How to Choose a Right Payment Gateway for Your Online Store?

If you are in ecommerce business then payment gateway is a mandatory option that has to be included with the shopping cart. Payment gateway manages all the money transaction happening on the ecommerce site in a secured way in order to gain the trust of customers. Around 47% of shoppers use prepaid cards for making online payments, 30% use credit cards, 28% use cash-on-delivery, 30% use bank transfer, and 27% use paypal for making the online payment.

Paypal and Authorize.net are major payment gateways that are preferred by most of the ecommerce site for handing money transaction. These famous gateways accept credit card or debit card payments, eCheck, or via paypal account at low cost with no setup or monthly fee by charging fixed transaction fee.

Few notable payment gateways include Paypal, 2Checkout, Authorize.net, Braintree, Dwolla, Amazon payments, Stripe etc. Major points that one has to consider while selecting a payment gateway include number of card types supported by the payment gateway, volume-dependent or flat rate transaction fee etc.

Some of the key factors to consider while choosing the payment gateway are discussed below.

1) Monthly fee: Select payment gateways that has minimum monthly fee.

2) Product sale: Each payment gateway support sale of certain type of products or services. It is wise to check out the products that are supported for sale by the particular payment gateway such as physical goods, digital products etc.

3) Multiple countries and currencies: The more number of currencies the payment gateway supports, the more it is beneficial. It makes the trade to be more global.

4) Onsite/Offsite: If the payment is done within the site then it is onsite otherwise it is offsite. Onsite payment may be useful when volume of sales is more. Offsite may be preferred for small payments.

5) Sign-up fee: Select a payment gateway that does not have sign up fee. When your volume of online product sale is more then sign up fee can be effective.

6) Service/Transaction fees: The payment gateways with low transaction fees can be your ideal choice. In few cases, well established payment gateways charge a little higher transaction fees and you have to choose them since it has good reputation and trust among customers.

7) Recurring payments: Payment gateways that support recurring payments can be useful for product or services that are provided as subscription.

8) Support: This has to checked such that you can get maximum support from the payment gateways to clarify your doubts.

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Masterminding Next Gen Ecommerce Websites

You may be either a newbie or experienced pro in the field of ecommerce business, yet your commercial success or financial up-heave will only be counted for the day to establish yourself in the industry. People who visit your site and engage in activities associated with your site encompass your success or failure stories.

Some of the best practices that you can adopt to enhance your ecommerce business by converting your visitors to customers, and retaining your existing customers on the site are discussed below.

1) Make them comfortable: Customers or site visitors are the right person to whom you are going to promote your business. So let it be more customized and personal. You might have collected many information from the customers but may not have used them even once. The real success of your ecommerce site is to make the customer at home by using personalized data work out for you. Recognize your customers on their next visit.

2) Social connections: Today’s world is totally interconnected with the social media like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin etc. You can allow your customers to share the information on your ecommerce site on other social media sites such that more people become aware about your business. Increase your opportunity to get noticed in the public.

3) Mobile compatibility: With smartphones slowly penetrating the world of ecommerce it has become essential for the ecommerce site to get featured on mobiles. It is wise to include mobile apps or dedicated mobile sites which can attract the crowd.

4) GPS facility: Promote your products to the customer who is in proximity to your business. This can be made possible via GPS facility which provides exact location of the visitor on the map. The push notifications can be forwarded to the customer mobile making him agile to do shopping.

5) Interactive UI: The bounce rate from ecommerce site is more when its UI is totally collapsed. The user interface decides the way in which the end user will interact with the site which should be simple and user friendly. The UI may also be creative and fun-filled to retain the customer.

6) Custom need: You may not buy a product when you are not convinced that it is exactly what you want. Convincing the customers to feel that the product will best suit them is one of the best practices that can be adopted with ecommerce site. You can tell him it is the color you want, it fits his budget or sometimes even paint the house model to show its appearance. The product should be applied to the life style of the customer.

7) Manage images: The image resolution and clarity plays a great role in creating the first impression on the customer. The images should be handled properly with good layouts. Scaling of the images can be done with options to view maximum images in the grid, scroll down options etc. One can even provide zooming option such that user can view the product more clearly.

8) Show what you sell: Carried away with the thoughts to provide more wonderful navigation and extra effects, some ecommerce site fail to show what they really sell. The customer’s attention should be centered over the products and not on your web gimmicks.

9) Panels: Show your best efforts in managing the menu (using DHTML and Ajax) by properly handling the categories or panels. The contents can be made dynamic and interactive. The related products or items which are relevant to the customer should be showed on the page. The product attributes like size or color should be properly managed.

