ECommerce posts
10-Free-Open-Source-Software’s-For-Building-Ecommerce-Websites

Victory of e-Commerce lies in the hands of Magento

We have heard and perused various articles, sites, or the news, which expresses that Magento has possessed 30 % piece of the overall industry esteem. The vast majority of the business persons today want to add to their sites on Magento. We have by and by experienced from a few e-business sites which keeps running on Magento is absolutely a high responsive affair. This prompts even a non-tech individual like me to examine, ‘What precisely Magento is contributing towards this high rate of accomplishment online’?

Ecommerce-Logistics-Top

  • All things considered, the answer lies in basic actualities. The qualities, for example, open source i10-Free-Open-Source-Software’s-For-Building-Ecommerce-Websitesnnovation, effortlessness, and very programmable or adaptable stage obviously guarantees that the victor of e-trade is Magento in India and over the globe .
  • It is an open source innovation, which requests least equipment necessities. It keeps running on a straightforward web server like Apache 2.x or the Nginx 1.7.x; LAMP or LNMP stack, at Linux arrangement too. The virtual products include MySQL social database administration framework, PHP programming dialect, and components of the Zend Framework.
  • The measured methodology, secure technique to incorporate with installment door, and back-end joining with examination for focused deals and correspondence have improved the ubiquity of this stage among the designers, business persons, and the customers alike.
  • On analyzing the Magento advancement in point of interest, it is comprehended that the measured methodology gives Magento the base e-business highlights. *
  • The propelled security highlights which can incorporate with installment entryways gives the bleeding edge for e-trade entries. The versatile, well disposed, profoundly responsive, and prepared to utilize formats makes Magento emerge from the group in portable business.
  • Besides, Magento permits clients to incorporate a few diverse area names into a solitary control board and oversee more than one storefront at once from the single administrator board. This permits expansive organizations to move easily with a proficient organization. The little sellers might get converged with enormous dealers to benefit name, popularity, and cash at a low venture cost.MagentoGenerally speaking, Magento accompanies the administrative advantages, store proprietor offices, designer’s facilitate, customers’ enjoyment, e-trade entry, advantages for vendors, affiliates and bolster work force. These total elements have really made Magento as the victor of the e-trade world.

    Veltrod is expert in developing Magento based ecommerce applications and the business enquires can be send to sales@veltrod.in

Major Mobile Technology Trends in 2016

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One single factor that achieves a constant evolution within a minimum span would be mobile technology. It is the one that constantly changes and stands in the sands of time. But this technology would be good depending on the application that performs on it. In Asia, there is a boom in mobile technology because of the growing market in mobile technology. Today, the average mobile users in India has grown by 31% leading to the hike in mobile development companies in India. There has been a steady growth in terms of mobile application developers. Now lets have a look at some of the top mobile technology trends that is going to rule 2016,

Completely Mobile

images1The entire world, let alone India is going mobile. Each and every people prefer their experiences on the go and smartphone helps in achieving it. Smartphones have become a necessity for all with its wider range of availability and accessibility. This increases the need for mobile application developers in creating large volume of mobile apps. This certainly increases the productivity of the business organization. Recent survey revealed that out of 375 million internet users, 303 million were mobile internet users. The evolution of internet facilities increases the usage of mobile phones.

Improvement in eCommerce

4541911575_212x143As of 2015, it has been reported that 54% of the mobile users make use of eCommerce applications for better shopping experience. The idea of shopping has seen a rapid change these days. It will be no longer feasible for someone to visit a store physically for buying when everything have become online. Mobile applications helps the customer in purchasing their desirable product virtually. This has seen a huge market since many retailers have joined the eCommerce store nowadays.

Payment on the go

logo-5Mobile technology today allows bills and payments to be made on the go. And to think there was a point where one had to walk to an office, stand in line to pay a phone bill. Nowadays, everything works better with mobile. The trend has also seen a rise in India as mobile application developers enhances the user experience to make the process much more simpler and easier.

Wearable technology

apple-watch-iphone-mobile-app-development-companyWhat’s better than carrying a mobile phone in your pocket? How about the fact that you can actually wear it?

There has been a steady rise in wearable technology on the eastern side as well on the west.The technologies like Apple watch increases the demand for  more creative applications. This new technology has been a hit since its introduction and is waiting for some additional factors to boost it further.

