Today there are literally over one hundred “open source ecommerce platforms” allowing its users to manage their own online stores. By far, however, the most popular and preferred ecommerce platform is Magento. Why? Magento is an open source eCommerce platform that offers its users the best flexibility to manage all elements of the store and how it operates with minimal coding knowledge required. Further, and unlike many “hosted ecommerce solutions” Magento allows for totally customizability when it comes to design, performance, and functionality enhancements or reconfiguration for developers building online stores and need total control to manipulate how features perform. Magento is the only open source platform that allows you to customize your online store/business as much as you want in the most convenient way. While also offering developers a community where modules can be shared/purchased to save time, rather than having to code elements from scratch. As eCommerce specialists, we at ATAK Interactive want to share why we feel Magento is the best eCommerce platform and the reasons why we suggest Magento to our clients. To see more about ATAK Interactive’s Magento clients please check our portfolio. http://www.atakinteractive.com/portfolio.php#
First things first, we always look to see if the software company is stable and supported. Magento an eBay company meaning there is good financial backing today. EBay bought Magento a few years ago and thus also has favorability when integrating your store with eBay.
We also look at feature sets when it comes to ecommerce platform selection. Magento comes with a ton of user-friendly features, by far the most robust on the market to date, with many modules one can even go and install if the default set does not include what you need. Magento is a simple, versatile, developer friendly, and generally a fast performing platform when configured correctly and installed on a proper host.
Another key element is user and administrator experience for the managers who have to work with the ecommerce platform every day. Often these people are not coders and simply order/inventory managers and what not. Magento allows administrators with little or no coding experience the ability to most easily manage the daily tasks managers generally need to accomplish: simple text changes, order processing, inventory management, shipping, taxes, discounting and coupon codes, product images, and more. For marketing, Magento ecommerce platform also features powerful search engine optimization (SEO), marketing, and catalogue management tools so as to fulfill the exclusive business requirements of web merchants. The amount of features Magento provides its users is rarely as robust compared to other platforms, especially at the price point.
What is open source eCommerce platform? Basically, if your ecommerce platform is an “open source platform” this means your website developer has access to every single line of code, and therefore, with that code access, the system is totally customizable; think agility and scale, reduced vendor lock-in, quality and security, cost, innovation. The reason many ecommerce website developers love Magento is because they can change how elements function, or they can change any element in the design at any time. This is not the case with “hosted ecommerce solutions” which do not allow such access. Further, developers can create add-ons and plug-ins to expand its capabilities; limitless. Operating ones store with an open source platform is a game changer for both web merchants and developers; a win-win situation.
Theme Based Structure
Magento separates layouts, skins and templates from each other, which is more convenient for a web developer. Once a developer is familiar with Magento’s interface and front end flexile templating, creating more than one online store at a time is gets more simple (this is what we call cloning a site). Compared to theme-less platforms or more simple content management systems, this step is a big reason Magento a better platform than others.
Unlimited Features for $0
Magento costs $0 for the community version. Magento is clearly the result of years of ecommerce experience and developer collaboration. Magento includes features like a built-in product image zoom capability, advanced pricing rules to support special promotions, a landing page tool to help with marketing campaigns, inventory management, side-by-side product comparison tools, and much more. Features such as Layered Navigation, Product Comparison, Reviews & Ratings, and more allow customers to find the product right for them. Magento also comes with great search and filter tools, the ability to create custom landing pages for products, and more. To learn more about their features check out Magento’s website: http://www.magentocommerce.com/product/features
Check Out Process and Security
The checkout process is the most common and significant problem in many ecommerce platforms. Magento does the best job we have seen and there are even modules to enhance the experience; perhaps why big vendors like Nike and Toms Shoes have decided Magento is the right ecommerce platform for them. Magento offers exceptional tools and flexibility when it comes to one page checkout, guest checkout, security, total tax and shipping flexibility, wish list tools, reorder tools, and much more. Secure payment processing is crucial and Magento offers all the secure payment methods in its platform like general credit cards, PayPal, and more.
In conclusion, as ecommerce specialists, we at ATAK Interactive always try to guide our clients to wise decisions when it comes to their ecommerce business and investing in the right ecommerce platform. Using the Magento Open Source Platform is one of the best solutions to create a web store and to be successful in a short period of time, while being scalable at any time for the future.
Some Statistics about Online Shopping
According to Shopzilla’s survey, men and women’s eCommerce online shopping behavior is quite similar, although there are worthy differences to pay attention to. As far as similarities, 87% of men and 82% of women are using their desktops to shop online. Also, a majority of both sexes shop from their homes rather than their workplaces or on the move. Even regarding “show rooming” where before you buy online you go and check the product in the store, statistics show that 79% of women and 76% of men don’t even check products in store before they purchase online. Price still matters for both sides, as 77% of women and 74% of men say price is affecting their buying process.
