If you're looking to launch a small business selling items or services on the internet, you need to build an online store. And now is the perfect time to do that. The e-commerce industry is booming and expected to top $4 trillion this year.
But if you want the best possible outcome from your online ventures, you need to pick the right software for your shop. Choosing the appropriate platform is an important decision that can make or break your business. The thing is that different marketing strategies need different platforms to succeed. Software that's good to promote cool online games like Booster Slot would simply not be as effective in selling hand-made photo frames.
The online market is full of options, and this article is here to help you make a balanced decision and pick the software that fits your business needs. We'll take a closer look at the key factors that you should look for in a platform. Sounds good? Let's dive in.
Reasons to Use E-Commerce Software
The thing is that anyone who wants to stay competitive in the online world has to do it via an e-commerce platform. It doesn't matter whether you have a B2C or a B2B company, using an e-commerce platform for your services gives you an efficient way to communicate with clients and employees.
An e-commerce platform handles the most important functions of both the interface and back-end systems. Your inventory, CRM, web design, etc., can all be managed by the platform. It wasn't that long ago when online companies were required to hire a full IT team to develop their in-house software. But this approach has never been cheap. That's why most businesses these days have opted to use low-cost open-source platforms that are developed by specialists and can easily be customized.
The Different Types of Platforms
All e-commerce platforms fall into one of the 5 following categories:
1. Open-source platforms
Open-source platforms do not ask you to pay anything to start using them. The license is free. However, there are fees for implementation, upgrades, and development. Magento, for example, is an open-source e-commerce platform.
2. SaaS platforms
A SaaS e-commerce platform's architecture is usually based on a single codebase. A fixed monthly fee gives you server space and covers the maintenance and security costs.
3. Traditional e-commerce platforms
With traditional platforms like Hybris, Kentico, or IBM Digital Commerce, you can pay the license fee once a year. But you still need a knowledgeable IT team to build the shop on top of the provided platform.
4. Cloud platforms
Many traditional e-commerce platforms, like Salesforce, or Demandware, are using a cloud hosting system. That's why they call themselves cloud platforms.
5. DIY platforms
Building your own platform is the least common way to operate an online business these days. But sometimes a niche business has so specific needs that they need more than a regular e-commerce platform. Using a full team of developers to come up with fully customized software might be a worthy investment for them.
Main Factors to Consider When Picking a Platform
Picking an e-commerce platform with the best SEO features assures that your site will rank high in Google's search results. Make sure that the platform allows you to pick your own domain name, and enables clients to leave reviews.
There are lots of things that can go wrong with your e-commerce venture, so pick a platform that provides 24/7 support.
3. Order Management System
E-commerce platform design with features like email notifications and order tracking ensures that the orders get to the clients on time and accurately. Go with a platform that can interact with your inventory management solutions so that the customers could only purchase the in-stock items.
At some point, your business will start to grow. And your chosen platform has to be able to keep up with the expansion.
Your e-commerce software will be actively handling payments and your clients' financial information. So it needs to be as secure as possible. Look for platforms that have features like Secure Electronic Transaction (SET), Secure Socket Layer (SSL), and a safe login screen.
Have you ever looked at how an e-commerce platform works on a mobile screen? Mobile commerce is on the rise, and your shop should be easily accessible via a smartphone.
The Best e-commerce Platforms for Selling Video Games
Selling video games online is the best way to do it. All you need to reach an audience is a well-functioning online store. The most important thing in choosing a platform is analyzing the following factors:
the overall expenses
how many other video game sellers are using the platform
Here are some great e-commerce platform examples that people have used successfully for gaming-oriented shops:
Magento is one of the most secure platforms out there. It has a free open-source option and a paid commerce option. The cool thing is that thanks to its numerous built-in features, you don't need to install an endless list of extensions.
No e-commerce platform list is complete without Shopify. It's a secure and user-friendly platform for selling any kind of products, including video games.
WooCommerce comes with some pretty cool features like tax calculations, geolocation, and the latest shopping cart software. Plus, the platform offers its users over 4000 plugins to make the shop-building process easier.
