The New Magento 2.4.4 Is Coming – What Will It Bring?

Adobe is nearing the end of beta-testing Magento 2.4.4 and will release it publicly on March 8. It is a minor update to Magento 2.4.3 but it can still be considered a major update.

The new Magento includes backward-incompatible changes and brings a lot of significant changes and additions. Support for PHP 8.1, the latest versions of ElasticSearch and jQuery, as well as MySQL, are just a few of the many features.

Adobe Commerce stores can now test the Magento 2.4.4 beta version by joining the Adobe Commerce Beta Program. Since the beta versions of the new Magento versions will not be available for stores using Magento Open Source edition, they will need to wait until the general release.

So that you are able to see what Magento 2.4.4 is all about, we have created a summary.

 

Support for PHP 8.1

Adobe has updated the Magento release cycle to match the PHP version end of life, as this component is critical for the e-commerce platform.

Magento 2.4.4 will be released in March. This marks the end of PHP 7.4 and the beginning of PHP 8. While Adobe is currently testing Magento 2.4.4 beta against PHP 8.0 PHP 8.0, the new Magento e-commerce platform supports PHP 8.1.

Magento 2.4.4 will no longer support PHP 7.3.

Despite the fact that Magento 2.4.4 can be upgraded to using PHP 7.4, Adobe claims only full functional support for PHP 8.1.

PHP 8.1 is a major update to this language and brings many new features. These include enums and readonly properties, explicit Octal Nural Notation, first-class syntax, fibers, pure intersect types, never return types, and final class constants.

This is not to mention the performance gains. Symfony Demo now has PHP 8.1 at 23.0% faster speed. You can read more at the official PHP8.1 release page.

Preliminary performance tests on Magento 7.4 and 8.1 have shown that the latter speeds up the store’s operation. Performance figures for a Magento setup will vary due to multiple factors such as server CPU, architecture (x86/ARM), host environment, installed extensions and Cron jobs.

OpenSearch support now available

Adobe now supports an additional in-store search engine Stores can also use OpenSearch in addition to Elasticsearch.

To mitigate the Log4j vulnerability , it is recommended that a store continue to use Elasticsearch 7.16.x

Note: Adobe Commerce 2.4.4 Cloud users will need to switch from Elasticsearch into OpenSearch

Vendor Bundled Extensions decoupled

Previous versions of Magento came with a list 3rd party extensions and third-party modules.

Adobe has removed almost all third-party extensions from its Magento core set with the new version of its online store platform. Adobe Commerce 2.4.4 has only left the Braintree extension out of the list.

Extensions that are removed from the Vendor Bundled Extension List will be available for optional downloading from a Magento Marketplace.

Software components updated

Adobe Commerce 2.4.4 beta4 contains the following software updates.

  • All dependencies and project libraries are compatible with PHP 8.
  • Support for ElasticSearch 7.16.1 & OpenSearch 1.1 has been added.
  • Version 1.13.0 of jquery-ui was released.
  • Deprecated in the jQuery 3.6.x methodologies have been removed.
  • jquery.tabs has been updated to the most recent version.

Incompatibility

Third-party modules may be affected by backward incompatible Magento changes. They should function in a different way. If these extensions are required, check your installed extensions.

The following changes are backward-incompatible in Magento 2.4.4:

Check cart load

The Stock Options section of Magento 2.4.4. now offers an Enable Inventory Check On Load option. It is enabled by default and controls inventory checks when products are loaded into shopping carts.

If the cart contains multiple products, disabling the inventory check can speed up checkout. Disabling this option can lead to errors. A customer might receive the message “Unable to place an Order: There are no Source Items with the In Stock Status.”

TinyMCE

Three major changes have been made to the Tiny MCE Magento embedded content editor.

  • Name changed to tinymce4. The editor may become unavailable from the admin panel, which can cause the Magento Page Builder extension to be broken. This can happen if the store uses TinyMCE with tinymce4 as an alias in requirejs, or if the Page Builder JavaScript File was renamed elsewhere than PageBuilder’s di.xml.
  • TinyMCE MFTF test have been refactored. If the store uses elements (selectors), from duplicated sections, it is affected. TinyMCE core tests have been extended to address this issue.
  • Refactored TinyMCE4 MTFTF tests. If the store uses or extends TinyMCE4’s MFTF test, it can be affected.

Libraries updated and removed

Magento 2.4.4 offers many other enhancements, in addition to the upgrade to PHP 8.1. These are other important updates:

  • Updated RequireJS to Version 2.3.6
  • Endroid/qr code updated to the most recent version
  • PHP Unit 9.5
  • TinyMCE 5
  • JavaScript libraries updated:
    • script.aculo.us
    • Chart.js
    • moment.js
    • moment-timezone-with-data.js
    • matchMedia.js
    • underscore.js
    • PrototypeJS
  • JavaScript libraries removed
    • es6-collections.js
    • MutationObserver.js
    • Modernizr
    • FormData.js

GraphQL errors fixed

Adobe promises to fix GraphQL problems in Magento 2.4.4. These are the most important bugs that will be fixed in this version.

  • GraphQL returns configurable child products even though they are disabled at the site level. The MDVA-39935 patch is compatible with Magento 2.4.1-2.4.3.
  • GraphQL sorting using DESC/ASC might not work for products of equal price or relevance. The MDVA-40120 patch is also available for Magento 2.4.1-p1.
  • Hidden categories using a GraphQL queries for a B2B share catalog feature is not possible. All stores using Adobe before Magento 2.4.4 will need to request a patch separately.
  • GraphQL cannot add a configurable product into the cart if the store ID is different from the website ID. Patch MDVA-37779 works with 2.4.2-p1.
  • GraphQL error in setting shipping address for carts that have an empty phone number. The MDVA-39521 patch for Magento 2.4.0-2.4.3 is now available.
  • GraphQL queries return products that are not part of a shared catalogue. The patch MDVA-37748 can be downloaded for 2.4.2 – 2.4.2-p2.

Summary

Magento 2.4.4 will bring many improvements to security and performance for online shops. This platform will be available for public download on March 8, 2022. Now is the time to prepare your online store for its transition.

Protect your Magento-based business while ensuring that customers have a seamless shopping experience.

source https://mirasvit.com/blog/magento-2-4-4.html

What Instagram’s new Product Tag Feature Means For Your Brand

You’re probably an Instagram brand and you are familiar with the thrill of being tagged in a photo. The @ symbol, whether it’s a long-standing partner in influencer marketing or a new fan of your brand, represents your social Media Marketing Strategy taking shape and new eyes engaging with your work.

This simple tag will soon get an upgrade. Tags can link directly to product pages embedded into the shopping tab. This feature was only available to Creator and Business accounts, but it will soon be available to all US customers.

This change will allow more fans to express their love for certain products and drive sales. This is a huge deal for brands who want to promote their products. It also allows fans to connect with the most beloved items.

It was no surprise that Instagram selected Kulfi beauty to be the focus of the announcement. This is because beauty brands depend on Instagram to showcase everything, from packaging to swatches to full-face looks to packaging. Ask Leslie Valdivia co-founder of Vive Cosmetics.

She says, “Our community reviews and feedback are what really drives sales. So their posts and recommendations can go a long ways.” “It will be easier for other people to find the products that their family and friends recommend online by being able to tag products.

Everyone is now an influencer

Instagram could not say when this feature would be available in other markets. But, having US users be able to link products to Instagram could still have an impact on brands, particularly in the way they interact with influencers.

“From an influencer standpoint, working directly with brands, it’s really exciting being able to link directly to a product within the app–it means that the call to action will be that much clearer,” Ashley Buchanan (Senior Director of Product, influencer marketing agency , Obviously).

Vive Cosmetics’ Que Matte Lipstick in Amor Eterno could be posted by a fan or influencer. To purchase the product, anyone who views the post needs to click on the tag.

This post is on InstagramThis post was shared by Vive cosmetics(r), (@vivecosmetics).

Influencers can be a powerful marketing tool as they are able to showcase products in real-world contexts, such as clothing being worn or a beauty product being used. Customers can link directly to the product to find and purchase those products much quicker. Ashley believes it’s a win-win for influencers too because it keeps their fans on the platform and not sending them away to the app to search for the product.

Ashley adds that the move will allow more people to act as micro-influencers or influencers and direct their networks towards products.

These tags allow influencers to be linked to not only the brand but also a product that is relevant to their niche. An influencer might be a rosewater face mist ambassador, rather than being a social media ambassador for an organic skin-care brand.

Ashley states, “Being open to the idea that “everyone can influence” just means endless opportunity.”

A game changer for affiliate marketing

Another exciting possibility is that Instagram is simultaneously testing an affiliate program that uses product linking. Participants could be eligible for a kickback when customers shop using their product tags once this program is more widely available. This is a huge win for affiliate marketing, and an incentive for influencers working with brands.

This feature on Instagram will allow customers to earn rewards for sharing their love of brands and products.

“I believe that’s huge. Ashley says that being able to monetize linking products doesn’t mean you have to be part of any formalized program in order to make money. It also means that influencers are able to recommend products they like and go out of their way finding brands that appeal to them.

Leslie is also interested in affiliate opportunities, since Vive Cosmetics has an affiliate program.

Leslie states that she believes this feature will enable more customers to earn rewards for sharing brands and products they love with Instagram.