Cloud

670c5a3e5521d2c010d560de8b49ce7aThe need for storage on the go has been a distant dream earlier but nowadays cloud are the best storage facility. This is especially useful for those who are working on the go and need huge voluminous storage. According  to Gartner the public cloud service revenue has reached around USD 731 million and is still expected to grow.

iCloud and Google drive are the most commonly used cloud services but there are few third party services available for free. While the need for storage facility is increasing in India, Mobile application developers are constantly needed on the top of their game in maintaining server functionality.

Streaming Technology

indexStreaming technology has been tossed around a lot in the past and has seen a major trend in the present and likely to increase in future. As the total number of people opting for mobile experiences increases the streaming technology also tends to rise along with it. Everyone today wants to keep them entertained whether at home or while traveling.

Advancements in mobile and internet based technologies have made possible for the people to stream all the services anywhere. Whether it may be a music or a video, applications such as sound cloud or youtube they can be streamed on the go. Best experience of these services are made possible along with the consumption of lower bandwidth because of the optimization of this technology by the developers. The trend has been growing in the recent times and will continue to do so.

All in one

The efficiency of the hardware depends on the software running on it. At present there are more than 750k different applications available to the consumers. These apps are created with the motto of making the entire process simple in satisfying the need of the customer.

But a new trend that is rising today is the creation of one app that satisfies all the needs of the customer. This would significantly reduce the time taken and carter to many needs such as providing laundry or plumbing services. Mobile application developers have been working with the organizations in bringing one customized app that satisfies all the needs and simultaneously resulting in the reduction to search for multiple apps.

Quicker app development cycle

Mobile application developers have been tweaking their apps for quicker app development cycle. Each and every day multiple apps are introduced in the Play Store. To carter to the needs of the customer there is a need for faster development cycle by the developers.

Free apps

48864415.cmsIt is a fact that most of the app are made available free today. Mobile application developers earn their revenue from these free apps through in-app purchases. The entire idea is that if you want to use an application to its full potential you need to buy the extra features. This means that basic features will be available for free but in order to experience full potential you have to go for in-app purchases.

Cross platform fucntionality

Disa-Device-Conversation-List-1Cross platform functionality is another trend that has been growing nowadays. Consumers of today own more than one mobile based technology. Personal computing experiences have changed with  the introduction of tabs that have been created and removing the need for performance laptops. For example, the introduction of iWatch only adds to Apple’s growing ecosystem.

We at Veltrod, employ the best practices in customized mobile application development, for further queries drop us on sales@veltrod.in.

Enhancing Business Competency by building Bluetooth Low Energy Mobile Apps

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Short range wireless data transmission has been made affordable, automatic and accessible by the introduction of the finest inventions by the mankind namely the bluetooth technology. But on the other side high power consumption of the bluetooth devices has been a major concern.

Bluetooth Low Energy Technology

To address the issue of the bluetooth technology subsequent refinements have been made, this leads to the evolution of Bluetooth Low Energy technology or Bluetooth smart in 2010. Introduced in the bluetooth 4.0 version, BLE transmits data wirelessly over short distances by relatively consuming lower energy. The main reason for the consumption of lesser energy is the periodical transmission of data in the form of packets.

Working of BLE devices

ibeacon-communicationBluetooth Low Energy devices has two roles to perform namely master and slave. The peripheral device slave transmits the information and the central device master receives the information. While in real time scenario, smart phones are the central device  that receives the information whereas BLE beacons are the peripherals that transmits the information. The central device receives the information when it comes in contact with the beacons.

Redefining connectivity and business transformation

If smart phone made our lives easier, BLE powered apps made our life much smarter. When these apps are used in association with BLE enabled devices the result would be phenomenal. Lets have a look at  some of the advantages,

iBeacons

ibeaconiBeacon is a small device operating on BLE introduced by Apple Inc. They are mostly used for the transmission of data. When the users iPhone comes in close contact with the iBeacon the BLE app installed on the iPhone listen to the signal and receive the data. Generally, location related information are transmitted through iBeacon.

In real life scenario, the application of these beacons may be different. For instance, a customer having a BLE app enters a certain section of the supermarket. He instantly receives a notification in his app from the beacon saying “Welcome to the store” . This can be further tapped by the retailers to increase the productivity of their business.

