Posts Tagged ‘Retailers’

Apparel Retailers Dress for eCommerce Success to Attract Shoppers

Friday, September 6th, 2013

Posted by Laura Hills, Vice President of Marketing, Dydacomp

Apparel retailing is a highly competitive sector and apparel retailers are keenly aware that today’s shoppers have no limits as to where, how and when they shop.  Where once the brick and mortar storefront was the only way of getting apparel into customer’s hands, shoppers today expect to be able to shop 24/7, 365 days a year.  According to Moody’s Investor Services, online apparel and footwear sales are expected to exceed $40 billion in 2013 and $45 billion in 2014.  It is estimated that online apparel and footwear sales account for close to 20% of total eCommerce sales in the U.S. and smart apparel retailers are honing in on this fast growing segment.

Apparel retailers must be active and visible in a variety of sales channels to reach the widest variety of new and repeat customers. Technology has enabled etailers to offer improved online merchandise presentation to present multiple views of an item in varying colors and styles so that website shoppers can interact with their selections.  Detailed customer reviews offer valuable online shopping assistance to simulate shopping with a friend.  Online shoppers are also attracted by special promotions, especially “free shipping,” which more retailers now feel pressure to offer.  Multi-channel retailers with brick and mortar locations often allow in-store returns to further enhance the flexibility of the online shopping experience.

An order management system can help online retailers gain visibility and bridge the gap between their eCommerce store and their back office to stay on top of available inventory and order progress across all sales channels. Order management systems support Customer Service activities to effectively engage with customers with timely and accurate order information.

“Best in Class” Apparel and Multi-channel Retailers focus on:

  • Effective Inventory Tracking – never miss a sale by stocking the latest fashion items
  • Superior Customer Service – solving problems and surpassing shopper expectations
  • Being Proactive – anticipating their customers’ wants and needs
  • Delivering Convenience – across all platforms and according to the shoppers’ schedules
  • Promoting Value – promotions and offers helps shoppers stretch and save their clothing dollars

A consumer-facing website, catalog sales and physical stores, or any combination, require a high level of coordination and information management with the objective to create a personal shopper experience across all retail platforms, encouraging shoppers to return again and again for their apparel needs.

Apparel retailers benefit from seamlessly integrating all business processes across multiple sales channels to capture data, manage inventory and shipping and create the best online shopping experience.   Utilizing an integrated order, inventory and customer management system will enable access to a complete history of previous purchases to create an enhanced level of personal service.  Having this information at the fingertips of customer service representatives facilitates up-selling and cross-selling and gives customer service staff the ability to make relevant purchase suggestions based on customers’ preferences from past purchases.  Capturing this information lets the retailer create targeted mailings and promotions aimed directly at the most likely to buy shoppers.

At Dydacomp, we have worked with thousands of SMB retailers and have learned from them what best practices they follow for success.  By delivering positive shopping experiences and interactions, apparel retailers create targeted promotions to attract and retain a constant stream of customers. Dydacomp’s whitepaper “Dressing for Success – Best Practices in Apparel and Specialty Retailing” addresses the characteristics, strategies and practices to grow your business.  Click here to access this special report.

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Posted in Customer Satisfaction, Customer Spotlight, Dydacomp News, Ecommerce, Industry News, Multichannel Order Manager, Shipping, SiteLINK News, StoreFront.net | No Comments »

Must Have SEO Checklist for Your eCommerce Platform

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Posted by: Al Pascale, Dydacomp Manager of eCommerce Services

As more and more business is being conducted online, retailers are looking to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to improve organic search ranking and drive more traffic to their sites.  On the most basic level, as the search engines spider sites, they seek out the density of keywords and relevant content to determine the site’s position in search listings, making it essential that retailers use all the tools at their disposal to make their sites keyword rich and therefore more visible to search engines and consumers alike.

