#1 Your Business Outgrew The Current SoftwareYou’re probably aware that your sites’ performance and page load speeds have a direct impact on the customer experience, SEO ranking and consequently, your sales and revenue. Now, maybe your website performs just fine. But what about peak traffic periods? Let’s say you whip up an amazing marketing strategy and execute it effectively. The campaign worked, your sales are about to skyrocket and business is going to be booming! But wait. Do you know the kind of traffic you’re expecting? The number of clicks per second? Is your platform really equipped to handle what’s coming its way? You’ll come across a lot of such examples or rather ‘epic fails’ wherein the retailer’s ads drove in so much traffic that their platform just couldn’t keep up. The sudden spike in traffic could bring down a server to its knees, mix up orders, mismanage inventory, and worst of all – it could mess up the payment processing! Imagine the number of lawsuits and civil fines this could trigger. If your business has constantly been scaling, it’s probably best to take out some time for a little self-reflection. If your business warrants the need for a scalable solution, you should definitely consider migrating to a more suitable custom-made cart.
#2 You Have Unique Shipping and Inventory ConcernsShipping a standard type of product via carriers like USPS, FedEx, UPS, and DHL is pretty simple. But once people start getting acquainted with your brand and multiple orders start trickling in, managing product shipping gets a tad bit challenging. Furthermore, if you have a wide range of products to ship, you need to have a solid product shipping strategy in place. For example, products like pharmaceuticals, and perishable goods such as fruits, vegetables, meat, and dairy products have to be refrigerated. Fine Art, antiques, ceramics, and glass articles have special packaging needs. Each of the shipping carriers mentioned above come with their specific packaging guidelines, shipping rates, and features. Some carriers prohibit certain items. Picking the right one for your business will require you to spend time investigating and evaluating all the options. Or in some cases, you might have to work with multiple carriers. Also, if you’re shipping internationally, you have customs to worry about. After you’re through with creating your perfect shipping strategy, you need your cart to perform seamlessly, irrespective of the complexity of the back-end process. Order tracking and estimation of delivery dates cannot be messed up under any circumstances. Requirements like these would easily overwhelm a ready-to-use eCommerce Cart.
#3 You’re Looking to Create an Omnichannel ExperienceWe all know that modern-day customers are finicky when it comes to buying products. One person will tell you that they won’t buy a single piece of clothing before they try it on first, while another would refuse to step foot into a physical store after the surge of eCommerce. Omnichannel shopping extends from a physical store to mobile-browsing, e-commerce marketplaces, onsite storefronts, mobile apps, social media, retargeting, and everything in between. Implementation of omnichannel eCommerce goes way beyond ensuring seamless inventory management. You need to stay on top of the latest e-commerce trends, allow flexible purchases and ensure your physical workforce is kept abreast of your omnichannel strategy. You need to create a digital roadmap, enable cross-channel Integration and provide hassle-free transactions to your customers at each stage of the buyer’s journey. All in all, you need technology that’ll help you effectively execute your plan. Do you really think using an off-the-shelf software solution is the way to go?
#4 You Want to Sell Custom ProductsIf you want to allow your customers to design or customize a particular product based on their preference, your cart implementation gets a whole lot more complicated than it is for a regular product. Let’s consider a clothing store. The cost of a custom garment would change depending on the color, material and the design chosen by the customer. With so many options and permutations in play, it’s difficult to come across an off-the-shelf shopping cart that could work perfectly in this scenario. Also, your cart now needs to take into account the variations in user credits, coupons, discounts, and the estimated delivery dates based on the numerous different possibilities of a selected product. Not to mention the fact that your Product Preview display needs to be able to effectively showcase a tailor-made product. When it comes to customizable product websites or carts, the ‘easy way out’ is most definitely not the ‘best way out’.
#5 You Want to Work With a Product DistributorProduct distribution is one of the most important aspects when it comes to expanding a business. While a distributor handles the shipping regulations and allows you to expand your customer base, managing inventory may not be a straight-forward affair when you have a number of entities involved. In some cases, a distribution channel may involve you – the manufacturer, the distributor, a retailer, an agent and then the end customer. Yep, an inventory management nightmare! If there is a hiccup in the distribution network, your team needs to be able to glide past it with ease and maintain a consistent presence on store shelves, keeping distributors, retailers, and the customers happy. Under such circumstances, your Cart is not just responsible for facilitating the purchase of a product anymore. You need to synchronize it with custom back-end software and be able to establish clear lines of communication across all channels of the network.