Wearables

Nowadays, wearables have gained much popularity over the smartphones because of the ease of its usage. In wearable technology , BLE and sensor will be integrated into the wearable device such as watch, wristband, watch, etc.. They can be used for the transmission of information to the BLE app installed in the smartphone.

However, in real life scenario, users pulse rate, blood pressure and other health related information will be tracked by the activity tracker in a wearable device. These information will be received by your BLE app. At present wearable technology has been best utilized by healthcare industry.

Internet of things

IoT is a sensational technology that allow devices to communicate effortlessly without human intervention. In real life scenario , BLE app enables you to monitor your home from a remote location. Smart homes are the perfect example. Instead of manually locking the door , you would be able to lock the door using BLE app.

Industry sectors employing BLE technology

From small industries to well established industry have started using BLE app technology as a part of their revival strategy. Listed below are some of the industries using BLE technology,

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Limitations

  1. BLE transmits information in the form of small packets, hence large volume of information cannot be transmitted through BLE app.
  2. An iBeacon employing BLE technology sometimes takes time to detect the nearby devices when it is fast moving forward.
  3. BLE apps are vulnerable to security attacks.

For customized application development with the support of BLE technology contact us on sales@veltrod.in.

Several ways of Developing Grocery Shopping Apps for Tech Savy Shoppers

Instacart-Grocer-Delivery-App-Cool-Mom-Picks-800x700It is completely hectic to stand in a large queue for purchasing the grocery items. But this atmosphere has completely changed nowadays because of the introduction of grocery shopping mobile apps. Nowadays, there is a sudden increase in grocery shopping app development. The main reason behind it that the modern day groceries have started realizing the sales significance of grocery apps as it helps them is offering personalized and engaging shopping experience.

Brands that have their own grocery shopping apps

Applicaiton Category Special features
WALMART In store/online
  • Quick spotting of products
  • Creation of wishlist
  • Location tracking
  • Scan QR code
TRADER’S JOE In –store
  •  Store locator
  • Keyword based searching
  • Add favourite products to the cart
PUBLIX In-store/checklist
  • Create grocery list
  • Find nearby store
  • Create recipients
GROFERS online
  • Store locator
  • Schedule delivery
  • Advanced search option
  • Multiple payments

 

Building grocery shopping apps

Grocery shopping apps are the most sought after by the customers and retailers because of its versatile nature. Now let us have a look at categories in which  grocery shopping apps are developed,

eCommerce grocery apps

These apps helps the customers to purchase the grocery items needed from their current location. With these grocery delivery apps the customers can also fix the delivery time for the products. These apps are deployed by online retailers, brick/motor retailers who offer delivery services.

In-store grocery apps
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To offer personalized delivery to the customers retail brick and grocery deploy in store shopping app. In these grocery apps the entire physical store has been recreated virtually. This gives a clear idea to the customers about the grocery products and their quality, corresponding notifications about the offers, location based tracking, etc.

Personalized grocery apps

groceryiq-digitwirl-grocery-list-app-lIn order for the shoppers to plan the grocery shopping effectively these personalized shopping apps have been created. These apps let the shoppers to create a grocery list, set remainders for purchasing the items, share grocery related information with their buddies and much more.

Essential features of grocery shopping apps

The main idea to be focused while creating a grocery apps for the customers is that ,it should make the entire shopping experience simple and effective. Because grocery app may have a huge listing of products. Lets have a look at some of the essential feature needed by the grocery app,

Coupons

To make the customers to download the grocery shopping app coupons are the best choice. Hence offering coupons through app is essential to improve customer loyalty.

Store locator

Deploying the location based services to notify the customers when they are nearer to the store increases convenience.

Push notifications

To notify the customers about the new grocery item, discount details and so on enable push notification on your grocery app.

Flexible payments

In order to avoid shopping cart abandonment make your grocery store to support multiple currencies and all the leading payment gateways.

Timely delivery of products

Provide the customers flexibility in choosing the delivery time and location. This facility support a diverse customers resulting in a effective shopping experience.

Advanced search options

Incorporating advanced search options helps the customers to find the exact grocery within a minimum span.

Multi-lingual facility

If you are planning to take your app to a global level then multi-lingual support will be fruitful.

Consider all these features for building and deploying a successful grocery app.For personalized grocery app creation contact us on sales@veltrod.in.

