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E-Commerce Trends in 2018

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As the e-commerce industry ticks another year off the calendar, the search for trends for e-commerce trends for 2018 reaches a new high. Whether you are a top e-commerce website development company, a would-be entrepreneur trying to understand how to set up an online boutique, a consultant for the online marketplace or simply a customer who is hungry for more, it will be extremely interesting to examine what 2018 holds for all of us.

Here is what we consider will be the most important trends for e-commerce for 2018. We have grouped them as (a) Customer-focused trends, (b) Technology-focused trends, and (c) Engagement-focused trends.

Customer-Focused Trends:-

1. Customers Will Expect More -To begin with, the customer will expect a neat, bug-free website, a smooth shopping experience and have a clear returns/refunds policy without any unfair fine-print.

Next, the customer knows big data has come a long way. Hence, the customer will expect you save her time by knowing her shopping patterns: suggest her the right product, at the right time, at the right price.

2. Shipments and Agility Will Be Key-E-commerce companies that can move goods out the moment the customer places an order and yet charge zero or negligible shipping fees are going to win by a bigger margin. In this competitive environment, e-commerce companies have to be innovative in optimizing their last mile deliveries.

2018, we might see a lot of drone delivery services companies like Flytrex kick-starting their operations, as well as mainstream logistics companies like DHL and UPS will invest more in drone delivery services to make it accessible for e-commerce store owners.

Technology-Focused Trends:-

1. Artificial Intelligence Will Grow-With Artificial Intelligence (AI), we will see increased use of natural language processing to ultimately bring up vastly better search results. Next, we will be seeing AI tracking customer’s purchase (or cart abandonment) behavior at a much deeper level than humans are capable of. With that, AI will lead up to a hugely efficient and productive sales process because it will generate real, high-value leads for email marketing.

By the end of this year, you will see that customers calls will be reduced and they are going to be using this form of contact less and less time. Instead, customers will be buying products and services and making orders and requesting support through Chatbots.

2. Augmented Reality Will Grow Too-Just a couple of summers back, Pokemon Go showed how exciting Augmented Reality (AR) could become.

While AI is geared towards making interactions and processes faster and more efficient, AR focuses on product use and applications. If a customer is looking for, say, a flower vase, AR will place the image of a vase in a digital room so that the customer can see what it looks like with respect to the other objects in the room. If a customer is looking for sunglasses, they can upload a selfie and the AR will digitally superimpose sunglasses on the selfie to help the customer see how they would look with the sunglasses on.

3. It Will Be a Multi-Platform, Multi-Device World-No matter what other metrics you get right, if your store isn’t responsive, it stands no chance to win the battle in 2018.

Most customers begin their search on one device and make a purchase from another. If they see major alterations when they switch devices, it is going to put them off and possibly drive them away. That means you will have to keep everything, from product descriptions and searches to navigation, consistent and coherent, irrespective of the device and its platform.

Engagement-Focused Trends:-

1. The Importance and Versatility of Email Will Continue Growing-With all the content marketing tools around, email stands tall. According to CampaignMonitor, in their 2016 report, every dollar spent on email marketing fetches an ROI of $44 – or a 4400% return!

In 2018, use analytics to build better-targeted email marketing campaigns. Depending on whether it was a casual visitor, a customer making her first purchase or a loyal customer returning, your emails will change. Emails will perform a variety of functions from selling to remarketing to re-engaging, and they are only getting more powerful.

2. Data Analytics Will Improve Marketing at Every Stage-Sophisticated analytics are now able to produce data on every action taken – or not taken – by visitors and customers. For instance, any leading Magento e-commerce development company can help you set up the analytics for your site for improved Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The question is how e-commerce companies will use this wealth of data.

3. Better content, yes, but video?-If there are a dozen online stores that sell similar products at comparable prices, a customer will buy from a store that excels in engagement. And that engagement will come from personalized, ‘storified’ content. The coming year will see content that is superior not just at the sales point, but pretty much everywhere.

