Tips to Consider when Selecting an Ecommerce Platform

ecommerce-1706104__340A pre-requisite to succeed in online business is to choose an appropriate Ecommerce platform that will handle all the aspects of online shopping in the most effective manner. Various factors come into play when it comes to choosing the right online platform. It is much more than getting a store with economical pricing or one that provides a great shopping experience.

Following are the 3 main parameters that should be kept in mind when choosing the right Online ecommerce solution.

Speed

It is proven that the speed of your site has an impact on your sales. Slow page load time can drastically reduce conversions. For instance, online shoppers tend to abandon sites that do not load in less than 3 seconds. Moreover, website speed is also an important factor in Google ranking algorithms. So it won’t be wrong to conclude that every second your site takes to load is costing you. How fast your site loads can make a huge difference in your conversion rate. So make sure that the ecommerce platform you choose has a fast loading time. Also do all that is necessary in order to reduce your load times.

Built-in Modules

Apart from offering basic features like customization, shopping cart functionality and integration with payment gateways, the B2C or B2B ecommerce software should also come with a range of built-in modules like CRM. This will ensure that you no longer have to adopt and then integrate a third-party CRM system into your platform. Integration is a complicated task, so save your time and money by using platforms that come with built-in CRM module.

Many also look for platforms that come with built-in SEO and marketing tools as they help to achieve higher search rank. These tools help to increase awareness and drive more visitors to your site. Some platforms offer add-on features that allow you to place your product catalog into shopping comparison sites which can also contribute to bring more traffic.

Open Source Vs. Cloud-based

With open source B2B or B2C ecommerce software solution giving complete access to source code, you can customize it the way you want. Moreover, you don’t have to depend on any expert as you can yourself change the code and fix bugs. However, it has major drawbacks; for instance unskilled users are unlikely to make changes in source code, which mean expert assistance is a must. Moreover, you will require your own servers and additional infrastructure in order to run and manage the platform.

On the other hand, cloud-based platforms are much easier to manage and maintain. This is because all the infrastructure to support the platform resides on the vendor side. You just need Internet connectivity to your device (desktop and even smartphones) for using the platform.

Advertisements

Actionable Lead-Generation Tips for your Ecommerce Site

10caddy-161016_960_720It is obvious that if you want to get more leads and generate more online business, you need to optimize your Ecommerce platform. To turn your website into lead generation machine, ensure that the site has a straightforward design, is user friendly and a good information source for your visitors.

Here’s what you need to do to optimize your site:

Optimize your Home Page

Irrespective of whether you are using B2C or B2B ecommerce platform, if your homepage is not well-designed, it is sure to drive away visitors. With homepage getting majority of traffic (more than 50% of all visitor traffic), one simply cannot afford to keep the homepage crowded and confusing.

A welcoming site with a memorable navigation experience can work wonders to maximize your lead generation efforts. You need to organize your product images into categories, which makes it easier to understand and moreover it simplifies the searching process.

Focused Call-to-Action (CTA)

As we all know, calls to actions (CTAs) are often used for lead generation. However, if you personalize your CTA, depending upon your visitor’s past purchases it can certainly help to get more leads. So dynamic content and on-page personalization is the key to attract leads and improve conversions.

Also, you can place multiple CTAs at various locations of your site such as side bar and right above the comments. This too can greatly enhance results. So you might have designed you site from the best Online ecommerce solution provider but you simply cannot ignore the importance of crafting a personalized CTA for each page on your site.

Easy Signup Form

Making signup difficult will surely turn your visitors away. On the other hand, keeping the signup forms easy can substantially increase signups. Short signup forms wherein you ask the visitor to enter minimum information quickly, connect with people and generate more leads.

Update Content Frequently

By updating relevant content frequently in the form of blogs, press releases etc., you improve the rankings of your site. Since you are able to improve the visibility of your site in Google and other search engines, which in turn increases traffic and bring leads to your site.

 

Tips to Improve Conversion Rate of your Ecommerce Site

2 meStarting an Ecommerce platform is only half the battle, with driving consumers and increasing conversion rate the obvious challenge.  If your aim is to make your store visitors get converted into customers, it is pre-requisite to design a user-friendly website. From simplifying the checkout process to making it easier to find products, it is important that you provide a good shopping experience to your visitors.

