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Stuart O'Brien

Do you specialise in Personalisation or Artificial Intelligence? We want to hear from you!

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Each month on eCommerce & Payments Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on different parts of the market – and in October we’ll be focussing on Personalisation & Artificial Intelligence.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help eCommerce management buyers find the best products and services available today.

So, if you’re a Personalisation or Artificial Intelligence specialist and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Craig Ross on 01992 666726 or email c.ross@forumevents.co.uk.

Here’s our features list in full:

Oct – Personalisation / Artificial Intelligence

Nov – PPC / Account Issuing & Merchant

Dec – SEO / Payment Solution Software

For more information on any of the above, contact Craig Ross on 01992 666726 or email c.ross@forumevents.co.uk.

The Digital Customer Engagement Summit has now gone VIRTUAL!

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The Digital Customer Engagement Summit will now take place as a VIRTUAL  event on 13th October 2020.

Your free virtual pass will still offer all the same benefits, as the live event. The Summit will bring you together with top industry suppliers for business collaboration.

Benefits include;

  • Prepare for every eventuality – We can build you a bespoke 1-2-1 itinerary of meetings with innovative and budget savings suppliers who match your requirements.
  • Gaining industry insight – Enjoy a series of topical webinars led by industry thought leaders.
  • Flexibility – Your attendance is flexible, you can either attend for half a day or the whole duration.
  • Save time – We will handle everything for you, saving you time and money by arranging all the meetings for you based on your requirements.

Don’t miss out – click here to secure your free virtual pass!

Five considerations to help you find the right payments processing solution

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By Lauren Joseph, VP of Business Operations, Credorax

As most people continue to navigate some sort of altered version of reality due to COVID-19, here’s a situation you might recognise. Ever spent an hour or more scrolling through Netflix trying to find something to watch? With thousands of movies and TV shows to choose from, it’s impossible to decide which one you might enjoy the most!

The psychologist Barry Schwartz called this the paradox of choice– the more options you have as a buyer, the harder it is to commit to a single choice. Any decision comes with anxiety over missing out – the shopper’s FOMO.

It’s a feeling you might be familiar with if you’ve ever looked for a new payments processing solution. There are so many offerings on the market that sorting through them all is a full-time job. Not to mention the endless volumes of payments jargon – all the complex terms and obscure three-letter acronyms that look like you’d need a PhD in economics to decipher.

The right payments processing solution can open the door to a smoother customer experience, more sales, and specialist data insights that help improve your business. But finding the one that works for you can be challenging, especially with so many providers vying for your business.

To help narrow it down, here’s a checklist of things you should consider when looking for a payments provider:

  1. Understand your needs

It might sound basic, but it’s so important. What challenges are you trying to solve? Consider this and you’ll figure out what you need from a payments processing solution. For example, you might want to improve your optimization rates; or you might be looking to expand into new markets and need to support additional payment methods and currencies.

Knowing what your priorities are will help you sift through any offerings that aren’t relevant.

This will not only help you streamline business operations but will also enable you to provide a better service to your target audience.

  1. Talk to providers who want to understand your business

Good payments processing providers are good listeners. They want to hear you talk about your business – your unique challenges, your goals, your customer base, your business model, your growth strategy – so that they can tailor a payment solution that really suits you.

If you’re the one doing most of the talking at the start of a sales conversation, that’s a good sign.

At the end of the day, an expert in payments is no use if they apply a one-size-fits-all approach to your unique business. Whereas one who takes into account your individual KPIs, target market and business structure, and creates a bespoke solution in accordance with these, can add a great deal of value to your existing model.

  1. Find someone that provides additional support

Make sure there are provisions for proactive, continuous support and advice from your provider. It could be guidance on fraud and regulations. It could be help identifying conversion rate drops and finding ways to optimize them in the right direction. Especially at a time when business, as usual, is being disrupted, this kind of support will make a world of difference.

Payments are multi-faceted and consumer/ industry demand is always variable, whether that be season-to-season or in response to a global economic shift, as is the case right now.

Accessible support to cater to changes such as those above is vital to be able to continue delivering a high level of service to customers, as well as to maintain internal operations.

