Made in USA: Enterprise Application Services

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Bridging the Gap with E-Commerce through Custom Software

June 22, 2017
Photo by Igor Miske on Unsplash

Photo by Igor Miske on Unsplash. Bridging the Gap with E-Commerce through Custom Software

Launching an e-commerce platform is an exciting challenge, but the challenge part grows exponentially as the Internet expands. Competition increases daily. Customers expect bigger, better, and more uniform shopping experiences. Worst of all, your security is never guaranteed. Custom software can bring the excitement back to e-commerce. With unique solutions and integrative options, custom solutions can do things off the shelf options simply can’t match. Custom software is the best option for customer satisfaction, ease of use, multi-channel selling, and security concerns.

Improving the Multi-channel Experience

Multi-channel customers are the best customers. They spend more, pay close attention to your promotions and mailers, and they’re most likely to discuss your business with friends and family in a positive light. It takes a lot of work to win these customers, though, and a lot rides on the software behind your website. Multi-channel shoppers expect the same experience, whether they’re shopping through your web app or your brick and mortar storefront.

Custom software gives you a lot of advantages right out of the gate. First of all, you don’t have to try twisting an off the shelf solution to provide the kind of options customers would have in the store. Whatever you give your customers in the store, you can offer online. Do you provide free samples in the store? Offer them in connection with a mailer full of future discounts through your web app. This ties in nicely with newsletters. The right custom software can fill the void left by helpful sales associates, too.

Your software can help you with the details behind the scenes that impact customer experience, too. For example, if your software provides real-time updates on available merchandise, and you link that with your in-store manifests. Then online shoppers won’t suffer the frustration of selecting an item only to discover it’s out of stock at checkout. What shoppers see on the shelves, whether they’re physical or digital, is what’s actually available. This builds the kind of long-term trust multi-channel shoppers need.

Going Mobile

Mobile shoppers are an entirely different demographic than multi-channel shoppers, but custom software can still help you reach them. Custom software developers help you build a mobile app that offers everything your store and web app provide. They even back it up with integrative software solutions. The same connections that are so vital for online, multi-channel shoppers turn mobile shoppers into customers. Keep in mind mobile sites are technically just another channel for buyers. Since prefabricated mobile site formats are just as static as their web equivalents, choosing a custom approach is the only way to ensure uniformity.

Mobile sales are all about speed, and many shoppers make same day purchases. Mobile shoppers have the fastest average conversion times, so streamlining that funnel is imperative. Custom software creates the fastest shopper funnels and the best buyer experiences.

Connecting Revenue Streams

No one likes to talk about accounting, bookkeeping, and the wonderful world of business number games. Unfortunately, e-commerce makes that chore all the more important. It also makes it vastly more complicated. Custom software offers solutions that extremely few off the shelf products can match. For example, by linking revenue streams to flow into the same bookkeeping program, you’d save a lot of costly labor time. By addressing shopping cart application design, you can save a lot of steps down the road. You can also ensure the system matches your established accounting and bookkeeping workflow instead of complicating it.

Making Transactions Secure

Security is a greater concern than it’s ever been before, especially for businesses involved in e-commerce. Getting hacked is no longer a risk; it’s a guarantee. In order to protect your business and your customers, you have to plan ahead and take a proactive approach to your web apps’ security. This involves a lot of simple tasks, like changing passwords and using secure connections. It also takes a new approach to security, and that’s where custom software development comes in.

The harder hackers have to work to get into your system, the less likely they are to finish the job. It becomes a matter of profit. Also, hacking a unique security system that differs from every other e-commerce websites’ makes you a less appealing target. After all, what’s the point of forcing your way into a single business when you could spend the same amount of time securing the keys to dozens of others in one go?

Custom software offers solutions to every e-commerce frustration from bookkeeping complications to security. It’s the best choice for customers as well. Not only does it make multichannel selling vastly less complicated, but it provides the kinds of options and services you need to grow your customer base. When you decide to go mobile, the same developers will have your back. It’s the smart way to move into e-commerce.

