What eCommerce News Made the Headlines in January 2021?

Watch a new video in our monthly series — Magento News Digest — to stay abreast of what’s happening in eCommerce at the start of 2021.

 

 

Alibaba Nationalization

News around Alibaba and the mysterious disappearance of Jack Ma are causing disruption in the eCommerce industry. What will happen if China nationalizes Alibaba, and should merchants start to worry now? Learn the answers in the video.

Growth in Product Returns

Lockdowns forced customers to move online. With the growth of online sales, we can witness another trend – an increasing number of product returns. Customers are returning so many products it’s starting to hurt even Amazon and Walmart. Companies are using different tactics to address this issue.

Big Brother Against Apple

Apple continues to move forward with its initiatives associated with users’ privacy. With the release of the latest iOS updates, the company took its efforts a step further. However, the company doesn’t plan to stop and is planning more changes for the future.

Magento News

Magento strives to provide the best experience through its Magento marketplace. Developers of extensions won’t be able to sell modules that don’t support the latest Magento versions.

Source : https://www.gomage.com/blog/big-news-alibaba-crackdown-update-from-apple-magento/

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

The Guide to Finding Magento Developers: Salaries & Best Places

According to indeed.com the average Magento developer’s hourly rate in the US is $44.49. These figures are approximate and will vary depending on the specialist’s experience, seniority, location, and other factors.

If you are looking for a top-quality product, however, don’t expect to pay low prices.

We’ll be covering the following points in this blog post:

  • Here is a list of Magento developers who are available to help you with your eCommerce project.
  • Benefits and reasons to work with Magento eCommerce certified developers
  • There are many cooperation models you have the option to choose from
  • A market overview for Magento development
  • Hourly salary for Magento developer
  • Guidelines for finding a Magento developer

Are you ready? Continue reading.

What Magento Experts are You Looking for?

 

You need more than hiring Magento developers to deliver a large-scale Magento project for eCommerce businesses. A team of dedicated specialists is also required. This is a list with Magento experts that you can hire for your online shop:

  • eCommerce web design to create the visual elements of your online shop. Web designers design the layout and appearance of the website. They also choose the elements that will be displayed on the page, and how customers interact with it.
  • Front-end Magento 2 Developer to make your online store visible and attractive on all devices. Front-end developers are responsible for accurately communicating the design and implementing user logic.
  • Backend Magento 2 developer for developing and maintaining the server side to your online store. This expert ensures that the site works and fulfills its purpose, while also ensuring security and reliability.
  • Quality Assurance Engineer To identify and fix any errors in the code and to prevent them from interfering with customer experience and website operation.
  • Project Manager to coordinate and prioritise team activities and assume responsibility for project goals.
  • Magento Architect can design your online store starting from the technical side. Magento Architect identifies the best solutions and Magento eCommerce developers bring that technical idea to life.

Magento Certifications and What They Mean

 

If you have any health concerns, it is a good idea to trust a trusted healthcare provider. Your business should be treated in the same way. It is not a good idea to trust the development of your online shop to people whose expertise you don’t know. You must be able to recognize the following types of Magento certifications from your chosen provider:

  • Adobe Certified Professional

A minimum of 0-12 month of experience and learning is required to become an Adobe Professional.

  • Adobe Certified Expert

At least one to three years’ experience is required for this certification. Adobe Certified Experts can manage complex projects on their own or mentor less-skilled developers.

  • Adobe Certified Master

Adobe Master certification requires at least 3 years experience in managing complex projects and mentoring others.

The following are the benefits of working with certified Magento developers:

  • Get guaranteed results. Magento specialists holding one of these certifications will build an eCommerce website that is both efficient and meets your business’s exact requirements.
  • They use the most effective Magento development practices. Working with certified developers will ensure that your code is compliant with the Magento standards and best practices. This will help to ensure the security, quality, and scalability of your online store.
  • They are experts in the platform. A certification exam is required to become a specialist in Magento. This means that a developer can use their knowledge to create a powerful, clean and fast website and address any urgent issues such as a site going down or bug.

They are always up-to-date on the latest Magento updates. Magento developers who are certified have access to the latest Magento features and updates. These features and updates are not available to non-partner development agencies or the general public. Developers already know how to use new features when they roll out.

Looking to work with developers who have worked on over 1000 successful projects?
Get in Touch with GoMage

Key Collaboration Models for Magento eCommerce Developers

 

There are three options available for you to choose from when it comes to staffing your eCommerce project.

  • A team of in-house developers
  • A development agency
  • Freelance Magento developers

Let’s look at these options, and compare the pros and cons so that you can decide which one best suits your needs.

Magento 2 developers in-house

In-house team cooperation means that you can hire developers to work on your long-term project at your company’s premises. This option requires that you pay developers a monthly salary and not an hourly rate while they work on your project.

Pros

This model allows you to take complete control of the project, and communicate with your team members daily to make sure everything runs smoothly. A dedicated team of people working on your project is a time saver. They can quickly solve problems and give updates.

Cons

It can be difficult to hire Magento developers as the majority of experienced professionals work in large development agencies. It will be expensive if you are able to attract a high-ranking specialist. You’ll also have to continue paying a monthly salary each member of your team, even if they have no work for you. You might not be able to assess the skills of a developer.

There are many unnecessary bureaucracy that can be a disadvantage to hiring an in-house staff. You will also need to cover overhead costs such as office rent, taxes on employment, and equipment purchases, among others.

Magento development company

If you are looking for a group of professionals with extensive experience in different industries, a development agency is the best option. This cooperation model allows you to have a team of professionals who can handle your project from start to finish.

Pros

Magento developers agencies employ credentialed Magento specialists. This means that they are well-versed in the latest Magento updates and can resolve any problems quickly. A project manager coordinates the work of each stage of your eCommerce project for development companies.

Magento development agencies are also great because they can help with your initial ideas and offer support and maintenance for your online store after the project is complete.

Focus on what you are good at and outsource the rest.
Peter Drucker, Management consultant and educator.

Cons

You should realize that you won’t be the only client if you decide to work with a development company. You can still get the same dedication and commitment as an in-house team if you work with professionals. You can still be involved in the project, even if you are working with an offshore Magento development company. You can stay connected with your team and discuss any tasks or ideas via online meetings.

Agencies are highly focused on working with clients to achieve the desired result in the shortest amount of time. This means that they charge a higher price for their services. This investment will ensure that you get the best result possible and win long-term.

Magento freelance developers

Freelancers, who are specialists working on a project-based basis, are self-employed. They are usually short-term specialists who work on a project basis and have fewer deliverables. Sometimes, freelance Magento developers need to be supervised and guided by clients.

Pros

Freelancers do not have overhead costs as development agencies do. Therefore, hourly rates for freelance developers are often low. You can also choose the most affordable Magento development service for your needs. You can lower your project budget by hiring freelancers from different places.

Cons

First, be aware that freelancers may not be your only client. Communication delays can result from this. Freelancers will not be as committed to your project as an in-house or outsource team.

They could ask for a prepayment and then disappear without providing any results. They can also start working on the project, but then simply give up and leave it to others. You’ll have to spend lots of time looking for a new provider. Low hourly rates for freelance developers are not a way to save money.

Working with freelance developers can pose security risks. They could intentionally or unintentionally disclose sensitive data to interested parties or use third-party code to speed up development. Working with Magento freelance developers is fraught with risks.

Below is an illustration that illustrates key differences among the three main models of cooperation.

 

The table shows that working with a Magento agency can bring you the greatest benefits. When making your decision, it is important to consider your specific business needs. The final development cost will depend on the type of cooperation you choose. The lowest rate won’t guarantee that you will get the desired result. A larger initial investment can lead to long-term savings and be more cost-effective.

Hourly Salary for Magento Developer

The hourly rate of a Magento developer’s salary varies depending on their skills, whereabouts, and certifications. Different websites offer different information about Magento eCommerce developers’ salaries. talent.com reports a developer’s hourly rate at $56.44 an hour. indeed.com, however, shows a developer’s hourly rate of $44.49 in the US. A highly skilled developer may charge $200 an hour.

Let’s take a look at the hourly salary of a Magento developer in the most popular areas.

You’ll pay three to four times more for Magento development services in the US and Canada than you would in Europe. These countries have hourly rates for freelance developers starting at $150, and climbing up to $200. The hourly rate in Europe will vary between $50 and $99, with the average price being between $50 and $99 The lowest hourly salary for Magento developers is in Asia, where it’s $15-40 per hour. Latin America, where you’ll get $25-50 per hour and South Africa, which will cost $20-40 per hour.

 

Hivemind study found that Magento is Europe’s leading eCommerce platform with a 24.6% market share. This means that Europe has a large pool of Magento experts . Many US-based Magento companies employ them to help with their eCommerce projects.

Apart from the lower salaries of Magento developers, there are many other benefits to working with an agency with European developers. These benefits are:

  1. There are no communication barriers. All European IT companies require at least a intermediate level of English proficiency for developers. This means that communication will be seamless.
  2. Magento experts with deep knowledge. They are able to deliver top-quality services.
  3. Favorable time differences. Communication will be faster because time zone differences aren’t as significant as in other countries.
  4. Low prices. You can have a guarantee without having to compromise the quality of your final product.

No cultural differences. You can eliminate the cultural gap by hiring European developers. This will make it easier to communicate with your business and improve the effectiveness of the work process.

Do you need a project estimate?
GoMage offers a free estimate for your Magento project.
Get in touch

Where can I find Magento 2 developers?

 

We’ve covered key factors when choosing Magento 2 developers. Now it’s time for us to give you a list of resources to help you find the right people to work on your eCommerce project. There are many options, including B2B rating sites like Clutch and GoodFirms. Wadline is another popular option. You can also find specialists through international freelance marketplaces such as Upwork or word-of mouth marketing. Let’s take a deeper look at each option.

Rating platforms for B2B

Such independent B2B rating platforms like Clutch, GoodFirms, Wadline, etc. A list of the top software companies with information about the company, its portfolio and verified customer reviews.

These platforms work in a similar way to professional social networks. Companies create their own profiles and include as much information as they can about themselves: year of establishment, location and number of employees. This information is then verified.

Upwork

Upwork is one the most used online job-search platforms. It provides contract protection for developers and clients, and it helps to build relationships. The platform will provide a list with developers that match your job description after you have submitted a job request. This platform is a very popular one for freelance Magento developers. There are many options.

