Ever gave a thought about how YouTube decides its video recommendations for you? Or Twitter’s For You feature in the Explore section?
What about Amazon showing you relevant products to buy? How exactly do these platforms know what to recommend?
And how does the Apple Watch measure your sleep patterns? How does your mobile device recognize your face?
By now, you may be a fan of Tesla’s driverless cars. This magic is through “Artificial Intelligence” and its branches of Big Data, Deep Learning, Neural Networks & Machine Learning.
Big companies across the globe are heavily invested in the study and application of AI. Here are some examples of companies that use Artificial Intelligence for a better customer experience.
“Alexa, can you tell me what artificial intelligence is?”
“Alexa, is it going to rain today?”
Welcome to Amazon’s digital voice assistant Alexa! This product is one of the finest examples of how Amazon has embraced artificial intelligence and used it to enhance customer experience. Right from virtual assistant to its e-commerce website, Amazon has applied the AI concept in every possible way.
Its Amazon Go convenience store has revolutionized shopping with no waiting in line for check-outs. You simply walk into the store, add items to your basket and walk out.
Its e-commerce shopping website has very early on adapted to the benefits of AI. It uses the data available from its shoppers to present recommendations to them. The shopper’s previous purchase history, the money spent, the products purchased, the products and the category surfed, the timings spent on each item, the product reviews, literally, every minute detail helps in analyzing what the customer wants and what their future purchases may be.
A comprehensive data analysis takes place through AI and ML to understand the customer search query. It gives them an insight into why a customer is searching for a product, what features he is looking for in it, the money he is willing to spend, and also the tile period when he may probably make the purchase.
Amazon gives prominence to the customer’s intent or in predicting why a customer is searching for a particular item. The AI identifies the patterns in the search queries and categorizes them based on certain pre-defined parameters. All these are done to deliver relevant results and improve customer experience.
So, the next time, Amazon provides you certain recommendations for product purchases, know that there is a complex network of AI, ML and data analysis behind it to provide you assisted and personalized digital shopping experience.
Google has pioneered AI like no other IT company in the world. Don’t believe me? Start typing anything on Google Search and it gives you a host of search recommendations in the drop-down box with each alphabet you type.
Google is a quintessential stalker on your mobile. You may fret and frown that Google is spying on you everywhere, every time. But the matter of fact is that Google uses this data to develop intelligent systems through statistical analysis and pattern matching.
You may not know it, but AI is already embedded in your daily Google tools like Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps, Google Assistant and Google Search.
The best-use example of AI is in assessing the traffic through Google Maps. How does Google get it right? It uses real-time data and a complex module of time, distance and other datasets to predict the time required to reach a particular destination and traffic at a particular route at a given point of time.
And then what AI in Google Search? It provides you with suggestions in its search box. This is based on your previous search history, trending topics, your location, time, your interests and other datasets. If you get your search result by typing just 1-2 alphabets, don’t get worried. You know Google is trying to make it easy for you.
Using AI for providing video recommendations through the ‘Up Next’ feature on YouTube is just one of the ways of perfecting the feed thus improving customer experience. But did you know that AI is also used to help YouTube automatically remove objectionable content?
If you have been using Google Photos, you might have observed that Google Photos automatically categorizes the uploaded photos by face. This facial recognition feature helps users to view snaps that contain the selected face. And also, Google Photos categorizes the photos based on location too.
Google Assistant is a virtual assistant just like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa that uses the power of speech recognition to comprehend human speech and provide answers to it automatically.
Data analysis with AI is used in Google Ads to help you with keyword research. And with Google Adsense, advertisements are shown to users who may highly be the target audience.
We all know that many countries of the world are in the process of banning PUBG due to security concerns. Tencent, a partner of PUBG, is a famous Chinese multinational conglomerate and has its interests in gaming, entertainment, internet-related services and artificial intelligence. Tencent is also the owner of WeChat instant messenger. The slogan of Tencent is “AI in all”. This gives you an idea of how much invested, Tencent is, in AI.
Similarly, Alibaba, the Amazon of China has invested in AI to improve its e-commerce and payment services.
Baidu, the search engine in China like Google, also the fourth largest website, uses AI and ML in its intelligent virtual personal assistant (DuerOS), cloud storage service (Wangpan), an online encyclopedia (Baidu Baike), mapping service (Baidu Maps) and keyword discussion forum (Baidu Tieba). The Baidu search engine is the second largest in the world after Google and a leader in facial recognition technology.