We do find men and women typically make purchase online at different times. For example, women prefer to check online shops around 12pm-1pm which is a common lunch break. On the other hand men are more likely to purchase online around 7pm-8pm, after work. Men spend, on average, 10 minutes before a purchase compared to 14 minutes for women. Men are always checking all options and their features before they make the purchase but women are more likely to shop fast without checking the entire catalog. Women know what they are looking to buy online more than men, seemingly.
Difference between Men And Women In Marketing
The biggest difference is 77% of women are always looking for sales and deals, where men don’t have that problem, only 55%. Whether a printed advertisement, social media marketing ads, blogs, newsletters, or word of mouth, they all equally work on both sexes, but of course there are some differences that you should be aware of.
Women are more in to marketing emails. Most female online shoppers say that they saw product-featured emails from the store before they actually buy showing email marketing affects women in a positive way. When marketing to a women online, use more creative elements and styles that resonate with the way her brain works. Using emotion-based pictures is going to attract women. Another important point is when marketing women companies shouldn’t be so pushy with the call to action, like call now or offer expires soon.
On the other hand, men are more likely to make purchases or at least find products when they are surfing online randomly. Like we mentioned above, women care more about deals and coupons and that’s why they follow emails for offers. Men are more spontaneous online shoppers compared to women. Also, men prefer products created just for them, which means they get attracted faster with unique or personalized ads. Another important point is men are compulsive shoppers so that means putting some messages or ads near the check out button is going to work out well. You should give them the cost saving demonstrations at the point of sale, not simply before.
How to Increase Conversion Rates
As web development and eCommerce specialists we at ATAK Interactive always suggest and provide our clients the importance of taking care of their website design. Design doesn’t just mean the look, color or pictures of your page; your website’s aim should be to lead your visitors to where you want them to be. Each online presence has a specific public target. Thus, it’s better to take your target market into account and design your website considering their needs or expectations. Whether you are targeting men or women, if your website’s navigation is complicated or product pages are slow (disorganized), or most importantly there are errors in code and then you will lose customers. To get more information on the importance of redesigning a website check our blog article: http://www.atakinteractive.com/blog/6-red-flags-that-shows-it-is-time-for-a-website-redesign/
Target Market For Your Website: Women
If you are targeting women for your website, the first thing you should consider is to find a female specific domain. It has to be familiar for females so they can recognize your website easily. Secondly, if you realized that your visitors are coming but then quickly running away from your website, which we call “bounce back,” there must be a problem with your design. Design problems are so common in our industry because people don’t understand how important your website’s design is in dictating user behavior. Your website’s color, content, navigation, and level of originality must be perfect fine-tuned for women. For a women friendly site. We recommend you avoid technical or sci-fi influences, powerful contrasts, and violent content on your website’s design to attract more women to your website. To increase your female audience even more you should try email marketing. The best time periods to poke women are after 3pm when they start to get bored in the office or after dinnertime when they settle down. Offering coupons, deals, or sales on your newsletter is going to hit the spot. Like we mentioned above, women love to see those marketing campaigns. To be more effective on attracting women to your website check our website redesigns on our portfolio: http://www.atakinteractive.com/portfolio.php Or to improve your newsletter campaign, check our blog about newsletter campaigns. http://www.atakinteractive.com/blog/10-great-ways-to-make-your-newsletter-campaign-more-effective/
Target Market For Your Website: Men
If you are targeting mostly men, you should definitely take paid search advertising into account because men find products when they are surfing online, and they definitely search. Often, pop up product ads are going to attract, believe it or not. Also improving your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is crucial to target men. If you want more men on your website then when they search a product on search engines, your website should be ranked high (1st page of Google) so you will be more visible and accessible for them. To get more information about this, such as 12 ways to make your eCommerce website more search engine friendly, please visit our blog: http://www.atakinteractive.com/blog/how-to-make-seo-friendly-ecommerce-website/
In terms of your website’s design, in general you should keep your website clean, short, and sweet. Also the website has to contain more technical and powerful messaging and branding to make sure details and specifications are clear for your specific target market. To get more information about how redesigning your website is going to save your business, check our blog: http://www.atakinteractive.com/blog/6-red-flags-that-shows-it-is-time-for-a-website-redesign/
In conclusion, men and women have their own behavior in terms of online shopping. It’s crucial to be aware of these differences and at the end of the day to be successful about pushing your target market to a final purchase. As e-commerce website design specialists, we at ATAK Interactive want to share these important details with you, just to help you out about increasing your conversion rate and sales. To get more information and consultation please call us at 1-855-472-1892 or visit our website: http://www.atakinteractive.com
Social media presence is one of the biggest issues in today’s business world. Every business, whether it is local, national, or international wants to generate leads by creating and maintaining a well-rounded social media presence. To achieve this goal, there is one big step businesses have to pass, they need followers, as many as they can grab. More followers means more reach, and more reach means more leads to generate. As web development and marketing specialists, we at ATAK Interactive want to share 7 tips for you to increase your local followers on social media platforms. Every business is unique and every business can take advantage of social media in a specific way. What you should do is to choose the best outlet and increase your follower’s engagement so to lead the conversation in your space. Being in the conversation with your followers (customers, clients, target market, potential customers, etc.) is going to help your business to grow and increase loyalty.
