eCommerce Developers - Oct 29, 2015 in Toronto :: ecommerce by Sergey Funin
ecommerce in Toronto by Sergey Funin - 5 most common e-commerce pitfalls that can really hurt your business

5 most common e-commerce pitfalls that can really hurt your business

There are at least five common mistakes made by those who run an e-commerce website. These are known to cause an e-commerce website to lose out on its full sales potential:

1. Bad Page Design

A major part of having an e-commerce website is providing customers with an attractive page design. It should be clean, enticing, and appropriate for the products it offers. Should a person’s website not be performing up to expectations, the owner may want to take a look at the design of the competition’s website. Many e-commerce websites succeed by using templates or imitating templates found on the internet. These are easy to install or create. The images utilized on the website are extremely important. Providing high-quality product images takes on special significance because an e-commerce website can’t provide potential customers an opportunity to physically touch products.

2. Site Lacks Responsiveness

An e-commerce website today will generate a high percentage of its sales from people using tablets and smartphones to do shopping. Many people are launching an e-commerce website for the first time and may not realize how important it is to configure their online business for shoppers using these types of devices. If this is not done, the shopper will have a negative experience and may not return.
Load times are also important. It is estimated that each second a page is delayed in loading leads to over 10 percent fewer page views.

The loading time of an e-commerce website needs to be regularly checked.
Social media channels can provide an opportunity for an online business owner to hear their customers concerns. These concerns need to be addressed immediately. Quick responses to issues can increase a customer base and build customer loyalty.

3. Product Information

When people visit an e-commerce website, they want to know quickly what is being sold. The home page should provide clear and easy to understand information about what it sells. The more time a person has to spend trying to figure this out, the greater the chance they will leave and not return. It is especially important for product descriptions. When a customer has an easy time understanding a product’s description, there is a greater chance they will purchase it.

It’s also important for an online business to clearly state their shipping and return policies as well as payment methods. Irrelevant product information must be avoided. Shoppers may not be interested in how a manufacturer funded the creation of their product.

4. Checkout Process Is Complicated

When a shopper visits an e-commerce website, they may have spent a significant amount of time choosing products. When it comes time for the checkout process, they’re excited and want it to go quickly. If they abandon the process after the first few steps, there is a problem.

This may not be a time to ask for too much personal information. Filling out forms or performing repetitive actions can discourage a happy customer. If the process is slow, it can also cause frustration. Credit card theft is a big concern for many online shoppers. If an e-commerce website is not a big name brand, consumers may be hesitant to use it. It’s important to provide as many payment options as possible such as PayPal.

5. Personalization

An e-commerce website can do many things right, but if it does not generate revenue the website will end up frustrating the online business owner. To be competitive, an e-commerce website needs to consistently provide personalized products that respond to the interest and needs of its customers. This will develop a strong brand awareness and create a positive impact on sales. A customer needs to know they’re appreciated. It’s important customers be thanked after making a purchase. This information will help with making good business decisions about operating their e-commerce website.


Source: http://3qdigital.com/featured/5-common-e-commerce-...
Joseph Icm
Joseph Icm

E-commerce and Fashion

Success in the Fashion Industry using eCommerce
Staying above your competition is the ultimate goal in any industry that you are in. Fashion will always be one of the top leading industries, so there is no surprise competition will endlessly continue to grow and increase the difficulty of competition. Nonetheless, there are several specific tactics we will discuss that will help you not only succeed but actually make the process of retaining loyal customers and acquiring new ones easy and enjoyable.

It will be necessary to compose an effective marketing strategy that not only addresses these points but that also allows you to grab more market share than your competitors. The following 11 tips will help you outshine your competitors and bring in more sales than ever.

1.Regularly Nurture your Customers

The Harvard Business Review states that acquiring a new customer is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive than maintaining an existing one. That said, your customer retention strategy should find ways to leverage your existing customers to stay with you, through loyalty programs or discounts. When customers have the opportunity to get the products they are familiar with at a more favourable price, the likelihood of them lurking on your competitors’ website will decrease significantly.

2.Customer Support

Poor customer service is one of the biggest weaknesses a business can have. If returning items is difficult, customers won’t be as likely to come around next time they consider making a purchase. According to TrueShip’s findings, about 30% of all products ordered are returned, so making this process as easy as possible will help you have your existing customers coming back for more. Having someone around the clock to help with any customer inquiries will be very beneficial to customer loyalty and support.

3.Why Come Back?

You should be giving your customers a reason to come back for more, and maintaining a relationship with them so they don’t forget about you. Creating an email marketing campaign that informs your clients of weekly new promotions will enable you to stay top-of-mind, and by segmenting your promotions to the right customers, you will increase sales and create a higher ROI.

4.High Quality Images

Successful fashion eCommerce requires excellent photography in order to even be a part of the competition. Stock images will do you no good, so hiring a professional fashion photographer will be your best bet. A high quality selection of your inventory will help you embody a lifestyle and will create a better appeal for your brand and its story.

5.Avoid Plain Product Descriptions

Instead of following the mainstream product descriptions, be creative and artistic to create a story that will help your customers imagine the benefits of owning your product. An example would be to change, “The perfect pair of heels for prom,” to “Be the Cinderella of your prom, by wearing these unforgettable and exquisite heels.”

6.Don’t play Hide and Seek

Being easy to find by using search engine optimization (SEO) is a crucial component of your fashion eCommerce strategy. If you’re hard to locate, how will you make any sales? Consult with an SEO specialist to make sure the copy on the page is optimized for every product, and so they can properly index your product pages.

7.Seek the Right Business Partnerships

The key to developing a successful fashion website is to create smart partnerships. Creating relationships with influencers or bloggers in your industry will be very valuable for your eCommerce site. You should reach out to well-known reviewers who will provide a quote to the quality of your product or posting a guest blog on an influenced blogger in the fashion industry.

8.Keep it Simple

Keeping your fashion eCommerce site clean and simple, will help browsing customers navigate easily, and encourage them to continue browsing. Your user interface should be faultless so the overall user experience should be as simple and enjoyable as possible. With the endless options on the web, an online customer can easily make the decision to switch to a competitor’s site because of difficulty in navigating, viewing products, reviewing checkout information is complicating, or anything along those lines.

9.Mobile Integration

As mentioned earlier, there has been a rapid increase in mobile consumers, so responsive web design should be integrated into your marketing strategy. However, you should first identify what percentage of your sales comes from mobile devices. There is an increasing trend in customers who shop on-the-go, so you should make sure your fashion eCommerce site is easy to read and is able to interact on any device.

10.Represent a Lifestyle

Individuals are no longer interested in low quality products, and if you haven’t noticed that successful brands, whether cheap or not, still exemplify a higher lifestyle. You should be able to differentiate yourself in the crowd, and focus on a specific niche to demonstrate your expertise in it.

11.Pricing

You should always strive to retain your existing and potential customers. You don’t want to lose them to a competitor because they have a slightly lower price, so ensure your pricing is right. You can do this by performing thorough research on pricing and offering coupons or future promotion opportunities to motivate customers to engage in purchasing your products and come back for more.

Following these principles will be your best bet to outshine your competition, and attain the sales and results you are capable of. You should not hesitate to seek expertise from a fashion eCommerce expert.

