Ecommerce Systems

eCommerce, in the traditional sense, is dead. Today, retailers, brands, and outlets struggle to compete against each other for potential buyers across the web, mobile, tablets & other forms of media. eCommerce also happens to change at lightning pace – making it possible for existing success to fade quickly and challengers to succeed.

Traditional ideas surrounding the eCommerce – "shopping carts," "wish-lists," "guest-checkouts" - are taken for granted today. Customers expect shopping experiences that make it effortless to find, retrieve, and make purchasing decisions. Sites and applications that don’t do this will get left by the wayside.

At Icreon – we don't think of eCommerce as a 'site' or 'app'. eCommerce is a shopping paradigm. Whether you're selling to businesses, consumers or to all of the above, the heart of every eCommerce project Icreon undertakes is about knowing the customer, and creating seamless paths towards completing purchases.

The Basics

  • Recommended Alternatives

    Customers are inundated with options from you, your competitors, and irrelevant vendors. We make the effort to ensure that buyers are intelligently provided alternative products in case what they were looking for doesn't work out.

  • Responsive Web Design

    25% of all browsing is done via mobile. If you're not displaying your products across tablets and smartphones, you're losing your customers as they access you when they're on the go. Building purchase points on mobile in today's landscape is a must.

  • Faceted Searching

    What happens when customers are searching for your product? Do they see gigantic lists of results, or does your site try to make guesses to most relevant products and organic search results by departments, product genres and feature specifications?

The Not So Obvious

  • Dynamic
    Content
    Layouts

    At Icreon, we know products and services have different importance throughout the day, to different people, in different geographies. We focus on ensuring that product layouts are generated dynamically so that customers only see what's relevant to them.

  • Social
    Powered

    Links to social sites aren’t enough. Can users log-in to your services through their existing accounts? Are they able to share their purchases with their network? Do you pursue new accounts by promoting your brand through customer social feeds?

  • Omnichannel-Driven

    eCommerce has completed a full revolution and entered the physical space. Do your brick and mortar strategies translate successfully online? Are you able to leverage your physical real estate to drive eCommerce sales and vice versa?

Dynamic Content Layouts

At Icreon, we know products and services have different importance throughout the day, to different people, in different geographies. We focus on ensuring that product layouts are generated dynamically so that customers only see what's relevant to them.

Social Powered

Links to social sites aren’t enough. Can users log-in to your services through their existing accounts? Are they able to share their purchases with their network? Do you pursue new accounts by promoting your brand through customer social feeds?

Omnichannel-Driven

eCommerce has completed a full revolution and entered the physical space. Do your brick and mortar strategies translate successfully online? Are you able to leverage your physical real estate to drive eCommerce sales and vice versa?

our solutions in action

Marc Ecko
Web App Development
NYRR
Kenya Airways
Mobile App Development

Additional Resources

How to Optimize an Ecommerce Website

The Top Tips for Optimizing eCommerce Websites

It is estimated that online shoppers in the U.S. have spent $252 billion in the year 2013 alone. With eCommerce continuing to pull in impressive numbers, brands must differentiate their eCommerce websites. Some of the main ways to make an eCommerce site stand out rest with design, feature implementation, and the overall integrity and security of a site.

Day in and day out, a consumer's experience with the marketplace is becoming more mobile, visual and social. Although such features and expectations are great for consumers, the latest trends tend to complicate the process for eCommerce brands.

So here are some of the best practices for improving an eCommerce website and exposing a business to new audiences and increased profits.

Ease of Use and Intuitive Navigation

Websites that have easy navigation and are organized strategically, help to ensure that site visitors find what they are looking for. Consumers should easily know where they are on the site. Ideally there should be no impediments to reaching a transaction page and easily browse other options for related products.

Effective eCommerce websites also make sure that visitors are presented with strategic calls-to-action. Placement of landing pages, 'Add to Cart' buttons, and recommended up-sell or cross-sell products, are central to making it easy for customers to buy. The layout of page elements and the hierarchy of pages are also central components to easily navigable eCommerce sites.

Optimizing the sitemap of the existing structure of a website also helps search engines better map out how the site is organized (and thus appear higher in Google's search rank). This is important in terms of visibility, since it is one of the many factors that the major search engines take into consideration when ranking a site in search results for your product (shoes, skirts, watches, etc.).

Adding Product Videos

Until this point photographs have been the primary means to display products on eCommerce sites. But in recent years videos have been playing a major role in eCommerce experiences across the board. This stems from improvements in web design as well as higher performing mobile devices with better screen quality. Studies have shown that people are more likely to share a video on social networks than a site built with text heavy pages.

