A B2B Marketer’s GA4 Migration Guide

A B2B Marketer’s GA4 Migration Guide

Announced in October 2020, GA4 is primed to officially replace UA on July 1, 2023, which means UA will stop processing site visitor activity on that day. Since this announcement, Google has given digital marketing agencies and brands almost three years to prepare their team and business to make the critical switch. Migrating sooner rather than later will help you get acquainted with new capabilities, prevent data loss, and ensure that integrations are reconfigured. 

In today’s blog post, we decided to help make migrating to GA4 easier. If you already have experience using UA, you’re two steps ahead. And, if you don’t have experience, we are here to help guide you.

Are you ready for the new Google Analytics 4? Let’s dive in to find out what GA4 is all about—and why you need to learn how to migrate to Google Analytics 4.

What is New in Google Analytics 4

GA4 is designed to give B2B marketers a richer, more accurate picture of their customers journey to purchase? across devices and channels. Some of the latest features of GA4 include the following:

  • Cross-device measurement: GA4 can link together multiple devices used by the same person to give you a complete view of their behavior.
  • Offline data: GA4 can track offline conversions, such as phone calls or in-store purchases, and attribute them to your online marketing campaigns. This is incredibly helpful for complex B2B account-based marketing (ABM) campaigns.
  • Enhanced customer journey reporting: GA4’s new funnel reports show how customers move through the various stages of your marketing funnel.

If your team uses Universal Analytics (UA), you can migrate your tracking code to GA4. However, GA4 offers a different data model than UA, so it’s essential to understand the differences between the two platforms before migrating and to be careful during the migration process. For more on that, check out our blog, GA4 Has Landed. Then explore the Next Generation of Google Analytics.

Migrate in Phases: Steps for Migrating to Google Analytics 4

Are you constantly seeing prompts to migrate to the new Google Analytics? With just eleven months to go, it’s becoming even more crucial to start the migration soon. 

While migrating to the new Google Analytics does not necessarily mean losing current data collection and reporting capabilities, you need to prepare for a different way to view, analyze, and leverage data generated by event-based measurement. 

This is why we recommend a phased approach — migrating to GA4 in stages to ensure that the platform is appropriately set up for your needs. It’s best to set up a GA4 property as soon as possible and use it simultaneously with your current UA so you can see and learn the differences before upgrading custom reports and dashboards to the new Analytics. So let’s dive deeper into those steps at a high level. 

Phase 1: Create a new GA4 property for standard tracking – GA4 is a fresh start in every sense of the word, so before you move to the new platform, you must create a new GA4 property. You can do this using the Upgrade Assistant or by clicking on the Create New Property button in the admin menu. 

Remember that if you use Google Tag Manager, you can create a new GA4 Configuration tag on all pages. In contrast, if you’re coding, you’ll need to add the GA4 tag to your website’s pages. Once these are completed, you can see core data in the GA4 property.

Phase 2: Track events and other KPI-related metrics – In line with GA4’s move to event-based tracking, you’ll be able to configure data collection based on relevant events that indicate user behaviors and interactions. For example, in the new GA4, you will see that the Event Category is now called Event Name. Moreover, you will be able to define the data parameters under Action and Label, allowing you to track all relevant data. In addition, any goals that you previously defined as destination goals will need to be added as events to ensure they are measured.

Phase 3: Set up tracking for eCommerce and additional custom tracking – For eCommerce sites, this is one of the most crucial steps of the migration process that can be done on GA4 to ensure accurate revenue measurement. We recommend working with developers, like our InteractOne team of experts, to help your team implement your website’s appropriate eCommerce tracking codes.

Phase 4: Post-migration audit and adjustments –  ​​Once your migration is complete, conducting a full implementation audit is crucial to identify gaps and errors and adjust as needed. This includes debugging, ensuring that all tracked data are funneled to the correct events, and reviewing your GA settings for the new GA4 property. Finally, ensure all KPIs are reflected as goals, and relevant events are marked as conversions.

Get ahead of event-based tracking and build a full view of the customer journey across devices and platforms.

Things to Keep in Mind

One of the most important things to remember when using GA4 is that it’s a very new platform. As such, there are bound to be some bugs and limitations. Google is actively working to address these issues, but it’s essential to be aware of them before you make the switch.

Another thing to keep in mind is that GA4 doesn’t yet have all of UA’s features. Some of the most notable features that are missing from GA4 include the following:

  • Custom dimensions
  • Custom metrics
  • Content groups
  • Attribution modeling

If any of the above features are important to your tracking, you should run both UA and GA4 simultaneously until you make the final switch.

Bringing it all together

Old habits die hard, especially those that have made your business successful. UA has undoubtedly been one of the most effective tools in recent years. Leaving it behind and moving to a new platform can sound time-consuming, stressful, and challenging. But remember that GA4 is pretty much the same as UA, except it’s better. In Google Analytics 4, you have more efficient tracking features, improved customization options, and greater data security. So if you wonder whether all the stress is worth it, the answer is a resounding yes.

Want to get ahead of the GA4 curve and get your migration started? Book a chat with one of our team members today. Our team of experts has extensive experience configuring and optimizing GA4, as well as a variety of other tracking systems. As a result, we can help you maximize the effectiveness of your tracking ecosystem so that you know precisely how effective your marketing dollars are.

    Get expert help today!

    An InteractOne Senior Team Member will get back to you within a day.

    Drop Us a Line At:

    Or, if you prefer an old-fashioned phone call:
    Phone (USA): (513) 469-3346

    4665 Cornell Rd. Suite 255
    Cincinnati, OH 45241

    Adobe Commerce B2B Tech Innovations You Must Have

    Adobe Commerce B2B Tech Innovations You Must Have

    How much of your marketing experience is one-size-fits-all?

    We live in a world where increasingly, the customer holds the buying power. This means that for many business-to-business (B2B) brands to be successful, they need to turn individual users into product champions to help simplify complex buying journeys.

    But you already know that trying to speak to everyone in B2B means diluting the power of your message to your actual target audiences. On the other hand, a personalized marketing approach creates a better experience that leads to faster conversions and stronger prospect relationships.

    Personalized marketing can take up your team’s time and resources. But, if you’re a fast-growing company dealing with volumes of data and different types of users, personalization reaps the biggest results at scale. The more you can cut through the noise to personalize the ideal customer experience, the more successful your marketing will be.

    So where do you start — and what makes personalized marketing worth the effort?

    In this blog, we’ll discuss some new innovations that can help your business use personalization to achieve better conversion results.

    A Dynamic Duo for Revenue Growth

    How much of your marketing experience is one-size-fits-all?

    We live in a world where increasingly, the customer holds the buying power. This means that for many business-to-business (B2B) brands to be successful, they need to turn individual users into product champions to help simplify complex buying journeys.