Nicole Kat
Nicole Kat

eCommerce Content Marketing Trends 2016

Content marketing is considered to be one of the most important areas of eCommerce promotion, which will continue to grow in 2016. Video content is expected to be the hottest eCommerce marketing trend this year.
Larry Nineham
Larry Nineham

How to choose ecommerce developers

The internet is the world’s largest retail space and it is instantly accessible from the comfort of your own home. This convenience is possible because today’s eCommerce stores are powered by dynamic and detailed content management systems (CMSs) that categorize, itemize, and price every product available for purchase. eCommerce CMSs make a store’s inventory accessible and searchable by anyone through a web browser which opens up a new avenue for interested customers, and their dollars, to swing by. However, because of the inherent complexity with eCommerce online transactions, your choice of an eCommerce web developer or development firm becomes of critical importance. Between inventory synchronization and secure payment processing many issues can render your store non-functional, or worse, liable for sensitive customer data loss.

Minimize potential business pitfalls by thoroughly inspecting your pool of candidates and ensure your developer meets, but preferably exceeds, the following four criteria.

Portfolio A review of potential candidates should begin with their resume and, if it meets your needs, then move onto their portfolio. A good eCommerce web developer should have several stores highlighted in their portfolio. Be sure to peruse their work by visiting the websites to ensure candidates have the expertise to deliver the results your organization is expecting.

Remember that a developer with more than one eCommerce website in their portfolio is likely to have a stronger base of knowledge to work from when issues arise. Also, give precedent to candidates that are actively maintaining live eCommerce websites. This sort of developer is on the front lines of commerce in the 21st century and they will be the most well versed in current eCommerce and technology trends.

CMS Familiarity When looking for eCommerce web developers it is important to find individuals who have experience developing for your store’s CMS. Some of the most popular open source options are Magento, osCommerce, or PrestaShop. A developer with a portfolio full of PrestaShop websites may not be the best choice to spearhead your eCommerce store’s Magento deployment. Be sure to ask them questions about their various projects and have them elaborate on why they made some of the development or design choices seen in their work. Asking the right questions will help narrow down your list of prospects, allowing you to focus on a select few who can meet your organization’s needs.

Payment Processor Experience Online order payments are routed through your store’s CMS but that is not their final destination. Payments must be securely sent to a payment processor to safely request the owed funds and route them into your business’ account. Many different payment processors exist but your ideal developer should be familiar with yours and be able to speak about its configurations and functionality. Customers are placing their utmost trust in your store (and by association your developers) when they enter their credit card and billing information to complete a purchase. Safeguard their confidence by choosing a developer who inspires confidence in you.

Constant Communication Your business’ decision makers will need to be in direct contact with the development team (or Project Manager) and your developers must have direct lines of communication available to the organization’s decision makers, the payment processor’s staff, the store’s inventory controllers, and the website’s content managers. Selecting a developer with a track record of keeping necessary parties apprised during the various development processes will minimize and help eliminate development blocks.

Finally, check a few references from each potential developer’s resume. A slick looking website within their portfolio could’ve been constructed with thousands of dollars in overages due to unclear communications or delayed deadlines. Calling a few contacts and gauging their response to your inquiries will provide insight you will not be able to get directly from the developer.

Your organization’s choice in an eCommerce developer will affect every step of the web development process so scrutinize heavily to avoid heartaches and budget shortfalls. Due diligence, and lots of it, is the only proven method to secure the eCommerce developer your project deserves. Refuse to cut corners during the scouting process and you won’t spend any nights losing sleep over development deficiencies.
Leon Forman
Leon Forman
ecommerce in Toronto by Sergey Funin - Top 3 trends in ecommerce in 2016

Top 3 trends in ecommerce in 2016

2016 will continue to be an innovator's market, and if you're not adapting and evolving to meet the needs of your customers, then there is a good chance you'll be left behind. This is being seen in almost every facet of our lives, from how we go on vacation (Airbnb) to how we catch a cab (Uber). The same can be said for online shopping. No longer is a simple store with some nice items enough to wrangle in the shopper, online business owner will have to continue to make strides if they are to keep up with online powerhouses like Amazon. We've compiled a couple of trends emerging in the ecommerce realm below, so make sure to check them out if you're a shop owner or thinking about opening an online boutique. Robust shopping carts: Gone are the days of simple, one dimensional shopping carts. Instead, business owners are looking for platforms that can adapt and change to fit their needs, ones that allow for additional plugins and options past just "check out" and "view cart." Rich content and branding to drive sales: Impulse buys are still very much a thing, but shop owners should look to engage their customer base by telling a story through their product. Maybe not every individual piece, but there should be an overarching theme, one that you should talk about and focus on. Payment methods that work for you and the customer: Traditional payment methods like debit and credit are still very relevant, but having payment options that give customers more options should stay in the forefront of your mind. Whether it's using Paypal to accept payments, or even Bitcoin payment options, find out what your customers are using and make sure to include that option during checkout.


Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/aj-agrawal/5-ecommerce-trends-in-201_b_9204022.html
Joseph Icm
Joseph Icm
ecommerce in Toronto by Sergey Funin - Critical Questions To Ask When Re-Platforming Your Ecommerce Website

Critical Questions To Ask When Re-Platforming Your Ecommerce Website

When considering a re-platform to an existing e-store, whether it’s to improve performance, boost sales or even to optimize the customer experience, many areas demand attention. These include the front-end platform where customers engage, the order management system, merchandising, marketing, site aesthetics and billing. While hosting may not grab the spotlight, changes in hosting will influence each and every one of the functions that customers engage with, and the right or wrong decision in hosting can have a dramatic impact. Signs of a poor hosting solution can include the order management system loading very slowly, resulting in frustrated customers. Slow performance can also negatively impact marketing efforts and, ultimately, be damaging to your brand. Thus, when re-platforming, it’s really worthwhile paying close attention to selecting the right hosting provider in the early stages of strategic planning. Given the number of hosting providers on the market, this is easier said than done. Here are six key questions to consider when in the process of looking for the best hosting partner for your ecommerce business. 1. Will my infrastructure scale easily? Seamless, smooth scaling of your hosting infrastructure is essential to most ecommerce environments. This can be especially relevant during holidays and other popular shopping events, such as Cyber Monday, when website traffic increases dramatically. Provisioning for peaks is important but it is just as important to consider what your requirements will be during the other 11 months of the year. For instance, what if your product gets an unexpected celebrity endorsement? What if your new marketing campaign strikes gold, bringing thousands of new consumers to your site? Conversely, what if you want to consolidate and reduce traffic for a period? A constantly geared up “just in case” contract may give you peace of mind, but can be very expensive. When meeting with a new hosting provider, ask how they build infrastructure that can cope with both expected and unexpected demands, without getting overloaded. Also ask about continuous monitoring and capacity testing capabilities, which can help flag similar concentrated spikes in traffic, so that they can be proactively addressed before impacting website speeds. 2. Will my site always be on? While high traffic is a top cause of website outages, it’s good to remember other potential root causes. Webpages can go down for just a couple of minutes when a hosting provider restarts a server or adds CPU, for example. Even a few seconds could mean lost transactions, and anything longer could lose customer confidence. In fact, according to Aberdeen Group, a one second delay in page load time could result in as much as a 7 percent loss of conversions. Ask your hosting provider how they’ll support every transaction, around the clock. Choose a hosting partner that can ensure robust service level agreements (SLAs) for uptime and availability and can offer a zero downtime guarantee with full backup and recovery should the worst happen. 3. Is your network fast? Of course, another cause of a slow website is network connectivity and performance. Your hosting provider can’t control the local service levels of customers, but they can control the connectivity and network quality of your own infrastructure. Ideally, your hosting provider should own their own network in order to be able to deliver optimal network service. When your provider shares a network with other providers, or taps into public connectivity, your site will in turn be vulnerable to the impact of traffic from those other providers and customers. If you share a network with a popular content streaming site, for instance, you could see dramatic performance losses when users are watching the new season of the latest Netflix show. 4. Will deploying my new platform be painless and easy? Hosting shouldn’t be an afterthought for ecommerce businesses, and it also shouldn’t be a painful, time-consuming process. Find a hosting provider that has the industry know-how and experience to smoothly and autonomously plan for, build, deploy and manage your optimized ecommerce hosting infrastructure. Be sure to ask any potential new hosting partners about their teams’ experience with major ecommerce platforms like Magento, hybris and IBM WebSphere, as each have different infrastructure and software requirements. Also, inquire about their partnerships with integration experts, which can help ensure that support systems and applications don’t cause performance issues down the road. You may also want to ask about partnerships with systems integrators, which can help ensure your new platform works well with other IT systems and/or applications. 5. Can you offer better SLAs than I would get with a self-hosted solution? Patching, troubleshooting, monitoring and backing up ecommerce infrastructure can quickly become overwhelming and resource intensive. And, it’s much more difficult to consistently meet internal SLAs like network uptime and server availability without spending upfront on significant IT resources. Seek out a hosting provider that can deliver on the SLAs you need to power your business. Don’t compromise here – you should be able to trust your hosting provider to manage your servers while you’re busy growing your business. 6. Will my site be secure? There are many security related questions to ask your hosting provider. For one, inquire about PCI DSS standard compliance, and any other local laws that you may need to abide by. Also, ask about any previous customer breaches – what was the cause, and how did the hosting provider handle it? Look for a hosting partner that does everything possible to keep its customers’ data private, secure and safe.



