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9 smart ways to boost your eCommerce business during Ramadan

Mohab

9 smart ways to boost your eCommerce business during Ramadan

9 smart ways to boost your eCommerce business during Ramadan

It has been observed that the sacred month of Ramadan is a time when the online spending by Muslims all over the world rises significantly. Throughout this month, devout Muslims fast, pray, donate to the needy, and exchange gifts with loved ones. This holy month culminates with Eid al-Fitr, a festival that marks the breaking of the month-long dawn to sunset fast. And it encourages all Muslims to purchase various household as well as personal and gift items. A study conducted by The Arabian Marketer also showed that a 15% growth in retail and a 35% growth in travel through online sales were noticed during Ramadan 2015. As a result, ecommerce companies have started offering whopping discounts and attractive promotions on fashion apparel, electronics, sportswear, automotive and more. But are such measures enough to attract Ramadan shoppers? Not really! Here are a few things to keep in mind if you wish your sales to peak during this sacred month:

  1. Make your ecommerce store mobile-friendly – During Ramadan, most people are usually away from their desktops or laptops, but are active on their mobiles, which include smartphones and tablets. Google also shows that more people during this period watch more YouTube videos and search on the internet through mobile phones. Hence, a mobile-friendly and easy to navigate website is crucial to lure such shoppers.
  2. Focus on the right times – Weekend, early morning hours, shortly before the sunset and right after the sunset when the faithful breaks his or her fast are the peak times for shopping. And you will have to be ready for that.
  3. Say yes to Arabic – In a country where the majority speaks Arabic, it will do your website a lot of good if it has a version in that language. Ensure that your site supports local currencies and payment platforms like Paytabs. Such payment gateways assure easy and transparent fund transfer.
  4. A pre-Ramadan campaign can help – To emotionally connect with potential shoppers, it is a good idea to go for a pre-Ramadan campaign. It shows that you appreciate the local culture and respect the sacred month.
  5. Track across devices – Modern online shoppers often keep switching from their PC to mobile to tablet, during a single purchase. And this trend increases during Ramadan. So unless you can track customer behavior across different devices, you might approach a shopper with a product he or she no longer wants. And this way, you might lose out on a potential sale.
  6. Stand apart from competition – Since most or all ecommerce companies will be vying for the customers’ attention, you need to build special digital marketing strategies to stand out from the crowd. Unique or rare offers might help.
  7. Find out what works best for you – Not all industries are affected in the same way by Ramadan. For instance, fashion outlets usually benefit the most from the sale of kid’s clothing. Travel agents on the other hand benefit when they keep an eye on the best times for booking flights and hotels.
  8. Don’t ignore feast days – The last 3 days of Ramadan might witness a sharp decline in sales, since everyone is feasting and celebrating. But you mustn’t give up hope because of that. Remember that though people are away from their laptops or computers, they will definitely carry around their mobiles. Reach out with a warm message on Eid, so that your engagement with the shoppers continues.
  9. Make the most of social media – Interactions on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter increase by leaps and bounds during Ramadan. A study by Motion Point reveals that this hike can be as much as a third! Hence, strategic social media marketing will come in handy and drive more traffic towards your website.

So, gear up for Ramadan with the smart tips mentioned here. There is every possibility that you might end up reaping more benefits than ever before!

 

 

5 Simple Steps to Launching a Successful Ecommerce Business

5 Simple Steps to Launching a Successful Ecommerce Business

There are stories all around about people with limited expertise and background turning rich because of the eCommerce boom. From packaged snow to jewellery made from sustainably sourced nuts, almost all types have businesses are exploring the online channel to leverage a worldwide audience. It is only logical that if you have been toying with an eCommerce business idea, you want to launch it quickly and smoothly. As a key stakeholder, you will have your hands full with operational aspects, of your business. Hence the best thing you can do is get all the basic aspects of your ecommerce set up right before you launch.

  1. Choose a proper platform to build your business

Some sellers choose to sell only via third party e-tailers. This will involve taking the time out to understand the platform’s guidelines and optimizing your listings while you showcase your products right next to your competitors. Others choose to create their own store website and sell through it. Each option has its pros and cons. While you save on commission in your own platform, you’ll have to invest significant time and effort to drive traffic. Also, having your own store front will involve working with platforms like Open Cart or shopify or independent developers and additional plugins for customization. Some do a hybrid of both which ensures idea validation and sales from third party websites while your own traffic builds. We’ve seen the hybrid model work wonders for small businesses.