How to Increase the Sales of eCommerce Clothing Business on Social Networking Sites

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At the end of 2015, the total number of people who have joined the social media platform was about 176 million. Out of these about 41% of the people buy their favorite products through online medium.Social selling is the next evolution in eCommerce as the latest trend is seem ripping away. Listed below are some of the social channels where social selling has huge range of possibilities.

Facebook store

facebook-ecommerce1Facebook store has been taking over the world with  one user at a time. Facebook store is an online application that helps the users to create customized store for their products with a minimum amount of time. It offers a wider range of facilities for the store owner such as smart analytics for tracking customers, reward community with discounts, engaging events, etc..

Pininterest store

o-NORDSTROM-PINTEREST-570In Pininterest store you can pin your favorite items and can buy them later. According to the recent report by Wishpond, more that 70% of the users visit the website to get inspiration for their next shopping. To exploit the advantage pininterest rolled out the advantage to buy the products listed in its website in November 2015 with more than 60,000 pins. The never ending stream of images is a great way to sell the products.

Tumblr store

Tumblr store stumble over some brilliant artwork for sale. It is exactly a gold mine for images, now some of them are available for sale. A recent study by comStore states that almost 50% of the tumblr users are millennials. Hence it has became a huge market with enormous potential. Moreover, tumblr is more popular among bloggers because of its mobile friendly nature and the indexed search engine facility.

Instagram

Instagram creates an instant shopping impulse through its stores. It is a great place to showcase images as well as to sell products. Sellers create their own identity and  display their product collection using filters. Customer can be reached via hashtags. It is also possible to boost large population by teaming up with the celebrities.

How to boost your sales?
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Creating a sense of urgency

Buy it now! Limited stocks only! Last day discount sale! These are the most popular words being used to attract the customer to buy the product. By this way the leading eCommerce website ensures that their cash counter keeps ticking for the whole year.

Through tips and offerings

social_media_marketingOften shopping cart abandonment’s occurs because the customer is in a confused state whether or not to buy the product. But when the social eCommerce stores helps the customers to choose the product that best suits them like personal attributes ,personal likes, etc..the probability of the customers visiting the store again for purchase is maximum. From size to colors or even guide to latest trends might help to cut down the abandonment rate.

Creating a constant content with the customers

In order for the customers to stay with the brand, give them an opportunity to connect right from login till checkout. Also, ensure the social profile is bustling with constant feeds about the latest product release, updates and relevant news. Make the customers feel appreciated and valued by the brand through replies to their comments.

Marketing based on the location

Social Media marketing has been given a new dimension because of three factors namely social, local and mobile. Nowadays, it is easy to tap the customers who are located in proximity to your store location with the new BLE technology. Through location based marketing your products would reach out to customers in its near vicinity.

Analyze before making a decision

In order to make the customers in making a better decision give them the facility to chat with their friends about the product and its various varieties. Already some of the eCommerce websites have product comparisons to help the customers to choose the best product.

All these above mentioned factors have to be considered before displaying your product for sale on an eCommerce website. For customized eCommerce website and mobile application development contact us on sales@veltrod.in.

Top Reasons to Use Zend Framework

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A tremendous changes has been brought into the PHP world because of the popularly known Zend Framework or ZF. Robust PHP based solutions and web applications are developed using Zend framework in contrast with the traditional website development. Zend is one of the popular web development framework used across the globe to create interactive and powerful website and, its not without good reason. There are numerous beneficial factors that helps the programmer to code better. That includes,

Object oriented platform

Zend framework is completely an object oriented platform and used many object oriented concepts including inheritance and interfaces. Thus the components can be extended to a great extent by the developer. Further, it also helps the developers to implement their own concepts without hacking into the codebase. Uniqueness to the project has been brought by this customization feature.

Benefits of Object oriented approach

While working with the zend framework ,each and everything should be considered and treated as an object. Though it has lot of disadvantages like making the code more complex for the developers. The advantages of doing such makes the entire code reusable thus saving time and effort. However, to accompany this feature most of the developers repeat their codes which makes it a good choice in terms of implementation.

Focus only on  the required features

ash-mvc-architectureConsidering the zend framework in accordance with the design, it is nothing but a collection of classes. Zend Model View Controller (MVC) are used in almost every project. One of the main advantage of using the zend framework is its decoupling nature, which indicates that  each and every component is available as an individual library, instead of a complete framework. People working in ZF are familiar with the ‘glue framework’. This refers to the decoupling nature of the Zend to gets glued to the existing applications.

