ICYMI – Magento 1 is EOL and if you’re still using it, you’re at risk

Thousands of online businesses could be opening themselves up to risks of cyberattack due to running an insecure version of Magento right now.

Magento 1 reached its End of Life (EOL) at the end of June this year and eCommerce experts across the board are warning of the risks opening up for online merchants that are now no longer receiving security patches to protect their sales systems.

But beyond just the security risks to the site, online stores still operating on Magento 1 could be at further risk by not being PCI compliant.

“In the run-up to EOL for Magento 1, many sought clarity from payment processors such as Visa, on how they would support merchants past the end date, and ultimately when they would stop taking payments from those on Magento 1," stated James Allen-Lewis, Development Director at Sonassi. He added, “Visa was very bullish in their initial statement, stating customers on Magento 1 needed to migrate across to Magento 2 immediately, in order to remain PCI compliant.”

PCI or Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is compliance that all online traders need to be in line with. Not complying with your requirement commitment could mean you are banned from accepting cards and/or increased fees to process cards. Moreover, fines that can range from £3,000 to £60,000 depending on your bank's merchant account agreement may also be levied.

An announcement with the decision to shelve Magento 1 was made in September 2018, and Adobe gave websites nearly two years’ notice to migrate from the 12-year-old release line before it reached end-of-life status on June 30, 2020.

However, as at the end of June, there were still more than 200,000 websites operating on Magento 1.

Understandably, the arrival of the pandemic has meant many merchants are yet to migrate and any major platform migration needs to be considered but time is running out even faster than before.

Allen-Lewis highlighted the risk rather succulently “Losing PCI compliance or customers’ personal information is a disaster for online retailers that manage online card payments as it is highly likely they will become liable for the damages caused to their customers, as well as having to pay the costs of a PFI investigation.”

 

We’re Here To Help

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.

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).

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.

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.


What will it take to survive in the future of retail?

In an article written by Doug Stephens, the founder of Retail Prophet and the author of three books on the future of retail, for businessoffashion.com, he describes a future that any retailer will look at and in almost all cases, result in a shudder and deep pit forming in their stomach.

First, let me paint a picture that we’ll all be familiar with. Anyone who has seen the Disney Pixar masterpiece that is Wall•E may think back to it, and recall the story of overconsumption and disregard for the environment. This leads to the abandonment of the Earth, for life aboard a series of floating ‘paradises’ that further drove those aboard toward unquestioning consumption.

But the somewhat overlooked or underplayed element of that story is that it was driven by a single entity. Scattered across the opening scenes are references to a megacorporation, Buy-N-Large (BnL) that play themselves to be the hero’s having evacuated humanity leaving behind the solution that would clean the mess and make it safe to return.

In his article, he references other examples from the likes of Robocop, Aliens and Blade Runner but the underlying causation and resulting symptoms are the same.

You might be thinking ‘That was just fiction’, but life has a funny way of imitating art and what Doug so clearly points out in the article is that we’re on the verge of megacorporation’s taking over.

As he puts it “In a post-pandemic retail landscape, such corporations will no longer reside solely in novels or films. They will become a reality.”

Described as Apex Predators, the likes of Amazon, Walmart and Alibaba will emerge as “an entirely novel, genetically mutated species of retailer that faces few threats.” These businesses have been marching toward this for years, growing at rates that have bucked any and all trends, and Covid-19 has been the ultimate steroid for these businesses, pushing them toward domination whilst others seem to be falling in their wake.

“While many retailers swooned under revenue declines of up to 80%, these giants posted results deserving of a double-take.”

His article is worthy of a deep dive read and I would encourage you all to venture over and take a look at it, but the key takeaway for me was that this isn’t something that retailers should just lay down and let happen. What is required is evolution and adaption to the world we now have in front of us.

 

Embrace The Digital Age

Long before the pandemic took hold the world was on a steady trajectory toward living digitally. Shopping online has been increasing year on year for as long as it has been around, and the adoption of remoting working isn’t new. What Covid-19 did was push these forward at a rate not many were ready for.

Now, this is not to say that retail should shut up all physical shop fronts and put all their ‘eggs into one basket’ by thinking of their digital shopfront as the saviour but rather that the purpose they once served is over and that their place in the buyer's journey is transforming.

“The value of physical stores [are] as community gathering places, brand culture hubs and experiential playgrounds. It is, however, time to stop considering them an effective means of product distribution. Stores must become more about distributing experiences and less about distributing goods.”

What you consider your ‘store’ and what consumers consider your ‘store’ are two very different things. The consumers buying experience starts with the moment they engage with your content. Be that via Instagram, YouTube or TikTok.

And as Doug illustrates in the article “The apex predators have already accepted this reality by building commerce, finance, entertainment and streamlined logistics into every media experience hosted on their platforms.”

And he is very clear about what this means for businesses that underestimate the importance of this change.

“The moral of the story is that if you can’t serve your customers through every media touchpoint, you’re going to go out of business. If your brick and mortar stores are not creating vastly positive and memorable physical media experiences and brand impressions you’re going to go out of business. And if you can’t effectively weave these two, media and store, together in a way that removes buying friction and adds radical experiential value for customers, you’re going to go out of business.”

 

The Way Forward

To define a path to success and survival, you need to remember this. Your products need to be shoppable, purchasable and shippable every minute of every day. Plus, to stand out from these Apex Predators, you need to establish a vastly more distinct value proposition so that customers have something to buy into.

The type of experience you offer and how you offer it is more important now than ever.

