Must Have Team For New eCommerce Venture

Must Have Team For New eCommerce Venture

Ecommerce is the future of WWW. Amazon, ebay, Flipkart, Jabbong, Sanpdeals etc are the whales of eCommerce.

After “Is your Website ready for Ecommerce Business ?” we have researched about teams which are boosting the revenues for their firms. We have made a list of must have teams for Ecommerce.

  • Technical Support Team
  • Content Team
  • Analytics Team
  • Data Research – Predictive Team
  • Social Media Team
  • Search Engine Optimization Team
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Technical Team

Tech team is totally responsible for your website’s look and feel. Team which makes sure that your website should be in good health. Team handles every critical part of your eCommerce website as well as they make sure that each and every form, tab, cart and landing pages work properly. The team takes care of affiliate links and website content. They are the people who make sure that website is properly integrated and product is properly managed on website? Team also manages the updates, testing updates, manage securities and compliances.

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Content Team

Team which manages the branding throughout the content like documentation, website content blog, terms and condition, product reviews, product description, FAQ etc. They not only curate it but also make it realistic and interactive by which people can converse ahead. Content team also plays an important role when it comes to Social Media Marketing.

 

Types of Content :

  • Website content
  • Product Content
  • Video Content
  • Infographics Content
  • Product Catalogues Content
  • Social Media Content
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Analytics Team :

There should be an analytics team who can constantly make watch on the performance of each and every product. They should have a answer of Who? Where? when? What? Why? Behaviours of traffic generated to website. They should track each and every footprint of customer from landing to exist.

They can help in terms like:

  • Predictive Search
  • Recommendations and Promotions
  • Pricing Management
  • Fraud Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Business Intelligence
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Data Research and Data Mining

“Data” is a gold mine of Insights. Companies like Airtel, Vodafone, Kotak Mahindra and many more have just understood the behaviour of their customers from foot to foot. Normally ecommerce have lots of data of their customers which they can use to increase the loyalty and to reveal new levels of profitability and reduce churn.

Affinity analysis

“Affinity analysis is a data analysis and data mining technique that discovers co-occurrence relationships among activities performed by (or recorded about) specific individuals or groups. In general, this can be applied to any process where agents can be uniquely identified and information about their activities can be recorded. In retail, affinity analysis is used to perform market basket analysis.”

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Amazon uses affinity analysis for cross-selling when it recommends products to people based on their purchase history and the purchase history of other people who bought the same item.

Sales Forecasting

Sales Forecasting is technique to predict when customer will buy again. We will cover this topic in details in our next blog.

Database Marketing

Create products which will sell themselves. This process is data driven. You have to study your data accurately and have to mark each footprints of your customer over the past year.

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Social Media Marketing Team

Social Media is a platform to engage with your loyal customer. This is place the where you can feed your customer with your daily deals and invite them to win goodies from you. Social Media is a new power to businesses to multiply their revenues! Social media is where your targeted customers are.

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Search Engine Optimization Team

These guys make each product on e-commerce platform visible on search engines. They make sure all tracking codes and analytics work proper. They ensure each product is coming in top two pages when someone searches for them. They make sure Google advertise get noticed and clicked. They are the ones who will generate traffic and make them do payment without any obstacle.

Players who played cameo with this team are well known king ecommerce. If you are planning a Ecommerce then this are the must have teams for your business.

Responsive vs. Adaptive

Responsive vs. Adaptive

You’ve probably heard people say we’re living in a “post-PC world.” What does that mean for web developers? It means that 30% to 50% of your website’s traffic now comes from mobile devices. It means that soon, desktop and laptop users will be in a minority on the web.

How do we deal with this tectonic shift in user behavior? We’ve moved beyond the era of m-dot or t-dot hacks, into one where responsive and adaptive design techniques rule the day — what the W3C calls a One Web approach. The key part of the W3C’s recommendation is that “One Web means making, as far as is reasonable, the same information and services available to users irrespective of the device they are using.”

For developers that means that taking a One Web approach ensures that not only does your site work on the smartphones and tablets of today, but it can be future-proofed for the unimagined screens of tomorrow.

There are currently three popular approaches to developing a One Web site: using a responsive design; client-side adaptive designs; and server-side adaptive designs.

One is not better or worse than the other; each has its own strengths and weaknesses and the wise web developer will consider the benefits and drawbacks of each before picking the one that works for their next project.

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Responsive Web Design

Responsive web design is the most common One Web approach. The approach uses CSS media queries to modify the presentation of a website based on the size of the device display. The number of responsive sites is rapidly increasing, from the Boston Globe to Disney to Indochino.

A key advantage of this approach is that designers can use a single template for all devices, and just use CSS to determine how content is rendered on different screen sizes. Plus, those designers can still work in HTML and CSS, technologies they’re already familiar with. Additionally, there’s a growing number of responsive-friendly, open-source toolkits like Bootstrap or Foundation which help simplify the process of building responsive sites.

