Instagram’s new social commerce strategy allows consumers to purchase straight from imbedded links – improving customer experience and broadening market reach through the social media platform.

News that social media giant Instagram is spreading its ‘shoppable’ tags to eight other countries following a year-long trial in the US, has been welcomed by eCommerce expert Tryzens. According to Tryzens’ CEO, Andy Burton, although the opportunities presented by social media have been underexploited by the retail sector in Europe to date, this new development offers a golden opportunity for retailers to reach a larger share of the market and increase customer loyalty.

As of this week, Instagram has opened up its in-app shopping feature to businesses in the UK, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil and Canada, making it easier for brands to direct shoppers to their eCommerce store-fronts without compromising on the time users spend on the app itself.

Commenting on the development, Andy said: “This is great news for anyone trying to reach the market effectively through a channel they are already familiar with, and is arguably something that is long overdue. Instagram is already used to great effect by retailers and Brands looking to communicate with and engage with consumers, but the challenge is that it can be difficult to tempt Instagram’s users off the site and therefore convert ‘likes’ into sales. The introduction of ‘shoppable’ tags solves this issue by removing friction from transactions. This could provide an important tool in the kit-bag of retailers looking to extend market reach, build awareness in the market and simplify conversion for consumers who are face so much choice online.

“With 500 million people using Instagram each day, the market potential for retailers to capitalise on this move is huge. By working with Instagram, retailers will be able to reach the largest possible audience, who can purchase an item in a matter of seconds due to advancements in simplified payments on websites from the likes of Apple Pay, Android Pay, and PayPal”

“Our research suggests that 85 per cent of millennials reach for their smartphones first when making purchases via the internet, and with 500 million people using Instagram each day, the market potential for retailers to capitalise on this move is huge. By working with Instagram, retailers will be able to reach the largest possible audience, who can purchase an item in a matter of seconds due to advancements in simplified payments on websites from the likes of Apple Pay, Android Pay, and PayPal,” Andy continued.

When looking to the future, retailers should consider the potential strain on their marketing stack a large volume of Instagram visits/purchases can have. As more celebrities and influencers start featuring products, a curated Instagram feed is set to become an essential ‘converting’ marketing channel. In the fast-paced world of social media, where a posts’ lifespan can only be a few hours long, being agile enough to monetise on the value of a post is key. There are a number of specialist content 3rd parties that allow online retailers to elevate Instagram posts by making them part of their live site imminently, thus further taking advantage of the buyable post feature.

Solution providers such as Amplience, with its UGC (User Generated Content) product offering, allow retailers to import content from Instagram and quickly roll it out to the live site. UGC paired with buyable posts and the proportion of mobile device visitors has the potential to drive an increase in mobile conversion, where many retailers have found themselves struggling.

Andy concluded: “There is logical excitement around Instagram’s ‘shoppable’ content and I am sure we will see further advances in the market as whole as additional ways to connect user and brand generated content with an intuitive, immersive and efficient shopping experience come to the fore.  Making the social commerce experience as easy and seamless as possible is critical to increasing conversions. However, retailers need to ensure that their support systems and back end operations are fit for the social media revolution – by which I mean being able to respond to enquiries in near real time, engage with consumers in the right tone of voice, and, able ensure orders are fulfilled effectively requiring a single view of customer, single view of stock and single view of inventory to be truly agile.”

(as your GDPR compliance is also in their hands!)

With GDPR coming into force from a compliance perspective on 25th May 2018, retailers can no longer afford to put off the action to look at their new obligations towards their consumers and employees.

That said, we recognise that knowing where to start can be a challenge and so felt it essential to try to demystify GDPR for the retail community. With retailers operating at the forefront of the consumer market where personal data is used considerably, I expect that we have all seen the numerous headlines of new Data Subject (i.e. European citizens) powers that impact how you process their data, as well as huge potential fines that could be levied by a more empowered Regulator (the Information Commissions Office or ico). No doubt this relentless news has also been associated with an increase of SPAM to your inboxes on solutions promising to address the challenges!

However, all the noise (and opportunism by some) can cloud the real issue, and we must not lose sight of common sense and recognise that this new regulation is intended first and foremost to protect individuals in an era of explosive levels of data capture (whether Customers or Employees) as well as to theoretically simplify common business practices for businesses operating across the EU. It is absolutely not an attempt to stifle innovation, efficiency, customer experience or sales conversion which is obviously essential to the success of retail operations. As such I recommend that GDPR must be embraced to help your business demonstrate trust and transparency in the digital age.

Last week, we held our third and final (for now!) seminar with White and Black, our expert legal partners in our mission to demystify GDPR for retailers. Our focus this time was on the subject of managing your obligations relating to third party data processors. In eCommerce operations, there are typically a number of data processors in your overall digital commerce operations driving customer experience, this can range from distribution services to personalization tools, and from payment providers to hosting companies.

