LatestEcommerce

WHATSAPP & ECOMMERCE – A duo to watch out for

There’s hardly anyone who hasn’t used WhatsApp. With a massive userbase of over 400 million active users, India is one of the biggest markets for the Facebook-owned business messaging app.  The eCommerce industry has been quick to evolve with technological advancements and WhatsApp has seen this as an opportunity to jump on to the eCommerce bandwagon. 

Companies have started actively incorporating WhatsApp into their eCommerce strategy. WhatsApp Business has become the go-to messaging channel for customer care.

Small businesses have started using the catalog feature to share information like product photos, addresses, map locations, etc. Whenever a customer enquires about a product, a catalog can be shared to help view products and get information for a particular item. 

A Nielsen report on FMCG consumption during COVID-19 has mentioned that consumers have started using WhatsApp to place orders due to the social distancing norms.

According to sources, WhatsApp Business will experience unprecedented growth of more than 5,400% among medium and large businesses looking to use its API. The findings are based on research involving all the major omnichannel messaging providers.

Mobilesquared believes 5.25 million small and micro businesses were using the free WhatsApp Business app at the end of 2019, and it expects this number to rise to almost 7 million by 2024.

  • Enhance customer service & support 
  • Take advantage of broadcasting & alerts 
  • Ease of delivery & communication
  • Distribute content 
  • Brand authenticity 

As the pricing of mobile data stays low, and smartphones become affordable, penetration of WhatsApp would boost in the coming time and make it the most convenient platform for consumers to interact directly with brands.

Checklist for Warehouse Operations in a Post-COVID-19 World

As the dawn of reality sets in and businesses embrace the new normal, the fear of COVID-19 remains intact. The government has eased restrictions and allowed for businesses to operate, however, with the condition that stern rules and regulations are to be followed. For businesses of any scale, streamlining flows to reopen warehouses may be a challenge given the complexity of the problem that lies ahead. 

Challenges that need immediate addressing

  • Is there a disaster management plan in place?
  • How will the business work with suppliers?
  • How will the business maintain the workforce and ensure strict adherence to regulations?
  • How will the business tackle problems like in warding and movement of goods within the warehouse with minimal contact?
  • How will the logistics hand-off take place?
  • How will deliveries and returns be handled?

Some sectors have seen unprecedented growth in the past; with ‘essentials’ skyrocketing in demand, the need for the hour is uninterrupted supply. Fulfilling demand, however, does not come at the cost of safety. Every business today, whether in the essential or non-essential space needs to have an action plan to ensure the safety of the workers and consumers while keeping the risk of contracting the virus as minimal as possible. 

How to streamline warehouse operations for safety

  1. 360 Sanitization: As many studies suggest, the virus can live on inanimate objects for close to 72 hours and eliminating chances of contracting the virus through surfaces is the first step towards curbing the spread. Thorough sanitization of peripherals, doors, knobs, racks, trolleys, and other objects can cut down any potential risks. Sanitization has to be a mandatory practice and carried out on a regular basis for efficacy.
  1. Monitor floor staff: Educating the workforce is the foremost responsibility of businesses. The seriousness of the situation needs to be communicated to the workforce and the steps to curb the spread also need to be addressed. Monitoring the workforce before entering the premises should be made mandatory. As per the government regulations, anyone who is running a temperature over 37.4 needs to be reported to the manager and sent home for a period of self-quarantine. Also, masks and gloves must be distributed for safety. Hand sanitization every 2 hours has to be made mandatory and this is also to be monitored.
  1. Social distancing norms: A minimum distance of 6 feet is to be maintained between workers at any given time. At workstations, packing stations, and even leisure time, the norms of social distancing are to be adhered to. 
  1. In warding procedure: While sanitization, social distancing, and other mandatory procedures can easily be put in place, the real challenge arises when inwarding products with zero contact. Mandatory temperature checks for drivers bringing in the goods via trucks and a contactless handover of the required documentation, followed by 
  1. No-contact racking, packing, and hand-offs: The ideal way to move things around the warehouse while maintaining minimal contact is to assign two people and set paths to carry out tasks. While racking, ensure the GRN entries are made and aisles are sanitized well. Social distancing norms are to be maintained while packing with a minimum of 6 feet between each worker. Packed goods are to be left at designated spots from where assigned personnel can pick them and a hand-off to logistics will be done.
  1. No-contacts returns processing: In the case of returns, the package is to be dropped off at the return pay. As a safety measure, the package is to be left at the returns dock for 24 hours and inwarded the next day. Post-pick-up, sanitization, and quality check is to be carried out and the product should be then docked on the respective rack.