#6 You Don’t Wanna Be ‘just another eCommerce Store’Let’s face it. You’ll find umpteen variations of the same offering, that claim to be extremely customizable. But are they, really? When you’re using an existing eCommerce platform as opposed to building one from scratch, you have access to some run-of-the-mill features that every other eCommerce store owner would. As far as carts are concerned, you’ll be able to assign promo codes, a few types of discounts, synchronize it with your inventory management system, enable payments processing, but that’s about the long and short of it. The truth is, you can accomplish so much more using your shopping cart! You can track the buyers’ journey and enable product recommendations accordingly, use the data for retention marketing, enable top-drawer order tracking and updates, enable Country Specific Pricing, run Flash Sales and a lot more! If this sounds like something you want to accomplish, what you need is a custom-build and technology that can deliver.
Hiring The Right Technology For The JobNow, you’ll find that platforms like WooCommerce and Magento come with a plethora of plugins and extensions that’ll tend to all the major eCommerce requisites. However, when an organization goes from being an SMB to an enterprise, investing in a software solution that can perform becomes a must. The technology you rely on plays a major role in paving your way to eCommerce success. If you’re sure a custom-build is what you need, you could use frameworks like Ruby on Rails or Django or the technology that we openly advocate – Laravel. There’s a reason Laravel is the go-to PHP framework for developers and business owners alike, that’s because it is cleanly coded, and guarantees security, customizability, and scalability, making Laravel an ideal platform for enterprise solutions. Are you looking for a custom e-commerce cart? What challenges are you facing with your existing cart? Do you agree with our take on Laravel? Drop us a line in the comments section below!
The ContendersLuckily for you, there’s a number of open source eCommerce platforms that are either free or have an attractive price tag, with the majority being free. Each of these engines offers great customizability and scalability, as well as community support that isn’t always found in enterprise solutions. Opting for a free open source eCommerce platform to sell your goodies online might be the easiest option for you. However, choosing the best open source e-commerce platform may not be as easy. To make this a bit better, we have a list of 4 of the best open source eCommerce platforms which stand out in terms of popularity and utility. As a proof popularity statement, here’s a graph from Google Trends. If you change the time frame you will see that long before September 2015 Joomla was a lot more popular than other engines, but due to some circumstances, other engines outperformed it. Now let’s have a closer look at each of these, on their strengths and weaknesses. The first example is WooCommerce, I’ve placed it on top of this list because a WooCommerce-based store is the easiest solution you can opt for. If you have a WordPress website you can transform it into a store by downloading and installing the WooCommerce plugin. After the installation, you will get several new sections (WooCommerce, Products) in your WordPress dashboard where you can create new products, manage orders, finetune your store by adding payment methods, shipping options, currencies, and so on. With WooCommerce you can sell both digital and physical products without having to install additional plugins for digital downloads. Here you can refer to the WooCommerce documentation to find more about WooCommerce store setup.
How Easy is it to Use WooCommerce?For installation, I can give 5 points, for managing and maintenance 5 points, for sales reporting 3 points. Among all the rest items this eCommerce platform will help you build any store in a short timeframe. When combined with a powerful WooCommerce theme that can be edited with a page builder like WP Bakery, you will save lots of time and efforts customizing your store. If there’s a category where a WooCommerce store will be an undisputed winner, it’s the design. As you may know, the number of WordPress themes available today is really astonishing, and most of them are WooCommerce compatible meaning that you can get any WordPress theme and build a store on its basis. For example, here’s how a WooCommerce store would look with the popular theme Ozisti. P.S. I’m not getting into the design capabilities of other eCommerce platforms because they will lose immediately unless they are Shopify. Installation – 5 points. Managing & maintenance – 4 points. Sales reporting – 3 points. Launching an online store with Magento CMS can be a little bit more complicated. Luckily for you, the CPanel (in any hosting provider) has a 1-click engine installation. This option will remove all the headache you may have had while installing Magento. Just for laughs, I’ve Googled “how to install Magento 2 cms”, and most results had a remark “without errors”. That’s because Magento installation can be a bit tricky. If you visit the official Magento website you’ll notice that there’re two versions of this engine Magento Commerce and Magento Open Source. The first one is an enterprise level engine that will cost you 2K+ per month, the second one is free and this is the option to go for. I won’t recommend installing this engine manually because I’ve never met a living human being who was able to install Magento manually in the first try (Magento developers not included). After installing Magento engine you will get access to its admin panel which is a lot clearer than installation process. All CMS features are neatly organized and can be easily accessed.
