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How to Create a Competitive Advantage with Ecommerce Site Search

eCommerce website search is a search solution you can incorporate into your ecommerce store. It helps users find the exact products they’re looking for by matching keywords. 

However, retailers should not think about search functionality as just another feature – it can offer some advanced features that can set you apart from your competitors. If planned and executed properly, your eCommerce site search can bring you more benefits than you think. 

As per Baymard Institute, the data shows that 42% of ecommerce sites fail to fully support 8 key search query types performed by users such as:

  • “Exact” search queries (42% of sites reported issues)
  • “Product Type” search queries (71% of sites reported issues)
  • “Symptom” search queries (52%)
  • “Non-Product” search queries (39%)
  • “Feature” search queries (22%)
  • “Thematic” search queries (36%)
  • “Compatibility” search queries (30%)
  • “Slang, Abbreviation, and Symbol” search queries (49%)

Let’s dig deeper into eCommerce site search:

Site Search Solution Features

Faceted search allows users to narrow down and refine their search results. For example, if a customer searches for a term ‘chair’, your site can apply filters based on faceted categorization and specify results by company brand, color (e.g. blue chair etc.) and other filtering options. 

Product ranking is another feature you may implement on your site search – it will enable you to rank certain products higher/better than the others and give you control to decide which products will appear in your search results. 

Semantic search in retail divides the query in parts to identify differences between product categories and attributes. Some search solutions use NLP (natural language processing) as it helps search engines match keywords, structure and the intended meaning. 

Source: search.io

Search Query Types

We can find different types of search queries on how users ‘demonstrate’ the range of things to be searched.

Types can be:

  • Exact search – customer query matches a certain product name or a model
  • Product type search – customers search for a product type (e.g. ‘computer’ instead of typing in the specific brand name). 
  • Problem-based search – customers search for a solution to a problem
  • Non-product search – when customers search for general information about your business like delivery options, return policy and similar. 

Advanced site search solutions can help you establish the practices you need to improve for better relevance of results, yet you would need to do some manual work depending on your requirements. 

Source: growrevenue.io

Query Qualifiers

Query qualifiers help us narrow down the results we get from one of those original four basic types of searches. 

For example, some most common query qualifiers are:

  • Feature search – customers search for an attribute of a product (instead of ‘television’ they type in ‘smart television’ etc. )
  • Thematic search – similar to feature search but more general. Include things like promotions, usage locations, environmental conditions etc. 
  • Compatibility search – customers search for items compatible with something they’d like to buy. Users usually do not know exactly what is compatible, this search is important for electronic equipment like computers, cameras or smartphones and more. 
  • Relational search – customers search for products based on its affiliation with another item. 
  • Subjective search – customers refine their own search with non-objective qualifiers like beautiful or high quality etc. 
Source: blog.kissmetrics.com

Structure of Search

Any query involves linguistic syntax in order to be interpreted. 

Let’s look at three types of query structures:

  • Slang, abbreviation and symbol search – slang words to describe products (e.g. ‘loot’ instead of ‘money’ etc.) and abbreviations or symbols (‘$’ instead of  ‘dollar’ etc.)
  • Implicit Search – failed to include relevant quantifiers to properly improve the query. 
  • Natural Language Search – a full sentence search instead of a short keyword query. For example, users write: ‘what are the advantages of outdoor activities in winter’ vs. ‘advantages, outdoor, winter’ etc.)

Benefits of using Site Search in Your Online Store

Site search works in a similar way like when you go to the store and ask for help from a store associate. Such a feature enables your business to always direct a user to what they’re looking for. 

Higher conversion rates

A recent Forrester study showed that 8 out of 10 users ABANDON the store if it does not provide a convenient website navigation or does not display relevant results. 

Another SearchNode internal study revealed that searchers generate 30-60% of ALL eCommerce site revenues

Supply a simple and clear way to your products and make it as convenient as possible for them to enable a smooth purchase process. 

Source: barbaraweins.com

Better Customer Experience 

On-site search is an important factor in customers journeys no matter if they know what they need and came to look for that product or do not have a clear idea on what they want and will need some help narrowing it down. 

Search experience for customers plays a major part of the entire shopping experience and can be a crucial element for your shoppers. 

Analytics for Better Business Decisions

With analytics, you will get valuable insights into what your customers want, say, type etc. wehn searching for specific products and also which search returns irrelevant or no results!

In certain cases, it is not about changing business strategy but just tweaking your search solution. Once you compile data from your customers’ searches, you can validate if you may need to change search rules or add new ones to better serve your shoppers. 