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Importance of buyer persona

Importance of Buyer Persona for your Business Growth

As a marketer, it is your first and foremost responsibility to ‘listen’ to your customer. If you want to effectively communicate with your buyer and understand them, you must know them first. As customers change and evolve in the way they engage with brands, you, as a marketer/business
owner also need to evolve with the right kind of customer insight. This is how you can develop buyer personas.

Not to be confused with consumer demographics, a buyer persona gives you a detailed study of their buying behavior, market navigation, and decision-making journey. And as a ‘good listener’ to your users, you would educate them and walk with them through this process.

The significance of buyer persona in business growth

Buyer personas help in generating better quality leads and help in conversions through effective communication.

  • With a deeper level of understanding, you can become a useful and trusted resource for them, driving their purchase decision.
  • It keeps you well-informed about your customer’s needs, preferences, goals, and expectations. Accordingly, you can be more efficient in your customer strategy and address the very specific needs of your consumer.
  • A well-defined persona can guide you into the customer’s psyche of how and why they make a purchase and how you can engage with them with relevant information.
  • Buyer personas work as an important tool in customizing your marketing efforts towards the right kind of audience and help in lead generation.
  • You can customize every brand message, content, information, or even your products and services as per the persona that you developed for your buyer. That way, you do not have to rely on a ‘one-size-fits-all’ strategy which might or might not work for every customer.
  • Since you are constantly in sync with your buyers through their established personas, it also helps you to improve your existing products, introduce new products, or even address market challenges.
  • With buyer personas, you can easily segment your customers into different groups.
  • Personas are designed to be user-driven and that makes you an efficient and effective marketer.
  • It keeps you well-informed about your customer’s needs, preferences, goals, and expectations. Accordingly, you can be more efficient in your customer strategy and address the very specific needs of your consumer.
  • A well-defined persona can guide you into the customer’s psyche of how and why they make a purchase and how you can engage with them with relevant information.
  • Buyer personas work as an important tool in customizing your marketing efforts towards the right kind of audience and help in lead generation.
  • You can customize every brand message, content, information, or even your products and services as per the persona that you developed for your buyer. That way, you do not have to rely on a ‘one-size-fits-all’ strategy which might or might not work for every customer.
  • Since you are constantly in sync with your buyers through their established personas, it also helps you to improve your existing products, introduce new products, or even address market challenges.
  • With buyer personas, you can easily segment your customers into different groups.
  • Personas are designed to be user-driven and that makes you an efficient and effective marketer.

Customers are at the core of any business and knowing them in depth can go a long way in boosting your business growth.

5 e-Commerce mistakes to avoid while selling online

5 e-Commerce mistakes to avoid while selling online

E-commerce retail is one of the most profitable industry spaces to be in. But because to err is completely human, many retailers end up making mistakes, big or small and that can leave a bad taste in their mouth about the e-commerce business.

Here are the top five mistakes most people make:

Choosing the wrong platform

Investing in a wrong platform could also result in loss of revenue, conversion, traffic, unfriendly user interface, or even security issues. Thus using more time, money, and efforts in fixing the mistake. It is important to choose a platform that will allow you to integrate your current systems, gives you complete control on your store operations, and lets you customize your store the way you want.

Choosing the wrong audience

A great-looking shop and a smart business strategy are only worthwhile when you have the right customers to sell to. Most often than now, retailers cannot clearly define their target audience or don’t spend enough time to determine the micro factors that drive their behavior. And that is a mistake. Even before you make a sales plan you need to know if your audience really needs your product and if they do if your product is really solving their problem. Accordingly, you can use the messaging they understand.

Not building an SEO friendly site

Content is king and your site must obey it. While most retailers give it a second priority, well-written, SEO-friendly content is what actually drives traffic to your site and increases your search engine rankings, among many other things. Every page and product description on your site should be optimized for search engines.

Complex navigation and user journey

A visually appealing website with an undefined user journey is as good as no website. From a holistic and well cut out user experience to an efficient checkout process, online customers need a smooth-sailing shopping experience.

Not building a scalable website

While many make the mistake of not thinking long-term for their e-commerce store, it is essential to be future ready. Keep provisions for new features, more products, at time of expansion in the future.

If you can avoid these key mistakes, so you can have a long-running, successful online store.

Trends-that-will-shape-Indian-eCommerce-in-2019

Trends that will shape Indian eCommerce in 2019

A lot has changed in the Indian eCommerce landscape in the last few years. As we move into another year towards the future, we see constantly changing eCommerce trends and take a new shape to cater to the more evolved audience.