How Easy is it to Use Magento?Compared to WooCommerce, Magento engine installation is easy when it’s automated. In terms of admin functionalities, Magento is tuned to giving you all eCommerce features possible letting you decide how of them you need. The sales reporting tool is super awesome, it’s insanely detailed that even WooCommerce stats + Google Analytics will hardly give you as much data. Installation – 3 points. Managing & maintenance – 4 points. Sales reporting – 5 points. When you’re using a 1-click installation you won’t face any difficulties handling the PrestaShop engine. And once it’s installed you will get access to a handy admin panel. All store elements and features are placed where you may expect to find them, which implies, navigation is easy. Using this handy menu you’ll be able to configure product features, create product packs, product variations, sell digital products without using third-party extensions, and so on. The Stats section will give you access to extensive reporting data, which is a lot more comprehensive than one WooCommerce will provide you with. But there’s a thing you might find a little bit strange. If you want to have a blog on your store you will have to install an additional module to make this happen.
How Easy is it to Use PrestaShop?Unlike WooCommerce, PrestaShop is a lot more comprehensive and powerful in terms of features. Somehow it resembles Magento, especially in sales reports. Overall PrestaShop deserves the following points: Installation – 5 points. Managing & maintenance – 4 points. Sales reporting – 5 points. Unlike previous contestant you won’t be able to find OpenCart in the quick installation in your CPanel, you need to go to OpenCart.com download the archive, upload it to your host and install it. Unfortunately, OpenCart doesn’t have as many details in sales reports as previous two contestants but still, you can get a lot of information about your clients. In case you want to have a blog on your store you will have to install an additional module to turn it on.
How Easy is it to Use OpenCart?Unlike Magento, you can install OpenCart in a few clicks with the help of a semi-automatic installation. The admin panel is quite intuitive you won’t find it difficult creating and managing products. Still, OpenCart deserves the following points: Installation – 3 points. Managing & maintenance – 4 points. Sales reporting – 4 points.
|Website integration type||Part of your WordPress website||Self-sufficient eCommerce engine||Self-sufficient eCommerce engine||Self-sufficient eCommerce engine|
|Payment gateways support||+||+||+||+|
|Themes / Designs||1000’s of themes||1000’s of themes||1000’s of themes||1000’s of themes|
|Sales reports||Good reports on sales and store activity.||Advanced and in-depth reports on sales and store activity.||Advanced and in-depth reports||Great analytics module, with reports, purchase funnels, abandoned carts stats, and much more.|
|Discounts, gift cards, and coupon codes.||+||+||+||+|
|Plugins / Extensions||+||+||+||+|
|Multilingual||Built-in||Built-in multilingual support||Built-in multilingual support||Built-in multilingual support|
|Multi-Currency support||Via third-party plugin||Built-in multicurrency support||Via third-party module||Via third-party extension|
|Managing & maintenance||5||4||4||4|
Final WordsNow, it’s entirely up to you which platform you want to use. Each of them is perfect for selling online, but they all have their strong and weak sides. All in all, if you already have a website, which I’m pretty sure is WordPress, it’s best for you to build a store on its basis. This will save you a lot of time and will give a lot more freedom in terms of customization. But if you’re starting from scratch or want to have something more scalable, I advise you to opt for PrestaShop. For an enterprise business, Magento is the definite choice. Rock your store with the perfect design and you’re all set. What are your thoughts about these ecommerce platforms? We’d like to know.
Author BioHenry Rise is the CEO of ThemeRex, and a ThemeForest Power Elite Author. He loves to help people build their business online. Every business begins with the right choice of a micro-niche WP Theme.