The trio of Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent (BAT) have aggressively invested in AI research and advancement.
When it comes to AI, how can we forget to give due credit to Siri who has helped make our life better? Apple’s virtual assistant device uses the Natural Language Processing (NLP) technique of AI to respond to queries. The voice-activated digital assistant creates content in the spoken language so that humans can clearly get their queries answered. And with the home devices connected to Siri, the field of IoT (Internet of Things) keeps getting better day by day.
Apple is a pioneer when it comes to using AI and Big Data on its devices and the popular among such products is the wearable device, the Apple watch. From keeping a watch on the blood oxygen level to measuring your fitness metrics, the Apple watch does it all. It can take your ECG from your wrist or help you meet your sleep goals.
The iPadOS uses handwriting recognition technology to convert the written notes on the iPad with the Apple Pencil into a typed text. Also, the iOS phone has sound recognition features to identify sirens, doorbells, barking dogs or crying babies.
With more than 500 million daily active users, 50 billion photos on Instagram, 3 billion monthly users on Facebook, you can get the insane amount of data collected by Facebook & Instagram collectively. Not surprising that Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg had to face a lot of criticism and even the US Senate for the breach of data privacy in what popularly came to be known as the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Facebook extensively uses Deep Learning techniques in AI to understand the content in the user images. It has developed a tool called DeepText to extract information and meaning from the user posts. The DeepFace facial recognition feature is an advanced tool to recognize faces in an image.
Though not hugely popular like Siri or Alexa, we cannot leave behind Microsoft’s virtual assistant, Cortana. It is the product of Microsoft’s interest in AI.
Microsoft has AI imbibed in Skype. It uses chatbots to answer queries. The chatbots are everywhere from Microsoft Office suites to Bing and Windows.
The story goes that Microsoft’s search engine Bing was far behind Google and Yahoo when their data scientist suggested building strong ML algorithms and data storage platforms to improve the user search results in Bing. By doing so, Bing’s share in the search market doubled in 5 years.
Driverless cars! Isn’t it the ultimate when it comes to AI applications? Tesla, the tech pioneer in the world of electric vehicles, uses AI integrated chips to help cars navigate through the traffic without a driver.
Tesla uses data from its vehicles to generate data-dense maps. Machine Learning modules and edge computing in the cloud decide the next course of action. A set of complex deep neural networks using cameras, ultrasonic sensors and radar are used to assess the surrounding around the vehicle to aid unsupervised driving.
Tesla is a leader in AI-based automobile companies, but why leave out Elon Musk’s space venture SpaceX? It uses data from space exploration and with the help of AI, the rockets and the Mars rovers take independent decisions.
In 2018, a SpaceX rocket with an AI-powered robot flew into space. Its Crew dragon spacecraft uses an AI autopilot to steer it close to the International Space Station (ISS).
Did you enjoy reading about big companies that use artificial intelligence in their products? Isn’t the world of AI, ML, Neural Networks, Deep Learning and Big Data exciting? This is just the start. A revolution is waiting to happen and maybe we cannot even predict what the future holds for us in terms of Artificial Intelligence and its applications.
With people preferring to shop online, the e-commerce industry is growing at a rapid pace. Each and every business prioritizes customer shopping experiences and it is no surprise that the latest e-commerce trends for 2021 reflect that.
From omnichannel shopping to voice search, from customer retention to varied payment options, e-commerce will shape itself to meet the growing customer demands as well as make the shopping more seamless, easy and fast.
The customer retention cost is cheaper than the new customer acquisition cost. The e-commerce websites are now trying to retain existing customers through discounts and offers.
Even if an e-commerce store is able to retain 5% of its customers, it increases its profits between 25-95%.
To increase direct communication with customers, advertisers are relying on cost-effective marketing techniques like bulk SMS messaging services and emails.
What you can do to retain existing customers?
1. Find out what the customer wants to buy next-
Identify repeat customers. Study their shopping patterns. Segregate the customers based on their buying patterns and lifetime value. Predict what and when they will buy next and try decreasing the time for the next purchase.
For example, if a customer has purchased a keyboard, you can prod him to buy a mouse or pen drive or show him combo offers for keyboard and mouse.
2. Prioritize existing customers-
Earn customer loyalty through a rewards program.
The advent of Amazon Echo, iPhone and Google Home has brought Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant to our homes. Voice commerce is using voice recognition technology to buy products.
