Magento vs Shopify: Quick Insights on the best ecommerce platform for your online start up

Picking the right online store platform is incredibly important. This sets the stage for an effective, or fruitless, ecommerce business.

There are numerous options for new businesses or existing ones not happy with their current platform. Two of the greatest contenders are Magento and Shopify. These two platforms are frequently pitted head to head in the race for the best ecommerce platform, despite the fact that they are completely different.

While Magento has enjoyed prominence for quite a long time, Shopify is probably one of the biggest rival in the market. With the release of Magento version 2.0, Magento may inch significantly higher on the list, making it a perfect solution for all business sizes.

Magento vs Shopify: What Are They?

Shopify and Magento are two different ecommerce platforms. Both enable you to build your online store’s website with their software. They both are well-equipped to help you deal with your inventory and process sales and both give you the option to accept payments in various ways with the assistance of add-on tools.

Furthermore, while we’re discussing about add-ons, both platforms have great deal of these. On Shopify they’re called “apps,” and they’re “extensions” on Magento, but they work similarly—they let you add new capabilities and highlights to your store ranging from UGC displays to automated accounting programs.

Both likewise come with a large number of free and paid themes available and great SEO features, making it simple to set up your store well when initially creating it.

Clearly, both platforms cover the basics well. That’s about where the similarities conclude, however, because both tools work in extremely different ways.

We’ll highlight necessary insights to how Magento and Shopify differ and how each platform translates into ecommerce store features. This discussion will help store owners choose the best ecommerce platform for their needs.

Fundamental Differences between Shopify and Magento

  • Shopify is a commercial product (that you have to pay for) while Magento Open Source is a free, open-source software.
  • Shopify is a hosted solution (where your online store is facilitated by them) while Magento necessitates that you provide your own hosting, install, setup and configure everything before you can actually start creating your store – which requires medium to high level of web development and programming skills.
  • Shopify is more for beginners, with a basic user interface, while Magento is packed with features but more reasonable for advanced developers

Magento vs Shopify: Pros and Cons

Magento Pros

Functionality

Magneto offers amazing functionality compared to almost any other ecommerce platform out there. This makes it one of the most flexible options for merchants looking to create personalized customer experiences, particularly if they have a developer team behind them.

Advanced Shopping Cart Options

Shopping cart customization can make all the difference in terms of genuine ROI. As one of the most essential stages of a customer’s journey, the correct options during purchase can be the distinction between clicking cross and clicking buy.

Extension Expandability

Magento has double the number of extensions as Shopify. And it’s not just quantity either. Magento extensions remain constant to the platform’s reputation for flexibility by providing more in terms of functionality.

Great Community

A benefit that is not talked about enough. Magento’s community provides the eCommerce web application with a ton of support that other non-open-source applications don’t receive.

Magento Cons

Hard for Beginners

Magento was not designed for those hoping to take their first steps into eCommerce. While there is a page manufacturer in the progress for open source, you still very much need either coding knowledge or a developer to begin.

Cost

While the open source itself is free, hosting isn’t. This can cost huge money denominators in case you’re a large store. It can cost you more than the Shopify equivalent, but we would argue that you get more for your money by self-hosting

Shopify Pros

Convenience

Shopify is intended to be a simple eCommerce platform that provides owners with an easy way to get started selling rapidly. Pages can be easily customized, as can items. While this customization is nowhere near Magento’s, it’s sufficient to get started.

Free Themes

Shopify by itself has several free themes bundled to get started with. They require no coding, are responsive, and look modern day.

Inclusive

Shopify is all managed through a single point of contact. Instead of having to manage your store on various fronts, you’re able to access and do everything in one place.

Cost

Once you’ve gone through all the additions you’ll have to add to your Magento budget, Shopify is often considered an inexpensive option.

Shopify Cons

Transaction fee per sale

Each time you sell an item, you pay Shopify. With the initial plan, this starts from 2.9% + 30¢ per sale. If you use an external payment method, you can add an additional 2%.

Lacks Functionality

Shopify just cannot compete with Magento in terms of functionality.

Magento vs Shopify: Which platform is best for Your Online Store?

While both Shopify and Magento are genuinely powerful ecommerce platforms, Shopify gives greater ease of use since it is a hosted and fully managed service.

Magento, while being free by itself, expects you to purchase hosting and execute all the software or system setup and installation procedures by yourself – only fairly high tech-savvy people (and not every day typical end-users) would be able to do.

In light of this, just as the portion of the points discussed above, Shopify comes out a winner as an ecommerce platform for building your online store with maximum ease of use and powerful capabilities.

Laravel – The best framework of PHP?

