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So, you’ve got a product or service that you want to sell online, but you don’t know where to begin? Let’s face it; anybody involved in retail knows there are many challenges to staying successful and competitive. Besides finances and marketing, the biggest challenge is eCommerce.

Advancements in telecommunications have aided in the success of eCommerce and the increased levels of competition between merchants to sell the best quality goods at the lowest price. While brick and mortar retail are steady, it’s hard to deny that South Africans are increasingly loving online purchases. 49% of South Africans visit an online retail store, 47% search online for a product or service to buy, and 29% buy something online (We Are Social).

eCommerce is a giant industry—and South Africans are spending more online than ever before. With disruptive technology taking a firm grip on just about every industry—from smartphones to the rise of the digitally influenced shopper and showrooming, consumers are now demanding a more convenient, seamless customer-centric shopping experience. Online shopping gives them just that—and more.

Search Interest in Ecommerce & Shopify in the past 5 years in South Africa

google trends search south africa ecommerce

Online shopping is the future of retail

The Internet has revolutionized the way we live—and eCommerce is now a way of life. An industry poised for growth as digital natives make up an increasingly large portion of consumers—it’s predicted by Statista that there will be 1.92 billion global digital buyers in 2019 and that global retail eCommerce revenue will amount to $4.88 trillion by 2021. Online shopping is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world, including South Africa.

Recent research on South Africa shows people are browsing three hours or more a day on their mobile phones, and by 2021, the number of online shoppers is expected to have reached 24.79 million. eCommerce is growing at a rapid pace—and everyone wants a piece of the eCommerce pie. In fact, South Africa’s eCommerce market is worth over R20-billion and research by PayPal and Ipsos forecasts that South Africans will spend R61 billion at online stores by 2020.

Why consumers prefer to shop online

While traditional stores still dominate the market, eCommerce is fast catching up. A customer can make a purchase anytime and anywhere. They can compare reviews and have the instant gratification of buying something just at a tap of a screen. Safe and easy payment options are available—and delivery is always on time—and sometimes even free. Because of the zero overheads that physical stores demand—sellers can offer cheaper prices, discounts, scorecards and loads of cool incentive programs. As you can well imagine, bargain hunters and deal seekers find online shopping, a dream come true.

An eCommerce store can save you money

eCommerce doesn’t just provide benefits to consumers—it is a holy grail for retailers. Running an eCommerce store can save you money. Brick-and-mortar thrive on location and branding—and this can be key to your new revenue.

Millions of people use search engines every day to find products they want to buy. With eCommerce, you overcome geographical limitations and you gain new customers with Search Engine Visibility. With a physical store, it’s very difficult to reach such a large market. However, an online store can easily accomplish this.

Your overheads are almost zero. An online store provides features that automate responsibilities and create targeted communication, allowing you the time to do other things as well as reduce the operating costs of your entire business. With such convenience to both the customer and the retailer, it’s no surprise eCommerce is on the rise.

How to cash in on the eCommerce revolution

2018 was a great year for the South African eCommerce industry. Thanks to high mobile penetration, secure payment options and changing spending habits, as more of the population shift their budget to shopping online, growth is strong. But as consumers are presented with more outlets as competition increases, expectations become more refined and retailers need to stay ahead of the trends. Trends in the eCommerce industry emerge from various things. How customers shop. What they buy and how they respond to marketing tactics used by businesses. If you want to get ahead of the game, here are three trends to jump on immediately.

  1. Multi-channel Selling

Online businesses cannot stay on one platform if they want to get ahead of the competition. This is where multichannel marketing enters. Multichannel marketing involves promoting and selling on every channel where a customer spends their time—from social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, to search engines, blogs, newsletters, SMS text messaging, and even good old-fashioned mail. With 87% of eCommerce shoppers making a purchase decision based on social media marketing, if you’re joining the eCommerce revolution, it’s worth staying on trend with multi-channel selling.

  1. Artificial Intelligence Chatbot

Customer patterns based on browsing history are a challenge for online stores, but we now hail intelligent algorithms as the key to dealing with such challenges. AI chatbots are computer programs that can understand a customer’s questions and provide human-like responses about products and services. Unlike humans, they deal with unlimited customer enquiries at once and operate at all hours of the day. The other advantage of a chatbot is that it can be used to generate sales. It can do this by sending automated prompts to get users chatting about a product they are interested in. It can also offer them discounts or even make personalised recommendations based on their session data.