The e-commerce giant Amazon has integrated Alexa into its shopping site. Users can now search, select and buy products with the voice command.
With about 28% of Amercian households owning at least one smart speaker, the voice e-commerce sale is expected to grow to $40 billion by 2022.
In 2018, about 16 million people had made at least one purchase through the smart speaker and this year it is expected to touch 26 million. Voice commerce allows the users to multitask while keeping their hands free. Voice commerce is now mainly used for browsing products and recommendations.
How to make your e-commerce website voice commerce optimized?
Voice commerce is a trend to look out for in 2021 and the subsequent years because Amazon and Google are also researching on using regional languages in the devices for users to shop more conveniently.
Omnichannel commerce is about providing the buyer a seamless experience when shopping from their mobiles, desktop, laptop or physical store.
The trend nowadays is that the customer gathers information about the product from his mobile device and then goes to a physical store to look at the product. The customer makes the final purchase either online or offline depending on where he gets the best offer.
Omnichannel commerce is about connecting all the channels and providing a better shopping experience to the buyer.
The best example of omnichannel marketing is Disney. You can buy tickets online for entry into the theme park. Once you are physically present at the theme park, you can scan your pass on the Disney mobile app. This app will show you curated content like the interactive map, locating Disney characters or checking the ride timings. Thus, as a customer, you get a seamless omnichannel experience.
This omni-channel retail is followed by almost all e-commerce giants. You can order online and pick it up from your nearest physical store. When you shop online through a website, the actions are transferred to the mobile app too. Thus all the platforms are inter-connected to make for a delightful shopping experience.
Shopify Plus allows you to integrate your store to the social media platform Facebook. This allows buyers to make a purchase through Facebook reflecting that on the mobile app.
How to go ahead with omnichannel retail?
Allow shopping in all the channels like offline, online through the website, mobile app and even on social media platforms like Facebook & Instagram.
Blur the line between online and offline shopping by connecting the two. For instance, buyers can now check what is in stock at their nearest physical store through its mobile app. They can book these items and collect them from the physical store.
A buyer hits multiple touchpoints before making the final purchase. In short, reaching every new channel to provide a shopping feature to the buyer is not enough. You have to connect all the channels so that the buyer can shop from anywhere and it is reflected on all other channels.
E-commerce businesses offer payment modes like money card, digital wallet and cash on delivery. The more payment options you provide, the more customers you attract.
Bitcoin cryptocurrency saw a meteoric rise when Elon Musk tweeted that Tesla plans to buy $1.5 billion in Bitcoin and even planning to allow payment in the valuable cryptocurrency.
But it is not only Tesla that is allowing payment in Bitcoin. Amazon’s live-streaming platform Twitch accepts Bitcoin and other select cryptocurrencies as payment options. Even Shopify, Expedia and Microsoft accept Bitcoin payment.
Green consumers, also known as environment-friendly consumers, are those who are careful while making a product purchase and consider the impact of carbon footprint for the manufacturing process and packaging of the product.
With green consumerism on the rise, buyers are demanding products that involve eco-friendly production processes and recycling.
How can online stores contribute to reducing their carbon footprint?
E-commerce stores usually have an increased carbon footprint because they need to deliver packages from one place to another fast. Amazon plans to reach zero carbon by 2040 by opting for more environment-friendly processes in transportation and packaging of products.
Jumping into these e-commerce trends is not a feasible option for many online stores. Like integrating voice search in an online store will require money, efforts and time. Similarly, reducing the carbon footprint is not something that can be attained in one go. It needs consistent efforts and detailed planning and implementation. Allowing for Bitcoin payment poses a problem in countries where trading in cryptocurrency is still considered illegal. The best way forward is to try to adapt to emerging technologies or at least make an effort to be able to recognize some of the emerging feasible e-commerce trends of 2021 and work towards it.
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A portfolio website is a genuine reflection of your work skills and accomplishments. It demonstrates your mastery over a topic and gives the visitors a clear understanding of your capability. It is a super assessment tool for your clients and it improves your value while giving you an opportunity to be seen, be heard.
A portfolio website is like an online resume that contains all your works and projects in one place displayed in an interactive and informative way and it can be accessed by anyone 24*7.
A portfolio website is a boon to billion of designers, artists, photographers and others to showcase their work online.
If you are a skilled professional and keen on developing an online presence, a portfolio website is the best way to start.