Product tagging can be a great tool!

All this is happening at a great moment, considering recent news that regular #hashtags have no impact on reach. Product tagging may have the same impact as hashtags.

Your followers may not be aware of these changes. It’s worth reaching out if you work with influencers who don’t have Creator accounts. If they do not, it might be worth encouraging product tagging or to adjust future contracts accordingly. Make sure you let your followers know that they have an easy way to support the products that they love.

source https://www.shopify.com/blog/instagram-product-tagging

Data is the new gold: How consumer brands in Southeast Asia are winning with insights-driven engagement

Data is the new gold: How consumer brands in Southeast Asia are winning with insights-driven engagement

According to them, a business has only two functions: marketing and innovation. The evolution of the former over the last few years has been a boon to consumers around the globe. The modern customer expects and demands a personalized, enjoyable, and value-oriented experience.

It is the only way to be successful in today’s digital-first world. This has been proven by savvy brands. It begs the question, how can brands achieve such sophistication in their customer engagement practices? insights-led interaction is the answer.

Image source

Insights-led Engagement is a business framework that uses data to guide customer engagement decisions. Analytics to predict and analyze user behavior. Personalizing communication and content based upon these insights. Then, data-driven engagement is orchestrated. Finally, a focus is placed on retaining users via an omnichannel strategy.

These are just a few of the many reasons insights-driven engagement is so important for digital-first brands.

  • This helps you to engage users in a more personal way than the spray-and-pray approach that many brands have used for a while.
  • Customer loyalty can be improved by building relationships with prospects and customers.
  • Your brand will have a personable personality that can relate to and converse with your audience.

This is only the tip of an iceberg. Brands who use insights-led engagement to grow their businesses have experienced 29% more growth than brands that have not yet tried it.

Framework for Insights-led Engagement at a Glance


Image source : MoEngage

MoEngage customers often follow the four steps shown above to engage in insights-led ways. Let’s dive into each step:

To predict the behavior of your customers, analyze your business data

The first step in the insights-led engagement funnel is also the most crucial. Leading consumer brands’ product managers and marketers use powerful analytics to gain a 360-degree view of their customers to better understand them and predict their behavior.

Here’s Rajeshwari Kanesin (Innovation Manager at U Mobile), one of Malaysia’s top Telcos, shares his thoughts on how to analyze data for user insights in a panel discussion with MoEngage

“When we first started, we looked at the RFM model in order to analyze customer behavior. The RFM model was not the best way to contextualize today’s digital experience. We have used the model at all points of the customer’s journey. We have now run hundreds of campaigns using the insights we derived em>

Personalizing the preferences and behavior of users to improve recommendations and offers

Based on the information you have gleaned by analysing customer data, personalize your user’s experience beyond hygiene. Your customers deserve a contextual, relevant, engaging experience. This starts by listening to their needs and making an effort to accommodate them. This is an essential step in your brand’s efforts to establish a reputation as a brand that meets users’ expectations.

After you’ve put in the time and effort to create a solid foundation for personalizing the user experience (building the infrastructure, setting the tools up etc. ), the results will be amazing. You will begin to see the benefits of your investment in customer engagement and a significant increase in ROI.

Engage with customers through multiple touch points

The next step in the framework for insights-led engagement is brand engagement. Brands orchestrate data-driven omnichannel users journeys, increase user reachability across multiple communication channels and optimize the performance of engagement campaigns with technology like machine learning.

Kushal Manupati (Head of Digital at Zilingo), a leading Southeast Asian eCommerce platform, made an interesting observation during the panel discussion.

The user journey is getting more complicated with all the channels available. Users also want to be reached in specific channels, and to have their own affinity for certain channels. To add value to the user we must understand the life stage of the user and the destination you want them to be in. This is the point from which all marketing decisions are made.

This is the best place to begin the crucial third step.

To combat churn, create omnichannel engagement campaigns and win back users

Brands must not only acquire new customers but also keep existing customers loyal and active. They also need to increase their CLV as much as possible to grow at breakneck speeds. This is often impossible to believe.

Marketers need to make sure that they focus on creating multi-channel, personalized campaigns to win back lost users, prevent them from leaving, and so forth. This is the final step of the insights-led engagement flywheel.

How top Asian brands use Insights-led Engagement

MoEngage is used by hundreds of brands in Southeast Asia to enhance their customer engagement strategies. This is how some brands helped to prove the value of this emerging art and science for consumers brands.

1. Mamikos boosts room rental bookings by 20% using MoEngage Analytics

Mamikos is Indonesia’s most trusted and popular room-rental app. It was founded in 2015 to provide easy, reliable, and trustworthy room rental services. Mamikos provides detailed information about Indonesian cities and offers accommodation management services. Over 2 million people have used the brand’s long-stay rental rooms.

Their inability to provide feedback on user behavior via their website and app was a major problem. They were therefore sending out generic information about available properties to their users. They wanted to change to a more personal approach to engaging users.

Mamikos’ team was able to use MoEngage to dig into funnel data to identify two stages of the user journey with huge drop-offs. These were the add to favourite’ stage and the booking’ stage.

Mamikos was able to use this information to modify its generic communication strategy to make it more relevant and personalized. Read more here

2. Blibli increases repeat purchase rates by 43% through the use of customer data

Blibli is an Indonesian e-commerce portal that offers a single-stop shopping experience. More than 20,000 products are available under 16 categories, including groceries and fashion, gadgets and home decor as well as automotive and car products. You can also get travel packages, vouchers and utility bill payments.

Blibli had micro-moments when its users made purchases or added products to their wishlist. The brand’s team could not engage the users with relevant product positioning by using other product categories.

The Blibli team decided that they would analyze active users to run campaigns using the MoEngage platform. They were eventually able to increase repeat purchases by existing users and make new purchases from new customers. Read more here

3. Luxstay Sees a 60% Increase in Engagement Rate by Segmentation and Personalization

Luxstay, an online platform for short-term rentals and a hospitality service, was established in 2016. These service providers are here to help homeowners make independent travel easier and increase their property’s value.

The company’s marketing team had a basic engagement strategy. They were using a marketing automation platform. This platform was not perfect. The brand experienced inconsistent segmentation and siloed channels. There was also no engagement.

To increase user engagement, the team devised strategies to improve behavior understanding and personal communication. Luxstay used the MoEngage platform for custom segmentation and personalized engagement. This resulted in a 5X increase of conversions and a 1.8X rise in MAUs. Read more here

 

4. Kredivo used MoEngage Automated flows to influence conversions by up to 40%

Kredivo allows ecommerce buyers the ability to apply for credit instantly and have it paid back over time. Kredivo merchants can offer Point of Sale financing to all buyers by using a 2-click checkout. Kredivo has grown to be one of the most popular and trusted digital payment channels for ecommerce Indonesia in less than three years.

Today’s online shoppers use at least two devices to make purchases. Kredivo was determined to stay with them every step of their journey.

Kredivo used MoEngage to implement an omnichannel engagement strategy that engaged and converted new users. This resulted in a 20% increase in push notifications’ delivery, and a 64% conversion rate when triggered emails were sent. Read more here

Engage in Insights-Led Ways

Marketers are often asked the question, “Is a new method just a fad?”. Are you merely a bandwagon expert or are there scientific principles behind the new approach?

Insights-led engagement is, fortunately for you, the former. It relies on data to drive business decisions and is therefore based on quantitative proof rather than intuition or hunch. You can learn this art as a marketer, or brand, while it is still in its infancy, and gain an advantage over your peers and competition.

 

Magento Community Diverse Speaker Training: What’s Coming Up in The New Year

Magento Community Diverse Speaker Training: What’s Coming Up in The New Year

Let’s start the new year filled with optimism and energy. While it was full of challenges, there were also many highlights. One of the most important is Magento’s ongoing dedication to diversity, equity and inclusion.

We are continuing to support diversity within our Magento community. This past May we hosted a “Train the Trainers” online workshop to help event organizers host Magento Speaker Diversity workshops. Jill Binder, Diverse In Tech, led the session that enabled Magento meetup organizers and conference organizers to offer this workshop to people from 17 cities in 10 different countries.

The workshop was a great opportunity to have a global impact based on the testimonials of participants.

A diverse speaker program is essential for all Magento events. This training has allowed me to help more women overcome the annoying imposter syndrome. It is a great training that I recommend to anyone looking to have a minimum 50/50 mix of women and men at their events. – Chantal Schinkels Customer Success Manager, The Netherlands

Anyone who wants to understand the reasons that underrepresented groups don’t submit talks and how to make it happen is going to love this training! Jill provided me with the tools and guidance I needed to become a good speaking mentor. Anyone who is interested in improving their speaking diversity, but doesn’t know where or how to begin, I recommend this workshop.
Eric Hileman CEO MageMojo New York, New York

Before taking this workshop with Jill Binder I struggled to overcome my imposter syndrome. I also didn’t understand why I would be valued as an speaker. Adobe and Sherrie helped me see the value I bring to the community, and I have gained confidence in myself.
Thien-Lan Websiteer, Marketing at OneStepCheckout

Many people want to be part of diversity, but don’t know how. Your program can help them.
– Anonymous participant

Other initiatives that promote diversity in Magento speakers have also helped members of our community achieve new heights in speaking careers. The Magento Community Speaker Workshop, and the Magento Community Diverse speaker workshop in 2020 and 2019, respectively, are now complete.A follow-up survey revealed that 67 percent of respondents went on to speak at events in person.. These events include Meet Magento NY, MageUnconference and SEOBenelux.