The first step for SMBs should be to review the services available from your eCommerce provider.  A solid, fully-featured eCommerce platform will have incorporated SEO functionality into the system architecture.  A simple checklist for features that should be included in your ecommerce cart includes:

  • XML sitemaps – A robust ecommerce platform should provide instant sitemap generation using the software protocol common to Google®, Yahoo® and Microsoft®, streamlining search engine submission to make it faster, easier and more effective
  • Breadcrumb navigation – This navigation path shows the user how they arrived at the current page, gives you an additional opportunity to use keywords and makes the site more easily spidered
  • URL rewrite – URLs for product and department/category pages are named based upon the product and department/category titles themselves, making those pages keyword rich and feeding relevant content to search engine spiders
  • Fully Editable Meta Tags – Meta tags are another excellent source of relevant content and keywords for SEO.  Your cart should feature fully editable meta tags and keywords for each product and department/category
  • Customizable Page Titles – Every department/category and product page should be customizable to reflect page content and utilize keywords
  • Alt and Title Tags – Two of the most important tools for improving search engine ranking, your cart should allow you to easily create alt and title tags for every image and link pulled from stock and department information.  These tags allow search engines to determine the content of the images and present an important opportunity to incorporate brand/company names and keywords

The more your eCommerce platform can either do for you or simplify, the more hours you can subtract from your weekly commitment to SEO.  SEO is a significant time commitment but an important one that should be considered an investment in the health of your business.  Many SMBs simply do not have the staff or expertise to dedicate to SEO, but this doesn’t have to be an impediment.  Outsourcing SEO to your service provider can be an economical and effective strategy with a demonstrable ROI.

To learn about Dydacomp SEO services, contact  info@dydacomp.com

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Posted in Ecommerce, SiteLINK News | No Comments »

The Cyber 5

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Posted by Rob Coon, President of Dydacomp

Black Friday marked the start of the holiday shopping season for retailers and shoppers alike. This year consumers began their holiday shopping on Thanksgiving Day with about $407 million in sales and  continued into Black Friday with sales totaling about $648 million. ComScore is reporting that e-retailers netted $1.028 billion in sales on Cyber Monday. They also reported an increase of 19.9% in spending from last year and a 31.1% increase in spending on Monday over that on Black Friday. Another positive number from Cyber Monday’s sales is that the average online order value increased from last year 8.3%, the average order value rose from $180.03 to $194.8.   Many retailers are referring to the Thanksgiving weekend (Thursday through Monday) as the Cyber 5 due to the high volume of ecommerce sales over that entire weekend.

These numbers are a promising reminder that consumer confidence is growing. Even though consumers are more willing to spend money this year, they are entering the situation more educated than in past years. Consumers are shopping smarter with the help of various online resources, such as shopping comparison engines, to help them seek out and find the best deals available. Ecommerce retailers should focus on continuing to providing shoppers with promotions, gift ideas, visual navigation, and other ways tot make shopping easy and efficient. Customers want to be able to go to your store, find a gift, and complete the order quickly so retailers must ensure that their site offers an enjoyable shopping experience. Stores must remain on top of their game and should try to change up the sales promotions and keep them running throughout the holiday season to ensure that the customers will continue to spend.

Free shipping has been one of the biggest trends this holiday season as most of the large online retailers began announcing free shipping for online orders the week before Thanksgiving. According to ComScore, free shipping has become a more prominent promotion for online purchases and 77% of online consumers indicated free shipping was important.  This is just one of the ways stores are hoping to continue to attract consumers throughout the holiday season.  The Cyber 5 have come and gone and the challenge now lies in keeping consumers shopping throughout the month. Ecommerce retailers should continue using promotions that are attractive to consumers without hurting the chances of a profit.

The Cyber 5 hopefully serves as a preview of the remaining holiday season, but, it is up to the retailers to stay on top of their game and continue to drive traffic to their online shopping carts.  How did your ecommerce store do during the Cyber 5? What strategies worked for you?

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Posted in Ecommerce, Industry News | No Comments »