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April 2018

View all on this date written articles further down below.

Save Time, Save Money and Stay in Control with Integration

Whether you have two departments or ten, you might be running off two databases right now or twelve. There are hundreds of excel sheets and even more versions. It is all getting a little out of control but how can you stop this, how can you take back control?
Integration is the answer. This can be between teams and between systems. Whatever way it gets done, it is essential to your future success, and sanity!

The Lure of a Layered Approach
We know just how easy it is to start off small, and slowly grow before you know it, you have ten departments working on six systems with countless versions of excel files – where does it end?

It is easy to build up these layers without actually realizing to what extent they have grown. You do what’s quickest and easiest at the time, and before you know what has happened, things get a little bit challenging to manage and stay in control of.

The impact this change can have on your business is phenomenal.

  • Customer satisfaction levels are impacted
  • Information is not shared between teams effectively
  • It takes more time to resolve issues
  • It prevents your staff from getting on with their jobs due to the extensive time they spend looking for information

This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Information Systems and the role your company data now plays in any business is so much more important than ever before. Not only can it help you to stay competitive in your industry or field, but it can also help you to scale your business. If your e-commerce business starts to flourish, then you would be better equipped with an integrated system in place to power you through and boost your overall business efficiency and ability to serve your customers to the very best of your abilities.

Integrate Before It Is Too Late
Our message is simple, and it works. Whether it is your ERP, Stock management tools, spreadsheets, POS, BI, Nav or other; pulling together your information and integrating this can be one of the best business strategies that you will ever make.

With this single decision, you will make it easier for your customers to deal with your business. Your team will have more time to service the needs of your customers and better support the business, and they will be able to do it all much quicker than before.
Having a solid strategy in place can help you understand exactly what to expect when integrating your business systems, it is an essential first step if you are considering a system integration project within your organisation.

Whatever stage of the process you are currently at, Playhouse can help you to outline, define, plan, and carry out an effective business systems integration project. We have extensive experience and can handle projects of all sizes, with businesses in any sector. Talk to us today for an initial discussion about how a system integration project could help your business to flourish.

HOW OPTIMISED IS YOUR AWS INSTANCE?

Picture the scene. You’re running an eCommerce site on AWS and need to make sure you’ve got environments for Staging, UAT and Production to manage the day-to-day. Alongside that, you’re also working on an upgrade from Magento 1 to Magento 2, so need additional boxes to keep the work separate. To further complicate matters, you are also responsible for several small brand sites that all need to be in your AWS instance.

Before you know it, you’ve lost track. You have spun up servers and slowly forgotten why they were there but you’re too busy to spend the time working it out, so they stay running.

What happens? Your costs creep up and up, and 18 months down the line your bills are high, yet the site still slows down when you run an excellent marketing campaign.

The above scenario is typical of companies who both self-manage or use hosted AWS services. In Sydney recently, the Playhouse Group attended the AWS Summit. Our team spent a couple of days taking part in sessions and talking with attendees to understand how people approach their own instances.

Some key takeaways from the day –

  • Reducing your monthly costs is, in almost all cases, possible
  • Keep your internal documentation for your instances up to date to avoid losing visibility
  • Work with your Marketing Team to understand their promotional calendars to understand whether instances need to be large or just increase on key dates
  • Have Staging and UAT instances turn on/off via scheduling to save cash
  • Invest time into your AWS instance to ensure you’re getting value for money

We have been working with AWS for the past 4 years and as a partner we are kept abreast of their roadmap. There is no company globally that releases as many new products and product updates than AWS so keeping on top of the roadmap and what this means to you and your hosting cost controls can be challenging. Working with a partner with your best interests at heart will give you peace of mind. (Luke H , Online Strategy Consultant)

Click here to read one of our recent case studies for The Thorn Group on how monthly costs were reduced by over half.

If you want a retail solution that is going to propel your business both online and offline, then get in touch and we can help. Contact our team via our contact form below.

In the dynamic world of eCommerce, IT capability can outstrip a retailers’ ability to maximise the effectiveness of the tools they own or are about to select. Playhouse commercialises the eCommerce proposition for its clients and manages their digital journey in four key areas – Strategy, Design, Mentoring, and Implementation.

HELP YOUR WEBSITE TO CONVERT BETTER AND KEEP YOUR CUSTOMERS HAPPY

Do you know exactly how many clicks your customers need to make to locate and get a product through to your cart and checkout? With the rise of mobile eCommerce, making it quick and easy to get your customers through to the point of sale is essential if not imperative for the success of your online business. In this article, we take on the topic and help you to evaluate if too many clicks are actually reducing your online selling capabilities.

The Three-Click Rule
Essentially, this is a rule that all website designers should adhere to when planning out your website navigation. Customer or User Experience is all about making it as easy as possible for visitors and potential customers to your site or store to find and buy what they need. The three-click rule basically means that it should take them no more than three clicks to get to their precise point of interest. This is founded upon the theory that if it takes someone too long to find what they need, they will quickly lose interest, get frustrated, and move onto the next place to try and buy their goods or services.

Why Is This Important?
Typically referred to as the UX or UI, what the customer see’s when they view your website, and the experience they get will ultimately determine whether or not they choose to do business with you. A design review of your website will help you to get to the bottom of any issues and ultimately, it will allow you to reduce barriers to sales that might otherwise be going unnoticed in your business or on your website.

Get More Sales for Your eCommerce Business
Could improving your UX/UI be the key that unlocks more sales for your online store? We certainly believe that it can help you improve your online sales yes. However, you do not need to just take our word for it. Countless organization and studies have proven that by giving your customers what they need, quickly; can actually help improve conversion rates and give your customers a much better customer experience overall. There have been numerous articles, that state the alarming figure attached to abandoned carts. In 2015, this figure was at $5 trillion! By adding the element of simplicity to your website design and getting a design review, you could be one of the savvy e-commerce stores that capitalize on these fallout figures.

One-Step Check-Out
The checkout procedure is a fundamental element of your sales cycle. You have put in so much work and effort to get customers to this point, losing them here, just as they are about to buy, is disappointing, to say the least. However, it is probably just as frustrating for them as it is for you. Whether you are looking at Mobile Vs. Desktop or just one of those independently, reducing barriers to sales is a top priority. Implementing a one-step check-out can significantly heighten your conversion rates and reduce cart abandonment at the same time. The benefits of a one-step checkout on Magento are clearly documented and verified. By taking the time to optimize this process you will be able to secure more sales today, and also secure the future business of these customers by delivering a transparent, easy to use service that delivers to them what they need, without any hassle.

By reducing the number of clicks needed to get to the checkout point, you are giving your customers a quick, hassle-free way to buy your products will help you to convert more and gain more repeat sales as a result of the improved UI/UX.

If you want a retail solution that is going to propel your business both online and offline, then get in touch and we can help. Contact our team via our contact form below.

In the dynamic world of eCommerce, IT capability can outstrip a retailers’ ability to maximise the effectiveness of the tools they own or are about to select. Playhouse commercialises the eCommerce proposition for its clients and manages their digital journey in four key areas – Strategy, Design, Mentoring, and Implementation.