Categories
Biz Branding & Customization Marketing

Expanding Your Ecommerce Marketplace Presence: Where to Next?

Ecommerce marketplace like Amazon dominate the e-commerce environment due to consumer-friendly shipping and return policies, wide-range of products along with low prices, of course. The shipping and return policies are factors that as many as 80 percents of buyers do not wish to negotiate. A certain percentage of customers are also willing to go for products from a different brand on Amazon if items from the usual ones remain unavailable.

Ecommerce Marketplace Presence – Is brand loyalty turning into platform loyalty?Expanding Your Ecommerce Marketplace Presence

Every manufacturer wants to sell on platforms like Amazon as they can sell in significant volumes even without spending a penny on digital marketing. However, there is always some risk involved when too much percentage of the company’s revenue comes from a single platform that the manufacturer does not control.

Put simply; brand loyalty is slowly turning into platform loyalty. Thus, some companies are working on developing their own ecommerce marketplace platforms while continuing to sell on Amazon, Walmart, eBay, and other third-party sites.

Selling a few selected items on your website

It’s obvious, these days customers always look for the deal that offers the best value for their money. They prefer ecommerce marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Walmart to compare prices, features before buying.

Thus, sellers prefer to continue scaling marketplace transactions while using their website to build brand-loyal relationships by selling a few selected products exclusively on the company’s website. This way, a seller protects his core business, and won’t take a hit on sales while starting the firm’s own portal.

E-commerce site visitors would appreciate exclusive product assortment, which is not available elsewhere. So, sellers who wish to opt for “our-site-first” strategy should consider creating and offering a one-of-a-kind collection. Several small manufacturers who do not have access to mainstream distribution have come together and formed their private label products sold exclusively on their website instead of common marketplaces. It is referred to as a direct-to-customer model.

Approach taken by Atoms can be the best case study for direct-to-customer model

Brooklyn Navy Yard-based sneaker brand Atoms has set a notable example when it comes to utilizing the direct-to-customer business model at its best recently. Their tag line and moto? To offer sneaker that perfectly fits the buyer’s feet.

The company offers a different sized shoe for each foot on an “invite-only basis.” Their untraditional sizing approach needed a unique option for delivering their sneakers to the masses. The brand offers three color options to customers.

Firm’s CEO and co-founder Waqas Ali pointed out that their idea since day one was to create a brand that consumers would love to associate with, instead of developing just another shoe brand.

The firm delivers three pairs of footwear depending on the customer’s shoe size. The buyer keeps the perfect fit while returning the remaining ones to the company.

It offers exclusive color options and accessories to customers registered with them as members.

Members can also make recommendations if they feel something needs to be changed or fixed in the footwear. Its odor-resistant copper lining and specially designed laces are some of the most appreciated features in the shoes. The waitlist often has more than 40,000 bookings.

The price point for Atoms footwear is nearly $179, like most of the other brands. However, Atoms does not believe in one-size-fits-all solutions. Thus, traditional sales channels like Amazon would have never worked. Lastly, Amazon won’t be able to offer a unique experience to Atoms customers that the shoemaker provides on its own website.

Instead of spending on digital advertising, the company advertises during small events and opts for out-of-home billboards. Plus, word of mouth is helping the firm more than anything else. 

Grow your business by creating a unique selling environment

E-commerce portal also helps in creating a brand identity on the web and helps with brand protection as well. If internet users perform a Google search for the brand name, the company’s website will show up in the results. It makes the brand even more trustworthy.

An excellent e-commerce portal that sells high-end goods needs to look gorgeous and must be easy-to-use as well. Offering excellent shopping and browsing experience on a pleasing website would ensure the first time visitors come back for more.

Mobile responsive theme, fast page load, relevant product recommendation, robust search feature, quick check-out process combined with gorgeous content are some of the aspects that need more focus. A custom ecommerce marketplace development firm can quickly develop the same.

Page loading time is probably the most vital factor as even a delay of a single second in loading time can reduce the conversion rate by 2 percent as per a study conducted by Walmart.

If you wish to develop your own e-commerce web and mobile apps, you should consider discussing your requirements with a professional ecommerce marketplace presence development firm with proven records.