Source: http://multichannelmerchant.com/ecommerce/6-questions-to-ask-when-re-platforming-your-ecommerce-site-04052015/
Joseph Icm
Joseph Icm
ecommerce in Toronto by Sergey Funin - Breakdown of a perfect checkout page!

Breakdown of a perfect checkout page!

One of the most effective ways to improve shopping cart abandonment is to optimize the checkout process.
Yevgeni Kontent
Yevgeni Kontent
ecommerce in Toronto by Sergey Funin - Fashion e-Commerce

Fashion e-Commerce

Everyone likes to window shop right? Visual merchandising online is just as important as it is in the brick and mortar world. Here are a few key things to think about when it comes to fashion ecommerce.

1. Use a suggest feature to bring up top products

Make sure that everything on your site can be found easily and quickly. You want to create an experience with the customer at the heart of it. Add things like a suggest feature, which auto-completes keywords typed into a search box. This will boost merchandising leverage as it can be used to promote best sellers, sale items or advertised merchandise or introduce new products to your buyer.

Intelligent product placement: By displaying best-selling products via its ‘Suggest’ function, Esprit increases the probability of purchase

2. Manipulate which search results appear first

Your search result products should reflect your brand and your sales strategy. If you are known for high quality products then meet the expectations of your customer and use the search feature to suggest high quality products of yours that have received favourable reviews.



“Pushed products” at German fashion retailer Hessnatur; new and discounted items appear at the top of the search results to accelerate sales of certain products

3. Create emotional incentives through inspiration

Studies have shown that 54% of buyers state that they buy more than planned when the product presentation is particularly attractive. Therefore, inspiring the customer is of key importance.

Online retailers can meet this demand by creating themed categories. Creating a lookbook for example around themes such as "Girls Night Out" , " Elegant Fall Looks" or "Cocktail Party" is a great way to showcase your products from pants, dresses and shoes to lingerie.

Every online shop should motivate their customers to browse and enjoy the experience of imagining what the product would like on them. Therefore, be as creative as possible with your themes. This will improve conversion rates and cross selling.



Displaying a wide selection of products and still quickly finding the right thing. With theme worlds such as “Business Look”, Mytheresa.com creates a pleasing shopping experience for customers

4. Show your customers how to mix and match – display alternative and additional articles in the right place

The mantra of every sales person is "Always Upsell". The same is true online. Offer customers matching items to the item they have in their cart, generate suggestions by showing what other buyers who were interested in a particular item bought. Ideally, you should show the combination of items already in the preview.



By displaying matching additional items, fashion stores can increase the average order size.

High-margin products should also be offered as alternative products

Another key to this is showcasing a whole outfit. If someone is buying a top, show them pants, hat and shoes to complete the look. Make it easy for your customer by including features right in the shopping care that enable customers to select the appropriate size and place items directly in the cart without opening a new product page.



See at a glance what suits: Thanks to the Outfit-view, customers put more products into their shopping carts with one click

Yevgeni Kontent
Yevgeni Kontent

Google Panda Algorithm as it Relates to E-commerce

Core findings from the latest Google Panda update, as they relate to ecommerce:

1) Panda demotes e-commerce content that is too promotional is poorly written
2) Panda promotes product content that is well-written and organic in nature.
3) Panda puts more emphasis on behavioural SEO metrics on product pages - such as content engagement and user comments and reviews.
4) Panda will not penalize an entire website, only certain pages within a site, which are poorly written
5) UGC is even more important than before. User comments generate behavioural signals which are instrumental to the Panda algorithm.
Owen Ormsley
Owen Ormsley

Top 5 Ecommerce Platforms & Shopping Cart Software: Shopify vs Volusion vs Bigcommerce vs Big Cartel vs 3dcart

In a market as saturated as the ecommerce platform market, it can be very difficult to figure out which shopping cart software best meets your needs. If you are considering starting your own store, then chances are you have already run into this struggle at some point. So far I have reviewed most popular platforms as individual offers, and created this comparison chart, then ranked all platforms after their SEO effectiveness, but now it is time to see how the different platforms compare to each other: Shopify,Bigcommerce, 3dcart, Volusion and Big Cartel.
Tim Marskell
Tim Marskell

Ecommerce firms like Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal rope in ethical hackers to tackle cyber attacks

In January, one of India's major ecommerce firms discovered that someone has been buying goods on its platform for free for several months.

A hacker, operating from a small town in Uttar Pradesh, had exploited a loophole in its payment system to manipulate it and avail 100% discount on almost anything s/he purchased for about six months. It would have continued had it not been for another hacker — an ethical one — who spotted the loot and helped the ecommerce company save the day.

"We hacked in to the ecommerce platform from outside and were able to buy almost anything for free," said the 20-something ethical hacker who helped the company. "It may be little complicated for you to understand, but simply put, an algorithm was developed which manipulated the payment gateway in to reading duplicated discount codes," the youngster said.

Ecommerce and mobile app-based service providers such as Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Paytm and Ola are increasingly roping in ethical hackers to look for loopholes in their system by continuously trying to hack into them from outside and report back to the company even as they grow their business in the country at an astronomical pace. In some cases these ethical hackers also help companies fix the glitch.

"We're in the job of finding flaws across people, process and technology of an organisation's digital setup. We hack them with their permission and produce an overall maturity scorecard of the organisation providing the CEO/CFO the information about the overall cyber risk they are sitting on along with a roadmap to enhance the cyber security maturity of the organisation," said Saket Modi, CEO at Lucideus, an online cyber security firm.


Read more at:
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/51063214.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst
Tim Marskell
Tim Marskell

Fundamental Strategies for Launching a Successful Ecommerce Project

1. Collaboration and strategic partnerships. Align your startup with companies that already have significant clout and reach. Look for opportunities with brands that complement your product offering that would provide unique value for your customers as well as theirs.

2. Growth hacks and sharing incentives. Make sharing an integral part of what makes the buying experience fun, rewarding, meaningful and exciting for consumers. It’s a strategy that works for many successful businesses like DropBox and Treehouse that offer free usage of their premium course work to capture the attention and buy-in from users.