These were our tips on how to choose the best e-commerce platform for your business. There's no need to go blindly with the most popular names. Instead, use the advice from this article and pick the most suitable software for your shop. And look: you don't have to get it right with the first software you use. Narrow your choices down to at least two different platforms and test them out. Soon, you'll find the one that works best for your particular business.
What are some of the best e-commerce platforms for small businesses that you've used? Let us know your favorites in the comments.
Alex Norwood is an experienced traveler and an online entrepreneur. He runs a successful eCommerce business and is always on the lookout for new lucrative ways to make money online. Traveling is Alex's passion, and he has visited over 20 countries in the last 5 years.
Are you planning to venture into the eCommerce niche? There are several players in this segment, and each one has an idea that seems to be working for them.
For the outsider, the market seems to be saturated, and you don’t know how to differentiate the plan for the next venture.
However, you can do it by entering a segment that has been untapped or building on an idea that is unique.
We understand that most people are stuck at the first stage itself- the ideation stage. If you don’t have a strong idea, the venture may or may not be successful.
Here, we have curated five-strong eCommerce business ideas for you.
#1 Face-to-Face Commerce
When you are dealing online, you tend to forget the importance of face-to-face conversations.
As a seller, your ultimate aim is to increase the customer experience for eCommerce visitors. However, that cannot be done if you don’t initiate a different story for the customers.
Face-to-face commerce will help establish trust among the customers and will recreate your brand.
How will this idea work online? The sellers and the buyers can strike a deal after a conversation about the product or service. They can choose a medium to communicate. When the seller offers their insights into the product, it increases the value of the product.
The seller has more knowledge about the product and can talk like an expert
They can solve queries and all the doubts that the user may have through one-to-one conversations
You can use this idea to build your jewelry or fashion apparel business, where customer experience drives conversions.
#2 Education Platforms
What is eCommerce in education? Well, when you delve into online learning platforms, you are building an exciting niche for eCommerce businesses.
People are all up for learning online, as it offers convenience and saves a lot of their time. here, the course designers meet the users and sell the courses. That is one way of getting revenue from online platforms. The other potential is getting the course makers to tutor the children online.
You don’t need to restrict your niche to academics alone. There are people looking for spiritual, commercial and other types of courses online. You will need to identify the course that you think you can follow through.
You may need to consider student acquisition before you get started with the educational niche.
Apart from that, identifying a niche that the students want to opt for, and offering a differentiated proposition is another aspect that you need to consider.
#3 Selling Solutions
There is no dearth of problems around you. in fact, in every corner, you will find people are facing issues that need solutions.
If you could refurbish the idea of eCommerce, and stop thinking of products alone, then you will see that this is an amazing business idea for the eCommerce entrants.
Seek for people who have issues, and ask them to come to you for solutions. The website that you are developing should sell possible solutions.
You can either identify the problems yourself and post solutions for a certain amount or give solutions as part of the services.
You will see that it is an eCommerce idea with a different value proposition, and it will definitely work.
When designing this eCommerce application, you need to research the users to understand how they would prefer to interact with you, and how they behave with an eCommerce application in general.
#4 Selling Local Produce
In a grocery market dominated by the online sellers and buyers, the local producers get ignored. Only the mediators get a certain benefit; the producers and buyers face a loss. You can create an online application that can help buyers meet the local producers, and get the products at a reasonable price. In fact, it will also benefit both parties, as they would be able to gain a better understanding of the product.
You can extend this idea to the local craftsmen and other local artisans for better traction. You need to identify the niche that you want to deal with, understand the consumers therein, and finally design a product that you feel will be suitable to these people.
Remember to think through the app and take into consideration the possible scalability factors associated with app development.
#5 Know Products in Stores
tell your users where they can find a particular product. Most often, your users know the products they want, but they are unable to find a shop that deals with them.
Instead of having to visit all the stores, the user can visit your store that will inform them about the stores where they can find these products.
