In today’s modern global retail environment, customers and businesses alike are increasingly empowered by the new digital technologies and channels available right at their fingertips. Today there are numerous eCommerce platforms available in the market and all enables the merchants to start selling their products both offline and online. The inventory replenishment and product management are done within one place. Moreover, the merchants can receive different orders from email, phone sales, physical stores, and sales representatives as well as from the eCommerce stores and even more they centralize the management system and seamlessly keeps more inventory across various channels. Using Best Omni-Channel eCommerce Solution is less expensive and often it’s impossible to get the traditional POS, eCommerce solutions as well as inventory management to work together. Therefore, the company builds the channels along with different scales. Depending on the person’s needs, they can select an eCommerce solution which will serve their purpose. For eCommerce retailers, the online solutions used to save more time as well as improve the capacity to make the sales.
Today, the Omni-channel eCommerce enables the sellers to sell the right item to the right person at the right place and often improves the revenue. The sellers can easily sell to the world on various marketplace web stores including Flipkart, Snapdeal, Paytm, Amazon as well as other marketplaces. The Omni-Channel eCommerce Solutions connects the marketplace to the inventory, marketing, accounting, logistics etc. This allows sellers to use different integration and therefore their business can take many advantages especially using the eCommerce solution in perfect manner. The Omni-channel gives support and helps the business to reach the competitive edge. They give a reliable, secure and fast platform, thus enabling the sellers to sell the products across different channels both online & offline. Business users can access their account free, anytime and anywhere thus giving flexibility to the business performance.
The Important Key Benefits:
To fully deliver a successful Omni-channel experience for their customers, retailers must turn to sophisticated solutions that help them meet and, hopefully, exceed their customer expectations. Solutions around customer engagement, information management and location intelligence allow retailers to develop a single view of their customer, understand their relationship, and optimize their interactions for better customer service across all channels. Customers have come to expect a seamless, relevant and personalized experience across all channels of communication, so it’s important for businesses to deliver that to ensure customer loyalty and reduce churn.
An Omni-channel strategy is a win-win for customers and retailers. The customers are happier and have a better customer experience because they’re receiving the applicable offers that they actually need, and retailers are equally satisfied as more of their offers hit the right mark – which means more money in their pockets.
The Road ahead…
The businesses that capitalize on the opportunities that an Omni-channel strategy presents are well- positioned to move ahead of their competition. But as new technologies emerge and customer expectations continue to change, retailers need to adapt quickly to meet those changes head on.
By personalizing their global retail approach to each individual customer and working to squeeze the greatest value out of their customer data, retailers can equip themselves for success. Retailers can better align their goals and messaging for global commerce across the company, and ultimately, improve customer experience and performance.
Solveda is a leading e-commerce, web development, custom software development & m-commerce solution provider that offers customized solutions to suit the customer needs. Get in touch with your requirements at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.solveda.com
There is lot of buzz about Net Neutrality that is rocking the Netizens. Let us see what exactly is Net Neutrality and what should we do about it?
Net Neutrality is the Internet’s guiding principle: It preserves our right to communicate freely online. This is the definition of an open Internet.
Net Neutrality means an Internet that enables and protects free speech. It means that Internet service providers should provide us with open networks — and should not block or discriminate against any applications or content that ride over those networks. Just as your phone company shouldn’t decide who you can call and what you say on that call, your ISP shouldn’t be concerned with the content you view or post online.
Without Net Neutrality, cable and phone companies could carve the Internet into fast and slow lanes. An ISP could slow down its competitors’ content or block political opinions it disagreed with. ISPs could charge extra fees to the few content companies that could afford to pay for preferential treatment — relegating everyone else to a slower tier of service. This would destroy the open Internet.
Solveda strongly supports net neutrality, as internet is the base of all e-commerce businesses and we exist because of the internet. Net Neutrality is crucial for all businesses, who rely on the open Internet to launch their businesses, create a market, advertise their products and services, and distribute products to customers. They use the Internet to reach new customers and showcase their goods, applications and services. We need the open Internet to foster job growth, competition and innovation.
All you have to do is go here http://www.savetheinternet.in/ and click on respond to TRAI now. There will be a set of questions which you can copy or edit and then mail to the respective id’s.
Act Now or suffer after 24th April,2015 whether it’s business, education or entrepreneurship.
With the growing internet penetration and large number of consumers purchasing goods online, there is no doubt that idea to sell online is part of every retailer’s strategic plan which they can’t avoid.
Ways to sell online
A retailer can start with its own exclusive store but in order to understand the demands of its category online selling on marketplaces can be a good bet.