Make More with Custom E-Commerce Solutions

March 28, 2017
Photo by Domenico Loia on Unsplash

Photo by Domenico Loia on Unsplash

Today, custom e-commerce solutions offer industrial companies the opportunity to make more capital, and at a faster rate than relying on what distributors or third party sales people could hope to match. The most expensive domains and applications require only a fraction of overhead cost. Especially, when compared to the overhead demanded by royalty agreements or a physical warehouse. Moreover, it allows industrial businesses to directly sell to their clients at much lower costs. This also means they are more likely to turn a profit, especially if your software can suggest products and monitor inventory levels from your ERP. Of course, this all depends on your e-commerce applications.

Like many business organizations, you’re tempted to start at the lowest, cheapest levels of e-commerce.  This means using pre-made applications and do-it-yourself models. However, these often cut down your potential sales if you’re selling machinery, chemicals or other non-consumer goods. Custom application development that supports your business processes, from purchase order management to compliance reporting is still, vastly cheaper than hiring more staff. Moreover, the returns almost always outweigh any initial investment. To get the most out of e-commerce for business to business systems, you need custom solutions.

E-Commerce Demands

Running an e-commerce platform is entirely different from running a physical storefront. First of all, consumers approach e-commerce applications with a different set of standards. In addition, they also expect your app to provide service at a speed no employee could match. For example, when someone visits your website, they are looking for clear, concise information with plenty of relevant images. They want to enjoy their experience through new features, but they also want to feel confident using your app’s functions. E-commerce should lead customers down an easy path, from the landing page to their final purchase confirmation. It’s a lot to ask of a single application. However, custom application development helps with each of these issues and more.

Keep Visitors’ Interest

Online shoppers and potential clients expect two things the second the click on your link. First, they expect something fresh and interesting. Second, they expect that fresh design to follow intuitive patterns of use. Essentially, they want something that is both new and familiar at the same time. This goes beyond pretty backgrounds and simple fonts. An engaging website or app needs to be built from the ground up. Custom application development gives you an advantage from the start. The right developers keep you involved throughout the process. This is the best way to ensure the final product meets your needs while appealing to customers.

Easing Customers through Searches

Obviously, every customer wants a smooth shopping experience. However, e-commerce shoppers take this demand to a new level. Speed and ease decide their shopping habits. If customers can’t find what they’re looking for on your website within the first few moments, they typically move on to a different provider. A key to getting customers where they want to go quickly is by honing your search features.

In addition to a well-organized menu with clear options and subcategories, you need to invest some time in your search functions. Does your search box have auto complete? Does it suggest popular items from your site based on the first letters? If users misspell an item’s name, will your search box list potential matches with similar spelling? Anything that shortens the time between a customer’s first click and their final purchase will increase the chances of return sales.

Shopping Carts to Match Your Products

Premade shopping cart apps don’t always work well for small or developing businesses. Many businesses rely on customization and a range of unique feature choices to help sell their products. The same goes for businesses offering service packages. A premade shopping cart app has limited options designed for basic orders. Even systems like those used by major crafting platforms, like Etsy, have serious flaws. They limit user’s ability to accurately describe their products. Unfortunately, these problems only compound when a business offers customization and unique commissions. Custom application development prevents these situations from becoming problems. Instead, developers gain a chance to incorporate the necessary range of tools and features from the project’s inception.

Technical Support

If an e-commerce application goes down, the profit loss is instantaneous. To prevent significant losses, it’s important to have reliable tech support with working knowledge of your system on speed dial. Custom application development requires a special kind of commitment to customer service, and any developers worth their salt will offer technical support and emergency response services. Custom work requires detailed knowledge of not only the new application, but the system into which it fits. More importantly, keeping their own product up, running, and making money is essential for developers. They are as invested in your custom application’s success as you are.