So, the user simply needs to enter the product information, and you can serve them with the store details, both online and offline.
Of course, you will need to define a business model for these stores. Considering the users will make the purchase through your store, in case of online shopping, it will become easier for you to completely earn money.
There are several other ideas that you can work on. It is however important for you to validate the idea and conduct an A/B testing before you move ahead with design and development.
Apart from the ideation, you need to conduct thorough user research which will help you identify how users behave with eCommerce websites. You will also understand the learning curve you will need to work with to convert the customers.
Before the idea and the research, you need to identify if you want to go with a product niche or a service niche. The above-mentioned ideas are mostly service-oriented.
You will also need to calculate the financial impact your eCommerce business idea will have, and how you will score profits for the business.
It goes without saying that you need to hire a good Magento development company that will help construct your idea into a relevant, usable and functional app solution.
Author: Atman Rathod is the Co-founder at CMARIX TechnoLabs Pvt. Ltd., a leading eCommerce development company with 13+ years of experience. He loves to write about technology, startups, entrepreneurship and business. His creative abilities, academic track record and leadership skills made him one of the key industry influencers as well.
Online payment is getting more popular these days, particularly for businesses planning to develop their sales online, or need to lessen their desk work on request, registration, or payment.
Android App Payment Gateway Integration can be utilized by practically any business, going from internet business sites to course coordinators needing to get participants to pay for the course charge online, or even charity organizations to get gifts online.
There are different payment gateways to arrangement an online payment with. Some popular gateways for online payments are Paypal, WorldPay, Google Checkout, e-Nets (Singapore just), or direct VISA/MasterCard payment.
(Note: Payment gateway is an online specialist organization which facilitates payment approval)
Every payment gateway has its very own upsides and downsides, just as fluctuating charges. Furthermore, some payment gateway may not be bolstered in all nations. (for example, Google Checkout is as of now only accessible in the US and Canada)
In this article, we will examine about Paypal payment gateway, as it is presently one of the most popular portals worldwide particularly for online payment, and one of the least demanding to set up.
Here are three things we will talk about in this article:
How would I arrange a Paypal account?
What amount does Paypal charge?
How would I integrate Paypal into my site?
How would I arrange a Paypal account?
Liberating up a PayPal account is simple and. Before we begin, ensure you have the accompanying information with you:
Your organization details information
Your organization date of registration
Here is an essential well-ordered guide on the most proficient method to arrange a PayPal account for business (trader):
Go to https://www.paypal.com and click “Join” on the upper right corner of the landing page.
Pick your nation or region, and language. The nation that you pick will figure out which essential cash you get when getting your payment. For instance, you won't almost certainly get Malaysian Ringgit if you are enlisting in Singapore.
Snap “Begin” for Business.
Fill in the essential details about the organization and the business owner.
Upon fruitful registration, Go to Paypal again and sign in.
Under “My Account/Overview” menu, click “Affirm Email Address” in Notification box on the correct sidebar.
Adhere to the given instructions.
What amount does Paypal charge?
Liberating up a PayPal account is but PayPal charges you per exchange happened, which is 3.4% of the total sale sum in addition to a fixed expense of S$ 0.5 per exchange. You can improve rates as your sales go up. Allude to the table here for more details on how many markdowns you can get, and the measure of sales required to apply for a rebate.
If you are accepting payment through PayPal, the cash you got will be put away in your Paypal account first, so you should periodically transfer the cash into your financial balance. Note that the withdrawal to a Singapore bank above S$ 200 is free, but S$ 1 charge may apply for withdrawal underneath S$ 200.
How would I integrate Paypal into my site?
Presently we are getting to the activity. The most straightforward approach to integrate Paypal payment to your site is by integrating direct Paypal Buy Now button. It just includes a code in your HTML website page which may resemble this:
You should enter your PayPal account's email address in “Email address to get payments” textbox to specify to which PayPal account will the payment be transferred.
Integrating online payment into your site can be as necessary as including a PayPal Buy Now button.
