Which is better for a medium e-commerce website: VPS or Cloud

By Guest Contributor on July 23, 2019

Creating own website is becoming quite a buzz nowadays.Every business is now getting its own online presence. But did you know there are different types of website available in the market and every website needs and support different web hosting types like shared, dedicated, VPS or Cloud. Let’s talk about medium e-commerce websites.

What actually is an E-commerce website?

E-commerce websites generally sell products and services. That they also exchange money and other personal information’s right. So it definitely needs to have best web server to host and secure all the critical data. Generally dedicated server is the best choice to choose but cost matters right. Not everyone is going to pay thousands when you can get better in less cost.

Features and factors for E-commerce Website

Let’ssee which web hosting or web server suits best to an e-commerce website, VPS or cloud?

First make a list of the features you want in your web hosting before purchase any to host your e-commerce website:

  • Security
  • High-performance
  • Scalability
  • Cost

Due to lack of awareness about difference between different hosting, people think they all are same. But that’s not true every hosting have its own factors and features that make one different from others. So let’s switch & take a look towards VPS and Cloud and know that what actually they are.

Virtual Private Server — Basically VPS is a partition of a whole dedicated server. You share additional resources with the other virtual servers but your virtual server is owned by you only. In this you get a server operating system (OS) with root access, and you can install any software you want.

Cloud Web Server — Cloud web hosting is a trend nowadays. It is served by many hosting providers. It allows you to access your data and use potentially unlimited number of physical machines that are connected in a network and act as one. Means your site is hosted on different servers at different location. Relax I know you are thinking that it means you have to pay much for this hosting service, but actually not it is really one of the affordable, pocket friendly and cost effective hosting.

Now back to main point, which is better for e-commerce website? So let’s roll the sleeves up and compare to know which is best VPS or Cloud?

1. Security

As you already know that VPS is a part of dedicated server with shared features but it’s not as secure as dedicated server.If it were a whole separate machine then it may be the most secure hosting but this is only an assumption. It have some add-on offers to secure critical data and restrict location with security regulations. But obviously you have to pay extra for it according to you service need.

In this case I think cloud is much better. Its security is quite high as compared to VPS. It divides all the data of the website and hostsit at different physical machines. It’skind of difficult for anyone to attack into your website data. Or if by any chance it happens then it will only happen with just one physical machine and cloud have the feature to recover from disasters easily. That means nothing is going to happen to your website and its data.

2. High-performance

VPS assures you a fixed level of performance. Providers guarantee you to give high uptime right? But it does all depend on your physical server or you can say another virtual server with same physical machine. If anything is wrong with another virtual server then it might affect your data and website performance as well. Or if your physical host fails your VPS will fail as well. Don’t worry providers have backup plans but again it costs little high.

But on the other hand cloud assures high performance, availability and 100% uptime because cloud have different physical server at different locations. Whenever memory capacity and CPU power needs to expand it did on demand to meet your needs. It never gets overload. And whenever any physical host fails down it drives traffic to another physical server automatically. Because obviously not all the physical server will get fail at a same time.

3. Scalability

VPS hosting has a limit to scale the resources in other words to increase the resources. It depends on the physical host machine. Sometimes provider give you access to use some extra memory and CPU power but it also has a limit. If limit is crossed you have to upgrade your planand have tomove your website to a new physical server.

Cloud hosting is much more scalable, it has the ability to add resources in real time. Data storage is unlimited you can add any resource you want. It’s the biggest advantage of cloud that availability of the resources is almost endless.

4. Cost

VPS usually less expensive but resources are limited and all depends on the deal that provider offers you as well as cost. To upgrade or add some other services you have to pay to service provider to give you the access to increase your resources.

On the other hand cloud costs is all depends on. You pay for what you use. It’s as same as your electricity bill right. Well time has changed cloud has introduced to overcome all the drawbacks of traditional hosting. That’s why it is the new trend of web hosting market and every business wants to host their website on the cloud server only. Because it’scheap, provides best resources, high performance uptime, secure and best for every website.