Lastly, the basic membership plan does not require additional fees for posting jobs to search specialists. It is important to remember that the website charges an additional fee for any work done through its platform. This is particularly true when you start working relationships.

Word-of-mouth

The best way to find specialists for your project is word-of-mouth. Ask your friends and associates for recommendations on Magento developers and agencies. Trust is the most important thing.

Adobe Solution Partner Directory

We recommend you select a trusted Magento partner agency to ensure that you have the best possible development team for your eCommerce projects. Adobe Solution Partner Directory lists the top companies that can help clients create online stores using the Magento platform.

A Magento Solution Partner means that a company can be certain that its employees have the right skills and training to deliver a result that meets all your business requirements. GoMage, for example, is a Magento Solution Partner with more than 11 years of Magento experience and over 1000 successful eCommerce projects.

 

How to choose the best Magento developers

It can be difficult to find a Magento developer team that is reliable due to the many aspects you should consider when choosing a vendor. Your choice will impact how much time and money it takes to build an online store. Your choice will also have a long-term impact on your eCommerce project. This 3-step guide will help you choose the best Magento developers for your company.

  1. Identify your initial requirements to ensure that you get the results you want.
  2. Search for a reliable service provider by looking at the vendor’s portfolio, reviews, expertise, portfolio, and ratings on Clutch and GoodFirms.
  3. Sign an agreement and get started working with the Magento 2 development firm to propel your eCommerce business.
source source https://www.gomage.com/blog/magento-developers-salary/

Extension Subscriptions in the Application Marketplace for Adobe Commerce & Mage Open Source

source: https://business.adobe.com/blog/basics/extension-subscriptions-application-marketplace-adobe-commerce-magento-open

Adobe is committed to empowering the developer ecosystem to create superior experiences and services for all customers. We are pleased to announce support for extensions subscription models, starting November 30, 2021. This will allow us to further serve developers and customers of Adobe Commerce and Magento OpenSource. Developers can provide ongoing support and investments in established products to give merchants greater security and lower maintenance costs.

Multiple extension vendors have moved to the subscription model as the market for ecommerce software continues to embrace a subscription licensing structure. Numerous prominent software marketplaces and ecosystems only operate under the subscription model. Numerous Magento extension builders, including Amasty and Mageplaza, Aheadworks and Mirasvit have announced that they will be switching to an annual subscription model. Most extension vendors will soon announce or implement similar changes based on community feedback.

Adobe Commerce Marketplace subscription licenses do not limit the use of code already downloaded and installed on merchants’ computers. An active subscription is required in order to receive upgrades, support, or any other services or features that the vendor may provide as part of the license. Merchants have the option to cancel their subscription at any moment.

Subscription license extensions will include basic support in the subscription price. The Marketplace does not support multiple subscription tiers nor subscription add-ons at the time of release. However, we plan to expand this and other features in future releases.

Existing SKUs cannot be converted to subscription license. Merchants will not automatically be subscribed to products that move to the subscription licence. Vendors may opt to remove some of their Marketplace SKUs and create new products under the subscription license. This will allow merchants to consent to the purchase of the subscription. Extensions under the subscription license must comply with the same Marketplace requirements and EQP requirements.

Marketplace and Commerce Developer Portal will enable vendors to allow a 180-day grace period for sellers who have previously purchased extensions. The new SKU will be connected to the Store and the extension removed from it. Merchants that have the extended extension will be informed that they have a 180-day grace when signing up for the new product.

The same 25-day return policy applies as for the initial purchase.

Imagine for a moment that you were living there instead of going to the shopping mall.

Imagine for a moment that you were living there instead of going to the shopping mall.

Imagine that the mall was not just a piece of real estate with many national retailers tenants selling largely the same merchandise. Instead, it was transformed into a highly distinctive mixed-use space with the sole purpose of catering to you and other people like you. It is surrounded by commercial offerings that reflect your wants, needs and values.

Say goodbye to the shopping center of the past and welcome to the “retaildential compound”, just one of many consumer engagement areas of future. This commercial offering is designed to improve your quality of life as well as the fortunes the retail realty industry, currently in a state of flux between a 21st-century revival and near collapse.

The baby boom was the main driver of the growth in malls and shopping centres. When Edina’s Southdale Center opened in Minnesota on October 8, 1956, the oldest boomer was only 10. The idea of central buying spaces was loved by boomers’ parents. This led to the rapid growth of U.S. shopping centers that outpaced the population for much of the 1960s, 1970s.

However, things have changed.

Similar story: Pruning is the Right Thing to Do for Our Overgrown Retail Landscape.

The oldest boomers will be 85 years old by 2030 and the youngest will be 65. They will compete for attention with five generations: the Silent Generation (Gen X), millennials, Gen Z and now alphas. The youngest boomers will be five years of age in 2030. This will force mall operators to develop designs that are compatible with specific cohorts or create retail offerings that cross multiple cohorts.

We see retaildential spaces as curated “life stage centers,” offering demographic-specific and appropriate sets of retail, restaurants, entertainment and services to everyone from young urban hipsters and single-and-staying-that-way 40-somethings to seniors and other such enclaves.

Aeon Co., an American developer, has already begun to repurpose malls in Japan to meet the needs of an aging populace. These spaces are pioneer retaildential. Senior retaildential spaces will include housing, medical services and pharmacies, exercise equipment, lawyers specializing on geriatric law and accountants specializing estate planning. There will also be a wide range of entertainment and shopping choices.

For young urban hipsters, Retaildential spaces might include high-end technology shops, luxury furniture shops, microbreweries and bars, gourmet food stores and meet-and-greet spaces.

A retaildential center, which is strategically located near large numbers of people, might offer integrated living, shopping, entertainment experiences, as well as easy accessibility to essentials such as food and dry cleaning services. These types of centers will become more popular as urban cores repopulate.

What does this retaildential consumer engagement space have in common? These spaces will have deep customer understanding, thanks to sophisticated data collection systems and processing systems. Technology will serve as the center’s invisible backbone. Monitoring health data for seniors, or possibly the musical preferences of Gen Z urban residents in urban centers.

Learn more:

All transaction activity will be driven by technology, including capturing trends and selling to ensure intra-center deliveries arrive on schedule and spotting trends before they become a problem. These environments will be smart, regardless of clientele. They can learn from and reflect real-time learning.

One idea to repurpose underperforming commercial properties is retailtainment. While we focused on one space for consumer engagement in this article, a wide range of formats is examined in our full report The Future of Shopping Centers.

source https://www.mytotalretail.com/article/retaildential-spaces-offer-new-life-old-malls/

Retail Sales in the United States Increased 0.6% by March

After three consecutive monthly drops, U.S. retail sales saw a rebound in March as consumers increased their purchases of large-ticket items and motor vehicles. This suggests that consumer spending is picking up momentum for the second quarter. On Monday, the Commerce Department reported that retail sales rose 0.6 percent in March after a 0.1 percent drop in February. The January data has been revised to reflect a fall of 0.2 percent rather than the reported 0.1% drop. Retail sales increased by 4.5 percent in March compared to a year earlier. Retail sales increased by 0.4% last month, after remaining unchanged in February. These core retail sales are closely related to the consumer spending portion of gross domestic product.

Total Retail’s Take: Positive close to the first quarter by retailers. Economists predict a strong 2018, driven by rising consumer confidence and job growth. Retailers have plenty of opportunities to keep the momentum going into spring, with Mother’s Day and Father’s Day as well as graduation and wedding seasons. It will be interesting to see how the weather affects brick-and mortar sales as winter continues into April in many areas of the country.

WHAT IS THE METAVERSE?

Even though the Metaverse may not live up to the fantasies of science fiction writers, it will likely produce trillions of dollars as a new computing platform and content medium. The Metaverse, in its full vision, becomes the gateway for most digital experiences. It is also a key component of all physical experiences and the next great labor platform.

It is obvious that being a key player, if you don’t call it a driver, in such a system can be of great value. While there isn’t an “owner” of the Internet, nearly all the top Internet companies are among the top 10 most valuable publicly traded companies on the planet. The Metaverse may be a functional “successor”, but with greater reach, more time spent and more commercial activity. There will likely be more economic upside. The Metaverse will offer the same variety of opportunities as the web, with new companies, products, and services able to handle everything, from payment processing to identity verification to hiring, content creation, security and so on. Many incumbents today are likely to be pushed aside.

The Metaverse, more broadly speaking, will change how we allocate and monetize our modern resources. As the scarcity of real-estate and labor waned , developed economies transformed over time. The Metaverse will allow potential laborers to take part in the “high-value” economy through virtual labor. We’ll see more shifts in the places we live, how we use our infrastructure, and who does what tasks as consumers shift to virtual goods, experiences, and services. Take, for instance, ” Gold Farming“. Soon after the in-game trading economies were established, many “players”, often in higher-income countries and employed by larger companies, would spend their day collecting digital resources to sell inside or outside of the game. These sales were usually to West-based players with higher incomes. This “labor”, while it is often repetitive and menial and only limited to a handful of applications, will continue to grow in value and diversity as the Metaverse.

CHAPTER 3 – BUILDING THE MEETAVERSE

To make the Metaverse work, it will need a multitude of new technologies, protocols and companies. It won’t be created immediately; there won’t be a “Before Metaverse”, nor “After Metaverse.” It will emerge slowly over time as various products, services and capabilities combine and merge. It is helpful to consider three essential elements that must be in place.

One way I think of these three areas is from a procedural perspective, using the Book of Genesis. First, one must create the universe (“concurrency architecture”), then one must define the laws of physics (“standards” and protocols”), then fill it with worthwhile and evolving content (“content”) that resists selection pressures. God doesn’t create or design the world like a miniature model. He allows one to expand on a mostly empty tableau. (

Learn more:

Concurrency Infrastructure

The technology is not available at the foundational level for hundreds of millions of people to share a synchronized experience. Take Fortnite‘s 2019 Marshmello performance. The event was witnessed by an astonishing 11MM people. They did not perform the feat together. There were actually more than 100,000 Marshmello concerts, each one slightly out of sync, and the number of participants was limited to 100. Epic could probably do more today than this, but not into hundreds of thousands, let alone millions.

The Metaverse requires infrastructure that is not currently available. Furthermore, the Internet was never intended for this kind of experience. It was created to transfer files between computers. The Internet’s underlying systems revolve around one server communicating with another server or an end user device. Today, this model is still in use. This model continues today. Text chats were the first pseudo-synchronous program. However, you are still pushing static data to a server in order to pull the most recent information when/where/how/as required. The Internet was not designed to allow for continuous (or persistent) communication. Nor can it be used for persistent communication that is synchronized in real-time with countless other people.