Categories
Africa Music News

African Music Streaming Giant, Playfre launches its Music Distribution Arm SongRoute

African music streaming service giant, Playfre has announced the launch of SongRoute, its music distribution arm for African artists.

 

In a bid to further help African artists monetize their creative contents, African music streaming service Playfre launches its music distribution service SongRoute. This comes after the launch of myPlayfre, a platform intended to help African artists to sell their music online without the need for a music aggregator.

SongRoute is intended to help African artists from across the continent, both major and emerging to sell their music on music streaming services like Playfre, iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Deezer, Amazon, et al for free!

“Playfre is growing rapidly by the day and this pleases me. I want to use this to help struggling artists out there to get their music across the continent to listeners that matter the most. With SongRoute I think this will be possible as we intend not to only to get their songs across the globe but to also promote them on our platforms to give them maximum exposure” says Chika Nwaogu, CEO Playfre Africa.

With this, African artists will quickly be able to get their songs on Playfre and over 400 plus more music stores across the globe for free” Chika Nwaogu continued.

Chicka NwaoguPlayfre is an African music streaming service that launched on May 1st to help music lovers from across the continent access over 45 million songs for free. Playfre has amassed over 150,000 streams and over 2,000 registered users.

SongRoute offers a range of promotional services to African artists that sign up to their platform which includes Global Music Distribution, Playlist Pitching, iTunes Carousel Pitching, YouTube Monetization, Piracy Protection, Marketing and many more.

Launched in both Kenya and Nigeria, SongRoute will not only help African artists get their works across the globe but will also leverage on its fast-growing music platform Playfre to push their music across the continent.

SongRoute will help African artists in so many ways to showcase their talents, and at the same time make money from their craft. If you’d recall, we covered the news when Playfre first graced the African music streaming landscape, so this news is coming as a great sign of instant acceptance for a new entrant tipped to become Spotify killer in Africa.

Categories
Business Disruption Featured Programming Real Estate

7 Ways Technology is Revolutionizing Civil Engineering as We Know it

There are few fields that are as dynamic as civil engineering. Not only that, but the changes that affect the industry are affecting the way we live our everyday lives directly. New materials, techniques, and approaches are being introduced, and the job of civil engineers is constantly evolving as well. Here are some of the ways new technologies are completely transforming civil engineering as we know it.

Table of Contents

  1. Automation
  2. Augmented and Virtual Reality
  3. Online Learning
  4. Sustainable Building
  5. Drone Technology
  6. 3D Printing
  7. Advanced Building Materials

7 Innovative Ways Technology Is Revolutionizing Civil Engineering

Civil Engineers of today now depend solely on technological innovations to deliver cutting edge solution for our world. Here are seven ways we think tech is disrupting the civil engineering industry greatly.
Civil engineers of today now depend solely on technological innovations to deliver cutting edge solution for our world. Here are seven ways we think tech is disrupting the civil engineering industry greatly.

Automation and 3D Imaging

One of the technologies that are set to profoundly transform civil engineering and the work of engineers is the arrival of robotics. We could see a world where major civil contracts will be done almost automatically using nothing but robotics.

Robots have already revolutionized the world of construction, and are used to perform demolition in tight spaces and in conditions that could be very dangerous for humans. Curb and gutter machines can also perform automated tasks at a speed and regularity that surpasses any human worker, which makes them both safer and more efficient.

Civil engineering truck loading sand from the construction site. 7 Innovative Ways Technology Is Revolutionizing Civil Engineering
A manned civil engineering truck loading sand from the construction site. This same task could be executed by robotics without the need for human input – thanks to robotic technology.

Online Learning

Another thing that is set to transform the field of civil engineering is the advent of online civil engineering degree programs and continuing education. Students can now get their Master of Science in Civil Engineering degree completely online in as little as five semesters. Also, they can continue their education easily through MOOCs and other resources, which might be used for recertification in the future. Online learning allows civil engineering to integrate new concepts and methods fast, and will become more encouraged by employers in the years to come.

eLearning is just getting started
eLearning (or simply put, online education or online learning) is the form of education that takes place over the Internet. It could be likened to a distance learning where the learner is at liberty to learn comfortably. It is just getting started.