10) Text handling: HTML5 has added the convenience for the people to get more textual with best typographic palette. This should be utilized to the maximum to make the site appear personalized.

Conclusion:

The ecommerce site which has all the above features will definitely live in the heart of the customer and infact bring good business and income. There are many valuable ecommerce solutions in the market which provides the above features by instantly building the site.

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#10 Ways to Promote Ecommerce Website

E commerce is an industry that is continuously growing. As per Forrester Research, e commerce sales in the US will keep growing at 10% growth rate with a total retail sale reaching upto $250 Billion by 2014. It is expected that US e-commerce sales could top $434 Billion in 2017. As per recent findings, the global B2C e-commerce sales will be USD 1.5 Trillion in 2014.

Though millions of e commerce sites are out there in the web, thousands of newer sites emerge each day giving tough competition with other sites. The success of the e-commerce solutions depends upon the marketing strategy adopted. The percent of unique daily visitors (conversion rate) decide upon the actual sales happening on the website. Normally the conversion rate ranges from 0.5% to 15%, where a successful e-commerce site should have a minimum of 2% to 5% of conversion rate.

The source which brings in traffic to the website is the main focus for the success of the online shop. Plenty of promotional activities like email promotion, campaign, affiliate marketing etc helps to bring in traffic. Some of the most contributing factors that help to increase the sales via attracting good traffic include group buying deals, auction, loyalty, Pinterest, Facebook, videos, Infographics, branding etc.

1) Affiliate marketing: A fixed percentage of amount is provided to the affiliate site when it captures and sends traffic to the online store. Promotional discounts can be provided for certain affiliates. Sales via affiliates can be monitored via Google Analytics.

2) Campaign management: Running campaign for specific period can bring in more informed customers. The customer navigation across the site can be viewed and the number of repeat customer can be focused.

3) Pay-per-click: This is a quicker way to attract traffic into the site. One should be clear in selecting the right keyword for promoting the product or service. People click the words to get directed into the site, and you have to pay for running the adwords. If there is atleast 2% conversion, it is expected that remaining 98% can be converted with re-targeting the focused customers.

4) Loyalty programs: Announcing loyalty programs can convert visitors into regular customers. Infact loyal customers spend more. By offering points on every purchase, the probability of repeat shopper is increased. By rewarding the customers, e store can ensure that he returns again for purchasing.

5) Group buying deals: The value of ecommerce solutions are increased with the introduction of group deals which attracts more customers to the site. People get impressed with the huge discounts and tend to choose group buying to make a purchase at cheaper rate. This is a win-win situation where the site earns more traffic and sales while the customers enjoy discounts.

6) Facebook: This is the fastest growing network, and promoting your products via Facebook can reach more customers quickly and effectively.

7) Pinterest: This 3rd most popular social site provides pin boards for ideas, holidays, jewels, fashion and much more which is linked with e-commerce site. It motivates and inspires the users to make an in-direct sale.

8) Auction: When a customer gets an opportunity to buy a product cheaper by using auction option then they tend to use the site again and again. Infact they can choose either to buy directly as in shopping cart or participate in auction which increases the sales on the site.

9) Infographics: The features of the product can be explained via visual data which can act like an introduction to shopping trend to promote sales and increase media presence.

10) Brands: Establishing brand names can contribute highly for increasing sales revenue.

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Tips to Choose Your Ecommerce Solution Provider

Since late 1970s ecommerce has been dominating the industry. Millions and millions of ecommerce solution providers came into existence who provided instant solutions to build the ecommerce site quickly and cost effectively. People started relying on ecommerce solution providers for starting their site without any hassle.

 

Since the ecommerce solution providers decide on your site outlooks and functioning, some of the important points to consider while choosing them are discussed below.

 

a) Company profile

1) Proven portfolio

The company should have proven records to exhibit its capabilities in developing best ecommerce solution.

 

2) Work relationships

There should be good working environment that support for interacting easily. Technical person must be available to handle the product-related queries and support.

 

3) Apt platform selection

Since there are multiple ecommerce platform in the industry (like Magento, OpenCart etc), it is essential to choose the right platform.

 

b) Product Support

1) Intuitive User interface

It is highly essential that people navigate with ease across the ecommerce solution. The UI should be intuitive and user-friendly.

 

2) Attractive design

The design and layout of the site attracts more people into the site.

 

3) Product portfolio

Each product should be displayed neatly with clear product description and other details like price, quantity etc.

 

4) Attributes

The type of product may require the definition of different attributes like size, color etc. Therefore the ecommerce solution must have facility to accommodate the attributes as well as support search option.

