Articles

Share our experiences

Given our years of experience in the eCommerce realm, the breadth of services we provide for, across a wide range of sectors, and the considerable success we continue to achieve, we like to think we know a thing or two about I.T., web development and eCommerce. In fact, we are confident we know quite a lot, because we persist to inform our business regularly and thoroughly through all facets of our organisation. Whether through reading, training, partnerships, client interaction or the constant team strategising and brainstorming we encourage among all our departments, we strive to make all our employees experts in what they do. We do this so we can firstly, deliver relevant and outstanding results for our clients, and furthermore, so we can become leaders in our industry where we provide you with some of the latest and best insights and guidance available in the market. We commit an enormous amount of time to research and learning as we know that to keep our company at the top of the industry and to allow us to grow steadily in the future, we have to stay informed and seek for new opportunities to develop innovation and forward thinking, just like we have in the past.


Below, you will find a good selection of articles which we have composed based on the experiences we have gained through our work in the industry. We focus these pieces on the learnings we have acquired and any relevant insights and findings our research and projects have uncovered. This work will provide you with some valuable insights into industry best practices, business strategy and new trends in the online and digital world which can be blended and applied to your business process. We hope that by reading our articles you can envisage the passion and commitment we have for the work we do, and by sharing our experiences and building on them, help positively change and develop the digital age and the journey we are all embarking on.


If you have any thoughts of your own to share or wish to provide feedback or suggestions for our future work, please get in touch with us, we’d be delighted to use your input.


Driving eCommerce success; where should your business focus on?
Focus on: mCommerce

It’s time to make your business mobile

As smartphones and their operating systems become more intelligent and intuitive we can only expect more and more people to adapt to the smartphone ‘way of life’

Has your business fully embraced the digital age? - As part of BUY4NOW Technology Group’s series on “What are the key things to look out for during the rest of 2013”, we focus on the wonder and complexity that is ‘mCommerce’. Mobile as a sales avenue is relatively new to eCommerce. There is no doubt it is different, sometimes more complex and it can be daunting for many retailers anticipating a digital move, but it’s powerful, it’s popular and most importantly, it’s here to stay.


Understanding the reservations which many retailers have today about the mobile sphere and the misconception that mobile overall is a phase and will fail to add any real value to their business, we aim to help retailers recognise not only the benefits which mobile can offer their process but the importance of keeping a focus on mobile for now and the future. Smart phone adoption is rising at a phenomenal pace, network operators are increasing bandwidth to support greater speed and connectivity of Wi-Fi and operating systems from iOS and Android are becoming continually more sophisticated as consumer demand grows and mobile devices and their features become embedded in our daily lives.


Some businesses we have met with in recent times are completely unaware of the potential which mobile offers while others are noticeably agnostic when it comes to the mobile space, and considering the extra costs and resources required to implement a mobile solution along with the issue of maintaining your brand and reaching customers effectively in a still nascent and somewhat precarious industry area, these doubts are completely understandable. However, given our experience of delivering successful mobile solutions at BUY4NOW T.G. and our significant research in this sphere we are able to present a valid discussion in this article through a number of key factors as to why any ambitious and forward thinking retailer today should at least be considering bringing mobile into their business process.


Focus on: Multi-Channel Retailing - Part I, What?

Part I: What can your offline operations do to support your online venture?

Most successful multi-channel retailers have generated high revenue by leveraging existing assets, brands and customer bases and by exploiting the synergies between their online and offline operations

With more avenues than ever available to reach your customers and amidst a fast becoming digital dominated era, how do you decide which channels are most effective for your business to target your customers with? And, can an online platform properly fit into your overall business model?


As part of BUY4NOW Technology Group’s series on ‘The key things for your business to focus on for the rest of 2013’, we aim to answer the above questions and concomitantly offer an insight into the pervasive realm of multi-channel retail and how success is being garnered by retailers embracing the multi-channel scope and seeking to blend the offline and online worlds together.