Offers multiple functionalities

Zend integrates a lot of components ranging from user authentication to granting access to the desired resources. Similarly, with zend it is easy to integrate with RSS feeds and create forms.

Lack of model implementation

This the one of major reason why some of the developers use zend framework while others are not. Lack of model implementation gives the users flexibility to use any element to achieve the end result. However ,there are not restraints that holds back the already implemented model.

Ease of integration

External libraries used in the platform can be easily integrated due to the decoupling nature of the zend framework. For example, developers planning to use smarty as their template can simply integrate a wrapping class with Zend_View_Abstract, which in turn uses smarty for  rendering.

Guidelines and standards

Each code must adhere to the generalized coding standards and each contributor must sign a Contribute License Agreement(CLA). This makes every code readable, highly qualitative and tested.

Test driven development

Developers are often made to write test cases for their code to make it easier to exchange codes, refactor, create input/output and think of potential use cases.

Documentation

Zend integrates a steep learning curve because of the highly complex nature. However, the documentation and user community platform makes it easier for the learners to understand the platform.

Certifications

zce-php-engineer-logo-lZend Framework is one of the few popular platform that offers both Zend Framework Certification and PHP Certification. This motivates a group of emerging developers to take up certification exams that best build their portfolio.

All these above mentioned features clearly demonstrates why zend framewor has a wider audience.

For customized website development based on your preference contact sales@veltrod.in.

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Increase the E-mail click rates for your Magento e-commerce store

Email advertising effort is one of the strategies to expand deals and the transformation rate through your Magento e-trade site separated from different other special devices.

As email showcasing gives the prime chance to A/B Testing, it is critical to utilize it as one might foresee email active clicking factor and consequently an expansion in Return on speculation.

  • Notwithstanding, the conduct examples of the email beneficiaries have significantly changed on account of the change over to portable utilization from a desktop/tablet method of shopping by the clients, which might compel the Magento site proprietors to have a relook in their showcasing system.
  • In spite of the fact that there is an expansion in the quantity of cell phone utilization, numerous retailers gripe that snap rates are low.
  • The purposes for it may not be profoundly proficient, but rather certain things are to be accepted from the customers perspective. A percentage of the reasons are as per the following.
  • One might never have the capacity to acquire a guarantee from an online customer to surf the shop on his cell phone.
    The site might have troublesome elements for the customers to explore.whats-a-good-email-open-rate-&-click-rate
  • The substance might be stale or exhausting.
  • The email may not be convincing.
  • A couple of the characterized approaches to expand email active visitor clicking percentage are examined beneath.
  • Upgrade your messages for versatile searching.
  • The utilization of recordings is a calculable approach to show an item or the administration. It might expand clicks, social shares, and in this manner form brand steadfastness.
  • The utilization of a straightforward picture with a play catch that prompts the facilitated page upon snap could be sent through email in light of the fact that a genuine video diminishes convey capacity.
  • Change the substance of the email every now and again to pull in guests.
    1. Compose shorter email content with the goal that clients will read it in any case.
    2. Give the email a chance to have joins for social sharing.
    3. Incorporate components of personalization.
    4. Put a breaking point on your offers for moment deals.
    5. These straightforward safety oriented measures are liable to expand email click rates for your Magento store in a thought to build deals bargain.

    bigstock-Flying-Envelopes-25290215-720x540Veltrod is expert in developing Magento based ecommerce applications and the business enquires can be send to sales@veltrod.in

     

When and How to Use PHP Framework

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There has been tremendous changes in framework technologies during the last couple of years. Over the decade certain frameworks in PHP like Phalcon, Laravel, Zend, Symphony and Codeignitor have become consequently better and bigger. Nowadays, they have become the leading tools for the developers who want to create applications at ease. ‘Framework’ is one of the most crucial skill set possessed by the developers of today. Lets have a look at some of the situations where you have to use a framework in PHP,

When coding and file organization have become an integral part of coding

Optimize PHP Development TimesHaving an “/inc” folder with ‘functions.php’ doesn’t always confirms the organization of the code. By default every PHP framework comes with a certain type of folder structure. Developers are expected to follow these standards in order to keep things organized. But for the developers using vi this has become a major obstacle as there are numerous small files residing in it. However, with IDE and other code organizers it has become easier for them to search what they need and when they need.

