5 Best E-commerce Platforms To Watch Out For Small Business

By Guest Contributor on June 25, 2019

Like many other business enterprises, you might be looking for a platform to sell your products online. Ecommerce is a great platform to reach the potential audience and increase brand awareness. As per reports, over 60% of people prefer buying products through Ecommerce platforms.

To reach this huge amount of potential consumers, it is important to invest in online business. However, just because you own an ecommerce store, doesn’t mean people will reach it. For the success of an online store, users must find it appealing, engaging and smooth to use. In order to get that happen, simply align with an ecommerce platform.

An ecommerce platform is a software application allowing a business to manage their inventory, sales and website operations. They are important because building an online store from the start is an expensive and complex job. Most of these platforms support a reliable plug-and-play solution for businesses looking to build an online store.

There are hundreds of ecommerce platforms available for enterprises, but selecting one is a challenging task. The best platform is the one that makes you comfortable while using and meets your business standards. 

Selecting a platform will depend on your business needs, in addition to that many things need to consider, but a few of the most important ones are:

  • Number of products your store has
  • Type of products 
  • Budget
  • Time restrictions 
  • Business Scalability

For small business owners, money can be an issue. To address this issue, we have mentioned only the platforms, which are free or economical to use. Even though WordPress is highly popular, there are others also available having incredible benefits. Let’s discuss some of the platforms in the detail.

#1. WooCommerce

The WooCommerce platform is an independent software application that gets installed on the server and fully integrates with an existing E-commerce website.

WooCommerce Features:

  • Quality order and product management
  • Supports customer management with third-party plugins
  • Multiple payment options
  • Hundreds of paid and free themes available 
  • Mobile-friendly
  • Proper reports on inventory and sales tracking
  • Bandwidth limited 
  • Features to provide coupon codes and discounts
  • Hundreds of sales extensions available

It is available as both free and paid version, but the free WooCommerce does not come with customer support.

#2. Magento

The Magento platform is the leading ecommerce platform offering a free open-source solution for the online industry. Magento is free to use and edit as per the business requirement. It hosts numerous customization features including plugins and extensions, which can be accessed from third-party developers or from the strong community base.

Magento Features:

  • Catalog Management
  • Tools for Marketing
  • Fully SEO Centered
  • Order Management
  • Mobile Friendly
  • Support Multi-Store
  • Multilingual 
  • Complete Site Management
  • Customer Service & Support
  • Order Tracking & Analytics 

#3. Shopify

Shopify is very popular among startups. It’s a paid subscription-based application that requires hosting for the online store as well. It also includes a subdomain that you can link with your main domain.

Shopify Features:

  • Order, product, and customer management
  • Support multiple payment gateways
  • Support 100+ inbuilt themes 
  • Feature to edit HTML and CSS directly
  • Mobile-friendly with hundreds of apps
  • No restriction on bandwidth limit
  • Sales tracking and store activity report available 
  • Supports social integration to sell through multiple social sales including Facebook.
  • 24/7 customer support 

Many brands opt Shopify all because of its ability to adapt to different sales channels. It also means a brand can start with an online store and later move to a brick-and-mortar store using Shopify.

#4. BigCommerce

It offers the facility of both standalone and a subscription-based platform service. It is quite similar to Shopify in operation and offers hosting services too.

BigCommerce Features:

  • Product and order management
  • Customer management 
  • Mobile optimization
  • Customer groups availability
  • 40+ payment choices without any transaction charges
  • Minimal themes
  • Unlimited bandwidth 
  • Advanced reporting on sales
  • 5,000+ presence of extensions
  • Feature to provide discounts and coupon codes
  • Flexible shipping services with instant rate calculations
  • Multi-lingual support options
  • Options for returns
  • Options to create newsletters
  • Multiple APIs present
  • Integration with social channels including eBay and Amazon

To make store owners experience engaging a large number of tools and extensions are available with BigCommerce. Check their official store to find multiple options for product promotion, email marketing and automation.

#5. OpenCart

It is the last eCommerce platform on this list. To make its use, simply install it on your ecommerce server or search a third-party to host the website. You can also opt for the cloud option that depends on the Amazon Web Services if you are uncomfortable to host the website yourself.

OpenCart Features:

  • 14-day trial
  • Product and inventory support
  • Single dashboard to control multiple stores
  • Unlimited products, categories, and order management
  • Ability to sell products digitally and physically
  • Support payment options like PayPal
  • 13,000+ themes 
  • Options for product reviews and ratings
  • SSL Certification
  • Decent sales reports
  • Automatic backups 
  • Thousands of available plugins and extensions
  • Recurring payments
  • Multilingual 

Be aware this ecommerce platform offers dedicated customer support to cloud users only. Other users can get answers to the queries in their large community forum.