Here are 3 suggests that you need to implement in order to increase conversions.

Include High Quality Product Images

Whether it is B2C or B2B ecommerce software, it really doesn’t matter if your site does not have good images. Product photography is an important component of ecommerce that simply cannot be ignored. Studies have also shown that from the sales point of view, bigger product images seem to work better irrespective of the product type.

Posting nicely shot product images from different angles allows the visitors to view the product closely. Choose high resolution images that accurately represent your products and moreover provide a variety of views. You can also add zoom feature for images on product page, which helps you to examine the image in finer detail. 

Include Pictures of Happy Customers

Including images of happy customers in your Online ecommerce solution can help to increase your customer’s trust in your products. These images act as recommendations from customers, a powerful marketing strategy to increase conversions. So apart from testimonials make sure to add images, which is sure to have a positive influence on potential customers.

Include Demo Video

Many times, it is not possible to write the features in product description. A product demo will give a better understanding of the product. It will help to explain the product in its totality. Demo videos show the product in action; provide an in-depth review of the product. All this can have a positive impact on buying decision, which may contribute to increase conversion rate.

 

Improving Ecommerce Sales through different Distribution Channels

In today’s hyper-competitive environment, launching an ecommerce site is simply not enough to expand your business. It is imperative to think beyond your ecommerce site if you want to increase the visibility of your online products and improve ecommerce sales. This is because your website alone cannot reach the entire target market. So apart from selling products from your website, following are the different distribution channels that you should look for in order to grow your business:

Distribution Channels to Boost Ecommerce Sales

Online Marketplaces:

Taking the help of third-party marketplace channels is one of the best ways to extend the reach of your online sales. Studies show that eBay and Amazon dominate the online market space. Selling your products on these two biggest marketplaces can definitely help you to make substantial amount of profit. So start selling through these online companies and stop worrying about your business. You can rely on these two most dominant marketplaces as your source of customers. In order to increase the chances of sale on these marketplaces, make sure your product comes with a detailed product description, relevant image, and is backed by positive customer feedback and success stories.

Social Media:

Social media platform is another distributor channel that can contribute to improve ecommerce sales. You can reach out to more prospective clients and raise awareness about your ecommerce website through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. You can also use social media like Youtube to your benefit and drive more customers to your ecommerce website. For instance, you can advertise your video on Youtube to promote your products. If you are offering any special discounts for a limited period of time, they can also be advertised on social media to get the most out of your discount sales.

Blogs:

Content distribution channels like blogs can also work wonders to promote your business.  You can write blogs to market your business to target your audience. With blogs, you can discuss in detail about the product. Regularly updating your blogs with relevant keywords will make your content search engine friendly, thereby helping to increase traffic, generate leads, and create a positive impact about your website.

You can also use emails to keep your customers informed about your latest blog posts. So whenever you publish a new blog, just notify it to the customer through emails. The email should contain a link that redirects customers to your blog. This way you deliver your high quality content directly to your customers.

Physical Store:

It is observed that 92% of retailers do their business online, yet maintaining a physical store can help to target your customers’ expectations. For instance, a physical store will help to target those looking for an in-person customer experience. It can be a perfect complement to your online store. For certain products, customers want face-to-face interaction with store employees. They want to physically touch the product before purchasing it. With a physical store, you can give enhanced customer interaction with store employees, thereby increasing the chances of sale.

Also those who are unware of your ecommerce site, can be given a brief summary of your ecommerce business when they enter your physical store. This too can work to promote your ecommerce business. Also any product not available in the physical store can be easily purchased from your ecommerce store, thereby keeping your customers happy and satisfied, which is critical for long-term business success

So, when it comes to increasing ecommerce revenue at a much faster pace, you can rely on these aforementioned distribution channels that have the potential to bring new customers and impact sales volumes.

Can your Business Survive Without a Proposal Software?

Propsal Software

The answer to this question is a resounding ‘No’. Consider any successful VAR-related IT business and I am sure the CEO of that organization will tell you the importance of using proposal software. The point is when it comes to survival, you got to use technology that will make your business more streamline and profitable. Automation is the key to bring efficiency into your business operations and moreover will help to increase productivity of your staff and enable you to stay ahead of the competition.