    But you already know that trying to speak to everyone in B2B means diluting the power of your message to your actual target audiences. On the other hand, a personalized marketing approach creates a better experience that leads to faster conversions and stronger prospect relationships.

    Personalized marketing can take up your team’s time and resources. But, if you’re a fast-growing company dealing with volumes of data and different types of users, personalization reaps the biggest results at scale. The more you can cut through the noise to personalize the ideal customer experience, the more successful your marketing will be.

    So where do you start — and what makes personalized marketing worth the effort?

    In this blog, we’ll discuss some new innovations that can help your business use personalization to achieve better conversion results.

    Deploying the Appropriate Level of Personalization

    To give customers the tailored experiences they value, brands need to create a large amount of content across multiple channels – social, email, blogs, and more – because a personalized experience is just as much about the conversation as it is about the content. 

    Adobe announced Dynamic Chat for Marketo Engage to give website visitors the tailored and interactive experience they expect. Dynamic Chat enables brands to build vital connections when customers are ready. For example, site visitors can book a meeting with your sales team via chat technology, simplifying and accelerating their buyer journey. In addition, your team can quickly deploy the right chat based on detailed lead and account attributes to fully integrate chat into their cross-channel lead or account-based strategies. Your team will also be able to quickly analyze how many conversations have occurred, interaction rates, conversation completion, or abandonment rates, and that is just the tip of the iceberg. 

    To streamline cross-channel engagement beyond Marketo Engage, your team will now be able to create custom API-based campaigns and workflow actions that can be accessed in the UI and used in bringing campaigns to life.

    Web Developer

    Coordination between your marketing and sales teams is critical when engaging with the same accounts. To help streamline the process, Adobe is announcing a solution, Predictive Lead and Account Scoring, to help these two teams focus on the right prospects and act as one. This new solution will utilize article intelligence powered by Adobe Sensei to predict how likely a potential lead is to purchase a product or service based on certain attributes, such as site interactions, forms filled out, and more. 

    Sales representatives will also be able to prioritize leads and accounts that might otherwise close with Sales Insight from Marketo Engage. Sales Insight provides your sales team with multi-step engagement tools and content right inside your customer relationship management (CRM) for a complete workflow without the need to toggle between multiple applications. 

    With a single system for customer activity across teams, your team will have the capability to automatically start and stop campaigns based on sales engagement, and see all the activity marketing efforts for their accounts together in a single view. The result is more consistent and personalized experiences for customers, more effective sales teams, and higher marketing ROI.

    Bringing it all together

    Even though Adobe offers an excellent array of B2B innovations, these out-of-the-box solutions will still require personalization to be fully functional with any large eCommerce store.

    That’s where we come in. If you want to learn more about these new features or you simply want to make the most of your current store, schedule a call with a member of our Dev team today.

      Get expert help today!

      An InteractOne Senior Team Member will get back to you within a day.

      Drop Us a Line At:

      Or, if you prefer an old-fashioned phone call:
      Phone (USA): (513) 469-3346

      4665 Cornell Rd. Suite 255
      Cincinnati, OH 45241

      The 5 Most Vital Roles for any B2B eCommerce Team

      The 5 Most Vital Roles for any B2B eCommerce Team

      Running a successful B2B eCommerce business requires a lot of teamwork. From marketing and product development to fulfillment and customer service, each role is critical to the success of your online shop. In our previous blog, How to Build a Successful B2B eCommerce Team, we analyzed the strategy for building a team. In Part 2 of this series, we’ll look at who to staff on your B2B eCommerce team so that your vision can be executed. 

      Without further to-do, here are five key roles you need on your B2B team to make your eCommerce business thrive.

      Manager!

      The old saying goes, “a business is only as good as its management.” Old sayings and clichés become so ubiquitous and a part of our day-to-day lives because they are often true. And this is no different when it comes to managing an eCommerce team. A competent eCommerce manager is essential for ensuring that a business runs smoothly and efficiently. No matter what staff or plan you have in place, it will be for nothing if you fail as a manager or select the wrong team leader. A good manager must plan and organize work tasks, delegate responsibilities, and keep track of progress all while strategizing and keeping an eye on the long term. A successful manager must be able to spot potential problems and take steps to resolve them before they become serious. In short, a successful manager is essential for ensuring that a business runs smoothly and meets goals. In this current marketplace with all its unique challenges, finding and retaining a manager who can be all these things for you may be the toughest HR test to complete. Let’s be frank; it’s much easier to fill many other roles we’ve discussed through gig sites like Fiverr or Upwork, staffing firms, networking, or simple outreach. But you can’t afford to have a revolving door or an incompetent person in your manager role and still expect your eCommerce store to run well. This role is your highest priority.

      Digital Copywriter

      When it comes to B2B eCommerce, a qualified and experienced copywriter is truly crucial. These professionals understand the language and selling points that appeal to online businesses. More importantly, they effectively communicate these points through website content, product descriptions, advertisements, emails, social posts, and more. For the sake of conversation, let’s say you are in the financial services industry and require a copywriter. You may have a financial services copywriter at your disposal with a long track record of traditional marketing, but if they lack experience writing in the digital space, their financial services expertise may be lost on your audience. Writing for a digital audience differs entirely from writing for print or other traditional marketing avenues. The strategies that work in a mailer or a brochure do not always translate to social posts and subject lines. 

      A skilled B2B copywriter also knows how to incorporate essential keywords for SEO purposes, helping your eCommerce site rank higher on search engines. In addition, they provide insights on how to engage B2B customers through email campaigns, social media strategies, and other digital marketing tactics. Overall, having an experienced B2B copywriter on your eCommerce team can increase sales inquiries and conversions in a highly competitive market.

      Web Developer

      For any business working in the digital space, having a highly skilled web developer on your B2B eCommerce team isn’t just a significant asset; it’s a must. Your website is often the first point of contact for potential B2B clients, and a well-designed site with smooth functionality can make all the difference in closing a sale. An experienced web developer also helps you stay ahead of current trends and technologies, ensuring that your own B2B eCommerce efforts are modern and effective and can be applied to your clients. Developers also see a unique set of problems and pain points than creative types since they are the ones working the back-end of websites. They see for themselves what logistically works and what doesn’t. They provide valuable user experience insights, helping improve customer satisfaction and increase conversions. Their unique insights can be used to build better sales campaigns, troubleshoot problems, and present a greater image of your company. Also, having a developer on staff will make your digital life much easier. There will always be functionality and programming issues arising from your site and its various appendages, and you’ll need a developer to fix them.