You can use an eCommerce platform to move your traditional retail business to online business for better business operations. There’s no specific answer to what is the best eCommerce platform for a small business or startup. That completely depends on you, your particular requirements, and your customers.

Conclusion:

Ecommerce platforms allow a business to grow online by implementing all the features that a customer requires. With these five platforms, you can start your traditional business online within just a few hours. The features of the online store ensure a user doesn’t require any coding knowledge to use ecommerce platforms, and you don’t need skills to implement web hosting or security. With these platforms, anyone can join the ecommerce business. 

This article is contributed by Ashley Brown, Magento developer at Agento Support.

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Graphic Design & Multimedia for Grabbing Attention

By Guest Contributor on June 21, 2019

Graphic design & multimedia help businesses capture attention to promote and sell products or services. It also helps with opening new markets.

Most companies are using the internet to expand their business across the border.

They like to hire more experienced and talented graphic designers and multimedia experts to create their marketing collateral. A website bears your first impression and it can be seen all over the world.

Companies set aside a good amount of budget for their marketing department. Besides placing ads in the newspapers and magazines or on television they like to run online campaigns to promote their products and services.

Graphic designers help convey the business message and when designs are done right they bring in more sales. The use of multimedia helps companies squeeze a comprehensive message in a few seconds. These days people on the go like to watch videos instead of reading the complicated text.

Mobile users prefer to watch the informative video to learn what all you have on offer and how your goods or services can be of use to them. For this reason, all businesses now prefer to add videos to their websites along with images of their products.

Your website and all marketing collateral is part of your corporate identity. Illustration, typography, photography, and motion graphics help a business in many ways as follows:

1. It Is A Trendy Way of Communication

These days, consumers are overwhelmed with the outpouring of marketing information from various companies. They do not like to read the text as it takes a lot of time and instead want to look at something that is attractive and explains things in an easy to understand manner.

They will look at infographics, illustrations, and product videos and leave out the lengthy text for later. Marketing is going through cultural change as most shoppers are browsing and buying online. Businesses have just a few seconds to grab the attention of viewers.

Graphic designers have to pack extensive and sometimes complex business messages in illustrations and infographics. Stock photos need to be avoided as they do not help with rankings. All content on the website has to be original and useful for viewers.

2. It Enhances Employee Productivity

A healthy workplace where employees are proud of their job is the core of brand identity. Besides marketing collateral, you, your employees, your workplace and how it looks form the basis of your brand identity.

In a well-designed interior, the employees are more committed and feel a certain level of pride as part of the organization. These employees are more productive and are able to reflect the company vision better.

A well-developed website that is easy to navigate and looks good reduces employee frustration. Your logo has to be well made and the employees need to be happy with it as well.

3. Good Graphics Increase Viewer Interaction

Low-quality stock is not able to retain the attention of viewers. Instead use the high-quality graphics so your social media views, shares and followers increase rapidly.

A visually appealing website, social media properties, blogs and e-newsletters can do wonders for your web traffic. Most online shoppers evaluate image quality and video content before making a purchasing decision.

Good-quality photography, infographics, illustrations, and product videos serve as effective marketing tools and take your brand image forward.

4. It Is A Money Saver

Good graphic design helps you save money. You can continue with a design that works well. Cheaper designs may not bring good results.

This is why you will need to redo all the graphic design which will turn out to be more expensive. It is a better idea to hire good graphic design and multimedia experts to do all the marketing collateral for you.

5. Keep Viewers Engaged

Fresh themes and graphics seem more appealing to viewers. They like to stay at sites that have unique designs and interesting graphics. When you plan to redesign the company website and other marketing collateral, use an expert graphic designer so you can get a good return on investment.

This way you can create a unique identity that is both visually appealing and will also help you stand apart from the competition. Your offerings have to look different as compared to your rivals and graphic designers know exactly how to make you look novel. With an attractive website with useful content, your guest will keep coming back to check if you have any new offerings for them.

6. It Helps with Brand Reinforcement

When the traffic graph is falling and as a result sales graph is also facing downwards, it is time to revamp your online image. A good graphic design company will redo the face of your business.

Get a fresh-looking logo and use a new color scheme to refresh the brand image.  Get a friendly or formal image engineered to suit your business needs.

All the visual elements will be created keeping your input and feedback in focus. This new image has to be consistent in order to gain trust from the target market.

This article is contributed by Gary Brandon, SEO consultant at ENET Technologies.