3. Build relationships with influencers. As a startup, you’re going to be itching to pitch your business and ideas but this shouldn’t be your attitude. Instead, build real relationships with people you regard as influential in your industry. They can give your business a push through endorsements, introductions to key decision makers, resources or a publication in a high profile magazine.

The surest way to be ignored by the media, customers or investors is a self-centered attitude towards marketing your business. The most best route to being promoting is being someone they trust and regard as a friend.

4. Put your content on steroids. Assess what your competition is creating and how they’re performing with an app like Buzzsumo. Pay attention to the content that performs well, then go a step further to produce something better. Oftentimes, there are gaps in content and opportunities for delivering something your competitors missed or are too lazy to perfect. Spending the time to create useful, entertaining and link-worthy content increases the chances of your startup being discovered and shared.

Ann Ivanova
Ann Ivanova
ecommerce in Toronto by Sergey Funin - Walmart’s e-commerce growth slows to 8% as Amazon soars to record sales

Walmart’s e-commerce growth slows to 8% as Amazon soars to record sales

Amazon is expanding its online lead over Walmart, according to the latest results from the retail giants. The competition between the two companies is watched closely, since Amazon is the number one online retailer and Walmart is the number two.

Walmart’s net online sales were up only 8 percent for the peak holiday quarter, the retail chain reported. (Walmart didn’t break out specific e-commerce dollars.) That compared to 22 percent growth in Walmart’s online sales for the fourth quarter of last year.

Despite Walmart rolling out special holiday offerings including an early start to Black Friday and Cyber Monday in an attempt to boost e-commerce, its online sales growth is slowing.

Overall, Walmart’s revenues for the quarter fell 1.4 percent to $129.7 billion. In contrast, Amazon’s net sales were up 22 percent for the quarter to $35.7 billion.

Over the course of the year, Walmart’s online sales increased 12 percent to $13.7 billion. However, Amazon’s net sales for 2015 increased more, growing 20 percent to $107 billion.

Amazon has the advantage of a larger online presence in international markets, a larger selection and number of products online, and a more successful mobile app and customer loyalty program in Amazon Prime.

During 2015, Walmart invested billions to stay relevant in the e-commerce game, according to Fortune.

Walmart upgraded its mobile app and invested in the fulfillment of online grocery orders, allowing customers to place orders online and then pick up their groceries at a nearby store — a service now available in 150 Walmart stores in 20 markets as of February 2016.

Read More: http://www.geekwire.com/2016/walmart-and-amazon-fa...
Tim Marskell
Tim Marskell

ecommerce "buy local" movement

The “buy local” movement continues to build momentum in the United States. Major cities including Portland, Austin, and Louisville, Kentucky, have created citywide branding campaigns to encourage their citizens to support local stores, farmers and entrepreneurs.

While this movement is typically geared more towards brick and mortar retail, ecommerce businesses often face a similar dilemma. Is it better to sell their products through their own web store or through major online marketplaces such as Amazon or eBay? The answer, unfortunately, is: it depends. There are important pros and cons of each side that you should consider before making a final decision for your business.

Personalizing the Shopping Experience Selling through your own online store allows you to market products in unique and distinguishable ways. It also gives you the freedom to add personality into your site. It effectively humanizes the shopping experience for visitors and provides a personal touch. By giving buyers a chance to connect with your store and brand, you create a sense of trust that can pave the road for customer loyalty and increase the chances of repeat purchases.

On the other hand, selling through Amazon and eBay provides instantaneous customer trust and loyalty because your store is featured in well-known and established marketplaces.

As a new company with a new store, it may take time to develop the same kind of trust with your clients. However, if your product is truly unique, it may be worth your while to sell independently. With the millions of sellers and products listed on Amazon, it can be very difficult to make your products stand out. In addition, many shoppers on these marketplaces are looking for low prices, which may not be the best fit for unique offerings.

Getting Lost in the Shuffle On large marketplace sites like Amazon or eBay, there will likely be thousands of other sellers potentially featuring the same products as you. And, these products will most likely contain a similar, possibly even word for word, product description. When selling through larger online stores, product descriptions, photos and titles are the only true way to differentiate your products.

Although your products may become indistinguishable from those of other sellers’, and potentially difficult to find, you will still receive plenty of traffic on these channels. Even if your product is similar to another sellers’, it will still be seen by thousands of shoppers, because these marketplaces see high volumes of traffic on a daily basis. So if you’re going to receive views regardless of how well branded your product is, why not sell on your own store as well as Amazon and eBay?

Multiple Marketplace Madness Many sellers consider featuring products on multiple marketplaces. The initial benefit of this seems evident:

More Listings + More Traffic = More Sales

This tactic, however, comes with its own set of sometimes-unforeseen challenges. Each marketplace has its own set of guidelines that users must abide by. For example, both Amazon and eBay have their own shipping regulations, marketplace fees and criteria for gauging your ranking as a seller.

When selling multiple products via multiple channels, following the guidelines for each channel becomes a daily task. And not following these guidelines can lead to poor customer reviews and lower selling rankings, and even result in being banned from selling.

What is Best for Your Business? The thought of designing and maintaining an independent online shop is intimidating to many ecommerce retailers out there. This is ultimately why many turn to Amazon and eBay to list their products. However, with companies like Volusion and SkuVault, creating your own customized channel and maintaining the inventory that you’re selling has never been easier. Selling independently can be extremely rewarding and allows you to differentiate yourself as an established eCommerce retailer, instead of “someone who sells on eBay”.

When deciding where to sell your product, the decision depends on how unique and marketable your product is. For example, if you are selling horror movies, creating your own store may be futile because these products can be found in abundance on Amazon and eBay. However, if you believe your product is truly unique and deserves the time and effort to be marketed individually, it’s worth looking into selling via your own online store. If it is a more generic product, it is probably best to let Amazon and eBay do the marketing while you sit back and watch the sales flow in.

Regardless of your situation, there are plenty of channels to effectively sell products online. By taking a close look at your business goals and products, you can create a more effective roadmap that will set you up for future selling success!
Leon Forman
Leon Forman

Powerful Ecommerce Marketing Trends for the Future

Ecommerce has come a long way in the last 15 years. As technology continues at a rapid pace, pioneering ecommerce stores harness new techniques and facilities to make online selling and online shopping a lot more efficient and fun.
Mobile shopping is becoming more and more important.

While 2013 saw responsive web design spread like wildfire, going forward we are bound to see an improvement in mobile shopping experiences.

The first step was to create sites that worked decently on mobile – now we will see online store owners scrambling to build sites that positively blossom on smartphones and tablets.
Not only will ecommerce websites render a lot better on mobiles, but a larger number of mobile store owners will also start advertising their products and services on mobiles.Mobile advertising is getting more popular day by day, and branded ecommerce store owners are going to be among the first big spenders on mobile ads.

While smaller store owners may not jump on the bandwagon yet, larger stores will make an attempt to get reach as many mobile users as possible. We will also see rise in video mobile ads that have the potential go viral on social networks.

While Google Glasses, smart watches and other wearable devices are yet to take off in a big way, many more such products are set to enter the market in the future.

If such devices become widely popular, we can expect retailers as well as ecommerce stores to shower discounts, promotions, offers and updates to their customers through wearable devices.
Google’s red eye at link-building using guest blogging will push ecommerce marketers to create better and more targeted content. We will see the rise of long-form content that is more closely related to the products and services offered by the stores.

In addition to articles and blog posts, the length of videos and podcast will also see more takers. The easy availability of analytics and data will lead to creation of more data-based content.
With Google making it more difficult for content marketers to benefit from link building through guest blogging, more will turn towards social media and search ads for revenue.

Targeted social media ads are getting more effective, and this will drive a large PPC and CPC ads experiment in small and large ecommerce companies.