Why PayPal?PayPal is a robust end-to-end payment solution that can connect your business to over 179 million existing PayPal users worldwide and hence, vastly increase your sales potential! Here’s a gist of what PayPal brings to the table as your primary online payments processor:
- It’s easy to set up and use.
- You can create and send invoices right through your account.
- Your clients/customers don’t need a PayPal account to pay you.
- You can set up recurring payments.
- It allows you to accept debit card, credit card, and bank account payments for a low fee
- You can manage users and give separate access rights to each of your employees.
What can WisdmLabs do for you?In addition to all the benefits that you are entitled to as PayPal users such as, PayPal Checkout, PayPal for Marketplaces, PayPal Working Capital, PayPal Credit, PayPal Here, we can help you get fine-grained control over your transactions by Customizing Checkout, Enabling Express Checkouts, Setting up Payouts, Integrating Adaptive Payments, and much more! No matter how basic or complex your requirement is, we’re here for you. We’re extremely pumped up about this partnership, as it opens up better opportunities for us to create value for our clients and there’s nothing that motivates us more! If you want to know how this partnership can benefit you, or want to get started with PayPal for your online store, drop us a line.
DISCLAIMERIn the spirit of complete disclosure, we would like you to know that, as a part of our System Integrator Partnership with PayPal, we are entitled to commissions when we set up PayPal for you. We also emphasize on the fact that, we’re only recommending PayPal because we genuinely believe it’s an extremely versatile Payment Gateway.
Automated Shipping VehiclesGet ready for automated shipping vehicles to transport shipments of various sizes without manual intervention. Drones are among the more prominent small shipping vehicles to check out; Amazon is working to build its own drone delivery system. Such drones could help deliver items to your home in just a few hours after you order them. There is a potential for self-driving cars to work as delivery vehicles too. A self-driving car can alert you when it comes to your property so you can pick up an item that someone is trying to ship out to you. But as intriguing as this sounds, such cars are still in development. They would require extensive software programs and sensors to work as expected. Plenty of testing is also needed to ensure they don’t cause wrecks or go off of their designated routes.
The Value of Virtual RealityVirtual reality is a huge aspect of e-commerce that deserves to be explored. Virtual reality devices can be used to give people a closer look at products they want to buy. You could feel the impact of a product or see how it looks from many angles, albeit virtually. Looking at stuff through a VR headset is surely more realistic and immersive than just looking at two-dimensional images of something online.
Know What’s In StockThe days of having to drive from one store to another to pick up something will be a thing of the past thanks to the evolution of the e-commerce technology. While you will have the option to get something delivered to your home, you could also find out where a product you want to buy is located, in a physical store. You may have the option to reserve a product at one of these stores after you find it online. This saves you the trouble of having to check individual places for something you want to buy.
Interactive Mobile AppsMobile apps will help you find details on everything you want to get in a store. Such apps may be designed to display information on things and how they might look. For instance, a beauty store might offer an app that works with your camera to give you a simulated look at how some makeup product might look on your face.
Automated Customer ServiceWhile many businesses these days use customer service departments, they will switch over to automated systems in the future. This would entail machines being used to identify certain keywords or concerns that you have. You could enter details on questions you have into a website. The site would then analyze your content and produce an answer based on the words found and how they are laid out. When you add artificial intelligence to the mix, this proves to be a fail-safe solution for online vendors. Shoppers would have to take care of being as specific as possible when trying to get the answers, to get the expected results in as little time as possible.
Cryptocurrency SupportCryptocurrencies have become increasingly popular in recent time. Some of these currencies can make it easier for people to perform online transactions quickly and with lesser fees. The potential for more e-commerce sites to adopt the bitcoin and other related cryptocurrencies as payment options is something worth looking into. But you will have to watch for how well such currencies evolve and how their values change. These investments have become notorious recently for having extremely volatile values that are impossible to predict or figure out.
EndnoteYou will be surprised by what you might find in the technology sector in the next few years. There is a great potential for technology to evolve and change over time to make shopping a little easier while giving you more options for everything you wish to work with. Stay tuned for more updates. Until then, it’s over to you!
