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GDPR and websites

On May 25th 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force which focuses on the data protection and privacy of European Union citizens. The aim of this regulation is to give the EU citizens control on their personal data that is collected and used by websites and apps.

All websites and apps that deal with EU citizens or worldwide audience are required to adhere to this regulation or face a penalty of either $2 million or 2% of their annual turnover worldwide (whatever is more).

Here are the highlights of GDPR:

Explicitly taking permissions from users before soliciting data: As per GDPR guidelines, before any personal data is sought from an individual, an explicit permission should be taken along with clear description of where this data will be used and why. An example would be to have a tick box under a web form seeking permission from the user to store their data along with a mention of what that data is going to be used for.

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Quick Checks to do on your ecommerce store at any given time.

Building an ecommerce site takes time, efforts and money. Every ecommerce website owner wants to get users who convert to customers immediately and repeat buy. To achieve this goal it is important to make sure that your ecommerce site has excellent user experience. Here are some quick tips to help you to take a step back and analyze for yourself how your website is doing:

  • Think like a user: Imagine yourself as a user and that you are seeing the site for the first time. How are you finding what you see? Are you able to find the info you are looking for easily? Would you buy from this store? If you had to meet the store owners what advise would you give them? What are the obvious things you wish this site had? The answers that you would get from doing this would greatly help you in making a list of what your site should have and what it should not have.
  • Look around: Look around on who are your competitors and what are they doing to give their customers a good user experience. Study your competitors deeply and make a list of features that you think are good. Search for competitors on ebay, amazon, facebook, instagram etc., sources. The insights and ideas that you can get from looking at what others are doing can greatly help you in updating your own site to give them a great user experience.
  • Use the power of social media: get the word out on facebook, twitter, instagram etc., social media websites to get the users to know about your offerings. Use free and paid advertising options such as creating and distributing viral content, buying paid facebook ads etc., to get in front of maximum users. Again, for this, look at how your competition or other people are doing it – don’t copy them but take cues and implement your own creativity and niche in your campaigns.
  • Develop a Personalized approach: Each business is unique in some way or the other and the ecommerce business owner should highlight this uniqueness in its approach to selling products, interacting with customers, advertising etc., Ofcourse customer focus, after sales support etc., should be the focus of all businesses irrespective of how they are unique. By uniqueness I mean what sets you apart – it could be the theme, the idea behind your business etc.,

 

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Sitemap: one of the most important page of a website

Sitemap as the name suggests is a map of the website that has a list of all the pages and sections of that website. Think it of as an index page of a book or a map of a town. If in a book, you want to get straight to a certain section, you would open the index and locate the topic and then open the corresponding page. The sitemap serves the same purpose as well – it shows to the website visitors all the sections the website has and allows them to click on a section name to directly get to that page. It also gives an insight to the website users of all the sections and pages the website has. An ecommerce website development company may suggest that it is useful for only a certain kind of websites like big ecommerce website, but the fact is that it is helpful for all kinds of websites (of course except for one to five page websites).

As per wikipedia’s sitemap definition: it is a planning tool used to decide or plan or list the hierarchy of a website’s pages. So if we are building an ecommerce website, we would first decide the pages and sub pages the website will have. For example the main categories, sub categories and possible sub-sub categories etc., We would then plan the design and structure of the website accordingly. So this is the first use of the sitemap. Then after the site is ready it is added to the site as an index page to help the visitors.

Its a helpful tool that makes the website user friendly and also search engine friendly -as search engines crawlers get one page that has all the links to the site and thus can index them all.

There are two types of sitemaps HTML and XML. HTML sitemap is the page that has links to all the pages of the website. Like the sitemap of this website on which you are reading this blog. A sitemap.xml file is a search engine crawler friendly file that webmaster adds only for search engines in order to give them a list of the pages that the website has.

Whether html or xml sitemaps, it is important for them to be updated all the time.

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Generating leads from a blog

Did you know that creating a blog with your website creates tremendous scope for generating leads? But having a blog with some content is not enough. There are many things that go in to make a Blog work as an effective lead online generating tool for you. Mentioned below are some ideas and its a combination of these that would help in making the blog effective:

Attractive Look: The GUI of the blog should be visually appealing, user friendly and the content should be placed in an easy to read manner. The design should entice the users to stay on and spend time on exploring the blog and its content. Everything including the tags, search, bold titles, categories, etc., should be designed well.

CTAs: Call to actions or buttons that lead the user to do a certain action like fill up an inquiry for or buy a product or learn more about it should be highlighted and used in prominent areas of the blog. These are the main action points that will lead the blog visitors to conversions. A professional ecommerce website development company can help you and design effective CTA graphics at the right places of the blog.

User Engagement: Allow users to engage with you content and blog by allowing them to comment and also share on social media (allow social media comments and discussions also to be a part of the blog). Allowing users to engage gives them confidence about your genuine presence and for the onlookers (readers of the discussions) as well.

Opt in: If your the website visitors love your content they would sign up to receive updates on the new posts that you publish on your blog. What can be better way to build your own marketing list of users that you can send marketing material to in order to promote your products, sales, discounts etc., With effective marketing emailing techniques you can get a high conversion rate. However it must be made sure that the database of users is not used for spamming as you would soon have high percentage of unsubscribes soon.

Content: The most important point is the content of the blog – the quality, how engaging it is, how helpful it is etc., Most importantly it should be original and not copied from anywhere. Content should be a mix of text, images, infographics, videos, gifs, memes – variety keeps users engaged. Content should be written with the aim of establishing you as an authority in your field, providing helpful insights to readers, engaging and ideally should have the quality of becoming viral (popular on social media platforms via shares and likes).

Contact an expert ecommerce website development company to get a blog strategy designed and executed for your business.

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Local Business Websites Essentials

Building a website for a local business is different to building a website for a national or a global level business. Not only the geographical area is restricted, the clientele is also very focused and localized. It is important to design and build a site that is customized to this target audience. The specifics of what motivates such a focused group are easy to understand. But we see that ecommerce website development companies do not bother to advice their local business clients on how important it is to target their site to their specific target group.

Here are some very simple and easy to implement pointers for a local business website:

Domain: Choose a domain name that is specefic to your local area. It should have the name of the city, state etc., and also end with the country extension rather than a .com. For example arizonatruckrepairs.com, torontochiropractor.ca etc

Highlight Phone no. and address: Since your target audience would call you or most likely visit your premises its a good idea to highlight the phone no., address of your business and business hours at the top of your site.

Keep your content focused: Local sites need to have content that clearly focuses on their being in that area. Like a Chiropractor could highlight how in the local area they are different to other Chiropractors (maybe their techniques are different, their facilities are better and no one has those kind of facilities in that area) etc.

Use real pictures: Instead of having a stock photo of an office or people behind the business, local businesses should use real images of themselves, their staff and premises (if they have one). Having pictures of the outside of the office and interiors creates more chances of local residents visiting the business as they can come to know how the place looks before they visit it.

Quote Form: The quote or inquiry form like on any other site should be prominently placed on the home and other pages of the website. Some customers may feel comfortable to be contacted back rather than having to contact themselves.

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Choosing the best hosting

When it comes to choosing a server for hosting an application or a website, a website development company gives the customers the choice to choose from different server options – i.e., cloud servers or dedicated/shared servers.

Unless you know for sure the kind of usage you would have, it could be difficult to make a choice on a guess estimate.

Here is an analysis of these server options and what they entail:

Shared Servers: These are hosting plans with a limited space and bandwidth of a physical server that is shared by many customers. Since these plans have a restriction on the space and bandwidth, a sudden surge in traffic can cause the site or application to underperform (crash or become slow) or go offline. These plans are good for small business websites that would get low to moderate traffic at all times. Ofcourse with the shared hosting space there are various higher plans as well which could be upgraded to if a trend indicates a need to upgrade.

These hosting plans are most economical because a physical server is shared by many customers at one given time.

Dedicated Servers: These are hosting plans of only one server per customer. Again the space and bandwidth is restricted but comparatively much more than a shared hosting as you get much more space and each server is dedicated per customer.

Cloud Servers: This is an expandable hosting plan on a server that is Virtual (not located at the clients or hosting providers premises). The clients get as much space and bandwidth they need and they pay only for usage. Cloud could be loosely compared to clustered hosting the only difference being that the cloud has a more vast network that runs from different data centers at one time. So it is more cost effective, reliable and smart way of hosting applications and websites.

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Protect your ecommerce website with simple steps

Security is of prime importance for any online business where the customers are entrusting the site with their sensitive information. It is the duty and responsibility of the ecommerce website development company and the website owner to make sure that the data clients data is safe. Security is just not a one time process and has to be revamped with time with periodic security audits. At a given time an ecommerce website development company or a website owner can do the following security checks:

  1. Be cautious of customers data: Sensitive customer data such as credit card number, cvv, expiry date etc., should not be stored in the database of the website and be sent directly to the payment gateway using secure connection. Take only minimal information from the customers. Whatever little information you are storing in your own database, make sure that it is encrypted.
  2. Protection against DDOS: Brute force attacks and DDOS can shut down the website and therefore make sure that the website is protected against it.
  3. Choose shopping cart software wisely: If you are building your site then check with your ecommerce website development company what shopping cart they would be using and what is the best option based on the products that you would be selling. Keeping the shopping cart software upto date with latest versions and security patches is very important. It is important to keep on checking the new plugins/extensions versions available and to update them regularly.
  4. Check network security: It is imperative for the network to be secure as otherwise the code security has no use. The hosting company has to provide assurance of the security measures they have in place to prevent any attempt on their networks that would directly or indirectly impact your website.
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Logo: the face of a business

A logo is the most important branding element for a business as it represents that business as its face. This is all the more true when it comes to online businesses, websites, apps etc., where the users only can see your online presence and not meet that business’ rep face to face. The logo can communicate the essence of the business – the values, culture, philosophy, where the company wants to go, mission, vision etc., Not many businesses give any heed to their logo and end up in having it as an image that is below average that does not correctly communicate anything about them. Think of the logo as a rep or an image of your business. How do you want to come across to your prospective customers and to the world – a business that’s customer centric, smart, agile etc., or a business that’s shabby and confusing. Thus logo along with website design and development is an important element of effective online branding.

Here are some guiding principles to keep in mind when getting a logo designed:

  1. Analysis: Before diving into the logo design process it is imperative to understand the target audience – their age, demographics, culture, motivations, likes/dislikes etc., Being insightful about who your target audience is and what motives them helps in moving in a direction that creates a logo that ‘connects’ with them.
  2. Color choices: Colors create different impact in the mind of the people. Black and blue are commonly used by B2B businesses, green by finance industry, orange, yellow etc by food industry. Its been seen that using the right color for your logo creates the right type of image. Like use of correct hues of yellow and orange in a food logo with an appropriate graphic can create an image of ‘being appetizing’.
  3. Shapes: Square shape denotes stability, reliability etc., triangle shape denotes many things such as masculinity, direction etc., – being aware of what shape creates what cognitive image in the mind helps in choosing the right one.
  4. Fonts: The choice of the correct font can really uplift the logo. A fun font rather than a serious professional font for kids entertainment websites like for amusement park make the logo stand out. On the other hand within the business industry, the fonts vary based on the sub category the business belongs in.
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Some unseeming ways to get traffic to your ecommerce website.

It is common to see that when a new ecommerce or a non ecommerce website is launched, the ecommerce website development company builds facebook, twitter, instgram etc., profiles. But what happens to these social media profiles afterwards? Well mostly nothing. These profiles are just to have a presence on these platforms and are not actually used to their maximum capacity to leverage their potential. Here are some ways:

1) Social re marketing: Using a facebook re marketing code the ecommerce website owners can get more visible to perspective buyers who showed interest and visited your website. Showing those users your products on social media platform increases the chances of sales. By just clicking on the product image or banner in the ad the users are taken to your website or your product page on ebay or amazon where they had last seen your product.
2) Popular Social Bookmarking websites: Websites like delicious, stumbleupon etc., allow users to save web pages that they would like to refer to again. These websites are seriously undermined and hold a lot of potential in getting prospective users to come and buy from you. Make pages or sections on your site that are fun, entertaining, informational and not sales oriented. Make them from the angle of having people social bookmark these pages. Once these pages get bookmarked and shared they generate good quality traffic and high conversion rates.
3) Using social influencers: In each industry we have social influencers that have a big fan following. They have established themselves as experts who over the period of time have tried various products. Getting social influencers to positively talk about your product or promote your product can get your brand more visibility and that would not only popularize your brand but also improve sales.

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Importance of a FAQs page

The FAQs page is one of the most neglected and undermined yet important page on an ecommerce website. It is a page that surprisingly many customers look for before making a buying decision when they are unsure of anything or cannot find answers to their questions from the information on the products and cart pages. It is a page that can greatly contribute in preventing a high bounce rate by stopping customers from leaving and sending them back to the cart page. When website users have questions, they look around on the page they are on and then look for a FAQs page or an online chat. This page is usually added by a ecommerce website development company as a default page in an ecommerce website.

Here is how a good FAQ page should be structured and placed on an ecommerce website to help in improving conversions:

  • Follow a good structure: The most commonly asked questions should be at the top and related questions should be clubbed together. Answers should address the question satisfactorily and should not be too long. If an answer can be long then link to further expand the answer should be given.
  • Use search for findability: Using an intuitive search is an excellent way of helping the users to find info easily in the FAQs section. Intuitive search would allow them to type in a part of a word and a phrase and see suggestions of possible questions. Ask your ecommerce website development company for suggestions on friendly search options.
  • Add references to detailed resources: For customers who wish to know about topics in detail, it would be a good idea to provide links in brief answers to detailed resources like PDFs or other website pages that would provide more info.
  • Make it findable: Put link in the footer, sitemap and if needed even somewhere more noticeable on the cart and product pages.
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Using Pinterest for online marketing

Since Pinterest’s launch back in 2010, it has become a very popular networking platform for sharing ideas. It is a platform where users can Pin or save images they like and create their groups or clusters and share with their network. There are various ways Pinterest can be used by ecommerce website developers to  promote their  ecommerce websites, products and services:

  • Quality of images: Since Pinterest revolves around posting and sharing images, quality and theme of an image plays a very important role in how popular it would become. Images that are high resolution, clear, enticing and have a theme engage users more. For example for a dog shampoo, picture of a dog before and after, owners reaction to the floral smell from the dog and less hairfall on the sofa would people make dog owners understand what the shampoo does and this would motivate them to try it on their dogs too and share with other dog owners in their network. Have your ecommerce website development company create pages that have more of such images on the pages that the users would land on from interest to keep them engaged.
  • Frequency of Pins: Being regular with posting Pins is the key to be noticed and have a following of other users. When you post useful and entertaining images as Pins, people wait for you to post more and you must keep the trend on to keep users engaged.
  • Reach out to the Influencers: Every Industry has their own influencers that people connect to and watch out for their Pins regularly. Try to get in the reach of these Influencers by engaging with them and also referring them in your related tweets. Once you connect with Influencers their fan following will also start noticing you and your products and services.
  • Think long term: Pins stay longer than posts in any other social media platform. People get on Pinterest to search for ideas – it could be ideas for anything like wedding gowns, cakes, crafts etc.,Keeping that in mind Pin images that would someday be searched for and found by a perspective customer who would be lead to your website.

 

 

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Using Blog as a marketing tool

In ecommerce websites, blog can be used as an important tool to generate sales, build trust and promote brand. It is the section of the website that can have the maximum content that is regularly updated. Helpful blog posts/articles that provide your target customers useful information related to your product and industry can be posted. Despite being such a useful marketing tool, an ecommerce website development company may not suggest this to their customer in the first place.

A regularly updated Blog would help in many ways:

Search Engine Rankings: Search engines like google give value to websites that update on a regular basis with useful and well written content. Its crawlers record the frequency at which the content on a website is being updated and further crawls the site based on that. So if you are posting blog posts almost everyday , then over the period of time search engine crawlers will crawl your site almost on a daily basis. This will give benefit in terms of rankings on search result as well as traffic to your website.

Establishing you as a leader:  Leaders lead the crowd through communication – by showing they know more than others. Once you publish content that keeps customers up-to-date on latest trends in your industry, analysis, on what is new etc., you get established as a leader in your industry. Users bookmark your helpful posts, subscribe to receive recent updates and come back to your website/blog to read what’s new. It in turn helps in improving the sales.

More referrals: When people bookmark your posts and content and share with others, they directly and indirectly send referrals for your business to buy your good and services. This strategy is purely organic and you don’t need to use any marketing tactics to motivate existing customers.

Forever a buzz on social media: Online marketers and ecommerce development companies try various techniques to create a buzz about their products or services on popular Social Media. When you have users sharing your blogs on social media, it automatically creates a buzz with people sharing, liking and commenting.

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Minimalist ecommerce design: when less is more.

We usually see ecommerce website developers trying to woo online customers by placing their featured products, specials, sales items, online support, toll free no.s, hard hitting sales copy etc., – all being distinctly highlighted to stand out by using different color banners, flashy graphics etc. This desperate attempt makes the web pages look bloated and too crowded with an overload of information, colors and options. Many often this backfires as web users get overwhelmed by excess options and turned off by the tacky look, leading them to leave the website. To counter this the concept of minimalist design has evolved where there is a direct approach for presenting information with ‘less is  more’ or an attempt is made to ‘say more with less words’.  This design focused on using more of blank  spaces around to give breathing space to the page elements. The sections and call to actions are reduced considerably and the colors of graphics, banners etc., are non conflicting and more soothing. With less options to look at, the users stay more on the website and explores. Of course the graphics and whatever call to actions used have to clearly indicate to the user where they will lead to when clicked on. Clear navigation and brief but well written content with good typography engage the users at a different level.