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What’s next for the Magento community after all the great work? We’re taking it one step further and offering a new workshop for 2021. We will teach event organizers how they can create inclusive and diverse events that make speakers and participants from underrepresented and marginalized groups feel welcome and included in the community.

March 4, 2009, 5 to 7:30 PM UTC (9:00 to 11:30 AM PT): Workshop Creating a Diverse and Welcoming Magento Event Space.

Are you frustrated that only one person attends a Magento event? There is a lack of diversity in your group. People either don’t show or don’t return to the event. How can you foster, promote and support diversity?

This workshop will cover five topics:
1. Mindset shift: How to change the way you view diversity
2. Community: How to attract and sustain a diverse community
3. Environment: Create a welcoming environment both online and in-person
4. Speakers and leaders: How to inspire more people from different backgrounds to become speakers and leaders
5. Allyship: How can you be a better ally?

Interactively, we will use a PDF workbook to guide us. You will leave with an action plan to get started on making improvements right away.

This workshop is not only for event organizers but anyone who wants to promote a welcoming environment for all groups, both now and in the future.

Live participation is the best way to get the most out of your event. Register even if you are unable to attend the event live. You will receive recordings and invitations for future organizer support sessions.

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Magento Commerce 2.4.2 will continue to drive digital commerce growth.

Despite the challenging year 2020, ecommerce sales experienced a remarkable growth of just below 30%. We learned a lot from 2020. All businesses must be digital. Based on eMarketer‘s 2021 forecasts, businesses are hoping for a rebound of brick-and-mortar business sales. A Digital Commerce 360 B2B survey that looked to 2021 shows that more than 80% B2B respondents indicated they were very or somewhat likely in the next year to purchase more online. It is becoming more crucial to ensure that your ecommerce platform is up-to-date as customers become more dependent on it. You will need to upgrade to Magento 2.4.2 to take advantage of the security and performance enhancements.

Adobe today releases Magento Commerce 2.4.2. It also includes security-only patches 2.3.6–p1 and 2.4.1–p1. These patches are designed to improve Magento Commerce’s security and performance and provide enhanced tools for merchants that can expand and maintain their business in order to keep up with eCommerce growth. Magento Commerce 2.4.2 helps merchants maximize their opportunities by providing enhancements to B2B buy approvals, expanded PWA/GraphQL support, improved Page Builder performance, Media Gallery performance, and better developer experience.

B2B enhancements for purchase approvals, and headless commerce

Magento Commerce 2.4.2 now supports online payments. This is an improvement on the experience of purchasing approvals, which was previously only possible with offline payments. Merchants can now accept purchasing policies regardless if they use online payments. Buyers can also use the same approval process for all orders.

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Online payment options at checkout. Email notifications and screen reminders for adding payment details.

Magento Commerce 2.4.2 includes new GraphQL APIs, such as Company Credit and Requisition Lists. These APIs support important B2B use case scenarios for headless commerce implementations.

Storefront performance and content management improved

Image Optimization is now available in the Media Gallery. This feature was first introduced with Magento 2.4. When enabled, the storefront will now use a web optimized version of an image rather than the full, high-res version that is stored in the Media Gallery. The storefront will generate a smaller file of the image without altering the original. This ensures that the shopfront renders quickly for shoppers.

The Media Gallery now supports an Access Control List in Admin. Merchants can create user permissions to access the Media Gallery and manage actions. This enhancement allows digital agencies and designers to access the Magento instance without having to expose their data.

Page Builder allows you to view previews of content on mobile and desktop. There are improvements that will reduce the effort required to migrate content to Page Builder. Customizing Page Builder CSS will also reduce the developer’s effort.

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PWA Studio offers a faster time to market and lower ownership costs.

PWA Studio continues its efforts to speed up the time to market and lower total cost of ownership in Progressive Web Application development. PWA Studio now supports multi-currency and language support for merchants, making it easier and faster to launch international websites as well-performing PWAs.

The latest PWA Studio updates include new Venia components that cover “My Account”, which will accelerate launches. There are also extensibility enhancements and performance enhancements that greatly improve the developer and shopper experiences. All the latest updates can be found in the PWA Studio Release Notes.

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With In-Product Guidance, you can achieve a faster time to value

Magento Commerce 2.4.2 introduces In Product Guidance. In-product Guidance provides proactive, personalized and scalable in-product experiences that help users connect with key product features and value pathways. These experiences increase time to value and enable customers to become more self-served power users faster. In-product experiences, for example, can be used to increase awareness, teach users how to use high-value features that are under-used, and help new customers get on-board quickly.

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Magento Commerce merchants that are running on 2.4.2 or higher can only access in-product guidance. Users must opt-in to Admin Usage tracking. This option may be enabled by many customers. Customers can disable this option or change it in the Admin UI under Stores> Configuration> Advanced > Admin .

Performance and quality of platform

Magento Commerce 2.4.2 features numerous enhancements to platform performance and quality that support both merchants and developers. Highlights:

  • VBE enhancements include: Braintree now offers Buy Now Pay Later functionality; dotdigital delivers transactional text messages; Vertex supports commodity codes to ship in and out from global regions.
  • Multi-store implementations and large catalogs can benefit from greater scalability thanks to better API performance and quicker admin response times.
  • Cloud supports remote storage solutions. AWS S3 support is available out of the box. This will allow for infrastructure optimization and cost savings.
  • More than 280+ issues of functional quality were solved, including all known problems from 2.4.1.

Additional Q1 announcements and updates

Upgrade Compatibility Tool

The Upgrade Compatibility Tool is now in Alpha. It allows you to compare your Magento Commerce 2.x version against a newer release and analyze the compatibility with installed custom modules. This tool can be used between any Magento Commerce 2.x version and will produce a report detailing issues and warnings regarding compatibility of custom codes, along with an estimate of the complexity of the upgrade process.

Alpha releases are limited in scope. We will expand our coverage as we learn from customers. To learn more and get started, visit our blog Introducing Upgrade Compatibility Tool.

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What Walmart’s new shipping policies mean for third-party sellers

Walmart is changing their ecommerce shipping policies. They are testing ground shipping to see if they can deliver more items in less time via ground shipping. The retail giant started telling online shoppers that some products in its warehouses were “out of stock” in August. This was in response to the 2-day delivery window.Wall Street Journal. Some companies that sell products online have seen a drop in sales. We spoke withMike WilliamsCEO ofUShipA shipping and logistics platform that connects ecommerce sellers and transporters. We got great advice from him about his new strategy and how it will impact both the company’s sellers and the company in the coming months.

Q. Q. How will this new ecommerce shipping policy affect Walmart and other companies selling through them in the coming months?

The Amazon Effect is clearly at work here. Walmart recognizes that customers expect fast, free or almost free delivery when they shop online for ecommerce. Walmart is aware of this and shifting logistics to its suppliers and sellers on its site to ensure that items reach buyers faster.

Q. Q. Do you think Walmart’s new strategy was smart?

Walmart is short-term sacrificing customer experience by not stocking certain items. Are these would-be customers likely to return? Given the number of choices available to them today, it’s unlikely. The new strategy shows how crucial final mile delivery is to the company’s overall picture. Therefore, it’s likely a smart, long-term decision.

Q. Q. Do you think consumers are more likely than others to use an ecommerce platform other than Walmart to purchase a product that is not in stock?

They will most likely lose customers if they send out the “out of stock” message. We live in an age of instant gratification. If an item isn’t available in one place, it’s likely to be available elsewhere – most likely for less and with free shipping.

Q. Q.

“It’s not known, but Walmart supplier executives say that the move caused some sales declines so far.”

Q. Q.

“Good, fast and cheap is the old saying. Two of these are no longer sufficient. To win and retain a customer’s loyalty and trust, you must provide all three: a reliable, fast, affordable, and free shipping experience.

See more :

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https://www.connectpos.com/how-to-set-up-point-of-sale-systems/

https://www.connectpos.com/how-is-connectpos-different-from-other-shopify-pos-systems/

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Social Media Holiday Sales Strategies

The holiday sales will increase by 4.5 percent compared to last year and reach $720 billion in total in the United States. Mobile shopping and social media continue to play an increasingly important role in the buying journey of shoppers of all ages. Here are some strategies and ideas to help you make the most of your social media presence during this holiday season.

Get a Giveaway

Giveaways and contests are a great way to increase brand awareness and attract new customers via social media. This strategy can be used by creating a gift basket with sample products or choosing one product that is really special. Share it on social media. Invite your followers to follow you and to share the post. One winner will receive a product. You will gain many new followers, and all friends who shared your post will see it.

Online retaileriHeartRavesThis strategy is used a lot by iHeartRaves, who currently have 416k Instagram fans. Brandon Chopp, digital manager at iHeartRaves, says that they enjoy using giveaways and contests during holidays. To be eligible to win, you must follow our Facebook page, like our posts and tag a minimum of three friends. This helps to spread awareness about our brand and creates a lot of buzz. Our brand is still being used by users until they win the prize. We notice that even after the prize is awarded, users continue to interact with us. This is because we create great content that captivates their attention and is relevant for their interests. It is one thing to gain new followers but another is to keep them engaged.