About the AuthorSohail Khan is passionate about traveling and exploring new places. He also loves writing articles that motivate students to live a better life. Currently, he is associated with smiletutor.sg a private tuition agency in Singapore.
1. Security should always be a prioritySecurity is a pivotal issue and it should be considered with extreme care. Online business is a virtual interface, hence trust is a necessary factor for your customers. Purchasers prefer secure payment options since they to need share sensitive information like bank details and passwords. Picking a web-based shopping basket with integrated SSL encryption is important to guarantee security. Online store builders that provide total security until the time a customer checks out, needs to be your first priority always; as any harm caused by intruders may have major side effects.
2. A platform ready for mobile commerceE-commerce has shown tremendous growth with time, proving customers prefer it over brick and mortar shopping. But now is the time for m-commerce. Stats say the revenue generated from m-commerce is projected to reach 37.96 billion US dollars by 2020. These figures clearly show the necessity of having a mobile-ready platform for the progress of the online business. Online store builders that provide the amazing function of building a mobile-ready platform as per the choice of users comes with benefits like better sales and customer satisfaction. Google also prioritizes websites which are mobile-ready by giving them a better ranking and a chance at getting higher traffic and sales. Hence a mobile-ready platform is a necessity to survive and thrive, in the e-commerce domain.
3. Make search and checkouts easy for customersNavigation plays a key role while a customer is purchasing any item. An online buyer may come to your store looking for a specific product or exploring the variety of your store. Customers are likely to abandon your shopping store if they are not able to checkout easily. Hence online store builders that provide an easy way to buy and checkout are highly preferred by customers because getting redirected to a number of pages just for completing a purchase is a time-consuming task.
4. Facility of product reviews and ratingsCustomers trust products on the basis of experience shared by other customers. Product reviews and ratings which were considered as an add-on feature initially have become a necessity now. It attracts more online purchasers who are influenced by the good reviews posted by other buyers and hence place their orders. So the facility of product reviews and ratings is one feature that your chosen online store builder should definitely have.
5. Flexibility and Scalability for the long runModifying a website according to the changing trends and business needs becomes difficult as it takes a lot of time and cannot be declared as a bug-free solution till it is thoroughly tested. This may take a lot of time if the online store is not developed with the help of online store builders that are flexible. Customization should always be considered when you have to become better than earlier. A completely scalable and flexible platform that allows you to do so with ease can be a good option for a long run and helps you compete in a better way in the online market. With all these ‘Must Have’ features, your online business is likely to progress soon, earn a profit and become a popular choice for the customers.
ConclusionSeveral brick-and-mortar retailers who wished to build their online stores either chose marketplaces for listing their products or struggled to build up their store from scratch. Since the evolution of online store builders, numerous small and medium businesses have progressed by creating their own brand name. While you always have the option to choose a developer with ecommerce expertise, online store builders are apt for small to medium scale businesses. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
About the AuthorBinny Joseph is an e-commerce marketing strategist with 5+ years of experience, working with StoreHippo. He writes extensively about the latest e-commerce trends and encourages people to take up the new ways to make their online business a better one. His articles regarding online store builders come from the rich experience of strategizing and handling online business across industry verticals.
Tell me if you’ve heard of this story before. You are browsing a shopping website who just happens to greet you with your name and suddenly in the recommended items list, you see the exact pair of yellow underwear with the duck print that you were looking for since last week – and it’s on discount. You quickly whip out your credit card to buy it right away.
It’s personalization at work. You see, all your customers do not come from a single mold. Every one of them has their quirks that make them unique and that’s why you need to personalize to sell better. It’s also a good part of your marketing plan.
In any case, we collected some of the best examples you can use personalization to supercharge your website.
Being on a first name basis with your client
It is nice to get called by your first name. Try this when you are ordering at a restaurant. Speak to your waiter on a first name basis. Call him by his first name. More often than not, you will receive some great service.
You see calling someone by their first name is based on trust. Only people you trust, call you by your first name. It’s a psychological hack that makes your would-be customer feel at home.
Knowing the important dates
Treat your customers like your significant other. Your significant other surely likes it when you remember the important dates – birthdays and anniversaries. Everybody likes being greeted on their birthday. They like it so much that they will open any e-mail greeting them a happy birthday.