Imagine you are a skilled photographer. Other than putting up your work on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, how will you make your work accessible to your clients all the time? Simple! It is through a portfolio website. It gives your clients complete information about you, your work and your contact details. While a client may have to surf through the posts on Instagram, your photography portfolio website will neatly categorize and describe your work.
A portfolio website works wonders for photographers, dancers, software programmers, graphic designers, artists, beauty experts and so on. It gives your clients and potential customers easy access to your work to let them decide if you are the suitable candidate for their requirements.
A portfolio website is a professional way of displaying your work to clients. It presents your work in a clean and clear way. It is also a great way to build the first impression of your work. The website design, its content, your work, services and testimonials all indicate your dedication to work.
2. Self Introduction-
A portfolio website design gives the client a sign of you as a person. If your website is simple, clean and minimalistic, it shows that you are disciplined and clear in your thoughts. An updated website shows that you put effort to manage your career and work. Your portfolio website is your brief introduction to the outside world.
3. Easily Searchable-
Being online means that a client can easily search for your work. It helps the client to make an informed decision regarding your work and services. Based on your work, a client can judge your expertise, experience, scope of work and uniqueness. The client can decide if you can match up to their expectation.
4. Easy Access-
Your portfolio website is an easy way to access your work. You don’t have to email your business PDF brochures or links to your work. All you have to do is send them a link to your portfolio website. If you are a blogger, you can publish your blogs regularly on your blogging portfolio website. If you are a real estate agent, buy a clean real estate website template and upload your business success stories in it along with customer video testimonials. This will help you get more clients.
5. Proof Of Your Work-
A personal portfolio website is proof of your work. It displays your past accomplishments. If you are a dancer, your portfolio website contains event dance videos and collaboration videos. If you are a blogger, upload blogs on niche topics. If you are a photographer, your best work of art is on display right on your portfolio website.
6. Put Forth Your Ideas-
Showcase your ideas to the world through your work on the portfolio website. A blog section gives you the freedom to put forward your innovative thoughts. The visitors get a glimpse of what you are as a person and as an artist.
7. Stay Ahead In The Competition-
In today’s competitive world where people go to any length to get customers, it becomes necessary that you stay ahead. This can be best achieved with a portfolio website. Invest time and effort to build a portfolio website. You will be at the top of the competition. Also, you get an edge over your competitors.
8. Build Trust-
Having a portfolio website helps build credibility among clients. It shows that you are a thorough professional when it comes to your work. Always keep your website updated. Upload the latest works and blogs. The customers find it easy to trust you.
9. Flexible & Scalable Resume-
Your portfolio website is about how you want to show your work to your clients. With a portfolio website, it is easy to edit the content. Add new projects as and when it is completed. Add new skills you have earned. Upload new videos, images and testimonials.
10. Secure & Safe Portfolio-
You have the liberty of designing the portfolio website as per your liking unlike a resume in a simple word document, Dribble, Upwork, Behance, Github or LinkedIn. Also, your portfolio website remains safe and secure with you. It is a permanent archive of your works accomplished to date.
A website is basically meant to tell or sell your products or services to the world online. A website may be an e-commerce website that sells products and services online. Or it may also be a simple informative website like a school or hospital website. It can also be an interactive website like Facebook or Twitter.
Similarly, a portfolio website is nothing but a website that is designed to showcase the work of an individual or a company. It is informative and may have an e-commerce component in it. For instance, a management coach may use his portfolio website to showcase his skills and also provide an option for interested clients to book and pay for management sessions or buy merchandise online. Some may keep the portfolio website simple and include only a “contact us” section for interested clients. It is completely up to you to decide on the features of your portfolio website.
The purpose of a portfolio website is to tell the world about you, your accomplishments, your skills and talent.
A Portfolio website is a compilation of your skills, accomplishments, works and client appreciations. It advocates your talent. It provides a richer, deeper and accurate picture of what your work is all about and what you are able to achieve.
Bulk SMS service is a cost-effective marketing tool that has to be used by each business that wants to grow. It is a mobile marketing strategy that drives sales.
Don’t you instantly open an SMS if the starting message read “20% Discount”? Ever wondered about the OTPs sent to you by the banks, your transaction status, discount offer messages sent by businesses? All these form a part of the bulk SMS service. Bulk SMS service allows businesses to send SMS messages in one go to various customer groups. SMS marketing by businesses has proven to be one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies.
