New Data From Facebook and LinkedIn Shows Just How Mobile-Dependent Consumers Have Become

March 13th, 2015 @ Newgistics

At the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, executives from LinkedIn and Facebook released some compelling data that shows just how big mobile is becoming. “Mobile will continue to drive growth for businesses,” said Lee McCabe, global head of travel for Facebook.

Statistics released during a joint presentation from the social networking juggernauts show that seventy-nine percent of smartphone owners spend all but three hours of their day with their phone within arm’s reach. That’s a scary statistic, but one that’s not all that surprising. How many of us work with our phones next to us on the desk and sleep with it on our night table? On average, smartphone owners spend two hours and forty-two minutes on their phones each day.

It’s time to embrace this shift. Now that smartphones have become such an integral part of people’s everyday lives, mobile commerce is only going to continue to drive retail growth. According to Deloitte, in the next three years mobile commerce is expected to top $638 billion – which was the world’s entire e-commerce spend just a year ago.

Most interestingly, we’re seeing more and more consumers use smartphones for browsing before purchasing. Fifty-nine percent of U.S. smartphone owners have used their devices to research an item before purchasing it. For these reasons, retailers need to start focusing on improving the digital experience for their customers. Mobile commerce is now both a necessity and an opportunity.

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Tacit Knowledge Named hybris EMEA Partner of the Year

March 12th, 2015 @ Newgistics

World’s Fastest Growing Commerce Platform Provider Honors Newgistics Company for Excellence in Building and Optimizing E-Commerce Sites

AUSTIN, Texas – March 12, 2015 – Tacit Knowledge, a Newgistics company and the digital commerce consultancy that delivers Silicon Valley innovation to retailers around the world, today announced that it has been named EMEA Partner of the Year by hybris, an SAP company. This distinction recognizes Tacit’s excellence in both building and optimizing premier omni-channel e-commerce websites, built using the hybris platform, for leading brands such as Mulberry, ghd, Laterooms, Kalahari and Beaverbrooks.

“Tacit Knowledge is committed to quality, and we have received very positive feedback from our joint customers,” said Patrick Finn, Senior Vice President, Global Channel & Partnerships, hybris and SAP Customer Engagement and Commerce.  “We regard Tacit as one of our key go-to partners in Europe.  We look forward to collaborating on exciting new projects and major customer launches this year.”

The combined success of Tacit and hybris is built on a shared passion for attention to detail, quality and excellent customer experience in the form of website speed and design. With hybris technology, Tacit has built e-commerce websites for leading brands using responsive and adaptive design to ensure that they work seamlessly across devices – from desktops to smartphones to tablets – irrespective of hardware or operating system.

“hybris has clearly become a best-in-class enterprise e-commerce platform provider and receiving acknowledgment for Tacit’s contribution to that journey is a true honor,” said James Bullock, UK Managing Director at Tacit. “We’re very fortunate to have mutual customers with the long-term vision to invest in scalable, flexible and high-performance e-commerce, and it’s hugely rewarding to see them reap the benefits. We’re very excited about the growing capabilities we’ll be able to offer them through Newgistics’ end-to-end platform.”

Newgistics offers a true end-to-end solution that addresses the entire e-commerce lifecycle from online sales through fulfilment, delivery and returns on a single platform. As Newgistics’ e-commerce business unit, Tacit is leading the way in building and enhancing that platform, with hybris technology at its core.

About Tacit Knowledge

Tacit Knowledge, a Newgistics Company, is the digital commerce consultancy that delivers Silicon Valley innovation to retailers around the world. Founded in 2002 by a group of software engineers, Tacit implements packaged applications, provides application support, web development, integration and content management,  and also builds custom software for globally recognized multichannel organizations, including some of Internet Retailer’s Top 25. The company is headquartered in San Francisco and employs 100 people across offices in London, New York, Sydney, Mexico and Moldova. For more information please visit http://www.tacitknowledge.com.

About Newgistics, Inc.

Newgistics, a leading provider of parcel delivery and returns management for top retailers and brands, combines logistics and leading omni-channel commerce technology into a complete e-commerce solution. Integrating every step in the order life cycle, our end-to-end e-commerce solution includes: web design, implementation, integration, web hosting and support, order fulfillment, parcel delivery and returns. Our e-commerce platform is powered by hybris and we have partnered with Manhattan Associates to bring its leading order management solution to our customers. Since 1999, Newgistics has provided top merchants with innovative technology-driven solutions that improve the customer experience and accelerate growth—from customer acquisition through fulfillment, delivery and returns. To find out more, visit http://www.newgistics.com.

