifully simple cycle.

Not only can great customer support win you new customers and increase your sales, but it can also increases your prices.

According to the RightNow survey, a staggering 86% of consumers are willing to pay up to 25% more to get a better customer experience. If you offer the best service on the (virtual) block, people will pay for it.

In the event of a dispute with a difficult customer, it’s better to take the hit even if you think you’re right. Why? Because 70% of complaining customers will buy from you again if you resolve the complaint in their favour (CSM). That’s a big incentive to say sorry.

Solution? Make your customer support excellent in every way possible, including language, response and resolutions times, scalability and streamline your channels.

We cover this topic in more detail in our blog 7 Steps to Improve your Customer Support Strategy.

Bad Mobile Experience

In the UK, retailers reported mobile sales doubling from 2013 to 2014, but 17% still have no mobile offering.

On top of this, 30% of mobile shoppers abandon a transaction if the shopping experience is not optimized for mobile (MoPowered). That is a lot of lost business. Conversely, if you provide a good experience, 61% of customers will have a better opinion of your brand.

Have you optimized your website for mobile? How smooth is the shopping journey? Investing in mobile web design and user experience may be initially expensive, but could stop you losing thousands of potential customers per year.

Another crucial part of the mobile experience is speed. If your site takes longer than 3 seconds to load, you’ll lose over half of your potential customers.

Learn more about mobile experience in SelfStartr’s 7 Mobile UX Fails that are killing your eCommerce site.

Bad Feedback

Feedback matters regardless of device. But on mobile, you may have less of the consumer’s attention. Due to screen size displaying less information or just from being on-the-go, consumers may make quicker decisions based on less info. The consequence? The consumer sees your seller rating and decides whether to buy from you there and then.

As customers, what’s the first thing we do when we see poor feedback on a seller’s web store? Easy – find the same product on a store with a better rating.

Feedback is an essential driver in the growth of mCommerce. An overwhelming 73% of Nielsen’s respondents say they use online reviews to make purchase decisions.

Amazon sellers will already know the importance of feedback and mobile. The feedback-driven seller rating is a key factor in winning the Buy Box. Once you win the mobile Buy Box,it will only display your product. This means there is greater probability of a purchase compared with desktop, as desktop displays competing offers under the Buy Box.

Local search company BrightLocal reported that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Feedback is the heavyweight player in informing customers’ purchasing choices. Make sure when they read your feedback, the pros far outweigh the cons.

Related blog: How to Proactively Minimize Negative Feedback

Mobile Checklist for Sellers

Today’s shoppers want digital touchpoints along the entire purchase path, from reading reviews to using smartphones as personal shopping assistants. Bear in mind, consumers spend the most time on three activities on mobile: deal-seeking, info-gathering and reading reviews.

Mobile-first means adding value to the customer journey over the entire shopping experience. Here is a quick checklist to make sure you’re covering the basics of mobile selling.

Mobile attention span is short: Optimize product listings to emphasize product advantages at the top

Appeal to customers’ deal-seeking behaviours in creative ways

Reward your returning customers

Invest in developing a mobile-friendly version of your website, if you haven’t already

SEO: make sure your business is easy to find on mobile search engines

Use high-quality, multi angle product photos

Encourage customer feedback. Positive reviews are gold.


How to Proactively Minimize Negative Feedback

Negative feedback is a harsh reality of trading online. It’s almost impossible to please customers all of the time. Sooner or later somebody will leave neutral or negative feedback, whether it’s justified or not.

However, there are some simple steps all online retailers can implement quickly and easily to reduce the likelihood of this happening, as well as solutions to handle negative feedback when it does crop up.

Customer Service

Customer service is always the first thing which springs to mind when talking about feedback. Great customer support differentiates the good sellers from the great sellers and is a key factor in ensuring positive feedback.

The great thing about online marketplaces like eBay and Amazon is that they are customer-centric, making it as easy as possible for buyers to contact sellers about their orders. This vital functionality provides sellers with the opportunity to query any problems the buyer is experiencing before it descends into negative feedback.

It makes sense that the first point of contact with a seller should be at least satisfactory and at best excellent in helping to resolve their issue. A few points to consider within this scenario are:

- Response time

- Resolution time

- Personable, friendly communication

- Full and detailed responses

Speedy and personable responses within marketplace guideline times go a long way to resolving negative feedback or issues. Prompt responses to customers can turn a query into a sale.

Shipping

Shipping is a big piece of the negative feedback pie. It’s a massive contributing factor for buyers when evaluating an online purchase, but luckily it’s also one of the simplest processes to refine and improve.

The first step is to ensure that all deliveries are dispatched on time. Marketplace automation means that as soon as the item is marked as dispatched within the seller account, this will be relayed on to the buyer’s email address automatically. Customer webstores should also pursue this approach and automate the notifications to buyers to keep them informed of the progress of their order.

When managing negative feedback, it’s essential to record the reasons for feedback to identify the areas of improvement and act accordingly. This is very helpful for shipping as it enables sellers to get a grasp on what percentage of products arrive late or not at all. The estimated delivery dates can then be revised to reflect a more accurate prediction, which in turn will ensure that buyers will not be disappointed by late deliveries and will be more likely to leave positive feedback.

Accurate Listings

Managing customer expectations is an important aspect when considering feedback. This means that for buyers to be fully satisfied with their purchase, the order must match up to the product description. This is particularly important for eBay and customer web store sellers, as the listings are submitted by the seller (unlike Amazon sellers, who all trade under the same advert).

It is essential that all listings – especially for used products – are truthful and fairly reflect the quality and functionality of the product. Achieving the perfect listing is a constant process, but one which is extremely valuable. It can drastically increase the likelihood of your product turning up in searches and build trust with browsing shoppers and turning them into buyers.

A simple way to ensure understanding of your products is to review customer queries relating to the items and updating the product description where necessary. This will help eliminate confusion and ambiguity for future buyers.

Demonstrate how the product works using high quality photos to ensure the customer understands how the product works and how they can expect it to look upon delivery.


7 steps to improve your customer support strategy

Customer support is an integral part of selling online. Small issues left unresolved can escalate and have serious consequences for your reputation and seller rating.

But customer support doesn’t have to be a labor-intensive process. Having a well defined strategy in place is the best way to manage your customer support successfully.

Here are seven ways to improve your strategy.

1. Smarter message management

Reduce average and first-response times by categorizing, assigning and prioritizing messages quickly. Have a defined process for handling each query type. Resolve issues faster by identifying potential escalations. If you can’t resolve the issue immediately, let the customer know how you plan to resolve their query and give them a resolution timeframe.

Use labels to group your message history by topic, such as returns, shipping queries and product queries. Color code to prioritize them.