It’s a great time to give them an offer. These life events usually make people want to make a purchase, sort of like a birthday present for yourself. You see it working in buffets all over the world.
Selling only what they want
Big stores have huge inventories and they are all trying to sell it to you. That is a huge problem when your customers get overloaded with all the choices. Personalization allows you to put only the items they want in front of them.
Analytics can do this for you by seeing what your customers are looking at and finding possible items that they might want based on their behavior. It may seem a bit Big Brother but at the end of the day, it makes for a good shopping experience as almost always, this leads to another sale.
Ask the right questions
Sometimes it is best to ask your customers outright what they like. It’s less invasive this way. By using filters and questionnaires, you can narrow down the options to what your customer will probably buy.
This allows you to filter a unique basket of goods for your customer. It’s like having your own personal shopper with you.
Make it a group thing
It may sound counter-intuitive, but being part of a group is actually a very personal experience. If you are part of a group, you tend to take on the qualities and behaviors of that group. Call it a version of group-think or herd mentality.
This also makes a great opportunity for “exclusivity” and making your customers feel like they are special, except of course for the fact that your group is essentially open for everyone.
What to do next?
That is a pretty good list of some personalization hacks you can do for your website. Remember that if you make it a personal experience, the more likely it is that your customer will buy from you. Treat it like being a friend to your customer. You would rather buy from a friend, wouldn’t you?
Was this article helpful for you? Show us some love in the comments below.
About the AuthorNera Cruz is a technical writer and a web merchandiser for different online marketplaces around the globe since 2011. Nera gained tons of experience working with several e-commerce platforms. She spends her free time selling her fashion products and gadgets on Facebook (Nera Shoppe). You can also connect with her on Twitter @nera_joy
#1 Make your site fasterVisitors nowadays have very little patience for slow-loading sites. Anything that takes longer than 7 seconds means you’ve just lost another site visitor. They’re even less patient on mobile. This is especially true since the programs they’re using (like OK Google) has to come up with a good answer to their question within a second or two. If you have slow-loading pages, the voice search app won’t be able to get all your information in time. That means you’ll get passed up and ignored. You need to make sure your site is loading within 3 seconds, though optimally under 2 seconds.
#2 Prepare for voice search queriesPeople search very differently when they type and when they speak. For example, if you’re typing a search query into Google search, you’ll probably type in “Black Friday deals Seattle” or something similar. However, when doing a voice search, people tend to speak in fuller phrases and sentences. So it would look something like:
“Siri, what are the best Black Friday deals in Seattle?”or
“OK Google, how do I find the best Black Friday deals in Seattle?”For that reason, when you’re optimizing for voice searches, you need to make a list of long-tail keywords and questions (sentences and phrases) that are related to your business. Then, make sure your content is optimized for that. So, for example, instead of going for keywords like “children’s shoes” you should use long-tail keywords such as “brands with the highest quality children’s shoes.” You can also optimize for questions, such as, “What are the highest quality children’s shoes?”
#3 Make your mobile experience betterLet’s say you’ve taken care of #1 and #2 from above, and your content is optimized for voice queries and your site speed is good. But how does your actual site look when a visitor comes to your site? Remember, SEO (including voice search) isn’t about just getting visitors to your site. It’s also about keeping visitors engaged. If visitors have a terrible mobile experience and have a high bounce rate with a low average time on page, then your rankings will drop in the search results pages. That’s why you’ll need to make sure that your mobile experience is great for all users. This is especially true if you are (and you should be) preparing for the high ecommerce holiday shopping season.
#4 Use schema markupsSchema markups can help search engines like Google quickly find out the keywords and crucial information about your content. You can often see this with all types of content, including recipes: Above you can see not just the eye-catching image, but also the rating, votes, and other important details like cooking time and calories. With ecommerce, you can use rich snippets in the same way. Here’s what we see when typing in “apple ipad with retina display”: Only one result really stands out, and that’s one that is using schema markups, which are known as rich snippets. In this example, we see the average rating and the number of reviews. When search engines like Google can easily pull the information from your content, they can easily pass this along to searches to make your site stand out above your competition.