About hybris

hybris software, an SAP company, provides omni-channel customer engagement and commerce solutions that allow organizations to build up a contextual understanding of their customers in real-time, deliver a more impactful, relevant customer experience and sell more goods, services and digital content across every touch point, channel and device. Through its state-of-the-art customer data management, context driven marketing tools and unified commerce processes, hybris has helped some of the world’s leading organizations including 3M, ASICS, Bridgestone, EE, Galeries Lafayette, Johnson & Johnson, Levi Strauss & Co, Nestlé, Nespresso, Nikon, Rexel, Samsung Electronics, Ted Baker, Tommy Bahama and W.W. Grainger, to attract, retain, and grow a profitable customer base. hybris Commerce Suite and hybris Marketing sit right at the heart of SAP’s customer engagement and commerce (CEC) suite of solutions, alongside SAP® Cloud for SalesSAP Cloud for Service and SAP CRM. These provide organizations with the foundation, framework and business tools to create a holistic customer view across channels, simplify customer engagement and solve complex business problems. For more information, visit www.hybris.com.

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Infographic: E-Commerce Trends & Predictions for 2015

Posted 2 weeks, 6 days ago @ Newgistics

Innovation in e-commerce continues to move fast and furiously, and 2015 is already shaping up to be another exciting year where we’ll see a number of advancements. From hyper-personalization to mobile commerce to global collaboration, here’s a quick recap of some of the biggest trends we’re likely to see from retailers and consumers over the next few months.

2015 E-Commerce Trends

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Nearly All Consumers Say Returns Are Key to Future Shopping Decisions

Posted 3 weeks, 2 days ago @ Newgistics

Online retailers have only a few precious touch points with their customers, so it’s important to make sure they all add up to a pleasant experience that meets or exceeds expectations. Returns are too often a forgotten piece of the equation, but a recent article by Retail Touchpoints takes a look at a consumer survey by the voice solutions provider, Voxware, that sheds a little light on just how important they are.

As the article points out, the survey of 500 consumers found that more than half of them (57%) said that the most frequent reason for returning purchases bought online or by phone is because the item they received is incorrect.

That’s a pretty staggering figure. The reasons for incorrect shipments vary from the product’s size or color being incorrect (42%) to receiving the wrong product all together (15%), demonstrating how important it is to ensure proper fulfilment in the first place. While the article highlighted the reasons for returns, it buried an even more significant number from the survey’s findings. Nearly all (97%) of respondents said that the returns process is important to their future intentions to shop with a retailer.

That’s worth restating. If a retailer provides a returns experience that does not meet expectations, nearly every single customer will think twice before shopping with them again.

Consumers realize that mistakes happen and they’re willing to give you a second chance, but this survey provides even more concrete data on how many shoppers turn away from retailers after more than one bad experience. Retail Touchpoints drilled into the data a little deeper:

“While customers may be willing to forgive retailers after one return experience, 25% of respondents said they have experienced return issues with specific retailers more than once. As a result, 50% of this group said they reduced shopping with that retailer online. To make matters worse, 45% of these respondents stated that they have limited shopping with that retailer altogether — both online and in-store.”

The picture is pretty clear. Investing in returns processes can protect against the possibility for missed revenue and keep brand reputation high in the process.

Where should you start? Here are nine ways to boost customer satisfaction with returns.

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Delivery as a Differentiator

Posted 3 weeks, 5 days ago @ Newgistics

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (commonly referred to as ACSI) recently released its Retail Report for 2014 and the findings may surprise you. The report found that consumers are more satisfied with online retailers than they are with brick and mortar stores. Think about that for a minute: stores – where customers get one-on-one attention from knowledgeable sales reps, where they can touch and feel products before purchasing them – scored lower than online retail in customer satisfaction. In fact, satisfaction scores for stores decreased 1.4 percent from the previous year to an average score of 78.6 (on a scale of 0 to 100), while e-retailers’ scores increased 5.1 percent to 82.

According to ACSI, some of this can be attributed to the fact that online retailers were better prepared for winter storms, which wreaked havoc on the 2013 holiday shopping season. From the report: “As online sales reached record levels this holiday season, retailers and shippers were better prepared and there were far fewer incidents with delivery.”

