about ecat online & web design

News

Advantages of eCommerce Over Traditional Retail

With increasing the need of eCommerce industry, every businessman is looking to have an online store where they can sell their range of products and services. One can get a lot of benefits by opting for eCommerce as it delivers a comprehensive range of benefits to retailers and merchants. With the below benefits you will get the sense that e-commerce is the holy grail of retail;

Online store

1. Overcome Geographical Limitations
If you have a physical store, you are limited by the geographical area that you can service. With an e-commerce website, the whole world is your playground. Additionally, the advent of m-commerce, i.e., e-commerce on mobile devices, has dissolved every remaining limitation of geography.

2. Gain New Customers With Search Engine Visibility
Physical retail is driven by branding and relationships. In addition to these two drivers, online retail is also driven by traffic from search engines. It is not unusual for customers to follow a link in search engine results and land on an e-commerce website that they have never heard of. This additional source of traffic can be the tipping point for some e-commerce businesses.

3. Lower Costs
One of the most tangible positives of e-commerce is the lowered cost. A part of these lowered costs could be passed on to customers in the form of discounted prices.

4. Locate the Product Quicker
It is no longer about pushing a shopping cart to the correct aisle or scouting for the desired product. On an e-commerce website, customers can click through intuitive navigation or use a search box to narrow down their product search immediately. Some websites remember customer preferences and shopping lists to facilitate repeat purchase.

5. Eliminate Travel Time and Cost
It is not unusual for customers to travel long distances to reach their preferred physical store. E-commerce allows them to visit the same store virtually, with just a few mouse clicks.

6. Provide Comparison Shopping
E-commerce facilitates comparison shopping. There are several online services that allow customers to browse multiple e-commerce merchants and find the best prices.

7. Enable Deals, Bargains, Coupons, and Group Buying
Though there are physical equivalents to deals, bargains, coupons, and group buying, online shopping makes it much more convenient. For instance, if a customer has a deep discount coupon for turkey at one physical store and toilet paper at another, she may find it infeasible to avail of both discounts. But the customer could do that online with a few mouse-clicks.

8. Provide Abundant Information
There are limitations to the amount of information that can be displayed in a physical store. It is difficult to equip employees to respond to customers who require information across product lines. E-commerce websites provide a vast of database which can make additional information easily available to customers. Most of this information is provided by vendors and does not cost anything to create or maintain.

9. Remain Open All the Time
Store timings are now 24/7/365. E-commerce websites can run all the time. From the merchant's point of view, this increases the number of orders they receive. From the customer's point of view, an "always open" store is more convenient.

10. Create Markets for Niche Products
Buyers and sellers of niche products can find it difficult to locate each other in the physical world. Online, it is only a matter of the customer searching for the product in a search engine. One example could be the purchase of obsolete parts. Instead of trashing older equipment for lack of spares, today we can locate parts online with great ease.

shopping

The ECAT eCommerce solutions gives you all the flexibility and features that are needed to offer your client the peace of mind to buy online. In service for many years, and used by some of the biggest company on the continent, this system has been tested and offer a full range of functionality while keeping simplicity at the fore front.

Posted on 19 November 2018

Top 5 Worst Offenders that Chase Visitors Away from Your Website

You jumped on the digital trend and created a website for your business and created a profile on every social platform known to man, yet your business is not attracting more customers. Does this scenario sound familiar? There is a big chance that it’s not your brand that is a problem, but the way you present it online. Your website could need a facelift. “Visitors judge a website within a few seconds, and react based on elements such as the time it takes to load, the visual aspect and the ease of navigation," says Hugo Gauthier, the founder of ECAT Online System.  Take another look at your website and check if it has these five elements that drive audiences away.

Under Cons

1. Chaotic homepages 
The homepage is the most important and most valuable piece of real estate on your website. A cluttered page will drive an audience away or confuse them. A website should be organized, with a clear focal point that allows the visitor to feel visually comfortable to explore all the pages. The navigation bar should be easy to find. When it comes to pages, speed matters. Having a fast, responsive website that resizes to accommodate mobile devices helps visitors view not only the homepage, but the rest of the pages as well. 