Ann Ivanova
Ann Ivanova
ecommerce in Toronto by Sergey Funin - 5 Brand Strategies to Uniquely Position Your Ecommerce Business Above the Competition

5 Brand Strategies to Uniquely Position Your Ecommerce Business Above the Competition

1. Uncover Your Unique Selling PropositionDetermining a unique selling proposition is a foundational step in any good brand strategy. The goal is to differentiate your brand from your competitors, and give your customers a reason to purchase a product from you.

It should highlight a story, philosophy unique aspect or goal of your business and product.
2. Distinguish Your Brand on Product QualityUsing your brand’s product quality as a marketing tool is an extremely effective way to build brand loyalty.

Nowadays, if the product you’re selling is not built or designed with quality in mind, you won’t see returning customers. Or, even worse, you’ll start to see customers express their dissatisfaction across the many social media platforms available to them.

If you’re consistently able to overdeliver on the quality of product, no doubt you’ll have lifetime customers. Even better, if your product is known as a “buy it for life” product - you’re set.
3. Change the Branding RulesA daring, but potentially explosive brand strategy is to change the rules of the branding game. Taking risks can sometimes bring new attention to your ecommerce store.

If your product is quirky or unique, why not position your marketing efforts around that?

By finding a custom that exists in your consumers and completely shattering it, you might just see a loyal customer base start to develop.

The goal here is to make space for your brand in an unconventional way to get people talking.
4. Personalize the Customer ExperienceHave you ever ordered something online and received a product that completely blew you away? Beautiful craftsmanship and detail went into every aspect of the ordering experience, right down to the customized packaging.

Chances are, the store has done their research by aligning themselves to ensure that they’re marketing to people who match their brand’s identity.

For instance, let’s say you’re 30-something, wear plaid shirts, appreciate craftsmanship and the qualities that go into making something by hand. You look online to buy a plaid shirt and come across a brand that hand sews all of their shirts locally. After purchasing the product, it arrives beautifully packaged, customized with a handwritten note on the inside and a screenprinted hanger tag.

That’s a personalized customer experience. They’re nailing their product branding down to the finest details, just like their physical product.
5. The Spirit of Giving BackBrands are able to position themselves well in a busy online space by getting in the spirit of giving back to their customers.

No matter how many sales you have for your ecommerce store, there’s always an opportunity to share your gratitude with your customers. You’ll want to make sure that you take some time to go above and beyond to thank your customers for their business.

Not only does this position your brand as being thankful and recognizing the support of your customers, but it’s a surefire way to get a customer for life.

Ann Ivanova
Ann Ivanova
ecommerce in Toronto by Sergey Funin - US Comes in 8th in Retail eCommerce Transactions, by Country

US Comes in 8th in Retail eCommerce Transactions, by Country

They also have fallen behind the average transaction increase for 2015 when measuring year over year growth. http://marketing land.com/apps-convert-better-for-retailers-164753
Elyse Summers
Elyse Summers

E-Commerce Stakes Are High In The Mideast After The Largest Ever A Round For Wadi.com

The desire to dominate the e-commerce market in the Middle East is strong. And investors are getting into the action.

Last month, Mumzworld.com, an e-commerce sight geared towards mothers and baby products, raised a multi-million dollar Series B round from Wamda Capital, twofour54, and Endeavor Catalyst. And, just days ago,Wadi.com, an Amazon-like e-commerce platform operating in the Middle East, raised $67 million in a Series A round for an undisclosed valuation. The Saudi based Al Tayyar Travel Group led the round.

Both face stiff competition.

E-commerce is a huge opportunity worldwide. eMarketer estimates that retail e-commerce sales will reach $3.578 trillion. Figures on the value of the online retail market in the Middle East vary from $7 billion to $15 billion and growing, particularly as Internet and mobile phone penetration increase. Internet and smartphone penetration in the Middle East is high.

The World Bank estimates that mobile phone penetration in the Middle East is 96 percent, with penetration in individual countries varying. The highest rates are in the UAE with 88 percent using the Internet. Nielson reports that smartphone penetration in UAE is 78 percent. The majority of online transactions in the Middle East come from the Internet, though mobile is catching up.

Wadi.com in particular is eager to be a market leader. Launched in 2015, Wadi is part of the Middle East Internet Group (MEIG), a joint venture between Rocket Internet and South Africa telecom provider MTN. It currently operates in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia and offers more than 150,000 products from “more than 2,000 international brands.”

Court Daler
Court Daler
ecommerce in Toronto by Sergey Funin - Logistics: the backbone of South Africa’s ecommerce boom

Logistics: the backbone of South Africa’s ecommerce boom

South African ecommerce is in a better place today than at any other time in its history. According to research released by PayPal earlier this week, online shopping in South Africa is expected to reach R37-billion this year and to jump to R46-billion in 2017.

While much of that growth has been fueled by increased spend digital goods, such as apps, ebooks, digital music, films and videos, we’re also buying a larger number of physical goods — including fashion and consumer electronics.

While a number of factors have driven growth across all these sectors, the rise in sales of physical goods could not have happened without the space taking an increasingly sophisticated approach to logistics.

Starting with Takealot’s acquisition of Mr Delivery in 2011, the space as a whole has taken a much more nuanced approach to logistics. Where it once relied on traditional courier companies, a number of innovative services have cropped up — allowing goods to be delivered faster, safer, and more consistently than ever before.

Looking at the numbers

If you were at the Ecommerce Africa Confex, held in Cape Town earlier this week, you might’ve got an inkling of this. The exhibition floor space was dominated by logistics companies, from traditional couriers such as RAM to Shepherd, an escrow startup aiming to take the risk out of online buying and selling.

But there are numbers to back up this increased efficiency in ecommerce logistics. Logistics and warehouse solutions company ParcelNinja reports that it saw around 450% growth in ecommerce delivery through 2015 and that it did more than 55 000 orders in December.

That’s massive when you consider a 2015 survey which showed that 58% of South Africans who have not shopped online say that concerns about not receiving items they have ordered is the reason they don’t do so.

Sure ParcelNinja is just one business, but the niche it fills plays an important part in making ecommerce more freely available to South African entrepreneurs. Importantly it’s just one of many that have found their way into the public consciousness.

Sergey Funin
Sergey Funin
ecommerce in Toronto by Sergey Funin - Canadian Tire eyes e-commerce as 'mammoth opportunity'

Canadian Tire eyes e-commerce as 'mammoth opportunity'

TORONTO -- The next acquisition for Canadian Tire Corp. will likely be in e-commerce, says the head of the national retailer.

"We set a path for ourselves to be a leader in e-commerce in Canada and that's where we're heading," president and CEO Michael Medline told analysts during a call Thursday following the company's latest quarterly results.

E-commerce is a "mammoth opportunity" for the general merchandiser to establish a firm footing in the new, emerging digital world, Medline said.

"We're doing a great job in our Old World assets, which are going to be a huge part of our business for the foreseeable future," he said. "We're now going to transform ourselves and dominate in e-commerce."

The Toronto-based company (TSX:CTC) said growing its digital business will help shield it in the future from some of the uncontrollable negative factors that can impact its business, such as a weakened economy, declining oil and currency prices and this year's unseasonably warm winter.

Canadian Tire said about a quarter of its sales in the fourth quarter were related to winter gear such as long johns and snowboards, with its clothing chain Mark's having the most seasonal exposure.

Still, it said it overcame these factors, including lower prices for the gasoline it sells, to grow its profit for the period ended Jan. 2.

