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April 2014

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Top Tips To Ensure Maximum Performance For Your Ecommerce Solutions

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If you have done your research and can pinpoint times when your business online is most busy, then you can take corrective steps to ensure optimum performance at these pressure sales times. It may be that coming up to the holiday seasons, both Winter and Summer, your website can avail of a facelift appeal and more importantly ensure your online store works seamlessly for your customers. There are a number of elements you should check out to effect optimum sales.
As online merchants face a shopping deluge the weakest point will be emphasised. To pre-empt this situation test your ecommerce application for maximum traffic and the fastest loading times it can cope with. It is imperative to provide a bandwith that is sufficient so your online business does not depend entirely on your server. The most efficient online stores must be open 24/7 with customer service always available.

Your website design should not only provide attractive images of the products being sold but also fast downloading times. Ensure you have categories for age, interests and gender and highlight the discounts and special offers, such as free shipping. You want to entice your potential customers to not only browse but to engage, stay on your site and make a transaction. Any tweaks you make must sustain your customers interest sufficiently and provide the smooth transition from product order to payment online.

There are a variety of reasons why customers abandon the shopping cart and quit shopping midway on an ecommerce store. These can be addressed and corrected to avoid customer loss. To reduce the likelihood of this you should ensure that the processes in the purchase chain are flawless and easily navigable. Such details as shipping schedules, cut off dates, ordering deadlines, product page information, product availability and pricing should be double checked and working smoothly. The other big issue of course is the payment methods and policies that are available to the online shopper.

Taken in the round all these elements are inextricably related to your website design which ties in with your hosting process. Your shopping cart is enmeshed with your ecommerce merchant account features and it is at this point that your customer is looking for alternative payment methods other than credit card. It behoves the online entrepreneur to make sure that the payment processing method is secure and not susceptible to online fraud.

These pointers are worth bearing in mind and enacting to ensure a smooth ecommerce shopping experience for the potential customer.

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Ecommerce Getting the Best Out of Your Ecommerce Website

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To get the best out of your ecommerce web solution, “it must do as it says on the tin” – to coin a cliche. The internet world of buying and selling online is changing and developing exponentially over recent times. There is a world of difference between running an ecommerce business and making it successful. An ecommerce website that is not strategically designed and operated will experience little advantage in trading in a cyber environment.

If you are serious about operating a professional, powerful captivating and effective ecommerce website then you need a solution that has all the essential ingredients to provide the desired outcomes. There are a number of aspects that you must integrate into a successful solution to give you a return on investment.

 

Your ecommerce website design must not only appeal visually to your potential customers but must provide the navigation and layout that takes the purchaser quickly with ease from the ordering stage to the payment check out stage. It is therefore imperative that you commission the best designer possible to create this platform – you will literally get what you pay for so research this area before making any decisions and select the best at the most affordable price. It is essential that the designer is conversant with market trends so that your website can be designed according to the market standards expected by your potential customers online. Careful planning and execution of the design elements will give you the desired return on investment.

 

Another feature that is of paramount importance in giving your website that credibility and reliability that instils confidence in your customer is your choice of web hosting. It must be secure and you can research this side of your hosting very easily to acquire the best hosting provider available. Your online shop should be accessible from anywhere in the world, with integrated features such as fast internet speeds, good uptime and responsive customer supports. Only consider a web hosting package that can offer all these traits.

 

Implement an advanced shopping cart software integration that provides good product displays, dependable payment gateway solutions, reliable and fast admin. support with add-on benefits. These features are an essential part of an effective ecommerce solutions and must be in place to effect smooth purchase processes and transactions.

 

The other area requiring indepth attention is your website marketing. If your online store cannot be seen or found easily then business will simply pass you by. Customers have to be aware of your availability in the market and an effective marketing strategy to highlight this is ‘de rigueur’. Again choose the right ecommerce design company to integrate all this software into a lean selling machine. To disregard any essential aspect of creating an effective ecommerce website will be at your peril!

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Ecommerce Defining an Ecommerce Consultant

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A consultant is normally someone who is expert in their field or speciality and becomes a professional adviser to those who require their expert or specialised skills and help. In the world of ecommerce the same applies and for those unacquainted with the technical and business know how of setting up and maintaining an ecommerce website, they are an indispensable assistance.
All too often entrepreneurs try to go it alone with ecommerce and the savings on spend they think they are making becomes a total loss due to their lack of specialist knowledge and skills surrounding the development and operation of an ecommerce website. If you recognise the need to consult someone at the development stage you will ultimately save money by avoiding costly mistakes that will certainly detract from your business’ profitability and success.

 

Experience is an essential element in creating a successful platform and choosing a credible consultant can prove a financial saving in the long term. We can quantify the advantages of using an ecommerce consultant. Their experience avoids mistakes you might have made yourself if you had gone it alone. Their knowledge can make your site successful as they have helped others before. They know what to implement to create success. They can help you navigate the stormy seas of being an internet entrepreneur and they will help you to market your ecommerce website so to drive in traffic that will provide an almost instant profit. They have the skills to ensure time saving features to make your business more efficient.

