Complete Guide for Conducting the SWOT Analysis for your E-commerce Business

With the e-commerce industry flourishing, competition has also become fierce. The external contingencies are also increasing day by day. This has made it mandatory for brands to analyze themselves by conducting a SWOT analysis and find out where they stand. 

The need of the hour is to have a SWOT analysis for your e-commerce business. Not only will this let you analyze the internal factors, but also helps you learn about upcoming opportunities and threats. 

Basics of SWOT Analysis


The goal of the SWOT analysis is to make the best use of the business strengths and look out for the upcoming opportunities to utilize them to their full potential. But at the same time, it becomes important to keep in mind the weaknesses of the business while taking the best measures to mitigate the upcoming threats.

Strengths

To find out your strengths, you need to ask yourself certain questions – 

  • What makes your e-commerce business unique? Do you sell niche products that are not easily available in your target location?
  • Do you offer comparison shopping on your brandstore?
  • Do you provide your customers with product recommendations?

Weaknesses

There are examples of certain challenges that every e-commerce business faces, such as – 

  • No immediate gratification because of the long transit period
  • Perishable products are quite expensive to ship
  • Unwillingness to pay online due to security and fraud concerns

Businesses need to take these concerns seriously while conducting a SWOT analysis and figure out ways to tackle these weaknesses. 

Opportunities

E-commerce is quite dynamic, new technologies and features offer a seamless shopping experience, resulting in higher sales volume. Some examples of how brands can use technology to their advantage – 

  • Advancement in shopping cart technology provides a customer-friendly shopping experience 
  • Companies can now leverage Big Data analytics to understand customer behavior and preferences 
  • Social media marketing is an inexpensive way to create brand awareness

Threats

Always be on the lookout for changes in the industry that might affect your business growth, such as – 

  • Change in the privacy policy
  • Low barriers to entry can result in new competitors
  • Price wars with big e-commerce companies 

Try to attract non-price-sensitive customers by offering value-added services like free delivery, customer service, loyalty programs, and more. 

SWOT Analysis | What steps should you take if you are an e-commerce company?

Do a comprehensive research

 

Before you begin with SWOT analysis, you must research well to understand your industry, market, and business. It’s very crucial to research before you make any move. You need to collect data, interpret objective and subjective research. For instance, to check why your brand store’s traffic is not increasing, you should pay attention to unique visitors, traffic trends, and page views of your website.

Begin with the external factors

Opportunities and threats are the external factors in SWOT analysis. It’s always best to start by analyzing and evaluating them. For instance, If you are looking further to offer better experience and quality, you must keep in mind the external opportunities (it could be a new fashion trend, benefiting government policy, new technology) and leverage them. On the other hand, you must never forget the future contingencies that are threats and do your best to contain them. It’s always in your control to make the best use of strengths and mitigate weaknesses.

Let’s take an example to understand it better; you did a SWOT analysis and you learned that there is an upcoming threat. You made a quick backup plan to tackle the situation and did not have to bear any loss. But on the other hand, if there was no SWOT analysis you would not have known which threat is on the way to harm your business. That is why we recommend you to start with external factors as they are the ones that affect your business either adversely or positively.

Write your SWOT based on real facts

After the research part, you are ready to create your SWOT analysis. The most prominent goal of SWOT analysis is to give you a realistic view of your business. The first key point is to think about where your business stands in the current scenario. While you are writing down your SWOT, just write the facts based on the actual capabilities of your business. Remember, it’s not an advertisement, where you are listing the best points and ignoring all the negative aspects, but you are giving a realistic picture to yourself about your company by listing the strengths and weaknesses accurately. The other key point is to think about where your business stands in the current scenario, this could be incredibly useful while developing strategies.

Quick tip: Do not let your SWOT analysis look like a monotonous novel, keep it brief. Avoid complex sentences or words to avoid overthinking. You can also hire a third party to create a professional SWOT report. Request your free DEMO now!

Convert your strengths and weakness into opportunities

Your business strengths are only useful if you could benefit from them. For that, you must transform your strengths into opportunities. You can use the method of – matching and converting. It enables you to match the strength and weaknesses with opportunities and threats and convert them into opportunities or mitigate them.

Here’s how – 

  • Strengths – Opportunities

Leverage your internal strengths to take advantage of opportunities

  • Strengths – Threats

Use your strengths to minimize the threats

  • Weakness – Opportunities 

Reduce weaknesses by leveraging opportunities

Quick tip: You can discuss with your team to identify the weakness and strengths of your business, by carefully examining the points you can get clarity if weaknesses and strengths could be converted into opportunities or not. 

Understand the market trends

How much is the demand for your products? Will the demand for your products rise in the coming future? Are you keeping any stones unturned to increase the demand for your products?

All these above questions are quite simple, but at times it gets very hard to find answers to them. Well here are some tips to uncomplicate things for you:

  • Understand the market trends that could increase or decrease your demand( for instance, a trend of wearing multicolored outfits while you only planned to deal with light colors)
  • Calculate the current demand and projecting the future 
  • Analyze the competition that could affect your market share, for instance, a new brand started to offer services at a very low cost which was your strength, it will affect your demand adversely)

Want to move your business online? Read this article to learn how to transition from offline to the online store.

How can ANS Commerce help you?

E-commerce businesses face a lot of challenges while managing their daily operations. At ANS Commerce, we offer full-stack e-commerce solutions to our clients so that they can leave ‘all-things-e-commerce’ to us and focus on their brand and product.

You can also avail free marketing audits conducted by our marketing experts to provide a quick evaluation of your brand’s growth and performance perfection. From gauging compelling techniques to compiling a list of strategies to optimizing ROAS, this marketing audit will offer a target-oriented view of your business and compare its performance with the competitors. 

Book your free Marketing Audit today!

It is not mandatory to have a SWOT analysis for e-commerce brands, but it is obvious that it works amazingly in pushing the business towards success. It will show your business team the right direction to move by mitigating your threats and weaknesses and making the best use of your strengths and opportunities.

