Posts filed under 'Social Media'

Top Mobile Trends for 2016

Mobile Trends for 2016

2015 was a red-hot year for mobile technology.

The number of mobile devices has now surpassed the global human population. More than ever, consumers are interacting with businesses using their mobile devices before going through any other channel As “mobile-first” becomes the norm for every age group, consumers from all demographics are able to quickly understand each other when referencing products and services that have captured their interest. Whether it’s via face-to-face interaction, email, a text message, a Dropbox shared folder or an Instagram direct message, the language is clear and the smartphone is the sharing tool of choice. This trend of convergence and mobile is accelerating quickly, and the question becomes: which businesses will be able to successfully market & monetize their mobile arm?

Google rolled out its “MobileGeddon” ranking algorithm that penalized non-mobile optimized Web sites, making mobile-first design a must have for all.

2016 is expected to be equally epic for mobile.

So here are top trends:

1. Internet of Things

Even as smartphones have come to dominate the desktop, the concept of mobile itself is fast moving beyond just phones. Mobile no longer means just your phone or tablet, but increasingly your watch, your car, even your fashion accessories and the clothes you wear. Wearables, by their very nature, are more intimate and provide deeper data about consumers.

2. Mobile video usage is exploding

According to Cisco, mobile data traffic grew nearly 70 percent in 2014, with 55 percent of mobile data traffic spent on videos.

As of November, Facebook claims 8 million video views every day – a figure which doubled in six months – with more than 75 percent of these happening on mobile devices.

3. Planet of the apps

Flurry Analytics has released its 2015 Year in Review, analyzing the growth of app usage last year. The company found overall app usage increased by 58 percent in 2015, with ‘app usage’ being defined as a user opening an app and having a ‘session’ within it.

In October, Google had indexed more than 100 billion deep links within apps. Adding app search results will have a profound effect on usage and discovery for apps.

4. The Internet of me

As marketers collect more data about individuals from connected devices and across their purchase habits, one-size-fits-all marketing is fast going out and has several implications for brands:

Beyond mobile first: Moving to context-first design

Most marketers have now caught on to the mantra of mobile-first design.

Location is the new cookie

According to Google, 85 percent of the top 100 retailers are expected to adopt some kind of beacon technology by the end of 2016.

Beacons, accompanied by corresponding consumer acceptance of location-based marketing, will have significant effect on shopper marketing and will enable brands to deliver hyper-relevant, micro-targeted offers.

5. Chat is the new social

For those who do not know how chat is going to evolve, one only has to look at WeChat in China.

What was once a simple messaging app has now become a full-fledged marketing, commerce and payment platform. Users are able to connect with brands, request and reserve services, and buy and pay for goods, all through the same app.

Both Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are expected to cross more than 1 billion users in 2016. Although Facebook has been coy about opening up those services to brands for marketing opportunities, expect that to change in 2016.

6. Mobile commerce moves beyond window shopping

Not so long ago, mobile’s role in commerce was largely to influence shopping: read product reviews, check pricing and receive coupons and offers. That is clearly not true any longer.

Mobile currently accounts for 35 percent of all e-commerce, according to Forrester, and less than 2 percent of all retail sales. This will increase rapidly.

7. Mobile will continue to revolutionize shopper marketing promotions

Mobile continues to play an under-appreciated role as a bridge between offline and online, particularly when it comes to retail.

Brands are increasingly leveraging mobile in promotions, both in validating purchase through bridging solutions such as receipt processing and in providing incentives via digital content, electronic gift cards and prepaid credit cards.

8. Mobile wallets will NOT be mainstream in 2016

This is a classic “when, not if” problem. There will come a time when credit cards will be rendered obsolete by mobile wallets. It just will not happen in 2016.

Apple Pay continues to slowly win over advocates, helped by the possibility that it may well be the killer app for the Apple Watch. Apple claims 80 percent of Apple Watch users are using Apple Pay to make payments.

Interestingly, Samsung’s brilliantly named Samsung Pay may well be the killer mobile wallet solution as it can work with all payment terminals that accept credit cards, and not just NFC-enabled ones that are estimated at 10 percent of the market.