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11 Myths About Certified Magento Developer

By Guest Contributor on June 21, 2019

Magento is the most popular platform for building eCommerce websites. It is an open source and economical, most brands prefer to get their store developed in Magento. With thousands of users and hundreds of stores are getting good results all because of this powerful CMS. W

hile most people find Magento developers the best resource to build up the online store, some talk negative about them, as they are unaware of the facts. There are some people who have got misconceptions regarding Magento developers.

In this blog post, we have discussed them so that all misconceptions are removed and people know the reality. A lot of myths are spreading in the market so, let us discuss some of the most important myths about developers.

1. Magento Developers Are Slow

The first myth in our list is developers are slow. The person who floated this misconception initially may have chosen an unskilled and beginner developer. The situation is not the same with someone who is experienced and has worked on multiple projects. It wouldn’t be possible for Adidas and Nike to have an e-commerce store in Magento if developers were slow.

2. Magento Developers Doesn’t Provide Customer Support

This is completely wrong, Magento has a huge community base and if you hire a developer for your project, reliable support is always available. Store owners can contact the developers round-the-clock if they experience any issue with store performance in terms of sales, security and ROI.

3. Magento Developers Work On Big Projects Only

This is the most popular myth that has been spread all over the globe within the E-commerce industry; which we will clarify right now. This is completely wrong! The reality is Magento developers are perfect for all types of stores of any size; whether it is small or large stores.

4. Magento Developers Compromises Quality

Well, Magento developers don’t compromise with website quality; it completely depends upon the developer and company from which you hire for developing the online store. If you hire a skilled, reliable, trustworthy and experienced developer, you will not have to face any compromise quality, as they build quality websites.

5. Magento Developers Can Build Store In One Day

This development myth regarding developers appeared due to the plenty of advertising headlines like “Build E-commerce store in 24 hours”. In most cases, this is wrong and impossible. Even if a developer builds a store in 24 hrs, it will not perform appropriately as it will lack proper testing. Integrating products, setup of hosting and security standards is hard work that takes time. Usually, the whole process takes more than a week. So, be realistic when you hear such a myth.

6. Magento Developers Drives Visitors Immediately Stores Starts Working

Unfortunately, this myth is believed by many people. Building a store and simply hosting it on the server is not enough to start an online business. Buyers don’t know anything about the new store if it is not appearing in search engine results.

7. Magento Developers Are Responsible For Store Promotion

Any new online store requires promotions in order to reach the potential audience. The role of Magento developers is to build a store and integrate all the SEO features that can help them in the store promotion. But for complete promotion they are not proficient as for promotion different techniques are used like SEO, PPC, and SMM. This is done by the marketing team to generate traffic at the beginning, as the store is completely new. All these activities need time and money investment for effective results.

8. Magento Developers Service Is Expensive

In most cases, prices of the Magento developers can’t be revealed in the starting. The pricing completely depends on the complexity and scalability of the project. Magento developers from renowned firms can build engaging and smooth stores, and people usually think it will cost them very high. It is a huge myth among the people regarding developers.

9. Magento Developers Delays Project Delivery

This myth is completely unexpectable regarding the Magento developers. Project is delayed in situations where regular customization and modifications are made. Developers before starting a project sign an agreement to deliver the project within a specific deadline. So this myth is completely wrong and not expectable.

10. Magento Developer Compromise on Security Standards

A Magento developer respects clients project and is committed to keeping the data of client secured. If they compromise with security, their own reputation and popularity will suffer. E-commerce store saves a large number of user details, their credentials and taking its security casually is not feasible. Hence, this myth about them is completely wrong as a lot of reputation is on stake about them.

11. Magento Developer Lacks Communication Skills

It is assumed that the Magento developer you hired lacks in communication skills in comparison to those present in your workplace buildings. It is believed that it is difficult to get in touch with them anytime you want. But in reality, a developer who knows that his/her customer is located at a far-away location may become impatient if they are not replied promptly to any query. Furthermore, with the advancement in technology, all reports regarding project development are shared on an immediate basis with the client.

Now that you are clear of some of the most popular myths regarding Magento developer, make sure you discuss with others as well to remove these misconceptions. So, just debunk these Magento myths and spread reality across the globe.

Conclusion:

Every technology and people associated with them have some limitations. The Magento developers myths that we have talked about above in the blog are the few ones which are really popular. If you thought any of these misconceptions are having any sense, you must clear your doubt right now, as now you know the exact reality.

So, if you are planning to take your business to an online platform, don’t hesitate to hire Magento developer for your E-commerce store development. We have debunked all the myths regarding Magento developers. And we hope that it helped you get out of all the unnecessary thoughts you had about Magento developers.

