Online Presence

Why Every Small Business Needs an Online Presence in 2021?

Online Presence

Having an online presence is more expected and necessary now than ever. Way before Covid-19 had brought the world to a standstill, most businesses have realized that a good online presence is essential.

The emergence of new technology along with a radical change in the way people buy and utilise products and services has been changing drastically. In today’s world, around three billion people use smartphones and by 2021, it is expected that more than two billion people would buy goods and services online. That is a staggering number!

Every problem comes with a solution. At times, it takes more time to figure out the solution and the needed solution would be right in front of you. The pandemic may have forced us to stay at our homes but one thing that has ended up saving billions of people and small and medium businesses is the internet.

Thanks to the online services offered by numerous businesses, people around the world have had the freedom from home to satisfy their needs. It is now more important than ever to be as accessible as you can on the web if you want to survive in a post-Covid landscape.

How to Create an Online Presence that Leverages Effective Results?

There are many different elements that go into creating an efficient online presence. Each one of them helps not only to make your services more accessible in their own way, but also to reach out to the huge pool of online users out there.

This innit only for small businesses that doesn’t own an online presence. However, it is inclusive for big businesses that have an online footprint and can refine their existing methods to improvise customer acquisition and retention.

Here are some of the most significant elements that can be used by any company to create a great online presence:

Web Design

Today, having a great website is extremely important for any company out there. You may ask why!

Most common thing a person does when he or she has to buy something is to surf online if their needs will be met or not. People can research and look at reviews with the help of the internet before they buy anything and not having a website will alienate a lot of potential clients. It could also lead to losing potential clients.

Website design isn’t just about looks. It covers every aspect, from how the website looks, how easy it will be for clients to go through their products and services, and how convenient it will be for them to leave feedback and make their purchases.

Every great website will always have a great flow where clients can go without any hassles from one section to another. To make a great impression on potential customers, the design should be simple, easy to navigate and visually interesting.

It also allows you to communicate with your customers directly and keep them up-to-date with any potential sales, collect testimonials, and so much more. In ensuring that a customer stays loyal to your business, a personalised experience can go a long way.

It is also very important that the content on your website can easily be read not only on computers, but also on smartphones and tablets of all shapes and sizes, with billions of people using smartphones.

SEO

In the first place, SEO is what brings clients to your website. After they go online, the first thing people do is use search engines. A typical consumer might check out three to four pages on an online search engine.

Therefore, to ensure a healthy rate of customer acquisition, it is imperative for your business to be on either the first or second page. The higher your company’s search engine ranking, the greater the chance of attracting new customers.

This also functions as a great promotional tool as well. The name of your business will be encoded in the mind of the customer who may later visit your website if your website comes up high in relevant searches.

Media Marketing

Perhaps one of the most powerful instruments out there on the internet is social media. Social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter have a huge amount of people registering and using them all day.

The consumption of video content is soaring through the roof these days as more and more individuals stay indoors.

It can significantly increase customer intake by creating efficient video content, working with influencers, and creating an active presence on social media sites.

Marketing on social media is not easy at all and requires a good amount of research into your brand, the products you sell and other important bits of information. However, as far as customer acquisition is concerned, once it is effectively done, it will open the floodgates.

It also allows you to communicate with your client base directly and receive important feedback from them. You can also offer your customers a personalised experience and engage with them in effective ways to retain and boost your brand loyalty.

Pay-Per-Click

Perhaps one of the most powerful instruments out there on the internet is social media. Social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter have a huge amount of people registering and using them all day.

The consumption of video content is soaring through the roof these days as more and more individuals stay indoors.

It can significantly increase customer intake by creating efficient video content, working with influencers, and creating an active presence on social media sites.

Marketing on social media is not easy at all and requires a good amount of research into your brand, the products you sell and other important bits of information. However, as far as customer acquisition is concerned, once it is effectively done, it will open the floodgates.

It also allows you to communicate with your client base directly and receive important feedback from them. You can also offer your customers a personalised experience and engage with them in effective ways to retain and boost your brand loyalty.

How Can an Online Presence Help You Now and Beyond?

Whether you are a small business or a reasonably big one, there are no downsides to having a robust online presence. It only helps you grow and build a brand that is stronger. So, how can an online presence help you exactly?

Better Customer Engagement

Communication between a company and its clients is of vital importance in today’s difficult times. Maintaining an active and engaging customer relationship can ensure that they remain loyal to the brand and encourage others to visit you for the products or services you offer.

You can do so by

By keeping them updated with any changes that come about, communicate fresh store policies. For example, what steps your company has taken to avoid possible infection among your employees and how secure it is for clients to use your products and services.

Tell them if your company will be closed for any number of days and when it will be back again, if so. The pandemic has made it quite difficult for some individuals to meet their needs, so it is necessary to communicate every bit of information about your company’s availability clearly and consistently.

Let them know about any new products or services you provide to make life more convenient for the customer. Do you make deliveries? Since social distancing is very important these days, what types of payments will you accept?

Great Customer Interaction

During this pandemic, very few people will visit businesses and shops. So, you need to interact and communicate with them frequently when it comes to marketing. They use their phones, tablets and computers when people prefer to be inside their homes than to venture out.

You need to make sure through these platforms that you are promoting your business to them. In order to interact directly with your clients, launch a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account. For decades to come, how companies react in these troubling times will be remembered because, despite so much difficulty, you can help people meet their needs.

Get Authentic Feedback

One of the advantages of having an online presence is that your clients can receive authentic feedback directly from you. There is no need to rummage and get filtered data through data gathered by third parties.