Social Media Icons on Your Website
On your website and/or blog, you should definitely embed widgets like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Leading your site visitors to “like” buttons or twitter feeds is going to grow your follower number. Fan box widgets can help your visitors to see who likes you and what you fan page looks like so to drive more attraction. Social media tools and plugins like such are useful to grab attention so users click the like button or click to view your page.
Make Friends in Your Community by Interacting and Participating
This step is the heart of social media presence and the smartest move to be successful on social media. A few times a week, preferably once a day, try to like or share local community events and non-advertising posts from other pages. Be careful what to like and/or comment on as it’s crucial to be in your business’s community rather than wasting time places that do not make sense. The reason for this move to participate is to entice others to share your content as well. You will then become, or appear as, a leading source of local information instead of a pushy marketing company. You can foster business relationships which will help both sides to grow exposure. Last, you will save some time from creating original content everyday by simply participating on other pages within your demographic, a win-win situation. If you can apply this step to your campaign, you will increase your followers and also be in the exact conversation that you should be.
Get Your Current Customers On Board
Getting your customer’s attention about your fan page (social media) in-store is very important. By putting your URL or QR code on printed receipts, sales orders, bags or packaging, email signatures, print or TV ads or anything you hand the customer is going to increase engagement. Offer them something special on those QR codes and watch what happens!
Run In-Store Contests On Facebook
The biggest mistake about contests on Facebook is to give away big prizes like trips, iPads, or computers. Why? First of all, it is money wasting for small, local businesses, and you are not always going to attract people care about your business or products/services. There are very clever ways to increase presence in one geographical area and to use contest prizes that reward customer loyalty. Otherwise, so many unrelated people will get in the contest just to get the free stuff, and then you will likely see them drop as followers shortly after. Offer local followers something from your store (can be as simple as a coupon) and post the winner on your page and also in-store. Also you don’t really have to run contests; you could regularly give away some tickets, special coupons, or gifts from sponsors to people who like your page and buy something in store. That will keep your current followers on watch and will bring more people through your doors.. Rewarding them can be useful to get more likes by word of mouth.
Targeted Ads on Facebook
Like we mentioned above, it is very important for local businesses to target their market and run a contest for a specific geographical area. If you don’t target your market specifically you will waste time and money. Facebook has a GEO targeted ads for this purpose. You can advertise based on their location and their likes to hone in on the right people. For example ATAK Interactive could target all users in Los Angeles who like Best Buy and Fry’s. Also when you are searching for conversations to jump in, you should search to match certain words within a certain mile radius. That will help you to be in the roh so you can lead the right people to your store.
Creating customer testimonials are very useful to increase your loyalty and credibility on potential customer’s eyes. This is the easiest and cheapest way to grow exposure on social media. Put your logo, date and the testimonial with the writer’s (client’s) name and post it.
Always Post What Are You Up To
Tell your fans about your clients or events or whatever you are doing, sharing is crucial. Create engagement with your followers and be in the conversation, responsively.
In conclusion, as web development and social media specialists, we at ATAK Interactive want to share these significant steps with local businesses to help their exposures to grow. Further than these, we are always here to help businesses to grow their online exposure in every smart and possible way. Visit our website to see more about ATAK Interactive at www.atakinteractive.com.
How do you know it’s the right time to redesign your website? Some companies redesign their websites more often than others, but why? As website and eCommerce specialists, we at ATAK Interactive wanted to point out some red flags one can catch which will help indicate when the right time for a website redesign is. We all know good things eventually come to an end. After your business starts to grow, which is a good thing, you will need change and your website probably will not be capable to fulfill those needs. Read our list of red flags below and decide by yourself if now is the right time for a website redesign.
If Your Website Is Older Than 5 Years
This step is kind of obvious; technology is exponentially changing and growing every day. Your website may have been great back in the day, but standards are different today. Keeping your website up to date, technically speaking, is crucial, especially if you are in the online sales game where your site must perform on all devices including tablets and phones. The online sales game, ecommerce, is a fast paced environment and it is changing everyday. If you want to be successful in ecommerce, you should keep your website updated. 5 years is a long time to stick on the same design, and sometimes even the same platform. To be more engaging and interactive with your website, you should follow design and code trends. People are looking for engaging and efficient experiences, which web designers can make happen with a nice redesign.
