Haggerston Times reviews some of the press releases that have dropped into its inbox this week, and learns about how multichannel merchants leverage tech, why mobile checkouts are fraught with danger (for merchants) and how to find a new squash buddy.
Multichannel Sales Strategies Work! Here’s Why
Brits are going to spend £120 billion shopping online this year, but it’s not all about Amazon, e-Bay or even Alibaba.
Although the dream of doubling your sales by simply sticking all of your inventory online remains just that, given just one third of all purchases made in the UK are completed online, thanks to retail and inventory management software like Brightpearl, which handles over £2bn in gross merchandise value annually, merchants can grow 3x quicker than their rivals.
How? By boosting orders and revenues, and eliminating unnecessary manual work.
A survey commissioned by Brightpearl, which questioned more than 200 independent retailers, reveals that merchants have leveraged the latest disruptive omnichannel tech to increase their order numbers by 50% (whilst missed orders fell by 70%), automate tasks including stock order management and financials saving themselves as much as 57.5 days of labour per annum, and boost their multichannel sales revenues, to grow at a rate of 33%, versus just 8% growth for those who stick to just one channel.
The most commonly used sales channel is still the telephone, followed by proprietorial websites (75% of merchants use them), Amazon (68%), eBay (58%), a physical store (48%) trade shows (39%) and surprisingly social platforms come in last, with just 20%.
96% of respondents agree that technology, and in particular integrated retail management solutions are an essential part of infrastructure and strategy for growth. Access to real-time financial reporting was also a must have (94%) whilst order and inventory management (22%) and marketing / sales customer service (22%) get honourable mentions.
As ever, and despite everything, 92% of respondents preferred email for marketing and as a way to generate repeat business. Next best was pay-per-click (55%).
The U.K. still has the biggest market share for online sales in Europe, it’s 33% share dwarfs the global average of around 10%. Brits are early adopters when it comes to tech.
Brightpearl was founded in 2007 by university friends Chris Tanner and Andy Mulvenna. After Chris founded Lush Longboards and turned it into the world’s third largest supplier of longboards, he developed Brightpearl to help him run his multi-channel, global business, eventually selling Lush Longboards to focus fully on Brightpearl.
Mulvenna joined soon afterwards and the startup has grown to 1,400 customers, across 53 countries, with 850k of orders processed every month by 43 staff, based in Bristol and San Francisco.
The company has also won $11m investment from 3 prominent London based VCs; Eden Ventures, Notion Capital, and MMC Ventures, whose Investment Director Simon Menashy sits on the board, supplemented by a loan from Silicon Valley Bank and Colombia Lake Partners in the Valley to bring the total financing raised to around $30.5mt.
“We are humbled by the trust our customers place in us every day”, they say; “by putting Brightpearl at the heart of their business. It pushes us to get better every day.”
The Elephant At The Checkout
How sexy and cool was your last mobile checkout experience? It may sound like an odd question but in fact, according to Boston / Canary Wharf-based ecommerce start-up BlueSnap, mobile checkout abandonment is the BIG MERCHANT ISSUE nobody is talking about.
It’s a fair point well made; consumers still feel weird buying stuff on mobile, and, possibly more often than not, when faced with a mobile checkout screen, decide either to purchase elsewhere or not at all.
Bluesnap has recently announced a measurements system, developed in collaboration with PYMNTS, called the Checkout Conversion Index, which attempts to measure how well merchants are performing versus other merchants.
This follows a study by the startup of checkout abandonment, which involved them shopping at 650 merchants, looking at no fewer than 44 variables that “introduce friction in the process”.
According to an infographic provided by the firm, some $162.4bn dollars will be lost every year to mobile checkout abandonment, around 44% of the entire online opportunity, if something isn’t done.
The 650 merchants the firm shops at to provide an “excruciatingly” detailed report every quarter represent 70% of all eCommerce, exclusive of Amazon. The good news is that firm’s performance in Q2 2016 was slightly better than in Q1, from a conversion rate of 53.1% to 56.4%; a rise of 6.3%.
Bluesnap have created a grading system, which shows that just 10 sites (1.6%) score 75/100+ to receive an A grade, 162 (25.2%) score a B grade, 228 (35.5%) a C, and tragically, some 119 (18.5%) of firms are awarded the dreaded F. Still, that’s less than last quarter, by 21.8%.
Smaller merchants, the index reveals, actually perform the best, medium sized enterprises the worst, and the top 30 performers outperform the rest of the field in terms of time in seconds to check out (146 vs 182), total clicks (15 vs 21), free shipping (97% vs 79%), and most notably, a required profile (0% vs 34%).
Bluesnap is made up of a team of experienced developers who believe that “every customer has the right to a seamless online experience and the ability to purchase easily, quickly and securely.”
The company are sponsoring the Open Mobile Summit which takes place later this month in London, and CEO Ralph Dangelmaier will be in attendance and in London for the whole of wc June 27th, so if you want to ease your mobile checkout fears and replace them with something sexy and cool, he, one would assume, would be the man to speak with.
If You’re Lonely, This Father’s Day
Finally, a new social app named wouldlovetogo reveal that this father’s day an estimated 114,000 UK men will be not celebrating not having their kids at home with them due to separation.
On top of this dads who can’t see their kids as much as they’d like often suffer from rapidly diminishing social circles, as their pre-fatherhood social circles become estranged, and the grieving process can often take up to 2/3 years before the father feels socially confident again.
Counsellor and therapist Heather Curtis says separated fathers “have a lot to deal with emotionally, and frequently rush into a new relationship, whereas what might be more beneficial is to become involved in a social, rather than emotional connection.”
Wouldlovetogo founder Carl Rennie says “we all go through many life situation changes and at times can find ourselves needing to give our social lives a boost.”
His platform, he continues, “provides a simple and easy way to find like-minded people to share activities with, from finding a squash buddy or someone to watch Euro 2016 with”.
The app doesn’t focus exclusively on Dads, but caters for all ages and backgrounds, helping them make new social connections. The beta version of the app launched in May 2016, and the hard launch is coming soon. It’s not a dating site, the founders say, but it can help adults find new friends and make new connections, which isn’t always easy.