2. Customer-first communication

People want to learn about you and your brand values. They expect interaction with real people. The language your company uses should be consistent with promoting a personalized experience. Take every opportunity to show your personality and demonstrate the human side to your business. Customers gravitate towards authentic voices.

Translation tools help you manage support across international marketplaces by always responding in the customer’s language.

3. Get better feedback

The pressure is always on sellers to achieve a high feedback score. That means resolving problems faster and reducing negative feedback. If you anticipate problems with specific items email the customer with additional information and updates.

Most buyers don’t leave feedback. Try sending a post-purchase email request to increase the chance of getting feedback. Or go a step further. Use a smart feedback management tool like High5 and turn positive reviews into revenue.

4. Track activity across multiple channels

Managing multichannel support is a time-consuming task if you don’t use a service that centralizes support. Having to access multiple dashboards and login to multiple screens can cause significant delays and increase the potential for errors.

Make sure you understand which channels take up the most time, cause the most issues, and prioritize accordingly. Alternatively you can use a multichannel support tool to centralize your messages.

5. Align your resources

Your strategy must reflect expected periods of high and low activity. Understand the events that will impact your support capabilities, workflow management and staffing levels. Learn how to manage support effectively during busy periods and over holidays. It’s imperative to organize your business to avoid breaching SLAs.

A mobile support app will help you respond to customer messages anytime, anywhere.

6. Turn queries into sales

Responding quickly to customers is very powerful, it encourages buyers to act. It creates immediacy and affirms the buyer’s choices. When we resolve queries efficiently we demonstrate that the customer can trust us. Meaningful engagement sets us apart from competitors and has ‘value’ for our brand.

Add a customer contact pop-up to your web store to make it easy for buyers to ask questions.

7. Review internal procedures

Identify the queries that account for the highest percentage of your support activities. Classify the most time-consuming activities. Distil the most common processes into simpler steps. Free up staff and direct your resources in more meaningful activities, like resolving problem cases and ensuring your metrics stay on track.


Amazon Logistics a Prime Mover for FBM Sellers in 2016?

From early 2016, it will be mandatory for FBM sellers to use Amazon Logistics to sell to Prime customers. Selected self-fulfilled retailers who currently warehouse their own goods will only qualify for Prime shipping if they use Amazon Logistics.

Amazon Logistics is a courier service that is part of their wider fulfilment network whereby Amazon would collect directly from retailers instead of just delivering from its own fulfilment centres.

A prime opportunity for sellers?

The change is a logical progression in Amazon’s focus on making its Prime membership program more attractive. For FBM sellers, it’s an opportunity to sell more by gaining access to Prime. The catch is that sellers have no choice other than to trust Amazon with logistics.

For some sellers, this won’t be an issue, as it could bring fewer headaches and competitive rates that will benefit their business. For larger retailers, it could mean a significant investment in changing their own warehousing and inventory management systems to accommodate current procedures & systems required to integrate with Amazon Logistics.

Trouble for traditional carriers?

The changes will be most keenly felt by providers of logistics services to online sellers, such as couriers, shipping companies and the like. Prior to Amazon Logistics, FBM Prime sellers could choose any courier to fulfil their deliveries. It seems Amazon are willing to undercut the market to have complete control of their end-to-end logistics.

For now, these changes will only impact larger, self fulfilled retailers who have been invited to join Prime. Is this an opportunity for FBM Sellers to sell more?? Or is it a risk handing over logistics to Amazon??

We expect Amazon to provide more detail over the coming weeks. In the meantime, we’re working on a comprehensive seller guide to cover all the practical and financial implications.


5 eCommerce trends that will impact sellers in 2016

Whether it’s introducing a new product range, attracting new customers or increasing sales, each year brings a new set of challenges for sellers.

With global eCommerce sales expected to reach a staggering 1 trillion USD, we examine some key changes in customer preferences and behavior that could impact your business this year.

To understand how the retail landscape is changing and where you can take advantage, read on.

1. Seamless omni-channel buyer experience

This year will see the growing convergence of bricks and mortar shopping with online retail. The integration of desktop, mobile and traditional shopping is changing consumer expectations. Mobile shopping has undergone massive growth (50.3% of online shopping activity) with consumers using them for both online and instore purchases.

Today’s buyers demand a faster, simpler and more intuitive retail experience. To match those expectations we must create continuity across all channels, formats and devices. From the responsive design of web stores & mobile apps, to the consistency of payment and support procedures – the easier we make online shopping, the more buyers we will attract.

2. Buying traditional ‘physical’ goods online

Amazon is hoping to make 2016 the year it disrupts the UK grocery industry. It caused a major stir for supermarkets when it announced in late December that it would aggressively expand its Pantry department in 2016.

As online shopping becomes easier and logistical barriers are removed, customers are thinking beyond physical retailers for more and more goods. Increasingly, groceries and consumables are being bought online. The eCommerce trend in buying mother and baby products will continue as busy mothers seek greater convenience and better prices. Perhaps the most surprising online growth forecast is in furniture and home decor.

Consumers are increasingly shopping online because it’s seen as the more convenient and better value option than bricks and mortar shopping, even among late adopters.

3. Athleisure – revival of the fittest

The desire to be more active and feel better fuels a market that is always looking for new solutions. In 2016, we will embrace the concept of Athleisure – outdoor fitness as a complete lifestyle choice. 2016 will also be a bumper year for health and fitness because of the influence of major global sporting events, the Rio Olympics and the Euro 2016 soccer tournament.

Popular sellers will include;

Preventative health monitoring technology

Sports nutrition, vitamins and superfoods

Sports equipment & sportswear

Outdoor clothing and accessories

4. Augmented Reality becomes reality in 2016?

I know it’s been around for a while, but apparently virtual reality has finally come of age. The major players in the market, Sony, Google, Microsoft & Facebook and others like Samsung and Motorola are all launching VR headsets for ‘everyday’ use.

New sleek headsets are being developed to satisfy consumer demand for fashionable, mobile and affordable VR devices. Expect to see VR being used for 3D viewers, smartphone maps, conferencing, e-learning products, immersive games, media and even dating.

Artificial intelligence technology will assist us in healthcare, tech support, shopping, travel and other areas.

5. Alternative becomes mainstream

Hipsters, bohemians, free spirits, call them what you like; the socially conscious consumer has moved front and center. Their buying behavior is motivated by serving the common good and seeking natural, eco-friendly alternatives. They shun mass-produced and overly manufactured goods and want bespoke designs, unique products and exclusive experiences.

There’s been an explosion in the number of companies servicing this expanding market. Health foods, crafts and handmade items are popular with the ‘back to basics’ consumers. They favor alternatively sourced materials and carefully check packaging to verify claims. The appeal of contributing to good causes and supporting smaller, local producers incentivizes their buying.

