Challenges Faced by Online Grocery Businesses & Their Solutions

Challenges Faced by Online Grocery Businesses & Their Solutions

Grocery shopping is a routine task; it is generated from need, and not desire, or luxury for that matter. We are not talking about planning a vacation or dining in a fancy, posh restaurant; we are taking about something that needs to be done on routine basis. And yet, online penetration of grocery shopping lags far behind other sectors.

That definitely makes one wonder, when majority of other ecommerce sectors are doing great, what’s the reason behind e-Grocery segment not booming enough? It is due to the following challenges, which also represent the growth opportunities in the sector.

Challenge 1: Storage & Delivery Cost

Perishable items require more investment on storage & delivery infrastructure (refrigeration). Special warehouses,delivery containers and specialized delivery vans must be there to ensure perishables are delivered fresh. All this requires lots of capital.

Solution: Just-in-time supply system integrated with state of the art inventory management API can minimize inventory costs. Apart from that, teaming up with an efficient delivery service provider that has the right vehicles to ensure customer satisfaction is a good idea from economic and operational perspectives.

Challenge 2: Low Profit Margins

Customers are reluctant to pay for convenience charges and want to get faster delivery & quality assurance. Catering to this particular need can actually turn out as a financial nightmare for online grocers.

Solution: Implement asset light business model. Instead of acquiring your own fleet of vehicles and staff to carry out the deliveries for you, hire a logistics company. That will cost you less than the cost of vehicles and salaries combined. While signing the contract agreement with the delivery service provider, make sure you mention that between your office gate and customer’s doorstep, the goods to be delivered are the service providers’ responsibility.

Challenge 3: Inefficient Delivery

It’s hard to break the threshold called hyper-local segments with one delivery system, especially when the customers expect same-hour delivery. Product quality, time, and delivery cost – all these critical factors impose a huge challenge for an efficient delivery system.

Solution: Logical decision would be to team up with reliable hyper local delivery service providers. Although, not directly related to grocery delivery, Amazon India presents a good example of this, as they partnered with Indian post to improve their reach in rural areas of India.

And then there’s a futuristic solution – delivery through drones. It may seem a viable solution only in near future, but it would soon become an essential one. Amazon has begun it in US. Various Chinese ecommerce retailers are also using it extensively. It is true that drone delivery will incur you huge infrastructure/equipment expenditure, but once done, things will be just gliding seamlessly.

Related: Global Market Analysis of Online Grocery Shopping

Challenge 4: Consumer Habit

Regardless of the number of online grocery stores opening up, and the convenience of shopping online, people still prefer buying grocery items from a physical store. The graph below clearly reflects that consumer behavior.

If No Why

The stats are from the US, but just one glance at it and you will realize this preference of picking their own foods is more common than anything else in the world. And that’s because of the human nature, we just want to take a whiff of that melon, we want to hold a potato in our hand before being sure of outing it in the basket.

Solutions: Merging your online & offline grocery shopping experience is a good idea in this regard. Here are some ways how you can improve customer experience while keeping your expenses low are:

  • Customer gets to verify items availability online &then visits the store, confirms the quality and buys them
  • Customer places the order through online portal & picks up order at the store

The above two models save the delivery cost. Now, let’s talk about two alternates that reduce operational cost while improving customer experience.

  • Customer visits offline store, orders the desired items online (through in-store setup) and the goods are delivered to their home
  • Self-checkout at stores through technologies like iBeacon to let customers avoid the long cash-counter queues. A new trendsetter is in making, do check what Amazon Go is doing. Your customers will definitely love this type of shopping.

Pre-orders & curb-side pickups are other interesting techniques to enhance customer experience. In fact, they are already a hit among customers in many parts of the world.To implement, simply offer a feature to pre-order groceries and schedule a delivery time or select a pre-decided pick-up spot. It saves time for the customer and saves you last mile delivery expenses.

Conclusion

The online grocery industry is still in the nascent stage and has just started to pick up some pace. It is certain that the sector will become more efficient & profitable with time as the new technological advancements will come along.

No doubt that the market will remain challenging for the current generation of online grocers. But businesses that will stick to their guns, will also garner the advantage of being the early bird, since they already have captured the market as the sector continues to become mainstream with new technology.

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How To Measure Success In the Life Of a Startup

How To Measure Success In the Life Of a Startup

In many ways, measuring success in the life of a startup is all about one thing: growth. In theory, every decision you make and every action you take is all about feeding into the most important goal of all: making sure that your company is just a little bit bigger when you wake up tomorrow than it was when you went home after work today.

However, this is also (intentionally) overly simplistic. If you think that the key measurement for success in terms of your business purely has to do with revenue growth, you’re sadly mistaken.

Yes, it’s always important to make sure that your revenue sources are as strong as they can be across the board, but true startup success runs much deeper than that. For a startup, growing too swiftly can be just as devastating as growing too slowly depending on exactly what you’re trying to accomplish in the first place.

You need to take a much more holistic approach to your startup if you really want to measure success and make sure that your daily efforts are properly aligned with your long-term objectives. To do this, you’ll need to keep a couple of essential things in mind.

Suggested Read: Live the startup dream – Start your online business with these ready to launch ecommerce systems

Breaking Down the Cost of Doing (Your) Business

One of the key things to understand about measuring success in terms of your startup stage and your proximity to your long-term goals is that this is a term that is to be taken literally. You will absolutely be measuring nearly everything about what you’re doing, breaking your daily business activities and decisions down into fine detail to see how they all relate to both A) one another, and B) the organization you’re trying to build.

Because of this, one of the most important measurements for you to make is that of the “cost of doing business” – but not necessarily in the way you might think.

First, you need to take a look at the total available market from two perspectives – both the maximum number of people you CAN reach and the total number of people you ARE reaching at the moment. As your startup continues to grow and become more successful, that second number should start to creep up on the first at a stable rate.

You’ll also need to look at the cost of goods sold in the context of one of the most important metrics of all – your “break even” point.

This is all essential to know not just to see how you’re doing today, but to give yourself something to work towards. Using data based on current trends and patterns regarding your sales and awareness, you can theoretically extrapolate what true “maximum success” actually looks like.