In case one choose to create own website, one can get higher margins, larger control, customized e-commerce experience, brand loyalty, higher scalability, but it might be costly as setting and promoting a niche portal requires high investments. Whereas if one choose to sell by e-retail website, one can still sell online via sourcing model to e-commerce players. Still going for this option, provides lesser control on brands and products, provides low margin and provide less probability of sales as other competitors are also selling along. But if one chooses to sell by a Marketplace, one can experiment their products online with certain control and by leveraging the reach of the marketplace and its value added services.
Marketplace is a quick way to go online and is independent of other channels; let’s understand why selling on a marketplace can be a good strategy:
Quick go to market: As everything is well settled, one doesn’t need to do anything, other than to setup and upload the catalog.
Testing of your brands e-commerce viability: By selling on a marketplace we actually can get data of how customer will respond to our brand if we get online; before one actually build own store.
Pricing strategy: Marketplace provides an opportunity for us to test prices; we can easily test prices as our products will be sold with products of different brands.
Marketing and branding medium: Marketplaces provides brands and sellers a platform to take their offerings across geographies and generate a wider demand. Also special promotions on the marketplace can perform as a good marketing spend.
Get rid of customer acquisition cost: To generate traffic on a website is the biggest challenge for any e-commerce venture, to get users on the website is also not a simple task as huge customer acquisition costs is involved. But when you are selling on a marketplace, you don’t need to worry about generating customer traffic or getting visitors on their website as the marketplace has own growing customer base; it gives opportunity to sellers to directly engage with a ready base of consumers. Thus it’s a cost effective way of getting customers.
Low start-up cost: Minimal cost is involved in selling on a marketplace in comparison to cost involved in setting up a new website; as one has to pay for web hosting, technology, advertising, team, logistics etc.
How to make most out of your marketplace
- Sign-up on all possible marketplaces.
- Be open to experimentation, offer schemes, discounts, sales, etc.
- Learn everything that you want to know about selling online.
- Request marketplace to provide us analytics of our products, how customer is responding to our products.
- Encourage customer feedback on our products.
- Use your own marketing channels make aware your offline customers about your online presence.
Challenges involved for a Marketplace & Seller
Though there are various reasons which shows marketplace as a good model for the marketplace as well as the sellers, there are less risks involved for the seller while selling through the mode of marketplace but for a marketplace to set up and work is extremely a difficult business. In terms of execution marketplace is tougher than traditional E-Commerce or retail model and requires highly sophisticated technology platform and distributed approach towards services. This also requires the items to be procured and checked for quality in real time i.e. after the customer has placed the order or relies on the different quality standards followed by different vendors/suppliers. This many a times results in diluted customer experience. To solve this is operationally complex and requires system integration with the vendors, inventory syncing efficient inbound logistics. Even after seamless integration marketplace service cannot be as prompt as own inventory.
In case of a big or established seller there are less challenges as it may have a big team for customer service, operations, technical team, etc to manage issues; but for a small retailer it becomes difficult to manage all this due to small team size.
Choosing a right Marketplace
Every marketplace has its own kind of processes, requirement, and offering which they make to the sellers on their website. With so many marketplaces available for the sellers where they have to just sign in and start selling, but it’s important for the sellers to pick up the right marketplace. And this selection depends on what you are selling and to whom, as each kind of marketplace has its own niche of prices, products and even customers.
We must understand what is the product we want to sell; which website will provide us right target and positioning, we also need to decide where our product will sit right keeping in mind our USP and the USP of the marketplace as well. One of the main things which we should keep in mind while choosing a marketplace is number of orders we will get, so we must make a check of traffic on the website.
Do check about the marketplace
- Reviews and feedback
- Must make quick payments
- Immediate results
Most importantly we must make a check that the marketplace we are choosing must be seller friendly; at times seller face issue in case the product is returned; there are chances that the marketplace may be biased towards the buyer, for example in case a buyer rejects the product many a times it happens that the marketplace accepts the product without even questioning the buyer, thus this may incur loss for the seller.
Before taking the first step…
In order to start selling on an online marketplace, it is very crucial to have a little backdrop on how different marketplaces operate. In general there are two types of marketplaces — traditional marketplaces who work on dump and sell model and those who host flash sales.
Traditional marketplaces allow each brand to maintain its own shop and control the inventory. These kind of marketplaces generally take low commission — around 10% to 12% per sale. Moreover, they allow merchants to directly interact with the customer, address concerns and redress returns accordingly.
The second type of marketplaces who host flash sales work on the basis of purchase-order. That is, when a customer buys a product, the marketplace raises a purchase order for the same to the brand owner and processes the order. The downside to such a model is that the store owner is never in touch with the end customer and has to rely completely on the marketplace to act as a mediator. These marketplaces operate on somewhere around 30% to 60% commission per sale.
