Sunday, 19 November 2017

The Right Way to Advertise on Facebook: A Beginner’s Guide - By Author Ilan Nass

A special guest post from Author : Ilan Nass


The Right Way To Advertise on Facebook - llan Nass
The Right Way To Advertise on Facebook- By llan Nass
Changing the oil in your car without referring to a manual or consulting an expert is foolhardy. The same can be said about businesses that choose to advertise on Facebook without attempting to understand best practices or consulting a Facebook marketing agency.


Taking the leap into Facebook advertising should be done with knowledge of how to launch, run, and optimize your campaign. You should review the built-in tools, clarify goals, understand how to measure your ad’s performance, and be prepared to test each Facebook ad several times.


If you want to beat the 1.59% average CTR of retail ads on Facebook, you’ll need to understand few basics of marketing on this platform. Here’s a beginner’s guide to Facebook advertising.


Split test, modify and test again
Split testing helps advertisers pinpoint the highest performing elements of their ads. It also aids them in identifying what isn’t working and fixing it to optimize results.


Your Facebook advertising campaign should be structured to run two to three variations of ads that fit one promotion. With the recent introduction of Facebook dynamic creative ads, A/B testing has become far more simple and consolidated.


Change just one detail between the ads; this will allow you to identify the element that’s working (or not) and it makes it simpler to turn off the under performing ads. Calculate which is the most successful by tracking ads with the lowest CPC and highest CTR. These are the ones that should point to the elements that are working, whether that’s the visuals, keywords, headline, or CTA.


Customize Your Audience


Facebook has some of the easiest to use and best custom audience tools of all platforms.


By allowing marketers to zero in on specific audiences based on a wide number of variables such as visiting your website, living in a particular region, or having specific interests, it allows them to create better opportunities to convert users to customers by delivering targeted content to their Facebook feed. You can also deliver materials and interact directly with customers through Facebook Messenger marketing. Wherever you decide to advertise, the tools at your disposal for customization are unrivaled.


Refine Audience Insights
Audience insights will help you to understand your customer demographics, their behavior, preferences, and tendencies. These help you to hone in on an audience most liekly to engage and convert.


For instance, if you’re targeting people who like ‘biking’, you’ll have an audience in the millions. By using the Facebook Audience Insights tool you can search for related terms to get specific with your targeting.


Once you have selected the specific audience it’s time to observe and monitor. Refine your audience further to generate more specific results or use the results you have to create a few Facebook ads that speak to that demographic.
Specify your destination
Carefully direct where your CTA is sending users. Having people land on the homepage of your website is wasting the effort put into your Facebook ad. Instead, you need to send them to a targeted landing page or other detailed part of your company’s site to increase the chance of generating a lead and making a conversion.


11% of Facebook advertisers are losing impact by sending their clickers to their website homepage. A further 20% are still missing the opportunity by sending people to their Facebook page. Just 69% of marketers get it right and send users to a specific landing page, which encourages conversions with tailored text and imagery. A great landing page needs to compel users to the action you enticed them to in your Facebook ad.

Follow the above to ensure your Facebook ad campaign has the right combination of research, targeting, and testing. Doing so puts you on track for making the most out of this affordable and effective digital marketing solution.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Quora as a marketing tool

Quora as a marketing tool
Quora as a marketing tool
Quora can be used as a great marketing tool.

It is better than Facebook, Google+ and other Social Media Marketing platforms for long-term strategy of  "Content Marketing" or "Inbound Marketing".

What is Social Media Platform?

In this modern age, it is the invisible media surrounding us twenty four hours and seven days. It is  like air which you can feel it every time. It has easy accessibility with finger touch because of smart phones.

Most of the Social Media Platforms are Web 2.0 Internet based applications controlled and driven by central servers on the Internet. The main driving force of these media platforms are User-Generated Content (UGC) which is generally in the form of comments about people , products and services,
emotional stories and content of real people's stories,life-event drama,information sharing and real-world news.