Conclusion

E-commerce is growing rapidly, and to stand out from the crowd, one needs to be a trailblazer and innovate with the changing trends prevailing in the e-commerce industry. Those in charge of developing e-commerce marketing strategies in 2018 should pay close attention to these major trends and formulate an effective strategy to stay ahead of their competitors and convert as many potential customers as possible.

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How to Start a Blog Fast – Expert Guidance to Successfully Start a Blog

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Are you looking for information on How To Start A Blog? Well here are a few tips to get your new blog venture as quick and easy as possible.

1. Get it right. That means doing things like a professional from the beginning. Find an effective domain name, pay for a reliable hosting company with packages to host WordPress blogs. Also be prepared to pay an experienced WordPress expert to set up your blog exactly the way Google likes it only if you can’t do it yourself. Always avoid cutting corners – getting professional help will get you start off on the right foot.

2. Decide your niche. There are a hundreds of weblogs about all type of topics. Few are so boring that you will never read any of them. The fewer blogs that do get the readers attentions always have something special in them. I would suggest is to use your creative writing skills for writing great SEO optimized articles.

3. Blog regularly. Google likes blogs which are updated regularly and most often. As such, it also works best if you can turn blogging into a regular habit.

4. Don’t lose patience. It will take a while before you gain your identity in the blogging world. You need to experiment with various little things like plugins and widgets. You might get things wrong sometimes but that is the way people learn, and you are no exception. But these experiments become really painless with an expert help who may fix things that you may mess up from time to time. Don’t forget to find a Blogging Guru before you start blogging, trust me it helps a lot or else you will feel alone and give up at some point of time which is not something you started for, did you!

5. Center on your content. New web blogs should center on attracting readers and the best way to do it is by a steady flow of quality content. All the distracting widgets, cool tweaks and revenue-generating advertisements can come later.One should avoid getting into those for the first couple of months.

Lots of people make pretty big mistakes when they setting up their blogs. If you are one of those, then my friend you have come to the right place. You can get my assistance to kick start your new blog.

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The Essential Tools for Self-Publishing

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There are numerous tools designed for Kindle e-book writers. Unfortunately, many of these tools are just a waste of time and money. In this article, you will find the most effective online publishing tools available to you.

Identifying the Best Category and Keyword/s

Being a self-publishing writer in Kindle requires more than just excellent writing skills. You also need to know how to find the right category and keywords for your work. If you succeed in this aspect of publishing, you can get a lot of visitors and (hopefully) sales. The tools given below can be of great help here:

· Kindle Spy – This tool costs $47. You can install it on Google Chrome to collect information from the Amazon.com website. To use this tool, you need to visit a webpage that lists Kindle e-books. Used this way, Kindle Spy will help you find the ideal category for your e-books.

· KDP Rocket – This tool, which costs $67, will give you the best keywords and categories to target. The information you will get from this tool can help you generate new e-book ideas or validating new ones. Using this tool, you can determine how many people search for specific keywords, how competitive the keywords are, and how much money similar books are earning.

Writing your E-book

Word processors (e.g. Microsoft Word) are designed for different types of documents. However, they are not ideal for writing novels and other types of books. Fortunately, some computer programs are created specifically for authors.

One of the best tools is Scrivener. This program is compatible with Windows and Mac computers. It offers cool features such as the “corkboard” and the multi-tab structure. It can also generate names for your fictional characters. Lastly, it can help you prepare the table of contents and bibliography of your e-books in just a few mouse clicks.

Getting Great Reviews

If you want to sell a lot of e-books, you need to get great reviews from your customers. Positive reviews boost your rankings and your conversion rates. Readers will be more encouraged to purchase your books if you have good reviews.

Currently, the best tool for obtaining reviews is Book Review Targeter. It helps you find excellent book reviewers without violating Amazon’s rules. You just have to run the tool, specify the book to analyze and wait for the results. The program will give you the names and email addresses of people who are likely to give positive reviews. You may then contact these people and make arrangements on how they can check the published e-books.