Minimalist design’s aim is to create a positive emotional experience for the web users by giving them less to deal with. Pleasing interfaces creates better responses and higher conversion rates for ecommerce websites.

When getting a ecommerce design done, ask your ecommerce website development company to give you a minimalist design option as well and use that for A/B split testing to see the difference in the bounce rate and conversions.

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How visual cues impact conversions

Small things create a bigger picture. No matter how small each element may be, it cannot be undermined. And one of the most important element in conversion is graphics that consists of pictures, icons, illustrations, etc., Using various research techniques , online marketers created studies that showed how small changes in the graphics of a page can greatly impact the conversion rate of the page.

These small changes that ecommerce website developers can easily make are like the ones mentioned below:

  • Direction of the picture: If you have a picture of a person on your web page that is looking at some text or pointing towards a form or a text – that would cause the web users to look more towards that So avoid having images of people looking away or having their backs towards your call to actions.
    Also if you choose to use a person’s image choose those that look straight at the user rather than look away as that instills more trust in the onlooker towards your brand – this is an important aspect of human psychology that has been researched by psychologists over years.

Having arrows pointing towards call to actions also help users to follow the direction of the arrow and do what the site owner wants them to do.

  • Pictures that show the products in various angles lead to lower bounce rates and higher conversions. It gives the web users a better idea of how that product looked like from all angles. Many furnishing ecommerce websites use the 360 degree vew to show to the user how the product will show from all angles.
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Ecommerce websites: creating affiliate communities.

Running a successful ecommerce website does not always require an ecommerce website developer to have a big marketing budget for paid ads or an offline affiliate’s team. There are more organic ways of doing marketing, like by targeting communities online that are your target customers. This is not as easy as it sounds, however if done diligently and correctly can yield good amount of sales in the short and long term.

Many a times new entrepreneurs think that hiring an ecommerce website development company to build their ecommerce website is the only thing they need to do. After the website has been made live and there is no traffic and sales then they turn to a digital marketing agency who sign them up for a monthly marketing plan that costs a good amount of money. They not only have to pay to the agency but also to the advertising networks like facebook ads, google adwords etc., whatever is used in their suggested marketing mix. Some entrepreneurs who have success with offline business resort to the traditional offline marketing tactics to generate online sales which again requires a good amount of time and cost investments.

However there is another more sustainable and organic way that your ecommerce website development company will not tell you and that is finding your target groups of customers online and selling to them. This ofcourse has to be done in a systematic and correct way:

  • Understand who your target customers actually are: It is important to think who all would be looking for your products or would benefit from it. One needs to go really deep in order to analyze this as many a times entrepreneurs just think at a superficial level to deduce who their target audience is and lose out on a larger group of people that they could have targeted and generated more sales from. Take your time to analyze, brainstorm with other people and search online to find what kind of people are talking about (leaving feedbacks) for other sellers who sell products similar to yours.
  • Find Communities Online: Once you know your target audience, search for them online on facebook and google to find groups, forums, associations, directories etc and join them as a contributor initially and not as a person who wants to sell his products. With a lot of spam online people can sense really quickly if the member who is new to their r community is a spammer, a sales person trying hard to sell his products or a genuine contributor. So establish yourself as a genuine contributor – after all this is your target audience and by being a contributor by engaging in the conversations with them you would get to know your customers more intimately that you otherwise wouldn’t know.
  • Add value: Once you have established yourself in your target communities online and have won their trust, add value to their lives or solve problems with your products. This is different to simply selling your products to them. When your approach is to add value, its more empathetic and with conviction than just a desperate attempt to coldly try do a sale. Like you know that your product would make their life better by addressing or eliminating the list of problems they face. This would establish your product well with the group and also get your business good referrals. You could also give incentives to these target groups to be your informal affiliates and can pay them or their support group for the referrals they
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Meta Descriptions and CTR

Meta Descriptions describe your page or product to the website visitors in just 160 characters. They are the text that shows on Google search result page below the name/title of the website/product. An image below shows a highlighted area that has meta descriptions

ecommerce website developers Google Search

Website visitors decide whether they want to visit your web page or not based on the text you have here. Therefore its importance cannot be highlighted enough.  The description in the meta tag should be clear and highlight the product/service USP. It should be hard hitting and crisp. Marketers use this area as an ‘elevator pitch’. Well written Meta Descriptions entice the users to click on the link to reach the web page and hence it contributes in improving the CTR (click through rate) for ecommerce websites.  Despite this being so important many ecommerce website developers still don’t use Meta descriptions in which case search engines like Google create their own meta description for that page using the content from that page which may not do justice to the page.

There are many ecommerce websites that have hundreds of pages and hence it is not possible to write optimized meta description tags for each page. For such cases, they can be created manually for the most popular products that sell the most. They could be any number that you can manage. For the rest of the page a code can be written that would automatically create the tag based on the website name, category/sub category names and the product names.

 

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Some ideas for abandoned cart recovery

Cart abandonment is one of the most important issue that an ecommerce website owners has to deal with on a regular basis. Almost one third of the users who visit the site and add products to cart abandon cart due to various reasons. While preventing this from happening is one part of the problem that the site owner must address, the other part of the problem is how to bring the users who had abandoned the cart to come back to the site and buy. There are various ways this and you must consult your ecommerce website development company to find what can be done to reduce this. However there are some non specific ways that this can be done and they are mentioned below:

  1. Retaining the cart products for next visits: The next time the user comes to the site and logs in he should be shown the products he had added last in the cart that were not checked out. Showing these products left in the cart along with a well drafted message (that reminds the user of the products along with what you are offering extra such as free shipping, free returns etc.,) along with some incentive such as buy now get a 10% off (is possible) would surely motivate the customers to check out.
  2. Follow up email: A follow up email reminding the user about the products in cart is another effective way of cart regeneration. The email should have a good marketing message with some incentive and create a sense of urgency in the user to either to buy the products in a day or two or risk loosing them. The email should clearly show the products that were i the cart, their images the total price etc., If the site has free shipping, returns and other benefits then those should be highlighted clearly to entice the user. Here again it is important to make sure that the user’s cart is retaining the products the user had added.

 

 

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Ecommerce business model: Dropshipping

In a traditional ecommerce site we see sellers selling the products that they have in stock (like a typical brick and mortar store). There is another business model in ecommerce that does not require the seller to stock goods and that is the ‘Drop shipper’. In this the seller has an ecommerce site that looks and works like a typical site and when the orders come in, the owner sends those order details to various manufacturers who directly send them to the customers.

There are advantages of a drop shipper business model, some I am listing below:

  1. Easy to start: All you need is a computer, working internet connection and an ecommerce website and marketing for which you can hire an expert ecommerce website development company.
  2. Zero Capital Investments: In a traditional ecommerce store you need to build up inventory and for that you have to order the inventory from a manufacturer or a distributor and then hire a warehouse to store and manage this inventory. You have to pay logistics charges to get the inventory to your warehouse and have to pay expenses for staff at the warehouse etc., At various steps you need to make good investments and for that you need to invest capital. In a drop shipping business you save cost of all of this as you have someone else fulfilling the order.
  3. No accounting nightmares: The only accounts a drop shipper has to maintain is of the orders he got for his manufacturers that he has tied up with. A traditional eCommerce store has staff salaries, cost of maintaining stock, purchase orders from manufacturers etc., and maintain accounts for each of these.
  4. Lower risk: Since your business is only dealing with generating orders for manufacturers you have tied up with the risk is lower compared to a traditional ecommerce company that has to deal with possible losses caused by accidents, fire, law suits etc.,
  5. Mobility: In a drop shipping business your business can be based out of any place and you can move your office/location of work easily as you virtually just have a computer or a few computers to move. This is not that easily possible with a traditional eCommerce website.
  6. Sell anything and everything under the sun: Since you can become the drop shipper of many manufacturers you can sell as many diverse products as you want.

 

 

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App development – android, ios or windows?

Developing a mobile app for a business is an investment – it needs funds and time. Many often companies get apps made for IOS, Android and Windows without doing any market research on what type of phones their target customers actually use. Thus they end up in paying three time the cost as they might have just needed one app. There are cases where the target audience uses mostly one type of phones (like android) and hiring just android application developers can save cost and time. There are some factors that indicate the dominant phone usage by a target audience:

Demography: Developing countries and rural areas usually have android phones more popular . Developed countries and urban areas on the other hand have apple phones more popular. So if the business is focusing on launching an app that are in these areas then it can find studies of what phone types the public is using.

Socio economic factors: Iphones do not have many cheaper variations (they just have outdated older models). Where as in Android phones you can get them at any price range and there are hundreds of companies who are manufacturing them. So they fit in the budget of almost every person (from people with lowest income group to highest). So if the focus of the company is to use the app to offer something to an economic segment that looks for cheaper variations of a product (for whatever reasons) then investing in android application developers could be a good idea.

Market Share: There are areas that are captured by some phone companies where they advertise a lot, have big discounts and people trust them. Those companies could be either apple or android or windows based. Understanding what is your target market influenced by can help in deciding on just one type of app.

There are markets where there are almost equal or good amount of customers for all types of phones could be a good idea.

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Subscription based ecommerce model

A traditional ecommerce business involves an online catalog where the customers can browse through the products, add to cart and check out. A variation of traditional ecommerce is Subscription based model which works differently. It is a more innovative and unique kind of business model that focuses on involving the customers at a different level. Instead of allowing the customers just to simply buy out products it sells subscriptions to receive products on a regular basis. The seller creates a package of products that the customer will receive every month (or whatever duration the seller wants to keep), puts a price for each delivery and an automatic recurring billing/payment system automatically charges the customer unless the customer manually cancels the subscription or the subscription ends. This is a good business model if the business sells items that are not purchased on off or requires the customers to browse through and choose. For example toothbrushes, shaving razors, cosmetics such daily use lotions etc., An experienced ecommerce website development company would be able to guide you for how a subscription based model can work for your business.

This model benefits the customers in the following ways:

1) No need to place manual orders each time: Removes the hassle of manually ordering the same products regularly. The items that a customer uses on a regular basis do not need to be purchased again and again. Order once and you get it on a regular basis.
2) Get Discounts: Most of subscription based sites give discounts to customers when they engage with them for a longer period of time. This discount the customers would otherwise may not get if they bought the product as one off from an ecommerce website.
3) Flexibility to discontinue: If after a few months the customers change their mind, they get the flexibility to cancel the subscription model that prevents them from getting charged for the subsequent time charges.

This model benefits the ecommerce store owners in the following ways:
1) Get repeat customers and orders: Getting customers on a website is a painstaking and expensive process that involves focused advertising. Then having the users convert to customers is another challenge. It takes analysis and adjustments in the marketing campaign and landing pages to reduce the cart abondenment. But once you get these customers and they just buy one off vis they sign up for an year to get products from you every month is a better scenario. With subscription model you make customers for life provided you live up to their expectations otherwise they would cancel the subscription soon.
2) Focused group to promote up and cross sales: Once you get regular customers who stay with you for long term then you can promote related products to them to have them buy more from you. For example an ecommerce store providing subscription of shaving razers sends out emailers to customers promoting moisturizers or after shave balms. It is generally seen that it is easier to upsell and cross sell to customers who are engaged with your brand for a longer term.

Vantagewebtech, an ecommerce website development company can provide you consultation on this type of ecommerce. Contact us and one of our sales team member will get in touch with you shortly.

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Why Should Customer Service be the focus of a website.

One of the most important ingredient  that every successful business (whether B to C or B to B) has is how customer centric they are and that is determined mainly by their customer service which includes factors such as how efficient they are in addressing customer issues, communication level of the customer care department, commitment to keeping customers happy by offering easy refunds, repairs etc.,  This customer focus carries forward at pre sale level at various customer touch points where the customer shows interest about products and services offered by the company. Customers are very sensitive to how they would be dealt with after they engage with the company so they at the outset look for the customer support level. This holds true not only for offline businesses but also for online (web and apps) based company presence. A company could be just an online company (with no brick and mortar office) or an extension of an offline presence, should communicate good customer care ethics by doing the following:

  • Have a contact point prominently displayed: Customer care phone no.s or email ids or better still online chat should be highlighted on the website. If you have a toll free no. for sales prominently displayed then you should also have a support no. that the customers can call in. Perhaps you can combine your toll free no. with your sales no. If customer care department is available at certain times then that should be clearly mentioned along with the typical response time.
  • After Sales Information: Have after sales questions such refund options, returns etc., clearly defined in a section such as a FAQs. This information should be easily findable on your website. To make customers find topics easily, adding search or tags can help.
  • Email auto responders that customers get after they buy a product or sign up for a service should have mention of how they can get in touch with any questions or concerns regarding their order. Usually ecommerce website developers overlook this most obvious point.
  • Using post sales feedback forms engages customers at a higher level as many customers want to do more business with you but are not happy because of some small issues they faced and want to communicate that to you but would not do so proactively by writing an email. If you send feedback forms in email that would allow most customers to leave their valuable insights on what they expect or want to change. This valuable information can be picked up by your customer care team and incorporated. It gives confidence to the customer that someone in the company cares for them and that they are just not another sales number.

A good ecommerce website development company can guide you how you should highlight customer support information on your website and app. After all, the cost of customer acquisition is high and a customer centric company successfully generates good amount of sales from current customers as well through repeat orders and direct as well as indirect referrals.

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Why Privacy Policy is important for a website

Often an ecommerce website development company does not advise customers on importance of having a Privacy Policy on their websites. Thus many websites do not have them. But it is a very important legal letter that every ecommerce or non ecommerce website should invariably have. It also provides customers important information on the security of their data on the website as in recent times we have seen an increase of identity thefts, online frauds and spam caused by information leakage or selling of users data online.

Usually an ecommerce website development company or a website owner would just copy Privacy Policies from other websites and use as their own. But this is not recommended as each business is different and thus should formulate its own policies based on how it works and uses customer data.

While website owners can write their own privacy policy, it is important to get it checked from legal point of view. The privacy policy should be correct, clear, conscise and have everything covered. It should inform the users about:

– What data the website would be collecting and for what purpose.
– Have a clear option to allow the users to not have their data collected.
– Allow the users to access their collected data easily and change/delete.
– Provide security assurance for the user collected data.

The Privacy Policy should be customized as per the legal requirement of the State/ Country the website is operating in, industry norms etc,

It should be easy to access and thus be linked at some prominent areas of the website such as the footer, forms etc.,

The date the Privacy Policy was added should be mentioned clearly on it and if there have been changes in the way the website works, collects data, uses data etc., that should be updated immediately.

 

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How to know if your business has outgrown your current ecommerce platform?

Successful eCommerce businesses are dependent on the right eCommerce solutions. But still some businesses do not upgrade their systems in time which negatively impacts their day to day operations. It is imperative to understand when it is the right time for your business to grow out of the limits of your current eCommerce platform so as not to hinder ts growth in any way. Here are some signs that indicate to you that it is time to start considering a bigger platform:

Too much data to manage: As the eCommerce sites grow with business growth, many additional features are added along the way such as integrations with CRM, ERP. third party API integrations etc., There can be a situation where there is too much of data on each sub system that need to be compiled and integrated in one place. For example excel sheets exported from many systems and each containing its own set of vital information. To make sense of such a large amount of data, its integration in one place and analysis is important. And in a scenario like this, it can be a big challenge to keep up with these tasks on a daily basis. Over the period of time this redundant system starts taking a toll on the day to day operations, causes loss of many useful and expensive man hours and also in not complete error free due to human intervention at very stages (which causes a good scope of human error).

Upgrading to a well developed system that has all the sections that your current business depends on and will depend on is the solution.

Tedious Reporting: Efficient reporting is crucial for every business as it impacts the business decisions. If reporting is not accurately done in a timely manner, it can cause many business opportunities to be lost. If your current platform is not generating reports efficiently from a click of a few buttons in an integrated reports area, you need to look at an option that works better, faster and more efficiently.

Decreasing Dependability: Has the system ever crashed, had security breach or viruses? Have your customers and users being complaining about not being able to your the website at times? That is the first big sign that you need to move to a more robust, sclalable, secure and efficient system that is dependable and can take any amount of load that will be caused by the demands of your growing business. Downtime, system crashes and security viruses cause loss of important business and crucial data and a growing eCommerce business cannot afford that.

If you have an eCommerce website that is growing through a growth stage and your current eCommerce platform is not able to cope up with the expansions, contact us for consultation on possible solutions. Vantagewebtech is an expert ecommerce website development company that provides scalable, secure and roboust ecommerce development solutions.