You can interact with your customers at any point in time and get real feedback regarding your products or services. The benefit of digital data is that you can always gather it for future reference and build on customer feedback to make your brand much stronger.

Final Thoughts

Covid-19 also has catastrophic effects on our world, economy and daily lives, but it has shown us how sensitive we are. It has also highlighted the importance, particularly in such dire times, of having an online presence. Whether you sell products online or not, having an online presence is still vital. The only way not only to survive but to prosper is to adapt to changing times and control your destiny instead of controlling your own. With the right online marketing service, you can prove your business in the future and ensure that it continues to grow no matter what obstacle comes your way.

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B2B

B2B and B2C Marketing: What’s the Difference?

B2B

Marketers of business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) aim to attract the attention of two separate audiences. And even though these types of marketing have many similarities, how they engage audiences on each channel is actually quite clearly different.

What Exactly is B2B Marketing?

B2B marketing simply refers to marketing for business-to-business.

For example, if British Airways tries to become the preferred travel provider for your company and is marketing to you accordingly, then that would be B2B marketing.

Or, as another example, if a business is trying to sell you a huge piece of machinery to assist with your production line, B2B marketing would be involved.

It’s what one business does when they try to sell to some other company and/or partner with it.

B2B marketing’s focus tends to be logical. You want to focus on the product and its characteristics, what it has to offer the company to which you are trying to sell.

Why’s that?

Because in a B2B purchasing decision, there tends not to be much emotion involved.

It’s all about how much it costs for your product and what you offer for that cost.

The focus of B2B marketing should be as follows:

  • How does your brand improve productivity?
  • How does your brand offer tool that nobody else can provide?
  • How money and time are saved by your product?

If you focus on those three things, then you’ll be able to build yourself a solid B2B marketing strategy.

What is B2C Marketing?

While B2B marketing focuses on marketing for business-to-business, B2C marketing focuses on consumer marketing. It literally means “marketing business-to-consumer.”

Examples of B2C marketing include McDonald’s trying to pursue moms to purchase happy meals to their children. Another example, when Tesco tries to convince you to do your shopping there, you can’t get anywhere else by offering deals.

When making a B2C buying decision, consumers are much more emotional than when someone makes a B2B buying decision. As such, it is necessary to focus B2C marketing on the following:

  • Creation of content for their brands and businesses
  • Creating a brand connexion with their customers
  • Selling individuals, the benefits offered by their product(s)

One of the biggest and most important parts of B2C marketing is advertising. (Besides having a great product.)

Why?

Because customers don’t want a lengthy, drawn-out ad. Rather, they want something short and snappy that catches their attention and gets right to the point.

Consumers who make buying decisions for B2C don’t want to work hard to understand what you sell and why. They want the advantages made clear to them quickly and easily and the reason for buying. To understand your message, they shouldn’t have to work.

Major Differences Between B2B vs B2C Marketing

The main difference between B2B and B2C marketing has to do with how the buyer is attracted to you. You connect with a consumer differently than you do with a company.

And in order to actually make your sale, you need to make sure you sell the correct way.

Here are just a few of the differences between B2B and B2C advertising.

1. What's Driving the Purchase Decision?

A B2B audience makes very, very different purchasing decisions from a B2C audience.

Your B2B buyer will concentrate on whether or not, along with lots of expertise, you can offer them an effective product. Your B2C buyer will be focused on finding a good deal with lots of value for fun or entertainment.

Thus, focus on logic and the expertise you can provide for B2B marketing. For B2C marketing, appeal to the feelings of your customers.

2. To Use Industry Jargon or Not

It’s straightforward. You should use industry jargon with B2B sales-actually, it will probably make a potential buyer feel more comfortable because it demonstrates that you know what you’re talking about and know your way around the industry.

You absolutely want to avoid the jargon of industry with B2C sales. A customer will not know what it means, and it will be a very quick and easy way to turn your product off.

3. Content Marketing

Your content will differ widely between B2B and B2C advertising. You want lengthy content for B2B marketing that answers lots of questions, has a lot of buzzwords and industry jargon and goes into your offerings in great detail.

You want to concentrate on pith and humour for B2C marketing, as this is most likely to engage consumers and keep your brand top of mind for them. And for you, this will translate into sales.

4. Who's Making the Purchasing Decision?

In a B2B purchase decision, there are a lot more people involved than there are in a B2C purchase decision.

What is that supposed to mean?

Well, with a B2C purchase decision, the decision is usually made by just one person. Sometimes the decision is made jointly by a family or group of friends, but there are still a relatively small number of individuals.

There is a whole chain of command with a B2B purchasing decision that has to weigh in.

Before the decision can be made, you have to send it up the chain of command and get input from a whole bunch of people.

5. Building Brand Relationships

For a consumer, it is not about building a relationship with your brand that drives their purchase decision. It’s about satisfying an immediate desire or need.

That’s not to say consumers aren’t becoming loyal to the brand. It simply means that when they make their purchasing decision, they’re not thinking about a relationship.

They often look for a company to build a long-term relationship with you and your brand. They want someone with whom they can partner so that they don’t have to spend time vetting candidates over and over again and making purchasing decisions.

 

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ecommerce

Advantages of eCommerce over traditional shops

ecommerce

As technology advances, the conventional way of trading shifts and ecommerce is becoming increasingly prevalent. It is also known as electronic commerce or internet commerce, which refers to the purchase and sale of products or services through the internet.

The digital revolution has had an effect on many sectors like trade. Nowadays, people are more likely than in a classic shop to make a purchase over Amazon or related pages.