Augmented and Virtual Reality

One of the most exciting innovations in the world of civil engineering and construction is the use of augmented and virtual reality. While Google may have struck out with its Google glass, Microsoft already announced their plans to release their own HoloLens project which was aimed specifically at businesses. And while Google has always been questionable about their hardware, we can’t expect the same from a seasoned veteran like Microsoft, and their HoloLens could succeed in every area Google lens couldn’t. Augmented reality could be used to identify safety warnings on the spot, give out productivity and efficiency statistics, and design specifications.

Virtual reality is also getting into the mainstream, and the applications in civil engineering are endless. Not only will engineers be able to see the real-life applications of their designs, but stakeholders will also be able to be guided through projects in their finished form.

Virtual Reality and AR (Augmented Reality)
With the current pace at which augmented, reality and virtual reality is massively improving, a glimpse of the future could be seen from today’s glance. Civil engineers of the future could leverage this technology to some length.

Sustainable Building

Sustainable building technology will continue to dictate building decisions for years to come. The public is growing increasingly wary about climate and environmental issues, and the civil engineers will have to find a way to build more sustainable structures and use more sustainable sources for energy and material. Not only that, but energy efficiency is also a pressing issue right now and will have to be embedded in every major project from now on.

It will become so easy to construct sustainable buildings with the advancement in technologies powering civil engineering industry. There are state of art tools that helps in building a very solid foundation for buildings which further helps in the establishment of structures on it.
It will become so easy to construct sustainable buildings with the advancement in technologies powering the civil engineering industry. In today’s construction landscape, there are state of the art technologies that will in many ways helps in building a very solid foundation for buildings which would further help in the establishment of structures on it.

Drone Technology

The power and effect of drones on civil engineering and construction cannot be denied either. Drones, in general, are a hot commodity and are estimated to reach over $12B in sales by the year 2021. Drones are more powerful and reliable than ever, which has made them more popular for commercial use. They are now used for surveying, design, and developing projects.

Drones are also being used to carry out safety inspections and things like process reporting as well. They make the job of project managers easier and allow them to pay attention to more pressing issues instead of micromanaging every action. Drones have the capacity to report on massively large areas with much less effort. Not only that, but it also makes the job easier on surveyors who no longer need to risk their lives on dangerous jobs.

Drones Technology: Here are top 2014 Drone stories to watch out for.
Drones technology is one of the most disruptive of all available technologies for civil engineers. This powerful device breaks down the workload; you can use it to track or monitor site operators and at the same time keep the environment secured. It could as well be used as a mini-transport system from one point to the other.

Advanced Building Materials

The evolution of building materials over the last few years has been nothing short of amazing as well. We’re now seeing materials that can actually adapt to atmospheric conditions. These 4D materials can actually change their structure depending on the temperature and various other factors to improve their solidity and longevity.

Carbon nanotubes are also very promising and could also be a plausible solution to carbon emissions. Technology has already been introduced that would allow us to collect excess carbon dioxide from the air and turn it into nanotubes, which can be used in everything from boosting the efficiency of solar panels to filtrating water.

A lot of the innovation in building materials aims at mitigating the effects of climate change and pollution. For instance, buildings right now around the world are being coated with materials that can absorb an excessive amount of carbon monoxide being released by vehicles.

We’re also seeing all sorts of cement composites and even self-healing concrete hitting the market. Innovation is also pushing for new smart materials to be developed. For instance, one British company found a way to transform the movement of passersby on a major artery into kinetic energy that could be stored and used. New materials are needed to help trap and convert that energy.

Advanced Building Materials
Advancement in technology has had a great impact on building material manufacturing. In this time of different climate challenges, constructing structures with nature in view could be seen as a wise decision. Civil engineers are not relenting on this, so they are learning new ways to build to last irrespective of climate change.

