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5 Fundamental Blueprints for E-commerce Web Development

5 Fundamental Blueprints for E-commerce Web Development

The modern era of e-commerce web development has redefined traditional forms of business. Traditional priorities of increasing shop space, expanding branches to as many jurisdictions as possible, and employing an adequate number of employees in a store, have been eliminated by the proactive advantages of e-commerce. Consequently, web development has gradually become the most critical enabler of modern business, facilitating small, medium, and large businesses to gain a global presence without additional expenditure of physical presence.

Yet, while web development can consolidate a highway towards e-commerce success, the rate of success is gradually being defined by some fundamental principles. Almost anyone from any jurisdiction can place any sell-able item and service on the internet. Furthermore, the ease that the template-based websites have been emerging makes modern e-commerce extremely competitive. Consequently, having a profitable e-commerce website today, and one that is competitively unique, needs a refined approach that is both strategic and purpose-based.[1]

This article highlights five fundamental requirements for modern business-centered web development. The five fundamental guidelines reviewed here have been tested and validated as part of a reliable blueprint, not only to make your e-commerce website distinctive and competitive, but also to help you exploit the potential of modern web development towards absolute e-commerce profitability.

Fundamental Blueprints for E-commerce Web Development

1. Advanced Applications

The first mandatory element of modern web development for business-centered portals, which defines the success and profitability of that business, is the incorporation of practical applications. Taking advantage of recent technological developments, modern web development now integrates the use of specialized tools that trigger exceptional business operations.

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    Perhaps the most significant of these tools is the incorporation of mobile-friendly applications in e-commerce. It is now possible to access an e-commerce site from assorted mobile devices, including mobile phones, tablets, smart phones, laptops, and desktop computers. The content is designed to automatically resize and fit any of these access devices perfectly, without compromising the quality of such content. Accessibility on any device can potentially increase e-commerce site traffic, which in turn can increase the number of visitors converted to actual customers, and ultimately positively influences the sales column of a business.

    Several reliable service providers can now develop single or multiple applications for an e-commerce site, customize and deploy such applications on the site, and even offer reliable maintenance for the suite of applications used on a site for the long term. For example, using a Ruby on Rails developer helps develop, customize, deploy, and maintain the most advanced applications for modern e-commerce. Ultimately, being able to incorporate progressively advanced applications on a website helps modern web development reach and sustain unprecedented levels of success in e-commerce.

    2. Customizable Applications

    In addition to having numerous standard applications on a website, modern web development also facilitates custom site application development that is reflective and adaptive to the site’s requirements. Entrepreneurial success relies heavily on being unique, whether online or offline. Therefore, after installing standard applications, web development helps you redesign, enhance, update, upgrade, and customize applications to exclusively serve the purpose of e-commerce. Some sites have creatively employed cutting edge web development to facilitate marketing, presentation, and sale of goods and services simultaneously, where a single customized application can do any of these for prospective customers.

    Whether using a reliable e-commerce website builder or otherwise, the potential to customize applications with modern web development is particularly useful when branding a business, keeping the focus either on specific products/services being offered or the company.[2] This helps to give online shoppers an identity of products/services to remain loyal to and to competitively differentiate among available alternatives. With modern web development, an e-commerce site easily graduates to a brand or a purchase point for a specific brand. This, therefore, makes it necessary to introduce a customized search application. The search mechanism customized for the specific site not only aids navigation when surfing an e-commerce website (a review of which follows), but also enables users to conveniently pursue their desired brand.

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      3. User-Friendly and Convenient Customer Service

      How easily and effectively can a visitor find the product/service they need on an e-commerce portal? Well, no user visits an e-commerce site for the lack of anything else to do or because they have time to waste. Most visitors are attracted by a business offer and their experience while on the site determines whether they are converted from visitors to customers or remain mere visitors. If the use of an e-commerce site is confusing or time-consuming, there are numerous alternatives available elsewhere. Consequently, even before considering the quality and the selling ability of web content, the first requirement is to attain optimal ease of navigation for the user.

      Modern web development helps an e-commerce site attain user-friendly interface, which allows visitors to find what they need conveniently and effectively. Just like the quality of customer service determines the success of an offline store, customer service on an e-commerce site is determined by how convenient, effective, and user-friendly the site’s navigation is for visitors.