How A/B Testing can help you in upgrading your business?

Do you know which approach is the best to make your customers happy? Well, this is a question that every marketer gets confused about. The most common dilemma that businesses face these days is they think they understand customers. However, customer behavior is quite unpredictable. You just can’t afford to rely upon gut feeling or intuition as customers’ purchasing habits are very dynamic in this era of online shopping. Well, we have an amazing solution for you that is to conduct A/B testing. 

A/B testing is a statistical way to compare the two versions such as A and B to know which versions go better for you.

A/B Testing Process

Here’s an A/B testing framework you can use to start running tests –

  • Collect data to find out where you need to improve. Start with areas attracting high volume on your website, it will enable you to gather data faster. Look for pages with low conversion or high abandonment rates
  • Identify and set objectives to find out whether or not the new variations are performing better than the original version
  • After identifying your objective, start generating A/B testing ideas and hypotheses for why you think they will perform better than the current version. Prioritize them in terms of expected impact and level of difficulty in implementation
  • Use an A/B testing software to make desired changes in an element of your website experience. It could be anything from changing the color of a button to hiding the navigation elements
  • Run experiments and wait for your visitors to participate. They will be randomly assigned to either the control or variation version of the website. Their response to each experience is measured and compared to determine how each performed
  • Start analyzing the results after the experiment is over. You’ll find out how the two visions of your page performed and whether or not there is a statistically significant difference
Quick Tip – Running a successful A/B test requires years of experience and skill, it’s quite normal to feel overwhelmed by the extensive steps involved in the experiment. At ANS Commerce, we provide our clients with complete performance marketing services and take care of all the marketing planning and campaigns for them. Request your free DEMO today!

Benefits of A/B Testing

Boost Your ROI

A/B testing can assist you in analyzing the website visitor and customer behavior before investing in major decisions. It can assist you in avoiding unwanted risks by helping you focus your efforts and resources for maximum efficiency. Ultimately increasing your ROI, conversions, long-term customer loyalty, and other relevant metrics. 

Quick tip: You must know of every single point that took you to success, we recommend you to always take an independent variable first and measure its performance.

Prevent Cart Abandonment

The final goal of every website is to sell goods and services. However, getting visitors to follow through with checkout after clicking the add to cart button is not an easy task because usually, potential customers abandon their carts before paying. A/B testing can assist businesses in finding the optimal combination of tweaks to the order pages that will motivate the users to finish the purchase. 

The customer journey between checkout and entering a delivery address is the best place to implement the A/B testing. 

Want to know about constructive Website designing tips? Just CLICK HERE

Lower Bounce Rate

It hurts when a visitor just vanishes from the website in a few seconds. A/B testing is an easy way to determine the best combination of elements that will make the visitors stay on your website for longer. The more time they spend on your website, the more chances of them discovering something of value, resulting in conversion.

Want to know some amazing tips to fix your brandstore speed? CLICK HERE

Quick tip: You must experiment while creating a new page on web design, write fresh titles while testing the variations to boost conversions.

Improved User Engagement 

Elements of a website that can be A/B tested include the headline, images, call-to-action (CTA) forms and language, layouts, fonts, and more. Testing one change at a time helps in finding out which influenced user behavior and which did not. Implementing the winner variation will improve the user experience, resulting in overall success. 

Quick tip: If you are facing problems with tracking your website, ANS Commerce is here for you. We provide an in-house tool for marketing automation and detailed analysis to enhance your CTA. Request your free DEMO now!

How Can We Help You?

Well, now you know how incredibly A/B testing works in optimizing your business. But are you worried about how you will implement it? Well, no worries we are here to help you as ANS Commerce provides the best assistance when it comes to A/B testing. As it has special features like:

  • Experiments different audience sets: It experiments with different audience sets to analyze the best approach for the brand
  • Segmenting custom audience: It segments the custom audience into the basis of behavior on the website to know what works best for them
  • Tech & Product: ANS helps you in optimizing the load time of the website, one-page checkout for faster transactions, a data layer for better tracking, and a lot more features

Go ahead and request your free DEMO now!

We all know how dynamic e-commerce businesses are these days which is even more of a big alert for the companies who make certain decisions on gut feeling or intuition. That’s the reason  A/B testing is imperative and the most useful tool these days to drive your e-business growth. A lot of companies in the world have achieved a lot more than their goals by A/B testing and your business could be the next! What are you still thinking? Implement A/B testing now!

5 Easy Ways to Protect your E-commerce Store from Security Breach!

The pandemic has forever changed the behavior of people towards online shopping. Social distancing lets a lot of people shift towards online shopping. This also led to an increase in online transactions. Well, that’s good news for every online retailer. But, if we take a look at the other side, cybercriminals are getting wiser day by day, taking the advantage of the situation. 

The constant game of dog and thief is prevalent since digital technology has been introduced. We need innovative techniques to protect our e-business from cyberattacks.

It is already high time for you to defend your business by implementing the latest security systems. For your assistance, we have listed various steps by means you can safeguard your store from any type of security threats.

What is a Security Breach?

“A security breach occurs when a hacker is able to bypass all the protected security mechanisms and access the data without authorization.”

5 Easy Ways to Protect your E-commerce Store from Security Breach!

Let’s make data security and enforcement of data control your priority by implementing these 5 ways in your security system now!

1. Use a secure connection for check-out

Some marketers are still living in the misconception that if they use an HTTP protocol, their data is safe and secure. Do you think is it still safe if your user information is transferred directly to the server? It is obviously not, well the HTTP protocol does the same and the reason is it doesn’t have encryption. Hackers could easily use confidential information like ATM pins and bank account details.

Well, we suggest you use HTTPS Protocol as it encrypts the data sent between browser & server and has SSL (Secure Socket Layer). It doesn’t only secure your customers’ data from all ends but even protects business-critical information like intellectual property and employee data.