Based on your total available market, you now know what you need to get your costs of goods sold down in order to at least hit that “break-even point.” Consider that point your “floor” – starting there is fine, but as time goes on you should be able to rise above it fairly easily.

Suggested Read: Top Nine Asset-Light Business Models to Consider For Your Ecommerce Startup

Pay Attention to Your Website

As stated, so much of measuring success in terms of the life of a startup involves paying attention to certain “road markers” or “sign posts” along the way. Perhaps the biggest of these is also the most visible – your website.

Consider the fact that according to most recent studies, approximately 93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine. This means that for the vast majority of all people, the first interaction they have with your startup is going to be via your website.

Based on that, it stands to reason that you have to make efforts to evolve your website traffic and focus on lead generation in order to grow continuously. As your website gets more traffic and the number of unique visitors grow, it should be fairly equal to the rate at which your larger business is expanding as well.

Because of this, it’s very important that you continue to put effort into making sure that your website is as strong as it can be. Use tools like this website grader to make sure your design, your user experience and other factors are where they need to be to support the type of growth that you presume. Always follow best practices about what makes a good website when implementing any type of design changes.

Break Down Those Silos

Along the same lines, it’s also important for you to understand that the various parts of your business do not exist separately from one another. They can’t be (or at least they shouldn’t be) siloed off – they should all feed into one another, allowing them to function as a smaller-yet-essential part of a larger whole.

Case in point: your marketing materials. When you create a terrific presentation or eye-popping Infographic with a tool like Visme (which, for the sake of transparency, I am a founder of), they should be used less as a tool for JUST raising brand awareness and more as an active opportunity to funnel people back to your website.

So the collateral feeds your website, which ultimately feeds your larger business objectives. Everything impacts everything else – but this doesn’t necessarily happen automatically. Once you get to the point where you create a terrific infographic that gives your site’s traffic a boost which in turn increases your sales, congratulations: you’ve just passed another one of the major markers used to measure success in the life of a startup.

Forging Your Own Path

With this information, suddenly you’re no longer wandering around in the dark. You know how decisions in one area of your business affect the other and you also know what true “long-term success” actually looks like. Not only do you know where your destination is – you’ve suddenly got a road map to use to get there.

Continuing to assess and reassess your progress along the way will help make sure that you’re always headed in the right direction and that the decisions you’re making are the ones you should be at this particular moment in history.

9 WordPress Plugins You Need to Impress your Blog Visitors

9 WordPress Plugins You Need to Impress your Blog Visitors

A content management system with a huge variety of features, WordPress!!! This is the reason everybody including a blogger, a businessman, a WordPress developer, a designer and all others, love WordPress. The customization possibilities with it are ample. From having an interactive header to adding responsive images, from adding seamless scrolling to adding a chat plugin, everything is possible with WordPress on your side.

Currently, there are about 51,000+ plugins in the WordPress Plugin Directory. This number shows how wide the area of opportunity is for customization of your WordPress website. No doubt that it provides its user a plethora of customization plugins to make a fantastic WordPress website, and sometimes, even a fantabulous one too! But it is not about the number of plugins you use for your website; it is about the combination of plugins that suits your requirement.

You cannot use all the WordPress plugin at the same time. You need to choose the best combination of plugins so that your website does not get slow or faulty, and impresses your WordPress website visitors.

If you have a WordPress blog, and you’re looking to impress your visitors, well guess what? You’re at the right place. In this article, I am going to provide you a list of nine WordPress plugins, the 9 plugins that’ll help you impress your blog visitors, and help you to effectively stay in touch with them at the same time. If you have a blog section on your business website, then this article will definitely help you to build it efficiently and engage your viewers. Let’s get started straight away.

Responsive Gallery Plugins

The responsive gallery is one of the best ways to make your visitors stay on your blog. This also gives your blog a visual appeal and proves to be a good way to interact with your viewers. Let’s check these plugins out which can really help you to build an effective Photo Gallery in your WordPress blog.

1. Gallery by Envira

Envira Gallery is a highly responsive and robust photo gallery plugin for a WordPress blog or website. It enables you to create seamless and beautiful picture and video galleries. Blogs with Envira plugin included have great potential to make a positive impression on your visitors. The best part of this plugin is that it has a very efficient console which always takes care of your website’s speed. Adding pictures can always slow down your website. This is why Envira Gallery is the first choice for many of WordPress enthusiasts. Let’s see some of its features that will give you a perfect idea abouthow to impress your blog visitors:

  • It is very efficient in sharing and selling your photos. This feature gives your visitors an easy option to share your pictures on social media and believe me; it is always appreciated by website visitors.
  • In order to engage your visitors, you need to customize your gallery and Envira gives you very easy tools to customize it.
  • Easy Drag and Drop Builder is just the thing you’ll need to create an impressive gallery.
  • Easy to organize your gallery with an impressive cover photo.
  • Impress your visitors by adding an interactive slideshow, both in automatic and manual playback.

2. Photo Gallery by WD

If you’re looking for a free plugin to impress your visitors, Photo Gallery by WD is the perfect choice. It is a fully responsive photo gallery with ample amount of advanced functionality, absolutely free of cost.

Let’s see some of its many features:

  • It is a 100 percent responsive photo gallery with different view options. Compact Album, Thumbnails, an Image Browser and a slideshow for galleries.
  • You can also add a music track to the slideshow of the pictures.
  • Interactive WordPress search bar for the images.
  • Social media sharing.
Photo Gallery by WD Plugin

Chat/Contact Plugins

Chat plugins are one of the best ways to interact with your visitors. During any problem they encounter in your website, these plugins are quite handy. This is the reason they can be very effective in order to interact with your visitors.

3. WP Live Chat Support

WP Live Chat Support is entitled as the “Most Cost Effective Live Chat Plugin”. It is perfect for small businesses blogs. Let’s check some of the features of this plugin:

  • Multiple simultaneous chats at a time.
  • Six different chat interface themes.
  • Animated chat box.
  • Multilingual translation feature.