      Furthermore, the convenience, effectiveness, and user-friendly navigation of a profitable e-commerce site is also determined by such elements of modern web development, like:

      • The number and convenience of payment options available (old and new) when checking out at the site (the more options the better), and fluidity of international currencies[3] (i.e. PayPal, cheques, debit cards, credit cards, Western Money Transfer, Payoneer, etc.)
      • Reliable, affordable, and convenient communication channels (i.e. email, chat, fax, telephone, etc.)
      • Ability of web development applications to facilitate marketing, presentation, and sale of products/services simultaneously, based on individual customer interests
      • Effectiveness of a search function to help visitors access exactly what they want easily and rapidly
      • Site design features customized seamlessly to match the products and services on offer, where applications adopt a size, style, layout, and functionality unique to the e-commerce product/service being offered
      • Presence of unique call-to-action buttons, prompting the customer to make a purchase, order, or save in a shopping cart[4]

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        Categorization of products/services in logical groupings and sub-groupings so that desired products/services are easy to locate and the site makes it simple and convenient for the visitor to convert to a customer.

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        4. Attaining a High-Quality Visual Appeal

        The visual appeal of an e-commerce site attracts and retains the interest of a potential customer long before textual content.[5] Pieter’s and Weddle conducted a research study to relate 1,363 distinctive print advertisements and the cycle of an infrared eye-tracking device used on over 3,600 consumers. Ultimately, the study established that the visual appeal of an advert (integration of brand, image, and text) has the highest success rate of capturing attention and that this technique can effectively be put to use in advertising.[6]

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          Even offline stores and supermarkets exploit the potential of displays to make customers forget their budget and instead purchase what appeals to their eyes. Modern web development helps to captivate visitors with photos and textual marketing messages with an attractive set of graphical images. With precise skill, a site can effectively integrate an attractive and high-quality set of product photographs, portraying exactly what appeals to a customer, which provokes buying decision. Modern web development helps graphically display logical, organized, orderly, and an intuitive categorization of products/services on an e-commerce site, making it easy for a visitor to use the site and navigate through the product list.

          An e-commerce site’s clear, highly defined, and optimized visual quality also helps ensure that the site’s design does not overpower the products and diminish their appeal. Strategic web development employs minimalist site design features (simple and easy to navigate), in a move to draw a visitor’s attention to the product/service on offer. Strategic web development does not allow a site to compete for a visitor’s attention, but to focus that attention to the e-commerce goal.

          5. Enabling Long-Term Customer Relations

          Finally, it is also important that web development helps create an instinctive, simple to use connection and relationship with the customer. Getting a prospective customer to an e-commerce site and achieving a conversion from a visitor to a customer is not enough to sustain optimal profitability of a business. The long-term goal is to make the customer register on the site and keep them coming back. As such, instead of requiring a customer to always register a new, modern web development can help consolidate, save, and progressively use the same customers’ identity (username, email address, and password). This makes the customers’ checkout process easy and straightforward, and increases their chance of return.

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            With such applications, a customer can easily sign in to an e-commerce site, check on the progress of previous orders, return an earlier order, and even communicate with the customer support team. Such a registry helps qualify the identity and demographic profile (age, gender, residential area, preferences, etc.) of customers, which helps refine the marketing and sales operations of the business.

            Finally, modern web development helps build and sustain a relationship with the customer by providing numerous communication channels, such as messengers, chat, email, and telephone. Indeed, part of the details customers provide during sign-up includes their name, physical address, preferred payment options, and contact details. Modern web development has also facilitated the integration of social media platforms, and further linking a customer with a brand or a business site. The social media applications including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, Tumblr, and many others help to sustain a long-term relationship for the benefit of an e-commerce venture.

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              Several other features of contemporary web development are also significant in determining the success of modern e-commerce, such as ensuring adequate and sustainable returns on investment (getting the best out of a website with minimal expenditure) and simultaneously enabling the marketing, presentation, and sale of products/services with an integrated application. However, the five features of modern web development have been tried, tested, and validated by assorted e-commerce initiatives as the foundation of their success. The five features of modern web development, which include (a) advanced applications, (b) customizable applications, (c) user-friendly and convenient customer service, (d) attaining a high-quality visual appeal, and (e) enabling long-term customer relations, are indeed all a part of the critical blueprint that can make your e-commerce website not only distinctive and competitive, but also anchored on sustainable profitability.

              Featured photo credit: https://stocksnap.io/ via stocksnap.io

              Reference

              [1] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/charmaine-belonio/5-essential-elements-of-m_b_11611838.html
              [2] http://www.beautifullife.info/web-design/10-best-ecommerce-builders/
              [3] http://www.forbes.com/sites/neilpatel/2015/03/09/10-digital-marketing-trends-in-2015-that-will-boost-your-strategy/#573909ba3309
              [4] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/charmaine-belonio/5-essential-elements-of-m_b_11611838.html
              [5] http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2015/12/17/5-easy-ways-to-introduce-visual-content-into-your-marketing-campaign/2/#3f3eb07b1a2c
              [6] http://journals.ama.org/doi/abs/10.1509/jmkg.68.2.36.27794?code=amma-site

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              Vikas Agrawal

              Vikas is the co-founder of Infobrandz, an Infographic design agency that offers creative visual content solutions to medium to large companies.