 

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Tips for future ecommerce store owners to be successful

Ecommerce industry is set to grow at a never before speed with newer companies launching all types of ecommerce stores selling niche products to everything under the sun on one side and on other side ebay type seller platforms that allow sellers to easily register and start selling their products. More customers are going online and this has created a big demand for e-sellers. For prospective ecommece entrepreneurs who are thinking of ecommerce development solutionsit is important to be aware of some aspects:

  1. Put Customers in the Focus: Whatever products you plan to sell – make customers the main focus of your ecommerce store. Focus on things such as:
    – What drives the customers?
    – Can the customers sense how the product would feel like to hold and touch? Can they sense how big it would be?
    – How can the customers find products easily?
    – What are the questions the customer will have? What is the easiest and best way to answer them.
    – How to make myself/sales and support team available for any live customer queries/support?
    – What are the competitors doing for their customers?
    – What are the competitors NOT doing for their customers and how can you fill this gap and stand out?
    These and many more questions you need to ask yourself to make sure you have customers in focus as the ecommerce store success will only depend on how well you cater to your customers/prospective customers as that would drive sales.
  2. Use the Social Media advantage: Social media is a very powerful marketing tool that every business must explore to its maximum potential. Customers are on social media and thus that is the best place to reach out to them to promote your products and know them better – their likes, expectations, motivations etc., If you do not take the social media advantage early on, your competitors would. At the outset invest time in understanding how your competitors are engaging your target customer group through various social media sites, which social media sites the target customers use most. Have a strategy in place and start a buzz on social media to create a excitement and inquisitiveness about your brand. This will also help in brand building of your brand before hand.
  3. Make ‘Mobile’ important: As more users are using mobile to access the internet, it is important to keep a mobile site or an app really well done. You would have more users from mobile than from desktop site. So make your mobile site really sleek, user friendly and fast to load.
  4. Get Analytics in Place: Being proactive about installing analytics that will give you a lot of business intelligence of how your customers are engaging with your website will take your ecommerce business a long way. Seasoned ecommerce website developers and marketers base important decisions based on big data that analytics provide.
  5. Create a Search Engine Optimization Plan: Make a Search Engine Optimization plan in which you research your keywords, study their competitiveness and the competitiveness of your industry and be aware of what would it take to reach the top of google searches for your products.
  6. Plan your launch and be ready in advance: Give enough time for the site to be ready, optimized, tested and reviewed by a test group of users such as friends, colleagues and family who can give you some valuable insights before the big launch. Keep time to be comfortably be able to do these things so nothing is left out and everything is properly tested and refined. Ofocurse the testing and updating process does not stop just at the launch phase and continues forever where the ecommerce website developers would look at analytics and tweak pages, copy etc., to get maximum revenue.
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March 28, 2017

Impact of new technology on ecommerce

In recent times the web users have become more technologically advanced than ever. They can look at a website, app or a promotional email they have received in their inbox and know whether it genuine or not. This is because information on cyber security, potential online pitfalls, identity theft and online frauds is constantly circulating the web thus educating users. Through viral posts web users are empowered every day on social media, whats app, by emails etc.,

With these advancements the users are expecting much more from websites, apps and online marketing promotions. Lets look at some of these expectations:

  • Security: There are many security features that should be highlighted on a website app or marketing message. Things like secure URL (https), url redirections, secure website seal, the kind of information the website is asking and will be extracting are some of the things the customers are aware of.
  • UI/UX/Design and features: Customers are smart enough to know how updated and trustable a website is based on its design. A site that looks from its design that it was built back in 2010 will have a lower trust factor as the UI/UX/Design will show that the website is frozen in the past and cause doubts on is still being in business. Similarly the lack of expected features that other competitors are providing also turns away customers.
  • Site communication: Users look for how well the site communicates important information such as returns, refunds, shipping, taxes, pre and post sale customer support etc., – in terms of findability of this information as well how well it is explained.

Therefore ecommerce development solutions for apps or websites should focus on these factors.

 

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Easy Marketing Tips for Ecommerce Websites

ecommerce website development solutions in recent times is all about personalization by knowing the users, their demographics, preferences, past purchases, buying trends, motivations etc., The more personalized experience the ecommerce store provides to a user the higher its conversion rate. Therefore there is a direct link between personalization and marketing strategy that every ecommerce website developer should consider.  Here are some marketing ideas keeping that in mind:

Personalized Messages:  In a typical brick and mortar store you would directly walk up to the customers, greet them and ask them what they are looking for and how you can help them. Since this cannot be possible as it is in an ecommerce store, you can greet customers on the site by showing customized messages based on their preferences. budget etc.,  Customized emails by customers yield a higher return on marketing dollars – though it is a painstakingly slow process.

Focus on Shopping Flow: The shopping cart is the most important part of an ecommerce website where the marketing and personalization focus should be maximum. There are some common reasons why the users abandon shopping cart, such as not being sure on how safe it is to use their credit card, unexpected shopping costs that come up later in the check out process etc., Make sure these points are addressed and also identify in that particular website what is driving users away after they have added products to cart.

Motivate customers to come back:  There are good chances that a customer who has bought from you and is happy with the experience and product will not come back to your online store to buy again.  To motivate them to come back entice them with points program, customized offers and referral programs.

 

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Things to remember before taking your offline store online

Taking an offline store online is a major positive step in the digitization of a business. While most businesses leave it to their ecommerce website developers to simply build them a glossy ecommerce website, there are many crucial points that every business owner should be aware of and remember:

1) Choose the right shopping cart platform: There are hundreds of ecommerce platforms out there and most often the ecommerce website developers ask the customers if they have a choice. The choice should be based on the size of your catalog, your budget and technical skills.

2) Invest in good product photography: Unlike in an offline/brick and mortar store, the customers cannot hold and feel your product on your website. The only thing that they can see is your product images or read description in your online catalog. Make sure that you invest in good quality product photography and put on the site different angles of the products (like from the sides, back etc.,). Use detailed, accurate and clear product descriptions to explain the product well. A good example of product photography is the way pepperfry.com use to show the exact size of their furniture products.
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3) Keep the online catalog fresh: Customers like to see newer products when they come back to a site. Invest time everyday in updating your catalog by putting latest products, featured products, items on sales etc., In industries like the Apparel industry, clothes go out of season and the old season clothes should be placed away from the home page or at top of the catalog.

4) Be easily contactable: In an offline store the customers who walk in your store can come up to someone at the store to ask about the products. You can allow the customers to be able to do the same thing on your store by having an live chat or having your phone no. prominently displayed on your website.

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Avoid these mobile site pitfalls

There is not enough we can say about the importance of mobile ecommerce with a growing number of users using mobile as compared to desktop. This trend will continue to grow with newer devices such as apple watch becoming increasingly popular. There would be competitive versions of apple watches and similar devices soon. Having said it is very important to make sure you avoid some common mistakes that ecommerce website developers make that can be easily avoided.

  1. Using everything from desktop site: Prioritize and use only the important information that you would want to show to the users. As an example – placing your products and services as a priority would be more helpful for the users as compared to putting your privacy policy, vision statement etc, Make the most of the limited space by selectively using only important information.
  2. Using elements that don’t work well with devices: There are some design features that work well with desktop websites only, however, can cause a bad user experience on mobile devices. An example would be using progress indicators on a multi step form on mobile. They would well on desktop sites as they indicate to the customer where they are and also what the next step would be. However on a mobile due to small area they should be avoided and instead of that an alternate approach would be to mark the submit buttons as the name of the next screen.
  3. Keeping the elements size small: Many mobile sites have small font size and graphics that put a lot of stain on the eyes. While it is true that one must be careful of using only important information on the mobile site, the font and elements should be big enough to be easy on the eyes.
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Some pointers to make your ecommerce store more customer centric

A customer eccentric commerce store is a win win for both the ecommerce website developers as well as the customer as customers can buy with confidence and the store owner gets more customers and sale. To make your store more customer centric, you must think from your customer’s point of view or ask yourself that you as a customer have what kind of expectations from a seller (whether online or offline). This will give you good insights. Here are some pointers:

Top Notch Customer Care: New users who come to your site are driven by what kind of post purchase support your business provides. You should have your pre sale and post sale phone no.s and email ids prominently mentioned on your website. If possible have a live support for a couple of hours each day to instantly address the customers questions. Always remember if you keep your existing customers happy, they will keep on coming back to you to buy more and also send referrals.

Returns: Have easy policies for returns or money back that you should put on a page on the website. Again new users look for return policies before buying and if they do not find anything they hesitate to buy.

Reviews: Having good and neutral reviews that are genuine install confidence to potential buyers that others have bought from you and are satisfied from your product and services.

Good Content: Having clear descriptions of your products that explain how the product looks like, how it works etc, is a must. It should be simple and concise and give a clear idea to the customer.

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How to choose the best ecommerce platform for your business

There are hundreds of ready to use ecommerce platforms out there and each claiming to be the best. It can be overwhelming to look at each platform and compare it with others. The best way to shortlist a few would be to look at the ones that are more popularly used by ecommerce website developers. Shopify, Magento and Woocommerce are the three top popular ecommerce platforms being used since the last few years. Each has its pros and cons. So the decision of which shopping cart to use can be based on the following factors:

Catalog Size: The no. of products that an ecommerce business sells would be the no.1 consideration. Woocommerce is a great platform but good for smaller catalogs. Ofcourse you can customize woocommerce it to make it to any size by custom coding but then going ahead with Magento is a better option at the outset.

Web Development Budget: Shopify and woocommerce are best for small budget websites. Magento is also affordable however depending upon the size of eventual size of the website, the cost of the hosting can be quiet high.

Launch Time: If you need a quick ecommerce website then you can sign up for shopify, choose a theme and you are good to go in a few minutes time. If you have a few days time then you can go for woocommerce. However if you have more time at hand – like more than a week then you can consider using magento platform.

Technical Level: If you are your team are not very technical then shopify is for you. Woocommerce is good for people who have some basic technical knowledge such as how to edit css, manage database etc., Magento on the other hand needs a full time coder to be set up and customized.

 

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The importance of a good search feature in ecommerce

In various ecommerce user experience surveys, the one most important feature the user’s mentioned that they expect a good ecommerce site to have is: to be able to find what they are looking for with ease. A good search feature plays a very important role in making products/services information easily find-able on an ecommerce website. Here are ways in which ecommerce website developers can use search effectively to help the users and improve the conversion rates of the website:

  1. Prominently place search on all pages: Since search is such an important feature in an ecommerce website, it should be placed at the top of all the pages of the website and be always available for the user to use. A good example is how Flipkart.com does it. See a video below that shows how the search box is prominently placed at the top of the page and moves up and down with the page scroll and thus is always in the sight of the user.
  2. Use Faceted Search: Faceted search, also known as guided search categorizes the search results into broad categories. See an example of faceted search below.
    search-results1Depending upon the product types, the faceted search can be tweaked as per each ecommerce site to have either a multi layer facets that drills down to various product categories or a flat structure that has just one level of facets.
    The benefit of faceted search is that it enables the website users to create their own path for navigating/finding information through the website rather than following the path set by the website owners.
  3. Mobile Search: Just like on the desktop ecommerce site, ecommerce website developers should also focus on keeping the search as a prominent feature on the mobile website as well to allow the mobile users to find the information they are looking for easily.
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Business to Business Ecommerce

A lot of ecommerce websites cater to other businesses who buy products from them and use them either in their manufacturing process or further sell those products and services as retailers. These sites are often called B2B and have different pricing structure, buying plans etc as compared to a usual B2C (Business to customers or normal ecommerce sites that sell products to end customers).

Since B2B sites have a more mature customer base (which are usually other corporate), there are some best practices that they can follow to make the buying process easier for their customers:

  1. Focus on search: Just like on B2C websites, B2B websites customers rely heavily on finding products using the search feature. The search box should be prominently placed on all the pages of the website. Search should allow auto fill feature where when the user types in a part of the word and is shown the matching variations to choose from, very much like the way Google search works. For companies that sell products that are parts which come in different sizes, search should allow the users to type in sizes in all possible ways. Like 23 inches can be typed as 23′ or 23 inch.
  2. Catalog: Mostly B2B websites have catalog hidden behind a log in area where only their customers can log in with the user name and password given to them and see the products. Instead of that the products should be available to be seen by all but their prices should be hid and only shown when the customers log in. This way a prospective customer is able to know about your full product range and also your products would be picked by up google.
  3. Configurations/Calculators: Most B2B products that are used in manufacturing or somewhere in production have to be configured before they are ordered. Like their size, specs etc., and see the quote and expected delivery time in real time. Using calculators and configurations increases the conversion rates on B2B websites. Rather people will stop using competitors site if your site have these options.
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Save your ecommerce store from frauds.

One of the most common frauds that ecommerce website developers have to deal with are fraudulent orders. After a few days they are placed, the merchant bank charge backs the ecommerce website owner/merchant account holder. When these charge backs happen a fee is levied as well that gets passed on to the merchant account holder. This not only creates a lot of confusion but also impacts the credibility of the merchant. Here are some common things to look out for to discern if an order is a genuine order or a fraudulent order:

Shipping and Billing Address: The first flag is different shipping and billing addresses. Mostly people have the same billing and shipping address. In some cases where the shipping addresses are different, they are in close proximity of the billing address (such as in the same city or a close by city). Rarely does it happen that he shipping address is in a far away place, particularly overseas.

Also make sure you check if the shipping address does not look suspicious. Google maps can be used to trace the shipping address. Usually its a residential or a office area and rarely a dingy warehouse in the middle of nowhere.

Big Priced Orders: Many big priced orders that involve mostly expensive items and a lot of them should be verified before shipping. This could be in the case of electronic items such as laptops, computers, microwave ovens etc., Such orders combined with the most expensive shipping option you have be a serious indicator of it being a fraud.

Repeat Orders: If you get a repeat orders from the same shipping address, you should double check before your ship out. usually there is a pattern of placing multiple repeat orders in a span of a few days.

Customer Not reachable: If you have a doubt about the ingenuity of an order and try to reach a customer who does not order, you could try a few times before cancelling it. Genuine customers always provide valid details where vendors can reach them.

Consult a professional ecommerce website development company to guide you on some more ways ecommerce frauds can be prevented on your ecommerce site.

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Using user content in email marketing

User generated content reveals the popularity of a brand – how important and liked it is. This can be used in email marketing in creating more impact to improve revenue, trust and connect with users at a different level. In a recent survey it was found that user generated content resulted in 2 to 3 times higher conversion rate and more than 40% click through rate.

It is a great opportunity to let users do all the talking of your product as your brand advocates. They can explain the features of your products and services much better than you can do.

Here is how user generated campaign can make email marketing more effective:

Build Trust: A business that has the trust of its customers, scores big time as doubt is one of the biggest hindrance in any buying decision. When other speak for your, it creates confidence among potential customers who feel they can trust you as well. It greatly helps in ‘humanizing’ a brand.

When user generated content is used in email campaigns, it gives a good idea to users how you can server their needs. Marketing research has shown that almost 80% users prefer emails to receive marketing information. They can access emails on their computers, tablets and phone on the go. It gives genuine testimonials to your potential customers.

To make it look genuine, ecommerce website developers can post the name of the user with a thumbnail that links to the web page where the content is.

Contests: Creating user generated content by engaging users via hosting free contests that have a chance to get free gifts can be a great marketing effort. People who have won the contests and tried the products/services can be asked to explain their experience in a video or in a  few lines. These types of initiatives help in creating buzz and excitement.

Contact a professional ecommerce website development company to help you create a marketing strategy with user generated content and email marketing.

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Are your web forms driving users away?

On a website, there is nothing more annoying than a non user friendly form that is long, confusing, messy and filling it up is a nothing less than a dreadful experience. Bad forms drive visitors from websites who had almost turned into customers. So their impact is quiet damageable. Here are some pitfalls that ecommerce website developers can avoid.

Annoying Password Validations: There are sites that ask you to enter passwords that have a certain strength such as should start with a caps, should have atleast one special character, cannot end with a number etc., Consider that usually customers are asked to re enter their chosen password again to validate, this can be a very frustrating experience. Allow the users to type in whatever they want. It is a good practice to show to the user if their password is strong or weak to leave the decision to them.

Formatting Issues: Most forms insist the users enter data in a certain format only . Like for example inputting the dates. When you submit the form you are shown a error message and asked to fix the format. Instead of that using calendar is a better idea.

Asking to re validate information: Asking the user to re enter mobile no. or email id is annoying. Online users already have a short attention span and if you ask them to re enter information, that can drive them away.

Character Limit: Fields that ask the user to type in info such as your inquiry etc., that have a minimum characters can be annoying as well. They users should be allowed to type in three or four words if they wish to.

No clear error messages: Many forms show error messages that do not indicate which field has a problem. Rather they state that the form is not clearly indicated. The fields should be clearly hiighlighted that have been missed out or wrongly filled.

Also one really annoying feature that many forms even now have is that they wipe out the entire data that the user has submitted. The form should still hold/save the data and only show the validation message.

No clear submission message: It is important to show a clear confirmation message to the user and advise them of what the next step would be. Something like: ‘Your registration is complete. Please log in to your account to do the next steps.’

 

 

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Increase Conversions With Customer Insights

Customer data is a gold mine for website owners to boost sales and stay ahead of competitors. By finding and understanding users behavior on the site and applying this knowledge ecommerce website developers can strengthen their online presence and leave behind competition. Webmasters should find out what their customers really want and work in that direction.

Online User Behavior: Some ecommerce businesses are only based online and their customers only interact with them via their website alone. Thus business owners should know how the customers are interacting with their ecommerce website and what are the challenges they are facing. This can be found by tracking which pages they entered and clicked on, which pages they went to and from where they exited the website. This info comes handy when sales funnel are formed and the users have to be sent to them. It helps in finding out the issues that slow down the sales process while the user is in the sales funnel. Some real time tracking data on user behavior proves helpful as well.

Surveys: Forms are a great way of taking visitors inputs. But they usually put off the visitors due to their sheer length as people don’t like filling up long forms. Shorter survey forms can be used but then the quality of the data goes down. The marketers should make sure that they use forms correctly so as not to compromise on the quality of data at the same time loose out on the interest of the visitors.

Usage of Products: When you get a customer on board, it is the beginning of another important behavior study to find out the common groups of customers and what their purchase pattern, frequency of buying, what they buy etc., is. Based on this intelligence further marketing actives can be done for each customer group via emailers, discounts etc.,

Complaints: Make sure you have a safety valve or a vent by using feedback forms or having a complaints no., where you can receive customer grievances and address them in a constructive way. This will make sure that you turn an unhappy customer into a happy one by giving refunds, allowing returns, exchanges, compensations etc., and also you would have a host of data to analyse what are the things that put off customers. You can then take corrective actions to avoid it whether that means discontinuing a product that the customers are not happy with, providing better communication on what the product/services includes/not includes etc.,

 

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Optimize images for ecommerce websites.