Do you want to set up a secure brandstore? Explore our in-depth guide on moving from offline to the online store here!

2. Reduce storing customers’ confidential Data

The first thing businesses try to do after spotting a new visitor on their brandstore is getting their hands on his/her data. However, if your website gets compromised your customers have to pay that price as it will open the doors for hackers to steal their information. Well, it’s a very wise decision not to store crucial information like bank or credit card details. In the short run, your customers will face a little problem in checking out as their cards are not saved. However, in the long run, it will save you from a lot of legal penalties.

Quick tip: You can encourage your customers to use other payment gateways that do not involve storing information for making transactions.

3. Maintain PCI compliance 

If for some reason you’ve to store customer data then we advise you to follow PCI compliances. It is a quick and simple way to check a long list of measures that need to be taken to ensure and safeguard your customers’ transactions. If you choose to miss this vital step your e-business might have to endure severe pain as it will take a lot more resources, funds, and time to rectify the data breach.

4. Conduct regular audits 

Conduct regular audits to check your security measures. External audits are an easy way to systematically review where your business currently stands with its data, network, and device security. It also assists in finding out if there are any potential security issues and how to tackle them before any damaging security breaches occur.

Quick tip: Don’t know how to conduct regular audits to ensure the security of your brandstore? Kartify ensures regular security audits, making it incredibly easy for you to manage your business operations. Request your free DEMO now!

5. Update your backend software

Is your website updated? When was the last time you updated your backend software? Your business could easily be the next target of a security breach. Updating the website regularly will act as a strong shield and will prevent cybercriminals from accessing your systems. 

Quick tip: After installing the latest version of software you are using, don’t forget to install a good ransomware blocker as it keeps your system safe from any illegitimate sources.


How can we assist you?

Are you confused about how you can safeguard your customers’ data? Well, we got you covered as your security of data and systems is paramount for us. Kartify – our brandstore tech will solve all your security related issues with the following features:

  • Regular Security audits with VA/PT; ISO / IEC 27001:2013 (WIP)
  • Cloud Armor & regular back-up & version control; data encryption
  • Proper access control for dev, deployment

What are you still waiting for? Request your free DEMO now.

In 2021, when cyber criminals are finding new vulnerabilities to exploit, it’s the need of the hour to implement these techniques into your e-business and protect your e-commerce platform from upcoming costly attacks.  

Transition From Brick and Mortar Store To Click and Mortar Store (And Tips to Promote it)

With the brick and mortar model hitting a snag last year, multiple businesses jumped on the e-retail bandwagon. Some even transitioned to online-only stores. An e-commerce store offers certain advantages that a physical store does not, like, the ability to sell 24/7 and a wider audience to market to. However, this ease of accessibility has resulted in an influx of online merchants, dramatically increasing the competition and marketing noise across the internet. The question arises, how do you offer customers value in this highly competitive market? 

Here, your experience in running an offline store will come in handy. A brick-and-mortar store is the physical representation of the brand and you’ve already invested a good amount of time and resources into establishing its identity. Therefore, one part of the equation is complete. In this article, we have curated a list of 5 essentials for setting up a successful online store.

“Leverage your offline brand identity to drive your e-commerce business to the top.”

Consider These 5 Factors While Setting Up Your Brandstore

1. Choose a platform according to your business model

platform

The most important step while transitioning from offline to an online store is setting up a website. In the past few years, multiple web hosting and site-building platforms have sprung up. Finding the one that works for you is not easy. It is as important as finding the right location for your next offline store. Therefore, conduct thorough research before making any platform decision. 

One rule holds for both online and offline business: Moving is time-consuming. Transferring all the product details from the physical store to an online storefront can be quite tedious and expensive. Choose a scalable platform by identifying your current needs and forecasting your future requirements. Invest in accurate growth projections before making any decisions to avoid outgrowing the platform.  

Quick Tip: If you want a customizable and integration-ready platform that can be scaled easily, then Kartify is your best bet. Request your free DEMO now!

2. Select integrations based on your brandstore requirements

After finding a platform to suit your business model, it’s time to explore integrations for payment, design, and shipping that are compatible with it.  

Extensions or plugins are software additions designed to fulfill certain tasks that the platform cannot. They are either produced by the parent company or third-party vendors. A few of them are free, others require a one-time payment, and other work on a monthly subscription model. Accurately defining your needs will assist you in cost projection. 

For instance, you can not run a successful online store if the customers can’t pay for the products or services they want. Make sure your store accepts all major methods of payment. 

Quick tip: If you want to add third-party integrations without third-party sandbox apps, you must prefer Kartify. It provides you basic key integrations, making it easier for you to operate. With more than 60 integrations, all the features in Kartify are regularly updated with new versions. Request your free DEMO now!

3. Choose the right products

While it can be quite tempting to hit the ground right out the gate, we advise you to start slow and test the waters when moving to an online store. Instead of adding all the products to the site, start by offering only your best-sellers. It will facilitate gauging the popularity of the store and determining the best course of action. 

4. Consider changes in product prices 

product prices

Multiple factors determine the pricing for online products. While moving from brick-and-mortar to e-commerce, the product prices will not stay the same. The two main components are – 

  • Determine the sales tax ahead of time. In the beginning, figure out sales tax in your own country, as you start shipping worldwide, research the tax structure of other countries. 
  • The next online-specific pricing factor is the shipping cost. Figure out whether or not the product price should increase to offer a flat rate or free shipping option to shoppers. A common practice for new click and mortars that operate on a small budget is to offer free shipping over a certain amount. 

5. Choose your shipping partner wisely

One of the biggest challenges of the click-and-mortar model is shipping goods to customers. The shipping fee may be detrimental to your business and can put an end to your digital venture before it even starts. While selecting a dedicated shipping service, consider these three things:

  • Cost 

Will the shoppers pay the cost of shipping or is it too expensive? If you decide on free shipping, can you handle the overhead without making the customers pay for it?

