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Stuart O'Brien

eCommerce solutions: 2021 buying trends revealed

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A/B testing, CRM and Customer Retention & Loyalty top the list of solutions the UK’s leading eCommerce professionals are sourcing in 2021.

The findings have been revealed after the last eTailing Summit and are based on delegate requirements at the recent 2021 event.

Delegates registering to attend the event were asked which areas they needed to invest in during 2021 and beyond.

A significant 64% are looking to invest in A/B Testing, while 59% are looking for CRM solutions.

Just behind were Customer Retention & Loyalty (55%), Personalisation (55%) and AI Applications (also 50%).

% of delegates at the eTailing Summit sourcing certain products & solutions (Top 10):

A/B Testing Solutions 64%
CRM 59%
Customer Retention & Loyalty 55%
Personalisation 55%
AI Applications 50%
Strategy & Planning 50%
User Experience 50%
Conversion Rate Optimisation 45%
eCommerce Cloud Based Solutions 45%
SEO 45%

To find out more about the eTailing Summit, visit https://etailingsummit.co.uk.

WEBINAR REWIND: EU VAT changes – What ecommerce businesses need to know

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Don’t worry if you missed last week’s Linnworks webinar – You can now re-watch the entire session online!

The rollout of the new ecommerce VAT changes across the European Union took place on 1st July, 2021. These changes, which will impact on the growing number of online traders who are selling across multiple member states within the EU, are aimed at simplifying the seller’s VAT responsibilities.

Linnworks, Avalara and eBay convened for this webinar to find out what specific VAT changes were implemented, how these will impact cross-border trade and what action you need to take to make the most of the new ecommerce VAT package. With the aim of simplifying the collection, reporting and payment of VAT, this package has introduced new schemes such as OSS (the One-Stop-Shop) and IOSS (the Import One-Stop-Shop) and also implemented some changes to previous legislation.

Watch now to hear from Chris Gates – Product Owner, Linnworks, Christophe De Jaeger – Senior VAT Solutions Manager, Avalara, and Isabell Butterwegge – Product Marketing Specialist, eBay, with an overview of the key changes from July 2021 that will impact online sellers. Discover what action you need to take to update your current processes to be compliant, and what the VAT liability changes are for marketplaces and their sellers.

Click Here To Watch Again

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 August 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 Google Shopping or Chargeback Systems 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:

Aug – Google Shopping / Chargeback Systems

Sep – Personalisation / Artificial Intelligence

Oct – PPC / Account Issuing & Merchant

Nov – SEO / Payment Solution Software

Dec – Customer Experience / IT Security

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

Join us in person at September’s Smarter Payments Summit

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You can now claim your free physical or virtual place at the Smarter Payments Summit, which takes place on the 8th September at the Hilton London Canary Wharf.

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.

Click here to secure your place.

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

Webinar invitation – EU VAT changes: What ecommerce businesses need to know

960 502 Stuart O'Brien

The rollout of the new ecommerce VAT changes across the European Union took place on 1st July, 2021. These changes, which will impact on the growing number of online traders who are selling across multiple member states within the EU, are aimed at simplifying the seller’s VAT responsibilities.

Join Linnworks, Avalara and eBay for this webinar on Thursday 22nd July to find out what specific VAT changes were implemented, how these will impact cross-border trade and what action you need to take to make the most of the new ecommerce VAT package. With the aim of simplifying the collection, reporting and payment of VAT, this package has introduced new schemes such as OSS (the One-Stop-Shop) and IOSS (the Import One-Stop-Shop) and also implemented some changes to previous legislation.

Register now to hear from Chris Gates – Product Owner, Linnworks, Christophe De Jaeger – Senior VAT Solutions Manager, Avalara, and Isabell Butterwegge – Product Marketing Specialist, eBay, with an overview of the key changes from July 2021 that will impact online sellers. Discover what action you need to take to update your current processes to be compliant, and what the VAT liability changes are for marketplaces and their sellers.

Click Here To Register

 

 

 

Claim your place at September’s Smarter Payments Summit

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Make sure you claim your free physical or virtual place at the Smarter Payments Summit, which takes place on the 8th September at the Hilton London Canary Wharf.

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.

Click here to secure your place.