When buying products from ecommerce store the customers cannot touch and feel the product like the way they can do in a store. Images, thus play a very important role in depicting clearly what the product looks like, how big it is, its quality etc., Therefore you should ensure to use images that are of higher quality and big to give a better view of the product and its details. However the big sized images can impact the load time of the web pages. Slow loading web pages lead to a high bounce rates and over time this negatively impacts Search Engine Optimization as Google starts noticing a high bounce rate.

A balance between the image quality vs image size has to be maintained to benefit from the use of images. Here are some ideas as to how the images can be optimized for web pages:

Choose the right file type: Choose the right file size. Files can be saved in different file types such as jpg, jpeg, gifs, png-8 and png-24. Jpgs are perfect for photographs and images that have a complex color scheme with colors, shadows etc., and can be saved as any quality (hi, low etc.,). Pngs 24 help in getting high quality graphics from Photoshop while saving the file. But they make very heavy files. Usually Pngs are used for logos since they can have transparent background and in the entire web page if only one image is a bit heavy, it really does not harm.

Save for web: To get the optimum size of images while saving in Photoshop choose the Save for web option with quality of 60. This will reduce the size of the image considerably yet keeping the quality high.

Image compression apps: There are many apps that help in reducing the size of the images by deleting jidden data such as unused colored pallets. Apps such as Minifer, Kraken etc.,

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Link Building for ecommerce

Link Building is an extremely important way of getting traffic to a website. The traffic comes from search engines like Google when the website ranks and also directly from popular pages/sites.blogs/directories etc., where the links were placed. Therefore link building should be the underlying activity of an online marketing technique. So what are the factors that make a link good?

  1. Age of the Domain:
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Creating an affiliate ecommerce store

Typical ecommerce development solutions involves the ecommerce site owners selling their own products. Another way of running an ecommerce store is to sell the products of other vendors by becoming their affiliate and starting an affiliate ecommerce store. In this set up the ecommerce site owners earn through commisions they get by referring users to the Vendor’s websites.

There are three entities involved in a typical affiliate ecommerce store:

1) The ecommerce store owner: He is the person who gets a website built and advertises the Vendor’s products on his ecommerce store.
2) The Vendor: The actual seller of the product. He seeks to find websites that can advertise his products and get customers to him on his website.
3) The affiliate provider: This is the platform owner that allows the ecommerce store owners and vendors to register themselves on his platform and find each other.

The process involves that the ecommerce store owner registering on an affiliate provider platform. The affiliate provider checks the credentials of the ecommerce store owner and approves him. In the same way the Vendor can register with the affiliate provider. The affiliate provider gives an affiliate code to the ecommerce store owner that he can insert on the website pages that cause the Vendor’s products to start showing.

The visitors who come to the ecommerce website see the products very much like that of a standard ecommerce site. When they click on a product they are taken to the actual Vendor’s site and the affiliate provider’s tracking code tracks this.

Both the ecommerce store owner and Vendors get access to an area of the affiliate provider’s website from where they can track the no. of users the ecommerce site has sent to the Vendor’s website and the commissions.

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Power of Videos in ecommerce

Videos are one of the most powerful ways of attracting customers. Despite being such an important marketing tool, they are surprisingly not used by most ecommerce website developers. While great images play a very important role, videos are far ahead than images in leaving behind the competition because of their ability to captivate the users at a much higher level.

So how does an ecommerce business benefit from using videos?  Here are some ways:

  1. Videos are more impactful: Videos can contribute in increasing conversions of web visitors to customers by showing how the products look at different angles, demonstration of products use and the various uses of the product. Online visitors get attracted by more visual experience such as a video as compared to a text page.
  2. Sharable: Videos are easily sharable and well made videos have the potential to go viral very quickly on social media.
  3. They are ahead of Images: While images can move users, videos can do much more than that. An image can depict a thousand words while a video can go much further than that and tell a story and convince a user to make a buying decision.
  4. Google Benefits of Videos: In recent times in google search results we see videos as well. So if we capitalize on videos we create another medium through which we can get customers to reach our website.

 

Some successful ways in which videos are being used:

  1. Entertainment with buying decision: Some video ads show the products attributes in a very entertaining way and convincing users to make the buying decision.
  2. Entertainment with product features: Instead of asking the users to buy a product, videos can creatively show the various uses of a product. This will motivate the users to find out more about the product.

 

Here is a good example of how Apple is advertising Ipad using video:

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Integrating Analytics in Ecommerce Strategy

Thanks to Big Data, we have almost every tool to measure all aspects of marketing in recent times. Almost all the popular online analytics tool sell based on the host of data that they provide. This has caused an overload of information to the website owners who are struggling to use this data. The idea is not get overwhelmed with this data rather use it to the advantage of ecommerce website development marketing strategy.

Traffic and Leads: Stats of how many users visit the site and how many bought your products/services/submitted inquiry give insights of conversion rate and how effective your marketing strategy is. If the traffic is good but the conversion rate is less then the data pertaining to user behavior on your website, source of traffic and your website page insights such as the load time data should be analyzed. Altering marketing tactics such as finding newer ways of generating leads, focusing on new keywords, making updates on the webpages, offering promotions etc., and then matching the old data with the new one gives a competitive study on how the new initiatives have impacted the sales  eventually.

ecommerce website developers

Ecommerce website development

 

Customer Targeting: Marketing tactics to focus on current customers can be formed after analyzing data received after customer reviews, response of customers to discount emailers, referrals, finding repeat visitors, customer purchase history etc.This gives a good insight to ecommerce website marketers on what works and what does not with the existing customers. They can work on a different strategy for current customers.

 

 

 

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Customer Testimonials Sources

Testimonials page is the most important page of a website as it informs users that your products/services are legitimate and others have used them and benefited from them. There are some ways in which you can get testimonials from the customers:

  1. Search Directories: Google places, city search, yelp, yahoo local etc., local search web directories allow their members to rate online businesses. You can claim your business listings on these directories (if you haven’t already) to get traffic. You can post the good testimonials generated from these search directories on your website as well. Many of these directories are inter connected with other sites and directories (like google users sends results to google reviews) so the impact is much broader than it seems.
  2. Reviews Websites: There are many industry specific reviews and ratings websites like tripadvisor, expedia etc., where writing user testimonials is popular. Users are given points and thus encouraged for writing more reviews that are helpful. These sites also allow their badges to be placed on the sites so the customers can now how well your customers have independently rated your products/services.
  3. Social Media Reviews: Popular social media websites Facebook, Linkedin and Youtube have the option where you can create your Business Pages/Profiles/Channels and update them regularly. Users who use these sites also most likely rate a business on them. Positive testimonials create a buzz in their connected friends and that increase traffic and sales.
  4. Reward customers for Reviews: Another great way of getting testimonials is to reward customers for leaving reviews in the form of coupon codes, discounts, vouchers, free tickets, etc.,
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Fast track the buying experience

Once your customer has made a decision to buy a product on your ecommerce store, you should make it as fast as possible for them to complete their purchase. There are some simple tricks to help the customers to complete the transaction quicker than usual that you can implement in your ecommerce development solutions:

  1. Address format: It is mandatory to have the customer fill on or confirm and already saved shipping/billing address in the check out process. To make it easier the post code should be made to be entered first and its corresponding area, city and state should be auto populated thus saving the user from entering those extra fields.
  2. Card Type: Many ecommerce stores even now ask the customer to enter their credit card no. then choose the credit card type (visa, mastercard, discover, amex etc.,). Instead of that the form should recognize what the credit card type is based on the credit card number alone as each company has its unique card number formations.
  3. Returning V New Customers: Don’t have the users choose if they are a returning or a new customer. Just have them enter their email id and based on that search the database in real time to see if that email id is already registered, if yes then show them the field to enter their password with forgot password option, if no then show them the registration form.
  4. Pre select Shipping method: The most popular shipping method that is chosen is the ‘Free Shipping’. So have this option already pre selected in the list of shipping option so that the customers do not have to choose it. Its so much easier if an option for you is already selected.
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Use site search to improve conversion rate

Search is a part of all ecommerce websites and an unknowingly important tool for improving the conversion rates by almost double. This often ignore feature by ecommerce website developers can be effectively used in the following way:

  1. Make it prominent: Make the search box stand out and show put it on all pages of the website. Think how websites like google, amazon, ebay etc., do it. Customers mostly use the search features either to find exactly what they came to buy or products related to the keyword.
  2. Exact search with autocomplete: There are customers who come to the site searching for something specific. They know what they want to buy and want to avoid looking through that product by browsing various pages/categories. So program the search to find that exact word and also show them suggestions using autocomplete to help them.
  3. Use Filters: Once the customer has searched for a keyword, allow the search results to be sorted by providing filters for price, availability etc., (whatever is apt for the type of products that you are selling on your website). Filters help in narrowing down and arranging a large searched data for the users.
  4. Use Search data effectively: Using analytics find the search pattern being used by your customers and the most popular searches. Using this data arrange your products – highlight the ones more prominently with special landing pages that the users are search for more. Work on your categories and site structure if the users are first browsing and not finding products easily using search.
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Ecommerce Return Policy

If you have an e commerce store you must have a customer friendly ‘Returns’ policy as it instills trust in customers. And even if the customer is not satisfied with the product he wants to return, your managing the process should be customer focused and make the customer want to deal with you again. A well framed returns policy will avoid any confusions on how the customers can go about returning and save yours and your customers time.

  1. Do not consider every sale as final: Allow the customers to easily return the products they have purchased from you in case if they are not happy with it. Of course define before hand as what is returnable – unused, used, sparingly used, etc.,
  2. Avoid the return process: Avoid returns by being as clear as possible about the product in product description, product photos videos, mention the size, how it works etc., This way the customers would know exactly what they are buying and if its not meeting their expectations then they would pass it anyways.
  3. Keep the language simple: The return policy should be explained in as simple language as possible as to what is returnable, how it can be returned, when it can be returned, whom to contact for any problem etc., Do not use complex terms that may confuse the customers.
  4. Place it prominently: Put a link to your return policy page at all the pages at prominent areas so that the users can easily locate it and read it. Again a well formed return policy only improves sales as it instills confidence in the customers.

    Consult a professional ecommerce development company for advise on how to frame your products returns policy based on your products and services.

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Ecommerce Wire framing: Step 2 of UX design

The first step in creating a UX design for an ecommerce website development project is to know the scope, it’s business logic and the users who would be using it. The second important step is to create wire frames also known as ‘UX Wire framing’.

So what is a Wire Frame?

A wire frame is a rough basic presentation of a User Interface without any design elements. An easy way to understand what a wireframe is to think of a floor plan that architects create before they start constructing the actual building. In the floor plan the location of each part of the house such as room, toilets, hallway etc is mentioned based on the standard practices and the expectations of the users. In the same way a wire frame is a floor plan of the structure of each page of the application showing where and how the content and various features of the app would be displayed. It can be a pencil sketch to a well commented diagram.

A wireframe is created for a number of reasons:

  1. To help the visual designers a base to create designs.
  2. For functional specs consultation.
  3. Showing the features to the investors/clients without going too deep in actual design.
  4. For testing out ideas at early stages.

Simple wireframes can be created using just a pen/pencil and paper. More professional wireframes can be created using tools like Axure and some online sites like Balsamiq, UXToolbox, Indigo Studio  etc.,

 

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Importance of good typography

Content is regarded as King on the web. It is important from users and search engines perspective. Users make a buying decision or decide if they want to do business with you after reading up about your company, products and services offering. Its only if they like what they read they decide to contact you or try out your products or services. Search engines regard content very important for ranking. Content has to be unique, well written and fresh. Along with the quality of the content, it;s presentation is very important and typography plays a very important role in this. Your content can be great but if it is not presented in the right way, it can deter users from reading it. Wikipedia refers Tyopgrahy as  the art and technique of arranging type to make written language legible, readable, and appealing when displayed. The arrangement of type involves selecting typefaces, point sizes, line lengths, line-spacing (leading), and letter-spacing (tracking), and adjusting the space between pairs of letters (kerning[1])..  Fonts used should make the text look very clear to read. The color of the font and the background color on which the text is written should be easy on the eyes. The styling of the font such as bold, underline, caps etc., should be done correctly and the paragraph formation and spacing should be evenly applied. There are highly stylish and decorative fonts available to use but their use should be minimized.

Here is an example of a typography that should be avoided. Although the fonts look like kids font (as the context is kids summer camp) but the alphabets shape is not clear and the styling makes it look very cheesy.

KIDS SUMMER CAMP

 

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Importance of ecommerce reviews

Ecommerce website developers should consider using customer reviews in their websites . Almost all ecommerce sites like amazon, ebay, sears etc., allow their customer to post reviews on their websites. Allowing the customers to review the products they have purchased from the website has many benefits. Some of them include:

Trust Building: The new customers get confidence that other customers have bought the same product from the ecommerce website and used it. They can read up about what the other customers think about the product and the service.

Adds fresh content to the site: As customers post reviews, it adds to the content on the site. So if a product has 20 reviews over the period of 2 months and each of a paragraph, then you have 20 paragraphs of unique user generated content on your site. Search engines like Google give preferences to websites that have content updated on a regular basis and this is a great way of doing this.

Know what your customers really want or feel about your service: There are bad reviews as well that give an insight about the area the ecommerce seller needs to work on in order to improve customer satisfaction. It might be that their product has a problem or their shipper does not deliver on time so in such cases the vendor can take a call to fix the problem with the product or change their shipper. Had it not been for the reviews some vital customer info would not reach the ecommerce vendors.  For negative reviews the vendor can write a comment below indicating how they addressed the issue with the customer. Like it could be a refund or a product replacement.

 

 

 

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Should your ecommerce site be HTTPS?

On ecommerce websites, security should be the most important feature. An additional security layer called SSL encryption should be used to add security by encrypting the data transferred between the customers and the ecommerce sites. Installing SSL on an ecommerce site not only adds more security to the site but also improves the conversion rate (by building trust) and seo rankings on google (because secure sites get more benefit).

Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) stands for encrypted standard for ecommerce site and customer interaction. For sending the info as HTTPS, the data is encrypted using an encryption system called Secure Socket Layer. A very simple example of this is of a security guard outside a building in which the building is the ecommerce website that the customer is trying to access, security guard is the HHTPS and the SSL is the ID of the customer who is trying to enter the building.

To get SSL installed on an ecommerce site the website owner must purchase an SSL certificate from a SSL seller in the website’s name. The process involves providing and authenticating details of the website and the owner. Usually SSL’s are sold only for a fixed period of time such as an year. Your ecommerce website development company would be able to help you with this.

SSL is not only recommended for ecommerce sites but also other sites where the website users are required to share their personal records such as their medical records, date of birth, drivers license number, social security number etc.,

 

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How to get more customers to share your products on Social Media

Adding social media sharing buttons on an ecommerce website to allow website visitors to share on sites like facebook, twitter, instgram etc., has many benefits that include more publicity, sales and a higher ROI. But just putting those buttons on the product pages is not enough to motive the users to share. There are some creative ways that ecommerce website developers can use to motivate the users to share products more often on their social profiles:

  1. Place the social share options prominently on the products pages: Include share options for all the major social media website such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc., You can design the buttons to match your website design and use cool effects like floating button as you scroll up and down the page.
  2. Discounts/Coupon Codes on sharing: Build an ecommerce website that generates a discount or a coupon code on a share. Everyone loves discount and if they can get it by sharing on their social media profiles, they will gladly do it and this will create a buzz with their friends as they would know sharing would get them a discount.
  3. Post Purchase Surveys: After the user has bought the product, send him a feedback survey. For all positive feedbacks have an email trigger to the customer that says that they can share the product they purchased and are happy with on social media. This way you are sure that the happy customer will share and leave a good comment as well.
  4. Be careful of overdoing it: While social sharing has its benefits in boosting sales etc., however one must be careful as not to over do it as it could seem very annoying. Do not ask the customer to share over and over again. Just have the icons to share strategically and prominently placed throughout the buying process.
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Got a conflict to resolve? There’s an app for it!

Everyday we have to choose from various options such as to do this or that, to buy this or that, to go there or not etc.,Sometimes we feel we had someone who would help us to make a choice on the go. What if there was a mobile app that would help you with making a sound choice? It would send a message to your friends, family and colleagues (whoever you want) and ask them to make a choice for you and on the basis of most popular options, guide you on what option to choose. Vantage Webtech has created an ‘Conflict Management’ app that does exactly this! It allows a user to download the app for free and add a new conflict that the user is facing in terms of making a choice along with the options and their details. The friends of the user on and outside this app (such as on facebook, twitter, google plus etc) are informed about the conflict and they can make a choice for you. The app also allows the conflict to be shared using drop box and google drive between friends.

Screen to add conflict

Screen to add conflict

Screenshot_2017-02-28-13-14-50

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Effective ways of using Ecommerce Emails

Emails form an integral part of an online shopping experience. They are send out at various action points such as when registering on the site for the first time, making a purchase, signing up for newsletters, abandoning shopping carts, signing up for discounts etc., Most often the ecommerce website developers only focus on the content of the email and do not give so much importance to the look. They are happy with a simple look with just notification text, branding and a clean layout. However what if the emails have a really interesting design that would want the customer to stay for a few seconds and go to the site to explore. Here is what will make it really interesting:

  • It should be enjoyable (For example how a product would look in different colors)
  • It should be unique (Not like the typical emails that we get)
  • It should explain a concept (Like how a product can work)
  • It should show the related products that the user can consider based on the previous purchased, items that were in the abandoned cart etc.,

All the above can be done using images, videos and animated gifs.  However this should be done very carefully so as not to annoy the customer.