  • Speed

How long does it take for the shipping service to deliver the products? Does it offer express delivery? Is it safe?

  • Inventory

After adding e-commerce to your services, you need to maintain a large inventory to keep up with the increased demand. Do you have the extra space necessary to store your goods? If the answer is no, search for shipping companies that offer inventory space for a fee.

 Want to know the complete process of order fulfillment? Read on!

Quick Tip: To make sure you focus time and resources on product development, ANS Commerce India’s #1 full-stack e-commerce service provider manages warehouses and supply chains across channels, including multi-category storage support and return management with JIT flexibility. Request your free DEMO now!

Now that you have launched your brandstore, it’s time to promote it. Below, we have mentioned 4 ways to get the word out about your digital venture. 

4 Proven Ways To Promote Your Online Store For Boosting Website Traffic

1. Share on social media

media

Social media is an excellent way to keep your existing and potential customers up to date on business operations, product and service offerings, sales, and more. Stories on Facebook or Instagram offer an off-the-cuff opportunity to connect with followers. Leverage it to provide regular offerings, behind-the-scenes, or create a unique experience for your audience. 

2. Spread the word with email marketing

An email marketing campaign represents an important touchpoint with existing and potential customers. These are the people who have shown an active interest in your business offerings. It means they are just a few steps away from becoming your paying customers. Now, it is your turn to convert them by offering value in one of two forms: either promotional value or engaging and useful content. 

For instance, if you sell international cosmetic and skincare products, offering makeup hygiene tips or Black Friday discount coupons is a great way to serve your customers and subtly encourage them to make a purchase.

 How to escalate your business with Email Marketing? Read on!

Quick Tip: As a physical store owner, you already have a strong customer base. Collect their email addresses to grow your biggest digital marketing asset. 

3. Curate valuable content

Content marketing is relatively new to the digital marketing domain. It has gained popularity due to the increased competition in the online marketplace. To deal with the influx of new businesses, Google has made it a priority to show the most relevant result for every search query. 

Suppose you manage a fashion and clothing brandstore. The competition in this niche is fierce. To appear in that desired featured snippet, you need to stand out; the content should be more relevant and valuable than your competitor’s. To accomplish that, you need to have a strategic long-term content plan.  

To implement content marketing successfully, identify and curate the type of content your target audience will prefer. 

Want to improve your content marketing strategy? Explore our complete guide to persona-driven content marketing for your e-commerce brandstore!

Quick tip: We advise creating a content marketing calendar and following it religiously. It makes sure that you’re regularly posting new content that is valuable and relevant to your audience. 

“Creating compelling content requires periodic analysis of user behavior and content performance.”

4. Boost website traffic with pay per click (PPC) marketing 

In layman’s terms, PPC marketing involves designing ads via an ad platform such as Google Adwords. Once created, you then bid on the amount you’re willing to pay to get it displayed when searchers use relevant keywords. 

PPC offers certain direct and indirect benefits. When a user clicks on your ad it leads to an increase in website traffic. Now, you have the opportunity to make a sale, gain a new subscriber, or provide valuable information to the visitor. 

Even if a user doesn’t click on the Google ad, he/she now knows your name. It’s called an ad impression. It could lead to a later visit or sale. 

How Can ANS Commerce Assist You? 

If you are worried about your transition from brick and mortar store to e-commerce, we are here to assist. We provide full-stack e-commerce solutions for businesses to scale brandstore and leverage marketplaces. Our in-house tech, Kartify, delivers an exceptional e-commerce experience and is fully customizable. Request your free DEMO now!

What can you expect from ANS Commerce? 

  1. Account Hygiene: We regularly check the brand logo and guidelines for creatives. Our dedicated team creates and presents periodic account progress reports 
  2. Tech & Product: We conduct website load time optimization to reduce site abandonment and provide one-page checkout to facilitate faster transactions
  3. Operational Execution: We assist in onboarding, listing products, price management, inventory, and promotions to drive topline and bottom-line

Success in the e-commerce domain is not instant, but it’s still quite formulaic. Leverage your brick and mortar assets wisely, pay attention to detail, understand your target audience, plan diligently, and execute timely. Most importantly, remember that long-term success requires a consistent investment of time and resources. 

Binge – Read 5 Ultimate E-Commerce Books To Unleash The Entrepreneur In You!

With a surge in the e-commerce industry, a lot of new players have come up in the market to gain momentum. While some of them fail to achieve new horizons, many have been doing quite well in their own niche. And we on the other side, having read tons of success stories, often get inspired and motivated to earn the same level of fame and triumph. 

Reading a few blogs, and case studies, or watching a few documentaries is a great way to gain motivation. But dedication and sincerity come along with a good book that offers in-depth knowledge of trade and business you’re passionate about.

From learning the ‘technicalities’ of e-commerce to knowing about ‘how to develop strategies to boost online sales’, a good business guide book will enhance your overall knowledge in the world of online entrepreneurship and e-commerce. Here we are presenting you with a list of 5 epic books to help you kick-start your career in the landscape of e-commerce!

Snag these 5 best books to get the knack of e-commerce

1. Boost E-Commerce Sales and Make More Money by Alex Harris

Whether you are a budding entrepreneur or have an established enterprise, this book delivers everything from e-commerce sales to online marketing. With a specific focus on lead generation and conversion, you will be astounded to learn 300 actionable tips that the book offers you. Starts off with website marketing advice, you will explore some out of the box methods that can help you drive sales and scale your business.

“Give away something for free. People want to say yes to people that have done something for them. So giving away something for free will help influence people to purchase from you later down the road.”

― Alex Harris

Buy now

Quick tip: If you’re just starting with e-commerce and don’t know what you should consider before starting an e-commerce business then you must check out some essential considerations to keep in mind while choosing an e-commerce platform.