E-commerce gives businesses the chance to quick-start their sales, and nothing boosts initial sales and customer loyalty like a tailor-made application. Custom e-commerce solutions can walk the fine line between sparking interest with a new feature and ensuring customers don’t struggle to use it. A custom application can help customers find what they need faster, and a custom shopping cart ensures you present your product accurately. Best of all, custom e-commerce solutions will introduce you to your ideal tech support team. Together, these features boost sales and drive return business. It’s a smart way to get ahead of the vast competition in the world of e-commerce.

Benefits of Integrated E-Commerce Applications

November 15, 2016
Photo by Carlos Muza on Unsplash

Photo by Carlos Muza on Unsplash

Integrated e-commerce applications link your online store to your physical store, your customer database, your shipping software, and more. Just as system integration allows your business to operate more efficiently by improving access and control, an integrated e-commerce application helps you take control of your points of sale. Selling in one store and one online marketplace is difficult enough. As your business expands to multiple online points of sale and additional storefronts, you face further problems. It becomes all too easy to ship the same product twice, mislabel bookkeeping entries, and even lose orders through inefficient system management. A custom e-commerce application can solve all these woes and more.

Minimize App Juggling

Say you sell from three different points of sale. You have a small boutique storefront, a shopping cart function on your website, and a shop on Amazon’s marketplace. Without an integrated e-commerce application, you’re looking at three different points of sale that come with three different kinds of POS software. Amazon uses its own system, your pre-made shopping cart software uses a different system, and your physical point of sale may or may not communicate with either of them. Hopefully, none of them pull from the same inventory, though small businesses with handmade goods or unique pieces of art have no choice but to post the same item both online and in the shop.

Juggling so many different apps eats time. Since time is money, you are sacrificing revenue to app juggling. Rather than trying to watch three different apps and then trying to channel them into bookkeeping or shipping separately, you can tie them into a single bundle. With custom software development, you can take all of your points of sale and have each one send information to and receive orders from the same app.

Reduce Errors

The sad truth of app juggling is that sometimes you drop an order. It’s easy to confuse information from two different points of sale, especially if two different customers have the same name, a similar address, or simply purchased similar products. Pulling information from so many different sources isn’t just exhausting. It’s confusing. Imagine an app that automatically updates all points of sale when a customer buys an item. All inventories would automatically show the change in available items, and you need to never again, awkwardly explain to a customer that you are sold out, even though the website says you still have two items in stock. Integrated e-commerce applications can combine customer, product, and shipping information into one powerful system that not only provides rapid results, but also provides the right results.

Save POS Management Time

Until now, every business has had to upload every image, description, and price into every different point of sale manually. If you opened an Amazon marketplace account, you would need to add all information manually. If you launched your own website with a shopping cart, you would need to add information manually. Every new point of sale demanded the same meaningless legwork. An integrated e-commerce system does the legwork for you.

Reduce Overhead

If you don’t already run some form of integrated e-commerce application, you’re throwing away profit. An integrated app allows you to control every step of fulfillment, from the order to the moment the package arrives, within a single system. Jumping between apps allows product to fall through the gaps, information to become confused, and endless labor hours to slip away. E-commerce is so popular because it gives customers instant satisfaction, and sellers profit without overhead. By choosing custom software development to design an integrated e-commerce app, you trim the overhead even further back.

The Benefits of a Custom App

Your business is unlike any other, so no pre-made app can suit your exact needs. Many only work with specific e-commerce websites and software. By choosing a custom app, you ensure all points of sale can communicate, all systems are accepted, and the software has all the features you need. A shop selling any kind of food will need to integrate somewhat different systems than an antiques dealer. The only way to ensure all points of sale, customer registers, and shipping software work together is to build the system around them.

Many businesses only use a single physical storefront, but that doesn’t mean they only have one point of sale. E-commerce demands expediency, accuracy, and organization. Juggling apps or hoping that a pre-made app can support all of your different systems is an invitation for lost time, revenue, and even customer loyalty. Your customers should never have to wonder about how their orders are processed. Usually, they only ask questions when things go wrong. Integrated e-commerce apps connect the dots from order to delivery, allowing you to conduct a fluid transaction. E-commerce represents the future of shopping. Investing in an integrated e-commerce app allows you to keep pace with the new market.