Sales to the Medical

RetailWire recently started a discussion about “Why shouldn’t retailers focus more on the Christmas spirit” According to BazaarVoice’s study, 59% of shoppers shop on high-profile days like Cyber Monday and Black Friday. 35% of those surveyed said they shop online to feel festive. Shoppers expect retailers to assist them in getting into the holiday spirit, both in-store as well as online. One way to promote Christmas spirit is to create holiday-themed sales.

Jeff Moriarty ofMoriarty’s Gem ArtTheir company holds a 25 Day Christmas themed sale each year. We offer one incredible deal every day and tie our content to the holidays. These posts have a higher engagement rate than the rest of the year. Customers even call us before asking if we will do it again. It has been a great experience for our company.”

Make gift guides

Each shopper has a special loved one who is difficult to buy for. Many shoppers look to social media and retailers for ideas. Create gift guides to inspire customers to shop at your store. Krista Neher is the CEO of Boot Camp DigitalAccording to her, holiday shoppers are mostly searching for inspiration and social media is a great place to find it. Posts that offer unique and specific gift ideas will help your audience navigate the holiday season. This list of 10 Gifts Dad Will Love (And Never Think to Ask For) is a great one. Major retailers such as Amazon and Target are adding gift guides sections to their websites. They know that buying the right gift can be more difficult than simply purchasing it. Share your ideas with customers to help them.

After you’ve created your guides, make sure you share them everywhere. You might even consider running a promotion with your holiday gift guide. Experts in ecommerce softwareVolusionTo maximize exposure, we recommend using descriptive title tags and meta description, as well as a product image.

Make your Feed Shoppable

Many social platforms, including Instagram and Facebook, allow you to sell products directly from the app. Matt Erickson is the marketing director atNational PositionsAll retailers should take advantage of Instagram shopping during holiday season. First, create a Facebook shop. This process can be automated by many ecommerce point of sale systems.

Matt explains that after you’ve set up your Facebook shop, “You can tag the products on your Instagram posts,” which allows customers to shop from both your Instagram account and your Facebook page. You can’t link in comments or captions to Instagram, so this is one of the best ways you can drive sales through your Instagram account.

/why-should-business-choose-magento/

/why-should-business-choose-shopify/

/tips-to-upgrade-self-service-pos/

/magento-2-mobile-app/

/magento-loyalty-program/

/what-is-workflow-automation/

/how-to-do-stocktake-for-magento-merchants/

/how-bigcommerce-features-support-omnichannel-stores/

Tell a story

They are looking for companies with great stories, just like Christmas spirit. Emily Clark, content marketer and developer.Clutch, suggests: “People are always searching for stories. I would launch a campaign featuring photos and posts from holiday wearers or users of your product. The caption should include a short story that tells a story about the photo, and a snap of a memorable moment. A photo contest could be opened to the public, where participants can submit photos showing their product in a fun and festive manner.

Customers can tell stories about your products by getting involved. If you create your own products, this can also be a great storytelling moment for the holidays. Emily suggests that you make a video showing how much effort and time went into crafting your product. People give gifts to their loved ones. They want to see the same care that went into creating your product. It is possible to add a personal touch by interviewing employees about holiday traditions or activities and posting it online. You can make it lighthearted and funny. Your followers will find your company more personal.”Video posts have higher engagement ratesIt generates more revenue than text and photo posts.

Get Ready Now

You won’t be able to edit your social media copy or take great product photos once the holiday selling season has begun. To promote your products later, take as many product shots as possible. Samantha Rupert is Volusion’s social media expert. She says that images should be focused on the primary product and placed on a white background. You should use the best quality image that distinguishes your product.

Make sure to create a social media calendar. This will help you plan what posts to make on which days. Next, create the calendar and set the posts up to go live during the holiday season. Facebook allows you to schedule posts through their app. You can schedule Instagram posts using a free tool called Buffer. You can schedule posts now, even though you may not be able to post as often as you would like in real-time.

Amazon Storefronts: Friend or Foe?

Amazon StorefrontsAmazon’s microsite that showcases independent retailers who make or handcraft unique products. This subset of Amazon’s ecommerce platform was launched in September. It was accompanied by a TV commercial featuring The Little Flower Soap. The advert featured an independent retailer that used Amazon to expand their business nationally.

Shoppers can shop exclusively at small- and medium-sized businesses through the Storefronts microsite. Amazon highlights the independent business owners through “Storefront of the Week”, videos, “Artisan,” Family-Focused Businesses,” Women-Owned Businesses, and “Innovator Makers,” sections that highlight a few businesses that fall within each category.

Pro

In apress releasesAmazon stated that they have opened Storefronts to offer customers an easy way for them to purchase from small and medium-sized business in all 50 States through the trusted Amazon experience. Nicholas Denissen, Amazon Vice President, said “Amazon invited businesses to sell on Amazon almost two decades ago. Today, small and mid-sized businesses are vital to Amazon’s vast selection and commitment to customers.”

/shopify-omnichannel-shopping/

/upgrade-magento-omnichannel-shopping/

/point-of-sale-design-tips/

/top-shopify-omnichannel-apps/

why-magento-stands-out-from-others/

why-should-business-choose-bigcommerce/

Amazon Storefronts is a way for Amazon shoppers to discover independent businesses that they may not have otherwise found. Amazon shoppers who shop online for convenience now have the option to shop from a small selection of businesses. Amazon Storefronts is a great way for your business to reach a wider audience than you might otherwise.

Con

Amazon is being investigated by the EU on a darker level.Using data from third-party vendorsTo track product sales and profitability. Amazon will notice if a third-party seller has a product that is selling well and duplicate it.

Tobi Lutke, Shopify’s CEOsaidCode Commerce said that “in a few years, merchants decide that giving all of their business’s information to Amazon… didn’t work out as a good idea, then then I wouldn’t be surprised.” He said that both consumers and factories matter. Jeff refers to Jeff Bezos who is Amazon’s CEO.

What’s new

Amazon’s new Storefront initiative may be in response a complaints that Amazon is causing harm to Main Street retail. Amazon published a recent “How Amazon is Helping Main Street Retailers” document.Small Business Impact ReportAccording to Amazon, half of all Amazon products are purchased by small and medium businesses. These small and medium-sized businesses have created more than 900,000.

For the first time, Amazon’s third-party sellers outsold Amazon’s sales in 2017. Amazon can be a great way for businesses to get lots of exposure. We recommend that Amazon be used by retailers as an additional storefront and not as their sole source of revenue.

Will Clarke, SVP and head of creative at ShoptologyTellsIndependent retailerAccording to Amazon, more than half of Americans have a Prime membership today, so most of your customers are already Amazon shoppers. This is where storefronts can be a great idea. A storefront on Amazon could be a great way to sell products that are rare or hard to find.

Conclusion

Amazon Storefronts are currently available at no additional cost to qualified Amazon sellers. You may be featured as an Amazon Storefront seller. Amazon Storefronts sellers must have a registered trademark. They also need to sign up for Amazon’s Brand Registry. You can register for your Amazon storefront once you have become a registered brand.

Will Clarke says, “If you were an independent retailer, you’d first look at ecommerce platforms that allow me to compete with Amazon like Shopify.” I would investigate Shopify’s 2-hour delivery option with Post-Mates. I would also learn how their Facebook/Instagram shopping plugins work and what their buyable Pinterest pins are. I would invest in Google Adwords to ensure that my store is visible on Google maps for the right audience. Then and only then would I consider getting in bed with an enemy like Amazon Storefronts.

/top-7-bigcommerce-omnichannel-apps/

/5-top-pos-inventory-for-business/

/8-steps-to-start-online-business/

/what-is-drone-business/

/magento-statistics-you-should-know/

/benefits-of-pos-system-for-small-businesses/

What Walmart’s new shipping policies mean for third-party sellers

Walmart is changing their ecommerce shipping policies. They are testing ground shipping to see if they can deliver more items in less time via ground shipping. The retail giant started telling online shoppers that some products in its warehouses were “out of stock” in August. This was in response to the 2-day delivery window.Wall Street Journal. Some companies that sell products online have seen a drop in sales. We spoke withMike WilliamsCEO ofUShipA shipping and logistics platform that connects ecommerce sellers and transporters. We got great advice from him about his new strategy and how it will impact both the company’s sellers and the company in the coming months.

Q. Q. How will this new ecommerce shipping policy affect Walmart and other companies selling through them in the coming months?

The Amazon Effect is clearly at work here. Walmart recognizes that customers expect fast, free or almost free delivery when they shop online for ecommerce. Walmart is aware of this and shifting logistics to its suppliers and sellers on its site to ensure that items reach buyers faster.

Q. Q. Do you think Walmart’s new strategy was smart?

Walmart is short-term sacrificing customer experience by not stocking certain items. Are these would-be customers likely to return? Given the number of choices available to them today, it’s unlikely. The new strategy shows how crucial final mile delivery is to the company’s overall picture. Therefore, it’s likely a smart, long-term decision.

Q. Q. Do you think consumers are more likely than others to use an ecommerce platform other than Walmart to purchase a product that is not in stock?

