Tag: build ecommerce mobile app

Ecommerce Middle east

5 Major Challenges Faced by E-commerce Mobile Apps in the Middle East and How to Tackle Them

The evolving e-Commerce industry and the M-commerce boom are set to turn around the face of economy in the middle east. But this exciting transition does not come without its fair share of obstacles. So what are the challenges these industries face?

1. Traditional logistics

Many of the traditional logistics businesses find it hard to create an online presence. In the Middle East, although the potential for e-commerce is high, it remains relatively unexplored largely due to logistical challenges. Automated discovery of delivery location using GPS services is almost impossible since home delivery postal systems do not exist. This in turn requires mobile apps to be able to utilize location services to automatically tag the order location, increasing the investment and time requirement for the development of apps. The under-developed warehouses & stocking points in the region pose another challenge for the e-commerce industries. Since the traditional retail businesses did not require such infrastructure, the initial investment of e-commerce transition for the local industries increases.

The solution?

Retailers have already started adopting omni-channel strategies to solve the investment problem, by utilizing the pre-existing retail outlet infrastructure to serve as warehouses and stocking locations. Better development of e-commerce mobile apps, keeping in mind the above requirements, is another thing to keep in mind.

2. Competitive pricing and customer satisfaction

With further growth of M-commerce, companies tend to focus on the most common customer requirement: price. As per PwC’s 2017 e-commerce report, 40 % of respondents in the region said ‘cheaper price’ is the biggest motivation to buy online. And while that wins the battle for e-commerce industry as a whole, the competition between the existing online retailers and the newer generation of app development is intense, so much so that quality of products and services gets compromised, leading to consumer dissatisfaction, bringing the entire process of customer approval back to square one.

The solution?

As per the KPMG 2017 Global Online Consumer Report, while pricing remained the most common reason why people shopped online, factors like return policies and being a trusted website are far more important for the baby boomer generation, who are biggest spenders and almost as frequent shoppers as the most commonly thought target generation, the millenials. Focusing on customer satisfaction, therefore, becomes more important than blatant lowering of price without consideration of service quality. Safer payment gateways, and more efficient and faster delivery times will serve better to ensure customer satisfaction and increase participation.

3. Communication gap: The hurdles to Loyalty creation

The e-commerce industry, especially the newly developing ones, such as in this region, suffer from a profound lack of loyalty. A very important aspect which allowed traditional brick and mortar services to flourish was direct communication between the seller and buyer, which made the entire process trustworthy, complete with feedback and problem solving, making it an experience the consumer wants to repeat. E-commerce in the region as of now, however, lacks any such interaction. With cheaper pricing and faster delivery being the drivers of consumer satisfaction, loyalty to a single brand becomes a challenge. Another obstacle is incentives. Offline shopping is heavily incentivized, with shops offering membership cards, special discounts and loyalty benefits personalized for each person. Online platforms still suffer from the lack of such incentives.

The solution?

The KPMG 2017 report shows that providing excellent customer support, having loyalty programs and exclusive member offers constituted the 3 major criteria for customer loyalty. Understanding the local demographics and creating content based upon local patterns instead of a globally accepted safe formula is the key to surviving the cut throat e-commerce competition.

4. Omnipresence: Omni-commerce

The concept of omni-channel business is very simple – in theory, at least. Creating a network such that a brand is present everywhere, in all forms, not restricted to just online vs offline conundrum. It has become a business prerequisite to survive in a rapidly developing e-commerce scene. So where do the problems lie?

A. The pure-players (Only e-commerce) and the brick and mortar retailers (who are trying to enter the e-commerce scene) both are at a risk of becoming obsolete if they continue to rake in profits by conventional safe approaches and fail to adapt themselves to the rising consumer expectations. And as of now, no omni-channel experience of substantial quality exists from these industries in the region.

B. Another problem that is being recognized, due to already established omni-channel services globally, is the failure of service providers to integrate the channels to provide a smooth experience.

The solution?

Omni Channel

As Martin Simonsen from Implement Consulting Group writes, “the winning solution being the ability to deliver a seamless customer experience in alignment with those needs and simultaneously integrate all channels on relevant platforms, each carefully adjusted to enhance what it does best.”When done well, buyers seamlessly transition from one channel to the next, blissfully falling deeper and deeper into the brand experience.