  1. Be wary of offers that are too good to be true

At first, a quote from a payments processing provider might look very attractive. However, what sometimes seems like the best offer could have hidden fees buried inside. Or perhaps it has loopholes that don’t cover all of your needs in their pricing. Of course, it’s important that a solution is competitively priced, but keep in mind that cheapest doesn’t always mean best!

  1. Beware of jargon

The payments industry is rife with jargon and it’s not your job to be fluent! If there’s anything you don’t understand or need clarifying about a payments processing solution, a good provider will take the time to help you understand it fully.

Be wary of anyone that throws around too much jargon without explaining what the words actually mean. An experienced professional will be able to guide you through complex explanations and what’s more, they’ll want to.

The more they help you understand, the better you can collaborate – it’s a partnership after all.

How Credorax can help

At Credorax, from the second you engage with us, we partner you with a Director of Business Development or an Account Manager, as well as a Solution Architect and a Sales Operation Manager. Each of these people is dedicated to working specifically with you, understanding your needs, and shaping the technical solution to your requirements.

Throughout every stage of the process, from initial conversations to onboarding. to years into a relationship, Credorax’s team continues to support you with advice, business intelligence, insights, and our dedicated approval rate optimization team proactively monitors your transactions to identify opportunities for improvement.

To learn more about how Credorax can help you supercharge your payments processing, get in touch at grow@credorax.com.

www.credorax.com

Attend the eTailing Summit as a live or virtual delegate – Register today! 

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This unique Summit is hybrid which means you can attend either in-person at the live event or via our virtual platform – whichever suits you the best!

Your place is entirely complimentary and includes;

  • Access to a live insightful seminar session led by an industry thought leader
  • Pre-recorded webinars
  • Lunch and refreshments throughout*
  • Networking with fellow industry professionals*
  • A personalised itinerary of relaxed 1-2-1 meetings with budget-saving suppliers who match your needs for upcoming projects

It is completely flexible – you can attend for the whole duration of the event or for just half a day.

11th February – Hilton London Canary Wharf

Your virtual OR live event pass can be secured HERE.

Digital Customer Engagement Summit – Secure your place today!

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Meet new solution providers and expand your knowledge in a host of seminar sessions from industry thought leaders at the Digital Customer Engagement Summit.

The event takes place on 13th October at Hilton London Canary Wharf.

Virtual attendance options are available – all live events have social distancing measures in place to ensure your safety.

Seminars include:-

“The Autonomous Customer 2020: Consumer Trends Shaping The Future Of The Customer Experience”

This 10th anniversary edition of BT’s global research on customer attitudes shows shifts in channel preferences, what customers want from customer experiences, and whether they think technologies like AI help.

Presented by: Nicola Millard, Head of Customer Insight & Futures at BT

“Happiness Of Being You”

Listen to Danny’s unique and sometimes unconventional ways to fill your life full of positivity. Packed with emotion, this is a wellbeing talk without the fluff and gloss. It’s gritty and stirs something in you can’t ignore.

Presented by: Danny Bent, Happiness Guru at Little Red Shorts Limited

Don’t miss out on;

  • A personalised itinerary of relaxed meetings with top industry suppliers – No hard sell
  • Access to inspirational seminar sessions hosted by industry thought-leaders
  • Networking with like-minded professionals who share your challenges
  • Complimentary meals and refreshments throughout

Click here to secure your place

Boots launches online physio services with PhysioFast

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Boots will be offering online physio services through a new partnership with PhysioFast Online, extending its digital offering into a new area.

The partners says around 80% of a normal physio appointment can be done with the physiotherapist entirely remotely. During the online appointment, the physio will provide expert assessment, advice, reassurance and management for any musculoskeletal disorder, disease, injury or query.

The complete package of care includes a personalised rehab programme with future management advice. The service complies with CQC guidelines and the NHS gold standards.

Customers will be able to access the service via a link on boots.com which will enable them to book an interactive videocall appointment with a qualified Physiotherapist. Appointments are generally available the same day to swiftly help reduce suffering and concern and, in many cases, promote a quicker recovery time.

The service is accessible to anyone with a screen and an internet connection from the comfort of their home, workplace or even overseas.

