The Wheels of Change Continue to Roll for Retail.

Heraclitus, the pre-Socratic Ionian Greek philosopher noted that “The only constant in life is change” and I’m sure we can all agree that he absolutely knew what he was talking about.

As we look at the climate and situation we find ourselves in right now, social distancing is becoming part of the ‘new normal’ and everyone has to change the way they work, shop and generally live their lives. There are bound to be knock-on effects and these are becoming more and more evident every day in the world of retail.

Just this morning T.M.Lewin announced that they are to close all 66 of their shops across the UK, moving their entire focus online after not reopening any of their stores when restrictions were lifted earlier this June. And they follow in the footsteps of other major household names that have done the same. This January Bose announced that they were to close its entire retail store footprint in North America, Europe, Japan, and Australia.

In March this year, Oasis and Warehouse closed their operations in the UK, 92 stores and 437 concessions were terminated with the business falling into administration before their online business was rescued by BooHoo, the online-only fashion retailer.

But this trend of closing stores is happening for businesses that are slimming down their footprint too. Debenhams, Aldo, Monsoon, Accessorize, Harveys Furniture and Laura Ashely are amongst the many retailers realigning their business model by closing a number of their outlets.

The Centre for Retail Research has indicated that “More retailers operating from physical stores have closed stores so far (to June 2020) this year and made employees redundant than in the whole of 2019, which was 'the worst year for 25 years'.”

But it is not all doom and gloom out there. In our blog, E-Commerce Statistics That Are More Relevant Now Than Ever Before, there was a 21% increase in online orders in March 2020 vs March 2019, and in a survey, they conducted with over 3,000 members of the Influenster community, 41% of respondents answered that they were “currently shopping online for things they would normally shop for in-store.”

Shopping habits have been changing for a while and the shift to online is something we have been seeing grow year on year, but COVID sped this adoption up a lot and as people had no other choice but to reach out into the online world to stay connected and fulfil their shopping needs, a lot of consumers are not looking back.

As an early adopter myself, I remember purchasing electronics from the website letsbuyit.com where products were put to market and once a minimum number of orders were hit, products were purchased, and orders completed.

This was all the way back in the late ’90s when very few people bought anything on the internet, let alone big-ticket items.

And I’m such an early adopter, that I remember what ASOS was set up to sell, and what those 4 letters stand for. In fact, I still have things in my wardrobe that I purchased from them in their original form. Here’s hoping early 2000 fashion makes a comeback.

This year alone, I have purchased a high-end Canon DSLR, a TV, a 3-piece suit, a large format printer and Apple products all online, without ever having seen them in a store. What people are calling the ‘new normal’ is just my normal.

In fact, since the lockdown started in the UK until today, I have not stepped foot into a retail store. Everything that I have bought has been done online.

If a business has not moved toward creating a digital shopping experience for their existing and future customers, now is the time to do it. All attention is focused online, and you’ve got to be there to be seen.

And although it might seem like the lockdown is easing and things are starting to open up again, we only have to look at Leicester and Melbourne in Australia to see that things are not going to be that black and white. At any point, areas of the UK could see localised lockdowns.

If you think you might have products that won't sell online, you’re missing a trick. Advances in technology are making it easier for people to have truly unique and in some cases better than instore experiences. Ares, our Augmented Reality E-commerce Solution allows sellers to add full AR models of their products to their website to help consumers experience products in their own homes. You can try on sunglasses, hang a picture on the wall or place furniture onto your homes with nothing more than a mobile phone.

At Eclipse we’ve been building digital experiences for a long time and we pride ourselves on making them beautifully simple. We unlock your trading potential, creating and supporting beautifully simple sites that are functionally rich and continually perform way above expectations. Our clients enjoy seamless access to the best analysts, experts and technical resources in the sector. We’re proud of what we do and we’re incredibly good at it (and it’s not just us saying that).

We’ve tailored a solution for everyone, no matter where the start point in the market is. Take a look at what we have on offer and reach out so we can help you launch your new digital shop front.