Use of libraries and utilities

2014.04.28-900x538There are countless libraries provided by the PHP framework. But when it comes to building a website people are left with two options. Either they can write the entire code on their own else they go in search for third party libraries /codes. But preexisting PHP libraries provide better options like form validation, database abstraction, input/output filtering, cookies, session handling, etc..

Use of MVC structure
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One of the most important aspect of programming in PHP is Model View Controller(MVC) . It was introduced into the PHP framework in 1979. Whereas in MVC models are represented as data structures interfered with the database. Multiple page layouts and templates are presented by views. On the other hand controller is the one that binds all these things together including page requests.

Need for better security

200x200To protect the website against hacks and other type of attacks multiple input and output filtering options are provided by the PHP framework. However, it’s completely hard to handle all the website maintenance by a single developer. At times they feel tierd to execute the same set of tasks repeatedly. Certain frameworks like Codeignitor does the work automatically by filtering the values pressed to the database object , thus rescuing the entire set of code from SQL injection. In a similar manner user inputs are protected from  XSS attacks and additional layer of security is added by encrypting the cookies.

When there is a need for faster development

PHP frameworks are used when there is a need to write lesser code for faster project development. The patience of the developers have always been tested by scripting. Once the learning curve of PHP has been crossed larger work can be done with minimum coding. For example, you doesn’t have to worry about the third party libraries or the possible bugs.

When the support from experts is needed

Being the most popular framework today , PHP attracts a wider audience who help each other at every step. Problems can be resolved under the guidance from the experts by means of mailing lists and message boards.

Teamwork

imagesOne of the greatest advantage of the PHP framework is the teamwork it facilitates. Work can be divided equally among the developers. Corresponding view part to the designers, modelling to database specialists and for reusable libraries and plugin to the programmers. Framework comes with special tool that allows unit tests to be carried out by a separate team. PHP frameworks have been continually improved and has given  opportunities to the developers.

We at Veltrod, employ best methods and practices for application development, for further queries regarding website and application development drop an email to us on sales@veltrod.in.

How Omni Channel will Benifit Your Business

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1. Walk in Your Customers’ Shoes

Regularly review the experience your customers go through in order to research, purchase, and connect with your products. Test the experience by placing orders, interacting via all available channels, submitting a support case, and more. If possible, these tests should be performed by external and internal testers. Does everyone have a delightful experience? Are there any unnecessary barriers?

2. Measure Everything!

Data is everywhere (and apparently very “big” these days), and marketers are becoming increasingly savvy about the best ways to leverage it without becoming invasive. Julie Bernard of Macy’s summed things up at last year’s Data Driven Marketing conference:

“We can now measure success in terms of the response of real people over time, in addition to measuring individual campaigns.  We have enough data at the customer level to see how she interacts both online and in the store, so we can tailor messaging and offers to her appropriately by channel. We strive to balance the use of customer data to inform content relevancy with the use of consumer insights to ensure that the relevancy is coupled with a sense of discovery and inspiration.”

3. Segment Your Audience

Understand which data points are useful to you, and segment your audience accordingly. Which data points actually help you better understand your audience? Using marketing automation, you can capture this information to build very rich profiles about your customers and the customer journey – you can even partner with companies like Acxiom or DSPs to enhance your data with more intelligence.

This kind of rich data can be translated into customer use cases, and also used to build buyer personas. For example, male iOS users who work in the tech industry and are between the ages of 25 and 35 are more likely to buy based on technical specifications. If you discover you are marketing to that audience, you might highlight technical specs in your landing pages and nurturing strategy.

4. Develop Content/Messaging that Addresses Use Cases and Behaviors

Content and messaging is key. If a customer has previously engaged or purchased your product, you probably want to consider that in your marketing. If a customer has put something into a cart, but hasn’t yet purchased, use your content to reference that intent.

In my sixth recommendation, I discuss the great content that Zappos creates to address use cases. I’ve also received emails from Bonobos referencing previous purchases, and recommending complementary products.  This type of content and messaging makes consumers feel personally spoken to, and helps drive much higher engagement, loyalty, and purchases.