The nature of social media platform


Social Media Platform is a gathering of people on INTERNET. Every person needs to have identity on the platform with his/her own social circles  which are generally in the form of groups or communities. Most of the Social Media Platforms are driven by User-Generated Content (UGC) and are based on the philosophy of sharing information to attract people in order to increase it's reach of network breadth-wise and depth-wise. People share lot of  information on Social Media in the form of text,images,video and in other formats. Most of the time , their opinions and feelings are honest, frank, just and up to the mark. Since it is driven by User-Generate Content (UGC) of viral nature which spreads like fire, it offers vast opportunity for business communities to do:
 

  1.    Market Research for their products/services
  2.    Sales Forecasting for their products/services
  3.    Understanding the need of new products/services
  4.    Understanding the brand image of existing products/services
  5.    Interacting with existing customers of products/services
  6.    Understanding consumer psyche and behavior for existing products/services
  7.    Solving customer complaints and grievances
  8.    Competitive analysis of rival products/services

Types of Social Media Platform


There are many types of Social Media Platforms:

  • Community or Group Based e.g. Google+
  • Informal Social Media Platforms where business is not supposed to be conducted like  Facebook,Instagram, Pintrest and Twitter,etc.
  • Question and Answer based or Knowledge Based Social Media Platform e.g. Quora.
  • Profile or Identity Based where sharing,chatting,commenting and friendship  is prime concerned  e.g. Facebook,Google+.
  • Social Media Platforms for Professional Linking to advance in career e.g. LinkedIn.

 
The above are just broad classification. Eventually , it must be understood that wherever there will be large gathering of people somehow business will be conduced formally or informally. Google+ is also community based social media platform which is driven by profile identity. It is gaining popularity among businesses  for Digital Marketing. It is more or less like Facebook and late entrant as far as Facebook is concerned.
 
 Even popular platform like Facebook has started allowing people to create their own pages (personal or professional) and  on-line stores in order to transact business. It also offers advertising services in the form of Page Boosting and liking at economical rates.

LinkedIn is profile or identity based social media networking website where focus is on career opportunities.It also offers facility to create company or business pages to establish professional identity of organization.

Social Media Sites
Social Media Sites
 

Some major players among Social Media Platforms


  •      Google+
  •      Facebook
  •      Twitter
  •      Instagram
  •     LinkedIn
  •      YouTube
  •      Pintrest
  •     Reddit
  •      Quora

The fundamental comparison is between a Social Media Platform where community based profile identity is created and "Quality of content is not given utmost important" and a platform where "Quality Of Content is given utmost important". So we will shift our focus of discussion between
Facebook and Quora for comparative analysis. 


How Quora strategy gels with the fundamental principle of Digital Marketing?


"Content is King" in Digital Marketing. It is the content which pulls eyeballs and generates leads which can later be converted into satisfied customers.

Quora is a Social Media Platform which offers some unique features to do this. For example:
 

  1. It offers question and answer based knowledge sharing where most of the time answers are created by the people who have  deep knowledge of the subject in question. Quora platform monitors the answers given in real-time and has authority and capacity to remove answers or content which are not appropriate and generally of  nature such as "one line comment" given as answer.
  2. It maintains the quality of content with out any restriction on topics.
  3. Since answers are "upvoted" or "downvoted" based on the readers or users , naturally top quality of content gets the highest position. It also remains on the top position based on "views or eyeballs" for an answer.
  4. Readers or users can follow individuals or topics of their interest.
  5. Readers or users can themselves ask questions.
  6. If a good quality of answer is written, it remains on the top and it keeps attracting eyeballs for very long time.
  7. Unlike Facebook posts and other Social Media Platform posts, where your content is pushed down after some time irrespective of it's quality.
  8. Generally, people do not bother about quality of content on other platforms. Facebook posts have tendency to settle down at bottom unless it is extremely eye catching,bold and unique in nature. 
  9. We can say people have become desensitized up to certain degree with Facebook posts because
  10. content quality is rarely moderated.
  11. Facebook , Google and Yohoo also have question and answer based Social Media Platform , but somehow they could not make great impact in this segment. Quora emerged as the winner.

You can find lot of statistics about Facebook regarding user demographics and traffic here:

Facebook Statistics

Facebook Penetration In the World


Advantages for Social Media Marketing People and Business Community


Quora is driven by quality content and quality content is heart of Digital Marketing. The impact of answers given on Quora given by business owners  regarding their products/services is huge in terms of :


  1. Content remains trending at top for long time. Quora content which is generally in the form of answers can have images,text, videos as well as links to other websites.
  2. If product/service reviews have lot of  "upvotes" and positive comments along with comment "upvoting", it servers as good quality content for Inbound Marketing.
  3. For negative comments or feedback , specific customer's grievance can be addressed and closed transparently on the spot where negative comment is written by solving customer's query.
  4. It is possible to redirect customer's attention to the website of the concerned product/service by specifying website links.
  5. The content provides source of good inbound traffic for product/service website or blog.
  6. It also provides full-text based search on any topic. If questions and answers are present as per relevant topic searched, it presents results in the format as per other Search Engine.
  7. It has facility to create blogs where content can be generated for products/services.
  8. Answers or Content of Quora can be shared on other Social Media Platforms like Facebook and Google+.
  9. Some of the best answers on Quora are shared very often on other Social Media Platform like Facebook.