What is Laravel?

Laravel is a PHP system. It is viewed as best one among all other PHP structures.

Why we go for Laravel?

Laravel encourages us to do the things quick, simple and secure. It accompanies predefined objects, strategies to make the development process a lot simpler.

It has carried numerous advancements to the PHP community. With every new version updates, it is updating new innovative features to the developers, making their tasks much easier. It likewise deals with the security issues. Laravel was made to strengthen security, accelerate database relocation without data loss, and make the entire process of creating a web application a much quicker process. In this article, we will enlist some of the most common issues, which often arise during web development, and how Laravel Development enables us to take care of all these common issues in a cost effective way.

Features and Benefits of Laravel

1. Building an Authentication and Authorizing System

Laravel makes implementing authentication a lot basic. Nearly everything is configured out-of-the-box. Laravel likewise provides a simple way to organize authorization logic and control access to resources.

2. Integrated Mail Services

Laravel provides a clean, simple API over the well-known Swift Mailer library. Laravel additionally provides drivers for SMTP, Mailgun, Mandrill, SparkPost, Amazon SES, PHP’s “mail” function, and “sendmail”, enabling an application to quickly get started sending mail through a local or cloud based service. In addition to withstand support for sending email, Laravel offers help for sending notifications across a variety of delivery channels, including SMS (via Nexmo) and Slack.

3. Incorporation with Tools to Make Web Development Faster

Laravel bolsters popular cache backends like Memcached and Redis out-of-the-box. By default, Laravel is configured to use the file cache driver, which stores cached objects in the document framework. For bigger applications, it is smarter to use an in-memory cache such as Memcached or APC. However, with Laravel it is even possible to design multiple cache configurations.

4. Fixing Technical Vulnerabilities

Laravel offers help to secure the web application by protecting it against the most threatened security risks: Cross-website request forgery, SQL injection, and cross-webpage scripting. Laravel by itself is secure. We can tell you first hand that the code base is fanatically monitored, and that the code has been reviewed by several people.

5. Automation Testing Work

Laravel is designed with testing in mind. Truth be told, support for testing with PHP Unit is incorporated out-of-the-box, and a phpunit.xml file is already setup for the application. The framework also ships with convenient aide strategies allowing for expressive testing of the applications. It provides easy ways for simulating basic behavior of users (making requests to the application and examining the output, for example, clicking links, filling out forms).

6. URL Routing Configuration

All Laravel routes are characterized in the application/Http/routes.php document, which is consequently loaded by the framework. The most essential Laravel routes simply accept a URI and a Closure, paving way for a very simple and expressive method of defining routes.

7. Open Source

It is free, open source framework that will enable you to construct large & complex web applications easily. All you need is a text editor & PHP installation to get begin.

8. Composer Feature

Laravel utilizes composer dependency manager for the installation and up gradations of various third-party packages. This feature enables developers to effortlessly manage all the required dependencies in a flash. This is extremely helpful for any developers to create applications of any sizes.

9. Message Queue System Configuration

The Laravel queue service provides a unified API across a wide range of queue back-ends. Queues enable you to defer the processing of a tedious task, such as sending an e-mail, until a later time, which drastically accelerates web requests to your application.

10. Object Oriented Libraries

Laravel is the only framework that incorporates an assortment of pre-installed libraries. The well-known and useful library of Laravel is the Authentication library. This library has extremely advanced features for login and database securities.

11. Database Schema

Laravel makes connecting with databases and running queries extremely simple. It is Developer-friendly. The database configuration file is config/database.php. In this file you may define all of your database connections, as well as specify which connection should be used by default. Currently Laravel supports four database systems: MySQL, Postgres, SQLite, and SQL Server.

12. Blade Engine:

Laravel utilizes blade engine for the UI to display the things effectively. Time taken for the development process is decreased when comparing development using core PHP.

7 reasons how Magento can be the perfect game changer to your ace E-commerce business

Ever wondered how seamlessly easy it is for you to go to an online store, browse through the categories, place an order, pay, and it gets delivered to you in a matter of few days? If you have not thought about the process, then think about it right now. Think of how convenient it is to shop online instead of going to a store in person.

While you can create a website using HTML or WordPress, etc., e-commerce stores are a different ball game altogether. To create an e-commerce store and provide you the convenience and ease we were talking about, e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, BigCommerce, PrestaShop, WooCommerce, and of course, none other than Magento itself is used. These platforms are what make online stores such a breeze for customers to shop!

But you are here to learn exactly about Magento, right? Great. You’re onto one of the best platforms out there that can empower you to create online stores that can rival Amazon and eBay.

