Author: tenoviauser

3 Traits to Look For In a Magento Partner for Your Ecommerce Site

The success of your E-Commerce platform largely depends on the resources that you employ for its operations; your Magento partner being one of them. Finding the right service provider of Magento E-commerce can prove to be a long-term asset for your retail business. But how would you assess if you have discovered the right Magento development partner?

To help you make your search easier, here are a few basic traits you need to look for:

Your partner agency has a certification
Not that a certification is a guarantee of the best service, but being authenticated ensures a quality standard at par with global standards. Consultants/consulting agencies recognized by the Magento Certification Program are assessed and accredited on the basis of their knowledge and service. The program also certifies that they are directly connected to the Magento ecosystem, which further ensures direct support from Magento if and when required.

They constantly upgrade
The key to success and sustainability of E-commerce platforms is the constant improvement of the site. With a dynamic platform like Magento, the scope of such improvements multiplies a few times. The Magento Marketplace is always abuzz with new and improved tools and techniques. New Magento extensions, advanced features, and improved tools help you keep up with the industry developments and allow your business to meet the ever-evolving consumer demands and give you an edge. So, when you look for a Magento Partner, see to it, that your consultant works beyond just building the website and engages in a regular upgrade over an extended period.

They perform beyond coding
With myriad functionalities of Magento, website developers have plenty of opportunities to be creative with an E-commerce site, blurring the lines of design and development. A good consultancy will not only have the right development expertise but also required design aesthetics that comply with the platform, your business visions, and market trends. The right Magento partner will go beyond writing codes and give you a 360-degree service for a holistic E-commerce solution.

Finding and then finalizing the right Magento service provider is an important step towards a successful, thriving, and sustainable E-commerce business.

Do your marketing activities measure up to Social Media success?

Social Media makes for an indispensable part of your marketing strategy. Needless to say, you would do everything possible to make your efforts successful and increase your brand visibility on social media. But how do you know if your strategy is relevant and is working as expected? That is where social media metrics play a significant role.

Here are a few proven ways to measure social media success

Check for the effectiveness of your social media activities
To assess this, you must first set your social media goals and determine what you want to achieve out of your activities. Read, share, reply, click, purchase, or engage? The results of your activities will be effective accordingly.

Decide which metrics you want to monitor
Based on your ultimate goal, you will need to measure awareness, engagement, traffic, followers, and fans, or brand’s share of voice. Accordingly, you will only look at the numbers that matter.
For awareness– see volume, reach, exposure, etc.
For engagement– see retweets, comments, shares, replies, and participation in contests/polls/discussions.
For traffic– see URL shares, clicks, conversions, time spent on your site, activity on your site.
For followers– track contributors to your page/s/profiles and their influence on the rest of the audience.
For the share of voice– track your brand’s mention among your competition

Calculate the metrics that you need
You can look at ongoing activities to measure and monitor all social activities over a period (week/month/quarter). Or you can focus on campaign-based activities for specific results.
Once you know what to measure, look for tools to extract the data and analyze them. You can use the inbuilt analytics tools provided by most social media channels or use third-party tools.

Interpret the numbers that you extract
This is the most important part of your analysis and will determine if your social efforts are bringing any results or not. Compare a) number you got against what you expected, and b) your results against your competitors against related products/campaigns.

Numbers do look great on the monthly report but measuring social media activities can do more than that. It helps you learn about what is working for you and what isn’t, and what can you do to improve your strategy and create a robust plan.

Festive Season hacks to nail online Marketplace management

For every Indian, this is the most awaited time of the year, when everyone strives to give and get the best things money can buy. Festive season shopping has evolved from store hopping to marketplace shopping, with grander shopping experiences and options. If you are a retailer or a marketer, you would want to invest all your time and efforts in your E-commerce marketplace management and make the most of this festive season:

Here are a few hacks to guide you through:

Personalize
The best way to reach out to different regions and cultural communities is to personalize your message/product for each of them. For example, for buyers in Chennai, it would have more impact if you use a regional connotation in your brand messaging, that your local shoppers can relate to.

Use the impact of scarcity
Psychologically, customers are always driven by a sense of urgency. For example, ‘Last 3 hours of sale’ or ‘Last 5 items remaining’ (for vanity products) have more chances of conversions than running a ’30-day festive sale’. Use the effect of scarcity to push customers through the marketplace funnel.