Final Say

On-site search is a powerful tool – not only because it helps your shoppers to find their desired item faster – but because it also compiles important data on your customers’ preferences enabling you to personalize and optimize your offer just for them. 

Do not forget to continually optimize your site search to provide the best user experience for your shoppers. 

Such an additional effort will pay off in the long run.

4 Reasons Why You Need to Manage Risks for Your Shopify Business

Shopify is an incredibly popular eCommerce platform that currently powers 3,924,979 live websites. And it’s no wonder why – Shopify is easy to use, has plenty of features and integrations, and is relatively inexpensive.  

Shopify’s impact on the global economy has been phenomenal too — it has contributed $319 billion in global economic activity. 

However, as with any popular platform, Shopify is not without its faults. One of the biggest problems facing Shopify merchants is fraud, and this poses a risk that one cannot overlook. 

In this article, we talk about 4 reasons why you need to manage risks for your Shopify business. 

But before let’s understand the types of fraud and a sure-shot method to manage them. 

Problem — Shopify merchants face frauds 

While there is no lack of frauds faced by merchants today, some popular ones are: 

  • Fake orders: A fake order is when a fraudster places an order on your Shopify store using a stolen or fake credit card. The fraudster will usually choose high-priced items and have them shipped to an address that’s different from the billing address. This type of fraud is also known as “card-not-present” fraud.
  • Chargebacks: A chargeback is when a customer disputes a charge on their credit card statement. This can happen for a number of reasons, but it’s often because the customer never received the product they ordered, the product was not as described, or the customer was the victim of fraud. Chargebacks are costly and time-consuming to deal with, so it’s important to do everything you can to prevent them.
  • Counterfeit products: Counterfeit products are fake products that are made to look like the real thing. These products are often of poor quality and can damage your brand reputation.

The List goes on!

Source: fashionunited.com

Solution — invest in reliable apps

Today, there is software or an application for almost every need. Be it creatives for social media or a payment merchant to streamline the payments. 

But coming to fraud, you need to be meticulous when it comes to finding apps to prevent shopify fraud that actually use the latest technology to detect fraud before it puts a business in danger. Fraud is a crime that can have serious consequences for both the victim and the perpetrator. Preventing fraud helps to protect people and businesses from losses due to fraudulent activity. 

Good fraud detection apps today use machine learning and advanced data analytics to identify patterns in fraudulent behavior. Machine learning can identify fraudsters even when they are using new methods or data, so you can stay one step ahead of the fraudsters.

Some qualities of a good fraud detection app for ecommerce may include the ability to monitor customer behavior, set thresholds for suspicious activity, and flag or block suspicious transactions.  Another example is the ability to track customer behavior and activity, including IP addresses, device IDs, geolocation, and other data points.

Other features may include robust customer support, regular updates, as well as training and educational material to help merchants understand fraud in the eCommerce space better. 

4 reasons to manage risks for your Shopify Business

As an Ecommerce merchant, you are aware of potential risks to the business. But there is still a lack of information regarding how these frauds play out in the real world. 

In this section we take a deep-dive into some of the risks that a Shopify business is exposed to, and how it can derail business operations if proper fraud-prevention measures are not deployed on time. 

Prevent Account Takeover Fraud

In general, account takeover fraud occurs when a criminal uses personal information to gain access to and assume control of another person’s online account. 

This can happen when a criminal obtains login credentials through phishing or other means, or when they use stolen identity information to open a new account in someone else’s name. 

Once the criminal has taken over the account, they can use it to commit a variety of fraudulent activities. For example, making unauthorized purchases, transferring money to their own account, or even using the account to commit identity theft against the account holder.

As per SEON’s guide on the statistics of account takeover fraud,Account takeover attacks are on the rise, with an estimated 22% of adults in the US falling victim to this type of fraud, and average losses of around $12,000 per case. It is essential now more than ever not just for private individuals but also businesses to put in place defenses against online fraud.”

Source: https://www.claimsjournal.com/news/national/2022/01/26/308256.htm

Identify eCommerce Money Laundering 

Ecommerce merchants need to be aware of the potential for money laundering and take steps to prevent it. One way to do this is to monitor transactions for suspicious activity. 

This can include looking for patterns of behavior that may indicate money laundering, such as repeated transactions of small amounts of money, or transactions that are not related to the business.

Ecommerce merchants should also be aware of the signs of money laundering, such as customer complaints of being asked to purchase goods or services for someone else, or requests for refunds for products that were never received. 

Additionally, there are a few types of eCommerce frauds that could lead to identity theft, such as account takeover (as discussed above) and carding. In both cases, criminals gain access to victims’ personal information and use it to make unauthorized purchases or withdraw money from their accounts.