On the other hand, there are few shortcuts to a sound responsive design. To go responsive, organizations often have to undertake a complete site rebuild.

The design and testing phase can be quite fussy, as it can be difficult to customize the user experience for every possible device or context. We’ve all seen responsive site layouts that look like a bunch of puzzle pieces that don’t quite fit together. Responsive web design works best in combination with a mobile-first approach, where the mobile use case is prioritized during development. Progressive enhancement is then used to address tablet and desktop use cases.

Performance can also be a bugbear for responsive sites. At Mobify, we recently completed an analysis of 15 popular responsive e-commerce sites. Among these sites, the home pages loaded an average of 87 resources and 1.9 MB of data. Some responsive pages were as big as 15MB.

The numbers are that high because a responsive approach covers all devices. Your user is only using one device, but they have to wait for all of the page elements and resources to load before they can use it. Put simply, performance affects your bottom line. On smartphones, the conversion rate drops by an extra 3.5 percent when users have to wait just one second. By the three second mark, 57 percent of users will have left your site completely.

While responsive design is fast becoming the de facto standard, it also creates new challenges for online businesses, including how to handle images, how to optimize mobile performance and often means sites need to be rebuilt from the ground up with a mobile first approach.

Client-Side Adaptive

Adaptive design builds on the principles of responsive design to deliver user experiences that are targeted at specific devices and contexts. It uses JavaScript to enrich websites with advanced functionality and customization. For example, adaptive websites deliver Retina-quality images only to Retina displays (such as the new iPad) while standard-definition displays receive lower-quality images.

There are two approaches to adaptive design — one where the adaptations occur on the client side, in the user’s browser, and another where the web server does the heavy lifting of detecting various devices and loading the correct template. Examples of client-side adaptive sites include Threadless and ideeli. One of the strengths of the adaptive templating approach is the ability to reuse one set of HTML and JavaScript across devices, simplifying change management and testing.

A client-side adaptive approach means you don’t have to rebuild your site from the ground up. Instead you can build on existing content while still delivering a mobile-responsive layout. For expert developers, this approach also enables you to specifically target particular devices or screen resolutions. For example, for many of Mobify’s online fashion retail clients, 95% of their mobile traffic comes from iPhones. Client-side adaptive means they can optimize specifically for Apple smartphones.

Unlike responsive design, adaptive templates ensure that only the required resources are loaded by the client’s device. Because device and feature detection is shifted to the mobile device itself, CDN networks like Akamai and Edgecast can use most of their caching functionality without disrupting the user experience.

The client-side adaptive approach has a higher barrier to entry than responsive design. Developers need to have a solid grasp of JavaScript to use this technique. It also depends on a site’s existing templates as the foundation. Finally, because the client-side adaptations are a kind of layer on top of your existing code base, you need to maintain them as your site as a whole evolves.

Server-Side Adaptive

We can achieve the server-side adaptive approach in a variety of ways, through server-side plugins and custom user agent detection. Sites that use server-side adaptive include Etsy, One Kings Lane and OnlineShoes.com.

Why choose server-side adaptive? It typically offers distinct templates for each devices, enabling more customization, and it keeps device-detection logic on the server, enabling smaller mobile pages that load faster. Additionally, there are numerous server-side plugins available for common CMSs and eCommerce systems such as Magento.

This approach isn’t for the faint of heart–it typically requires significant changes to your back-end systems, which can result in a lengthy (and costly) implementation. The requirement to manage multiple templates raises ongoing maintenance costs. Finally, this approach can encounter performance issues when servers are under heavy load. When mobile user agent detection is performed on the server, a lot of common caching mechanisms deployed by CDNs like Akamai need to be turned off. This can result in a slower user experience for mobile and desktop visitors.

Of course, many companies are still wrestling with the basics of responsive, and they’re not ready to confront the more sophisticated flavors of adaptive. Increasingly, competition and mobile traffic, however, will drive more and more organizations to kick the tires on all three approaches, and pick the one that works best for their users.

Is Your Website Getting Slower? Try These Optimization Techniques

Is Your Website Getting Slower? Try These Optimization Techniques

There are a couple reasons performance can take a hit on your website.Your user rate can increase beyond the scope the site was designed for as multiple companies and users attempt to activate the portal. Or you may have too many scripts and images attempting to load at once.Likely there is some combination of both problems that cause loading time to slow down and your users to get impatient.