The Metaverse is more like video conferencing or video games to operate. These experiences are possible because they use persistent connections to update one another in real-time with a level of accuracy and precision that other programs don’t usually need. They don’t have high levels of concurrency. Most video chat programs can only handle a handful of people. Once you reach 50, you will need to broadcast a broadcast to your viewers rather than sharing a two-way connection. These conversations do not have to be live, and they are not.

This is why battle royale is so popular in video games. It’s not possible to play with other players live. Some games that have the highest concurrencies, like Second Life and Warcraft were around for over twenty years. However, these games essentially spoofed the experience through “sharding” and dividing users into different “worlds”, and servers. Eve Online can have over 100,000 players technically, but they are divided across different galaxies (i.e. Server nodes. A player can only interact with a handful of other players at a time. Travelling to another galaxy requires disconnecting from one server to load another. The game can narratively “hide” this by forcing players to run at light speed to cross the vastness. The system was slow to a crawl when Eve Online reached battles that involved hundreds of players. This was because the gameplay mechanic relied on ship-based, large-scale combat. These slowdowns would not have been possible if it were a fast-twitch game like Rocket League and Call of Duty.

Many companies have been working tirelessly to resolve this problem, including the Improbable. This is a huge computational challenge that challenges the fundamental design/intent behind the Internet.

Standards and Protocols, and Their Adoption

Standards and protocols are the basis of how the Internet works today. These include file loading, visual presentation, communication, graphics, data, etc. These include everything from consumer-recognizable .GIFs filetypes to the websocket protocol that underlies almost every form of real-time communication between a browser and other servers on the internet.

A wider, more complex and resilient set of S&Ps will be required for the Metaverse. We will need to reduce the number of standards we have and create a smaller set for each function due to interoperability and live sync experiences. There are many image file formats available today, such as.GIF and.JPEG. While the web is built today on open standards, a lot of it is proprietary and closed. Although they use similar technologies, Amazon, Facebook and Google are not designed to be integrated into each other. Just as Ford’s wheels don’t fit on a GM chassis, so are Google and Facebook. These companies are also resistant to sharing data or cross-integrating their systems. These moves may increase the overall value and utility of the “digital economic”, but they also reduce their network effects, which are extremely valuable, and make it easier for users to move their digital lives around.

It will take years and be extremely difficult. The more interoperable and valuable the Metaverse, the harder it is to reach industry consensus on topics like data security, data persistence and forward compatible code evolution. The Metaverse will also require new rules to control censorship, communications, regulation enforcement, tax reporting, prevention of online radicalization and other challenges we are still grappling with.

Although the establishment of standards involves actual meetings, negotiations, debates, standards for the Metaverse will not be established in advance. The standard process is more messy and organic. Meetings and opinions can change on an ad-hoc basis.

To make a meta analogy of the Metaverse, think SimCity. The “Mayor”, i.e. In ideal circumstances, the “Mayor” (i.e. player) would design their mega-metropolis and then build from day one. As in real life, however, it is not possible to just build a city of 10 million people in the game. Start with a small community and then optimize it for its needs (e.g. You start with a small town and optimize for it first (e.g., where are the schools, roads, utilities, etc. You build around it as it grows. Sometimes you will need to tear down or replace “old” sections. Other times, only when there is a problem (insufficient power supply) or a disaster (a fire). However, unlike SimCity there will not be one mayor. Their desires and motivations will often clash.

We don’t know what the Metaverse will require, nor how existing standards will be transferred over. It is important to think about how Metaverse emerges and not only around any technological standard.

The On-Ramp’ Experience

The standards for the Metaverse cannot be simply “declared”, so consumers and businesses will not accept a proto-Metaverse just because it is available.

Take into account the real world. A mall that can accommodate a hundred thousand people, or a hundred shops does not necessarily attract a single customer or brand. To meet existing commercial and civilian needs, “Town Squares” are created organically from existing infrastructure and behaviors. Any place of worship, whether it be a bar, basement or park, museum, or merry-go round, is visited because of what or who is already there and not because it is a place in itself.

Digital experiences are no different. Facebook, the largest social network in the world, failed to succeed because it declared it would be a “social networking” but rather because it started as a campus hot or not, and then evolved into a digital yearbook, photo-sharing, and messaging service. The Metaverse must be “populated”, not just “populable”. This population will then fill this digital world with content and things to do.

Fortnite is not a videogame or interactive experience. Fortnite started as a game. But it quickly became a social space. Its users log in not to play, per se, but rather to connect with their virtual and real world friends. In the 1970s and 2010s, teenagers used to come home from school and spend three hours on the phone. They talk to each other on Fortnite but not about Fortnite. They talk about movies, school, sports, news and other topics. Fortnite does not have an IP or story – the plot is how it happens and who is there.

Fortnite has also been rapidly evolving into a platform through which brands, IP and stories can express themselves. This includes the live Marshmello concert last year. These examples have expanded rapidly since. Star Wars released a short clip of the highly-anticipated film in Fortnite, as part of an in-game audience interactive event. This included a live mocap interview and a live mocap with J.J. Abrams. This event was explicitly mentioned in the film’s opening minutes. Weezer created a custom island for fans where they could listen first to their new album while dancing with other “players”. Fortnite also has several “limited-time modes” that feature the likes Nike’s Air Jordan or Lionsgate’s John Wick movie series. These “LTMs” can transform Fortnite into a miniature virtual world. This allows the player to change the look, feel, and items of the game. This includes the universe of Borderlands, Batman’s hometown in Gotham, as well as the old west.

Fortnite, which is one of few places where DC and Marvel’s IP intersects, is a good example of this. In Gotham City you can wear the costume of a Marvel character while interacting with people wearing NFL uniforms. This has never happened before. It will be crucial to the Metaverse.

A whole sub-economy has been created on Fortnite where players can create (and monetize!) their own content. This could be as simple as digital outfits (“skins”) and dances (“emotes”), or more complex. It has quickly expanded to create new games and experiences with Fortnite’s engine, assets and aesthetics. It includes simple treasure hunts to immersive mashups of the Brothers Grimm and parkour culture to a 10-hour scifi story that spans multiple dimensions, timelines. Actually, Fortnite‘s Creative Mode feels almost like a protometaverse. A player can load their avatar, which they use in all Fortnite-related activities. Once they land in the lobby, they have access to thousands of “doors”, (i.e. Space-time rifts allow players to travel to thousands of worlds, with as many as 99 other players.

This speaks to Donald Mustard’s longer-term vision for the game. Fortnite may not be the Metaverse but it is close in spirit to one and it is obvious how the “game” might eventually support one.

https://www.matthewball.vc/all/themetaverse

Open-To-Buy Retail Planning: How to Plan Inventory Budgets Using the OTB Formula

An open-to-buy plan is a purchasing budget for future inventory orders that a retailer creates for a specific period. It helps a retailer stock the right amount of the right products at the right time by showing the difference between how much inventory is needed and how much is available.

Having a solid handle on your inventory is the best way to guarantee you’ll always have enough stock on hand to meet demand. Excess inventory, or too much of the wrong product, can slow your cash flow and reduce profits, especially if you’re forced to mark items down. It’s this supply and demand imbalance that causes retailers to lose out on an estimated $568.7 billion in out-of-stock items.

At the same time, underbuying a product can result in missed sales opportunities, hurt your profit, and damage the customer experience. When products are out of stock, just 27% of shoppers go to a retailer’s website or return to the store to purchase the item when it becomes available. The majority will look in another store or skip the purchase entirely.

Creating an open-to-buy plan can help retailers decide how much inventory to buy or manufacture while keeping cash flow positive. This guide shares how to create one for your retail store.

 

What is open-to-buy?

Open-to-buy (OTB) is an inventory management strategy that helps retailers calculate how many products they need to buy. This includes physical inventory on hand and in transit, as well as any outstanding orders.

An OTB can be calculated in units or dollars, but is usually calculated in terms of cash, as there are variations in costs between products. OTB plans are also incredibly flexible—apply one to a single product category, a department, or across your entire retail business.

When to use open-to-buy planning

OTB planning is an inventory management practice used by all types of businesses, though it’s especially useful for retailers selling large numbers of SKUs—like fashion and apparel brands. You can plan merchandising budgets for future items based on historical data of how well products in t-shirt, shoes, and purchase categories have sold.

Because of this, some retailers strategically spend only a part of their OTB budget so they can take advantage of special buys. Your manufacturer might give discounts on summer products when the season ends, for example. A higher OTB budget here means you can capitalize on low-cost items in preparation for next summer.

The Charming Bench Company sells garden furniture to customers year-round, yet partner Chris Campbell says the main advantage of an OTB merchandise planning process “is that we can plan on seasonal buying trends.”

“In September and October, we know that pricings for summer patio furniture drop and we can expect an influx of buyers taking advantage of these deals in preparation for when they’ll be enjoying time outside again. We therefore make sure, earlier during the year, that we will have enough stock to meet these demands.”

Now that you have a better grasp of the concept behind an OTB plan, here’s a look at how to calculate OTB, along with definitions of some of the terminology involved.

Read more :

The open-to-buy formula

The open-to-buy formula will help you create forecasts for your OTB plan. The values in your open-to-buy are projections, so they may not be perfectly accurate. But a sensible way to check your numbers is if your actual month-end inventory is within 5% of your prediction.

💡 PRO TIP: Ready to leave your spreadsheets behind? To see your ending inventory, view the Month-end inventory snapshot report in Shopify admin.

Here are definitions of terms used in the OTB formula:

  • Planned beginning of month inventory: How much retail inventory (in dollars) you expect to have at the beginning of the month.
  • Planned sales: How much retail sales (in dollars) you forecast during a given month.
  • Planned markdowns: A projection of product markdowns (in dollars).
  • Planned open-to-buy dollars: The dollar amount that you have available to buy more inventory at the end of the month.
  • Planned end-of-month inventory: A forecast of balance inventory (in dollars) at the end of the month. End-of-month inventory carries over to become the beginning-of-month inventory for the next month.