Bulk SMS service or bulk messaging is a type of mobile marketing service to send SMS in large numbers at once to customers.
The main benefit of bulk SMS service is that the businesses can send the SMS messages through various means like the web interface, software program, mobile device, or through SMS API integration with the software system or website.
Businesses can use a software program, a web interface, or an SMS API integrated website or system to first submit the bulk messages to the SMS service provider’s server. From the server, it is passed on to the telecom operator’s server through the SMPP connection or the SMS pipe. From the operator’s server, it gets transmitted to the target telecom operator server and the end mobile device. The bulk SMS gateway distributes the messages to the SMSC (Short Message Service Centre or server) of the mobile operator through a direct connection. It is then sent to the recipient’s mobile phone number.
Businesses can use bulk SMS service for speedy sending of messages to a large recipient group. Select the best SMS gateway provider who assures a good delivery success ratio.
Be sure to ask for the delivery status report with your bulk SMS service provider in case you are not able to view it from your account. This will ensure that you know the delivery status of the sent bulk messages.
Bulk SMS services can be categorized into two types. One is the transactional SMS that includes important notifications, alerts that are sent to registered users only. The other is the promotional SMS that is related to marketing or advertising of products and services.
Transactional SMS is used by businesses to send important notifications like delivery details, order updates, OTPs, transaction reports, etc. Through the transactional SMS, the messages can be sent to even the DND (Do Not Disturb) numbers at any time of the day or night.
The promotional bulk SMS service is mainly for advertising and marketing of products or services. This can be used by businesses to send offers like discounts, coupons, free gifts and other activities like payment confirmations, transaction details, alerts, delivery notifications, OTP, etc. The promotional SMS can be sent to non-DND numbers from morning 9 to night 9 only.
Bulk messaging not only helps you to reach new customers but is also an integral part of your business. Sending transaction details, payment status, order dispatch details to your customers makes them feel that you care for them. So while transactional SMS helps you to stay connected with your customers, promotional SMS service can be used to get new customers and for brand building.
Email marketing, even though is considered to be one of the efficient means of marketing, SMS marketing outperforms when it comes to the open rate. The SMS messages have an open rate of 98%. It means that 98% of the customers are going to read the promotional messages that will be sent to them. Imagine the power of marketing if you put in the right words! The chances of getting leads are high in SMS and this is one of the main bulk SMS service benefits.
The Bulk SMS service promises faster delivery of messages. The bulk SMS is delivered in a few seconds. This bulk SMS service benefit is that it enables businesses to connect with clients speedily.
Bulk messaging can be sent to thousands of people at one go. It is inexpensive and doesn’t take much effort to market products or services to people. The information is directly sent to the customer.
The Bulk SMS sender charges less rates for messaging services. One of the main bulk messaging benefits is that it is the most affordable means of mobile marketing. The results are instant.
The bulk SMS service provides a message scheduling option. The customer can choose to send SMS at the required date and time. This can be planned prior to an event, launch or offer date.
The SMS is a short text of just 160 characters including the landing page link. So the messages have to be crisp, clear and to-the-point and should entice the customer to click on the link.
There is every possibility that your promotional emails will be sent to the spam folder. But the bulk SMS service benefit is that there is no such possibility and the customer does check the messages often.
Bulk messaging has the added advantage in that the text can be sent to target customers who are interested in the product or service. If you form recipient groups, you can also analyze the reports to see which of them has higher click chances.
Bulk SMS service can be used to improve your sales, generate profits and grow your business. For companies looking for cost-effective methods of advertising, BULK SMS will work wonders for you!
An online store is an investment. Before you invest in anything, you work out to see if it is worth the investment. The same goes for an e-commerce website.
Why should I invest in an online store?
What are the advantages of an online store?
How much will it cost to set up an online store?
How will I manage my online store?
Many of the businesses have questions ranging from the initial need to the final e-commerce website support.
Here, we will try to answer your questions and tell you why an online store is a must in 2021 if you are to make profits in your business.
Let us present to you some statistics on online stores.
These statistics speak volumes about the success and future of online shopping. It is here to grow and there is no stopping it.
The benefits of having an e-commerce website are immense if harnessed in the right way.
Easy website management-
If you are a small business, use a CMS e-commerce website for easy uploading of products and content change. Any new offers or new product launches can be easily handled with less technical knowledge.
Undoubtedly, an e-commerce website helps businesses to reach more people globally. An e-commerce website acts as good support to your traditional marketing techniques.