Nonetheless, if you are planning to construct an undeniable online business site with cutting edge shopping basket highlights – it will require a more top to bottom combination with Paypal. You can visit Paypal begin manual to adapt all the more how to integrate Paypal payment gateway to your site further or contact a professional web designer for help.
Author Bio –
Alex jone is a Marketing Manager at AIS Technolabs which is Web design and Development Company, helping global businesses to grow. I would love to share thoughts onPayment Gateway In Android Applicationand Game Design Development etc.
Believe it or not, but online shopping has changed the way we search for things and buy them. In fact, a recent study conducted by KPMG revealed that 58% user prefer online shopping than traditional way because they could shop anytime as per their convenience. The same source says that 54%of users prefer it because of the ability to compare the prices.
Considering the present growth and the future of possibilities, businesses are now going online through e-commerce websites and mobile apps. They wish to attract their prospective customers through their e-commerce website but sometimes they could not get what is desired.
Not every visitor to an e-commerce site is a buyer and this is a reason why cart abandonment percentage is 21% (a Localytics research). The most possible reason for this is that the e-commerce website failed to come into the expectation of the buyer.
Below, we are listing 7 such common mistakes that every e-commerce website should avoid, in order to retain the continuous business flow.
7 Blunders E-Commerce Websites Should Not Make
#1 Choosing the Wrong Platform: This is one of the most common mistakes which e-commerce merchants make. Depriving in the knowledge they sometimes select a platform that could not provide their business the exposure which it truly deserves.
Choosing the platform completely depends on your business size. For instance, you can go for Shopify if you have a small business. But, if you are looking for a platform that could support your big e-commerce enterprise then nothing could be more favorable to you than Magento. A highly scalable platform could be always beneficial for business.
Choosing a wrong platform means you are compromising with page loading time, which would not at all be accepted by your prospective customers.
Few of the most popular e-commerce platforms are:
#2 Running Without Strategy: Every business is focussed for a particular group. For instance, if you want to start an e-commerce website for selling books then your prime focus would be students. Like this, you need to set different strategies as per the business needs.
Here are a few of the things which you need to consider while setting a strategy for business:
Identification of market and buyers
Making every process transparent
Targeting mobile audience
Ensuring smooth supply management
Privacy & term policies
#3 Ignoring Trust Factors: Alike you, there are many others available on the market which are providing the same services and most probably at the same price. The only thing which can differentiate between a reliable and fraud company is the trust factor.
Along with this, if you would work on easy product navigation and simple but effective design then also it will lure more customers and build trust in your brand.
#4 Ignoring Mobile Friendliness: Do you know that mobile e-commerce is expected to surpass 72% of total digital sale by 2021? Doesn’t this clearly brief why you should not ignore mobile for your e-commerce business?
If you really wish to target your audience then never ever ignore mobile. Ask the web development services team to go for a mobile-friendly site, so that you may get uninterrupted business flow.
#5 Not Adding Sufficient Contact Info: A research by KPMG states that 51% of consumers are more likely to trust a business which makes it easy for them to contact people at the company. So, if you are ignoring the contact details at your website you are likely to lose the interest of those 51% consumers. Not adding proper contact details like customer care number, e-mail address, office address, and phone number could put your e-commerce website under suspicion.
#6 Overusing Popups: Without any doubt, it can be said that popups help businesses to enhance the database with the details of prospective clients. You can gather e-mail address of prospective clients through pop-up windows and can later embrace them with desired offers and details.
But remember, overusing pop-ups in a website can also irritate the customers and they can lose interest on your site. As per the research of Hubspot, 55% visitors leave the site within 15 seconds and an irrelevant pop-up could make them leave the page even earlier.
#7 Not Exhibiting Product Reviews: Shopping on an e-commerce website is truly dependent on trust. According to SalesForce, 85% of buyers conduct online research before they make a final decision to buy a product.
Reading product reviews and ratings is one of the important part of research apart from the product description. Not adding this feature on your website could make you lose the prospective clients.
There should be genuine reviews from verified buyers on every product which in turn would increase the authenticity of the website.