For those of you wondering, ASOS originally stood for AsSeenOnScreen with the tagline "Buy what you see on film and TV" because it exclusively sold imitations of clothing from those mediums (for example, Brad Pitt's red leather jacket from the 1999 movie Fight Club).


5 Things You Might Not Know About Magento

Whether you're already a user of Magento or you're currently in the market to create a digital store, re-platform a digital store or upgrade a digital store having valuable insights to help with your decision is step one. We've done some searching around and found a few that we think will either put Magento at the top of your list or at the very least, put it into the running.

Picking the right digital commerce platform can dramatically transform how you do business both online and offline. A fast, flexible, cloud-based solution delivers memorable customer experiences, streamlines your operational efficiency, and creates phenomenal growth opportunities.

Click the image below to take a look at the 5 things you might not know about Magento, but will help when it comes to picking a platform.


E-Commerce Statistics That Are More Relevant Now Than Ever Before

With physical retail set to open again this coming week, the way we shop in 'bricks and mortar' stores is changing forever. Data from the Bazaarvoice Network and analysed by MarketingWeek shows that whilst in lockdown "customers started to really embrace online shopping and began setting themselves up for what looked to be a long period spent at home."

There was a 21% increase in online orders in March 2020 vs March 2019, and in a survey they conducted with over 3,000 members of the Influenster community, 41% of respondents answered that they were "currently shopping online for things they would normally shop for in-store." New data from Signifyd also found that buying online to pick up in store, where it was available, saw purchases surge 248% at the end of May compared with before the pandemic.

eCommerce is booming. It is becoming the first port of call for shoppers and the need to be doing it right is vital. Even with stores opening up again, the trend to purchase and collect in store is expected to continue to rise.

The team at smartminded read through a series of articles published across a number of B2B blogs and searched for the most important stats. They looked for the ones that would help companies to take action and grow their business as fast as possible. They created an amazing infographic with what they saw as the six most important points, that they thought you should keep in mind. It's attached to this article for you to take a look at.

We looked through what they found and pulled out our favourites to help you drive your business toward growth. You can take a look at their full list and download a handy pdf checklist to keep on hand whilst you're planning your next steps.

 

Here are our picks.

93% of the millennials compare online offers with a mobile device. (Statista)

32% of shoppers changed their decision to purchase items after viewing the product information on their mobile devices in a physical store. (Invesp)

Aborted shopping cart emails have an average opening rate of 45%. (Moosend)

Last year, companies lost $756 billion due to poor personalization of e-commerce. (OptinMonster)

73% of consumers will switch from a badly designed website to one that makes shopping easier. (Google)

46.5% of small to mid-sized businesses say that offering free shipping increases their profits. (MCM)

If it is necessary to create an account during the checkout process, 23% of people will immediately abandon the shopping cart. (Baymard Institute)

eCommerce sites can gain a 35% increase in conversion rates with an optimized checkout design. (Baymard Institute)

The biggest reason for shopping cart abandonment is extra costs that are too high. (Baymard Institute)

 

e-commerce statistics

 

If you're looking for advice on how to take advantage of these stats we’re here to help. Both our Experience team and Magento team can help you out. The Experience team can start with a quick audit which within 2 weeks will have delivered a report outlining your users’ frustrations, your website performance and have the first solution live. Our Magento team can talk to you about accelerating your business growth. We’ve tailored a solution for everyone, no matter where the start point in the market is. Take a look at what we have on offer and reach out so we can help you launch your new digital shop front.


How is Augmented Reality Impacting Retail?

The possibilities that Augmented Reality has for any business that has an online presence, is huge. That comes down to its potential to boost sales.

We’ve taken a look at The Impact of Augmented Reality on Retail report created by the team at Interactions Consumer Experience Marketing & published by Retail Perceptions and pulled out the most valuable and impactful stats to help show the value of integrating AR into your online retail experience. Whether B2B or B2C, these insights are valuable when building a business case.

