Tag Archives: magazine

It’s Time To Start Using CSS Custom Properties

Today, CSS preprocessors are a standard for web development. One of the main advantages of preprocessors is that they enable you to use variables. This helps you to avoid copying and pasting code, and it simplifies development and refactoring.

It's Time To Start Using CSS Custom Properties

We use preprocessors to store colors, font preferences, layout details — mostly everything we use in CSS. But preprocessor variables have some limitations.

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It’s Time To Start Using CSS Custom Properties

An Overview Of E-Commerce Platforms

Did you know that bandwidth overage charges are (still) a problem and most users prefer not to rely on a developer? Well, I talked to 917 (real-life) users and created a guide to help others find the e-commerce software that suits them best.

The Ultimate Guide To E-Commerce Platforms

I completed this guide by searching for websites built with e-commerce software (you can verify by looking at the source code — certain code strings are unique to the software). Once I found a website, I (or one of my virtual assistants) would email the owner and ask if they’d recommend a particular software. Typically, they’d reply and I’d record their response in a spreadsheet (and personally thank them).

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An Overview Of E-Commerce Platforms

Building For Mobile: RWD, PWA, AMP Or Instant Articles?

As we look deep into 2017, one of the questions on every web developer’s mind ought to be, “What trend will define the web in 2017?” Just three years ago, we were talking about the “Year of Responsive Web Design”, and we’ve all seen how the stakes were raised when Google announced Mobilegeddon (21 April 2015) and started to boost the rankings of mobile-friendly websites in mobile search results.

Building For Mobile: RWD, PWA, AMP Or Instant Articles?

Today, as our findings indicate, responsive web design is the norm, with 7 out of 10 mobile-optimized websites being responsive, up from 5 last year, which begs the questions: What’s next? Where is it all heading? We solved the screen-size issue and had a great run for a few years — now what?

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Building For Mobile: RWD, PWA, AMP Or Instant Articles?

Improve Your Billing Form’s UX In One Day

The checkout page is the last page a user visits before finally decide to complete a purchase on your website. It’s where window shoppers turn into paying customers. If you want to leave a good impression, you should provide optimal usability of the billing form and improve it wherever it is possible to.

Improve Your Billing Form’s UX In One Day

In less than one day, you can add some simple and useful features to your project to make your billing form user-friendly and easy to fill in. A demo with all the functions covered below is available. You can find its code in the GitHub repository.

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Improve Your Billing Form’s UX In One Day

The Beauty Of Imperfection In Interface Design

Sometimes we tend to think of our designs as if they are pieces of art. But if we think of them this way, it means they won’t be ready to face the uncertain conditions of the “real world.” However, there is also beauty in designing an interface that is ready for changes — and, let’s admit it, interfaces do change, all the time.

The Beauty Of Imperfection In Interface Design

One of the things I like most about designing a mobile app is that, from the initial concepts to the time when you are fine-tuning and polishing all of the interface details, this is a process with many steps.

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The Beauty Of Imperfection In Interface Design

How To Develop An Interactive Command Line Application Using Node.js

Over the last five years, Node.js has helped to bring uniformity to software development. You can do anything in Node.js, whether it be front-end development, server-side scripting, cross-platform desktop applications, cross-platform mobile applications, Internet of Things, you name it. Writing command line tools has also become easier than ever before because of Node.js — not just any command line tools, but tools that are interactive, useful and less time-consuming to develop.

How To Develop An Interactive Command Line Application Using Node.js

If you are a front-end developer, then you must have heard of or worked on Gulp, Angular CLI, Cordova, Yeoman and others. Have you ever wondered how they work?

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How To Develop An Interactive Command Line Application Using Node.js

The Art Of Calligraphy: Getting Started And Lessons Learned

Typography is a primary element of composition. Being a designer, I pay a lot of attention to its quality. Operating Photoshop is easy for me; however, to level up my skills, I am always learning to work with letters, using my hands, without any computer programs.

The Art Of Calligraphy: Getting Started And Lessons Learned<

The first time I took a calligraphy course was about a year ago, and the decision was quite hard. I was sure that it would be painstaking and that I would need excellent handwriting to learn this art. How mistaken I was!