      Designer

      When it comes to B2B eCommerce, having a talented designer on your team makes a huge difference in your status and public perception. A good designer has the skills and experience to create visually appealing and professional web pages and promotional material. They understand the importance of functionality, ensuring that your company’s visual messaging matches the intended audience and your own internal standards. The odds are that the first exposure potential clients have to your brand will be created by your designer. Whether that’s a display ad, a social media post, or the header image on an email, your designer will have had a hand in creating that. As the old saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. The branded material you share with the world needs to make a strong impression that informs and directs your audience to take action. You can’t expect clients to put their faith in you if the elements that bear your company name aren’t good enough.

      Marketing Director

      Having a strong leader at the helm of your team is crucial. This level of leadership goes for any organization in any line of work. An experienced marketing director understands the intricacies of B2B sales and how to navigate the digital world. They also bring a wealth of expertise on how to reach and communicate with other businesses effectively. Furthermore, a skilled leader will know how to guide their team towards success, ensuring that all efforts are strategically aligned with overall company goals. In short, B2B eCommerce is a unique and ever-evolving space, so take notice of the value of an experienced marketing director as your team’s captain.

      As a business-to-business company, a marketing director needs to think and plan for the long term. They need to have a strong understanding of current trends in eCommerce and how they may change in the future. This level of experience requires not only being able to analyze data and consumer behavior but also having creativity and foresight when it comes to developing marketing strategies. In addition, the marketing director must serve as a leader within the company, inspiring and guiding their team towards successful campaigns that drive profits and meet our long-term goals. A successful B2B marketing director must think about more than just the here and now but envision where we want to be in the future and create a plan to get there

      Bringing it all together

      Now that you know what your B2B eCommerce team needs and who they need, it’s time to get to work! We hope this guide comes in handy. But remember, there is no better teacher than ‘doing.’ So go find your eCommerce all-stars, put our strategies to work and always be nimble.

      If you’d like a little more guidance on the B2B marketplace and how to succeed, book a chat with one of our team members today.

        Get expert help today!

        An InteractOne Senior Team Member will get back to you within a day.

        Drop Us a Line At:

        Or, if you prefer an old-fashioned phone call:
        Phone (USA): (513) 469-3346

        4665 Cornell Rd. Suite 255
        Cincinnati, OH 45241

        How to Build a Successful B2B eCommerce Team

        How to Build a Successful B2B eCommerce Team

        We’ve been in the B2B eCommerce business for some time now, nearly 25 years, to be exact. And we’ve learned a thing or two about the industry, but we’ve also banked a couple of lessons about internal success as well. The B2B eCommerce world comes with its own unique challenges. You need to have a team and structure in place that is capable of overcoming them. Part 1 of our B2B Team Building series will explain how to fill, support, and manage a successful B2B eCommerce team in today’s digital, remote age.

        Seek Talent with Digital Marketing Experience

        While there’s no doubt that traditional marketing has its place, the truth is today’s digital world, experience in digital marketing is becoming increasingly important. For one thing, how consumers interact with brands has changed dramatically in recent years, with more and more people using digital to research products and make purchase decisions. To reach and engage these consumers, businesses must have a solid digital presence. Additionally, digital marketing offers several advantages over traditional marketing, including tracking results and measuring ROI more effectively. As the importance of digital marketing continues to grow, experience in this field is becoming increasingly valuable.

        Don’t be Afraid of B2C Talent

        When it comes to business, there are two types of customers: business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B). Each type of customer has its own needs and wants, and it’s important to understand the difference when it comes to marketing and sales. Too often, B2B businesses overlook people with B2C experience, thinking they can’t transfer their skills to the B2B world. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, B2C experience can be precious in a B2B setting. B2C businesses are experts in understanding customer needs and desires, and they know how to craft messaging that resonates. They’re also skilled in managing customer relationships, using data to drive decisions, and creating loyalty programs. All of these skills are transferable to the B2B world. Businesses that overlook people with B2C experience miss out on a real asset. And, let’s be honest, B2C employees use the same platforms and strategies as B2B employees – Salesforce, Mailchimp, Dropbox, Hootsuite, Hubspot, and all of their competitors are used by both B2B and B2C brands alike. None of their offerings or capabilities are exclusive to either B2B or B2C.

        Filling a Team via In-House or Outsource

        There are many factors to consider when deciding whether to build an in-house team or outsource team-building services. An in-house team requires a significant initial investment, including the cost of hiring and training staff. Outsourcing team building can be a more cost-effective option since you won’t need to cover overhead expenses.

        If you’re looking for team-building services that are highly specialized or cutting-edge, you’ll likely need to look outside of your organization. On the other hand, an in-house team may be a better option if you have a vision for your team-building activities. With an in-house team, you’ll have more control over the direction of the team-building process.

        Finally, you’ll need to consider the size and scope of your team’s needs. If you have a large, complex organization, opting for an in-house team may make more sense. However, outsourcing may be the more practical solution if your team-building needs are more modest.

        Be Flexible with Remote Employees

        Working from home has become the new normal for many people, but that doesn’t mean it’s been a smooth transition. As an eCommerce employer, it’s essential to be flexible regarding remote workers. If you’re not open to Remote Employees, you will limit your talent pool severely. Your perfect, most ideal, most punctual, and productive employee is out there and is ready to join your team, but if you can’t get over the fact that they are in a different time zone, then you’ve already lost that resource.

        Simply put, our digital eCommerce space gives us the ability to allow for more flexibility and  give our employees the time and space some of them need to be their most productive. Some people may prefer to work early in the morning, while others may choose to work late at night. Some people may need regular breaks to take care of family members, and others may need to juggle childcare responsibilities. The key is to provide employees with the freedom to work when and how they need to be productive. It may be hard to let go of the reins as an owner or manager, but it’s a must in today’s job economy. You can still schedule regular meetings and check-ins. There is no reason your deadlines or expectations need to shift just because your eCommerce employees are working a schedule considered ‘non-traditional.’ 

        Additionally, it’s essential to make yourself available for questions and concerns. Remote workers often feel isolated, so it’s important to check in regularly and create a supportive environment. By being flexible and understanding, you can create an extremely productive and happy workforce.

        Make Purchases as Easy as Possible 

        According to a recent study, even B2B customers prefer to do their business online versus through a sales rep. This mindset is a shift from previous years when the personal touch of a sales rep was seen as essential in B2B transactions. However, the study found that B2B buyers now see the Internet as a more efficient and convenient way to purchase products. In addition, buyers believe that they can get a better deal by purchasing online. As a result, B2B eCommerce companies that do not have an eCommerce presence are at a significant disadvantage.