 

c) Vital Points

 

1) Flexible payment methods

The ecommerce solution provider must include support of multiple payment methods like credit card or paypal with the product such that buying and selling is made easier. The solution must also support multiple currencies.

 

2) Sales conversion point

One of the most important point to consider while choosing the ecommerce solution provider is that they must be able to provide multiple sales conversion point like multiple sales type under one roof, support referral programs, payment methods etc.

 

3) customization service

The ecommerce solution provider must provide customization service such that your site is unique.

 

4) Admin panel

The admin panel of the site should be easily operable by the user.

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UnieMerchant – One Stop Solution for Multi-merchandising

Online shops have become one of the commonest thing in this fast moving world. Shoppers seek the online methods using PC or laptop to do shopping. Mobiles and tablets have also improvised shopping technique. Hence merchants find the online medium to be the most effective method to make their sale.

UnieMerchant (http://www.uniecommerce.com/products/uni-emerchant.html) is one such opportunity for the merchants to get engaged with multi-vendor shopping cart. It allows to handle both deals and products under one roof. It also allows to conduct auction which makes the platform to be highly reliable. UnieMerchant multi-vendor shopping cart handles various sale activities like payment transaction, shipping, etc quite easily. Merchants find the platform to be supportive for multi-merchandising.

The major traffic into the site is drawn with the help of attractive deals. These population buy other products and participate in auction. The special discounts and offers attract the people which bring in repeat customers. Thus products, deals, and auction are equally promoted through the UnieMerchant site.

The UnieMerchant (http://www.uniecommerce.com/products/uni-emerchant/demo.html) multi-vendor shopping cart is supported by a robust admin panel which controls the entire activity of the site. The dashboard provides overall information about the site activities such as active deals, active auction, archive deals, shipping and delivery, redeem coupons, validate coupon code etc. Statistical information with graphs are shown on the dashboard which provide insight about various activities in the site. The cities and categories can be defined by the admin panel. Multiple merchants and users can also be added and managed.

Merchants can add and manage deals, products and auction products. Complete transaction and fund request is handled by the admin panel which also allows to add and manage shops. Payment gateways such as credit card or Paypal are integrated with the site. UnieMerchant (Demo URL: http://demo.uniecommerce.com) multi-vendor shopping cart is one of the best solution for the merchants to handle deals, products, and auction in a single platform.

All the products are entered under relevant category with option to search the deals, products, and auction. The store details are also included in the site such that user could contact them directly. The deals, products, and auction products can also be located on the map. When a place is selected, the list of products or deals in the place is listed on map.

UnieMerchant (Demo URL: http://demo.uniecommerce.com/demoadmin/merchant-login.html)allows to post blogs which can attract more people into the site. Social media such as Facebook, Twitter etc are also integrated with the site. Users can refer a friend to the site and earn referral income.

UnieMerchant (Demo URL:http://demo.uniecommerce.com/demoadmin/admin-login.html) multi-vendor shopping cart can also be accessed via mobile using apps for iPhone and Android. This exclusive merchant platform is available with multiple language support. Apart from making the merchant business to be more successful, UnieMerchant also makes it attractive with multiple themes.

If you are a merchant and really want to start a hassle free online business, then UnieMerchant is the right solution. It is a single solution that provides multiple business options. It helps to build the business instantly as well as stable to handle deals, products, and auction. Customers are also kept engaged with multiple choices such that they are retained on the site. Hence UnieMerchant acts like an advanced method of multi-merchandising.

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How can you promote your Ecommerce Activities with Pinterest?

Pinterest is no more a social network to share your interest. It has now become your vital space to promote your ecommerce activities. Basically, Pinterest allows to place pins (photos) on your interest boards in order to show case your interest. This social network is based on sharing people’s interest and hobbies while other networks like Facebook concentrate on building relationship.

Presently, Pinterest is a hot social network which has huge potential to promote the ecommerce activities with its multitude of features. Some of the features of Pinterest that help to popularize ecommerce activities are discussed below:

1. Build your business account:

Every business gets its equal opportunity to open a business account with Pinterest. This can become their identity in the network since customers can find them easily.

2. Profile image:

Distinct profile images that represent your business can be uploaded here. The maximum size of image may be limited to 160×165 pixels.

3. Create boards/pins:

The basic idea of Pinterest is to maintain interest boards. The company can create attractive boards that may reflect their brand or products. For example, collection of casual dress can be your interest board which helps to promote business. The pins or photos can be added into the board with clarity images. People can follow the board.

4. Widget builder page:

The Pinterest provides a widget builder page which allows to include pin it button, follow button, pin widget, profile widget, and board widget. These widgets can be useful for getting the inputs from the site visitor as they may share his/her opinion.

