Millennials Are Reshaping the Shopping Experience, Are You Keeping Up?

Millennials are shaping the customer shopping experience with both trendsetting and extraordinary spending power. Exposure to technology has defined their different tastes and habits, which tend to change regularly. Millennials might be more connected than other shoppers, but they do not embrace a linear way of shopping; they embrace omnichannel digital experiences and are constantly on the lookout for more innovative and engaging ways to shop.

Classified as individuals 18-34 years old, Millennials actually care more about the experiences than owning things, and that poses the biggest challenge for retailers. According to Business Intelligence, Millennials are obsessed with the style of life than the stuff of life.

On the other hand, when it comes to retail, they have a very specific way of shopping and tend to become impulse buyers. More than 80% of Millennials in the U.S. have made an impulse purchase in 2014 and continue to do so today. However, Millennials are also more likely to regret their impulse purchases. Millennials make impulse purchases as soon as they get paid, when they are attracted to a promotion, or when they’re in need of retail therapy. Impulse purchases are higher among women than men. “Nearly seven in 10 women made impulse purchases after seeing price promotions while six in 10 male shoppers were tempted by the same offers,” according to eMarketer. Unfortunately, after making the impulse purchase, Millennials express dissatisfaction due to either the quality of product, or the overall cost of their purchase.

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Posted in Ecommerce, Mobile

CodeNow and Infosys Foundation USA Transform Students Into Coding Wizards

Over 50 excited high school students shuffled through the glass doors of the Skava headquarters in San Francisco on Saturday December 3th.

What were over 50 high school students doing in a tech office on a Saturday morning? They were learning to code.

Infosys Foundation USA and CodeNow partnered together to host a coding boot camp for high school students from San Francisco. This is their fourth coding boot camp this year and continues to host more workshops across the Bay Area.

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Posted in Events, Uncategorized

Headless Commerce Redefines Shoppable Experiences

Rethink Commerce

Traditional shopping that was once built around the storefront and checkout, has now transformed into one that is embedded into every experience and touchpoint possible.

However, one of the biggest challenges for retailers is to continuously improve front-end and digital experiences. Retailers would like to avoid replatforming as it is time-consuming and often times expensive. Headless commerce, which essentially separates the back-end capabilities from the front-end experiences, enables retailers to only partially replatform. Retailers can use their existing e-commerce stack, but only change the front-end layer.

Headless commerce is transforming the way customers shop and the way e-commerce developers build. In a headless architecture approach, the front-end layer and the back-end layer are completely separable.

More precisely, a headless commerce architecture separates the content presentation layer (content and experience management systems) from the business logic and functional layer (existing e-commerce stack, integration, and commerce management). Therefore, such architecture can support an e-commerce platform that has no “head,” allowing more room for flexibility, customization, shoppable experiences, and freedom for growth, which we will cover in this blog.

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Posted in Customer Stories, Uncategorized

Online Sales Dominated Black Friday and Cyber Monday

The numbers prove it all. Black Friday still remains the biggest holiday sales event of the year and has more prominence than ever before. This year, Black Friday broke online sales record with over $3 billion, compared to over $1 billion last year. Meanwhile, Cyber Monday breaks record with over $3 billion. At Skava, we analyze and dive deep into our data to see how customers are shopping during the most popular sales event of the year.

Download the infographic as we continue to explore popular trends during Thanksgiving weekend, the total number of online sales by day, and popular peak times.


Posted in Black Friday, Ecommerce

‘Legacy’ tech is slowing retailers’ e-commerce march

 [Payments Source] Retailers have invested in e-commerce technologies, but still struggle with integrating them with complex legacy systems.

Legacy systems limit the ability of retailers to rapidly prototype, test and launch new digital offerings and drive consistent experience across channels – resulting in the failure to compete with modern, mobile-first ecommerce architectures. Thus, retailers are forced to make incremental changes towards digital, rather than a complete transformation.

Today’s retail space is dominated by the need to deliver a unified, connected experience. Retailers are racing to bolster their e-commerce capabilities, create in-store omni-channel environments and expand their customer base to a global audience. In short, they need to work harder to deliver a seamless, device-agnostic connected experience.

Amazon is threatening retailers, requiring a major upgrade for retailers, says Skava’s Arish Ali.

According to eMarketer, global retail e-commerce sales are expected to reach $4 trillion by 2020, and sales in the U.S. alone are projected to cross $423 billion in 2016.