        There are several reasons for this shift. First, the Internet has made it easier for all buyers to research products and compare prices. Buyers can also read reviews and get insights from other customers. Second, the rise of social media has made it easier for buyers to connect with each other and share information. Finally, the growth of mobile commerce made it possible for buyers to purchase products and services anytime, anywhere. It can’t be overstated how phone-adverse many people have become. They prefer to have their interactions be digital rather than face-to-face. 

        This shift to online purchasing is likely to continue as more buyers prefer the convenience and efficiency of the Internet. B2B. Companies that do not have an eCommerce presence will need to adapt or risk being left behind. What does this mean for your B2B eCommerce business? It means that your website needs to do more than host case studies. Your website needs to present prices, details, and timelines of your products and services. You need to design it so potential companies and partners can click PURCHASE on your Content Creation offerings just as easily as they would on Amazon. If clients want to reach out to a Sales Rep and do business the ‘old fashioned way,’ then give them that option. But just as your eCommerce brand wants to remove barriers to purchase for your client’s websites, you need to do the same to yours. Applying a little bit of B2C ease-of-purchase to your B2B site could go a long way.

         

        Bringing it all together

        This all may seem like a lot, and a tad overwhelming. If you’re feeling that way, it’s ok, because this is a lot and it can be very overwhelming. Staffing and leading a successful B2B eCommerce team will be one of the deciding factors in your success. Check back in next week as we break down the most vital roles for your B2B eCommerce team.

        We’ve learned a lot about building and eCommerce team in our 25 years. We’ve also learned a lot about eCommerce as well. We’re more than happy to share our knowledge and experience with you, but you have to let us know you’re interested in learning more. Click here to contact us or use the form below.

          Get expert help today!

          An InteractOne Senior Team Member will get back to you within a day.

          Drop Us a Line At:

          Or, if you prefer an old-fashioned phone call:
          Phone (USA): (513) 469-3346

          4665 Cornell Rd. Suite 255
          Cincinnati, OH 45241

          Shopify’s Latest Apps Lead to New B2B Discoveries

          Shopify’s Latest Apps Lead to New B2B Discoveries

          Every merchant has unique needs and with so many specialized apps to choose from, finding the right one for your eCommerce business can be challenging. That’s why the Shopify community of app developers has been busy building flexible solutions to help grow your B2B business. 

          As part of a new avenue of attack against one of the big tech giants, Amazon, Shopify is launching a line of 100 brand new or updated apps all intended to bolster B2B businesses. The launch of these new or updated apps will consist of bountiful tools for your team, designed to scale up B2B sales. some through collaboration with Twitter to boost social commerce and their DTC eCommerce revenue.

          This offering will provide merchants with the option to sell to both DTC and wholesale customers from the same online store in Shopify Plus or a separate ‘expansion store’ for B2B. Both options will be baked in with the ability for your team to create company profiles, price lists, payment terms, and customer accounts.

          “We’ve long heard from our merchants that they’d like to be able to sell wholesale and direct from one online store,” said Shopify merchant success manager Shakir Gill in a blog post. “To meet this growing demand, we’ve worked to build the most foundational and powerful features B2B merchants need directly into the heart of Shopify.”

          Not only will your team be able to sell from one online store, but the integration with Twitter provides the opportunity for you to connect your business profile to your Shopify store. What is the advantage of this strategy? It makes items on your site shoppable through your feed, including a carousel feature that can rotate up to 50 different products at once.

          A separate marketplace kit includes API hooks into Spotify, Google, Facebook, TikTok, and others, while Linkpop creates a shoppable landing page connected to social accounts, web stores, and media like music and videos.

          Shopify President Harry Finkelstein stated that he believes B2B eCommerce represents billions of dollars of untapped revenue for Shopify to take advantage of and might be the reasoning behind another new app, Shopify Markets. 

          Shopify Markets will give your team additional revenue opportunities by tapping into cross-border eCommerce through the creation of localized currencies, translation services, domain names, and payment methods.  

          “This is the next phase of retail,” Finkelstein told Reuters. “In many ways, shopping has become a vote with your wallet to support that brand…and that’s what I think connect-to-consumer is all about.”

          Bringing it all together

          Even though Shopify offers an excellent array of apps and extensions, these out-of-the-box solutions will still require customization to be fully functional with any large eCommerce store. That’s where we come in. If you want to learn more about these new Shopify features or you simply want to make the most of your current store, schedule a call with a member of our Dev team today. 

          Side Note: ​​The new Shopify apps were rebuilt with both new and existing merchants in mind, to make it easier for you to find the solutions that you’re looking for and discover apps you didn’t know you needed.

            Get expert help today!

            An InteractOne Senior Team Member will get back to you within a day.

            Drop Us a Line At:

            Or, if you prefer an old-fashioned phone call:
            Phone (USA): (513) 469-3346

            4665 Cornell Rd. Suite 255
            Cincinnati, OH 45241

            2022 Shipping Rate Changes: how to prep & what to expect

            2022 Shipping Rate Changes: how to prep & what to expect

            It seems like every year there are changes and updates made to shipping costs and this year is certainly no exception. Between the labor shortage, fuel costs and an unexpected backup-at-the-ports, carriers are definitely looking at an increase in costs which they will no doubt be passing along to you, the shipper. If you ship in the United States using UPS, DHL, or USPS you can count on an increase in shipping rates.  In this blog we’re going to review some of the changes made to shipping and what you can do about it in 2022.

            USPS

            Effective Date: January 9th, 2022

            -Retail rates for First Class Package Service will increase by $0.50 for packages weighing 1–4 ounces, $0.30 for packages weighing 5–12 ounces, and $0.80–$1.70 for packages over 12 oz.

            -Retail rates for Priority Mail Express will increase by 3.1% overall

            UPS

            Effective Date: December 26th, 2021

            Not waiting until the new year, UPS implemented their new charges the day after Christmas. UPS published rates will increase by an average of 5.9%.

            -UPS is making changes to the costs for value-added services and other charges.

            Effective Date: January 9th, 2022

            -The ZIP codes for which area surcharges apply will change. These include Delivery Area Surcharge, Extended Area Surcharge, and Remote Area Surcharge. Click here to see the full list of applicable ZIP codes.

            DHL Express

            Effective Jan 1, 2022 DHL Express retail rates will increase by an average of 5.9% for DHL Express Worldwide shipping service.

            Canada Post

            Effective January 10, 2022, Canada Post rates will increase by an average of 3.5% domestically and 2.8% to the US and internationally.

            How to optimize your shipping strategy

            The options available to you are largely based on your current shipping strategy; fee, flat rate or calculated shipping. Depending on which shipping option(s) your brand offers you will need to adjust your strategy accordingly.