Some good examples:

The below example shows a bag in different colors. The user who gets a newsletter in email introducing a new product line with the following type of image would more likely click on the link to go to the website to explore.

ecommerce website development

 

A good example of an email that can come when the shopping cart has been abandoned below. It shows what exactly was the product (with the actual product image). This instead of just having the name of the product written would be definitely more impactful.
ecommerce development solutions 

 

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Up selling and Cross selling in ecommerce

Cross sales and upsales are a very important source of revenue for any ecommerce website and should be leveraged to the maximum potential. Amazon reported that it earns atleast  35% revenue from cross sales and upsales.

So what are cross sales and upsales and how can ecommerce website developers to improve their online sales?

Cross Sales: When the customers are shown products that go with a product that they are buying. For example if you are buying a camera then cross sale will be to show the customer products they would need with that camera such as batteries, stand, cover etc., Since you are telling the customer that here are the things you would need with this product, they are more likely to buy them also as they may need them.

Up Sales: This is when a customer is seeing a product and you show him a better variant of that along with the extra he has to pay to get that. This way ecommerce stores end up in selling better and more expensive items more .

Bundled Items: This is when the products are also sold together. Like in the example of the camera purchase, the store owner makes a bundle of camera + battery + stand as one bundle and camera + battery as another bundle, so on and so on. They give a discounted price on the bundles to entice the customers to buy the products together.

The options for cross sales, upsales and bundled items must be included in your ecommerce development solution and presented to the customer at various buying steps on the site: the product detail page, cart pages and the order summary pages so as to give enough visibility.

 

 

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How is your mobile home page performing?

Many ecommerce website developers follow the approach of simply scaling down their site to fit mobile screens; what is called as a mobile site. This approach is not the best as the focus shifts from focusing on mobile access to fitting the website’s data in a mobile’s frame.Since mobiles have taken over the desktop usage for searching and buying, the strategy should be of ‘Mobile First’ rather than ‘Desktop site first’ and trying to make a mobile site out of it. Here are some ideas on how to make an effective mobile site:

  1. Content Usage: The content on mobile sites should be more concise than on the websites since the screen size is smaller and users access mobile site usually on the go. Thus there is no need to use a lot of content. Focus on only the main points. The fonts should be bigger with more spacing.
  2. Simpler Menus: Avoid using multi level menus on mobile and try to club products under broader categories so that the need of having too many menu categories reduces.
  3. Fluid Layout: Instead of designing for fixed screen sizes like 176, 240, 320, 360, 480-600 and keeping it fixed width, make it fluid so that it recognizes the device size and displays the mobile pages as per that.
  4. Better Search: The search should be on all the pages, be intuitive and recognize the typos that mobile users generally make due to small screen area to type. The search should be prominently displayed at the top of all the pages of the site.
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February 27, 2017

Users make up their mind on whether to stay on your ecommerce site or leave within a few seconds of reaching the home page. Therefore it is important to have an mobile landing page for your ecommerce website that works. Here are some tips to make your mobile landing page more user centric:

Search: Ecommerce website developers have a short time to seal a deal on mobile. Therefore it is important to have a search that is prominently displayed on all the pages, is intuitive and can recognize misspelled words that a mobile user is prone to type due to the short area to type words. If search is good then it can be used as a good starting point for the mobile site.

Use the advantage of geo: A mobile users is on the go and if the brand has a brick and mortar store in various cities then using push notifications the users can be informed of the latest deals in the stores near them. The shipping cost should also auto calculate based on the current location of the user as an option. This makes the buying experience customized.

Focus on Speed: For an online user nothing matters more than speed. Ecommerce website developers could have the most amazing home page in the world but if it cannot load in three seconds no one will stay long to see it. Mobile users surf the websites on the go and the internet connection is not always stable. Therefore it is extremely important to have a home page that load real quick.

Navigation: The navigation menus have to be less and more broad than on a desktop site since the space is less on a mobile screen.

 

 

 

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2017 Ecommerce Trends

Every year we witness many new trends in ecommerce website development industry. The world wide web is extremely volatile with ecommerce forming a very important part of it. So what are the new trends that we have noticed this year to bring and will see more of in the rest of the year? Below are some obvious trends:

  1. Digital Wallet Payments: Online Payments without having to use credit cards is becoming all the more popular. Payments made using digital fingerprints, pin numbers, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, PayPal etc., across phones, apple watches etc., are already happening a lot and this trend will grow.
  2. Big Data: Collecting raw data and using that for giving customized user experience to customers like the way Amazon and Netflix is doing. Users are expecting a more personalized user experience even more than before and Big Data and Artificial Intelligence will play a big role in ecommerce website development.
  3. Mobile First: Since 2015 the mobile experience focus and sales from mobile have greatly increased. The new mobile devices that are coming out have bigger screens and better user experience. Mobile experience is no more just an ecommerce website that ‘works on a mobile’ by simple optimization and is much beyond that. Those sellers that are focusing on mobile first are getting more sales. Creating a custom experience that works with the phone’s size and features are the focus.
  4. Intractability: Users are expecting a more interactive experience in the form of push notifications, online chat support etc., Artificial intelligence such as chatbots that interact with online users and answer questions are becoming more and more popular.
  5. Rewards: Marketing surveys have shown that users would gladly change brand for a discount coupon where they would save some money. This is an evergreen trend and ecommerce website developers are encashing on it even more in the new year 2017 as almost every second retailer is luring customers using this. More customer loyalty schemes in ways of customized offers is going to be more popular.
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Tips to improve ecommerce website conversions:

The design of an ecommerce site plays a vital role in converting a site visitor to a customer.  It is how the design makes the visitors feel, impacts their buying decision. And this decision is made within a fraction of a second. It is not only the design of the Main/Home Page but also the important inner pages such as the cart pages that effect the conversions.

Here are some clear cut points to follow for a better user experience that leads to conversions:

  • Images should be full width: Research indicates that big images in ecommerce website design catches attention more effectively. Full images engage users more. Images should be high quality and placed smartly at the right areas of the pages.
  • Colors Use: Buttons, banners and other call to actions that prompt the users to perform an action like submit an inquiry, sign up or buy should be of bright colors and contrast to the colors used in the site. Bright colors make the call to actions to stand out.
  • Ecommerce Videos: Videos that explain how the website works, the people behind the company etc., instill a sense trust amongst ecommerce buyers. Well made videos can greatly contribute to improving ecommerce conversions.
  • Navigation Structure: Be selective of the navigation links you want to show on your website as seeing too many navigation links can overwhelm the user. Only display the main links and put the not so important links under the main navigation.
  • Content: Content should be precise and say more with less words. Website visitors do not have time to read long pages of content. Also the typography should be well selected so the content is easy to read.

Following the above points can greatly contribute to improve ecommerce website conversions. Ofcourse other factors such as mobile site,  load speed of the site, search engine optimization, etc., play important roles as well and cannot be ignored.

Vantagewebtech an ecommerce development company offers ecommerce website development and marketing solutions.

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Mobile sites: an important component of Digital Marketing.

As a growing number of users are accessing the web on the go on mobile devices, mobile sites are playing more significance in Digital Marketing. The mobile site is therefore a very potent platform for digital marketing of your brand. Here are some tips on how you can bank upon mobile marketing for enhancing your Digital Marketing campaign:

1) Stick to the basics: Keep the information on the mobile site as brief as possible since the mobile users usually do not read so much text. Add text as bullets and do away with extra content. Make the content short, crisp and like an elevator pitch. You can have read more or link bullets to more detailed pages if you think that some customers would make a buying decision only after reading more text. Add stuff that you would usually use in your Digital marketing campaign such as marketing material containing product catalog, testimonials, offers, customers etc.

2) Highlight contact numbers: The phone no. should be a click to call link that launches a call to your sales department. It should be highlighted across all the pages. If your team uses Skype then you can do the same by adding a clickable sale link that launches a skype call to your sales department.

3) Speed Matters: Google gives a lot of importance to speed these days. Sites that load faster get a benefit to rank better. Make sure that the google page speed test for mobile scope is above 85. Consider Accelerated Mobile Pages to make the site load even when the user is facing slower internet connections.

 

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What is AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) ?

Google has been giving greater importance to the mobile experience of websites. This is because more than 60% of the internet users are mobile users and this number will rise even more with time.

For this reason it brought across various updates that focused on the mobile experience. First it became imperative to have a responsive website, then a fast loading responsive site and now a new update requires the site to have Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP.

What exactly is AMP?

Accelerated Mobile Pages, as the name suggests are only for mobile pages and it is implementing an AMP suggested html tags on the web pages. An online free validator tool allows you to validate your pages to make sure that they pass the AMP grade. It makes the mobile pages quick to load and even on a poor internet connection one can open these pages.

You can see which pages are AMP by doing a google search on your phone and you will see the word AMP with a small icon mentioned below the search result.

accelerated-mobile-pages-amp-example

The pages that are suggested to be made AMP are only articles pages or product detail or service pages.

At Vantagewebtech we offer Accelerated Mobile Pages services. Contact us by sending us your website url to get a quick quote.

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Competitive comparison to improve website conversions

Customers online are always looking for the best deals. With just a few clicks they can surf the web and find out the best deals they can get between websites. They will go from site to site, to read the price, benefits and customer feedbacks and then make a decision. What if you gave them this information on your site so that they do not have to scan the web? Make a page that compares your product and service to other products and services. This has many benefits:

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1) Customers stay on your page longer: When they see a clear and easy to read/compare data of similar products and services they will always stay longer and also bookmark the page. This may also cause them to explore more about your website. Thus more chances of they doing business with you longer. From a Google analytic point of view – a lower bounce rate.

2) Helps you in rising above the competition: When you research and present the competitors data on your site, you are motivated to do better than them and this causes your internal product or service development team to think ways to stand above your competition. So this exercise of openly stating and comparing your products and services to your competitors helps you improve more to make yourself look better. It will keep on awake and on your feet as this very info of where you stand is right on your own website.

3) Makes you more transparent: Customers these days appreciate transparency. They frown upon on hidden costs and information and don’t trust such websites. So if you are open about not only your products but also where you stand as compared to your competitors (although the difference between you and them might be just a teeny bit), customers would trust you more and go with you.

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Is your android app taking your business to the next level?

A mobile app is just not an app of your business installed on your customer’s phone but also a very powerful sales and customer service tool. Every business who has an app should be aware of how it is performing and if it is adding any substantial benefits. The benefits can be:

Vantage Webtech

  • Helping in Sales: An app can work as a source of generating sales, leads and getting more repeat business. Many businesses create apps that have useful features such as calculators, calorie counters etc., that people install and use for reference. Using push notifications and other means the business owners reach out to their app users.

 

  • Helping in Customer Services: An app has the potential to help the customer service department by handling the feedback mechanism, returns on an eCommerce business, complains, track shipment. This in turn reduces the strain and stress on the customer service and connected departments.

 

  • Building Brand: Having your business logo as an app launch icon markets your brand as every time customers look on their mobile phone desktop and see your app launch icon they register your brand. This causes an increase in chances of the user contacting you over your competitors as firstly they have got more accustomed to your brand (due to being exposed to the logo) and because of accessibility to your app.

 

  • Reducing business cost: The app through the above benefits should contribute in reducing your day to day business cost in sales, marketing, customer services and other departments. It should work as an independent business entity that helps your business in multiple ways, sends customers to you, generate more sales, manage customer service operations to a certain extent and do much more.

 

Contact Vantagewebtech to discuss how your Android mobile app can be enhanced to work for your business.

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Do It Yourself SEO tips

SEO is a technique which helps search engines find and rank your site higher than the millions of other sites in response to a search query.  SEO thus helps you get traffic from search engines.

vantage Webtech SEO tips

Search engine optimization is a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP) — including Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines.

Some tips for effective On Page SEO:-

1) Do a keywords research using Google adwords keywords tool using you main product/service names and what your targeted users would be typing in Google to find businesses like yours.

2) Create Optimized Meta tags (Title, Description and Keyword tags) using your shortlisted keywords. The length of the title tag length should be 60-70 characters and the Meta tag length should be 160-170 characters max.

3) Write good, helpful content targeted towards your customers using the shortlisted keywords. The keywords density should not be above 2 to 3%. So that means for every 100 words your each keyword should not be repeated more than 2 to 3 times and not more than 3 to 4 keywords are used in that frequency. Interlink the content between pages using ahrefs (keywords in links).

4) Rename pictures with keywords that best describe them.

5) Add Google, Yahoo and Bing sitemaps. These can be created using various free tools onlines.

6) Add 404 pages.

7) Create Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Blogger etc, pages for your business and link them to your website. Post regular updates in your business on these.

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Feedback: Valuable Customer Insights Gold Mine.

Change is the essence of life. If there is stagnation, there is death. Therefore it is vital for a business to keep on reinventing itself to keep up with the volatile business environment and ever growing competition. However it is easy to feel disoriented as to what to do to stay ahead. Whether to blindly follow your competition or do something they are not doing or do something else? The answer lies in what your customers want and you can get that information through customer feedback/surveys.

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You can ask the customers a few seconds after reaching your site or app if they easily found what they were looking for and if you have what they want. The second time you can ask for a feedback is when they have bought from you. Ask them how was the buying experience, what they liked and did not like, what they would like changed etc., Users have less time so many would pass the feedback step but you can encourage them by offering them a discount on their next purchase if they will the feedback.

Once you have the feedback, and then engage your sales, marketing and production team to work to meet the expectations of your customers. This will give you valuable points to work on to upgrade your business and positive orientation.

Contact Vantagewebtech for how are feedback forms can be used on your app and website.

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Why content is important in website SEO

We hear that ‘Content is King’ all the time but internet users have a short attention span and do not when come across big content pages, skip them. So how far is this true and what can be done to Make the content the King on your site but to also keep the user engaged. Here are some tips:

– Keep it Short and Simple: Content is king does not mean that it has to be a lot. It can be small meaningful and engaging content. So its quality over quantity. it can just be just 3 to 4 paragraphs of hard hitting or meaningful content.

– Keep in Fresh: Content should be posted on a regular basis to keep your site updated. If a website is updated regularly then it gives the users a psychological assurance that it is a lived in company and have an idea of what’s going on.

The word Content in cut out magazine letters pinned to a cork notice board. Content is an important part of marketing and search engine optimization for web content and advertising.

– Content in any form: The content does not necessarily have to be as web pages or blog posts. It can be in any form like new project updates, newsletters that you send by email archive etc.

– Content can be from any source: The content can be posted by your customers such as product reviews, forum posts, testimonials etc.,

– Content does not have to be too wordy: It can be in the form of short videos, gif images, presentations and not only a lot of words,

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All About Google Algorithm Possum

On September 2016, Google quietly released a new update Possum. That’s the name search engine optimization experts gave to Google latest revision to its all-important search engine algorithm. This update is unlike most other updates, affects only local search results. Possum is all about how local search works and is undoubtedly the biggest change to the local search algorithm since the confirmed 2014 Pigeon update.

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As the Possum update roll out there have been seen a number of ranking fluctuations, some good and some bad. The possum is beneficial for those local SEO professionals who had trouble ranking for a specific city if their business address was just outside the city limits. Now we can say that the geographical location of the searchers is more important than before. Searchers in different locations may see completely different results for identical search terms. That means it’s more important than ever to make sure the searcher location is set to the right city when tracking ranking.

 A study show that Google update Possum had made 64% changes in local SERPs

Some changes in SERPs:-

  • 9% of the keywords had the business pop into the Local Finder when they weren’t there previously.
  • 11% of the keywords showed the business had increased in position by three or more positions.
  • 15% of the keywords showed the business had increased in position by one to two positions.
  • 35% of the keywords showed no change in position for the business.
  • 15% of the keywords showed the business had decreased by one to two positions.
  • 14% of the keywords showed the business had decreased by more than three positions

SEO experts call the Possum update one of the most significant revisions to the Google’s search engine algorithm in recent years. Some businesses have seen huge jumps in their search engine rank. Businesses, marketers and SEO consultants who stay abreast the changes gain a major competitive advantage.

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Difference Between a Native and Hybrid App

If you have are getting a mobile app developed (IOS or Andorid), your developer would ask you whether you want a Hybrid or a Native app. What are these type app types? It can be daunting to get confuse these terminologies. But here is a brief and easy explanation:

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1) Complexity: Native apps are developed for those scopes which are highly complex like dating apps, social apps, multi level membership apps etc. Hybrid apps are developed for simpler scopes that do not have complex features such as simple appointment booking systems for clinics or salons, e-commerce etc.

2) Performance: Native apps are faster, more stable and robust as compared to Hybrid apps.the difference is more evident on more complex scopes. A Hybrid app will be slower and crash often if made for a complex scope.

3) Technique of making: Native apps use programming language specific to a platform like Objective-C or Swift for Apple devices and Java for Android devices. Hybrid apps is a web app developed using tools like phone gap that translates to native code on a platform like iPhone or Android.

4) Price: Hybrid apps are cheaper than Native apps.

Therefore it is very important to first know how big your application will be as that will be the main deciding factor. And of course the other factors such as pricing and techniques come after that.