4. Zendesk Chat

Now, imagine how convenient it would be if you would know where your visitor currently is on your WordPress website. Zendesk Chat will let you know all about the visitor’s location on your website. Zendesk Chat is popular because of this particular feature, but there some more useful features too. Let’s have a look at them:

  • Mobile responsive chat box.
  • It also enables you to directly reach your visitor by triggering chat directly addressed to them. Especially useful if and when a visitor stuck in your web page.
  • It provides smart analytics which gives you an exact data of what your visitor is doing and where he/she is stuck. So, that you can directly approach them and offer them a solution.
Zendesk Chat Plugin

User Rating Plugins

WordPress developers can and should integrate a user-rating plugin to enhance the user experience of the website visitors. This kind of plugin gives them the power to upvote or downvote the content or the website. Allow me to present one of the best user-rating plugins of all time.

5. WP Review

WordPress developers and development teams love this user-rating plugin. WP Review enables your visitors to rate your content in terms of stars or points out of 10. It is up to you how you want your visitor to rate you. This makes a visitor feel valued. Let’s see some of its many features:

  • Thoroughly fluid responsive.
  • Minimal yet modern interface.
  • Supports Google Rich Snippets.

Custom Login Page Plugins

A custom login page will definitely be useful from visitor’s viewpoint. Let’s see which plugins a WordPress developer can use to give the site visitors a good login page.

6. Customize WordPress Login Page

It is a powerful plugin that allows you to make custom WordPress login pages. It makes you stand out in the crowd where there are so many websites just like you. Let’s see some of the standard features of this WordPress plugin:

  • Catchy Background slideshow.
  • Social media account links with login pages
  • Engaging Animation.
  • Unlimited color schemes and 500+ Google fonts.

7. Erident Custom Login & Dashboard

A login page speaks a lot about the website. This plugin can help you in significant ways to give your login page layout a ‘mojo’ touch. Let’s see what this plugin allows you to do:

  • You can upload your own logo and background images on the login page.
  • Change the Login Button color.
  • You can hide the links such as ‘Forgot Password’ and so on.
  • Easy to change the WordPress logo to a logo of your choice.

Interactive Search Box Plugins

The search box is very important when it comes to a website’s blog. Let’s see which plugins can help you to add an interactive search box in your WordPress website.

8. Ajax Search Lite

Ajax Search Lite is a highly responsive live search engine which will increase your website’s user interaction. Many WordPress developers like to use this particular plugin. Let’s see some of the features of Ajax Search Lite:

  • Easy to search on any post and page.
  • 8 beautiful page build-ups.
  • Icons are CSS3 and “Retina-ready vectorized SVG”.
  • Highly compatible and responsive as well.

9. Relevanssi- A Better Search

Relevanssi is a replacement for the standard WordPress search box. It can be made better by applying some custom features. Let’s see what features help you to make a lasting impression on your visitors:

  •  Easy to search in order of relevance rather than date.
  • It will highlight the search term in the post which makes it easy for your visitor to check what he’s looking for.
  • Easy to restrict searches to categories.
Relevanssi Plugin

Wrapping it up

I am sure you will like the list of 9 WordPress plugins that WordPress developers love to use. The best thing about these plugins is that they are easy to install and offer great user experience to the visitors, without them knowing why they liked the site so much. So much for being a backend genius, WordPress is secure as well as a widely loved Web Development platform. If you have any queries about these WordPress plugins, feel free to contact me through comments.

A Fundraising Guide for Startups to Find the Right Investor

A Fundraising Guide for Startups to Find the Right Investor

Not all entrepreneurs have the privilege of a solid financial backing for their startup.

In fact, only a few do.

Most entrepreneurs have to struggle day in, day out to keep their startup alive and to register a sequential quarterly or yearly growth, so they can prove to the world that their business has potential.

For such entrepreneurs, raising funds from investors is the only hope they have, to take their business to the next level (expansion to new markets & verticals); and to ensure that they stay operational to continue turning their startup dream into reality. However, it is crucial to note that besides acquiring funds, it is equally important to ensure that your investment partner also assists in your business growth.

Already helping the startup ecosystem with a wide array of ecommerce solutions, FATbit Technologies here shares tips on how entrepreneurs should approach investors to boost their chances of landing the perfect investment deal.

Don’t Sell Your Product, Sell Your Business

When approaching investors, entrepreneurs are often misguided by the notion that talking more and more about ‘what their products can do’ will help in convincing investors. But even a million dollar product idea can flop, if executed poorly. And investors are aware of this fact more than anyone.

So, when you approach investors, instead of the product, focus on the vision you have behind that product. Tell them your long term goals, show that you have the required skilled manpower onboard, and describe how closely you know your customer. Don’t simply ask investors to bet upon the billion dollar market opportunity for your product; tell them how you intend to capture that market.

Expert tip: Product ideas get copied all the time; therefore, you must focus on making your business unique. You must see beforehand that your execution plan is better than that of competitors and USP (unique selling proposition) is well defined and is in sync with what the end customer needs.

Related Read: Online Service Sector Business Models with Considerable Future Potential

Know What the Investors Want

Usually, the fundraising events begin with investors outlining what they are looking for. And it is not about classifying them as angel or venture capitalist, but what are their long term plans with the investment. At this stage, you should be able to filter some investors who might actually be interested in your startup idea.

Closely analyzing investors’ requirements should give you some cue on how you should approach them with your startup idea. And it is obvious that if you plan your presentation in accordance to investor’s requirements, your chances of landing the deal increase significantly.

Expert tip: Even if you fail to raise funds from an investor, it doesn’t have to be a failure. Use the opportunity to consult with them. Ask them what they like about your startup and what not. Gather insights on improving the product so you have better chance of landing the deal next time.

Find out What Investor Would Do for You

Investments aren’t always about money alone, especially in the case of angel investors, who basically help startups stand up from the ground. Apart from being the financial backers, they also need to act as the mentor for your startup and as the influencers who build connections for you.

Therefore, before approaching investors, you should clearly outline your startup’s needs and expectations from them. And during the pitching, you also need to be inquisitive about what they would do for your startup. Besides that, also check that the investor has prior experience investing in & working with startup like yours.

