The current situation demands that “your customer” gets easier access to their needs. This is possible only by offering easy ordering, safe distancing, online payments thus saving of time. The best way to overcome this challenge today is go online and make your customersafe!
The E-Commerce industry is currently worth $4.8 trillion, projected to increase to $5.4 trillion by 2022. Business owners planning to start their E-Commerce Business, generally imagine a website where they can list products and expect revenue to begin rolling in. However, a website is just a shop front, much like a physical store. Creating a digital presence requires the same level of strategic thinking and planning process.
Today, any Business Owner will tell you that running a physical store is not only about arranging the aisles and taking customers through the checkout process. Business owner looks for the best E-Commerce platform, where they can operate core features, integrate new features, and 3rd party tools seamlessly.
Sure, there are variety of options available in the market that can help you selling your products online, but if scaling your business is what you want, then you have to look and compare each aspect of the available solutions which can delight your customers, run absolutely flawless, and be able to fulfil your orders in the fastest, most affordable way possible.
Choosing the right development approach that fits your Business strategy is a crucial part for business success. As a Business Owner here are some of the points to consider while choosing an E-Commerce platform:
When it comes to choosing an E-Commerce platform, you have 4 different types to choose from, as shown below.
|Definition||Custom Development||Solution like WooCommerce, Magento||Platform like Shopify, Yelo etc||Companies offering Clones of solutions||Product which has the ability to White-Label / Brand the solution as per Business|
|Pros||Best possible functionality|
Ownership of Source code
|Lot of themes and plugins available for quick development and cost effective|
|Tried and Tested model|
Lower entry cost
Lot of features to adopt
No infrastructure cost
|These companies will offer you such clone at a very low cost|
Ownership of the Source code
Last mile Customization
Ownership of Data
Longer Time to develop
|No readymade mobile solution|
Time to develop can increase due to mobile development
Issues with GDPR/ Data compliance
Mobile App will not be a branded solution
No ownership of Source code and data
|Usually such firm download these clone code from open-source/ Github repository and add a UI wrapper around it|
Outdated versions / technology
No customization available
|No ownership of Source code|
|1||Cost of solution||Cost of solution will be very high||Web cost will be Low as themes & plugins available. Mobile App would be costly||Hidden charges for transaction, and other activities||Low cost of solution||No hidden cost, Low to Medium cost of solution|
|2||Time to Develop||Very long development time||Low to medium time to develop||Low time to adopt||Low time to adopt||Low time to adopt|
|3||Solution Scalability||Yes||Yes there would be different pricing models||No as it would be one time sale||Yes, we have modular approach|
|4||Solution adapts to Business Model||Product adopts to your Business Model||Product adopts to your Business Model||Business adopts to the Product||Business adopts to the Product||Product adopts to your Business Model|
|5||Data Ownership||Customer||Customer||Mostly the SaaS platform would own||Customer||Customer|
|6||Control over Technology||Full control with the ownership of the source code & data||Full control with the ownership of the source code as per Open source license & data||Least control of all model. Saas will not offer any customization & you will not own the code||Full control with the ownership of the source code & data||IPR/Source Code with Lokaly. However we offer all customization|
|7||Ease of Operation||Yes||Yes||Yes||Low, due to outdated technology||Yes|
|8||Integration with 3rd Party Tools||Yes||Yes||Limited as per their list||Yes||Yes|
|9||Solution Support & Upgrades||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
When we started Lokaly as a product we based our approach on the following understanding:
Verve Systems has an experience of over 12 years in Bespoke solution development and have been developing Lokaly since 2018. The code developed for Lokaly is from scratch with no open source or copied code base which gives us complete knowledge and control over the development.
Aggregator Business Model (Marketplace with Store listing enabled)
Single Brand Store (Single or Multi location)
Pure Ecommerce Flow (3rd Party Courier Delivery Integration)
Hyperlocal Ecommerce Flow (Self Delivery, 3rd Party Delivery)
Dark-flow Ecommerce (Fulfillment WH, Multiple Suppliers)
Point of Sale
What Lokaly Offers?
