Four essential shopping cart features

Written by Secure Net Shop

There are hundreds of options when it comes choosing a shopping cart solution. There are free options, paid, subscription based, and even hosted offerings. There is also a lot of fine print to look at regarding features. Choosing an internet shopping cart is not something that you should treat lightly. Here are four essential features that should be a part of any shopping cart:

Images

A good product image is one of the primary drivers for customers to make a purchase. Product images are a standard feature for any shopping cart. However, there are other extensions to product images that make a sale much more likely. These are options like adding VR images, image zoom, and videos.

Reviews

Nothing sells products better than a recommendation from another customer. Often, people see these reviews as a recommendation, even if the review itself does not encourage others to buy. The feature does not need to be built-in but should provide support for at least third-party review platforms.

Navigation

A shopping cart should have the facility for a layered navigation system that is independent of the product category. The navigation itself should be dynamic and generated according to the attributes of the products within that category.

Fast checkout

“Just like the supermarket, online shoppers are looking for the shortest line” is an important statement to remember when establishing checkout workflow for a shopping cart. The script should support both a login based checkout as well as a single click checkout for convenience.

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Sell goods or services from your website with a website shopping cart from Secure Net Shop.

Two tips for dealing with shopping cart abandonment at checkout

2Written by Secure Net Shop

Do you have shoppers visit your site, spend time picking items and then leave before they checkout?

If you are, you are not alone. This behavior is called online shopping cart abandonment. This is a common issue for ecommerce sites and can happen due to a variety of issues. Usually the issue is present at the point of abandonment. In the case of the checkout page, it can boil down to two basic issues that can be fixed quite easily:

Full shopping cart

Most shopping cart systems default to an abbreviated view of the shopping cart at checkout. You see the options to proceed without the checkout and an order summary but not much else. This issue is caused by users not completely certain of the details of the items they are ordering and a short summary is not sufficient. When the only course of action is to exit checkout, then they just close to the tab and go somewhere else. Fix this by showing a full shopping cart at checkout.

Full product details

Another point in relation to the above. Along with the full summary should be all the relevant details. Let’s use online clothes shopping. The checkout should the full list along with each specific option prominently. The options could be color, size, fit etc. In addition the quantity of each should be shown right next to the item. In addition the product images are essential, so the images should be high quality, clear and ideally represent the color chosen.

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Sell goods or services from your website with a web shopping cart from Secure Net Shop

Why Mobile Video Ads Will Prove Effective in 2015

Ads compete with many distractions in order to get a user’s attention. Banner ads, for instance, compete with content. Radio ads compete with the ability to change stations, and television ads compete against the ability to fast forward. Only our smartphones manage to captivate our attention for any significant length of time, and that makes the mobile video ads an important part of the landscape in 2015 and beyond.

Hard Stats

It is common knowledge that smartphone adoption is up, but video consumption on these devices grew a staggering 400 percent during the latter part of 2014. That’s a significant chunk of all hours spent viewing videos online. It’s had such a significant impact that it’s triggered a debate over how to manage all of this traffic within the marketing community, and a debate over faster connection speeds at the government level.

A large portion of the videos seen are ads. Most of them are short, which explains the volume, but they must still have strong messaging to be successful.

Making Video Ads Effective

In order to make a video ad effective, you have to employ some of the same tactics TV shows and movies use themselves. Namely, make the ad hook the viewer in within the first few seconds. Keep your messaging simple and the video brief until you’ve developed a solid understanding of what your audience responds to.

Mobile video ads do have the built-in advantage of holding the user’s attention. Consider how we use mobile: while in transit or waiting in line. During times when we are seeking distraction. Use that time wisely and your engagement and conversion rates might see a bump in performance.

Bio: Ted Dhanik is the co-founder and CEO of engage:BDR. Ted Dhanik is passionate about digital advertising, and has been in the business since the early 2000s. If you want to buy targeted traffic to build your business, talk with Ted Dhanik and the team at engage:BDR.

What You Need to Know About Cameyo

A company known as Cameyo has created software where one can run programs not only from a USB stick but also in a browser as well.

There are a number of open source programs that are offered but one can also upload EXE files to the Cameyo account so as to run these programs that you might need wherever you are.

Of course, there are issues that come with using Cameyo because some programs tend to run slow while others will not work at all.

So, what should you do at first?

Sign for a Cameyo account and then link your DropBox account to it. After you do this, you can access the files that are located in the folder with the path: \Apps\Cameyo\Desktop. It must be said that any files that you create will also be saved at this location as well.