Our research has brought us to recognise the crucial role traditional shopping can play in supporting your online venture and we assess what your offline operations can do to compliment your online platform and ultimately how a retailer can create effective synergies between both modes of their business.


Focus on: Multi-Channel Retailing - Part II, How?

Part II: How does your site stand out?

Most retailers today recognise the need to develop a website and to create one which caters for the customer’s core needs, but many fail to understand that a webstore cannot just be made; it will not follow the adage of “build it and they will come"

We show our understanding of the need to make your website stand out in the ultra-competitive online arena and digress why it is essential to equip your site to offer much more than the standard attributes inherent in a common site. As part of our focus on multi-channel retailing, we assess the difference between basic features and perceived benefits in an online setting. We postulate that retailers must not only commit to applying an innovative framework and engaging content to their website but also seek to maintain and update their site as attributes originally perceived as unique may quickly demote to standard features in an increasingly agnostic consumer sphere. The piece evaluates some tactics to make your site tick and considers strategies which may be useful to a retailer aiming to be proactive and in tune going forward.


Focus on: Multi-Channel Retailing - Part III, Why?

Part III: Why does the customer experience matter?

Many marketers and leading retailers today believe experience to be replacing quality as the competitive battleground for marketing

This article attends to one of the most crucial areas of online selling and indeed modern marketing as we discuss the importance of understanding the customer experience and how your business can move to optimise your customer’s experience at every turn. The piece refers to numerous recent and established studies in the area of quality, service and experience in the marketing and business sphere and underscores the emergence of the customer experience as possibly the most important consumer related attributes a retailer can attend to. The potential for a positive consumer experience to encourage satisfaction and word of mouth is significant and these activities in turn are highly likely to promote customer loyalty. It is also noted however, that the experience cannot be captured in a single measure and it is in fact a much more expansive phenomenon that must be devised and shared across all of the retailer’s platforms. BUY4NOW has devoted considerable priority to the concept of customer experience in recent times and new developments have incorporated different practices to boost our client’s offering to enable a pleasant, memorable and sharable experience. These projects are discussed to some degree in this article adjoined below.


Focus on: Motives for Developing Your Online Presence

Enter the online arena with ambition and confidence

Bringing your business online shouldn’t be a matter of doing it because you have to, it should be about identifying the opportunities it presents and seeking to capitalise on these to bring your business further

The eCommerce spectrum is in a constant state of flux; your objective should be to stay at least in touch, and your goal should be to get out in front – what areas of focus can help you achieve these aims?


This article underpins the importance of “doing more” with your online presence. We posit that as the industry grows and competition, in virtually all markets, increases, compounding the basic structure and capabilities of your platform is essential for sustainability in the often precarious eCommerce domain. We have identified three pivotal areas of focus for any modern retailer to pay attention to which can act as motives for bringing your business online. Naturally, optimising your online triumph will not depend on these three topics alone, but at BUY4NOW Technology Group, from our research and attentive client performance analysis, we believe these three attributes when reviewed, aligned to your business needs and dealt with properly, can lead to major improvements for both your customer relations and sales success. The topic of trust is discussed as we analyse why and how retailers should apply certain tactics to overcome consumer fear and scepticism and build a trusting relationship. The advantage for your business of equipping your website with features which garner perceived benefits among your customer base is also assessed. Finally, brand building as an objective for going online is reviewed. We offer insight into how you can both extend your offline reputation and ignite new interest and affinity for your brand in the online spectre.


Focus on: Keeping Your Site in Style – Part I, Inform

Part I - Informing Your Customers

Try and find more than one thought leader in your business and vary the type of information you provide to your audience, the more information and variety you can provide the more of a reputation you can establish