With such facts in mind, incorporating high quality productions and HD quality videos can boost sales. Promotional videos around a product can also go viral (see Dollar Shave Club’s YouTube sensation). Another example are the product videos for introducing the latest iPhones that almost always make the rounds on social media and even national TV.

Product Zoom

Another example of progression in the realm of presenting products online is the ability to zoom in and survey high quality images of a product. Amazon and JackThreads execute this quite well. Product zoom is a simple way to enlarge showcased products that allows visitors to see the minute details of products featured on the site. One of the biggest weaknesses of eCommerce in general rests with the lack of ability to inspect and touch a product.

With product zoom, the online shopping experience feels much more similar to in-store shopping. This works on the psychology that customers usually prefer to touch and feel the product they are buying – hence this feature, that helps to only replicate this experience.

Social Media Presence

The use of social networks for initiating eCommerce transactions, often called social eCommerce, makes hundreds of shops accessible through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to name a few. Everything within these online shops is accessible through the social network itself. By engaging with customers through social interaction and social sharing, brands are able to increase exposure and communicate directly with customers and target markets.

For Ecko.com, Icreon Tech incorporated several social features that capitalize on the viral product videos throughout the site as well as live Twitter streams from fans and the brand itself. By clicking a specific social applet on the website, customers can instantly catch a glimpse of viral content and social activity related to the brand. Also after making a purchase, the customer can instantly share their purchase with their network.

Some sites go so far as to use these networking sites as customer support systems, often interacting with customers for enquires related to their orders. Twitter is becoming a major way for brands to respond to customer issues such as missing packages, defective products, and any other potential issue.

eCommerce in the Social and Mobile Age

There are various trends that have matured and contributed to the formation of popular eCommerce strategies. But to understand the inherent value of incorporating insightful strategies into an online business, businesses must focus on the expectations of a shopper in today's social and mobile infused world.

Take a look at Icreon Tech's work with Ecko.com, and how we incorporated social media into their eCommerce strategy...

Ecommerce Platform: Buy or Build?

e-Commerce Platforms: Build vs. Buy. Which one should you choose?

When choosing an e-commerce platform, like choosing most software platforms, as an IT manager, you must weigh the options of buying an off-the-shelf product or building from scratch. e-Commerce retailers are split in half, with 52% opting for a custom built product and 48% buying off the shelf SaaS products. No solution is perfect for anyone and balancing business needs with budgetary restrictions are always difficult.

There are pros and cons to both sides. Building and maintaining a custom platform is more expensive than buying a product off the shelf, which often comes with maintenance, support and updates. However, if your business has nuances that an off-the-shelf product can't handle, then you may opt to build from scratch. Take this quick quiz below to determine your build readiness. Assign a "1" to questions you answer “yes” and a “0” to questions you answer "no."

  • Is your product base complex, broad, have unique market requirements, and have a complicated distribution chain?
  • Do you have a large enough support base to maintain the application on your own?
  • Is your customer base mostly domestic?
  • Does your current solution use multiple software products, all or most of which you want to replace?
  • Is your business model flexible and/or do you foresee it changing in the future?
  • Are you looking for a feature-rich product?
  • Does your business have the time to wait for development and implementation?

If you scored a four or above, you may want to consider building a custom solution. However, when discussing options with your vendor, be transparent about your budgetary restrictions, if any, so that the most appropriate solution can be found for your business.

Ecommerce Brands Must Prepare for Mobile Shoppers

Why eCommerce Brands Must Prepare for Mobile Shoppers

As mobile devices, social media and ubiquitous Wi-Fi have become truly prolific, many brand's eCommerce platforms have yet to compensate. A study conducted by IMRG in 2013 claimed that sales via mobile devices account for most of online growth.

This is a clear indication of a major shift in consumer behavior where online shoppers are migrating to mobile devices. For brands that want to win over mobile customers and propel business growth, being mobile ready is not just a matter of choice.

Mobile is now a business imperative for eCommerce brands.

High Mobile Bounce Rate and Low Conversion Rate

Today's tech savvy mobile users have little patience when it comes to navigating through a website that is not mobile optimized. Research indicates that almost 30% of buyers using small screen devices abandon a transaction if the web experience is not optimized for mobile.

When viewed on small screens, desktop only websites create many hassles. For example, useful information get buried under multiple layers of awkward menus and ill-fitting content. This will directly lead to a user seeking out rival brands that offer a more seamless transaction experience. Deterred users will add to the mobile bounce rate if they have to look at illegible text, or if there are no zoom or swipe features in the product gallery.