Expert tip: What investors can do for a startup; sometimes vary from situation to situation. If your startup is creating an entirely new market, there’s only so much an investor can do. Entrepreneurs need to be flexible in that regard to ideally decide when to rely on investors & when on their own conviction.

Be Clear on the Legal Aspects

A startup investment deal is never non-consequential. Investors always have certain expectations in terms of return. And if your startup fails to deliver it, consequences can be devastating (not just for the business, for entrepreneurs too).

While it is okay to apply all the tactics to convince investors, entrepreneurs should never overlook the risk involved with money they are taking, and whom they are taking it from. If an investor’s expectations seem something your startup won’t be able to deliver, it is better to move on. Obviously, there’s always some risk involved with an investment, but it is basically deciding which risk you can take on and which not.

Expert tip:

Entrepreneurs may often fail to correctly apprehend the amount of risk involved, especially when they don’t understand the legal terms of the investment properly. Therefore, it is strongly advised to consult with a business attorney during the process and have everything documented properly.

Conclusion

Convincing investors to back your business idea is one thing, but identifying the right investor for your startup is a different thing altogether. To land the best deal, you need to perfect both these arts. And as we have explained in this post, by and large, the key to landing the right investment deal is to first define your startup’s goals & needs clearly and then find an investor whose expectations are aligned to those goals & needs.

How Online Food Ordering Businesses Should Approach Digital Marketing

How Online Food Ordering Businesses Should Approach Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is no new concept, but with the continual arrival of new trends and technologies, it is evolving constantly. Everyone is aware of its importance, but without incorporating the latest trends & tactics in the digital marketing mix, a business cannot reap its maximum benefits. For online food ordering portals, digital marketing can be a great aid in promoting, as well as running the business. Their prime target customer base is tech savvy and remains constantly active on different online channels. So, it makes perfect sense for food ordering businesses to capitalize on this fact by reaching out & connecting with customers on various digital marketing channels. In this post, we will explain how food ordering business owners can leverage the full potential of digital marketing. Let’s get going.

Start with the Basics (Search Engine Marketing)

Before anything else, you need to ensure that your website has a solid online presence and got everything needed to acquire high ranking on search engines & to attract more traffic. That’s where search engine marketing comes into the picture as a mix of SEO & PPC ads. Here is what you need to ensure in that regard:

  • First of all, make sure your food ordering website has key SEO elements in place such as user-friendly URL structure, manageable meta tags, sitemaps, 301 redirecting, image alt tag, duplicate content control, etc., to be able to rank better in search engines. As the search engine algorithms have become smarter follow advanced SEO techniques to ensure the best performance of the website for the present and as well as for future.  
  • Optimize you website content by including relevant keywords like “order food online”, “online restaurants in <location>”, “food delivery in <location>”. This will help customers to easily find you, which ultimately will also result into better ranking. Therefore typical keyword research mistakes can make the SEO efforts go in vain.
  • Start a blog that allows you to produce content on regular basis. As much as people love eating, they also love reading about the recipes, nutritious value, new cuisines, etc. Besides, a blog will also allow you to target relevant keywords & attract traffic to your website.
  • For PPC, use Google AdWords Keyword Planner to choose the right keywords. The keywords should relate to what people are searching for.
  • When running a PPC ad campaign, pay special attention to negative keywords. For instance, suppose you offer food ordering service in city A, so you wouldn’t want your company name list up if a user searches for “online food delivery in city B”. Negative keywords helps in keeping the cost down by saving you from unnecessary clicks

Go Creative on Social Media

We need not repeat the importance of social media as a digital marketing channel; but with every other business active on social media, the question is how to get customers’ attention. The answer is – by being different. Social media marketers know it all – the campaigns, how to run them, the frequency of updates and everything technical. Plating up a dish, presenting it beautifully, everything has been done and has been happening for a while now. So, how do you level up your social media game? Here are some tips:

  • When running an offer, let the food do the talking with the customers. Here is how McDonalds does it: “Hi, I am the crispy burger you love to eat on Sundays, how about my calorie conscious cousin, roasted chicken salad?”
  • Whether you are vegetarian, non-vegetarian, or eat-anything-on-the-table-tarian, pictures of food always lead to drools. But how creatively you display them is what matters. Here is another example from McDonalds
McDonalds Ad
  • Other than being creative, also focus on your customers’ need. Reply to their comments and queries timely. Pay attention to their feedback. Run offers & loyalty programs exclusively on social media to solidify your presence there.
  • Leveraging all these ways to promote business through social media can help to generate more leads and create a buzz around the brand.

Video Content Can Take You a Long Way

Explainer and marketing videos are effective methods to put across your brand message and to ensure it stays where it is supposed to – in your customers’ mind. Now, this may sound fun & easy, but the art of video storytelling for brand marketing is quite tough in practice. Here are some tips that will take you in the right direction and help you in creating video content more effective:

  • Gone are the days of generalized and explanatory narratives. Now are the times when you should introduce your product/business through storytelling with characters people can relate to. Stories that instigate feelings and imagination. Remember how KFC inspired us all with the story of Colonel Sanders?
  • Convey your brand’s mission in the explainer video, since branding is not all about what you are doing today; it’s also about what you are going to be in coming years, and how you plan your roadmap to achieve that goal.
  • As a food ordering marketplace, you have so much to offer through video content besides just the explainer video. You can share recipe videos, videos for nutritious value of ingredients, and much more.
  • To precisely understand every aspect of video marketing i.e. kind of videos, their length, aspect ratios and all such queries go through the complete social media video marketing guide to engage the right kind of audience.