2. The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone

Not everyone has plenty of money to start a business. With the inception of e-commerce, the myth of having a huge amount of capital is blown away. As the name suggests, the book put a specific emphasis on the journey of Jeff Bezos and how he created Amazon from a bookstore to an everything store. This book unravels the path to success with a detailed biography of him, including some hacks to start your e-commerce business from scratch. 

“Most companies are not those things. They are focused on the competitor, rather than the customer.”

― Brad Stone

Buy now

3. The Complete E-Commerce Book by Janice Reynolds

Giving the headstart from beginners’ level to advanced level, this book gives you in-depth insights about how to design, develop, run, and manage your own e-commerce business. The book opens the gateway to starting an e-commerce business with just an internet connection and very little capital. Along with that, you will also explore many hidden rules and principles in the world of online business through this book.

Buy now

Quick tip: Check here to get the 12 incredible tips to reduce the phenomenon of cart abandonment and learn strategies to re-target your customers.

4. Convert by Ben Hunt

As the name suggests, this book is organized around the elements of how to convert your prospects into actual customers. Obtained from Ben Hunt’s personal experience, you will understand the aspects of website designing along with learning the basics of UI/UX and navigation shortcuts. The book explores the detailed principles of classic optimization strategies, appropriate analysis, including product page copies, and marketing content.

“So web design does not start with graphics. It starts with understanding the challenge. Who am I communicating with? What do they want? How can I attract them? And how can I get them to do what the site needs them to do?”

― Ben Hunt

Buy now

5.  Get Rich Click by Marc Ostrofsky

Having featured a detailed guide to earning money via the internet, the book delivers all the important how-to-dos in the world of online marketing. From letting you discover the path of a social media platform to learning the tips to earn money via it, the book has it all when it comes to boosting your online sales.

“If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten!”

― Marc Ostrofsky

Buy now

If you’re still confused and want e-commerce advice for your brandstore then you can approach ANS Commerce, India’s #1 full-stack e-commerce enabler. We help our partner brands from giving warehousing and fulfillment services to sales-centric performance marketing to brandstore designing to marketplace management. If you want to know more, request a free demo NOW!

An e-commerce read can help you get the hang of the fast-paced industry by giving in-depth knowledge of website traffic conversion, and lead generation. If you’re not new in the industry and have earned quite well then also the above-mentioned books are going to help you by giving you a shot to achieve new boundaries. Also, we might have missed some of your best-book recommendations, but all the books on the list are carefully chosen and thoughtfully organized.

This Diwali, Be The Light For Small And Local Businesses! Here’s How And Why

Diwali isn’t a festival of a day or two ─ it’s the celebration of one whole week. The festival of lights begins with loads of shopping for both family and friends, leaving us to the dilemma about ‘what to purchase’ ─ most importantly ─ ‘where to purchase from?’

Whether you purchase from a swanky foreign brand or a local store, it doesn’t matter as long as you get the best quality with a top-notch finish. But it matters to the community and nation’s economy, foremostly, to our small and marginal workers. Small businesses always strive to showcase their brand’s individuality in their offerings by amalgamating flavors of our rich heritage.

“Small businesses strive to give their customers optimum quality with top-notch services because each customer is important to them.”

Local businesses, on one hand, are the backbone of our nation’s economy, while on the other hand, they serve with a plethora of inexpensive options, not to mention the fact that they keep us close to our culture.

With a surge in e-commerce, many of the local businesses are coming out of their comfort zone ─ brick and mortar stores ­ ─ to offer us their services and products. Thus, it’s our responsibility to give them a hand to withstand complex market competition.

Why should you support small businesses?

There are not just one or two reasons to support a small business, but a long bunch of aspects! Let’s delve deeper and learn about ‘why is it important to support these local and small businesses’.

1. You can help generating significant employment

A business when operated gives a number of people a reason to earn a basic livelihood for better survival and existence. It’s not uncommon that these days finding a job has become strenuous. And with the tight structure in the economy, it’s quite difficult for businesses to pay their employee’s salaries and wages. By supporting a local business, you’re not just lighting up their homes with happiness but bestowing a smile to hundreds of workers who are tied up with them.

2. They bring out individuality and persona to the world of transactions

In the world of numbers, where everybody is running after success, there are some businesses that are striving to bring out the persona and individuality through their production. With traditional methods of production, small businesses don’t just focus on numbers. Their production reflects a sense of originality and character as they produce well with a unique thought in mind.

“Local businesses do what fascinate their unique mind, which is why their products are a reflection of their honesty.”

3. They offer you a unique range of products

Have you ever been in love with hand felted and embroidered carpet? Does it make you feel connected with your roots? Well, fusing traditional ideas with contemporary fashion is what you will always find in the collection of small businesses. So what could be a better occasion than this Diwali when you can get your hands on the original elegance and give a smile to both these businesses and your loved ones?

4. They produce goods without causing any harm to the community

Indulged in sustainable ways, not only do these small businesses provide employment but their methods are also safe and cruelty-free. They create methods with consideration to save both humankind and the ecosystem without leaving a dirty footprint. The unconventional practices include; careful usage of natural resources, increasing the recycling of products, and choosing renewable sources of energy.

“Supporting small businesses means saluting business owners for the continuous effort they have been putting in to bring out our hidden traditions.”

5. You can support a local cause

Beyond offering unique products, small businesses often contribute to a local cause in the shape of charity, donations, cause events, etc.  They are majorly associated with some or other communal event that benefits the local people of that area. Thus, supporting a local business means you are supporting and contributing to a local cause.

6. They give you personalized service with an incredible experience

From elegant packaging to amiable home delivery services, everything makes these local businesses stand out when compared with a large and established brand. They don’t sell just to earn money but to create happiness, which you can sense from their thoughtful gift packages. That’s not the end yet. They make a point to develop long-term relationships with their customers for brand loyalty. So, their customer support services don’t end with the purchase but go beyond them as they are always present to answer your queries.