SEO Fails and Your Site Gets Less Traffic than Competitors
As SEO (Search Engine Optimization) specialists, we at ATAK Interactive are always facing with our client’s SEO challenges. It is a common problem these days and also crucial for the website’s popularity and traffic volume. If you try to search your keywords (products or services) on Google and your website isn’t placing in the top 30, you should probably assume now is the time for a redesign, or at the very least a website overhaul with content changes and reorganization. Optimizing your site for search engines will help your website to rank higher, which means increasing traffic. If you fail on your SEO, that means your competitors will get more traffic and sales than you do. To learn more about SEO and its benefits, visit our website at http://www.atakinteractive.com/blog/how-to-make-seo-friendly-ecommerce-website/
Managing Your Website
The most common problem that we have heard from our clients is that how hard it is to manage their website’s content on their own, or even worse, how expensive and time wasting it can be to get together with 3rd parties to make simple updates on your website. As Content Management System and eCommerce System specialists, we at ATAK Interactive always suggest our clients use WordPress or Magento (Content Management Systems) for more convenient website experience. With a WordPress or Magento setup, those with little to no coding experience will be able to update/change your website with ease. In the long run, you will save money and time by redesigning your website with content management system because you will be able to make simple edits on the fly. As we always say, you should be empowered to make the changes you want to be able to make. We are always here to help and teach you for the process but it’s more efficient for you to do it and then use your creative agency to add new features rather than focus on small text changes.
New Ways to Increase Engagement (Calls to Action)
If you realized that your visitors are not doing or responding how you want them to do when they visit your website, it’s time for a redesign. This can be about your home page, difficult navigation, slow page loads, long or confusing text or difficult check out process. Also, if your site does not have any social media tools or icons, you must do this at some point in the near future as there should be little acceptable reason not to. Your website has to provide these elements to you, if not, that’s the biggest reason for a redesign. A good tool to analyze this behavior is Google analytics which should be installed on every website.
It’s 2014, browsing a website on your laptop or desktop is not the only way to navigate the web. In fact, tablet and smartphone searching is drastically increasing. Briefly, responsive design means your website will be able to work on every possible device as it will modify itself to fit perfectly for every device without the need for a mobile version of your website. No matter which device your visitor using, with a responsive website users can visit your page without any problems. More than 80% of buying decisions begin online and 90% of smartphone users turn to their phones to search. If your website doesn’t feel convenient on a smartphone screen, you lose. After your redesigning process, your website will know exactly how to react on smartphones, tablets, and computers at the same time. To learn more about responsive design visit http://www.atakinteractive.com/services/1217/responsive-web-design.php or you can read another blog article about the topic here: http://www.atakinteractive.com/blog/parallax-and-responsive-web-design-what-it-means-for-the-future-of-your-website/
Crowded Home Page
If your homepage has long text about your company or products, you will lose visitors. Modern design means clean, fresh, and easy to use. If you make your visitors read a lot of plain text research proves they will be unengaged before they click or convert. Leading your visitors, quickly, in the best (most user-centric) way to purchase (check out) is what your website should accomplish with its design.
In conclusion, keeping up with technology consumers expect is crucial for you to be successful on the Internet. A websites age can quickly give users red flags and in order to avoid this redesign should be considered every 3 years, on average, for most businesses. A good website agency will be able to offer you countless ideas on how to improve your website so please consult with experts as you make a jump to change.read more
For many small businesses, Google + (Google Plus) is still a mystery. People feel that there are so many social media outlets to be on and now there is just another one Google has brought upon us. Most don’t yet know the benefits of being on a completely new social media outlet, especially if they don’t know anyone else using it. As website marketing and eCommerce specialists, we at ATAK Interactive want to explain why you should use Google + and what are the benefits for your business. This article is a quick guide to discover some of Google +’s advantages for your business.
Creating relationships on social media is significantly useful to become more and more visible on Internet. Creating relationships with your industries’ influencers is the key to extend your reach and consequently become more visible. Why? Building good relationships with your influencers will let them recommend you to others instead of your competitor. Because they know you, they trust you; your name comes to their mind first. Keeping these kinds of conversations on high level is crucial to be visible and increase trust between you and influencers.
Do You Really Need To Be On Another (New) Platform?
First question, is SEO (Search Engine Optimization) important for your business? The answer is not open for debate, YES. With this consideration, increasing your visibility and offering great content for your customers and/or influencers on Google + will help your SEO because people will like and share your engaging content witch will lead to referrals, eventually. Second question is, what does Google like the most when deciding search engine results? Answer is simple, Google alignment. If you want Google to like your content and business, you should start liking Google +. Another statistical reason is that Google + is growing tremendously. According to GlobalWebIndex, 25% of worldwide Internet users are now on Google +. Eventually, your customers will be on it.