 

The money you lay out on an ecommerce consultant will make you money in the long term, so it is a positive decision to seek this help. If you desire the gold standard then a consultant of this standing will be expensive but you must give your ecommerce business the best chance possible to grow, succeed and become profitable.

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Ecommerce Evolution

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What began as a highly competitive ecommerce sphere has evolved into an arena where ecommerce software providers are providing the complete package for aspiring online entrepreneurs to establish Internet e businesses. They bundle their software to incorporate all the needs of the website from Home Page, Products to shopping carts and marketing services. For many entrepreneurs online there was a steep learning curve in the beginning – coming to terms with a market that knows no regional limitations.

Information availability increased exponentially for a few years and then at a much faster rate until by 2010, with increased broadband speeds and download times, deployment of second generation websites is now necessary to provide a more professional customer experience.

The online entrepreneur’s primary need remains a credible online presence that meets the demands of an increasingly educated, aware online consumer base. The ingredients of a good effective site were historically an effective design, a user friendly shopping cart, the appropriate products, a successful SEO and a cost per click marketing campaign. The service providers required to help the Internet entrepreneur make money were also profiting from their skill areas of ecommerce coding, web development and web marketing. Since its inception the Internet rose like the ‘phoenix from the ashes’ and the technology has developed at a mind boggling rate. However it has not been a successful vision for many budding ecommerce businesses, due to many factors including failure to plan properly or complete lack of vision in the first place. A lot of web mavericks have jumped on the bandwagon and impressionable entrepreneurs have in many cases opted for the cheap web application which does not “do what it says on the tin”. A lot of frustration and bewilderment has grown amongst those unsuccessful online business that took advice from ill chosen web developers who could not deliver on their promises.

With too many people doing the same thing the competition can be financially suffocating. Choices made during the crucial growing stage of a ecommerce business will be the decisive factor in their ability to jump to the next level or drown. Some investment is necessary in up to date web applications to maintain their credibility and sustain their growth. Business acumen and experience are just as important as the technical know how in creating successful online ecommerce businesses. For those ecommerce combatants who continue to survive and prosper the interest is now in the new breed of ecommerce providers who offer complete services – hosting, design, stock control software, shopping cart, product category and range management software, analytics, SEO marketing, SSL certificates at an affordable price. Again the overriding factor is finding ecommerce providers who have a proven tract record of fulfilling their promises – at the end of the day cheap is not always cheerful – you will get what you pay for.

There are a number of reputable ecommerce companies who will deliver on their promises and it behoves any aspiring online business to choose their system provider with care, having done their homework in advance. There is a bright future for ecommerce businesses who are savvy enough to make the smart choices that guarantee successful outcomes.

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Web Design Belfast

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The evolution of digital initiatives has brought down the risk involved in business promotional activities. Many creative and professionally versatile Belfast based Website Design companies are there to help rejuvenate your online business platform.

Creating a new Web design is an ideal opportunity for your business to increase its online visibility and profile. A well-built ecommerce website can propagate your products and services across the world using simple electronic connections.

Web design agencies can give a new dimension to your business. They engage themselves to creating a highly informative and visually astonishing finished product that invites local and international audiences to take note of your offerings.

Belfast web design agencies aim to increase your sales rates and will embed all necessary software modules to ensure your maximise your ROI. Web design professionals deliver bespoke web design solutions that enhance customer expereince, increase traffic and that ensure best possible Google rankings. Additional off-site Search Engine Optimization, may be required to target very competitive keywords.

A professional web design company will build a site that drives traffic, increases ROI, reduces abandonment, secure payment portals and generate sales and leads by executing integrated strategy. They just make use of cut-throat technology to track and analyze the market trends.

 

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Ecommerce (Online Sales)

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Try to quantify global sales and the statistical analysis becomes difficult if not impossible. The variables governing the results are so prone to change that daily, weekly or monthly data analysis can reveal ever changing quantities, based on the most prevalent factors and figures at any given point of time.

Ecommerce has become the lightning conductor in dictating expanding global trade. Online sales have increased exponentially over recent years and continue to outgrow all other retail and wholesale sales right across the economic spectrum. The shrewd entrepreneur has not only initiated an ecommerce website to up sell their products but has implemented a second generation ecommerce application to enhance the customer experience and improve online sales. The success of ecommerce marketing and sales is clear to all who browse the Internet and take time to look at Google or other search engine rankings.

 

Those companies who have embraced effective search engine optimisation campaigns over a period of time are reaping the rewards with high ranking places in the top pages. Consequently we find that these are the companies that outperform their competitors, in the sales arena and are continuing to grow their sales year on year. Having an awareness and appreciation of the growing trend towards ecommerce business, is the launch platform for future entrepreneurial success through ecommerce application.