What to look out for in eCommerce Trends 2019

Voice-activated searches

With easy voice searches enabled by AIs like Alexa, Siri, or Google, search engines like Google has made radical changes to its search result algorithms. This basically means that search will be more specific and yield specific results. This means the product discovery journey for users will also change and eCommerce brands will focus on such shifting trends in defining their search marketing strategy.

Vernacular aided experience

While India’s literacy rate is nearly 75%, those literate in basic English language is only 10% (125 million approximately). However, on the other hand, internet users in the country add up to nearly 481 million. Thus to fill the gap of linguistic preferences to internet usage, many eCommerce brands have already introduced regional language sites and this will continue to grow this year with more language options and more retailers trying to expand their audience base.

More omnichannel presence

While multi-channel has been the trend of 2018, omnichannel marketing will find its presence in eCommerce trends of this year, which will blur the lines between offline and online commerce. Brands will be mapping their user journey across channels and finally transition from multi-channel and detached presence to an integrated, omnichannel presence.

Refined product search

While social search has already been adopted by brands, it will only become more common and pervasive. This will also reduce the number of searches (for eCommerce products) on search engines and brands will most likely spend more advertising dollars on social marketing and other marketplaces.

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

Another interesting and rising trend in the retail business worth paying attention to is the integration of Virtual Reality in user experience. This year this is most likely to get leveraged further. By 2020, experts expect retailers to invest in Augmented Reality as well.

Magento B2B and B2C

What to Pick: Is Magento different for B2B and B2C?

Despite their technical and theoretical differences, B2B businesses, especially in eCommerce, tend to get affected by B2C strategies, as online retailers work harder towards better user experiences, setting benchmarks of B2B enterprises to follow and align themselves to the changing buyer demographics and behaviors. B2B eCommerce is more about a strategic opportunity for enterprises while B2C is more objective-oriented.

For enterprises to meet their user expectations, they need to understand and assess the space they want to be in and design their eCommerce store accordingly.

B2B vs. B2C eCommerce

B2B eCommerce

B2C eCommerce

Fewer but large-sized clients. A broad customer base of all sizes.
Highly customized sales or post-sales process Standard operational and sales procedures across all customers
Higher order value. Average order value is generally lower than B2B
Flexible payment options depending on buyer. Simplified payment process with standardized tools.
Big order values call for more information, details, before finalizing a purchase. Products come with fewer attributes and offer basic, fixed information to all customers.
Longer lead to conversion time. Most retail products have a shorter conversion time.
Involves personalized pricing and negotiations, subject to quotations and contracts Except for promotions, discounts, or special offers, prices are fixed and standard for all customers.
Purchases are based on business and functional needs. Purchases are based on personal preferences or emotion-driven needs.
Have long-term relationships with clients for reordering opportunities. Clients have multiple choices and most purchases are one-time from the same source.
More emphasis on brand value, trust, and relationship with clients. More strategic marketing and analytics-driven.

eCommerce Development Company for B2B & B2C businesses

Whether you are catering to enterprises or consumers, you need to have a state-of-the-art eCommerce solution for your business. Thankfully eCommerce development platforms like Magento do not differentiate in B2B and B2C eCommerce. Magento offers the same instance to run both B2B and B2C storefronts. With Magento’s smart solutions you can now have mobile-first store designs and branding, without the hassle of managing multiple techniques. Seek the expertise of a Magento development company who can help you establish your eCommerce store for B2B, B2C, or both on the same platform.

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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.

Why your site needs an eCommerce audit

Why your site needs an eCommerce audit?

If there’s one common goal for all e-commerce sites, its conversions. With the online marketplace dominated by retail giants, it becomes essential for e-commerce sites to stand out among the clutter and get their share of the pie. Hence an e-commerce audit, to help you understand where you stand among the crowd. It not only helps you boost your organic traffic and drive quality visitors but also spike up your conversion rate.

Reasons for considering an e-commerce audit:

Stay ahead on Search Engine Results Page (SERP)

Once you run a review of your content marketing strategy, you will know where you need to improve upon- whether it’s the content or the SEO strategy that needs revising. And if you are striving for that first page of search results, then your site needs to be well-optimized to start with.

Better On-page SEO

An audit of your e-commerce site will relook at the Meta Tags, keyword frequency, HTML headers etc. to see if your target keywords are at the right places on your site. This will increase your searchability to your users and search engines.