Worst offenders: Website sliders that rotate at lightning speed, do not have a header and animated GIFs that kill the visitor’s concentration.

2. Cryptic navigation 
Ideally, the website navigation bar should be placed at the top of the page and always contain a link back to the homepage. The contents should be clearly represented in the menu, and pages should be titled in a way that speaks to visitors’ logic, not their imagination.

Worst offenders: Navigation bars with incoherent item hierarchy that leave primary pages hidden in sub-menus, broken links and a hard-to-find contact page.

3. Elusive social media buttons 
Burying your social media buttons on the site makes them hard to find. A brand that prides itself on being social should make it obvious to its audience. Engage your audience by making sure that every page on the website contains a link to social platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, etc). Remember, these social media links are visually different from post-sharing buttons.

Worst offenders: Websites where social media buttons are buried in the footer or the contact page, broken buttons that do not link to the proper page, and links to one social platform when the brand is active on several others.

4. No calls-to-action 
Visitors are flocking to your website, and yet, your bounce rate, the percentage of people who leave the site after visiting only one page is high. Why aren't visitors going beyond glancing at your homepage? Are you sure your visitors know what to do? Guide your audience with calls to action and simple instructions such as "call us," "click here" or "subscribe to our newsletter." As a brand, you want people to know how to make the best out of your website and, ultimately, your services. 

Worst offenders: Content made of aimless descriptions instead of reflecting a clear marketing strategy, wording that makes assumptions as to visitors’ concentration levels, and links that generously lead them to other websites.

5. Unoriginal photos 
A website solely filled with stock photography does not reflect the individuality of the brand. Authenticity goes a long a way with potential customers, so invest in professional photos or shoot your own personal photos to tell your brand's story. In a digital world where users are given endless options, the key to engagement and return on investment is to offer a unique value proposition in form as well as content. 

Worst offenders: Websites that use rehashed icons from the '90s, ubiquitous handshake pictures and the 20-year-old CEO in a conference room. 

If you have one or more of these offenders on your website, you could be unintentionally driving your audience away. 

Posted on 01 October 2018

6 Ways Your Business Can Benefit From Using Google AdWords

The marketing world has changed dramatically in recent years and Google AdWords is one of the platforms creating this change. Google AdWords is paid advertising or pay per click (PPC) advertising on Google. It’s one of the most effective methods of paid online advertising available.  The way it works is simple: People use keywords (or search terms) to search for specific products and services. If the keywords you’ve chosen match what people search for, your paid ad appears next to or above organic Google search results. When people click on your ad, they’ll go to your website to learn more or buy. This advertising system is used by thousands of small, medium and large organizations. If you don’t currently use Google AdWords or don’t use it to its full potential, you should seriously reconsider this stance. These are the main reasons you should be using Google AdWords;

1. Google AdWords Increases Leads and Customers
Google AdWords is one of the best tools for lead generation. If your campaigns are set up properly, it has the potential to send extremely targeted leads to your website, E-commerce website, opt-in form or other online property. Google AdWords allow you to focus on people who are searching for what you have to offer. It could include your businesses products or services. 

ADWORDS

 

Google

 

2. It’s a Flexible Marketing Platform
Anyone who uses Google AdWords regularly will immediately tell you that it’s an extremely flexible marketing platform. It’s suitable for all kinds and sizes of organizations. You can literally turn Internet traffic on and off using this system. This platform is also compatible with a wide range of other marketing platforms and software systems. Budgets can also be set according to the amount you’re willing to spend on this type of advertising. 

3. Businesses Get a High Return on Investment
Unlike other marketing strategies, you only pay for ads people click on. Once you optimize Google AdWords campaigns, you can get a high return on investment which may not be possible to achieve with other marketing strategies.

