It May Be Time to Re-Platform Your B2B Business

Time to Re-Platform B2B Businesses
Time to Re-Platform B2B Businesses

There are many advocates of e-commerce push the e-commerce ideas to the B2B businesses after seeing unimaginable success of B2C businesses. Recent close down of retailers worldwide have boosted their morale. However, the same ideas and development strategies are not applicable for the B2B businesses because:

Obvious Hurdles

  • Unlike B2C, customers are in limited numbers in B2B businesses. Therefore, customer retention matters more than the customer acquisition.
  • B2B businesses have fatty deals in terms of numbers of products and transactions amounts. Therefore, B2b e-commerce website demands utmost security measures as well as capabilities to manage intensive interactions and personalization with unique and tailored designing as well as coding at e-commerce developers’ part.
  • Unlike B2C, you can’t give same user experiences of adding a product in cart and pay online with a simple click. Buying process of most of B2B businesses involves contractual procedure, bespoken rates with multitier rating system and frequent changes in terms & conditions for the bundles of products or particular product categories.
  • Shipping and delivery on B2B businesses are not in standardized format. You need to deal with numbers of custom regulations from one territories to another and may subject to changes with the changes in Government bodies or policies.
  • In traditional B2B businesses, language and geographical boundaries play crucial role and force sales teams to travels frequently.

The above described barriers can be broken in online B2B portal is they are carefully designed and make endeavors to integrate various e-procurement systems of various technologies and nature. Let’s see how we can make difference by re-platform your B2B businesses from traditional to online platform.

Distinct Advantages

Online Catalogue

Today due to fierce competitions, manufacturers as well as resellers have plenty of variations in a single product line. Therefore, preparing their customized catalogue for each vendor or a new contract imposes loads on the office clerks and other marketing staff. Keeping their files, exchanges them using fax machines, attending the emergency calls, etc. are bad illustrations of office management in modern days. Thus, online B2B portal is a perfect solution where you have to do all updates with a few mouse clicks and give absolute peace to the fax machines.

Punch Out Integration

Many government agencies and big manufacturing or reselling agencies have their own e-procurement systems with different technologies out in the market. Thus, you need to make suitable Punch Out server and technical integrations with their system. Thus, they will freely use your latest catalogue with customized terms for them. You don’t need to send them copies of your new terms and conditions frequently and for all new orders. Just make one update on your catalogue and done.

Savings

Save Time

Once you move from traditional platform for B2B operations to online B2B e-commerce, you definitely have relaxed breaths in sense of timing you offer to your customers across the globe. As your B2B e-store will open for 24 X 7 X 365 ways not have any fear to loss the customers due to your unavailability to attend them. Moreover, your office would have less paper work in compare to traditional paper base system.

Save Resources

Thus, you could do work more efficiently with the same numbers of staff without increasing your strength and budget. Due to sigh of relief, you and your sales staff will attend new and loyal customers with enough attentions on their needs. Your marketing staff would have least amount of work due to online promotional schemes and innovative ways to implement some unique promotional ideas with B2B e-commerce portal.

Save Money

You can make buying and selling decisions with much accuracy. Moreover, they would base on deep analysis of the trends reflecting on your B2B online store with help of automated reporting and analytics systems. Since you are offering custom level access with unique account allocations for each customers, you have enough chances to keep privacy of your data and your policies tailor made for them. Thus, your trade will have enough secrecy from one client (customer) to another. No conflict with rates, terms, and promotional offers.

Save Relationships

Just treat your each B2B customers in extreme personalized ways as you do in real-life face-to-face encounters. You will have live chat system to do quick communications in private manner and caches on server to study their past behaviors with your e-store and your company.

Finally,

Fortunately, Lujayn has such smart and skilled B2B e-commerce web development team that offers tailor made solutions with varying technological options such as Virtuemart development for Joomla platform, latest e-commerce plugin integrations for WordPress development, and Magento B2B enterprise development for giants.

 

Advertisements

Make Differences with the Best Practices in B2B E-Commerce Development

B2B Best PracticesE-Commerce developers have general perception that the all features, functionality, tools, and strategies working in case of the B2C may work for the B2B in modern contexts. This misconception may cause a big failure in the investment for B2C e-commerce store development.