According to Statista, there are rising numbers of dollars spent on e-commerce sites each year. It had hit $3.45 billion in the last year alone. The figure will reach $4.88 billion by 2021.

What are the highlights of Ecommerce over Traditional Commerce?

1) No geographical limitation

When it comes to traditional commerce, you can do business only where your physical store has been set up. This is not the case with Websites for e-commerce. For them, if carefully designed the entire planet is their sandbox. With only a few clicks people from one corner of the world can easily order a particular product from another corner of the world.

2) Gaining customer using search engine visibility

Traditional business shops are still dependent on branding and partnerships to bring more customers to their store, but e-commerce drives much of their traffic from search engines on the other side. More than 30 per cent of e-commerce traffic comes from search engine proprietary searches. This is just the traffic from organic searches and then we’ve got ads, social media traffic that’s the turning point for many e-commerce firms. You can quickly gain insights into the traffic coming from various social media sites by using a creative solution like Proeze for your e-commerce shop.

3) Lower cost/investment

One of the main reasons for launching an e-commerce website is that it needs a low investment over a physical store. To slash your e-commerce website costs, you can use the best marketing technique that includes: organic search, pay per click or social media traffic. Compared to a physical store, the manpower and property needed to get the company up and running is also much less.

4) Locate product quickly

We’ve all been through the hassle of putting a particular product in a large shop, running up and down the aisles and asking the person in charge to help. This is not the case for e-commerce sites, as the consumer only has to click through intuitive navigation or simply type the particular product into the search box to find their requirement immediately.

5) Save travel time and cost

The main reason people are moving from conventional to e-commerce is that it saves time and expense for travel. The customer has to visit the store for a physical shop to buy the item while he can do it with only a few clicks sitting on the couch with an e-commerce website. With the advent of m-commerce, it has saved the customer’s time by letting them buy the products on the go, even more so.

6) Remains open all the time

Another big factor that has moved consumers from traditional trade to websites of ecommerce is that they too can shop at odd hours. The timings for e-commerce stores are 24*7*365. There is no obligation on an e-commerce website which is why they can stay open all the time. Sellers profit from it as they are getting more and more orders and it’s much more convenient for the consumer around the clock.

What is the best way to switch Traditional Retailer to Digital?

With a view to staying competitive and achieving exponential efficiency, many companies are moving from their traditional selling methods into the ecommerce environment. Although online retail nowadays grows at a tremendous pace, entering into digital commerce is a fantastic idea regardless of your business field. To give the customers exceptional convenience and motivate your brand, here’s a checklist you need to think before switching to e-commerce.

  • Start with the Groundwork

The first step is to develop a successful strategic plan for your company. Based on your business’ processes, competencies, and service area, you can create an efficient strategy customised to suit your business needs. Second, putting your client base first will help you concentrate on a specific market.

  • Analysing Customer Behaviour

Another critical move is to consider the market trends and their business requirements. By having insights into the customer’s shopping preferences, you can easily place your goods and services accordingly. This allows you to provide your customers with a personalised experience which will further empower your company.

  • Setting Up A Store

You are ready to set up an online shop for your company once you finalise the strategic objectives, pick a specific product concept, evaluate the target audience, and establish a detailed understanding of consumer preferences. But you need to build a merchant account to operate this digital store successfully. You will also need to build a database (with an intuitive and user-friendly interface) that can help you easily organise the goods on your ecommerce website.

  • Social Media

Taking advantage of the power of social media to create a special, robust user experience. Being one of the most critical moves to reach your target audience will help you drive traffic to your e-commerce website through a successful social media strategy. You may employ a specialist for some unique marketing tactics to produce a stable route map for social media.

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portfolio

Why online portfolio is important and how to create one?

portfolio

A portfolio website is an important tool to get more business and develop your brand. In today’s digital world, a portfolio is arguably more important than a resume, no matter what industry you work in. Whether you are a freelance journalist, a recent college grad looking for a job, or even an accountant, when people Google your name, your portfolio will provide the most powerful and comprehensive perspective on you.

A portfolio is especially important when you are working in design – an independent web designer or part of an agency. An online portfolio helps to give a potential customer, like an art director, a sense of who you are, what you can do, and whether you are the person they would hire to execute their project.

How to create a portfolio website?

Using WordPress as the platform to build your website makes sense for several reasons:

WordPress also happens to be the platform of choice for 35% of the internet, an increase of 2% compared to early 2019 and a 4% rise from the previous year. If you just consider the CMS-built pages, then WordPress is around 60%. Every month more than 400 million people visit the WordPress page.

What your portfolio website needs?

There are no rules to dictate what your portfolio website should include, but there are certain things visitors will expect to see to learn more about you and your work:

Portfolio

The obvious one. Your site should lead with your best work. You can choose to make your portfolio as the homepage of your website or have the homepage provide an overview, with your work given a dedicated space, but your work needs to be prominent.

Studies show that it takes as little as 50 milliseconds for a visitor to form an opinion about your website, so you need to use this page to impress them instantly.

About

Your visitors want to know about the person behind the work. Use this page to sell yourself and your accomplishments, but don’t get too wordy.

Keep things precise. Give a brief introduction, then get into focusing on what you do, what you’ve done, what you’ve achieved, and why your accomplishments matter.

Include a photo too — people like to put a face to the name.

Contact

If your work resonates with visitors, then there’s a good chance that they’ll want to get in touch. A contact page shows people an easier path to reach out to you.

Your contact page should include an email address, contact form, and social media links. If you’re happy being contacted by phone, then you should include that too.