Canadian Tire reported net income of $241.5 million or $3.01 per share for the fourth quarter. That was up about 17 per cent from $206.6 million or $2.44 per share a year earlier, when several expenses were higher.

Its retail revenue fell 7.5 per cent to $3.38 billion from $3.65 billion, but that was partly due to one less week of selling in the latest quarter and also because of warm weather, the downturn in the Alberta economy and lower gasoline prices.

Excluding petroleum sales, Canadian Tire's overall revenue was $3 billion -- down 5.8 per cent from a year earlier.

Same-store sales -- those open for at least a year -- declined 5.2 per cent at Mark's when compared to the same quarter a year ago, while at FGL Sports they went down 0.4 per cent. Sport Chek saw a 1.6 per cent increase in same-store sales and Canadian Tire recorded a 2.0 per cent rise in same-store sales.

although up 1.6 per cent at the Sport Chek stores. Canadian Tire same-store sales were up 2.0 per cent from the year-earlier quarter.

For the full year ended Jan. 2, 2016, the company had $735.9 million of net income, up from $639.3 million in fiscal 2015. Revenue was $12.3 billion, down from $12.5 billion.

Rafael Rosi
Rafael Rosi
ecommerce in Toronto by Sergey Funin - Apps drive 120% more customer conversions than mobile browsers

Apps drive 120% more customer conversions than mobile browsers

The State of Mobile Commerce Report Q4 2015 shows that while mobile apps are just barely leading the pack in online transactions by volume at 54%, their real value is in conversion rates, which are 120% higher than those of mobile browsers. Retailers that have shied away from what can be expensive app development are losing a large chance to convert more browsing customers into paying ones.
Elyse Summers
Elyse Summers

eCommerce Overview

I found this comparison very useful;
http://ecommerce-platforms.com/compare/shopify-vs-...

Shopify vs. Magento Community Edition – Ecommerce Platform Comparison
Selecting the most suitable ecommerce platform for creating, managing and maintaining an online store is of a critical importance, as it can be the factor responsible for either success or failure for your business. This is particularly important for a small business since it has to make do with limited resources and budgets.

As someone planning to create an online store or migrate your current store to another platform in the near future, you might be considering your options. Shopify and Magento Community Edition (aka Magento) are two widely acclaimed and used ecommerce store creation and management platforms today. There are, however, some huge fundamental differences between these platforms that you should be well aware of before making a comparative evaluation of the two:

You may also be interested in these articles:
  • Shopify is a commercial product (that you need to pay for) while Magento Community is a free, open-source software
  • Shopify is a hosted solution (where your store is hosted by them) while Magento requires that you provide your own hosting, install, setup and configure everything before you can actually start creating your store – something requiring medium to high level of web development and programming skills.
With these two important difference in mind, here is a head-to-head comparison between the two platforms:

Features: Basic online store functionality – both Shopify and Magento offer basic store functionalities that are fairly powerful to use and maintain on an ongoing basis. Shopify can be said to be significantly easier to setup and use as compared to Magento.

Inventory management – the Shopify Starter plan ($14/mo) restricts you to a maximum of 25 store items while Magento Community offers a virtually unlimited number of items. All other Shopify plans allow an unlimited number of items to be added to and sold via your store. It should be noted here though, that while Magento allows a virtually unlimited number of products, your host (server) performance and site loading speed might turn out to be serious issues if you add too many products on your Magento store – something you don’t have to worry about with Shopify, since it is a fully managed and hosted solution.

Calculation of shipping charges – both platforms allow flexible and powerful options for calculation of shipping charges which is one of the most basic and essential aspects of selling physical goods via an ecommerce storefront.

Provision for coupons and discount codes – Shopify, a bit of an underdog here, does not offer this feature on their starter plan while it is available on all other plans. Magento allows discount code creation and calculation functionalities.

Payment gateway options – Shopify has a major edge here, with support for 70 payment gateways while Magento Community is relatively at a disadvantage with support for a far lower number of gateways. More gateways, however, can be added to Magento store via third-party add-ons.

Themes and Templates – both Shopify and Magento Community offer a large collection of themes and templates to give your online store a look and feel to suit your products and taste. While the number of free themes provided by Shopify is significantly smaller than that of Magento Community, it can be noted that the free Shopify themes are generally more contemporary as compared to the themes offered by Magento Community.

Both offer paid/premium themes but here, Shopify is at a great disadvantage, with premium themes starting at $80, while Magento paid themes start at – an almost unbelievable – $1!

In keeping with today’s must-have requirement of responsive website design (a design that works well across a range of commonly used devices with which people get online), both Shopify and Magento Community offer a good number of responsive templates, free as well as paid.

Apps and Add-ons – well over 100 apps and add-ons are available for Shopify using which you can enhance and expand the functionality of your online store in various ways. Magento, again, is at a strong advantage here, with a whooping 5000+ apps and add-ons, owing, no doubt, to the open source, community driven nature of the platform. A mix of free as well as paid apps/add-ons is available for both platforms.

Multi-lingual capabilities – Shopify does not offer full multi-lingual capabilities directly. For creating fully multi-lingual stores, third-party/paid apps are available for Shopify. Another option available at Shopify is to custom code your theme/templates with a simple as well as an advanced level interface. Magento is again at an advantage here, with more in-built multi-lingual support.

SEO capabilities – both platforms offer extensive SEO capabilities in order to help you drive more organic traffic to your store via search engines, scoring almost neck-to-neck on powerful SEO features and benefits, as extensively described in this article: Choosing the best ecommerce platform for SEO capabilities.

Customization capabilities – both platforms offer robust customization capabilities, via an advanced interface that allows you to edit the raw HTML/CSS code directly to give you total control over the design and the look-and-feel of your store. However, as mentioned above, Shopify scores better here by providing a simple, menu driven method to change the basic attributes of your store such as fonts, colors etc. very easily while with the customization capabilities with Magento are as high as it can get because all its code is open source, any of which you can modify in any way you wish to. Albeit, this unrestricted freedom to customize can be used only by those who have deeply entrenched web programming and HTML/CSS coding know-how.

Blogging functionality – easy blogging functionality is available as an integrated feature at Shopify while this can be achieved with Magento using a (free) plug-in.


Ease of use: As mentioned earlier in this review, Shopify and Magento Community are both fairly powerful ecommerce store building platforms. Both come with a user interface that is well-designed and thought-out, making it fairly easy for any user to get up and running with an online store.

Having said that, it should be noted that Shopify has a wizard mode that allows even novice users to setup their stores very easily while Magento Community is lacking in this feature.

Also, since Magento is not a hosted solution, procuring your own hosting and setting up your store with it are processes that typical end-users would not find easy or convenient to do on their own.

Costs: Setup fees – Shopify does not charge any setup fees. In fact, they offer a 14-day free trial with which you can test and evaluate the functionality and features offered by their ecommerce hosting platform. With Magento, the question of setup fees simply does not arise since it is totally free to use. (You’ll need to procure – and pay for – your own hosting though, as discussed below.)

Monthly fees – Shopify offers four different plans with monthly fees ranging from $14 to $179 as follows:

  • Starter Plan : $ 14
  • Basic Plan : $ 29
  • Professional Plan : $79
  • Unlimited Plan : $179
Start a free Shopify trial by clicking here.

With Magento, you’ll have to provide your own hosting, which is available at monthly costs ranging anywhere from $5 to 100s of dollars.

HostGator and BlueHost are two reliable, popular and powerful hosting providers where you can purchase hosting for your Magento store very inexpensively.

Bandwidth charges – Shopify does not charge any bandwidth usage fees on any of their plans. With Magento Community, this will depend on the hosting provider that you have used for hosting your store.