Following website gives some statistics which will justify the impact Quora can make for businesses:
 
12 Interesting Quora Statistics And Facts
 

Summary


It may seem that Facebook has more number of active users spread across geographic locations in the world with much higher traffic,  but Quora strategy gives better Return On Investment (ROI) on "Content Marketing" in long run.
 
 

Monday, 28 August 2017

AI in Email Marketing

Artificial Intelligence in Email Marketing

Email acted as the catalyst for "Internet Revolution".

The birth of internet may be credited to invention of Email before four decades.

Internet's 40th birthday :  First email crashes after just two letters received

The birth of email

It is the Email that created the Internet Revolution and gave birth to Digital Age. This revolution is equivalent to invention of steam engine in the 19th Century which made Industrial Age possible.

Email Marketing is the most important strategy of Digital Marketing which is going to rule the Digital Age.In the overall scenario, application of artificial intelligence in marketing and specially Digital Marketing will be the deciding factor for success or failure of any business organization.

Off course, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is gaining popularity, but Email Marketing will always persist and it is better than SEO in many ways. It establishes personal relationship with your target audience or customers and it is not dependent on the mercy of any Search Engine or any company providing the services of Search Engine.

It is not wise for any business organization having online presence to solely dependent on the Search Engine services  for generating Inbound Traffic. The change in the rules and regulations or policy of the Search Engine Service providers may severely affect  the customer base in long run or future.

It is always better to have one to one relationship with each and every customer for any successful business organization, however it may be big or small. This is the strongest point in favor of Email Marketing which is going to survive in new shape and size with new features.


Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning algorithms are bringing automation in "Digital Marketing"  with personalized rapport building with customers.

The rise of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Algorithms are going to revolutionize the Email Marketing in the Digital Age. It is going to create a giant leap for Digital Marketing people.

"How AI and Machine Learning algorithms work?" and  "What are the characteristics of the software solutions designed using AI and Machine Learning algorithms?" These questions have been answered very well here:

Artificial Intelligence in E commerce


More resources can be found here to learn about these algorithms:
Artificial Intelligence
Machine Learning

Limitations of Current Email Marketing Methods


Disadvantages of email marketing



Current Email Marketing methods have some peculiar drawbacks:

If is not easy to get new subscribers swiftly or easily. Inbound Marketing which uses SEO techniques help in gathering new subscribers. "Subscription List" is grown cumulatively over a period of time using "Organic Methods".  There are options to buy "Subscription List" from free market which is called "Inorganic Method" of growing subscription base.

The content or of email or newsletter is not personalized. So it rarely appeals to each and every reader or customer and it is hardly opened by all of them. In short, it has less "Open Rate". "Open Rate" is a ratio of the number of emails sent and the number of readers who opened it.

It is difficult to have common time or the best time for higher "Open Rate" as every individual is different and unique. Every individual has got different lifestyle which is based on his/her demographic profile and geographical location. Everybody has distinct "persona".  We can not have a common time to suit every distinct "Customer Persona".  "Customer Persona" is a term to uniquely identify a customer based on his/her country,religion,income,age,educational qualification, work experiences, lifestyle habits , hobbies, expenditure pattern, etc.


The "Delivery Ratio" of  emails sent in bulk quantity  is low. Sometimes it goes to spam folder based on "Subject Line" of the Email. Spam  Filters segregate emails based on commonly used keywords in the subject line which are known to almost all the Email Service Providers.

It is difficult to maintain long term relationship with subscriber or reader as generally content is not emotionally touching and repeatative in nature.

It offers low Click Through Rates (CTR) for the links in the email. If is not easy to quantify or measure ROI of Email Marketing Campaigns from cost benefit point of view.

Common email marketing problems

    
If you are eager to think deeply on the above problems which every digital marketing personal faces with Email campaigns, you will notice that the problem boils down to that:

So the crux of the problem is:

Email campaign including content or newsletter is not personalized to the customer's mental framework or "Customer Persona". It lacks the personal selling rapport which happens in face to face meeting and sales transaction. So it is very difficult to predict conversion rate of many "Email Marketing" campaigns successfully.


Simple Email Newsletter Design




How AI and Machine Learning Algorithms can help?