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You can contact Vantagewebtech.com expert App development team to help you scope out and guide you for your next app development project. We provide a no obligation quote and consultation free of cost. To see some apps done by us using Hybrid and Android take a look at our apps portfolio at http://www.vantagewebtech.com/portfolios/

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Million Dollar Question – Why is Website Designing so Important for a Business? Find out

Do you think you need to update your outdated website? If yes, finding a firm offering low cost website design India is really essential. Before you move towards changes, it’s vital to know why you need a website? Is it important? The simple answer to all this would be knowing what is website is all about.

Well, a website is a single domain that consists of different web page. Being a little more précised, it is a collection of web pages, basically documents that are accessed through the internet such as the one you frequently come across. A web page is what is displayed on your screen the time you type in any web address, click on a link, or put a query in a search engine. It can contain any type information, and can include graphics, animation, sound, and color.

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It comes as no surprise that if you have a business and don’t have an impressive website, you are losing out on great opportunities for your business. A well-designed website can itself be used to accomplish an array of different marketing strategies, and help your business get a competitive edge. An outdated website can take your business a step back, and surviving cut-throat competition really tedious job. Isn’t easy to do without a rock-solid website. Let’s have a look at the various benefits of website designing. Furthermore, low cost website design India can be the icing on cake.

  • Cost-effective
  • Accessible around the clock
  • High credibility
  • Sales
  • Bottom line
  • Convenient

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So, you must seek out a design firm that can offer a facelift your site, and this can help you generate new business. Yes! It really does. Well, there are a number of reasons why a well designed website can attract your potential customers, and prompt dialogue with your firm. Maybe, the reason why various firms are investing a hefty amount on designing. The answer is clear. No doubt hiring low cost website design India services are not a piece of pie, but a little research can do a major amount of work. Simple and easy! Isn’t rock science. You have an end number of options you can opt for. Just keep your designing needs in mind. All the best!

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How WordPress Plugin Development is a Boon for a Business

Do you know what is WordPress Plugins development? If no, this blog can be really helpful in exploring what it all about and how it can boost your business.

Let’s first find out what is a Plugin? It is a software containing a group of functions which can be added to a WordPress Website. Basically, with this you can add new features or functionalities to your website. Isn’t it interesting. These plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. You must have heard of a popular technical saying – there is a plugin for that. With its users like you can add amazing features without knowing much about the single line of code.

The next question on the list after under plugins is all about, is to dig some information about WordPress. Well, it is the most popular open source blog system. Out of which it is simple and easy to use and extensibility, it almost the fact of blog industry standard. The most aspects attached with this software is it offers developers a freedom to build their own custom plugin to add new features, spam combating, photo gallery, SEO features and more. In order to get your WordPress Plugin Development for your website done in the right way you need to seek an experienced and skilled developer who can handle your project the right way. The all you required is some resources, a little information, and the most important a great idea.

In simple words, it allows easy customization, modification, and improvement of a WordPress site. Instead of changing the core programming of it, you can add functionality to WordPress Plugin. If you think that all this can be a really a daunting task, all you need to do is to hire professionals who know the inside out of the WordPress plugin development. You really need not to worry, it’s not a rocket science, just look for the right help, all is done. You will be really contented to know that there are a number of firms that offer this service at affordable prices.So, just look for the best developer and get the things done in the apt manner. All the best!

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Encourage Customer Loyalty with Apps

Customer Loyalty is the goal of every business. Loyal customers stay with you long term, give you regular business and provide referrals which have as good as hundred percent referral rate. How can businesses reward customer loyalty and also encourage it? An easy solution to to get an app that awards loyal customers with reward points that they can redeem. For new customers having them downloading your app to get discounts would help you retain them for long because an app user usually stays longer on an app and does not switch to other apps as quickly as a website user. So if you are selling apparel and you have limited stock then chances are that the customers who have your app will buy something from what you have rather than surfing online or getting other apps.

We ate Vantagewebtech provide excellent app solutions and consultation that helps to get more loyal customers which takes your business to the next level.

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Vantagewebtech aspiring to become the best web designing & development company

Vantagewebtech offers web designing,development,SEO,Internet marketing and various other services.

Our aim is to provide full Client Satisfaction as well as Customer satisfaction.

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What our clients say about us ?

Vantagewebtech aims to keep its client happy by giving them quality work in the desired time frame. Our utmost goal is CLIENT SATISFACTION..

What our client’s say about us ..?

“First the most important question of all: would I hire vantagewebtech again. Absolutely! I’ve been very pleased with vantagewebtech’s work. Their work was of a very high quality and they conducted themselves very professionaly. They asked intelligent questions that made me think more about what it was I wanted, an unexpected bonus to my work with them. I made a number of revisions that they were happy to accomodate. They responded extremely quickly to any communication. I was very impressed: good quality work, good communication, good professional attitude. I will be using them again if I have a suitable project in the future.”

“An excellent team to work with — always responsive, forever satisfied (large or small project).”

“I Asked many questions and made many changes throughout project but they very professional and quick to response with updates in about 12hrs (considering the time zone difference) A+++ would recommend them to anyone.”

“Abhishek is awesome! He and his team are very attentive to your needs and requirements. Communication was flawless and execution was perfect! He even went above and beyond to build a back office for my website as well as spend time with me to explain how things work ( as I am not a programmer in any way) . Pricing was affordable and fair. Most of all his fantastic attitude made him an absolute pleasure to work with. I definitely recommend him to anyone. You will have a terrific experience working with him. If you want to check out their work my website is www.PrettyPepperSpray.com”

“These guys were awesome and will keep them on our team for future projects. As a matter of fact we have already offered them another project on Elance. They are quick to respond to corrections with programming and very helpful to resolve ALL of the customer issues. Their main goal was to keep us and our customer happy. From my experience so far, you will not go wrong with this provider!!”

“Amazing work on Caligrowkits.com He went above and beyond in all areas of development. Updates were delivered in 12 hours which was better than anyone.”

“It was great working with vantagewebtech. They were able to translate the brief exactly as we wanted it artistically and possess the technical and professional aptitude we require for an ongoing business relationship.”

“I cannot believe how professional Abhishek and team have been! This website got bigger and bigger and more complicated the more we looked into it. Abhishek was so polite and I swear it seemed as he never left his desk for a second as I never had to wait very long for a reply to a question. This company is so far the best company I have worked with for the professional attitude and price! INCREDIBLE! Thanks so much guys – you have worked WAY over and above my expectations. I am looking forward to working again with you on more projects and also getting more SEO for this website. Thanks again! Stephanie”

“What an absolute pleasure it was working with you guys. Thanks so much for making my life easier. I was impressed with the attention to detail you put into this project.  I look forward to working a lot more with you guys. Thanks again!”

“Great Job! Fast Email responses – A++ Will use again.”

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Some must haves for e-commerce websites

When developing ecommerce development solutions there are some things if taken care of will ensure the success of your online business:

Search engine friendly structure: It is important the website to be search engine friendly to allow search engines to index all the pages correctly. The code has to be clean, the struture should not be too deep, the site should have the ability to add seo tags and all pages should be easily readible by search engine crawlers. It is possible to achieve this be planning the structure before the development starts or using search engine friendly platforms such as joomla + virtuemart, os commerce, open cart, zen cart etc.,

Search engine optimization: The main pages of the website should be search engine optimized so that they become relevant for the important keywords.

Online Marketing: It is important to plan an online marketing campaign before the development of the site starts. This is because the website without marketing will get lost in millions of websites on the internet.

Design that works: It is easy to get carried away with a design that looks like an artist’s masterpiece. But it actually is not of much use if it is not user friendly, fast to load and trust building. A design should not only look good but also perform.

Newsletter: Newsletters are a great medium of informing your customers about new products, upcoming sales, industry trends, what’s new with your company etc., They serve as a good marketing tool and make your site more interactive.

Search function: This is a great tool for customers which comes handy in many situations. If you want to make finding information easier for your customers then go for a basic and advanced search functions. Sort functions are very helpful as well.

Coupons: All customers like to receive discounts ,coupons are a good way of obliging them. Having a good discount system using which you can send discount coupons to regular customers is a good way of doing this.

Easy to find contact information: Many times customers have queries that they want addressed by talking directly to some one in the company. For this purpose it is a must to have phone no.s of the sales department or live chat support.

Security icons: Sharing credit card or personal financial information on the internet is very risky these days with internet frauds on the rise. It is therefore important to have proper security measures in place along with icons that indicate those to build trust and confidence amongst online shoppers.

Feedback form: It is good to have a form where your customers can let you know what they can think. Your customers will appreciate that you consider their feedback.

Easy to manage Admin section: Admin section which allows the staff to manage products, newsletters, offers, orders and analyze the buying trends with ease will ensure complete contol on the business. Softwares like Joomla,virtuemart,Os Commerce and open cart have well developed admin sections.

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Planning your online marketing campaign

When launching a new website it is important to plan an effective online marketing campaign. A well though out plan will ensure that your business is a success. Here are some ideas:
a) Think long term: While it is important to get customers immediately but the online marketing campaign should also involve long term planning as there are many marketing initiatives which need time to get implemented and reap results. Search Engine Optimization and Link Building are two such examples of initiatives that wll reap more results in the long term than Google Adwords.
b) Explore your niche: Each business is unique in some way which makes it stand apart from all compititors. If you explore your niche you can use that to market yourself and use it as your expertise. Customers like to know what makes you stand apart from the pack.
c) Know your customers: It is good to be thorough about your products and services but only that is not enough. You need to know your customers equally well. Unless you know your customers you will not be able to reach out to them and understand them.
d) Be your own competition: Look within your own business and try to improve it. Share your achievements with your customers or prospects, come up with more innovative ideas to advertise your growth, how you are different and better.
e) Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket: Have an online marketing campaign which involves different straegies such as Search engine optimization, social media optimization, link building, content syndication, blogging etc., so that you get traffic from different sources.
f) Use only white hat techniques: In search engine marketing applying strategies that are acceptable to searcch engines like google and genuinely serve the web users are called white hat techniques. There are black hat techniques also which should not be used as they would lead your website to get banned on search engines.
It is a good idea to start with a comprehensive marketing research which will help in getting answers to the above questions. Using an expert online marketing team or search engine marketing company would help in saving time and money.
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Anatomy of a Joomla project

Joomla is a great platform to build websites. It is easy to work with and very flexible. But building a website on Joomlacan require a great deal of planning and work. Some basics are mentioned below:

a) Effective design: Joomla has its custom theme that can be used. But to make your website work you need an effective design which enhances your products and services, is user friendly, meets your industry standards and is visually appealing. In short a design that works. For this you need a tam of expert web designers and Joomla coders who can translate any custom design into a Joomla theme.

b) Features: Depending upon the nature of the online business, some additional features will be needed to be added on a website which may not be a part of joomla’s default set up. There are many plugins (free and paid) that can be used for adding features. It is also easy to custom create a plugin if it is not available.

c) Search Engine Optimization: Joomla  set up does not come search engine optimized. Some modules ned to be installed and search engine optimization needs to be done.

d) Online Marketing: Like any website, once your Joomla website is launched, it needs a marketing plan which will help theit to gt exposure and customers.

e) Server requirements: Server requirements vary depending upon the nature of the website. All joomla sites need mysql support and some need SSL.

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Joomla web development

Joomla is one of the best fee open source development platforms available these days for making content management websites, e-commerce websites, corporate websites and community websites. Some of the reasons why it is a preferred choice:

a) Open Source: Joomla is a very well developed open source platform that can be freely used to create any type of applications or websites. Since Joomla is free to use, the development cost and time is greatly reduced by using it.

b) Host of features: Joomla has good number of inbuilt features which can be needed in the development of an application or a website. It also has many paid and free plugins for advanced features which can be easily added.

c) Flexible: Joomla’s code is flexible and can be easily tweaked. Custom coding can be easily done on its existing code.

d) Scalable: It is very easy to add new features on a joomla website and to upgrade a joomla installation. For most of the upgrades, plugins or in built features are readily avilable to be activated,

e) Easy to use: For a non technical user, a joomla admin is very intutive, easy to learn and use.

f) Good multilingual support: Joomla has a good multilingual tool which is excellent for websites that have to be built for different languages.

g) Search Engine Optimization option: Joomla websites can be search engine optimized easily.

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Scoping a Content Management System

A Content Management System (CMS) is a back end application which allows the front end of an application or website to be managed. It can have many features and functions depending upon the requirements of the system administrators. A CMS is being commonly used in most websites these days and there are many ready made CMS like Joomla, WordPress and Drupal which are readily available to be used.

Features of CMS can include:

a) Edit existing pages: A simple Content Management System can have a function to easily edit the text, navigation menu names, banners, galleries, images, PDfs, videos and all other media. This type of Content Management System is good for websites which would always have fixed pages.

b) Manage page counts: For sites which would need new pages to be added as well, a Content Management System with the function to add or remove pages is needed. When a new page is added, the navigation menu and the site map should automatically get updated. Similarly when a page is deleted from the system, the link to that page should be automatically erased from the navigation and the sitemap. The design of such sites have to be flexible enough to accommodate increasing or decreasing menus.

c) Manage forms: The administrators can add/delete forms or edit the existing forms.

d) Users types: Websites and applications which have many interfaces and functions cannot be managed by one single Administrator. An Admin user management function is added to allow multiple administrators to manage the website or application. The system has one main administrator who creates sub admin users. These sub admin users can be given access to only certain areas or to the full system. They can be deleted from the system and their details (like password, e-mail id, access areas etc.,) can be easily edited.

e) Manage design: A CMS can have a function to update the design template of the front end. This again can be as simple as changing the color scheme and the background of the template or as advanced as changing the complete structure of the design.

f) Manage Search Engine Optimization: If the CMS is for a commercial website then it should have a system to update the Search Engine Optimization elements on the website such as Meta tags, URLs, image names, ah-refs etc.,

A Content Management System can be either created from scratch using custom coding or from ready to use platforms such as wordpress, joomla and Drupal.

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Leveraging Google Adwords for your online business.

Google AdWords is an online advertising service that places advertising copy at the top, bottom, or beside, the list of search results Google displays for a particular keyword search. Google AdWords is one of the most effective and popular ways of promoting a product or a website on the internet. It benefits your website with increase in targeted traffic. Google AdWords can help you reach new customers and grow sales of your business. Google AdWords keyword finder can provides best keyword suggestions for you. It will help you to find keywords that are suitable for your website. It is a pay per click based google product that allows advertisers to more easily target their chosen audience. Google AdWords advantages are:

 

Ø  Immediate Visibility: One of the biggest advantages of Google’s PPC program is that it can increase your website visitors immediately. You have to wait for months if advertise through SEO strategies but Google AdWords can bring your site on the top just by paying a small amount.

 

Ø   Budget Flexibility: Google AdWords allows you to only pay for the clicks that are received.  It can also allow paying for how many times people see the ad, as well as target individual content websites. With Google AdWords you can decide how much you want to spend on Advertising. There is no minimum spending requirement. You can decide how much you will pay for a click.

 

Ø  Accurate Customer Targeting: Google AdWords gives you control over your entire campaign so you can select keywords which can provide targeted traffic to your website. It means With Google AdWords you can target your audience using very specific keywords. And you can reach to right customers.

 

Ø  Guaranteed Placement: There can be guaranteed placement with SEO programs but Google AdWords guarantees your ad will appear at various times throughout the day.

 

Ø  Keyword Planner: Keyword research is very important in internet marketing. It enables you to know that what people are searching on search engine. Best keyword selection will increase organic traffic to your website.

 

Ø  Generate lots of immediate traffic to your web site: Instead of waiting for your web site to get indexed by the search engines you can drive traffic to it instantly with Google AdWords.

 

Ø  Specific Area Traffic: Google AdWords advertising allows you to select country and state for advertising your business.

 

Google AdWords helps you to grow your business in an effective way or you can do this within your budget which you want to spend on advertising. It can help you reach new customers and grow sales of your business. Set your daily budget and the amount you’re willing to pay for a click. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad. There’s no minimum term or commitment. Once you use the coupon amount, you’re under no obligation to continue. Google AdWords is a way to set your business online and it will make people to know about your business and products immediately. Unlike other advertising methods, Google AdWords is one of the most effective and most popular ways of promoting a product or a website in the internet.

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Starting your new online ecommerce business

As an online merchant, making your first sale is a lengthy and multi-step process. Planning, training and marketing are required for selling products successfully. Below are some of best ways, which can help you to make your first online sale:

Search Engine Marketing                                                        

  • PPC: Pay-per-click advertising is an immediate way to get traffic to a brand-new site. A PPC ad shows on search engine pages immediately.
  • Google Places: Google Places is simply a Google account any business can sign up for. A local business listing is an easy way to get online presence for a company. These listing can help your business if users will search for a term that includes a specific geographic location. It will reduce competition and can benefit your business with local customers.
  • Get SEO: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can improve the ability for your online store to appear high in Google’s results. You can drive organic traffic to your website. It’s a long process; that means it can take few months to get ranked for your keywords.

Social Media

  • Facebook: Make a personal and a brand page on facebook for your business. Leverage your personal facebook profile and your business page to engage with friends, family, and acquaintances and to get people talking about your products.
  • Begin Tweeting on Twitter: Twitter’s beautiful simplicity is what makes it one of the most effective ways to engage with your target market. An excellent method for finding potential customers is to proactively search for people tweeting questions about your industry and reach out to them in a helpful way.
  • Make Connections on LinkedIn: LinkedIn is the office block of the Internet. You may not make many direct sales through LinkedIn, but you’ll discover an array of opportunities with other companies, suppliers, related websites, and more.
  • Go Visual with Pinterest and Instagram: When it comes to representing personality and creativity via social media, these two big platforms do it best. These platforms are the perfect place to present the creativity and passion that goes into your business product. Snap pictures of your products, take videos of the manufacturing process, tell a story with images etc.