 

The Retail Archetypes

In the article, Doug lays out what he sees as the 10 distinct retail archetypes that offer “a valuable and ownable market position”.

He explains each of them in detail, offering the risk and reward associated with their unique position and their points of difference. They are all worthy of consideration and I encourage time being taken to read and fully understand each of them. The one you pick will ultimately drive the strategy your business takes moving forward. I have listed them below with a very brief outline to give you a taster of each.

 

  1. The Renegade

Renegade retailers challenge incumbents in a market by identifying creative product or operations-related unlocks that radically alter the price-value equation.

 

  1. The Activist

Activist retailers use their businesses to support social, economic or environmental causes.

 

  1. The Storyteller

Storyteller retailers are those that grow so large, ubiquitous and iconic they supersede their own product category and spend the majority of their time creating compelling content.

 

  1. The Artist

Artist retailers very often sell products that are similar or even identical to those of other retailers, but through their sheer creativity and capacity for stagecraft they design experiences around those products that are highly unique

 

  1. The Tastemaker

Tastemaker retailers are those whose products or brands are not necessarily unique but may indeed be more difficult to find.

 

  1. The Oracle

The oracle retailer is one who delivers unparalleled expertise within a specific category.

 

  1. The Concierge

Concierge retailers are those that deliver highly personalised and engaging experiences to their shoppers.

 

  1. The Clairvoyant

The clairvoyant retailer is one that uses both technology and human intuition to actually predict needs, preferences and desires on the part of its customers and proactively present products on that basis.

 

  1. The Engineer

Engineer retailers figure stuff out. They use technology to solve product or service design problems that elude other brands.

 

  1. The Gatekeeper

Gatekeeper retailers are those that maintain a position through regulatory or financial barriers to entry.

 

Whichever you think might be right for your business, the underlying principle will be the experience that is being offered to them and as previously stated your products need to be shoppable, purchasable and shippable every minute of every day.

Creating a truly seamless, utterly unique online shopping experience for your business that your customers can engage with is a really good starting point. Because when push comes to shove, you still need to be able to sell your product to a customer and making that an easy and enjoyable experience will be what helps you succeed.

It is one thing to have engaging content that drives emotional engagement getting people on board with the idea of your brand and your products, but then offering them a purchase journey that throws them into digital experiences that create roadblocks or barriers, is counterintuitive.

Optimising your existing journey through Conversion Rate Optimisation or designing an entirely new one with User Experience Design are investments that can’t be ignored. And the use of the latest advancements in technology like Augmented Reality all cement your place in the market and offer experiences that allow you to stand out from the crowd.

In the same what that you might spend time and money investing in store fit-outs or training of staff to offer a better in-store experience for customers, the same thinking needs to be applied to your digital store. Just sticking a website up with all your stuff on it isn’t going to cut it. And trying to fix it by spending huge money on well-crafted marketing campaigns is a road to nowhere.

Although it isn’t an example of a digital store, the Fyre Festival is the prime example of what happens when you talk an excellent game with marketing and then fail to deliver on the other side.

 

We’re Here To Help You

At Eclipse, this is what we do. 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’re here to support you and help make sure that your business lives long into the future. No matter your size or specific industry vertical, our mission is to see you succeed.


Our Shopping Habits Continue to Change

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the number of goods sold in June increased by 13.9% from May. This meant UK retail sales were near pre-lockdown levels again.

However, the rise isn’t all sunshine and butterflies, behind the numbers were big changes in the world of retail. Food and Online Sales up, whilst clothing is continuing to struggle.

The shining light that can be taken from the report is the continued growth that Online is seeing. It is going from strength to strength, accounting for £3 out of very £10 spent by consumers.

Jonathan Athow, ONS Deputy National Statistician told the BBC “We’ve had record online sales” and the £3 out of £10 was “a really big increase”.

Although the proportion of online spending reduced to 31.8% in June from 33.3% in May, it is still a considerable increase from the 20% in February and presents an opportunity for businesses to help drive their recovery as we move into what has been coined by many as “The New Normal”.

As we’ve mentioned before, 41% of respondents answered that they were “currently shopping online for things they would normally shop for in-store.”, and all things point to this being a continued and sustainable shopping habit taking hold.

This was confirmed in a release by YouGov. They noted that 39% of people say they would use online shopping and/or delivery even though physical retail has opened up again. Online shopping is now a way of life for many, it is going from being a necessity to a preference.

In an interview with the BBC, Hellen Stirling-Baker, owner of Small Stuff, a Sheffield-based independent retailer, spoke about her move to online during the lockdown.

“Driving my store online is how I have been able to survive,” she said. But she took it one step further and tried to create a little of what people might have been missing.

“Offering face-to-face video calling for customers to recreate the in-store experience has been crucial and sales are picking up” she continued “I’ve also added new services such as local delivery by hand, which really boosts engagement.

This is something that all retailers can and absolutely should be doing. Re-opening with social distancing measures in place will start to help physical retail but there are a huge number of people that aren’t able to or are unwilling to return to retail stores. Their option is online, and you need to be there to be part of the action.

In the same release by YouGov, it was indicated that 64% of people want to support local businesses and buy local products, this doesn’t only mean by walking into physical stores, it extends to online shopping.

Think Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams and this now attributed to history misquote – “If you build it, they will come” (the original being ‘If you build it, he will come’). Either way, local people want to support local people and by giving current and future customers more ways to interact with you, it can only be a good thing.

And if you’re now thinking, “Great, I’m sold. But how am I going to get my store online?” Well, we can help with that too.

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.


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).


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.


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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