You should place social media links prominently throughout your site and place your email contact in the footer, so it’s visible on every page.

Also, it is worth considering these optional extras.

Blog

A blog is a great way to keep people in the loop with what you’re doing and establish authority by providing useful content. It’s also a great way to increase traffic to your website and improve your search engine ranking.

Studies show that websites with blogs receive 97% more visibility and have a 434% better chance of being ranked highly on search engines, so it’s certainly something to consider. That said, you should only add a blog if you plan to add fresh content consistently. An outdated blog can give the impression that your site has been abandoned, and you don’t want to give that kind of impression.

Resume

In terms of getting work, your portfolio does most of the talking but creating a page for your resume won’t do you any harm. A resume gives potential employers details on your work experience and educational background — things that might swing a job opportunity in your favour.

Tips for creating a website that stands out for the Portfolio –

So now that you’ve got the software, here’s what to do to create a portfolio website that a) people want to visit, and b) gets you work.

Show off your personality

A portfolio website is all about you — your work, your style, your identity. Include personality into your design and content. Write how you talk and use good headshots to give visitors an insight about you. Personality provides warmth and builds trust — the opposite of what a faceless, bland corporate website brings to the table.

Give people a reason to stay

As mentioned earlier, you have to create a positive first impression. When someone lands on your website, give them a reason to stay by portraying your most important content — who you are and what you do. The quicker you get their attention to stay on your page, the more likely it is that they’ll stick around to check out other parts of your site.

Keep it clean

Good user interface just makes sense. And that’s because 88% of users who have a poor experience are less likely to come back to a website.

Keeping it clean and simple is the best way to offer a good user experience. Focus on the designs that reduces distractions and makes it easy to use, on your smartphone and desktop.

Keep pages consistent to avoid confusing users and use plenty of white space. White space (the areas on a page left blank), helps focus the reader’s attention on the content so that distractions are avoided.

Get testimonials

If you have clients that are willing to say nice things about you, then use their words to sell yourself. Testimonials create social proof that backs up the quality of your work. They’re a proven way to add trust and authenticity, increasing leads and conversions.

Tailor content to your audience

Who is your website aimed at? What kind of people do you want to hire you? Figure out who your audience is, what their interests and motivations are, and tailor your message to them.

Add fresh content

This is an easy thing to do. You may consider adding a blog to your website or freshening up your website every so often. The reason being: Google loves fresh content. Keeping your website up-to-date gives Googlebot (the tool Google users to crawl and index web pages) the new and/or updated content it looks for and gives you a better chance of ranking higher in search results.

However, fresh content also keeps your site relevant to visitors, showing them that you’re active.

Make it SEO-friendly

Search is where a large percentage of your traffic will come from. Optimizing your website and content for search engines gives you a better chance of showing up in search results when people enter keywords related to what you do.

Enter terms related to your niche into a free tool like Google’s Keyword Planner or SEMrush to find keywords to target and place them throughout your content in:

Email amrketing

Best Email Marketing Services for Small Business

Email amrketing

Is email marketing a priority for your Small business by 2020? Searching for the right email marketing tools?

Choosing the correct email marketing service will significantly affect your marketing campaign effectiveness.

In this article, we’ll analyze and compare the best small business email services.

Choosing the best email marketing service is vital and why?

Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective for small business marketing strategies. In the U.S., email marketing sees an average return on investment ( ROI) of 4300 percent for businesses.

This is because email marketing is easy to manage, gives you full control, and allows you to contact your customers directly.

It is important to understand that so much of your marketing success depends entirely on the software you choose, as they are responsible for ensuring that your emails are actually delivered.

If you’re not careful, then you’re going to end up paying a lot more for fewer marketing features and at awful email delivery rates (which causes you to lose even more).

Which marketing tool would be perfect for email marketing?

A good email marketing system should allow you to create highly engaging email newsletters with a user-friendly interface (ideally, drag-and-drop).

You should be able to send out bulk emails easily, that are actually customized and targeted without much work. This is also known as automated marketing.

Besides that, your marketing service needs to make it easy to manage your contact list, segment users into groups, and track your marketing campaign performance.

1. Mailchimp

Mailchimp is one of the world’s most popular email marketing service providers primarily because they offer a free email service plan that will last forever.

Mailchimp comes with a user-friendly, drag-and-drop email template creator, group segmentation of contacts, autoresponders, and simple analytics tracking. It also allows you to set delivery times based on time zones of the user, and you can set up geolocation-based segmentation.

MailChimp can be easily integrated with WordPress, Shopify, Magento, and many other platforms.

Mailchimp provides an eternally free program allowing you to send 12,000 emails to up to 2,000 subscribers. This plan is quite limited since you don’t get features like optimization of send-time, advanced segmentation, multi-variate testing, etc. You must also display their brand identity in your email. Last but not least, support is limited to email only – this is great if you’re a hobbyist, but then would you need reliable help that you can count on as a serious company.

Their paid plans start from $10 / month for up to 500 subscribers, and the price increases as 500 subscribers rise.

2. Constant Contact

Constant Contact is one of the leading and fastest-growing email marketing services. It is also the easiest email service to use and to beginner-friendly.

Your email lists, addresses, email templates, the marketing calendar, and more can be easily handled.

That account gives you access to easy monitoring and reporting, built-in social media networking tools, free image collection, list segmentation, integration of Facebook ads, and a strong Shopify stores eCommerce integration.