The OTB formula looks like this:

Planned sales
+ planned markdowns
+ planned end of month inventory
– planned beginning of month inventory
= open-to-buy (OTB)

Here’s an example of an open-to-buy plan for a single month:

$15,000 (planned sales)
+ $350 (planned markdowns)
+ $25,000 (planned end of month inventory, October 31)
– $30,000 (planned beginning of month inventory, October 1)
= $10,350 OTB 

How to calculate your open-to-buy at cost

Initial markup (IMU) is the calculation used to determine the retail price of an item in your store. For example, if you have a wallet that costs you $15 to make or to purchase at wholesale, then the IMU is the measurement of how much you mark up the wallet when you sell it to the customer.

If your IMU is 75%, you would use this calculation to determine your retail price: cost or wholesale price / (1 – IMU %) = retail price.

  1. Convert the markup percent into a decimal: 75% = 0.75.
  2. Subtract it from 1 (to get the inverse): 1 – .75 = 0.25.
  3. Divide the wholesale price by 0.25.
  4. The answer is your retail price.

For example: $15 (cost or wholesale price) / (1 – 0.75) = $60 (retail price)

While your initial retail price must cover the cost of the product and the selling expenses that are associated with the item, remember to factor less obvious costs into your retail price. Consider covering a portion of your business’s day-to-day overhead, such as the cost of your website each month and marketing. You want to be left with some profit, right?

To figure out your OTB at cost, multiply the OTB value by the initial markup. If your initial markup is 75%, for example, your open-to-buy at cost is $10,350 x 0.25 = $2,587.50.

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The benefits of open-to-buy planning

Optimal stock levels

Managing inventory is one of the biggest challenges for retailers of all sizes. There’s a sweet spot between:

  1. Having too much inventory. With too much inventory, you lose money by keeping items in expensive storage or distribution centers—or worse, they become unsellable if they’re kept in storage too long. A food retailer that has unsold meat sitting in storage for two months is a recipe for disaster.
  2. Having too little inventory. “Sorry, this product is out of stock” is a phrase you never want your retail team to have to say to customers. But inventory shortages happen, with complete stockouts costing retailers $1 trillion every year.

OTB planning, however, helps retailers find the middle ground between bloated and sparse inventory levels. You’ll know exactly how much inventory you have and how much you’ll need for the upcoming period, giving you a clear budget to spend on purchase orders for new products.

If you have more inventory than you need, you are wasting money, space, and personnel dedicated to caring for that inventory. If you have variation, inventory can end up lost, damaged, or hidden, which can result in less stock and unsatisfied customers.

More flexible inventory

Unlike quarterly or yearly inventory replenishment, most retailers do their OTB planning on a monthly or weekly basis. Your budget will change accordingly, giving you the flexibility to order more (or less) inventory on any given week or month.

Let’s put that into practice and say you’re planning to do a last-minute pop-up shop in your local area next month. You’ve already done your quarterly inventory planning without factoring in the extra stock you hope to sell at the event. By doing an OTB plan the month prior, you know exactly how much inventory you need to order—both in terms of SKU quantities and the dollar amount you have to spend.

Identify trends

When managing inventory, it’s safe to assume that there’s always more than meets the eye. What seems like an obvious trend isn’t always as accurate as you might think.

We can see this in action with fashion retail stores. It’s obvious t-shirt sales would spike just before summer, right? But OTB planning research shows that trend starts to accelerate earlier than you’d expected—throughout April you see increased t-shirt sales.

Going without an OTB plan altogether means you’d get to April and not have enough inventory to cater to the shoppers buying t-shirts earlier than expected.

Not only that, but creating an OTB plan factors in sales and promotions. Retailers lose $40.2 billion when their marketing departments don’t communicate upcoming sales or promotions with their supply chain team. Inventory falls short; customer experiences are ruined. Shoppers don’t get the amazing deals they were promised if there’s no stock available to buy.

OTB planning takes all of those factors into account. You’ll see upcoming flash sales and year-round seasonal patterns, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, when planning your inventory budget. The result? No stockouts during peak sales seasons.

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Prevent overspending

OTB not only helps you better plan inventory purchases, but it’s also a financial budget that can help you tighten your belt.

For example, you might have a total of $100,000 tied up currently in your retail inventory. Creating an OTB plan can help you carefully manage retail merchandise across your business for the year. As a result, this kind of planning can help you find “slack” in your inventory investment budget. Even a 10% cost-savings in this example means you’d have an extra $10,000 to invest elsewhere.

The limitations of open-to-buy

It’s not ideal for staple items

Staple items are products that customers rely on your store to stock. A grocery store’s staple items are bread, milk, and eggs. Staple items for a brick-and-mortar store selling home decor might be the plush throws you’re known for.

Regardless of what these staples are, it’s important to have them well-stocked at all times. OTB planning may not be the best method for staple items, since there’s a risk of losing order quantity discounts. Buying $300 worth of bestselling inventory every month won’t give you a volume discount. A $2,000 order every six months might.

The supply chain industry is also in limbo. Shipping containers are gridlocked and there’s a shortage of HGV drivers in some countries. Ordering your inventory one month in advance—using OTB planning—leaves you exposed to risk. Should something go wrong, you don’t have much time to fix it before shoppers visit your store for staple items and leave empty-handed.

Inventory budget should be set well in advance, as inventory purchasing should begin no later than one month prior to opening to account for potential shipping delays and merchandising needs adequately.

It needs to be supplemented with other metrics

An OTB retail plan takes only six metrics into consideration. However, inventory management and financial planning is like a machine with several cogs. You might run into problems if you’re not looking at the bigger picture.

Supplement your OTB plan with other metrics that could impact those you’re using in the OTB formula. That includes:

  • Order cycle time. Also known as lead time, this shows how long it takes for a product to be acquired, manufactured, shipped, and sold. OTB planning isn’t the best budgeting method for inventory with longer order cycles because of its short-term forecasts.
  • Inventory carrying costs. How much does it cost to keep your inventory in storage? If your planned end-of-month inventory is costing $3,000 to store but is only worth $3,500 in sales, consider cutting down your OTB budget.
  • Demand forecast accuracy. You have sales data to go off when predicting future sales. But unpredictable and unavoidable things happen (take COVID as the most extreme example). When OTB planning, look back over previous predictions to see how accurate your forecasts were.
  • Inventory shrinkage. Planned and predicted inventory are totally different from your actual inventory count. Stock can go missing for many reasons, including employee theft, return fraud, or admin errors. OTB planning doesn’t take shrinkage into consideration, meaning your predictions could be inaccurate.

How to create your own open-to-buy plan

Ready to create an OTB plan for upcoming stock replenishment? Here’s how to set an OTB budget that works for your retail store.

1. Know your inventory turnover

Part of creating an OTB budget involves planning inventory turnover—a calculation that measures how fast you sell through inventory and need to replace it. The quicker a retailer “turns” its inventory, the more it will need to buy or make in a year.

Calculate your inventory turnover using the following formula: Sales / inventory = turnover rate.

For example, if you sold $50,000 worth of product and had $25,000 worth of inventory, then your inventory turn would be $50,000 / $25,000 = 2. You turned over your inventory two times during the given time period.

Most retailers don’t set turns at the same level for every product or category, since it’s common for products to sell at different speeds. With the right open-to-buy plan, you can manage your product categories and stock levels by planning inventory turns for each.

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2. Run the financials

OTB planning doesn’t have to be anything complex. Many small- to medium-sized retailers plan their OTB month-to-month, but for businesses with high spikes in seasonal sales, try creating a weekly OTB plan.

You can start by creating a six-month open-to-buy plan in a spreadsheet. For each product you’re forecasting inventory budgets for, add the following rows for each month or week:

  • Planned sales
  • Planned markdowns
  • Planned end of month inventory
  • Planned beginning of month inventory
  • OTB dollars

Take this financial planning off your plate with open-to-buy software like Inventory Planner. The app pulls your Shopify ecommerce and POS data to forecast inventory and create budgets for restocks.

3. Sense-check your predictions

Over time, you’ll learn and adapt your OTB plan each season or year based on your unique business’ sales and markdown history. But regardless of which method you chose, make sure you carefully review each number and ask yourself if it’s realistic before you put your retail OTB plan into operation.

Example open-to-buy plan

Unsure what an OTB plan looks like? Alexis Damen shares an example OTB plan a fashion retailer might use over the Christmas period.

Peak shopping months—December and January—have higher planned sales, hence why the OTB budget for those months is higher. February’s OTB budget is even higher to account for depleted inventory in the months prior.

Six month OTB plan

Using open-to-buy planning for your retail store

Each year, countless retailers have to close up shop due to mismanaged inventory.

Use an OTB plan to stop going under or over budget. Know your inventory turnover, run the formula, and sense-check any predictions by comparing them against previous sales data. It’s a great starting point to creating accurate retail merchandise budgets.

Article source: https://www.shopify.com/retail/open-to-buy-plans

Behind the scenes with Addify — A Growing Marketplace Developer

Addify, a Pakistan-based development company, has become a success story. The 35-member team has already achieved sales of more than $100k per month since its inception on WooCommerce.com.

They are the developers of many popular extensions such as Custom User Registration Fields and Request a quote, Role Based Pricing. B2B for WooCommerce. Hide Price & Add To Cart Button.

Although they started their sales on CodeCanyon initially, they soon realized that the WooCommerce Marketplace was the best option. The company also develops for two online stores platforms. This has allowed them to enjoy higher sales and a greater ecosystem of extensions.

They are still climbing to the top. In a few months they will be adding 15 more team members and moving into a new office.

Through Zoom, the WooCommerce team met Ali, their co-founder, to discuss Addify’s success, where they are headed, and what other developers can do to follow in their footsteps.

Q. Q.

Mehmood and Muhammad, my co-founders, met twelve years ago when I was working for another company. We became close friends, and we kept in touch while we developed our marketing and development skills. It became obvious that we could do something on our own.

Muhammad is a specialist in Magento and Prestashop design. When we develop extensions for new technologies, he builds technical teams. Mehmood oversees WordPress development. It’s the largest team that we have.

However, I am responsible for all aspects of support, including marketing, product research, and user experiences. It is my responsibility to decide what products I want to create, which features they should include, and how I will market them to site owners.

We now have 35 employees on the team. We’re moving into a new building to increase our staff to at least 50.

Learn more:

Q. Q.

Muhammad was developing a Magento website and needed a way to exempt certain users from paying taxes. We couldn’t find a solution so we asked ‘who else might be interested?’

We tried CodeCanyon, but it was not the right solution.

We tried WooCommerce, but it was not the right solution.

Although there was one solution that a developer offered on his website it did not include many features. We knew there was more. We created the Exempt extension, and we made our first sale on WooCommerce.com in September 2019.