            Free Shipping

            If you offer Free Shipping here are some options available to you:

            An Increase in product prices – If you’re still dead-set on maintaining your ‘free shipping’ options then an increase in product prices may be where you make up the loss incurred from the increased shipping costs. If you increase your products’ prices by the same percentage as these shipping increases you will maintain your magins. Although, your repeat and loyal customers may notice an increase in price, which could lead to an impact in their purchase frequency and shopping habits. This may be something worth A/B testing. 

            You could just do nothing – If you choose this route then you’ll need to absorb the increased cost of shipping yourself. Confirm your margins and your profitability before taking this route. 

            Consider a switch to ‘Free Shipping Minimums” – There is a compromise to be found between increasing your product prices and doing nothing. And that compromise is to add a free shipping minimum. This tactic has been shown to increase the average order value, which will help to offset the increased cost in shipping. This strategy will also pass along the cost of shipping directly to your customers if their order fails to reach the minimum threshold.

            Flat Rate

            If you offer Flat Rate Shipping here are some options available to you:

            You could just do nothing – Same as with Free Shipping, if you choose to do nothing then you’ll have to eat the cost yourself. Confirm this plan’s sustainability and long term functionality. 

            Adjust or introduce Order Value Ranges – There’s no rule that says your flat rates need to be the same for every order. Consider offering a higher flat rate on smaller orders and lower flat rates as orders and cart sizes increase. This will help off-set the increase in shipping costs. 

            Increase product prices – If you increase your products’ prices by the same percentage as these shipping increases you will maintain your magins. Although, your repeat and loyal customers may notice an increase in price, which could lead to an impact in their purchase frequency. 

            Increase Flat Rate Shipping – This increase may lead to similar results as an increase in product prices and it may impact your abandoned cart rates as customers will see this charge later on in the sales process. Consider altering the messaging and frequency of your Cart Abandonment emails if this is the path you choose.

            Calculated Shipping Rate

            If you offer Calculated Shipping here are some options available to you:

            You could just do nothing – If you use a calculated rates provider or app and you choose to do nothing then these new charges will be automatically updated as soon as they are implemented. 

            Decrease Product Price – Since your shipping rates are going to be automatically updated via your carrier extensions and applications a decrease in product price is an option. Once again, ensure that your margins are sustainable and pricing remains consistent and strategically in-line with the rest of your product line and your competitors.

            Adjust for 2022 and beyond

            While your current 2022 budget may need to be adjusted to account for some of these new charges, this might be a blessing in disguise. You could use this opportunity to rethink your entire shipping strategy from the ground up. If none of your calculations hit on your target margin, pricing strategy or shipping rate then it is time to go back to the drawing board. The team here at InteractOne is experienced and knowledgeable and ready to help craft a shipping strategy that works for you and your plans.

            Supply Chain Strain – Solutions for your Business 🚚🚢 🎁

            Supply Chain Strain – Solutions for your Business 🚚🚢 🎁

            We all remember the early days of the pandemic when toilet paper was the scarce commodity, but now the world seems like it is running out of everything from computer chips to ketchup. To make matters worse, an unprecedented labor shortage has left business owners bracing for a holiday season in which demand is likely to overwhelm resources.

            Unfortunately, it’s clear that the supply chain disruption plaguing the American economy is not a short-term crisis. While you can’t fix the broken supply chain, you’ll need to steer your business through this crisis and be able to explain delays to your customers when necessary. To do so, it’s important to understand what’s behind any and all supply chain disruptions.

            In this blog, we will highlight some of these disruptions and help you be better prepared to keep your business thriving – sometimes without a fair warning.

            What is supply chain management?

            The supply chain is the journey products take from where they’re mined, grown, or otherwise made all the way to their eventual destinations in the hands of consumers.

            Supply chains are made up of so-called “nodes” and “links.” Nodes are stops a material or product makes along the way, like at a factory, port, warehouse, or retail store. A link, on the other hand, is the time material or product spends in transit between nodes—usually on a cargo ship, train, freight aircraft, or semi-truck. If all of that seemed confusing to you then this video might help.

            Supply chain disruption root causes:

            Shortages for a number of goods have been a hallmark of the pandemic-induced recession and recovery; which is why it is so important, as a business, to understand what is driving these issues and if there is a way for you to fix them. As we look at the causes of supply chain disruptions, we find some intertwined factors leading to the disruptions and delays your company and customers might be experiencing:

            • The pandemic: The pandemic is the overarching reason for supply chain disruptions. Outbreaks and lockdowns limited productivity in factories and the transportation of goods around the world. At the same time, consumer demand for certain products has increased dramatically as many people have more disposable income and spend more time at home.
            • Just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing: The JIT manufacturing model serves to meet demand instead of creating a surplus before an item is needed. While it can lead to cost savings and reduced waste, the practice also means manufacturers don’t keep extra supplies on hand. As a result, the delay of a single component can stall an entire production line—such as when, earlier this year, Ford had lots filled with nearly complete trucks awaiting semiconductors.
            • Lack of shipping containers: Increased demand and a limited supply have led to a shipping container shortage and a big jump in associated costs. Partially, this is because PPE supplies were shipped to parts of the world that don’t have many exports, and the containers were left there, sitting empty. The Independent Commodity Intelligence Services reports that it cost $20,000 to ship a 40-foot container from Asia to the U.S. in September 2021, up from $4,500 the previous year.
            • Staffing shortages: According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs in August 2021 and an additional 4.4 million quit in September. If you’re a small business owner, you’ve likely felt the strain yourself—workers are not easy to come by or retain. Notably, there’s been a multi-year shortage of truck drivers in the U.S. Though there’s a massive push underway to recruit truck drivers, people can’t learn to drive 18 wheelers overnight. The same goes for operating a crane, especially when shipping containers are stacked high and accessing the right one means playing a high-stakes game of Jenga. Major ports like the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach will soon be operating 24/7, but that won’t help unclog the traffic jam if the truck driver shortage persists.
            • Overwhelmed docks: Increased activity and worker shortages are also leading to delays at U.S. ports. According to NPR, 52 cargo ships were waiting off the coast of Los Angeles one day in late October. Off the Port of Savannah, The New York Times reported that cargo ships were anchored up to 17 miles off the coast, waiting at times more than 9 days for their turn to dock and unload their shipping containers. While some of these ports are setting records for volume coming in,  it may still take weeks (instead of days) for containers to be picked up by a truck—which only adds to delivery delays and a shortage of available shipping containers

            Plan ahead for a brighter future

            In some dire or unexpected scenarios, operations may come to a halt, but even in these instances, preparation can make all the difference in how quickly a business can repair supply chain issues. Below are some tactics you can start implementing as early as today:

            Create a supply chain emergency plan: Just as it is wise to have a go-bag at home in case of emergency, a family plan in case of fire, and a winter supplies bag in the car for icy situations, it is equally wise to maintain an up-to-date supply chain emergency plan. This can include an emergency budget for use in the face of disruptions alongside plans around how to move goods around, maintain supplies, and continue operations in the face of different types of supply chain problems. 