Google + Local Optimization
Small businesses can use Google + Local to its advantage in search results. Outside of allowing a local business to appear in the map search results, Google + Local along with publisher authentication will cause a map to appear and a logo to appear next to that local business’s branded term. This is a good example of a positive impact of Google + for local businesses.
Better and Faster Indexation
Like we mentioned above about the relationship between Google + and your SEO, sharing new and relevant content through Google + will allow that content to index faster within Google Search compared to other outlets.
Latest Google + Posts Will Appear In Search
This specific benefit of Google + is very cool for businesses. When people make a search on Google for your business, on the right of the screen they will see your latest post in addition to company information, if you are an active Google + user.
In conclusion, being on Google + is as important as being on other social media outlets, and maybe more important. For small businesses, the advantages of Google + is crucial and it is inevitable for them to be on it. It doesn’t look as fancy as Twitter or Facebook but for sure it is a “must” to be on it these days. We as ATAK Interactive want to share these benefits to help you understand the importance of Google Plus. Further than that we are always here to help more specifically by applying our social media services to your business and industry.read more
Loyal, repeat shoppers covert easily, spend more, cost less to service, and help spread the world about a good online shopping experience. According to Marketing Metrics, eConsultancy, and Adobe, loyal shoppers demonstrate 5 to 9 times greater conversion rates than 1st time buyers, which is fair enough. The interesting part about this statistical information is repeat shoppers in the U.S. represent 8% of all site visitors but also they represent 41% of total online sales. This data shows us how crucial repeat customers are in terms of sales and a website’s future, obviously. Given almost the half of total sales are repeat business, we see this is a big number to ignore or avoid. The challenge for online merchants is to earn repeat business. To meet this challenge there are 6 steps we feel should be followed for your online retail businesses. As eCommerce specialists, we at ATAK Interactive wanted to explain these steps to help you solve your repeat customer deficiencies.
Offer Quality Products
As we all know, customers will not return a second or third time if the product or service you provide for them had a low quality or broke soon after it arrived. A most crucial step to have repeated and loyal customers, especially on an ecommerce level where users do not actually get to hold your product, is to provide the best quality products with a competitive price, which we will talk about in a second.
Excellent Customer Service
From Zendek’s survey; 72% of respondents said that customer service was what made them loyal to a particular brand. Excellent customer service should be responsive and effective. Making the shopper happy in every process of shopping is crucial to build a long-term relationship. Make sure automatic emails are in place and are clear. Make sure customer service inquiries are answered within 12-24 hours.
Sell at Competitive Prices
Price matters, especially for branded, consumable items. Even if loyal customers are happy with your website’s shopping experience, still there is a high risk they leave you for a cheaper price if they can find the products cheaper elsewhere (shipping price included). Setting your prices on a competitive balance is crucial to keep repeat customers coming back. Please do not ignore shipping costs. Many users will get through checkout only to find shipping is too expensive. They will then leave to a competitor who has a cheaper “total” cost.
Be Very Convenient
Shopping online should be very easy and user friendly. 40% of shoppers said that convenience contributed to brand loyalty. Offering customer accounts with the ability to quickly reorder, or even let shoppers log in using social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, etc. Other things to include are detailed filters for product areas, better presentation of photos so customers can almost feel as if they were right in front of the product, allowing customers to have a wish list to come back to, etc. Creating a convenient eCommerce website is the key point to increase conversion rates and obviously your sales. You can visit our website to check some fresh, convenient, and user-friendly websites from our portfolio. http://www.atakinteractive.com/portfolio.php
Reward Repeat Customers
Everyone wants to be treated well especially the repeat customers. They want to see the appreciation from your company after 2 or 3 purchases. Offering coupons, discounts, better shipping options, or faster customer service response times is the most effective way to keep your repeat customers. For example, the ridesharing application Lyft really cares about repeat customers. They monitor all repeat customers and if they didn’t use the application for a while they send them an email saying exactly this on subject line, “One free ride for you!” When you open it, it says, “Because we like you.” It continues like we really missed you etc. Long story short, these kinds of coupons or discounts are going to make your repeat customer come back and build a long relationship with them. Smart move.
Keep Saying, “Thank You”
Saying thank you to a repeat customer is free and also has a huge impact. Kindness and gratitude for a customer’s business is an undeniable way to further enchant them for the long-term. To build a better long relationship, if you can send a hand-signed thank you card to a shopper after he/she made more than two purchase. It will probably cost your business decent money but your return on investment should be high as well.