Leverage the Power of Influencer Marketing

Nothing works like word-of-mouth marketing. Thanks to the internet, today we have an amplified version of it – influencer marketing. As mentioned earlier, people love to read about recipes & nutritious value of the food they are eating. And to cater that need, there are thousands of food bloggers active on the internet. So, as a food industry startup, you have a huge number of influencers at your disposal. Here are best ways to leverage them:

  • Tie up with popular food bloggers through a mutually beneficial business partnership. Have them add value to your own blog by writing for it and also get regularly mentioned in their blogs. These mentions can simply be part of the story they are telling and don’t have to sound like advertisement.
  • A featured article about your business in a popular food industry blog or business news site can be a game changer. It might cost you a little but its ROI will also be all the more desirable.
  • Always remember that customers are the biggest influencers for your business. So, don’t miss out on capitalizing their reviews, feedbacks, and testimonials. People love to share their food pictures on social media. Besides influencing other people, such user generated content can also help you level up your social media game.
  • In all influencer marketing has become a new way of branding and brands are following top digital marketing experts for marketing expertise.  

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Email & SMS

Good marketing practices are all about sending the right message to the right person at the right time. Not all users will visit your website frequently or have your app installed. To reach out to them and inform about your offerings and details about their orders in the timely manner, email & SMS are still the most reliable means of communication. Here are some tips on effectively implementing Email & SMS in your digital marketing mix:

  • 90% of the text messages are read within 3 minutes. So, for limited period offers, broadcasting the message through SMS is a great way to reach your customers in timely fashion.
  • Emails are ideal when it comes to a long term offer, or when you need to inform customers about a future offer in advance. Make sure that email marketing software you choose comes with customizable template (such as Mail-Chimp), since look & feel of your email directly impact its click through rate.
  • Other than these, text messages & emails can also be used to send out important notifications to customers such as for order confirmation, delivery, etc. Offering such service works greatly towards customer retention.

Conclusion

While it is crucial to act on the latest trends & techniques when running the digital marketing campaign for your online food ordering business, it is equally important to keep the customers need at the center of it. Your end customers are tech savvy, they use multiple devices, live in urban areas, have a busy schedule, prefer convenience over price, want quality food without prior planning & travelling and that too at their door step and in timely fashion, and so on. Once you have outlined these factors to define the buyer persona, you will also get a clear picture on how to implement above mentioned digital marketing practices in the most effective manner.

The Future of Food Industry: Guide for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

The Future of Food Industry: Guide for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

There are several aspiring entrepreneurs who want to invest their money somewhere but do not know which industry is the best to put their money that would offer them maximum returns. The food industry over the years, has grown remarkably and has been expanding at an astounding speed.

Globally, the food delivery market accounts for €83 billion, which is 1 percent of the total food market and around 4 percent of food sold through restaurants and fast food outlets. The food industry has matured in most countries, with an overall annual growth rate estimated at 3.5 percent for the next five years.

By far, the most common form of delivery is the traditional model, in which the consumer places an order with the local restaurant over the phone and waits for the restaurant to bring the food to the door. This traditional category has a 90 percent market share, and most of those orders—almost three-quarters—are still placed by phone.

However, as in so many other sectors, the rise of digital technology is reshaping the market. Consumers are getting accustomed to shopping online through apps and websites which offer maximum convenience and transparency. The same can be said when it comes to ordering dinner.

In this blog, we are not just preaching that entrepreneurs should invest in an online food delivery marketplace. We are providing facts and figures which will show the huge demand and opportunities for entrepreneurs in the online food delivery sector.

Fact 1: – Growth of online food industry

When every offline business is stepping in the online world, the food-delivery market is in the middle of a huge channel migration. Online delivery is expected to grow by 25 percent every year from 2015 to 2018 across prominent countries.

Fact 2: – The Past and future market scenario

In the year 2015, there was a huge debate on whether hyper local businesses will be able to shift to online businesses. One sector which grabbed maximum attention was the food industry. The reasons were that it is expected to see revenue of $78 billion by 2018, which will subsequently grow 16 percent. This sector has always shown high demand and looks promising for higher returns. Now the sector is overflowed with “Me-too startups” which are lacking both differentiation and innovation, there is a huge demand for out of the box startups that entices the customers with its features.

Online vs Offline Food Ordering

Fact 3: – Global Revenue

  • Global revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2016-2021) of 23.6 %, resulting in a market volume of US$210,324 m in 2021.
  • In the “Online Takeaway” segment, the number of users is expected to amount to 915.5m by 2021.
  • In the “Restaurant Delivery” segment, the number of users is expected to amount to 353.3m by 2021.

Fact 4: – China Revenue

  • Revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2016-2021) of 20.9 % resulting in a market volume of US$77,045m in 2021.
  • In the “Online Takeaway” segment, the number of users is expected to amount to 390.9m by 2021.
  • In the “Restaurant Delivery” segment, the number of users is expected to amount to 188.4m by 2021

Fact 5: – US revenue

  • Revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2016-2021) of 20.2 % resulting in a market volume of US$9,631m in 2021.
  • In the “Online Takeaway” segment, the number of users is expected to amount to 21.0m by 2021.
  • In the “Restaurant Delivery” segment, the number of users is expected to amount to 7.8m by 2021.

Also read: – Business and revenue model of online food delivery marketplace

Fact 6: – Germany revenue

  • Revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2016-2021) of 20.8 % resulting in a market volume of US$7,255m in 2021.
  • In the “Online Takeaway” segment, the number of users is expected to amount to 18.6m by 2021.
  • In the “Restaurant Delivery” segment, the number of users is expected to amount to 5.4m by 2021.

Fact 7: – Italy revenue

  • Revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2016-2021) of 24.1 % resulting in a market volume of US$8,258m in 2021.
  • In the “Online Takeaway” segment, the number of users is expected to amount to 17.4m by 2021.
  • In the “Restaurant Delivery” segment, the number of users is expected to amount to 5.8m by 2021.

Fact 8: – India Revenue

  • Revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2016-2021) of 34.7 % resulting in a market volume of US$4,371m in 2021.
  • In the “Online Takeaway” segment, the number of users is expected to amount to 112.7m by 2021.
  • In the “Restaurant Delivery” segment, the number of users is expected to amount to 39.8m by 2021

Fact 9: – Saudi Arabia Revenue

  • Revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2016-2021) of 28.3 % resulting in a market volume of US$1,580m in 2021.
  • In the “Online Takeaway” segment, the number of users is expected to amount to 5.6m by 2021.
  • In the “Restaurant Delivery” segment, the number of users is expected to amount to 0.9m by 2021.