If these eCommerce trends hold true, going for a run after work is going to get more techy. Will you be wearing trendy VR glasses that show you real time data from your fitness wearable as you run, while completing your super healthy grocery order from your smartwatch?

Only time will tell. What we do know is that change in 2016 is inevitable. How you react to these changes could enhance your business.


Expert Voices 50 Ecommerce Predictions for 2016

1. There Will Be Higher Barriers but Greater Potential

Shabbir Nooruddin

2016 is an exciting year for ecommerce. While certain avenues like drop-shipping are become increasingly difficult to stay competitive in, other avenues such as FBA have opened up promising new opportunities. The barriers to entry (initial investment) are getting higher, but so are potential profits along with it.

Shabbir Nooruddin, Bootstrapping eCommerce

2. Buyers Will Get Tired of Mass Produced Items

Lahav Gan

2016 holds great promise for SMBs. The ecommerce world is changing rapidly and central platforms such as eBay are shifting their focus back towards the sellers that initially helped establish them. It seems like buyers are gravitating away from mass-produced low-cost merchandise, and finding more value in local markets and higher quality products. These two trends may very well mark the uprising of SMB owners, who are becoming more business savvy and constantly looking for new ways to improve.

Lahav Gan, CEO, CampaignGo

3. More Traditional Retailers Will Turn to Ecommerce

Elizabeth Hitchins

In 2016 I expect a large migration to ecommerce from smaller more traditional retailers, due to consumers abandoning bricks-and-mortar shops for online stores on Black Friday. Successful business will rely more and more on user research and user experience to stay ahead of the game. I think we will see quite big improvements in how we shop online.

Elizabeth Hitchins, Freelance Consultant, KidsonTalks

4. SMBs Will Find It Harder to Compete

Dawn Kole

SMBs will find it harder to compete online for business. The consumer is continually raising the bar on their expectations for websites, as is Google and other key online marketing partners. Mobile responsiveness is now table stakes. SMBs can no longer get by with a web site built by their friend’s friend or a relative.

Dawn Kole, Founder, Digital DNA Marketing

5. Businesses Will Rely Even More on Marketplaces

Dan Burnham

Bigger sellers continue to look for ways to attract customers; same-day delivery, click-and-collect for example. These innovations are often expensive and way beyond the abilities of most businesses. This makes marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon increasingly important as they enable SMEs to access services that would otherwise be beyond their reach and level the playing field.

Dan Burnham, Head of Account Management, Volo

6. “Nano Commerce” Will Overtake Big Retailers

Alan Wilson

Thanks to the continued growth of marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, together with user-friendly platforms such as Shopify, many new merchants will emerge. These new merchants have a great opportunity to create a nano-commerce environment, usurping large and traditional e-retailers.

Alan Wilson, Founder, Expandly

Ecommerce Marketing Trends

7. Customer Retention Will Be Key

Jodi Gaines Pereira

Customer retention will be key in helping SMB’s maintain healthy growth rates in 2016. Success will require sellers to think like both a scientist and a marketer by collecting the right data, making an accurate analysis, testing those hypotheses, and then acting on what they’ve found with proactive customer service and marketing plans focused on providing value to customers.

Jodi Gaines Pereira, Co-founder, ReplyManager

8. There Will Be a Shift to New Communication Channels

Ivan Mazour

2016 will bring with it a shift in the channels that retailers can use to communicate with their customers. Cutting-edge ecommerce businesses are already starting to use web push notifications and integrations with chat apps like Facebook Messenger. They are putting the right messages in front of their customers through these new channels – ones that have only arisen recently. This trend will continue, and the best retailers will look beyond email in order to make their customers’ journey even more personalized.

Ivan Mazour, CEO and Founder, Ometria

9. Businesses Will Focus More On Their Own Sites

Matt Thorpe

The past couple of years have seen a lot of activity off-site (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and much of it has been done badly. Whilst social is necessary, it is very resource intensive and much gets lost in the noise. The real value that brands can control, and that will convert, is on their own site. There will be a focus on providing true value to visitors to turn them into fans and advocates so they register for email communications. Quality data is the key to success, but to get that retailers must make their own back yard a great place to hang out.

Matt Thorpe, Internet Marketing Consultant, Grasshopper UK

10. Marketing Automation and Integration Will Determine Success

Dawn Kole

Marketing automation software will be the determining factor for successful marketers. Integration between web sites, social media, email marketing, mobile will be critical to pulling marketing automation together. Online commerce – defined differently for all businesses – will emerge into distinct methodologies – lead generation, ecommerce, and informational.

Dawn Kole, Founder, Digital DNA Marketing

Online Marketplaces

11. New Marketplace Competitors Will Arise

Chad Rubin

2016 is the year the ecommerce landscape will evolve. Amazon will still be a dominating force and online shopping will continue to be driven by on-demand delivery. However, we believe new marketplace competition will be formed, enriching the shopping experience.

We anticipate Google, Facebook and Uber to double down on ecommerce strategies – other entrants are just noise. Each of these companies has a market dominating position in their own industries, and they will monetize the data they have to bridge the gap between their users and their shopping behaviors. Let the games begin!

Chad Rubin, CEO, Skubana, Managing Director, Crucial Vacuum.com

12. More Marketplace Sellers Will Build Independent Webstores

Matt Godwin

With more sellers on marketplaces like Amazon facing the threat of being delisted, selling across multiple platforms and operating independent shops is becoming more appealing. In 2016, the barriers to starting one’s own shop will diminish and more sellers will see the benefit of doing so. Our prediction, more business for the likes of Shopify and Bigcommerce.

Matt Godwin, VP Strategic Partnerships, eRated

13. Multi-Channel Will Become the Norm

Brian Nolan

In 2016, I think we will see an even greater shift by retailers to a multi-channel strategy. In fact, it will be essential for retailers to meet the demands of their customers, no matter where they shop. A consistent brand experience across all channels will be how you succeed. The terms “multi-channel” and “omni-channel” will fade, as a holistic approach to commerce becomes the norm, and smart retailers will utilize all channels to provide the best possible customer experience with the most profitable return.

Brian Nolan, Co-founder & CEO, Sellbrite

Technology Trends

14. There Will Be Massive Disruptions in Technology

Richard Lazazzera

Taking a 50,000 at entrepreneurship in general, I see some massive disruptions for 2016 in several key areas that will affect ecommerce entrepreneurs. Very traditional industries like business banking and loans, business legal work, and accounting are all being tackled by tech-savvy entrepreneurs. The Fintech movement is providing entrepreneurs with loans quicker and easier than ever before. Legaltech is removing the overhead of legal advice, and cloud accounting companies are automating this necessary facet of business. 2016 is going to be an interesting and progressive year for entrepreneurs.

