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5 Fundamental Blueprints for E-commerce Web Development

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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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              Last Updated on November 25, 2021

              How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

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              How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

              There comes a time when we may be searching online and don’t want the browser to remember our footsteps. The reasons don’t always have to be what we obviously think of as the main reason; for example, sometimes, you may not want Safari to remember your passwords or prompt you to enter your password when surfing the web.

              Whatever the reason, we may think that we are totally in the clear with Private Browsing on Safari and the other browsers on a Mac. However, a quick Terminal command can bring up every website you’ve visited. How do you do this? Also, how do you clear your tracks for good? We will provide both answers and more today.

                What Does Private Browsing Do?

                When activated, Private Browsing on Safari prevents your browsing history from being kept in the history tab of the application. Along with this, it doesn’t autofill information that you have saved in the browser. In this mode, you essentially become incognito and any references of previous use is essentially hidden when you are in private mode.

                For example: if you are on Facebook or filling out a form and some information or your login is already filled in in the spaces provided, this is called autofill. It’s activated by simply clicking Safari next to the Apple symbol in the menubar and selecting Private Browsing, then clicking “OK” to the prompt.

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                The reasons behind private mode differ for each individual. While we won’t go into all of those reasons, one thing that is  important to remember is that private browsing doesn’t forget the websites you visit. As we will see later on, Macs keep a second copy of the websites you visit in either mode. If you are in frantic mode looking for a solution to this, look no further.

                The Terminal Archive

                While Safari does a good job of keeping your search history out of prying eyes in the history tab, there is a less-than-obvious way to view a full list of visited websites on Mac. This is done in Terminal; the command-line emulator that allows you to make changes to your Mac.

                Terminal is located in the Utilities folder on your Mac. Once activated, simply add the command:

                dscacheutil -cachedump -entries Host

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                Once you hit “enter”, a list of the visited sites appear. Showing only the domains, the sites appear in a format of:

                Key: h_name :(website domain)ipv4 :1

                However, there’s no need to fear—there is a way you can clear this information from Terminal with a command that’s just as simple.

                Clearing Your Tracks

                Just as simply as you were able to enter the command to view the websites, you can clear the cache that Terminal showed you with the comamnd:

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                dscacheutil -flushcache

                As the command denotes, this literally “flushes” the domains from Terminal. This does not prevent the record from continuing to be recorded for future sites, however, so if that’s an issue for you, repeat this process regularly.

                Other Browsers and Private Browsing

                Other browsers have this form of privacy mode for their service. They promise many of the same things as Safari, but they do not have the same Terminal issue due to how this command only presents websites visited on Safari (the browser Macs come shipped with).

                If you use Firefox, you’ll notice that its private mode is also known as Private Browsing. Chrome calls private mode Incognito, while Internet Explorer refers to it as InPrivate Browsing. Opera is the newest to the scene, denoting it as Private Tab. Safari is the oldest well-known browser with this feature.

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                As you can see, despite Private Browsing not being 100% private, Terminal allows for your browser to be. In what ways has Terminal helped your life or allowed you to become more productive? Let us know in the comments below.

                Featured photo credit: Benjamin Dada via unsplash.com

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