14
Jan
2017

6 Different Pricing Strategies: Which Is Right for Your Business?

It’s no secret that small businesses play a vital role in the US economy. However, most non-employer small businesses average just $44,000 a year in annual revenue, with many of these companies earning $25,000 or less. While various factors can affect a business’ revenue potential, one of the most important is the pricing strategy utilized by its owners.

Good pricing strategy helps you determine the price point at which you can maximize profits on sales of your products or services. When setting prices, a business owner needs to consider a wide range of factors including production and distribution costs, competitor offerings, positioning strategies and the business’ target customer base.

While customers won’t purchase goods that are priced too high, your company won’t succeed if it prices goods too low to cover all of the business’ costs. Along with product, place and promotion, price can have a profound effect on the success of your small business.

Here are some of the various strategies that businesses implement when setting prices on their products and services.

1. Pricing at a Premium

With premium pricing, businesses set costs higher than their competitors. Premium pricing is often most effective in the early days of a product’s life cycle, and ideal for small businesses that sell unique goods.

Because customers need to perceive products as being worth the higher price tag, a business must work hard to create a value perception. Along with creating a high-quality product, owners should ensure their marketing efforts, the product’s packaging and the store’s décor all combine to support the premium price.

2. Pricing for Market Penetration

Penetration strategies aim to attract buyers by offering lower prices on goods and services. While many new companies use this technique to draw attention away from their competition, penetration pricing does tend to result in an initial loss of income for the business.

Over time, however, the increase in awareness can drive profits and help small businesses to stand out from the crowd. In the long run, after sufficiently penetrating a market, companies often wind up raising their prices to better reflect the state of their position within the market.

3. Economy Pricing

Used by a wide range of businesses including generic food suppliers and discount retailers, economy pricing aims to attract the most price-conscious of consumers. With this strategy, businesses minimize the costs associated with marketing and production in order to keep product prices down. As a result, customers can purchase the products they need without frills.

While economy pricing is incredibly effective for large companies like Wal-Mart and Target, the technique can be dangerous for small businesses. Because small businesses lack the sales volume of larger companies, they may struggle to generate a sufficient profit when prices are too low. Still, selectively tailoring discounts to your most loyal customers can be a great way to guarantee their patronage for years to come.

4. Price Skimming

Designed to help businesses maximize sales on new products and services, price skimming involves setting rates high during the introductory phase. The company then lowers prices gradually as competitor goods appear on the market.

One of the benefits of price skimming is that it allows businesses to maximize profits on early adopters before dropping prices to attract more price-sensitive consumers. Not only does price skimming help a small business recoup its development costs, but it also creates an illusion of quality and exclusivity when your item is first introduced to the marketplace.

5. Psychology Pricing

With the economy still limping back to full health, price remains a major concern for American consumers. Psychology pricing refers to techniques that marketers use to encourage customers to respond on emotional levels rather than logical ones.

For example, setting the price of a watch at $199 is proven to attract more consumers than setting it at $200, even though the true difference here is quite small. One explanation for this trend is that consumers tend to put more attention on the first number on a price tag than the last. The goal of psychology pricing is to increase demand by creating an illusion of enhanced value for the consumer.

6. Bundle Pricing

With bundle pricing, small businesses sell multiple products for a lower rate than consumers would face if they purchased each item individually. Not only is bundling goods an effective way of moving unsold items that are taking up space in your facility, but it can also increase the value perception in the eyes of your customers, since you’re essentially giving them something for free.

Bundle pricing is more effective for companies that sell complimentary products. For example, a restaurant can take advantage of bundle pricing by including dessert with every entrée sold on a particular day of the week. Small businesses should keep in mind that the profits they earn on the higher-value items must make up for the losses they take on the lower-value product.

Pricing strategies are important, but it’s also important to not lose sight of the price itself. Here are five things to consider, alongside your strategy, when pricing your products.