Starting a program is really simple. You can click on any of the programs that should display a ‘Play’ button and use it just like you would on any Windows system.

Of course, it goes without saying that when you are navigating through the file system, you will not be able to access any local files on your system.

As for the programs that are available for casual users, Audacity, 7Zip and Irfanview can be used for audio editing, file compression and video editing tasks.

That said, it wouldn’t be much of an everyday solution but Cameyo does come in handy if you are away from your computer.

Boost Your Mobile Advertising

Mobile saturation has finally reached a point where more companies are devoting significant resources to marketing on mobile devices. These ads still offer the same rich experience for the user, but they are tailored to fit smaller screens and devices without being obtrusive. Even though mobile marketing is a new field, these tips will help give your first campaigns a small boost.

About Mobile Users

Mobile users are usually on the go, and are often taking to the Web to find something they need. This might be the location of a store, a price check or a query about whether the item they want is even in stock. Mobile ads tend to do best when they satisfy a need for the user immediately.

Calls to Action

Once you understand more about why the user is surfing in the first place, you can tailor a call that moves them toward some action. Phrases like “Order Now” or “Play Today” bring home that sense of immediacy, and they tell the user what she is about to do. This is far more specific than the generic “Click Here” of yesteryear.

Also, design your button to be easy for someone to push. Even though they are clicking on the entire ad, the button gives them something visual to connect with.

Messaging

Mobile is notorious for being very limited on space. Mobile ads tend to function best when the copy and the call to action are as succinct as possible, so this is a great opportunity for marketers who have a flair for one-liners.

Bio: Ted Dhanik is the co-founder of engage:BDR, a digital advertising company based out of Los Angeles. Ted Dhanik sells engaging advertising and grows businesses online. To get started with engage:BDR, contact Ted Dhanik.

Improving Productivity In The Workplace Through Software

Written by Allied Time

Technology when used at work, contributes to boosting the efficiency of organizations and allow their employees to remain focused on value adding activities. Several productivity software target businesses particularly and provide these organizations with the adequate tool to perform their day-to-day tasks effectively. Through the automation of certain processes, communication is also enhanced.

Virtual Team Connections

Teams now perform well even at a distance. This is because they are connected via web portals, apps and software. These allow teams to share feedbacks and projects across different functions and branches. The quick sharing and access of information facilitates problem-solving and team working. People are able to show collaboration and partake their experiences and knowledge while being comfortably seated at their desks, and sometimes without even having to speak through the phone. All this is achieved through remote desktop sharing and email software.

Open and Communicative Environment

Software that are specifically designed to be used in the workplace aim mainly to break communication barriers. Even though email is a powerful tool, they tend to be more private and rarely constitute of a sharing tool. Collaborative tools are more appropriate for knowledge-sharing across multiple cross-functional teams, departments and branches.

Motivate Employees

Online time clock systems are used to monitor the attendance and working hours of employees. This data serves in the construction of effective reward systems. Some fingerprint time clocks allow people to consult their data online. This would help employees in knowing how they could improve performance and attendance rates.

Allied Time has operated since 1967. The company’s main line of products include employee time clocks and biometric systems.

Explaining Real-Time Bidding

Buy-side platforms offer marketers wider reach, and a space to buy inventory programmatically. The costs for that inventory differ greatly, even as you target, because the network is driven by real-time bidding. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with some best practices for real-time bidding before you launch your first campaign.

Bidding Basics

When we look at bidding in real time, the effects are somewhat hard to grasp because so much happens so quickly. To break things down, let’s say two people bid for an ad placement. There is also a visitor factored into this equation, and let’s say she will visit five pages before ending her session. Whichever advertiser holds the highest bid will serve his ad to that visitor for all five views, assuming he has not capped the frequency of his ads.

If he has capped his ad frequency at three, for example, the visitor viewing five pages would see advertiser A’s ad three times, and advertiser B’s ad for the other two. This is because the winning advertiser stops bidding on auctions for that visitor after the frequency cap has been reached.

Frequency and Brand Integrity

Frequency plays an important role in your auction. You want the best chances of securing a conversion, but you dilute your brand a little bit each time you show one ad too many. The magic number is not easy to gauge. Some ads will follow you all around the Web while others will appear only a few times per day. Testing is the best method you have for learning which frequency is right for you.

Bio: As the CEO and co-founder, Ted Dhanik is responsible overseeing all business affairs for engage:BDR. Ted Dhanik began in the early 2000s, where he sold engaging advertising for Myspace.com, and he understands the power of direct marketing. To launch your first campaign with engage:BDR, contact Ted Dhanik.