They will most likely lose customers if they send out the “out of stock” message. We live in an age of instant gratification. If an item isn’t available in one place, it’s likely to be available elsewhere – most likely for less and with free shipping.

Q. Q.

“It’s not known, but Walmart supplier executives say that the move caused some sales declines so far.”

Q. Q.

“Good, fast and cheap is the old saying. Two of these are no longer sufficient. To win and retain a customer’s loyalty and trust, you must provide all three: a reliable, fast, affordable, and free shipping experience.

See more :

https://www.connectpos.com/what-is-point-of-sale-transaction/

https://www.connectpos.com/what-is-point-of-sale-display/

https://www.connectpos.com/how-to-set-up-point-of-sale-systems/

https://www.connectpos.com/how-is-connectpos-different-from-other-shopify-pos-systems/

https://www.connectpos.com/how-is-connectpos-different-from-other-bigcommerce-pos-systems/

https://www.connectpos.com/how-is-connectpos-different-from-other-magento-pos-systems/

Social Media Holiday Sales Strategies

The holiday sales will increase by 4.5 percent compared to last year and reach $720 billion in total in the United States. Mobile shopping and social media continue to play an increasingly important role in the buying journey of shoppers of all ages. Here are some strategies and ideas to help you make the most of your social media presence during this holiday season.

Get a Giveaway

Giveaways and contests are a great way to increase brand awareness and attract new customers via social media. This strategy can be used by creating a gift basket with sample products or choosing one product that is really special. Share it on social media. Invite your followers to follow you and to share the post. One winner will receive a product. You will gain many new followers, and all friends who shared your post will see it.

Online retaileriHeartRavesThis strategy is used a lot by iHeartRaves, who currently have 416k Instagram fans. Brandon Chopp, digital manager at iHeartRaves, says that they enjoy using giveaways and contests during holidays. To be eligible to win, you must follow our Facebook page, like our posts and tag a minimum of three friends. This helps to spread awareness about our brand and creates a lot of buzz. Our brand is still being used by users until they win the prize. We notice that even after the prize is awarded, users continue to interact with us. This is because we create great content that captivates their attention and is relevant for their interests. It is one thing to gain new followers but another is to keep them engaged.

Sales to the Medical

RetailWire recently started a discussion about “Why shouldn’t retailers focus more on the Christmas spirit” According to BazaarVoice’s study, 59% of shoppers shop on high-profile days like Cyber Monday and Black Friday. 35% of those surveyed said they shop online to feel festive. Shoppers expect retailers to assist them in getting into the holiday spirit, both in-store as well as online. One way to promote Christmas spirit is to create holiday-themed sales.

Jeff Moriarty ofMoriarty’s Gem ArtTheir company holds a 25 Day Christmas themed sale each year. We offer one incredible deal every day and tie our content to the holidays. These posts have a higher engagement rate than the rest of the year. Customers even call us before asking if we will do it again. It has been a great experience for our company.”

Make gift guides

Each shopper has a special loved one who is difficult to buy for. Many shoppers look to social media and retailers for ideas. Create gift guides to inspire customers to shop at your store. Krista Neher is the CEO of Boot Camp DigitalAccording to her, holiday shoppers are mostly searching for inspiration and social media is a great place to find it. Posts that offer unique and specific gift ideas will help your audience navigate the holiday season. This list of 10 Gifts Dad Will Love (And Never Think to Ask For) is a great one. Major retailers such as Amazon and Target are adding gift guides sections to their websites. They know that buying the right gift can be more difficult than simply purchasing it. Share your ideas with customers to help them.

After you’ve created your guides, make sure you share them everywhere. You might even consider running a promotion with your holiday gift guide. Experts in ecommerce softwareVolusionTo maximize exposure, we recommend using descriptive title tags and meta description, as well as a product image.

Make your Feed Shoppable

Many social platforms, including Instagram and Facebook, allow you to sell products directly from the app. Matt Erickson is the marketing director atNational PositionsAll retailers should take advantage of Instagram shopping during holiday season. First, create a Facebook shop. This process can be automated by many ecommerce point of sale systems.

Matt explains that after you’ve set up your Facebook shop, “You can tag the products on your Instagram posts,” which allows customers to shop from both your Instagram account and your Facebook page. You can’t link in comments or captions to Instagram, so this is one of the best ways you can drive sales through your Instagram account.

/why-should-business-choose-magento/

/why-should-business-choose-shopify/

/tips-to-upgrade-self-service-pos/

/magento-2-mobile-app/

/magento-loyalty-program/

/what-is-workflow-automation/

/how-to-do-stocktake-for-magento-merchants/

/how-bigcommerce-features-support-omnichannel-stores/

Tell a story

They are looking for companies with great stories, just like Christmas spirit. Emily Clark, content marketer and developer.Clutch, suggests: “People are always searching for stories. I would launch a campaign featuring photos and posts from holiday wearers or users of your product. The caption should include a short story that tells a story about the photo, and a snap of a memorable moment. A photo contest could be opened to the public, where participants can submit photos showing their product in a fun and festive manner.

Customers can tell stories about your products by getting involved. If you create your own products, this can also be a great storytelling moment for the holidays. Emily suggests that you make a video showing how much effort and time went into crafting your product. People give gifts to their loved ones. They want to see the same care that went into creating your product. It is possible to add a personal touch by interviewing employees about holiday traditions or activities and posting it online. You can make it lighthearted and funny. Your followers will find your company more personal.”Video posts have higher engagement ratesIt generates more revenue than text and photo posts.

Get Ready Now

You won’t be able to edit your social media copy or take great product photos once the holiday selling season has begun. To promote your products later, take as many product shots as possible. Samantha Rupert is Volusion’s social media expert. She says that images should be focused on the primary product and placed on a white background. You should use the best quality image that distinguishes your product.

Make sure to create a social media calendar. This will help you plan what posts to make on which days. Next, create the calendar and set the posts up to go live during the holiday season. Facebook allows you to schedule posts through their app. You can schedule Instagram posts using a free tool called Buffer. You can schedule posts now, even though you may not be able to post as often as you would like in real-time.

Amazon Storefronts: Friend or Foe?

Amazon StorefrontsAmazon’s microsite that showcases independent retailers who make or handcraft unique products. This subset of Amazon’s ecommerce platform was launched in September. It was accompanied by a TV commercial featuring The Little Flower Soap. The advert featured an independent retailer that used Amazon to expand their business nationally.

Shoppers can shop exclusively at small- and medium-sized businesses through the Storefronts microsite. Amazon highlights the independent business owners through “Storefront of the Week”, videos, “Artisan,” Family-Focused Businesses,” Women-Owned Businesses, and “Innovator Makers,” sections that highlight a few businesses that fall within each category.

Pro

In apress releasesAmazon stated that they have opened Storefronts to offer customers an easy way for them to purchase from small and medium-sized business in all 50 States through the trusted Amazon experience. Nicholas Denissen, Amazon Vice President, said “Amazon invited businesses to sell on Amazon almost two decades ago. Today, small and mid-sized businesses are vital to Amazon’s vast selection and commitment to customers.”

/shopify-omnichannel-shopping/

/upgrade-magento-omnichannel-shopping/

/point-of-sale-design-tips/

/top-shopify-omnichannel-apps/

why-magento-stands-out-from-others/

why-should-business-choose-bigcommerce/

Amazon Storefronts is a way for Amazon shoppers to discover independent businesses that they may not have otherwise found. Amazon shoppers who shop online for convenience now have the option to shop from a small selection of businesses. Amazon Storefronts is a great way for your business to reach a wider audience than you might otherwise.

Con

Amazon is being investigated by the EU on a darker level.Using data from third-party vendorsTo track product sales and profitability. Amazon will notice if a third-party seller has a product that is selling well and duplicate it.

Tobi Lutke, Shopify’s CEOsaidCode Commerce said that “in a few years, merchants decide that giving all of their business’s information to Amazon… didn’t work out as a good idea, then then I wouldn’t be surprised.” He said that both consumers and factories matter. Jeff refers to Jeff Bezos who is Amazon’s CEO.

What’s new

Amazon’s new Storefront initiative may be in response a complaints that Amazon is causing harm to Main Street retail. Amazon published a recent “How Amazon is Helping Main Street Retailers” document.Small Business Impact ReportAccording to Amazon, half of all Amazon products are purchased by small and medium businesses. These small and medium-sized businesses have created more than 900,000.

For the first time, Amazon’s third-party sellers outsold Amazon’s sales in 2017. Amazon can be a great way for businesses to get lots of exposure. We recommend that Amazon be used by retailers as an additional storefront and not as their sole source of revenue.

Will Clarke, SVP and head of creative at ShoptologyTellsIndependent retailerAccording to Amazon, more than half of Americans have a Prime membership today, so most of your customers are already Amazon shoppers. This is where storefronts can be a great idea. A storefront on Amazon could be a great way to sell products that are rare or hard to find.

Conclusion

Amazon Storefronts are currently available at no additional cost to qualified Amazon sellers. You may be featured as an Amazon Storefront seller. Amazon Storefronts sellers must have a registered trademark. They also need to sign up for Amazon’s Brand Registry. You can register for your Amazon storefront once you have become a registered brand.