As a Retailer, you cannot escape being the accountable party as the ‘Data Controller’ to ensure your processing of personal data for customers and employees is both fair and lawful. However, under GDPR, the third parties that are operating as Data processors on your behalf also have explicit obligations that they must adhere to. In fact, it is essential that retailers recognise that they may already committed in agreements that currently have a term that goes beyond 25th May 2018 and as such may automatically place them in breach of GDPR compliance unless issues are identified and remedied before this date. Therefore, it is essential to take steps now to audit your use of Data Processors and ensure that they are able to operate in compliance to GDPR to enable you to be able to be confident that your business is also.

The following is a quick recap on the areas we covered in the seminar, which a recorded version can be watched here:

  1. GDPR comes under the description of being ‘principles based regulation’ meaning it is not 100% prescriptive and must be interpreted and applied with thought and relevance by each retailer as there is no explicit standard to follow. You must assess your own risks and take a proportionate response to mitigate any risks identified, documenting your findings and decisions, tracking achievement and training your staff.
  2. GDPR works on core principles that are aimed to ensure that businesses operate both ‘fair’ (reasonable) and ‘legal’ processes and that they operate with ‘transparency’ so that consumers know what will happen to their data held by a retailer and how to interact with the retailer if they need more information or a change of action. (Revisit our recorded GDPR webinar 1 for a recap).
  3. A data controller is defined as the organization that determines the purposes and means of processing personal data. In an eCommerce arrangement, this is the retailer.
  4. A Data processor is any organization that processes the data on behalf of the data controller- whether that be storing it, analyzing it, segmenting it or any other task. A retailer could, and usually does, use any number of third party data processors.
  5. For the first time under GDPR there are now direct responsibilities imposed on Data Processors to demonstrate compliance with GDPR.
  6. Both Data Processors and Data Controllers must be able to comply with the new rights of the Data Subject such as the right to be forgotten or the right to withdraw consent. (Revisit our recorded webinar 2 on GDPR for a recap on this)
  7. Data Processors have direct responsibilities under GDPR that they must achieve.
  8. Data controllers must audit the data they capture and process (including those of relevant Data Processors), taking appropriate steps to secure the data and to regularly minimise the amount of data held so it is only held for fair and lawful processes that your customers and employees have agreed to/are aware of.
  9. There are clear requirements for Retailers to ensure that they exercise diligence when selecting service providers (data processors) to ensure they are able to be compliant to GDPR before entering into contracts with them.
  10. Doing contractual reviews of your current Data Processors early is key! Many retailers will have contracts that do not expire before the deadline, it is essential to review, and renegotiate these contracts where applicable. On our GDPR hub we have shared a questionnaire you can use with the suppliers you rely on.
  11. When updating your Privacy Policy and adapting them to be more accessible Fair Process Notices in the customer journey, you need to ensure they accurately reflect or cover the responsibilities covered by third parties Data Processors so that your statements are accurate and valid, back to back, with your contractual position with data processors.

So, our message is simple, it is essential that Retailers have a clear plan to review all Data Processor Agreements asap and amend them where necessary in time for the 25th May 2018.  If a Data Processor cannot prove to be GDPR compliant and contract as such with the Retailer, then the Retailer is responsible to find and use only Data Processors that can commit to compliance if your current suppliers cannot.  Data Processors are also liable under GDPR and as such we would expect them to be aware of their obligations and taking steps to ensure compliance in order to support your business obligations.

For more detailed information on this subject, to play our recorded webinars, or, to access additional resources like our Supplier Questionnaire (to validate Data Processor capability in regard to GDPR) and a quick link to the ICO draft Guidelines for contracting with Data Processors, please go to our GDPR Hub where these resources can be found. If you have any questions on the matter, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Appoint an internal owner and take a pragmatic risk-based approach

Designed to better protect EU citizens’ data and harmonise legislation across Europe, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) brings in a raft of new guidelines and requirements that retailers need to be savvy to.   That said, much is reinforcing the Data Protection Act already in place but with a greater emphasis on ensuring compliance.

At the heart of the initiative is the intent to support the increasingly digital economy, to build trust and to help protect consumers (data subjects) from exposure to risk that their personal data will be compromised and misused.

Yes, there are of course material fines that the ICO could impose from 25th May 2018, but to focus on that is the wrong basis for getting ready for GDPR, instead retailers should be looking to demonstrate that they take the fair and lawful processing of private data seriously and that they can be trusted.

Being a principles-based piece of regulation though means that every retailer needs to be able to demonstrate and evidence their own review, action and processes that were undertaken and put in place, there is no single approach that everyone can print out, copy and say, there you go, this is our position.

In our second instalment of our three-part seminar series – in collaboration with law firm White & Black – we set out to further demystify GDPR in order to help the retailer community establish a practical, best-practice approach to preparing themselves to demonstrate GDPR compliance.