  1. Create an impeccable UI

Design plays a huge role in telling your customers that you are a serious seller. When you develop a store front, pay extra attention to user experience, colours, font, logo and design. You can’t tell much when you are just launching but most people who have done superior designs later have found it to be a big factor in aiding conversion. This is also one major area where most newcomers try to cut corners to hasten the launch. In fact, the first version of many websites are a very poor version of their current version. But that shouldn’t stop you from making your first version a good one. It is when you customers, competitors and investors will want to explore what you sell.

  1. Choose a reliable payment gateway provider

Imagine your customer wanting to buy something and isn’t able to complete the transaction because of a sloppy payment gateway! Seeing people drop away from the final level of your funnel is heartbreaking. Also, with some gateways charging both static fees and per transaction commission, it can just make a dent in your hard-earned money.

So how do you choose a good payment gateway provider?

These days, the easiest way to to set up your payment process is via a “modern” payment gateway that doesn’t require a merchant account. The actual transaction happens on their website ensuring that they are responsible for both security and compliance.

Integrated payment gateways are complex and generally used by bigger stores who want the edge of customers not leaving their site to complete the payment.

Things to consider

> Price: Payment gateways usually charge per transaction or for monthly usage. Some have both and an initial set up fee. 2% may not seem much but it can pinch if you are selling high end goods.

> Actual process: Check out the demo for the payment gateway on their site. See how many leaps your customers will have to make to finish their transaction.

> Support: Once in a while, you will get a rotten egg that’ll need hand-holding. For such cases, it is best to know how your payment gateway deals with things like returns, refunds and complaints.

For example, Paytabs not only offers a very small fee that fits most startups, it also offers hand holding and ongoing support.

  1. High level knowledge on driving traffic to your site

As an online business, it is imperative that you know the basics of search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click advertising (PPC), Social media marketing (SMM) and influencer marketing. SEO for your own store, for your app store (aSEO) and even for third-party listings plays a key role in how your product reaches consumers. PPC advertising can be a great tool for idea validation. Social is something that you simply can’t do without and you need to hold your influencers closer than your friends. Even if you choose to hire an agency to do this, take an initial course online to ensure that you understand when your agency shares metrics with you.

  1. Test and launch

Keep a set of 50 – 100 people friend list who can be your guinea pigs during the initial days. Ask them to independently evaluate your site performance and give you feedback from time to time. From small bugs to dummy content to blurry images, these extra eyes can do a world of good before your actual customers see your site.

Last but not the least, be agile and ready to shift gears quickly. Learning from experiments is a great way to grow your ecommerce business.

 

 

How To Fully Protect Yourself Online

Security is a vital element when it comes to safely surfing the internet.  If you are one of the several million people who use online payments, providing sensitive information over the internet can leave you targeted by hackers looking to take advantage of your internet activity. Whether it’s about online safety, online payments or data clouds, the following tips will provide you with what you need to know to make sure you stay safe and secured on the internet:

  • Online Payment Security:
  1. Enter websites you are familiar with:
    Always shop using trusted websites instead of browsing on search engines. Search engine results can be misleading.
  2. Find the Lock symbol:
    If the website you are on does not have an SSL encryption, never purchase from it as your credit card information can be compromised.
  3. Never share unnecessary information:
    E-Commerce websites do not ask or need sensitive info such as your social security number for business reasons.
  4. Regularly check your statements:
    Make it a habit to check your statements online for your credit card, debit card, and checking accounts to ensure no fraudulent charges exist.
  5. Never use public computers:
    This is self-explanatory, using public computers puts your information at high risk of being stolen.
  • Internet Security:
  1.  Two-factor authentication is recommended:
    Two-factor authentication lets users provide another code in addition to their password. Eg, sending codes via SMS etc.
  2. Update your browser and devices:
    Outdated browsers and devices leaves you at risk of being hacked. Hackers usually find glitches in older version where it is possible for them to capture information from software and devices. Continuous updates prevent that.
  3. Create strong passwords:
    Avoid using simple words, birthdays, or any word that is easily guessed. Always be sure to reach the “strong” gauge when creating passwords, mixing between upper and lower case characters is also recommended.
  4. Use Google Security:
    This free service from Google helps strengthen your accounts to further guarantee your safety online.
  5. Regularly change your passwords:
    Other than creating a strong password, it’s important to change them regularly to keep hackers at bay.
  • Credit Card Security:
  1. Keep your PC well protected and up-to-date:
    Your antivirus and spyware software needs to be running and updated to the latest version when you are connected to the internet. Many existent online bugs are designed to track and record all of your personal information. Don’t make purchases or transactions without enabling anti-spyware and antivirus software.
  2. Try E-Wallets:
    A helpful software where your address and credit card information can be stored on a program in your computer that requires you to sign in using a password and username. This software then automatically fills in the blanks for you.
  3. Include Virtual Cards:
    They offer another level of protection involving using a false card number that you can use to make a purchase online. A virtual card will disguise the real account number so hackers will not be able to steal it. Only select banks offer this.
  4. Secure Your Email:
    If your do not own a secure email address, you may be loosely giving away credit card information to hackers. It’s preferred to print confirmation emails immediately then to discard of them online. No sensitive information should be found in your emails.
  • Cloud Security Tips:
  1. Be aware of where your data is stored:
    Include specialized hardware to permit cloud computing services to pass the most strict security procedures.
  2. Always backup your data:
    Many backup outlets are available to store your vital data in a safe and secure place.

