How the Internet of Things Is Transforming E-Commerce

Technology changes the way in which we live at an extremely fast pace and businesses have to keep up, if they want to be successful. The Internet of Things (IoT) is not simply the new kid on the block, but a totally revolutionary development of the use of the internet as we know it. It is all about connecting all electronic devices and machines so that they can send and receive data. This is happening right now and has a revolutionary impact on every sphere of life and on all industries including e-commerce. Let’s take a look at the major transformations which this particular industry is expected to undergo in the coming years.

Innovative Shopping Experience and Contextual Purchases
Traditionally, people visit your online store via a connected device, browse through the pages, look at and compare different products and then make a purchase. IoT can make this process quite different. Let’s say a person is watching TV and sees your ad about a great special offer. The consumer can make the purchase directly at your online store via his smart TV without even having to leave the couch. Having prospects act on impulse and making a purchase immediately after they have made the decision to do so can drive e-commerce sales up immensely. To take full advantage of this innovation, businesses need to make the actual purchase process quick and simple.

Shopping and buying will be more personalised than ever. Smart devices will not only be able to alert the consumer when he has run out of something, but to make actual product suggestions. For instance, a printer will be able to tell when new toner will be needed and to present the most suitable types and deals. Similarly, a coffee maker can make suggestions regarding the ideal blend and package size. Retailers involved in e-commerce can take advantage of this trend to gain more customers and keep them.

More Efficient Supply Chain and Inventory Management
As a retailer of physical goods operating online, you would want to have more efficient planning and to reduce delays and losses to the possible minimum. The Internet of Things is making major improvements in this field. With accurate transportation vehicle tracking, you will be able to set precise time frames for the loading and uploading of products. You will also receive alerts about delivery delays and other issues. This will help you to organise processes better and to overcome challenges more quickly.

There are major breakthroughs in warehouse management such as keeping track of the environmental conditions. Special sensors integrated with your inventory management software send data about temperature and humidity allowing you to make timely changes for keeping inventory in good condition. Inventory item tracking is a technology already used by many companies. You will receive immediate notification when an item is removed from the premises. This can help you to reduce losses to the possible minimum and to pinpoint and eliminate ongoing problems.

The Internet of Things is here to stay and you can seize all opportunities which it offers to online retailers.

If you plan to transform your e-commerce business, let’s talk. You can contact me here.

3 E-commerce Website Fundamentals

The benefits of e-commerce are well-known – lower initial and fixed costs, exposure to a larger audience and plenty of affordable opportunities for marketing and promotion. At the same time, the competition for customers on the web is very high and continues to grow in practically all industries. The fast pace of technological development also poses a challenge for online retailers as they cannot afford to stay behind. How do you get competitive and achieve success in an environment like this? Let me take you through the main prerequisites for a successful e-commerce website.

Responsive Design
We live in a digital world in which consumers use multiple devices to browse the web and shop online. The list includes desktop computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones. Data from the third quarter of 2015 shows that 49% of e-commerce transactions in the UK were made with the use of multiple connected devices. With responsive design, your website will have equally influential presence and dependable functionalities on all gadgets.
The layout and navigation are modified to match the screen size, features and capabilities of each specific device while the content remains the same. The website will work equally well with mouse clicks and swipe gestures, for example. Responsive design will not only help you facilitate the making of purchases at your online store. It is also effective for lead generation as Google now gives higher ranking to websites optimised for mobile.

Well-Developed Purchase Funnel
The purchase funnel is the journey which the customer makes from the moment they land on your website to completing the payment. There are two questions that have to be answered here: how to make this journey smooth and pleasant and how to increase the chances of completing the transaction? You can achieve both with the right website design elements and functionalities related to marketing and performance.
Attractive product presentation is key. Card design and large digital images will increase the appeal of your products. Sleek menus offering more options when you click or tap on them will make the products stand out even more. Clutter-free pages with large CTA buttons will simplify the purchase process and help for higher sales. A convenient and well-organised shopping cart will make purchases even easier. It is now mandatory for all brands and retailers to offer secure shopping experience online and a comprehensive set of payment options.

Reliable Management System
The checklist of tools which you will require to run your online store is quite long. It includes inventory management, procurement and shipping, customer relationship management, marketing and analytics. It is neither productive nor cost-efficient to get a software program which lacks any of these functions.
The best solution is to have a web-based software integrated with your e-commerce website. This gives you a higher level of automation and increases productivity immensely. When the software is custom made, it will fit your needs precisely and develop and expand along with your online business.

Finally, for growing your e-commerce business, you will also need a complete digital marketing strategy. The goal is to increase the number of visitors to your website and the level of conversion and to keep them high in the long term. As an e-commerce development consultant, I can help you at every stage of the building of your online business.

For consultation and e-commerce website development, get in touch with me.