Using the AI and Machine Learning techniques , the above pitfalls can be circumvented. The algorithms can classify the online subscribers or online customers as per their "persona". It will be a CPU intensive computing task to gather  information about each and every customer or visitors to the website  and store  this "Customer Persona" in database, but it can be achieved in the following steps:


Step 1:

Installation of tracker code or program on your website to gather customer intelligence or web page visiting habits of the visitors or customers.

This step requires massive custom programming in the website or online store where each and every activity of the customer is recorded. The data of customer browsing habit will be sent to central database usually on cloud platform where "Customer Persona" will be stored as a record in the database with detailed schema having  vast attributes from personal details to lifestyle details and hobbies.
              

Step 2: 

Creating individual "Customer Persona" " with AI and Machine Learning Algorithms

Step 3: 

Creating Customer Segmentation as per "Customer Persona"

It is necessary to create segmentation in the "Customer Persona" database as generally, it is not feasible to have personalized content for each unique customer. However, there is no hard and fast rule and there is a strong possibility that in the future the content will be generated and targeted for each distinct customer.

There should be balance between fine grained segmentation and coarse segmentation. If there is more fine grained segmentation of "Customer Persona" database, more unique and different content is required.
       

Step 4: 

Designing Email Campaign as per segmentation and executing it.

This step requires drafting Email content as per the characteristics of  segmentation in which all the customers have been classified. Drafting content will be a creative manual process and in near future it is hard to believe that this task can be automated using AI and Machine Learning.


Step 5: 
Monitoring the campaigns and using analysis data to modify "Customer Persona" and segmentation.

This is the most crucial step in order to algorithms work. It is a kind of feedback loop used by the algorithms
to get insight into the customers and understand them in a better way.  This step will be required to continuously update "Customer Persona" database and keep it intact and current.

What benefits will be derived for Email Marketing? 

The above exercise may give the answers of following questions:
  • What is the best time to send to increase "Open Rates"?
  • Who are the customers who open his/her email account with specific to  the email content delivered?
  • Does personalized product recommendations with customized subject line work?
  • Does personalized product recommendations increase click through rates (CTR) and ultimately sales?
  • Can we get accurate information about cart abandonment rate in online sales?


Can we use AI and Machine Learning techniques without using above algorithms?


Yes up to certain extent.
No because it is time consuming in terms of human effort along with working with common software.

It is possible to use above techniques without AI and Machine Learning algorithms and software. It is possible to implement the above techniques using traditional Email software and  popular Spread Sheet program like Microsoft Excel,etc. But it requires lot of human effort to maintain Customers Data as "Customer Persona". It requires lot of human work to create and maintain segmentation in "Customer Persona" data in the form off groups or communities.

Almost, all popular client Email software offer facility to organize emails into "Folders".  They also offer to search and query emails based on "Filters". It is possible to classify customer emails based on various demographic attributes like:
  • All customers between age 18 to 25  or 40 to 50 or above 60
  • All customers who open email between 8AM to 10AM , during lunch time 1PM to 2PM or               at night after 10PM
  • All customers  who have income in certain range or above certain range
  • All customers who buy in the first week of month, at the last day of month or quarterly , weekly
  • The group of ladies and the group of men... and the classification or segmentation is endless.

We can also term this segmentation or classification as group or communities. We can go on classifying like taxonomy of customer attributes.  We can use Microsoft Excel  sheet also to store the above segmentation or groups.

Now, the tedious tasks like updating the data has to be done every time "Email Campaign" is executed and  feedback report is obtained. Also, human effort in form of judgement , intuition , analysis and trying different strategies is required to determine predicative behavior or next step of the customer which is generally very well handled by AI and Machine Learning algorithms.



AI in email marketing


Email marketing solutions based on AI and Machine Learning algorithms 


Some of the solutions (there are many more...) from the world which use the above techniques and methodologies in less or more degrees:

http://www.optimail.io
 

This software solution provides the complete toolkit to supercharge your email campaigns with AI.
Optimail’s AI explores thousands of strategies automatically to find the strategy that works best for individual customers and segments. This permits us as data scientists the opportunity to take a peek at the data and see which strategies tend to work in general — across campaigns — in order to gain new insight into email campaign optimization.
www.automizy.com


This solution offers features that automatically tests the subject line and content variations of  auto responding and follow-up emails of various "Email Campaigns" executed. Besides it offers features to check instantly conversion rate, best performing subject lines and contents, delivery ration, list healthiness, engagement rate, open and click rate, world map and more.

www.phrasee.com 

The strong point of this solution is that it uses AI algorithms to write better email content using marketing language than human. The strength of this solution is it's AI algorithms which provide better results from better use of language combined with better statistical analysis.