Despite clear progress, mobile wallets will remain niche for at least another year, as retailers slowly upgrade terminals, market players continue to compete on standards and features, security and usage issues get ironed out and the public at large remains comfortable charging stuff to their credit card.

SO WILL 2016 be just more of the same, or will there be surprises that we never saw coming? Looking forward to find out.

(Excerpted from e-marketer, Mashable, Luxury Daily, Flurry)

January 7th, 2016

Social Collaboration Platforms

Social Collaboration Platforms

Social Collaboration Platforms

Organizations increasingly want their workers to perform faster, smarter and be more productive. In order to achieve this goal, collaborative technologies are picking up across the world in large organisations and slowly in smaller companies too. This helps in transforming the way organizations turn knowledge into actions. Social collaboration platforms are vital as they create new ways for employees to work faster and smarter while increasing productivity.

Collaborative technologies aren’t new and have been around for some time, running since a long time and there is a competition like Olympic but there is no gold, only silvers. In order to transform truly and increase productivity, the organizations first need to combine collaborative technologies with business processes. There are proven results when the work is done in this manner. Secondly, organizations need to design the collaborative behaviors that foster quick results. We should encourage the utilization of collaborative tools. But, simply having the collaborative tools for the organization is not enough. Last but not the least; we need to unleash full power of the talent available in any organization.

A type of business software that joins broad social networking aptness to work processes is called a social collaboration platform. The paramount objective of collaboration software is to enable the employees to share information and resolve business complications more efficaciously. The purveyors take a different approach in order to build social collaborative platforms. It can be built either by joining a social layer to bequest business application or by embedding collaboration tools into fresh artifacts.

There are some attributes that all successful social collaboration platforms share. These attributes are accessibility, integration, a common set of functions, issue tracking and messaging. A number of social collaboration platforms just look like Facebook and employees are accustomed to using in their private life. However, we should know that Facebook and Twitter are not the only social platforms available; there are other social tools also that are available for enterprise users.

It is to be noted here that as the companies are headed towards broad deployment from small pilots, critical success factors like a social collaboration policy needs to be defined besides selecting a long-term vendor.

Let’s discuss some of the features from some popular social collaboration platforms:

A Window into Your Enterprise

From tactical teamwork to enterprise collaboration – It gives access to real-time information from across teams and locations, all in one place.

Transforms Intranet into an Intelligent Workspace

It engages people across teams and geographies. It enables employees to work, share, find, discuss, manage, connect, create, collaborate and have fun. It helps companies move beyond the traditional intranet to an ecosystem that delivers results.

Idea Voting

Collaborative voting has been added to the existing Idea and Page Tracker widgets, facilitating collaboration between colleagues and resulting in better business ideas.

Multi-Language Support

Enables users to view and contribute content in multiple languages

Mentoring Assignments

New Mentoring functionality assigns experts or ‘Mentors’ and pairs them with employees or ‘Mentees’ to collaborate and complete a certain project, task, idea definition, leadership development goal, etc., empowering employees with greater skills and talent growth.

Capture, Retain & Access Knowledge

It enables storing of files centrally, working on documents, tracking comments and inviting feedback. You can browse the member directory to find co-workers. Meet the right experts and minimize the effort in searching for information that matters.

Content Creation

Web-based content creation tools enable teams to work together, creating pages that are available to everyone to contribute to and benefit from. With wiki pages, online spreadsheets and blogs, your valuable information is always updated and no longer locked away inside individual inboxes.

Access

Accessible any time from multiple platforms such as the web, mobile devices or your desktop client. No matter where you are, you’ll always be able to access your critical business content, and connect and share with your peers. Enable your employees to access information, contacts, stay in the loop on project status changes, and make necessary updates from anywhere, anytime.

What kind of platforms are you using for knowledge capture and sharing inside your company? Your inputs would be appreciated…

January 3rd, 2016

Mobile drives the Spark in Startups (notes from MobileSparks conference)

Shradha Sharma of Yourstory.com asks the Startup community to maintain that Spark, regardless of where one is in the journey of life. That Spark may be humility or grace, appreciation for others, lending a helping hand etc. Essentially the point she made, and very well so, that in our “Rat Race” for success in life, perhaps we might have forgotten the more human elements, things which bind us together and a feeling of elevation. Shradha was speaking at the recent YourStory event Mobile Sparks in Bangalore.