As part of BUY4NOW Technology Group’s series on ‘Some tips to help keep your site in style’ where we offer advice to the retailer on maintaining and developing their website in the competitive landscape of online shopping; we focus on the process of informing your audience. The overall series is dedicated to the practice of keeping in touch with the online arena and developing your website to stay in tune with the modern consumer underpinned by the recognition that the pace of change and level of competition within the industry are both climbing at a significant rate. This section on ‘informing’ attempts to give weight to the philosophy that being knowledgeable and informed as a company can lead to higher levels of appreciation and trust among your target groups and essentially work to build relationships and expand your customer base. We discuss the benefits of developing a thought leadership environment which can be embedded into your business culture. We aim to provide some basic tips, disseminating from our own experience, for pursuing this initiative, which are fundamental to your business developing a stellar reputation as an expert and a concierge in your sector. Some of the key areas we allude to are the premise of building a thought leadership initiative from both within and outside of your organisation, the art of writing about your company, keeping a blog, and some crucial tenets to underscore when producing your content such as ensuring your work is unique and relevant to your audience. Other topics for boosting your website’s efficacy will follow in later articles as part of this series and can be found in the resources section on the BUY4NOW website.


Focus on: Keeping Your Site in Style – Part II, SEO

Part II - SEO is Key

59% of people that perform a local search on a mobile phone end up in a physical store aligned with the growing activity of Research Online, Purchase Offline

SEO doesn’t really need to be emphasised too much today to the modern retailer seeking to sell their goods online. The practice has become one of, if not the, most important aspects of a digital marketing strategy and is also easily the most publicised of all the tactics used to build your website’s presence. Of course it makes sense why SEO has become one of the key buzz words of the digital age and why so many companies who embrace the online arena are anxious to get their head around the enigma that search engine optimisation represents. As more and more people search the internet every day and as a consumer generation we begin to depend on the internet for information and increasingly more for purchasing, enabling your website to stand out from the clutter and reach a relevant audience is fast becoming a more difficult yet pivotal task in order to gain success for your online venture. As part of BUY4NOW Technology Group’s series on ‘Some tips to help keep your site in style’, we focus on why SEO is key for your online business. Although, as we stated above, most retailers tend to recognise the importance of SEO today, many fail to understand why exactly it is relevant, and crucially, how to approach the topic when developing your website. We combine some of our own experiences with a degree of research from the industry to present a case for why SEO is only going to grow in importance and how your business must understand where the benefits will arise if it is managed properly. We pursue by blending some industry best practices with our own level of experiences in optimising websites to lead in the search world and offer a host of fundamental pieces of advice to prepare your website going forward. The tips we provide are basic yet essential we believe to producing the foundation on which your site can become search ready and thus, excel in the often turbulent and noisy eCommerce domain.


Focus on: Analytics

Web Analytics; guide your online business forward

The amount of data is obscene. The managers that are going to be successful are going to be the ones who are prepared to take a knife to the amount of data…

The dawn of the internet and the birth of the digital age have spawned an era of unprecedented, and previously unimaginable wealth for the data analyst. This luxury, whereby, one is afforded a behemoth of information at any time and in a rapid manner, from which to interpret decisions, decipher trends, and make better informed strategies is not only available to the hard-lined, full time data analyst. This phenomenon is a phenomenon because it is something which we all, as data enthusiasts can avail of. The beauty for the modern business person is they have endless data available to them related to their customers. All of this data however, can often become something of a burden for the retailer in their frivolous attempts to decipher interesting, yet bewildering trends and behaviour patterns of visitors and customers using their website. Analytics software can enable a retailer to systematically review data, drill down through the burgeoning amount, interpret changes and utilise the results for future decision making. Real time and extended data based on actual customer interaction with your website across a spate of pivotal touch points and ancillary areas can be obtained freely and with speed through an analytics function which collects and presents all of this crucial data to your business. The free cost, intuitive nature and user friendly interface of Google Analytics makes it the most popular Analytics system around. BUY4NOW Technology Group have gained substantial experience in the area of analytics over our term in the eCommerce realm and have found it to be one of the most crucial areas for any retailer in their attempts to maintain and boost their online presence after their new site has been developed. Our Account Management team, adept in the Analytics sphere as part of their vehement knowledge of all things digital, and through continuous work with our clients, are in a prime position to offer staple advice and creative insight into the often pervasive world of data through clever use of your Analytics account. The aim of this article is to give an indication of the worth of Analytics in wading through the endless data for your business and uncovering key results, and to offer some basic guidance based on our experiences with progressive retailers on how to best utilise your Analytics to inform and prepare for your future strategies.