• Complete White-label Solution with customized & branded solution on App Store
• Your own Marketplace subscription model
• Business Hours, Order Settings, Delivery Settings
• SMS Alerts on Order receipt & processing
• Custom offers & discounts at store level
• Online Payment Integration
• Flexible Licensing model: One-Time License / Subscription Monthly Model
• Modular Functionality to allow solution to grow as your business grows
• Wide variety of store type
As smartphones become more accessible and high-speed internet is no longer a premium infrastructure in many countries, users are now directly connected to the internet. This easy access to the internet has given a boost to mobile shopping. Many brands are hence embracing mobile commerce on top of the eCommerce platforms. Shopping apps with easy to browse catalogs are becoming more and more popular.
The emergence of mobile commerce changes how brick and mortar businesses operate. It’s important to note that mobile commerce growth is steadily increasing hitting an estimated $284 billion or 45% of eCommerce at the end of 2021. The mobile payments market is also catching on. This means that the likelihood of people making mobile purchases on their smartphones is also huge.
The sheer number of mobile users is reason enough to motivate businesses to embrace eCommerce and introducing mobile shopping as a part of their sales strategy.
Use experience is one of the main reasons for increased conversions. Various technologies can be used like AR that makes shopping experiences more immersive and interesting.
With the aid of a chatbot and messenger app, business owners can support their customers even outside business hours. Customer support bots have grown in intelligence and intuitiveness making these bots more efficient in dealing with common queries.
Customers have a number of payment methods when it comes to M-commerce. Whether it is a conventional credit card or PayPal, it can be integrated into the mobile store.
You can also read : Mobile App with Online Ordering for Your Local Business
With the entire world owning some or the other kind of mobile devices, businesses cannot afford to not have a mobile strategy. Mobile shopping is definitely becoming popular by the day and most businesses are reaping the benefits from going mobile!
When the whole world literally came to a halt in 2020, but rather than causing any destruction in the retail world – it provided a boost to this industry in the online world. The entire volume of retail growth reallocated to the E-Commerce channels, which enjoyed an 18% bump in total growth. This growth cannot be accredited solely to the pandemic. The world has seen steady progress towards the online for well over a decade. In the aftermath of a year filled with social distancing and quarantines, the retail industry looks to emerge as a changed entity. Let’s look at what the future holds for the E-Commerce industry:
Voice commerce uses voice assistants such as Alexa or Siri to give shoppers a hands-free shopping experience. In a world of contactless and social distancing, voice shopping will be a great addition to E-Commerce.
Voice commerce has enjoyed success in the E-Commerce industry. However, COVID-19 has disproportionately affected the older demographics, as they are required to adhere to strict quarantine measures. But they still need groceries and essential items. This will encourage the use of E-Commerce solutions and hence the use of voice commerce.
E-Commerce has undoubtedly been a life raft for many who were stuck at home. It’s probably been the only surviving tool. Although it is very convenient and quick, – at its core it is a very impersonal experience. E-Commerce and voice commerce will find its applications for enhancing online shopping experiences.
E-Commerce has become a significant retail channel. Technology does not stay static for long. Modern devices with advanced capabilities will enable a lot more AR functions. AR is one of the technologies that will be a game-changer for the E-Commerce industry in 2022.
Predictions cannot be 100% accurate, but it’s true that 2022 with set the stage for new and advanced features that will take E-Commerce experiences to the next level.
Today, it’s hard to imagine shopping without the help of ratings and reviews about the products and services. According to consumer research conducted by Deloitte and Touche LLP, the majority of shoppers (around 75%) use reviews to discover and evaluate products. From food and beverage and apparel, to health and beauty, reviews play an important role in the buying process for customers.
Shoppers today not only view ratings before they make a purchase, but also leave a review after they have purchased and used a product. Studies show that the number of reviews submitted increased nearly 11% year over year since 2019. With reviews, shoppers are not only converting faster, but are known to spend more money too. This lift in revenues per visitor has seen a steep rise in recent years. But, increasing sales and profits aren’t the only thing that reviews can improve for your business. Brand retailers have reported that reviews have an impact beyond the product pages online. Many times a good review directly converts into increased in-store sales too.