            Build up inventory, when possible: If your business relies heavily on certain inventory to continue operations, consider stockpiling essential supplies so that your business could weather disruption that endures for several months. 

            Conduct a supply chain vulnerability audit: Risk analysis is a good way to spot weak links in a supply chain and it is something businesses should engage in seriously and regularly. Armed with information, finding replacements becomes a more straightforward task in terms of priority. 

            Identify backup suppliers: This is not always a viable option given where your products are coming from and what they are, but are there other suppliers that could provide the products needed to continue business if a go-to supplier is not able to fulfill supply needs. One important factor to consider when seeking out backup suppliers is their geographic location. For example, if your original supplier is hit with a natural disaster or similar issue, having suppliers who are further away from the event site can help guarantee continued supply.

            Diversify supply base: As mentioned above, diversification of suppliers helps mitigate risk just as a diversified investment portfolio does. Geographic diversification is critical, but another important factor to consider is further up the supply chain. Even if three of your suppliers are in different areas, they may share a supplier amongst them which could leave all three in the wake of disruption. Diversify in as many areas as possible and begin to build relationships with these suppliers well ahead of potential disruptions. 

            Looking at the bigger picture and not focusing solely on short-term issues, such as meeting the upcoming holiday season demand will help your business in the long run.

            Bringing it all together

            Although you can prepare on some level, there’s no true silver bullet solution for the supply chain woes. The only thing that fixes this is time. While you might be waiting for the supply chain disruptions to unsnarl and catch up, the name of the game will be survival. This will be especially true during the holiday season when big box stores are likely to have much more inventory than small businesses.  And it means that you will need to get creative, sourcing products and goods locally as often as possible and finding ways to repurpose existing inventory. Customers who care about shopping locally will make every effort to support mom and pop, but it will be vital for small business owners to communicate clearly with their customer base, explaining delays and offering frequent updates.

            Need help giving your business every available opportunity to see optimal growth by getting ahead of some of these disruptions as much as you can? Contact one of our experts today.

            Simple steps today. Better customer relationships tomorrow.

            Simple steps today. Better customer relationships tomorrow.

            Imagine if you could read the minds of your customers. You’d know exactly what they need to hear or see to make every sale. Theoretically, you could tailor your advertising to their specific needs and your conversions would go through the roof. But when you consider some of your best customers, how do you define them?  For most eCommerce businesses it’s safe to assume that the best customers are the ones who not only champion your brand but who have the highest level of purchases.

            In this blog, we will highlight some strategies to incorporate to give your customers something extra to not only set them up for long-term engagement with your brand but long-term sales and value to your overall business.

            Build your brand by building your customer base

            Once you’ve identified who your customers are, you can begin to intentionally build emotional relationships with them. These relationships go beyond simply making a purchase and have the power to supercharge the valuable interactions they already have with your brand.

            Go above and beyond with customer service

            To survive in this cut-throat eCommerce environment you have to think out of the box. And, at times, it can be as simple as reflecting on the customer experience you provide.

            It’s a big, crowded marketplace out there, full of consumers that want different things at different times via different channels and they all expect access to businesses all the time whether on social media or their website. If you don’t have a direct way for customers to get in contact with you when they need it most, you can’t compete with other companies nor give your customers exactly what they want. For instance, when a client has an issue with your business or an issue with a shipment, they need you to sort it out fast and if you are not available to help them out, you will frustrate the customer or perhaps generate a negative review that is visible to other customers. How do you solve this issue quickly?  A dedicated customer service phone number for your business or a live chat system. Having either or both of these options allows your loyal customers to contact you when they need to do as long as they have a good experience and quick resolution.

            Research shows that customers who receive a competent and knowledgeable service are more likely to remember their experience. Even 73% of shoppers say they remain loyal to them because of friendly customer service.

            Therefore, it is important to empower your front-line agents so they have the ability to resolve customer issues with ease. With each transfer, subsequent call or email, customers lose patience with your business, resulting in a loss of goodwill. Being consistent with solving customer problems and making yourself available the first customers reach out is a sure-fire way to avoid issues down the line.

            Give them something extra

            Though we live in a seemingly anonymous culture — where ‘self-service’ is so prevalent — customers increasingly want a personalized experience when it matters most. Remember; everyone likes being recognized, and your customers are no exception. Below are some ways to help your customers feel like you know them on a personal level. 

            Personalization is powerful: To prevent “analysis paralysis” caused by the countless options available to your consumers at their fingertips, you should consider implementing personalized solutions and experiences for your customers, such as knowing their name or purchase history to make future buying recommendations. Not only is it important to know your customers’ names when reaching out to them, but it is also important to recognize them on a continual basis to keep the relationship going. For instance, you can offer them a free gift during their birthday month or anniversary.  

            Set up a referral program: There are a number of ways you can turn a shopper into a loyal customer.  Throughout the buyer’s journey, you have the opportunity to engage with them one-on-one in a number of different ways, including post-purchase emails and social media.  The most effective way, though, is definitely a rewards program. A rewards program will help you to attract new customers and motivate existing ones to shop with you more often.

            Offering either of these options are the types of interactions that will encourage repeat purchase behavior and keep your customers happy.

            Tell a story with your brand to connect with customers on a personal level

            Storytelling has the incredible ability to connect with your customers on a deeper, emotional level; which figures and stats fall short of doing. And, in the world of marketing, brand storytelling can have a massive impact on your company and the following you receive. 

            Getting your story right, however, is going to depend to a large extent on the type of business you run. So much of how you tell your story depends on who your customer is and the message you have to sell them. Do they want to be told the story visually such as through a YouTube video? Or do they prefer written content, punchy infographics, or quirky animations? 

            Take this YouTube example from Chipotle Mexican Grill – who we think got it right and then some. Although they are a fast food restaurant, their brand story is all about grasping an emotional connection to their customers and creating a bond that might be hard to break after watching, by sharing the captivating history of their reason for being.

            Like the above example, there are certain ingredients that you should have in place if you want to deliver on expectations to your clientele when it comes to your brand story. These include:

            • Knowledge of your audience: The more you know, the more you can tailor your individual messages.
            • Be authentic: Millennials and Generation Z are pretty keyed in to recognize blatant selling and filtering what is useful to them and what isn’t.
            • Create a positioning statement: Once you know who your target audience is you can decide what words and images will resonate with them to help build this out.
            • Be consistent: You need to tell the same story wherever you are. If you start diverging from it, you risk confusing your customer’s emotions or dampening expectations of your brand.