Their research study involved 1,062 people. The conducted it seeking to learn the ways shoppers perceive augmented reality and how they prefer to engage with the technology as they shop. Results from the survey show that shoppers enjoy using augmented reality, and they see it as a fun and novel way to explore their options as they weigh out which purchases to make. Utilising the data in this report, businesses can build on the popularity of augmented reality in ways that engage customers, provide a unique and memorable experience, and ultimately drive sales.

 

WE'RE HERE TO HELP YOU MAKE THE MOST OF AR

Our Augmented Reality E-commerce Solution, Ares, changes the game and is all about enhancing the online shopping experience for the end user. It is about lifting product images from standard 2D into something experiential and visually impactful, that truly brings product shopping online to life. Ares is dedicated to leveraging the power of AR and 3D for so much more than entertainment – it exists as your next step for achieving peak eCommerce performance.

And the reason it is changing the game is because it works straight from the web browser or mobile device, no apps or downloads required. It can be plugged into any website or e-commerce platform and Ares works on the latest Android and iOS devices.

Ares is a full end-to-end AR service for retailers. You don't need to be an AR expert to get the best out of Ares. Find out how Ares can revolutionise the way you sell online.

Click the picture below to take a look at our highlights from the report.


Magento 1 is End of Life this month, now what?

So, our guess is if you’re reading this you’ve currently got an eCommerce store built on Magento 1 and you’ve either been avoiding the inevitable, trying to figure out what you’re going to do or this is news to you but Adobe will from the end of June no longer be supporting Magento 1. This hasn’t come out of blue; they’ve been talking about it for a while but there are a lot of websites that are still operating on Magento 1 like everything is going to be rosy from now till the end of time. Sadly, the reality is you need to be thinking about what you’re going to be doing for the long term.

 

BUT FIRST, A HISTORY LESSON

Back in 2008 Roy Rubin, Yoav Kutner and the development team working on Magento released the first stable version of the platform to the world. Over the next 10 years, they built something that had a huge impact globally, setting the benchmarks for collaborative, flexible eCommerce. They created an enviable marketplace with thousands of extensions and saw a quarter of a million businesses transacting billions in revenues. Magento set the pace and changed the game.

Originally, the end of life date was set for November 2018, following the early success and commitment to developing Magento 2 into the next eCommerce powerhouse. This was subsequently pushed back a further 18 months to allow merchants to research their options and confidently plan for the future. Now, Magento 1’s end-of-life is just 23 days away, on 30th June 2020.

 

IS END OF LIFE A PROBLEM?

Kinda, yeah. It is a pretty big deal when it comes to software and especially when it comes to things being online. Security is what you’re playing with here. Think of it as locking the doors and windows on your house or your bricks and mortar stores but the locks are only there for show. Your key keeps them closed but in all honesty, anybody with a key in their hand can jimmy the lock and walk on in.

 

SO, WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS?

Essentially there are 3 options in front of you. Stick with what you’ve got, move to a different platform or upgrade to Magento 2. There are pros and cons for all of them and we’re here to lay out each of them, so you fully understand before you take the next step.

 

OPTION 1 - STICK WITH MAGENTO 1

Some of you may be thinking you’ll just stay put on Magento 1.  Performance seems strong and you’ve probably made significant investments getting you to where you are. These and a bunch of other things could be part of the reasons as to why you as a business may wish to stay on Magento 1 for the foreseeable future. But there are things you have to consider if this is to be the path you’re going to take.

 

  • The technologies that Magento 1 runs on, PHP 5.6 and 7.0, saw their end-of-lives in December 2018 and if the PHP is no longer maintained, you’re leaving yourselves open to vulnerability and potential security risks.
  • The longer you stay on Magento 1, the more at risk your online business may be to hacks and potential compromises of yours and your customer's data.
  • Many of the module and plugin developers and suppliers plus your payment providers will also no longer be supporting and upgrading their modules for Magento 1. So, this opens further areas of vulnerabilities that you as a business owner should be aware of.

 

And if there is a security breach, heavy fines can be levied by the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) and payment providers.

The bottom line, Magento 1 will no longer be supported by Magento for upgrades post-June 2020.  Without regular upgrades and security patches, the platform can become vulnerable to hacking attacks.