In conclusion, you can follow these simple steps to gain/keep your repeat customers. Repeat customers are as important as getting new shoppers to your website, are the only ones who keep your sales high and ongoing with less acquisition cost. We at ATAK Interactive have even more information on the importance of repeat and loyal customers, but feel this is a great starting point. Feel free to call us for a consultation to make your eCommerce website more effective. Feel free to also read out ecommerce service information at http://www.atakinteractive.com/services/73/e-commerce-web-design.php.read more
As SEO and eCommerce specialists, we at ATAK Interactive want to share our thoughts on flat design and its benefits for website design going into 2014. First of all, flat design is a web and application interface design strategy aimed to create simple, usable interfaces that are both aesthetically attractive and easy to use, regardless of where the app or page is displayed. Flat design can have a huge impact on site performance and user experience. Website designers and owners should be aware of the changes to provide more convenient website experience for their customers or readers, no matter what device they are using.
Why Flat Design Is A Trend For 2014?
The Internet is on the move, as always. Smartphone usage is dramatically increasing every day and more than half of all adult Americans have a smartphone. Explosion of mobile Internet and application use has reinforced the importance a few design considerations one must work though:
- Fast Loading Pages
- Interfaces that both look good and work well on a myriad of screens.
- Understandable Navigation
Grid Layout and “Responsivity”
Grid layouts are a staple of interface design. In the context of the flat design, the grid is used to organize data and convey meaning.
Absence of ‘Trickery’
The ultimate goal to have a flat design is to avoid extreme gradients, drop shadows, bevels and similar visual “trickery.” Your goal should be to create a nuanced design that is attractive and functional without wasting pixels or kb’s.
Using solid colors are crucial to create contrast between sections or features, provide visual borders, or even convey information. For example, weather apps are using different background colors for different types of temperature or weather changes. For example, if it’s cold that day they use blue, or if it’s hot they use it orange. This type of color setting is going to help your website grab attention and create a longer visit times on your website.
In terms of typography, flat design often embraces a greater number of fonts into a single design and includes bold, retro, or otherwise interesting fonts as well as varied font size and weight. Typography should help to communicate the content and features legibly, while adding to the design’s beauty.
The Benefits of Flat Design
From an SEO perspective, search engines reward fast websites with higher rankings. Flat design helps load time due to better image sizing and smarter approach. Further, we see the new app-like icons working together in a proper flat design layout improved the user’s general experience as they find this approach familiar to other modern apps. Thus, flat design will help your website not only gain traffic, but then ultimately generate more conversations. Instead of admiring the fancy graphics and flash animation, your readers will engulf themselves in your great content.
In conclusion, flat design provides an enjoyable and enriching experience for your reader/user, and leads to more time spent reading your content. It’s emphasis on white space, simple buttons and clear typography has the potential to let products and services shine, with fewer distractions to get in a customer’s way. For eCommerce website merchants, it’s crucial to have a fresh, easy to use, and clean website to keep your customers on your page as much as you can.
Ecommerce site developers and owners today have more capability due to the many advances in ecommerce software platforms such as Magento: http://www.magentocommerce.com/blog/comments/magento-community-edition-1810-is-here/. Online commerce is getting more interwoven than ever and much more competitive. One should not expect anything less in 2014. Redesigning your website, or elements of your website is no longer optional, but rather a necessity. Some markets require daily updates for sales or changes in service offers, and more.
As we mentioned above, mobile is going to grow exponentially in 2014 and is expected to account for 30% of total online sales. That doesn’t mean we should abandon desktop users, not at all. Responsive design website will take control of the industry allowing online merchants to provide a great experience regardless of the customer’s device. For further information please visit ATAK Interactive’s responsive designs. http://www.atakinteractive.com/services/1217/responsive-web-design.php
Finger Friendly Interfaces
This new type of design can be seen in the Windows8 or Apple’s IOS7 and also in dozens of popular websites. Flat design leads users to simple interfaces that are relatively responsive. The biggest reason to use flat design on an ecommerce website is it has smaller file size which provides way much faster loading pages.
One Page Strategy
In 2014, we will start to see more content on a single page. Capability of getting the product’s information without leaving the categories page is priceless for an online shopper. This strategy provides a more clean, fresh and easy to use shopping experience for your customers. This consideration is also inevitable for mobile oriented shoppers.
The need for finger friendly interfaces must lead ecommerce website owners to put better quality images/product photos their sites. This will provide convenience for both desktop and mobile users.
According to usage reports, video consumption on web is going to keep rising on 2014. For online retailers, this will be an excellent medium to show detailed information about their products. We find it evident that shoppers don’t mind watching videos unless it’s excessively long or boring.
In conclusion, we wanted to share the trends for an ecommerce website design regarding to the fast paced environment of online shopping. As ATAK Interactive we are always ready to help our ecommerce clients to improve their websites for a better shopping experience and as a result increase on sales.read more
Impressive websites require proper planning and clear communication of goals and requirements. What clients do not often anticipate is how much effort goes into laying the groundwork before the website design can get started, if they want their website to be good that is. In fact, the more well guided preparation one does ahead of time, and the more organized the project scope, the quicker the development time and the lower the budget will be.