Will Clarke says, “If you were an independent retailer, you’d first look at ecommerce platforms that allow me to compete with Amazon like Shopify.” I would investigate Shopify’s 2-hour delivery option with Post-Mates. I would also learn how their Facebook/Instagram shopping plugins work and what their buyable Pinterest pins are. I would invest in Google Adwords to ensure that my store is visible on Google maps for the right audience. Then and only then would I consider getting in bed with an enemy like Amazon Storefronts.

/top-7-bigcommerce-omnichannel-apps/

/5-top-pos-inventory-for-business/

/8-steps-to-start-online-business/

/what-is-drone-business/

/magento-statistics-you-should-know/

/benefits-of-pos-system-for-small-businesses/

Using Past Clients to Help New Shoppers

Ecommerce merchants strive to answer questions from shoppers. Relevant, useful answers presumably increase conversion prices. We recently spoke with George Eberstadt, founder and CEO of TurnTo, about his company’s system that relies on previous customers to answer questions from potential ones.

Practical Ecommerce: What’s TurnTo?

George Eberstadt:“TurnTo provides a societal question-and-answer usefulness to online stores. It runs on the item detail page of the storefront also helps shoppers get answers to questions from those who really purchased those products previously.”

PEC: You are CEO and founder of TurnTo. When did you start the organization?

Eberstadt:“We started this about four and a half years back. But the first year and a half or so was concentrated on a related product lineup. In Internet years, we are probably 3 years old.”

PEC: Do you own the business?

Eberstadt:“We are privately funded — located in nyc.”

PEC: With evaluations and testimonials, general social networking dialog, and the numerous sophisticated merchandising features which exist, why do online shoppers want another approach to research a product?

Eberstadt:“Surely, ratings and reviews continue to be the gold standard for consumer feedback about goods, and nearly all of the shops using our system have customer ratings and reviews when they opt to add social Q&A in addition to that.

“There are a whole lot of instances where Q&A can be really useful, like when there aren’t any reviews yet. The ability to reach out and receive the product info you need [from societal Q&A] is useful. At the opposite end of the spectrum, if there are 2,000 testimonials and you don`t really need to plow through all 2,000 to obtain the reply to the question you’ll need, being able to ask a question is the more efficient method to discover the solution. There are some folks who simply prefer to learn more in the more interactive manner as opposed to exploring for it, and there are those that are suspicious of the authenticity of testimonials.”

PEC: Describe the procedure, please, for your system. What does a shopper see? How does this work?

Eberstadt:“When a shopper is on a product detail page, she’ll see a button which says’Got questions? Get quick answers from people who actually purchased this item,’ or’View 5 questions and 25 replies,’ and she is able to click anywhere on that utility. She will be taken to the Q&A place on the page where there will be an area to submit a new query, and all the conversation that has already been recorded is available. She is able to browse through the questions and the answers, or there is a search utility so that she can easily see if her question has already been asked and answered.

“As shoppers submit a query, this is the place where the TurnTo unique sauce comes in. To be certain we really deliver on the promise to get answers, we take that query and we email it to folks who brought the product before.”

PEC: Do those previous customers know they are going to be getting the email?

Eberstadt:“It is treated as a marketing email, so those individuals have consented to accept that sort of communication from the shop, and the message explains very clearly what this is all about. There are two important links in the query email. One says ‘Answer this question.’ And one says’Do not send any more questions.’

“Just to give you an idea of how well received this email typically is, on average that email has answered in an 8% rate, whereas the determine rate is just 0.2 percent, normally. The majority of our shops tell us this is one of the only best performing advertising emails, with numbers like that.”

See also:

bigcommerce-merchandising

scale-shopify-store-guide

ecommerce-challenges-and-the-automation-solution

how-to-prevent-regular-stockout

customer-retention-metrics

memorial-day-promotion-idea-2021

PEC: Eight percent of previous clients answer the email?

Eberstadt:“The open rate on the question email is about 30 percent, and the click through rate is generally about 10 percent, then there is a little fall off, so approximately 8% of all of the men and women who received the email really submit a response. Since that rate is so large, it means that you don’t actually have to send the query to that lots of people to find an answer. Typically we will coach our shops to create 60 the target amount of people to obtain any specific question. That means on average each query would get about 5 replies from previous clients. The majority of those answers would return within the first 24 hours. On average the first response gets shipped back within one hour when someone first asked the question.”

PEC: Do the previous customers get paid anything for this?

Eberstadt:“We have a few shops who have incorporated a loyalty program, but we have not seen that makes a massive difference. Whatever their motives, it does not need an incentive.”

PEC: If I am a merchant, I may be sensitive about mails I am sending to previous customers because I want those customers to come back and buy from me again. Thoughts on that?

Eberstadt:“Let me discuss some general data about the conversion impact of the entire tool, and I will save that specific case for my final number. What we see is people who ask questions while shopping typically convert at a rate between 5 and 11 times greater than the baseline for the shop. Now obviously that is a well-qualified pool. Individuals who open the utility and read Q&A conversation that others have posted typically convert at a rate between 3 and 7 times greater than the baseline for the shop. The conversion rate of previous customers who return to answer questions is on average 2-3 times greater than the baseline for the shop. So again, they are past clients. It is a well-qualified pool. However, these are people who only came back to answer queries. They didn’t return to shop.”

PEC: How much does your product cost?

Eberstadt:“It is a tiered pricing model, with an yearly contract. Our tiniest stores typically pay a couple hundred a month to the system. Our bigger stores pay a couple thousand dollars each month.

“it is a fixed fee. The amount of the fee is based complete on the size of the shop, and we attempt to correlate it to worth, but it is not a cost-per-acquisition sort of model. It’s a flat yearly fee once the price was determined.”

PEC: We have many distinct readers with many distinct carts. Does your solution integrate with all shopping carts?

Eberstadt:“There is about a dozen that we’ve live integrations with at this time. We’ve packaged integrations with Magento and Demandware. We’ve got integrations with Volusion and on Yahoo! shops, and a lot more. We do custom solutions, if it’s easy to get into the data. So our system is really flexible. We aim to have the ability to work on a really wide assortment of shopping carts.”

PEC: If an organization is using a cart which requires a customized integration — possibly a hosted cart or a certified cart — is that going to cost additional money?

Eberstadt:“The first and the last question is what platform do you run on, and when this is one that we all know we have difficulty on, we will say what the constraints are. We charge a flat installation fee that is usually a few months worth of the yearly license. But we do not charge any more than that to perform the job based on what the specific cart is.”

PEC: Anything else?

Eberstadt:“While conversion is part of the value here, another large part is the search-engine-optimization benefit. Having new, changing user-generated content that is indexable directly on the item detail page has actually become best practice for accessing SEO organic traffic.”

How to Combat a Shiny New Competitor

Relative to leasing retail space, purchasing shelves, and investing in a shop full of stock, ecommerce delivers a very low barrier to entry. In reality, just about any entrepreneur with a little bit of capital and tech savvy can sell online. This implies, however, that established, small and midsize on-line retailers will definitely face competition from new retailers also.

Starting an ecommerce company can be relatively straightforward. But once an ecommerce company is up and running, it is bound to confront competition from newer companies.

…once an ecommerce company is up and running, it is bound to confront competition from newer companies.

When a shiny new competitor enters the market it frequently stinks (even dumps) advertising dollars into pay-per-click advertisements and search engine optimization to acquire a share of this market. But ecommerce retailers have four ways to compete with the interloper: innovative marketing, leading customer service, exceptional offers, and loyalty incentives.

1. Be Creative with Your Advertising

Many, if not most, online retailers use the exact same marketing tools to attract new clients. This typically includes things such as the above PPC ads, banner ads, and even product placement in marketplaces such as Amazon or Newegg.

As opposed to attempting to match the new competitor in marketing, think about being a more creative and using established clients to acquire new ones.

For instance, consider running a competition with a huge prize. Invite present clients to enter, and give them extra entries into the competition when they consult a friend. The referral invitation may include a special deal, such as a 20-percent discount. Monitor how many sales the competition generates. It may even be less costly than buying PPC ads.

Another alternative, albeit somewhat more direct, is to invest in content marketing (for example, how-to videos) and, again, encourage current clients — for example, individuals that are on an email list or who are followers on Facebook or other social networking platforms — to encourage and share content. The hope is that this material will, in turn, attract new clients.

Finally, as opposed to competing with regular PPC ads, try pre-roll advertisements on YouTube, or radio-style advertisements on Pandora.

2. Provide Stellar Customer Service

Among the greatest challenges facing new ecommerce companies is the way to manage customer support. Therefore, incumbent online retailers may use expertise in this area to be competitive.

To fend off competitors, consider highlighting exceptional customer service, like offering positive return policies and implementing live chat during peak hours. When clients comment that they appreciate the customer service, encourage them to supply a positive evaluation on services such as Google Shopping and also to give your organization a nod, if you will, on social networking.

In effect, provide stellar customer service and also make sure that everybody knows about it. Finally, include your customer service guarantees and functionality on your ads.

3. Make Unique Offers

A new competitor’s customer may be your previous customer. It seems complex but it means that some of your present clients, even folks who’ve made a few purchases, might attempt a new competitor that’s spending a lot on advertising.