B2B Differs from the B2C

Reasons are lay in the differences between both sorts of business practices. For instance:

  • B2B businesses have countable numbers of customers such as one manufacturer may have a few supplier or vendors who make bulk purchase and re-distribute products in further chains. The same scenario would be for a big supplier or a brand, which manages manufacturing by third party contracts.
  • B2B customers are performing little buying, but transaction amounts are huge and traditional B2C payment methods may not applicable for them.
  • B2B businesses may have few numbers of branded products or mostly vast arrays of products with infinitive variations. Therefore, preparing B2B product catalog and categorizing products are not easy sailing tasks for a least experienced or unexperienced B2B ecommerce development company or team of developers.
  • B2B businesses follow entirely different buying and selling procedure and needs form the B2C interactions. Thus, translating them into tailor made solutions is only way remain for the ecommerce designers and ecommerce store programmers.
  • Majority of B2B businesses are still living in traditional mind set so encouraging them for modern tech-savvy responsive experiences is not impossible, but difficult enough.

The Bet Practices for B2B Development

Punch Out Catalogue

With these insights, we can expect that B2B ecommerce store designer team first of all will focus on the product catalogue creation. In many cases, B2B vendors have their own Punch Out integration system so they can integrate their tailor made bespoken e-catalogue with the customers’ e-procurement systems seamlessly. However, in case of middle or lower level B2B businesses such costly affairs of creating Punch Out shopping experience is nothing, but a nightmare. Therefore, assisting them to simplify their product catalogue preparation is mandatory.

Advance Search

As we have seen that B2B e-commerce development demands tracing of a huge product database with infinitive properties like product classification based on their size, colors, prices, etc. properties, their site search preparation is challenging enough. Moreover, B2B clients are less used to with longer advance site search experiences so facilitating them with faceted search, guided them with suggestive search, and offering unique filters according their bespoke needs has prime importance.

Back-Office Tools

It has been seeing that majority of B2B e-commerce businesses and their customers have complex and burgeoning back-office management technologies such as ERP, CRM, EDI, OMS, PIM; thus, integration with them is technically and strategically demanding job at the part of e-commerce development team.

Designing for UX

Since, nature and types of the customers are differing altogether for B2B from that of B2C, simulating B2C user experiences are not practical answer for the perfect solutions. Therefore, offering highly personalized UX is the demand of the moment for the B2B e-commerce designers. Increasing usage of responsive devices/technologies, rapid communication technologies (IM, live chats, etc.), and pressure of fierce competition (offering infinite variation in products with decreasing price tags) are determining the level of technologies, IA, content, and usability in a nutshell.

Here persona is not some groups of individuals, but entire purchasing team of various companies with their individual unique needs. Thus, smooth and streamlined UX is the need of hour. Fortunately, e-commerce web developers at Lujayn are trained and well experienced in such intricate B2B e-commerce development so you would have excellent product with least investment of time and cost.

 

Miracle of Curves in Photoshop Image Adjustment Part 2

In the previous part 1, we have learned some important steps to open the Curves dialogue box and got some elementary intro with the available tools on the dialogue box. Now, in this part I would like to go bit deeper and would like to show you how we can use those tools in practical life and can create miracle in terms of Photoshop image editing tasks.

Before starting next steps, I would like to clarify that Curves are not filters that create amazing effects with a single or two clicks. In order to play with image adjustment curves you have to do some practice, however, they are not tough to comprehend and get mastery over. Once you are accustomed with them, you will be more productive graphic designer for not only prints or web designing, but also for the UI designing for mobile apps too.

You can do some basic functions with Curves such as:

You can adjust the overall contrast of the image or its tonal range. Same the way can adjust the local contrast/tonal range, and finally, adjust the colors of the image at good extent as we have seen that the Channel tools can let us play with Red, Green, and Blue channels of the image. Let’s see them one-by-one.

Know the Tonal Range

Fundamentally, Curves serves one purpose and that is the re-mapping of the values on the image pixel because each pixel has certain brightness values and curves adjust them to brighter to darker. One thing should keep in mind that curves not adding or deleting anything in the brightness values, but just increase at one point and decrease at another point. In short, playing with curves means budgeting/trading off image contrast.

Tonal Range in Photoshop Curves
Tonal Range in Photoshop Curves

Besides black, white, and gray/mid-point tones, curves can use to control any number of anchor point on the graph. This is a big advantage against the Photoshop Level tool. However, technically Curves tool works in similar fashion as Level too does. It takes input tones and selectively stretch/compress them. When slop of the curve increases the tone stretching and when slop decreases it compressing the tone. Thus, if you perform both action in similar fashion your image won’t get changes, but you will get subtle improvements in contrast. (See below).

Improved Contrast-Mid-Tone Contrast
Improved Contrast-Mid-Tone Contrast

As in above image, you have seen the mid-tone contrast that directly resulting due to S-shape curve formation. Therefore, we can use curves to maintain mid-tone contrast in the films and printing photo papers. We need S-shape curve treatment because camera always apply their own tonal curves and visual devices like PC/tables have their own and different from others due to Gamma corrections. Thus, post product correction is mandatory procedure in each case and in each industry.