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

WHITE PAPER: The Linnworks Total Commerce Guide to Growth

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According to recent Linnworks consumer research, over 90% of shoppers start their product search on a marketplace and 76% have made impulse purchases via social channels due to the ease of purchase.

For retailers to be successful in the new, effortless economy, they need to be available to customers on whatever channel they prefer to shop, and on whatever device they have in hand. While it sounds like a challenge for retailers, as shopping and social platforms evolve to offer more ways to sell, this also presents significant opportunities for retailers to put their products in front of more and more shoppers. 

In the new Linnworks Total Commerce Guide to Growth, discover the biggest opportunities to expand your selling channels, what the benefits and challenges of each channel are, and how these ever-expanding range of commerce channels can fit together to drive your sales growth and customer loyalty.

In this guide, discover the vast opportunity to scale up and find new customers locally and internationally with marketplaces. Whether you choose a global marketplace like Amazon or Alibaba, where you can quickly drive sales and revenue growth, or niche marketplaces that specialize in a specific vertical like fashion, these offer ready made selling channels with a large base of active customers. The evolution of selling opportunities on social platforms is another way to put your products in front of highly engaged audiences. As ecommerce capabilities on social channels evolve at a rapid pace, selling on social means actively seeking out an audience for your products rather than waiting for them to discover you.    

Private label selling and B2B ecommerce are more rapidly growing selling channels that offer brands the ability to expand their reach into new markets. In the Linnworks Total Commerce Guide to Growth, discover more about these established and emerging selling opportunities, and the key steps you need to take to grow your customer base with new selling channels. 

Get the Linnworks Total Commerce guide to Growth. 

50% of adults will interact with brands more through digital channels post-pandemic

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Over half (55%) of UK adults will interact with brands more through digital and virtual channels than face-to-face post-pandemic.

The global study from Nuance – which polled 10,000 adults across the US, UK, Australia, Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Italy, Spain and Mexico – also found that over half (51%) of UK respondents would rather use apps or a company’s website than go into a physical branch or store to complete tasks such as shopping and banking.

When it comes to communicating with brands, over one in four (26%) UK adults said they still preferred in-person visits or phone (13%), 42% choose digital channels including email, live-chat and chat-bots. Convenience (51%) and speed (36%) were the most common drivers for choosing a preferred method of communication, with speaking to a ‘real’ human (26%) trailing.

Nuance says the findings illustrate that consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable using technology to make purchases and access services, while still expecting brands to deliver a human touch when required.

In addition to being more comfortable using tech like chatbots, virtual assistants, and mobile applications to interact with brands, adults in the UK have also increased their trust in tech that helps them access their personal information and accounts online.

According to the study, almost half (45%) are now more comfortable using biometrics to authenticate themselves when accessing their accounts than they were before the pandemic, with 38% feeling more comfortable using their smartphone to access their accounts as well. These figures are reflected in the global findings with a similar number (49%) more comfortable using biometrics and 47% more comfortable using their smartphone to access accounts.

A third (34%) of UK respondents now place the most trust in a form of biometrics (either voice, facial, fingerprint, behavioural, or combinations of each) as a means of authentication. This is an important step in the right direction, says Nuance, as fraudsters have been increasingly targeting individuals during the pandemic, exploiting archaic authentication methods like PINs and passwords that can be made accessible via the dark web to gain access to consumer accounts and funds. While this is progress, the UK still lags behind the US in terms of trust in biometrics, with nearly half (45%) of adults backing the technology.

This growing trust in technology across age groups is likely a reflection of the positive experiences customers have received online. When asked about how they would rate the customer services they’ve accessed online over the past 12 months – services that might have previously been accessed in-person, like banking or shopping – 58% of UK shoppers said good or excellent. This is less than the global responses, in which two thirds (66%) rated their customer services at the same level.

“With convenience, speed, and ultimately getting the job done prevailing as clear priorities for buyers, organisations such as retailers, banks, and utilities companies must develop strategies for delivering consistently efficient and effective digital experiences,” said Seb Reeve, Intelligent Engagement Market Development at Nuance. “From slick and secure authentication processes to intuitive AI powered intelligent assistants, technology must be able to manage the personalised needs of customers while seamlessly bridging to human intervention when required at the right moment.”