Richard Lazazzera, Founder, A Better Lemonade Stand

15. Big Data Will Become Accessible to Small Businesses

Antony Chesworth

The acquisition and accessibility of big data for SMEs will be a major driving force behind the development of ecommerce this year. A more intelligent breed of analytics will be at the forefront of business decision-making, as investments in gathering user data and tailoring the experience to suit the needs of customers come together.

Antony Chesworth, CEO & Founder, ekmPowershop

16. 2D Barcodes Will Become Standard

Karl Ciz

2015 was a great year in ecommerce, and many sellers saw huge expansion due to easier internationalization. In 2016 the 2D barcode will become the norm, yielding huge improvements in tracked service provision. Ensure you are ready by adding smart 2D barcodes to all of your parcels.

Karl Ciz, Director, StoreFeeder

17. There Will Be an Early Move to Magento 2.0

Paul Rogers

This year there’ll be more focus on technology – with lots of merchants re-platforming to allow for growth and added flexibility. Magento 2 is a really interesting topic in ecommerce currently – at SME and enterprise-level – with the new platform eliminating some of the key issues with version 1 and looking likely to help increase Magento’s market share over the next few years. I’ve spoken with merchants of all sizes who are looking at moving over already, despite expecting to have to wait 12-18 months for it to be fully stable. Some mainstream merchants have already launched on the platform.

Paul Rogers, Director, GPMD and Founder, Audited

18. Self-Service Ecommerce Solutions Will Spread

Victor Levitin

Technology is disrupting old-school, expensive services. The rise of “do-it-yourself” solutions will empower merchants to do everything from design to web shop building, without having to hire expensive service providers.

Victor Levitin, CEO, CrazyLister.com

19. There Will Be a New Era of “Contextual Commerce”

Nate Stewart

This year will begin the era of contextual commerce. This is a state of commerce in which products and services are sold seamlessly across multiple channels, in the same context as the channel itself. This includes everything from making a purchase through a Tweet to a Buyable Pin; I could also see this extending to channels such as email and commercials on TV. For merchants, the barrier to entry for multi-channel selling will only get easier from this point forward. Consumers will become more attuned to discovering and purchasing from new brands across a variety of devices and channels.

Nate Stewart, Senior Product Manager, Bigcommerce

Mobile Ecommerce

20. Mobile Use Will Accelerate

Victor Corcoran

Mobile commerce will continue to break records. We saw 40% of all Black Friday sales came from mobile device this year, up from 28% in 2014. This trend will accelerate and force many retailers to redevelop their businesses – but will deliver huge rewards for sellers who get mobile right.

Victor Corcoran, CEO, XSellco

21. Buyers Will Turn Away from Mobile-Unfriendly Sites

John Hayes

Forget the crystal ball – the future is already here and it’s called mobile. Mobile must be your number one priority in 2016. With more time now being spent online in the mobile environment than the more traditional laptop or desktop environment, failure to jump on board the mobile bandwagon will result in you actively turning customers away. As well as a mobile responsive site or dedicated app, mobile should also influence search and email marketing campaigns, social media activities and content-led initiatives.

John W. Hayes, Marketing Strategist, iContact and author of Best-Selling Online Marketing Books

22. Mobile Will Put More Pressure On Bricks and Mortar Stores

Neil Waterhouse

Never has it been so crucial for eBay sellers and website owners to make sure their listings are smart device compatible. 2016 will show an even bigger movement to purchasing through smart devices, as the population gets more tech-savvy with their phones and tablets. Everywhere we look people have their faces buried in a smart device. And they are not just browsing, they are also purchasing. Every time they do, it is another nail in the coffin for bricks-and-mortar stores.

Neil Waterhouse, Author of Million Dollar eBay Business From Home

23. Mobile Will Drive Design Innovations

Neal Kaiser

We’ll continue to see mobile traffic increase and surpass desktop traffic, and retailers will focus on mobile conversion rates. I expect to see more companies emerge in the no-UI ecommerce space like Magic and more personalized curated sites like StitchFix. More retailers will take advantage of big data and analytics to have a more personalized shopping experience.

Neal Kaiser, CEO, Upshot Commerce

24. User Experience Will Give Way to Customer Experience

Abbas Tharkar

Not only will the percentage of traffic from mobile increase, but also the different types of mobile devices. Web design will be more about intelligent navigation, form, function and adaptability to different environments rather than just graphical elements. UX is shifting towards CX – the overall customer experience.

Abbas Tharkar, Founder, dZine-Hub

Selling to China

25. Small Businesses Will Start Selling on Chinese Marketplaces

Hendrik Laubscher

I believe that SMBs who partake on marketplaces will be joining both Amazon.cn and native Chinese marketplaces Alibaba and JD.com. These mega-ecommerce behemoths are trying to offer sellers more opportunity in front of their target markets.

Hendrik Laubscher, Development Strategist, PriceCheck

26. More Barriers to Export Will Fall Away

Luke Trayfoot

UK and European retailers are set to increase their presence on Asian marketplaces. With the huge numbers produced from Singles Day, $8bn in 10 hours, interest in this market is only going one way. In 2015 various barriers to entry were reduced due to increased demand from international retailers wanting to sell into China, SE Asia and Japan.

2016 should bring further reductions to these barriers, with quicker and cheaper fulfilment, better intellectual property protection and an easier way to list your products on the likes of JD.com and Tmall.

Luke Trayfoot, Strategic Partnerships, WorldFirst

27. AliExpress Will Attract More Western Businesses

Brett Rush

eBay has made vast changes to improve cross-border selling with the Global Shipping Program. Alibaba could build on the same platform to scale AliExpress as another major cross-border marketplace. I expect to see US sellers opening up shop on Alibaba with as much confidence in sales as eBay and Amazon.

Brett Rush, Enterprise Customer Specialist, SureDone

28. There Will Be a Boom in Selling to China

Scott Galvao

The rise of marketplaces like JD Worldwide (which has a strong focus on bringing Western sellers to China) will result in a mini-boom for businesses brave enough to take that step. This will have a positive impact on storage and distribution industries as well as currency conversion, translation and localization. The key thing for businesses to remember when expanding to China is the huge cultural differences – the Chinese consumer has entirely different expectations for customer service.

Scott Galvao, Managing Director, InterCultural Elements

Amazon Marketplace

29. The Amazon Opportunity Will Continue to Grow

Alasdair McLean-Foreman

I expect us to continue to see Amazon extend its dominance, with Prime as a central pillar of value for consumers. The ecosystem that Amazon is building, with consumer services such as streaming media, has a tremendous network effect. The opportunity for online sellers to leverage this via Amazon FBA will continue to grow. We will also see more brands migrate to a direct-to-consumer model using FBA. Amazon is essentially a third-party logistics (3PL) platform with 300 million customers – this makes it an incredibly exciting area of growth for online sellers in 2016.