To help prevent this, think about using email marketing or after-the-sale promotions to nourish present clients a steady diet of supplies during your new competitor’s start up period. As soon as you’ve weathered the storm, so to speak, return to normal levels of offer-based advertising.

For instance, imagine a shopper that has made a purchase. A couple of days after that purchase, the merchant can send a thank you email, telling the client how much his item was appreciated. Together with that email, the merchant might include an offer for a percentage from a subsequent order, a free gift with his next purchase, or similar.

Moreover, if an online merchant has done a fantastic job of segmenting customer email lists, it is possible to send a great deal more relevant offers that make more sense for an individual customer.

4. Offer Loyalty Incentives

Bloomingdale’s”Loyalist” is a fantastic example of a simple loyalty program that could help merchants retain present customers.

Bloomingdale’s, the massive brick-and-click retailer, has among the best (easiest ) customer loyalty programs in the enterprise. Together with the Bloomingdale’s Loyalist program, shoppers get a point for each dollar they spend. After the reach 5,000 points they automatically get a $25 Bloomingdale’s gift card.

Bloomingdale’s also awards additional points for select product categories. For instance, the merchant’s customers get two points for every dollar spent on makeup.

This simple loyalty program may be just the type of competitive tool for an established ecommerce enterprise. Offer customers the chance to join for free and start earning points immediately.

Additionally, offer point specials. For instance, on traditional slow periods of the month or week, send out an email offering triple or double points for purchases made within the next few hours.

Be sure to let shoppers know exactly how many points they have and the number of purchases they should earn a reward.

First 3 Months of my new Company

After eight months of preparation, I started MyWeddingDecor.com.au on April 23. I founded the company to appeal to Australian couples who seek personalized, unique, and unusual wedding decoration. Now, May 15, I had my first sale.

Initial suggestions

Friends and family were quick to provide their suggestions once I told them the site was live. My very best friend suggested I replace the first iStock wedding table photograph on the top of this home page using a photos (or sequence of slides) of my merchandise. She searched in vain for the centerpiece on the hero shot, never realizing I didn’t sell it.

My brother believes that I should show more goods on wedding tables. I basically agree with him, although I do not have time presently to shoot photos. However, I’ve read shoppers prefer clear background merchandise shots so that they can create their own mental imagery.

For now, I am showcasing one product weekly. But I will try this against revealing a set of slides with themed wedding decoration products — such as glamour, handmade, personalized, and rustic.

Suppliers

I’ve 35 providers, mainly artisanal, which are based in various countries worldwide. They supply (thus far ) 84 products. It’s obviously easier to showcase more products in the same providers than to seek out new suppliers. But I must take into account the provider’s exchange rate against the Australian dollar. Products in the U.K. cost twice as much against the Australian dollar, while American providers are a third more expensive, and those in Europe are approximately 50 percent higher, compared to the Australian dollar.

Shopify apps

I use Shopify for my ecommerce platform. I downloaded about 10 apps (paid and free), from the Shopify store. A number of them are simple, like the McAfee website security certificate app, and the complimentary”Improved Contact Type” (my Shopify template does not include a contact us design option).

Other apps are more complicated. I had the most challenges with those who customized my product pages and supply quantity discounts. An app for volume discounts did not function correctly, as clients could alter their minimal quantities in checkout to attain the discount. No one in the app company was available for days on its live chat service.

Ironically, I’ve not had the opportunity to decode the Zapier app, which promises to automate the integration between apps and services. The pluginSEO app provides a premium service to check your search engine optimization work; I’m waiting for the company to complete its review of my website. I’m using the Lucky Orange app, which lets me see visitors surfing my website in real time, showing where and how they click.

Email

I changed from Campaign Monitor to MailChimp a couple of months ahead of my launching, as MailChimp is closely integrated with Shopify. However, I’ve not found MailChimp’s backend process as intuitive as Campaign Monitor.

I’m yet to automate my newsletter procedure. And it was just two days ago I finally managed to link my site to Google Analytics and to make my official business email address.

Since that time I have been upgrading my contact details using Shopify, the app suppliers, my providers, PayPal, and other businesses. I’d really like to use an auto-responder to tell people my new email address, but I do not wish to get spam to this email address.

Marketing and public relations

By undertaking three weeks of Facebook advertising ahead of the launch, I brought an extra 4,000 fans to My Wedding Decor page. I’ve noticed the heavy stream of traffic from mobile Facebook fans. I had great open rates from my previous clients at It’s In The Stars. I will email them for an opportunity to win one of ten $100 My Wedding Decor gift vouchers.

Pinterest is yet to pay off — it’s a notorious time suck. However, I have connected my Facebook and blog posts to Twitter. Many wedding Twitter accounts appear to have been inactive for many months or more. Yet in the two weeks since I have found my Twitter page, I have had the identical amount of visitors originate from Twitter as for Bing. I have taken out memberships with two wedding directories, and have allowed a third, a nonprofit organization for Melbourne-based wedding providers.

I also have written a few press releases and have been slowly updating my journalists’ contact list and checking their magazine deadlines. For some reason, I feel afraid to get in touch with the attribute editors about my site. I need to get over this, particularly since I am a former journalist.

Wedding bloggers are next on my schedule. I’ve been writing and posting my own wedding-related blog posts every 3 days. But I am not happy with the blog pages’ appearance. Unfortunately, this section isn’t a design priority, so it will need to stay text-heavy for the time being.

Sales

In my first 3 weeks, I had four Facebook message enquiries, 1 email via my”Contact Us” page asking to get a smaller amount of one of the goods, and my very first sale.

Up to now, I’ve had a cart conversion rate of 2.7 percent,– i.e., percent of total visitors that put items in their cart — and a real sales conversion rate of 0.16 percent.

So there is more work to do.

Can New Ecommerce Sellers Squeeze Present Merchants?

The coronavirus pandemic has forced some brick-and-mortar companies to concentrate on ecommerce, but this change in focus is unlikely to prevent many permanent closures.

“If this is not the retail apocalypse, I do not know what could be,” said Sarah Wyeth, the lead writer for restaurants and retail in S&P Global Ratings, according to a Wall Street Journal article on May 14, 2020.

Wyeth has estimated that 19 big retail companies are a coin toss away from going out of business due to mandatory shutdowns and Covid-19 general financial effect.

What is more, some 100,000 retail stores could close in the next five decades, according to The Wall Street Journal, as a consequence of customer interest in ecommerce as well as the pandemic-induced recession.

One could say that there’s a parallel between the virus and its economic impact: physicians and companies which are already in poor health are far more likely to die from the disease.

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Ecommerce Impact

As brick-and-mortar chains, shops, and boutiques function to survive (or, sometimes, flourish ) post-coronavirus, they might be focusing on ecommerce and its near cousin click-and-collect trade or, as it may be called, buy-online-pick-up-in-store.

The coronavirus pandemic and its affiliated shop closures have driven several brick-and-mortar companies to refocus their attention on ecommerce. Photo: Charles Deluvio.

When asked if he believed some brick-and-mortar companies that hadn’t had a strong ecommerce existence prior to the Covid-19 pandemic were more likely to invest more in online selling, eCommerceFuel creator Andrew Youderian, responded,”Absolutely, 100 percent.”

“I chatted with several neighborhood retail sellers last few weeks that are scrambling to pivot to internet as best they could. This will be ideal for SaaS companies and people helping sellers function as well as for clients who will have more boutique choices on the web. If a significant number of those merchants pivot online efficiently, it may also result in a more competitive market, particularly in the short term,” Youderian stated.

Data from some ecommerce platforms support Youderian’s assertion.

By way of instance, in a May 6, 2020 press release, Shopify said new shop creations on its own platform grew 62 percent between March 13, 2020, and April 24, 2020. At exactly the exact same time, the business reported $470 million in first-quarter earnings, up 47 percent in the exact same 2019 quarter.

Likewise 3dcart, another SaaS ecommerce platform supplier, saw new account activations increase 34 percent in April compared to first-quarter 2020 averages, based on Jimmy Rodriguez, the corporation’s chief operating officer.

“We are seeing a combination of brick-and-mortars just beginning to research ecommerce and retailers who currently had an ecommerce presence changing resources in order for this to become their chief source of earnings,” Rodriguez said.

“In most cases, we are seeing the need to rapidly serve their existing customer bases more than investing in online marketing to capture new clients, so it would be difficult for all these’newer’ companies to catch up with more experienced ecommerce retailers.”

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Small Retailers

A vital question is whether heightened interest in ecommerce, especially if it comes from recognized brick-and-mortar merchants, will pose a substantial competitive threat to existing ecommerce vendors.

There are numerous possible scenarios.

Room for everybody. Ecommerce could flourish in the”new normal” after the pandemic, making room for everybody — or many — merchants to sell online.

This is the best-case scenario. But it may also be the least likely. BigCommerce, by way of instance, reported on May 12, 2020, that”pandemic panic-buying is leveling out, and people have started to return to a lot of the normal spending habits.”

Gross merchandise volume on the BigCommerce ecommerce platform needed, as of May 12, climbed only 1 percent from the previous week. Earlier in the pandemic shutdown, BigCommerce merchants experienced substantial week-over-week GMV gains in transactions. And some business segments saw triple-digit year-over-year increases.

Weak brick-and-mortar efforts. In a different scenario, many smaller brick-and-mortar retail companies will create significant and new investments in ecommerce, but only in the short term.