Discussions were centred around how retailers can achieve operational readiness through a risked-based approach (RBA) that looked at the nature of data being held and the purposes for which it is being in order to identify and assess the significance of any potential risks that may be exposed. From this understanding a plan of action can be created that is relevant to the level of those risks and to show how relevant personal data will be captured, managed, protected and controlled to ensure fair and lawful processing.

White & Black outlined the following logical approach to help you review internal operational procedures when it comes to managing personal data:

  1. Planning: This is very much a workshop activity of key stakeholders in the management of functions and technology. It would involve white board sessions to identifying core data captured, processing activities, scoping of the systems impacted and any third parties that may be involved as Data Processors. The aim being to scope out the activity needing further investigation, identifying and grading key potential risks and areas for audit focus. It is also essential to appoint an overall owner for the GDPR activity to manage the various stakeholders to deliver the plan.
  2. Data Audit: Retailers will need to map out the data captured and systems impacted, and this may be best achieved by formulating structured interviews with functions and stakeholders to ensure all avenues are covered and that consensus can be gained on the risk associated with current data held and practices followed to improve the protection for your customers and employee’s personal data. Formalise the outputs in to a document where the risks can be ranked and reviewed and additional data records can be collated alongside such as current privacy notices, supplier contacts, and customer forms. This will form the basis of a risk register from where the plans to mitigate can be based and monitored.
  3. Analysis: Key stakeholders should actively review the risk register, the grading and prioritisation of risks and establish a regular mechanism for reviewing progress ahead of the 25th May 2018 deadline. Retailers should report at Board/Executive management level on core risks identified; formulate key organizational recommendations and actively monitor the completion of tasks and the closing of risks.
  4. Implementation: Key within this part of the plan is to redefine notices and prepare materials (privacy notices, amending supplier contractual clauses, validating security and DP processes and systems, breach notification etc.), but, it is also about preparing the business to handle the many rights of the consumer regarding their data such as the right of erasure (often called the right to be forgotten) as well as the rights of objection, access, portability of data etc.  Arguably ensuring there are processes in place, manual or automated, could be a bigger hurdle for many retailers to implement and support.  Which brings us on to the other key process in implementation, that of ensuring all staff are effectively trained in the importance of GDPR and what it means to them practically day-today.

GDPR will require a fundamental review by each retailer, be they traditional or a born-in-the-cloud retailer operating purely online. To that end as the topic is so broad and the clarity of interpretation still immature, we do believe that a risk-based approach is essential to becoming compliant in an efficient, effective and timely manner.

The following is a summary of the key messages from this session:

  1. GDPR and e-Privacy are parallel forces impacting ecommerce during the transition to common standards. Marketing and online purchasing have different obligations and constraints over the next couple of years as these two pieces of legislation evolve.
  2. Consideration needs to be given by retailers to clearly demonstrate compliance in the online user journey and data capture processes to ensure they are seen to be both fair and lawful processes. Of course, this needs to be as friction free as possible and we demonstrated some concepts as to how this could be achieved,
  3. The new (and strengthened) rights of consumers (data subjects) will require clear external and internal processes that can be followed. This arguably has the greatest administrative burden under the new regulations.
  4. Retailers need to take a risked-based approach to mitigate the risks of data loss or misuse to protect their customers and employees.
  5. Third parties are commonplace in eCommerce, but understanding their role as a Data Processor is critical to ensure appropriate contracting and processes to control risk. The retailer is ultimately liable for their actions when it comes to their own customers.
  6. A clear internal owner and a clear plan for achieving compliance should be a top priority for every retailer right now to ensure a viable and sustainable approach is implemented, well before the 25th May 2018.

Our next seminar will explore in some depth how retailers can practically and effectively manage the increasingly complex area relating to third party suppliers, and what data they process, where they process and store it and what terms and conditions are in their agreements.

For more information on this session, please go to our GDPR Hub.

Don’t put off learning about GDPR as you need time to act before enforcement commences- the changes are significant, as are the risks from inaction

With less than a year to go before organisations which process, use or exchange consumers’ personal data within the EU need to comply with the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), eCommerce systems integrator Tryzens has highlighted how this new directive will impact retailers, and what key steps brands will need to take to mitigate the impact when the regulation becomes enforced from  25th May 2018.

The GDPR is legislation that effectively replaces the Data Protection Act 1998 in the UK, and aims to harmonise the approach to the protection and privacy of all personal data collected for/or about citizens in the EU. Whilst upholding the values of the free flow of information across Member States, GDPR also gives individuals much more transparency and control over what companies can do with their data.

“With heavy fines that can be imposed via the ICO (Information Commissioners Office in the UK) of up to 4% of global group revenue, the risk of failure to comply by the time GDPR is enforced is far too significant to ignore”

Andy Burton, CEO of Tryzens, has advised that all retail organisations with physical or online sales outlets operating in the EU, or those that promote or sell advertising or marketing to EU residents, need to be more aware that they have to comply with the new GDPR.  It is already passed as law today and is enforceable from 25th May 2018.  It is also relevant in regard to a retailer’s management of their employees’ data too.