  1. Personalisation and Seamless Customer Engagement

The success of any business depends on customer satisfaction, and customers want brands whose values they can identify with; websites that load quickly, are easy to navigate and work on any device; and purchasing processes that are simple, secure and fast. This has led to the trend of marketing automation, which focuses on customised landing pages, easy to access shopping carts, personalised emails, displaying new products and promotions as per the visitors’ shopping history, and re-targeting customers for necessary product sales.

Re-shaping the business landscape, eCommerce brings with it many advantages, especially for start-ups and medium-sized enterprises. However, as consumers continue to drive the market with their seamless shopping demands, you need to realise that you’re not just competing against local competitors, but also the most cutting edge, slickest and fastest websites and apps that exist globally.

This means you need to invest in your website experience.

Paarl Web Design excels in eCommerce web design and development along with social media marketing and SEO services. Contact Paarl Web Design today and find out how we can help your business grow online.

Some of our latest Online Store Builds:

https://maddogs.co.za/
https://refuelsport.co.za/
https://redespresso.co.za/
https://customsportswearsa.co.za/
https://cyclingstore.co.za/
https://www.thehealthhub.co.za/

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In a digital world, speed is king.

You do not have to be a marketing guru to know that excellent customer service is vital for business success. Your customers want things now—and they usually get it. But this is not the case for customer service. Let’s face it, most people do not have time to call in and wait for an answer. Sure, email is a great option, but response times take longer than 12 hours. And delays like this will send your customers running into the arms of your competitors.

So, how can you respond quickly to your customers?

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63% of marketers consider generating traffic and leads and measuring ROI as some of their biggest challenges.

So what’s the problem?

Before the 21st century, business was fairly straightforward: if you had the budget, you invested in some advertising space. But in an age of saturated markets, limited funds, fly-by-night marketing trends, and millennials who would rather sit in their pj’s and hunt for bargains online, things have gotten a lot more challenging.

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Ecommerce Dos and Don'ts

Written by Louw van Riet

It’s іmроrtаnt fоr a buѕіnеѕѕ оwnеr tо рау сlоѕе аttеntіоn tо thе dо’ѕ аnd dоn’tѕ оf e-commerce wеbѕіtеѕ. Knоwіng whаt drives сuѕtоmеrѕ аwау is thе fіrѕt ѕtер іn сrеаtіng a checkout еxреrіеnсе that mаkеѕ сuѕtоmеrѕ hарру. A ѕаtіѕfіеd сuѕtоmеr tells thеіr frіеndѕ аnd fаmіlу, аnd thаt lеаdѕ to mоrе ѕаlеѕ аnd mоrе wоrd-оf-mоuth rесоmmеndаtіоnѕ.

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Social Media Explained

Written by Louw van Riet

What is your Social Media saying about your business?

Social media marketing is hands down one of the most widely-used strategies in promoting a business online. A lot of online entrepreneurs and internet marketers who previously have problems getting traffic to their websites and businesses were able to speed up their success by employing marketing strategies. This is not surprising at all considering the fact that social media sites are now head to head with search engines when it comes to traffic numbers. The internet is continuously evolving and trends show that social sites will only grow even bigger in the future.

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Nоwаdауѕ whеn Internet uѕеrѕ are аwаrе оf реrѕоnаl dаtа ѕесurіtу, сuѕtоmеr rіghtѕ аnd website's ѕесurіtу brеасh іѕѕuеѕ іt іѕ іmроrtаnt tо knоw thе mаіn соnсеrnѕ rеlаtеd tо mаnаgіng a wеbѕіtе оr a ѕhорріng cart.

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SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is an organic process that helps to boost the ranking of your website on the search engine result page. This process is known as the best way to generate more business.

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Rеѕроnѕіvе wеb dеѕіgn rеfеrѕ tо a соmbіnаtіоn of tесhnіԛuеѕ whісh еnаblе tо ѕhrіnk оr еnlаrgе thе ѕіzе of a wеbѕіtе to a ѕіzе аррrорrіаtе fоr vіеwіng оn thе ѕсrееnѕ аvаіlаblе fоr various users. It means thаt whеn a person ореnѕ ѕіtе оn hіѕ ѕmаrtрhоnе, thе wеbѕіtе wіll соvеr thе screen оf that ѕmаrtрhоnе, аnd thе same rеmаіnѕ truе fоr ѕоmе оthеr реrѕоn opening thе ѕіtе оn a lарtор.