I couldn’t agree more. In our quest for success, perhaps we might have forgotten to remember some old friends, or forgot the fact that a good night sleep is more worthwile than achieving a Unicorn status. Big statement, but I insist.

I think the subject is about balance. Nobody is saying that one must give up on one’s dreams. But it must not drive consternation to a level that one forgets the basics of humanity – a desire to do good, be kind, have a positive impact and effect larger good. As many have said, a Startup needs to have an objective larger than valuation, or a profit or loss statement. It is about “value creation” at the end of the day, to quote my friend Manish.

Ok, with that, I come back to the startup notes. The recently concluded event MobileSparks by Yourstory had some great speakers from most of the leading firms – Flipkart, Snapdeal, Grofers, Practo, OYO Rooms, Peppertap, SAIF partners, Inventus, Matrix Partners etc.

Here are some sundry highlights from this event :

Freecharge – Initial adoption strategy – Make first transaction brag-worthy. Eg give away a burger for first recharge.
App installs is not a good metric. Transactions is good metric.

OYO rooms
OYO is envisioning a future of amazing hotel experience. Some potential ideas :
- Manages entire hotel experience.
- App – does booking. Shows nearby restaurants, gets you cab with Ola cab widget,
- Ops team does background audit regularly of hotels
- Alerts – eg room 345 not audited since last three weeks or 5 acs in a hotel broke down
- Correlation between auditor reports and customer feedback audits auditors themselves
- If AC is broken open ticket to get electrician automatically
- Pre-check in from airport. Submit ID card picture before even you reach.
- Could alert property manager that customer is about to reach.
- Mobile key to door
- Reminder to turn on AC or heater from before. Mobile can store customer temperature preference.
- Connect to WiFi automatically.
- Mobile motion sensors based DND (do not disturb). Check if person is sleeping and motionless.
- Checkout from app. Pay from mobile wallet. Feedback on the go on app.

Matrix partners (VC) :-
App distribution -
- Inmobi ads, AdMob, Adwords
- OEMS like micromax lava etc
- App stores.
- Facebook ads
- Google ads
- App Store optimisation or ASO

Lybrate :-
Online consultation app for patients and doctors
- Very less doctors in India compared to patients.
- X axis :- Online, offline
Y axis :-
Discovery – find practitioners
Transaction – create transaction
Delivery – participate in delivery or actual doctor patient communication / consultation
Lybrate is in online healthcare delivery space.
- Got doctors first ie supply first. Then demand ie consumers etc.
- Need hooks on supply side to hold doctors while demand builds up.
Opportunities :-
- Lot has happened in discovery already.
- Transaction and delivery side is left. Healthcare devices can be used. Consumer hardware is big area.
- 70 million diabetes patients in India. Devices for them.
- Revenue model – online consultation commission from user – 5% to 15% of doctor fee.

Flipkart :-
Piyush Ranjan. SVP. Flipkart.
Key idea :- Build a Cathedral. Not walls or bricks.
Eg -
Build for phones with no data. SMS or USSD as underlying protocols. Also phone to phone connection.
Eg -
Reliability is in short supply. Eg IRCTC is not reliable.
Eg -
Build for the low end.
Eg -
Building speed as a feature. Eg google suggest and google instant.
Eg -
A broad base need like education.
So far mostly online classrooms. But how about continuous learning which mimics human whole life ?

Practo
healthcare app for doctors and patients.
Started web-only in 2008. Mobile first now.
Mobile search -
2 lakh doctors
2x non metros
3x conversions
3x engagement
Weekend traffic
UGC declined in mobile though compared to web. Consumers write smaller reviews on mobile compared to web. Struggling with this now.