To make your choice easier let’s take a look on the below table:Features/factorsVPS HostingCloud HostingServer Deployment and ManagementYesYesServer Sharing ModelPrivate ServerDedicated Cloud ServerScalability (auto/manual)limited& manualautoLow CostYesYes (depends on what you use)Pay As You GoNoYesFlexibilityNoYesCustomizationLimitedYesSecurityYesMore secure than VPSInstant ProvisioningNoYes (in managed hosting)PerformanceDepends on the vendorFastReliabilityYesYesMultiple Data CentersNoYes

Final words

Now it’s up to you that what you want to choose in between VPS hosting and Cloud hosting for your e-commerce website. I know it’s kind of difficult to choose one when both are best. But from this article we just want you to know that there is a lot difference between these two and your choice matters. It will decide your website’s future growth. So choose wisely. Wish you good luck.

This article has been written by Neeraj Sharma. He provides his service at hostnetindia. This web hosting company offers VPS, Cloud and dedicated server infrastructure.

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CRM in eCommerce: What Are the Benefits, and How to Use Them?

By Guest Contributor on July 18, 2019

When it comes to longstanding trends in B2C sector, we can’t skip talking about CRM software. Customer data management is a vital part of any eCommerce platform. And it’s exactly what CRM systems are used for — data entry, tracking, and retrieval. So we’ve decided to briefly overview CRM software and find out why it’s that important.Let’s start with the positive side, namely, the benefits. Here’s what a CRM software can offer:

Boost in sales. Sales and CS departments get access to data like customer order and payment history, product inventory, etc. This leads to a more personalized approach to customers during and after the sale.

Better demand & supply planning. eCommerce CRM system has a demand-driven planning feature thus the company can easily predict the demand on its products.

Targeted advertising. As all the data is kept at hand, companies can easily launch targeted advertising campaigns, attracting more customers.

No information loss. With information being synchronized automatically, there’s no need for manual data entry which often leads to errors and unsatisfied customers.

RMA Management. Return Merchandise Authorizations is among CRM advantages too. So CS representative having access to all the details can find the best approach to customers’ issues.
As CRM system is quite a popular solution in eCommerce, it’s not limited to one solution or even one type.

Cloud CRM

The main point is that all information is stored in the cloud. Works perfectly for small and medium-size companies, and requires no extra money for additional equipment or personnel.

Standalone CRM

You need to have your own server for this type. Still, unlike cloud solutions, this system can be fully adapted to your business needs.

Custom-built CRM

This solutions is built exactly to meet all your business needs and customers’ requirements.

Remember that better planning leads to a better product. And if you’ve selected to build a custom CRM, organizing the right approach is everything.

Here’s what steps to follow:

1. List your goals

First, specify the requirements of your business, list your goals and needs. Write down what problems you’re going to solve with CRM, and then move to creating a scheme of your plans and purposes.

2. Consider the features

Compose the list of the features your CRM needs and you consider important. No worries — you can always check what basic features are there and what eCommerce CRM cannot run without.

3.Brainstorming is important

Hold a meeting with your staff members or partners to discuss the list of must-have features. By listening to their opinions, you will be able to single out the right options for your software.

4. Find a reliable vendor

Finally, start looking for software developers. There are lots of IT firms to choose from, so here are our main tips: outsource the development, always check their portfolio, rates, and reviews.

5. Don’t overestimate CRM purposes

Remember that CRM is not a magic wand. The system helps to optimize sales processes and improve customer relationship. CRM won’t solve all your business problems, it can only help to do that.
And it’s about time to cover basic features of eCommerce CRM. Here they are:

  • Market analytics lets users track all marketing trends leading to tangible growth in sales.
  • By designing marketing campaigns, you can promote your product faster pursuing a strategy.
  • It’s important to track customer transactions and other activity to stay updated and keep your employees informed.
  • Custom CRM allows users to redirect customers’ request and questions to the right department or employee.
  • You can analyze customer history seeing what they’ve bought or viewed recently, and adjust your recommendations.
  • Sending emails with offers and recommendations to customers can be done in just a few clicks.

The benefits of CRM to business are obvious and its importance in eCommerce is pretty high. The main trick is to understand your business needs and customers requirements — and your software will surely go beyond the expectations.