This was the case for AllianceTek a while back as one of our client’s sites was taking a huge performance hit.Rather than add to the scope of the website, we addressed the problem by performing website optimization at three levels:

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Website Level Optimization

We traced and debugged code to check which images and scripts were taking longer than normal so we could address them.Sprite images were used as necessary.We compressed Javascripts and limited the use of only those CSS, scripts, required at a time on the current page. Async AJAX calling was used to manage loading time which helped loading the page structure. AJAX scheduling gets data gradually rather than all at once so there is less loading time. We applied custom paging with Telerik grid that shortened the time of data exchange and made custom paging load only the data displayed on the current page. The website we were optimizing had a dashboard hoarding all critical business information. We offered an option for a mini dashboard that would display important information on a smaller scale in order to reduce the server calls and data loading time.

Server Level Optimization

We split the server into two parts – a web part and a database part.We ran a scheduler process to speed up the process of reporting company statistics where live data is not required.By using global content caching to fetch data from cache, it reduced the number of server trips and thus decreased loading time.

Database Level Optimization

Further normalizing the database reduced redundancy. We addressed clustered and non-clustered indexes that ate up valuable performance quality.

As a result of these changes, there was less loading time, improved data retrieval processes, and increased user accessibility.Although results will vary depending on the unique case, in this situation we improved performance by 55% which had the effect of improving work efficiency by approximately 46%. (*These results will vary case to case depending on the optimization done.)

Are You Truly Benefiting from Your E-Learning Solution ?

Are You Truly Benefiting from Your E-Learning Solution ?

E-learning is not new, not by a long shot. In the last decade it has become a ubiquitous method of educating, training, and teaching within and outside of organizations. However, lately I have come across a lot of people who seem to misunderstand what e-learning is all about. Many are using e-learning as simply a way to publish and share material over the web. If this sounds like your application of e-learning, then you’re missing on the real benefits of the concept.

What e-learning essentially is interactive learning material – two-way education with input and feedback between the teaching software and the learner. This is different from self-educated learning from electronic documents where the learner simply reads information or watches media and attempts to glean education from it. I believe that to truly have an effective e-learning solution, it needs to embrace three concepts: education, communication, and collaboration.

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Education

Studies have shown that audio and visual tools better engage the learner and this should be an essential part of an e-learning solution. The latest technologies, such as HTML5, Flash, Silverlight, have made great strides in e-learning by transforming content into audio, video, and animated effects. To help educate, an e-learning solution should have user feedback features such as tests and quizzes that automatically generate graphs and reports to help the learner track their progress.

Communication

Learning is never one-sided, a teacher or educator needs to be in touch with their students and understand how they are progressing.I believe interactive features that allow learners to ask experts online greatly benefits the learning process.Users should be able to view and register for events on a calendar and receive interactive reminders and alerts that keep everyone on the same page.

Collaboration

Learners not only can benefit from instructor feedback, but from each other through information discovering and sharing. An effective e-learning solution should have collaboration features to enable user-to-user communication and collaboration. For example, users should be able to upload and share content and communicate through email or a messaging system. I’ve noticed users greatly benefiting from e-learning solutions that integrate social media networks like YouTube and Facebook where they can upload and share content.

If you’re going to implement an e-learning solution (and I believe every business, regardless of size, should), then why not use one that offers the complete package of education, communication, and collaboration?

Responsive website, HTML5, and Cross-Platform – Which Approach to Use When?

Responsive website, HTML5, and Cross-Platform – Which Approach to Use When?

With the proliferation and mobile devices and the numerous browsers, it’s more complex than ever trying to build an application that caters to so many different possible users. However, there are a few methodologies that help make sense of this turmoil: responsive website, HTML 5, and cross-platform development. We hope to shine a light on these concepts so you can choose the best way to develop your application and reach the most potential users.

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Here are three approaches to development :

Responsive Web Design – RWD refers to a website that adapts to the browser and/or device to provide an optimal viewing experience. It emphasizes easy reading and navigation while minimizing resizing, panning, and scrolling by adapting the layout to the viewing environment by using proportion-based grids, flexible images, and CSS3 media queries.

HTML5 App – From the look and feel HTML5 apps will look the same as any other apps. However, the apps have limited functionalities as much as HTML5 and JavaScript can support. HTML5 Apps are created using a mix of HTML5, CSS and JavaScript. HTML5 apps are platform independent and can run on any device like Android, iOS, Blackberry or Windows Phone with a standard browser.

Cross-platform Apps – Cross-platform apps are designed to work with and use a device’s native functionalities. The framework built to use cross-platform apps has a cross compiler which is capable of creating the final executable code for the multiple platforms. Different frameworks are available for developing these cross-platform apps.

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Responsive Web Design – When to Use It

Responsive Web Design (RWD) is best suited when the requirements do not go beyond building a website that dynamically changes the layout according to the device used. This is the optimal method when building website architecture for desktops, smartphones, tablets and e-readers. RWD is capable of providing a convenient viewing experience with the myriad of browsers and mobile devices on the market.