Alasdair McLean-Foreman, CEO, Teikametrics

30. Amazon Will Remain the World’s Largest Retailer

Carlo Silva

Amazon will keep its place as being the largest retailer in the world, in terms of market value, after passing Walmart in 2015. Walmart and other traditional brick-and-mortar stores will continue to struggle if they fail to innovate their business, especially with Amazon testing Prime for self-fulfilled marketplace sellers. In-store pickup will be a thing of the past.

eBay will also make a comeback this year if they continue to go back to their roots and give the small business owner and individual sellers the treatment they deserve, just like in the early 2000’s.

Carlo Silva, CEO, 2nd Office

31. Amazon Will Offer Paid Account Management

Chris McCabe

Amazon recently rolled out an end-of-year pilot program for Account Manager services, in a fee-for-service format. I knew of a few participants in the invitation-only trial run and heard that it would cost anything from $1,500 to $2,000 per month in order to have one in your corner. Clearly Amazon is making an attempt to clean up past inconsistencies in account management, and sellers who are willing to pay stand to gain once this goes wider.

It’s unclear how much impact an Account Manager might have on performance and policy teams that restrict accounts, but having an internal advocate for you will likely be worth the investment.

Chris McCabe, CEO & Founder, ecommerceChris, LLC

32. FBA Will Get Even Stronger

James Thomson

As Amazon’s Prime Now and Fresh programs are rolled out to more US cities, the need for FBA among Amazon sellers will be even greater, while brick-and-mortar resellers will experience more noticeable Amazon pain.

The development of Amazon’s Seller Fulfilled Prime program will help Amazon grow, but also make it much easier for Amazon sellers to diversify beyond Amazon. We will see thousands of current brands wake up to the point that a consolidated distribution model, combined with channel and catalog control, is a much better long-term strategy on Amazon.

James Thomson, President, PROSPER Show and Partner, Buybox Experts

33. Repricers Will Harness Predictive Analytics

Koby Kasnett

As ecommerce purchasing patterns continue to scale, the number of sellers on each listing will grow in tandem. The current selling price will continue to be one of the most important factors, and automated pricing tools are a pivotal piece of online selling strategy. Repricers that are able to harness data into predictive analytics will be the most powerful in the coming year.

Koby Kasnett, CEO, Appeagle

Private Labeling

34. Private Label Sellers Will Face Stiffer Competition

Mark Houng

The strong dollar has made it easier than ever to buy from China. More first-time entrepreneurs will start their own businesses, creating stiffer competition and price wars. Businesses who have benefited from private labeling in the past will find their profit margins dropping like dead flies.

Your goal should be to build “high perceived value products” for your customers, or you could go out of business. Create brand distinction and provide irreplaceable unique value to your customers.

Mark Houng, China Sourcing Expert, Mark Houng Inc.

35. There Will Be a Brand Protection Backlash Against Private Labeling

Rachel Greer

The massive growth of private label sellers will result in an equally strong backlash for brand protection on Amazon. This was already seen in the second half of 2015, with significant actions by the Product Quality team, and increased category gating. In 2014, the Jewelry team created a QA department that does regular testing for the fine and fashion jewelry category to protect Amazon customers, due to rampant mislabeling and outright fakes, with great success.

Amazon values customers above all else, and private label sellers who don’t approach their product with legal and compliance considerations in mind will find their listings or account suspended.

Rachel Greer, Partner, Cascadia Seller Solutions

36. Private Labeling Will Go into Decline

James Amazio

All internet “gold rushes” share one thing in common: a similar life cycle. The early adopters make the most money, then move onto selling information. After a few years it hits mainstream, with a flood of competition and black-hat tactics. Then the gold rush declines, revenue distribution becomes more even, and less “big dogs” are being created.

I suspect Amazon private labeling will be in full decline by Q4 of 2016. By 2017, unless your product is extra innovative, another “me too” product will make you zero dollars in sales – the complete opposite of today’s conditions.

James Amazio, Founder, Feedbackz

37. More Retailers Will Use Kickstarter to Create Real Brands

Will Tjernlund

2016 will be the year of Kickstarter and creating real brands. Private labeling is slowly dying due to competition and lack of quality. If you can create your own product that brings value to the world, you will be able to have high margins, and sleep well knowing that no copy-cats are going to force you into a race to the bottom. Test the product and market on Kickstarter, and create a brand that will outlast any of the third-party marketplaces.

Will Tjernlund, Amazon Expert, FBA Expert

38. Private Label Sellers Will Diversify

Pilar Newman

Amazon is going full force into 2016 and they will continue to dominate the ecommerce marketplace space. Private label sellers on the site will start to shift their focus from creating standalone items to creating DIY packages and subscription boxes. Social sites such as Pinterest have ignited this area of interest, and it will continue to spill over onto Amazon.

Pilar Newman, Amazon FBA Expert

Growth Trends

39. Niche Retailers Will Expand Creatively

Robert Gilbreath

In 2016 we’ll see an inside-out move by niche online retailers. Brands that have been extremely niche will expand in two ways. First, they will seek new online selling channels and will become more multi-channel. They have shored up their back-office operations and are now ready to use new selling channels to get their wares in front of new buyers. Second, they will stay niche but expand or widen their offerings. An example of this is Siete Family Foods. These makers of grain-free tortillas will build out a full line of healthy Mexican foods.

Robert Gilbreath, VP of Marketing, ShipStation.com

40. Amazon-Only Brands Will Consolidate and Grow

Mark Scott Adams

Large Amazon-only brands will begin to emerge. Sellers who run their brands well will begin to have enough sales, profit and sophistication to attract investors. These investors will purchase brands and achieve economies of scale by consolidating them into extremely large Amazon companies. They will enhance their investment by turning these into larger ecommerce brands, and then further maximize the brand by exhibiting at trade shows and other traditional channels, and selling their products to traditional brick-and-mortar retailers. Large seven figure profits will be made.

Mark Scott Adams, Amazon Seller and Creator, FBA HeadStart

41. International Ecommerce Will Drive Growth

Nathan Huppatz

I think a lot of SMB sellers will be working hard to try and compete in a global economy this year. With currency fluctuations in Australia, we are noticing a lot of retailers looking to export and make the most of opportunities in other countries. New payment systems are making cross border trade easier than ever and marketplaces like Amazon are actively trying to onboard international sellers. But finding your way in a worldwide ecommerce market that is becoming ‘flatter’ every day will be a challenge!

Nathan Huppatz, Co-founder, ReadyToShip

42. More Efficient Operations Will Help Businesses Grow

Michael Anderson

As we enter 2016, we see a continued trend for rapidly growing multi-channel merchants to “get back to the basics”. More sizeable merchants are realizing that selling online is a volume game, and due to the competitive landscape, they need to gain their edge through aggressive pricing combined with more efficient operations than their competitors.