An online store is also about helping local customers know about you. This way, you make your position strong in the local market. Listing your business and website on Google My Business helps the locals find out more about your online store and its products.
People buy products almost immediately when there is a sale. So promotions in the form of discounts and offers attract people to make that online purchase. Spreading your offers all through the year also helps. If you own an online store that sells shoes, you can opt for a kid’s sneakers sale during the start of their vacations, sandals for summer, all-weather shoes for monsoon, party shoes during Christmas & New Year and so on.
Showcase the best-
Trending products, bestsellers, discounts- all these help you to showcase the best on the front page to your customers. This way you guide your customers to purchase the best. Also tactics like only 1 left in stock or free shipping if you buy before 2 hours help in impulsive buying.
With an online store, giving a personalized shopping experience to customers becomes easy. Amazon starts its prime day sale one day before for its prime customers. Also, they provide free shipping of many products to them. All this makes the customer feel like a king. This increases brand loyalty and sales.
Educate customers about products-
An e-commerce website helps you to educate your customers about products and offers and how it is beneficial for them. The product page helps you to give its details in a beneficial way through written content and appealing images.
Support to physical shop-
An e-commerce website supports your physical store. It builds credibility for your business. People are more likely to visit a shop that already has an online presence. Also, many of them prefer to go through the products in your online store before visiting the physical store to make the final purchase.
With an online store, you can select your target audience and location. Do you want to sell products only to people aged above 40 in the US? Yes, an online promotion to send this particular category to your e-commerce website is possible. You can categorize products and guide your customers easily so that their search becomes easy.
One of the biggest advantages of setting up an online store is reducing the dependency of having a physical shop. It means fewer costs and easy management. You reduce having to be dependent on employees for sales. Product uploads can be outsourced. Online promotions can be assigned to a digital marketing agency remotely.
Easy customer interaction-
Live chat helps you to connect with customers instantly and resolve their queries regarding products, prices or shipping policies. This way you offer a more personalized service to your customer.
More customer data-
An e-commerce website gives a lot of insights into customer behavior and preferences. You can find out the products that sell the most, the most visited page, if a particular offer has worked, the age group of customers visiting your online store, the days & timings when it is visited the least or most and so on. This helps you to align your marketing strategies based on the insights.
Your online store remains accessible to your customers all days and at all times meaning your online shop is never closed. This helps you to connect to people across different locations and time zones.
Remote store management-
As much as customers from any corner of the world can visit your e-commerce site, you can also manage your online store from anywhere at any time. All you need is a mobile and a good internet connection.
Has your customer added products to the cart but abandoned them without buying? Has your customer wishlisted any product? Has your customer added a product to the cart and then removed it? You can create customer retargeting ads to target such customers to land on that specific product page so that they change their minds and make the purchase. This customer retargeting will not be possible through a physical store.
With an online store, your customer gets the privacy to shop and make the purchase at leisure without the salesman trying to impose shopping on them. The live chat helps such customers to resolve their issues. This non-invasive form of shopping helps customers to have a more relaxed shopping experience.
Scaling the business-
With an online store, scaling your business is easy. You just add new products to the categories that are getting higher visitors and increase your sales. You can also increase sales of new products on your online store through ads by making that page the landing page.
The important benefit of having an online store is the insane amount of profit that you can make. But, having an online store is not an overnight success. It takes years of consistent efforts and hard work to make your store visible to customers worldwide.
The price of setting up an online store is cheap. It is cheap when compared to the profits you get or the cost of setting up a physical store.
But first, consider these points-
Once done, let us consider some factors that will decide the overall budget.
The server, domain and SSL costs are recurring costs. So, it is wise to go in for a basic domain and shared server. If you have many products to sell or are eyeing to scale your website in the future, it is better to go with a private server.
The themes and plugin costs can be minimized by going for basic e-commerce templates.
The e-commerce development service costs depend on whether you prefer to have your online store through e-commerce platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce or you want to have it designed and developed from scratch. The benefit of developing it from scratch is that it allows you to customize your website and also make it future scalable. If this cost is something that suits your budget, go for it.
Another recommended option will be to select Shopify or WooCommerce and have it customized by any best e-commerce development company. They help you to select the theme and plugins and customize it based on your requirements and budget.