Your Email Plus accounts also come with great features such as email automation, drip promotions, coupons,  surveys & polls, charity donations, and subject line A / B testing which helps you submit targeted emails to optimize your open rate.

Constant Contact offers unrivaled customer support with live chat, phone calls, email,

community support, and an extensive library of useful resources.

In addition to online training, they also offer live seminars in-person throughout the United States. This helps small business owners to quickly understand and start using the fundamentals of email marketing to expand their company like a pro.

Constant Contact has a trial period of 60 days. After that, their pricing starts from $20/month.

3. Drip

Drip is a powerful marketing platform for eCommerce, bloggers, and digital marketers in enterprises. They offer a wide variety of tools to enable marketing automation, sales funnels, and customization.

To all common website builders like WordPress and WooCommerce, their email program provides seamless integration. This helps you to quickly add pop-ups to your website / sign up forms, and catch more leads.

Which takes Drip apart from the Campaign Monitor rivalry is, their advanced marketing automation systems, smarter email segmentation, split testing apps, list groups, and a visual workflow builder. These features allow you to get more sales to targeted customers in your mailing list.

Drip’s service options include service for live chat, webinars, software training, comprehensive courses, free guides, and excellent documentation.

Drip offers a free trial, and their paid plans start from $49/month which includes all their features.

4. Sendinblue

Sendinblue is a complete enterprise SMS and email software. They constitute one of Europe’s fastest-growing email marketing platforms.

This platform is incredibly easy to use for producing beautiful and highly engaging emails with excellent tools. A quick email drag & drop editor is ideal for beginners with no marketing experience.

Sendinblue provides beginner-friendly marketing automation tools that will allow you to send transactional emails, create workflows for automated email monitoring and user segmentation. This can also pick the best time to submit bulk emails using its AI algorithms to ensure the optimal deliverability of emails.

Sendinblue offers a completely free email marketing plan that allows you to send up to 300 emails a day, but all of your emails will be marked out. Pay-out plans start at $25 a month. You can also add SMS to your account, but the price may differ according to your sending requirements.

Sendinblue also provides a free SMTP bulk email service that can be used to drive transactional or automatic emails from your WordPress account. You don’t need this for email marketing campaigns, however, if you have a large website; it is a nice feature to have and automatic emails based on real-time content.

5. ConvertKit

ConvertKit is a comprehensive forum for professional writers, authors, and advertisers to market emails. It is extremely user friendly and incredibly strong.

The unique aspect of ConvertKit is that you can conveniently deliver content updates and rewards through the use of email signup forms. This also comes with simple auto-responders to handle and therefore, allowing you to send drip emails from your email service.

For ConvertKit, customers can quickly be segmented into those who are interested and those who have already invested. It helps you improve conversions that sound more personal with automatic emails. This is called targeted email marketing, in marketing terms.

ConvertKit provides support based on email and has a comprehensive knowledge base with great learning content.

ConvertKit provides a free 14-day trial, and prices start at $29 / month. They are now giving a program of a 30-day refund.

Wrapping up

As we are aware, there are many email marketing services out there. We’d like to make sure you choose the one that suits your business needs. As we mentioned earlier, each tool has their unique features and pricing model, so it’s up to you to pick the best one.

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Small business website

Why does a small business need a website?

Small business website

Today you can have a website for almost anything — from crowdfunding projects to fan pages for a cartoon character. Yet, for some reason, an estimation of 40% to 50% of small business don’t have a website or not ready to go online.

A survey shows that a lot of local and small business owners are not ready for online adoption due to lack of skill, time, and budget, and surprisingly few small business owners believe that they don’t need a website since they entirely operate on offline. They have a social media page for communication.

In this article, we are going to see why every website needs a website regardless of size.

Get new clients online

The Internet is the best way to target a broad range of audiences who may interest in your products or services. Nowadays, people search for everything on Google whether they need flowers, cake for birthday parties, or a cleaning service. The first thing they do, by default is to google.

Even before COVID-19 kept all of us staying at home, digital shopping was on the rise. And these developments are expected to continue after companies reopen to customers. But even if you don’t find yourself an “eCommerce” company, you can still use an online store to support your offline business. If you are closed in person, it will help boost your income and attract potential customers who can now find your services and products through Google and other search engines.

Creating a brand awareness

In addition to the fact that consumers spend extraordinary time with digital devices, they also use them at an exponential rate to engage with brands that they support. A brand that wanted to connect with prospects in the days before digital would put an ad in the paper or spend in a billboard ad. But these days, customers are actively looking for brands using digital media, and that has shifted control from the brand to the consumer.

Marketing your products or services

Although printed advertisements, flyers, and posters can still have a place for certain businesses in some cases, they appear to be costly, take longer to plan – and use up a lot of trees.

So investing in a good website and associated social media accounts will likely make your life easier in the long run when it comes to getting your message across. These days, many companies offer paid online advertising services and you also have the option to advertise via platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

Outplay your competitors

The Internet is always open, and available almost anywhere, which means consumers can find in seconds what they are searching for. When your company has no good website or worse –any sort of website, no one can see you in the search rankings for Google.

Consumers want to be told about their purchasing choices — what they buy from and who they buy from. Without a website, you risk losing clients to companies already benefiting from the online marketplace is high. If you are in direct competition with other businesses that have a website, there is a clear advantage to your competitor — especially if they advertise their website effectively. A website may help level out the game.

Having some expert SEO assistance will help you make it easier for customers to find your site, and it’s worth considering paid online ads to give the business an extra boost.

Just getting a website adds instant credibility to your company

The customer of the 21st century is a skeptic; in addition, 56 percent of people said without a website they would not trust a brand. Instantly getting a successful website boosts your reputation as a legitimate company.