Formatting your Books

As an independent writer, you have to handle all the aspects of publishing books and formatting is certainly one of the most complex parts of being a self-publisher. If you want to add pictures to your work and/or format your books properly, you need to use Jutoh. This tool is created to format all types of e-books. It can do excellent formatting tricks that most self-publishers do not even know about.

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Captchas Considered Harmful – Why Captchas Are Bad And How You Can Do Better

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What Is A Captcha?

If you’ve ever joined a large website, then you’ve seen a captcha. Twitter uses it, Facebook uses it, and WordPress uses it. Captchas are small test that you must complete in order to prove that you are human. Usually, the test involves looking at some text and typing that text into a near-by box.

What Are Captchas Meant To Do?

The simple answer is keep your website spam free. That is the purpose of a captcha. More generally, it aims to stop automated spamming, by assuming that every single user of the site is a robot until they prove otherwise.

Why Captchas Are Bad

On the surface, captchas look easy to use and interact with. Well, they only look that way to people who have perfect vision and an elastic mind. If you have these qualities, congratulations. If you don’t, here’s how captchas will be difficult for you and your users:

  • Warped letters are hard for users to read. Combine that with a strike-through, and you have a bad idea.
  • Users can’t tell the difference between 0 and o; and I, l, and 1, in certain fonts.
  • Blind people can’t use them. Even colour-blind people find some captcha implementations difficult to use.

Worst of all, even people with super sight and brilliant spatial awareness find captchas plain annoying. This drives away users, which drives down revenue.

How Can You Do Captchas Better?

The best way to do captchas better is to turn the concept on its head. Instead of asking every user to prove that he is human, you can trick every robot into telling you he’s an automated spamming machine. The easiest way to do this is to lay some traps.

Traps And Why They Work

In order to explain what a trap is, and how it’s going to stop your site from filling with spam, you first need to know how a spam-bot works. If you don’t know what you’re up against, then you will never defeat it.

The Two Kinds Of Robots

There are two kinds of spam-bots. The first kind is a replay-robot. This type of spam-bot records a form verbatim, and then posts the form with the fields filled in at a later date. It’s like a spam version of TiVo. Usually, the bot will do this again and again, literally replaying the recording it has made of the form.

The second kind of spam-bot is the form-filler. Form fillers crawl the web, find a form, insert the spam, and submit. Some form-fillers are dumb, and will put the same information everywhere. Others recognize common field names like username, email. A robot like that will place the spam in a text area, as this is usually where your users’ content goes in each post.

Traps For Form Fillers

The simplest way to trap a form-filling robot is to create a field which a human won’t (ideally can’t) fill in. You can do this by warning users not to fill in a certain field, but that’s just as bad as asking users to complete a captcha. Much better is to make your trap hidden. A form-filling robot doesn’t see the form, it reads it and parses it. You can make a field which is invisible to humans, but which is parsed by the robot. You can hide a field using CSS, or by changing the style of a field directly using JavaScript. As long as the visibility of the field is set in separately from the form, the robot will fill always in the field, and your users will not even know of its existence.

Catching Repeats

With replay robots you should capitalize on the fact that forms are collected once ahead of time. The forms are collected, and then, sometime later, they are replayed. You can record when a form was produced by including a date and time stamp with each form served. By comparing that date and time with the current date and time, your site can deduce whether or not an unreasonable amount of time has passed between form generation and form submission.

When The Robots Get Smarter

The obvious problem with adding a time stamp to your form is that once it becomes widely known as a tool for stopping spam, the people who program replay robots will generate good time stamps at the moment the form is replayed. The way around this is to encode the time stamp using a secret key. The data is decoded when the form is sent and then evaluated. It is highly unlikely that a replay-robot will be able to guess both your secret key and your encoding algorithm, providing you with security against spam, no matter how smart the robot gets.

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