Holidays aside, it’s customer-obsessed e-tailers that consistently score high in satisfaction surveys – not only because of their e-commerce sites, but because of their easy returns processes. Here are five tips for making delivery a customer satisfaction differentiator:

  1. Select a reliable shipping and returns partner: No matter how much a shopper loves your products, if delivery and returns are a weak point, they won’t bother shopping with you again. It’s imperative to select a reputable shipping partner that can help improve the customer experience by providing additional value. This may come in the form of data, visibility, brand care, etc. A true partner will also help lower your operational costs and other departmental costs, including customer service.
  2. Use returns as a way to drive sales: If you’re a pure-play e-tailer, shoppers don’t have the luxury of trying something on in your store. By offering easy returns, you are encouraging shoppers to buy an item in more than one size to determine which one to keep and which to ship back. According to a 2014 comScore study, 82% of respondents said they would complete an online purchase if they could return the item to a store or have free return shipping. Free shipping could be offered to premium customers, during seasonal spikes or as a limited-time offer to incent purchases. The alternative might be for the shopper to decide to buy at one of your competitor’s stores, where they can try the product on before purchasing. And in today’s competitive landscape, can any retailer afford that risk?
  3. Clearly articulate your returns policy: We can’t stress enough how important this is, as 66% of shoppers will research your returns policy before making a purchase (source: comScore). If they know a shipping label will be provided to them should they need to return an item, they are much more likely to buy from you.
  4. Consider offering instant refunds: When a shopper sends something back to a retailer, they are often pleasantly surprised when a retailer offers instant refunds or store credit. Rather than wait until the return reaches the warehouse, and another 5-7 days for the credit to appear on a shopper’s credit card statement, the shopper is instantly refunded or credited for their return while the package is still in transit.
  5. Remarket to shoppers who return items: By partnering with your marketing and promotions team, you can quickly and easily target shoppers that made recent returns with a special offer or incentive to get them to shop with you again. This shows you understand their shopping behavior, which goes a long way in engendering loyalty.

Of course there are other factors that affect e-tailers’ customer satisfaction scores, such as having sites that are easy to navigate, pages that load quickly, useful product images and efficient checkout processes, but returns also play a critical role in customer satisfaction. To learn more about what customers are looking for in their e-commerce engagements, visit the ACSI website and download the full Retail Report.

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eTail West 2015: Another Great Show

February 23rd, 2015 @ Newgistics

eTail West just wrapped up and, as always, it was an exciting event. Taking place in Palm Springs, February 17-20, eTail West is the event where over 1,800 ecommerce and multi-channel retail innovators come together to discuss the most pressing issues in retail today. Here’s a recap of some of the highlights of this year’s show.

Embrace the Merging Online and Offline

In his keynote presentation, Forrester VP and Principal Analyst Peter Sheldon discussed a topic that’s at the top of priority lists this year – omni-channnel. According to Sheldon, “What’s going to happen over the next five years is a merging of online and offline into a single retail organization.” To achieve omni-channel success retailers will have to stop thinking about their digital and in-store customers as different people, and their online and physical store sales as separate. According to Forrester, half of all sales that take place in physical stores were influenced by online research. All parts of your business are focused on how to create the most pleasant customer experience both online and offline.

Don’t Just Collect Data – Utilize It

Ice.com CEO Brandon Proctor took a look at how to utilize customer analytics to personalize the onsite buying experience. Proctor began by saying that the problem with the “big data” buzzword is that it alludes to data collection and not utilization. Constructing the “complete view of the customer” is only step one. Step two is personalizing the experience for different customer segments. The customer is expecting it of you anyway – and they have short attention spans if they’re not getting what they expect.

Consumers Don’t Differentiate Between the Brand and the Retailer

Mobile technologies have had a wide-spread impact on the retail industry, but one of those impacts that gets little attention is the blurring of the lines between retailers and brands. In his keynote, Anthony Long of Kimberly-Clark discussed how consumers increasingly don’t differentiate between the brand and the retailer – there’s no use in brands and retailers trying to stay distinct from each other. Brands and retailers today share the same goal anyway – to get the consumer what they want when they want it. To compete successfully in this age of mobile driven-driven commerce, new types of partnerships must be forged. As a result of these partnerships, we’ll begin to see products that swim across the lanes of those who sell products.

Thanks for another great show – we look forward to attending again next year!

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We’re off to Munich!

