The Gorilla / Banana problem

“The problem with object-oriented languages is they’ve got all this implicit environment that they carry around with them. You wanted a banana but what you got was a gorilla holding the banana and the entire jungle.”  ~ Joe Armstrong

Magento multiple online stores

You don’t like a website with too much on a single page and a cluttered look, right? The same goes for your online web-store too. Customers hate to use websites which have too many categories and sub-categories to navigate. But, as an owner running a web-store, you have to put all your products online, even if they are more than a hundred, because that’s business for you. That’s where Magento development can help you.

What is Magento

Magento is an open-source software which lets you manage different websites and store-view with ease. In other words, let’s say you have an e-commerce platform with hundred different products on display. Such a large number of products on a single platform create confusion. The solution to eliminate this clutter and still have all your products online is to create different web-stores for different products.

With Magento, we can do that with ease. Magento helps create multiple children websites out of your main platform, with each website linked to the main platform. Thus, you get a central inventory system from where you can manage all your web-stores and the products on those stores with ease.Magento-Developing the Best Marketplace For Your Products Online

A complete B2B and a B2C solution

Whether you have a B2B model or a B2C model, Magento development can come in handy in both the cases. Here’s how:

  • Let’s say you have a B2B model whereby you sell your products to agents who then sell it to the consumers. With Magento, you can create a different web-store for each agent, giving him the products of his choice only, without creating a website from scratch. Thus, with Magento, you can create a sub-store of your main online store within minutes, which helps you save time as well as money.
  • At the same time, you have a central inventory system which is useful for you as well as your agents. The agents get to know the number of products remaining in your inventory while you get to know the number of products sold through all your agents; hence, a better analysis of your sales and better management for your agents. They can even opt or new products that you add to your inventory without you having to add data separately to their web-stores.
  • Same is the case with a B2C solution. You give your customers easily navigable webstores, with the option of displaying multiple images for a product and other features which allow for easy product browsing.
  • It has been seen that e-commerce platforms with an easy-to-use interface and more product images have higher sales than other platforms. And that’s what Magento development helps you achieve.

Some other features which make Magento an excellent B2B and a B2C solution for e-commerce are:

  • Agents can choose their own rates for the products they sell, while you still get to keep track of the sales
  • Agents can choose their own mode of payment, thus giving them the freedom to customize
  • You can incorporate all the features of the main store in the child-stores
  • Easy product browsing for customers, giving them a better shopping experience
  • Customers can add products to a wishlist for buying them later
  • Customers can view the status of their order and their shopping history, thus leading to better customer satisfaction

Custom web development

Now, when we say Magento creates children web-stores out of your main store, it does mean it simple replicates your main store. In fact, each web-store created with Magento is fully customizable. Magento is a complete custom web development solution. You can decide the layout, design, features and other aesthetic aspects of all your sub-stores, thus giving your agents and your customers the kind of platform they like.

With Magento’s custom web development feature, you can also choose which data to share between your different web-stores and which data to keep exclusive to a particular web-store.

Search engine friendly e-commerce solution

And if you thought Magento is only easier web management, think again. Magento has in-built search engine friendly tools which help in the process of search engine optimization. Magento automatically generates search engine friendly URLs as well as a sitemap which can be submitted to search engines. It even gives you the option of rewriting the URLs to give you complete control over your product pages’ structure. In addition to that, this open-source software also generates a popular search terms page which saves time on keyword analysis. It’s even integrated with Google analytics to help in analysis of visitors to your site and SEO analysis of your e-commerce platform.

That’s what makes Magento a search engine friendly e-commerce solution.

It has a range of other features which give you a robust e-commerce solution and help you in increasing your sales. And you get that by saving cost as well as time, thus making Magento a win-win solution for you.

Related links

  • http://www.magentocommerce.com/knowledge-base/entry/overview-how-multiple-websites-stores-work/
  • http://www.magentocommerce.com/product/features

Why web based businesses fail?