A vast majority of shoppers research products online before going to the store to purchase them. Consumers often turn to ratings and reviews when they are in the decision making phase of the final purchase. Reading a positive review from an existing customer gives them the confidence that the product they chose is working well for others too. Studies have also shown that reviews have the ability to influence consumers to buy a more expensive product than they had planned.
Don’t forget to check: Gain Greater Business Reach With Lokaly Buyer App
You may be surprised to find that it’s not only the positive reviews that influence purchases. Many shoppers say that negative reviews are just as important in their decision to buy. It helps them build a pros and cons list (mentally, subconsciously) and the final decision to buy a product is based on complete information. This increases their confidence in their purchase and your product.
Having reviews displayed on your site is a great first step to winning over your customers. It improves one of the most valuable assets a business can have in today’s retail landscape – trustworthiness.
In today’s world, technology transformation is inevitable. But while we keep our businesses up to date with the latest technology and the latest trends in the market, we should also ensure that we plan ahead for the future too. Bullet-proof your business with the right scalable and flexible technology.
Technology keeps evolving and businesses need to plan ahead. With the latest technology today, it will be easier to scale in the future and adopt something more futuristic. Adopting AI and ML based mobile applications today will make it easier to step into the future.
No matter how great your forecasting model is, future is unpredictable. It’s important for businesses to invest in technology that can help adapt to the future developments in IT. For example, invest in scalable bandwidth and develop mobile applications with the latest technology.
The world of technology is constantly changing and businesses need to be able to adapt. Make sure that your hardware and software are up to date with the latest trends. It ensures that your business is set up for success.
With technology your business will be well equipped to handle any future circumstances. It’s a good idea to frequently review your processes and implement technology solutions to streamline the operations.
Customers keep a business alive. It is essential for businesses to analyse what technology the customer uses the most and ensure that they get the right information at the right time in the purchase process. This establishes good customer experiences for your business.
You can also read: Keep Up-to-Date your Business with Latest Technology
In order to bullet proof your business for the future, you need to ensure that you use the right technology for the right processes – a mix of mobile applications, eCommerce, web interfaces and more. These will ensure that you are ready!
Developing an excellent product and a great sales strategy is only half the battle won for a business. Providing good customer support after you have sold a product is also important. Shopping is not merely a transaction – the entire experience counts. By providing excellent customer support you can offer your customers better experiences while shopping with your brand. Shoppers that ‘feel good’ while making a purchase, will definitely be back for more.
Customer support empowers customers through the entire purchasing process and post purchase experiences. It helps you better assist customers who are interested in purchasing your product by offering quick and accurate answers. Next, it is also useful during the purchasing process. You can provide customers with orders, errors while placing orders, or provide better package tracking details. Lastly, you can offer customers with support if they face any issues post purchase. You can make cancellations and returns easy to process or offer the ability to exchange faulty products.
A good product or service can only get you so far. If you add good customer support to the equation, the value of your offering as well as your brand instantly increases. It also has the potential to reduce negative reviews. This added value translates to increased revenue and customer retention.
With customer support, businesses can offer a lot more than sales transactions. You can give them a reason to love your products and your business!
Successful eCommerce websites go beyond listing great products and providing effective customer service. It is good to remember that first impressions carry the day and web design provides that first impression. Unattractive, cluttered designs are off putting. They drive traffic away resulting in lost leads. User-friendly designs funnel users smoothly through the sales funnel and increase conversions.
Research discloses that three quarters and more of both end users and businesses base their purchase decision on their preference or otherwise of web design. A haphazard design is like a cluttered and disorganized store. Finding products of choice becomes difficult and time consuming. Unlike brick-and-mortar stores, however, a browser just needs a click to move away in the blink of an eye and enter an organized store. So be careful of how your information is organized.
Colors, shapes, and sizes create a psychological impact. The immediate conversion rate noticed after such minor changes are made appears insignificant. When it comes to cumulative impact, it is a different story. A mere 1% swing means a major jump in annual sales.
Information assimilation and processing strategies differ from person to person. Visual processors are impacted by font size and background contrast. An image that correlates with text is more accessible to the kinesthetically inclined.
A consistent design or logo appearing on the website, promotional material, and physical product stamps a permanent impression on the mind and increases immediate brand recall translating into a wider loyal customer base.