February 9th, 2015 @ Newgistics

This week, we’re off to Munich for the 2015 hybris Global Partner Summit, which will cover topics ranging from responsive storefronts and SAP integration to updates on the hybris core platform, merchandizing and a new mobile SDK for B2B commerce. We’re excited that Tacit Knowledge, a Newgistics company, has been nominated for the hybris EMEA Partner of the Year Award, which will be announced at the show.

As a hybris gold level partner, we have produced hybris-powered e-commerce sites for retailers such as of Mulberry, Beaverbrooks and ghd, with additional hybris-powered sites to be unveiled throughout the year. Partnering with hybris has enabled us to build best-in-class commerce experiences and, year after year, the company has ensured its technology stays ahead of what consumers demand. So it was no surprise to see hybris named as a leading B2C commerce suite vendor in Forrester Research’s latest B2C commerce report entitled: “The Forrester Wave™: B2C Commerce Suites, Q1 2015.”

In the report, Forrester highlights hybris’ “significant growth” since its acquisition by SAP, pointing to the following areas as contributing factors:

1.)   The core value proposition of the hybris platform (combined PIM, eCommerce, experience management, and OMS on a single, modern architecture platform) remains intact following the acquisition

2.)   Existing SAP ERP clients are gaining confidence in the integration approach of hybris and the SAP ERP

3.)   SAP’s global footprint is propelling significant sales momentum in APAC and other emerging markets

4.)   The network of commerce service providers working with hybris is stronger than ever

5.)   SAP account reps are educating their existing account portfolios on the hybris solution

As Forrester points out in its report, much of the anticipated growth in ecommerce over the next five years will be driven by re-platforming as established retailers look to scale their technology and branded manufacturers explore direct-to-consumer options. It’s an exciting time in the commerce world and we’re honored to be a trusted hybris partner. We’re looking forward to the exciting developments the company will share this week (the beer gardens and Bavarian cuisine are just an added bonus)!

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2014 Holiday Shopping Trends

January 30th, 2015 @ Newgistics

Now that we’ve recovered from the holiday rush, it’s time to take a look back at the 2014 holiday shopping season. What can we learn from 2014 that can be applied to our 2015 strategies?

The “Flattening” of the Holiday E-Commerce Shopping Season

One notable trend in 2014 was the “flattening” of the holiday e-commerce shopping season. Rather than seeing spikes in sales on a few particular days, spending was spread out more evenly throughout the season.

November’s Billion Dollar Days

During the week of Thanksgiving, Thursday, Friday and Saturday all saw more than $1 billion in online sales (Sunday fell just short). This was the first time that Thanksgiving and the following Saturday surpassed the $1 billion mark. Even more impressive, Cyber Monday topped $2 billion in online sales in the U.S. – the first single day to reach that milestone.

Mobile’s Making Moves

More than half of all web traffic on Thanksgiving, and just about half on Black Friday, came from mobile devices. And it appears that smartphones are for browsing, while tablets are for buying. On Black Friday, phones drove 35 percent of all traffic, but only 12 percent of sales; tablets, on the other hand, drove 15 percent of traffic and 16 percent of sales.

Green Monday Continues to Grow

Green Monday is defined by comScore as the Monday with at least 10 days prior to Christmas. This year’s Green Monday fell on December 8, a day that racked up $1.6 billion in sales – a steep climb from $854 million spent in 2009. What’s even more impressive is that all five work days during the Green Monday Week reached more than $1 billion in sales this year.

The Shopping Continues on Christmas Day

Online sales were up 8.3 percent on Christmas day as compared to 2013. And the majority of that shopping was done on mobile devices. Mobile traffic accounted for 57.1 percent of all online traffic on Christmas Day – an increase of 18.6 percent. While 42.6 percent of online traffic came from desktop PCs.

So what are the key takeaways that will help us prepare for the 2015 holiday shopping season? E-commerce only continues to grow – and much of online shopping is now being done on mobile devices. With these numbers expected to reach new heights in the future, make sure your sites are mobile optimized and that you’re catering to the mobile user. And while you should still focus on those high-traffic shopping days, there are definitely more of them to mark on your calendar. Black Friday isn’t going anywhere – but it may even be expanding to include Black Wednesday, Black Thursday and a number of other days throughout the holiday shopping season.