Here’s an email I received from Bonobos, recommending a shirt to pair with jeans I’d recently purchased through the site:

bonobos jeans tshirt rec

5. Don’t Limit Use Cases to Marketing/Sales

Consider how listening and responding can help your support team, product team, merchandising teams, and even your customer service efforts. In a recent article on Digiday.com, GM’s head of global social media strategy was quoted as saying:

“A lot of it is about being able to provide a better service for our customers. If we can plug social into all the other CRM [Customer Relationship Management] data we have, then we have a full portfolio on the customer. If we know their VIN [Vehicle Identification Number], if we know their name, if we know their Twitter handle, and we know whether they like to go to the dealership or they don’t like to go the dealership, this helps us treat them in a way that they want to treated.”

First of all, what is omni-channel marketing? The term “omni-channel” may be a marketing buzzword, but it refers to a significant shift: marketers now need to provide a seamless experience, regardless of channel or device. Consumers can now engage with a company in a physical store, on an online website or mobile app, through a catalog, or through social media. They can access products and services by calling a company on the phone, by using an app on their mobile smartphone, or with a tablet, a laptop, or a desktop computer. Each piece of the consumer’s experience should be consistent and complementary.

 

Examples of Omni-Channel User

The more technology advances, the more it’s integrated into our daily lives. Even as you read this article, I’d venture a guess that you have several internet-connected devices within arm’s reach.

As we continue down these innovative pathways, we’ll continue to see technology become more important to our day-to-day living. The lines between what we do online and in real life will begin to blur.

And as people change their behaviors, marketers will need to react. Instead of thinking of a desktop experience, a mobile experience, a tablet experience, and a Apple Watch experience, we’ll need to pursue one, holistic approach — an omni-channel experience.

Omni-Channel

omnichannel-mktg

At its core, omni-channel is defined as a multichannel sales approach that provides the customer with an integrated shopping experience. The customer can be shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, or by telephone, or in a bricks and mortar store and the experience would be seamless.

It’s important here to distinguish an omni-channel user experience from a multi-channel user experience. Essentially, it comes down to the depth of the integration.

All omni-channel experiences will use multiple channels, but not all multi-channel experiences are omni-channel. Remember that. You can have amazing mobile marketing, engaging social media campaigns, and a well-designed website. But if they don’t work together, it’s not omni-channel.

It’s one thing to discuss the theory and practice of omni-channel user experience. But it’s something else entirely to see brilliant companies that are already implementing it in their strategies. Here are a few that I admire most.

1) Disney

Disney gets omni-channel right, down to the smallest details. It’s starts with your initial experience on the entertainment giant’s beautiful, mobile-responsive website. Even their trip-planning website works well on mobile — that alone is something you don’t see happening very often.

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2) Virgin Atlantic

Robert Fransgaard  shared an account of his amazing experience with Virgin Atlantic’s omni-channel customer service experience.

In his anecdote, he shares the story of his personalized experience with a representative named Dan, who, after being the unwitting recipient of Robert’s frustration over a missed engineer appointment, encouraged Robert to reach out to him directly in the event of any future issues.

Dan didn’t  say to call customer service, or to post another tweet to get attention. Dan reached across the company’s different marketing channels to give Robert a personalized service experience.

It’s amazing what a personal touch like this can do, especially when it comes to consoling customers that have had a poor experience with the company.

3) Bank of America

Bank of America takes their omni-channel development seriously. As one of the biggest brands in their industry, they’re setting the standard for a dynamic experience, which — as of today — allows for everything from check depositing to appointment scheduling to be handled by the company’s mobile and desktop apps.

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4) Oasis

Oasis is a U.K. fashion retailer that’s fusing their ecommerce site, mobile app, and brick-and-mortar stores into a simple shopping experience.

If you walk into one of their stores, you’ll find sales associates armed with iPads that are available to give you on-the-spot, accurate, and up-to-date product information. The iPad also acts as a cash register, making it easy for associates to ring you up from anywhere in the store. And the cherry on top? If it appears that something is out of stock, the staff can instantly place an online order for you to have the item shipped directly to your home.

6) Starbucks

A quick look at the Starbucks reward app will reveal why many consider it one of the top omni-channel experiences out there.

First, you get a free rewards card that you can use whenever you make a purchase. But unlike traditional customer loyalty programs, Starbucks has made it possible to check and reload your card via phone, website, in-store, or on the app. Any change to the card or your profile gets updated across all channels, in real-time.

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But personally, I don’t think we’re that far away from a world where omni-channel is accessible to brands of all sizes. Technology has come a long way over the past decade, and there’s no doubt in my mind that future changes will make it possible for even the smallest of companies.

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