Summary


It is interesting to know that Email gave birth to Internet and  we are standing at the threshold of a new era where automation in day to day life whether personal or business will be dominating factor. It is again the very basic Email which is leading the way.


Thursday, 13 July 2017

Artificial Intelligence In E commerce

Artificial Intelligence For Ecommerce

What is Machine Learning?  What is Artificial Intelligence?  What is Big Data and Data Analysis?

People working in IT industry are bowled with these questions now a days.






Are not computers intelligent enough to do almost all the tasks perceived by human beings? Why is it necessary that machine should learn? Are not our software engineers making them to learn to do any kind of task? Are computers capable of learning?

Massive amount of data is being stored and manipulated on the servers and in the data-centers. Data is being stored to convert it into information by various types of report generating algorithms. So what is Big Data?
What is the need for further analysis of data What is Data Analysis?

I know these questions are lingering as doubts in your mind. In this article , there is trying to clear these doubts in a simple way.

Computers are still the dumbest machines on the earth. That's why they need intelligent software engineers to program them as per the task. They are still incapable to think as human beings. If you write a computer program to join two alphanumeric text e.g. "A" and "B", the output will be "AB". When the program will be given input data as "2" and "4" , the output will be "24". The program does not have capacity to think that it can be a numeric addition (+)  also. There is a possibility of answer (6). If you feed the above program with "CAR" and "TRUCK", the output will be "CARTRUCK". The program
does not have capacity to think and point that "CAR" and "TRUCK" can not be added in the real world.
All the above is based on the assumption that the program is a very basic program. It has been developed to add to alphanumeric text and it does not  have any further problem solving logic built into it.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) based programs attempt to solve this basic problem of not having intelligence.

Artificial Intelligence(AI) is a term given to a set of programs(based on AI algorithms) that builds intelligence
in the computer programs so that they evolve and learn when they are used with new set of data.So the  responses of such programs change according to time. They keep becoming more accurate as more real world data is given to them.  These programs have capacity of modification of  their rules and problem solving logic for giving responses as new knowledge or data is given to them.  Artificial Intelligence(AI) is a generic term given to such hardware or software or combination of both which demonstrates such capacity. AI based robot is the excellent example of such hardware and software.

Machine Learning is also part of AI , but generally it applies to software components which work with big database of knowledge. It is a subset of AI. Machine Learning programs are capable of learning from the data presented to them by  building realistic data models mimicking the real world.Their output becomes more realistic as big chunk of realistic data of real world problems is fed to them. Here the term Big Data comes into the picture. It is simply a term being used for vast amount of data for a particular domain or knowledge segment like finance, marketing, weather, geographical data,customer queries,etc.

Structure of Artificial Intelligence


What is a difference between a normal non AI program and AI program?

A normal non-AI program can give predetermined answers to a  predetermined set of questions for which it has been designed. Any question out of the set for which it is not designed will not be answered or taken.

An AI based program will treat questions out of set as new knowledge or data and it will modify itself and it's rules. It is called learning. Next time, if the same question is presented, it will give appropriate answer as per what it has learned. So AI programs are like little children. You keep giving them new information and they keep learning day by day. Their answers and responses changes day by day with new knowledge and insight in the direction of highest accuracy.

Differences between non AI and AI based programs or software

Normal non-AI based programs needs to be modified to solve new problems or to tackle new data or information. AI based programs have built-in capacity to change themselves. Rarely any changes in programs are required. Only new knowledge or insight is required to change it.

How E-commerce industry will be impacted?

E-commerce and E-tailing will greatly benefit with Machine Learning and AI. It is the industry where massive amount of data is generated day by day. On-line users or customers for E-commerce companies are highly intelligent and unpredictable in their buying patterns. They do not believe in loyalty. They are price-sensitive and prefer value for money. E-commerce portals do not give personal selling experience to on-line customers like brick and mortar stores. It is this basic lacuna where AI based stores will cater to.


Artificial Intelligence for Websites

Look and feel enhancement of store as individual customer wise

AI based E-commerce stores will have intelligent look and feel or User Interface(UI) design. They will be adaptive  in layout and theme color display. They will change layout and theme as per the taste of customer.
How will the E-commerce portal determine taste and preference of customer on individual basis? The answer lies into their product or service buying habit. If a customer consistently shops for apparel of red and blue colors, he/she is choosing simple designs of apparel with out any fancy items, the customer has preference for simplicity and taste for the above colors.