24
Nov
2016

11 Key Metrics That You Should Track For Your Website

Quantitative data is all the rage these days; numbers aren’t just useful, they make us look competent. Better yet, they comfort us and give a sense of control. Data has become the opium of the modern tech companies. Want to look good in a meeting? Just open up a chart and say loudly “I’ve got the data!” Do that often enough, and the promotion is yours. That is if you don’t drive your company to the ground.

Since we can collect so much data about virtually everything people do in our software, we cripple ourselves with information that doesn’t matter. Making the wrong decisions has never been easier.

Titanic with smartphones

This post is an attempt to cut through the noise and save time for those who use metrics to gauge the health of their product or company. The metrics I list here belong to one of three major categories: user engagement, business, and customer service.

User engagement metrics

1. Number of sessions per user

This metric is a good starting point for user engagement and behavior analysis. It’s also pretty easy to get; there’s nothing simpler than tracking how often your users login or open your app.

Tip: Avoid averages and take medians over means, as they are less sensitive to outliers and give more robust statistics.

2. Session duration for a cohort, over time

For every new cohort of users, research how much time they spend interacting with your product. Again, take medians instead of means.

Tip: Compare your average session duration for churned and retained users for some eye-opening data. (E.g., those who churned within 30 days and those who stayed.)

3. Number of key user actions per session

Start by selecting user actions that matter most (e.g., clicks on the “like” button), then trace them over time and for different cohorts of users.

Tip: Compare the differences in this metric between churned and retained customers. Do a t-test.

Pro tip: Always use cohort analysis and time normalization for user engagement metrics. This will help you expose the differences in user behavior and their evolution over time.

Business metrics

1. LTV (customer lifetime value)

LTV is the amount of net profit you will generate from a customer before they churn or stop paying.

One common mistake many companies make is calculating customer lifetime revenue instead of LTV. Calculate LTV correctly by excluding the cost of servicing a customer: salaries of the support team, the cost of running your servers, and so on.

Tip: If you want to start a boardroom fight, ask your investors about the correct way to calculate LTV.

Meme metrics

2. CAC (customer acquisition cost)

Take all your acquisition marketing costs, then divide that by the number of paying customers acquired over a period of time.

Another way to compute CAC is to include salaries of your acquisition marketers, commissions of the sales reps, etc., into the calculation. This will make CAC partially account for the burn rate. LTV and CAC are the most important metrics of startup unit economics, and they are usually considered together as LTV/CAC ratio.

The benchmark for a healthy SaaS startup LTV/CAC ratio should be three and above.

3. ARPA (average revenue per account)

ARPA is the worth of the monthly “contract” with the customer or user. To put it simply, this is how much money an average paying customer gives you every month. If your pricing is stable, ARPA growth means your team is doing something right to provide customers with more value and generate revenue in return.

Tip: Try increasing your ARPA without changes in product or pricing. Often, better support, marketing, and branding can do exactly that.

4. MRR (monthly recurring revenue)

MRR is self-explanatory. It is your company’s revenue per month. Stable, and preferably non-linear, MRR growth is the best way to make your investors happy.

Pro tip: Make your investors happy.

5. Logo churn and revenue churn rates

Logo churn rate is the percentage of paying accounts your product loses per month. There are two ways to calculate it: per cohort and aggregated. Typically, cohort churn will yield higher numbers, so internally you should definitely use it. Revenue churn rate is the percentage of revenue your company loses per month due to churns or downgrades.

Tip: Pay less attention to logo churn and more attention to revenue churn. All in all, serving fewer customers and getting to pay more is better than serving a bunch and getting peanuts.

The benchmark for a SaaS startup’s monthly logo churn rate should be below 2 percent. Your revenue churn should be negative.

6. Retention rate

Contrary to popular belief, the retention rate isn’t as useful of a metric as churn rate. It’s good to be aware of it, but it’s far less actionable compared to other metrics.

Meme 2 metrics

Customer Service

1. Number of incoming support tickets

This metric is rather obvious; the more problems your users have with your product, the more tickets they submit. If you’ve just released something and the number of tickets spiked, this might be a sign of a problem.