Katie Knapton, Founder at Physiofastonline, said: “We are proud to be supporting Boots as they continue to lead the field with innovative and valuable online services. Leading research has found that video consultations are as effective as face-to-face appointments and our experience is that 3 in 4 people can be triaged, assessed and supported online without any need for physical treatment. However, should this be necessary, we can organise this as part of our service.”

eCommerce pushes retail sales higher in July

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The post-lockdown bounce back for UK retail continued into a second month in July, though the growth was more attributable to online than the reopening of bricks and mortar High Street stores.

That’s according to the latest BRC–KPMG retail sales monitor, which showed that a Total basis, UK retail sales increased by 3.2% in July, against an increase of 0.5% in July 2019.

That growth was above the 3-month average growth of 0.4% and the 12 month average decline of 1.9% ands was the second consecutive month of growth since the start of the pandemic.

Crucially, online non-food sales increased by 41.0% in July, against a growth of 3.7% in the same month the previous year – this was below the 3 month average of 49.7%, but above the 12 month average of 19.9%.

The overall non-food online penetration rate increased significantly from 29.7% in July 2019 to 42.0% last month.

Paul Martin, UK Head of Retail at KPMG, said: “The release of pent up demand continued in July, with total retail sales growing at 3.2% compared to the same month in 2019. Fortunes were heavily polarised though, and fashion sales continued to suffer despite the summer weather – even online.

“While social distancing restrictions have eased and our daily lives have started to return to a degree of normality, shoppers are still focussed on life at home for the most part. Online sales continue to remain prominent – accounting for over 40 per cent of sales – while food and home focussed categories like furniture, homewares and kitchen accessories remained among the strongest performers. With many of us continuing to work from home, sales of computing equipment soared too.

“September will be the real test for retailers this quarter, traditionally being a month of high volumes driven by the return to school after the holiday season. That said, with the furlough scheme unwinding and wider economic uncertainty set for the autumn, consumer anxiety will likely rise along with it. This will place more scrutiny on disposable income and make life even tougher for retailers.”

Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive at the British Retail Consortium, added: “July saw the second month of growth as lockdown measures eased and demand gradually began to return in some places. Many shops continued to struggle as footfall was down, with many people still reluctant to go out, and fewer impulse purchases. The strongest performance came from food, furniture and homeware, as consumers increasingly invest in their time at home, however, many shops, particularly in fashion, jewellery and beauty, are still struggling to survive. Online sales remained buoyant, slowing only slightly despite more shops reopening.”

“While the rise in retail sales is a step in the right direction, the industry is still trying to catch up lost ground, with most shops having suffered months of closures. The fragile economic situation continues to bear down on consumer confidence, with some retailers hanging by only a thread in the face of rising costs and lower sales. Rents are also continuing to accumulate and the next Quarter Rent Day could see many otherwise viable businesses fall into insolvency, costing stores, jobs and economic growth. The Government should adopt the proposal from landlords and tenants for a Property Bounceback Grant, which would deliver £7 billion in tax revenue to the Exchequer and save 375,000 jobs.”

Mastering the art of cost-saving in customer service

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As lockdown continues to ease, it pays to keep an eye on the pennies. Puzzel‘s Thomas Rødseth outlines 5 ways to achieve all-round efficiencies in customer service…

It’s taken years for contact centres to shake off their negative cost centre image, and now, life with COVID-19 has thrown a spanner in the works. The challenges of managing a cost-efficient customer service operation which meets increased customer demand while also dealing with home working are greater than ever before.

Now is the time for contact centres to prove their worth as valuable profit centres and become the drivers of enhanced customer experience (CX) and business success in today’s complex, post-lockdown world. So, how do contact centres reduce costs while continuing to deliver exceptional experiences for their customers and their virtually-dispersed agents?