Check for mobile optimization

Needless to say, almost every user today uses their mobile phones for shopping. And that is why your e-commerce site needs to be user-friendly or optimized for a better experience of your customers. An audit can help you with ‘touchscreen readiness’, ‘mobile viewport’, UI/UX feasibility etc. so your audience gets the best experience on your website.

Enhanced site performance

This is probably one of the most important deal-breakers for e-commerce sites. Sites are evolving in their designs and integrating the best in class images, layouts, etc. But if these enhancements create a handicap for your users, by slowing it down, then you can lose as much up to 40% of your site visitors. User experience is essential for e-commerce success and site speed and its performance play make for an important element of it. When you run an audit, it can tell you which parts or pages lag in speed. It can also give you ways to elevate your site performance through techniques like compression, minification, image optimization and caching.

From content upgrade, keyword check, to restructuring product placement, and site analysis, an e-commerce audit is the key to a successful online retail business.

5 Reasons you should hire an expert to enhance your user

5 Reasons you should hire an expert to enhance your user’s shopping experience

The millennial shopper is always on the lookout for the best experience irrespective of what they shop for. That is why marketers and brand owners need to enhance the user experience and the customer journey while they browse through your site. And all this requires an expert, who can use his/her understanding and expertise to take your users’ shopping experience to a whole new level.

Here are our top 5 reasons to hire a user experience expert-

Help understand the human element

The best sales happen when you are in sync with your customer’s buying behavior. For that, you need to pay more attention to the user psychology. In other words, knowing what works for them, what they like, what improvements they are seeking, etc. This makes for a scientific study using consumer insights which can be best conducted by an expert qualified for the same.

Better customer relationship management (CRM)

User experience and CRM are not mutually exclusive. A customer complaint is usually seen from different perspectives, depending on where the fault was, which can lead to multiple inferences. An expert in such a case, can pinpoint the problems and help in problem-solving of consumer concerns. By assessing and analyzing their feedback, they can help in improvement of a product or the seller service, thus enhancing customer relations. CRM is one of the most important aspects that helps a business grow. And using expert knowledge to resolve their issues can ensure long-term relations with your users.

Contributing to Innovation

With a more scientific approach to consumer behavior, user experience experts can provide better insights into R&D and assess if a new concept or a strategy will work or not. And that too without exhaustive experimentation.

Keeping up with market changes

People change and so their habits. Surveys and focus groups stick to demographics and are not enough to assess the psychological reasoning behind such changes. Experts in user experience go beyond the theory and apply a deeper understanding of human nature which helps in better brand outreach.

Better marketability forecasting

Before a product is launched in the market, user experience experts can analyze if it will work with the brand users or not, thus providing the right marketability forecasting. By availing such expert knowledge prior to launches, brands can save the time and money on trials and errors

tricks-to-get-more-sales-via-Amazon-ads

5 tricks to get more sales via Amazon ads

As of today, it is nearly impossible for a retailer to imagine sales without being present on Amazon. With more than 50% of all retail product searches starting with this global marketplace, brands need to have an effective advertising strategy and make the most of their ads on Amazon. So how do you ensure more sales using your Amazon advertising?

Here are 5 ways to effectively generate more conversions, beyond ‘Sponsored Products’:

Optimize targeting options

When it comes setting targeting options while creating your campaign, the key is to use one for the benefit of the other. Use manual targeting to keep control over your campaigns but run a test with automatic targeting. You can create a keyword campaign using the manual version, like you would do for any search engine and then combine it with an automatic targeting campaign. By setting lower bids, you can use the latter as ‘keyword research’. Then if and when the search terms starts performing well, you can use that keyword in your manual campaigns.

Leverage Amazon Keyword Tool

Just like a search engine campaign, it is important to identify the right set of keywords for your Amazon advertising. Invest in extensive keyword research to get a better idea of how and what buyers are searching across the platform. Optimize your keyword bids based on their performance. This can make your campaign more efficient and opens up great chances of winning against your competitors.

Use the power of Feedback Five

Your customers are your best salespeople and their opinions have more impact on your sales. Leveraging the customer reviews using the Feedback Five tool, can put you on a 5-star rating and help boost sales. If you have abundant positive reviews, use it to showcase yourself. On the other hand, if you have customers with negative experiences, use for product enhancements or improve your marketing strategy.

Consider running discounts

Everybody loves a discount. And, from a marketing perspective promotions have always been a great way to increase traffic, visibility and yield reviews. Spread your discount strategy across ‘lightning deals’, price discounts, best deal, BOGO (buy one get one), hourly deals or even shipping discounts. Use these to leverage sales and highlight your products amidst the marketplace clutter.

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