Transaction monitoring can help prevent identity theft by flagging unusual activity, such as large purchases made with stolen credit card numbers. Using a fraud prevention app created for Shopify can help identify this on time so that you can manage any potential risk at the earliest. 

Locate Return Fraud 

Return fraud is a type of eCommerce fraud in which criminals return stolen or counterfeit merchandise to a store or eCommerce site in order to receive a refund. This type of fraud can be difficult to detect, as it often takes place after the transaction has already been completed. Common examples of refund fraud are: 

  • Receipt fraud is a type of eCommerce fraud in which criminals create fake receipts in order to return merchandise for a refund. This type of fraud can be difficult to detect, as the criminals often use real receipt paper and real store logos.
  • Price arbitrage is the practice of buying a product from one online retailer and selling it to another online retailer for a higher price. This type of arbitrage is possible because prices for identical products can vary widely between different online retailers.
  • Switch fraud is a type of eCommerce fraud in which criminals use stolen credit card information to make purchases, and then return the merchandise to the store or eCommerce site using a different credit card. This type of fraud can be difficult to detect, as it often takes place after the transaction has already been completed.
  • Wardrobing is a type of ecommerce fraud in which criminals purchase high-priced items with stolen credit cards, and then return the items for a refund before the card issuer realizes the purchase was fraudulent. This type of fraud can be difficult to detect, as it often uses legitimate credit card numbers and billing addresses. 
Source: https://www.business2community.com/cybersecurity

Triangulation Fraud

Triangulation fraud is a type of e-commerce fraud in which a fraudster uses a third party to help commit the fraud. The fraudster will set up two fake accounts, one with a merchant and one with a payment processor. They will then use the payment processor account to pay for goods or services from the merchant account. This type of fraud is especially difficult to detect and prevent because it uses legitimate accounts and businesses to commit the fraud. 

Signs that direct toward this type of fraud are: new accounts buying the same items on a regular basis, invalid contact details, sudden increase in transactions, a large number of transactions going to the same payment processor, discrepancies between Shipping and Billing Addresses

It’s never too late to protect your eCommerce Business from fraud

There are many reasons to protect your eCommerce business from fraud. One reason is to protect your business reputation. If your business is known for being easy to defraud, you may have difficulty retaining customers and attracting new ones. Additionally, fraud can lead to financial losses for your business. By taking steps to protect your business from fraud, you can help reduce these losses.

5 Ways You Can Use Big Data To Make An Impact In Marketing

For people in marketing, it’s impossible not to have heard of Big Data before. 

However, you may not be totally sure about what it is, and how it can impact you and your work. What’s important to know is that it can really change the way that you market to your audience. 

Here’s some of the best ways you can use big data to make a real impact.

Source: ibm.com

Personalise Your E-commerce

E-commerce has totally changed the way people shop, and you want to make sure that your customers can find you and your products. When you have access to Big Data, you can ensure that you’re reaching your audience in the most efficient way possible. 

When you use analytics, you can predict user preferences, offer recommendations, and more. For example, many businesses are using data to optimise their pricing. This allows them to analyse marketing data, sales history, and company accounts to see what the best price is. That should allow you to bring in more customers and get maximum profit. 

There are companies out there that have used data to bring a more personal shopping experience to their customers. Shopify suggests that E-commerce sites use something called product-detail page (PDP) recommendations to guide shoppers to the products that are based on their browsing history, locations, and more. 

For example, take Very, which uses real time data to personalise the experience their shoppers have. It uses the weather data from the customers’ location, and uses that to recommend outfits from the store. Hot weather will result in recommendations for summery clothes, while wet and cold weather will offer them sweaters and raincoats. On top of this, the banner at the top of the page will show the shopper’s name, when they visit the site to browse. 

These details are small on the face of it, but they will ensure that customers feel valued, and are seeing products that are relevant to them. 

Source: bestarion.com

Create More Relevant Content

Content marketing has been one of the best ways to bring in more leads for a while, allowing you to give your audience the content that they’re looking for. When putting resources into your content marketing, you should look into your data to improve what you’re offering. 

It’s so vital that you’re customising that content to meet your customers’ needs. With so many companies out there competing for your attention, you need to be on the ball and bring something new and interesting. 

You can look at Coca Cola to see what they can offer their customers. They pay close attention to their customer data, so they can improve marketing all the time. ‘They focus on things like social media mentions, customer service channels, and more‘ says Fiona Marron, a business writer from Lia Help and Paper Fellows. ‘That allows them to get a closer look at what their customers are looking for.’ 