“While some [brick-and-mortar SMBs] will use this as a springboard to internet success, I’d guess the vast majority of them don’t wind up with a meaningful online presence longterm,” stated eCommerceFuel’s Youderian.

“Success online requires a whole lot of deliberate time, effort, and research and is a very different company from [bodily ] retail. I’d guess many smaller merchants will go back to focusing on the retail side as soon as they open back up to the general public, though there will undoubtedly be a little halo effect from merchants who will be doing .”

If this were the case, little pure-play ecommerce vendors, especially established ones, would not believe much of an impact from new competitors. Those pure-play companies would still must take care of the coronavirus’s influence on the market as well as their business — but not with inexperienced competitors.

Small shops become squeezed. Finally, a substantial number of conventional brick-and-mortar retailers migrating online might squeeze little ecommerce operations.

Asked if smaller brick-and-mortar retailers that hadn’t paid much attention to ecommerce prior to the outbreak posed a possible threat to smaller, pure-play ecommerce company, 3dcart’s Rodriguez stated,”It will definitively have an effect since among the new requirements is the ability to give in-store pickup inside the ecommerce site, and for shoppers preferring this shipping method over conventional shipping the new brick-and-mortar-ecommerce-hybrid version would win over shops offering ecommerce-only.”

Scenarios, Just

Will a heightened interest in ecommerce pose a substantial competitive threat to the smaller ecommerce vendors? Maybe. It may be a variant of one of the three situations above. Or it might be that none of them come to fruition.

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Raising Funds Becomes Easier with New SEC Rules

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has modified rules which affect how businesses can raise capital via direct equity and listings crowdfunding.

Direct Listings

Formerly, in a direct record , a business could sell current stocks (from workers and private investors) on public stock exchanges. Unlike initial public offerings (IPOs), which market newly-issued stocks, no new shares could be issued.

Nonetheless, in December 2020 the SEC declared it would expand direct listings to permit companies to issue new shares on the New York Stock Exchange only.

The new rule is an appealing alternative to a conventional IPO because it eliminates much of the cost. In an immediate listing, a company doesn’t need to hire investment banks to underwrite the sale of stocks as in an IPO. The investment banks charge a commission per share, which generally ranges from 3 to 7 percent. They handle the IPO, market the shares to institutions, and encourage the inventory via their trading desks — all mainly with institutional investors like pension funds.

This rule is an appealing alternative to a conventional IPO because it eliminates much of the cost.

With the NYSE plan, businesses can sell stocks directly on the market in an auction, allowing more individual investors to buy shares at the initial offering price, instead of buying in the aftermarket as they do with IPOs. Nasdaq, another stock market, is also negotiating with the SEC to allow direct record increases.

Let us see our merchandise:

“This is a game-changer for our capital markets, leveling the playing field for casual investors and supplying companies with a different path to go public in a moment when they’re seeking just this sort of invention,” NYSE President Stacey Cunningham commented in a statement.

In addition to bypassing prices, companies that follow the direct listing process may prevent the usual IPO limitations, like lockups that prevent insiders from selling their shares for a specified period, often up to six months.

The SEC decision wasn’t unanimous. The counter-argument to direct listing investments is that individual investors aren’t sophisticated and may make investment choices which result in financial harm. Moreover, an underwriter markets and promotes the new stocks, improving the chances that they’ll sell. In an immediate listing, the issuer accounts.

Nonetheless, the new direct listing rules are expected to attract tech businesses. Coinbase, the cryptocurrency market which enables users to purchase and trade decentralized tokens like Bitcoin and Ethereum, last month filed for an immediate record with the SEC.

Likewise Roblox Corporation, a video game company with an in-game buy version, changed its mind about moving forward with an IPO and is opting for an immediate listing.

NYSE restrictions still exist concerning the size of organizations that may use direct listings. These rules include, among other requirements: (I) a minimum amount of current shareholders, (ii) a $4 minimum price per share, and (iii) at least $100 million market value of common equity on the first day of this listing.

These principles would exclude many early-stage start-ups. For them, a new equity crowdfunding expansion may provide a means to raise funds.

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Equity Crowdfunding

In November 2020 the SEC amended crowdfunding rules, which the SEC calls”Legislation Crowdfunding. ” The new rules, which go into effect on March 15, allow businesses to raise $5 million each 12 months by selling securities through controlled, online crowdfunding portals. The original limitation, which received much criticism because of its small size, was $1.07 million. (The significant disclosure and reporting requirements remain in place.)

The new rules… allow companies to raise up to $5 million each 12 months…

Besides increasing the amount companies can increase, the alterations boost investment limitations. For an accredited investor (a individual who has an annual income exceeding $200,000 for the previous two decades, or $300,000 for joint income), there isn’t any longer a limitation on the amount invested in a business using a Regulation Crowdfunding offering. A man is also regarded as an accredited investor if she has a net worth exceeding $1 million, either independently or jointly with a partner.

For non-accredited investors, the investment limit will be the higher of (as opposed to”lesser of” under the present rule) existing limits based on an investor’s yearly income or net worth.

Tech in Restaurants: New & Helpful Systems & Trends

Tech in Restaurants: 5 Essentials for Every Enterprise

During the past decade, restaurant guests have changed their habits. People have changed the way they eat, what they eat, and where they consume. They want their food to fulfill an assortment of dietary requirements and limitations while still giving a delicious experience. Guests also want more choices like a multitude of ordering and payment choices or a extensive menu that they could navigate on a high-end tablet.

The substantial shifts in expectations and tastes have surfaced using a parallel consumer technology boom. Tech in the restaurant industry makes it possible for companies to keep up with all the latest trends and conveniences customers have come to expect.

In this guide, we’ll discuss the most vital restaurant technology which can help maximize efficiency and earnings.

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1 . Tablets for Customers

Giving your guests the ability to order through a contemporary digital menu and then safely and make payment will bring your restaurant to another level. Self-service restaurant technology trends started with quick-service restaurants (QSRs) such as Taco Bell. Once Taco Bell allowed their clients to place orders with tablets, kiosks, and mobile apps, their electronic order earnings increased by 20 percent over conventional orders created with an individual cashier.

However, it is no longer just Taco Bell — today, it is possible to discover self-service technology in restaurants everywhere. From fine dining restaurants to casual pizza places, companies everywhere utilize restaurant POS systems to display their digital menus and empower their visitors to place orders quickly and effortlessly.

Tableside ordering is a superb option that boosts productivity and saves time. It results in quicker table twist, safer payments, and happier guests.

2. Self-Service Kiosks

Stand alone, self-order kiosks are a remarkable example of new technologies in restaurants which enhances customer experience and service efficiency. They are particularly popular in casual restaurants because of the many benefits they bring:

  • Restaurants are better able to meet guest expectations by providing a topnotch digital experience.
  • Guests have more control over the entire process, which makes it easy for them to navigate through the menu and customize their requests.
  • Lines Boost, fostering ordering quantity and general restaurant productivity.
  • Self-checkout options are among the hottest restaurant tech solutions, appreciated by guests worldwide.

By providing your clients with an easy-to-use standalone kiosk, you’ll delight them visually and practically. However, you’ll also eliminate lines and permit employees to concentrate on tasks of greater value.

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3. Handheld POS Order Takers

Restaurants using traditional POS systems undergo a somewhat lengthy payment procedure. The server should go to the table and ask if the guest is ready for a check, then bring the attention to the guest, then take it to the POS terminal and eventually return again to the table with change when the guest paid in money.

Handheld POS order takers–sometimes called mobile order takers–allow your workers to streamline their operations by allowing guests to order and pay at their own table. Because handheld POS technology in restaurants enables rapid ordering and payment, order speed and accuracy improves, and guests spend less time waiting for their orders and invoices.

4. Contactless Payment

Contactless and mobile payment is becoming extremely important to guests worldwide. It is a brilliant solution that can help keep your visitors safe by letting them swipe to cover their food. It helps prevent unnecessary physical contact between staff and guests, allowing everyone to keep as secure as possible and maintain a social space.

Contactless payment devices are lightweight and durable, and a number of them enable all possible payment methods — anytime, anywhere in the restaurant.

5. Printers

We can’t discuss technology and restaurants without mentioning printers. While contactless payments and electronic receipts could be taking over and growing in popularity, most restaurants still want the option to use paper receipts. And to print any kind of receipts, you will need an excellent printer. There are two basic types of printers for restaurants:

Receipt Printer

Receipt printers, also referred to as thermal printers, are most widely used on the customer-facing side since they operate quietly and much quicker than conventional printers. Every receipt printer is a thermal printer, which means it does not use ink to print. On the contrary, it creates images and characters by heating thermally sensitive paper.

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Impact Printer

The effect or ink is the most frequent kind in the rear of the restaurant. If your team is busy, they might not see a new slide in the printer. But, impact printers and their loud printing procedure catch the interest of chefs and cooks easily, so that they can process each order after the order arrives.

Revel Systems Technology in Restaurants

Restaurants all over the planet are embracing technology as a vital part of their business. From barcode scanners to self-ordering kiosks, the restaurant business gives its best to keep up with developing trends. At Revel, we supply an entire restaurant information system with high-end tech solutions. Contact us to find out more about our packages including business POS platforms!