Wrapping UpWith these 4 tips, you’ll be much more able to stand out from your competition in multiple ways. After all, although voice search is soon set to make up 50% of all searches, not many of your competitors are focusing on it. That gives you the perfect opportunity to boost your rankings, increase your visitors and boost your ecommerce sales. Good luck!
About the AuthorBernard is a content marketer for Omnisend, the ecommerce marketing automation platform dedicated to helping ecommerce stores build strong, lasting relationships with their customers. He also has a passion for good research and helping ecommerce businesses with their multichannel marketing needs.
The Advantages of Featured ListingsA featured product listing is when you promote a prime product at a popular listing spot on your vendor marketplace for a definite time period, either for free or for a fixed price. There are several advantages of doing this. By setting up featured listings, you can:
- Highlight Categories of Products on the Marketplace
- Feature Products based on Quality
- Set up Fixed Duration for Equal Product Exposure
- Enable Site Monetization
Setting Up Featured Listings on a Vendor MarketplaceWisdmLabs offers a comprehensive service for setting up featured listings on your vendor marketplace. The way it works, we help you create dedicated slots of product listings, which can each be priced differently. For instance, say you have three slots, depending on three locations in decreasing order of prominence on your website. Each slot has 10 spaces and is priced independently, as follows:
|1 – 10||$50|
|10 – 20||$35|
|20 – 40||$15|
- The Administrator can limit featured listings to a particular category of products or keep them open to all
- All slots can be set up for a limited duration, after which the process repeats again
- Every product is displayed as per the position selected at the backend
- As the duration of the featured listing comes to an end, a notification is sent to the Vendor, informing him that the listing will have to be renewed to continue in the said spot
- All positions can be reset after the listing duration is over
EndnotePaid product listings are one of the best ways to increase your market reach and build a brand. Today’s audience has a multitude of options to choose from; in order to stand out from the rest, you need to ensure that people have a constant visual reminder of your marketplace and your products. A word of caution though. Maintaining marketplace integrity is important as you monetize your website. As the bigger marketplaces get saturated day by day, you have the opportunity feature selective products in your marketplace, thereby increasing your market reach. What is your take on using featured product listings? Pen your thoughts to let us know. 🙂 Want to set up featured listings for your marketplace? Talk to us today!
Why is User Experience Important?User experience is the opinion of consumers. Poor experience of a single customer has the ability to earn you a bad reputation and drive away potential buyers. Thus, more and more online businesses have started focusing on improving the look and feel of their e-stores. For example, when a WordPress designer thinks about bettering the experience of a client, selection of the right theme becomes a priority. Their concern is navigation, page layout and more, to support the website’s purpose. Similarly, when it comes to your WooCommerce store, your concerns should be –
- What can I do to help customers find the product they are looking for?
- How can I make their search and checkout experience smoother?
- How can I provide them personal attention?
When Does the Role of a Payment Gateway Come into Picture?When designing your WooCommerce store to improve user experience, payment gateways might be the last thing on your mind. But, a Woo store should be easy to use right from the homepage to the order completion page- and a payment gateway is one of the steps that fit in between the two extremes. The final step for a customer when making a purchase is- payment. And a payment gateway adds to the whole purchase experience. For a customer, every purchase is an investment. They want to be assured of a secure, trustworthy transaction. At the point of checkout, you don’t want them wondering about losing their money. Your payment gateway can ensure be the difference between a successful transaction and an abandoned cart. In order to give your customers a sense of security while making the payment, the following points should help –
- Usage of familiar logos – Customers with a fair experience of online shopping are well acquainted with the popular logos such as Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, etc.
- Clear messaging – If you are using an off-site payment method (we’ll come to it later), make sure you convey the message as clearly as possible to your customers. Being redirected to a different site to process the payment without prior notice, can worry your customers prompting them to abandon their cart.
- SSL certification – Make sure your payment gateway is SSL certified. It is a good idea to include the security logo as well.
How to Decide the Right Payment Gateway for Your Store?So the next step is deciding the right payment gateway, so as to ensure a flawless customer experience. A payment gateway can be either a hosted one or integrated via API. A hosted payment gateway redirects the customer to the gateway’s site in order to enter the payment information. Now, think of it this way. How would you feel if at a physical store asked you to go next door to make a payment? Would you consider it? Sending customers to another site is kind of the same, and it might have a negative impact on sales. But not always. What if you had to go to a bank to make a payment? You’d trust it, right? Hosted payment gateways work the same way.