3D Printing

3D printing is another technology hitting the mainstream and one that could completely change the way we do civil engineering. 3D engineering can now be used to produce models on the spot, or even usable parts. And it’s already being used on large scale projects like bridges and full-sized homes. 3D printing is being used in practically every field right now, from the automotive industry, all the way down to aeronautics and healthcare. Scientists are even talking about using 3D printing machines for the colonization of Mars. While this is still far from a reality, we can already get an idea of how powerful 3D printing could be for the world of engineering as a whole.

3D printing innovation
According to experts, 3D printing is like a bomb waiting to explode, but still has a long way to go to become mainstream print media solution!

Conclusion on how technology is disrupting civil engineering industry

Technology is the most powerful driving force pushing civil engineering forward. New students will have an edge by getting a formation that prepares them to use these new tools, as older ones will need to stay updated in order to not be left behind.

Categories
Money & Finance News

Proposed Law to Force Big Tech Firms To Reveal the Value of Consumer Data

The big clampdown on misuse of user data by big tech firms is almost around the corner, thanks to GDPR.

A new bill has been filed which will force big tech firm to report to financial regulators and the general public what type of consumer data are being collected and how they plan to use them for profit making, or whatever. Filed by a Democrat in the US Senate, the bill was to require companies to report to financial regulators and to the public what consumer data they collect and how they leverage it for profit.

Proposed Law to Force Big Tech To Reveal the Value of Consumer Data
A newly proposed law to force big tech firms and service providers to reveal the amount and value of consumer data they are collecting and the profit they are generating through them is being considered.

“When a big tech company tells you its product is free, consumers are the ones being sold,” said Hawley.

He also stated:

“these ‘free’ products track everything we do so technology companies can sell our information and then use it to target us with creepy ads. Tech companies do THEIR best to hide how much consumer data is worth and to whom its sold to.

this legislation gives consumers control of their data and will show them how much these services which are often free, costs.”

Consumers are paying for these free products with their data instead of with their wallets, he noted. The overall lack of fairness and transparency in this market made it impossible for users to know when they are giving up their data.

Top Tech Firm Shield Our Data and Uses It for Profit

The Dashboard Act’s Provision requires four methodologies, they include:

  1. Require commercial data operator services with more than 100 million monthly active users to disclose the type of data they collect, as well as to provide their users with an assessment of the value of the collected data.
  2. Require commercial data operators and service providers to file an annual report on the value of user data they’ve collected as well as contracts with third parties involving data collection.
  3. Require commercial data operators to allow users to delete all or individual fields of data collected and also data disclosure to allow users know how their data is being used, including any unauthorized uses that are not directly in any way related to the online service provision for which the data was originally gathered.
  4. Authorizing the calculation of data value while at the same time encouraging the facilitation, enabling small or large scale businesses to adopt methodologies that reflect the different business model.

The problem with this bill is that “there is nothing to stop the companies from doing the evaluation and undervaluing the asset“, he further stated. Consumers, on the other hand, have embraced the idea, saying:

“nothing that concerns about privacy and the power of big tech is higher than ever right now.”

Categories
Android Fans Apple iOS Gizmos Security

Phone Repair Uncovered: 10 Things Only Experts Know About Phone Repair

Mobile phones are one of the most purchased and used devices all over the world. In today’s era, mobile phones have the capability of doing various things that one could imagine. At some point, our mobile phone fails to work in one aspect or the other. We either have the choice to purchase new ones or have a repair done. Majority of people tend to choose to repair since buying a new device is costly. However, when we take our phones to the technicians for repair, there are several things that only they know.

Phone Repair Uncovered: 10 Facts About Smartphone Repair Everyone Should Know

Phone Repair Secrets - 10 Things Only Experts Know About Phone Repair
Carrying a faulty phone will deprive you off most of the benefits attached to buying it in the first place. Here are 10 truths about phone repair everybody should know including steps to spot the right engineer to fix your faulty smartphone.

1. Knowledge of using all types of phones

For a technician to be able to repair any phone that is brought to him/her, they should know how different phones operate. They should know how different operating systems work.

2. Practice

What we don’t know is that, before a technician accepts to repair our phone, he/she might have training in repairing a phone with the same problem. Some spend their time repairing some dead phones just for practice. For instance, the technicians at the popular MacBook repair center based in Singapore have had enough practice in phone repair. With a team of experts smartphone technicians, you can be sure of getting your device properly fixed.