The above-mentioned stats make it evident that there is a huge potential in the food industry. While the restaurant delivery segment is expected to see substantial growth in 2021, the online takeaway segment is expected to see a revenue growth of more than 200%. We have defined every major country where the food industry is expected to see a growth. This blog will help an entrepreneur take the final decision which country to invest their revenue.

Online Shoe Repairing Platform– Fresh Business Idea for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Online Shoe Repairing Platform– Fresh Business Idea for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Imagine you bought a pair of shoe which you absolutely love, wore it for a year or so and the sole of the shoes start ripping off. Painful situation, isn’t it? You are sure you will not get similar pair anywhere in the market and you just wish those pair of shoes could come back to life.

For most people, taking it to the local cobbler means ruining the quality of the shoe. Although the cobbler does repair the shoe but the look and feel of the shoe is taken for granted by them.

The problem is resolved with the advent of online shoe repairing platforms. Besides the quality assurance, these platforms also make the process quite convenient for customers; as is the case with every online business.

In the times when aspiring entrepreneurs are running out of new business ideas, shoe repairing websites come up as a potential one. Here is a detailed analysis of the business model, which also includes revenue streams & key website features.

Business Model

The business model of an online shoe repairing website is similar to an offline shoe repairing. When your shoes start to wear off, you pack your shoes to give it to the cobbler, tell him what needs to be repaired. Once it is repaired, you get it back, pay the money, and done!

In the virtual world, things happen pretty much in the same fashion:

Step 1: Customers visits a shoes repairing website and selects the style of shoe and the type of repair needed and place the order with payment.

Step 2: The business team will send the shoe shipping kit to customers with their business address.

Step 3: Customer puts the shoe in the box and affix a prepaid return label to the box and drop it off at the local postal office.

Step 4: The shoe gets repaired by expert craftsmen and sent back to the customer as good as new.

Another noticeable thing about these businesses is that their scope is not limited to just shoes. Many of these websites have expanded into different verticals such as jacket repair, handbag/wallet repair, clothing repair, dry cleaning, and so on.

Shoe repair website business model

Major Market players

  • My shoe hospital
  • We do shoes
  • The shoe laundry
  • Nu shoe
  • The shoe men
  • Hakky 24 hours shoe repair

Revenue model

Primary Revenue channel

The primary revenue channel of shoe repairing website is the charge for the service they provide to the customer. The fixed amount for repairing the shoe also cover the man hours spent on shoe repair & delivery charges.

Secondary revenue streams

  • Advertising- There are two options for the website owners to make money from online display ads. They can either signup with PPC ad networks like Google AdWords,or they can publish their own banner ads on their website and charge advertisers based on the space & time for their ads.
  • Subscription- Most shoe repairing websites provide a subscription option to its loyal customers. Under the subscription model, users become premium members of the business and get extra privileges such as waive off some charges, additional discounts, express delivery or better service to customer over a period of time.
  • Additional services- Services such as expedite delivery, express repair, etc., need not to be available just for premium members. There should also be provision to allow non-members to avail these services on an individual order, simply by paying more for it.

Critical Website Features

Like any niche specific website, online shoe repairing portals must have certain features that help them run their business more effectively, as well as build trust in customers. Here is the list of features that a shoe repairing website must have:

  • Showcase past work- When a visitor visits the shoe repairing website, it very important that they get to see a sample of your work. It is rightly said “a picture is worth a thousand words”.  When testimonial fails to convince customer regarding the quality of work, displaying past work will help.
Our Work Nu Shoe

                                                                                                    Source: Nu Shoe

  • Price Guide–  As online shoe repairing is a relatively new concept in the market, customers might have very less knowledge of the cost & time it takes to get a shoe repaired. So before the whole process starts, an estimated price must be displayed on the website which would help the customer in the decision making.
  • Shoe Category- The shoe repairing website should have easy navigation. It should easily allow customers to select which type of shoe they want to get fixed. The shoe categories can be divided based on gender (male, female) and shoe type (leather, canvas, etc.)
  • Product Category- If you are planning to tap into product categories other than shoe repair (such as handbag repair, dry cleaning, etc.), then it is imperative that you mention them on your website clearly for customers to easily see them.
Services wedoshoes

Source: We Do Shoes

  •  Price estimator This is one of the features that will make your shoe repairing website stand out. There can be different things which customers want to get repaired – from sole change, laces changes, dry cleaning etc. That is why it crucial that a shoe repair website has a price estimator in place so that the customer knows the estimated price of the repair in

Conclusion

Shoe repairing websites have reduced the hassle and efforts consumers had to make to get a shoe repaired from local market. Now just by a few clicks and without leaving the house, a person can get their favorite shoe repaired within a few days. Plus, the shoe will not just be repaired or dry-cleaned but will also look as good as new.

These reasons have significantly led to the huge demand of online shoe repairing, which also means there is a huge opportunity for startups in this sector. Implementing all the key & value added features discussed in this post can help new players immensely in making their mark in the industry.

Disclaimer: The Blog has been created with consideration and care. We strive to ensure that all information is as complete, correct, comprehensible, accurate and up-to-date as possible. Despite our continuing efforts, we cannot guarantee that the information made available is complete, correct, accurate or up-to-date. We advise – the readers should not take decisions completely based on the information and views shared by FATbit on its blog, readers should do their own research to further assure themselves before taking any commercial decision. The 3rd party trademarks, logos and screenshots of the websites and mobile applications are property of their respective owners, we are not directly associated with most of them.