Burton said: “With heavy fines that can be imposed via the ICO (Information Commissioners Office in the UK) of up to 4% of global group revenue, the risk of failure to comply by the time GDPR is enforced is far too significant to ignore.  It’s crucial that the in retailers’ Boardrooms they start to look seriously at what data they capture, how consumer consent for its use is gained, and ensure the use is purely for what GDPR refers to as Lawful Processing.  Equally, the complexity of the retail technology environment brings about a significant increase in the volume of potential Data Processors that the Retailer (as Data Controller) has to have appropriate back to back contracts, controls and security measures in place for.”

Burton continued: “May 25th of next year is not far away in regard to the scale of the review retailers need to undertake, and it’s worth stating too, that the myth that this may go away because of Brexit is simply not true,  it is already applicable in UK law,”

“GDPR will significantly impact how retailers collect and process personal information, be they pureplay etailers or traditional bricks and mortar. We have less than 12 months before the deadline and with hyper sensitivity in the market to avoid adding any friction to a customer shopping experience (because of the potential impact to sales conversion), I cannot stress enough the importance of ensuring the ecommerce, store, marketing and trading teams fully understand what compliance to GDPR looks like so they can adapt to deliver a positive and seamless customer experience” warned Burton.

Ahead of GDPR, Tryzens has published a Whitepaper aimed specifically at the retail market to explain the major changes, and is running a series of seminars over the coming weeks to help retailers answer the practical questions around what does this mean for them, such as what do I have to do, where do I start,  and, how can I do this and minimise any negative impact on my customers.

As well as having specific guidance for ecommerce operations, Tryzens has set out the top 10 generic steps all Retailers must take to mitigate risk in their business and implement effective GDPR disciplines to ensure compliance, as set out below:

  1. Check you have notified the Information Commissioner’s Office that you are a Data Controller (i.e. organisation that owns the data) – this is simple to do online at ico.org.uk
  2. Share information with management and your board on GDP impact and obligations.
  3. Use a data self-assessment survey to identify risk and readiness for GDPR. A good one can be found at https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/improve-your-pratices/data-protection-self-assessment/getting-ready-for-the-gdpr
  4. Update, or implement, both a formal data protection policy and privacy policy that covers the responsibility to secure data, with legitimate consent and for the sole purpose of lawful processing.
  5. Appoint someone responsible for leading, managing and monitoring GDPR compliance across the business.
  6. Prepare for the new law to be enforced by updating internal and relevant supplier processes, auditing personal data held by your business (for customers, prospects and employees) in order to ensure only relevant data is securely maintained.
  7. Update your Employee handbooks and train all your staff on GDPR and their obligations and responsibilities to comply with it.
  8. Check and/or update your data collection consent wording across your relevant channels.
  9. Check customer and supplier contracts, notably in regard to digital service suppliers that are part of your supply chain to provide service to your customers, as they may be Data Processors but the rretailer remains the Data Controller and must be able to enforce their policies.
  10. Check your insurance coverage for compliance with GDPR.

Multi-national eCommerce Provider Set To Enhance Retailer’s Online Presence

Global customers of one of Australia’s largest retailers are set for a major improvement to their online shopping experience following the recent implementation of a number of enhancements undertaken by Tryzens, a UK HQ’d, international provider of eCommerce solutions and managed services.

Born in 1991, the Cotton On Group delivers on trend and affordable products across it’s eight fashion and lifestyle brands. Today, it has a network of over 1400 stores in 18 countries and a global team of over 20,000 people.

Having previously worked with a local systems integrator, the Cotton On Group felt it would benefit from engaging a firm with greater international experience, leveraging the modern best practices that are being adopted in more mature eCommerce markets such as the UK and US.

After a thorough review of potential partners, the Group selected Tryzens, initially to provide specialist consultancy, implementation and support services that enabled it’s brands to increase their rate of innovation and feature releases, whilst enhancing quality and efficiency. This progamme contributed to the strongest peak period for online trading in the Groups’ history.

With plans to extend its international footprint even further in 2017, the retailer looked extensively for a partner to help them fully realise the potential of Salesforce Commerce Cloud and deliver an outstanding customer experience consistent with its brand values.

Following a rigourous review process, the Cotton On Group has now appointed Tryzens to build its next generation eCommerce platform on Salesforce Commerce Cloud to launch later this year. Meanwhile, Tryzens will also continue to support the Group in maximising the performance of the current site whilst the new site is designed and built.

Tryzens is an international systems integrator headquartered in the UK, with specialist operations in both Bulgaria and India, and is now actively expanding in to the APAC region.