Avail the benefit of fulfillment services
With an increased demand for products, consider opting for fulfillment services offered by marketplaces, like FBA by Amazon. This helps you with on-demand warehousing, dedicated logistics, sales support etc. You can also look for a marketplace management service to manage operations, while you can focus more on the strategic aspects of your E-commerce business.

Create product mixes
Most shoppers look for a mix of products to gift this season. You can promote product combos based on what the marketplace is promoting or create your own combinations, based on your sales numbers. This is also a good time to add giveaways with slow-selling products and clear up the inventory.

Automate your processes
When you are running around to fulfill increased orders and deliveries, you cannot slack at any point in the entire process. To make it easier and more efficient, implement an automated inventory management system which will monitor inventory, delivery, returns etc.

With these smart hacks, you can get the maximum value in terms of sales, visibility, and traffic, and turn the festive season into the most successful time for your retail business.

Is it the right time to get your business on the marketplace?

The constant endeavor of any retailer is to grow the business and take it to the next level. Whether you the owner of a brick-and-mortar store or a web store, your next move is obviously going to be on the marketplace. But are you ready to join the big, wide world of online marketplaces yet?
Here are a few indicators that could help make a better decision:

Your current set up is asking for more investment
Although it is easy to set up the store in the first place, it takes more investment of time, effort, and resources to take it to the next level and make it exceptional.

Managing your marketing activities is becoming cumbersome
No matter how much you push your marketing activities, there’s only so much you can do single-handedly. Marketplace management includes automatic marketing strategy that helps each retailer to be on the promotional bandwagon, and boost your own marketing efforts.

Your sales strategy feel outdated
The E-commerce industry is evolving every day, with new features and advanced processes, which can enhance your brand visibility online. Marketplaces make the most of these and build a robust strategy with live chat services, product videos, user-generated content, and so on, to keep themselves updated with the customers.

You realize the need for smarter payment methods
If you want to expand your customer base, you need to have universal payment methods that work everywhere. If you feel that the payment process is restricting you from expanding your market, then online marketplaces can help you reach out to more customers with their multiple, easy payment options, and suited to different regions.

You are not too savvy to handle tech operations
When it’s your own store, you have to take care of every operational aspect, including tech support. Even if you hire a resource, you still need to be well-aware of basic troubleshooting etc. With marketplaces, they have dedicated teams to handle the complexities of tech operations, so, even the non-technical retailers can operate without much hassle.

For more efficient operations, you can also seek the support of marketplace management services and enjoy your own piece of the E-commerce pie!

Shifting to Magento Enterprise: Is your business ready?

As an E-commerce site owner, do you often feel limited by your current platform? Does your site experience sudden downtimes? Do you feel your site performance is suffering? Do you see a traffic surge that you cannot manage? If the answer to these questions is yes, then it is a sign that your business is ready to shift to a high-end solution, like Magento Enterprise. Also called Magento Commerce, this is the most sought-after solution for modern E-commerce businesses, and can provide you with not just a temporary solution but a long-term strategy for business growth.

Here are the tell-tale signs that will direct you towards Magento Enterprise:

  • Your site database is too slow, causing broken pages, or site crash, affecting your business reputation.
  • You are a) in the B2B market or b) want to move to B2B.
  • The increase in your site traffic is affecting its speed, making you look for better scalability.
  • You have hit a plateau with your current market and looking to explore new segments.
  • Your On-page SEO is not as effective as you expect it to be.
  • You are in desperate need of a powerful backend support that takes care of operational and technical issues round-the-clock.
  • The content management of your site is causing you stress.
  • Your site search has not been updated in a while, making your search engine marketing efforts futile, and hence, desperately needs to be upgraded.
  • You need an efficient communication system which controls the delivery and formats of messaging on behalf of your store, and you do not want to outsource a third-party solution for the same.

Any, few, or all of these above scenarios are clear indications that it is time for you to migrate to Magento Enterprise. The platform’s advanced capabilities provide you with a smarter, better, and more efficient way to operate and manage your Ecommerce store.

Whether you are migrating from Magento Community to the Enterprise version, or even trying Magento for the first time, you might want to seek the support of a Magento development company, for a smooth transition and keep your business up and running!