Here’s what we can expect to see in as the competition and adoption of key technologies continues to increase:

Technology will become a competitive battlefront. Traditionally, retailers have used technology as an enabler of tables takes features and have competed on aspects such as product assortments, price, promotions, store footprints and marketing.

However, with fast-changing consumer trends, the retailers with the best set of tech tools will win. These include consumer-facing front-end digital presence, and both platform and architecture to ensure back-end systems work efficiently. More retailers are viewing those capabilities as key differentiators and we believe this will result in some of the larger retailers bringing core e-commerce technology in-house. We can already see this happening as in the case of Walmart’s acquisition of and Target building their own e-commerce solution.Consequently, many large e-commerce platform vendors might find themselves losing some of their marquee clients.

Amazon continues to threaten retailers. Amazon will become even more of an existential threat to large retailers and the e-commerce platform of choice for smaller retailers. Amazon’s rapid adoption of next-generation technology and its efforts in reducing the distance between the consumer and the product brand with products like Amazon Echo and Dash are eroding other retailers’ relevance. Concurrently, big box retailers will transform the role of physical stores by creating new omni-channel experiences and focusing on making the store as a destination.

Retail will see a digital shift, not transformation. There will be an accelerated shift to mobile and cross-platform interactions. According to Criteo, mobile share of global e-commerce is expected to grow from 40% in 2015 to 70% by 2017, as we see consumer behavior such as online shoppers starting transactions on one device and ending on another become the norm. E-commerce will be leading this paradigm shift since it drives change and folds in new technologies that follow consumer needs.

In a hyperconnected market, brands must rely on well-differentiated services and solutions to create and maintain a competitive edge. In order to do so, companies must abandon legacy systems and adopt emerging technologies in order to fully embrace and execute digital strategies.

Arish Ali

Arish Ali

Arish Ali is CEO of Skava, an e-commerce platform provider and wholly owned subsidiary of Infosys.
Posted in Ecommerce, Thought Leadership

Black Friday Still Remains a Popular Tradition

Black Friday week is here and shoppers are preparing their game plan to hit up stores with the hottest products at door-busting prices. Meanwhile, other shoppers are turning to their mobile devices to access early promotions with a single touch of a button.

In a previous blog, we took a closer look at what shoppers expect during Black Friday season and explored some effective ways to keep mobile shoppers engaged. While retailers are adding their last minute touches to their Black Friday strategy, the argument still remains:

Is Black Friday still important and relevant to shoppers today? Will more customers shop and buy more on either Thanksgiving or Black Friday or completely avoid the entire American tradition?

“Black Friday is not just about deals. It’s about family and the experience of shopping with your family and for your family. I believe while there is  Thanksgiving there will be a Black Friday” said Sudha Vadarajan, CTO and co-founder of Skava.

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Posted in Black Friday, Ecommerce

Retailers Must Re-Think Their Black Friday Strategy

For many shoppers, the hunger to stand in long lines and fulfill their appetite for door busting deals is slowly going away. Traditionally, Black Friday was meant for brick and mortar and Cyber Monday has been reserved for online. Now that technology has empowered shoppers to get these deals from their dinner table during Thanksgiving night, Black Friday’s historical tradition has transformed irrevocably. From a single day, deal-hunting frenzy, Black Friday morphed to an omnichannel experience that spans over several days or weeks and culminates on the original date.

woman using cellphone while shopping

Many retailers are known to have started their Black Friday promotions on or even before Thanksgiving.

Black Friday still represents a tremendous opportunity for retailers despite losing some of its luster in recent years. According to research firm ShopperTrak, sales at retail stores on Black Friday fell to $10.4 billion in 2015, down from $11.6 billion in 2014. However, numbers released by Adobe online shopping data point to a 14% increase in online sales to $2.72 billion in 2015 compared to the year before. The decline represents the number of shoppers who would choose to go through the frenzy of Black Friday as well as attractive deals that are offered throughout the year. This year, retailers will face a fiercer competition for fewer customers who are much more tech-savvy.

If you’re a retailer still holding on to Black Friday and Cyber Monday tradition, whether it’s in-store, online or both, it would be only fair to tell you that shoppers’ expectations are at an all time high. In this blog, we will take a closer look at what shoppers expect during this Black Friday season from early promotions to shipping and delivery options and discuss some effective ways to keep your mobile shoppers engaged.
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Posted in Black Friday, Ecommerce, Mobile, Thought Leadership