2. Net Promoter Score

NPS is a proxy metric for customer satisfaction. However, before relying on NPS in your decision-making, you must know that it’s not a scientifically-backed metric. For instance, a meta-analysis by Keiningham et al. found no support for the claim that NPS is a reliable indicator of a company’s ability to grow.

Tip: Having high NPS is meaningless in itself. Instead, watch it grow, try reaching out to promoters, and ask them for reviews. You’ll be surprised by the results.

Congratulations if you made it this far! The metrics above only scratch the surface of data-aware product management. If you want to use the data right, you will want to experiment with different types of analysis for different features of your product and in different stages of its life cycle. There’s only one rule to be aware of at all times:

The fact that something has a number attached to it, doesn’t always make it true, valid, or relevant.

Comic strip metrics

The article is first seen on TechinAsia – https://www.techinasia.com/talk/not-all-metrics-matter

17
Nov
2016

13 Essential Questions to Ask When Hiring a Web Design Company

Investing in a new website can be a very expensive proposition. Before you settle on a website development firm, make sure you know what you’re getting into! I highly recommend asking an exhaustive list of questions to each firm you’re considering working with. Web design is comprehensive so try these on for starters:

1. Do you handle all development work in-house? How big is your team?

How long have they been working together? Many design firms do not have in-house development teams. This is typically a sign that the person selling you the website doesn’t understand the technology that drives your website. Additionally, having a middleman between you and your developers is a recipe for disaster. You’re actually buying the work of a third party that you know nothing about. Make sure the firm you hire has their own staff of web developers. Additionally, it takes years for a team of developers to settle on a set of technology and become experts. If a team has been together and focused on the same core set of technology for three or more years, they probably have a reliable web solution.

 

2. How long have you been deploying this technology?

Can you show me the back-end of similar sites you’ve deployed? Getting an early peak at the “back-end” (content management system) will be very informative of what your experience will be when you get your website. Being able to quickly and intuitively edit your website is critical to the long term value of your website. If you have to contact your design firm every time you want to edit a word on your website, you’re going to lose your shirt in costs.

 

3. Can you build the site responsive (so it will work on mobile devices and tablets).

Over 50% of all websites are now viewed on mobile devices. Your website should be built mobile ready. These days, that means that the site is “responsive.” In layman’s terms — the site design changes (responds) to the dimensions of the screen on which it is viewed.

 

4. Is your content management system (CMS)/technology proprietary or open source? What types of licensing fees are there?

There are many content management options on the market. Software that is “open source” means it’s created and maintained by the developer community at large and free to use (although it still costs money to implement) and frequently means there are more people that are familiar with it and use it. This drives development costs down. Proprietary software owned by a specific company and may be so custom that only the creators know how to work with it. Imagine buying a car with a new engine design that only one mechanic knows how to work on. It’s expensive and risky. You want the cheapest, most widely adopted technology that gives you the functionality you need. When it comes to content management systems, for most small to medium sized businesses, that solution is WordPress.

wordpress-589121_1280

5. Do you offer a warranty? If so, how long is the warranty good for? Maintenance plan? Service Plan? Hosting? What are those costs?

A website is like a car. It requires ongoing maintenance and support (you have to change the oil!) Every single day the world wide web is changing. Web browsers are being updates, new viruses are being born and new functionality is being introduced. Your site may function beautifully today, and be broken tomorrow. You need to prepare yourself for ongoing costs. It’s best to know how the firm you’re going to hire for your website development is going to handle that.

6. How do you base your pricing? Will this be hourly, or flat-fee based on the project? How frequently do your projects go over budget? What is your payment policy? Is there a clear procedure for billing for extra features or work outside the project’s initial scope?

It seems to be common practice in this industry to do little up front discovery, underbid a project and then jack up the price on clients as the website is being built. Our clients frequently tell us: “Wow, your proposals are big!” Our proposals are big because we do exhaustive up-front discovery and write extremely details scopes. We want to know exactly what we’re going to build before we give the client a price. This way, we can guarantee that we’ll hit our deadlines and meet their budget. If the website development firm you’re getting a quote from doesn’t ask a ton of questions and write a detailed plan as part of their proposal, beware!