“Small and local businesses might not be able to fill your wardrobe with branded and swanky collections, but their unique design and long-established functioning can be a real reason for you to choose them.“

5 Ways to support small e-commerce businesses

Before you snag something to give to your family and friends, take a halt and consider buying something that lights up somebody’s home! Now that we’ve discovered the benefits society and community has with local businesses. Let’s explore how actually you can support them.

1. Show your support by buying gift cards from local online stores for loved ones

Buy a gift card from a local brandstore and give it to your loved ones. Be it a gift card for a clothing store, or an online ticket for a nearby salon or dance studio, you can choose any of the options. This way you can show your patronage to these local brands even if you don’t want to buy something immediately. This thoughtful idea of yours will benefit the local businesses and motivate the receiver to purchase from that brandstore boosting their sales. 

2.  Mention your brand experience on social media while saving them marketing cost

Boost small businesses by tagging them on social media channels with your shopping experience. This way your connections can get a virtual experience and will become their potential customers. Additionally, you can refer them to your friends and family via word of mouth. It will save them a huge marketing dollar, helping them to withstand the complex competition. 

“Happy customers can become real brand advocates of these local and small businesses by raving about their shopping experience to others.”

3. Don’t compromise your safety and shop groceries online from local businesses 

In the digital age of e-commerce, there are a whole bunch of sellers online to offer you organic vegetables and other food items. From vegan ice creams, to farm fresh veggies, you get a plethora of healthy options when you purchase online from small and local vendors. Not only do they provide you with local and seasonal produce, but also help in boosting your immunity. So why compromise your safety and comfort if your local groceries can be delivered right at your doorstep?

4. Assist small e-commerce brandstores with your professional knack

Entrepreneurs always look for legal and financial advisors who can advise them on various matters. If you’re passionate to help these local businesses and have expertise in a law or finance firm, then you can contribute your services for a larger cause.

5. Leave a positive review on their product pages

Product reviews and ratings can be a great way to help small businesses combat competition. If you love their services, show some love by leaving your brand experience on their websites and product pages with positive comments so that others can buy from them.

How To Do It (Tips for retailers and entrepreneurs)

If you want to boost your sales this season but you are rather stuck and couldn’t get fresh leads then here’s the right place for you. We are India’s #1 full-stack e-commerce enabler aiming to help small and local producers. Through our omnichannel approach, we ensure that your brand visibility boosts your online sales. Request a free demo now!

What can you expect from us?

  • Scale and knowledge: Our extensive TPL network and marketplace partnership enable you to scale your business with optimized cost
  • Flexibility: Our tailor-made solutions are made for optimized storage and seamless integration
  • End-to-end support: We manage all your logistics by tapping order journey checkpoints
  • Crisis management: We have developed an ability to quickly resolve any expected or unexpected issue

Local businesses are the soul of our belongingness. It’s nearly impossible to imagine life without them. So, gear up and become a light for small businesses by contributing your share of respect to their effort.

What should you consider while choosing an e-commerce platform?

Nearly 72% of India’s urban internet users and 57% of rural users access the internet daily. With this huge rise in internet penetration, brands are constantly looking for ways to expand their customer base. The explosion of online shopping in the Indian market has given retailers a new outlook towards building their own e-commerce websites. 

Building your own e-commerce website can be a long and intimidating process if you don’t have the right resources. Not only do you need backend support but also a team of dedicated individuals who know your needs and can provide you with solutions that tick all your boxes. The easiest way to set up an e-commerce website is to develop it on an e-commerce platform – where you get technical support readily available and do not have to deal with the hassles of finding modules or extensions repeatedly.

With the staggering growth in the number of options available, there are a multitude of e-commerce platforms available to select from. And if not done correctly, it can be an extremely expensive affair. It is quite easy to get lost with this so we have curated a list of things to consider when selecting your e-commerce platform. These pointers will help you prioritize your business needs and filter out platforms accordingly.

Considerations to keep in mind while choosing an e-commerce platform

  • Technology:
    Being the nucleus of your e-commerce website, it is important that you put emphasis on the technological aspects of the e-commerce platform you are selecting. It is quite possible to get turned around in technical jargon if you are new to this. For this purpose, you need a hands-on team that offers you technical assistance.

Kartify, a brandstore solution by ANS Commerce, offers you comprehensive tech options for your platform with a “no-code” usage for configuration. With no add-ons needed, you can start a fully functional store out-of-the-box. With more than 50 third-party integrations, Kartify strives to make your experience only better along with continuous bug-fixes and feature development.

  • Secure:
    It is no news that consumers value their data and their privacy the most during online shopping. Hence it is imperative that your e-commerce platform is secure and provides customers reassurance regarding their data, especially during transactions.

With regular security audits, Kartify ensures a smooth running website for your brand. It also comes equipped with Cloud armor, regular backup and version control as well as data encryption. It also enables brands to set up payment gateway and payment methods as per their needs, including payment with coupons, COD as well as wallets, and UPI.

  • Scalable:
    While all brands aspire to expand, it is quite possible that the platform may not be able to cater to the size of the expansion. Therefore, it becomes important to choose such an e-commerce platform, which does not put a limitation on the number of products and traffic that your site can have.

Kartify provides you with a scalable platform for your e-commerce needs with automatic deployment and scaling (Google Cloud + Kubernetes), real-time image optimization with cache and DB replication. Not only that, but the platform is also load-tested for more than 1 million concurrent users, making sure that traffic does not hinder the smooth running of the website.

  • Customizable:
    Setting up an online store should not feel like rocket science. You want the ability to fully capture the feel of your unique brand. One solution for this are website templates because they don’t require you to hire outside help or to be a design whiz to create a professional look and make a bold statement.

Kartify offers you a fully customizable UI/UX including user flows, menu, layout, filter, etc. It not only provides a feature of editable CSS/HTML for front-end but also checkout view customization packed with features such as guest mode/login, shipping/handling fee, cashback, COD fee, sales promotion, and many more. 

