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.

The Scope of the Digital Consultant’s Work

Why do companies hire a digital consultant? The simple answer is that digital marketing and e-commerce have become so well-developed and advanced that a single person or even a team may not be sufficient to manage them. While a small local business may not have the right specialist for the job, a large company may be lagging behind competitors because their specialised department hasn’t been quick enough to catch up with the latest trends. The professional will help you get on the right track and achieve your goals. Here I will share with you how this works based on my personal experience as a digital consultant.

Key Roles
A business of any size, level and industry can take advantage of digital consultancy to improve its performance regardless of how long it has been present on the web. If you have just founded a new company or you have been using outdated and ineffective online marketing methods, you can get a head start or restart with a complete digital strategy. It will have clearly set business goals and precisely defined time frame, schedule and budget. It is my primary objective to tailor it to the specific needs of the business given its own characteristics, the marketing conditions, which it operates in, and its target audience.

Solving problems is another major role of the consultant. Most companies can clearly identify the nature of the problem related to their online performance, but cannot find the cause and come up with a solution. If you experience a drop in your online sales, for example, my role will be to pinpoint the weak points in your marketing, search engine optimisation and e-commerce website performance, to name the main areas. The next step involves determining the most effective and cost-efficient solution.
Very often, companies prefer to outsource specific projects like ones for website and mobile app development. In such cases, the role of the consultant can range from setting criteria and a process for hiring a developer to outlining a development strategy. As a consultant who has a team of developers and designers, I can execute the strategy as well.

Level of Client Involvement
Will the consultant present the ready strategy, solution or project plant directly or work together with members of the company’s team to create it? As the company or department manager, you decide how much involvement you and your team will have in the process. The bare minimum is for the consultant to have access to data and other useful materials and to establish reliable communication with the person in charge. Close cooperation usually brings the best results. This is what my personal experience has shown.

Effective Communication
No matter what the level of involvement of the client is in the actual work on the project, the two parties should be on the same page at all times. It is paramount for the digital consultant to keep the client up-to-date on the development of the project and to inform the company about any changes which have to be made. Similarly, if there are shifts in the business’s plans, the professional should know about them as soon as possible.

Managers are not supposed to be digital specialists, but they have the opportunity to hire the help which they need and to negotiate the most favourable terms when doing so.

If you are looking to hire an experienced digital consultant call me or send me an email or a message. When you contact my office at Whiz, seek Philip Philipov.