 

7. What is your estimated timeline to build this site?

This is another good item to ask references about. What timeline did they give the client versus how long it actually took to build the site. Speed for development also goes back to question #1. A team that has worked together and on the same technology has probably encountered most bugs and can work quickly. A third party developer working on new technology is probably going to encounter new bugs and miss deadlines.

 

8. Can you talk me through your design process?

Process is critical! A firm’s processes and systems are a great sign of reliability, consistency and quality. At Go Media we may go a little overboard. We have a detailed 32 step process for our web development. Ok, we go way overboard with our systems and processes.

 

9. Will I have access to all my design source files for internal use?

I’ve seen some firms hold their clients hostage. Know who owns the design files. My company’s policy is to send our clients all their files (including design source files) at the conclusion of every project. If you ever have a falling out with your graphic design firm and realize you aren’t in ownership of any of the design files, you’ll really regret not asking this question up front.

 

10. How do you track the success of your websites?

There are many ways to track success of a website deployment. Success may be traffic, conversions, sales, etc. Whatever your metric for success is, make sure that you have ways to track it and make sure the firm you hire includes that in their proposal to you. When the website launches, it should already be built into the site.

 

11. Can you provide references?

I don’t need to say much about this. This is just a good practice before making a major investment.

 

12. How long has your firm been in business? How big are you?

You’re going to want to stick with your web design firm for a while. Generally it is difficult for development teams to get into other firm’s work. There is a ramp-up time that will cost you money. So, you want to work with a firm that isn’t going anywhere. Size can also be a factor. Big or small they both have their pros and cons. Typically, the bigger the firm the more expensive the service. But size has it’s advantages. If one employee at a large firm has a family emergency, there are other workers there to pick up the slack. I suggest picking a firm that is six or more employees. At six employees, a web development firm should have at least two designers and two developers. It’s a nice layer of protection for your project.

ux-788002_1280

13. Do you have a dedicated project manager that will be managing this project?

It’s very helpful to have a dedicated manager on your project. They build timelines, schedule meetings, coordinate feedback, review and organize content, etc. If the firm you work with does not have a project manager, be prepared to spend a lot more time dealing with web development minutia. And understand that most web development delays occur because of the minutia. It’s the little things that cause the biggest delays!

Have a web idea? Just drop us a note here and we can chat – http://akimitechnologies.co/contact/

This article first appeared on the Huffington Post – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/william-a-beachy/13-essential-questions-to_b_5453856.html

07
Jun
2016

South East Asia Internet Economy To Grow To $200B by 2025

There has been many hypes about the internet industry in the South East Asia region that consists mainly Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar and Cambodia. With a combined population of approximately 640million , it is hard to swipe it one side when it comes to talking about the global market. However, just how big is it? And what are the opportunities it presents for internet companies. On a new report released by Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek  and Google, we highlighted 3 key things to pay attention to when considering this part of the world.

South East Asia is huge when it comes to internet connectivity

There are approximately 260 million users now and an estimated 480 million by the year 2020, Southeast Asia’s is the world’s fastest growing internet market — adding 124,000 new users a day. The majority of this growth is in populous countries like Indonesia and the Phillipines.  Beyond that, its young population (70 percent of which is aged under 40), lack of “big box” retailers serving entire countries and growing middle classes are forecast to contribute tremendously to this growth.

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Travel is going to be huge in this region

The region’s travel industry has been boosted by the quick adoption of low budget carriers such as Tiger Airways, Air Asia and Jetstar. This allows a growing number of people in South East Asia who can now afford to be able to travel around the region. The internet has been a quick adoption by many to make such purchases. However, international air travel is not the only area to take notice. Other form of travel sites such as bus ticketing platform Redot.sg has been very popular among the locals to purchase bus tickets. Another area to note is the move into online travel package purchases instead of buying them at the destination itself. It is of no surprise that the travel industry is expected to boom 650% over the next 10 years. Let’s also not forget the impact travel mobile applications such as Uber , Grab and Gojek contributes into this economy.