This іѕ bесаuѕе thе ѕіtе іѕ able to ѕеnѕе the lіmіtаtіоnѕ оf thе ѕсrееn ѕіzе аnd аutоmаtісаllу аdjuѕtѕ tо a fоrmаt thаt аllоwѕ the vіеwеr tо соnvеnіеntlу ѕее іt оn hіѕ dеvісе. So, уоu wоn't hаvе tо lоаd a mаѕѕіvе wеbѕіtе аnd zооm іt іn оr оut tо lосаtе thе rеԛuіrеd соntеnt. Addіtіоnаllу, such a dеѕіgn fасіlіtаtеѕ nаvіgаtіоn bу іnсоrроrаtіng fеаturеѕ оf a tоuсh ѕсrееn.

A rеѕроnѕіvе website will аdарt іtѕеlf tо thе ѕіzе оf thе brоwѕеr bеіng uѕеd, аutоmаtісаllу! Thе рrеvіоuѕ аltеrnаtіvеѕ wеrе tо еіthеr hаvе уоur potential сuѕtоmеrѕ рut uр wіth thе zооm, scroll аnd ѕԛuіnt scenario оr hаvе аt least twо vеrѕіоnѕ оf уоur wеbѕіtе buіlt - оnе fоr standard ѕіzеd mоnіtоrѕ and аnоthеr fоr mоbіlе dеvісеѕ.

Ongоіng developments іn thіѕ fіеld affirm thаt thе mаjоr drіvеr tо уоu website іѕn't juѕt fаnсу dеѕіgn, but wоrthwhіlе, sensible hеlрful соntеnt. Rеѕроnѕіvе dеѕіgn tаkеѕ іntо соnѕіdеrаtіоn the соnѕtrаіntѕ of rеѕtrісtеd ѕіzе; it also fасіlіtаtеѕ ассеѕѕіng ѕіtеѕ, whіlе fоrсіng uѕ tо rесоnѕіdеr оur mеѕѕаgеѕ аnd оn-ѕіtе соntеnt, іn оrdеr tо make thеm mоrе uѕеr friendly fоr mobile devices.

Here are some benefits offered by responsive web designs:

  • Secures the future - Since responsive sites perform satisfactorily with numerous devices available in the present market, you can be sure that they won't go obsolete in the near future.
  • Faster and better user experience - Responsive web design means that the user can view it on any available device, keeping things simple and life easy.
  • Cost effective - The designing of responsive sites is slightly more time consuming, but they last longer, thus proving cost-effective. You need to manage, upgrade and provide support at one point.
  • Optimized for SEO - It is tough to handle separate sites for desktop and mobile and the results are not excellent. Google too suggests responsive sites to overcome these difficulties.
  • Improved rate of conversion - The users' experience is great, irrespective of the platform used by them for viewing any site. That surely improves the chances of their patronizing your business.

Businesses must realize that responsive web design is no more a luxury, but a necessity. Your ability to enhance the consumers' experience, irrespective of the type of device used by them, allows you to expand the reach of your business, and considerably improves your chances of attractive perspective clients. whether you are a webmaster of a developer, you cannot afford to ignore the huge and growing number of mobile device users that are visiting your sites.

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How to get your company on Page 1 of Search (for the right keywords!)

1. A Superfast Website

I’ve placed this at no1 because there is no way around it. You need a fast website to rank high in Google/Yahoo. Many designers are brilliant at designing but lack the technical know-how on how to build a fast, efficient website. Just making a website look good is not enough anymore. It has to load quick, with few server requests and a homepage that loads fast.

2. Mobile Responsive

You probably heard this before but it really can’t be ignored anymore. Your business needs a website that displays correctly on mobiles and other handheld devices. It will affect your bounce rate and Google also won’t rank your website in search if it is not mobile ready.