 

Ecommerce has revolutionised the way in which people buy and sell products. What historically was a High Street transaction has become a purchase or sale over the Internet. With the establishment of such sales websites as E Bay and Amazon, the general public have been drawn into the intrigue of trading in a cyber environment that operates in real time and has replaced the cyber virtual world.

 

In plain terms, almost any transaction involving buying or selling goods or products is possible on the Internet and with the evolution of payment gateways, a complete service stretching from purchase to delivery is available to any customer. There are no restrictions on the types of business that can avail of ecommerce trading and while the larger ecommerce operators are the retail/wholesale conglomerates the independent trader has proven that ecommerce trading outperforms the traditional Sales methods of across the counter sales.

 

The concept opens up a world of global trade encompassing every industry, from the cottage to the multinational. Some operatives have actually abandoned the traditional High Street sales pitch for the online sales of ecommerce. This burgeoning industry not only provides the trader with video market access but provides many useful services for the business such as providing data for market research, attracting traffic for ecommerce store fronts and performing market research for online ordering and delivery systems. There are even integrated software packages to control stock levels and ordering systems.

 

Ecommerce business also introduces new media channels, such as VOIP telephone systems, video streaming, online marketing and brand awareness. These all contribute to making online business successful. Ecommerce offers the customer a one stop shop. You can browse, pick, order and pay for your purchase without leaving your armchair. It will even be delivered to your doorstep with a clearly defined returns and exchange policy to complete the transaction and reassure the potential customer. Ecommerce systems are ‘de rigueur’ the platform to increasing your sales.

 

Globalisation demands that companies wishing to outperform their competitors must embrace these latest technologies to sustain growth and survival in the commercial world.

 

Wider audiences create wider demand for your products and services and you ignore at your peril the role of ecommerce business solution providers, whose systems dictate the real success of your online ecommerce business application. Bespoke packages are the driving force behind user friendly, effective website applications. These can range from simple brochure sites to high-end database driven applications. The future of online trading in products and services is undoubtedly ecommerce.

 

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Ecommerce – Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail

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Opening any type of business requires a business plan and failing to do a plan will most often see the demise of the business before it gets started. The same principle applies to starting an ecommerce business, where the most overlooked process is planning.

 

The success of your ecommerce business can be defined in terms of proper planning, target setting and market research. Unfortunately many online e-commerce businesses, eager to get going without any real thought or consideration fail to deliver and end up on the refuse heap. When stepping into the arena of e-commerce there are many pitfalls awaiting the uninitiated. It is often a two edged sword.

 

A beautiful website can fail as a sales tool if the business side is neglected. No matter how dynamic technically an ecommerce website is, if not designed in tandem with sound business principles, it will flounder. The risk of a virtual loss as opposed to a bricks and mortar loss may be more tolerable but no one starts a business with the premise that it will fail. If you have a niche product that is competitively priced why would it not sell? Failing to answer this question suggests that they do not have the basics of business planning. Without understanding the challenge of e-commerce business you cannot plan for the predictable let alone the unpredictable ahead.

 

To plan for an ecommerce business you must start with the end in mind. You need to set acceptable profit targets based realistically on what is possible. Establish a competitive selling price for your products. Converting visits to your site to sales depends a lot on how the customer gets to your site. If the search terms on which your site rankings are based, are closely connected to the products or services being sold, your conversion rate will likely be higher. In creating a conversion rate keep to a conservatively low number so you can work out how many visits are needed on your site to meet revenue targets. Your task is how to achieve the required number of visitors to use your products or services in order to meet your planned revenue targets. You are now planning to succeed rather than fail – you have to implement the required measures on your website to attract the requisite footfall and transactions for a profitable outcome.

 

It is also necessary to budget for an on-going search engine optimisation plan. Without an effective SEO campaign your website development spend will probably be in vain. If you build SEO into the marketing plan of your ecommerce site your online business should be profitable and predictable.

 

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Email Marketing Pointers

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As Email is an increasingly important technical tool in online communications, it is vital that we take cognisance of the fact that it is also one of the most effective marketing tools available to ecommerce business. Its fast efficient economic status signifies how essential it is to any online business.

If difficulties arise during the purchase of goods or at the payment level, the email is probably the most popular form of communication in resolving issues between supplier and customer. It is fast replacing telephone messages as a means of fast communication and the fact that users can send and receive them on mobile phones adds to their popularity as a communication channel.

There are some ecommerce email marketing pointers that can prove useful to the ecommerce business, if applied. Firstly it is essential that the Company conduct an opt-in email campaign and invite users to sign up to your newsletter after a sale. Take care to avoid spam words like free in the subject line and ensure you have an unsubscribe option on your email content. You could also include tell-a-friend functionality and provide a proper mailing address on your email content. During the course of normal business you should from time to time carry out email campaigns. By using E Zines you can make multiple drops at a low cost rate.

Another interesting email tip is to offer special discounts on an exclusive basis to opt in customers and include compelling call to actions in your email message. On a practical level make sure any offers are visible above the fold in the email. You may come up with some of your own tips through experience but once implemented these email pointers should improve the integrity of your email capability.