6

Internet Startup Scene Is Lively In This Region

With the boom in internet adoption, south east asia has also become a magnet to attract internet entrepreneurs and companies to pay attention to this region. Countries such as Singapore are investing into the tech scene by supporting startups through various government grant schemes to spur the growth of such companies. The Economic Development Board has also been actively wooing foreign IT companies to setup shop in Singapore while targeting the region.  Through the years, south east asia has produced some huge local internet companies such as Garena (http://www.garena.sg/) which further showcase the potential of this south east asia market. The dealflow has slowed down the past 2 years but at an estimated deal flow of $1 billion , you can’t ignore this market.

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Overall, despite all the positive news, south east asia still faces alot of challenges from the lack of engineering talent, payment mechanism etc which we believe are areas of opportunities for an outsider.

You can read the whole report from here.

26
Feb
2016

5 Most Important Web Metrics to Track for Your E-commerce Site

Monitoring our own e-commerce sites can be really intimidating. Using online tracking tools like Google Analytics may help but to those who are new to analytics, we got you covered. You do not have to worry about drowning in that  sea of numbers charts and menu items. The key is start tracking down some basic numbers. We listed 5 of the most basic yet vital web metrics for your e-commerce website. Once you get familiar with these data, you can start to tackle the more complicated ones and be data-surfing in no time!

  1. Visitors

Unique Visitors This is referring to the number of unique individuals at your site during a certain period, regardless of the number of times they visited your site. This represents the size of the audience that you have reached out to. This figure is useful for marketers to gauge the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. This is most apt for offline marketing which cannot be tracked by programs such as Google Analytics. For example, if you were to launch a new campaign advertorial on this month’s content. However there is no increase in the number of unique visitors, perhaps it’s time to channel the resources allocated for this marketing project elsewhere.

Repeat Visitors This refers to the percentage of visitors who return to your site. A good percentage indicates that people do find your content interesting to keep coming back for more. Take note that a high percentage does not mean a good thing. If there is a high percentage of repeat visitors but unique visitors are about constant, it could indicate that there is a struggle driving new traffic to your e-commerce site.

  1. Bounce Rate

This refers to the percentage of visitors who leave your site quickly having no interactions. A high bounce rate would mean thatusers didn’t find what they were looking for on your site and decided to leave. It’s as if they walked into a store, barely looked around and left the store immediately. They find nothing of value and have no reason to stay. While it’s impossible to keep your bounce rate to zero (people do visit sites by accident), reducing the rate to a bare minimum is vital. You should always be comparing your landing pages to look out for ones that are bouncing a high percentage of visitors. These are the ones who are chasing your users away. As such, you have to get rid of these pages. Comparing your high bounce pages to your low bounce pages is a great way to find out what’s working for your users and what isn’t. Every lost user is a lost opportunity, so you’ll want to figure out why people are leaving alter content and data to their patterns.

Here’s a infographic that shows what bounce rate is.

  1. Conversion Rate

The conversion rate of a page is the percentage of people who completed a desired action on that page, such as filling out a form or completing a purchase. It is ideal to have a high conversion rate. This is very useful to compare between your e-commerce site’s landing pages. A landing page is usually the first page users see on your site, so it is crucial that your landing pages are getting visitors to convert into leads. Conversion rate is the ultimate measure of how successful your site is. If your site has a low conversion rate, either they are not your target audience or the site is not effective at convincing your visitors that you offer the right solution to their problem. Conversion rates can also act as a monitor for error on your site. If conversion rates suddenly drops, it could means there is an error or broken link in a certain area or page.