6 Dangerous E-commerce Website Design Errors And How To Fix Them

By Guest Contributor on July 17, 2019

We are human beings and we do make mistakes. Whether it is in making a car, in e-Commerce website design development or any other thing mistakes can always creep in. These silly mistakes of ours can create a serious problem down the line. For instance, a simple error in an e-commerce website cart can cost you thousands of dollars. Well, to avoid such hiccups you can always hire professionals having experience in E-commerce Website Design Development (or for that matter in the filed of there working) for an e-commerce website.

However, if you still want to work on your e-commerce site yourself or if you are a beginner then here we have the learner’s guide for you with 6 Dangerous E-commerce Website Design Errors And How To Fix Them. So, read it carefully if you are not in a mood to pay heavily for your mistakes.

Website Navigation System

A navigation system is a way through which your clients/buyers walk through your e-commerce website looking for some specific product. Well, it’s your e-commerce website and it’s up to you where you want to put things in terms of navigation. However, the probability of your clients being comfortable in viewing the website with your perspective is very low. Your choice of navigation system might not be that intuitive to a new customer or even a returning customer. So what you can do?

Well, one thing is to choose a standard navigation system like breadcrumb customized. However, you might argue that everyone nowadays uses breadcrumb navigation and that is true. But we didn’t say that you use standard navigation systems online as they are. For instance, take a look at Amazon’s navigation system. They follow a standard navigation system pattern but still, have a unique and customized navigation system. You can easily get your hands on one these customised navigation system. All you need to do is contact the professionals working in a designing company, firm or working as a freelancer providing E-commerce Website Design Development services.

The central idea is to go for a navigation system that is highly intuitive and follow a standard pattern of navigation. This way no one will ever have to face any problem in finding their way through your website.

Prioritizing List Building

We all pay a visit to at least two or three websites every day, where a window keeps popping up asking for your email address, your payment details even before you decide to indulge in business with them. This type of website are ones that bounce away most of the clients in no time. We highly recommend you not to prioritize list building over making a good sale. Your motive must always be to make a sale, so allow your clients registered or not to freely go through your website and your products.

We know list building is important, however, on your product page this is not the right thing. You can do that when a customer decides to buy something from your e-commerce website. These types of tabs must be placed within the cart very close to the checkout menu. This way when the customers want to add something to the cart they have to sign up to your website. Don’t be forceful and when asking for information online. This type of attitude can create distrust between you and your customers.

Product Overloading

What happens when you are presented with a lot of choices for a single product. That’s right you get confused due to product overload and end up making no choices at all.

This is what happens when you offer everything you have for a single choice to your customers. Yes as a seller you might be thinking that by providing everything you are covering up all of your basis and then you are going to receive more customers. However that is actually not true, people get into analysis in such situations ending up closing the website without buying anything.

A simple solution to this problem is by simply sub-categorizing your products. This way you customers won’t be flooded with choices. Another is making decisions based on previous client experience.

Variation In Font style

Remember this is not a calligraphy competition, it is an e-commerce website. Using too many font styles for your websites product page, description, and other texts does not make it look good. The only thing this is going to do to your website is to make it look a lot more unreadable and unsightly. When it comes to font style for an e-commerce website, we would highly recommend going with a simple and clearly readable font style. Also, make sure that all of your pages use the same type of font style. You wouldn’t want your clients to adjust themselves to different font every time they open up a new page on your e-commerce website.

Loading Speed

At an average people only wait for about fifteen seconds for a website to load. If your website is taking more than this then there is a good chance that your customers might go to your competitors looking for a product.

Obviously, we don’t want this to happen. You can improve your e-commerce site loading speed by cutting down on images size, files size, compressing a lot of docs, etc. One other thing you can try is changing too fast hosting server. Server overloading is the most common cause of a website crash or slow loading speed. There are various other things you can do, but we would recommend contacting professionals having experience with e-commerce website design development.

Website Security

One of the most important things is site security, as a lot of your clients will be providing you with their credit/debit card details and other payment details. You need to make sure that your website is fully secure especially your databases.