Track Employee Hours Worked with Accuracy

Written by: Allied Time

As your business begins to scale, and you acquire more employees, you will find it necessary to develop a plan that tracks employee hours and activities. Most employers solve this dilemma with a simple time machine, but you may leave yourself open to time card fraud. What about contractors, and those who work off site?

The realities of business demand solutions that are flexible, and time card shorting can lead to legal consequences for the employee and the business. Track employee time worked accurately and report the proper hours to payroll with these tips.

Set Clear Attendance Policies

You should outline the importance of attendance, and set rules that everyone abides by. You might allow for a short late period, or you may not. Every employee should receive a time card or some kind of passcode to clock into work each morning. There should be a central station to do this, multiple stations if the company is large enough, and all new employees should be trained to use it during orientation. Be sure that there are consequences for late appearances. Allow for a certain number of accidents, everyone is late from time to time, but be firm in disciplining employees who are chronically late.

Switch to Biometric

Fingerprint time clocks offer a level of security to both employee and employer. Employees never have to worry about losing time cards, and fingerprint scanning is often faster than waiting to punch in for the day or fumbling about with a code. Employers gain security that employees are working onsite, at the times that they say they are. Time card fraud is difficult when biometrics are deployed because they rely on features of a specific person. Also, this system does not record anything personally identifiable. Even in the case of facial scanners, only a set of data points are saved so a computer can recall the contours of a face.

Final Thoughts

The choice of time clock for your business is dependent on your needs. If you employ many people working offsite, a system with an online component may be more beneficial to you. Cards and “fobs” may work best for those who have secure areas that require restricted access. Biometrics offer the best security, but they may carry a heavier price tag. No system is perfect, and a business may find that one system works best until scaling to more employees. Be prepared to remain flexible and pay attention to how you can make time and attendance a more efficient part of your business.

Best Practices for Engagement on Mobile Platforms

Mobile usage is on the rise, and there is evidence to suggest that both genders are using it to make purchases. While there is some difference in the kinds of purchases each gender generally makes, what is clear is that marketers stand to capitalize on engaging with customers in the moment.

Mobile customers are by nature on-the-go, making mobile marketing something of a predictive game. Here are some best practices that are sure to help you get started.

Predict Your Customer’s Intent

You will be able to buy mobile traffic specifically, so you should have some idea of what those users might be viewing before you try to market to them. You can make some educated guesses based on interests. Try to imagine whether the messaging in your ad will sync up with what a user might be viewing while she is out and about. Is the user comparison shopping? Is the user searching for something new?

Test your theories with different ad groups and try to expand on your ideas. Never be satisfied with a campaign that performs “ok.”

Use Ad Sizes that Work

Are you using the IAB recommended ad sizes for mobile? Do you know which ad sizes are the top performers from 2014? Have you asked your traffic network which ad sizes perform best in your target market? You can answer some of these questions by doing some competitive research. You will also find that your usage of text and color will impact which ad sizes work best for you as well.

Bio: Ted Dhanik is the co-founder of engage:BDR. Ted Dhanik got his start at MySpace.com, helping to launch that brand in the social media space. Ted Dhanik currently lives in Los Angeles, where he helps brands of all sizes to build their following through targeted advertising.

Essential Tips for Display Advertisers

Display advertising has the potential to outperform text ads if you know how to harness that potential. It’s a form of direct marketing, so your messaging and your work need to be spot on. Testing and execution are keys in this equation, so you need to be able to produce ads that will perform quickly. Learning these essential tips is sure to help your performance metrics improve.

Copy is Key

When you are working with banners, copy is more than just the words. You have to consider the colors and images on your banner, as well as the space your banner will occupy. Make sure what you and your ad exchange’s preferred sizes are, and that you work within those constraints. It helps to write from a place of knowledge, so perform some quick competitive research on Google to determine which tag lines are working. The closer you get to find that pain point, the better your conversion rate will become.

Outsource Work

Don’t be afraid to outsource the technical aspects of your work to someone more knowledgeable than you. You can easily find a developer to design a landing page for your campaign within a budget of a few hundred dollars. If you can host your own banner advertising, you can capture more data about your target market.

Hiring designers and developers takes time, and you should be prepared to check a few sources to find the work you need. Keep your project simple, and limit yourself to only a few assets. The less you have to work with, the better for your long term efforts.

Bio: For over ten years, Ted Dhanik has used display advertising to boost sales for businesses of all sizes. Ted Dhanik is the co-founder of engage:BDR, and a mentor at the startup accelerator Start Engine. Ted Dhanik also publishes advice to Ad Age and Venture Beat.