3. Internet assistance

Mobile phone repair technicians also seek help from the internet to complete their repairs. No one is perfect, and therefore, when they experience some difficulty when repairing a particular phone, they will have to seek help from the internet. Customers will not know about this because it is part of the trade secret.

4. Some problems can be fixed by ourselves

There are some mobile phone issues that when we take it to a technician, they handle them with ease since the issues are pretty simple that could have been solved all by ourselves. A technician will spend very little time on this kind of repairs.

Had it been we could do some research, we probably could have got them resolved by ourselves. But unfortunately for us, and fortunately for the technician, they’ve got to make money for helping us out!

5. Some problems are not as severe as they say

Some technicians will explain a phone problem and make you think that the problem is too harsh. They might even make you feel that the mobile phone is not going to work again. This is just a way to make you pay for the amount they need. It sometimes has nothing to do with serious repair problems.

Faulty iPhone - some problems are not as severe as they say
In most cases, not everything the technicians say concerning your device is mostly true. Sometimes, you need some level of trust for you to believe what they said.

6. They won’t do more harm than good

Taking your phone for repair to technicians like those at MacBook repair Singapore assure you that your phone will be handled with care. Most technicians value their customers, and they will do their best to repair the phones rather than returning them while in lousy shape than they came.

7. Knowledge of software and brand

Technicians who repair our phones have the skills in repairing phones with different software. Whether it is android or apple, the technician who is an expert knows how to go about the problem.

8. Detecting the exact issue

When taking a phone for repair, a technician will never proceed without knowing the exact problem. This is the reason why it is essential that we explain the issues in details.

Detecting the exact issue with the smartphone requires professional touch and your input
Detecting the exact issue with the smartphone requires a professional touch and your personal input. The details you provided will also help the technician in his final conclusion.

9. Preference of replacing to fixing

Most of the technicians will prefer replacing accessories like batteries, buttons, and screens rather than repairing them. This is to avoid further damages and blames. Fixing some problems will not solve them entirely; hence, the customer will keep coming back. This is what they try to avoid.

10. Openness to customers

Experts in phone repair will always let their customer know everything. This enables them to earn their customer’s trust. An expert can also delegate when he/she feels the problem is beyond their knowledge. Delegating shows the right profession.

Conclusion

When we have a problem with our phone and needs repair, we should not just take our phones to any technicians. We should take them to the ones we trust and are good at their job. Some of the technicians might have never dealt with a problem like the one your phone has, and they might not let you know that. Some of them will take the opportunity to practice on it. Choosing the best technicians ensures that our phone comes back in better condition. This, therefore, saves us the cost of buying new mobile phones.

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Blogging Tips Marketing

Why does the new Google update demand the proficiency of SEO?

Why does the new Google update demand the proficiency of SEO and online marketing connoisseurs?

Google’s new June 2019 update has caused an uproar that SEO and online marketing agencies have not seen for a core update this far. One of the primary reasons is Google’s pre-announcement of the core update launch. Although spokespersons state that it is the search giant’s attempt to strengthen their communication with the Google user community, website statistics from around the world show otherwise.

These core updates are certainly not new, but the June update is significantly more impactful than the March update. According to reports from Search Engine Land, RankRanger, Moz and the likes, there are some noteworthy fluctuations in website performance since the core update launch earlier this month. Most importantly, the June 2019 core update has affected a more extensive range of sites as compared to all previous updates. It has influenced the traffic and ranks of retail sites, e-commerce sites, and news websites. Interestingly, the reports show that all websites that earlier suffered the brunt of Google Medic update in August 2018 have also faced similar difficulties since the launch of the current update.

Why does the new Google update demand the proficiency of SEO?
Why does the new Google update demand the proficiency of SEOs and online marketing connoisseurs?

What’s there on unrelated by important news?

Apart from that, Google has recently announced significant changes in Google search results that will come into action quite soon. People can expect to see a broader range of search results for the same search queries. It has jittered the owners of business and e-commerce sites even further. Google clearly stated that they would show no more than two results belonging to the same domain at the top ranks of the SRL. It will not only remove multiple hits from the same website but also impair the site’s monopoly of a search query. That means saying “goodbye” to multiple listings of the same product variant on Amazon!