3. If Possible, Insert Your Keyword in Your Url!

This one is huge. You must, if at all possible, have your keywords in your domain name( Like PaarlWebDesign.co.za for instance ) I can’t recommend it more strongly. This can help your page ranking quicker. Click here if you want to order your domain name

4. Optimized Images With the Correct Alt Text

Optimized images is a great way to get your site ranked easily in image search. Many users search this way, for instance for property websites or home organizing tips. An excellent way to get you high up in the results

5. Great Original Content

Write as much as you can in your own words. The search engine algorithm can “read” if an expert in their field has written an article. You are the expert in your business and no one knows it better than you. Get writing as soon as possible and decide on a realistic schedule for your blog or news section. Then get your local Web guy to upload it, optimized for SEO and ready to be found.

6. Unique Page Headers & Descriptions for Each Page for the Correct Keywords

Plugging your page full of keywords has long ago gone out of fashion and will probably get you penalized in search if you try to do it. But a good quality description will help your ranking and potential click rate as the menu description is often what a user sees right under your page header.

7. Get Quality Backlinks

There is no way around it. Good quality links with high page authority are a must and it takes time. In the past unscrupulous SEO Experts would flood a site with fake links but that will get you penalized very quickly these days. Build it slowly with the right type of links and you will soon see the results

8. Proper Internal Link Structure

Your internal links are important to Google and your customers. It shows the search engine what you deem important and it helps your customers find your product. Use the correct keywords in the internal links as well. Don’t just say “Click Here”

9. Add the Physical Location of Your Business if Possible

This will help your business appear in Google Maps and it makes it easier for potential customers to find your location. A win for everyone

10. Run an AdWords Campaign

Because ranking high takes time I always suggest to my clients that we run a small campaign until the organic ranking kicks in. It helps to get you at the top quickly and the business coming in. You are in charge of the budget so you control how much you spend.

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What does your company’s homepage say about you? Effective homepage design is one of the key starting points for all website design projects.

The top half of your website, above the fold, needs to be your bragging space. This is where you highlight your special product/service/information. This is your first chance to grab a visitor’s attention and hold it so make sure you choose carefully what to display here.

With the increase in mobile internet usage people are more likely to scroll next, rather than click on an object, so what comes next is also extremely important.

The next section should be a list of your services or products with a bit more info about each offering which then clicks through to the individual sections. Internal links also give Google a better indication of what you see as important and will therefor rank those pages higher.

The section below this should highlight your reputation either through testimonials or rewards etc that your company has received. This is where you show them how good you are through reviews from others.

Right at the bottom of the homepage, and every other page on your site, should be your contact details, address with Google Maps click through, email address. Make it really easy for clients to find you. Don’t make them work for the info.

You may want to add more sections to the above like latest news but be careful here. Anything you add here could add significant the loading time of your homepage which will influence your bounce rate(the rate at which people leave after landing). For instance, social media feeds ads significantly to this as it has to pull the data from the various social media platforms. It’s best to rather include a link to your Facebook or Instagram account.

Some important things to consider when designing your homepage

  • Is your brand image displayed throughout the design?
  • What are you selling?
  • What are your clients looking for?
  • What type of customers are you targeting?
  • Are you answering their questions effectively?
  • Is it displaying correctly on all devices?
  • Is it super-fast?
  • Can they easily contact you, get directions etc?

But the biggest question of all that most companies overlook is:

  • Are you solving their problem? This is the most important end goal for any homepage.

Contact us today to see how we can transform your homepage, website and digital footprint.

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In this super connected world it has become more important than ever for businesses to be seen online, in the right format that is. A badly built or designed website does the opposite of promoting you or your business online. Responsive design is a must for anyone serious about ranking near the top of the search results. Below are some interesting stats on current internet usage trends.

  • 61% of users are unlikely to comeback to a site they struggled with
  • 83% are looking for a effortless user experience on a range of devices
  • 57% won’t recommend your business if you have a poorly designed site
  • Over 80% of internet users also own a smartphone.
  • Google recently announced that they move mobile friendly websites to the top of the search results, pushing unresponsive websites even lower in the ranking.

Your site must render on mobile. It has to be super fast. And it has to be easy to use. There is no way around it.

Click here to see if your website is responsive

And here if to see your Google Page score

We practise what we preach. The current score for our own website can be seen below:

paarl web design seo optimized 

Build credibility today for your brand or company by upgrading your website and future proofing your business and helping you reach more customers in less time.

Contact us today and let’s get your business back at the top.

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For assistance call us on:

Tel: 074 654 3724

Email: operations@paarlwebdesign.co.za

Location: Paarl, Western Cape

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