 

OPTION 2 - MOVE TO A DIFFERENT PLATFORM

There are plenty of other options out there and depending on the size and scale of your operation the choices open themselves up to you. Each of them, just like sticking with Magento 1 have their pros and cons.

Some of them will have limited capability compared to what you’ve got right now, almost all of them operate differently so there is bound to be a pretty steep learning curve involved and they’re built on different platforms so the languages they speak are going to be different, which means moving your information from one to another could be very complex and in some cases just not possible.

That’s not to say this is an option that should be avoided, for some of you this is a very real choice and will no doubt be the route you take but you need to be prepared to invest the time and the money to make it work. Things for your business may slow down a little in the process and it could take some time and a potentially endless amount of frustration whilst you do this, but you’ll eventually get back to where you are now.

 

OPTION 3 - UPGRADE AND MOVE TO MAGENTO 2

Development of Magento 2 began in 2011 alongside the continued support and regular security updates to version 1. During this time, Magento invested significantly in developing Magento 2 at the same time.

Magento has invested a ton of money making the latest version of Magento, now known as Magento Commerce one of the most customisable and agile eCommerce platforms available on the market today, giving your business flexibility like no other eCommerce system can.

Trusted by over 300,000 businesses and merchants, making the move to Magento 2 for many is a natural choice and thousands of companies worldwide have already upgraded and are reaping the benefits of the latest eCommerce technology.

Now, you need to consider that Magento 2 is a completely different architecture to Magento 1, which means, unfortunately, it’s not as simple as clicking ‘upgrade’. Essentially, you’ll need to hire a developer (that’s where we come in) to rebuild your website in Magento 2 from the ground up. Luckily, however, you’ll be able to transfer products, attributes and customer databases using Magento’s migration tools. They’ve got different architecture but for the most part, the language and design principles are the same so where some of the issues of moving to a completely different platform might exist, there is a number that just don’t.

 

TAKING THE NEXT STEP

We’ve put the options out there and now it’s time to make some decisions, but you don’t need to be making them on your own.

Across our UK and Polish offices, we employ certified specialists in operations, project management, analysis, development, user experience, conversion rate optimisation, design, testing and scrum technologies; to mention just the tip of the iceberg. We believe in our people and are committed to supporting our colleagues to be the best they can be. We’re hugely proud of our culture, our values, and the colleagues that make the magic happen. That’s why we talk about ourselves as the Eclipse family.

We’re here to help you make the right choice for you. We unlock your trading potential, creating and supporting beautifully simple sites that are functionally rich and continually perform way above expectations. Our clients enjoy seamless access to the best analysts, experts and technical resources in the sector. We’re proud of what we do and we’re incredibly good at it (and it’s not just us saying that).

Come talk to us and let’s see what we can do together. We’ve tailored a solution for everyone, no matter where the starting point in the market. It’s just about picking the right one for you and then we can get together and get you accelerated toward success.

Come take a look at our Magento Packages as a starting point, we can talk them through and if we need to add a few other options to the mix, we can do that too.


eCommerce Shopping Trends

With the future of retail going through the biggest shift it's faced in years, it's only right that you're as prepared as possible to continue to be a success.

Whether you've got a successful eCommerce business or you're in the process of building one, understanding consumers shopping habits and the trends that affect them is vital. These insights validate what you're doing or offer up suggestions you might want to implement to stay ahead of the curve.

The team at Magento did some research and put together this handy infographic which offer the results from an 8 country consumer preferences survey spanning Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

It's packed with incredibly useful information that you can use as part of your business strategy that you're no doubt in the process of realigning for the remainder of 2020.

And, we're here to help you make the most of them. Both our Experience team and Magento team can help you out. The Experience team can start with a quick audit which within 2 weeks will have delivered a report outlining your users’ frustrations, your website performance and have the first solution live, and our Magento team can talk to you about accelerating your business growth. We’ve tailored a solution for everyone, no matter where the start point in the market is. Take a look at what we have on offer and reach out so we can help you launch your new digital shop front.