  • Repair Specification- While placing order for shoe repair, customers often need to specify what repair work is required & how it should be done. Therefore, it is essential to add a section in checkout process where customers can add comment regarding the repair of the shoe. This helps in creating a sense of confidence in users as it depicts the website owner is taking efforts to understand the requirement of the customer.
Comments section wedoshoes

Source: We Do Shoes

  • Testimonials- Testimonials are the most widely used assets to build trust in customers and are also one of the key commandments to achieve greatness in web service industry. So, it is important that you showcase your customer testimonials on the website homepage.
  • Mobile- Customer convenience is one of the most important factors for online business. Nowadays, people do not sit in front of desktop to get their online chores done. They get things done on mobile. This is why it is important that your website run seamlessly on the mobile devices.
  • Shipping Policies- As the shipping and delivery of shoe repairing website is a little complicated and differs from website to website. Every website should have a dedicated section where the shipping and delivery policies are mentioned.
  • How it works- To give a clear picture to visitors on how the website works, there should be a How It Works section on it, which features the basic working of the website.
How it works wedoshoes

Source: We Do Shoes

  • Chat & Help Section- There are lots of queries that consumers have when thinking of sending shoes for repair to an online shoe repair website. Allowing the customer to send instant messages to the professionals via a live chat feature makes an easy communication channel between them. Additionally, there should also be a Help (QA) section on your website, which offers solutions to frequently asked questions by customers.

Related read: Conversational commerce the new fad of online businesses

  • Blogs- For a website to be among top search results on any search engine, a blog section is a must. The blog must include keywords which are widely searched by consumers. Other than that, a blog section also imparts knowledge and showcases expertise of the website. Some consumer can understand the importance of shoe repair only when they go through some blogs.
Blog myshoehospital

Source: My Shoe Hospital

Journey and Future of Mobile App Development Market

Journey and Future of Mobile App Development Market

Mobile apps first appeared in 2008, and in less than a decade they are everywhere. In fact to have a mobile application has become a need for organizations to sustain and grow in the market. For tech entrepreneurs, mobile applications have become a much-needed tool to accelerate and grow their business.

Although, it’s been less than a decade that mobile application are with us, but their success saga can be well understood through figures. According to a Statista report, there were around 149.3 billion mobile application downloads in 2016. Not only this, the same report shares that the number of apps available in Google Play Store as of first quarter of 2017 counted to 2.8 million. Astonishing isn’t it?

But wait!! This isn’t all

Looking at the pace with which the mobile app development market grew, there were speculations that the market will fade soon. However, the market doesn’t look like in a state to take a halt.

Today, the app development market is debatably dominated by Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube), Google apps (Maps, Gmail, Search) and Gaming applications.  Not only these, business giants like Amazon, Bank of America, and Walmart are using apps to accomplish improve customer engagement, branding, and direct marketing, etc.

New Opportunities are with New Technologies

Mobile application development market is driven by technological advancements. Now that we are looking ahead for future prospects in mobile application market, it is important to understand the technology that will drive the future of mobile app market.

Here’s what the future of app development market has:

Highly secured arena: With the growth in technology, cyber attacks have also grown, making security an inevitable need for businesses & users alike, across the globe. There’s simply no logic in compromising with the data and personal information of users.

In order to attract and engage the audience, companies will have to provide highly secured mobile applications for users, as well as for their operations. And it’s not only for conducting banking transactions and other private data, but also for enterprises for whom data breach can cost a fortune.

New Generation Apps based on AR/VR Technologies: If you stay updated with current tech trends, AR and VR won’t be a new term for you. The preceding years have been a game changer for Augmented and Virtual reality entertainment and gaming applications.

While on one side gaming applications like iOnRoad, myNav, Sky Seige, and Pokemon Go were topping the popularity charts, VR devices like Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR, and Oculus Rift gained commendable attention. It is believed that coming years will show exponential development in them and their usage, which will primarily happen through mobile apps.

Android Instant apps considered as a game changer: It hadn’t been long that Google introduced the concept of Instant Apps. As the name suggests, this will enable the Android apps to run instantly without downloading/installing them on the device.

Though the entire model is at a very initial stage, it is believed that in coming time, the concept will change the way apps are being used and will create a massive disruption in the mobile app development market.

IoT and smart objects: According to a Gartner report, 26 billion devices will be connected by 2020. This will include numerous day to day devices like LED light bulbs, domestic appliances, toys, medical devices, controllable power sockets, sports equipment, and so on.

These smart devices will work based on the concept of IoT and will be able to communicate through mobile applications. Giant tech companies like Microsoft are working closely with Intelligent System Services, while SAP is building its own IoT Solutions to enhance the scope of offerings.

Recommended Read: Myths & Realities that Surround IoTs (Internet of Things)

Mobile payments: Analysts have reported positive growth in mobile purchases. Consumers all across the globe have accepted mobile payment as their preferred mode of payment. Also, it is expected that in coming four years, more consumers will adopt the mobile payment method.

To relish this, developers will be required to build more secure mobile applications. It is expected that besides mobile apps, wearables apps will also play a crucial role in building customer loyalty and future of mobile payments.

Conclusion

Today it may seem that mobile apps are everywhere, as there’s already an app for pretty much everything. However, it is certain that with the advent of new technologies, the mobile app development arena will flourish further in the near future.

Mobile applications have covered a long distance in a short time span. In coming years, they’ll take the ease of access, security, and mobility to an entirely new level. Enterprises and aspiring appreneurs have to stay prepared to serve their end users with innovative and techative (tech + creative) mobile app development approach.

4 Ways Discount Coupons Can Boost Engagement, Sales, & Brand Awareness

4 Ways Discount Coupons Can Boost Engagement, Sales, & Brand Awareness

Who doesn’t like to grab a lucrative discount offer while shopping? Well, the desire to save some bucks always entices everyone, irrespective of their financial status. This fact is well-known among brand-owners and retailers, which is why we often see exciting coupons available for almost everything.

Discounts and offers are the most prominent ways for promotion. This is the reason why daily deals websites, which primarily list discounted products in a given market, have been so successful in recent years. So, if you’re an online retailer or a brand owner then you might be well-versed with the power of discounts!

Discount coupons & other offers, not only affect your overall sales, but also help create the buzz around brand in the long term. Therefore, as an online retailer, you should opt for various interesting ways to offer discounts and attract more and more customers. The ways that can help you improve the coupons and discounts’ positioning are as follows:

1. The Exciting Loyalty Reward Programs

The fact of the matter is that bonus discount offers or the loyalty reward programs lead to retention and return of the customers. So, you can incorporate that within your business and win the interest of a lot of buyers.