The features that you need in your e-commerce website solely decide the online store development cost. While basic features remain the same, what adds to the cost are the add-on services. But it is the add-on services that will make your online store unique and better than your competitors. Decide if the add-on features are adding value to your customers. If yes, go for it. It will be worth the investment.
And yes, while selecting an e-commerce website development agency go for the one that provides good services and customer support.
Managing an online store is very easy. The initial product uploading will give you a good idea about how it is done. You can also hire a good product uploader to do the job for you. A CMS-based e-commerce website is easy and you can make changes in the content and also upload new banners on your own. A good e-commerce website development agency will help you with customer support when you need it to upload the products.
Having an e-commerce website is beneficial when you study the growing trend of people preferring to make an online purchase. Also, it has low costs of setting up and once the initial cost is recovered, it is profits all the way!
It is the big good world of e-commerce. Online stores have gained tremendous growth over the decade and this goes on to prove that it definitely benefits the businesses.
Shopify and WooCommerce are two popular e-commerce platforms among the many that help individuals and businesses to set up their online store and start selling their products/services.
Both Shopify and WooCommerce (e-commerce website using WordPress) have a host of features that are a delight to anyone wanting to set up their online store. Both have their strong benefits and both have some disadvantages.
So, what really is the difference between Shopify and WooCommerce? In Shopify versus WooCommerce, which emerges as the winner? For this, let us get into the individual platforms and study them.
WooCommerce is free and charges only for the domain and hosting. But integrating third-party applications for a comprehensive WooCommerce e-commerce website needs that you need to shell out extra.
Free WooCommerce themes are available in plenty in the theme directory. But you can also purchase themes from external sources and integrate them into your WooCommerce website. Since WooCommerce is an open-source structure, you can customize the themes to create a unique website design.
For people who are already familiar with WordPress, the WooCommerce interface will be easy to use. The primary functions are placed on the left menu bar and clicking on them displays the tabs on the right.
WooCommerce doesn’t have any built-in POS feature. You have to use third-party plugins for WooCommerce POS. You can select the one that fits your criteria and budget from the WordPress directory or external source.
WooCommerce Product Data Integration:
The product XML or CSV file can be easily migrated to the WooCommerce website using any external export-import tool or third-party plugins.
Since it is basically an e-commerce website using WordPress, it offers excellent SEO support when compared to other e-commerce website builders.
WooCommerce does not have a default dropshipping feature. But it offers dropshipping plugins that help you find dropshipping suppliers and add products directly to your store.
WooCommerce Customer Support:
Apart from extensive documentation, a help desk is available for support in WooCommerce.
Shopify is one of the most trusted hosted e-commerce solutions. It runs on its own server and customers are charged a subscription fee. Enough email marketing tools are provided to complete your store setup. The store can be customized by coding to meet other individual requirements.
Shopify has 5 available plans on a monthly subscription model. They are:
Note: A free trial is available for 14 days.
Shopify provides enough themes that come in two or more template variations. They are minimalistic, clean and responsive. But the themes on offer are less when compared to other online e-commerce website builders.
The Shopify interface or the admin (user) panel is easy and hassle-free. It has clear segregation of content (topics) and the customizable area. It does not use the ‘drag and drop’ approach that may seem intimidating at first.
Shopify POS (point-of-sales):
With Shopify POS, you can sync your online and physical store inventory and sales. The Shopify POS provides you with relevant hardware too. Shopify POS Lite offers the basic features but you will have to purchase Shopify POS Pro ($89/month) if you want additional features like multiple location sales, custom-printed receipts and so on.
Shopify Product Data Integration:
With Shopify, it is easy to integrate the product data from your CSV file to Shopify or to migrate it from another e-commerce store.
It offers easy adding of headings, alt text, meta description and 301 redirects.
There are a lot of dropshipping apps in Shopify that allows you to sell the supplier goods easily.
Shopify Customer Support:
Shopify provides phone support when you request a callback. But the forums are a great way to get your queries solved.
WooCommerce is best if you are a startup with a low budget. But remember, some technical experience is required to build an e-commerce website through WooCommerce. If you can afford the subscription plan of Shopify, go for it. It is easy to use, secure, scalable and gives you a better experience.
If you are experienced in the technical and SEO aspects, go with WooCommerce because its features can be enhanced with plugins.
If you are interested in an online store, Daddys Code will build it for you at the most affordable rates. If you want your online store through Shopify or WooCommerce, we will help you with an affordable service fee. Let us know of your online store requirement and we will suggest the best based on your business, products, budget and timeline.