“Dreams of innocence are just that; they usually depend on a denial of reality that can be its own form of hubris.” – Michael Pollen
You can check any linked in groups, forums, blogs, articles, reports associated with e-commerce. All of them have one common thing to discuss. IS HYBRIS THE BEST THING WHICH HAS EVER HAPPENED TO E-COMMERCE?
Experts from different technical backgrounds have given their opinions on this subject. Some definitely agree with statement while others don’t. I have been searching for a definite answer to this question for past couple of months and I have come across a lot of inputs from various sources. I thought it would be a good idea to collate such inputs at a single location and then ask readers to comment on this information.
So lets begin ..
Let’s find out what people who agree with the statement that hybris is the next big thing, had to say to support their belief.
1) IBM’s server/mainframe business is dying: This happens to be a very compelling statement. IBM’s recent financial reports suggest that their server business is going down and most likely it is not going to recover as clients are switching to cloud. Therefore, IBM won’t be able to push WCS as strongly as it used to do. This gives SAP, the chance to exploit ecommerce space with hybris. However, I have also seen some IBM experts vehemently denying this fact. They say that have around 3000+ customers worldwide which is quite large when compared to hybris. Some of these experts are confident that IBM WCS will maintain its lead for a long- long time
2) Hybris has the most flexible technical architecture when compared with other enterprise level counterparts: Many experts felt that Spring MVC architecture used by hybris is far more flexible than others. Surprisingly, not many IBMers came forward to counter this statement. In fact, I have seen experts from Oracle ATG claiming that ATG is more flexible. Another counter same from Magento experts who are really very confident about the flexibility offered by Magento.
3) Technical complexity associated with hybris for hosting is much lesser: In one of the linked in discussions, an expert mentioned that IBM developers require some sort of Black magic while hosting applications . No one from IBM WCS came forward to counter this argument.
4) Strong partner network: Experts also feel that hybris has been successful in establishing a very strong partner network, in a very short time. But then many experts have also mentioned that IBM and other platforms too have similar networks.
I haven’t come across any expert who has criticized hybris but then I have seen experts believing in one common mantra and i.e. to understand, what out of the box (OOTB) means even before you choose a platform. These experts feel that performing more customizations leads to unnecessary complexities and overheads. Therefore any platform for that matter should only be customized to an agreeable limit. In other words, do not try to fit the e-commerce platform to your requirements but rather try and fit your requirements to platform.
Check the following Linked In groups for similar discussions
To know more about our hybris services , please click here
We have heard experts emphasizing about the importance of quality content. ‘Content is the king’, this catch phrase has often captured our attention. But have we seriously given this statement a real good thought?Is content really the king, especially in the context of e-commerce? Will bombarding an e-commerce site with videos and images increase your conversions, reduce abandonment rate, and improve your brand image? The purpose of this particular blog is to help you decide the answers to these questions on your own.
Any successful e-commerce site has one unique attribute and that is VALUABLE content. The term ‘Valuable’ is really important in this context because it should have the following qualities
1. Useful to customer – The most important fact when it comes to content creation for e-commerce websites is to realize that some of the product values are not self evident and so it has to be brought out in a way which does not sounds like a sales pitch. Customers always want to be educated. They seek a shopping experience rather than a product. The best way to do it is to provide some useful information about the product.
Some examples of useful information which could be provided with the product in an e-commerce website are
1. What is their advantage from buying this product at a given price?
2. What are other customers saying about the product?
3. What are experts saying about the product?
4. How does the product work?
1. SEO Friendly: It is very important to keep in mind that SEO has a big role to play in e-commerce. A lot of customers visit the landing pages of products by clicking on search results. Therefore, it becomes extremely important to optimize your content for SEO.
2. Contextual: You may want to tweak your content keeping the context in mind. Would you like to show adult diapers to a teenage customer even though it is your high margin product ? Use bahavourial analytics to your advantage. Create separate set of content to deliver more personalized shopping experience to your customers.