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              Published on November 19, 2020

              15 Great Macbook Accessories To Improve Productivity

              15 Great Macbook Accessories To Improve Productivity

              When looking to improve your workflow, you need to have a proper computer. And one of the most appealing computers out there is macbooks. These sleek transportable computers allow you to work anywhere at any time and provide a lot of functionality to their users.

              But sometimes, that’s not enough. In so many cases, you’re looking for more.

              While you could go for some productivity apps, there are actually a lot of macbook accessories available that will make your life easier in many ways. These extra accessories will allow your macbook to charge faster, hold more data, or keep it safe and protected while you travel around.

              Beyond that, there is a wide variety of accessories to pick from as many companies have jumped onto the bandwagon of supply to macbook users. Below we’ve listed off some of the greatest macbook accessories that’ll benefit your computer.

              What Makes For Great Macbook Accessories?

              Before getting into the list, we wanted to go over the criteria for what makes for great macbook accessories. The items that we’ve picked from this list will have the following criteria:

              • Reasonably priced – Accessories themselves shouldn’t break the bank compared to the large initial investment of a macbook.
              • Usability – All these accessories are practical in various situations, however, they also have extra features that make them useful in a few situations beyond their obvious functions.
              • Compact – Workflow is also about space in most circumstances. As such, anything that’s too bulky doesn’t help much. These accessories are either large on purpose – for storage of other items – or are nice and compact so they won’t get in the way.

              A USB Drive To Store Files Quickly Without Accessing The Cloud

                While you can always access the Cloud at any time, sometimes accessibility can be cumbersome or it takes time. Instead of trying to access files that way, getting a USB flash drive can save you plenty of time. Especially if your work entails providing presentations.

                The SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive is great as it offers USB-C and USB-A connectors allowing you to plug into virtually any device and transfer files and more between computers. Also, USB drives boast several hundred gigabytes these days making them solid storage devices.

                Buy SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive here.

                Compact Charger That Does More Than Charge

                  Your default charger that comes with your MacBook is a good option for a charger, but these days chargers can offer so much more. This can help you speed up your workflow as you can be charging other devices or using the charger for other uses beyond charging.

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                  In the case of the Anker PowerPort charger, it is more compact than the default charger. It also offers another USB-C connector allowing you to rapidly charge another gadget with it.

                  Buy Anker PowerPort charger here.

                  Port Adapter For Those With Multiple Devices

                    One of the hard restrictions with a macbook is that it only has two USB-C ports. This is manageable for people with fewer gadgets but if you’re the kind who has several, it can interrupt your workflow if you need a particular device and you can’t charge it or access it.

                    In this situation, a port adapter from Satechi can help. It offers multiple USB-C ports allowing you to use multiple devices. This can also help in organizing cords which we know can disrupt work. If the USB-C ports aren’t enough, it also comes with an SD card reader and ethernet cable port too.

                    Buy Satechi Multi-Port Adapter here.

                    A USB Cable That Isn’t As Intrusive Or Cumbersome To Use

                    The USB-C cable that comes with Macbooks is small and is used to hook to an external monitor. By adding more length to them, you can have better cable management. One option that we found to be ideal was the Nomad Kevlar cable which offers enough length to do what you want while giving you more space to work with.

                    Buy Nomad Kevlar USB-C Cable here.

                    Screen Cleaning Your Laptop To See What You’re Doing

                    Dust, particles and splotches are to be expected on laptop screens after a while. While you can work around these, sometimes they can obscure your vision at times. The same can apply to all devices these days.

                    The only problem with many solutions on the market is that they can damage screens. Fortunately, we found a screen cleaning solution that doesn’t harm screens. ScreenDr Professional screen cleaning kit comes with a spray that’s safe for screens and an antimicrobial microfiber cloth to ensure you make the most of the spray.

                    Buy ScreenDr Professional Screen Cleaning Kit here.

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                    Card Reader That Speeds Up Photo Transfer Time

                      If you’re looking for a standalone card reader for your work, getting a device designed for photo transferring and reading is essential. One of the best macbook accessories in this category we found was the Vanja card reader.