First impressions count, and websites provide you with a well-crafted approach to your business to make a really good impression.

A website will help to highlight your skills and put your business better. A website can be the number one weapon you need to stand out in a crowd.

Wrapping up

Yet again, while we think not everyone needs a website, we have shown you that all small business needs a website. There is a very low and inexpensive entry barrier and there’s a big opportunity to help your company expand.

 

When you are going to do one thing today to help your small business be more effective, it’s to make it your major priority to get a website.

Being a better business is easy. Get a web page.

Small business

Small business

Small business

eCommerce platforms

Best eCommerce platforms in 2020

eCommerce platforms

Ecommerce platforms

Ecommerce platforms allow you to build your own online eCommerce business with no coding skills, a bottomless budget, or a web design degree. They come packed with designs and features that are unique to eCommerce to help in setting up your company as simple – and as profitable – as possible.

Looking for your store’s Best eCommerce platform? It is a big decision and one that will have a long-term effect on the way forward for your venture.

It’s also a difficult choice to make, with a number of different factors.

As well as building your digital storefront, you need to think, to name a few, about website hosting, inventory and shipping management, taxes, and support.

You still don’t have an unlimited cash supply under your couch. And you need to think about a budget to create your eCommerce store and keep it.

There are of course free tools out there that you can use to create your online store. Nevertheless, these do require some experience and ongoing management. This is something that the paid eCommerce platforms take care of.

There are more than 370 eCommerce sites available to companies according to G2.

A single person cannot wade through hundreds of options to find the right solution, so we took it upon ourselves to review the most popular eCommerce platforms.

1. Shopify

Shopify eCommerce platforms

Shopify is one of the best eCommerce platforms for startups and small and medium-sized companies who need to keep their hands while setting up their shop. The platform already integrates everything you need: from website design to content marketing to performance analytics. When you’ve set up the basics, updating your store with third-party plugins, or even modifying the shop code itself – is a simple matter.

 

It’s a well-known eCommerce platform, with more than one million stores, 2.1 million active users, and $155B+ worth of products sold on its website. Plans begin at $29. They have an in-house infrastructure for the processing of payments and major discounts on shipping rates.

Payment Options

Shopify gives you the option of using their Shopify Payments platform, developed in-house. What’s great about it? –  is that it’s built into most major gateways from credit cards to Google Pay, Apple Pay, and so on.

They have also increased security protocols with compliance with the Level 1 PCI and a default fraud analysis. The payments can also be tracked and handled in an automated back office.

Usability

Shopify is a delight to understand thanks to its intuitive interface and tools for creating code less stores. And if you’re still stuck there are plenty of tools available to help with assistance. Basic users can choose or build one themselves from a wide range of pre-existing design templates.

Advanced users should have plenty to crow about, as Shopify also offers full application access. There is a wide range of independent developers’ add-ons and enhancements available which can expand your store’s functionality. All of this makes the difference between small and large online stores easy for Shopify.

2. WooCommerce

Woocommerce eCommerce platforms

WooCommerce is an open-source plugin for Websites based on WordPress. WooCommerce is completely free to get going, but you must already have website hosting and WordPress in place. You can also update your online store with paid extensions, integrations, and storefront themes.

Unlike WordPress, there are many free themes in WooCommerce that you can use to create your online store. Another choice is to buy premium themes to set your store apart from users with free themes.

Payment Options

You can set up multiple payment options, from major credit cards to Stripe, PayPal, etc. integrations. You can also subscribe to WooCommerce Payment with no setup fees or monthly fees. This allows you to accept credit or debit cards with a charge of 2.9% for each payment with the US cards. For any other cards issued outside the US, an additional 1 percent fee applies.

All inventory management, tax calculation, and management of shipping rates occur in the WordPress interface. To keep track of the results, you can integrate your WooCommerce store into Google Analytics.

Usability

WooCommerce, like most open-source eCommerce platforms, carries a steep learning curve for those who have not previously created a similar site. Although, the WooCommerce plugin is relatively straightforward to set up and install, users must use community forums and online help guides to develop their own expertise. However, once you’re up to speed, the customization and operations become much easier.

3. Magento

Magento eCommerce platforms

The open-source platform provided by Magento is designed for small businesses and developers. If you’re looking for a platform with the most freedom, then it’s a great builder of online stores. If you don’t have Magento experience, however, you’ll need to hire someone who does.

Magento is fully mobile-optimized, but you need to build the store up yourself with the open-source platform. This also means you have plenty of freedom for goods and other features for rich content. Further eCommerce extensions can also be obtained through Magento Marketplace. The platform is very powerful and has a library of more than 5,000 extensions but requires longer development time and a bigger budget than most of its competitors.

Payment Options

The platform features PCI Compliant Payment Solutions. You are in charge of setting up the payment gateways or getting a marketplace extension.

Managing an Open Source store at Magento also requires extensive expertise. The platform has built-in checkout, payment, and shipping modules but you have to set them up yourself again.

Usability

Magento is one of the market’s most powerful eCommerce platforms but at the expense of a big learning curve. No fancy drag-and-drop tools, default dashboards, or simple platform input modules. If you don’t have the budget to hire your own Magento developer, then all that you do in your Magento store will be autodidact.

Having said that, users of Open Source have access to a large, knowledgeable Magento community which can help answer questions and solve problems.

Wrapping up

You’ve got multiple free and paid choices when choosing the best eCommerce platforms for your online store. Going with the free, open-source platforms is lucrative, but then it all depends on you. If you don’t have any programming experience, it is best to go for platforms outside the box.