4. You See Fast, Transparent Results
This platform shows you easy-to-understand results and reports of your campaigns extremely quickly after it goes live. It’s easy to analyze the progress of your AdWords campaigns because its dashboard gives you all the information related to each campaign such as the ads clicked, keywords entered by website visitors, cost of clicks and much more.

AD

 

Words

 

5. It Taps Into Huge, High Quality Traffic Sources
Google is one of the biggest companies in the world. Millions of people search and click Google ads every day. This means it can send a business a huge amount of traffic every day, if they have the budget to pay for this traffic. Google prides itself on displaying relevant content and ads when people search through its search engine or view content that features Google ads. The people Google sends to you are more likely to become customers, opt-in to your email list, request information or take whatever action you want them to take.

6. Businesses Find Out More About Their Market
It’s important to be able to get into the minds of your ideal customers. Understanding your audience makes it much easier to deal with customers and find out what they want. However, this is extremely difficult to do. Traditional methods such as questionnaires and interviews only produce limited results. Google AdWords on the other hand, produces information about customer habits and requirements, business owners in previous generations could only dream about.

Google AdWords is one of the most powerful advertising tools ever created. It deals with millions of searches by internet users every day. It then gives business owners a unique opportunity to convert many of these people into business leads and customers. Paying for online advertising like Google AdWords turns off a lot of people, especially if they are unfamiliar with how this platform works.

Posted on 06 August 2018

4 Ways Your Business Can Benefit From Having a Mobile App

Mobile devices are always in our pockets, and the core functionality of those them (other than making phone calls) is to run a whole host of applications that serve nearly every imaginable purpose. Businesses from all corners of the world, offering a ridiculous range of products, have begun migrating from the physical world of handing out leaflets, printing advertisements, and hanging billboards, to the mobile realm, and you should too. Here below are 4 ways that your business will reap the benefits of creating a Mobile App for your customers;

1. Provide More Value to Your Customers
Business is all about reciprocation. You offer a product, the market opens their wallets with their demand, right? One way to do this is create a loyalty program within your app. It would work like this; The more customers interact with your business and product, the more points they collect, which can in turn be used for great deals on the products they already know they want.

Mobi

2. Build a Stronger Brand
One of the most important things a mobile app offers to consumers is awareness of and communication with your brand. And through that regular interaction with your target market, you’re fostering trust. The more your audience trusts you, the more likely they’ll be to listen to later sales pitches and even commit to your brand. With an app, you’ll demonstrate to your users why they should trust you by showing (rather than telling) what your brand stands for.

3. Connect Better with Customers
Customer service isn’t just about face to face communication between smiling sales associates and customers anymore. Since 2.6 billion people now have high-powered mobile devices within arm’s reach at all times, the true game-changer in customer service is now mobile apps. Firstly, your app won’t be merely a human being, subject to mood swings and poor performance. In fact, the vast majority of marketers see their apps as a means to primarily improve customer service. But think about it. If a person hears about your app in the middle of the night and wants to get information ASAP, all they have to do is turn on their device and download your app. 

4. Boost Profits
When customer satisfaction increases, sales typically do too. In fact, according to SalesForce, 70 percent of buying experiences are influenced by how customers feel they’re being treated. The more interested and pleased people become with your product and your business, the greater consumer demand will grow. That’s where the mobile app comes in like none other. But it’s important to keep costs low while you’re developing it. You should have a website with a Mobile Responsive design, but if you launch a mobile app in addition to your responsive website, you’ll boost sales while enhancing the customer experience.

Mobile

Other Benefits of a Mobile App:

  • Inform users of new products and offers
  • Stand out from the competition
  • Reach out to younger demographics
  • Sync users’ email and social media accounts

The bottom line is that 90 percent of companies plan to increase investment in mobile apps in 2018. If you don’t, there’s a good chance you’ll be left behind your competitors. And no, a mobile app may not save your business, but it is a sure way of securing a strong presence in your industry. The convenience factor coupled with the undeniably cool element of new, rapidly evolving technology will place your business on the forefront of your industry. 

Does your business have a mobile app? If not, let ECAT help you.

Posted on 30 July 2018

Benefits of Social Media for Business

Most social media users log into their accounts at least once per day, according to Pew Research Center, and many people are checking social multiple times per day. Imagine spending as little as 6 hours a week in order to increase your business’s recognition, traffic, and sales with little to no cost. About 90% of marketers claimed that social media generated immense exposure for their company, and that’s only one of its many advantages. We have put together a few advantages of using social media to market your business.

Media

1. Increased Brand Awareness

With nearly half of the world’s population using social media platforms, they’re a natural place to reach new and highly targeted potential customers. Social media is one of the most cost-efficient digital marketing methods used to syndicate content and increase your business’ visibility. Implementing a social media strategy will greatly increase your brand recognition since you will be engaging with a broad audience of consumers.

2. More Inbound Traffic

Without marketing your business on social media, your inbound traffic is limited to your usual customers. The people familiar with your brand are likely searching for the same keywords you already rank for. Without utilizing social media as part of your marketing strategy, you’ll have much more difficulty reaching anyone outside of your loyal customer circle.

3. Improved Search Engine Rankings

Let’s face it, everyone uses Google to find information, and they likely won’t navigate past page 1 because their answer normally is on the first page of results. If your business website isn’t ranked towards the top of search engine results, you should probably adjust your search engine optimization strategy. While social media doesn’t directly increase search engine rankings, Social Media Examiner states that more than 58% of marketers who have been using social media for one year or longer still see improved search engine rankings.

4. Higher Conversion Rates

With increased visibility, your business gains more opportunities for conversion. Every blog post, image, video, or comment may lead viewers to your company’s website and increase traffic. Social media marketing allows your business to give a positive impression through a humanization factor. People prefer to do business with other people, rather than companies. Studies have shown that social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing.

5. Better Customer Satisfaction

Social media is a networking and communication platform. Creating a voice for your company through these platforms is important in humanizing your company. Customers appreciate knowing that when they post comments on your pages, they will receive a personalized response rather than an automated message.

6. Improved Brand Loyalty

One of the main goals of almost all businesses is developing a loyal customer base. Considering that customer satisfaction and brand loyalty typically go hand in hand, it is important to regularly engage with consumers and begin developing a bond with them.

7. More Brand Authority

Customer satisfaction and brand loyalty both play a part in making your business more authoritative, but it all comes down to communication. When consumers see your company posting on social media, especially replying to customers and posting original content, it makes you appear more credible. Regularly interacting with customers demonstrates that your business cares about customer satisfaction and is available to answer any questions that they might have.

8. Cost-Effective

Social media marketing is possibly the most cost-efficient part of an advertising strategy. Signing up and creating a profile is free for almost all social networking platforms, and any paid promotions you decide to invest in are a relatively low cost compared to other marketing tactics.

9. Gain Marketplace Insights

One of the most valuable advantages of social media is marketplace insight. What better way to know the thoughts and needs of your consumers than by directly talking to them? By monitoring the activity on your profiles, you can see customer’ interests and opinions that you might not otherwise be aware of if your business didn’t have a social media presence.

10. Thought Leadership

Posting insightful and well-written content on your social media is a great way to become an expert and leader in your field. There is no one way to become a thought leader – it requires work that can be supported by online networking tools. Be communicative, connect with your audience, share content, and promote your authority.

Sda

Social media will help you stay top of the minds of consumers, keep an eye on the competition and stay on top of industry news. It is important to know what people are saying about your competitors. For example, tracking mentions of your competitors might reveal pain points with their products that you could reach out to address, winning new customers in the process. It’s clear that social media marketing has its advantages, so if your business doesn’t already have the appropriate profiles, create them! Fill out your business’ information and post some engaging content to begin gaining followers. Ask people relevant to your business to "like" and "share" your page to help build your profile.

Posted on 16 July 2018
BF5D555B-51D9-491B-A602-1E8247C58B86
11