Source: gonextpage.com

Improve Marketing Budget Allocation

There are more marketing channels out there than ever before. Because of this, you need to take great care in selecting the right channels for your business. It’s not easy though, as buyers are often moving through different channels, and you can’t quite pinpoint where they’re buying from. 

You can do more though, with Big Data. You can get a closer look at how those marketing channels work, and understand where you’re getting the most value. With this in mind, you can start allocating more cash to the marketing channels that are working more for you. 

Marketing blogger James Rainier from Boom Essays and Essayroo says, ‘AdriaCamps are a good example of using big data to understand where to place your marketing budget. They understood that they could focus on SEO and email marketing, which led to 66% more bookings overall‘. 

When you know where that money should be spent, then you’ll get better results. 

Source: pinterest.com

More Effective Marketing Testing

When planning any kind of marketing campaign, you need to test out your plan to see how it will work. In the past, this hasn’t been an exact science and so there were always holes that you wouldn’t find, until you set it into motion. 

Businesses are now using Big Data to test out marketing plans more thoroughly. You can test out multiple variations of a plan, and get data and ideas to see what will happen. It’s so useful to have such data, as you can get much more from your marketing with it. 

That’s something you’ll see from iCloud, which uses Big Data analytics to understand it’s marketing funnel. It took a look at how their customers had to interact with their site, in order to interact with their latest marketing efforts. 

With that information, they found the step where customers often abandoned a purchase, and made improvements to reduce that number and increase their revenue. 

Target Advertising Better

You’ll always be trying to market your business to the right audience, and Big Data can help you improve your efforts here. As you have access to data on what your audience do and where they spend time online, you can target your advertising more effectively. 

You can see The Weather Co. doing this with their marketing. They’ve seen a 10% sales increase in certain products, after they’ve used customer location data to recommend products to people in certain climates. 

Conclusion

There are so many ways Big Data can improve your marketing strategy. With these 5 strategies, you’ll be on your way to improving your marketing schemes for the better!

Start analysing your data, and see where you can start making improvements in your marketing today!

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Christina Lee is a project manager for Essay service and Academized. She focuses on marketing news and technologies, for them and services like Ox Essays.

Why Your Retail Business Needs a POS Software Development?

Over the last decade, the retail industry has undergone a dramatic change. Retail business management, small or large businesses are not willing to make significant investments in hardware systems. 

Instead, retail businesses are adopting point-of-sale software. Therefore, the point of sale software development is considered to be at the core of retail operations. 

The popularity of point of sale (POS) systems in the retail world are constantly replacing cash registers. Contrary to the traditional system, POS solutions optimize sales by collecting relevant customer and goods data and adjusting stock levels in real-time.

What Is A Point Of Sale (POS) System?

Simply put, a POS system is the time and place where retail transactions take place via face-to-face payments from customers. Being central to any retail transaction, it handles payments, processes customer purchases, and record sales. Therefore, having a good POS developer will benefit the retail business. 

A good retail POS system will offer advanced functions like inventory, employee and customer management, track sales, reward employees, and correct pricing. Therefore, it is crucial to get the right software development company for getting a scalable POS system. 

Types of POS systems

The POS system can range from a simple processor to a complex cloud system based on organizational needs. A choice can be made depending on the retail business size and whether it’s an online or physical store. 

Broadly, POS systems can be classified into:

Mobile POS

Mobile point of sale or mPOS utilizes electronic devices like smartphones or tablets as terminals to attach credit card readers. Therefore, mobile POS is a portable and convenient option for most retail businesses. It also supports the attachment of peripheral devices like receipt printers and barcode scanners. 

mPOS is suitable for small retail businesses or enterprises, small pop-up shops, retail stores, or quick-service restaurants. 

Terminal POS

A terminal POS solution is essentially a hardware or software-based system. It includes add-on peripherals such as barcode scanners, receipt printers, credit card readers, and cash drawers. Popular features of this system are inventory management, CRM, payment receipts via email, reporting and analytics, and customer loyalty programs. 

This solution is the best for retail establishments, namely restaurants, book stores, grocery stores, boutiques, salons, and electronics stores. 

Terminal POS is popular in the aforementioned areas due to its reasonable prices and advanced functionality. 

Cloud POS

Cloud POS is known as a web-based solution. It can be integrated with a retail business’s existing hardware like a tablet, computer, or printer as an online POS system. 

This system encompasses all features of a terminal POS system. In the case of the terminal POS system, it is installed in servers. Whereas the cloud POS is installed in data centers curated by POS vendors. 

This solution is applicable for all types of retail businesses, mainly startups because of their tangible benefits in terms of simplicity, cost, function, and flexibility.