In next part 3, we will see more miracles of curves of Photoshop so wait please…

 

Some Good New Extensions for Joomla Virtuemart Developers Part 2

In previous part 1, we have explored some useful and contemporary Virtuemart extension for Joomla developers; as sliders are critical piece in effective displays of the e-commerce products, selecting the best one is wise step in Joomla Virtuemart development.

Now, in this part 2, I would like to discuss some in-site search related extensions because our modern tech-savvy audience and repeat visitors never like to use traditional navigation system and they directly jump on the site search area and expect advanced search features and functionality.

Search Related Extensions for Joomla Virtuemart

Modern e-commerce stores have fatty database due to huge numbers of the products and website has tons of visitors expecting fast loading and interactions like performance related functions. Therefore, product search system has to deal with numbers of categories, sub-categories, and products data with easy and quick access.

Customized Search

Moreover, categorization and filtering options needs customizations at greater degree. Therefore, latest release of “Custom Filter Pro” offers highly configurable search products using categories, manufacturers, price range, and many custom defined fields. Its display type options for each filters are broad and varying nature such as checkbox, drop-down lists, buttons, radio button, links, Range sliders, Range inputs, and calendar integrations for custom needs.

This filter has praise worthy features and functionality like it generates filter from the native custom field types of Virtuemart as well as can generate from the plugins such as ‘Custom Field For All’. It automatically detect and display filter relevant to current category pages.

It also gives best user experience using Ajax technology and avoid reloading pages. Moreover, its smart search features at the top of each filter offers quick results. Expanded and collapsed state of filters remove cluttering in search UI. It has efficient optimizer tools to improve database tables and performance of overall search.

Some Additional Search Extensions

“JXTC Virtuemart Advanced Ajax Search Module” is another extension for advanced and dynamic search. It narrows down search with three drill down effect fields like category, manufacturer, and product at last. Thus, for big Joomla Virtuemart shopping cart such extensions are essential part.

No doubt, for small e-commerce website with limited products suggestive search features or autocomplete search plugins are essential with normal search plugins. In due course, “Virtuemart Search Autocomplete plugin” is far better choice for many Joomla Virtuemart developers. Besides this, “Ajax Search Pro Module for Virtuemart” plugin is essential for robust performance without distractions by frequent page reloading.

Instant Product Search Extension

Today patience level of our shoppers are decreasing gradually and they need Ebay, Amazon, etc. online giants like instant product search modules to help visitors to access products quickly. We offer instant keyword suggestions by matching product titles, descriptions, category names, etc.

Apart from these, we will see some more useful Joomla Virtuemart extensions in coming parts of this series.

 

Some Words of Wisdom on Usability

We might have heard lot of talks on the usability, but in simple words, it is easy to describe and understand usability as a web designer. Therefore, I have given a few lines or phrases regarding to usability and bring them in our web development as well as mobile development project with least hassles, but much efforts!

Phrase #1: Understand the Usability

If you give assurance that your product will work well for the average users with some average abilities and experiences, you are offering absolute usability in the product because you never let your users to fail whatever they intended and without much frustrations. – Make Product Completely Usable.

Phrase #2: Create Self-Explanatory Product

It is obvious that if your users don’t know how to use the product, they definitely leave earlier so make self-explanatory products by guiding them through visual and textual clues and incorporate most possible conventions in UI and UX designing.

Phrase #3: Avoid User Confusions and Frustrations

Users are always in hurry so create UI design and content layouts such a way that your visitors have to think least (simplest products) and can reach at their intended goals rapidly without any frustration in the usage of the products.

Phrase #4: Don’t Trap Users and Offer Free Reigns

It is a fact that back button on the websites is the most used UI element in the history of web and hiding Home button is a sin for good usability. Moreover, search field is a shortcut for repeat users as well as tech-savvy audiences. Therefore, offer all without playing any game with your users’ psych.

Phrase #5: Push Users towards Conversion Rapidly

Try to remove all possible obstacles including some happy talks with your users and push them to reach at their goals hence your websites’ goals-Conversion. Otherwise, they will change their mind and you missed them forever. In order to do this you should keep restrictions over your marketing driven grid to extract maximum info from your users by sign in or registration mess or offering social buttons in the way of checkout unless they push shopping carts in wish lists.

Finally

In short, you never let your users to go without achieving their goals for that they had visited your website or web application. Thus, above usability guidelines will make you an excellent usability and UX designer.

 

Smart Mobile Developers Using Cutting-Edge Mobile Development Tools Part 2

In previous part 1, I have thoroughly discussed about the two major cross-platform tools for the mobile developers to create robust apps with least investment of time, resources, and hard-earned money of their patrons. Now, in this episode I would like to bet on the browser based apps or can term web apps for mobiles, which are now giving excellent native like user experiences due to enhanced HTML5, CSS3, and advance JavaScript.

