The recent Magento Live 2014 conference offered the Australian Magento community a chance to network within the industry and keep abreast of all things eCommerce. It’s always nice to put a face to a hashtag, while also gaining some direction and advice from the big players in the ecosystem.

The unofficial theme this year was ‘Personalisation’. The connected consumer is unwilling to differentiate between devices, and demands a personalised online experience in a market which is over-saturated with brands seeking customer engagement. The challenge for marketers is to utilise the power of new technologies, and leverage them with proven traditional retail strategies.

Whilst the Magento team evangelised future offerings now that ebay Enterprises is at the helm – for example leveraging Paypal, platform updates and Magento 2 – the most valuable takeaway’s came from guest speakers and industry professionals sharing their own tips for eCommerce success.

Connect the channels

Gary Wheelhouse (@Gary_Wheelhouse) Chief Digital Officer, Harvey Norman

Gary’s advice – 

  • Replicate core things online, don’t forget to implement important in-store attributes (for example Harvey Norman’s is Finance)
  • Use Live Chat to bridge the service gap online; but don’t outsource, use people who have worked in-store at the coal face
  • Ensure online and offline promotions are in sync, so if you have a Super Saturday in-store make sure your online banner advertising compliments it
  • Do A/B testing, monitor social media and collect feedback from your customers to build better solutions, and do customer journey mapping to discover pain points

Useful services –

  • A/B testing – Optimizely.com (used by 7k global customers)
  • Customer Journey Mapping – touchpointdashboard.com (used by Sydney University Business School & Doctors Without Borders)
  • Live Chat Support – livechatinc.com (used by Harvey Norman, Weight Watchers and Orange)

Right message, right person, right time

Joe Devine (@Listrak) Solution Consultant, Listrak

Joe’s advice – 

  • Use a pop up light box to grab subscribers; only 1 in 5 retailers are currently using them
  • Use an automated 3 fold email welcome series ie. Promote (10% off), Engage (through social platforms) & Story (tell one around your products)
  • Divert customers to an email preference centre where you can filter demographics, interests and values
  • 3 out of 4 shoppers will abandon their shopping cart; re-marketing emails should be sent in a series eg. ‘Hurry your cart has almost expired’, ‘Still pondering? Get 5% off now’, ‘LAST CHANCE, Get 10% off’

Useful services 

  • E-marketing & automation – dotMailer.com (50,000 users globally)

E-Tailers to follow old corner store principles

Carolyn Harrington (@moco_insight) Co-Founder & CEO, Moco Insight

Carolyn’s advice – 

  • Know individual customer data: sign-up date, lifetime value, average discount they purchased at, weeks since last purchased etc
  • Collect and extract product attributions then create Magento Groups so that the customer gets a customised feel whilst on the website.
  • Make use of cookie information to promote ‘suggested products’ and use purchase history to target ‘related products’.
  • Create a VIP program for your best clients, and make sure you tell them they are your best clients!

In summation, it’s up to you to win back control of the online customer journey by focusing on personalisation. Harness the power of the Magento platform by delivering relevant and timely messages to consumers through collection, segmentation and automation tools. If you can gain consumer trust and nurture meaningful relationships you will naturally increase engagement with your brand, which in turn will drive revenue growth.