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What’s The Future of eCommerce? It’s mCommerce!

Sales are the lifeblood of every business. This holds true for the online businesses as well. And would understand this better than the eCommerce entrepreneurs? To be able to craft winning strategies, eCommerce entrepreneurs have to track their sales every month. Not only this, they also have to keep a track of new customers visiting and buying from them, repeat customer and the purchases made by them and many other critical details of the activities their target audience is doing on their website. So, you have been all this so far. That’s great! But what more are doing? No we are not talking about shooting out newsletters regularly to your website visitors. Neither are we talking about rolling out huge discounts and irresistible offers for your customers. We have no doubts that you are doing all of that and doing a pretty fine job with your eCommerce website.

But there’s one more thing on which the success or failure of every online business hinges. And that is how readily and quickly you adapt your business to the changes your immediate environment (technological or consumer behavior) may offer you. Currently, the eCommerce industry is faced with changes in both technological environment as well as changes in the consumer behavior. We have shifted from the desktop era to the mobile era and the eCommerce industry is not an exception. Your buyers are searching for your business over their mobile devices. Are you prepared to greet them there? You better be because if you are not, be ready to say goodbye to them for forever.

If you wish to keep your customers with you then say hello to mCommerce! You need to do this because that’s where eCommerce is headed. To help you with this emerging trend, we are listing out five very basic things you can adopt to be able to cater to your mobile audience.

  • The first thing you can do is to build a responsive website or make your existing website responsive to different screen sizes.
  • Don’t forget to make your responsive website compatible with multiple platforms so that your users can access your mCommerce store from any device without facing any issue.
  • To stay ahead of your competitors, make special efforts to make your website faster, clutter-free and user-friendly. Offering ten features is not that important, but offering a self understood mobile website will help you in the long run.
  • Your mCommerce website has to offer a great user experience so that they keep coming back to you again and again.
  • Native apps will help you point your sales figures to the north so don’t hesitate from developing native apps for Android, iOS, Windows or any other platform.

What Makes A Mobile App Successful?

Today, mobile apps have become one of the most common development choices for businesses, especially start-ups. The latest statistics indicate that the app economy is thriving with an estimated annual revenue of $25 billion. While this is a good figure to be motivated to take your business online, there is one more aspect that you should keep in mind. According to a study conducted by Localytics, one in every four downloaded mobile apps goes unused by the user and is ultimately deleted. So, what is the problem? The problem is that there are millions of apps to be found across various app stores and the number is only increasing with each passing day. This poses a great challenge for the start-ups to be noticed by their target audiences on the various app stores.

To make sure that your mobile app doesn’t have a bad fate of that one in every four app that ultimately gets deleted, we are sharing with the winning recipe of a successful app. So, here’s a list of ingredients that go into the making of a successful mobile app.

Create a Problem Solver:
Nobody downloads apps just for the heck of it, after all apps occupy memory space on a user’s mobile device and it costs them money too. So, they make a very conscious decision of which app to download. Therefore, to make your user’s download your app you have to have an app that solves some kind of a problem that your target audience may be facing. That’s the most vital ingredient that determines the success of any mobile app. In simpler words, your app needs to be the solution that your target audience is seeking.

Cut the Hassle:
The next important ingredient for making a successful app is how easy it makes the life of the users. A winning mobile app is intuitive and can be figured out by the users within minutes. Nobody reads manuals today, nobody has the time for that. Make your user experience as simple and fantastic as possible and they will stick with your mobile app for the long haul.

Effective Marketing:
We have written a blog post earlier also, on marketing your web project right from the beginning and we are saying it again – start marketing your mobile app idea as soon as you get it into your head. Don’t wait for the app to get developed first and then start marketing it. Divide your marketing plan into three phases – pre-launch, launch and post launch marketing. Keep your design and marketing material ready and go full on marketing your app idea.

Distribution Channels:
There are many distribution channels available for apps today. With so many options available to you it is important that you choose a combination of those distribution channels that will work best for your mobile app as well as your target audience. Invest your time and money in generating press coverage around your mobile app. Mobile giants like Apple take notice of positive press coverage around the web and mobile products and you never know, your mobile app may get featured in their New & Noteworthy list.