Transaction fees – Shopify does not charge any additional transaction fees if their own payment gateway is used. If using any other gateway or method (such as COD), their transaction fee structure is as follows:

  • Starter Plan ($14/mo.) : 2%
  • Basic Plan ($29/mo.) : 1%
  • Professional Plan ($79/mo.) : 1%
  • Unlimited Plan ($179/mo.) : 0%
With Magento Community Edition, no transaction fees are charged other than the gateway provider’s fees (which vary from gateway to gateway). These fees would, naturally, be applicable for Shopify as well.

Theme/Template prices – both platform offer a good number of free as well as paid themes, with Shopify and Magento premium theme prices starting at $80 and $1 respectively.

Conclusion: While both Shopify and Magento Community are fairly powerful ecommerce hosting platforms, Shopify provides greater ease of use since it is a hosted and fully managed service.

Magento, while free itself, requires you to purchase hosting and carry out all the software/system setup and installation procedures yourself – something that only fairly tech-savvy people (and not typical end-users) would be able to do.

In light of this as well as some of the points discussed above, Shopify comes out a winner as an ecommerce platform for building your online store with maximum ease of use and powerful capabilities.

Ryan Judd
Ryan Judd
ecommerce in Toronto by Sergey Funin - 3 e-commerce tips you can implement during a holiday code-freeze

3 e-commerce tips you can implement during a holiday code-freeze

Focus on customer research, content and deals. The holiday shopping season is well upon us, and most e-tailers are now in a code-freeze. That means they have locked down the code on their web pages and are no longer allowing any updates or changes to it. They do this is to avoid any errors or flubs going forward that may delay or halt the influx of holiday orders. But being in a code freeze doesn’t mean that you should ignore your e-commerce site altogether. There’s still plenty that you can do during a code freeze to make your time worthwhile. Here are three actionable tips that will help you make the best of this holiday freeze. 1. Consumer research. A code freeze can be a great opportunity to shift resources from development to research and data mining. The increased traffic means more data to work with, which will yield more accurate results. Consider A/B testing and multivariate testing to see which of your holiday offers, images, or copy are working best with consumers while they’re in the buying mood this holiday shopping season. A testing period that spans the entire code freeze will be a valuable data resource later in the year. Beyond testing, you can also conduct consumer research by way of customer service. Adding feedback forms to your digital receipts can help you understand the customer’s journey from their perspective. Tools like Receiptful make it simple and easy to garner feedback after a customer purchase. For those looking to upsell (or make offers for complementary products) Receiptful offers an option for that too. Most customers begin their journeys with search engines so keyword research can be a great way to get to know your potential consumers. With an AdWords account, you can use Google’s keyword planner to see what terms people associate with your brand and how people search for similar products. 2. Focus on content. Content is one of the things that you can change without affecting the fabric of your website and its code. While you will technically be building on top of your website, writing content does not present the same hazard for a broken site or troublesome e-commerce processes that code writing does. New content can engage and attract shoppers. High-traffic content can also drive more users to your site if it has relevant keywords, making it a highly impactful part of your SEO strategy. Holiday-themed content will be especially relevant this time of year. A last minute holiday gift guide is a great choice for an e-commerce site, and there are plenty of ways to spin it. Make sure that if you intend to use content to supplement e-commerce this season, your template for content should be simple and consistent across the board.

You can also use the holidays to begin an omnichannel content marketing initiative. Spread your efforts across digital and physical channels with the same marketing goal. Supplement your digital content marketing with direct mails, coupons, flyers, and other physical content. 3. Incentivize the experience. Now that the holiday season is here, sales and deals are abound, and customers are actively looking to find discounts wherever they can. Incentivize your consumers to purchase with you by creating more deals for the holiday season. You don’t have to change your code to create and make these deals. You can use any of a handful mediums to distribute your discounts. These include email, digital marketing, social media, and direct mail. If your website has a “chat with us” option or pop-up, you’ll be able to make immediate offers to customers who are going through the sales process. When distributing these discounts, track them as best you can so you can use the data to understand how customers shop. https://www.internetretailer.com/commentary/2015/12/07/3-e-commerce-you-can-implement-during-holiday-code-freeze

Joseph Icm
Joseph Icm

eCommerce developers Toronto

Whether you are starting an online business, or you have already established one, catching the eye of consumers is necessary in order to draw in business sales. Developing an online shopping site requires technical knowledge and experience, so if you are lacking in these particular areas you will want to look at hiring the right Ecommerce web development company for your Website needs.
In order to help narrow down your search for a suitable Ecommerce development company, there are some important questions you should pose to potential candidates. Here are some examples of questions you should get answers to, prior to investing any time or money:
What Types of E-Commerce Development Platforms Do You Use?
You will want to invest some significant time doing your own homework to source out the various types of Ecommerce development platforms available free, or at a cost. Having some knowledge on various CMS options will help ensure you will be using a platform that matches your business budget, business needs and ability to manage it on your own, once the site is launched.
• Do You Have a Portfolio?
Reviewing the portfolio of a potential candidate gives you a great snapshot of the types of online shops they have developed and their level of skill technically and creatively. It’s also a good idea to question how long-ago their last project was, as the more recent their experience the more likely they are to have the know-how when it comes to the latest in web development trends.
• What Types of SEO Elements Will You Incorporate into the Site?
In order for your online store to be noticed by consumers, SEO elements need to be included. Make sure the potential development company follows best SEO practices.
• Will the Ecommerce Website Be Mobile Friendly?
Having a mobile friendly Website these days is essential, as we are living in a mobile driven world. Make sure to ask a potential developer if they are able to make your shopping site responsive and mobile friendly.
Knowing how to choose the right Ecommerce development company the first time around can save your company a lot of time and money. Do your homework and practice due diligence and you will surely secure a suitable Ecommerce developer.
Leon Forman
Leon Forman

Why select Magento as your platform?

Besides an extensive pallet of great, advanced features, Magento, a leading open-source e-commerce platform, is best known for offering store owners with ultimate flexibility to manage their visual appeal, content and functioning of their online stores.

Not to be outdone, this outstanding e-commerce development platform features excellent admin control panel plugged with advanced tools for SEO, online marketing and catalogue-management. Magento development India has a successful track-record of creating sites tailor-made to clients’ business needs.

What’s more is this e-commerce software provides businesses with an online shopping cart solution that leverage the power of highly scalable design and an extensive support network. Thanks to its wide array of business benefits, Magento has succeed in marking its name as one of the most reliable and reputed e-commerce site development platform.

Even you can integrate Magento software into your existing web store for the very needed dynamic interface and magnificent user experience for your valued customers.

What makes Magento the No.1 E-commerce platform? It offers a whole gamut of advanced, user-friendly features

  • Your Magento web store can get updated automatically upon your permission and you will not find such feasibility in other e-commerce solutions available out there.
  • It is dynamic, fast yet simple, making it extremely easy for buyers to search and buy products through website.
  • It ensures quite interactive and enjoyable online shopping experience.
  • It provides supports to web based stores so as to enable them promote their inventory across different domains. It also supports multiple websites.
  • Thanks to its MVC structure and an array of extensions, it makes your web store quite scalable.
  • It offers tools for online marketing, SEO and catalogue management bespoke to client’s needs.
What makes it a smart choice for web store owners? How does it beat WordPress – While WordPress allows you to add e-commerce related plugins, but you simply can’t overlook on a fact that it was initially developed as a blogging platform. And Magento is developed exclusively for custom e-commerce needs of businesses.