Practo ray
40000 doctors
2x appnts
3x records
3x engagements

Practo tab
Helps in locking in supply
20% richer data

Practo
10 million searches

Snapdeal
Anand Chandrasekaran, Chief Product Officer
- 19 m registered users
- 1.5 L sellers (I am told less than 10000 are active, more on this in a later post)
- wants to achieve 10L sellers in few years (how many will be active ?)
- 5m daily active users
- Freecharge – 2 out of 3 visitors end up transacting

Other ideas that were discussed :
125 million English speaking Indians. Leaves a billion non-English users. Need to tackle them.
300 million internet users in India currently. To grow to half billion internet users in 2-3 years. Mostly via Mobile Web.

 

August 10th, 2015

LinkedIn vs Facebook for professionals

Facebook is supposed to be building a professional network, but for now, I believe LinkedIn is still the default professional social network for many people. But maybe the two aren’t so different after all. I found this info-graphic by Brighton School of Business & Management and feel that everybody here should have a look at it to understand the differences between the two networks in somewhat holistic manner:


 LinkedIn vs Facebook-Infographic

December 29th, 2014

Importance of Social Media for Start-ups

Social media sprouted at the latter part of 20th century; and had a vibrant impact on every business, bringing distinctive solutions for all the business requirements. Perhaps every other day, a new technology is coming up to manage the rising demand of social media in the marketing platform to bring up sales. Both small and large businesses have started utilizing social media as an important tool on every aspect that gives a better revenue for their brand, therefore it is no wonder that social media gives a wide opportunity for the people who are venturing to have a business of their own.

Many newly raised organizations and entrepreneurs use social media channels like Facebook, twitter, myspace, pinteresst, instagram, google+ any many others for their marketing and promotion strategy. Effective online presence of a start-up through social media gives a wider reach at a lesser cost and time. Below info-graphic shows 15 top uses of the social media :

Infographic - Uses-of-Social-Media-Marketing

(Image Credit: Saleoid.com)

December 28th, 2014

The Importance of Blogging for Startups

All companies should have a blog, to demonstrate their expertise in a particular subject matter and provide a vehicle for two-way communications and engagement with their customers.

This blog that you are reading now is an example of that.  I, as the Founding Partner of CellStrat, a consulting and start-up mentoring firm, am trying to come across as an expert in startups who has lived through the same battles you now find yourself fighting through.  Not to mention, for many of you, this is your first time ever hearing about CellStrat.  You may be asking, “why should I trust this firm to help me solve my startup-related problems?”.  Well, hopefully the quality of the content on this blog not only educates the readers on various topics, but it also instills trust to get prospective clients to actually pick up the phone and engage with me on their various needs.

Also, this blog gives my readers the chance to voice their agreement or disagreement with various points that I am making.  For example, when I wrote a guest post on Apple Pay on a famous social media site, two readers gave their contradictory and supporting views respectively.  Hence, further enhancing reader education on the topic, and creating a two-way dialog with my readers, so they too feel like they are participating in the discussion.

There are two other clear marketing advantages of writing a blog.  Firstly, search engines love rich content pages, and the more content you write, the more free search traffic you will drive into your website.  For example, this blog is about 7 years old, and is getting 10000+ visitors per month, largely coming from people searching for information related to the posted topics via Google and some through our regular followers.  That is a lot a traffic for a small consulting firm, which I didn’t have to spend one penny on, other than the 30 minutes or so that it takes me to write one post.

The second key marketing advantage is the virility of the content on social media sites like LinkedIn, face book and twitter.  And, since our connections and followers are largely business people related to startups/ technology or the digital media industry in which we have worked for the last 35 years combined, there are very high odds that: (i) the articles are not only interesting reading for them; but (ii) they will most likely forward or re-tweet the articles to their thousands of collective connections and followers of their own, all ripe new prospects for my own business.

So, for the reasons above, consider a blog a vital component of your website, search marketing and social marketing strategies.  And, don’t forget to ask for new followers, as I do in my last sentence below in all posts.

For future posts, please subscribe to our newsletter at:  www.cellstrat.com

December 11th, 2014

Importance of Networking for Start-ups

I am a firm believer of an old age adage, “it is not what you know, it is who you know” and resonates particularly well for startup entrepreneurs.  And, it holds true across most sales departments of large corporates as well as most all areas of a startup’s business, including driving sales, hiring employees, raising capital and securing key partnerships.  Therefore, establishing, nurturing and mining a deep network of relationships can often make or break the success of a startup.  I know many of you may be uncomfortable with networking, but hopefully this post will help you understand the importance of networking and the need to break down any barriers between you and your network. Let’s discuss the various types of networking opportunities available to you.