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The Art Of Calligraphy: Getting Started And Lessons Learned

A Detailed Introduction To Webpack

JavaScript module bundling has been around for a while. RequireJS had its first commits in 2009, then Browserify made its debut, and since then several other bundlers have spawned across the Internet.

A Detailed Introduction To Webpack

Among that group, webpack has jumped out as one of the best. If you’re not familiar with it, I hope this article will get you started with this powerful tool.

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A Detailed Introduction To Webpack

Mobile-First Is Just Not Good Enough: Meet Journey-Driven Design

In a recent sales meeting for a prospective healthcare client, our team at Mad*Pow found ourselves answering an all-too-familiar question. We had covered the fundamental approach of user-centered design, agreed on leading with research and strategy, and everything was going smoothly. Just as we were wrapping up, the head of their team suddenly asked, “Oh, you guys design mobile-first, right?”

Mobile First Is Just Not Good Enough: Meet Journey-Driven Design

Well, that’s a difficult question to answer. While the concept of mobile-first began as a philosophy to help prioritize content and ensure positive, device-agnostic experiences, budgetary and scheduling constraints often result in mobile-first meaning mobile-only.

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Mobile-First Is Just Not Good Enough: Meet Journey-Driven Design

2017 eCommerce Conversion Rate Trends That Are Here to Stay

We have hardly seen through the first month of the year and the internet is already overwhelmed with the advice and trend pieces on eCommerce.

In this post, however, we specifically focus on those trends that can influence eCommerce conversion rates this year. It is important to keep a watch on such trends to keep ahead of the game.

Let’s read through what eCommerce experts are saying.

On-Site Search Optimization

Effective site search is well known for increasing website conversion rates. Weblink’s internal study for 2016 points out that shoppers who use internal site search converted at a 216% higher rate than those who do not.

Internal site search stats
Source

In 2014, Smashing Magazine benchmarked the search experience of the 50 top-grossing US e-commerce websites, revealing a lot of untapped potential:

  • 60% of e-commerce websites do not support searches with symbols and abbreviations.
  • While 82% websites have autocomplete suggestions, 36% of implementations do more harm than good.

According to Paul Rogers, 2017 will see more and more eCommerce businesses fix and optimize their on-site search in order to increase their conversion rates.

Paul Rogers, eCommerce consultant

I think an area of eCommerce that more and more merchants are starting to address, with a view to optimizing conversion metrics, is on-site search. Many of the clients I work with have upped their game in this area this year, making use of things like self-learning capabilities (via a third-party solution, supporting merchandising), natural language processing (to better understand more complex queries), product / category / attribute boosting and also promoting the use of the function.

In my experience, users who complete a search are considerably more likely to convert. I’ve seen positive results from making search boxes more prominent and more of a core navigation focus (through encouraging more complex queries like ‘search for product, SKU, brand or help’ for example). There are some really good, advanced solutions available for eCommerce stores now that can handle far more complex queries and drive more trade — I really like Klevu for the NLP and catalog enrichment side of things, but Algolia is very strong too.

Using a third-party solution is generally the best route for optimizing search, as the majority of the eCommerce platforms on the market (with the exception of enterprise systems like Oracle Commerce Cloud and IBM Websphere) have weak search technology, some of which are unable to process even the most simple queries.

Amazon Rise Continues

A survey conducted by BloomReach 2015 revealed that approximately half of the online consumers conduct their first product search on Amazon. The survey gives some interesting insights into how and why Amazon continues to dominate American e-commerce market year-on-year.

In fact, the percentage of people who search for a product first on Amazon has gone up from 30% in 2012 to 44% in 2015. Check the graph for numbers on first searches made on Amazon vs. search engines vs. retailer websites.

amazon search vs. search engine vs. retailers
Source

Andrew Youderian believes that the same trend will continue well into 2017 unless other players are able to build a brand connection with customers.

Andrew Youderian, eCommerce entrepreneur

I think many merchants in 2017—especially those in the U.S.—will see continued downward pressure on their website conversion rates due to Amazon. As Amazon continues to gobble up market share, they are increasingly becoming the go-to place for consumers looking to purchase online. Unless merchants are selling something unique or have a strong brand connection with their customers, it will be difficult to win this battle, and it’s a transition that many merchants haven’t yet made.