What is Magento?

Magento is an open source built-in PHP, which helps the programmer create eCommerce websites. It first released on March 31, 2008, by Varien and developed on the platform of Zend Framework.

Till date, there are hundreds of thousands of businesses using this open source to start their online store including big ones like Nike, Samsung, etc.

Magento has become one of the world’s leading solutions: 26% of the best e-commerce websites use Magento as reliable when compared to other PHP platforms.

Why should you use Magento?

Open Source Platform

Magento permits users and their developer team to flexibly customize, modify or extend the source code for more advanced functions or default feature optimization. Furthermore, Magento also has full adaptability with installing extensions which are developed to fulfill business demands as well as improve customer experience instead of interfering with the source code.

Rich Features

Magento features organize an entire business with most of the essential functions to operate a store from scratch to the end process. On the other hand, Magento allows business owners to freely take advantage of this diversity of Magento features to utilize business efficiency and store management.

High Scalability

Magento is very highly scalable, which means that Magento can support all kinds of business size, from a very small to giant enterprises.

Let us say, for example, you start your business on a smaller scale with a limited number of products, but Magento does allow us to broaden your business scale with an unlimited number of products.

High Security

When it involves Magento, security is surely guaranteed at the highest level to make sure that websites are under the full of safety for the entire time.

Magento establishes a security center to continuously provide users with every information about security, security patches, security updates, and practices as well as quick support in need.

SEO Friendliness

Magento supports users with adequate SEO components to enhance ranking on SERPs such as sitemaps (HTML and XML) URL rewrites, metadata, etc. Especially, Magento has much to offer with out-of-the-box tools that you might not be able to readily find in other platforms.

High Performance

In the perspective of web site performances, Magento is worth becoming one of the pioneer platforms in efforts to offer quality performance and enhance best user experience as much as possible.

Fast page speed loading along with simultaneously effective processing query time make the website perform better than ever, motivate customers to explore content or products in the web page and moreover reduce page abandonment rate as well as increase conversion rate.

Good Mobile Experience

In the era of mobile as these days, Magento is proactively keeping track with this common global trend by providing an E-commerce platform with high mobile friendliness. Websites designed on Magento is responsive not solely on the desktop however additionally also on the mobile and other currently popular devices such as tablets or notebooks.

Customers can either conveniently go shopping or experience all Magento websites on the mobiles without worries about display or purchase issues. All that it offers in the desktop is properly customized and optimized with the mobile interface. Therefore, when the entire world seems to be toward mobile shopping or mobile reading, Magento plays a more and more significant role in improving customer experience by offering store owners a multi-responsive website on all devices.

Conclusion

We hope that the 7 listed reasons mentioned above may help you – new store owners to take careful consideration and make smart decisions to develop your websites on the Magento platform. It guarantees to bring you interesting experience alongside with much more benefits for your business with an awesome array of features Magento has to offer.

Key advantages of having a Dynamic Website

What is a Dynamic Website?

A web page that displays different content each time it is viewed is known to be a Dynamic Website. For example, a web page may change any time of day, the user that accesses the webpage, or the type of user interaction. There are two types of dynamic web pages.

CLIENT-SIDE SCRIPTING

Web pages that change with response to an action within a web page, such as a mouse or a keyboard action, use client-side scripting.

Client-side scripts generate client-side content. Client-side content is content that is generated on the user’s computer rather than the server.

Scripting languages like JavaScript and Flash enable a web page to respond to client-side events.

SERVER-SIDE SCRIPTING

Web pages that modify when a web page is loaded or visited use server-side scripting. Server-side content is content that is generated once a web page is loaded. For example, forums, submission forms, login pages and shopping carts, all happen to use server-side scripting since those web pages change according to what is submitted to it.

Scripting languages like PHP, ASP, ASP.NET, JSP, ColdFusion and Perl allow a web page to respond to submission events.

A dynamic website is built to make use of functions that contain all the main layouts and global components of a site. We term these specific functions in each page accordingly. But what makes a dynamic website so efficient?

Let’s take a look into the main advantages of building dynamic websites.

Code of Website Conduct

By chance if all the pages in your website are made statically, each time you wish to update a common layout throughout the whole website, you would need to iterate through every page and create the changes line-by-line, and page-by-page.

This would make multiple corrections seem tedious and time consuming. Making your website dynamic makes it much easier for you to maintain your code and easily keep track of all changes done.

Maintaining your website code should be easy for you to understand and not a nightmare.

Keeping your webpage updated

If your main goal is to progressively enhance your website, to keep up with the latest web technologies, and apply continual updates and improvements to your layout and design, then implementing a dynamic structure will make tasks easier to apply and less time-consuming.