Source: unlocklive.com

Components of a POS system

In a broader sense, the two main components of a POS system are software and hardware components.

The software component is either a cloud-based or an on-premise model.

  • Cloud-based or Saas is a system that can be accessed and supported via the Internet. This allows the system to track sales, sync, and store necessary retail data.
  • An on-premise system is more of a traditional software model. For its installation, businesses might have to purchase multiple licenses. In addition, it may become cumbersome for large retail businesses to manage and update the software system by themselves. 

The hardware component remains the same regardless of the vast choices in the software component. It commonly consists of the barcode scanner, receipt printer, register, cash drawer, and credit card payment system. 

Source: posintl.com

Benefits of POS development

  • Provides an easy and sorted format of payment functionality.
  • Improved sales tracking helps to track information about tax, revenue, shipping, and quality.
  • Reduces chances of error, common in case of manual updates.
  • Lowers costs on inventory overheads.
  • Saves effort on salesforce and speeds out the checkout process.
  • Quick and easy automation of accounting tasks and report generation.
  • Profitable relationship with vendors due to timely reminder of inventory levels.
  • Direct marketing campaigns are processed by system-generated customer information.
  • Increases website traffic and customer satisfaction.
Source: softwareadvice.com

Reasons why POS software development is necessary. 

To create an effective POS system, several advanced features must be integrated into the POS software. Get detailed information about the best-reviewed POS systems on Top POS Systems

Listed below are some of the major features of a POS software solution. 

Integration

An advanced POS system must have an exemplary configuration for easy integration with other modules: inventory management, accounting, loyalty, gift cards, time, and attendance. In addition, a well-integrated POS system leaves less room for any error or discrepancy in data when transferred manually from one system to another.

Cloud integration

Often the on-premise point of sale solutions can come across as heavy and complicated. This is where cloud POS integration comes to the rescue. It easily customizes a simple POS system as per the likings of a particular retail business. 

Inventory management

Every retail business experiences inventory shortage and some point of time. This issue can, however, be solved through on-site inventory quantity management. In addition, inventory management opens a window of opportunity to observe the stock levels closely at all times.

Employee management

This feature allows retail business owners to manage their employees. For example, a sound POS system helps to track employee clock-in and clock-out timings for shifts easily. Alongside, it allows employee scheduling and payroll management. 

Source: ehopper.com

Streamlined purchases

Businesses, regardless of their size, find this feature a crucial aspect of their industry. It refers to the process in which a company obtains goods and services. This has a significant impact on the overall spending, profit margin, and success of a retail business.

Advanced billing system

A common feature to run any retail business is that POS software is necessary for the billing system. It offers hassle-free printing of bills and invoices.

Customer relationship management

Managing good relationships with customers is a crucial part of running any retail business. Customer relationship management or CRM is beneficial for maintaining the profiles of regular customers. The customer details may include their purchase history, date of addition to the system, personal details like email id, mobile number, and identity proof. It allows businesses to enhance customer experience personally without further complications.

Loyalty programs and discounts

Apart from CRM, the addition of customer loyalty programs also enhances the customer experience. For example, based on previous purchases from a particular retail store, the POS allows discounts and coupons for regular customers. This is how even potential customers can become frequent buyers of a particular retail store. 

Source: connectpos.com

Accessibility to electronic devices

This POS functionality employing electronic devices offers remote access to retail store details. As a result, it helps to manage the business without being physically available at the store.

Sales reporting and analytics

Another efficient feature is the POS system’s capability to track the number of products and goods sold. In addition, it provides detailed reports on the amount of revenue made from each product by the retail business. Upon getting a grip of the bestselling and least-selling products, it’s easier to prioritize the available products’ money, time, and effort.

Security and reporting

This functionality of a POS solution works in compliance with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). It serves to protect the integrity of sensitive and critical customer data.

Accurate reporting helps to maintain a stable connection with all departments within a retail business. This helps retailers keep track of the ongoing trends, where bottlenecks are occurring, or opportunities to grow. In addition, a comprehensive insight helps to review the inventory at the SKU-level sales view.

Wrapping up

With technological advances, a POS system will help retail businesses to promote their long-term growth. 

First, figure out the estimated cost of POS software development by putting in enough time and research. For example, 2% to 3% of the expected cost may come from a retail business’ annual revenue. At the same time, 12% to 18% of the exact cost may be covered through yearly maintenance and upgrades.

The development of POS software comes with a price. When consulting with a software developer, remember to check if hidden costs include hardware, credit card, or customer service charges etc.. 

Therefore, choosing the right POS development company is essential based on the business needs, budgets, and system requirements. 