Magento Career you didn’t know existed

The tech space continues to dish out something new every hour, every day, creating job opportunities for individuals who have a passion for technology and want to contribute to socio-economic development. As of today, open source technology is the hotspot of tech professionals. Take Magento for example. Used for building Ecommerce sites, Magento web development attracts fresh and experienced developers and programmers to become contributors to the ever-evolving platform.

Magento career options
With its new, feature-rich version of Magento 2, it opens up an entire array of options for tech professionals to choose from. You can specialize in PHP, HTML, CSS, LESS, RWD, JavaScript, Databases like MySQL, or Frameworks.

To be able to work with Magento, you need to be a Magento Certified tech expert. Not that it is compulsory, but being a specialist always puts you ahead of others in terms of knowledge and help you build trust in your clients that their business and work are in good hands.

Magento offers four types of certifications– Magento Certified Solution Specialist, Front End Developer Certification, Certified Developer, and Developer Plus. Even if you are an experienced and seasoned professional, these tests will help you assess your skills and weigh it against the quality and standard that Magento developers are known for. These rigorous exams thoroughly test your tech skills, so you can stand out as an expert.

To work as a Backend Developer with Magento 2, you need to have prior knowledge of PHP, and basics of MySQL, XML, and JavaScript. For a Frontend Developer, it is important to have experience with HTML, CSS, LESS, RWD, JavaScript, Knockout JS, and basics of PHP and XML.

With the constant growth of Magento with new features and functionalities being added every day, there is no limit to what tech experts can do in the future. Individuals with a Magento certification have a better edge when they hired by a Magento development company. Since the certifications prove competency in Magento development, it helps employers to take faster decisions, based on results. After all, a career is only worthwhile when you can make a difference to the economy, market, the society, and most importantly, yourself!

Top 5 ecommerce trends to look forward in 2019

From mobile-first practice to integration of augmented reality on the platforms, ecommerce future trends are promising a new and improved online experience for every customer. Here are some of the practices that every retailer and marketer is eyeing to implement in the coming year and change the face of the ecommerce landscape of future.

Ecommerce trends 2019
AR (Augmented Reality) & VR (Virtual Reality)
Major brands in the fashion and interior space (like Sephora, IKEA etc.) have already started using AR to create a realistic experience of their products. But as the usage of VR become widespread and retail giant Amazon taking the lead in AR-based apps, most retailers will follow suit and start integrating this trend in their customers’ shopping experiences.

Mobile-first experience
The mobile app industry could cross $189 billion by 2020 and all retailers are vying for their piece of pie in this growth. While search engines already require websites to be mobile-friendly, the practice will be more common with an increased number of smartphone users, where frameworks like Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), will enable retailers to create fast-loading websites for mobile devices.

Videos on landing pages
Videos will very soon replace static content and comprise 80% of web traffic by 2019. However, besides using videos for brand films, educational content, testimonials, products, and FAQs, retailers will also look at increasing traffic by using a high-quality video in the hero carousel on the homepage or landing page of the brand site.

Digitizing Real World Experiences
The future of ecommerce 2020 will be all about creating a ‘phygital’ world. By extending the in-store shopping experience to the online platform through technologies like ‘scan and go’ retailers can reduce checkout processes and let their customers enjoy the benefits of both services.

Voice Commerce
The voice-enabled search will make for 50% of total online searches by 2020. Such a game-changing trend will influence Search Engine Optimization for businesses where retailers would redesign their site search algorithms and set the path for voice commerce.

Such trends are sure to help you with ideas that can grow your ecommerce business and see a promising future.

The future of Omnichannel Marketing

With e-commerce landscape on the upswing, the retail industry continues to devise innovative formats to ensure their presence. As an increased number of consumers remain always connected, omnichannel marketing opens up opportunities for the evolving retail businesses to connect with the audience through various touch points. This interconnectedness of a brand creates endless scope for your business to maximize your sales potential.

Consumers have long evolved from only tangible product-driven shopping to experience-driven shopping, both online and offline. Omnichannel is evolving with the core thought of providing the same experience to its consumers across channels, when they want, what they want, and the way they want it.

The way market experts see this trend growing is through creating a ‘phygital’ marketplace where the physical and digital touchpoints of the brand are merged to give the exact same experience to the buyer. What does it mean for retail enterprises?

For creating such transcendental experience, the best omnichannel retail strategy boils down to engagement across platforms by developing a constant and consistent brand communication. This will help in influencing the customer consideration about your brand so that you become the first thing that they can think of while making the purchase decision. For example, if you have a video that talks about your brand/product/industry space, you can target your ads to play before the video so your audience learns about your brand even before they know more about it.