Ensuring all your software, electronics, and information are constantly updated and protected will be the start of an important step to keeping you safe on the internet. At PayTabs, we highly value security. Our services come with a built-in fraud protection system which includes our own in-house fraud protection layer as well as the internationally recognized 3DSecure system. This two-layered system ensures that your transactions are highly secure and hassle free. Keep checking the PayTabs blog for many more useful tips and updates!

Transform your eCommerce today with PayTabs!

There is no business platform more lucrative in this day and age other than e-commerce, while there are thousands and thousands of e-commerce websites on the internet, only a select few have proven to be very successful of running their business through the e-commerce portal.

Transform your eCommerce today with PayTabs!

This is because these select few were aware of the tips and the opportunities that helped them reach their success. At PayTabs, we created a whole list of tips for each category that can help turn your e-commerce into a profitable and beneficial venture. Go ahead, take note by following these simple tips and tricks:

Category 1: Global Features

  • Clear Consistent Navigation

It’s a more comfortable approach for readers to use a conventional navigation. Global navigation on the top of the site is recommended eg: Home | About Us | Contact Us, ensuring it is clear, well-placed and that all links are active.

  • Clear and Smart Search

Perform a search of the selected product fields putting into consideration: products containing exact phrase, products with ALL keywords and correct spelling, products with ALL keywords and possible misspells, and products with ANY keywords and possible misspells.

  • Mini Basket

Showing the number of items and basket value with a link to the full basket/ checkout. On mouseover, the mini basket should expand to show the basket contents (or most-recently added contents if there are too many items to show.

  • Correct Contact Information

Correct contact information displayed clearly on the website reassures trust and verifies the legitimacy of your website from the buyers’ point of view. Thus, encouraging purchases.

  • Policy Links (shipping)

Your shipping policy should be written in a clear and concise manner and it should have its own page on your website in a visible link. Placing it on the sidebar/within header to provide more access is recommended, too. Also, including the policy in the confirmation email to your customers helps.

Category 2: Front Page Display

  • Show various high-level categories

Organize your website into different high-level categories and then from there, into smaller subcategories that fit within each larger category of your website. This is important in terms of visibility since usability is one of the many factors the major search engines take into consideration when ranking the quality of a website.

  • Show Best Selling Products

This plays to the strengths of your website and gives an idea to buyers what you offer on your website and just how strong the demand of products are on your website.

  • Show New Products

Variety is important, selling new products without listing them in the home page of your website can negatively impact sales and demand. Showing new products (especially products hyped in the market) can attract new customers and current customers can pick up new products while their sole intention was to get a regular purchase from your website.

  • Show Products that are on Sale

A lot of buyers resort to e-commerce websites because they are always on the search of a good deal, displaying sale items strategically on the website will increase traffic on your website, and frees up stock capacity as these products sell out quickly if clearly displayed where the buyer can see it. Buyers would usually make a compulsive purchase out of this.

  • Don’t use rotating banners

Rotating banners are a sure way to kill conversions on your website. This is because your customers won’t be consciously paying attention to them, so the product advertised on that banner would be shunned. Or it can have the total opposite effect and would negatively distract and deter them from the purpose of why they’re on your website – to purchase.