“The Cotton On Group is a real Australian success story”

Brendan Sweeney, General Manager of eCommerce, Cotton On Group, stated: “The Cotton On Group is a real Australian success story. We have a singular focus on giving our customers products that are fashion-focused at an exceptional price and quality. We are a relatively young and determined company with no set boundaries and an intimate knowledge of our customers. With millennials representing such a large proportion of our customer base, having the right eCommerce experience is critical to achieving our goals.”

“While we are happy with our choice of Salesforce Commerce Cloud as a platform, we sought a partner that could help us get the very best from its inherent capabilities. We have been impressed with the progress we have made since we engaged Tryzens and look forward to continued success. It is a big decision to change your systems integration partner, but it has been a seamless and positive experience that has delivered results from the outset. It is great to see Tryzens setting up an office in Melborne to serve the growing market demand for world class ecommerce solutions in Australia”, he added.

“We have been impressed with the progress we have made since we engaged Tryzens and look forward to continued success”

Andy Burton, CEO, Tryzens, added: “Today’s connected consumer is transforming online commerce at a pace, through their increasing expectations of value, best price, convenience and simplicity of shopping. This force of ‘consumerisation’ creates fantastic new opportunities for forward-thinking brands like the Cotton On Group to enhance their customers’ buying experience and build strong relationships. It is exciting to see the Group pursuing a seamless shopping experience for its customers across all stages of their purchasing journeys, regardless of whether they are shopping online, in-store or beyond.”

“We are hugely proud to have been selected by them to support the next major phase of the Cotton On Group’s online strategy”

“We are delighted to be able to add real value by delivering functionality to the Group’s existing platform to drive growth, not only by enhancing the customer experience but enabling them to stay competitive in this quickly changing landscape. We are also hugely proud to have been selected by them to support the next major phase of the Cotton On Group’s online strategy with this latest appointment to upgrade their platform and web sites to leverage the rich capabilities of Salesforce Commerce Cloud.”

About Tryzens

Since 2004, Tryzens has been trusted by retail’s biggest names as an independent expert to plan, implement and maintain eCommerce systems and to optimise retail performance through systems & services.

Tryzens enable its clients to leverage efficient, effective and reliable retail solutions that carry the promise of a positive and unified experience that in turn delights their customers, builds loyalty and drives growth.

From concept to outcome, Tryzens offer a range of services to enable their clients to Plan, Build, Run and Enhance their eCommerce offering throughout their multi-channel development, whether starting in-store or online.

Press contact: tryzens@spreckley.co.uk

By Susanne Sosanya, Marketing Executive at Tryzens

Welcoming in a new year is always a time of reflection, and at Tryzens it is no different. The year 2016 saw some remarkable moments and overall can be ruled as exceedingly successful, from new service launches, thought leadership, a brand new website and most importantly, fantastic site performance for our customers. As part of this reflection, we have compiled a selection of 2016 highlights.

Industry leading research

Tryzens take pride in being in being industry leaders in eCommerce and therefore recognise the importance of sharing our thought leadership. Our ‘Expert Research Series’, launched in 2015, continued with new publications in 2016. ‘Tryzens Expert Research’ tracks, analyses and forecasts the trends and preferences of ‘Generation Consumer’ based on detailed analysis of 1,000 UK consumers who exposure to online shopping and had made at least one purchase in the past quarter.

In September 2016 we released the third whitepaper in the series, entitled ‘The Impact of Consumerisation and Competition on Online Retail Fashion.’. This whitepaper primarily focused on the topics of the increasing cost pressure of fulfilment, the rise of mCommerce and addressing the unique challenge of size and fit. Unearthing these trends were perfectly fitting as we ran up to the peak shopping season of the year.

You can download the whitepaper here.

Tryzens Expert Research

New company website

We’re proud of the incredible websites we create for top retailers and it is always the way that the service you do for others you do last for yourself. In October we launched our new site, which much better reflects our business capabilities. Being a web design agency we understand more than anyone how much of a valuable impact having a great website brings and after finally undergoing the digital makeover we saw immediately higher site traffic, lower bounce rates and longer page viewing sessions. One of the major elements that needed updating was the content volume- what we did as a business was not clearly articulated; from admittedly complex quantity on most pages to short snappy quality messages, It is distinctively more colourful, fun and on trend whilst simultaneously remaining visibly informative and interactive.

Old Tryzens Site

The Old Tryzens Homepage

New Tryzens Site

The New Tryzens Homepage

Black Friday Success

For all retailers, Black Friday is the beginning of the most anticipated but equally dreaded time of the year, the end of year shopping peak. It sets the tone for the festive shopping period to come and hints at what offers/products work and which do not. Our well established support team were put to the test as it was reportedly predicted by Forbes that Black Friday 2016 was to be bigger than ever and for the first time, sales were expected to exceed $3 billion, an 11.5% increase over last year.

