Magento Blog


A Look Back: Magento at NRF 2014

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It's been an exhilarating few days here at the National Retail Federation's annual BIG show – both for us at Magento and for our business partners. In true fashion, we started the show with big news that Magento and eBay Enterprise are now offering a new solution for mid-market merchants and are advocating omnichannel approaches for success.

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On the floor itself, our booth representatives shared time with existing and potential clients to help each understand the full gamut of our solutions, ranging from Magento’s highly flexible, open source front end customization, to eBay Enterprises' interfaces and tools, including store-based fulfillment and call center capabilities. We also showed off eBay Inc.'s connected glass technology, a shoppable interface that we developed in concert with our business partners Rebecca Minkoff and TOMS shoes -- both of whom presented during NRF.

eBay Inc. executives, including Ben Pressley, Head of Enterprise Strategy and Business Development at Magento, and John Sheldon, Global Head of Strategy at eBay Enterprise Marketing Solutions, discussed with TOMS and SONY their recent customer experience innovations in Monday's panel, “Redefining the Customer Experience.”

With the wide variety of discussions and topics on the event floor this week, we’re curious; what did you take away from NRF’s Big Show? Let us know on Twitter! Share your learnings with @Magento using the hashtag #NRF14.

Magento Attends National Retail Federation’s Annual Big Show: Day One

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The first full day of the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) annual BIG Show 2014 was sure not to disappoint. Following an opening keynote by former President George W. Bush, which touched more upon his legacy than retail, thousands of NRF attendees caught a full day’s worth of panels, breakout sessions and one-to-one chats, which roughly revolved around the importance of these five key themes for retailers: innovation, big data, personalization, omnichannel and mobile.

Here are a few of our favorite takeaways from the day:

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1. Leverage innovation to dominate the larger conversation. As online and offline stores continue to merge, and more and more audiences go mobile, retailers need to figure out creative ways to attract new customers without alienating existing ones, while staying true to their brand proposition.

One company that has seen success in solving this puzzle is the shoe brand (and Magento customer), TOMS. In a panel on “Redefining the Customer Experience” Monday afternoon with Ben Pressley, Head of Enterprise Strategy and Business Development at Magento, and John Sheldon, Global Head of Strategy at eBay Enterprise Marketing Solutions, TOMS Digital Business Development Lead Jordan Glassberg described how his company’s recent “shoppable windows” pilot with eBay Inc. not only positioned the company at the forefront of ecommerce, but it also provided an innovation twist in true TOMS spirit. By transporting their Marketplace experience of being able to shop by causes (such as children or education) into a digital storefront, they were able to stay true to their roots while expanding their business.

Electronics giant, Sony had a similar experience with eBay Inc. when they set up a shoppable window in a San Francisco mall. Sony Electronics’ Director of Guest Experiences for Sony Store, Megan Farrell Ragsdale noted that the holiday–only pilot was “a great expression of the brand.” Not only did the company appear technologically advanced and innovative, but they also received a treasure trove of data (such as time spent engaging with the windows) to learn from and enhance future experiences.

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2. Keep mobile and omnichannel top of mind when it comes to online strategy. These two other big retailer themes—mobile and omnichannel—were discussed in a second eBay Inc. panel, “Mobile Innovation as a Roadmap to Customer Success.” During the session, Bernardine Wu, Fred Argir and Healey Cypher, altogether discussed the importance of engaging with customers at multiple touch points. After first clarifying the difference between cross-channel (engaging with a brand in one channel and finishing in another) and omnichannel (seeing one brand experience across multiple touch points), the trio launched into how customers differentiate. Argir noted that while Toys “R” Us now has roughly 80 different ways of providing a seamless shopping experience across multiple channels, the company is still very focused and has an intentional route for all of them. Cypher also encouraged retailers to embrace different uses for different devices, and offered multiple tips for mobilizing one’s website, such as improving the site itself (quick load times, high quality graphics), improving the product (include category and search boxes, include a QR barcode), and improving your checkout process (adding checkout button on the top and bottom of every page, offering guest checkout).

3. Retailers need to figure out their online and offline strategies as they continue to make inroads with customers. As Jon Stine, the Director of Cisco Consulting Services noted in an Expo session early Monday morning, there is $99 billion at stake in the Internet of Everything—and that includes innovation, big data, personalization, omnichannel and mobile.

What did you take away from NRF’s Big Show? Let us know on Twitter! Share your learnings with @Magento using the hashtag #NRF14. For those at the event, be sure to stop by the eBay Inc. booth (4245) to say hi and to check out the awesome Connected Glass, Digital Storefront experience featuring Rebecca Minkoff and TOMS.