            When you stay consistent with your story on who you are and what you represent, you gain the competitive advantage to last longer, grow faster, and drive more revenue. Take note though, that as the times change, so can your story, but be sure you always keep your roots in the ground.

            Listen to customer feedback

            Listening may seem to be a passive process, but it also leads to active improvements for your business. Listening to customers may be a great way for you to gather enough business-important information. After all, the best business decisions are based on data and not guesses. And customer testimonials are one of the best ways to gather business-specific data that lets you understand how your customers really feel about the product or service you deliver.

            Testimonials your customers leave are key content elements because they are unbiased comments that prompt visitors to buy. They help establish credibility and gain trust with your prospects. However, just publishing your customers’ testimonials on your website is not enough to attract more customers. To convert more leads on your website when it comes to testimonials:

            • Make them eye-catching by adding an image
            • Record an in-store video with a customer
            • Tell the truth
            • Use your customer personas
            • Show testimonials everywhere

            It is key to use this feedback to guide your business and marketing decisions. By measuring customer satisfaction, you can determine whether you meet, fall short of, or surpass your customer expectations.

            Bringing it all together

            Knowing what your customers need and want is a competitive advantage and it can determine the customer’s choice of purchasing your services over others. Are you ready to focus on putting your customers first? Connect with one of our experts today to discuss your needs!

            Get in Touch

            Connect with one of our experts today to discuss your eCommerce needs!

            Contact Us
            UPDATED: Top 10 Magento Extensions for 2021

            UPDATED: Top 10 Magento Extensions for 2021

            With the new year fast approaching, it’s time to take stock of your business and identify any areas that could be improved upon. Of course, there are plenty of apps and extensions for that, but how do you know which ones are the best? 

            We’ve identified our top 10 Magento third-party apps and extensions that will make your eCommerce website the strongest it can be. They’ll also make your life as a merchant that much easier. 

            Read on for our list and let us know if there are any you’re missing on your website.

            10. Urapidflow Product Import/Export

            uRapidFlow is one of the most feature-rich and robust product and sales export and import extensions for Magento. It lives up to its name by providing lightning-speed importing and exporting of all of Magento’s product and sales data. With this extension you can import, export or update thousands of records in a matter of minutes. You can also set up multiple profiles and export or import product data and order data to and from different locations using FTP. This extension is the easiest to use when importing Magento product or order information. You can synchronize data between Magento installations and integrate with other applications using CSV, SOAP or XMLRPC interface.

            uRapidFlow

            9. Xtento

            Xtento aims to make life easier for developers, store owners and merchants, and it achieves that as the most stable and powerful order export and shipment tracking import solution available for Magento. This extension allows merchants the flexibility to set up multiple profiles and export your orders to many different places using one extension. These exports can be done in any text-based format (Text/TXT, Tabbed, CSV/Excel, XML, JSON, SQL, ASCII/Fixed-Length Files) and can include any required field. Xtento can be used to connect your store to almost any CRM, ERP, warehouse, dropshipping or shipping system. Merchants are also empowered to set up an unlimited number of export profiles. All of this can be accomplished from within the admin interface of the extension. 

            Xtento

            8. Advanced Subscription Products

            If you’re selling a product or service on subscription then this extension may be a great solution for you. Advanced Subscription Products for Magento 2 by Aheadworks allows you to create subscriptions with multiple products, create separate shopping carts for subscriptions and more. It helps merchants maximize profits and engage returning purchasers by giving them flexibility and control over subscriptions and the ability to update, renew or extend them with ease. It works with various payment methods including Adyen, Cash On Delivery, Authorize.net, Stripe and NMI. The extension can also handle multiple languages and stores, allowing you to localize recurring payments and subscriptions to all possible markets. This is a big win for B2B businesses. 

            Advanced Subscription Products

            7. SEO Suite Ultimate Extension

            This all-in-one SEO extension by Mageworx is the most popular of its kind for a reason. It covers a full range of onpage SEO activities, from optimizing small page elements to building a well thought out site architecture. Its advanced templates allow you to mass-optimize any meta values, descriptions, URL keys, SEO names and so on for any of your products, categories, CMS and category filter pages. Improve your store click-through rates and boost its visibility with advanced rich snippets. The extension also comes complete with a full arsenal of SEO tools, allowing you to tackle such tasks as eliminating duplicate content, adding breadcrumbs and setting redirects. It also includes the Wave Crypto Payments extension, which enables merchants to collect crypto payments via their eCommerce store. 

            SEO Suite Ultimate Extension

            6. ShipStation

            While we’re on the topic of shipping, ShipStation is another favorite of the InteractOne team. ShipStation is excellent for merchants who need a shipping label printing solution that can scale. Its built-in automation engine allows merchants to have a hands-off approach with a low overhead, all while providing branded and customized labels, packing slips and shipping confirmation emails. It provides a geo-tracking page featuring your brand, social media links and messaging, and a custom self-service portal for fast, hassle-free customer returns. ShipStation even tracks your inventory so you’ll never run out of stock, and provides detailed analytics. If you have multiple Magento stores, ShipStation also allows you to manage and organize them all from a single account. It also boasts integrations with ERP systems like Acumatica and Netsuite, and is fully integrated with more than 25 shipping carriers

            ShipStation

            5. ShipperHQ

            This app is a must-have for most Magento merchants—we touched on this in our blog about Magento’s Top Shipping Rate Quote Solutions. ShipperHQ gives you control over the shipping rates and methods you show customers at checkout, while also providing you with a wealth of options such as multi-origin shipping, in-store pickup, live LTL rates and backup carriers. Set up shipping rules based on what you sell, where a customer is located and more, and automate how boxes are selected for each order for more accurate shipping rates with dimensional packing. ShipperHQ also allows for customization in their Magento extension, allowing you to make adjustments within the Magento checkout code and cover every feature you may require for powering shipping quotes.

            4. Klaviyo

            Klaviyo is a platform that provides complex customer insights in uncomplicated ways to help you build strong relationships and deliver highly effective marketing. Its power lies in its segmentation and targeting. Its web-tracking system is top notch as it uses specific browsing behavior to segment visitors so they receive specific ad campaigns and emails based on their on-site activity. Klaviyo will help you identify the visitors to your site, who looked but didn’t buy, who is a frequent visitor, who hasn’t visited recently, who left their cart full without purchasing, and so on. With these next-level insights and fine-tuned personalization, you can implement a campaign designed around your visitors’ site-specific actions, helping to dramatically increase your ROI.

