Online retail giants as well as small and medium-sized businesses are eyeing cross-border e-commerce opportunities in emerging markets, however, it is not as simple as copy-pasting strategies that have been successful for you in your home country. E-retailers must research markets they wish to enter and adapt their operations accordingly.
A Look Into 5 Companies Innovating With Magento’s Flexible Platform
Companies looking to enhance their digital customer experience and increase online sales should look no further than to Magento, the open-source e-commerce platform that powers 12% of all e-commerce sites including those of major brands like HP, Helly Hansen and Canon.
Magento allows e-retailers to easily publish and manage several, multilingual websites with localized payment options and seamlessly connect to a large number of global shipping companies. Additionally, its vast network of developer partners working around-the-clock to further optimize e-commerce websites using Magento relieves individual businesses of some of the burden of innovation they would have if they were going it alone.
All great innovators need inspiration. For e-commerce companies searching for creative ways to leverage Magento’s platform for their websites, here’s a look at five brands who stepped outside the box and changed the game using Magento.
Marc Fisher Footwear: Many Brands, One Platform
Historically, launching e-commerce websites for new brands took time and money. For companies like shoe designer Marc Fisher Footwear, which counts many brands in its portfolio including Guess and Tommy Hilfiger, any new website launch was costly and perhaps most importantly, lacked unification with its other e-commerce platforms.
After the company took over Nine West’s footwear operations in 2018, Marc Fisher Footwear decided to make a groundbreaking innovation in the company’s e-commerce history: It utilized Magento to consolidate all of its footwear brands onto one central e-commerce platform, while ensuring that each brand’s website remained visually distinct.
The migration to the new central system boosted conversion rates and some brands’ revenue by double digits. In addition, it now takes Marc Fisher Footwear only about two months to launch a website for a new portfolio brand since the basic framework already exists.
The ability to create distinct websites for each brand’s look and feel that connect back to a central e-commerce platform to streamline operations is core to Magento’s offering. What’s innovative is that Marc Fisher Footwear leveraged this offering to expand the capabilities of its business, while also laying the groundwork for launches of future brands the company may acquire or spin-off along their journey.
VisualPartsFinder.com: No Name Needed for Product Searches
It happens all the time. You’re trying to fix an appliance around the house and you need a replacement part, but you don’t know what the part is called. Often you know little else than what that part looks like and the name of the product you are trying to fix. But how can you find the right replacement without knowing what to search for online?
This is the problem VisualPartsFinder.com is solving for online shoppers. Developed by Classy Llama — a member of the Magento developer community — this Magento extension offers shops selling spare parts for a variety of things like automobiles and electronics the ability for their customers to conduct visual parts searches on desktop and mobile devices.
Customers type in the name of the product and are presented with a diagram of the product schematics so they can visually identify the part they need to replace. Once identified, the customer is instantly connected to the e-commerce platform to seamlessly complete the transaction, saving the customer valuable time.
Visual product searches are the next great leap for e-commerce companies evolving and improving the customer experience on their websites, and Magento is at the forefront of innovation in this space.
Webkul: The Scan and Go Progressive Web App
The digital shopping experience continues to be further interwoven into our physical world, perhaps most apparent in Amazon Go convenience stores which are partly automated, allowing for customers to self checkout using smartphones or kiosks.
Now, retailers using Magento can also innovate physical shopping experiences with digital tools.
Using Magento’s Progressive Web App Studio, developer partner Webkul created the Scan and Go web app that gives shoppers using virtually any standards-compliant device and browser the ability to conveniently scan a product, pay for it, bag it, and go.
The customer receives a QR code confirming the purchase which he or she can show to store security on the way out.
As our physical and digital worlds continue to mesh into one, brick and mortar retailers are increasingly looking to Magento and similar e-commerce platforms to innovate their customer experiences and boost sales.
Catbird: Making Nimble, Mobile-First Experiences
Catbird, a hip fine jewelry retailer from Brooklyn, New York, had had previous success using Magento’s platform to power its desktop e-commerce sales. However, its young customer base was increasingly browsing for items on mobile, and the company looked again to Magento to develop a totally unique mobile shopping experience.
Now, mobile commerce may no longer be considered innovative, with 53% of traffic to online stores now coming from mobile devices, according to Smart Insights, but creating flexibility and agility in mobile-first products is certainly something that Magento and its partner developers are innovating in.
In addition to creating a sleek, easily navigable mobile website that was appealing to its customers, the company leveraged Magento’s platform to make it customizable and nimble on the back-end. This allowed for rapid yet elegant updates to the overall site themes, the home page, and individual product pages to more efficiently launch promotion campaigns, like during the holidays for example.
Additionally, the jeweler’s developers utilized Magento Commerce 2 visual merchandiser tools to strategically promote certain product verticals, such as vintage jewelry on Mothers Day.
Innovating methods and tools that allow retailers to be more nimble and rapidly adjust their website content and marketing campaigns on mobile keeps them a step ahead of competitors who are bogged down by out-dated technology.
SPEQS: Augmented Reality Replacing the Dressing Room
One on-going challenge facing e-retailers is how to recreate the tactile experience of customers trying on clothes or testing out products in brick and mortar stores.
While we are perhaps years away from bringing the product testing experience fully online, there are companies that are innovating with virtual and augmented reality to help get online shoppers closer to the physical dressing room experience.
One such company is SPEQS, an Australian startup that allows online shoppers to “try on” different eyewear frames using AR.
Their e-commerce platform is powered by Magento and a Rest API tightly integrates their AR app with the rest of their e-commerce operations, offering a seamless experience for customers shopping for glasses virtually.
As e-commerce evolves, innovations in VR and AR will be key to help transition the total buying experience online for shoppers.
Having a reliable, flexible, and high-performing e-commerce platform to buttress your online store is vital for companies looking to innovate the digital shopping experience. Magento’s platform provides the core strength companies need to survive online, along with the network of innovative developers to push their company into the next generation of e-commerce.