Below are crucial steps one can take before calling a website agency to build their website. Your business or organization will get more accurate quotes if you prepare this information in advance. If you have this information prepared ahead of time, we think more agencies will take you seriously as well.
First of all, you should ask yourself, why do you need your website for?
- Are you simply looking for more reach?
- Lead generation? Increased conversions?
- Do you want to sell, or sell more, online (Ecommerce)?
- Do you need a website as a public relations vehicle?
- Are you looking to extend hours of operation (24/7)?
- Could the website be for reputation management?
- All of the above?
Then ask, “What could I add to my website to accomplish this?” Your web design agency should have ideas if you could simply wrap your head around what you want a website for.
Create a List of Competitors
Create a list of competitors that you are aiming to beat in order from the best (closest, most important, most impressive design) to the worst. If you are building the newest website for your industry you should aim to beat competition. A great tool to study what your likely users find important is to look at what your competitors offer on their website. ATAK Interactive would research all your competitors so we build a competitive advantage via better organization, added tools competitors may have left out, etc.
Create a List of Sites You Like
Taste is very subjective. Creating a list of websites you like is going to give your web design team perspective before they start. This helps an agency see what you see and opens up important questions that has to be asked which is what your corporate culture is all about. A web development agencies main goal is to design the best website for you, your staff, and your customers by providing them a comfortable and elite website. A collaborative effort is needed because no one knows your business like you, and you have to recognize you do not necessarily know everything about website design, and maybe design in general. Your agency will get into your head as much as they feel is important, but they also know what works online where you may not necessarily understand best practice.
You should preliminarily brainstorm on what pages you think your website should have. One sample breakdown could be:
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Video Center
- Customer Service
- Contact Us
- Site Map
The above list is just a short example. Some sites can be much bigger and some smaller, even a single page. Ecommerce websites have many more sections such as product pages, checkout, and my account area pages. Start this process by creating a list of pages you think would be right for you. Your website development agency will then work with you to finalize the page breakdown so perfect for your business.
Write Your Content and Prepare Required Images
Your website development agency wants to give you the best design they can for every page. To accomplish this your agency needs the right content for each page. Based on your page breakdown prepare text for all of those pages and if you require any specific images for a page you should prepare those and write directions on what images to use on which pages. Also send requirements or other things to include like videos for your website.
Will you want a blog? You should!
Adding a blog to your website may be an added expense, but if a goal for your website is more reach, the blog is certainly one way to get that reach. Adding content to your website is crucial for Google to find you important. Further, Google also favors sites that have a lot of updates, relevant (for today) content. You will not be able to change service page text every month. A blog is a great place to do this. Further, your SEO team will use this content to get you links back to your website. Decide what categories you are willing to blog about and then start writing a few posts (at least 5) for the website launch. A blog post includes a title, date, the category the post belongs in, the author, and you can include an image or a YouTube video.
Use Keywords in Your Content
What do you think potential customers are typing into google to find what you offer? This is an important question you should have a guess on before the website design work starts. We suggest our customers simply guess at least 25-30 keywords or/and phrases for their website. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is very important in terms of your website being easily found, and SEO is an effective way to increase traffic to your site. Your website design company needs those keywords to create elements in your design to make sure your website can be crawled and exposed to searchers. At the very minimum, even if you do not hire an SEO agency for more service, you should have keywords (Meta data) inserted into all of your website pages (title tags, Meta tags, keywords) and each page should be slightly different, ideally.
Prepare a Logo
You should prepare a logo for your website and explain to your website development agency limitations in terms of tweaking around your logo for a better outcome or fit in certain places. If your web development agency does logo design, then you do not have to worry about this step if you plan to hire them to do it.
Buy Your URL (Godaddy.com)
You should decide what your website’s URL will be and then visit Godaddy.com and pay for your URL with the optional time periods (we recommend 3 years). ATAK recommends the URL should be the name of the business or something with the main service or product in the url, for example www.bestvacuum.com or www.joansonthird.com. Buy your URL before someone else does
Set Up Your Social Media Profiles
Decide which social media outlets you want to use and set up your profiles in advance so your website programmer can sync all of your social media profiles into your website. If you have these done in advance your web developer can easily brand your profiles as well with your logo.
Register with Google (maps, places, Google +, YouTube)
Eventually, you should have all these accounts for your website so it is better to just register with “everything Google” before the hard work begins. Google is the key search engine right now and you should invest time in their ecosystem of online business solutions to ensure favor.
Decide What E-mail Addresses You Need
Write down all the e-mails you will be using for your website. This is a good time to think about who needs an address and what their email address should be. You can set one email to forward to others if some people need to get email from info@ for example. Do not set up accounts yet. Your website email, for most, will be hosted the same place as your website. Your website company should help you decide where you website will be hosted.