This article is contributed by Sneha Rawat, developer at OrangeMantra.

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How to Implement Latest E-commerce using WordPress To Increase Online Growth

By Guest Contributor on June 21, 2019

A convenient and attractive online store attract frequent online shoppers. A well-thought-out strategy allows entrepreneurs to sell products in bulk over the WWW. For example- Amazon. It is a global E-commerce company that sells different products all across the world.

If you also want to sell products online, get in touch with a WordPress expert to create a feature-rich online store. WordPress allows you to use customized design and plugins to increase the functions of the online shopping portal and make it more convenient for users. So, how to implement the latest E-commerce using WordPress to increase online growth:

1. Make Your Online Shopping Site More Attractive

An E-commerce website must have a presentable appearance and be easy to use. On several occasions, the success of a website depends on the first impression that it makes on visitors. Website design and map, regardless of its business, largely determine the attitude of users and search bots. So, pay attention to the website design and its pages.

Each page of the site should have unique content. Background colors, fonts, images, links of product pages, navigation, etc, must be arranged in a proper manner.

You can use several page design templates as per your needs. Always keep in mind that dazzling pages with scattered images scare off visitors.

So, create WordPress powered E-commerce websites with a minimalistic approach. Clear off all unnecessary design elements from your website with the help of a WordPress Website Development Company.

2. AMP Pages for Mobile Users

When the AMP (accelerated mobile pages) was launched, its use was limited to news sites and blogs. Nevertheless, the ultimate goal of AMP pages has always been to accelerate the delivery of content for mobile devices. Because of the growing use of mobile devices for online shopping, you should create AMP pages for your WordPress powered E-commerce website.

It speeds up page loading, which leads to an increase in conversion. So, analyze the performance of your website and implement AMP for all important pages such as home page, product pages, landing pages, navigation, reviews, etc.

3. A Search Bar

According to a study conducted by a digital agency ThanxMedia, the site search system plays an important role in 40% of all online purchases. However, according to the analysis of the 50 most successful online stores conducted by Baymard Institute research agency, half of the sites reviewed do not have any noticeable and easily found search bar.

It becomes clear that the search string on these resources simply merges with the overall design of the site. A well-designed search bar is important for those visitors who already know exactly what they want to buy.

A good number of visitors will leave your E-commerce website if it doesn’t have a well-designed search bar. According to reports from SLI systems, about 25% of all online shoppers use the search bar to refine their search query. It happens because of many reasons such as incorrect spelling of the product name, regional differences in the name, inaccurate search results. So, design a search bar and add it to your E-commerce website ASAP.

4. Autofilling Option on Website

Many users often have to spend a lot of time on the Internet to register online for product purchasing. Impatient shoppers don’t like to a lot of time on filling out various web forms such as Logins, passwords, names, addresses, index, etc. Endless waiting for the completion of registration on an E-commerce website can force visitors to drop their purchasing plan and go away.

To simplify this routine work, autofilling option on the website. It facilitates autocomplete electronic forms in which personal user data previously stored by the user on any of the available independent external systems. This system helps customers to place orders easily.

5. Unique & Easy-to-understand Content

Want to know how can you make an online store float on the first page of Google and encourage people to buy from your store? It’s content marketing.

By updating its search algorithms from time-to-time, Google guarantees high-quality websites a higher place in its SERP than low-quality ones. So, you can say that unique, high-quality content is a source of conversion for your online store.

Therefore, create a useful, information-rich E-commerce with WordPress and fill it with accurate content. The site must contain exclusive information that cannot be found anywhere else on the Internet.

Unique and SEO-friendly content attracts the attention of visitors and creates interest in your site. Always keep in mind that people are more willing to buy products on sites with unique content.

Filling an online store with quality content is a profitable investment. It brings new customers and business opportunities. So, get your content written by professional content writers. Make sure they are free from errors or outdated information.

Final Words

A well-designed E-commerce website powered by WordPress can give you limitless business opportunities. All you need to make it fast, trendy, and attractive. Use these tips to make your website stand out of the crowd. You will be able to sell more products/services every day.

This article is contributed by Emilyexpert WordPress developer at WordSuccor Ltd.

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YouTube Video Marketing Strategy: 10 Ways to Grow Your YouTube Channel

By Guest Contributor on June 18, 2019

There is no denying it ‒ video is now the future of content marketing. On average, YouTube receives 1 billion unique visitors per month, and is considered as the second largest search engine next to Google.

Videos give you access to a broader audience. It is becoming key to satisfy people’s information and entertainment needs. Therefore, businesses and brands that fail to include video in their current online marketing strategy will do so at their own risk.