Magento Live Germany Highlights

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Our first Magento Live Germany event was a great success! Many thanks to the 300+ merchants, partners and developers that traveled to Munich to share insights, best practices and fun. We had a packed program of keynotes and multiple breakout tracks spanning merchant stories, partner best practices and technical and business sessions.

Magento and eBay executives kicked off the day:

  • Roy Rubin, Magento’s COO and Co-Founder addressed the current industry trends as well as Magento’s strong momentum, with a special focus on opportunity, growth and innovation.
  • Jimmy Duvall, Head of Product, Magento reviewed Magento Enterprise 1.13 and Magento Community 1.8, and invited developers to provide feedback on Magento 2 updates available on GITHUB.
  • Matthias Setzer, Senior Director Merchant Services, PayPal Germany spoke about the challenges and opportunities of a dynamic eCommerce environment where the consumer holds all the keys.
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Surprise speaker and former top-level German football referee Dr. Markus Merk inspired attendees to tap their emotions, identity, courage and responsibility when making difficult decisions whether in soccer, commerce or in life.

Here are some highlights from the breakout sessions:

  • The basis for a great customer experience online is the underlying technology, especially if you’re coordinating that experience across multiple geographies. mytheresa.com is able to update their site daily, adjust country-specific pricing quickly, and customize caching to split channels by business needs. The site now has over 1.5M unique monthly visitors and 2,000 orders per day.
  • “Users focus on content rather than the technical features so write for your reader and not for the search engines!” Vinai Kopp, Manager of Developer Education at Magento reviewed on-page search engine optimization basics and Magento best practices.
  • In today’s increasingly competitive search marketing environment, just getting ranked in a top search position is no longer sufficient to drive traffic to a website. Danny Essner, Head of Merchant Marketing at Magento, spoke to the relationship between ranks in organic search and click through rates and how to increase these rates through engaging content.
  • Noam Inbar, VP of Business Development at Zooz Payments explained how to address consumer fears and barriers to transaction completion by improving the payment and checkout experience. The easiest way to maximize conversions: minimize the number of steps at checkout and don’t ask for the same information multiple times.
  • Several sessions focused on mobile best practices and speakers agreed that regardless of the design approach, it’s important to consider what content users will want on a mobile device and how they will consume it.
  • More broadly, Thomas Husson, Vice President and Principle Analyst, Forrester challenged attendees to prepare for the digital mindshift, noting that the only choice is to “disrupt yourself or become disrupted”.

Big thanks to those who were able to join us! Special thanks to all of our presenters and to our sponsors for making this exciting event possible!

To learn more about these sessions and the many other presentations at Magento Live Germany, and check out our Website for pictures and video from the event that we will be posting soon.

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Shopping Cart Abandonment: Insights For Success

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As merchants make a greater investment in email marketing than ever before and place a greater focus on email optimization than any other initiative, according to Forrester Research*, identifying the best sales conversion opportunities is essential.

While attending Fashion Digital New York (FDNY) earlier this month, Danny Essner, Magento’s Head of Merchant Marketing, and Ryan Thompson, Magento’s Director of Partnerships, had an opportunity to sit down with Alicia Fiorletta of Retail TouchPoints to discuss a recent report developed by Bronto in partnership with Magento titled “Why We Don’t Buy: Consumer Attitudes on Shopping Cart Abandonmen” The report takes a deeper look at consumers’ online shopping behaviors and what are the key factors that lead to more frequent shopping cart abandonment, just in time for holiday sales optimization:

  • Why consumers are abandoning more frequently and how this could be an opportunity for marketers
  • What the consumers want to happen when they abandon a cart and what will annoy them
  • Key components of the shopping cart and email strategies

During Magento’s talks with Alicia, Ryan Thompson shares some unique insights as to how retail marketers can decrease abandonment rates and also provide an innovative shopping experience. One of his recommendations Alicia highlights is “to improve shopping cart options and flexibility in order to give shoppers more confidence to cart and purchase their items...provide innovative and fun ways for consumers to browse, consider purchases and update their shopping carts and wish lists.”

This week, Alicia posted an article titled “Improve Shopping Cart Options And Flexibility To Reduce Cart Abandonment” which outlines many of the report’s key findings as discussed in her conversations with Magento at FDNY, including:

  • Shopping cart abandonment rates now average 75%
  • 56% of consumers who purchase online at least once a month use the shopping cart to store items for future purchase
  • Nearly half of all consumers surveyed found shopping cart abandonment reminder emails to be helpful
  • Another 61% said they likely would return to a site after receiving reminder emails

More information can be found in Alicia’s article here and the full report can be downloaded here.