Want a version in pdf? Consumer_Research_EMEA_Overall_Infographic_V1


Is Magento a good choice to launch your first online store?

Consumers shopping habits have been changing for years, moving toward shopping online and our recent period of lockdown has driven this trend at record speeds and rates of adoption.

The need to have an online presence that offers a truly exceptional experience to both your existing and new customers is no longer an optional extra for a business, it is a must.

Picking the right digital commerce platform to do this can dramatically transform how you do business both online and offline. A fast, flexible, cloud-based solution delivers memorable customer experiences, streamlines your operational efficiency, and creates phenomenal growth opportunities.

One such platform that does this is Magento Commerce Cloud, and that’s the platform we’ll be exploring in a little more depth to see if it’ll truly work for any business wanting to create their first online store.

The things you want to consider with any commerce platform are:

• What kind of experience are you able to offer to your customers?
• How capable is the platform for the future growth of your business?
• How easy is the platform to manage?
• How reliable is it? and
• How easy is it to get help when you need it?

Let’s see how Magento Commerce Cloud stacks up against those questions.

 

What kind of experience are you able to offer to your customers?

When customers venture online to do a little shopping, they aren’t just looking to buy products, they want to experience engaging, immersive shopping environments. To help satisfy the consumer demands of today, whichever platform you choose, it must be flexible enough to continually offer amazing brand interactions.

How does Magento Commerce Cloud do this? Here’s how:

• Magento Commerce Cloud is equipped with a drag-and-drop Page Builder and a Content Staging and Preview function that allows you to create unique experiences for your products and customers. So, once you’ve had your new site built and released to the world, by your solutions partner, you’ll be able to continue to keep it fresh and offer something new and immersive.

• Magento Commerce Cloud allows you to sell complex, configurable products whilst enabling shopping experiences like buying online and pick up in-store, pre-ordering, as well as ship from a store; offering a truly omnichannel experience and allowing more opportunities for immersive brand experiences.

• Magento Commerce Cloud integrates with 3rd party digital tools like marketing automation systems, so you can drive loyalty through VIP offers and catch unsure customers with cart abandonment emails, Augmented and Virtual reality tools, like Ares by Eclipse, to offer the very latest in experiential shopping allowing your customers to visualise your products in their homes before they buy as well as with CRMs and ERPs.

• Magento Commerce Cloud is mobile commerce native so you can offer a consistent experience to your customers all the time. Customers now expect to be able to shop wherever and whenever they decide is right for them and having the ability to control that experience for your brand is vital. Magento Commerce Cloud gives you that control.

 

How capable is the platform for the future growth of your business?

You don’t want to get stuck with a rigid commerce platform that will dictate your version of a winning eCommerce experience. You want to make sure you choose a scalable solution with out-of-the-box features and functionality which will always deliver for the needs of your growing business from day one.

How does Magento Commerce Cloud do this? Here’s how:

• Magento Commerce Cloud is a platform that is designed for endless customisation and optimisation without forcing limitations on the features and functionality you can add to your growing site in the future.

• As mentioned before, Magento Commerce Cloud integrates with 3rd party digital tools like marketing automation systems, Augmented and Virtual reality tools, like Ares by Eclipse, as well as with CRMs and ERPs. This allows you to truly scale up what you can offer and how your business functions for the future.

• Magento Commerce Cloud is designed to enable rapid expansion for your business – whether you’re focused on B2B, B2C, or both. Create dedicated stores for your brands which can be managed centrally without thinking about having to re-platform or creating additional niche offerings, sites or landing pages on other commerce platforms.

• Magento Commerce Cloud will easily enable you to plan and execute cross-border expansion with full out-of-the-box localisation offering multi-language, multi-site and multi-brand support, as well as integrating with popular payment processors offering options like Apple Pay and Google Pay and shipping providers, all conveniently managed in a single location.

 

How easy is the platform to manage?

Making sure that you create and offer an unforgettable eCommerce experience is only one side of the coin but enhancing and maintaining it is another. All commerce platforms should have a strong, feature-rich backbone capable of effortlessly managing your daily operations while dynamically supporting your brand expansion goals.