It was critical to our team to provide our clients with peace of mind and comfort that their sites were able to withstand the sudden increase in traffic and demand. Due to meticulous preparation the big day was without a doubt one to celebrate as all the hard work paid off. Tryzens were delighted with the performance results from our client’s when new records were set as online sales surged.

As of the time of publication of our Black Friday blog, the clients we had spoken to saw healthy year on year growth and prospered through the increase in demand. With ranges from 38% to 214% YoY growth, our 24/7 Expert Services offering came into it’s own, so that retailers could relax as they ‘knew we had it under control’.

Two of our clients – Jack Wills and The Works – independently made (and remained in) the Top Ten of UK online retailer performances according to Internet Retailing Research. The authority tested websites on an hourly basis on both mobile and desktop devices to track their performance from pre peak all the way through peak trading.

Company Charity

As a company, being generous and charitable is knitted within the core of our values. We are always looking at more ways to support our chosen causes in fun and inclusive ways and this year was no different. We were excited to have Macmillan democratically chosen as our company charity and looked forward to raising money in new and impacting ways in 2017.

We began our company charity activities with the Macmillan Coffee morning which was a great success with so many bakers getting involved. We saw the same active enthusiasm for our Macmillan Christmas jumper day, which saw some of the best festive fashion and raised an impressive amount.

In addition to supporting our company charity, we collaborated our giving spirit with our partner Salesforce Commerce Cloud, with a trek of the three peaks, which surpassed our donation target by 240%. Read how the trek went here.

Tryzens Charity

TradeState

In 2016, Tryzens introduced our real time analytics and trend analysis tool; TradeState.

TradeState is a game changer for any ecommerce retailer wanting to keep their finger on the pulse of their business. The Business Intelligence Dashboard is an innovative solution providing near real-time analytics and trend analysis status updates of orders, sales, website visitors and alerts you when your site is down. It identifies opportunities to improve sales and enhance the customer experience.

By highlighting underperformance, TradeState thereby allows retailers to de-risk future trading, all the while being kept up to date at their fingertips- no matter where they happen to be, or on which device.

We were pleased to learn TradeState was nominated for the Online Technology Vendor of the year at the Retail Systems Awards in November. Although the victory was not ours on this occasion, the nomination alone early in the tool’s conception is great recognition in the industry. We look forward to advancing TradeState and ensuring it remains a pioneering tool in retail analytics.

TradeState

Magento

In 2016, we had been greatly active with our partner Magento, maintaining our Professional Solutions partner level. One demonstration of this is we have increased the number of Magento 2 trained resources available at Tryzens and are working towards completing the third Magento 2 implementation. Additionally, Tryzens have been selected to be on the 2017 Magento Alpha programme of their B2B release.
We completed a number of projects on the Magento platform with clients such as Joseph Joseph.

To wrap up a great year of partnership in December we collaborated in a new way for some festive fun with the #12RetailDays Christmas campaign via email and social media. As the name indicates the campaign extended over 12 working days and revealed an interesting retail fact drawn from research we jointly commissioned based on 1,200 UK consumers.

Salesforce Commerce Cloud

We are proud to have maintained our ‘Premier’ partnership status as one of Salesforce Commerce Cloud Europe’s leading partners in 2016.
We’ve completed a number of projects for clients migrating onto, or enhancing their offering with Salesforce Commerce Cloud, such as Avenue 32 and TM Lewin.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud went through a substantial change in September and was no longer known as Demandware, read more about it here. Being delivery and support certified partners we ensured that the transition was well communicated to our clients with no disruption to service.

Integrations

We furthered our partnership programme and worked on some integrations and support for new and exciting eCommerce technology partners such as Smart Focus, translations.com, style.com, Klarna, Global-e and Pennies. Our pre-integrations enables them to be ‘plug and play’ into key eCommerce platforms such as Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Magento, Hybris and Intershop. Our offering for build, certification and support with one systems integrator took shape, enabling the next big technologies to take advantage of cost and efficiency savings.

Tryzens look forward to more releases, working on new projects with our partners and completing new website builds in 2017! You can stay up to date with the latest Tryzens news by following us on social media LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

By Susanne Sosanya, Marketing Executive at Tryzens

Glad tidings for retailers as industry reflects on positive festive season

 According to the British Retail Consortium this week, it wasn’t just Black Friday and Cyber Monday that got us splashing the cash for the holidays at the tail end of 2016 – in fact, the whole of December saw a rise in total like-for-like sales of 1% compared to the same period in 2015.

Timing is everything

There are many factors that helped increase spend, both online and in-store. Last minute shoppers and continuing deals, as well as the fact that the Big Day fell on a Sunday (leaving time for those ultra-last minute buys on the high street on Christmas Eve), all contributed to enabling retailers to squeeze the last few pennies from consumers in the weeks leading up to the 25th. But Barclaycard, which also reported an increase in consumer spending in the three months to Christmas, is quick to point out that this uptick in sales was in fact primarily down to online transactions as the high street saw a slowdown. Springboard also reported that Boxing Day saw a 19.9% drop in high street footfall compared to 2015.