*Source: The State Of Retailing Online 2013: Marketing And Merchandising Forrester Research, Inc., July 30, 2013

4 Reasons You Don’t Want to Miss MagentoLive Germany

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Each MagentoLive event this year has been a huge success and MagentoLive Germany will be no exception! But don’t wait to register. The Last Minute Rate of €299 expires on November 8.

Register

1. Magento COO and Co-Founder Roy Rubin Will Be Speaking

Roy will be sharing his vision for the ongoing opportunity for growth and innovation that he sees for merchants, and how Magento and eBay can help empower your success. Don’t miss this opportunity!

2. Groundbreaking Breakout Sessions With eCommerce Leaders

We have innovative German and English breakout sessions, with all-new content from eCommerce leaders, including our own Magento executives and experts.

  • Going Global: How mytheresa.com accomplished international expansion
  • Ulf Dammertz, Abteilungsleiter I.T., mytheresa.com
  • Michael Staroste, Lead Software Engineer, mytheresa.com
  • Checkout Optimization for Increased Sales: Address consumer fears and barriers to transaction completion by improving the User Experience of your payment and checkout
  • Noam Inbar, VP der Geschäftsentwicklung, Zooz
  • Scaling Your Online Store: How Wardow.com grew into a successful multichannel retailer
  • Björn Kraus, CTO, Phoenix Media
  • Marc Schuermann, Leiter der Verkaufsförderung, Phoenix Media
  • Danny Wardow, Geschäftsführer, Wardow.com
  • Deep Dive into Responsive Design: The benefits of developing responsive design and how to do it right
  • Michael Turk, Leiter eCommerce, Flagbit
  • Patrick Scherr, Geschäftsführer für Marketing, Flagbit
  • Sabrina Toth, Forschungsmitarbeiterin, Flagbit

3. Meet Other Magento Merchants

The Merchant to Merchant Session is a fantastic opportunity for merchants on Magento Enterprise Edition to meet and share ideas and best practices. We hope you can attend!

When: Tuesday, November 12, 9:00–10:30 (CEST)

RSVP: Please RSVP to attend.

4. Opening Night Event

We always make time for fun at our events, and we’ve planned another fabulous party for MagentoLive Germany!

Where: Rilano No.6
Lenbach-Palais in der Ottostraße 6, 80333 München

When: Monday, November 11, 19:00–23:00 (CEST)

Be sure to follow the event on Facebook and Twitter, and use the hashtag #MagentoLive to talk about the conference!

MagentoLive Germany Platinum Sponsors:

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MagentoLive UK 2013 Recap

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More than 500 merchants, partners and developers from around the UK and across Europe gathered to network and share insights and knowledge at Magento Live UK. The excitement and energy in the air were electrifying: packed session rooms, buzzing exhibit halls, and brewing conversations throughout.

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The day began with Jamie Clarke sharing his experiences, as an adventurer and merchant, harnessing fear and unpredictable outcomes to reach new heights – don’t be afraid! Most importantly, he discussed the need to pick the right partners on uncertain journeys to foreign lands and to be flexible, speedy and cost efficient in your approach.

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Magento COO and Co-Founder Roy Rubin shared his vision of the incredible opportunity for growth and innovation that he sees for merchants, and how the power of Magento and eBay Inc. can help empower business success. Magento’s Head of Product, Jimmy Duvall discussed Magento Enterprise 1.13, Magento Community 1.8, and shared his vision of the future in Magento 2.

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Magento’s Danny Essner reviewed SEO best practices, challenging merchants to think of themselves as content publishers that educate customers in addition to being merchants. Key takeaways include that the most important aspects of SEO are user-generated content, how third parties link to your site, as well as the need to combine social media strategy as a way to bring these two pieces together.

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Screenpages’ Roger Wilcocks offered practical advice on tracking key metrics and shared insightful benchmarks across 100+ stores. Key takeaways include focusing your plan around the behaviors that influence conversion, keeping a keen eye on what makes for a good proposition, as well as planning out your improvements with metric targets. At the end of the day, It’s all about measurement and refinement.

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Big thanks to those who were able to join us! Your incredible energy, camaraderie and passion for driving commerce innovation inspire us all! A very special thanks to all of our presenters and to our sponsors for making this exciting event possible!

To learn more about these sessions and the many other presentations at Magento Live UK, check out our Website for additional content that we will be posting shortly, Click HERE.

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Be sure to join us next year at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, on July 14th and 15th, 2014.