5. Embed boards on website:

Most useful feature that Pinterest could ever offer is this embed option. Using this option, the interest boards can be embed in the ecommerce business website. Pins will be shared on the site.

6. Rich pins:

Rich pins allows to include the details of pricing, product availability, where to buy etc. This feature helps to enhance the ecommerce activity on the site. It clearly shows the items in category. The pins can be shared with other social media.

7. Analytics

Pinterest analytics shows the pins that are popular and drives the maximum traffic. The analytics can be useful for understanding the buyer attitude that may be useful for ecommerce business.

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How to Promote an Ecommerce Site Successfully?

This is an era of selling products online using an ecommerce site which becomes the first contact point for customers. There are multiple companies who are ready to build your ecommerce site. There are also plenty of scripts available in the market which can help you to build an ecommerce site quickly. But the fact remains that one need to make the site visible among the crowd such that people become familiar about your site and products.

Promoting an ecommerce site to the public is one of the millennium task since it seeks expertise and strategic planning. SEO is one such magical three letters which does a great contribution in listing the sites on the best pages of search engine such that ecommerce site’s visits are increased leading to sales enhancement.

Once I had a long discussion with one of the expert in the field of SEO who gave me many advises and few I would like to share here.

Keyword identification

The first and foremost step for promoting the ecommerce site is to identify the keywords that represent your product or business. For example, “Mobile Commerce”, “M-commerce” etc. The best keywords can be chosen from the options suggested by Google Keyword Planner which will show the competition existing for the particular keyword and related information. Thus your first step will help you to identify the type of phrase people use while they search the products/service. This can help you to bring in focused and targeted sales.

Blogs/Articles

You can now start writing articles and blogs which may contain the keywords that you have identified as valuable for your site. When you post these blogs or articles on the best sites in the internet, you may get a back link (a website link through anchor text/keyword) which may bring more visitors to your site.

Participate in Forum

Forums are the place where one can ask question, get replies, or post replies. You can participate in the forums by leaving the url of your ecommerce site as the signature line which may get noticed by valuable customers who are interested in your query or reply.

Reciprocal link building

This is very unusual method of link building which can increase your page ranking. There may be many other ecommerce site who may be ok with sharing your link on their site if you are ready to place their link in your site. This is the case of mutual benefit. This can be profitable agreement since the visitor comes in search of an ecommerce site and chances are there that he may visit your link too.

Place site in directories

If you have plans to focus your sales in the local areas, then submitting your site link in the directories site is the best option. This may bring attention of people who belong to particular region.

Pay-per-click (PPC)

This is yet another strategy adopted by SEO for placing the ads on the search engine pages. The real advantage is that you have to pay money only when a visitor clicks the link and reaches your ecommerce site. Some of the famous PPC services include Google Adwords, Microsoft adCenter, and Yahoo search marketing. There are also special sites which promote ecommerce sites exclusively which includes pricegrabber.com, shopping.com, shopping.yahoo.com, pricewatch.com etc.

Referral programs

This is an innovative thought by ecommerce site owners to promote the site. When a customer of the site refers more visitors to the site, then he can enjoy the referral income. This can increase the sales on the site.

Sharing videos

Interesting sales video can be created and posted on the various video sharing site which can increase the number of visitors to the website with the site links included in them.

Email marketing/Newsletters

This is one of the oldest method which is very effective in reaching the customers. Customized newsletters can be circulated to the customers to keep them informed about latest products and offers on the site which can improve sales.

Reliability of Site

One may find many other methods to promote the ecommerce site, I have discussed only the main methods. Apart from the various techniques utilized to promote the ecommerce site, it is very essential to notice if the site is user-friendly and has complete features to function properly. The integration of the best payment mode like Paypal or credit card should be securely done such that user finds it easy and reliable to do money transactions with the site. This helps to bring in repeat customers.

Uniecart is the open source e-commerce platform to create your online store. Please look the demo at http://uniecart.uniecommerce.com/

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How to Build Your Free Online Store?

No fuel, no traffic, no crowd. Today’s shopping is done at leisure, conveniently at home, over the internet. Buyers can browse across different e-shops and compare prices before shopping. E-commerce has provided a new outlet for the merchants to meet their buyers 24×7. The payments can also be done flexible via different methods like credit card, Paypal, cash-on-delivery etc. Infact, e-shops take good care of your product and deliver them at your place with free or paid shipping service depending upon the product.