How does Magento Commerce Cloud do this? Here’s how:

• Magento Commerce Cloud can help you manage and maintain multiple stores from one single admin panel, saving you a bunch of time and effort when managing your online sales. It also has multi-language and currency support, as well as international capabilities, shipping and order management.

• Magento Commerce Cloud has the total flexibility that enables you as the merchant to roll out your commerce experiences in phases and continually evolve your brand experiences over time.

• Magento Commerce Cloud is designed to easily integrate with tools such as Google Analytics, Google Base and Google Checkout, all of which helps you track all of your customers online and market to them effectively.

• Magento Commerce Cloud is supported by a well-stocked Marketplace, offering a wide range of high-quality extensions and optimisations tailored to whatever specific business goals you may have, from payment and fulfilment to customer support and marketing.

 

How reliable is it?

When heading into an all-new business territory, you’ll need a scalable eCommerce solution which offers reliability and resilience at both the local and global level. The last thing you want to do is end up tying your hands behind your back without even realising it.

How does Magento Commerce Cloud do this? Here’s how:

• Magento Commerce powers more than 315,000 sites globally with examples across a variety of industries including healthcare, beauty, home, fashion and apparel, electronics, sports, media, and more. With that many businesses putting their faith in the platform, reliability and resilience are evident.

• The platform powers 70 of the top 500 companies on the Internet Retailer Top B2C eCommerce 500 list and 40 of the top 300 B2B customers on the Internet Retailer B2B eCommerce 300 list.

• Magento Commerce Cloud provides exceptional performance monitoring tools, letting you as the merchant retain total control over your eCommerce environment with options to optimise and tailor your site to whatever specific business goals or deliver differentiated shopping experiences and be assured that your site will always be up and running at its best.

 

How easy is it to get help when you need it?

Implementing, maintaining, and expanding a successful eCommerce business is something few can accomplish on their own. For those times when you require support, it’s important to have the right talent readily available to offer assistance.

How does Magento Commerce Cloud do this? Here’s how:

• Magento Commerce Cloud is supported by the people resources of more than 260,000 developers across the globe who are continually generating innovations and functionality and are available to help merchants create compelling, differentiated digital commerce experiences

• Magento Commerce Cloud has a global community of Solution Partners, Technology Partners, and Community Insiders, just like us, that are available to address a wide variety of use cases and offer expertise in a range of services from site design, implementation, support, and merchandising to leveraging today’s most innovative business technologies.

 

The long & short of it...

If we look back over what we’ve learnt it’s pretty easy to see that Magento is packed with benefits and features that are ideal for a business looking to start online. It’s the ability to scale with the growth of your business, give you everything you need to create an exceptional customer experience and assure that you’ll always have a reliable offering that makes Magento Commerce Cloud a great choice.

The next step is finding someone to help you build it. That’s where Eclipse comes in. We’ve got a team of dedicated developers who will work in collaboration with you to develop, create and deploy an exceptional Magento Commerce Cloud site.

We’ve tailored a solution for everyone, no matter where the start point in the market is. Take a look at what we have on offer and reach out so we can help you launch your new digital shop front.


Covid-19 has driven the world digital and not everyone was ready for it, but they could have been.

As the world started to shift into a lockdown state following the continued spread of Covid-19, the needs of every consumer on the planet changed. No longer was it possible to just head to the nearest store to grab what you needed.

The sudden demand for everyday basics exploded into the ecommerce space, mixing in with the already usual traffic. There has been a steady growth of demand through online across almost all categories but the lockdown and the spike that followed took everybody by surprise, even those who thought they were ready.

We saw major retailers, who had been offering an online service, watch as their websites fell over through huge numbers of people attempting to visit at the same time. Their solution was to introduce queuing systems that left some people waiting over 6 hours just to get onto the site or to simply stop allowing new customers from registering.

Some of this will have been to do with their ability to fulfil the orders but most of it was to do with their sites inability to scale to demand.