So we need to decide on which model to work on with the market places
Comparative Charts on Market Places.
By Boney Moshahary
Solveda Software India Pvt. Ltd
E-Commerce is not merely just about exhibiting and merchandising products online through web but about creating a delighted shopping experience that is all-in-one across all customer touch points. It is about offering an enriched, tailored experience across several supply networks of your business and exploiting the power of your brand and its value to your customers.
This blog is focused on how IBM WebSphere Commerce provides an e-commerce platform that can deliver seamless and consistent omni-channel shopping experiences, including mobile, social and in-store and how you can use IBM WebSphere Commerce to innovate buyers experience by delivering them products and services at their convenience, with brand new features that’s not just limited to online but can also be used in-store and across all physical and digital touch points.
IBM WebSphere Commerce empowers you to create a powerful customer interaction platform across all digital touch points including mobile, social media and in-store. It’s easy to use tools create and manage precise marketing campaigns, promotions, catalog and merchandising through contextually targeted content and public promotions across multiple sales channels, allowing you to centrally manage a cross-channel strategy.
Some of its key features which could be of great benefit to its users are listed as follows;
- Helps you compete more effectively with several features
- Lets you drive customers for making purchases on each visit
- Employs paid and organic search marketing to increase customers traffic to your site
- Makes your average order size grow significantly
- Comprehensive integration from fulfillment of order to customer services
- Makes easier estimation of potential of online channel with a true e-commerce platform
- Offers wide collection of features like catalog, selling, marketing, trading and order management
- WebSphere commerce offers tailor-able and integrated package to its clients.
Built on Java EE platform using open standards such as XML and web services, WebSphere Commerce is a single and unified customer platform supporting all business models including B2B and B2C, online commerce and collaboration with existing and new customers, and partners through effective management of online trade relationships.
IBM WebSphere Commerce, when used with WebSphere Commerce Express and WebSphere Commerce Professional also provides you additional features such as work space, empowering you to customize your entire selling process that includes everything you need to develop and test an entire e-commerce website. Its integrated development environment allows developers to build and test customization to any extent including changing the appearance of your site.
The distinction between retailer and e-tailer is becoming less defined, as more consumers turn to the web for product information, recommendations and purchasing decisions. This year the line will continue to blur. Omnichannel, m-commerce, brick meets click, and lightning fast checkout are important strategies for e-commerce merchants to embrace. Today’s consumer is not only knowledgeable about which product she wants at what price; she also wants comprehensive reviews and information, inventory availability, and fast (often free and overnight) shipping.People shop online—more than ever before. Knowing how and why they do it is critical to retailers.
Lets have a look at few e-commerce trends to pay attention over the next 12 months:
=> Mobile Commerce and the Omnichannel Advantage: Effective mobile commerce isn’t happening in a vacuum. Mobile shoppers don’t use phones to the exclusion of in-store or full website research and purchasing. Consumers don’t live in one channel today. Flipping between tablet, phone, computer, and store is merely part of today’s shopping experience. Mobile commerce may have been considered an add-on in 2012, but in 2015 it’s simply the way things are done. It’s not hard to imagine a customer researching a product online, comparison shopping while in the store, and later ordering the item from their iPad.
Driven by technological changes that create opportunities to capture more of the market, payment and delivery of goods across channels will become ubiquitous in 2015. Consumers expect retailers to give them what they want, when and where they want it.
Mobile-centric strategies should continue to be top of mind with retailers going this year, with an emphasis on:
- Easy to use and secure mobile payment options
- Optimized mobile web — Small screens are big and companies who optimize the mobile web experience (faster load times, user-friendly, and customized presentation) will be better positioned to capture market share.
- Hybrid shopping — Integration between brick and mortar, online, mobile commerce and other platforms will be the norm rather than a game-changer in 2015.
=>Social Commerce and Personalized Marketing: e-commerce merchants will have to “socialize” more if they want to stand out from their competitors and protect their brands. Reviewers, raving fans, and, yes, complainers, take to the blogosphere and Twitterverse to endorse products, share favorites, make or ask for recommendations and lodge complaints. Now, more than ever, engagement is key, and the customer is always, always right!
In addition to implementing effective mobile and omnichannel strategies, smart retailers will use social networks to customize product and service offerings. As people turn to their peers on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for recommendations, social selling must be part of any e-commerce company strategy in 2015. Responsive web design with functional customized views (based on social as much as data), and personalized rather than corporate content will be a brand differentiator.