Press Release

  • Publish a Press Release: Publish a press release about your products. A press release should be presented in a way that is concise and professional, without being too monotonous. Don’t expect a massive response unless you’re giving the public something seriously interesting to read about.

Content Marketing

  • Start Your Own Blog: Starting a successful blog can be cheapest way to attract thousands of new customers. All you need to do is create valuable content for your readers. By producing free, valuable content, you will create trust in your brand and keep people informed.
  • Build an Email List: Building up an email list for marketing purposes is absolutely essential. Having an emails list of customers means you can get your information, products, and content into their personal mailboxes.
  • Write a Controversial Blog Post: You can get consumer attention for your products by writing a controversy blog post.

Paid Ads

  • Pay for Advertise on Facebook, Twitter and Google Adwords.
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Decorating your website for Festivals

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Your website is like your virtual office or shop so if you decorate your office or shop on festival like Christmas, then you should also decorate your site. If your site is updated with “Happy New Year” or any season’s greetings it gives a nice message to the customers.

Once you have made your website and have it running successfully, your customer’s attention still lies on keep it updated and maintained. If you don’t care of your website it will provide little benefit in returns and you can lose your value.  Adding festivals greeting to your website can be a great option to keep your website updated, if you neglect then you can lose your reputation among customers. It is the way in which you can make your customers more satisfied with you. Provide discount on festivals is a great way to encourage your customers spends more.

The benefits of decorating websites on festivals:

  • It makes your website looks updated and fresh
  • Key to online success and reputation
  • It makes your website seo friendly because search engine like websites which updates regularly
  • It shows your customers that they are important for you
  • It make your business more profitable
  • It helps people coming back
  • Makes you website interesting

How you can take advantage of festivals?

Decorate Your Websites: Decorate you website with creative greetings.

Offer Special Festival Discounts:You can offer special offers to customers. It is a best way to encourage your customers spends more on your website.

Hand out gift bags: Along with discounts, you can also offer customized gifts bags to customers. Wrap them up nicely, put a customized URL or a QR code on the packaging and you are all set.

 

Create a contest for customers: You can create a festival contest on your website. It can be a great idea to make your website interesting and user friendly. Your customer’s will surely enjoy this contest and can suggest you to their relatives.

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Basics of setting up a website

When it comes to designing and building a website, you can either do it yourself or hire someone else to do it. To create a website you only need to do these two things:

  • Sign up for a website hosting and choose/register a domain name
  • Create a website

Setting up a Website

Register Your Domain Name: A domain name is the Internet address of a website or blog. Your domain name should be simple, obvious, and as short as possible. Domain names are unique. You can only register a domain name that no one else has taken. Find an easy-to-remember name for your site. Once you have successfully registered your domain name, it will remain in your name and control for as long as you pay to keep it. There are 280 domain extensions in total. These are divided into two main groups

  • Generic top-level domains (gTLDs)
  • country code top-level domains (ccTLDs)

The 20 gTLD extensions are used mostly internationally. They are divided as:

  • 4 unrestricted TLDs: .COM, .NET, .ORG & .INFO (can be purchased by anyone without any restrictions)
  • 3 Generic-restricted TLDs: .BIZ (for Businesses), .NAME (for Individuals) & .PRO (for credentialed professionals)
  • 13 Sponsored TLDs: .AERO, .ASIA, .CAT, .COOP, .EDU (US only), .GOV (US only), .INT, .JOBS, .MIL (US only), .MOBI, .MUSEUM, .TEL & .TRAVEL

Choose a Web Host and Sign Up for an Account: A web host is basically a company that has many computers connected to the Internet. When you place your web pages on their computers, everyone in the world will be able to connect to it and view them. You should choose a hosting company based on your website’s technology, database type and space/bandwidth requirements. If you are not sure about these things, then it is best to consult your web development company for a suitable hosting plan.

Create a Website: Once you have settled your domain name and web host, the next step is to design the web site. You will need to decide whether to hire a professional Web developer to create your Web site or to produce it yourself. If you have a real desire to learn how to create your own site, spend some time with online tutorials on creating your own site. Tools such as Adobe Dreamweaver and Adobe Photoshop allow you to create Web site without any prior knowledge of Web design.

If you are hiring a web designer to do it for you, it’s important to determine

  • The purpose and budget of your website
  • Who will provide content for your website
  • Who will be responsible for both design and marketing of your website?
  • Test your website design and functionality to make sure that it works the way you want it.

Tips for developing a successful website

Make Your Website Easy: Build light, simple, and user-friendly website interfaces as it’s important that user can easily navigate with your website. So provide clear, easy-to-understand tools on each page of your website. Always, include your contact information on each page of your site.

Provide Useful Content: It’s not enough to have a Web site that lists your products and provides a shopping cart for purchases. If you want your visitors to return, you should provide meaningful content.

Speed: Make your site load fast as much as possible. This is important from two aspects: user experience and a SEO factor.

 

Feedback: Encourage customers to give there valuable feedback via online forms. Place online chat option on homepage or provide them a feedback form on site.

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How can you improve customer’s journey on your ecommerce website

Customer journey analysis is very important step to increase conversion rate of your ecommerce business. You need to understand customer’s pre- purchase behavior. Customer’s journey can be easy if you use advanced strategies and technologies to guide customer. You need to use filters, categories and site search option for customer’s comfort.

Following tips can help you improve customer’s journey on your ecommerce website:

  • Responsive Checkout: Your customers are on tablets, phones, laptops etc. and ready to make a purchase. Complicated checkout process can change your customers mind and make them purchase with other website that’s easier to navigate. So it’s compulsory to make your checkout process responsive and easy for your customers. Shopify, an ecommerce company can provide you responsive platform to organize your products, customize storefront’s and accept payments from various payment methods.
  • Product Recommendations: Product recommendations are important, but to improve customer journey you need to suggest products which are closely related to customers purchase. For example: If your customer is shopping for shoes, then your recommendations should be socks, shoe polish kit, combo of socks pairs etc. The predictions should be on the basis of customer’s purchase history. It puts a positive impression on customers and makes their purchase journey short and easy.
  • Self Service Support: Online customers like self service support then email or telephonic support. For an ecommerce store, this means offering detailed information about products on website. You need to provide product photos, technical product details and customers reviews to win customers confidence. Amazon, an ecommerce brand is a good example of self service support.
  • High Quality Content: Educate your customers with high quality content for products. Quality content doesn’t mean content marketing. High quality contents are those who can educate your customers about product detail and capture their attention. Informative and interesting content can force website visitors to make a purchase with you.

(Vantage Webtech)

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Designing the Perfect UX of Mobile Ecommerce in Few Simple Steps

Mobile phones are now an important part of our life. A huge crowd of people is using mobile phones to shopping online. If you are running an eCommerce store it’s important that your website design will work well with mobile and other small internet devices. Mobile shopping can be difficult because mobile screens are small, however you can make it possible to create a smooth and delightful shopping experience to your customers. The best shopping experiences are ones where products are shining through screen, designs are navigating and content are providing necessary information. Your website will be able to attract customer’s attention. Below are few tips to create a great mobile shopping experience.

Focus on product: Mobile shopping experience can be improved if your eCommerce website only focuses on products.  Excess navigation, excess promotions and excess content can irritate users. If you are using excess navigation then its waste of space. You need to allow user just shop, don’t over use promotional material and distract visitors.

Provide Quality Photos of Products: Maximum number of mobile phones have small screen resolution. Product photos should not be tinier as visitors wish to see products in detail. If photos are small then it will surely annoy visitors. Shopping on mobile is difficult but you can low difficult level by focusing on your products through big and quality photos.

Don’t Force Customers to Log In: In order to shop through mobile apps, user is often required to log in. It makes customers shopping experience bad and customers can also visit to your competitor website. Simply, don’t do this. Don’t force your customers to register and log in. Allow user to browse without logging in and checkout as guest.

Build Lightweight Website: Make your website lightweight and fast loading. Your customer will surely get convinced, if your website will load in 3-5 seconds. Visitors have come to shopping, and they are already convinced with site speed, so it makes them trust you and make shopping with you.

Design a clear basket and an easy checkout: Once someone decided to buy with, don’t let them change their decision because of poor checkout process. Make sure the process from adding products into cart, to confirmation of order, is seamless and awesome. Allow visitors to checkout as a guest. Things like meaningful flow, good copy writing, simple form design and privacy considerations can create a great checkout experience.

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Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start writing!

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Do you really need a mobile app?

Firstly, what is a Mobile App:
Mobile Apps also known as Mobile Applications or Apps are software programs that can be downloaded on your mobile devices and tablets such as Android Phones, Windows Phones, Iphones, Ipads etc, from an App store: Google Play for android apps, Apple store for Iphone and Ipad and Windows store for windows apps.  Each mobile app has a certain functionality that it runs on the device such as a calculator, game, products list, etc,

Various devices for running mobile apps.

Depending on the feature of the app; it can use many of the  phone’s default features such as camera, compass, browser,  global positioning system etc.,
The feature of each app varies and aim to engage the customers and target audience.

Why do you need a Mobile App?
A very common question that many businesses who only have a website ask is if they need a mobile app developed for their business also. The answer lies in their own behavior as a user (mostly). If they see how many times they use their mobile they would understand the urgency of having an app for their own business too.

We carry our mobile devices with us everywhere we go – in our pockets or purses. Every time we need to do something online we just pull out our phone and do it in a few tabs. There’s no need to go to a computer. Mobile app allows users to access the data offline when the they don’t have any working internet available. Having an app allows a business to be at par with its competitors who would already be having apps. In today’s competitive world almost every online merchant is trying all that’s available to reach their customers- website, apps and an aggressive online marketing strategy.
Its a great way to engage the online users and customers by interesting features.

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HTTP VS HTTPS

Very often we come across websites that have https added before the domain name instead of http. The extra ‘s’ indicates that the website is secure by having an added security layer called SSL or Secure Socket Layer. If you notice you would also see that there is a Padlock icon and a green bar that shows up.

So what is this SSL, why is it needed and who needs it? SSL is an extra layer of security that you can add to your website to safeguard your customers information that they submit on your website. It encrypts the customers data so if a hacker can somehow hack into your website he cannot make use of the customer and other data because it is in encrypted form.

With increasing security threats online concerning credit card theft, identity thefts etc., this is a must have if your website stores customer information and has ecommerce. Lately Google is also suggesting webmasters to have the SSL security for all types of websites and apparently is giving preference to sites that are more secure in ranking.

There are different types of SSL:

Extended Validation: This is for the highest level of security that you need and covers the standardized Extended Validation guidelines. Latest web browsers indicate the use of Extended Validations by turning the url address bar into green color and showing the company name. The company name shows because it is validated by Certification authorities who checks and validates all the details of the company.

Organization Validation: This is next level of security which also shows the company name and is validated by Certification authorities.

Domain Validations: This is the most basic and fastest way to get SSL as it is issued almost immediately without having to submit the company details. Since the company information is not validated it does not show the company name.

So to summarize, Secure Socket Layer helps websites in the following way:

  • Makes them secure by encrypting information submitted on the website.
  • Gives confidence to customers that their information will stay safe if they use the website. Especially where they have to use their credit cards. When you buy SSL you get a security icon that says your website is secure which you can prominently display on your website. Of course the URL also indicates that your site is safe with an added ‘s’ and the padlock icon.
  • Search engines like Google are said to give more preference to secure sites that have ssl.
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Next steps after site launch

You have got a beautiful looking mobile responsive website made for your business that uses breathtaking parallax effects, amazing info graphics and great content. After the site goes live, you share it on your Facebook wall and text the link to your friends and family. But is that all? Having a site done will not get you business alone. Its like getting a Getting the site ready is just 50% of the work done. The pending 50% is done popularizing your website online by doing the following:
1) Publish content: Publish well written content in the form of blog posts, forum posts, articles and wikis. Create a blog on your site as well and publish there regularly. Google likes sites that publish fresh and original content.
2) Ask for reviews: Ask your current and past customers to review your business, products and services online. Add a review and feedback section on your site where you can request your customers to rate your service or product on various parameters and write their comments. Make it a easy to fill form. Post the review on your site and other reviews website.
3)  Get social: Publish new content in the form of helpful articles, offers, latest happenings, news etc on twitter, Facebook etc., Make it interactive so that readers leave comment.
4) Get news worthy: Publish press releases to formally introduce services, products and your company to the world.
5) Get Videos: Videos that inform you customers on how your products work or how a service solves a problem is a great way of marketing. You could have videos on any theme including help guides or trouble shooting videos for your products for which your customers contact you quiet often. You can post such videos on various free video publishing websites like vimeo, you tube etc.,
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Defining your online mobile presence

More and more internet users these days use mobile devices for not only buying merchandise but also for planning vacations, booking tickets, paying bills,  buying products, checking emails, dating etc., Mobile devices gives the advantage of doing things when you are in transit or waiting or when you don’t have access to PCs. For this reason, any online business – whether Local, Regional, National or International should should have a mobile web presence  in the form of a mobile site or an app and make use of all possible options to allow the online users to do most of the things  that they can do offline at their establishments or even more. For example some mobile sites and apps allow customers to pay in installments because their products are expensive and their target market are college students. The feature of easy installments gives them an advantage of a bigger customer base. The more you can add value to the online experience the higher conversion that helps in getting.

Each business has a niche. Being aware of what your competition is important keeping your niche into perspective. An all rounder mobile strategy will help the business to get the maximum out of its niche through a mobile online presence.
At Vantagewebtech we provide ecommerce and mobile consultancy services to our customers that helps in taking their business to the next level. Contact Us today for a no obligation review of your business and quotation.

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Why You Need To Update Your WordPress website regularly?

Now a day’s WordPress is most known CMS. At very earlier WordPress just known as a blogging system, but at present well known and used as a CMS with thousands of plugins and widgets. It is open source software that’s why people love to use it for creating websites. Updating WordPress to latest version is easy, you just need to click update button. With WordPress website you need to update three areas: the actual WordPress application, themes and plugins. But be careful, because sometime updates don’t go as well as planned. You need to restore previous version in such situation, so always keep backup before updating anything on your website.

Why it’s essential to update WordPress websites regularly?

Many business owner may think that why should they update their wordpress website when it is working fine. But think that you don’t have to do anything onerous, only a couple of minutes and few clicks of mouse are enough to keep your CMS up-to-date. New updates contain more efficient codes and features which will surely help you to improve the speed and performance of your site. It can also simplify the process/way you add data to your site.

Advantages of updating website regularly

  • It makes websites more secure: Regularly updated sites can’t be hacked easily then compared to websites which are not upgraded. So it’s best to upgrade your WordPress website as soon as a security fix is released.
  • Compatibility with new plugins: Day by day WordPress community providing new plugins to its customers. If you are installing a brand new plugin, then you need to update WordPress version also because older version may not be compatible with new plugins and its features.
  • New Features: Each time wordpress provide any update, it means they are providing you new feature/shortcut to make your CMS easy for you. If you update wordpress website regularly then you can take benefit of these features.

If you want to add latest WordPress updates to your website contact us.

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How to optimize your website landing page for better conversion rate

A landing page is where people end up after they click an ad. Website landing page experience affect conversion rate in several factors. The homepage of a website is not the only landing page; every page in your website may be landing page for specific keywords. Website’s conversion rate won’t come from the new ad you create; it comes from the landing page you build. A well designed landing page can make website visitor to shop with you. Following tips can help you to optimize your website landing page:

  • Simple and Clean Design: Look and design of your website will have a huge impact on website visitor. Primary goal of landing page should be to make visitors satisfied and impress them with smart colors. Attractive images should be used to make landing page attractive. But keep in mind that simple and clean design will benefit you as it gives beautiful look to your landing page.
  • Appropriate Heading: Your landing page should have strong heading about what you offer.  It allows you to display key opportunity of your offer. Remember you have 6-8 seconds to convince visitors. So use heading and subheadings to promote your offer.
  • Make Landing Page Trustworthy: Use trust signals to indicate visitors that your product and brands are trustworthy. It can be done with testimonials, like counters from various social medial sites and secure payment options. You can also add logos of well known brands you’ve worked with, any certificate or award you have received and any group you are a member of etc.
  • Length of Forms: Short length forms are effective in a good landing page. Many of online customers like short length forms which contain very few fields to fill. I know as an online marketer you want to collect most of data from site visitors, but it’s important to keep these data forms short if you want to convert most of visitors into customers.

 

  • Match Landing Page with PPC ads: Make sure the words used in PPC ads, mostly matches with content of your landing page. It assures visitors that they are on right place. If you use PPC ads it’s important to drop your user directly to page they are looking for.  Example- If a user click on a PPC ad about men’s t-shirt, don’t drop them in men’s clothing section- you need to bring them exact desired location.
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How to use Google my business for local seo

Google my business is a very fast and easy way for small businesses to make their online presence on Google. You can get your business page for free. You need to visit Google my business page and create a account there. At the end of the signup process, Google will verify your business using a 5-6 digit unique verification code. Google send this to you over the phone or via a postcard to confirm that you are owner of business. Once you’ve filled out your basic business info and been verified, Google my Business will add your company’s information to Google local search results.