Common Mistakes Web Designers Make While Creating CSS

Writing clean code is the foremost priority when development is concerned and CSS is no exception. You may be surrounded by many designers and developers who may claim to be great at what they do and they may be very good but there are some common mistakes that CSS coders usually make. Perfection comes only with continuous learning and learning is something that should never stop. This is how even we have grown, so here are a few common mistakes that we figured out CSS coders make, and we say this from our own experience:

Lack of Planning:
The most common mistake is to not plan the layout of the website properly. This directly affects your CSS code too. So pick up your pen and paper and start writing down your vision of the website. Write down even the minutest of details like how do you want certain element in a web page to behave when live.

Background Images:
Another common mistake that CSS developers make is using a background image that is bigger than what the browser is capable of handling. As a result the image becomes blurred and the image doesn’t even the serve the purpose for which it was used in the first place.

Using a lot of CSS files:
There are many CSS files available but that doesn’t mean you use as many as you can. That’s not a good practice to follow. Instead use a schema where only 1 or 2 CSS files can accommodate the entire data. This will make that the browser doesn’t have to send 10 different requests for 10 different files which improves the overall performance of the design.

Using Animations just for the heck of it:
Animation is one of the most powerful ways of communicating one’s brand’s essence to its target audience effectively. But it is not the only way. Both HTML5 and CSS3 allow you to add animation but before you decide to use it, ask yourself whether you have a good reason for it. Use animation only if required otherwise it will make your web page slower and might also malign the design layout of the web page.

Leaving White Spaces:
Many CSS coders leave white spaces between elements thinking they might have to add something in the future. But once the complete development has been finalized they forget to remove the white spaces. This only results in unnecessary memory being used which only makes your website heavier and messes up with the performance. And you don’t want that, do you?

Make The Most Out Of Your App Development With A Trusted Offshore Web Development Agency

You may have a great app idea but merely having an idea won’t lead you to success. You need to have an effective roadmap for development. A full time developer and designer can help you prepare a road map but hiring an in-house staff comes with a big price tag. Effectiveness is the key here. And if you are someone who doesn’t have much knowledge about web development and designing chances are you would be totally dependent on your in-house developer, who would ultimately have to figure everything out on their own. So, you need someone who is experienced and is pro at project management. You need a trustworthy offshore web development agency. Why? Because outsourcing is cheap and offshore web development because they are good at what they do – web development and designing!

Once you make up your mind to partner with an offshore web development agency, start doing a research of all the available options and make a list of the best ones. Now, that you have narrowed down to a few names, compare their services, prices and reviews as much as you can. At the end of it, you will be sure which agency to hire. But don’t get too comfortable. Your app idea can be a million dollar idea. So you have to participate in every stage of development and we are listing down a few ways in which you make sure that you get the most out your outsourced app development project.

Here are a few pointers:

  • Collaboration between the business leaders and technical experts is a must. This is because both, the back-end engineering and the front-end experience should have a unified vision in order to create a magical user experience. For that reason, a developer should consider the end-user experience while developing and the designer should figure out how to present the features of the application in an intuitive manner while designing it.
  • Even before you decide upon your offshore partner, you must prepare a list of requirements and features that you want in your app. So, when you approach an agency with these requirements, the quote they will provide you with will be much more precise.
  • So you have decided upon your offshore partner and the quote has also been agreed upon. The next thing is to segment the project into phases together. A well-defined roadmap ensures business requirements are achieved and more room for improvements in the final product.
  • Set deadlines and make sure that your offshore web development agency abides by them too. A good agency doesn’t need to be told about this because they very well know that setting deadlines and envisioning a clearly defined scope of development only leads to the timely launch of the app, which is important for their client’s business.
  • As a business leader, you must invest a significant amount of your time in providing feedback and assessing the progress of your project. Most of the agencies follow the agile methodology for web development which makes infinite room for improvements and refinement of the final product. So, whenever you offshore partner delivers a sprint, make sure to test it yourself and never hesitate to ask for any improvements that you feel will improve the final product.