A 5-step guide to all-round efficiencies in customer service

Here are five ideas to get you started:

  • On-premise versus the cloud? – COVID-19 has brought to a head the debate over issues such as whether to stay on-premise or move to the cloud. Numerous reports tell us the pandemic has revealed how organisations that rely on legacy systems and resist transitioning to the cloud have struggled to adapt to increased customer demand and a new environment where the majority of agents work remotely.
    It really is time to take that final leap into the cloud. Highly flexible, cloud-based solutions serve customers and agents effectively while offering tangible cost-saving opportunities. You only pay for the services you use without the burden of up-front capital expenditure or annual maintenance payments. In Puzzel’s own experience, organisations can save on average 20% simply by adopting a cloud approach versus retaining a traditional on-premise solution.
  • Choose the right agents and keep them – to avoid the unnecessary expense of recruitment and training associated with high attrition rates. Start by choosing your candidates carefully. As more agents work from home, the focus is shifting towards a completely different set of skills. Look for agents who demonstrate a deep capacity for self-management, problem-solving, independent technology set-up and greater cyber security awareness.  These are all essential requisites for thriving in a remote environment.  Once you’ve found the right agents, build home-working confidence by giving them the best tools to do their job. The latest agent applications for example, link directly to CRM systems, mobile apps, social media networking sites and even the latest consumer review websites like Trustpilot.com to give agents all the information they need in one place.  The right technology enables agents to respond swiftly to customers without switching applications or resorting to pop-ups. Make life easier for employees and they’ll reward you with loyalty, lower churn and therefore lower costs.
  • Go digital – digital channels are an effective way to reduce costs while boosting contact centre performance and enhancing customer satisfaction. Certainly, the most widely deployed multimedia channels – email, web chat and social media are all cheaper than traditional voice calls in ‘cost per contact’ terms. With the average live telephony call at £4.53, emails typically cost £3.89, web-chat at £3.39 and social media contacts cost £3.18.
  • Be creative with tech – combining work with domestic duties when working from home can be daunting for agents so introduce clever technology behind the scenes to minimise stress levels and generate efficiencies all round. Consider introducing the latest automated Workforce Management (WFM) capabilities to build flexible, employee friendly schedules that maximise agent time, skills and availability while ensuring they have plenty of time to learn something new and connect with colleagues via online chat or video conferencing facilities. Next, integrate modern ticketing solutions into the contact centre for effective email and case management at minimal effort and cost. Offering a simple, single sign-on for all contact centre activities, these enable organisations to handle large volumes of inquiries and they offer unlimited opportunities to provide customised, efficient responses to the most common requests while accelerating agent wrap-up and follow-up times.
  • Get it right first time – invest in truly listening to your customers and acting on their feedback to improve CX and maximise ROI first time around. Take a closer look at Artificial Intelligence (AI). The beauty of AI-powered tools like chatbots is the more they are used, the better they get – without having to spend an extra penny. Use them for virtual agents and to develop dedicated ‘bot buddies’ that allow agents to communicate with AI through speech or text to find answers to customer queries and suggested responses – rather like a whisper in the ear. The best AI solutions are embedded with ‘sentiment analysis’ technology. These capture the mood of the customer based on current and past conversations and then relay this vital intelligence to agents to achieve all-round efficiencies.

Smarter Payments Summit – 3 weeks to go!

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We have a place reserved for you at next month’s virtual Smarter Payments Summit – can you join us and 60 of your industry peers?

Tuesday 8th September – please RSVP here.

Your attendance is entirely flexible and will allow you to source budget-saving and innovative solution providers to prepare for every eventuality.

Plus, you can enjoy all the benefits of the event from the comfort of your own home, including a series of LIVE webinars hosted by industry experts.

We only have three virtual places remaining – Click here to secure your place.

Or please do not hesitate to contact us for more information.

Do you specialise in Google Shopping or Chargeback Systems? We want to hear from you!

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Each month on eCommerce & Payments Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on different parts of the market – and in September we’ll be focussing on Google Shopping and Chargeback Systems. It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help eCommerce management buyers find the best products and services available today. So, if you’re a supplier of Google Shopping or Chargeback Systems and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Craig Ross on 01992 666726 or email c.ross@forumevents.co.uk. Here’s our features list in full: Sep – Google Shopping / Chargeback Systems Oct – Personalisation / Artificial Intelligence Nov – PPC / Account Issuing & Merchant Dec – SEO / Payment Solution Software For more information on any of the above, contact Craig Ross on 01992 666726 or email c.ross@forumevents.co.uk.