  1. Origin of Traffic

The sources of traffic from your site can also be a fantastic metric. By knowing where people heard of your site, changes can be made to marketing strategies to further boost traffic on your site. If you’ve been working on your SEO efforts, then you should see your organic search volume increasing. Organic search is traffic arriving through search results in a search engine. If you’ve been doing good social media promotion, then you should see a lot of referral traffic from social media sites and blogs. If there is a high traffic from a particular site of another company, you may also want to use this as a business opportunity to reach out to that company to forge a more formal relationship.

  1. Keyword performance

This refers to the evaluation of specific keywords that are bringing organic traffic to your site.Knowing this will enable you to adapt campaigns and content accordingly. You will know what people are actually looking for when they visit your e-commerce site, if there is a keyword that you may not have optimised but is driving traffic to your site, it would spell out benefits for your site. This is because the keyword is not competitive but still relevant to your business. As such you can build content around that keyword to give yourself that competitive edge against your competitors. Using a keyword tool can be helpful in generating specific content that your customers are searching for.

Web metrics are your tools to analysing the progress of your site. Now that you know the basics, your e-commerce is one step closer to having better days! Need more information? Contact us for more details!

26
Feb
2016

4 Tips on Effective Content Marketing

Speaking at Marketing’s Customer Experience Conference 2015, Vivek Kumar, director and head of NTUC Membership said that most available content today does not engage the consumer and rarely makes an impact in their decision-making process.

However, effective content is crucial to customer experience. According to a study by the CMO council,80-90% of consumers, particularly in the B2B sector, would buy from a brand that has content that appeals to them.

It is now a must for companies to adopt a holistic view on content creation and exceed a consumer’s expectations. So how exactly do marketers create content that cut through the clutter and resonate with consumers?

Kumar gave four tips:

1. Involve your consumers

Brands should actively involve the consumer at the initial stage of the content creation.

Using the example of Coca-Cola, Kumar said that a decade ago, Coca-Cola innovated the music scene and launched a “passion-targeting approach” to generate its brand presence. Since then, it has evolved its strategy to build on consumers’ passion points.

More recently, it partnered with Maroon 5 to stream the band recording their music live in the studio. Fans were encouraged to follow their live feed on-the-go and simultaneously give the musicians live feedback.

By doing so, the brand was able to encourage its consumers to be part of the content creation process.

Here’s Coke’s video here:

Another example of successful content creation with fans was when Harley Davidson created its ‘No Cages’ campaign. The brand created an engine for its fans on its 110th anniversary to create ideas of the kind of bikes they would like to ride. Customers were allowed to design and custom colour their dream bikes on an interactive website.

Kumar said: “Engaging their customers started even before the brand sold its bikes. It started during the pre-sales period when the brand was trying to communicate with them -when they were designing the product.”

Using the insights and building on the consumer engagement, Harley Davidson also decided to launch a separate campaign called “No Cages”.

Here’s what the ad looked like:

2. Be relevant and target segmented audiences

According to Kumar, NTUC Income’s content marketing team takes into consideration the brand’s role in building communities, and reaching out to various groups of the society. It then builds its campaigns around issues that its consumers are passionate about.

“It is essential to tap into the audience that is already available in a brand’s database,” said Kumar.

Citing the example of the NTUC Income 350 Run event, Kumar explained that the company leveraged on its youth group’s interest by using environmental concern as a passion point for its campaign.  Pre-event, volunteer groups were formed to help clean up several neighbourhoods.

“At the start, there were 5000 runners and this year, that number grew to 15000. The whole movement has been growing,” Kumar said. He added that this is probably due to the consumers’ excitement around the environmental causes which were further amplified by initiative build around the event and not just limited to the run itself.

By being attuned to the needs of its young union members, NTUC Income successfully “built a movement in which members and customers were emotionally engaged” with the brand. The movement encouraged NTUC Income’s members to continue being socially engaging and active, even after the run.

3. Stay on-brand

Whatever a brand decides to do, it is essential to be “true to your DNA,” said Kumar. It is important to be sincere about the content and stay true to the brand to ensure success.