2016: ‘ringing up’ the changes

As for online, a major factor in driving revenues was the continued effort from brands to improve the shopping experience. 2016 was a huge year for retailers investing in new technologies and introducing strategic changes to their eCommerce offerings. Key trends such as improved delivery choices (from click and collect to increased options for cheaper or free delivery), streamlined checkouts (everything from address verification to wider options for payments) and investment into the mobile experience (optimising sites, enhancing photos and adding new media such as videos) have all given a great boost to online shopping.

So, how did we do?

One retailer stated that their mobile revenue rose by 50% year-on-year over the entire festive shopping period.

The proof, of course, is in the Christmas pudding! We said previously in our blog that once the Cyber Weekend was over, our customer sites would need to remain robust during extended deals periods and beyond in the run up to 25th December and into the January sales.

Throughout 2016, Tryzens’ Expert Services team worked in close quarters with our customers to ensure that their websites were stress tested and health checked (and up to facing the pressure of the winter shopping season). Despite the noticeable trend for retailers of all types to extend the promotional period to a week or longer, as well as those who selectively discounted in order to preserve their margins, their virtual storefronts remained stoic, with multiple performance records being broken.

Our continuous monitoring of our clients’ websites throughout the period meant we were able to frequently update them on key performance metrics, such as traffic, conversion rates, abandoned baskets, sales and so on. The substantial preparation in order to maximise returns has clearly paid off.

We have spoken to a number of clients (including household name brands that operate internationally), all of whom have reported an increase on sales and year-on-year growth compared to 2015, averaging around 35%. In fact, several reported “record-breaking” like-for-like revenue growth, and in particular, mobile shopping is the shining star. One retailer stated that their mobile revenue rose by 50% year-on-year over the entire festive shopping period. After some significant strategic changes to their mobile offering in 2016, the impact is clear.

Conversion rates also improved by up to 0.8% for one retailer after implementing a new checkout system in 2016, streamlining the whole process to ensure a frictionless experience for the customer.

Make decisions in real-time and reap the rewards

We at Tryzens worked hard with all of our customers during the peak retail period to provide solid support through our brilliant Expert Services team. Performance and trading updates helped retailers to tweak their sites and respond in near real-time to the pressures, and ensured that if anything were at risk of falling over due to unprecedented demand, there was a contingency in place to quickly resolve the downtime.

We will be continuing to work with retailers throughout the year to make 2017 even better, and ensure that the entire online shopping experience for consumers delivers a profitable year. While it remains to be seen what impact the economy and other external challenges will have on consumer spend in the lead up to Christmas 2017 and beyond, we’ll be there right by our customers’ sides to ensure their eCommerce offerings remain strong.

Did you know £1,600,000,000 is spent in the UK every year on Christmas presents?

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday out of the way and less than a month until the big day itself, our independently commissioned survey into 1,200 people has revealed that the majority of UK consumers will do at least half their Christmas shopping online this year.

Black Friday is now being seen as the springboard for the ‘Golden Quarter’ in retail. Britons are reported to have spent a total of £5.8 billion over the course of the Cyber Weekend this year, with online sales increasing by almost 21%. As we’ve seen with our customer’s success, there is no doubt that this year consumers are spending more than ever, and importantly, are 100% comfortable with doing most or all of their spending online. The lesson for online fashion and apparel retailers is understand how the UK consumer is shopping, get through the Golden Quarter and make enhancements to their online offering in 2017.

We’ve teamed up with our partners Magento to bring you the ’12 Retail Days of Christmas’, enabling top retailers to fully understand the consumers and their shopping habits at the peak of the festive period.

Our 12 Retail Days of Christmas fact series is the perfect fun and festive way to monitor key trends. Over the next 12 working days we will be discussing these points on the blog. Similarly, you can keep up to date and join the conversation with other retailers using #12RetailDays on Facebook and Twitter.

Can’t wait? The report is available for free download here.

Retailers must innovate to address demands for fulfilment without damaging the bottom line