Firstly, when people think networking, they think attending events to meet people that may be able to help them.  This could be industry specific events related to your business, (e.g., strategy, marketing, technology) related to certain specific business needs, or other events bringing together like minded individuals (e.g., fellow CEO’s, fellow startups).  Do your best to stay abreast of all of these types of events via your respective industry trade associations, professional associations or local startup groups with the calendars posted on their websites.

I used to think time spent on networking was time away from the business, and tried to avoid it.  But, over time, I quickly learned,  a strong network can actually help me build my business faster than I could on my own, and should be a vital part of a startup executive’s efforts.  You never know what new client, investor, employee or other business colleague will come out of events like these.

But, you do need to be sensitive to investing your networking time wisely, to get the biggest bang for your buck.  When assessing in-person networking opportunities, I try to have a good sense to:

(i) the expected size of the event (hoping to meet more people than less).

(ii) the quality of the attendees (hoping to meet more CEO’s than lower level staff members).

(iii) the location of the event.

(iv) the type of event itself (e.g., hoping to avoid dinner events where locked into one table of people, instead of roaming the room)

(v) the reputation of the hosting organization.

Equally importantly, I want to make sure I have a clear mission for the event (e.g., what specific companies or executives do I want to meet based on announced presenter or attendee lists made available prior to the event).  And, keep in mind, you don’t always have to be the “hunter” at networking events.  Sometimes you can get in front of more people faster, by being the “hunted” as a featured speaker or panelist at the events.  So, figure out a reason for you to be the “featured attraction” (e.g., “one of the hottest startups in town”, “pro in online marketing”), which can also save you on any event fees.

But, your networking efforts should not be limited to in-person events.  Networking has never been easier with the internet.  You should be an active user on networking sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or other sites.  This means having a rich profile page that positions you as an expert in your field, posting relevant news and updates to your status updates and joining/ engaging with the relevant “sub-groups” within that network.  But, remember, when networking online, it should not be a “one way sale” to the audience; it must be a “two way conversation” to get the dialog started.  So, an example, answering forum questions (in a “non-salesy” way) can also be a great way to make new relationships.

We all know how busy you are as a start-up executive.  But, you can’t bury yourself in your office, and you can’t be bashful when building your business.  Start building your network, and great things (e.g., new clients, employees, investors, and partners) are sure to follow.  And, don’t forget, networking is more than simply the networking event itself:  you are building long term relationships and need to follow up with these new colleagues after the event, and over time.  So, manage this network nurturing process accordingly.

December 5th, 2014

Online Store Vs. Physical Store With 4P’s Of Marketing

Offline Shopping(shop from the physical store) was the only option for almost 20 years ago, but then came into picture the E-commerce, leveraging Online Shopping model with deals, discounts, offers and much more to the customers. At early stage many prefer to look at a product online and then shop offline from the store, now it’s changing from going to store first, selecting the product and then shopping online from site.  Here are some factors, including 4P’s of marketing on which we can differentiate both the models:

1) 1st P – Price/Cost/Initial Capital - The main factor behind any business is to raise initial capital and finally convert it to profit. Looking at Offline Store, it costs much more for renting the land, building the office and infrastructure. Either you alone can handle the store or you need 2-3 persons to contribute. While the Online concept can easily be implemented without having office space, even some incubators can help initially. You just need to build a online store connect vendors and start selling. But yes, it takes much less time to start a physical store as online needs technical things to be build up first.

2) 2nd P – Place/Location/Access - The traffic of the customers depends on the location of your store, which place it is setup and how easily public can access it. This issue always remains while dealing with physical retail until you start building-up your chain of stores across the glob. Offline stores can be started with only one, mostly, whereas online store can be accessed anywhere in the world with just internet access. Scalability is much harder to achieve in physical store, because more you build the stores, more capital you need. Online is much flexible in this scenario, just develop a site with cart, host it and let any customer from anywhere purchase products from it.