As part of its ‘Labour of Love’ campaign, NTUC Membership launched a ‘Free Coffee Wednesdays’ initiative to promote conversations. When consumers gifted a cup of coffee to their friends, they were able to redeem a free cup of coffee “to inspire conversations and improve any social divisions within the society” said Kumar.

The campaign led to a 772% increase in campaign application participation.

The movement was a catalyst for the brand to start conversing with the public as well.

The campaign prioritised the company’s outreach to its members. An initiative included opening at more accessible locations for union members to turn to for help. NTUC also shared personal stories of its members, but de-branded its content for a more genuine approach to its consumers. Accompanying the month-long campaign,  NTUC had a built in Facebook app to manage its union’s own account to cater to the“overwhelming response from the CBD area,” Kumar added.

4. Campaigns need to be consistent

Kumar said that when a brand launches an interesting campaign, it “cannot go missing in action, that leaves a very bad taste [for consumers].” It is crucial to be consistent with consumer engagement and participation so as not to leave the audience hanging in a lurch. This lack of continuity disconnects the kind of the traction that a brand might have received from a prior campaign. A company must also be conscious of people movement within an organisation so as to avoid a loss in connection with loyal consumers who were engaged with a past campaign.

Because IT infrastructure within a company may not be as fluid as marketing changes, brands need to be wary of their own limitations before creating content. A brand has to ensure that all security measures, especially ones related to IT are well-managed and updated.

This article is originally from Marketing Interactive Magazine – http://www.marketing-interactive.com/4-ways-content-creation-success/

26
Feb
2016
26
Feb
2016

6 things to know before starting your own business (Infographic)

Starting an e-commerce website can be a double edged sword. If done poorly, it could cost great losses but, if done well, it could be an easy battle with great benefits. Of course, with every successful battle comes immense preparation but there’s no need to panic.  With all these neat tips and tricks, you will be on your march to victory. Remember that setting up and online store requires patience and of course attention to details. The slightest decision could make or break your success. If you feel that you need more friendly assistance with your eCommerce business, feel free to talk to us! 

How-to-Start-your-own-small-business-6-steps-startup-guide-Infographic

26
Feb
2016

Apple Watch – 10 Features That We Like

Whenever Apple launches a new product, they never fail to surprise the public with their innovation and disruptive technology. Although the Apple Watch is yet to be made available in many countries (Check here for the list of countries that sells the Apple Watch – https://www.apple.com/pr/library/2015/03/09Apple-Watch-Available-in-Nine-Countries-on-April-24.html) , WWDC 2015 has announced to the world the second phase of enhancements to Apple’s latest product. Here are 10 features of the Apple Watch that we really like:

1_1

New Faces: 

The new face of the Apple Watch is attractive yet intuitive. You can select photos from an entire photo album and you’ll see a new picture every time you glance at the watch. Apple is also making some cool time-lapse animations of major cities that change based on the time of day.

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Complications: 

In the next version of Apple Watch, you are able to display more than just time on the watch interface. Some examples would include your flight itinerary, your appointments and your other IoTs status updates. These other items are classified as “complications” in the new Apple Watch.

1_3

Time Travel: 

This is indeed the highlight during the demonstration at WWDC 2015. In WatchOS2, just by spinning the digital crown backwards and forwards, your complications will show you information which are relevant to whatever hour of the day you’ve zipped to. Want to know where you should be in 6 hours time but don’t want to open up your calendar? This feature is pretty awesome for you.

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Change Settings with the Crown:

For future Apple Watch Developers, you can now allow your users to change the settings in your application through the digital crown. Extremely useful for IoTs application.

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Nightstand:

This is functional feature which can replace your typical alarm clock. When your watch is charging on your bed-side table, you can now flip it on its side and still view the time—the clock rotates 90 degrees to make it easier to read. Also, when in this mode, the watch will wake you up with a gentle alarm sound as the clock changes color and pulses. Time to bid goodbye to all those fancy digital alarm clocks?

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Communicate with Friends: 

Soon you will be able to sort your list of friends into various groups and each is identified by its initial or their little profile pictures. The contacts can be accessed easily from the face of the watch and each group can hold dozens of contacts.