=>Shipping, inventory, and same day service: Until now, brick-and-mortar stores have had a strategic advantage over online stores—immediate fulfillment. Purchase now, leave the store with your item has been the name of the game for physical shopping since layaway and delayed gratification became an artifact of bygone days. Leave it to e-commerce to convince consumers that touching, feeling, hauling goods, and rubbing elbows with the throngs isn’t necessary. Thanks to faster, cheaper, and easier shipping, consumers need not sit around pining for the courier man any longer.
Here is why:
- Shipping — It all started with free overnight delivery and returns at the click of a mouse. The window of delivery has since shrunk further, as companies move to same day and 30 minute delivery options.
- Inventory control and availability — You can’t ship nothing, so e-commerce companies have had to get tighter and more accurate when making inventory visible to today’s consumer (only one more item left in stock!)
=>Compliance in the shopping cart:Lightning fast delivery, wearable technology, and market-disrupting deals are only window dressing if the underlying infrastructure isn’t accurate and compliant. Compliance may not be attractive, but it is the only way to succeed in e-commerce these days. It can potentially make the difference between a banner year and going out of business.
Here is how:
- PCI compliance — The news is full of hacked customer financials and fraudulent purchasing. Not even the biggest brands are spared. PCI compliance originally set out to protect consumers from these kinds of breaches, but in-house auditing and assurance systems are often lacking. The costs of lost data to consumers and companies is in the billions. While this won’t scare many consumers away from online shopping, it might slow revenue growth if protocols aren’t followed and strict protections aren’t in place.
- Checkout accuracy — Customers expect to see a final price at checkout that includes accurate shipping rates and estimates, application of coupons, discounts, or incentives, and sales tax. Accuracy throughout the checkout process is critical to maintaining customer satisfaction and loyalty and growing your customer base. These days, checkout accuracy isn’t just about abandoned shopping carts. Unhappy customers can take complaints viral and ignite PR firestorms.
Need of the Hour: 2015 might be a brave new world for e-commerce, but it needn’t be a runaway train. With the right tools for the job, savvy and planful e-commerce retailers will play to win. Staying on top of fast-moving trends like m-commerce, brick meets click, social web, customer loyalty and retention, and compliance are must-haves. Each strategy positions retailers to capitalize on opportunities to capture more market share before all of this becomes old hat. Traditional engagement strategies won’t work anymore. Old ideas are lucky tickets to failure. Seamless paths to shopping experiences and post shopping services offered to customers help a business retain customer relationship. Every business needs a cross-functional workforce to update their space with emerging technologies. Accept changes, welcome new technologies, live up to customers’ needs and expectations; you are going to see your business in smooth waters very soon.
By Boney Moshahary
Solveda Software India Pvt. Ltd
If you are considering getting into e-commerce business, now is the time. Why? Forrester, the global business consulting firm, has predicted that among all the markets in the Asia-Pacific region, India is set to be the fastest growing one. Figures such as those expounded by the Forrester study in question point to a combination of vast potential and impressive growth percentages. With a projected CAGR of 57 percent over the next four years, it looks like it is time to think that e-commerce is the business of the future. The most striking aspect of this optimism is that this rate is set to be sustained till at least 2016, according to the study.
Promising growth rates
The size of India’s e-commerce market in 2013 was around $13 billion, according to a joint report of KPMG and Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). The e-commerce business in India is expected to reach around $50-70 billion by 2020 on the back of a fast growing internet-connected population and improvement in related infrastructure like payment and delivery systems.
The Contributing factors
What factors will propel India’s projected spurt in growth in the e-retail sector? The main ones, according to Forrester, are an increase in adaption to technology, growing urbanization and subsequently, changing consumer preference for this mode of shopping.
Look for these when starting an e-commerce business
So, when you consider e-commerce business as an option, what all do you need to succeed? Since it enjoys the advantage of not needing a big physical space, sound e commerce software is the most important need. One of the most important of these is choosing the right e-commerce platform. It should coordinate and synchronize all the functions of e-commerce websites. You could also incorporate important elements such as e-commerce website design, e-commerce shopping cart and a functional e-commerce site.
By Boney Moshahary
Manager-IT Services & Solution Marketing
B2B eCommerce is on the rise and shifting at break-neck speed. In the past, B2B companies relied on offline resources to drive sales efforts and influence buyer behaviour. Today, B2B customers are more tech savvy, using multiple digital channels to research and purchase. As buyer demographics shift, this trend will only pick up the pace.