Q. Q. Why did you choose to concentrate on this?

We might be able to find solutions for other industries. We have all been involved in non-eCommerce development before so it’s something we could do. We noticed that these types of websites are often quite stagnant after they’re built.

eCommerce is constantly improving the user experience and experimenting with marketing. The potential for success is greater. A good extension and support can result in many solutions being purchased by the same store owner over time. They will likely continue to use our support because they are looking for more information and the most recent features.

Q. Q.

WooCommerce has 28% eCommerce market share. It is the most popular eCommerce platform so it makes sense to offer your products to the largest audience.

Q. Q. Why did you choose this route over other options?

We discussed for several weeks before we finally decided on where to go. It was difficult because we knew everything about each platform. There are always compromises. This was a huge debate.

We chose WordPress because of its SEO. Both WordPress and WooCommerce are SEO-friendly.

It was also easy to create. WordPress is much faster than other platforms. For example, we were able to develop a website in just two weeks. On the other platform, it took us two months.

We chose WordPress and WooCommerce because we knew that we would need lots of space to grow and there would not be a shortage of extensions and plugins to help us do this.

Fourth, we concluded that maintaining other platforms would prove more costly due to the higher server costs. We decided that WordPress would be more cost-efficient in the long-term.

WooCommerce allowed us to quickly get up and running.

Q. Q. Why did you choose to migrate to the WooCommerce Marketplace instead?

We knew WooCommerce.com was the official platform so we wanted to be there. We felt we should be there as an authorized company.

WooCommerce.com is our main focus now and we are releasing 98% exclusively there.

  1. We realized that the WooCommerce Marketplace had a large customer base and more revenue for vendors after the releases of the first two extensions. We changed our CodeCanyon profile from exclusive to non-exclusive, and we added products to our website as well as the WooCommerce Marketplace in order to offer multiple sales channels.
  2. CodeCanyon does not have a minimum pricing policy. Individual developers set their products at extremely low prices which makes it difficult for companies to grow and maintain products, and offer top-quality after-sales services.
  3. The WooCommerce Marketplace team is more like a family to us because they listen closely to our feedback.

Q: It all comes down to a better environment, great support and a larger audience for sales.

Yes, WooCommerce offers subscription options for extensions. This is very important.

To continue receiving updates and support, customers can renew their WooCommerce Marketplace subscription.

This drives us to improve the product, add new features and ensure it is compatible. This is good news for store owners. It’s also good for us from a revenue perspective.

Q. Q.

We are familiar with the available extensions because we have worked in the eCommerce industry for over 120 years. We listen to our customers and read forums to find out what they are looking for.

Once we have identified a group of extensions we like, we do marketing research to evaluate them. We then decide if the extension is worth our time and if it has any unique features. We will consider whether a similar product exists and what we can do to make our product stand apart.

Every support ticket I receive is read by me personally. Although I am not a programmer, I can help them quickly. However, I can help people get an idea of their needs and then have our developers tackle it.

Q: Are your development decisions always market-based? Are developers driven by passions that can dictate the next steps?

We are very particular about the products we release. We are completely focused on the needs of our customers and how useful our solutions can be. We do however listen to the ideas that our developers have. Choose Userrole is an example of an idea that was generated by the development team. This became an integral part of many bestsellers.

We have also created extensions even though our research did not support them. We created them anyway, because customers requested them.

Q. Q.

It must be B2B to WooCommerce. We knew this solution would be popular because of the high volume of searches.

Problem was that the term “WooCommerce Business to Business” is too broad. It was necessary to determine what functions people were actually looking for in order to solve this problem. We released individual extensions as we identified them. We eventually had many robust solutions that we could combine into one WooCommerce B2B extension.

Q: What are your costs plans? What is more costly to create a new product, or keep existing products?

It is more costly to maintain an existing one than to create new ones. It’s not about how expensive it is, but what our customers want. It is important to provide quality support and new features. Regular updates are also necessary in order to keep extensions running.

We believe that providing high-quality support can be costly. It’s also important to ensure that customers are satisfied. Customers who are happy leave positive reviews, which is critical for sales.

I also look at support requests as they are received to see what features people would like so that we can develop the next update. Sometimes I can even get ahead of an issue to fix it with the next update. This is going to end up being cheaper than continuing support for a large conflict.

Support is great for customers but also for us because it helps us to identify new opportunities.

The refund policy has also affected and motivated us.

Q: How does this (refund policy), impact you?

WooCommerce offers a hassle-free, 30-day refund policy. Customers don’t need to provide any reason or information to request a refund.

CodeCanyon gave us the opportunity to answer customer questions and assist them in solving their problems. This was definitely something we preferred at first.

We are motivated by the possibility of getting back our investment. We must be our best and keep pace with the product. It pays off if you do a great job.

Q: How do I create product pages for my extension? These are some of the best on the market.

Right now, I write and develop it all myself. It’s very important because everythingshould go on the product page. It’s been so hard to find out what people want so we need to communicate it and put it all on the page.

One review said that everything was on the product page. “Don’t expect anything more.” That review made me smile because it meant that the product page had done its job.

Q: Do you think that your involvement with WooCommerce has helped you to be closer to the community?

Yes. We also get to work closer with SkyVerge. That’s fantastic.

We also have a great Slack platform. We can also reach out to other developers if we have a problem. They also benefit from this because they don’t want their product to cause conflict for anyone.

We work together to find solutions, and then we take the lessons learned into consideration for our future plans.

Q: What is different about where you are now than when you started?

We have better processes, a new development approach, and better support teams. Our products are more reliable when they go on the market because we test more.

Q: What advice would you give to other developers who are considering joining the WooCommerce Marketplace.

It’s all about planning the right products, and then offering good support. To find the right extensions for people, you must do your research. You’re on the right track if you do that.

Aftersales support is key to long-term success, according to us. People may not return to you again if you don’t do the job right.

In some cases, the customer may have initially requested a refund because they purchased an alternative extension but then came to us for support as the developer didn’t provide the required assistance.

You don’t have to be alone when you addify

Many developers such as Addify are enjoying success on WooCommerce Marketplace. Developers who are willing to work extra to help the community and provide quality extensions are needed.

How to start a cleaning business: The complete guide

A wide variety of cleaning services are offered by cleaning businesses, such as vacuuming, dusting and floor mopping. Cleaning businesses have been focusing on the CDC-recommended procedures to eradicate the COVID-19 virus. This guide will discuss low-cost ways to get your cleaning business started on a tight budget. In seven easy steps, we will show you how to start your cleaning business.

1. Select the type of cleaning business you want

First, you must decide if you want to start a commercial or residential cleaning company. This decision will impact everything else, from financing to equipment to marketing.

Many cleaning companies do not offer services to commercial and residential customers. Each cleaning company offers different services and requires unique equipment. This is why specialization is important. It is also important to decide whether you are starting your business from scratch or buying a franchise that specializes in cleaning.

Commercial vs. Residential Cleaning Businesses

A residential cleaning service is one that specializes in cleaning homes, while a commercial cleaning service is one that specializes in cleaning businesses. It gets more complicated. The residential cleaning business is typically more affordable to start. However, adding on services like window washing and floor waxing can make it very profitable.

You also want to consider that residential is done during the day, and commercial is during the night. Also, residential cleaning is more detail oriented because the homeowner is more likely to inspect your work, and be particular about how you do certain tasks such as arranging pillows and blankets. Commercial covers more square feet, so you’ll have to work faster and less detail oriented than residential.

You’ll have more customers in residential areas, which means less competition for your business. Your budget and your lifestyle will determine which option you choose between residential or commercial.

Do You Need to Buy a Cleaning Franchise?

Franchises in cleaning are very popular. You can choose from more than 15 brands. Cleaning franchises are attractive because they are generally affordable to start. Many franchises offer the option of starting from home or part time. As low as $3500 for a Stratus Building Solutions franchise

It’s important to keep in mind that not all cleaning franchises will be affordable. Some franchises require a $200,000 investment. These franchises require vehicles, advanced equipment, and a physical location.

Learn more:

Magento pos

Shopify pos

Bigcommerce pos

Woocommerce pos

Netsuite pos

MSI

 

A franchise offers industry and business training, which is why many new business owners opt to purchase it. The Maids, for example, offers seven-weeks of business training. It also provides two days of culture and admin training at headquarters. You can also get four days on-site training at your place. This is a boot camp for cleaning businesses!

Research top cleaning franchises

Franchise Type Initial investment
Stratus Construction Solutions Commercial $4,000 to $73,000
JanPro Commercial $4,000 – $54,700
Vanguard Cleaning Systems Commercial $6,000 – $37,000
Anago Cleaning Systems Commercial $11,000 to $68,000
Maid Pro Residential $58,000 to $222,000
The Maids Residential $63,000 to $141,000
Merry Maids Residential $125,000 – $90,000.
Molly Maid Residential $112,000 to $156,000

2. 2.

Next, you need to create a business plan. Get your ideas down on paper. Also, research startup costs and project how much the cleaning business will make over the next two-years (referred to as financial projections).

traditional business planning is required if you are looking for large amounts of funding from a bank, investor or other financial institution. To help with financial projections, most people will use a business plan software. Software is required to help you understand what an income statement or balance sheet are.

A one-page business plan is possible

The one-page business plan should take you less than fifteen minutes to complete. It’s easy: Simply write one to two sentences for each of the questions provided in the template.

Download template: PDF

Create a budget

You will need to calculate the financials of your cleaning company along with the business plan. Three figures are required: estimated startup costs, estimated monthly expenses, monthly income and estimated startup costs.

These are the most common expenses associated with a low-cost cleaning company:

  • Permits and Licenses: $50 to $500 to Register as a Limited Liability Company
  • Insurance: $500 – $3,500 per year, depending on how many employees. You can expect to pay only a few hundred dollars a month.
  • Cleaning products and equipment: $300-$600 depending on the model of tools. Vacuums of high quality can be purchased for $200 to $300. There are $10 off for several all-purpose cleaning products, $10 off for a broom and $20 on a mop. You also get $20 off for dusting supplies.
  • Advertising:$100 – $200 for print or online marketing
  • Labor: About $12 per hour.

Once you have estimated your expenses, it is time to calculate your rates and the monthly income you will make.

Get your Cleaning Rates Set

Rates will be determined by factors such as location, competition, clientele and interior condition. Upgrades such as wall washings, appliance cleanings and window cleaning can help you earn more revenue.