“Customers expect immediate and effective conversations with the brands they engage with – whether those conversations are happening on the phone or via a chatbot on a company’s website. Empowering these engagements requires an integrated approach where an organisation not only can understand the customer’s intent but also authenticate that customer and start personalising their experience across every single channel – from in-person, to phone, to web, to mobile. With the pandemic creating an increasing comfort, trust, and preference among consumers to use technology when engaging with brands, it will be critical that organisations prioritise delivering superior digital experiences if they want to retain customer loyalty and continue to scale.”

Half of retailers ‘failing to capitalise on eCommerce’

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Research from Hitachi Solutions and K3 Technologies has found that many retailers didn’t have the technology foundation in place to capitalise on the eCommerce boom over the last year.

In fact, over half (57%) of retailers reported that they weren’t agile enough. However, the retailers that made early investments in digital ERP reported fewer issues around agility and were quicker to deploy efficient digital sales strategies. This is because they had access to better data insights, generated through ERP.

Significantly, early adopters of digital ERP were a third more likely to capitalise on the shift to online shopping. This suggests that pouring money into an eCommerce strategy alone isn’t enough to win over shoppers. Instead, fashion retailers need to build their digital strategies from the ground up, starting with a single source of data for operations and inventory.

It’s been estimated that acquiring new customers costs anywhere between 5 to 50 times as much as retaining existing customers. Inconveniences caused by a lack of visibility like out-of-stock products, or the absence of cross channel returns threaten a smooth customer journey and could result in the loss of loyal customers.

The report asserts that having a seamless supply chain is critical because any issues will reflect negatively on the customer journey. The research found that the number one cause of internal bottlenecks, and therefore one of the biggest barriers to meeting customer demands, is lack of visibility (86%).

This is often due to outdated systems throughout the supply chain. Respondents made it clear that ERP is a critical tool to gaining this visibility, and being able to scale up, citing that the greatest benefits of digitalising ERP are enabling growth (28%) and visibility (20%).

Fashion retailers don’t need to totally overhaul their systems to see results, but by updating parts of the ERP systems and updating existing technology, they will be able to better understand and respond to customers.

The research shows that having a strong digital strategy depends on having a strong digital foundation. Yet, around 1 in 5 fashion brands have yet to digitalise their ERP, with France being the slowest adopters in Europe. This highlights a significant opportunity for retailers to improve their technology to boost business agility and meet customer demands.

There is a clear case for digitalising from the ground up, but many issues are getting in the way. The biggest challenge is making the business case for updating (28%), which has always been a challenge for fashion – before and during Covid-19. Updating ERP systems can be a long and arduous task, especially if your organisation is resistant to change – so it’s critical that potential solutions integrate easily, and build on your existing strategy.

In fact, when it comes to implementing ERP, easy integration is the most important factor for retailers (58%) with usability a close second (56%).

All respondents see the value in digitalising ERP, yet this year ERP has seen a decrease in digital investment of up to a third, while eCommerce funding has absorbed this budget with a 61% increase. Covid-19 likely influenced this as retailers had to invest heavily in digital; for many, it was the only way to reach customers. However, if fashion brands want to deliver a great experience and retain customers long term, they have to move their focus to updating the ERP systems that are fundamental to the health of their digital channels.

Tony Bryant, Director Global Business Development and K3 Technologies, said: “2020 provided a reset moment for retail and fashion, with many brands completely pivoting to meet customers through digital channels. But customers’ demands are becoming more complex, and the fashion brand landscape is in adapt or die mode. For many fashion retailers, a lack of visibility into operations and inventory has been a spanner in the works for meeting customer demands. This is why laying the foundations for a single source of real-time data through ERP is critical. It delivers competitive advantage for fashion brands in a world that increasingly values convenience, personalisation, and flexibility. Fashion brands need to meet customers where they are, and a strong digital foundation plays a critical role here.”

eTailing Summit: Only a handful of delegate places left – Claim yours today!

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There are only a handful of places left to attend the eTailing Summit on 7th July, all remotely via our virtual platform.

Confirm your live or virtual pass here.

As our guest, you can enjoy industry seminar sessions and a bespoke itinerary of 1-2-1 meetings with innovative suppliers.

Secure your free guest pass here – etailingsummit.co.uk/delegates-booking-form/.

Or contact us to find out more information.