  • Integrations:
    Another factor you should take into consideration is integrations and plugins. Look for a platform that integrates with your other existing systems and marketing channels.

Kartify is an omni-friendly platform that already has more than 50 third-party services integrated including logistics, payments, loyalty, and engagement partners. It is also integrated with four leading omni-channel partners which enables fulfillment from offline shops for online orders.

  • Analytics:
    While every brand wants to put in efforts for their growth, it is also imperative that you monitor that growth and then make data-driven decisions. The business will soon rake-in money so it is important to monitor the store’s performance. You don’t want to play the numbers guessing game hence you should look for an e-commerce platform that helps you keep tabs on all of the important things – number of sales, payment methods, order amounts, and more—and displays stats in an easy-to-understand format.

Kartify enables you to get reports straight to your inbox or phone with dashboards that are standard and also customizable. Kartify gives you the option of viewing and analyzing data for sales and orders, returns, products, customers, promotions, marketing funnels, and trends. And a cherry on top is that the platform can be integrated with any business intelligence tool.

With the ‘new normal’ slowly making its way into our routines, consumers are looking for ways to buy products without having to put themselves at risk. This is where e-commerce platforms come in, making shopping easier with the consumers’ convenience at its core. Hence, there couldn’t be a better time than now for brands to invest in an e-commerce platform and establish an online presence.

For a demo for e-commerce solution, drop your query at que@anscommerce.com

How COVID-19 Pandemic Impacted Marketing Efforts

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought us face-to-face with unprecedented times, where businesses struggle to keep the damage to the minimum. Since most countries have been under lockdown for the last few months, the impact of the restrictions on daily activities can be seen on almost all businesses and markets.

While the crisis has changed the business landscape, all is not lost. With these disruptions come opportunities for growth and overcoming challenges. With the right mindset and resources, you can navigate your way through these times in order to identify your customers’ needs, wants and expectations.

marketing

Should I continue my marketing efforts?

In times like these, the most impacted business is that of non essentials such as apparels, tech, beauty, etc. The greatest challenge is foreseeing how customer wants, needs, expectations and purchasing decisions will evolve. 

Keeping this in mind, businesses often have the question whether or not they should continue with their marketing methods at all. This question is only obvious since they want to optimize their costs of running the business to sustain during this period. And while making the cuts in the costs, the first thing to be sacrificed is more often than not, the marketing efforts. The thought process behind this is simple – If the buying capacity of the consumer has decreased then why burn money on advertising the goods?

Well, that approach here isn’t right. 

Abruptly stopping all your marketing efforts will cut off your relations and conversations with your customers. The longer the pandemic goes on, the more out of touch you will be with your brand followers. This will lead them to forget about your brand amidst all the engaging content provided by other brands. 

When things finally do get back on track, you will have to start from scratch.

marketing

So How Did The Pandemic Affect Brands?

As soon as the lockdown came into effect, offline stores were shut and deliveries from online stores had also come to a halt. This ultimately led to brands stopping most, if not all, of their marketing efforts since they could not deliver the products. Although this did affect sales, this also meant that the competition had lowered. Certain brands saw this as an opportunity and decided to run some of their marketing messages, just to ensure that they did not lose touch with their customers.

One more key takeaway from this sudden shift was that traffic clicks were cheaper since there wasn’t much competition in the market. Hence, for those who were continuing their advertising campaigns, this time couldn’t have been more fruitful.

Who Was At Advantage?

The lockdown had a huge impact on all traditional methods of sales and marketing but there were also certain businesses that benefited from it.

  • Brands that were delivering even during the lockdown period had an advantage by default since people had the ideology that it’s better to have products of any brand rather than not have any products at all.
  • Due to the social distancing mandate, people preferred buying online rather than going to offline stores, even if they were open for business. Thus the offline rush had found its way online. This played to the advantage of those who had established an online presence.
  • Another observation was that brands which had a prominent offline presence ultimately also had a prominent advantage online. This is due to the fact that customers trust a brand that they had been using, so that even while buying online, they do not have to worry about the product quality.
  • Brands which continued their marketing could leverage the customers of their competitors who weren’t aggressively marketing and promoting their products.

What were the downsides?

Although there were certain advantages, there were also some downsides that were seen by businesses and brands. One of the biggest adverse effects was seen in servicing after purchase since personnel movement was restricted. Not only that but deliveries also took a hit due to the limited movement of vehicles throughout the country which resulted in products being delivered within 2 weeks’ period or so instead of the previous 3-4 days period.

How do I sustain my brand in these times?

An article covered by The Economic Times outlines the concept of revenge shopping, taking the example of a luxury brand and how it recorded the biggest single-day shopping in China. Revenge shopping is the overindulgence in retail therapy by people who missed shopping during the lockdown period.

In India this trend might be witnessed in the upper middle class who have sustained their incomes and standard of living during the lockdown. Another way to recover the lost sales during the lockdown is carrying out promotional activities and sales or discount offers, which will attract customers loyal to your brand and also potential customers since everyone is looking for economical goods these days.

To summarize, the pandemic isn’t over yet. There might be a few more blind turns ahead but brands have already started planning for contingencies. Although this new economic climate has added challenges for brands, it has also opened up new avenues for growth.

If you are looking for performance marketing partner to grow your business in these uncertain times, please drop your query at que@anscommerce.com 

The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 comes into force – Know how it will impact E-commerce platforms

Receiving the assent of the President of India, The Consumer Protection Act (2019) was published in the official gazette on August 9, 2019. This Act seeked to replace the more than three decades old Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution said this new Act will empower consumers and help them protect their rights. As this new Act came into effect on July 20, 2020, here are the key highlights that you need to know.

protection

The Act covers e-commerce platforms
Widening the definition of ‘consumer’, the definition now includes any person who buys any goods, whether through offline or online transactions, electronic means, teleshopping, direct selling or multi-level marketing. It also includes all models of e-commerce, including marketplace and inventory models of e-commerce. The earlier Act did not specifically include e-commerce transactions, and this gap has been addressed by the New Act.