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Sarah Schumer works full-time as a Content Manager with a Outreacheo. She is also a freelance writer for multiple clients across multiple industries. She comes with several years of web content writing experience.

5 Ways to Make Your eCommerce Site User-Friendly

Did you know the “15 seconds rule?

Fifteen seconds, in fact, less is the average time a user spends on your website, and that is all you have to get their eyes glued to your site and capture their attention. Failing to do so could significantly increase your bounce rates, which will make supreme influencer Google” unhappy. And if you plan to stay long in the business, Google rankings is one of the most critical aspects you should bother about.

Good usability keeps your customers hooked and avoids leaving the site, which fuels your website’s success and performance. Your website ranks well with time, and it also attracts previous customers to keep coming back.

 Let’s talk about a few most essential ongoing eCommerce trends you should swear by as an eCommerce business owner if you want the numbers in your favor.

Quick Loading Times

With your users having a short attention span, you cannot slide this essential component under the table. Your online visitors expect web pages to load with the speed of light. 

  • A second delay on your web page’s loading speed can reduce the conversion rates by 7%.
  • Customers anticipate the loading speed within two seconds and abandon the site if it takes more than three seconds.

These numbers shall keep you on your toes if they do not already. Sadly, despite adding all the bells and whistles to your web store, your online visitors tend to care more about your loading speed. It is not only confined to customers, but fast website speed also makes Google algorithm happy and improves your search engine rankings. Thus, please reread the numbers if you plan to put more attention on aesthetic design pages or add more content while your website’s speed sits in the aisle.

Several online tools analyze your site’s current performance, like Pingdom or Google’s Page Speed Insights. Based on your analysis, you can optimize your speed by:

  • Compressing the size of images on your website.
  • Minimize the plug-ins and widgets on your website. Ensure whether only relevant analytic codes are running on your site, which is significant for your business.
Source: techieapps.com

Make Your Site Mobile-friendly

In 2021 and the future, you cannot choose between mobile-friendly or user-friendly, either both or none. That’s how important it is to optimize your site for mobile. 

After all, mobile optimization leads to:

To optimize your website for a mobile-friendly experience, a couple of points you should ensure:

  • Navigation– Since mobile screens are smaller than desktops’ or laptops’, navigation plays a significant role in making or breaking the deal. It has to be simple, straightforward, and all essential information should be easy to locate. You would not want your customers to second guess their buying decisions by having them searching hard to place the order.
  • Product Presentation– Online customers hesitate to shop online since they don’t have the luxury of experiencing the product quality beforehand. If your product presentation is confusing on mobile, you’ll miss out on a significant number of conversions. Thus your products and related information should be evident on a mobile screen. It has two primary advantages- it pleases your customers with clarity and satisfies Google by reducing your website’s loading time.
Source: weblinxinc.com

Choose Colors Carefully

Once you’ve attracted online visitors to your site, it’s time to keep them hooked so they make the final decision of catching the deal and not leaving the site halfway. You need to strike the right balance between elegance, attractiveness, and clarity. 

Remember, color is emotion! If you wish your visitors to remember your brand, you need to evoke emotions with them. 

Your color palette should also resonate with your brand, which keeps your brand impression in hindsight. It should maintain the proper contrast between the background and text, so your customers don’t find it hard to read online and strain their eyes.

If you choose your colors carefully it can create a strong brand identity for you while also driving conversion. Colors can be used to convey the message about your brand but it can also create a sense of uniformity among diverse products on your website. 

Source: pinterest.com

Easy Registration

Placing multiple CTA’s to collect additional data can help marketers plan better marketing campaigns and make informed decisions

However, if done wrong, this can severely annoy customers.

Think about it from your customer’s perspective, would you like to sign up for little details about you throughout the navigation process? If you said no, please keep reading ahead.

Plenty of sign-up windows that aren’t necessary can disrupt the seamless user experience you intend to provide. 

Moreover, your customers can find it time-consuming, and if they are impatient B2C customers, you’d not take the chance ahead.

However, there are multiple options to avoid getting on your customer’s nerves-

  • If you wish to increase the accounts registered, include only the necessary details or small information fields. For example- gender, DOB, etc.
  • Don’t go for informational fields that take a longer time than what your consumers anticipate. Don’t compromise the primary goal for the sake of additional data.
  • Information like address or payment details should only be included during the final checkout process since they don’t bring much significance at the initial stage.

Meanwhile, for B2B customers, make a unique registration form for wholesale purposes, and if you add other necessary fields, ensure moving ahead in chronological order for their convenience.

Source: nopaccelerate.com

Listen to Your Customers

This never goes south! Before serving them something you want, ask them for what they want!