In this post, we will give you 10 actionable tips on how to boost your YouTube presence to get more leads, subscribers, views, and sales.

1. Research Relevant Keywords

Do you want your YouTube channel to stand out? Start with great SEO.

When you have a solid understanding of SEO, you will know what your audience is looking for.

Here’s the thing, people do not just look up videos on YouTube. They also use Google as well. Also, more than ever, Google is prioritizing videos over any other content for most of its searches.

Here are effective tips on how to look for Google-friendly keywords for any type of video content:

  • Know all the possible keywords using Google Ads Keyword Planner.
  • Then, Google for your options online. Search the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) for every keyword. Are the top results video or written content?
  • If necessary, tweak your keywords and then try again. Consider adding the phrase “How to” if you have a hard time looking for video results.
  • Choose a keyword that will prioritize video and will suit your content well.

2. Use Descriptive Titles

The title will be one of the first things that people will see when they browse your content. So make it punchy.

Here are some effective ways on how you can create a title that stands out:

  • Keep it short and sweet. Do you know that the most popular videos on YouTube have the shortest titles? Ideally, stick to 60 characters or less. If it is more than that, your title will get cut off if displayed.
  • Place your keywords on the title’s first half. It is to avoid losing valuable information. A lot of readers focus on the beginning of the sentence and then skip out the rest.
  • Keep in engaging. The best headlines create an emotional reaction. While going for click bait can be sometimes tempting, it can damage your reputation in the long run.
  • Use YouTube’s autocomplete feature. Search for a specific topic or theme, then see the title the YouTube will suggest.

3. Optimize Your Profile Description

A lot of YouTubers skip this part and dive straight in the actual content creation process. But optimizing your profile description is one of the best ways to stand out. It also optimizes your video for search engines.

Your YouTube channel description is one of the best places to add your keywords. YouTube penalizes “tag stuffing” though. But adding a couple of keywords would not hurt and can go a long way.

4. Know Your Audience

YouTube is still a social media channel. Therefore, it warrants interaction.

So, if you are just passively posting videos without encouraging comments and discussions from your audience, you are completely missing out.

YouTube rewards channels with excellent engagement. This includes the channel’s total watch time, likes/dislikes, and comments. So, as much as you can, try to respond to the comment that you receive and ask people to engage with them.

5. Establish Your Brand

Once you added all the required information, focus on the overall branding and appearance of your channel.

Your branding is important because it adds a bit of personality in your channel, helping you stand out. Here are a couple of graphics on your channel that you can personalize:

  • Thumbnail of your channel
  • Video watermark
  • Channel Banner
  • Video intros and outros
  • Custom thumbnails for videos

6. Utilize Social Media Platforms

Another excellent way of promoting your videos is on social media. You can promote your video on various social media channels like Reddit, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and so on.

Do your research first, and know where your target audience are. Then, select the social media network that works best for you.

7. Optimize Your Thumbnails

Do you know that thumbnails matter more than titles? Well, it is because the human brain is hardwired to process visual information over texts first.

So, to boost your views, make an eye-catching thumbnail for every video that you post. To get the optimal results, follow these guidelines:

  • Size: 2MB limit
  • Format: JPG, GIF, BMP, or PNG
  • Resolution: 1280 x 720 px
  • Utilize highly contrasting images
  • Select a close-up image
  • Always be consistent with your branding

8. Use Your YouTube Cards Properly

Previously, we mentioned that YouTube rewards channels that keep viewers on their pages for extended periods.

Longer watch times means that your audience is more engaged with your content.

By placing YouTube cards, you can place recommended videos at the point where viewers are dropping off. Although they might abandon the current video, they will still be compelled to watch your other content, and therefore stay on your channel.

This helps boost your page ranking over time.

9. Use Subscribe and Push Notifications

Promote your channel as a whole, as well as your videos. Link your account and push for subscribers. That way, your videos will rank higher on YouTube and Google search.

10. Upload More Frequently

Although it might be a bit daunting at first, you need to boost your posting frequency by posting at least one video per week.

Consistency is key here. So it is best to stick with a schedule and publish a video at the same day or time. Also, keep your subscribers updated if you have upcoming videos.

Over to You

Hopefully, you have found these tips that we have discussed will be helpful in your current strategy. Growing your YouTube channel will require constant work from the beginning. It might take some time to gain some viewers (and eventually, brand partnerships). But if you persevere, you will likely to succeed in the long run.

This article is contributed by Bryan Mixon, owner of AmazeLaw.com, who is also known for Facebook advertising agencies.

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