A research by McKinsey Research and Harvard Business Review showed that Customers who used 4+ channels spent 9% more in the store, on average, when compared to those who used just one cchannel. Aberdeen Group found that companies with omni-channel engagement strategies enjoy an aaverage 9.5% increase in annual revenue, compared with 3.4% and 89% retention rate of their customers vs 33% for companies with weak omni-channel customer engagement. The result? Better revenues, loyalty and market presence.

5. Funding challenges: The start-up bottleneck

How does one of the biggest investor markets in the world become a problem for its own start-ups? Dubai-based Research and Markets estimates that around $165 billion are tied up in venture capital firms, but most of them are non-regional VC funds. Traditionally, Middle Eastern investors have looked at investment opportunities outside of the region, with real estate returns been spectacular around the region, hence the hesitancy to step out of the safe profit zone. Other than that, lack of information about start-ups in the region and doubt of the legitimacy of the project discourages investors. The region suffers from a low credit card penetration, hence setup and payments becomes a costly affair.

The solution?

The investment scene has started to change, more so in face of the changing commerce landscape in the region. Al Tayyar Travel Group, the largest travel company in the region and Majid Al Futtaim Group, a diversified private company, have both invested in startups recently.

Another important option which comes to the fore in midst of unwilling investor is: Crowd-funding. With sky high internet penetration in the region, and increasing investors taking risks, crowd-funding is more important than ever today.

A newer challenge

The GCC introduced a 5% VAT following expensive military campaigns and drop in global oil prices. Introduction of a 5% tax seems pale in comparison to global VAT rates, but poses threat to investments, revenue and spending in the region. The transition to e-commerce for many businesses is now pricier, and so are the services provided by them. However, the VAT tax provides an alternative source of income in the region, and may prove instrumental in providing a safe haven for industrialists and start-ups alike in a future with lower global oil prices.

Conclusion

The MENA region is poised to experience an e-commerce boom despite the challenges faced by the companies. Smart planning, understanding the demographic, the user base and catering to their needs, all the while adopting the concepts of Omni-commerce will prove beneficial both to the retailers transiting to e-commerce and the ones trying to excel in it.

Marketing Strategies eCommerce Store

8 Must Try Marketing Strategies While Launching Your eCommerce Store

For retailers, having their own ecommerce store in this era is a must much like food and clothing required for the sake of surviving. Building an ecommerce mobile app or ecommerce website just won’t fulfil your purpose of expanding your business rather it would be just a vague step taken. To pull out the best out of your ecommerce store, it is mandatory to spread a word prior its launch. Most of the retailers fail all because of a weak launch plan for their ecommerce store.

Well if you are planning to start-up with your ecommerce store or create a mobile app for your ecommerce website, Try out the below 8 effective launching strategy for your ecommerce store:

1) Content Marketing: It all starts with content. Content forms an important part as what all needs to be placed in Videos, PR, Product detail page and other media needs to be decided well in advance. How you want to project your estore among your targeted audience totally depends on your content. For your content, having a strategy is essential. It should be something you plan up week wise or to be precise day wise. While deciding the content strategy, understand your target audience their interest level, their age group and how you can convince them to visit your ecommerce store.

Plan up each and every small step like planning to post contents on social media, setting your calendar for publishing the PR’s and ads or any other.

2) Email Marketing: As per a study conducted by direct marketing association, Email has an ROI of around 4,300%. Moreover,

  • It has an effective reach coz 80% of people say they receive marketing messages alongside their personal emails on a daily basis.
  • It has also been found that 70% of audience make use of coupons codes they receive via email.
  • Also, 60% of people subscribe to an email list just to receive special offers from a particular business.

Above stats prove that email marketing would prove an effective methodology while launching your new ecommerce mobile app or website.

3)Social Media Marketing: A trending or you can say a default marketing strategy nowadays as 80% of your target audience spend around 3 hours a day on social platforms. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram are the popular ones which almost every individual uses. While Pinterest, Linked in and others are used quiet often by mid-aged group audience. You just have to analyse your set of audience and their presence on particular platform and just target that platform rather than wasting your time and money on all platforms.

4)Offline Marketing: In addition to online marketing, do explore the offline media too like Print media- Newspaper ad, Magazine ad, Leaflet, Hoardings and many more.

When to do what is very important while enabling the offline channel. It is suggested that if you are a well-established business, you can try out offline marketing as per your business requirements while for a start-up, it is advisable to go for an online channel first and at later stage when the funding or revenues are generated, offline channel can be a wise choice.

Recommended Blog: How to promote eCommerce mobile app and website using QR Code

5)Local Marketing:If your business falls under a category where you require establishing a local presence, do not forget to go for local marketing such as, if you own a brick and mortar store, reaching out to customers near your store with geo-location tools and local search engine targeting are proven to be an effective launch strategy.