Ask your routine customers about their experience with your website and what changes would they prefer? Further, take time to collect, analyze and process the feedback. Your customer feedback can get you brownie points for added revenue and bridge the loopholes you missed earlier. 

Customers often leave genuine feedback regarding what they liked and what disrupted their process of purchasing. Do not be afraid of negative feedback – having negative feedback is better than having none at all. Negative feedback can help you to understand what needs to be improved within your existing products or changed in your product roadmap. Such a product roadmap can also determine which products are not working out to be big hits or which products need to be produced in higher quantities.

When you ask your customers for feedback, you’re effectively improving your means of communication with them and when you respect your customer’s feedback, it will result in higher chances of revisiting your website.

Source: brilliantbusinessthings.com

Wrapping Up!

We’ve compiled five basic yet significant tips that can aid your goal of creating a user-friendly eCommerce business for your audience. They will ensure a delightful experience for your customers, improve your SERP rankings and visibility. 

Such an approach will ensure that your customers recognize your brand and return to your store for more purchases. If you continue with careful strategy for your eCommerce site, you can drive more traffic to your online store

Which trends did you like the most? Do let us know. 

Headless Commerce: Is it the Future of Online Sales?

Online shopping habits have greatly altered in recent years. Today, people use smartphones far more than their desktop computers to buy things on the Internet hence they expect much more from the online stores

Outdated e-stores with sluggishly loading pages, inconvenient navigation, and generally poor performance don’t get the approval of buyers. For businesses, this simply means lost sales if the store is not compatible (from the technical perspective) and won’t live up to the audience’s expectations. 

Bottom line: change requires change.

Headless commerce is a new trend that determines the future of online selling. 

Find out what’s all the fuss, how it differs from traditional commerce and how merchants can benefit from a progressive frontend.

Source: saleslayer.com

Defining Monolithic Traditional Commerce Stores

The current situation is as follows: most online retail stores that we see online today are traditional commerce ones. A large portion of them was built a decade ago and uses heavy monolithic architecture.

This type of system keeps it all in one place; that is, everything is set up and maintained in a “single environment”. As a rule, these solutions are used to serve just one channel – in most cases, it all goes down to one site that’s mainly aimed at desktop users.

The backend and the frontend of such stores are closely interlinked. 

For example, this kind of architecture can be compared to a large warehouse that stores the entire data scope of your site. This includes the content that’s seen on the frontend by users along with all the information that’s managed in the backend (product database, order history, payment logs, customer data, etc).

In turn, this is why stores aren’t flexible enough when it comes down to their customization and how fast users receive the requested content on their screens.

Source: medium.com

The Biggest Drawbacks of Monolithic Architecture Stores

  • It takes a great deal of time to build monolithic websites in terms of development (since it involves both the frontend and the backend being tied together).
  • Moreover, stores with such coupled architecture are generally slower than headless ones. I.e., it takes them much more time to fetch the required content for users, which often causes irritation and bounce.
  • It’s time-consuming to make any changes, updates, or deployments. Developers who work with traditional commerce systems have to make changes in numerous places when they rework the code, making sure nothing else breaks in consequence. This implies that there’s practically no flexibility, leading to longer development and deployment time which backpedals the implementation of updates, features, and adopting new technology.
  • It gets tricky if you face the need to create something custom. Since this approach is very closely tied to the used framework and toolset, most “moves” that you can make with the site are often predefined. Topping that, because such traditional systems “run by other rules”, when you need something unique, there will most likely be big obstacles. This primarily regards changes to the store to suit mobile devices that require a different look.
  • With a monolithic store, you often get stuck with some solutions. The thing is that not everything can be updated or tweaked. Design is commonly a sore subject as, in most cases, there are big restrictions and limitations of what you can and cannot do in terms of an eCommerce store’s UX and UI (especially if we keep in mind design variations for multiple devices).
  • Most importantly, sticking to a solution that can’t be in line with the times and that will soon be outdated is not the best decision for online retail businesses. After all, you’ll have to shift to something else at some point in order for your business to adapt to the times, drive traffic, and convert.

Explaining Headless Decoupled Commerce Stores

As shortly mentioned earlier, the shift towards headless commerce is the next big deal in online retail. This rather recent trend revolves around such an architecture that splits apart a store’s frontend and backend.

Decoupled headless commerce systems use API to connect the backend with the frontend and have the frontend based on a modern framework (such as ReactJS or AngularJS). This helps the system quickly deliver its users the content that they want to see on the store no matter the used device.