Focusing on a solid systems foundation upon which they can scale, and minimizing wasted time from a lack of system integrations, becomes critically important. More integrated systems on a scalable platform equals the ability to grow without needing as many people, which adds up to better bottom-line margins.

Michael Anderson, CEO and Co-founder, Etail Solutions

Shipping and Delivery

43. Customers Will Expect Same-Day Shipping

Nick Maglosky

In 2016, ecommerce SMBs will be expected to deliver better and better convenience for their online customers. Same-day or even one-day packing and shipping will become the norm for most sales orders, and a retailer’s mobile shopping experience will need to be seamless in order for them to compete and scale their business.

Nick Maglosky, CEO, ecomdash

44. Amazon Will Continue to Disrupt Logistics

Victor Corcoran

As ecommerce continues to evolve rapidly through 2016, Amazon’s will continue to dominate and disrupt, and their logistical dominance will grow. Their plan to handle shipments from third-party warehouses for products purchased on Amazon will further disrupt the courier and logistics industries.

Victor Corcoran, CEO, XSellco

45. Same-Day Delivery Will Become the New Standard

Brandon Dupsky

2016 ecommerce is all about logistics. I predict continued advances in the speed of shipping mostly from Amazon with same-day delivery becoming the new standard, in heavily-populated areas at first. Global retailing will continue expanding at break-neck speed with third-party warehousing and fulfillment enabling the retailer and customer to transact like next-door neighbors, but be worlds apart.

Brandon Dupsky, eCommerce Coach, www.BrandonDupsky.com

46. More Convenient Delivery Options Will Emerge

Neal Kaiser

We’ll see a shift move from “in-store pickup” to faster and more convenient home delivery options, such as ship from local retailer. Retailers will own the “last mile” of fulfillment.

Neal Kaiser, CEO, Upshot Commerce

47. Consumer Drone Deliveries Will Begin

Andy Geldman

I think we will see the first Amazon drone deliveries to consumers in 2016. Due to the slow-moving US Federal Aviation Administration, the first drone deliveries will be in the UK. But within weeks, people will claim they have been injured by drones and a number of frivolous legal claims will be filed.

Andy Geldman, Founder, Web Retailer

Social Media

48. Social Commerce Will Mature

David Jaeger

Facebook and social media are going to continue to mature. We’ve seen Facebook really take market share from companies like Criteo and Adroll, by offering their remarketing ads directly. It’s hugely powerful, drives amazing ROI, and I think it’s going to continue to be easier and simpler.

2016 will see some surprising commercial offerings from the social networks. Potentially, we’ll see some acquisitions in the social shopping space, to allow search engines to compete and bring some of that technology into the regular shopping space. There will be fabulous opportunities for smart SMBs to jump on social in a profitable manner.

David Jaeger, Founder, Global SEM Partners

49. Sellers Will Need to Get Smarter with Social

Tim Brown

Sellers will need to be smarter in using social, in particular buy-now options within social to connect and capture consumers’ attention.

Many of the larger group-buying and daily-deals sites have really focused on service and delivery alongside pricing – great news for reputable suppliers and customers alike.

Tim Brown, Owner, Wishper and New Zealand Trading Solutions

50. There Will Be Innovation in Product Discovery

Mike Burk

Integrated product discovery features such as Facebook’s shopping feed will start to appear in more places, and across additional channels where consumers are already spending their time. A recent study claimed that nearly half of all product searches start on Amazon, which is a major shift in shopper behavior when we consider that Google has traditionally captured the bulk of searches.

That shift will inspire other platforms to experiment with product discovery. Twitter and Pinterest are already doing this, which means retailers will benefit from competing for shoppers’ attention on as many channels as possible.

Mike Burk, Director of Product Management, Bigcommerce

Read more: http://www.webretailer.com/lean-commerce/ecommerce-predictions-2016/#ixzz3wNUerLlD


5 New Year’s resolutions for seller success in 2016

2016 is predicted to be another year of massive eCommerce growth. Is your business set up to take advantage of the boom?

On a personal level, we make New Year’s resolutions to motivate ourselves to do better. It’s a way of putting a structure around the desire for constant improvement that we all share.

A new year is a fresh start, a clean slate and a great opportunity to redouble our efforts. The secret is to stay on track, avoid distractions and cope with the setbacks.

By setting meaningful goals, you’ll get to grips with what works and what doesn’t for your business. With a bit of thought and planning, you’ll be ready to take on the world and win in 2016. Here’s how…

1. Know your customers

Who knows more about your business than you do? Probably nobody – but customers sure know a lot of the important stuff.

What do your customers enjoy about buying from your web store? Where are you losing customers? What can you do to improve?

Finding this out from your customers will help you do two things: improve your customer experience, and learn who your happy (and less happy) customers are.

Knowing your customers is key to getting great feedback and improving your seller rating. Are you happy with your feedback? Seek customer feedback, act on it, and you’ll elevate your business to a new level in 2016.

2. Seize opportunities

Where are the new opportunities in 2016? Will you take a risk and grasp them, or wait to see how others fare?

The latter is the more cautious approach – if you find yourself always taking this route, you will inevitably starve your business from quick spurts of growth. Being risk averse is valuable in some professions. But as a seller, you must occasionally roll the dice to reap the rewards.

3. Keep on learning

New Year is a time to reflect on personal ambitions but remember that the world never stops turning. Consumer tastes and preferences constantly change. People seek and receive inspiration in ever changing ways. New ways of living and doing business emerge all the time. Which key industry trends will affect your business in 2016?

Take mobile commerce, for instance. Mobiles will continue to dominate the way consumers research and pay for goods. No matter how busy you are, keep a focus on the evolving marketplace and react quickly to new developments.

Stay up to date with relevant industry blogs, contribute to seller forums and conduct your own research. Be adaptable and open to learning from others. Ask for advice. In life and in business, we should never stop learning. Always be curious.

4. Work smarter not harder

Start 2016 as you mean to go – making better decisions. Concentrate on the most profitable activities and apply your talents where you can have most impact. Improve on last year’s performance with better personal planning and goal setting.

As the driving force behind your business, you are its most valuable asset. Your time is precious. Learn to manage it better. Delegate wherever possible and free up space to get the important decisions right. Challenge the behaviours that influence your business and the accepted way of doing things.

5. Make business personal

Customer support is undergoing a revolution. Everything from how we manage support at scale to the language used in messages is changing.

As far as the customer is concerned, this change is for the better. 2016 will see increased pressure on sellers to improve their response times, provide multilingual support and continually adapt the tone of voice in support messages. This might sound like a lot of change in one year, but technology is driving scalability for sellers.

Multichannel support tools are empowering sellers to support more customers and enhance customer experience. In-built translation tools in support messaging are allowing sellers to grow into international markets.