These options are important when setting your rates

  • Hourly rate: $30-$90 per hour. The most popular billing method is the hourly rate. Call your competitors to get an estimate of your hourly rate and inquire about the cost of service.
  • Flat rate: $120-$150 for a single family home. This rate can be determined by estimating the time it will take to clean a house. This rate may be preferred by customers because they know exactly how much to pay each month.
  • Square Foot Feet Rate: Commercial cleaning companies charge per square foot. An office building will typically be charged between $.05 and $.20 per square feet.

Add up the income and expenses

Once you know your startup costs and monthly expenses and your potential income, the next step will be to calculate your net income (income after expenses) and the time it will take to make your initial investment back. This is also known as breakeven.

Let’s take, for example, startup costs of $4,000. You calculate that your monthly expenses will be $1,000, which includes your quarterly tax withdrawal, or about 20% of your income.

If you clean 20 houses per month, earning $120 per house, that’s $2,400 in income. You will have $1,400 in net income each month after you subtract the $1,000 monthly expenses.

This scenario will require you to breakeven in four months and earn your $4,000 investment back. It’s unlikely that you will have 20 homes within your first month of business. This client base and your return on investment may take more than four months.

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3. 3. Get the necessary funds

You did it! Now you know the amount of money it will take to open the cleaning business and keep it running for at least six more months. Now, you have to raise the money. How do you go about it?

In order to begin your business, it is a good idea to use personal money. Avoid debt whenever possible. If you have vehicles or a physical address, this may not be possible. No matter what type of business you are opening, you will still need to repay the debt if it fails.

To start your cleaning business (bullets), you might consider the following funding options:

  • Personal money: Before you use any personal funds to launch your business, make sure that the money is transferred into a bank account for the business (described below).
  • Crowdfunding – This funding option is often overlooked by new cleaning business owners. Crowdfunding is a way to raise funds from family and friends before you open your business. The funds can be used to buy equipment, and then for prepaid services.
  • Credit Cards: We don’t recommend that you take on large amounts of debt in order to start your business. A credit card can be an option if you are willing to take on debt. You can get a 0% APR for 12-18 months if you have excellent credit.
  • Personal loan – We recommend that you do not take out a personal loan in order to start a cleaning company. Because the loan isn’t secured by collateral, the interest rate is high (12%)
  • Home equity loans: You can get a loan to fund your startup if you have equity in your house. The interest rate on this loan will be very low because it is secured by your home.
  • Rollover to business startups (ROBS).: This is only for franchise openings. ROBS refers to when you use your 401(k), money to open a new business.

You can’t apply for traditional bank loans or SBA loans until you have a minimum of three years worth of income and expenses or paid off any equipment. Banks don’t usually lend to startups.

A bank loan or franchise financing may be available if you are franchising. A bank may be able to arrange funding through the franchise. If the franchise’s overall failure rate is low, a bank might be willing to finance it.

4. 4.

Now that you have enough money to start your cleaning company, it is time to organize your legal documents. To open a bank account for your business, you will need an employment ID number.

Register for an Employment Identification Number

To identify small businesses, the federal government provides the employment identification number (EIN). This number is used to file taxes, open a bank account or get a loan. The IRS offers a free EIN. It takes approximately 15 minutes to complete the entire process.

Register the Legal Entity

All owners of cleaning businesses need to register their business as an entity. If a lawsuit is ever filed against your business, you can protect your personal assets by registering as a legal entity. The cost of registering a business depends on the state. It can range from $40 to $500.

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Tip Do not try to save money and skip this step. Cleaning business comes with a risk because you use chemicals in the homes and homes of your customers. You could be sued by customers if you cause damage to their homes, or if you accidentally destroy something. Your personal assets could be used to pay damages if you don’t have a legal entity.

 

  • Sole proprietorship – This is the default structure for your business if you do not register it as a legal entity. A sole proprietorship does not provide legal protections.
  • Limited Liability Company : This is the legal entity that you will most likely choose to run your cleaning business. It is easy to set up and requires little maintenance each year.
  • C corp – The C-corp is another legal entity. It’s easier to set up than the LLC. Many business owners hire an attorney for assistance in setting up the LLC. C-corps are typically used for larger businesses that have many investors.
  • S corporation – Technically the S-corp (small company corp) is not an entity legal. It’s a tax designation. The S-corp was created by Congress to give small businesses similar tax benefits as large corporations. To determine if your LLC can be designated as an S-corp, you can use the custom calculator.

Visit your state’s official website for business registration. You can use an online legal service if you find the site difficult to navigate. IncFile can register your company for free (plus any applicable state fees).

Register for a Business Bank Account

Get a bank account before you incur any expenses or take on any new clients. You want to make sure your personal and business finances are separate as a business owner.

Separate bank accounts are useful for keeping track of income and expenses in order to file taxes. This separation of finances makes it easier to handle any IRS audits.

You can open a business check if you already have a banking relationship. Novo is a great option if you are looking for a bank. Novo is an online bank that caters to small businesses. Novo does not require a minimum balance to open a checking account. Big banks may require $1,500.

5. Get Proper Licenses & Insurance

A license is required for a cleaning business to operate in the locality. All cleaning companies will require insurance. This insurance covers any damage to a customer’s house. Workers’ compensation insurance is required if you hire employees.

Business License

Your state may not require you to obtain a license to operate a cleaning business. Check your state’s website for information about licensing requirements.

A General Business License is required for your city. A record of the businesses that are in operation is all that’s required by most cities. Visit the official website of your city to obtain a General Business License.

Atlanta, for example, requires that all businesses obtain a General Business License. This applies to both online and home-based businesses. The license costs $75. A $500 fine can be imposed if you fail to get a license.

General Liability Insurance

You should at least purchase general insurance (GL). This insurance will protect you from property and bodily injury. A small cleaning business will need GL insurance. It costs around $300 per annum.

Customers may ask for proof that your company is covered by general liability insurance before they hire you as a cleaning service. Customers want to be able to collect for any damage your cleaning might cause in their house or business.

Janitorial Bond

Although you will do your best to find the best people for your cleaning company, there is no guarantee that they won’t steal on the job. In the event of theft, a janitorial bond ( certainty bond ) protects the homeowner.

Here’s how it works. If an employee takes an item from a customer’s house, the bond company will pay for replacement. The bond company places your business on a payment schedule so that you can repay them over time. This is better than a lawsuit or large payment to the client.

A bond is required for new cleaning companies to ensure that thefts don’t cause financial ruin. An annual janitorial bond costs around $200

Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ Compensation Insurance is required if you have employees. Workers’ compensation insurance covers employees who are injured while on the job and pays for their medical bills, rehabilitation costs, as well as lost wages. Workers’ compensation will cost approximately $450 per employee annually.

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6. Buy Cleaning Equipment

Your first customer is almost accepted! First, you will need to buy the equipment necessary to do the job. Below is a list of affordable items that will help you get your cleaning business off to a good start.

These are the basics you’ll need:

  • Clean uniform or apron
  • Use paper towels
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Latex gloves
  • Use scrubbers
  • Toilet brush
  • Grout brush
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Window cleaner
  • Wood cleaner
  • Grout and tile cleaner
  • Extendable duster
  • Sponge
  • Disinfectants
  • Vacuum
  • Bucket
  • Mop

 

Don’t be overwhelmed by the sheer number of cleaning products and brands available if you are starting from a tight budget. When you first start out, make sure to only purchase the items that are necessary. Do not spend more or get into more debt than you need.

Write down your cleaning wish list items. It’s tempting to want a premium vacuum right now. But resist the urge.

In your business plan, list your wishlist items. Indicate the net income level at which you will make each purchase. There will be milestones in your business that you can look forward to!

7. 7.Market Your Cleaning Business

Let’s discuss low-cost, free ways to get your cleaning company noticed. All online marketing, including Google My Business and social media, is free. Although physical marketing materials may have a price, you can make an impact on customers with creativity.

Material for Physical Marketing

There are many options available for physical marketing materials such as flyers, business cards and postcards. We’re talking about marketing on a budget so I will only discuss one low-cost strategy to market a cleaning company.

Leave a note on a card after each cleaning. Thank the homeowner for their service and ask them to forward your card to anyone who is interested in having their home cleaned.

If you are promoting your business using marketing materials, leave a small gift like chocolates or something that the homeowner would appreciate, such as a hand sanitizer. This is called reciprocity. This personal marketing creates an emotional connection between the homeowner and their customer, which makes them more likely than others to reciprocate.

Online Marketing

These are free online marketing strategies that will help you get your cleaning business noticed online.

  • Google My Business: All local businesses can use the GMB, a free listing provided by Google. Your GMB will be displayed first to potential customers who search for residential cleaning businesses.
  • Google My Business: After you have created your GMB listing, Google will also provide a one-page website for free. Although this is not a permanent website, it is a great option for cleaning businesses on a tight budget.
  • Social media profiles – The best advice for social media success? Choose one platform and use it well. You can choose the social platform that you like best (for cleaning, either Instagram) and build your following there.
  • Local business directory: A cleaning company should be listed at least on Yelp or Yellow Pages. You can find other directories that you should be listed on by doing a Google search for your service and seeing what results are returned.

Network in Your Community

Networking in person is an effective and memorable way to promote your business to potential customers. Try attending small business groups in your area such as the Chamber of Commerce and Rotary clubs. Volunteer to serve as a leader in order to make a lasting impression on the organization.

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Bottom line

We have discussed the steps required and low-cost ways to get your cleaning business started. A franchise is a great option for a new business owner who needs the support and training they need. After you have your first customers, it is important to put in great work. A clean house or office is the best way to market your business.

How to Make Money blogging: The Ultimate Guide

You’ll find lots of information on the internet if you search for “how to make a living blogging”. Unfortunately, most of the advice you will get from well-intentioned gurus won’t be accurate or complete and will only guide you to mediocrity. Worst case, you could end up with dismal results.

You must treat your blog as a business to make it profitable. Choose the most effective monetization strategies and market your business effectively. It is important to monitor and analyze your results and make adjustments when necessary.

This is the Ultimate Guide to Making Money from Blogging

Since nearly a decade, I have been a blogger and a business growth consultant for bloggers. My marketing experience spans over two decades. This ultimate guide to blogging success will show you how to make money. The real drivers behind blogging success will be revealed to you. This guide will show you how to make a living from blogging and even generate millions of dollars through blogging (as Fit Small Business did).

How to Make Money Blogging Please Share This Image on Your Site

Your blog should be treated as a business.