The layout will be adjusted from simple to complex as per their mouse clicking habit. If a customer is using simple widgets to perform the tasks on the store , it indicates that he/she is not tech savvy. If a customer is using complex features of  the store, it indicates that he/she is tech savvy and AI based store will present advanced features of User Interface or UI to that customer.

All that is possible because AI algorithms will maintain distinct persona of each customer in their database. The distinct persona will consist of demographic information,buying habit,income level,family details,hobbies,passions,dreams and other relevant information. It will be codified as "IF THEN ELSE RULE" in the knowledge base of the store. It will be maintained per customer wise.

Product or service recommendations as individual customer wise

Currently, product recommendations are defined by category manager or catalog manager of E-commerce
companies. It is not individualistic or personalized as per the single customer. So all customers find
same kind of recommendations delivered to them based on their selection of products in the cart.

It will change drastically because of AI algorithms. Recommendations  will be based on the taste of
individual customers and no two customers will be given same recommendations as their choices in the cart
may vary drastically. It is possible because AI algorithms will maintain distinct persona of each customer in their database. The distinct persona will consist of demographic information,buying habit,income level,family details,hobbies,passions,dreams and other relevant information.

Searching of products/services will be customized as individual customer wise

Search results will be filtered as per customer's persona. Many other important factors which will be taken care by AI algorithms while producing search result. Following are the factors which algorithm may consider: 
  • Country from where customer is visiting the online store
  • Date & Time of customer visit
  • Any festivals are being celebrated in the country
  • Any political situation or unrest is going in the country
AI algorithms will produce results based on all the above factors. Example: In India, during festival of light vacation, search will give weight to product/services related to celebrate Diwali festival, if customer is from that region. During Christmas vacation, search will give weight to products/services related to Christmas celebration. Again all the above suggestions will be further customized based on customer's demographic information,income criteria, passions, hobbies and other factors.

Anomaly Detection and Fraud Detection

E-commerce companies generate massive amount of data due to their day to day operations. Following types of data are generated:
  • New customer profiles
  • Order detail of new and old customers
  • Banking Details of new and old customers, credit card, debit card and Net Banking details except sensitive information
  • Addresses and delivery information where geo-graphic data is also part of it.
E-commerce companies  have to deal often with abusive or fraud customers who make excessive or
fraud orders with stolen credit and debit cards or banking details. It is a major source of financial loss and tarnishing of reputation for these companies.

AI algorithms can maintain a common database for fraud detection collectively pulled with member E-commerce companies or E-tailing companies. Just like in INDIA , CIBIL (TransUnion CIBIL) maintains a list of bank defaulters which is a co-operative umbrella  organization for all the banks and financial companies in INDIA.

The above database can use to detect fraud customers or users visiting the website of online store.

Application in Customer Support

On-line customers are made to wait long for resolving queries because of limitation of human resources in customer support or call centers. A significant amount of Operating Expenditure (OPEX) is required to provide desirable lever of customer support and service.

AI algorithms and Machine Learning algorithms are going to reduce that. Intelligent chat bots or software robots will answer phone calls and they will solve the basic problems or queries of the customers. To solve more complex queries or problems, they will escalate the issue to human customer support.

Chat bots and software robots will keep enhancing their knowledge of customer problems day by day as they will interact with more and more customers. Speech recognition and natural language processing via. deep learning will play a major role into this.

Apart from phone calls, intelligent chat bots and software robots will automatically answer phone calls,categorize emails, complain, request for information. They will also provide feedback content to various other departments of the organization.

Adaptive Pricing or Dynamic pricing of products/services

The biggest achievement of AI algorithms for E-commerce or E-tailing companies will be sensing the customer's pocket or capacity to pay. Algorithms will sense the market conditions for a particular product or service based on number of factors like prices offered by competitive companies,season, demand-supply gap for a particular product or service, sales geography and region and future demand. AI algorithms will suggest prices to E-commerce vendors based on the above factors. Also , they will help in maintaining optimum inventory based on market dynamics and demand-supply gap.

Summary

AI is a promising technology for E-commerce or E-tailing vendors to create WOW factor in their on-line stores. Let us keep our fingers crossed.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Magento Is Forever

Magento Dashboard

 

The Legacy Of  Magento

 

Magento has become the best free eCommerce platform for business. Check the Gartner report with following link:

Gartner names Magento a "Leader" for Digital Commerce.

There are following solid reasons for that:

It is best open-source software eCommerce platform which can be truly scaled.