3) 3rd P – Product/Category/Quantity - Giving customers a wide variety of choice increases his second shopping and loyalty probability. This is an challenge with physical stores, they can’t include much categories, their many sub-categories and wide range of products in each sub-categories. This happens as it again requires high intensive capital and warehouse issue. Even if you consider every products, one can’t afford it in a large quantity. Whereas in online dropship model, you can accommodate as many number of products as you can because you neither have to purchase it nor store it, when order arrives, inform particular vendor with product code, they’ll ship it to customer’s doorstep. The category/product management can be the challenge in online store as per the various vendors you are signing, but can be adjusted. Touch-Look-Feel is the main challenge in online shopping as none of the customer can feel the product, get chance to touch it, and try it and that’s the reason why high end products can’t be sold online.

4) 4th P – Promotion/Deals/Coupon/Discounts - Only two things that customer thinks of while purchasing product are, Price & Brand, and that’s the reason for brutal competition in retail business. If one sells 10% disc, you’ve increase to minimum 15% to increase customer traffic. Though offline stores are having these factors to attract customers, but online stores are leveraging these factors day-by-day, focusing on price discounts. You get coupons with discounts, vouchers on sign-up, credit balance that can be used in next purchase, combos and much more. Availing these all things are very hard in physical stores, as you can’t give vouchers to customers as they enter your store, can’t have discounts or credit balance on next purchase and so on.

5) The M – Marketing - Customers will not know your existence in the market until you market your brand. For physical stores, most of them relies on word-of-mouth strategy to increase the traffic, or pamphlets in newspapers or posters in various buildings. Most of them don’t use most common strategies like newsletters, social media, digital media, testimonials, etc. This is the place where online store overtakes the other as most of them are well aware of these marketing techniques and keeping them as their base, word-of-mouth comes as secondary.

The above post was related to start-ups and medium level businesses. Yet many other factors still were not emphasized as the above are the best ones. Offline or Online depends on the personal experience and thinking about to start and grow their model, it’s still two sides of coins, neither of them can be balanced nor compared in every aspect.

July 25th, 2013

10 Things : Must For Any Online E-commerce Website

From the physical store meant for selling goods to customer face to face, a new trend arrived in India from 2000, converting this physical store to online store called E-commerce Model. The basic model remained the same, selling goods to end customers, but as the time passed new innovations were meant to be done in the Online E-commerce on seeing the cut throat competition in the market. And today, the competition is such that it takes just 5 seconds to lose your one customer.

Here are the some factors that reflects the customer satisfaction, trust and loyalty to your E-commerce Web-portal:

1. Loading Speed Of Website - Seriously, no one wants the user to wait for 20-30 secs to open the home page of the website, it should be within 5 secs. If the first loading takes too long, there is 75% chances that your customer will switch on to another website looking for same product. Make the technical changes for increasing the loading speed.

2. Replicate Same On All Devices - You may think that once you’ve created website then you’re done, but you are pretty much wrong. The world is now accepting Smartphones, Mobiles, Tablets compared to Desktop & Laptops. If your website don’t response well on above devices, your customer is gone, first impression is the last impression.

3. Look & Feel, UI - Though you are very professional in business terms, but don’t be too professional in developing the website that has no good look and feel. The User Interface is also one thing that interacts with end customers while purchasing the product, after all your end users are youngsters and ladies, in most cases. Enhance the product images to give a 3-D effect, 360 degree views, close material view, great zoom, easy navigation, etc.

4. Easy Checkout Page - Most of them consider it as a negotiable issue, but if a customer has made his/her cart and your checkout page takes 4-5 clicks to finish whole transaction, customer will not be interested to purchase from you next time. Make the checkout page as one page itself or at least use advanced tech to avoid more user clicks while checkout process.

5. Shipping, Returns, T&C, Privacy Policy - This things can be similar in most of the websites, most of the customers may not even read it while purchasing, but this is the thing that creates trustworthiness in customer’s mind. Clarify each and every statement in the all above things, so that in future customer feels to keep bank upon you, make him think before purchasing on above topics.