In a dynamic website, all the global layouts are saved into separate functions, so later we can simply re-touch something in a particular page and see the results immediately taking affect in multiple pages.

Improving your workflow

Your workflow becomes more productive and efficient. Although it would take you a while to implement the basic structure of a dynamic layout, eventually making a new page is as simple as copying an existing file, and updating the content inside it.

Keep in mind that a dynamic website is not only there to help us manage the layout of the page. One of the main advantages is the use of web components.

Once you have created the basic dynamic structure, preparation for a new project becomes a breeze.

Preparing a reusable template

Another excellent advantage of implementing a dynamic system is having a base template that you could reuse for individual projects. Common layouts like headers, footers and side menus are nearly inevitable for each web project.

Saving a boilerplate layout for future developments can heavily improve your productivity when commencing new projects. You can execute the basic structure in a couple of hours and focus on more complex things or the requested custom options.

By time and practice you will notice that building a custom layout for your clients can be done in a just a couple of days.

Keep your website DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself)

Haven’t you heard of this term DRY? You should be aware that every programmer and developer strives to keep their code as clean and efficient as possible. This does not just make your code easier to maintain, but also improves your productivity and workflow.

If you wish to continue improving your web-development skills, it is apt you should start by building your own unique workflow that you find yourself comfortable with. Once you get a hang to this approach, you will be able to focus more on learning new methods and technologies that you can continuously apply to your web-development knowledge.

When should you use the dynamic approach?

Avoid implementing a dynamic structure for a website that contains only a couple of pages. Websites that contain only single- page or portfolio website pages need not usually require the effort to make them dynamic, as maintaining a just couple of pages will not make such a huge difference. A good example of implementing a dynamic structure is if your website contains a blog page, where the layout of the page will stay the same, but the content changes depending on the chosen article.

Voice Search Optimization: The need of the hour in Digital Marketing

With the advent of Voice enabled searches on Mobile devices and Smart speakers, there has been a gradual but steady shift in how a typical Internet user searches for a service or product. Devices like Amazon Echo, Apple Homepod, Google Home have all found space in living rooms across the world. People can talk faster than they can type. An average human can type only 40 words in a minute but speak 150. Consequently, By the start of the next decade, using conversational queries will become mainstream. If a retailer vying for customer attention is not observant of this significant trend of e-commerce going toward v-commerce, then chances of lagging behind other competitors is increased.

Some of the interesting facts to be noted in the space of voice enabled search are that:

  • One fifth of all Queries on Google are voice searches

  • One out of ten Wi-Fi connected homes in US have a smart speaker

  • 40% of adults use voice search atleast once in a day

  • 25% of searches on Windows 10 taskbar are voice

  • There would be 21.4 million smart speakers in the US alone by 2020

  • By 2020 , 50 % of all Queries would be Voice-driven

*Source – https://edit.co.uk/blog/google-voice-search-stats-growth-trends/

While a text search in Google might yield a million results, a voice search on a mobile device might yield only top 3 results and 1 result for smart speakers! Therefore, the competition is all the more fierce. Therefore, it is highly required to adopt new strategies.

As part of the digital marketing strategy that your brand has in place already, are there any changes that are to be adopted while keeping in mind this emerging trend of voice enabled search? The good news is that you SEO strategy might just be sufficient if the following factors are incorporated on top.

  • Long tailed key words: The queries in voice searches are very conversational in nature. When users have been using fewer words (in the range of 3-5) per query in typical text search, the intent of the Search was probably difficult to find. However, now with voice searches the queries are longer and all the more specific. For instance, while a user might have simply typed “Tyre shop in KK Nagar “, a voice searcher might speak “Where can I find 19 inch MRF tyres in KK Nagar for my Audi Q7”. The user has revealed a lot of information. The corresponding targeted content needs to be on your website for Search Engine to refer it.

  • Answering a question: Users simply don’t say keywords, they ask Questions. You should devise a strategy to have content on your website that answers these natural language questions. You should get inside the mind of the customer and understand what he wants. The FAQs page on your website should have maximum number of questions answered so that they have content that might find a way probably into the Search engine’s results. Reviews of customers written on your website are also excellent starting points to search for text that answers the user’s questions. Blog posts are added bonus.

  • Geo Location related Searches: When it comes to local search, voice is 3x more likely to be used than text. Users searching with queries containing the text “Near me” has grown 2 twice in the past year. 80 % of people use voice searches for immediate on the go results. For instance, they want to know “Where is the nearest Grocery store”. Your business should be on the local listings of online directories for Google maps to refer it and consequently bring it up on search results. The address, contact numbers, opening hours should be up to date and precise for better results. Also, these details should not be hidden in images; rather they should be in simple text.