Visual App Builder– Sencha Architect

Sencha Architect comes with ready-to-go features and interface based on HTML5 so any web developer familiar with HTML5, CSS3, and advance JavaScript can go to coding and create some outstanding outcomes for multiple platforms like iPhone, Kindle Fire, BlackBerry, Microsoft Windows mobile apps programming easily.

This framework is capable to manage the layouts, widget managements, and event juggling easily because it has options to select themes, UI components, and user extension to get custom results with desired features and functionality.

Technically code is runs in WebKit supported browsers, means almost all modern mobile browsers. You can turn code into the native like app by wrapping them with PhoneGap or Corodova like tools for awesome native like user experiences.

Mine of Mobile Development Tools—AppGvyer

This company has made a number of useful tools for the mobile developer community in contemporary ways where it supports the PhoneGap with an awesome extension call Steroid. Same the way Prototyper is another product that create tools to glue a few pages together into the flexible prototypes where you can test your ideas before jumping into the development ship.

Steroid has Hybrid UI so you can get excellent native like user experiences without much wetting your legs in CSS and JavaScript. Instead you can banking on HTML5 through simple JavaScript API. The most alluring offering is its easy sharing using a QR code so you can go at any extent to test your product.

Juggle the Data using Firebase

Today our all mobile apps have either fatty database or critical data at security point of views. Therefore, safely storing and sharing all the data or information needs especial tools and Firebase is providing exclusively. Mobile application developer has to setup the project and Firebase will manage the rest by setting up a key-value store.

This tool will give you a powerful API to store and sync your data in real-time, not only this, but also offer offline support and will update your data while your devices restore the connectivity. Its full-featured libraries support all major web and mobile platforms as well as offer seamless binding for most popular frameworks for mobile development including cross-platforms and native ones using its REST API.

Besides these, collaboration with Firebase is simpler as its particularly tuned to push changes made by all team members working on the app. Thus, you have easy backend development and let you focus on frontend more.

Apart from the above described cross-platform and supporting extension tools, there are some more modern popular mobile app development aides and that we will discuss in our final part. Thanks for reading in advance.

 

Some Contemporary and Collaborative Online Writing Tools Part 2

Before reading this post, I would like you to recommend read part 1 of this series of the blogs first so you will have background clear in your mind that why I had run such steering search for the online writing tools for collaborative writers and progressive technical writer groups.

Old Is Gold—GitHub

It is said that old things are more valuable than new just like gold. This phrase is always true for the new generations of the software programmers. GitHub has provided all essential tools for the programmers to write the documents of their entire projects on the web and share them explicitly and get benefits of collaborative approaches of the team online.

Its repositories are excellent and versioning feature and functionality unbeatable on the web for technical writer and programmers especially who are working with offshore clients.

One Level Up to GitHub—Prose

Since it is working directly with the files reside in GitHub repositories, you can enhance the experiences by using prose. It has beautiful design and constant improvements due to its opensource nature. There are chances of customization, but less useful in collaboration among the big team. Therefore, it is rather recommended for small and sizable team and for interactions with clients at offshore with more tuned documents.
For Better Experiences—Penflip

Again this tool is based on GitHub, but have much advancements such as keyboard shortcuts, fully styled Markdown features and sharing capacities in public as well as in private where you have to pay. However, sharing feature is bit complicated due to copying nature of the shared documents, which are when come back to the original writer after editing and comments, writer has to approve it and amalgamate the suggestion/correction as per her wishes.

Some Different Approaches—Poetica

If you want to move away from the Git workflows, this is the right option for a seasoned technical writer or web programmer since you have all arsenals available for perfect copywriting in Poetica. However, some drawbacks like support for Markdown and lack of the place to discuss changes might be improved in new version or when it comes out from the beta.

For Distraction Free Experiences—Draft

This tool is extremely useful when you opt for excellent writing experiences with detailing because it offer distraction free experiences due to its sleek and rich interface. You have free reign to customize typeface, font size and style within editor though it has interface familiar to programmers.

One of the Best Writing Tools—Typewrite

At last, I got success to find out the best suited piece of online writing tool in form of Typewrite. As its par with the Prose and Penflip in terms of Markdown support and streamlined interface. It supports great thing for contemporary collaborative writing and that is real-time editing features. Therefore, we can say that it is the best co-authoring tool rather than collaborating tool because it lacks true editing features.

Finally

If you have any experiences with new tools other than described here, mention them in comments so we can get some more elaborate products, thanks in advance.