HTML5 App – When to Use It

HTML5 is best used when you require a basic mobile application that can be coded using HTML5, CSS and JavaScript. This approach is broken into two types: Simple Web Apps require only HTML5 and do not use any native device features or API like camera, GPS, etc. Hybrid Apps, as the name suggest, combine a simple app while still using a few of the native features. Hybrid Apps use HTML5 code with the use of native features sparingly. Overall, HTML5 Apps are best when the app does not require any device-specific features. They require less development time so they are more cost efficient. HTML5 Apps are easily portable with frameworks like PhoneGap.

Cross-Platform App – When to Use It

Cross-Platform App development is the way to go when your application demands the use of some native features or API and you want it to run on multiple devices. A cross-platform app increases code reusability since the majority of your code remains the same and only minor changes are required to make it run on the different platforms. Cross-platform apps can be created using various frameworks available on the market today such as Titanium, Xamarin, and Sencha Touch. However, there are a few drawbacks to this approach. Each framework will have a different coding language and coding standards and so it requires a specific skill for that framework. Some of these frameworks will cost you if used for commercial use.

In the end, the requirements, development costs, and time are factors to consider when determining which type of application is the way to go? Obtaining further clarity is important, and it may be beneficial to contact a trusted mobile app development company to help you choose the right strategy that suits your budget, needs, and positions you for business growth. AllianceTek has earned a reputation with helping organizations make wise development decisions and we would be pleased to discuss development strategies with you.

Website Development In Open Source Platforms – A cost-effective solution for your business

Website Development In Open Source Platforms – A cost-effective solution for your business

Before the arrival of open source platforms, ecommerce and blogging were costly and time-consuming endeavors. Creating and maintaining your website required programming expertise that many people simply did not have.

Today there are several networked, open source platforms available to consumers and business leaders that can remove costs, save time and improve overall quality in intuitive and straightforward ways. While they still require varying degrees of programming knowledge, these platforms make maintaining and customizing any website straightforward and relatively simple.

We’d like to familiarize you with the various open source platform options so you may better understand what they do, how they work, and which is the most appropriate platform for your business needs.

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Magento

Magento is an open source ecommerce platform for large-scale enterprises. It can be used to create webstores and tailor them to your customers’ convenience with mobile access, multiple currency options for payment, and multi-address shipping. The program allows you to design your own theme, add widgets, modules and extensions, and utilize SEO and marketing promotion tools. Magento places a high priority on security, so you can be sure that your data remains safe and intact in an easy-to-locate place. With the free support and help guides Magento offers, getting assistance when you run into issues is only a click away. With Magento, you can efficiently handle the large-scale, expensive issues of code re-use, maintainability, debugging, support and more.

The learning curve for using Magento can be pretty steep. Even an experienced programmer will need time to become comfortable with it. If you’re using a small server to run your site or need only simple, non-ecommerce features, the Magento platform may prove to be more of a hindrance than an advantage.

Joomla

Joomla is one of the most popular free content management systems (CMS) around. Joomla is great for small to medium sized business websites, allowing you to create and manage a dynamic website with ecommerce features. Joomla is preferred when you require a cost efficient website with CMS features and easy blogging.

Drupal

Drupal is a powerful & developer-friendly tool for building complex CMS sites. If you want a large CMS that gives you complete control over everything at a low cost to your time, Drupal is the way to go. Designed for sites with heavy traffic, Drupal gives you precise control over URL structure. You can create new content types and advanced custom views.

One of Drupal’s unique features is its Taxonomy module, which provides multiple ways to tag, organize and categorize content. Drupal pages are quick to load and have a faster response time than those made with WordPress or Joomla. Adding plug-ins, themes and other configurable options to your webpage is easy.

WordPress

WordPress is easy and cost-effective. It includes customizable and standard blogging capabilities that are easy to understand. The code behind WordPress is clean and simple, meaning search engines can easily identify content to direct visitors to your page. With millions of users, WordPress has a rich and vibrant community that can support you through any problems you may have.

Though mainly used for smaller and simpler sites, such as personal blogs, WordPress’ ever-increasing repertoire of themes, plugins and widgets lends itself to a wide range of uses for several website formats. Using a free plugin called WooCommerce, you can use WordPress to convert your blog to an ecommerce platform as well.

One disadvantage to consider is the need WordPress has for plugins in order to remain competitive with Joomla and Drupal.

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Which Platform is Best for You?

Consider your own business & requirements and which platform might be best for what you need:

Magento is best used to maintain large-scale ecommerce enterprises.

Joomla is perfect for small to medium sized businesses that want easy set-up and maintenance for their website with simple ecommerce and CMS capabilities with flexibility.

Drupal is recommended for building large and complex CMS websites, not ecommerce sites.

WordPress is the best option if you’re running a personal blog or a small/medium business website with better SEO capabilities. WordPress is a suitable option that can take your business far with simple technical requirements.

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