  • Searches on Mobile: Since the voice searches on mobile devices are more, your website needs to be more mobile friendly and have a minimal bounce rate. The time that it takes to load an average landing page on a mobile device is 15 seconds. The best time should’ve been under 3 seconds.

The above strategies could well place you a notch above your competitors when it comes to V-commerce. Starting to build for answer engine optimization is vital in order to survive in a competitive market where Voice enabled search is set to rule. Voice shopping market is expected to grow from $2 billion in 2018 to $40 billion by 2022. Anyone who wants to cash in on this should strategise well for the future.

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A I CHABOT BASED CAMPAIGNS GIVE A LEG UP TO BOOST LEADS FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES FIRM

First, a recap of a blog written by yours truly published on 9th July 2017 – “GAME OF BOTS – READY?” Here we predicted 50% of low end telecalling jobs might be axed once AI collaborates with machine learning to create voicebots.

I never thought this will be true so soon. And that too in our own backyard. We recently developed a chatbot (No. Not a voicebot yet) for a Bengaluru based client (a micro-finance firm). Based on the underwriting rules briefed by the client, our tech team developed a multi-lingual (6 languages) chatbot that offered a personalized (almost human) chat experience to the prospective business loan seekers.

Here are the 5 features of the chatbot

  1. Personalized chats in 6 languages.
  2. Intuitive flow based on prospects response.
  3. Follows complete underwriting logic. No human intervention.
  4. Captures prospect’s name, mobile number, geo location, FB ID for future use.
  5. Provides all data by prospect in the dashboard along with date–time stamp.

Well, what followed next was simply magical. Our Social Media Marketers created a FB campaign and integrated this chatbot with the campaign. The campaign has been running for a period of about 3 weeks across 6 cities. Here is the snapshot of results.

Benefits of Chatbot campaign

    1. As explained above, Chatbot lead is cheaper by almost 50% vis a vis a regular form based lead. Here is the maths of savings.
    1. What’s more? All the information including quantum of loan required, customer mobile, customer geolocation is captured by the chatbot. So time for field team to visit the customer and close the case is reduced to 1 day instead of an average 3 days in the earlier method.
  1. The impact of this enriched information made available to the field team upfront enhances the productivity by 50 % (Source -client testimonial). The time from lead to disbursement gets reduced from 10 days to 5 days.

Downside of Chatbot campaign

  1. It will be worthwhile to mention here that our chatbot based campaign stumps many prospects. They keep repeating the same question (e.g – I need a personal loan) thinking that there is human being replying to this chat. Probably what they expect is human consideration or at least empathy. In certain other instances the replies from the customers is out of context and our chatbot is dumbfounded.

This opens up opportunities for a host of industry specific applications like Overseas University admissions, Immigration services, Healthcare, Legal services, Credit Cards & Loans and many more. Who doesn’t want rich and relevant data about customers and prospects?

EMPLOY THESE SIMPLE, COST EFFECTIVE MARKETING TIPS FOR YOUR HOSPITAL TO MAKE IT THE PREFERRED BRAND FOR PATIENTS

Hospital marketing is challenging to say the least. You can’t really inspire people to visit a hospital. You know they won’t. All you need to do is, subtly but consciously market your brand to stay relevant and approachable. Here are 8 great tips to help you create brand awareness on the Online space for your hospital (clinic / diagnostic centre included) with minimum investments.

How to market your Hospital Brand with great 8 tips

1. Get a Responsive Website

The first thing most potential patients will try to do is go through your website (until and unless it is an emergency and your hospital happens to be the nearest) and find out as much about your hospital as possible, online. So don’t just build a website that displays information about your hospital and your Doctors, but try building delight features like online OPD appointments, service satisfaction scores. Online can be great way to get appointment visits (well emergency cases will gravitate towards your hospital for obvious reasons) be it for health checkups or diagnostics. Focus on giving patients useful health information to take better care of themselves and their family. It’s a great idea to post short videos about preventive care.

2. Use Social Media Well

The world is on social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and the likes are the virtual places where you can reach to create brand awareness with potential patients (customers) as well as attract talent (even Drs. / Nurses / non-medical staff are all on social media). Appearing on social news feeds often will go a long way in keeping your brand in the mind of the users. Interesting posts keep people interested. You are in the most advantageous position to generate useful and credible health tips. And people read, remember, like & share useful tips and their source.