1_7

Reply to Mail

Because what you really need is more ways to answer email, the next version of watchOS will let you reply to emails directly on the watch face. Of course, you can instantly trash emails from the watch as well, which might be the best feature of this new interaction. How to reply? Well that’s the purpose of Siri. 

1_8

Facetime Calls:

Support for FaceTime Audio calls is coming to watchOS 2. The next time you get pinged over Apple’s native VoIP service, you’ll see it on your watch with the option to answer, just like a regular phone call. 

1_9

Transit:

With all of the enhancements to Apple Maps on OS X and iOS 9, it’s only natural the Watch gets some additional maps mojo too. Any transit directions you look up on your phone can be sent to the watch, which will guide you by tapping your wrist, and you can initiate new directions by asking Siri through the watch. However, not so sure how this is super helpful considering phone application’s map is more advanced than the watch. Also, most probably , not going to be very useful in Singapore.

1_10

Automatic connection to wireless hotspot:

When wearable devices first launched in the market, one of the greatest concern is the ability to sustain its battery life since most work with Bluetooth technology which consumes alot of battery. With this automatic connection to wireless hotspot, you won’t have to worry about battery life since it does not consume battery if it is connected at home or at your office.

So that’s the top 10 features we like from WWDC 2015. Let us know below if you think there are some other features that we miss.

26
Feb
2016

Must-have apps for Small Business owners

There are millions of applications in the world today – just take a look at Apple’s App Store, Google’s Play Store, and not to mention the apps from the Windows store. For a business owner, this can be heaven or hell. You can either be swamped by the multitude of applications, cluttering your business approach and decreasing productivity, or if you choose the right applications, you can be rewarded with increased productivity in the long run. Check out some applications that small business owners should never miss!

evernote logo

1. Evernote (iOS, Android, Windows)

Evernote is the ultimate note-taking application that nobody should give a miss, even if you are not a business owner. The application allows users to take notes, store photos, audio files, clippings of web pages and many different document files. Users can also create to-do lists and reminders for notes so that nothing will be forgotten any longer. Evernote has curated a simple and uncluttered design and has made their application seamless over different user interfaces – iOS, Android and Windows to better user experience. Evernote comes in 3 different versions – Basic (free), Premium and Business.

Dropbox

2. Dropbox (iOS, Android, Windows)

Dropbox allows users to easily sync files and access them from anywhere. It makes collaboration a breeze because through its file sharing property, multiple users can access work documents as soon as it is synced. Users get 2GB worth of data storage with Dropbox’s free Basic plan, but if you need more, you can always consider an upgrade.

wunderlist

3. Wunderlist (iOS, Android, Windows) 

Wunderlist helps users to manage their to-do lists in the most simplified, efficient and productive manner. Wunderlist has garnered the support of more than 13 million users worldwide and has recently joined Microsoft. Wunderlist allows users to create to-do lists with reminders, group them in folders and also share them with different users. It has a consistently beautiful interface across both mobile and desktop alike. Wunderlist is free for individual users, but should businesses find this useful, they can upgrade to a business account as well which allows teams to keep all their work on one secure platform.

Fuze

4. Fuze (iOS, Android)

With its beautiful and intuitive interface, Fuze has brought video conferencing to a new level. Boasting High Definition video conferencing, Fuze also allows users to share files and presentations easily and even has an integrated access to Dropbox. With Fuze, users will never miss another meeting as they are able to schedule meetings through Outlook and Google. Fuze comes in 3 versions – Free, Pro and Premium.

Addappt

5. Addappt (iOS, Android)

Addappt is an application that promises to help users manage their contacts easily. With the default phone book from Apple or Samsung phones, users have to manually update contacts when changes are being made. With Addappt, when a user’s contact information is being changed, real time updates will be made so there will no longer be discrepancies in contact details stored. When used well, this can be immensely useful for small business owners looking to expand their network circle.

So, here are some of our top application picks! Share with us in the comments below about the application that you find most useful to you.