Bloggers who are successful don’t “wing it” but create a business plan that will guide them to success. The top bloggers know the importance of choosing a profitable niche and investing in the right resources. They research their niche and the competition. They then provide the best solutions for their audience’s problems.

The Learning Herbs blog generates about $20,000 per month. Source: CreateAndGo.com

Invest in the Right Resources

Although you don’t have to spend a lot to start a blog, it is unlikely that you will ever be able to make a lot of money from it. Investing in time-saving and profitability-boosting blogging resources is one of the best ways to set yourself up for blogging success.

Create your blog on a reliable, flexible platform

It is important that you choose a reliable and capable blogging platform to set up your blog. Bluehost is a great hosting platform for self-hosted WordPress blogs.

WordPress powers more websites than any other website builder. The builder has a wide range of themes and flexible plugins for WordPress so it is easy to create any type blog, even if you have limited technical knowledge.

Bluehost is a trusted WordPress hosting solution. Bluehost is trusted by millions of users for its reliable and secure hosting services.

Visit Bluehost

Make time and money by using the Time-&-Money-Saving Blogging Tool

What if you had a hammer, a saw and all the tools necessary to build a house? You wouldn’t. Don’t attempt to create a blog using a limited set of tools.

These are some resources and tools that you can add to your blog toolbox.

  • Writing Tools Use grammar improvement tools like Grammarly, ProWritingAid or WhiteSmoke to ensure that your blog content is error-free.
  • Ecommerce tools: If you want to monetize your website with physical or digital products you will need an eCommerce tool such as Shopify, Ecwid or WooCommerce.
  • Editorial and Project Management Tools: Use tools such as Trello and the Co-Schedule blog calendar to manage your blogging projects.
  • Payment Processing Tools Accept payments on your blog via Square Payments, PayPal or Stripe
  • Image Editing Tools: You’ll need to create images and edit them for your blog. PicMonkey, Canva or Placeit are some options.
  • Building your email database is crucial to blogging success. Use popular name-capture software like OptinMonster and Smart Bar by SumoMe.
  • Email Marketing Tools Contact your blog audience by email using email marketing software such as Constant Contact, Drip or Converkit.
  • Social sharing tools: Let your readers share your content with tools like Sumo and Social Warfare.

There are many tools that can be used to help you blog. There are many tools that can help you with running your blog. You’ll often find the best solutions when you ask other bloggers in blogging Facebook Groups and online blogger forums.

Do not hesitate to outsource

Many business owners don’t have the necessary skills to build their businesses. Bloggers aren’t experts in writing, graphic design and editing. Bloggers who are interested in business building should do the same thing as smart business owners: Focus on what you know best and outsource all the rest.

These are some outsourcing and freelancer websites that you can use to complete a variety of blogging tasks:

  • Fiverr –This marketplace offers affordable solutions to all kinds of blogging tasks including logo design and blog article writing.
  • Upwork All types of freelancers are available on Upwork, starting from the beginner to the advanced.
  • Freelancer.com Hire freelancers for your blog projects on Freelancer.com.
  • Problogger Job Board Search for freelancers who specialize in blogging projects via the Problogger Job Board.

Many successful bloggers have a list of freelancers that they can call on for different blogging projects. virtual assistant (VA) can also be hired by many bloggers. This is a great way for you to do simple tasks on an ongoing basis. You don’t even need to assign projects to your VA.

Analyze Your Market and Your Competition

Selecting a profitable niche is an important step to creating a blog that makes money. You need to be familiar with the market you are operating in, the audience you serve, and the competition in your niche. You will be more likely to create unique content that will impress your readers and keep them coming back.

Give the Best Solution to Your Audience’s Problems

If you give generic advice that isn’t helpful to your audience, or that they can find elsewhere, blogging won’t be able to make a living. You must stand out from other bloggers who are trying to grab your attention. Your ideal audience will find better solutions and more value elsewhere.

Remember that the visitors coming to your blog are there for a reason. They have a question they need answered. They have problems that they need to solve. The better you are at moving your audience from where they are to where they want to be, the more successful your blog will be.

A blog content strategy is essential to ensure that you are providing your audience with the best content. This will help you create blog posts that are relevant to your audience. You will be able to avoid creating irrelevant, unprofitable content that doesn’t add value to your blog.

While great content is the most important aspect of creating a user-friendly blog, there are many other things you can do. Your blog should load quickly. Make it easy to understand your blog’s purpose and use intuitive navigation to make it easy for visitors to find what you’re looking.

Make sure you create an exceptional experience for your blog visitors; it’s key to growing blog profits. Source: Podia.com

The Right Blog Monetization Techniques

A blog built without a monetization plan, is a bad idea. This is why most new bloggers fail. You already know that your blog is a business and you need to think about how your blog will generate consistent income. There are many ways you can make a living blogging, and some are more lucrative than others.

While some monetization methods require you to put in a lot of work, such as creating custom products or online courses, the potential profits can be tremendous. Some monetization techniques are quick and easy, such as joining an advertising network. However, you will typically only earn modest returns if your blog traffic is less than 25,000 pages per month.

It’s possible to monetize your website even if you have low traffic. Multi-monetization is a key strategy for bloggers who are highly successful.

Tap into the Money-Making Power of Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing allows bloggers to make money by promoting other products and services. Every time your blog readers make an action, you receive a commission. This is typically making a purchase. However, depending on the agreement, it could also be filling out forms or simply clicking over to the third-party’s website.

Affiliate marketing is easy to start. Affiliate marketing is a major source of income for top bloggers. It can bring in 40% to 60% of their revenues. Even if you are a beginner blogger, affiliate marketing is possible.

Affiliate programs can make bloggers a few dollars per month, while others can earn hundreds or even thousands. Affiliate marketing can be a great way to make a living, especially if your products and services are well-received.

These are the top affiliate networks and programs you should be looking into:

  • Rakuten Marketing (Formerly Linkshare).
  • ClickBank
  • CJ Affiliate
  • Flex Offers
  • ShareASale
  • Amazon Associates
  • eBay Partner Network
  • Affiliate Window (AWIN).
  • JVZoo
  • Target Affiliates (perfect if you love Target)

This list is only a small selection of the most popular programs, but there are many companies that offer affiliate programs. Look into whether the product owner has an affiliate program if you find a product that is perfect for your blog audience.

You can also join programs such as Viglink and Skimlinks if you aren’t interested in working directly with merchants and affiliate networks. These programs allow you to tap into the power and potential of affiliate marketing. However, rather than joining just one merchant program, Skimlinks or Viglink scan your blog content, and create links to affiliate programs for product owners. If you have a lot to mention on your blog, this batch-style process can help you save a lot time.

Lifestyle blogger Blair Staky made over $9,000 in February 2020, and over $5,000 of that came from affiliate marketing. Source: blairstaky.com

You can sell digital and physical products on your blog

Your blog can be monetized by selling physical or digital products . These products can be created by you or acquired through a third party.

These are just a few of the products that you can sell through your blog.

  • This is a very popular and simple way to create and publish e-books.
  • Branded products such as planners and mugs
  • Original art including paintings, drawings and prints.
  • Software and apps
  • Meal-prep plans
  • Plans for fitness
  • T-shirts
  • Guides, checklists and planners that you can download
  • Templates for social media or graphics
  • Subscription boxes
  • Recipes
  • Private label products
  • Audio recordings, such as meditations and original music, are available
  • Stock photos
  • Handmade products

You can create an online store on your blog to get selling quickly. Make sure the products you sell are relevant to your blog audience. Otherwise, you will only see minimal returns.

Selling products through your blog can make you a few hundred dollars to several thousand each month. It all depends on what products you sell and how well you market them.

Blogger Sarah Titus earns more than seven figures a year selling printable downloads on her blog and Shopify store. Source: sarahtitus.com

Advertise to make money from your blog

Many bloggers who are just starting out see bloggers with experience incorporating ads to their blogs and conclude that this is a great way for them to make money blogging. Advertising is a great way to make money online, but it won’t make you rich.

Advertising is great, especially if it’s done through a third party advertising network. You can simply add the code to your website and forget about it. After the code has been installed, you can simply sit back and enjoy passive income month after month from these ads. It’s simple money.

Advertising has a downside. You need to have a lot traffic to make money. Some ad networks won’t accept you until your monthly page views average between 25,000 and 30,000. You may still only make a few hundred dollars a month from advertising. Bloggers who use advertising to monetize their websites also use other monetization methods.

These are the top advertising networks that you should check out:

  • Google AdSense
  • Mediavine
  • Monumetric
  • AdThrive
  • Infolinks
  • RevenueHits from Intango

To negotiate advertising agreements for your blog, you can also contact product and service providers directly. Although this is more time-consuming, it often leads to a higher level of advertising income.

Add information to your blog about how you can contact you for advertising information. This information is usually located in the footer. ratecard for advertising or a media kit could be created for your blog.

The Endless Meal Blog has over 430,000 pages views per month and makes about $5,800 or 83% of its income from advertising on the AdThrive network. Source: theendlessmeal.com

Sponsored posts

Bloggers can make a living by posting sponsored posts on their blogs and social media. You could make as much as several hundred dollars per sponsored post depending on how popular your blog is. For top bloggers, with large followings, you can charge thousands of dollars per post.

Joining influencer networks is one of the best ways to find sponsorship opportunities. These networks allow bloggers to connect with brands and handle all details of the project and payment.

These are some popular influencer marketing platforms that you should explore:

Reaching out directly to business owners and brands can help you secure sponsored posts. Be sure to show the value that you can bring to the table by being a blogger influencer to a dedicated audience.

The Savvy Couple blog has grown its average income to as high as $43,547 per month; Sponsorships account for 61% of the blog’s income.
Source: thesavvycouple.com

Earn Money by Taking Online Courses

Online courses can be a great way to make a living as a blogger. Popular courses make it possible for top bloggers to earn six- or seven-figures per year. Although you might not be able to make these kinds of income right away, if you’re good at building an audience on your blog and creating relevant online courses, this monetization method could provide a steady stream of income.

Blogger Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, the founder of the Making Sense of Cents blog, has earned more than a half-million dollars from her popular courses.
Source: makingsenseofcents.com

Use your blog to promote professional services

You can also make money blogging by offering consulting, coaching, and other professional services. Your blog can be used to increase your credibility and position you as an expert in your field. You can then offer your services to others who are interested in your extensive knowledge and experience.