3. Don’t Underestimate the Power of SEO

You know your potential consumer is going to hit Google, right? When your potential patient (or his / her kin) searches for best healthcare procedure you want your hospital’s website to feature on the first page. This is the job that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) does for you.

Truly speaking, a great SEO is the best ROI for your marketing investment. It is prudent to work with a hospital marketing agency which offers web development, content development and SEO all under single roof. This brings in accountability and action focus and saves you from the mundane co-ordination job between multiple vendors.

4. Stress on Internal Marketing too

That’s right. Every employee of your hospital is your spokesperson. Get your HR Head to make the employee experience at your hospital great and get them talking good things about the hospital. Housekeeping, Maintenance, Catering, Nursing, Insurance, Billing are all too important from the patient’s point of view. They are all assets to market your hospital to the world and create that differentiation for you vis a vis your competitors.

5. Give Patients a Chance to Say Wow

Branding is not what you tell your customers, it’s what they tell each other about you. Enhance patient care, and they are sure to remember it for a long time. Give them care and attention and they will speak for you. Start a rating Get your Operations Head to work towards giving the patient an exceptional experience. Nothing works better than Word of Mouth.

6. Shoot Emails

Emails are effective. Get your IT team to maintain a subscriber email list and share helpful informative emails based on the patient’s illness. It tells your patients that you care for them even after they leave your hospital. Maintaining communication with useful, helpful and high value information is key to building a good hospital brand.

7. Showcase

Get your good work out there as testimonials, videos, patient stories etc. Post on your website, post and re-post on social media, show it on the LED screens in the hospital waiting areas. Talk about break through treatments in interviews, conferences and public forums.

8. Automate your operations

The patient and the family is already stressed when they are in a hospital. Use the lens of patients and care givers to design your internal Hospital Information Systems. We are in the business of of giving superior and hassles free healthcare experience to our patients. So your priority has to be to automate as many areas of hospital as you can and link them all to create a dashboard for the patient under single patient id. You may decide to expose a few of these areas to the patient and others may be kept out of bound. But this simple philosophy will ensure that all your teams will look only in one direction – Patient Care.

ECOMMERCE HAS PLENTY TO GAIN WITH FEWER PAINS…

With no guard man or sales person to guide customers through the e-store, unveiling a full-fledged ecommerce store is definitely equivalent to opening a couple of retail stores with many operational and executional challenges.

So, what’s the most challenging part in this entire e-store setup? Some say its setting up the back end, while some claim it’s the design and there are many who deliberately argue that online marketing is the fundamental challenge and experts gladly nod their head in agreement with everything mentioned here. The reality is, every single component from User Interface [UI] to User Experience [UX], from Google AdWords to Social media marketing & Search Engine Optimisation contributes to the success of the store. Next comes the many questions that only data can answer. What is the entry source for my customer walk-in; what is the exit source for customer walk out; why haven’t they bought my products, aren’t they interesting and appealing, were the products expensive. Data actually answers all these questions and how best the marketing exercise has been effective.

Let us look at some interesting tips for building an e-store and effectively marketing them as well.

a. Responsive web design: No matter what your store sells, always have the customer’s experience in mind. Today, most of the online purchase happens only through hand phone and in our experience data proves 95% of people browse for shopping through their smart phones. Hence, ensure your e-store is responsive for multiple devices. Navigation is another major influencer for purchasing decision, so, ensure the pages are navigated with a single click approach and customer is able to browse across category in a seamless manner. Other aspects that can create a wow factor in customers mind therefore he become regular to the e-store are appropriate call to action button, easy to understand cart page and a single payment gateway that satisfies all Credit & Debit card requirements.

Our designer’s tip on e-store build:

“Follow brand colors and most importantly online shoppers don’t get to see, touch, feel or smell your product, so the best thing is a crisp, clear product image which shouldn’t entirely cut corners on photography. Offer simple information related to the buying process, don’t build walls”

b. Development:

E-store without a defined back end [content management system] is a loud no-no. First challenge is in choosing the right platform which does not expect you to spent lot of post going live maintenance time. Ensure proper planning at the product category level, categorize your product assortment, connect all the products with the right category and offer a structure which helps customer to find the product easily they are looking for.
Ensure your e-store is functionally strong. This means, at every step the customer moves around, make his browsing journey gratifying, examples are, an exciting offer for making a purchase right away if he is around the cart page, a discount on purchase value if he registers with his email id and not doing a guest log-in, refer a friend and get a 10% off on any purchase…and the list can go on as long as you make business sense in gratifying customer. Most importantly, ensure the site is hosted on a server farm, which ensures site down time is nil, unless for some maintenance.