One thing you can do is hire professionals for this task. There nothing you will be able to do in case your website got hacked. These professionals will look into your website for loopholes and bugs and prevent others from exploiting them. In this digital world taking cyber security for granted can be disastrous.

This article is contributed by Merry Waren, Marketing Manager at AIS Technolabs — E-Commerce Website Development Company,

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5 Essential E-Commerce Marketing Strategies To Drive Sales

By Guest Contributor on July 15, 2019

Running an E-Commerce business is no kid’s game. It requires multiple levels of planning and execution. Whether you’re just starting or have an established presence in the market, you need to keep yourself up-to-date with the current trends of E-Commerce marketing.

This article will guide you through the 5 most essential E-Commerce marketing strategies that will help you drive sales to your online business.

So, let’s get started!

#1. Utilize User-Generated Content To Earn User’s Trust

Your content is a major contributor to most of the organic traffic that lands on your E-Commerce platform. Hence, greater relevancy the content holds, more is the organic traffic that drives to your E-Commerce platform.

User-Generated Content is the most trusted, relevant, and authentic form of content that you may employ for your marketing purposes. It also helps you to tackle the problem of constantly creating engaging content for your marketing requirements.

User-Generated Content offers a distinctive advantage to E-Commerce brands. All they need to do is produce engaging and informative user-generated reviews and testimonials of the products they sell and that’s it.

Visuals and testimonials on social media platforms and review sites are the most credible source to display social proof and generate user trust. It advocates for the authenticity of your brand. Also, users love engaging with user-generated content rather than brand-generated content.

#2. Sell Social With Shoppable Posts

Shoppable Posts are how millennials prefer shopping online where they can buy something at the same point where they saw it and decided to buy it. It gives you the functionality to allow your users to buy a product while staying on the same website.

Shoppable Posts prevents the buyers from the need to hop from one webpage to others, thereby avoiding any chances of distraction or probability of abandonment of the shopping journey owing to any other external factor creating confusion. This helps to improve the overall conversion rate for your E-Commerce website.

With Shoppable Posts, you ease the whole process of purchasing online. It helps to boil down the overall process of multiple webpage surfing to a process of just a few clicks. You can embed user-generated social media posts on your website and make them shoppable thereby enhancing your overall visual commerce strategy.

#3. Have An Effective Email Marketing Strategy

In this era of social media savvy generation, who reads emails anyways. You must be thinking that but you’re entirely wrong. In fact, a whole good number of people (almost 91%) still check their mails daily.

The above-mentioned stats clearly suggest that emails could be a profitable channel for you to maintain active communication with your client base. In fact, email marketing has an ROI of 3800%.

When you send engaging emails to your prospects and clients, people are encouraged to browse your products. You could always target people who have loaded up their shopping cart and went all ghostly. Your emails might bring their attention back to their shopping cart and prevent its abandonment.

#4. Affiliate With Influencers Of Your Industry

The power of Influencer Marketing is slowly growing with the exponential increase in the status of Social Media Marketing and especially on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Snapchat, etc.

The idea of Influencer Marketing is simple. You pay certain people with huge influence over a large followers base to spread a good word about your E-Commerce brand. Influencers provide E-Commerce marketers with engaged social media audience base interested in topics related to their field.

In fact, Influencer marketing is much more cost-effective as compared to celebrity brand endorsement. In fact, it is more impactful for your e-commerce marketing strategy than celebrity endorsement as social media influencers are more popular among millennials than celebrities.

#5. Simplify Your Checkout Process

A complicated checkout point is a major choke point for your buyers. Many shoppers after having completed the entire shopping journey abandon the shopping cart after facing a troublesome checkout page having to fill too many forms and entries.

Therefore, a simple checkout process is a real sale driver and the last ladder of the whole buying journey after crossing which the aspiring customer will have finally made the purchase and be considered as converted into your customer.

Hence, in order to increase your overall sales and enhance your overall conversion rates, it is vital to have a easy, quick, and simple checkout process.

Lastly…

Concluding this blog, I would just like to say that there is no such universal best marketing strategy. Something that works for some brands might not work at all for the others.

Above mentioned are some tested and tried E-Commerce marketing strategies that can drive in potential traffic for your business and grow your overall sales.

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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