How does it beat Shopify – In comparison of Magento that offers hundreds of templates and extensions, Shopify offers of about 200 templates. In addition, Shopify doesn’t provide you with extensions and customization options as in the case of Magento. Those who are looking for a small-scale e-commerce site for a short timeframe can certainly opt for Shopify, but those looking for a robust and powerful e-commerce solution need not to look beyond Magento.

How does it beat BigCommerce – While BigCommerce is easy to set up, its plug-ins are quite difficult to work with. Besides, it has restricted third party support. But Magento has quite easy to use framework and great third party support.

How does it beat Miva Merchant – As you know, Magento is open-source framework, meaning you can download it for free. But Miva is a paid framework provided it’s not too expensive. You may use custom programming language for Miva, while you need to use PHP for Magento. Unlike Miva, Magento don’t offer reseller discount or loyalty program, but it does offer product review and product wish-list features.

How does it beat XCart – Unlike the defined code of XCart, Magento is open source code. Furthermore, XCart has dearth of flexibility and customization features, as provided by Magento.

In the last of the discussion, you can note that every ecommerce development platform you choose has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. However knowing your purpose and vision behind e-commerce development will help you choose the right platform. Remember, no two businesses can have same requirements. Magento is indeed one of the most widely used and popular e-commerce solutions by businesses these days. From start-up businesses to large-scale enterprises, Magento can cater to all for the most stringent of their e-commerce needs.

http://www.baymediasoft.com/benefits-choosing-magento-next-ecommerce-store/
Joseph Icm
Joseph Icm

eCommerce developers Toronto

If you are planning to work with eCommerce developers to develop your website or a certain function for your site, there are a few factors that you have to keep in mind first. Most of these considerations, relate to intellectual property that is composed of different rights that are created in protecting results of creative efforts. The rights can be embodied in things like trade secrets, confidential information, license rights, rights of publicity and contract rights. Here are tips that you have to consider to protect yourself when working with an eCommerce developer.
Get it in writing first
It is important that you make sure that there is a written agreement between you and the developer before the developer begins the work. Make sure that this is done before the developer begins the work because parties might have different ideas concerning the relationship and who is going to own the final product.
Ownership of the creation
One of the most vital terms in the agreement is addressing who is going to own the final product. In a relationship where the developer is an independent contractor, the developer is the owner of the intellectual property. Even if you had a good idea for a specific design, the function of your website or eCommerce business solution and you paid the developer to produce the work, the author of the code is the developer. Developers own copyright unless the agreement says otherwise. If you are the owner of the product work, the developer must agree to an assignment of all the rights which are related to the product of your company.
Payment terms
Agreement with your developer needs to have some basic milestone payments. This is important because it will help you and your developer in setting a timeline for finishing the project. It is important to make sure that any changes to the cost of the project will be done in writing. Projects usually evolve through eCommerce development process and original scope of the project might look different. If you are talking about documenting cost you are less likely to have conflicts.
Confidentiality
Your site may be just another retail site. You may have ideas concerning a particular market or functions that are not visible to the rest of the world. Therefore, your agreement with the eCommerce developers needs to contain confidentiality provisions in order to protect your trade and secrets.

Leon Forman
Leon Forman

Things that make Magento a Perfect Platform for an E-commerce Business

Magento is an open-source PHP based e-commerce platform that apart from having robust features, provides extreme flexibility to the business owners to manage the content, appearance, and functionality of their e-commerce store. Furthermore, it offers a flawless administration interface that involves an effective marketing, search engine optimization, and inventory management tools to give sellers an ability to create sites according to their business requirements.

Another benefit of selecting Magento as your e-commerce solution is it provides a potent combination of extremely scalable layout and an extensive support network. Besides the unparalleled benefits that Magento is offering, it has been added to its reputation as being one of the highly reliable amongst other shopping cart owners accounting the ROI it renders.

Magento can be easily integrated with your online shopping website to create a dynamic interface that not only sells and compels, but also offers a convenient experience to visitors. Let us see what else makes Magento the most preferred and perfect e-commerce platform.

  • Magento comes with many easy-to-use features.
  • It enables you to update your shopping website automatically, where this feature is not available in other platforms.
  • It makes easy for the visitors to browse and buy any product or service through its simple, quick, and versatile functionality.
  • It offers highly interactive and enjoyable shopping experience to consumers.
  • Over and above supporting multiple websites, Magento also imparts support to online stores to promote their goods and services on various other domains.
  • Magento has been designed based on the MVC system; hence, it helps you make your website greatly scalable.
  • Magento-based e-commerce websites feature powerful SEO, marketing and management tools so to fulfill particular business needs of the merchants.
  • http://www.brainsins.com/en/blog/magento-perfect-p...
    Joseph Icm
    Joseph Icm
    ecommerce in Toronto by Sergey Funin - E-commerce SEO Tip #2 - Deep Indexing & Navigation

    E-commerce SEO Tip #2 - Deep Indexing & Navigation

    Success or failure of an e-commerce venture is directly related to the amount of relevant and targeted traffic it receives. Usually, the most relevant and purchase-oriented traffic comes for specific product names or types. These pages are usually buried within the website architecture, 3d or 4th level, AKA deep level pages. It's a matter of survival to ensure these pages are properly and regularly indexed by Google in order for them to capture as much relevant traffic as possible.

    Therefore, any serious e-commerce website owner should take note of the following recommendations:

    1) Regular update of your XML and HTML sitemaps through scheduled URL collection as a cron job. Recommended extension: SEO Ultimate Suite by Mageworx

    2) Use of external indexing and pinging tools for all the deep level URLs. Recommended solution: Deeplinks.net

    3) Injecting user generated content into product specific pages as much as possible. This, coupled with a certain randomization of associated content pieces, will surely provide Googlebot extra incentives to keep visiting these pages more often.
    Recomemended: our home-grown native system called Origipost.

    4) Sitewide product navigation enhancement for user-friendliness, basket size augmentation and SEO at the same time. Usage of such extensions as "Others Also Bought" and "Magento Cross Linking" by Mageworx is highly recommended because it helps cross-link products providing more entry points for Google to check and re-index them again.

    Obviously all of these recommendations work better in combination.

    Good luck with all your e-commerce endeavours and don't forget to check this hub for more SEO tips and updates!

    Sergey Funin
    Sergey Funin
    ecommerce in Toronto by Sergey Funin - Key differences between eCommerce and lead generation approaches to email

    Key differences between eCommerce and lead generation approaches to email

    Different list growth strategiesEmail acquisition sources differ greatly between lead gen. sites and online stores. The biggest driver of email acquisition for most eCommerce businesses are their shoppers, especially when the business doesn't collect an email address for their contact database until the shopper provides it during the check-out process—possibly, not until the very end.

    With most B2B/B2C lead gen. websites, the entire purpose of every landing page is to get visitors to submit a contact form or pick up the phone. Often, the price tag for their products or services is much higher than those of an eCommerce site or involves recurring payments. In other words, what they're selling is more difficult to sell. People take longer to make those purchasing decisions. For this reason, leads—in the form of contact names and email addresses—are typically acquired and nurtured without having first become a customer.

    Contacts vs. leadsWhether it is a B2B or B2C website, lead gen. contacts (called leads) are thought of as potential customers (clients, subscribers, patients) who need to be nurtured to the point of becoming "sales qualified," meaning they'll eventually get a sales call or email that attempts to convert them into a customer.

    On the other hand, eCommerce contacts are often thought of primarily as existing customers to whom the marketing team can blast coupons and other offers by email.

    Retail sites typically don't capture leads at the top or middle of the funnel. Only once a shopper has checked out do they get added to the list. Historically, the buying cycle has been short enough that eCommerce sites could move many first-time visitors directly to customers in a single visit.

    Sergey Funin
    Sergey Funin