5 Ways to Reduce the Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate at Your Online Store

Why do shoppers on your e-commerce website abandon the shopping cart before making a purchase? Finding the answer to this question and making changes based on it can cause your revenue to jump considerably. As a web development consultant, my approach is comprehensive and involves studying the online store in detail and making recommendations for the improvement of the design and functionalities. Here I share tips on how to avoid some of the major checkout mistakes which lead to cart abandonment.

Be Clear About Costs
Being presented with unexpected costs at the time of checkout is the most common reason why shoppers just leave instead of making a purchase. The solution is to clarify all costs before the visitor reaches the payment page/section. Make sure that they are included on the shopping cart page. Ideally, you should place them right below the product price. Shoppers should also be able to find them on purposefully created information pages.

When it comes to online shopping, people are most sensitive about shipping costs and delivery times. Ideally, these should be present on the shopping cart page. If you offer free shipping and/or express delivery, it pays off to include this on the product pages to give visitors greater motivation to buy. If you offer several shipping options priced differently, describe them in detail to help shoppers make the best choice.

Offer a Guest Checkout Option
Unless you have a large loyal customer base, most of the visitors to your online store will be one-time shoppers (who you can turn into loyal customers). They just want to buy one or more products easily and quickly and leave. Forcing them to go through an account creation process before making a purchase is highly likely to put them off. Being more flexible will give you tangible results.

Avoid Distraction
Is your checkout page filled with offers which are not related to the items inside the shopping cart? Do you have large flashy fields for entering coupon codes? These are common mistakes which practically urge shoppers to leave the page with the prospects of them returning being quite vague. Make the checkout page clutter-free. Use minimalist design and include product photos. The checkout buttons should be large and brightly coloured.

Ideally, the coupon code field should not be the first thing which the user sees at checkout. Shoppers who have a code will take effort to find the field so you can make it less obvious and attractive to avoid putting everyone else off.

Use a Checkout Progress Indicator
The idea is to indicate the number of steps which have to be taken for making a purchase. The fewer they are the lower your shopping cart abandonment rate will be. To help shoppers feel more at ease, you can combine two steps into one provided that you will not have a page which is too long and requires the entry of too much information.

Integrate Multiple Payment Options
People want to buy products from you so why would you put them off by not offering a payment option which is suitable for them? Generally, the greater the diversity is the better. Still, it is more effective and cost-efficient to study your target audience and give them exactly what they want.

Take measures for optimising your shopping cart and checkout to increase your conversion and revenue.

If you are looking for productive e-commerce solutions, get in touch with me to receive consultation.

Major Benefits of Custom Software for Your E-commerce Business

Why get bespoke e-commerce software when there are so many SaaS solutions around? It is true that these are usually cheap and easy to use, but none of them can fit your needs precisely and this is something which can bring down your performance, especially in the long term. A solution, developed especially for your organisation, on the other hand, can give you a multitude of benefits. This is what my experience as an e-commerce development consultant has shown.

Full Process Integration
You and your employees will never have to spend hours trying to work with data from several different sources or to transfer it from one tool to another. Everything necessary for managing your online store and your entire business will be in one place. Imagine having one and the same software for customer relationships management, inventory management, human resource planning and scheduling, shipping management, email marketing and every other process that you can think of. All data and tools which you need will be at your fingertips no matter whether you have your laptop or only your smartphone at hand.

Greater Automation
Many of the tasks which you and your employees are used to doing manually will be completely automated. This will allow you to use all available resources more efficiently. There will be additional benefits for your e-commerce business such as higher customer satisfaction. When a customer makes an enquiry or a complaint, for example, acknowledgement of receipt will be sent automatically. This will help you keep the customer at ease and give you time to look into the matter.

Custom Analytics
No one knows your e-commerce business better than you do. When we develop bespoke software for it, we can integrate all the analytics which you require no matter how specific they are. You will have accurate data about the shoppers on your website and their behaviour at all times. It will be easy to follow the daily, weekly and monthly changes in visit and sales patterns and to make improvements timely.

Better Customer Experience
This is fundamental for the success of every business. The custom software will help you with practically everything which you need to keep your customers happy. In addition to providing quick response as mentioned above, you will have all sought products in stock, hassle-free shipping, which is easily trackable by every client, and easily-run newsletter, which is highly popular and allows you to build loyalty.

Flexible Options
No matter what you sell online, the market is highly competitive and driven by innovation. In this kind of environment, you need as much flexibility as possible. This is a key advantage which bespoke e-commerce software can give you. You can count on me and my team of developers to add new features and functionalities when they are needed. This will enable you to be up to date with the latest trends and to stay ahead of competitors.

Higher Efficiency
With the use of the custom software, each business process will be performed more effectively and each one of your employees will be more productive. This results in cost-efficiency and allows you to scale your business for achieving and maintaining high growth. This is the ultimate benefit from using a solution, especially tailored to the needs of your organisation.
Consider these important benefits when making a decision on using custom software for your e-commerce business.

Do you want to have custom e-commerce software for your business? Let’s talk.