                      This one is able to read SD and MicroSD cards while also transferring the pictures to a computer with ease thanks to its USB-C and USB 2.0 port options. It’s also small making it easy to carry around and is cheap to buy making it a great choice to pick up if you deal with plenty of pictures.

                      Buy Vanja Card Reader here.

                      Protective Sleeves To Protect Your Laptop From Harm

                      For those who are travelling the last thing that you want is your laptop to get damaged for whatever reason. Even though you’re not likely to drop it as frequently as your phone, having a sleeve for a laptop to be in can save you time.

                      One sleeve that we found interesting was the Native Union sleeves. They are made of tear-resistant material with genuine leather accents. Its interior is soft as well preventing scratches from your laptop. It also offers a pocket area where you can store cables and other macbook accessories easily.

                      Buy Native Union’s laptop sleeve here.

                      Car Charger For Charging On The Go

                        For the person always driving around, a car charger is always a helpful tool to have when you’re on the go. The one from Anker is particularly helpful in a number of ways. Not only can this charge your macbook, but it also has an additional port for you to charge your phone if needed.

                        It’s not the fastest charger out there when compared to the Macbook Pro adapter but it’s the highest in the market with an output power of 30 watts. For comparison, the second-fastest charging connector offers an output of 18 watts. Aside from that the charger has an illuminated LED ring for you to see it and the connectors late at night. It also has a function that ensures devices don’t experience surges or overheating from the charger itself.

                        Buy Anker PowerDrive car charger here.

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                        USB-C to USB-A Adapter Grants Access To Older Models

                        If your older macbook still works but has files you want that you didn’t back up that you want this makes it easier to access them. It also allows you to access devices that have USB-A slots only. This can save you a lot of time if you are moving between older and newer devices.

                        Buy Thunderbolt Adapter here.

                        A Hardshell Case For Added Protection

                        A sleeve is good for travel, but when you’re using it, having an extra layer of protection can be nice. Beyond that this hardshell case can also serve as additional protection from scratches and bumps too.

                        Buy Incase Textured Hardshell case here.

                        Alternative Sleeve For Those With Tighter Budgets But Want Protection

                          If you are looking for an appropriate laptop sleeve but aren’t looking to spend too much, AmazonBasics brands are a good alternative. Their sleeves are elegant and still offer good protection from scratches as well. It also has a few pockets for small essentials too.

                          Buy AmazonBasics laptop sleeve here.

                          A Hub That Accommodates Several Ports At Once

                          We’ve already mentioned a port before being a huge time saver thanks to it having various ports for different devices. This one is a great alternative as while it doesn’t offer as many USB-C ports, it offers more variety. Paired up with the design being the same color as the MacBook Air, it offers two USB-C connectors, two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port and SD and microSD card readers.

                          Buy Satechi Type C Pro Hub here.

                          Earbuds To Deal With Fewer Headphone Cords

                            Cords are a common problem when boosting productivity at the desk and one way to mitigate them is to go wireless. If you are thinking about that, one option to consider is the Soundcore earbuds. These are cheaper than the traditional AirPods from Apple which can save you money.

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                            Furthermore, they deliver great sound and are connected via Bluetooth. The beauty of these earbuds is they can also cancel sound despite them being so compact. They also offer touch control allowing you to pause, play, skip music and answer calls.

                            Buy Soundcore Wireless Earphones here.

                            Desktop Stand To Save Desk Space

                              Desk space is another crucial part of productivity as things can get in the way and obstruct your work. In cases where you don’t need your laptop at the moment, having a stand where you can set it aside can be helpful.

                              In those situations, we recommend the Twelve South Book Arc. This neat Macbook accessor can save a tonne of space since it requires you to close your laptop in order to insert it into the stand. It also keeps it elevated from the surface which can protect it from spills

                              Buy Twelve South BookArc desktop stand here.

                              A Comfortable And Easy To Use Mouse For Faster Working Speed

                              The last of the macbook accessories we’ll talk about is a proper mouse. Logitech offers fantastic mouses and their Logitech MX Master 3 is one of the greatest wireless mouses out there. It’s ergonomic design, customizable buttons and insanely precise movement is fantastic. It also comes with a scrolling wheel for precise scrolling.

                              The battery power can last for months between charges and like all Logitech devices, it comes with a USB-C connector for charging.

                              Buy Logitech MX Master 3 Wireless Mouse here.

                              Bottom Line

                              There are many macbook accessories out there to improve your workflow. Taking the time to do research and invest in some of the best ones though will save you plenty of time, money and energy in the long term. At the same time, all of these accessories can help you with specific needs for whatever you are doing.

                              Featured photo credit: Viktor Ritsvall via unsplash.com

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