            3. TaxJar

            It’s always tax season for businesses, and our number-one choice to help you with your eCommerce taxes is TaxJar. Currently being utilized by more than 20,000 businesses worldwide, TaxJar is a favorite of large and small businesses alike. The app features Magento’s SmartCalcs API, which determines if, when and how much sales tax needs to be applied and collected on any purchase, foreign or domestic. It allows users to program individual products for different tax rates for different states. But the automation doesn’t stop there. TaxJar utilizes AI-driven tax categorization, a flexible API, certified integrations, and automated filing. This means it accumulates your annual taxes over the course of the year and can file your taxes directly with your home state.

            2. Yotpo

            Social proof is increasingly important when it comes to increasing sales in eCommerce. Yotpo curates and places that social proof right on your product pages, meaning that visitors don’t have to leave your site to go looking for it. This extension offers the most advanced solutions for customer reviews, visual marketing, loyalty, referrals and SMS marketing. Yotpo integrates with Magento to collect high-quality content that shoppers crave—including photos, videos and reviews—and dynamically display it on your website using AI. It also helps you craft on-brand customer loyalty programs and leverage intelligent UX to gain low-cost acquisition via referral programs. With Yotpo you can create high-converting mobile experiences by targeting shoppers with personalized messages, and acquire high-intent traffic by displaying user-generated content in social, paid and organic search results.

            1. Klevu

            We sang Klevu’s praises in a previous blog and we’re going to do it again! This AI-powered  on-site smart search remains our favorite. It’s low-maintenance, easy to implement and will provide you with unique insights over time as its machine learning develops a greater understanding of the topics your visitors are engaging with on-site. We particularly like the Autocomplete feature, which will make suggestions to your site’s visitors while they are typing in their search. It also adds contextually relevant synonyms to your catalog in metadata format, and offers advanced merchandising and actionable search insights. It’s loved by over 3,000 retailers worldwide. Overall, Klevu is a great resource for merchants and adds to the overall shopping experience for your customers.

            To learn more about any of these extensions  and how to make the absolute most of your eCommerce site in 2020, contact us today.

            COVID-19 and eCommerce: What We Know

            COVID-19 and eCommerce: What We Know

            There is no doubt that the Covid-19 virus is affecting many aspects of our lives. Most non-essential places of business including many traditional brick-and-mortar locations are shut down partially if not completely at this point, and the eCommerce world is bracing for even more uncertainty. There are a lot of pontificators out there offering theories on what’s next for eCommerce but here’s what we know for certain.

            Here is what we know

            People are leaving their home less.

            Whether due to personal fears or because of mandatory “shelter in place” quarantines, fewer and fewer people are leaving their house. In a study released last week by Coresight research, 47% of US internet users said they were avoiding malls and shopping centers. When asked if their behavior would change if the outbreak worsens, 74.6% confirmed they would avoid shopping centers and malls altogether. 

            And it’s not just centralized shopping centers that people are avoiding. 32.7% of poll participants said they were avoiding any physical store with 56% of confirming that they would take these same actions if the COVID threat spread.

            People are shopping online for the essentials

            Adobe analytics monitors the eCommerce trends and transactions of 80 of the US top 100 retailers. And while many retailers are seeing their foot traffic come to a complete halt, others are seeing surges in their online shopping. Grocery chains have seen an increase in online and home delivery orders. Amazon has seen a surge in online shopping, so much so that they have an increased demand for employees and are one of the few companies in American actively hiring at the moment.  The grocery chain Stop & Shop is seeing a surge in demand for its online order and delivery service Peapod. Stop & Shop spokeswoman Jennifer Brogan said Peapod orders during the first week of March were 33% higher compared to the same week last year.

            Ecommerce activity, particularly related to health and grocery, is booming in the US in general. According to data from ecommerce ad tech provider Pacvue, there have been spikes in Amazon searches for products like hand sanitizer and antibacterial soap.  Adobe’s analysis of eCommerce transactions found that purchases for cold, cough & flu products have increased 198%, while online purchases for pain relievers increased 152%.U.S. consumers are stocking up on over-the-counter meds, most likely to be prepared in case they do catch the virus and need to self-quarantine.

             

            Hierarchy of Needs

            Non-essential items experience the most sales during stable times and times of growth, as we’ve seen over the last several years. But with the economic downturn and way-of-life uncertainty currently permeating all of western civilization we would expect to see a drop in these industries. While actual sales numbers are yet to be reported a Contentsquare report from March 20th brings light to some interesting statistics. Web traffic has decreased to eCommerce sites dedicated to apparel (-14%) luxury goods (-19%) and jewelry (-25%) compared to the same time period last year. Traffic over the last 4 weeks clearly shows that online shoppers have been most interested in fulfilling products in the most pressing categories among the hierarchy of needs. But as the COVID quarantine continues and people are stuck on their couches for a longer period of time it will be interesting to see if this trend begins to reverse itself. Stay tuned to InteractOne for more updates as the eCommerce marketplace continues to evolve and we adapt.

            Expect shipment delays

            Many Amazon customers have received notifications stating: “We’re very sorry your delivery is late. Most late packages arrive in a day. If you have not received your package by tomorrow, you can come back here the next day for a refund or a replacement.” What’s more, those hoping to order groceries or essentials from Amazon Prime, Peapod and others can also expect  delays. While chains are currently saying that the problem,is a demand issue, not a supply line problem’ these are all unique stresses being put on systems that have never been tested to this degree before. And if interstate or local commerce is limited even more, then customers can expect shipment delays no matter the location or product of purchase. 

            Will Any of These Trends Be Long Term?

            It’s fairly safe to say that once the COVID panic calms down that the public’s purchasing behavior for toilet paper will return to pre-COVID levels. But what other new behaviors and consumption patterns that emerge during this time will have long term staying power? This crisis could cause permanent changes in the way people consume media, shop, as well as overall public perception of brands. People who normally wouldn’t purchase clothes or perishables online will be forced to rethink their approach when the need arises. The more customers are forced to do their shopping online in the coming months, the more likely that it will become a regular part of their routine. Especially if the threat and worry over COVID becomes something long-term. 

            We’re already seeing changes in the entertainment industry, with Disney making their recent theater releases available on-demand and other companies following suit. Once the public becomes accustomed to ‘social distancing’ and purchasing habits that are more eCommerce centric, it may be next to impossible to put that horse back in the barn.

            Conclusion

            There aren’t many certainties about life or the economy right now, but as US consumers increasingly look to digital methods to conduct daily business, order essentials and prepare for an emergency, retailers will be required to ensure positive, frictionless experiences via their websites and mobile apps. 

            We here at InteractOne are dedicated to protecting our employees. Thanks to a work-from-home policy that we instituted more than one year ago, we have been able to transition to our new reality with relative ease while continuing to provide support and meet all of our clients’ needs.

            Get in Touch

            Connect with one of our experts today to discuss your eCommerce needs!

            Contact Us