By rewarding customers who make a given amount of purchase will ensure an increase in average order value of your store. Additionally, you can also give special discounts to customers in the form of cash-back points.

2. Let them save while introducing a friend

Offering discounts with a condition – such as customers get a certain percentages of discount or a lucrative coupon, if the ask their friends to shop from your brand or store – works really well.

So, go for a ‘Refer a Friend’ option in your website. It will tempt your buyers more and more to advertise about your website, and thus, you’ll gain popularity and ultimately a hike in your sales.

Related Read: Unique Social Media Marketing Tips to Increase Sales of Online Store

3. Offer Coupons to Customers for their Reviews

Okay, if you’re selling any kind of products or services then you should know very well that how important your customers’ feedbacks are for you. Then why don’t you make the whole episode more interesting? Just offer a coupon to them for providing their valuable reviews which will lead them to respond to you more and more.

As a result, you will come to know about what people love and what they do not love about your store & offerings. This will help you make more informed decisions and improve your brand’s image.

4. Offer Exciting Coupons on Sign-ups

There is yet another exciting way to offer coupons – discount offers exclusively for newsletter sign-ups and for email alerts. I mean, don’t you think people will obviously sign up to your email service if they get a $5 coupon or a 10% off on their next purchase just for subscribing?

Updating your customers regularly about the deals, new arrivals and other interesting facts about your brand, tempts them to buy more. So, you’ll earn a lot of prosperity in terms of your business and finance surely.

Conclusion

So, what are you waiting for? Just make your discount coupon strategy versatile and smart by following the above mentioned ways and watch your sales skyrocket! I am sure you’ll feel the difference within a small period of time. Good Luck.

Mobile SEO in 2017 – A Concise Guide to Rank Higher in Mobile Searches

Mobile SEO in 2017 – A Concise Guide to Rank Higher in Mobile Searches

It has been more than two years since Google released its Mobilegeddon update to ensure that only mobile-friendly websites appear in the mobile search results. With constantly rising mobile searches, the search engine giant is also in the process of implementing a mobile-first indexing.

A Recent BrightEdge report also found that about 57% of the internet traffic is on mobile devices currently. However, the key finding of the study was that ‘about 80% of the results vary in desktop & mobile searches for the same keywords’.

This means that incorporating standard SEO practices with a mobile-friendly website isn’t enough to rank well in mobile results. Businesses need to device a separate mobile SEO strategy in an online world that is increasingly becoming mobile-first.

However, before acting upon that, you first need to understand & differentiate the mobile vs desktop demands of your business, in order to determine how much you should focus on each platform.

For starters, here is graph that shows mobile’s share of total searches by industry:

Online Searches on Mobile

You can further research for data that helps you understand the behavior of your mobile users & plan the most effective mobile-SEO strategy for your business.

With current dynamics in consideration, here are the mobile-SEO techniques that will help you target the mobile traffic in the most effective way.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

AMP, stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, is an initiative by Google that makes a “lighter” copy of your mobile webpage that is easier & faster to load on mobile devices. All you need to do is just include an HTML code for AMP in your webpages, and Google will automatically create an AMP version of your webpage. Although AMP is not yet a ranking factor, however, the boost in page loading speed will definitely help in boosting ranking in long term.

Optimize the Page Titles and Meta Descriptions

Mobile devices offer less screen space, thus, your page titles and Meta descriptions should be optimized for the smaller screen size. For mobile websites, the initial character length for the title should be around 55-60 characters.

The character length for Meta descriptions for mobile websites is 130. However, there have been instances when the Meta description had 172 characters and Google didn’t truncate any of it. Yet, we recommend you to stay within the 130 characters.

Invest in Responsive Design

There’s a difference between a mobile website and a website with responsive design. The latter adapts to screen sizes, and delivers better user experience. What your business needs is a responsive website, so that you can deliver a consistent experience to your end users across all screen sizes, be it a laptop/desktop, a smartphone or a tablet.

Though there is no evidence that responsive websites perform better than mobile websites, however, Google itself has said that it prefers responsive layout when determining the relevance of a website for mobile search.

Optimize Code to Deliver Better, Faster Mobile Experience

The first & foremost thing you need to take care of in this regard is to use cache & reduce the number of redirects to improve the page load speed of your mobile website. Additionally, make sure you are still not using the old practice of blocking CSS, JS, & images for your mobile website.

Today, these web elements help Google search bots to understand whether or not your website is responsive or mobile-friendly.

Pop-ups and Mobile SEO Don’t Gel

Pop ups may be considered as an effective marketing tactic in the desktop environment, but on mobile, they are mostly not welcome. With this in consideration, Google also released a statement recently – “To improve the mobile search experience, after January 10, 2017, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from mobile search results may not rank as highly.” In an environment, where pop-ups are not motivating enough to encourage users to click CTAs, being intrusive, they are merely increasing the bounce rate, which impacts your website ranking.

Optimize for Local Search

Mobile searches are location-focused by nature. As a matter of fact, Google also recently announced that 80% of ‘nearby or near me’ searches happen on mobile devices.

So, it is of utmost importance to incorporate various local SEO techniques. Optimize your Google My Business page, add pictures, gather reviews from customers, and act upon other key details.

Analyze the Traffic Variation and Behavior

The amount of traffic your website attracts on desktop & mobile is hardly going to be same. Similarly, the consumer behavior also varies a lot on different platforms. The way a customer shops on mobile website is different from the way he/she shops on a desktop website. Keeping a check on the mobile shoppers/users behavior will assist you in deciding what you should offer on your mobile website to attract more traffic, which will eventually translates into higher ranking.

Conclusion

The world of digital marketing is always on the move and it means you need to stay updated with the latest SEO trends. Search engines keep updating their algorithms; the trends keep changing, so make sure your content is optimized for an all-round presence.

Mobile internet users have surpassed desktop internet users, and thus mobile SEO has also become as important as its desktop variant. But as we mentioned before, a business can’t expect to have an overall prominence if they work solely on mobile or desktop SEO. These two device classes run parallel to each other, and with the given trends, we know the tips we gave you are surely going to help you a lot in upgrading your SEO tactics in 2017.