Not every feature is accessible from the outset when looking at paying platforms. Consider potential additional expenses, whether you choose other improvements such as abandoned cart recovery or in-depth coverage.

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Online business guide

Online business guide: where to start?

Online business guide

Online business : A step-by-step guide

An online business comes with a different set of obstacles that businesspeople and development teams have to face. Digital companies are facing rather a heavy competition in today’s digital environment.

Many companies start with a simple presence on a Facebook business page or an Etsy store — and that is nothing wrong with it. It’s just important to realize you don’t have complete control over those platforms and you’ll probably be limited about what you can do there. Plus, most marketplace e-Commerce sites are taking a cut from your purchases.

You may want to broaden your digital footprint to include a range of essential features as well.

 If you want to take advantage of the Internet’s benefits and create an online business that stands out from the crowd, here are some of the most important tips and tools for helping you do that.

1. Get a domain name that describes your business

The domain is the portion of the website address that follows the “www.”

Example: www.proeze.com

A domain name, too, can anchor a professional email address for a company.

As with this: sales@proeze.com

Let’s say I’m in Edinburgh hunting for a plumber. I take out my mobile, open Google, and type “Edinburgh Plumber” — Et voilà! I get search results list containing related websites listed by their domain names.

You want your company to show up in search results – as prospective customers are looking for the goods or services you sell online.

Your domain is the nameplate on the web for your online business, so be careful to choose a domain name that represents your company and is easy to remember.

 

Related: What’s a Domain and How to Choose One?

2. Set the ground with the best hosting

You’ll need a domain name AND a web hosting account to start a self-hosted WordPress website. Yeah, they are entirely different.

Various hosting providers sell different plans which are appropriate for small to large websites. In the end, that will impact the quality of the website.

Suppose if you are just starting, then we suggest that you use cloudhostservices.com. They are one of the biggest and convenient companies for budget hosting. You’ll be able to start with $1.99 a month.

As your online business grows, more hosting resources are probably needed. Hopefully, you’ll be making a profit by that time to justify an upgrade.

3. Choose a Suitable and an Apt Platform for Your Website

For a small business, the worst mistake you can make is using the wrong platform to create your website. Not only will the wrong platform cost you more money, but it will also limit the opportunity for growth in your company.

We would suggest that you would use WordPress. It is the most popular website builder on the market, and it accounts for more than 31 percent of all websites (including small and large companies).

We are talking about WordPress.org when we say WordPress, not WordPress.com. These are two different sites.

4. Web development

Yeah, so you should have thought that this would be the first step. While this sounds obvious, it’s important to understand fully what you’re going to need for a website and work out the user journey for users who come to your site. Searching for leads? Looking for a direct sell? Or are you just looking for space where customers can learn more about yourself? All those grounds are valid.

What skills do you need to build up your site? You’ll need at least a website designer and a website developer. If you are not a good writer, then you may also want to consider hiring a copywriter.

5. SEO the best traffic generator

You have already done a pretty good job of getting your business online, if you have followed the steps so far. But now it’s about improving your online presence, so that future customers can find you. To allow this, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is crucial.

Search engines such as Google are the main source of Web traffic for most websites. There are a lot of things you can do by practicing simple SEO to optimize your website for search engines.

SEO or search engine optimization is a set of principles and techniques to create your website more search engine friendly.

Smart SEO strategy that exploits content market gaps and encapsulates core strategic SEO foundations can be a very cost-effective way to take your brand to Google’s top and boost traffic to your site.

One great place to start is to research keywords. This involves collecting a database of keywords related to your brand which may be searching for your target audience. One of the key variables here is “search volume,” a metric used by a number of tools to indicate the number of monthly searches on specific keywords that can be absorbed by region and device, among other things. Though you may want to consider hiring an SEO expert too.

6. Social media marketing as a tool

Social media networks have got audiences extremely engaged. Facebook alone has 1.47 trillion active daily users, which is around 18 percent of all people in the World. YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media sites also has users who are highly engaged.

Social networking channels offer tremendous online business opportunities, with so many people. You can start by developing social media profiles for your company and start sharing your blog posts.

 You can communicate with your clients and prospects by building a network on popular social media platforms and sharing content with large number of people. Social media makes it easy to answer specific consumer queries or problems, while allowing both current and future customers access to the same information.

The growth of social media accounts can be a great way to engage in present or prospective customers. Nevertheless, social media doesn’t only need to be a platform for interaction, there are also tools like Facebook Shop that can also help you to fetch sales from them. Explore all the options open to you and create a social media plan that can both convert and interact.

Don’t want to spend your days in social media account management? You can also appoint a professional social media agency so you can focus on the bigger picture.

Related: Social Media Marketing: How can your business benefit from it?

7. Pay-per-click a quick lead generator

Online ads can be a perfect way to introduce your brand to new customers. If you’re willing to put some money behind your marketing efforts, you will very easily start seeing results. The benefit of digital advertising is that you can track how well they do, much better than offline ads if set up correctly.

Google Search and Facebook probably provide the best ways to get started. They are fairly easy to set up some basic ads and are often the most conversion efficient.

Despite common opinion, a limited budget enables you to run Pay-Per-Click advertisement campaigns. You can set your own price, target keywords, demographic, and more using services like Google AdWords and Facebook Ads.