A proposal software is something you can trust to streamline and automate your sales process. No matter how sophisticated your solution is, if your sales process is not dynamic and evolving, there is little possibility that your business will grow. A proposal software is an automated tool that can allow you to create effective proposals effortlessly. So using this software could be one of the best business practices to survive in today’s competitive environment.

Reasons behind Advocating Use of Proposal Software

  • Create Proposals with little Effort

Let’s face it; Writing and submitting proposals manually is extremely time consuming. This can always be avoided with Proposal Software that provides a quick and easy way to create proposals. The time spent on creating a proposal will reduce drastically using the software. It will save your hours in getting proposals ready for your customers. So instead of hours, you would spend minutes in generating proposals. In fact, your clients would be surprised about how fast you are submitting proposals to them. Clients don’t have to wait for long (which is what every customer is looking for) to receive a proposal.

  • Grab Prospects’ Attention

Proposals that are created using the software are sure to grab and hold the customers’ attention. This is because the software helps to generate attractive and visually engaging proposals. In short, the software also takes care of visual aspect of the proposal, which is equally important to generate interest of the customer in the proposal.

  • Get Higher Price

Consider this; you might be an expert in developing E-commerce Platform for your customers but if you are unable to create a good impression at the time of submitting proposals, don’t expect clients to pay a good price for your expertise. So if the proposals are not professionally presented, your prospect might not be willing to close the deal, despite having good credentials. To resolve this issue, you got to use the proposal software. The software allows you to produce highly attractive proposals that can help attract more customers and close more sales at higher prices. The professional-looking proposals created by the software are sure to attract more clients. Moreover, the software will help convince your customer that the solution you are providing is best to suit his needs. The software also has an eCommerce proposal template that can be customized as per the client requirements.

4 Ways to Improve Your E-commerce Conversion Rates

A retailer of IT products in an attempt to expand his business and increase sales often prefers to start his e-commerce site. Although an e-commerce platform can be helpful in this regard, it might not lead to increase in conversion rates, if the website is not designed properly. To be more specific, reports of online shoppers abandoning their shopping cart is common. Studies have revealed that on an average, customers tend to leave 68% of all online shopping carts.

So despite visiting the site and adding it to the cart, a majority of customers tend to abandon the cart, in turn causing an adverse impact on conversion rates. Following are some tips to resolve issues associated with e-commerce conversion killers.

Increase Visibility of Shopping Cart Button

Barely visible shopping cart button is one of the biggest reasons behind cart abandonment. What’s the point of starting an e-commerce store, if your customers are unable to find the ‘Add to Cart’ button. So make sure that the shopping cart buttons such as ‘Buy Now’ and ‘Add to Cart’ stand out from the surrounding elements on your website. For instance, the color of the button should be such that it grabs the visitor’s attention. A light button on a white background will give poor visibility to this button. Instead, choose contrast colors that can arrest attention of the most casual viewer.

The position of the shopping button is another factor that can improve visibility. Positioning it at the top of the page can make it highly visible. Also, as soon as the customer clicks on the ‘Add to Cart’ button, a pop-up window should appear at the top of the page, showing the number of items in the shopping cart. For instance, you can have ‘View Shopping Cart’ link on the pop-up window. Once the customer clicks on the link, he should be able to see all the shopping cart items along with the ‘Buy Now’ option. See image:

Cart (2)

No Registration Before Purchase

Registration before purchase can be a big put off for prospective buyers. It is an unnecessary obstacle that can drive your customers away from your e-commerce site. Imagine a customer has come to purchase the latest mobile and is eager to look at the different models but what he sees is the mandatory filling of registration form before purchase. This is sure to frustrate your customer to a great extent and he is likely to close your website never to return.

Many customers feel that forceful registration complicates the checkout process. Studies have shown that compulsory registration leads to 75% of visitors abandoning their shopping cart. To resolve this issue, providing a ‘check-out as guest’ option is advised.

Retailers should keep in mind that the visitor has come to their online store to begin his purchase ASAP and not to fill the registration form.  Also, lengthy registration forms can act as a great deterrent in completing the checkout process. So after the purchase has been made, the registration form should ask for basic information like name, phone number, email-id, and delivery address.