Reading all these facilities of e-shop, consumers tend to choose online shopping. Above all, the merchants are tempted to open their e-shop to enhance their sales. Though multiple vendors are shining in their business using ecommerce site, there are still plenty of novice who do not know how to start e-shop. If you are one among them, then you are reading through the right lines. Read more to build your own FREE ecommerce site all by yourself.

Uni-eCart is a product from Uniecommerce which allows to build a free shopping cart with all its complete features. Anyone can start a ecommerce site just by managing the admin panel which is very easy to understand. You can add your products for sale categorically with details like photo, description, price etc. The hot products are listed below. The ads can be managed on the top banner. All the products are listed categorically such as books, clothing etc. One can also find the products using the search option. When you choose a product, other related products also gets listed which keeps the customer engaged and glued with the site.(http://www.uniecommerce.com/products/uni-ecart/free-download.html)

One can register with the site or use Facebook connect to access the site. The site has add to cart option which allows the user to buy the products and keep them in cart until it is paid off. User can always remove products from cart before doing final payment. Another interesting feature of Uni-eCart(Demo : http://www.uniecommerce.com/products/uni-ecart/demo.html) is that one can choose the size and color of the product.

Most valuable feature of Uni-eCart for the merchants is that it allows to get the feedback from the customers in the form of star rating. Social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin etc are shared with the ecommerce site such that user can poll their opinion, place their likes, post their comments etc which can be very useful for the merchants to understand the need of the customer. Just imagine- all these happens on your PC, Laptop, or tablet, smartphone etc.

The whole site can be built quickly and easily using the Uni-eCart. The back-end has options to view statistical information like New customers -Month wise, Total Customers and Total Merchants etc. The graphical information provides insight over site activities. The orders from the site can be managed easily. The customer contact information can be maintained in the site. Blogs can also be posted on the ecommerce site to attract more customers. The entire settings of the site can be managed using the settings option. Cities, countries, categories etc can also be set by the settings. Hence Uni-eCart is an excellent choice for building a FREE ecommerce site effortlessly.

Contact sales@uniecommerce.com for more details

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Social Commerce – Adding Social Media To Ecommerce

Social commerce involves using social media, supporting social interaction. It is selling products by implementing social commerce into the trading business. Today it is considered to be the most refined and feasible way to succeed in the business.

A statistical report states, 75% of consumer said that through watching user generated video reviews helped them to make a purchase decision. 74% of people rely on social networks to purchase. With just a click of mouse over social bookmarking, social networking sites like facebook, twitter, etc would help to reach out customers.

Major sales driven in social ecommerce -

*   Establishing networks through facebook, twitter, pinterest,

*   Through online marketplace script and auction sites

*   Through user review sites, group buying, etc.

Social commerce is nothing but using social media as transactional media.

Here the buyer takes the decision to buy the product not just based on the product description or images but rather based on the reviews given by the other user. This is an additional weight-age for increasing the sales.

The user keeps sharing their personal feedback, provides recommendation to their friends. It is the best platform to have direct contact with their customers. Thereby even seller can get to know, much about their products. It is said that, 75% of people are more likely to purchase a product or services that a friend openly endorses on social media.

When your planning to sell through social networks, it must be presented well with catchy content, video of the product and other facebook updates. All these can really attract customers. There are chances for the visitors to share the post only when the post is striking and appealing. Social commerce is said to be the best tool for business promotional activities

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User Experience Problem That Affects Customer Service

Now a days people prefer to shop online which gains customer comfort. Here are few things listed below stating some of the user experience problem that affects customer service. A small change in customer service can have big impact on the business bottom line.

*   ‘Add to basket’ or ‘Check out’ or ‘Buy now’ button must be clearly visible. It must not be like viewers scrolling down and looking for the buttons. Those call to action words to be highlighted with different colors which would look still more better.

*   Ecommerce sites being non compatible for mobile shopping. Recently we see that people are shopping through mobiles and tablets are increasing. Visitors must feel easy to shop, they must not face any technical issues stating “Error try later”.

*   Check out procedure to be in an one single page. Usually customer prefer to finish off the shopping quickly so that, never take it to the next page. Don’t make use of captchas, for sure you will be losing your sales.

*   If ecommerce site takes long time to download, sure it will tend to loose visitors. When customer clicks the product image they must be able to have a quick view on the product.

*   Shipping charges added at the last minute would surely disappoint the customers. It is at the risk of losing the sales.

*   The search option must work properly listing out the expected results. Ability to search an ecommerce website is very much important. This would improve the findability and navigability of the site.

*   When all of a sudden, page showing 404 will demotivate them to move out. In that case customers are likely to leave the page.

These are some of the major issues customer face while shopping online.

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