When it comes to the language and tone of voice you use in customer replies, that’s still up to you. But customers don’t want to be called ‘valued customers’, they don’t want to sent generic auto-responders and they definitely don’t want FAQs. They want to hear from you. Every customer support ticket is chance for you to show your personality and tell your story. Customers will gravitate to authentic voices – not professional jargon.

Whether it’s getting fitter, eating healthier or improving the work life balance, we all want to perform better and be more successful. Whatever your New Year’s resolutions, we hope you and your business are in great shape for 2016.


7 essential tools for online sellers

As anyone who has established an eCommerce business will know, selling online can be complicated. Even the best sellers need extra support to leverage their business.

This is where software can help. Here are seven key areas where eCommerce tools can help you manage your business and improve your sales.

1 Shopping Cart

A cornerstone of any seller’s web store, the shopping cart needs to be a reliable, secure and seamless integration.

The software allows web stores to accept credit cards and other payments. Some shopping cart products on the market are open source, which means they can be tailored to suit the your needs.

Shopping cart software will also give your web store enhanced security and streamlined order management, helping to manage and protect your consumer data.

Shopping cart tools range from free options like WooCommerce, to more advanced eCommerce solutions including Magento, Shopify, Squarespace and BigCommerce.

2 Customer Support

It’s never just about getting back to your customers on time. By replying quickly and consistently, you can turn queries into sales.

A customer support helpdesk can help you stay within marketplace response time SLAs. On Amazon, this means increasing your chance of winning the Buy Box.

Our customer support helpdesk, XSellco Fusion, centralizes customer support from marketplaces including Amazon and eBay, as well as web store tools BigCommerce, Shopify, Magento and more. With all customer queries in one place, you can speed up response times to beat marketplace SLAs and personalise the customer experience with Templates and SmartTags – turning your customer support operations into a well-oiled machine.

3 Shipping

Shipping can be one of the real pain points for sellers. In any business, the more moving parts you have (literally in this case), the more likely you’ll have problems.

Getting your products to the customer on time – and in one piece – can make or break your seller rating.

For Fulfilment by Merchant (FBM) sellers, it’s also crucial you don’t lose important information and that no process is forgotten en route to delivery. Shipping integrations allow you to optimize the order fulfilment process.

Some companies that offer inventory management, like BrightPearl and Veeqo, also offer shipping management tools. Other examples of shipping software solutions include Metapack, Shipworks, TrueShip and ShipStation.

Alternatively, if you use Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), Amazon will handle the delivery process for you. This service is also available to non-Amazon sellers.

4 Inventory Management

Inventory management software allows you to manage your orders, products, customer information, accounts and reporting all in one system.

Having these areas centralized can save you a lot of time, and also help you streamline your whole stock management system. Make sure your inventory is well balanced across your marketplaces and, crucially, ensure you don’t continue selling products on one channel that you’ve already sold out in another.

Having these interlinked processes connected in one account can produce useful insights into where your business is winning – and where it needs improvement.

Inventory is a pretty crowded space, but some examples include (but are not limited to!) BrightPearl, Veeqo, StitchLabs, Contalog and Unleashed.

5 Feedback Solicitation

As few as one in ten customers leave feedback unless prompted. Asking your customers for feedback is a great way to improve your seller rating and increase sales. Every time someone gives you positive feedback, it increases the likelihood of a new customer buying from you.

Using a feedback solicitation tool means you ask for more feedback and at the right time. Automate feedback requests across multiple marketplaces and, crucially, increase positive feedback.

6 Analytics

Accurate data is the driver of any business. Who are your web store customers? Where are they coming from? What brought them to your web store?

This is where analytics tools play a crucial role. Your metrics derived from these tools will go a long way to forming, informing and justifying your business strategy. Knowing your sales is one thing, but knowing your customer is another. Knowing more about your customers’ behaviour, interests, location and browsing behaviour will inform everything from advertising to web design.

The industry standard happens also to be free – Google Analytics. It’s easy to implement and can be as good as you make it.

Other popular analytics tools may not be free but are generally quite affordable, such as the eCommerce-focused KISSmetrics, real-time analytics specialists Clicky and the visual-centric Crazyegg.

7 Repricing

How quickly do you react to competitor price changes? If you sell many products, it’s impossible to manually maintain your price competitiveness. XSellco Price Manager maximizes your chances of winning the Buy Box and selling more products on Amazon.

Compete with rival sellers by setting the price range you’re happy with and choosing the rules for how you want to compete. Our repricer will do the rest. Got an eBay account? Our Price Replicator will automatically match your eBay prices to your Amazon prices.


There’s still room for innovation in European e-commerce

Europe, especially Western Europe, is one of the most established e-commerce markets in the world. But there’s still great potential for growth, as shown by the recent Consumer Conditions Scoreboard released by the European Commission.

The Scoreboard examines the behaviour of European consumers and how they feel about e-commerce - especially cross-border. According to the report, only 38% of shoppers feel confident when buying from another EU country, compared to 61% who feel confident when they purchase from online retailers based in their own nation.

Ecommerce Europe suggests that awareness needs to be raised on consumer rights, while its own ‘Barriers to Growth’ survey reveals that cross-border retailers still face barriers when selling in the EU, including logistics, taxation, and legislation, which can all vary between member states.

Nonetheless, steps towards more confident cross-border commerce are being taken. The European Parliament has recently voted in favour of the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2), which offers a ‘pan-European framework’ for online payments. This legislation, once officially endorsed by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, is a step towards the Digital Single Market.

The PSD2 will allow the European Banking Authority to issue ‘common and secure standards on authentication and availability of funds’, helping to build trust between consumers and retailers. Other principles of the PSD2 include:

•Introduction of strict security requirements for the initiation and processing of electronic payments and the protection of consumers' financial data

•Enhancing consumers’ rights in numerous areas, including reducing the liability for non-authorised payments and introducing an unconditional ("no questions asked") refund right for direct debits in euro

•Prohibiting surcharging (additional charges for the right to pay e.g. with a card) online


How will Christmas benefit e-commerce?

As e-commerce booms across the world, Christmas is proving to be a significant online event for both retailers and shoppers alike. With key shopping dates such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday in certain countries marking the run-up to the festive season, how is the e-commerce sector faring?

Key dates

Black Friday: 27th November 2015

Cyber Monday: 30th November 2015

Latest predictions suggest that Black Friday in the UK will break records, being the country’s first £1bn (€1.4bn) day for online shopping. IGD research suggests that UK shoppers in particular are looking for the best value items this festive season, with 71% intending to shop online for the best details.

But while the key dates mentioned above will be crucial for retailers, 43% of UK shoppers will still be buying online up to two weeks before Christmas

Interestingly, 28% of UK consumers will be buying via a mobile device, with discount codes and price comparison key drivers for this. Mobile shopping is becoming a big trend across many European markets: Twenga found that while British shoppers are ahead of the game with 31.1% of e-commerce traffic coming from mobile, countries such as Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands are not too far behind.