Modern retailers risk a ‘race to the bottom’ by satisfying growing desires for anytime, cheap deliveries without balancing the associated costs across their organisations for managing stock, delivery and any associated returns. As consumers increasingly turn to cheaper delivery options without sacrificing their convenience, retailers must utilise new fulfilment solutions to remain competitive while avoiding impact on their operating margins. This is according to the latest research from Tryzens, a managed service provider of eCommerce solutions.
According to Tryzens’ latest whitepaper in its Expert Research series, the number one priority for the consumer is direct delivery to the home or office at any time convenient to the retailer (67%) which, bearing in mind is often promoted as a ‘free’ option by online retailers, aligns with the second option of ‘whatever is the cheapest’ (65%). Free is – unfortunately for the bottom line – best for the consumer at this time.
Andy Burton, CEO of Tryzens stated: “What survives and thrives in online behaviour are the things consumers are most attracted to and can exploit to their benefit. Furthermore, the reality of competition between retailers is equally about adaptation, differentiation and ultimately the ‘survival of the fittest’, as already seen with the high profile loss of big names from the industry this year. Ultimately, if you combine the forces of consumerisation and retail competition you get a tendency for promotional offers and free delivery, where competitors seek tactical advantages over one another.
“There is a real risk of retailers getting caught in a ‘race to the bottom’ to win market share and ‘share of wallet’ by offering free deliveries and returns. Coupled with competitive pressure on websites for best product prices, eCommerce businesses face significantly squeezed margins which could impact their bottom lines,” he said.
Online retailers need to innovate their fulfilment options to stay ahead, focusing on leveraging all stock (regardless of location), ‘reserve’ and/or ‘click and collect’ for multi-channel retailers, as well as new partnerships with couriers and local delivery providers to cut costs without risking service quality.
“A tangible key to success in eCommerce customer experience is the speed, efficiency and cost of receiving and/or returning goods ordered online. The courier and parcel delivery industry has flourished off the growing success of eCommerce, driving innovation in enhancing the consumer’s choice and convenience of where to receive, pick-up or return a parcel. Retailers operating online need to ensure they have a complete and timely view of stock holding across their business and work closely with the courier industry to forge new cost-effective partnerships on a national and local level. In this way, they can still offer customers the fulfilment options they desire without risking their under-pressure margins in the process,” Burton concluded.
Tryzens Expert Research tracks, analyses and forecasts the trends and preferences of ‘Generation Consumer’ based on detailed analysis of 1,000 UK consumers who were exposed to online shopping and had made at least one purchase in the past quarter. The Expert Research series was launched originally in 2015 to assist retailers operating online to quantify current consumer behaviour and preferences in order to more accurately and effectively evolve their eCommerce capabilities alongside evolving consumer trends.
The Tryzens Expert Series whitepaper “The impact of consumerisation and competition on online retail fashion” is available for download here.

Impact of online now being felt with increase of 11% in sales over the past three months

Retail figures from October were up 1.7% from a year ago, boosted by strong online sales over the past three months. With shoppers appearing to be unconcerned about the Brexit vote, the challenges of a weaker pound and the possibility of inflation creeping in – consumers are still spending.

But as the Golden Quarter begins, retailers need to continue to focus on anticipating consumers’ needs and expectations, or they will miss out on increased sales opportunities over the forthcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend and risk disappointing customers. This is according to retail systems integrator Tryzens.

The latest figures from the British Retail Consortium showed a 1.7% increase in like-for-like sales and a total sales increase of 2.4%. Online sales rose by 11% but in-store sales dropped 1.3% on a total basis.

“As we enter the peak trading period, retailers need to ensure that their site is built first and foremost around the smartphone consumer perspective.”

Andy Burton, CEO, Tryzens, stated: “These latest sales figures from the British Retail Consortium clearly indicate the trend of online shopping. This is not a one-off leap or statistical anomaly, it is the beginning of a major trend we have been seeing here in the UK for some time. Generation Consumer, the UK citizen that is empowered and comfortable with online shopping, is now using the smartphone more frequently to complete end-to-end shopping experiences in a dramatic shift in online behaviour.

“Retailers operating online have an undeniably significant opportunity through the peak trading period. But with that comes a form of duty to avoid the pitfalls encountered by some around performance and the end-to-end customer experience, including stock availability and delivery timeframes. With retailers already in the Golden Quarter, and Black Friday weekend and Christmas looming, they will be hoping to maintain momentum by capturing the attention of shoppers in the noisiest time of year.

“As we enter the peak trading period, retailers need to ensure that their site is built first and foremost around the smartphone consumer perspective. In practical terms that means reworking the customer experience and more than just around a responsive design, to favour fewer key taps, simplifying the Search/PLP, easing the completion of checkout for deliveries to regular addresses and adoption of mobile payment services,” he added.

eCommerce businesses need to make sure their design and support for mobile shoppers is a high priority in their roadmaps, as failure to act may mean missing out on this years’ peak period. Failing to provide a positive mobile experience could not only lose sales, but also create a poor relationship between a brand and its shrewd and increasingly tech savvy audience. Retailers therefore must enable consumers to shop on their device of choice to take full advantage of the opportunities peak trading presents

Tryzens Expert Research tracks, analyses and forecasts the trends and preferences of ‘Generation Consumer’ based on a detailed analysis of 1,000 UK consumers who were exposed to online shopping and had made at least one purchase in the past quarter. The Expert Research series was launched in 2015 to assist retailers operating online to quantify current consumer behaviour and preferences, in order to more accurately and effectively evolve their eCommerce capabilities.