3. Sharable: There is nothing like word of mouth publicity. It is dependable, free and has maximum impact on customers’ decision making ability. A sharable content is bound to be shared by customer to others via word of mouth or through social media. An important thing to consider here is the fact that a content shared in social media sites will even help your search result rankings as Google has started considering social media metrics also in its vast list of search parameters.
4. Engaging: Ensure that your content is engaging. By engaging I mean that it should initiate a dialog with the customers. Your content should promote a two way communications rather that being a monologue. You can also use crowd sourced content in your website.
I hope that this blog will help you n deciding a content strategy for your e-commerce site. Now , I would like to ask again ,do you still think Content is the king ? My belief is that Value generated by the content is the king. Please visit blogs written by Mr Avinash kaushik for more details in this topic .
Online retailers spend a lot of money on getting their website up and running. A major portion of their investment is directed towards increasing the traffic of their websites or the conversion rate. A/B testing or split testing is one tool by which these retailers can pin point which elements are to be displayed in their webpage which have a positive impact on number of customers visiting the website or increasing the conversion.
A/B Testing is basically the comparison between two versions of a single webpage to find out which version offers better result in terms of traffic or conversion.
Why A/B testing
A/B testing is a very handy cost effective way of determining the performance of any web page. Even the slightest change for eg: change in location of a Button can lead to a significant change in traffic or conversion rate.
What can you Test
There are loads of elements on a particular webpage which can be tested for better results. Some of these elements are listed below
2) Content displayed on the webpage
3) Location of header, footer
4) Location of buttons
5) News articles
6) Different layout of images
The figure below captures the entire A/B testing process
Determine Objective: This is the most important step of A/B testing planning. Decide what do you want out of this testing? Is it more traffic or is it better conversion or is it for improving search rankings? Your objective will ultimately decide which pages to target and which elements of a web page should be changed.
Plan Accordingly: Based on the objective, decide the budget and timelines for this project. Remember to remove all the test element s once this testing is over. Also be careful about SEO. Ensure that you display same content to the customers and also to the googlebot, otherwise google can remove your page from the search rankings. Also plan to use 302 redirects (temporary) rather than 301 (permanent) . This tells the search engine that the link is temporary. There are also a couple of other SEO things which are to be considered for A/B testing. Failure to do so will lead to sandboxing by Google.
Conduct Research: Find out different stats about your website like how many users visit the landing page. What is the click through rate across targeted elements? What is the bounce rate?
Conduct the experiment & analyze data : Your objective will define your sample. The sample could be a random sample (every customer has equal chance of being selected for this testing) or a stratified sample (a specific customer segment can be selected for this testing by choosing a specific time frame or an occasion). Also choose an appropriate sample size .You can use Google Analytics or any other tool for data analysis.
Create a Hypothesis: You will have to start by assuming certain results. It’s called Hypothesizing. Statisticians use hypothesis to prove or reject a statement based on analysis of data.
H(0): Null Hypothesis : The color of button ‘Add to cart’ has no impact on the conversion rate.
H(1): Alternate Hypothesis: The color of button ‘Add to cart’ increases the conversion rate
Test the Hypothesis: Based on the data collected during the testing, you can use a variety of probability distributions like Normal distribution or t distribution to find out whether the Null Hypothesis is true and hence reach a conclusion.
Track the results and repeat the experiment: If your analysis says that your change did not give you the correct result, then you need to make some more changes and repeat the entire process.
Please find below some important and useful links for AB Testing
About Smart e-Commerce
Smart e-Commerce is the Blog from Embitel Technologies which provides the latest e-commerce trends, strategies, e-Retail Solutions, Magento solution, Social Media Optimization, Blog Marketing, Online Seminars, Search Engine Optimization, Google Rankings and e-Marketing Solutions in India, America, Middle East, Australia, South Africa & South America.