- The biggest gain of hosted payment gateways is that the offsite provider is responsible for all PCI compliance and data security. Thus, you have one thing less to worry about and can start selling sooner.
- When the off-site payment gateways are popular, customers can trust them better (like PayPal, Stripe).
- Hosted payment gateways work well when you cater to different countries or currencies and can’t integrate all possible payment options on your site.
Going Modern or Classic?Then comes the decision to choose between “Modern” and “Classic” payment gateways. A modern payment gateway would enable you to start your store without much hassle as it doesn’t come with the requirement of setting up a merchant account. But, the downside is that they usually charge a larger per-transaction fee which might become a burden as your store grows bigger. Also, you should note that most of the Modern payment gateways send customers offsite to make the payments. Another criteria to be considered is the support for recurring payments. If you’re planning on selling subscription-based products, modern gateways are a wiser option, as they support automatic billing. Now, the good part is that there’s a wide number of popular WooCommerce payment gateway extensions for you to choose from. And you can view their features to choose between a “Classic” or “Modern” approach.
LastlyNow, based on your audience, your location, popular payment options as per trend, you have to make a choice between picking the right payment gateways to appease your customers. As a rule of thumb, multiple options are better than one. Also, it goes without mentioning that switching between payment gateways is not as painful as switching between eCommerce platforms. So, even if you change your mind, there’re always services available to help you along the way. 🙂 The most important point to remember is to provide your customers a seamless shopping experience to ensure more sales! Happy selling!
About the AuthorXAdapter is a company of problem-solvers actively seeking out innovative solutions to handle varied challenges in the eCommerce industry, with their primary focus being WooCommerce! Get to know all about them via their website or connect with them on twitter @XAdapter
Keep the Emphasis on Customer ServicePerhaps the most common myth about ecommerce is that personalized customer service becomes practically non-existent. True, there is something to be said about the lack of a physically present humans to answer questions or help choose a product. For one, just the notion of having to call a support line and wait on hold is enough to frustrate any customer these days. However, this does not mean a customer should be lost every time they are unsure or have a query. In fact, there are plenty of methods and channels online stores can use to actually improve customer service while selling online. The key to providing stellar ecommerce customer service is simply being timely in responding. One of the best ways to achieve this is with live chat. A Zendesk study found that this medium led to 92% customer satisfaction and is the most preferred approach to customer support. Aside from instantaneous responses, the biggest advantage of using live chat is agents are able to assist multiple customers at once, as opposed to just one at a time with voice. Velaro is a fantastic live chat tool with features designed specifically for ecommerce. Using the software, you are given reports on engagement levels, workflows, routing, and security. If you run multiple websites, you can manage all of your live chat functions in one centralized platform. Keep in mind, customer service can expand beyond the actual website. The Sprout Social Index recently found that social media has emerged as the second most important channel for consumer complaints now: As a result, many businesses are putting social media to good use as a vehicle for communicating with their customers. For example, if you go to Finish Line’s Facebook page, you easily notice the option to start a chat with them: Ultimately, for ecommerce brands to be successful in customer service, they must be easy to reach. Impatience is a common trait in today’s consumers and they are quick to move on if needs aren’t being met.
Adapt your Supply Chain StrategyThe supply chain is the foundation of both online and offline retail. In any form of this concept, the need and susceptibility to adapt will always be a critical part of the process. Ecommerce has brought gargantuan change to this area of business operations. In today’s highly competitive landscape, any lapse in judgement can result in huge problems and harm the bottom line. Therefore, having a flawless supply chain strategy is imperative. There are many components that make up this entity. For ecommerce, there are six major factors to consider.
- Inventory cost – The total cost of storing everything you sell
- Valuation – How much the items in your inventory are worth and puts a value on your major assets
- Quality control – Finds potential inefficiencies throughout the manufacturing stage
- Sales channels – The primary outlets via which goods are sold to consumers
- Warehousing – The entire process of how your inventory is packed, stored, and shipped
- Fulfillment – How well demand is being met and orders are being closed