Selling services can make you a lot of money. It all depends on the type of service you provide, your experience and how much you value your services. A freelance copywriter might make $50-$95 an hour while executive coaches who are highly paid can charge $250-$750 per hour.

The Club Thrifty blog earned more than $400,00 in 2019 from freelance writing income alone. Source: clubthrifty.com

Events and Paid Speaking Opportunities

You can make a living blogging if you are a showman or a motivational speaker. Hosting your own events, such as webinars, seminars and retreats, can help you make a lot of money.

You can make a lot of money as a speaker. You could make even more as an event facilitator, speaker, or promoter.

If you have the right topic, the right audience size, and a compelling line-up for speakers, live events can bring in six figures. The cost of producing a large-scale, in-person event can easily run into the hundreds or even thousands of dollars. This means that this monetization strategy is not feasible for all bloggers.

If you don’t have the financial resources or desire to attend a large conference, there are alternatives. You can host an online event for free or a low fee and invite other people in your field to take part. The event can be monetized by offering follow-up services or selling recordings.

Hosting online retreats has the advantage that experts who participate in them will share the promotion with their audience. This can help you gain a lot of exposure for your blog.

The Bestseller Online Summit is an example of the type of online event you can create to monetize your blog. Source: bestsellersummitonline.com

Analyteq Oy joins the Solteq Family: Product replenishment analytics to help digital commerce solutions

Analyteq Oy joins the Solteq Family: Product replenishment analytics to help digital commerce solutions

Solteq’s announcement that it was purchasing a majority stake in Analyteq Oy drew immediate attention and reflections from employees. The intentions of the new owner were likely to be of concern to many as the acquisition caught everyone off guard. The transfer now seems very logical, after the dust has settled and the acquisition is confirmed.

Cross-pressure among traders

The retail sector has seen major changes over the past few years after a period of relative calm. One thing has remained constant throughout this period of transition – the customer experience. It doesn’t matter if you are talking about traditional shops or e-commerce solutions. It is crucial to invest in customer experience to build a long-lasting relationship with each customer and not just a temporary experiment to try our products or services.

Consumers are becoming more educated and more demanding, especially in the grocery industry. Diverse media outlets have begun a dialogue on the issues of waste management, food waste and operational ethics in the sector. We, the consumers, send a mixed message. We demand a flawless point-of-sale experience.

Supply chain improvement with real added value

Analyteq now steps on the bridge. We specialize in providing a demand-based replenishment service and developing supply chain management-related Web analytics.

We work in close cooperation with Helsinki-based software company Relex Oy, who have in recent years received a variety of international awards for their forecasting and portfolio management support systems. Analyteq’s versatility in utilisation and optimization of these systems within our clients’ operating environments is what makes us stand out.

Our pioneering and fruitful cooperation is illustrated by system and service entities. In these entities, clients can completely outsource replenishment of their products. This was previously a difficult area of operation. We were also able to automate the replenishment and sale of daily products in stores thanks to our collaboration. This has allowed us to reduce waste and improve the availability of products.

Customers get a greater overall benefit

Solteq’s arrival on the scene is an interesting development, if we look at all of the above. Practically, this means that we now have a wide range of experts in product and service portfolios at the same table. This will undoubtedly lead to more synergies for customers.

For example, we might envision seamless integration between ERP, cash and electronic-trade systems to support product management and replenishment. Service production is also available, which uses advanced analytics to optimize the supply chain. We can also offer logistics solutions in conjunction with Analyteq’s owner, Tuko Logistics. All of these solutions can be tailored to the customer’s specific operating environment, and are available as a service.

The sector is on the cusp of some exciting projects, and enthusiasm from all parties is evident.

Six Ways the Intelligent Engagement Platform Can Help Sales and Customer Success

Six Ways the Intelligent Engagement Platform Can Help Sales and Customer Success

If your CSAT score exceeds 60%, NPS score greater than 70, sales revenues are high, and you don’t want an engagement platform that maximizes customer success and sales, don’t read this.

You are now ready to discover how an intelligent customer engagement platform can increase your sales revenue, increase repeat purchases, provide great customer experiences, improve upsell/cross-sell opportunities and dissolve silos, and improve accountability.

Ten Tips You Must Know About Customer Relationships

Business success is directly related to customer satisfaction. Low customer satisfaction can also affect retention, engagement, and loyalty. This is a sign that you are not providing good customer service. It can cost consumer brands as much as $62 billion annually. Customers will have a delightful experience with your brand if you build and maintain good customer relationships with them.

Building customer relationships is important for a variety of reasons, including better Engagement and higher Retention rates.

What is Customer Relationship?

Customer relationship is the process by which a consumer brand develops a strong rapport with its customers. The process of planning and synchronizing interactions with current and future customers is known as customer relationship management (CRM).

Our goal is to achieve high customer engagement and business fulfillment. Customer satisfaction is an indicator of customer relationship success.

Communication is the foundation of all relationships. With the advent of social media and the internet, you have more ways than ever to communicate with your customers. Communication that is great goes beyond the words and creates a bond.

What strategies can consumers use to improve customer relationships?

Here are 10 ways to build strong customer relationships

1. 1.

Using a customer’s name when talking to them in person, by phone, by email, or when creating customer surveys is one of the best ways to have a more personalized customer experience. The friendlier, more humane approach to the customer-business relationship does not sound coercive.

If a customer purchases your product, sign up for a trial or makes an inquiry, contact them directly to see if you are able to help them. Even if they decline to assist, customers will still appreciate your gesture and be more positive about your business.

You shouldn’t spam customers and you shouldn’t send them messages too often. It is best to build a relationship with customers by sending them personalized messages that are based on their interests and delivered through their preferred medium.

2. Be realistic about your expectations and don’t lose sight of the prize!

Don’t rush or try to get too far too soon. Building a partnership takes time and commitment. Your customers won’t immediately believe you can deliver on your promises. They will be more likely to seek your guidance and input to help them grow their business.

Because customers are different from one person to another and their needs change over time, it is impossible to say that you know exactly what they need. So you can ensure you’re meeting your customers’ needs, it is important that you find out their priorities and why they choose to do business with you.

Customers will hold on to your promises and if you make promises they don’t keep, it is a sure way to disappoint them. They can also spread the information, which could jeopardize your company’s reputation. Promise what you can deliver.

3. To maintain healthy customer relationships, solicit feedback from customers

Build a stronger Customer Relationship by soliciting opinions on multiple channels

Ask for feedback from customers or use social media to solicit it. Customer feedback is one of the most valuable assets a company has. Customer feedback is a direct indicator of how satisfied customers feel with your brand, products, and services in general. It can also tell you a lot regarding your customer satisfaction levels.

Furthermore, customer reviews will aid in the improvement of your services and products, as well as provide data that helps you make better business decisions. Customers will appreciate your taking it seriously.

Do not wait for your clients to give feedback. Be proactive and ask whenever you can. Social media surveys can also be used to get feedback from consumers on the aspects they like most about their interaction with your brand and what they would like to change.

Conduct surveys whenever you are planning to launch a new product or service. This is a great way to build customer loyalty.

4. Self-help is possible

Modern customers prefer to solve their own problems and not have to deal with customer service representatives. Find the most common problems and questions, then respond with detailed articles and step-by–step tutorials.
You can combine the FAQ/Knowledge Base section and the auto-reply function.

It is easy for customers to check the link by adding it in their email body. They will be able to find the answer they seek.

5. Try out giveaways, discounts, and free shipping

Discounts are a great way to encourage customers to purchase from you. A first-time buyer discount code can be included on your website. You can also send emails to customers with information about the discounts.

Consider doing giveaways. This can work well if you offer a subscription-based service. For example, customers could be eligible to win a month of service for free or a subscription that they can share with friends. You can also encourage people to share giveaway-related posts via social media.

Customers consider free shipping to be a “discount” because it lowers overall prices.

Offer free shipping for returns. This is a common concern for retailers as they fear losing money if they have the to pay or reimburse shipping costs. Don’t be discouraged, you can give it a shot. It increases trust and loyalty.

6. 6.

If you want to improve customer service and loyalty, it is important to quickly respond to any complaints. Respond to both negative and positive reviews. Both positive and negative feedback should be acknowledged. If you receive negative feedback, apologize. It will increase customer loyalty beyond just compensating them.

Consistent action builds trust, which is particularly important since prospective customers can view the experiences of current customers via digital and social media.

7. 7.

A guarantee will make it easier for customers to feel secure about purchasing your product. If customers feel they can trust the product, they will be more inclined to like your brand.

Prospective buyers will be less worried about risky investments and buyer’s remorse since there is no upfront cost for a free trial. A well-executed free trial combined with a fair refund policy can be a powerful tool to encourage customers to try your products or services.

8. Offer prompt and efficient customer service

Prioritize customer support and provide prompt service

Communicate with your customers promptly and in a timely manner. Customers expect prompt and professional answers when they have questions about your products or services. Think about it: Most people don’t have much time these days. Customer satisfaction can be affected by even half an hour spent with customer service.

So, provide omnichannel support:

  • Personal communication with staff
  • Support via social media (platforms that your customers use);
  • Email support;
  • Telephone support
  • Chat support

Your customers should be able to reach you as easily as possible. You should list hours for any live chat or business phone service on your website. This will allow users to know when they can reach you. Customers who feel valued and satisfied will be more likely to use your customer service services.

9. Reward customer loyalty

Customers today need personalization. Personalization is key to customer retention and increased revenue. A loyalty program can be a great way to give customers a personalized experience. It makes it easier for you to get customer data. Programs that offer high levels of service are more popular with customers.

Recognize and reward loyal customers for their loyalty. You can offer them special deals, invite them to special events, and let them know about new products and services. Customers who are satisfied with your services and products become loyal advocates.

Remember that your business exists solely because of and for your customers. Customers will return for more if they receive exceptional customer service.

10. To build a better customer relationship, say ‘Thank you’

You can thank your customers in many ways, such as email, social media, phone call, formal receipts and handwritten notes. This is especially important in these digital age. A handwritten thank you note is appreciated even though it is not possible to send one electronically.

Thank you notes let customers know how much your company cares about them. They also show that they are valued as people, and not just as a source for revenue.

Remember that thank-you notes written well will generate positive word-of mouth publicity for your company. It’s simple: customers receive the thank-you notes and share a picture for their social media followers. You can also send holiday cards!

Building and maintaining relationships is the essence of business. Customers are your most valuable resource. Take care of your customers and pay attention to them. Keep in touch, not just communicate with customers.