Google my business offers a lot of benefits to local businesses:

  • Create an online presence
  • Find new customers
  • Allow your current customers to find you online
  • Allow reviews from customers and you can respond them
  • Create a base of your local seo

Some important points to consider while creating Google my business page:

  • Enter your business address carefully
  • Use pictures & logo of your business
  • Enter accurate business information
  • Use good quotes to describe your business
  • Keep posting discounts and offers on your business page
  • Enter local area code carefully

If you want local search traffic, you need to make sure that you have completed all compulsory effort for that. Google my business can help you to make your online presence but there is more to do. You need to optimize website pages according to local seo techniques. Here are some of suggestions:

  • On-site: You should use your key location in various places on website such as content, meta heading and descriptions, title tags, footer etc.
  • Off-site: List your website on various local directories and portals.
  • Review: Ask customers for reviews on your Google business page. Because positive reviews can provide you huge benefit.
  • Share Content: At last continuously share useful content related to your products.

 

(Vantage Webtech)

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Why typography is so important in web design?

Typography is known as an art and technique, which is used to arrange text on a website. You can say typography is a combination of font, size, spaces and color. Quality typography can increase written communication of your web page. Typography allows you to increase you conversion rate easily and impress website visitors with words & design. It is your duty to put maximum effort to complete the typographical points in your website designs.

Tips to maintain good typography on a website:

  • Font Size: Small fonts are hard to read on lower resolution screens. Make sure you are using a font size that is easy to read on any screen resolution.
  • Titles and Subtitles: Use titles and sub headings for your content. It makes it easy to understand for visitors.
  • Avoid use of justified text as it can lead bad white spacing on your page.
  • Color: Use high contrast colors for text.
  • Length: A very long or short line may be distracting. For optimum readability you need to keep length of text between 40-80 characters, including spaces.
  • Simple: Use simple fonts on website if you are not much experienced in web design. Because only an expert web designer can use variety of fonts effectively.

Importance of typography in web design

Typography is very useful in web design; you can use it as a tool for improving users experience and usability of your website or either can allow them to focus on your content. Good typography design guides people and introduce your products/ service with amazing content on your website. Whenever people your website, there are chances they will immediately look at the text. That’s why it’s important to use good typography design techniques.

These reasons are why typography is so important. If text used in a design is too small, too cramped and it irritates the viewer, then definitely such kind of webpage won’t get a second chance to get attention of visitor.

 

(Vantage Webtech)

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What is a well designed website and why it is importance for your business?

Web design can be difficult as it’s not about how good it looks, but you should also make it easy to use. Websites that are not well designed and provide poor experience to user can hurt you with high bounce rate, low conversion rate and loss in business.  It’s important to understand the characteristics of good design that can make or break effectiveness of your online investment. Here are some key elements of a well designed website:

Visual Appearance: A good website must be visually professional, appealing and simple. Keep in mind, your website is reflecting your business, products and services. It may be your first impression on your customers. Your goal is to generate a positive impression and keep visitors on website. Good use of color, easy to read text and quality photography can make your website easy to navigate.

Typography: Text is most important element of your website. Remember that your audience is looking for information that will help them make a decision, so content on your website must be informative and relevant. It’s important to consider elements like font size, spacing, line length, font color, paragraphing etc.


Navigation: Every component of your website should work quickly and correctly. Your site must be easy to read, navigate and understand. Navigation means to direct user where you are now and where to go next.  Some key navigation element includes:

  • Keep your site simple and organized
  • Fast load pages
  • Create links to minimize need of page scroll
  • Use a consistent layout
  • Use long text along with links


Functionality: Make sure all component of your website is working properly because broken or poor constructed components can frustrate your visitors.  Everything should work properly including links, search box, forms etc.

Importance of well designed website

Website is now compulsory for every small to large businesses. A well designed website is known as a valuable investment.  Following are some advantages of having a well designed website:

  • Highlight your expertise with ease
  • Increase conversion rate
  • Benefit in seo
  • Reduce your maintenance time
  • Better first impression on visitors
  • Better way to  provide effective communication
  • Reduces other promotional cost
  • Provides time saving experience to customers

These are only few advantages we explain in this post, I am sure you could think of other advantages to a well designed site. Please feel free to suggest them in the comments below.

(Vantage Webtech)

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How to improve conversions of your ecommerce site

One of the fastest ways any online store can increase revenue is to increase conversions rate of website.  Here are some tips on how you can improve conversion of an e-commerce website.

Make Your Website Homepage a Conversion Magnet: The homepage is like a store front and entry-point of your site. This is the area you exactly need to work because here you can convert visitors into buyers. Your visitors here will decide whether they continue to website or leave, their decision depends on how you welcome them. You can welcome visitor effectively if you:

  • Provide them search Box
  • Organize the navigation bar
  • Remember user search and provide related recommendations
  • Have an easy to use product categories group
  • Show discount offers clearly

Free Shipping: 70% of online buyers are looking for free shipping. Having a large shipping fee will definitely scare your customers and have a negative impact on your conversion rate. You should include shipping cost in price and offer your customers free delivery.

Easy to Navigate Product Page: Navigation should be descriptive. Mostly use generic labels and buttons, which can easily communicate with users. When your navigation shows featured products or discounted products, it gets user attention and forces them to make a purchase.

Limited Time Offers: You could offer limited-time discounts to encourage visitors to buy before the deal ends. Highlight the amount they will save by buying now, the time left before the deal expires, and the numbers of people who have already bought that deal to encourage them to click.

Offer Quick Delivery: Online customers are impatient. Long delivery time can make a negative impact on your conversion rate. Offer your customers quick delivery time to boost your conversion rate.

Trust Signals: Try to offer product quality and price guarantee for customers. Another way of generating trust is by adding secure payment options and show genuine reviews of your company.

Conversion rate of a website is hugely important because when you increase your conversion rate, it means you are increasing your revenue.

(Vantage Webtech)

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What you need to know to attract more customers to your e-commerce website

As ecommerce website developers, it is essential to make your E-commerce website attractive for customers. You won’t succeed unless you can attract customers to your E-commerce website. Acquiring customers for an on-line business may be difficult and time consuming process .Below we listed most effective ways to make it easy to gets lots of visitors.

Use a Responsive E-commerce Site: Now days, customers are using mobiles, tablets, iphones etc. for on-line shopping. Your ecommerce development solutions need to reach your customers on all devices, if you don’t then you are losing customers and that means low ROI.  You can also provide them mobile app to feel them comfortable with you. If you are using responsive website, it will also reduces your bounce rate and benefit you with high search engine ranking. Make sure you are using a website design which can be easily accessed from all these devices.

Make Your Website Beautiful: Your website is like a representation of your business and products. That’s why it has to be beautiful and professional if you really want to attract customers. You have to be aware that a user’s purchase decision is usually made just within first 5 second on your website. So make your store beautiful and easy to use as a beautiful store is always considered more reliable and trustworthy.

Post Regularly On Social Media Channels: Social media channels are one of free promotion tools. Post regularly on your social accounts it can increase your brand value among customers.  So, social media is a great marketing channel at no financial expense.

  • Facebook: May be your customer’s want you follow on facebook. You should create your business page on facebook, engage customers and catch their attention.
  • Google Plus: Create a google plus page for your business it’s free.
  • Twitter: Start twitting on twitter. Its simplicity makes it one of most effective ways to engage with your targeted audience. You can also use twitter card for advertising purpose.
  • LinkedIn: LinkedIn is the office block of internet. After setup your business profile on LinkedIn, you have an opportunity to make a link with other companies, suppliers, related websites and people.
  • Pinterest: Create a pinterest page and enable rich pins to your account.
  • Blogger: Use blogging as a brand awareness tool. It can provide you quality back links and targeted traffic.

Prepare Email List For Marketing: Building up an email list for marketing is important. It is effective solution to attract customers and make repeat sales from your customers. Some of most common email ideas are:

  • Emails about new products
  • Mails about promos and offers
  • Recommend similar product after customer made a purchase
  • Send email to those client’s who haven’t been active since a long while with discount coupons to  make them revisit your website

Ecommerce website developers don’t just need traffic. They need visitors that convert into customers and subscribers. An email list will help you achieve that and allow you to work on your subscribers and drive sales with them.

Huge traffic generation is a continuous struggle for most E-commerce websites. You cannot simply rely on SEO and then sit back and wait for results. You need to create high quality content about products and offer discounts and promos to attract new visitors, convert them into email subscribers and then into paid customers.

(Vantage Webtech)

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Ghost Buttons – Web Design Trend of 2015

Ghost buttons are the transparent rectangular and square shape buttons which keep the background visible. These buttons are suitable for websites with large images. These buttons are called ghost because of their transparency.  Most ghost buttons are larger than the normal buttons, but they never obstruct the screen area behind them. Ghost button’s features are:

  • Transparent with background showing through
  • Light font for call-to-action
  • Surrounded by a thin outline
  • Larger than traditional buttons
  • Contains simple text
  • The colouris often black or white

Such types of buttons are used on landing page style website because they can easily capture visitor’s eye and also provide “call to action” response. These are very simple to use, a beginner level designer can also easily deal with them.

Where to put ghost button on your website?

Ghost buttons are commonly placed at centre of homepage or landing page as they can get high visibility here. It’s not a necessary condition. It’s something common because when entering a new website, human eye focus on centre of page for a few seconds.

What are some of the advantages and disadvantages?

Some of the pros of ghost buttons are:

  • Clean and simple design
  • Easy design and implementation
  • Ghost buttons create a focal point for calls-to-action without being obtrusive
  • Ghost buttons gives a simple look to your website
  • These buttons works with almost any kind of design

Some of the cons of ghost buttons are:

  • Ghost buttons can frustrate users because they fall too far into background
  • Difficult to recognize for new users
  • Can’t used with flashy or high contrast images
  • Difficult to position

 

As such, these buttons make the design look more delicate and attractive, but require to be incorporated carefully. If these buttons are used in correct way can be good for design.

(Vantage Webtech)

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How to make your ecommerce site easy to use

Most successful ecommerce development solutions are those which are easiest for customers to understand and use. To be successful, ecommerce website developers have to deliver a good end-user experience to its customers. If you want to be a success online seller, you should optimize your website for ease of use. Avoid broken links and always use suitable categories for your products.

  Create Easy Checkout Process: Making it as easy as possible for your customers to pay is essential for increasing conversions and sales. Following tips can help you make your checkout process easy and effective:

  • Use one step checkout process
  • Provide several payment methods
  • Don’t force user to create account for payment (allow customers to make payment without requiring a account)
  • Don’t redirect people to another websites
  • Make error easy to fix and don’t ever ask customer to resubmit information again
  • Only ask you visitor for essential information
  • Never distract visitors (Don’t put any advertisement to your checkout page)

Make All Call to Action Buttons/Labels Visible: Don’t leave visitor guessing what to do next. When someone adds items to their cart, make it clear they can continue to checkout or continue shopping. Remember you have made so many efforts to bring this crowd to your site; you can’t let people go for poor website optimization issues.

Make Your Website Responsive: The fact is that more and more people use smart phones, tablets and mobile device to use internet. You need to reach your customers on any device. This means you should use a website design which can be easily accommodate to these devices. It will provide you higher volume of sale to your ecommerce business.

Use Shortcuts: No page on your website should be more than three clicks away from any other page. Shortcut should be

  • Buy the product
  • Related products
  • Search for another product
  • Purchase product and add to shopping cart
  • Manage your account
  • Go to checkout process

(Vantage Webtech)

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Optimizing your website for web visitors

Website optimization is the art of creating and continuously improving website visitor experience and conversion rates, resulting in high visitor satisfaction and high repeat visit rates. It doesn’t matter how much you optimize your site rankings in google if your website isn’t fully optimized to meet your visitor’s needs. Website optimization is often less expensive then search engine optimization campaigns. Because of that, website optimization often gives you better ROI than search engine optimization. If you properly optimize your website and make it user friendly then you may have an opportunity to convert a large crowd into customers, Otherwise they are just website visitor. Website optimization affects your visitor when they arrive on your website and how they convert for your goals.

 

How tooptimize your website?

 Website Load Time: When a website does not load quickly, it affects visitor’s behavior, which leads to decreases in sales conversions and revenue. Because nothing can be more irritating then waiting for page to load, so check your website’s home page load time, checkout process load time, and conversion rates at regular intervals. You can increase your website load time in following ways:

  • Move to a faster server
  • Use a CDN
  • Compress images and text

One way to improve user experience is to move a faster server. But if your site has a large amount of content to display, you must use content delivery networks as they can help to reduce bandwidth. You can also use compressed images and content for better results. A server does not have to send out as much data this way.

Make Your Website Responsive: Your website visitors will definitely expect the same type of experience on their mobile device as they do on their computers. So make sure your website is responsive and working properly on all devices like mobiles, tablets, laptop etc.

Improve Navigation Experience: Understand the expectation of visitors and make your website easy to navigate, don’t make them struggle with your menu structure. Divide categories clearly,make all navigation elements clickable links, use accurate navigation titles, ensure every clickable image has ALT text and provide search feature.

 

Once you optimize your website only then engage in search engine optimization process. Otherwise if you do, you will be wasting your time and money.

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New features in wordpress 4.1

WordPress Version 4.1 was released on 18 December, 2014 with new features and improvements.  This version of wordpress was named “Dinah” in honor of jazz singer Dinah Washington. This new version comes with several improvements such as new default theme, an improved writing experience and plugin recommendations. WordPress 4.1 has a renewed focus on writing. The wordpress team has introduced a new distraction-free writing mode.

Here are some of changes/features you will see in new wordpress version:

  • Twenty Fifteen Theme: Twenty fifteen theme is clean, blog focused and designed for clarity. This theme is designed using mobile first approach. It is responsive theme, so it looks good for any device and any screen resolution. It’s straightforward typography suitable for multiple languages. Twenty Fifteen looks best when using large, featured images.

Twenty Fifteen is a two-column theme with a focus on content. It is light in color with a left hand sidebar and content in the right column. It also ships with five different color schemes, ranging from dark to pink that are accessible from within the theme customizer.

  • Plugin Recommendations: When you browse to add new plugins screen, you’ll see a new recommended tab. Recommendations are based on data from thousands of wordpress sites about plugins that are commonly used together.
  • Distraction-Free Writing Mode: WordPress version 4.1 also lets you concentrate on writing content without distractions with distraction free writing mode. Enable distraction free writing mode and the surrounding interface will fade away when you start typing. It letting you focuses on your writing. To bring back the menu, move the mouse cursor to the left or right of the editor.
  • Inline Image Editing Toolbar: This feature allows you to align your images properly on a blog post. With wordpress 4.1, you can click on the image and select the alignment directly from it. It provides a quick and easy way to align an image or access additional editing options.
  • Choose a Diffrenent Language: WordPress 4.1 has been translated into over 40 languages. You can now choose a language for your site at any time by visiting the general settings.

 

  • Logout All Session With One Button: WordPress 4.1 includes a new Session UI. The UI shows up on the profile page when wordpress detects more than one active session. When pressed, the button logs out of every session except for the active one. This is useful for those times when users might have forgotten to log off from a laptop, phone, or public computer.
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Make your website more trust worthy

A new visitor to your website will decide whether to stay on site or leave within the first 15 seconds. You build your site, seo optimized it and visitors are coming to it but still facing problem to convert visitors into customers.  The problem can be that you need to make your website more trust worthy. Main purpose of website should be earning customer’s confidence. If the website appears disreputable, customers will take their business elsewhere.

There are three main areas of a website that you should work on in order to make it trust worthy.

  • Homepage and landing pages
  • Your product/service pages
  • Check out process

Website’s homepage/landing page is the first impression on its visitors, which means it is the first area you need to work if you want to avoid high bounce rate. Build your reputation by adding trustworthy detail on homepage such as when your company was found, show testimonials, show how many customers you have, show your social following, include live chat option etc.

Once your site visitors have looked over your home page, hopefully they will move forward and look through your products/services. You must set up your product pages in a way that encourages trust in you products and you can do this by providing high quality images for products, show reviews and rating of products, display your shipping information, highlight your return policy etc.

When people selected products into shopping cart you must provide them secure and trustworthy payment options. Clearly display your security system and up to date SSL certificate.

Remember these points if you want to make your website more trustworthy-

  • Include contact information on home page such as phone numbers, hours of operation, business mailing address, email addresses etc.
  • Provide about us page.
  • Include testimonials page on your website.
  • Provide most secure purchase to your visitors
  • Place certification and memberships details
  • Make sure that website load speed is fast
  • Allow reviews and rating for products/services
  • Include a live chat option on homepage
  • Show your social followings

 

So get to work now, do a little bit each day and you will have surely optimized your website for trust, and you will see your bounce rates decrease, conversion rates increase, and your shopping cart abandonment decrease.

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One page websites

One page website design trend started in 2013 and becomes more popular now days. A one page website uses just one html page to display the whole data about a business. The content is further divided in sections/parts on single page only. One page websites are suitable for small businesses because as a small business owner you may not have the need to fill many pages with content about your services.

A single page website has many advantages over multipage websites:

  • Benefit in SEO: Single page website design promises a good SEO benefit – high search engine ranking. Inbound links on a single page, fast loading speed and single quality page can benefit single website with better google pr rank.
  • Reduce Cost: Because one page sites tend to be smaller, they will save your web space and bandwidth, which will in turn reduce your hosting costs.
  • Fast Loading Speed: Single page websites are lighter in size then multipage websites. It will surely leave multipage heavy websites behind if you count the downloading time. Fast loading means users can visit your website in a very short time.
  • High Quality: If you prefer quality over quantity, then single page website is the platform which can do that. You have only one page to maintain so obviously it will get all your attention.
  • Happy User Experience: Single page web design is all about the beauty of creativity that everyone appreciates. And fast loader speed allows user to access Information in just a click. What can better than this user experience? They will surely share their experience with others.
  • Low Maintenance: Making a change or adding a feature in one page website is a lot easier than multipage websites.

 

Single page websites can be great for new sites and special projects. These websites are best suitable for small businesses.

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