The State of eCommerce in 2017

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ecommerce-specialistsThere are some loud rumbles of change in the fintech world. You may have heard them. Bitcoin went through the roof from around AUD$750 to almost AUD$6000 in 12 months. There are new payment options like AfterPay (pay items off in 4 installments) and on-the-fly escrow agreements, ICO’s, crowd funding and smart contracts that are all radically changing the way we do business online.

KND has been digging into a lot of ecommerce this year across platforms like Woocommerce, Magento, Neto, Lemon Stand and custom solutions. We are seeing some extremely sophisticated operations where software is the backbone of the entire sales process end to end – from warehousing, stock management and fulfilment to shipping and front end sales.

Fulfilment services like NP Fulfilment and the new Amazon service are changing the way retailers approach stock and inventory. It allows even micro businesses to operate on an international scale, with less staff and clearer fixed costs.

Conversion Optimisation is now as critical as Search Engine Optimisation. And, with the enormous amounts of data we collect from prospects and customers, we can offer a more personalised service that more accurately targets customer needs. AI (Artificial Intelligence) is going to bring it to a whole new level in coming years, but we’ll save that conversation for another day.

Entry Level eCommerce

There are great entry products online too, like Shopify, Bigcommerce and Wix, but they will only get you so far. They are perfect for getting started cheaply, but have monthly costs from $50 – $150/month plus transaction fees.

Big Boys

The other end of the scale is Magento with integrated software to manage everything from warehousing to point-of-sale. Retailers with complex requirements around variable pricing, multiple levels of wholesale, multiple warehouses, multiple currencies and 10’s of 1000’s of products will need this. One size does not fit all in this instance. We usually create some custom middleware to integrate the various systems.

Middle Ground

And, in the middle, sits the very capable WooCommerce for WordPress. You’ll need to install additional software in order to take donations, manage memberships, multi currencies and most other functions that sit outside a basic shop. However, it’s very easy to use, cheap to run and is very capable at handling some extremely busy and complex sites.

Retail hasn’t changed, just the tools

Ecommerce is rapidly evolving and customers have high standards. New technologies hit the market every day, but it’s easy to get caught up in the tech and miss the basics. The cost of running an online store is significantly cheaper than bricks and mortar, but the business model is the same. The outgoing costs are the same, they just have cooler names.

Bricks n’ Mortar Online
Shop Fit-out Custom graphic design
User Experience (UX)
conversion optimisation
Marketing SEO
Social
Advertising Adwords
banner ads
social ads
Customer service UX
communications and system emails
fast and cheap shipping
clear returns policy
Rent, Utilities, Maintenance Hosting
site upgrades
security
general maintenance.

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