The Bottom Line
Of course, Amazon accounted for 44% of all US e-commerce sales but it does not mean that there is no future of possibilities for small businesses. In fact, small retailers have 30% higher mobile conversion rate as compared to the big ones.
So yes, it is all about how you present the business and your strategy. No matter whether you are a big e-commerce giant like Amazon or a small e-commerce site for cake and flower delivery, with the right tactics you can win laurels across the business.
From contacting the right web development services company (for choosing the best platform) to providing correct product info with genuine reviews; there are many responsibilities like this which merchants need to consider in order to succeed as an e-commerce platform.
If you’re unfamiliar with the intricacies of ecommerce, you might make the mistake of assuming that measuring success is as simple as looking at how much profit is being made. That’s far from the case. While making a profit is certainly the end goal, it’s not only the only sign of success, nor does it necessarily mean that a business is healthy.
The smart ecommerce merchant knows this, and patiently monitors the general performance of their business to build a broad understanding of what’s happening (and what they can expect in the imminent future). If you want to max out your sales and help your ecommerce store reach its full potential, you need to do the same — let’s look at 5 ways (other than looking at profit) in which you can measure ecommerce success, and how you can use them effectively:
Following brand mentions
Branding matters. Every time your brand is mentioned online, it has some kind of effect on how you’re perceived overall, and that perception will gradually alter your level of success. Negative mentions will invariably sap interest in your business, even leading your strongest supporters to start to question their loyalty.
If your store is doing the right things, then when your brand name comes up on Twitter or Facebook, it should be as part of a positive comment. The stronger the positivity, the greater the level of detail, and the larger the number of followers, the more it will benefit you.
The easiest way to track brand mentions is to use a dedicated tool, like the aptly-named Mention. Set up the terms you’re looking for, and you’ll easily be able to see when people talk about you — take advantage to reach out to people praising you, and you’ll be able to achieve even more with that positive coverage.
Monitoring cash flow
Profit won’t save you if you run into major issues with cash flow, which is the sum of all the money entering and exiting your business. The moment you don’t have enough money in the bank to cover your ongoing costs, you’ll run into huge problems — you could even fail to make your hosting payments and see your store taken offline.
Ensure that you always have enough money in reserve to cover your costs if some customer payments come in late or there’s an unexpected issue with your stock. You can survive a lack of profit by continuing to sell and turning things around, but a lack of cash flow will sink you.
All you need to do is add up all your regular costs (restocking, software fees, advertising, etc.) and log them in one place along with your average sales revenues — you can use a spreadsheet or a business accounting tool, it’s up to you. After that, just monitor things closely, and take action to cut costs or boost sales when you start to feel the squeeze.
Aggregate review ratings are powerful on webpages and in search results — in general, a 4.5-star store will be viewed as much more worthy of attention than a 3.5-star store. Individual reviews, meanwhile, are very useful as highlighted testimonials, whether on your homepage or on your specific product pages.
By keeping an eye on your reviews, you’ll get a solid idea of how your overall service is being received: not just how much customers are liking your products, but also how they’re rating your website, shipping, prices, and support processes. Sentiment is important. If it starts to turn against you, you need to make suitable changes.
Your ecommerce CMS will likely have native review functionality, so you can start there, but you may want to expand the options (particularly at enterprise level where so much more is on the line): for instance, you can pick up Product Reviews & Ratings if you’re running Magento, or you can supplement a Shopify Plus store with the free product review app available in the app store (there’s also the option of using the dedicated Trustpilot integration). After that, it’s just a matter of making a habit of reading through reviews and identifying actionable takeaways.
Tallying loyal customers
Loyal customers are incredibly valuable in the ecommerce game: they return again and again, spend more, recommend you to others, and provide you with insightful feedback. That’s why a great way to tell if your business is moving in the right direction is to count how many loyal customers you have.
If you’re doing great business in general but your customers aren’t coming back, that suggests that you have a problem. You’ll run out of new customers sooner or later, and your revenue will dry up. You need to impress customers as much as possible so they want to stick around.