Mobile eCommerce websites have several unique features that provide an appropriate and intuitive online experience to engage mobile users.

Online Sales Slipping Behind Rivals

According to a report form Forrester Research, U.S. mobile commerce sales are set to grow to more than $110 billion in 2014. Without a standard mobile shopping option, enterprises would find it difficult to cater to the shopping needs of this growing mobile customer base.

A desktop only website cannot adequately attract a mobile user due to the inherently different shopping experiences on smartphones and tablets as compared to desktops. Mobile shoppers prefer a touch friendly display where related products can be instantly selected for comparison, or a simple touch enabled gesture can add items to a cart. They also need larger images and touch-savvy buttons so that unintentional actions are reduced.

Mobile friendly interfaces also provide a great way to present products via touch-enabled photo galleries. Most smartphones are limited by a screen size of 4-5 inches, which requires a brand to be creative in terms of presenting HD images. Such screen size based customization is crucial in the context of mobile shopping, where impulse buyers are plenty and the key to success is user engagement.

Poor Web Experience on Mobile Can Eat Into Profits

An online retailer identified that conversion rates were low for their targeted email campaign. It quickly found out that due to poor display of alerts on mobile devices, users were not receiving a seamless shopping experience. This directly led to them not finishing the purchase process. This inadequate shopping experience on mobile devices led to sufficient revenue loss as well as a negative impact on brand notoriety.

The company decided to implement a mobile eCommerce solution to avoid such issues in the future. The new solution provided efficient registration processes and integrated the sign up option with social media accounts. The product display on smaller screens looked sharp, and images and links were redesigned to become touch and swipe friendly.

Within a couple of months, revenue via smartphone channels shot up by almost 90%. And on top of that improvement, mobile traffic increased from 11% to 26% within 3 months. At the same time, customers received a full-fledged mobile shopping experience that helped to strengthen their brand image.

Non-Optimal Mobile Websites Prevent eCommerce Transactions

With the enhanced look and feel of a mobile optimized website, brands can create a strong brand relationship with customers. Businesses can edge past their rivals by raking in business from the mobile shoppers.

In order to achieve ROI from a mobile revamped eCommerce site, enterprises need to understand their customer behavior and identify key areas of improvement to work on while developing their mobile strategy. With the right platform and a dedicated technology partner, a brand can take advantage of this seismic shift towards mobility and grown their own revenue and brand notoriety online.

Ecommerce Web Design Trends

The Leading eCommerce Web Design Trends for 2014

Web design trends continue to change from one year to the next. As more and more online retailers seek to provide an optimal mobile shopping experiences for customers, a significant number of website redesigns are expected in 2014.

Here are some of the latest trends in web design that are expected for brands this year:

1. Huge Graphics

Relatively larger graphics that link to products are a major trend for the year 2014. Without the ability to handle the products they are contemplating buying, potential customers can only depend on graphics and HD images to inspect a product. The more attractive the products look to customers, the more confident they will feel about purchasing from the site.

2. Flat Design

Flat design is considered one of the hottest eCommerce design trends around. It has been adopted by Windows 8, Apple's iOS 7, and by dozens of other popular operating systems (OS) and websites. Flat design focuses on "simple, graphic style common UI... that contrasts skeuomorphism", the predominant form of design that attempted to replicate real-world objects (like a zipper or leather stitch).

3. Responsive Web Design (RWD)

RWD has already been a trend in eCommerce site redesigns. It allows online retailers to provide a consistent quality shopping experience for customers regardless of the device being used (tablets, smartphones, and PCs). A website that has been optimized for easy viewing on mobile devices goes a long way in increasing sales. If a smartphone user encounters a clunky web experience, they'll head to Amazon or a better designed competitor site.

4. Finger-Friendly (Touch) Interfaces

Increased mobile adoption by potential customers of is forcing designers to adapt their techniques to finger-friendly interfaces. Mobile users are now interacting with web pages using their finger, which require larger graphics, increased white space between page elements, and touch friendly infinite scroll functionality. Traditional website elements such as a header menu are disappearing in favor of app-like side bar menus that slide out.

5. Interesting and Engaging Fonts

One of the most important components of eCommerce web design is typography. Expect to see sites using more distinctive branded fonts that are customized for a brand. Crisp and sharp fonts are central to mobile users. With smaller screens, mobile versions of websites benefit greatly from increased attention to the readability of written content online.

6. Video and Other Rich Content

Mobile videos provide online retailers with a medium for providing meaningful content and detailed product information. HD video is the closest an online customer will get to holding and inspecting a product in real life. More and more retailers are beginning to include video and other rich media in their product descriptions and even their online advertisements.