Our developer’s tip on e-store build:

“Online shoppers need quick access to products & its details and most of them access their likes through phones, hence, ensure that pages all well optimized for multi-devices. “Keep in touch”, this phrase is more important and vital when you have first time user or a multi time user. Keep mailing them about product purchase, dispatch details, track your order and offer details as emails. This will help top of mind recall for brand name in customers mind.”

c. Marketing:

Am sure your tech and design team has spent hours of focused build time to make your e-store a grand success with great UI / UX. But wait, have you thought about e-marketing for your e-store. If you haven’t, then start right now. Customers can be reached through non-paid & paid models. To reach them organically and drive footfalls, optimize your e-store with Search Engine elements in each and every page.

We all agree content is king, so, write relevant content on each product pages with appropriate key words for Google to index your web pages and bring in people organically. Next is paid campaigns. You can try Google adwords, Facebook and Instagram ads.

Our e-marketer tip on e-store build:

“Spend money wisely is the key mantra. When you run a paid campaign in Google or Facebook, ensure that you optimize your campaign for key words appropriately therefore, you don’t spend money for clicks which does not result in sale conversions. Understand that, this is an on-going task, hence be patient and witness optimization delivering the best results over a period of time. Keep refreshing promo creative to avoid fatigue and also to show case the product category varieties. And also remember to carry out off-page submissions to maximize organic traffic.”

Trust the above information has helped you in understanding the basics of the e-store build. There’s more. Call us or write to us and we will come back to you.

6 QUESTIONS TO ASK A RESTAURANT MARKETING AGENCY BEFORE SIGN UP

When you own a restaurant, you know. You’ve spent your hard earned earnings and umpteen hours of hard work to put it up together. However, when it comes to marketing, most restaurateurs are confused what to do? Partnering with a restaurant marketing agency so you can take some of the work off your plate makes a lot of sense – it saves time and produces a better return. But, then how to be sure the agency you choose is a good fit for you and your business.

Here’s simple set of questions you need to ask before you sign the advance cheque. Use them to interview the potential hires shortlisted by your team and make an informed decision about the restaurant marketing Agency you want to hire.

1. DO THEY LOVE FOOD?

Give them your signature dish complementary. Ask them a question – What do they find unique about your dish vis a vis others. Ask them what’s their favourite dish and why? If the answer to these questions gives you an indication (Come On! you can smell people who know food) that the guys (and gals) love their food, hire them. Else say a polite no and move on. Learning is simple yet profound. Those who love their food will market your food well.

2. ARE THEY AWAKE WHEN YOU SLEEP?

Ask them what their working hours are. Mostly they will fall in 10 am to 6 pm regime. As the next question – Up to what time would they be available to communicate with you? How – Phone, What App, e-mail? You don’t use email all the time (Isn’t it?). Ask them if they will take your calls at 7.30 P.M just before your restaurant is readying itself for the hectic evening. Ask them if they would be available to work on Sunday afternoons.

You want to partner with the agency that fits your communication style. If you want your agency to be available whenever you want to pick up the phone and call them, you need to look for an agency that takes that approach too.

3. WHAT DO YOU NEED FROM ME?

Restaurant marketing agencies specialize in different areas, even though there’s a lot of overlap between firms. However, it’s important to understand what the marketing agency you ultimately hire will do and what they will expect you to do.

You are a businessman and not a trained marketer. It’s very likely that you may not have detailed and documented consumer insights, don’t know where your customers come from and don’t have an articulation of your brand, it might be very difficult for any agency to help you. If this is the case, you’d be served best by working with a street smart and cost conscious agency that can help you lay this foundational groundwork by collecting consumer insights through setting up small experiments like talking to drivers in the parking lot to find information about your guests.

If you do have this information, then you need to make sure the agency you hire specializes in what you need. For example, if you have a great food photographer doing mouth watering photography of your signature dishes, then the agency needs to find a great food blogger who matches up with quality content. This combination of great pictures and reviews can weave the magic and get you great press coverage, almost free.

4. WHAT’S INCLUDED IN YOUR SERVICES?

With this question, you’re essentially asking who does what. It’s very important to know what role you’ll play in the partnership as well as what you can expect your restaurant marketing agency to do.

It might be helpful to create a list of items you need a marketing agency to take over for you before you initiate a dialogue. Try to get specifics here, because it’s easy to think you’re both on the same page when speaking in generalities.

For example, if the restaurant marketing firm says they’ll create a new website for you, make sure you know what that means. Will they come to your restaurant and take photos to put on your site or do you need to hire a photographer and submit photos to the agency? Will they create custom videos for your site or do you need to pay a third party to create them for you? Will your new website be mobile responsive and will it have intuitive features like seeking reviews as soon as the guests step out of the restaurant and are relishing the after taste of the rollicking food they had in your restaurant.