Look at your analytics to see what your customer retention rate is like, and to check your average order value and the average number of orders per customer. The better these metrics look, the more stable your business will be in the long term.
Checking search rankings
Appearing near the top for relevant search terms brings in a lot of actionable traffic without requiring much ongoing financial commitment, so how you rank in Google should matter to you. It will be particularly significant when you’re engaging in forecasting, because if you know that you rank for certain evergreen terms, you’ll know that you can expect more traffic to arrive.
Your website should be linked to Google Search Console, and you can find the information you need there, so log in and take a close look at where your pages are appearing for particular terms. Are you looking at upward trends? Seeing irrelevant keywords?
When your rankings are going up, that’s a great sign that your content is performing well relative to that of your competitors. If you’re ranking for irrelevant keywords, though, that means that your pages aren’t correctly written (or formatted). Think carefully about what you want your pages to rank for, and cater the content accordingly.
As we’ve seen, e-commerce success is a complicated thing to gauge, with numerous elements coming together to steadily influence how much profit you end up with. By doing each of the 5 things we’ve been through, you’ll form a much stronger understanding of how well your store is performing.
Succeeding as an online retailer is tough. The market is dominated by huge marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay, as well as firmly-established sellers with a lot of momentum in specific niches. If you’re going to thrive as a merchant, you need to use every tool at your disposal — and one of the key tools is SEO and facebook advertising agencies.
So what does ecommerce SEO specifically involve, and how can you use it to bring in more qualified leads and sell more products? Let’s take a closer look:
On-page and off-page SEO
There are two main branches to SEO: work you do to the pages on your website, and work you do elsewhere to bring in more traffic. On-page SEO involves a variety of things including (but not limited to) the following:
Meeting speed and mobile responsiveness standards.
Including high-quality and digestible content.
Providing useful links and features.
Offering consistent product information.
Off-page SEO, however, includes things such as the following:
Earning links to your pages.
Building brand awareness.
Being communicative on social media.
Networking with influencers.
Because the value of a visit to an ecommerce site is so high, there’s a huge benefit to covering all possible SEO angles. By bringing in the most relevant visitors and impressing them with your content, you can achieve optimal results. And since most SEO work has lasting effects, you’ve every reason to invest in it early on.
Covering the basics
The first key to meeting SEO standards is choosing a solid ecommerce CMS, because much of the on-page SEO will depend heavily on the platform. It’s strongly advisable that you set aside funding for a paid hosting solution: you’ll get vastly superior results out of the box using a popular one like Shopify than if you try to cut costs with something like Zen Cart or OpenCart.
All of the key on-page elements will be flagged up by a site analysis tool like Sitechecker, so run your store through it and see how it rates. Any issues that are identified are worth addressing — if you don’t know how to do things like update meta descriptions, and you’re not comfortable learning, then get some assistance from someone who can help.
Off-page SEO is essentially just about doing good marketing. Create good content for your brand, establish company expertise, and remember to ask for (but not demand) links to your site. The more links you build up from trustworthy sites, the better you’ll rank.
Targeting the right search terms
A big mistake that many online sellers make is trying to rank for the wrong terms. Extremely popular terms like “tablet computers” or “games consoles” have already been targeted heavily by massive retailers with huge budgets, and you can’t possibly hope to compete with them. A business with a modest budget has to use it smartly, and the key to that is finding ways to rank for terms that are much less popular but still valuable.
For example, if you sell shoes, don’t just try to rank for “shoes” by writing generally about shoes. Try ranking for something very specific, like “comfortable long-lasting shoes for distance running” — look at what pages already rank for long search terms, and find top pages that you’re sure you can outperform.
Committing to improvement
Plenty of things go into ecommerce SEO, as we’ve seen, but the biggest piece of advice you can follow is to keep making improvements. The SEO world moves quickly: ranking factors change, and competitors come and go. Your store may be optimized for search traffic today, but things could be totally different several months from now. Keep your eyes on industry updates, and make SEO an ongoing priority.