Another way to give your customers a trouble-free shopping experience is to go for ‘No registration at all’ option. This can considerably reduce the length of purchase and checkout process as the prospective buyer is exempted from the task of creating an account.  One e-commerce site found out that there was a whopping 45 % jump in sales when the customers were exempted from entering the registration requirements.

Increase your E-commerce Site Speed

Slow shopping cart is one of the biggest reasons behind increased abandonment rates. In today’s hyper-paced world, you simply cannot afford to have shopping cart pages that have a slow load time. 18% of online shoppers have sited slow load time as the main reason behind leaving their shopping cart. Short load time essentially speeds up the checkout process, which is what exactly the customer wants, so that they make a quick online shopping whenever need arises.

Slash Shipping Costs

Well, you might think that there is no reason why the customer shouldn’t buy from your site, as your items have a heavy discount. However, if your fee is high for shipping items, there is a high possibility that the customer may abandon the shopping cart. Let’s face it; customers don’t like to pay shipping costs, hence many prefer to buy from a physical store. So slashing shipping costs can work wonders to get closer to customers and improve conversion rates.

On the whole, your focus apart from increasing the visibility of shopping cart button , should also be on the checkout process when it comes to increasing sales. Your checkout process needs to be as simple as possible and should require minimum registration if any. In short, you should provide a hassle-free shopping experience to your customers in order to maximize revenue.

You can create your Online Store using VARStreet’s E-commerce Software

How to find the Best Quoting Software?

bullseye

When it comes to creating sales quote quickly, using the Proposal quoting software has always been the first choice for organizations that are into sales business. However, there are a plethora of options available for choosing quoting software applications and so it is natural to get confused about which is the right one that meets your requirements. The following blog will clear all your doubts as it discusses the various characteristics of the best quoting software.

  • Must be Cloud-based Software

Web-based software means the software should be accessible on the Internet. Just one version of the software is installed and maintained on a server, which is available to anyone who has an Internet connection. Web-based quoting solution eliminates the tedious task of installing it every time a client wants to use it. So if a sales quoting tool is web-based, customers can easily access it through a web browser. Web-based solutions are flexible, require no installation and can be easily customized according to customers’ requirements.

  • Must Integrate with CRM and other Relevant Apps

Most organizations use CRM integration software to streamline their sales process. So, you need to choose quoting software that easily integrates with CRM. CRM integration means that your sales quoting software and CRM will function together, which is critical to manage your customers as well as to obtain new leads.

The integration will ensure seamless flow of information between the two software applications. Also, when you are able to integrate your sales quoting tool with CRM and other relevant apps, you are able to keep a track of customer and sales lead information from one place. This can certainly help to increase productivity and allow you to focus more on converting leads into sales.

  • Must Allow you to Accept Online Payments

Consider this: Your customer finds your sales quotation well within his budget and accepts it. Certainly you don’t want to keep your customer waiting to pay. So if the customer finds your sales quote feasible and want to pay as fast as possible, you definitely don’t want to lose this opportunity. Online payment system integrated with quoting and proposal software will enable your customer to pay right away. So make sure that the quoting software has an online payment processing system, which will simplify the customers’ payment method. So there should be a link in the quote itself that will allow the customer to place order easily.

  • Should Support Different Currencies

It is a known fact that all sales quoting software tools available in the United States allow its users to do business in US and Canadian dollars. However, if you want to expand your business in other locations, say European countries, it can be difficult since in these countries, business transactions are not executed in dollars. Such a scenario puts limitations on making business transactions in a foreign currency. In an ideal situation, the best quoting software should support international payments. So consider a sales quoting tool that supports multiple currencies so that you can execute transactions in different currencies. It should allow you to track sales in different currencies. If this is not possible, at least ensure it supports the currency in which you do your business.

  • Should Support your Pricing Recommendations

Business organizations often use different strategies such as cost-based pricing, volume-based pricing, and value-based pricing for pricing their products and services. So the quoting software should support different methods of pricing so that business can be done in different ways as per your strategy and requirement.

Sources: http://www.varstreetinc.com/blog/index.php/lets-shoot-best-quoting-software/