 

Open-source Magento Community Edition (CE) as well as Magento Enterprise Edition  (EE)
are available with differential pricing system.  Magento Community Edition (CE) has been designed as an eCommerce platform with zero cost of ownership for small businesses to begin with. There is virtually no capex needed to deploy it for small and medium enterprises.

If the business grows, the eCommerce portal can be migrated to Magento Enterprise Edition (EE) which comes at substantial amount of capex. Magento 2.0 Version also has been released which has been designed to compete with many other new entrants in the market e.g. Shopify,Woocommerce,etc.

The best answer to question "Is it necessary to move to Magento 2.0 ?" can be found here:

Why You Should Move to Magento 2.0?

 

Almost all modules are built-in for successfully running an eCommerce company.

 

Yes, you think of a feature and probably it is already integrated in the core version. Or It may be available as extension or Magento Module somewhere. It has strong ecosystem of Extensions or Magento Modules.
Magento Connect is the standard marketplace for Magento Extensions and Magento Modules.
So the all over the world companies are already working on new features/extensions and Magento Modules
in order to enhance the platform. Companies make healthy profit by developing extensions or modules.
It means platform is growing day by day to tackle new innovative requirements of eCommerce consumers. It creates a positive ecosystem for  developers, eCommerce vendors and eCommerce consumers.

Magento Architecture can be fully scaled technically along with connectivity to other systems. 

 


It is based on MVC (Model-View-Controller) design pattern with strong layout and template engine.
It is very easy to create new Magento Modules or Extensions to enhance the features of the platform.
The Magento template engine provides rich set of features for configuring the layout and look and feel of the store as it is built into the core software platform. There are lot of customization features available and flexibility in doing it, if done properly. However, it requires good knowledge of software architecture.

It provides REST and SOAP APIs to interface with other systems which is specifically useful when the store needs to be integrated to merchants,vendors and various service providers like couriers,payments,banks,etc.


Magento Developers are the backbone of success of this platform.


A large number of developer workforce is available working on this platform right from the first version of the product release. Since this platform is available with PHP/MySQL, developers who start career with these skills can be easily migrated to Magento Development with small curve of technical learning. Magento Certification Examinations are available officially from the company in order to ensure quality manpower is available all the times.


Following Magento Certification Examinations are available:

Magento Certified Solution Specialist
Front End Developer Certification
Certified Developer and Developer Plus


SEO optimization features are built-in at product level.

By default, Magento Store is enabled and ready for Inbound Marketing. Each product definition in catalog gives facility to eCommerce Vendor  for definition of keywords for SEO. For this the URL rewriting feature should be enabled for the store. There are options to define HTML Head, Default Title, Default Description, Default Keywords and Default Robots in the administrative section (admin section) of Magento Store at website and store level. Also, there are options for defining Page Title, Meta Keywords and Meta Descriptions for each categories of the products. Similarly, for each product defined in the Magento store category can have Meta Title,Meta Keywords and Meta Description written and optimally defined from SEO point of view.

Magento "Search Terms" adds helping hand to SEO features of Magento Store


In catalog section , there are options to define synonym for commonly searched words and terms for a particular Magento Store. It also provides option to redirect to a product URL page based on "Search Terms" and it's synonym words. A great help is provided in SEO because of this unique feature. Adding more synonyms helps users to find what they are searching for on the Magento Store without
SEO keywords being changed by eCommerce Vendors.

Magento Theme Development - You can create or source your own themes.


Theme changing and modification facility for look and feel of Magento Store has responsiveness and customization features built-in. So once developed for desktop, it can be deployed on all kinds of platforms like smart-phones, tabs,laptops,etc. Third party extensions and Magento Modules are available to create native apps for smart phones for the Magento Stores. There is a buzzing market of Magento Themes and many companies earn lucrative profit by developing Magento Themes.

Some of the websites from where free and paid Magento Themes can be procured:


Best selling Magento Themes and Templates 2017
Advance Magento Responsive Template
60 Best Responsive Magento Themes 2017
47 Beautiful Responsive Magento Themes
Magento Themes from Template Monster


Multiple Magento Stores can be configured for one Website.


It allows to run multiple stores from one code base. Running multiple stores from one central administrative account becomes easy. It is a global platform and  has multi-lingual support built into the core software system. So there are no internationalization worries to be taken care of. The whole world is a marketplace for Magento Stores.

Web hosting and Cloud Support


Major website hosting vendors support Magento and offer cloud-based deployment facilities, e.g.