Category 3: Category and Search

  • Display Ratings

Including ratings from users have been proven to drive sales, and notably this is something majority of shoppers will want to view before deciding to make a purchase.

  • Let customers filter results 

Letting customers filter their own results when they search for a product narrows down the time spent while looking for the products suggestions generated automatically, including advanced search options is a major convenience your customers will appreciate.

  • Various sorting options

Allowing your shoppers the option of sorting the view further on some of these pages with pre-set options like Price: Low to High, Price: High to Low and other options including product type or brand etc. is highly important. It saves them time when browsing, and makes them more likely shop from the site continuously as it offers the options for them to look for the exact products they want.

  • Product comparisons 

Having a product comparison feature greatly helps customers in matching products with products containing similar properties but differ in value. This method helps your customers find the right products for their needs, they will respect this facility and choose your store for all their future shopping.

  • Create a new products category

This category not only promotes the new items on your website, it can also encourage regular buyers on the website to try a new product that is similar to the regular products they purchase from your e-commerce shop. This drives sales and more traffic as this makes people return to the website regularly to view new additions that might interest them.

Category 4: Products

  • Clear Call-to-Action

A clear call to action will help to increase your profits by maximizing conversions and improving user experience.

  • Show Product Videos

Product videos can have an incredible ability to increase conversions by better helping people understand your product and provide customers with as much information as possible about the products offered.

  • Product Reviews

User reviews help with product selection and to eliminate any doubts a customer might have about a product. User reviews are good for SEO as it attracts more content.

  • Cross-Sell

Cross-selling benefits sellers as it allows them to sell more, closely tie customers to their products, and make them repurchase. It is beneficial for customers since they can save time by buying required supplementary products in one place. This in return boosts profit and traffic.

  • Multiple Large Product Images

High-quality images with zoom functionality decrease the level of uncertainty in customers and also adds a better dimension to the overall look and feel of the product, making it more likely to be the purchasable product.

Several if not the majority of e-commerce blogs and financial outlets have declared that in 2015 onwards there will be a major boost in the e-commerce economy. This is a golden opportunity for entrepreneurs to enter the world of e-commerce – and hopefully, after reading all of these tips, it’s given you the drive needed to put both feet in and step into this innovative industry.  Why not take PayTabs along for the journey and sign up for a free account with PayTabs so we can simplify your payments safely and securely while your e-commerce continues to flourish.

Happy selling!

Here’s what you missed at Seamless Middle East!

PayTabs participated for the 3rd year consecutively at the Seamless Ecommerce Middle East Expo hosted by Terrapinn that was held on May 1-2 at the Dubai World Trade Center in Dubai, UAE. PayTabs was the event’s Gold Sponsor for the 2nd year in a row, and has also exhibited at the event.

This year’s installment was inaugurated by His Highness Lieutenant-General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, who has personally paid a visit to PayTabs’ stand and was greeted by PayTabs CEO Abdulaziz Al Jouf and the rest of the PayTabs team. More prominent visitors to PayTabs’ stand also included H.E. Sami Ahmad Dhaen Al Qamzi, Director General of Department of Economic Development in Dubai, who was the patron of last year’s installment of Seamless Middle East.

This year saw PayTabs heavily involved with the event’s conferences agenda. PayTabs CEO Abdulaziz Al Jouf participated at a discussion panel at Seamless Middle East titled “Investments & Incubation: Fostering FinTech Innovation”. He stated that Bahrain is very popular with business entities and startups because of the immense support that is provided and also it’s worth noting that Bahrain is committed to facilitating running a business in the Kingdom.

PayTabs accept payment online

Furthermore, Vice President of Sales Punit Thakkar talked about cross-border transactions and how it can help merchants with boosting their business globally. At PayTabs, we enabled 130+ alternative payments to help merchants reach their online business’ full global potential.

website payment solutions

Our last participation at the event was PayTabs COO Hassan Saduddeen’s “Fireside Chat” interview alongside other industry experts, and in response to how can challenges between merchants and banks can be minimized, Hassan stated “Banks in Bahrain work together with online payment facilitators to help push merchants accept online payments without the usual challenges that can arise when a merchant approaches a bank directly for a payment gateway, this is another reason why Bahrain makes a strong case for starting an online business in the country.”

PayTabs website payment solutions

We would like to thank everyone who contributed to making our 2 days at Seamless Middle East a smashing success, and we look forward to building success together next year. For more information on PayTabs and our services, please visit www.paytabs.com or drop us an email at [email protected].