E-filing of complaints
Unlike the current practice of filing complaints at the place of purchase or where the seller has registered the office address, the New Act provides flexibility to the consumers wherein they can file complaints electronically and for hearing and/or examining parties through video-conferencing.

Product Liability & Penal Consequences –
The New Act has introduced the concept of product liability and brings within its scope, the product manufacturer, product service provider and product seller, for any claim for compensation. The term ‘product seller’ would include e-commerce platforms as well. The defense that e-commerce platforms merely act as ‘platforms’ or ‘aggregators’ will not be accepted.

  • Penalties for misleading advertisements:
    In case of a false or misleading advertisement, the CCPA may impose a penalty of up to INR 1,000,000 (Indian Rupees One Million) on a manufacturer or an endorser and may also sentence them to imprisonment for up to 2 years. The liability of the false claims of an advertisement has also been extended to the endorser, since there have been cases where consumers fell prey to false advertising under the influence of celebrities acting as brand ambassadors.
  • E-commerce Rules:
    According to the New Act, e-commerce platforms are required to provide information relating to return, refund, exchange, warranty and guarantee, delivery and shipment, modes of payment, grievance redressal mechanism, payment methods, security of payment methods, charge-back options, etc. including country of origin which are necessary for enabling the consumer to make an informed decision at the pre-purchase stage on its platform.
    Kartify, powered by ANS Commerce, includes these functionalities, making the platform secure and trustworthy for the consumer to use.
  • Consumer complaints on e-commerce platforms:
    E-commerce platforms are now required to acknowledge the receipt of any consumer complaint within 48 hours and redress the complaint within 1 month from the date of receipt.

platform

According to Ram Vilas Paswan, the Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, the earlier Consumer Protection Act, 1986a provided a single point access to justice, which was also time consuming.

The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 includes provisions that suit the current trend of the digital landscape, making sure the customer’s hassles are substantially reduced. The Act provides consumers with protection not only from traditional retailers but also e-commerce platforms where most brands have grown to start selling their products and services. In order to do so, this act imposes more accountability from e-commerce platforms, manufacturers, retailers and endorsers and can impose penalties on any of these parties. Moreover, there have also been new provisions added which aim to speed the process of clearing any grievances of the consumer by introducing online methods of filing complaints while also mandating that e-commerce websites address these complaints within a 48-hour window and resolve matters within 30 days of the complaint being registered.

While it would take time to adjust to the new provisions made by this Act, it will certainly result in consumer rights being more protected and a speedier method of resolving consumer disputes in the country.

5 Reasons Why You Must Have an Online Brand Store

In a digitally driven world, businesses are constantly looking for ways to make their online presence more prominent. Since there have been many options for e-commerce platforms in recent years, the most common question a brand has is whether to set up their own online brand store or sell on marketplaces. While marketplaces such as Amazon, Myntra and Flipkart are popular these days, the possibility of your product being lost in the several hundred similar options is too high. Hence, in order to make sure that the customer recognizes your brand identity and its quality products, it is imperative that you must build your own brand ecommerce website.

It is estimated that brandstore can contribute to ~25-30% of overall retail e-commerce in India by 2026. Rise of DTCs and focus from established brands is a testament to online brandstore becoming core to retail strategy.

online brand store

What are the advantages of building a brand store?

First and foremost, when you sell on a marketplace, the sole competition you have with other brands is on the basis of price. Marketplaces do not give many options for brands to show value against the 100 other brands offering a similar product.

Here are some key advantages of having your own ecommerce website:

Control brand experience:
You’re able to control everything on the site; from positioning to merchandising. You have a number of pre-built templates to choose from, complete flexibility over design, mobile-optimized interface, and a much more personal connection with your customers. Also, you get to control the pricing and authenticity of your products. This builds trust in buyers and familiarizes them with your brand and your ecosystem. Not only this, it establishes uniformity and a seamless transfer between your offline and online store.

Serve your customers directly:
Having your own website provides a personalized shopping experience to your customers, which ultimately reinforces your brand image. This allows you to have exclusive catalogs, discounts and content along with niche products according to their preferences. A personalized experience curated by the brand will reassure the customer about the authenticity and quality of the products and also make them trust the safety of the website.

Cross-sell and upsell your products:
You can boost your sales by adding a cross-sell option for customers, often seen as ‘similar products’ or ‘customers also bought’ options during the process of purchasing products. While in upselling, it is recommended that the customer buys a better, and hence more expensive, product. This is enabled when you know your customers’ purchasing preferences and have their data in order to tailor the suggestions as per their wants and needs.

Increased profit margins:
Your own brand’s e-commerce website will allow you to have more control over your online revenue. And since the sales will be on your own website, you will not have to share your profits with anyone except for ~2% gateway payment cut. Apart from that, unlike online marketplaces, you don’t need to pay any transaction or listing fees when you are using your own website. Additionally, you can run offers and deals as per your will and you won’t be penalized for a delay in delivery for some unforeseen circumstances.

Leverage customer data:
Since you will build your own customer database, their purchase patterns and key demographic information will help you improve targeting and personalization, along with aiding in product development and improving user flow. Adding to that, a leading fashion marketplace has its private labels which account for more than 25% of its business. Most of the time, marketplaces use the consumer data of other brands to improve their own private labels. Moreover, it is very difficult to formulate marketing actions such as sales promotion, discounts, abandoned shopping cart recovery, etc. for your own brand without customer insights.

online brand store

While marketplaces do provide the consumers with ease of shopping, if you are looking to position your brand and build a loyal customer base, having your own e-commerce website is more reliable. With the correct support team and resources, it can definitely go a long way in generating sales and ample revenue over time.

If you are looking for an expert e-commerce team to listen to your business needs and build a personalized website that reflects your brand identity, then get in touch with us at que@anscommerce.com