Managed Magento Hosting
Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition
Top 5 Magento Hosting Providers


Summary

 

The most important thing is to work with a platform which is already matured and it is still growing. So it ensures that the platform will also grow in order to cater to new problems related to the business in future.
I strongly suggest to start-up companies and small and medium business enterprises to go for Magento for their eCommerce venture.

We provide complete Magento Store creation and maintenance service.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Inbound Marketing as Brand Creation Strategy

Inbound Marketing SEO

What is Inbound Marketing?

It is a technique of Digital Marketing to draw customers to your products/services via Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It is one of the best out of box marketing strategies for small and medium enterprises. Content about products/services plays a central role here. "Content is King" in this technique. Organizations are required to produce high quality content about their products/services on regular basis in order to make this strategy work.

More information on  "Why Content is King ?" can be found here.

Why Content does play a crucial role?

A good quality content about products/services pulls (read naturally attracts) customers. In Outbound Marketing , generally content is pushed (read forced) to customers. In Inbound Marketing, content is treated as educator,counselor or mentor in customer's mind while making purchasing decision.

How does Inbound Marketing work?

This methodology works when following steps are executed in the order given below:
  1. Attract
  2. Convert or Engage
  3. Close
  4. Delight

1. Attract

It involves attracting the right people at the right time at the right place with the right content. So that targeted people can be engaged as potential customers. The tools involved for doing this are Blogging about your products/services, social media posts, video channels on social media platform (e.g. You tube). SEO and SMM are used to promote your content and make them discovered.  

2. Convert or Engage 

After attracting the right people, it is required to create a meaningful engagement with them so that they can be converted into customers. Newsletter subscriptions, email marketing, SMS marketing and Cold Calling are the few tools used for this step. Cold calling is also very important, if you are a start-up.

3. Close

It involves closing the engagement process into an authentic customer. Here, our traditional sales and marketing strategies coupled with out of box selling ideas might come into picture like cold calls, client visit,demo, negotiation and closing of sell. It depends on the nature of products/services.

4. Delight

This step is concerned with keeping the customer loyal and making him/her buy more and addicted to brand of products/services. E-mail newsletters, loyalty programs, and periodic discounts play an important role in this step.
     

Summary

  • It is one of the low cost methods of Digital Marketing compared to other methods of Brand Creation. You can find more methods of Brand Creation here.   
  • Brand Creation Strategies for Start-up Companies
  • It is slow and time consuming method of Brand Creation.
  • It is ideally suited for start up brands. Though established brands can use these strategies for Brand recalling and keeping customers loyal.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

The World Is Not Enough For Woman Of Substance

B.you'tiful fashion n Lifestyle magazine

If you are a woman of substance with Bold Nature and Byoutiful Soul, Gorgeous in Looks and Simply Byoutiful at heart and not only passionate about business , but also eyes on art and culture, then a companion has arrived for you with your Facebook account. Today's modern women have out of box thinking. So they need companion who give advice on out of box living styles.

"B.you'tiful fashion n Lifestyle magazine"

It is a magazine which will tickle your senses with photography,beauty,fashions,events,parties,gatherings and upscale lifestyle hobbies.It is a perfect companion to transfer you into a glamorous diva with feet on earth and eyes on sky. It is a "B.you'tiful fashion n Lifestyle magazine" which will  enrich your inner beauty to transform your outer one.You can connect to your companion here:

https://www.facebook.com/byoutifulFashion/



(Copyright acknowledged for the image displayed in the post and belongs to it's rightful owner. This blog post is a guest post on behalf of B.you'tiful fashion n Lifestyle magazine with permission from concerned person to publish it. )

Monday, 17 April 2017

Principles of Good Web Design-Part 2

Mobile Apps Are Not Required , If Web Site Design Is Responsive

Out Of Box Responsive Web Design

A good web page designer will use % for height and width pixel definitions in layout. It is wise and good design principle to use % relative to main page layout. Also, images can be made responsive using max-width attribute of HTML img tag.

Since now a days display units come in different shapes and sizes including tabs and smart phones, it ensures your main page layout and it’s child elements will adjust automatically on all devices without distorting the layout and look and feel of the page.

It is called responsive designing of web pages and responsive design is one of the main Principles of Good Website Design. It ensures that you design once and use everywhere. If a website is designed in a responsive way properly, it almost eliminates the need of iOS or Android application.Using Responsive Web Site Design principles is the one of the out of box sales ideas to make your development work cost effective by avoiding development expenditure on Mobile Apps.

Creative and the out of box website designers always use "Responsiveness" as their greatest tool for professional work.

In order to find more information, on good web page design follow: