Why is Mobile the Future of Ecommerce?

By Jeremiah Abuan

Commerce reached its greatest transformation when it came in the online world, and once again it’s entering another phase. The change shifts you from shopping on your desktop to shopping at the palm of your hands. This is actually a good thing for both the company and its customers.

For Business Owners

Having a mobile strategy means you have the ability to immediately notify your customers of new products with push or pop-up ads as opposed to sending periodic emails, translating into higher retention.

Aside from advertisements, transitioning to a mobile platform allow users to shop anywhere, thus translating to more purchases; and adding a social function gives you more possible shoppers. With this change you can also have a better idea of the customer’s buying behavior, which means you can offer them items that they are likely to buy and not just swipe over.

For Customers

Smartphone apps are much more streamlined and designed to include everything that you would want to do before a purchase such as comparing prices and reading reviews without the hassle of having to open multiple tabs on your mobile browser. Since buying pattern is being observed, the app is more likely to push items that people are actually interested in and can send notification via pop ups. These are greatly advantageous for us since they often come with incentives such as discounts and promotions.

Win-win!

So what are the signs that indeed, smartphones and tablets are taking over PC when it comes to e-shopping?

1. Websites Adjust to Your Screen

Desktop sites or websites that you visit on a PC used to have separate URLs to be properly viewed on a smaller screen, but now, they are developing sites that are Mobile-First Responsive with HTML5. Notice that some desktop sites, like blogs and relatively new ecommerce sites, have automatically rearranging layouts to suit your browser screen. They prioritize smartphones over big-screens now!

2. New Payment Services Emerge

Having to manually input your credit card number and shipping address into forms could just be one of the most challenging parts of shopping on an online marketplace, but this is changing with the appearance of new tap-to-pay services in addition to the established ones like Paypal and Amazon Payments. Since your billing info and shipping address have been entered into these services beforehand, there’s no need for you to enter them again in the future. Add an item to the shopping cart, choose your payment service at checkout, then sit back and wait for your goods.

3. Website UI Simulate Apps

There are generally fewer buttons to click on sites unless you want to refine your search. Price comparison is fully automated now, where the item you’re viewing also shows information about how the same or similar item is priced on a competitor’s online shop. Retail price and shipping fee are combined before being shown to the customer for them to make a more intelligent purchase. What’s more, product reviews from previous customers are readily available in the interface of a site. How can this experience be made even more consistent? Turn the site into an app.

Currently, data from the Global Web Index state that 80% of internet users own a smartphone. Additional information from eMarketer says that by 2017, ¼ of online sales in the U.S. will be made on mobile devices which include smartphones and tablets. The top ecommerce companies like Amazon and Snapdeal are hesitant to abandon their desktop websites, although the former has already reported that nearly half of its traffic comes through mobiles. With this knowledge, it would only be business-wise for companies to jump in the wagon and also adopt, at least in part, a mobile strategy for their ecommerce biz.

Why Outsourcing Your Customer Service is Good for Your Business

By: Danielle Torno

Help Desk, Technical, Live Chat, and Customer Service Hotline – these are the most common streams where businesses should focus on delivering desirable results to their customers that will ultimately lead to conversion, sales, or repeat purchase.

Customer Service
Engaging your customers appropriately is one way you will know their needs and in return, be able to provide the necessary support and response and achieve customer satisfaction. Hence, it’s important to take into account customer feedback, responding to inquiries, and providing technical support as vital aspects to grow your business. The good thing is you can outsource your Customer Service to a service provider. Business owners nowadays turn to outsourcing some supporting business processes so they can focus on building and strengthening their brand. Here are some reasons why:

1. Reduced Costs

Outsourcing your Customer Service is one inexpensive way to add help for your customers. It eliminates your need to invest on tangible infrastructure, equipment, and technology. Also, since most outsourcing vendors are located in Asia where the cost of living is low-priced, you get the best deal of gaining access to skilled staff without sacrificing the quality of work; which leads us to number 2.

 

2. Quality Customer Service

Outsourcing Companies’ business is basically to satisfy their clients’ needs – that’s YOU. Thus, these companies ensure they are backed with skilled and competitive workers who can deliver desirable results as well as meet or exceed expectations. Good customer service increases customer confidence about your brand and they tend to tell this to their families and friends, which is an instant and effective marketing strategy for your business.

 

3. The Timezone Advantage

This is one of the very reasons business owners are better off outsourcing their Customer Service to a third party vendor in Asia – the timezone difference. The support staff/team works and get the job done while you sleep. This is truly beneficial for a business owner because it’s like your business is operating 24 hours a day to serve current customers and engage potential ones.

 

Do you have something to add to the list above? Let us know! We would love to hear from you!

8 Quick Tips to Launch Your eCommerce Business’ Digital Presence

Written by Danielle Alonzo

 

Maybe you’re a budding e-commerce business owner who’s clueless about laying the ground for your online presence or a well-established one looking for tips to amplify your game, this blog post has some tips & tricks you can add to your arsenal.

 

1)       Make a Marketing Plan

An entrepreneur owner once said that the secret to a successful business is to find a target audience and build your tools around them. Research on your demographic. Which social class do they belong to? What kind of products would be attractive for them?

 

2)      Establish a Niche

After making a marketing plan, you have to find a way to separate yourself from the pack and beat your competitor. The best way to be effective at this is to make sure your online posts have a unique and personal voice. It shouldn’t sound like it was written technically but must be compelling, informative and relevant. Highlight what you have to offer and why only you can provide this kind of service.

 

3)      Use Keywords

Many eCommerce business owners make the mistake of putting up their content online and letting fate do the rest. It’s also important to help improve your search results. Make sure your post titles and posts contain the keywords that your customers and prospect buyers search. You can learn more about this concept by reading up on keyword density or employing the help of SEO experts.

 

4)      Post on a Regular Schedule

It’s also good to be consistent on how often you put up online content. Most readers are turned off by blogs or sites which have become stale or don’t adapt to the fast-changing world. They might think that archaic-looking graphics or blog posts would be a sign of unresponsiveness on your part if ever they would find a product they would want to buy at your site. One way to address this is to reserve articles or content ahead of time. For example, have an article ready a week before it’ll be published. Also make sure your website looks fresh and design-friendly at all times.

 

5)      Create A User-Oriented Experience

Because your customers can’t physically see or touch your products, you actually have to work twice as hard to convince them to shell out money. You can address this problem by making the experience of visiting your website a “feel-good” one. Make your customers “feel-good” about the decisions they make. Don’t advertise your product as is but create a value for it in the consumers’ lives. Another good tip is to emphasize prompt and effective customer service. Make sure to let your customers know that their feedback and opinions do matter and that you can find solutions as a response to their comments.

 

6)      Show Pictures or Create A Human Face for the Company

‘Nuff said. A picture is worth a thousand words. This is a cliche but it’s true.

 

7)      Utilize Social Media, But Don’t Solely Rely On it

In our day and age, “likes”, “hearts”, “retweets”, etc. are great avenues to get good word-of-mouth for your brand. Social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram can help build momentum to help you launch your business. However, relying on social media alone can be a disaster. Social media alone won’t professionalize your other processes. Importance should be given on boosting all of your technology platforms and not just one.

 

8)      Evolve & Innovate

Steve Jobs said that “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” Indeed, Steve’s highly coveted Apple creations were borne not out of complacency but out of a desire to change how the world thinks about technology. You can also make this change for your company, maybe not by inventing something as huge as the iPhone but taking baby steps to adapt your marketing plan, product or business strategy to the ever-changing times. Look out for latest trends, analyze market metrics, etc.

 

We at 2ndoffice can help you with all the strategies mentioned above. To check out the list of services we offer, click the “Solutions” tab which you can find at the top of the page.

4 Reasons Why It’s Best To Outsource from the Philippines

Written By Danielle Alonzo

 

The Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Sector of the Philippines has announced that the multi-billion dollar industry now employs a million people since its inception in the early 1990s. The BPO Industry has anchored itself as a huge contributor in the Philippine economy since 2004 after posting a whopping $1.5 billion in revenues with only 103,500 employees. Not only that, predictions abound that its revenues will increase up to 25 billion dollars by 2016. (Agence France-Presse, 2014). These numbers aren’t just arbitrary sets of digits; these tell us a simple concept of hiring highly-skilled staff, harnessing the power of the internet and providing quality service for clients. These numbers also indicate a win-win situation for  both the outsourced company and the business owner seeking to outsource as they incur fewer costs for simple tasks.

Outsource

Here are 4 reasons why you should invest in getting manpower from this lovely country:

1. Cultural Compatibility. If you’re looking for workers that would be able to understand the nuances behind every task you ask them to do, then Filipinos would be a good fit as our culture is compatible with Western ones. The Philippines was governed by the United States from 1899 to 1946 and traces of American culture can still be seen in the lifestyles of Filipino citizens. English is the primary language for business and education. And not to mention, they have a distinct neutral accent when speaking the English Language which gives them edge when communicating with offshore clients and customers.

2. Low Costs For Quality Work. India is a good and obvious choice for foreign business owners to get a steady supply of offshore workers (as they are larger in population and charge lower rates). However, the Philippines can offer a balanced package of excellent customer service and high level of English proficiency. Most of all, Philippine outsourcing offers not just services in the IT department, but also in animation, medical transcription, paralegal services, proofreading and eCommerce (Now that’s quality over quantity right there!).

3. Government Support. The Philippine government has responded to these by offering support to the sector’s endeavors. For example, the government grants fiscal and non-fiscal incentives such as a 4-year or 8-year income tax holiday to BPO companies. The Philippine government is also fully supportive of tapping into other cities outside of its capital Manila - like Cebu, Pampanga, Bacolod, and Davao as BPO Hubs in order to bolster the improvement of local government units.

4. Attitude. Filipinos are known for being able to balance fun and productivity. They are flexible and able to tackle not just small tasks but big ones as well. They are honest, morally upright, and strive to bring out the best out of every situation.

 

If you have any questions about outsourcing in the Philippines, sound off in the comments!