If your website has ranked multiple times on the same SRL for the same set of search queries, it is time to contact your online marketing agency for a change of settings. History of interactions of websites with other similar updates has shown that sites that do not comply with the new modifications often face penalties and lower ranks quite soon. Without a strong knowledge of SEO, it might become difficult for any enterprise to retain their high ranks on the Google SRL in the near future. It is time to call up your marketing team for their expert skills to “fix” your website as per Google’s recommendations.

What is the nature of broad core updates?

The earlier broad core updates mostly focused on the quality of the content of a website. For example, the Panda update targeted sites with subpar content. Most Google users are forever thankful to the Panda update for the elimination of websites that had to value-adding information but ranked well due to the gross overuse of targeted keywords. Modifications to the Panda update has finally allowed the users to enjoy intuitive and efficient search results that bear meaningful links pertaining to their area of query.

The story is similar for the Penguin update. According to experts, almost all board core updates target specific websites with particular features (that hinder user experience or UX) and penalize them. After the enforcement of Panda and Penguin updates, many websites that were not stuffing keywords or using low-quality content also faced penalties and low traffic. It caused a massive hue-and-cry among almost all significant business and e-commerce sites across the globe. Making sense of these updates took quite some time and finally when website admins were heaving a sigh of relief, Google has rolled out another similar update.

Why are businesses confused by the June 2019 core update?

The problem with the June 2019 update is that spokesperson Danny Sullivan states that the June 2019 update “is not like the Panda of the old update, nor is it like the Panda of new.” It is a somewhat confusing statement that has thrown the community members in a tizzy. While some SEO experts believe that it is a new and update version of the old Panda update, others believe that the statement from Danny means that it is not like the Panda update at all. However, it is clear that the June 2019 broad core update has affected thousands of websites in one way or another – some are reporting a gross decrease in their organic traffic, while others are reporting a sudden spike. Only a handful few brands have not noticed any changes in their traffic flow.

Apart from the newness of the June 2019 update, the lack of a fine classification of core updates as a whole makes it difficult to comment on the nature of influence the update has or may have on a website’s performance. Without the intervention of analytics, it is impossible to say whether a site is suffering or enjoying the effects of the update. If you are currently working with an online marketing cum SEO agency, you should request for your quarterly and monthly comparative reports immediately to find out.New Google updates

Why is there nothing to fix?

According to John Mueller, it is impossible to predict the result of a broad core update. It might be a relevant update targeted to enhance the overall user experience. There is no way for any website to know if they did “something wrong or something right” to attract brownie points or penalties from Google. It might be another attempt by Google to co-evolve with the websites and their users. The search engine giant always aims to enhance its users’ experience in every way possible, transcending the boundary of devices and OSx.

Therefore, if you believe that your website is losing ranking or organic traffic because it has failed to comply with the new updates, you might need to reconsider the user-friendliness of your website on every platform and OSx. In short, there is no “quick fix” for a website that is losing popularity among targeted users. The only way to understand its dwindling performance is to change perspectives. It might help you to understand the site’s usability and performance from the user’s end. For that, you might need the insight of a robust online marketing team, who has been bridging the gap between the providers and the consumers for a long time.

Looking at all the challenges around the new Google update alone is enough to give you sleepless night as a business owner, but you don’t have to do that. This could be the time to get in touch with your online marketing agency for them to recraft another strategy going forward.

Categories
Blogging Tips Marketing

Improved ranking and higher revenues are the results of having speedier websites

How fast your website opens upon clicking the link is a matter of serious concern because your SEO performance depends on it. Website speed is a very important factor that influences user experience, and you cannot ignore it. How much people like your website depend largely on how quickly the pages open. The faster the website speed, the higher the chances of people liking it. However, website speed does not always live up to the expectations of users for various reasons, and as a website owner, you must know what ails your website. Look for the root cause of the problem, and once you know what causes the web pages to slow down, you must act fast to set things right. Monitor each aspect of the website from its design to other optimization measures taken to identify the factors that hinder website speed.