5. WHAT WILL YOU DELIVER AND WHEN?

Ask this question blunt? Ask how many reviews will you deliver? Will you work with the team to solicit genuine customer reviews? How many bookings will happen through the website? What will be the restaurant ranking in the google / yahoo / bing search? How many blogs will be posted in a month? Will special events / festive offers / food festivals be marketed as part of monthly retainer? Ask them how many FB likes and shares will be delivered in a month?

6. WHAT EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE WORKING WITH RESTAURANTS?

A lot of questions will be answered by an agency who has worked with Restaurants in the past. Also companies who have served food delivery clients, food stuff companies will understand the category well. In the online world your restaurant is not just competing against your neighbour but also fighting for getting guests from Swiggy, Zomato and Food Pandas of the world. Experience counts.

You should inquire about their experience with local SEO and online reputation management as these are two essential components of restaurant marketing. Of course, you also want to get ahead of bad press if it were to occur. So, if online reputation management is something that you’re looking to have an agency take care of, you’ll want to make sure they have experience in public relations (PR).

So if the answer to these 6 questions (or the majority) is yes. You are well on your way to get the best ROI for your marketing budget.

GO AHEAD. SIGN UP!

Now without much delay, set up meetings with potential restaurant marketing agencies. You are well stocked with the ammunition to ask these 6 questions and hire the best Restaurant Marketing Agency for your business.

SEO AUDIT FOR WEBSITE!!! YES, THAT’S THE FIRST STEP TO SUCCESS

Let’s start with, the need of SEO. Why does your business need SEO?

Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the foundation of any digital business. SEO brings visitors to your website organically.

Organic leads convert 3 times more than any other type of leads – paid, social, email and referral.

Also revenue per organic conversion is 120% more than any other conversion type.

Get ready to develop your own step by step SEO.

SEO Audit & Keyword Research

Research your audience, key competitors, and key word profile. Perform comprehensive audit of your beta tags, URL structure, site speed, internal and external links, duplicate content, and keyword density.

    • Learn thoroughly about the HTML tags used for describing your web pages on w3schools.
    • For creating SEO friendly URL structure, use keywords in URLs.Separate folders & page with slash. Separate keywords with hyphens. The Image below is the perfect example of SEO friendly URL of Hubspot.
    • Site speed is the time in which the content of your website gets loaded. There are many different aspects to have a faster site speed.
    • Your internal links are the one which redirect visitor to one of your own website page.
    • Your external links are the one which redirect to any external webpage. Refer this image by Moz.

When your website content appears on more than URL it is termed as duplicate content.

Your duplicate content can divert traffic to different pages, which can make you lose traffic. A perfect example of duplicate content can be this.

There are number of tools out there. Some free, some paid — that help you to look at all the aspects of SEO as per the Google’s algorithm.

    • Keyword Density plays an extremely important role to push your specific page higher on Google. Keyword Density is the number of times a particular keyword is appearing on your page.
    • For starters there are free tools like Google Webmaster Tools, Check My Links. They are good.
    • Pro SEOs can use tools like Screaming Frog SEO Spider, SEMrush which agencies like Bleap use.
    • Make your own Audience Research Template which helps you understand your audience, your industry, your competition (direct and lateral) well enough to draw a context.
    • Buyer Persona – Develop buyer persona and buyer journey for your business to get a clear idea of keywords you use for SEO.
    • Certain customers search by broad category while others by long tail search words including brand, product, size, colour etc. You can refer this template by creative companion and create one for defining your buyer’s persona.
    • Device diversity (mobile vs. desktop) also adds a new layer of complexity.
    • Ethnographic and Cultural insights also determine buyers’ persona. Study this data and trends to design a customized experience for every persona. The better you know your customers and their search behaviour, the better you are able to drive conversion and revenue through SEO.
    • Keyword Research – Keywords research is the core activity that helps in displaying your website at the top position in the search engine.Get into the skin of your customer and draw a comprehensive list of target keywords that helps customers find your category and brand easily and organically. This is an ongoing and an iterative process. Your buyer’s persona is the basis for your keyword research.
    • Competitive Analysis – Competition as seen by you could be different as seen by your customers. Customers more often than not are looking for solutions to their problems. In this process, they search across categories and that’s the real competition.
    • Backlinks – It is important to build relevance and recency for our brand through building relationships with relevant and more searched sites. This is an ongoing process and takes time and patience. Periodically it will improve your brand awareness and I recommend it.