Think of it like this, the entrance to a website is no different to the entrance to a regular store and it’s ability to deal with customers is limited by its capacity, no different to the four walls of regular bricks and mortar. However, unlike traditional retail, digital allows you to move those four walls out and make the entrance bigger, assuming that you’ve got the capability to do so on the backend. However, just like a regular store there can be a requirements to 'shut-up shop' whilst this is taking place.

What a lot of those retailers had not done was plan for the future. Scaling on a regular growth schedule is fine when the demand can be plotted against history but when something like lockdown comes out of the blue, their systems and process come under huge strain. They don’t have a magic button that just increases their scale to fit the demand. But here’s the thing - they absolutely should have, and it’s not magic they needed, it was a scalable cloud solution.

Here is where the Eclipse Cloud comes in

Our strong heritage in hosting led to us develop our own bespoke cloud platform. Created solely with our clients’ needs in mind, the Eclipse Cloud gives its users all the scalable and elastic benefits of cloud hosting. Our tech experts will tell you that our cloud is built on AWS, with Kubernetes and Docker to leverage all the benefits that containerisation offers users. Put simply, Eclipse Cloud offers a viable cloud alternative.

So now go back to the idea of the store but this time all the walls are glass and the entrance is an entire sliding wall. As the entrance gets bigger, the walls shift out all whilst the people in the store have no idea it is happening. They’re just enjoying an entirely seamless experience.

As our MD Steve Liddle puts it “Our clients and partners have seen an extraordinary channel shift to online in recent weeks. Eclipse has been there every step of the way to ensure scaling was easy and clients were supported with value added in all aspects of the challenges they were facing.”

Eclipse Cloud works where integrations, enterprise and supply chain can allow online scale to succeed but we have provided value there through our consulting in supporting clients with integration improvements, stock awareness, order handling techniques post purchase and other efficiencies in last mile.

“In some cases, up to 20 times growth in online with no service disruption and many clients benefiting from the auto scaling and automation in the eclipse cloud” he added.

This all meant that the businesses using the Eclipse Cloud saw no degradation of service, their customers experienced no drop-in service levels and they continued to trade as normal.

The key takeaway here is to always be prepared, even for situations that can’t be predicated and have a partner that is able to fully support your business.

If you’re a business that needs that kind of support, you should get in touch and we may be in a position to help you. There isn’t going to be a downshift in demand anytime soon and who knows what the ‘new normal’ is going to look like on the other side of lockdown and Covid-19.

And if you’re a provider that needs a little help to support your own clients, come talk to us too. We’re pretty sure there is something we can do together.

 

Contact Us


COVID-19 : How Eclipse is staying prepared.

 Latest Updates:

March 17th 2020

  • As of 17th March, our Hurley office has closed until further notice and all employees have been moved to ‘Work from Home’ Status. This is an extension of our previous action and was prepared for. This decision, as with all others, will continue to be reviewed daily and updates published as they occur.
  • We don’t foresee this decision altering our level of support for any of our clients.

March 16th 2020

  • As of 16th March, our offices in Poland, London & Manchester have closed until further notice and all employees have been moved to ‘Work from Home’ status. This was expected and prepared for as highlighted in our previous plans. This decision will continue to be reviewed daily and updates published as they occur.
  • Our Offices in Hurley & Ashford are unaffected currently and will continue to operate as usual.
  • All previous protocols remain in full effect (see below for full details)
  • We don’t foresee any of these decisions altering our level of support for any of our clients.

The world is grappling with an issue of enormous scale and human impact. Our thoughts go out to all who have been affected by the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).

At Eclipse we believe it is our role and responsibility during this time to prioritise two things: the health and well-being of all of those that work for and with us by playing a constructive role in supporting local health officials and government leaders as they work to contain the virus as well as taking all steps possible to ensure that this outbreak has a minimal effect on our business continuity and that of our clients.

That being said, we’ll continue to make decisions with vigilance and courage informed by the latest science-based information, updates from the World Health Organisation, Centres for Disease Control, the UK & Polish Government and the UK Department of Health & Social Care whilst being guided by our Values.