Choosing The Right eCommerce Platform For Your eCommerce Store

Nothing comes as close to being a direct revenue source as eCommerce. But it’s not that simple. There are things you need to consider and decisions that you need to make very seriously. One such decision is choosing a platform that best fits your business can be a daunting task. You need to be sure whether the platform will help you meet the business objectives and supports your project’s long-term growth strategy. Therefore, choosing a platform wisely is very important as it can lead to significant increases in revenue and cost savings. We have put together a list of key factors that will help evaluate better and decide upon the best eCommerce platform for your eCommerce website.

#1. Features
Do a quick research on all the eCommerce platforms and find out the one which has all the features you need to have in your eCommerce portal. Look for features like themes, scope for customization, support for selling subscriptions / digital products, etc. These are the basic features most of the eCommerce businesses look for. But if your product is a bit different and need a custom feature then you might want add some functionality on your own, which your chosen platform must support.

#2. Self-hosted or Hosted
You have the option of having a self hosted or a hosted eCommerce website and both have their benefits. A self-hosted website gives more freedom but is expensive to set up. Whereas on the other hand, a hosted website is quick and inexpensive but lacks in features. You need to make a decision depending upon what your requirements are, the business objective you need to achieve and the budget you have to make it all possible with.

#3. Cost
An eCommerce website is not a type of website that you can set up and then forget about. You need to take into account both, Initial costs and On-going costs. Initial cost depends greatly upon the type of website you are looking for in terms of features. If you go for a self-hosted website you can easily add up features to the free software as long as you are not looking for some highly evolved features. If you are looking for such features then go for a hosted website.

Another thing to worry here are the on-going costs which can be either in the form of paying a developer / applying updates when the need arises (in case of self-hosted) or a monthly fee / per sale fee (in case of hosted).

#4. Security
Security is the utmost concern with an online store. There is a reason why some eCommerce platforms are the most trusted. And that reason is the excellent security they offer. It is important to choose a platform that is secure, but what is even more important is to make sure that you are following the necessary steps to secure it properly.

5 Must Have Drupal Modules For Your Website

5 Must Have Drupal Modules For Your Website

1We have been in the website building business for over a decade now and we have worked with various platforms. But Drupal is one of our top choices for any CMS development. We just love how unique and flexible this platform is. What makes working with Drupal even better an experience is the large collection of modules that come in handy. If you do a random search of CMS websites, you will not come even a single one that doesn’t use extended modules. They are indispensable because they further enhance the functions and features offered by the Drupal platform.

A new business website cannot operate efficiently if you have not added at least some modules to it. You can find many Drupal modules according to the specific function that you are looking to add to your website. In this blog post we are highlighting 5 Drupal modules that we love and have direct experience of working with, in most of our projects. Here’s the list:

#1 Module : Pathauto
Drupal 7 and the subsequent upgraded platforms come with the feature of human readable URLs. But to automatically generate them you might need the Pathauto module. This nice-to-have-but-not-a-must-have module works by creating automatic URL aliases based upon tokens that you set in the configuration. In simpler words, with Pathauto enables your Drupal website to automatically tweak the URL and lets it replace spaces and unnecessary words like ‘the’ from the URL.

#2 Module : Administration Menu
This, we feel, is one of the most important modules for website administrators and developers as it gives them the power to monitor and manage the website. Moreover, with the Administration Menu module, you can navigate to the admin menu any time via the smart menu bar that appears on the top, thus saving your valuable time.

#3 Module : WYSIWYG
WYSIWYG is a Drupal module that lets you edit or add text in a normal format rather than in an HTML. WYSIWYG doesn’t work by itself, but allows you to add content editors who can edit the website with simple editing tools like bold, underline, italics just like they are used to do in a normal word document.

#4 Module : Google Analytics
Google Analytics is undoubtedly one of the most popular tool for tracking the traffic of the websites. And this is also an important tool if you are a webmaster. This module will help you to directly put and edit the Google Analytics code into your website. This will save you from finding those pages and places where you need to put the tracking code.

#5 Module : Meta Tags
The Meta Tags module is an important module from SEO perspective. It lets you to configure meta tags for your website at both individual and global levels. The Meta Tags module adds meta tags such as title, descriptions, keywords, and many more to make your page well optimised for the search engine.

We think that these 5 modules really help enhance the Drupal functions, features, and grant your websites the power to do many incredible tasks.