Image credit: Pexels

Due to this separation, one single store can have different “heads” that’ll serve separate client touchpoints. That is, it may offer multiple solutions for users who wish to shop in the store using various devices.

Each “head” can be adapted to work with a specific device: smart home technology, a mobile phone, a desktop computer, a watch, a smart fridge, a voice assistant speaker, etc. They’ll be attached to the backend of the store via API. Thus, if you want to have the chance to support multiple channels, headless commerce can be what you’re looking for.

Furthermore, in turn, the backend of a headless commerce store can be divided too. This division is referred to as microservices. For example, the payment and search can have their own databases as opposed to a single one for them all. It allows avoiding “snowball” breaks and data mix-ups. 

In general, optimizing a site and its performance is much simpler with headless because it’s lightweight. The same applies if you want to have custom solutions that don’t depend on pre-set tools and layouts. Clearly, it makes sense to have a scalable site that’s not fully dependent on a single CMS.

The approach can also safeguard against mutual breaks. So, if you want to stop worrying that changes on the frontend can negatively affect the backend (or the other way around) during deployments, releases, or updates, don’t overlook headless commerce. Your dev teams can work separately on the frontend and backend without going back and forth.

Source: connectionmodel.com

The Drawbacks of Headless Commerce

  • Such changes won’t happen in a day. This is the first thing that you should keep in mind.
    Splitting an existing store’s backend from the frontend usually requires a load of “heavy-lifting” from the development perspective. Just as it is building a headless store from scratch.
  • If your online business is large-scale, you most likely have a highly customized monolithic store. In this case, your first option is building the headless commerce site from the ground up, i.e., not investing time in splitting what you have.  Alternatively, you can decouple your existing site’s frontend and backend, creating an API for the latter. For a large enterprise, headless commerce makes sense in this scenario if you have many unique solutions developed specifically for your business. But prepare for the long hours and costs that imply.
  • Next, there may be a necessity in creating plenty of UX\UI designs. Since there may be no frontend designs for the devices you want your store to support, this will require the work of designers. They’ll have to make the “looks” of the headless storefront for multiple endpoints. This implies a lot of hours from the developer’s side too to implement the UI and UX. Bear in mind that there’ll be a time-consuming UX\UI design stage of the entire site and its further development.

Undoubtedly, such work comes at a cost. Finding a team that you can trust with such a complicated headless project isn’t easy either. But this is the sacrifice that’ll pay off both short-term and long-term.

So How Do You Get Started with Headless Commerce?

Source: thirstcreative.co.au

There are numerous paths to follow if you’ve decided that you’re going headless. Here are some tips for you to get started.

Step 1

Before you begin the search for the optimal headless option for you, browse the web for some examples and think about what you have at the moment.

Step 2

Do some planning on the scope of work that’s ahead and think your strategy through.

The great thing is that you don’t have to build the whole store simultaneously. You can take things one piece at a time. For example, you may first transform your eCommerce store into a progressive web application (PWA).

Getting a PWA can be the big primary decision that’ll take you closer to headless commerce. You’ll therefore prepare your store for the attachment of other “heads” someday in the future as a PWA’s architecture presupposes decoupling.

Progressive web apps have many benefits, crucial of them being the fact that they optimize both the mobile and desktop versions of the store. This can cater to the needs of most of your audience today and provide the needed level of customer experience.

Plus, PWAs have a design that has “copied” the best that native applications provide, they work in browsers and don’t have to be downloaded, and are super fast. Here are many Magento PWA examples that you can take a look at.

Below are a couple of screenshots taken on a mobile device from the Apivita cosmetics site that is a PWA. It’s simple to navigate and has a neat design!

Source: Apivita

Step 3 

Define which current weak spots you want to improve, what are your main goals and which results you want to achieve in the long term.

Step 4

Determine which functionality you’ll need and which things should be your priority (for example, reaching impeccable site speed or supporting different devices).

Step 5

Finalize your budget.

Step 6

Consider which eCommerce platform you need and the approach to crafting a headless frontend and backend that’ll be right for your specific business. In most cases, you’ll need a team of professionals that specialize in a particular platform to work on your project.

Source: droptica.com

Final Say

We’ve seen a huge growth in online sales in the past few years, especially caused by the recent global pandemic.

Such a situation leaves business owners with the decision on whether to start reworking their online stores now or not. And the best choice here is to do so without delay. Optimizing stores in terms of their speed, UX\UI, performance, and capability to serve multiple endpoints is a must for user satisfaction, SEO, and conversions.

And what’s for headless commerce, if your business is planning to expand to omnichannel sales in the future, this is the only correct route on your map. A good point to start your online store’s “journey” to “destination headless” is converting it into a progressive web application.