To be able to successfully deliver omnichannel services, it is essential for marketers and retail businesses to understand the difference between omnichannel marketing and multi-channel marketing. While multi-channel marketing can still work in silos and yield results, a holistic omnichannel strategy will need integration of all the nodes and take on a cohesive approach. Going forward with the uber-connected generation of buyers, it will be important for enterprises to build a unique infrastructure which collaborates the different arms of omnichannel marketing. And constantly upgrade to new technologies to support the marketing efforts and reach out to the consumers at their convenience.

With better management of consumers and their needs, omnichannel marketing can help exceed customer expectation every time at every interaction.

10 things to consider if you want to elevate your Omnichannel game

With the increased practice of omnichannel marketing, retail businesses are developing innovative ways to customer engagement and conversions. If you are new to the exploding retail landscape, here are a few things you might want to consider if you want to boost your omnichannel services and make yourself discovered.

Choose your audience wisely
Use the power of AI-driven micro-targeting tools to narrow down and segment your audience based on geography, device, browser, campaign or other variables and assess their preferred method of interaction.

Be consistent
Exploit the ‘micro-moments’ of your consumer through consistent messaging to align messaging, goals, objectives, and design of your brand across each channel and device.

Influence your customer’s decision
Position yourself as the most preferred option for your customer by making yourself visible even before your audience searches for you.

Choose the right cross-channel journey
Map your consumer’s journey so it flows smoothly across various channels and feels like a natural addition to their presence on different platforms.

Make each channel utility-driven
Determine if your interactive and responsive site offers the same thing as your mobile application. Everything that you offer should be free of redundancy to increase utility

Adopt new technologies
Be in sync with the always-on consumer and upgrade yourself to match up to their tech consumption.

Be contextual but content-rich
Focus on quality content using the right context to create value for your business and present yourself as an expert in your field. Reuse, recycle, repurpose your core content and maximize its use across formats and platforms.

Leverage data
Test your customer experiences across online and offline destinations and measure all data. Use this data comprehensively to understand your customer’s responses, behaviors, changes in consumption etc.

Be omnipresent but choose your channels wisely
Target destinations where your customers are but choose your channels wisely.

Don’t ignore your offline presence
Creating a brand presence across all both offline and online channels can prove to be successful in the long run and help you optimize your online presence.

There is no magic wand that can bring overnight success to your omnichannel marketing efforts. The key is to be subtle, consistent, and contextual and create a micro world of your world that surround your audience.

The 7 unspoken laws of ecommerce success

The landscape of ecommerce in India is growing leaps and bounds with every retailer vying for their unique space in the industry. While online marketplaces are getting their fair share of success, ecommerce a lot of potential for new businesses. Unlike marketplaces, retailers have a lot more freedom to integrate innovative ways of boosting their business and join the bandwagon of rising ecommerce trends. Besides the mainstream technical knowledge and market insights, there a few tips that can help retailers and marketers to succeed in the ecommerce space.

Treat your ecommerce business as a thriving offline business
Except for the tangibility of your store, there’s not much difference between the efforts and time that you need to invest in a brick-n-mortar store and your ecommerce business.

Find the right software for your business
While it is important to make your ecommerce website really stand out, you need the most appropriate platform to build it on. Look at software that supports your creative idea and is sustainable.

Be where your customers are
The old trick of the trade calls for tapping right into the needs of your audience and fulfilling it. To do the same you need to be visible in places where your customers are.

Build Buyer Trust
Empower your customers through personalized communication and allow them to share their experiences with your product/service through reviews, feedback featured blogs etc. This not only builds trust with them but also makes them your brand ambassadors.

Keep the checkout process easy
Majority of conversions drop at the checkout point. Integrating a popular payment method and minimizing the page loading time can help reduce friction at the point of sale.

Offer Excellent Online Support
Think beyond calls and emails and consider live chat support on your site, across the user journey to enhance your customer support strategy.

Partner with other brands
Even if they are small local brands, partnering with complementary businesses add value to your brand and enhances your reputation among your audience.
There is no ideal model for a successful ecommerce business. With innovative business ideas, trial and error, and steady growth, your business can see the future of ecommerce, provided you are ready to take the leap of faith.

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