‘Internet Economy’ is a lucrative field today, with success stories such as Steve Wozniak and Apple computers and Sabeer Bhatia’s Hotmail. Naturally, everyone wants to get a share of these much ‘touted’ e-commerce profits. However, to succeed in the online world, businesses need to know all the possible causes of failure, even though it seems like an exercise in pessimism.
These are the common reasons why many startup e-businesses failWhy web based businesses fail?

Stale ideas

Web businesses that have nothing new to offer, and are mere clones of an already successful business, don’t succeed. Does your e-business sell a product that is innovative? Is there something completely new about your social networking website? The key to avoid typecasting is to stay fresh. Look for problems and needs that you can solve.

Not defining your customer

The first rule in selling is to know your customer. Some startup e-businesses offer a variety of services and products, not knowing the profile of the users. As a result, they cannot offer tailor-made services for any specific age group or nature of target audience and this reduces the chances of succeeding.

Ineffective Marketing

The best marketing strategy is a well calculated plan. Marketing is the backbone of any business. A web site that has been creatively marketed without any regard to user acquisition costs might become cost ineffective.

For example, even buying keyword ads is a complex process. A good entrepreneur buys keywords that people most frequently use in searches while having high relevance and low competing advertisers. A common mistake most businesses make while cost cutting, is not hiring professional marketing consultants. They work on instinct, and their marketing plans lack a well researched strategy. This makes their marketing strategies ineffective. So the websites they make have inadequate SEO, SEM, and low virality, which results in low traffic to their website.

Poor web designing

Today, most websites seem like clones. Businesses make compromises while designing their web pages. They use free software and badly designed user interfaces.  So, first-time visitors find the home page unattractive and it fails to register in their minds. It is highly unlikely they will ever go back to a web site that’s hard to navigate, is poorly designed and does not offer them something interactive.

A person who wants to use an online personalized gift services will look at several companies that provide the service. He is likely to choose the site which gets the first rule of ‘catchingeyeballs’ right, more so when you are dealing with the business of ‘feel-good’- gifts.

Web businesses with cluttered, badly color coordinated websites, which have long download time and unclear navigational tools don’t work. Only professionally designed, well branded websites, with original and relevant content can be effectively marketed.

Given these reasons, it is best to employ the services of a web designing company to ensure significant online presence.

Lack of web analysis

Web Designing Vs Web Development. Web analysis is a process of analyzing the behavior of visitors to a website and then enhancing and modifying the features of the website to maintain and increase the traffic. Many web businesses design a website and then forget about it; and the resources invested in web designing go waste.Such e-businesses have no feedback regarding their website, as a result of which they cannot maintain a competitive edge.

No Networking

An entrepreneur needs to be friendly and people-focused. It is good to have an extended professional and personal network, before launching a web business.Web businesses that de-prioritize good partner and interpersonal relationships lose out in the long run.

Bad time and money management

A failed web business means that the founders have not managed their finances well. It includes over-spending or ineffective spending. Such individuals overlook the basic tenet of every business- time is money. They spend a lot of time bargaining for small cost reductions, while delaying launching time and other activities vital to growth in the world of start-ups.

The most important thing that leads to failed web businesses is lack of commitment and passion towards the work. Such people may know all the theoretical pitfalls that they can encounter, yet put in a half hearted effort to avoid them when confronted in the practical world. Hence, they continue to fail.

Pankaj Pandey’s expertise as an online marketing consultant and his prowess in custom website development has helped him reach the pinnacle of success, helping various web based businesses achieve success along the way.

Importance of Custom Website Development

Have you ever thought how important customization is in all parts of our lives? From food(pizza chains) to automobiles, entertainment (television, i-pods) to sports (cricket, gaming) and retail, today’s successful business models are all tied to this central tenet- customization. So what really is customization and how relevant is it in web designing and development?

Custom Website DevelopmentCustom Web Development is a functional backend combination of effective language (like HTML, XML, PHP) and programming (like JavaScript, CGI, Flash, RSS) to provide a dynamic web solution to any client.