Conversion Rate Optimization

Chris Lake, co-founder of EmpiricalProof

The main trend for 2017 is the widespread maturing of the Conversion Rate Optimization industry. It is reminiscent of the usability and analytics industry a decade or so ago. Budgets are on the rise, companies are adopting a structured approach to optimization, and hiring in-house staff for the same.

Chris backs his statement with an interesting study by eConsultancy, according to which over half of companies plan to increase their conversion optimization budgets in 2017. The whole CRO industry will attract attention from the C-suite, he adds further.

CTA_evolution

Personalization

A survey conducted by eConsultancy in 2013 concluded that 94% of the in-house marketers consider website personalization to be critical to the success of the business. This popularity of personalization in eCommerce has grown over the years. Evergage combines extensive data on personalization in a stats roundup for 2016. The gist of the report is that consumers are likely to buy from a retailer that:

  • Recognizes them by name
  • Makes suggestions based on recent purchases
  • Knows the purchase history of their consumers

While a lot is being discussed on personalization since long, Tracey Wallace opines that 2017 is going to be the year of personalization.

Tracey Wallace, Editor in Chief at Bigcommerce

The eCommerce industry has been talking about personalization for a while, without much data or fruition. In 2017, I think personalization is going to be the key to more sales from your already existing customers –– i.e. driving up AOV and retention. With so many channels for customers to check out on (and most brands being at least multi if not omnichannel), what will make them checkout on *your* webstore? VIP programs, special discounts, and early access will help to foster loyalty and drive up repeat sales. Plus, you can use this same type of segmentation to sell B2B and wholesale without having to take every single call. 2017 will be about efficiency, and there’s nothing more efficient than getting people who have already purchased from you to buy again, and again, and again.

Mobile Optimization

Throughout the day, the one device that consumes most of our time is mobile. comScore reports that digital media time in the U.S. has exploded recently – growing nearly 50 percent in the past two years, with more than three-fourths of that growth directly attributable to the mobile app.

Since mobile plays a critical role in significantly increasing reach, awareness, and engagement, it is time that eCommerce players start giving it the due attention. Look at the following graph to see how mobile and tablet usage has been increasing over time.

mobile optimization
Mobile and tablet usage combined, beat desktop usage for the first time worldwide in 2016

Google has already shown its inclination towards mobile by announcing a “mobile-first” culture. As a result, Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is being talked about a lot.

William Harris, Growth Marketer & Entrepreneur

One of the biggest trends in 2017 will be the growth of AMP. I tested this out with a few merchants on Shopify Plus when they were running the beta, and the results were impressive.

We know that stripping pages down to the necessary elements tends to increase conversion rates.  We know that faster load times tend to increase conversion rates.  So when you combine the both, it only makes sense that conversion rates will go up on mobile devices. Since mobile accounts for the majority of website traffic, that’s where the biggest increase in conversions will come in 2017.

Look to see more merchants adopting AMP and pushing the mobile conversion rate even higher (especially when AMP gets better and more flexible).”

Smarter Buy Buttons

The busy consumer is looking for smarter ways to shop. While he browses his mobile to make a mental to-buy list, he compares the best deals on a desktop for making an informed purchase.

For retailers, there lies an opportunity in this challenge. With the help of buy buttons, social commerce has enabled eCommerce players convert the buyer at the first point of contact – mobile, tablet, desktop, email, Facebook, Pinterest, or anywhere else.

Nicole Leinbach Reyhle, founder of Retail Minded Magazine, says that buy buttons will be one of the major trends driving up conversion rates for eCommerce in 2017.

Nicole Leinbach Reyhle, founder, Retail Minded Magazine

The buyer journey will always evolve and as a result, retailers must, as well. Among the ways I believe eCommerce, in particular, will see change in the year ahead is by the introduction of smart buy buttons. Such buy buttons do not need as many steps to purchase as they have in the past. This will undoubtedly help conversion rates, as well as connect consumers to brands more efficiently and more quickly than ever before. Through the introduction of buy buttons via social media, email, video platforms and other digital avenues, I believe that customers will be able to skip steps they have not been able to in the past. And, as a result, retailers will benefit with stronger sales and customer engagement.

To Wrap Up

Personalization, on-site optimization, the continuous rise of Amazon, conversion rate optimization, buy buttons—eCommerce businesses can use these trends to their advantage in 2017.

Have any of the trends listed above had any impact on your business? Tell us and our readers in the comments section below.

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