Focus on: Merchandising

Online customers, or browsers tentatively preparing to become an online shopper, to this day, are often dismayed by the ‘different’ surroundings they encounter on the web relative to the traditional shopping environment. Merchandising delivers a more engaging browsing experience

In the battle to grab the online consumer’s attention and alleviate the obvious concerns which come with an online experience relative to its more mature and familiar cousin, traditional retail, merchandising, if used effectively can be extremely beneficial and indeed crucial to meeting these challenges for your business.


With online retail steadily growing so is the level of competition within the industry as barriers to entry remain low and more and more retailers recognise the potential to work on retaining core customers and reach out to new segments in the online world of choice and opportunity. Opportunity is the operative word here as this article demonstrates. We aim not only to underscore the importance of applying competent merchandising techniques to your online store in order to satisfy the pre-requisite needs of consumers in the ubiquitous online sphere, but also intend to illustrate to businesses trading in eCommerce or contemplating an online move the opportunities which clever merchandising can offer to your organisation. We focus on key areas which can help to keep your site fresh, in style and in tune with your customer sentiments. We look at strategies such as personalisation and question its value to the retailer today.


With recent surveys indicating many consumers find online personalisation ineffective as regards positively influencing their shopping behaviour, we put retailer’s management of the tool under the spotlight and suggest new ways to engage the consumer with efficacy. Overall, this article seeks to provide the reader with some practical advice on how to utilise merchandising techniques to boost the profile and effectiveness of their website. We offer an array of methods from our experiences in delivering successful eCommerce strategies for our clients to help you develop an identity for your website, one which is capable of resonating with your target customers and one which through proactive and innovative features can enable you to stand out in the intensely competitive online environment and delight your audience. Making their experience memorable and valuable will encourage them to come back and also share the positive feeling they get form your brand with other potential customers.


Focus on: eCommerce in the Spotlight – The Future

As our world continues to get smaller, where will eCommerce go?

A snapshot of a number of major European markets as well as the U.S. eCommerce market in the current and forthcoming years paints a striking and transparent picture about the general stature of the eCommerce industry – a strong and rising stature

This article shines the spotlight on the general state of eCommerce. We assess the state of online retail as it stands and attempt to present a valid prediction for where the industry is heading in the coming years with a particular focus on the main EU markets as well as the U.S. Analysing a number of reputable reports from across the industry, we seek to determine how strong the eCommerce sector is, and assessing the progressive and exponential growth the space has witnessed over the last decade in particular, we aim to postulate whether this growth is likely to continue and if so, what will be the key contributors to this progress. We focus on where the main growth across Europe will be in the coming years as well as the main predictions for the U.S. market and allude to the motivators for bringing more consumers online more often. We also confront some of the prime challenges which will face the industry as it builds. By contrasting the fate of eCommerce against traditional retail we delve into the particular inhibitors to physical stores today and highlight the importance of adapting to new systems to ensure value and sustainability for your business. By adopting an omin-channel strategy to your business platform we question the potential benefits which can arise underpinned by the concept of creating a blended operation between channels where impactful synergies have the potential to flow.


With the digital revolution rising more each day, we assess its relevance to the future strength of the eCommerce sphere and how interlinked prominent areas such as mobile, social and digital advertising techniques can re-enforce your eCommerce platform. The potential for major success for retailers right across the spectrum is undeniably strong, however, to avail of this potential retailers need to get smart about their eCommerce endeavours. We attest that in a precarious market where buyer power is ferociously high with more sophisticated, demanding and often fickle consumers and with a landscape where competition continues to intensify, planning your business strategy to ensure your platform is relevant and valuable for your core customers is crucial to the success and longevity of your business in the new retail world where eCommerce is king and everything else, essentially, must adapt to survive.