E-commerce thoughts for the hammock!

Seize the moment and ponder upon your e-commerce when lying in the hammock this summer. David Holender, CEO at Vaimo gives you some hands-on tips that can lead to new ideas for your e-commerce.

In June 2014, Postnord released its E-commerce Barometer that shows a growth of 15% for the Swedish e-commerce market during the first quarter of 2014. There is no doubt that e-commerce is continuing to grow at fast pace. But e-tailers are faced with many challenges, one being the increased usage of mobile devices. Additionally, most purchases are still made offline (around 90%), which goes to show that e-tailers have something to learn from the physical stores. 

But, summer is here and you might have a minute or two to spare in the hammock. Use some of this time to test the tips stated below. Hopefully you will return from your vacation with some fresh ideas on how to develop your e-commerce during autumn.  

1) Leave your computer behind and go 100% mobile! 

Our mobile devices have become our modern life companions. We use them 24/7 and of course this affects our shopping behavior. Recent numbers from Temetrics (June 2014) in the US show that over 50% of all purchases, regardless of channel, start on a mobile or on a tablet. Even if most completed purchases are still made on the computer, it is crucial to have a good user experience on mobile devices. Adjusting sites to a mobile world is an area that hasn´t received enough attention, reason being we are still stuck in the computer age and are content with a mouse, a keyboard and a large screen.

In order to take part of the mobile revolution effectively you should walk in your customer´s shoes. Therefore, leave the computer at home this summer and try to do everything on your mobile device: browse your own site; get to know your competition; check out the e-commerce giants and how their websites look on a small screen etc. 

In the US, the number of internet users using only their mobile is 25%. When we look at our largest clients, 8 out of 10 have more traffic coming from mobile devices than from computers. How much of your traffic comes from mobile? Is the user experience of your site on small devices a delight? If not, you have plenty of work to do this autumn.

2) Learn from physical stores!

Even if e-commerce is booming, the physical stores still account today for more than 90% of all sales. There are number of reasons to this high percentage, one being that the physical stores are way ahead the webshops in terms of impulse buying and additional sales. Physical stores are experts at creating a need, whilst online stores are mostly focused on meeting needs. In cases where customers are just strolling around or only buying necessities, we have a lot to learn in the digital world. So look around attentively this summer, at gas stations, markets and shopping centers. Why do you come out from IKEA with more things than you needed? Also, think about why you bought that badminton set at the gas station and what the marketer does to get your attention? 

3) Try small data instead of big data!

Statistics and big data sometimes seem to be the answer to everything. Of course, it is interesting to look at trends and statistics and how your average customer acts on your site. But sometimes it can be totally wrong basing your decisions on a couple of key indicators or use them as an only basis to learn if something is working or not.

Take for example the conversion rate. This tells you how many of your visitors turn to customers and complete their purchase. But can everyone actually complete their purchase on your site? If your site has a lot of international traffic, the visitor´s country might not be accepted in the checkout etc.

Additionally, if you have a site that adapts to different devices, it´s important to divide the total conversion rate between mobile, tablet and desktop. 

This is how you can drill down and what we often see with big data is:

a) that it requires a skilled analyst and

b) that it can still be difficult to draw intelligent conclusions based on key indicators. 

An easier way of identifying the improvements your site needs is to look at small data. Follow one customer journey at the time, in detail, and try to understand what this specific customer wants and what works or not. If you do not have a tool in place that is already measuring this, ask your server administrator for extracts from a couple of visitor logs. Then spend some time in the hammock and recreate some of the customer journeys on your site - I promise you come across some unique insights and come up with some valuable  ideas for improvements this autumn!


With this said, David Holender at Vaimo wishes you a great summer!


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