Whenever a client decides to elevate its customer experience, the first focal point is the website, which serves, both, as a significant touch point for the customer and as a continuing image of the business at large.

Ready-to-use web templates could cause more harm to your business than the short-lived advantage of cost-saving. In today’s dynamic business world, it becomes very important that you align your business goals with the existing practices. Any website which does not offer a rich interface which substitutes for actually ‘being there’ with the customer, will not be able to build any long-term credibility.

Features: A custom web development company works on a client’s needs and provides a rich platter of services to suit the ever-changing business environment. Call-to-action features like ‘Buy Now’, ‘Click here to talk with our agent NOW’, ‘Subscribe to our monthly newsletter’, are all examples of features which can be offered in this web model, contrary to the plethora of readymade web templates available out there.

Adaptability: When you identify an urgent need to change your website interface or add any new feature/alert to it, you would not want to let your other commitments suffer. Custom web development offers you a fast rate of change while you continue to focus on your primary area of work. This is how a trustworthy backend makes you an ace player in the market.

Compatibility: The client does not want to withstand the long ‘learning curve’ by itself. That is where a steady backend provides an effective business solution, which is compatible for a multi-server/multi-platform environment.

Online Presence: Once you have a strong and loyal customer base, you make them a part of your business, and they feel at home with your product or service. A significant contributor to this is an attractive website, which adapts according to the customer’s needs.

A professional custom web development company will give you the added advantage of creating a unique customer experience. It takes care of the backend while you put your money where the mouth is. SEO optimization, dynamic content, enhanced user-friendly features, online marketing and offsite product promotion are some of the key attractions of any respectable custom web offering. And if any time should you feel any feature is redundant or not working for your business, you let the developer know and he makes the quick change that puts you right back into the commanding seat – towards a wiser business solution and a sustainable market advantage.

Pankaj Pandey’s expertise as an online marketing consultant and his prowess in custom website development has helped him reach the pinnacle of success, helping various web based businesses achieve success along the way.

How to say no to clients

Often, the resources available for a project are not enough to do justice to the client.  Lack of time, resources and other commitments may make it impossible for you to do the job, no matter how much you may want to. Ethically, in such situations, it is in the client’s and well as your best interest to say ‘no’ and not accept the work.

Given the focus of businesses on building a bigger client base, usually they shy away from saying ‘no’ to the client. Often, they don’t even realize that they are overburdened. It is tempting for businesses to take on the client’s project and hope that it somehow gets done in time. They are blinded by money or the fear of losing valuable customers.

When it is essential to say ‘no’ to client, businesses need to do so in a diplomatic way to avoid jeopardizing long term business relations with the client. Here are some practical ways to do so:

  1. Do not respond immediately to a client’s request. Give it some thought, check your work schedule and then come up with a realistic work completion plan, before you take on the project.
  2. Respond clearly and politely, so that the client understands that you won’t be able to work on the project. Explain the reasons because of which you will not be able to work on the project. This will help the clients to better understand why you are refusing the project. For example, sayingI wish I could say yes. Unfortunately, because of the current work load, I can’t complete the project effectively and on time. So, I am forced to say no to your project.” sounds better than simply saying “I cannot take this project.” Avoid using negative or offensive expressions, such as ‘It is unreasonable …” or “It is impossible to …”. Use positive language when responding to a client. Saying We’d love to do this project, however …” is a gentle way of declining the client’s project.
  3. Always give alternatives to the clientKeep a waiting list, and let your clients know when you will be free to work on their project. Give them a clear waiting time, such as one week or one month, and an approximate date on which you can begin work on their project.
  4. Provide recommendations – In case you do not have the expertise or resources to do the project, let the clients know that they have the wrong person. If possible, recommend other professionals who can do it. Sometimes, a client might be in a hurry or under pressure, and need the services immediately. A recommendation of alternative service providers will not only help the clients but in the long run, it will also strengthen your business relations with them.