In conclusion, as Website Development, Ecommerce, and SEO Specialists we at ATAK Interactive want to put out the best work we can for our clients. If one can prepare the information outlined above, there is so much more that can be done in a much shorter amount of time. The goal behind this checklist is to provide our customers better websites developed as efficiently as possible.
Enjoy your homework classread more
As Website Marketing and eCommerce specialists, we at ATAK Interactive want to share our strategies and tactics about how to make your newsletter more effective. We ask you consider our 10 important steps below while writing your newsletter to get more effective results.
Give Readers Content They’d Want to Read
We mentioned the importance of content in pretty much every blog article because content management is becoming more and more significant every day. Especially for your newsletter’s efficiency, the most important requirement is going to be your rich, interesting content. First of all, it should be news and not just a sales “push push push” every time. In fact, unless you are an ecommerce store with a products that need no explanation, a selling strategy on your newsletter will affect you more negatively than positively, and eventually no one will read it except maybe your friends out of pity. Generally, people signed up to your newsletter because they like your service, or product, or the brand itself, but that doesn’t mean they are asking for a sales pitch every day/week/month. Chances are they sign up for your newsletter to learn more about your products so that they can make an educated decision. Another significant idea to wrap your head around in the idea of putting yourself in your reader’s shoes. Who are these people (demographics)? Find who they are and ask them what they want to learn/read about.
Drive Traffic to Your Website
A main goal of your newsletter is to push readers to take action upon reading your message. Always put some links to your website, and also link all your social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Website, etc.). In many respects this prompt to take action will entice users to follow, comment, etc. Al of this should positively affect your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) rankings and sales in one aspect or another, even if small.
Adding a personal touch on your newsletter design is going to make your audience feel special and eventually it will help you to increase loyalty between your company and your readers. The simplest example to customization for your newsletter is to pull your clients name (via a simple code) into the heading/intro. That will make them feel special and important. You can also create different lists for different customer types which you could figure out by looking at data you have about your reader’s demographics. The different newsletters can be customized for different types of people based on what you know about them and what products they are interested in. More customization means better responses and more satisfied readers.
Catchy & Attention Grabbing Title
This step is important for your newsletter because readers must like your title to open it and read it. Writing a catchy title is crucial for your newsletter. Use a phrase or word at the start of your newsletter’s subject line that will be the same every time. The heading must grab your target reader’s attention as they receive many other newsletters daily.
Frequency and Coordination
Your newsletter is just one part of your communication package. Create a calendar and stick to a coordinated schedule. Do not ever send the same-subject e-mail more than once to the same reader by using other titles or outlets as they are smarter than that. Otherwise, it will be very annoying for your readers and that will decrease your loyalty. This is crucial to keep your relationship loyal and constant. Also, do not under send or over send. There is a line to how much you send a newsletter. For most people we recommend you send a newsletter once per week or at minimum once per month. A daily newsletter can often be annoying unless you are a news outlet or a daily deal site where people are asking for a daily newsletter/recap.
Offering Options to Unsubscribe
It’s always good to offer subscribe or unsubscribe options on your newsletter because this will increase your accountability. Another quick tip is to never ask your readers to share or forward your newsletter with their friends or colleagues. This may sound smart but spam filters may reject your newsletter even before it reaches your reader due to rules set in place around language. Be careful.
Don’t Waste Your Reader’s Time
Using large graphics that take forever to load, or over “htmlized” columns and things like over coloring/bolding letters or too many hyperlinks will affect you negatively. Using a catchy title is enough to grab attention. And wasting your reader’s time is not going to help you at all. Use just a few examples below for overall interest boosts.
- Expert Advice
- Special Offers
- A Customer Testimonial
- An Upcoming Event
Use a Graphic
People’s eyeballs tend to see pictures first. Use web friendly sized photos (no more than 50kb and 72 dpi) and include “alt text” for all those people that have images turned off in their e-mail browser. You should avoid sending your newsletter as one massive image because that most likely will be impossible for your readers to open.
Quality over Quantity
Like we mentioned in the steps above, content quality is crucial in terms of reader’s continuity. You must have valuable information for your readers, but the experience needs to be efficient because many people get more than 100 emails per day. Keeping your newsletter short and sweet will definitely increase your reputation in your reader’s eyes. Do not over push to sell your service or product and never overload your newsletter with branding, or it will look like a cheap sales pitch.
Using PS at the end of your newsletter is a good way to create call to action for your readers. Readers will definitely pay attention to that last sentence which starts with PS.
In conclusion, when you are writing your newsletter there are some important steps that you should follow to make it more effective and appropriate. At ATAK Interactive, we wanted to point out these steps to help your newsletter campaign bring real results, whether those results are more website traffic, a positive impact on sales, reputation management improvement, or any other goal you may have.read more