6. Various Payment Methods & Options - Understanding the customer behavior is a headache in online shopping, you don’t know what he’ll purchase, how he’ll purchase, etc. Give all possible options to customer in terms of Payment Options, you never know customer is related to which bank or which card customer is having. Also include COD as one of the payment option, most of them opts this option itself and thereby gaining loyalty from the customer for the next purchase.

7. Social Media Integration - 94% of the world population that can’t live without using Social Media in their daily life. Allow users to share their views about your website to their friends, colleagues, mates, etc. Let them comment about your product, getting likes on what they really like, collecting this data helps you to determine some what customer’s behavior.

8. Customer Service & Feedback - E-commerce means dealing with end-customers(mostly) daily and lacking to provide excellent customer service will make you fall from mountain. Fulfill any customer demand, have it 24/7 functionality, accept and react on their feedback, it can be positive or negative too. As hotel manager servers you as his customer, same would be for you in online customers.

9. Related Products - Want to increase the sales directly by customer, try to integrate the related products section in products view page. This concept will make customer more eager to purchase other related products and thereby increasing your sales. Even if he doesn’t buy it, he’ll at least inform his colleagues about the product. One view to customer is enough attract for that product.

10. Search Capability - What if customer didn’t find he came for to your site, do you have proper search functionality to satisfy his demand? Search makes easier for any customer who came directly to your website for letting him search and get what he came for. Even filtering mechanism should be integrated based on many attributes like color, size, brand, material, etc.

Above were the 10 most critical issues that has to be there, even some them attributes are there which are covered above, like, having proper categories & sub-categories, comparing items, wishlist, etc. Somehow these are very common that now a days most of them are implementing, but above 10 were mostly neglecting.

 

July 18th, 2013

E-commerce : Definition & Its Types

E-commerce (eCommerce) or Electronic Commerce, a subset of ebusiness, is the purchasing, selling, and exchanging of goods and services over computer networks (such as the Internet) through which transactions or terms of sale are performed electronically. Contrary to popular belief, eCommerce is not just on the Web. In fact, eCommerce was alive and well in business to business transactions before the Web back in the 70s via EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) through VANs (Value-Added Networks). E-commerce can be broken into four main categories: B2B, B2C, C2B, and C2C.

1. B2B (Business-to-Business)
Companies doing business with each other such as manufacturers selling to distributors and wholesalers selling to retailers. Pricing is based on quantity of order and is often negotiable. The whole organization has to target other one rather than focusing on individual customers. Though the customer would be focused as the goods and commodity B2B has deal with, its going to be used by the end customer.

2. B2C (Business-to-Consumer)
Businesses selling to the general public typically through catalogs utilizing shopping cart software. By dollar volume, B2B takes the prize, however B2C is really what the average has in mind with regards to eCommerce as a whole. Having a hard time finding a book? Need to purchase a custom, high-end computer system? How about a first class, all-inclusive trip to a tropical island? With the advent eCommerce, all three things can be purchased literally in minutes without human interaction.

3. C2B (Consumer-to-Business)
A consumer posts his project with a set budget online and within hours companies review the consumer’s requirements and bid on the project. The consumer reviews the bids and selects the company that will complete the project. Elance empowers consumers around the world by providing the meeting ground and platform for such transactions.

4. C2C (Consumer-to-Consumer)
There are many sites offering free classifieds, auctions, and forums where individuals can buy and sell thanks to online payment systems like PayPal where people can send and receive money online with ease. eBay’s auction service is a great example of where person-to-person transactions take place everyday and now a days its growing in numbers. This business can also be treated as Marketplace, where users get online login in one web-portal itself and these users are nothing but one being buyer and another being the seller.

 

Companies using internal networks to offer their employees products and services online–not necessarily online on the Web–are engaging in B2E (Business-to-Employee) eCommerce.

G2G (Government-to-Government), G2E (Government-to-Employee), G2B (Government-to-Business), B2G (Business-to-Government), G2C (Government-to-Citizen), C2G (Citizen-to-Government) are other forms of eCommerce that involve transactions with the government–from procurement to filing taxes to business registrations to renewing licenses. There are other categories of eCommerce out there, but they tend to be superfluous.

July 12th, 2013

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