2016 was a great year for Dx3webs and our customers. We continued our trend of 50% growth year on year and we are investing this in our platform, R&D and customers services. We have continued to expand across Europe and the US. We were particularly pleased to win over North40.com against stiff competition from large entrenched US providers. In the great IT tradition of “dogfooding” we moved our own site to Magento 2 to ensure our in-house team were practising what we preach. We were the 1st Magento specialist to offer http2, php7, one-click Let’s Encrypt SSL all within days of each being officially launched.
Ecommerce continued to gain ground in 2016 with UK consumers leading the way. Ecommerce was worth £133 billion last year. This represent 16% growth compared to 2015. A key growth area was in sales generated on mobile platforms. While sales via tablets dropped 3% from 2015 sales via mobile phones surged from 39% to 54% making mobile phones the dominant platform for ecommerce sales.
This year we saw huge growth among our customers with most seeing their best sales ever and after months of preparation Black Friday went without a hitch.
The main item of interest this year was the effective end of ‘Cyber Monday’. Whereas traffic over Black Friday was around 240% above normal Cyber Monday was only a little higher than that weekend following Black Friday. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues next year. It will come as no surprise that this year was the highest on-line sales figures again. John Lewis reported a Black Friday week rise of 6.5% on 2015 and 12% increase on the Friday. There were almost no reports of in-store battles between shoppers as most stores moved their bargains online.
Amazon continued to dominate and they made TEN times more money than any other e-commerce site during 2016 holiday season. An important reminder that your multi-channel strategy needs to be in place and working for you.
Security patches continued to be issued by Magento throughout 2016 as well as incremental version increases. November 14th saw the launch of 188.8.131.52 Magento 1 continues to be the biggest player in the Ecommerce space and will remain so for quite some time to come.
Magento 2 is starting to make some gains though installations are still dwarfed by Magento 1. Version 2.1.3 was released Dec 14, 2016. Magento 2 was generally well received though a few developers have expressed frustration. We are seeing many clients take out development hosting packages so they can start the process of transferring their M1 sites over to M2. 2016 saw many of the ‘missing’ extensions get released allowing many who were waiting to move forward.
Changes for ssl over the last year
Chrome 56 is finally here. As promised Google is now pushing harder than ever to get ALL sites running on SSL / HTTPS ALL the time. This means every page is to be covered by SSL certificates rather than just the checkout which is the Magento default. Over the last few months we have moved hundreds of sites to full https. From now on all pages which send secure details will be flagged as insecure by Chrome and all other pages will have the ‘i’ icon which, when clicked, states that ‘this site is not secure’. Not something you want your customers seeing on your home page. If you have not started the process of moving to https everywhere drop us a ticket https://support.dx3webs.com
Moving into the New Year we have been evaluating our position in the market. Our Shared hosting packages continue to out-spec and under-price our competitors as do our Dedicated Server packages. However, we have decided to boost our VPS offering and have now doubled the RAM on each VPS package. Along with 8 Xeon cores this decimates packages offered by our competitors. It also means that our entry level DV1 VPS package is better placed to manage Magento 2 which can struggle with 2GB RAM limit at times.
As always we will continue to ensure that our Magento customers get access to the newest tech developments in the shortest possible time frame.