Current study shows that India will have 450 Mn smart phone users and close to 100 Mn 3G users by 2015. But we are still struggling with Infrastructure and bandwidth (High speed Internet).
eCommerce consists of three major categories
- Business to Business (B2B) eCommerce: is growing at a rate of 30% per year without any fanfare.
- Business to Consumer (B2C) eCommerce: is far behind B2B, but is growing at a rate of 60% per year and expected to catch up with B2B Commerce by 2015.
- Consumer to Consumer (C2C) eCommerce: is still in a nascent stage, probably because of lack of trust among both buyers and sellers.
In India, B2B eCommerce is growing at a decent speed, without much of ordeal that is associated with B2C eCommerce.
There are about a dozen major players in the B2B scene in India. They are given below:
India’s top B2B Websites
Trends on B2B eCommerce
Global B2B is estimated at $1.25 trillion. The companies of USA had 42% of their sales through B2B eCommerce.
B2B Commerce is undergoing radical and rapid transformation with more and more organisations learning from B2C and embracing electronic and now mobile commerce.
A recent Forrester study estimates the B2B eCommerce trend has already revolutionized the way business is conducted in the developed countries and the trend will pick up in India over the next 1-2 years. “Like B2C, many B2B organizations are establishing an online channel and they are now focusing on how to grow this channel to maximize revenue. The trend in fact is driven by an increasing focus on customer experience,” says the Forrester study
Forrester believes that B2B eCommerce organizations must address three key trends in the coming years:
- growing demand for B2C-like B2B eCommerce experiences;
- increasing channel conflict between direct sales organizations and eCommerce operations;
- rising demand for scarce B2B eCommerce talent
Experts believe that the B2B eCommerce can certainly be successful in India because of the vital role B2C has been playing in the past few years. Likewise, many believe that the B2B eCommerce model is backed by the prior establishment of a strong B2C market.
As opportunities are created, however, challenges arise as complexities of meeting the new obligations multiply. No place is this more true than in the payments arena, particularly as though B2B payments move to a global stage, as moving money across borders and currencies in a way that is secure, transparent and compliant is no easy feat, even in the age of online digital commerce.
Pressures for Adoption
The infrastructure for eCommerce is widely available: Internet connections are present in almost every organization across the country.
Employees are becoming more tech savvy, as technological solutions are more universally operable. Moreover, the eCommerce landscape is not alien to B2B users, most of if not all are already B2C eCommerce consumers.
On the supply side, project costs to develop a B2B site have been decreasing and many alternatives, such as B2B storefronts, have been developed. Additionally, storefronts such as hybrids B2B Commerce have the ability to integrate with ERP solutions for credit check and invoicing and also to the firm’s back end.
International B2B eCommerce is increasing as communication costs decrease and freedom of commerce grows in many geographies. Marketplaces such as Alibaba in China, ThomasNet.com in US, IndiaMART in India and EC21in South Korea attract millions of users monthly.
However, the greatest pressure to adopt to B2B eCommerce models is simple demand. With eCommerce enabled, at the end of the day companies can reach out to their customers in a way that customers find desirable.
However B2B eCommerce, while on the surface similar to its flashier cousin B2C, suffers from a unique set of complexities. Apart from expecting B2C features (order entry, order history, technical support information and status) B2B customers also demand specialized characteristics such as different user roles and multiple input points. Besides, the same supplier might have different catalogs, price lists, rules and discounts for different customers.
In turn, international B2B eCommerce has further challenges such as operating across different languages, cultures and legal, regulatory and logistical environments. Some companies provide help in establishing in different markets.
Not always evident at first, but presenting an extreme challenge, is the way international payments are made. Since some financial institutions may decline transactions arising from high-risk countries a firm wanting to enter those markets must consider alternative ways of facilitating payments.
Look for these when starting an eCommerce business
So, when you consider eCommerce business as an option, what all do you need to succeed? Since it enjoys the advantage of not needing a big physical space, sound eCommerce software is the most important need. One of the most important of these is choosing the right eCommerce platform. It should coordinate and synchronize all the functions of B2B eCommerce websites. You could also incorporate important elements such as eCommerce website design, eCommerce shopping cart and a functional eCommerce site. The B2B experience should be as intuitive as B2C.
3 Key Considerations
- Get Realistic about what disturbs your customers: – define and integrate your commerce solutions across the full buyer’s journey for a seamless, all inclusive experience.
- Keep it Simple: – a streamline technology stack will save you time and money and facilitate better experiences for your buyers.
- Give Personal Care: – delivering targeted content to existing and potential buyers is critical to staying competitive and driving revenue.
- Forrester Report Oct’13
- E-Commerce Industry in India(2011-2015), Survey Report
- ECommerce & E-Tailing in India.