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Sources: IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark Reports: Black Friday Results 2014; IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark Reports: Cyber Monday Results 2014; NRF’s Thanksgiving Weekend Spending Survey; comScore: Thanksgiving and Black Friday See Online Buying Bonanza as Both Days Surpass $1 Billion in Desktop Spending; comScore: Cyber Monday Exceeds $2 Billion in Desktop Sales for First Time Ever to Rank as Heaviest U.S. Online Spending Day in History; comScore: Second Consecutive Week Featuring Five Billion Dollar Weekdays of Online Desktop Spending Reaffirms Strong Holiday Season; comScore: Green Monday Surges 15 Percent to $1.6 Billion in Desktop Sales to Rank as 3rd Heaviest Day of the Holiday Season-to-Date; Manhattan/IDG survey

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Greetings from NRF’s BIG Show: Monday Recap

January 13th, 2015 @ Newgistics

Day two of the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) BIG Show is behind us; let’s take a look at some highlights. With this year’s EXPO Hall even bigger and better, we’ve had the chance to explore a wealth of innovative retail technologies. The energy in the hall has been buzzing. If you haven’t made it over for a visit at Newgistics’ booth (#2435) come stop by today to check out our end-to-end e-commerce solution.

Monday was an exciting one for anyone who is a fan of ABC’s Shark Tank as NRF had its own business competition on stage here in New York with its Digital Commerce Startup of the Year competition. The top five finalists were showcased. We are an industry that celebrates innovation, so it was great to learn more about other companies that are transforming the shopping experience and making a positive impact on the retail industry.

The shows keynotes have been full of compelling ideas. Former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, offered discussion of the current global economic landscape and the challenges facing the world today. Providing insights into topics ranging from the flood of disposable income in the U.S. due to low oil prices, to the cause and implications of lower consumer demand in Europe and emerging markets like Brazil and Russia, Dr. Bernanke’s examined the big-picture of retail’s future.

Terry Jones, founder of Travelocity.com and Kayak.com, came together with John Mesberg, general manager of smarter commerce at IBM, to discuss the new customer experience. Their presentation looked at how the consumerization of technology has transformed how individuals, retailers and suppliers engage with one another. Jones and Mesberg examined the unique opportunities presented by technologies that can help retailers offer a highly relevant experience to individual customers. It’s a transformative time for the industry as many of us figure out how to optimize technologies like big data analytics to enable better customer engagement.

The first two days of the BIG Show were whirlwind and we’re looking forward to the momentum continuing throughout the last day of the show. Visit us on Twitter @newgistics for more updates.

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Newgistics Showcases End-to-End E-Commerce Solution at the National Retail Federation BIG Show

January 9th, 2015 @ Newgistics

Leading Logistics and Omni-Channel Commerce Solutions Company to Sponsor and Exhibit at NRF’s Flagship Industry Event

AUSTIN, Texas – January 9, 2015Newgistics, a leading provider of end-to-end e-commerce solutions for top retailers and brands, today announced its participation as an exhibitor and sponsor of the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) BIG Show. Top industry professionals gather at this four-day event for networking, presentations, educational sessions and an expo hall replete with the latest retail and e-commerce technologies.

Newgistics joins this century-long run event, taking place this year from January 11-13 in New York City, to showcase its end-to-end e-commerce solution, which addresses the entire e-commerce lifecycle from e-commerce platform implementation and integration through order fulfillment, delivery and returns.

“We’re excited to be a part of this mainstay industry event,” said Elizabeth Hunter, VP E-Commerce at Newgistics. “A surge of technological innovation has altered the retail industry, creating both opportunities and challenges. NRF offers a great forum for sharing and reflecting on the lessons learned from the past year and exploring what lies ahead for 2015. We look forward to connecting with other industry professionals to discuss the current state of e-commerce and identifying innovative ideas  for being relevant in an  increasingly consumer-centric retail environment.”

Newgistics will be located in booth #2435 in the expo hall.

For more information on the NRF BIG Show and to register for the event, visit http://bigshow15.nrf.com/.

About Newgistics, Inc.

Newgistics, a leading provider of e-commerce technology for top retailers and brands, combines leading omni-channel commerce platforms and logistics services into a complete end-end to e-commerce solution. Integrating every step in the order life cycle, our end-to-end e-commerce offering includes: web design, implementation, integration, web hosting and support, order fulfillment, parcel delivery and returns. Since 1999, Newgistics has provided top merchants with innovative technology-driven solutions that deliver an exceptional customer experience and accelerate growth—from customer acquisition through fulfillment, delivery and returns. To find out more, visit http://www.newgistics.com.

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