At Eclipse we take business contingency planning very seriously, and our business is fully equipped for this challenge. Following our latest assessments, we are confident that none of our employees have been infected or are currently at high risk of infection through travel to COVID-19 infected areas.

As of today, we’re pleased to also reassure you that there is no change to our service or delivery to customers and we continue to provide you with full support.

What have we put into effect:

This month, a Coronavirus Management Team has been put into place with high level senior management representation from all of our offices, including those in international locations. Their mission is to gather information, update the business and make decisions that will safeguard our people and our clients whilst ensuring we’re able to continue to support all businesses we work alongside.

As well as establishing a set of Coronavirus protocols for the business, the following actions have been taken:

  • Our offices have been stocked with supplies of hand sanitisers, tissues and additional cleaning supplies to ensure we maintain as clean and safe working locations as possible,
  • All business travel has been restricted with immediate effect covering:
  • Travel between Eclipse Offices (locally and internationally)
  • Travel to and from any training or conferences
  • Travel to and from client office locations
  • Travel of clients and visitors to our office locations have also been restricted and should it take place, travel and visitor logs have been elaborated upon to gather more information to ensure that we have a tracible line should an infection occur.
  • Personal travel by employees is being logged and advice & guidance given as well as risks assessed. Where possible, all employees are discouraged from travelling to or near any of high-risk location. If any employee is to travel to or through a high-risk location, a mandatory isolation period is enacted, following guidelines set out by the Government and the WHO.
  • We’ve prepared a full ‘work from home’ strategy should it become a mandated requirement in any or all of our locations. We pride ourselves in being experts in flexible and remote working practises and as such can ensure that we will do everything we can to continue to offer our usual high standard of business support.
  • All employees have been reminded of our Business Contingency Plan & Laptop Usage Policy covering our remote working practises and security protocols.

As this is an evolving situation, we will remain vigilant taking action where required to continue to reduce risk of exposure and spread. As and when new steps are taken, we will continue to communicate to clients, employees and visitors of Eclipse. We want to thank everyone for their patience and understanding as we do all we can to minimise effect and reduce the spread of the outbreak.


The Department Store Decline: Is a Misplaced Sense of Brand Loyalty to Blame?

2019 has been the worst performing year on record for retail. We’ve seen the collapse and near-collapse of household names on an unprecedented scale. This leads us to the question, why? Surely these mega stores have enough clout to survive a tough trading climate? Surely, if they can’t noone can?

For those of you that follow our analyses of each case in the retail breaking news, we usually dive deep into the eCommerce blunders that likely prevented success for these brands. In this article however, we wanted to focus on a different issue altogether. We wanted to look specifically into the misguided sense of brand loyalty that ties these failures together.

In previous decades, our most historic high street retailers have seen great success in leveraging their legacies as part of their brand stories.  Customers and employees alike loved feeling connected to the bigger sense of belonging. But in more recent years, and as a result of the onset of the digital shopping age, declines would suggest that the likes of Beales, John Lewis, Debenhams and House of Fraser are now suffering on this front.

It’s time for a new approach. In the new age of digital consumers, people are far less likely to show brand loyalty just for legacy’s sake. Customers shop around. They are connected enough to price-compare online, they are open to trying new brands and they expect seamless experiences such as home delivery and returns, if the items aren’t quite right.

So for our oldest brands to assume that their customers will continue to go through the motions, often with antiquated processes, is either stemming from ignorance or arrogance. Is this misplaced reliance on using their heritage to draw customers finally hitting (or hit) its saturation point? It certainly seems that these department stores are presuming a level of customer loyalty that no longer exists, or certainly not to the degree it used to. So then, how is it possible for similar companies to start making steps to future-proofing against this trap?

A piece of advice would be for businesses in a similar stalemate, to rediscover their sense of your story and its value and appeal to the end customer. Just because it sounds nice to you, the business, doesn’t mean it actually resonates in any way with the target audience. It’s about getting a fresh sense of this from the customers perspective. It should be firmly understood from the outset that internal perspectives are often somewhat clouded when the topics are close to home.

Happy shopping everyone!

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