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Merchants Rev Their eCommerce Engines for Holiday 2013

Savvy brands know that, during the holiday rush, performance and speed are key to keeping customers happy. That’s why we’re excited to see so many merchants taking advantage of the performance and speed gains in Magento Enterprise Edition 1.13 just in time for the holidays.

image Charlotte Tilbury – Designer Cosmetics
Magento Solution Partner – Space48

Makeup Artist Charlotte Tilbury (Vogue, Vanity Fair, LOVE and V Magazine) just launched her signature line of cosmetics in September, both online and in store at Selfridges, London, and an online countdown timer that had customers aching with the suspense. Magento Enterprise Edition 1.13’s fully customizable features enabled them to create reviews that allow customers to add their skin, hair and eye color, and access to easy bundling tools for a variety of shop-the-look options, one of Tilbury’s biggest asks. The platform also handled the massive peak of launch traffic quite nicely.
 
image Hawkin’s Bazaar – Toys and Gifts
Magento Solution Partner – Redbox Digital

Hawkin’s Bazaar began selling its “unusual” toys and gifts via mail order in 1973 and has since grown to operating 27 brick-and-mortar locations, and, of course, a fantastic Magento Enterprise Edition powered website. They upgraded from version 1.12 to 1.13 just after we released it, and they have already seen significant improvements in site stability, and decreases in requirements for performance and infrastructure.
 
image MicroScooters – Scooters and Scooter Accessories
Magento Solution Partner – Screen Pages

When two entrepreneurial mums with little business experience approached a Swiss based scooter manufacturer about launching distribution in the UK, it wasn’t an easy sell. Somehow, they got the contract and, slowly, but surely, they got their scooters and accessories into the hands of nearly a million children and adults. Upgrading their Micro Scooters site to Magento Enterprise Edition 1.13 gave them a host of improved features including stronger promotional and product-bundling capabilities, improved transactional functionality for customers, and better flexibility and control in content management. Since launch, conversions are up 10% YOY, and revenues are up 30%.
 
image YOU Beauty Discovery – Beauty Products Club
Magento Solution Partner – Redbox Digital

The Sunday Mail launched online beauty club YOU Beauty Discovery in August to help customers choose the right products with a try-before-you-buy option. For a small fee, club members receive monthly samples of products from hair care to cosmetics. One of their primary goals in upgrading from Magento Community Edition to Magento Enterprise Edition was the ability to do events, but they were also looking for scalability. With brilliant performance so far, they’re confident they can build to 100,000 members over time.

Five Fab Finds from FDNY

In the world of fashion, everyone’s looking for a good find. Here are our top five from FDNY this week, ranging from seamless experiences to dinosaurs.

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1. The future is digital.

Everyone agrees: Be digital, be mobile, be responsive. Nearly 60% of consumers use their phone as part of their shopping experiences every day, and as much as 90% of all eCommerce transactions touch more than one device. We’re seeing people shop on multiple devices during the day and then complete their purchases at night on tablets. Maintain a seamless experience across all devices so customers don’t lose everything in their cart when they transfer from one device to another.


2. No one likes bad seams.

Have you ever seen a beautiful shirt destroyed by a bad seam? We have. Websites are the same way. Without a seamless experience on and offline, you limit the customer experience and your conversion rate. Rebecca Minkoff’s beautiful site saw 200% growth in sales and more than 100% increase in traffic following its redesign.

To improve online conversion rates, Magento’s Danny Essner, also recommends these best practices:

  • Bring the benefits of in-store to online
  • Empower customers to be your brand advocates
  • Blend commerce and content


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3. Kate Spade has great threads.

While bad seams can hurt conversion rates, Craig Leavitt of Kate Spade New York recommends running a strong thread and uniformed style throughout your entire business to effectively reach more customers. While an astounding 20% of their revenue comes from their mobile and tablet optimized website, that doesn’t stop them from extending their brand DNA onto social media (check out their Instagram channel for some social inspiration), shoppable windows, and locally managed brick-and-mortar stores. Nowadays, brands must be brave and willing to take risks, he noted.


4. Keep calm and content on.

In the opening panel, Marty Keane of Theory emphasized the importance of launching rich content about your brand to encourage customers to share their stories over social media (a theme that was repeated numerous times by other speakers over the course of the two days). Content is still very much king.


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5. Dinosaurs like to snuggle.

Much to the surprise of many attendees, the team over at Bronto showed us that dinosaurs are actually very snuggly and informative. For example, more than half of frequent shoppers (55%) always use the shopping cart summary as a way to make a final purchase decisions.

Find out how to maximize your email marketing to combat shopping cart abandonment and drive conversions this holiday season in this newly released Bronto-Magento study.

What did you take away from FDNY? Let us know on Twitter! Share your learnings with @Magento using the hashtag #FashionDigitalNY.

-The Magento Marketing Team

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