Google AdWords currently also provides new advertisers with free ad credits. You can use those credits to play with PPC ads and get some paid traffic free of charge to your website. Alternatively, you could look at hiring a digital marketer

Several advantages of pay-per-click ads online include:

  • Easy, and inexpensive. Digital ads cost a fraction of conventional print ads and can be easily implemented.
  • Audience captivated. Your ads appear on your favorite social networks and other platforms, in front of targeted customers.
  • Simple to calculate. You can get plenty of useful metrics to measure your online ad campaign success.

Wrapping up

Congratulations!!! If you’ve reached this point, you’ve put yourself through the effort it takes to get your small business online — the right way.

Now, do you wonder if you have a successful website for small business? Your website is more than a glorified business card. It will draw visitors to learn more about your services and products, and help you be visible that you are a reputable business and make customers of your customers. Also, a website that just has the bare necessities to help your online business expand.

online business ideas

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online business

online business

Low Code Platform: Future of Development

Low Code Platform: Future of Development

Low Code Platform: Future of Development

A low code development platform is an application that gives programming for the drag and drops User Interface, and thus develops the code at a very fast rate and reduces the traditional programming effort.

These tools help to develop code quickly by minimizing effort in hand-coding. These platforms not only help in coding but also in setting up and deploying quickly.

Low code development tools provide many advantages, and more people will contribute to the process of application development. Those networks are also helping organizations boost their agility. It reduces the complexity of the process of developing an application.

Low code platforms have two other important advantages, i.e. high productivity and lower cost, as more applications are developed within less time.

Low Code Platform Benefits for Business

Some of the low code and no-code platform’s market advantages are apparent. It can massively reduce the time it takes to build an application, while changes to existing applications can be made much faster, thereby increasing marketing agility.

It also means that the cycle of development is no longer limited to a small group of developers and is now applied to a much wider population of designers and marketers.

Platforms with low code are truly efficient. You don’t have to acquire developers and you don’t even need years of experience to use them. The platforms’ main advantage is that it allows marketers to build innovative applications themselves. The dedication of IT support will possibly become a thing of the past.

The whole aim of low code and no-code platforms is the idea of everyone inside an organization irrespective of formal application development expertise being able to build their own solutions. Non-professionals using low-code / no-code platforms to develop applications are referred to as citizens developers.

In a corporation, developing and empowering citizen developers enables business software solutions to be created at unparalleled speed. Given the rapid pace of modern business, it is very advantageous to develop extensive apps for automating and optimizing workflows and business processes via citizen developers.

Low code tools : Few example

Amazon Honeycode

A fully managed low code/no-code development tool aims to develop their own applications easy for everyone in a business. Of course, all of this is backed up by an AWS database and a web-based, drag-and-drop GUI creator.

Developers can create free apps for up to 20 users. After that, they pay per user, and their applications take over for storage.

Like similar tools, Honeycode provides users with a collection of templates such as to-do list apps, customer trackers, surveys, schedules, and inventory management for specific use cases. Traditionally, argues AWS, many companies have relied on a shared spreadsheet to do these things.

It’s no surprise then that Honeycode uses a spreadsheet view as its data structure interface, which tends to indicate how familiar this concept is with virtually every potential user. Users can work with standard spreadsheet-style formulae to manipulate data, which appears to be about the closest service to programming actually. ‘Builders’ can also set up alerts, reminders, and approval workflows inside the software, as AWS calls Honeycode users.

AWS claims that these databases will scale up to 100,000 rows per workbook with ease. With that, AWS argues, users can then focus on building their applications without having to worry about the infrastructure underlying them.

Microsoft PowerApps

powerapps

PowerApps is the project of Microsoft that enables developers and non-technical users to build mobile apps from selectable templates. Using Microsoft Azure, the application framework and integrated development tools that target non-technical users (formerly named Project Siena), users can build, manage and distribute business apps on iOS, Android, and Windows devices. Microsoft rolled out the PowerApps in late 2015.

PowerApps’ goal is to allow business users to create new applications through Low code platform, without needing an expertise in code. Microsoft is promoting an intuitive visual design for PowerApps, with drag-and-drop features and a familiar look and feels taken from PowerPoint applications.

PowerApps has access to numerous Microsoft and third-party software, including Microsoft SQL Server, SharePoint and OneDrive in the Office 365 productivity suite, as well as Dropbox, Google Docs, SAP, Oracle, and Dynamics CRM applications.

Application programming interfaces are hosted on Microsoft Azure to enable those data connexions, as well as the apps themselves.

Salesforce Lightning

Lightning (Salesforce Lightning) is Salesforce.com’s component-based software development system designed to simplify processes for enterprise users who usually don’t have programming expertise.

Lightning is the range of tools and innovations behind a significant update to the Salesforce1 Platform (now known as the App Cloud), the company’s mobile framework for creating applications.

Lightning App Builder provides drag-and-drop interfaces to enable the development and customization of software with low code experience.

Lightning Component Platform includes tools and extensions that allow Salesforce1 Mobile App to build reusable components and standalone applications and customize them.

AppExchange for Components which makes the App Builder available to over 50 partner components.

Conclusion

Low-code and no-code technologies have been, and for good reason, a hot topic within the business world. Easy and user-friendly interfaces with drag-and-drop features allow business apps to be created without extensive manual coding. With the prospect of any employee in an organization continuing to grow, further processes within an organization can be automated at a faster pace and to a greater degree, resulting in lower operating costs and overall system development.

Both experienced developers and citizen developers stand to benefit from the quick and reliable process of low code / no-code development. The flexibility of low-code and no-code technology enables a plethora of development of applications ranging from the creation of simple dashboards to complex, industry-specific solutions.

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