You can also read: A Highly Customizable Solution For All Your Online Business Needs
Successful websites combine aesthetics and ease of use. A good design optimizes layout and browsing experience by converting abstract ideas of aesthetics and usability into concrete designs. It presents products, purchase options, and brand image clearly and consistently.
White labelling simplifies branding policies for marketeers while presenting high-value products to end users. It is a strategy used extensively in businesses dealing with both products and services.
Boost to branding: With a ready-made product in hand attention can be devoted exclusively to product branding. This frees up need to allocate resources on aspects not related to market impact and devoting time and energy to product promotion. In case of multiple third-party products, white labelling increases brand visibility too.
Customer loyalty: Customer loyalty increases with more products carrying a brand name. Customers trust brands that offer a wide range of products once they find a good product from a brand. White labelling puts the brand name on a variety of products.
Leverage Expertise: Experts in individual product development make the products and the company name appears on the label. It is a win-win situation for both the product developer and the company.
Ready-made refined products: During the development stage experts take the pain of rigorously testing products and ironing out issues that undermine the value of their product. The white labelled product thus comes with built in value.
Cost and time efficient: White labelling by passes cost involved in product development from scratch. No longer are dedicated teams needed for product development and research.
Decreased pressure on complaint redressal: Third-party tools take on the responsibility of dealing with complaints and for troubleshooting products.
Provides multiple alternate products under the same brand: Customer choice and needs differ. An array of alternate products serves to cater to these differing choices and needs.
Customer satisfaction is the aim of businesses. By white labelling products and services businesses develop an improved value chain that translates into more satisfied customers.
Mobile devices have become the go-to solution for all information gathering and almost all activity today. PWAs challenge Native app downloads that eat up memory space and slow down devices. They combine the benefits of native apps and web pages making information gathering and acting on the information fast and secure.
Easily downloaded to both mobile and desktop screens, PWA are quickly available and accessible both online and offline. This adds to their appeal. Here are some reasons to invest in PWA now.
PWAs consist of several websites. They work on search browsers and offer API integration. They provide immediate access to sites and load fast. Simultaneously, they permit push notifications, have full-screen functions, and can be saved to the home screen.
PWAs are free from connectivity breakdown issues. Their service workers at as middlemen storing and downloading information last entered.
As PWAs run across multiple platforms, they eliminate the need for developing different apps for different operating systems thereby decreasing cost. Once stored on the home screen, they appear on devices. Automatic update is an added feature of PWA.
PWA are discovered by search engines without prompts to install native apps and register on them. This makes browsing faster and easier.
As they are like websites, sharing PWA links is possible through messenger services and link sharing. Saved as bookmarks, it is possible to share them on social media.
As they are saved and stored on home screen, they use up virtually no memory on mobile devices. This increases user engagement.
PWAs are increasingly revolutionizing the emerging app market and disrupting the industry.
Increasing sales is one of the primary goals for all businesses. Whether you are a local departmental store or a huge e-commerce giant, businesses are always on the lookout for different channels to increase their online sales. There are many techniques you can use to get more and more people to order from your store. The very first move would be to take your store online – if it’s not yet. Either a mobile commerce store or a web store would be the right place to begin.
If you are planning to go mobile, there are plenty of ready options. Gone are the days when you spend months on end in developing an eCommerce or a mobile commerce platform. With platforms like Lokaly, you can simply create a store and upload products instantly! Well, going online is one way to increase online sales – here are a few pointers to drive more sales via your online store:
Create a beautiful storefront – This is one of the basic things you need to take care of. The first look of the store should be appealing and attractive. A user’s decision to enter your store (like in the real world) largely depends on the impression you are able to create within the first 3 seconds. So, the first look counts – make the most if it.
Product images – After a customer has stepped into your store, make sure you have something amazing to offer them. The product images are the only reference they have to what you are trying to sell. So, invest in high-quality product images.
Campaigns and the messaging around it – Create marketing campaigns and ensure that you create them with consistent messaging. It helps customers understand what you do and what your brand stands for.
Social signals – Do not underestimate the power of social media – whether your business is small or big. Include features to instantly share your products on social media.
The right effort in the right direction will enable you to get the most out of your online store and drive sales and enable a faster growth rate for your business.