In light of these statistics, Christmas shopping online is bound to grow across Europe - especially as last year, 42% of European shoppers completed most of their Christmas purchases online, compared to just 24% for traditional bricks and mortar stores.


The rise and rise of mobile

In recent years there’s been a quantum leap forward in mobile user experience. Mobile accounted for 29.7% of all eCommerce sales in the United Kingdom in 2015 (2016 Mobile 500).

It’s not just sales where mobile is growing. It’s also beginning to dominate product research. 53% of UK shoppers use mobile to research their purchases (eConsultancy).

Note for 2016: you’d better be mobile-ready.


Amazon Prime Now launches in Manchester

Manchester, Wigan, Warrington, Stockport and Oldham are the latest towns and cities to have access to Amazon Prime Now from today.

The ultra-fast delivery service, which launched for Prime members in London, Birmingham and Newcastle earlier this year, offers one-hour delivery on thousands of items all via a simple and easy-to-use mobile app. Prime Now customers can choose delivery within one hour for £6.99, or free delivery within a choice of two-hour, same-day delivery slots between 8am and midnight, seven days a week.


Royal Mail unveil festive branded trucks!

Royal Mail are now in full Christmas mode, with their fleet of over 47,000 red vehicles supplemented by 6,800 extra vehicles to support its Christmas operation.

Royal Mail have also unveiled festive branded parcel trucks. In December, Royal Mail’s trucks and vans will be covering around 16 million miles, delivering to 27 million homes and 2 million businesses across the UK. Royal Mail will also run an additional 113 flights and 20 extra rail movements through December to accommodate the seasonal volumes.

19,000 temporary workers have been employed and 10 parcel centres have been opened to deal with the increase in parcels at the busiest time of the year.

Last Posting Dates

Don’t forget that in the UK, the latest recommended posting dates for Christmas 2015 are:

19 December 2015 for Second Class Mail

21 December 2015 for First Class Mail

23 December for 2015 Special Delivery Guaranteed


2015 Opening Christmas Hours

Christmas/ New Year’s period:

• Thursday 24th December 2015 – Closed

• Friday 25th December 2015 – Closed

• Monday 28th December 2015 – Closed

• Tuesday 29th December 2015– Normal Business Hours

• Wednesday 30th December 2015– Normal Business Hours

• Thursday 31st December 2015– Closed

• Friday 1st January 2016 – Closed

• Monday 4th January 2016 – Normal Business Hours

For guaranteed delivery by Christmas, all orders must be dispatched from Wiseloads by Friday 18th. Please have all stock and orders into us prior to this date.

If you will require dispatch on 29th or 30th orders must be in by 23rd December.

We would like to Thank you for your continued Business and look forward to working with you in 2016.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!


Easter Opening Hours

Hello All,

As our couriers will be closed on Good Friday, Wiseloads will also close on Good Friday and will reopen on Tuesday 2nd April .

If you have any queries please email info@wiseloads.com and we will respond upon our return.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish all our customers a very Happy Easter.

All at Wiseloads.


Wiseloads closed due to public holiday

Wiseloads will be closed Monday the 18th of March due to St Patrick's Day Holiday.


Wiseloads Restructuring Announcement

Hello All ,

we have restructured Wiseloads as follows:

Pauric Logue Sales Manager

John Pidgeon Operations Manager

Melanie Horkan Office Manager


Easter

Hello All,

as our couriers will be closed on Good Friday, Wiseloads will also close on Good Friday and will reopen on Tuesday 6th April .

If you have any queries please email info@wiseloads.com and we will respond upon our return.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish all our customers a very Happy Easter.

All at Wiseloads.

Parcels

Post

Drop Shipping


Donegal Enterprise Week

We had an very exciting week.

New Technologies & Directions for 2010 - We got the opportunity to present Wiseloads as a case study in association with Donegal County Enterprise Board and Irish Internet Association .

Also we got a wonderful opportunity to Pitch to Doug Richards from UK's Dragons Den. We got wonderful feedback from Doug that we plan to implement.


Severe Weather Conditions

Hello All and a Happy New Year.

Due to severe weather conditions, some deliveries across the country are being delayed.

Keep warm and stay safe!

All at Wiseloads.


Wiseloads Christmas Arrangements

Christmas Eve 9am to 1pm

Christmas Day Closed

St Stephens Day Closed

Sunday 27th Closed

Monday 28th Closed

Tuesday 29th Closed

Wednesday 30th Open 9am to 2 pm

New Years Eve Open 9am to 2pm

New Years Day Closed

Saturday 2nd Closed

Monday 4th Resume Normal Service


Packet verses a Parcel

There is condsiderable differnce bewteen delivering a packet through the Wisepost System and a parcel.

A packet can be as big as a large shoe box.

Max dimension 600mm

(lenght + Width + Depth no more than 900mm)


Post in time for Christmas. Our recommended last posting dates.



Thursday 10th December Eastern Europe, USA and Canada.

Friday 11th December Western Europe

Friday 18th December UK


Courier Christmas and New Year Arrangements



We would like to wish all our customers a very Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.

Thanks you for all your Custom and support to Wiseloads in 2009 our 1st year. Here is to 2010!!

Wednesday 23rd Last Collections

Christmas Eve Normal Delivery Service

Christmas Day Closed

St Stephens Day Closed

Sunday 27th Closed

Monday 28th Closed

Tuesday 29th Closed

Wednesday 30th Collections only

New Years Eve Deliveries only

New Years Day Closed

Saturday 2nd Closed

Monday 4th Resume Normal Service


Todays strike is called off..

Todays planned strike was called off. Hopefully this will be the end of the matter.

Royal Mails' Statement

"We're really sorry for the inconvenience and disruption we know strike action has caused and we are now concentrating on getting all affected services back to normal, as quickly as possible.

We have a targeted service recovery plan in operation, concentrating our substantial support resources in areas most affected by the recent disruption.

We will continue to keep customers updated on our progress to get mail services back to normal and other operational issues, via these web pages. We aim to provide the best possible service to customers, as we move into the busy pre-Christmas period."


Wisespecial Route Launched

Wiseloads has launched a new service from any where in Ireland to anywhere in the UK.

Cost of this route is an unbelievable €25 plus Vat for any parcel up to 30kg.

We are activally seeking new routes and will continue to give our customers value for their money.


ISME

Wiseloads is now a member of ISME (Irish Small and Medium Enterprises)


New Routes

Wiseloads is going to launch three new routes in the next two weeks.

We will save our customers money while still maintaining our first class service.

We will keep you posted.


Follow Wiseloads Blog

You can follow Wisloads Blog on http://wiseloads.blogspot.com/