6)Promote through PPC and SEO: An effective way to launch is exploring the Pay per click and SEO as 70% of people own a smartphone and uses the search option effectively. It is being advised that the Paid advertising should not always be the first option for a start-up as it requires funding therefore it can be the best way to generate sales if you have an ample amount of marketing funds or you can put your efforts in SEO strategies and grab an organic crowd.

7)Leverage PR Platforms: PR is something which gives your business an instant boost. All you need to do is list down the publicationsread by your target market/audience, segment it to different focuses with different pitch lines and there you go, results would be visible to you. Your ecommerce app and website would be spreaded at a go.

8)Bloggers & Influencers: When you are all new to your audience, Influencers and bloggers help you out in fixing your products/services on your consumers mind coz they are passionate about a particular topic and can attract followers having the same interest. You can easily amplify your reach with their help.

Now that you’ve ticked all the 8 points of the launch plan, it’s time to get the fruits out of it. If you’ve implemented everything listed above, you should surely have a healthy reach as well as following on the social media and an effective subscriber list of customer ready to visit and purchase from your ecommerce store.

6-reasons-local-businesses-need-online-stores

6 Reasons Local Businesses Need Online Stores

Opening an online store is easier than ever. There are dozens of great e-commerce platforms that allow merchants with no coding experience to build up and run complex online store systems and reach customers from all around the world.

Since the use of mobile internet also saw a huge increase in recent years, many business owners decide to optimize their online stores for mobile users. This is another process that’s simplified by latest tech and platforms like MobiCommerce – ecommerce mobile app builder, which enable e-commerce beginners to easily target consumers who use mobile internet.

In this article we will analyze benefits that e-commerce brings to small local businesses and give you 6 reasons why you should add an online store to your business strategy

1. E-commerce overcomes geographic limitations

If you want local store to become global, you should upload its offer to a web server. Traditionally local businesses are targeting customers who live or work nearby, while online stores give them the chance to overcome geographic limitations and present their offer to people all around the world. Of course even online stores have their limitations when it comes to customer reach, and these are mostly determined by country customs and shipping rates. Even with these limitations ecommerce drastically increases business’ customer pool.

2. Online stores cut your HR spending

Online retail business could be easily run by one person. Physical stores on the other hand require at least one person per shift, who can’t leave the store during several hours. Bigger stores also require additional workforce that will cover security, bookkeeping, storing and merchandising tasks. Online stores that are run by production companies, don’t even need to hire additional staff.

3. Online stores can use less expensive ways of promotion

Internet retail entrepreneurs are usually much more open to new technologies, which means they use all benefits digital marketing brings. Online merchants usually share their offers directly on social networks and attract more customers with less expensive marketing strategies which include the use of search engine optimization, Google AdWords, local business mobile apps, Facebook Ads etc.

4. Online store requires less space and guarantees a smaller rent

E-commerce works on completely different premise and the whole project can be easily run from home or a garage. One of the reasons for this, is the fact that these stores use website’s product pages as their exhibition area. They also don’t need bigger storage space, because customers who shop in online stores are accustomed to shorter or longer waiting periods. This means that store owner can use this period to obtain ordered item or even to produce it (if the store is connected to production plant). Physical stores on the other hand need to have all of their goods ready and packed, because customers expect to walk out from the store with a product they just purchased.

5. They are open 24/7

Internet works 24/7, and online stores are no different. The moment after your neighbor goes to sleep, some college kid is just making a break from studying, by browsing stuff he/she would like to buy. This brings benefits to both merchants and customers. Merchants will receive more orders, and customer won’t need to rush after work or school and think whether their favorite shop is going to close.

6. Online stores save customer’s time and money

Most online stores offer free shipping, at least in local area, which drastically decreases customer spending. Location based stores require customers to spend time, money and gas in order to buy their favorite item, while online stores bring goods directly at their door. That’s probably one of the reasons why ecommerce is one of the fastest growing internet businesses in recent years.

In the end we should also mention a few disadvantages online stores come with. First and the most important lack of online shopping app concept is the fact that customer can’t see the item before it arrives to their address. Merchants solved this puzzle by uploading sharp, high-resolution imagery and providing extensive information about the product on their product pages. Some of them went few steps further introducing 360 degrees product view, adding links to manufacturer’s website or sending product samples to potential customers. This and many other similar practices will make your online store more competitive and popular among consumers.