Website Speed Improves Ranking Which Results In Higher Revenues

Improved ranking and higher revenues are the results of having a speedier website. If it would cost you a fortune to get your website up to speed, it is all worth it.

Speed means money

In search engine marketing, website speed equates with revenues because having good website speed drives more traffic and leads to higher conversions. More revenue is the goal of all marketing, and the website speed contributes to it. A study about mobile website speed has revealed that there is a direct link between the earnings from websites and its speed because speedier websites earn higher ranks and attract higher traffic. The result showed that while the top-ranking website took 2.20 seconds for opening a page, the fifth-ranked site took about 2.60 seconds, and the revenues differed drastically.

Website speed is a ranking factor

It is almost a decade now that Google had declared that website speed for desktops is a ranking factor. Now, Google extends that philosophy for mobile websites too. It is ready to use the Speed Update parameter for all mobile sites no matter if it is a dedicated or responsive design. The move is surely going to hit hard the slowest pages. Therefore, you must now ensure that you only have a speedy website for all devices because Google wants it that way.

Users love speed

Your audience loves speedy websites and to keep them happy; you must ensure that your website performs at top speed on desktops as well as mobile devices that Google also wants. Buyers are restless at least when it comes to page opening speed because they want a page to open in a split second. Ideally, this translates into page opening time of 2 seconds and failing to achieve it will not only drive away users but also become very costly for your business. According to Google, for the speed difference of websites between 1 to 10 seconds, the corresponding increase in the bounce rate could be as high as 123%. US-based SEO marketers have their task cut out because to survive in the intensely competitive market they must slash down the average website speed from 9.8 seconds to anything as much close to the targeted 2 seconds.

Speed is crucial to your business growth and website user loves speed. Try as much as possible to get them what they need.
Speed is crucial to your business growth and website user loves speed. Try as much as possible to get them what they need.

What must e-commerce websites do?

The challenge is tough for e-commerce websites because unless there is a significant improvement in website speed, it could be doomsday for many of them. So, what can e-commerce websites do to meet the user expectations of website speed? They should begin by knowing the current website speed and then continuously go through optimizing and testing it by taking professional help from some companies that specialize in SEO.

Using some tools can make the task easy. Firstly, obtain a Chrome user experience report that contains user experience data related to some popular websites that capture the real-life experience of Chrome users. Secondly, to know how a page performs based on the Chrome User Experience report, you must use the tool Page Speed Insight that suggests the optimizations necessary for improving performance. And thirdly, there is the automated Chrome Developer tool Lighthouse that is useful for web page auditing to ascertain its quality in terms of performance, accessibility, and some more parameters.

Once you know the speed performance of the website, you can draw a plan for improving it further.

Optimizations needed for page speed improvement

Optimizing certain website design elements should help to improve page speed. By compressing some page elements, you can make the pages open faster. Looking beyond the website, there are some more factors that you must address because it impacts website speed.

Let us look into the various things to do that improve overall website speed and assures speedy page opening.

Compression of page elements – All the elements of design used on the web pages might not help in maintaining good page opening speed. To know which elements are hindering page speed, you must look at the report provided by Page Speed Insight that points to the problem makers, especially images which in most cases slow down website speed. After identifying the elements for compression use the feature gzip compression that reduces HTTP response time by almost 90%.

Steer clear of landing page redirects – The Page Speed Insight report might show that there are multiple redirects to the landing page from the URL in which case it is natural that the page will take a longer time to open. This happens because of multiple HTTP requests triggered by too many requests that prolong the time taken by the page to respond.

Image optimization – Images are mainly responsible for longer page opening time because poorly optimized images or images not at all optimized will take much more time to load.  Therefore, you must not only ensure the use of optimized images for the website but also optimize the existing images. The speed improvement happens almost immediately.

Server response time improvement – If your server takes longer than 200 ms to respond, it surely needs improvement. Identify what makes the server response slow and rectify the problems to ensure that the response time is under the specified limit.

Enhance browser caching – If the resource caching is set to happen in a short span or the caching headers remain excluded when the server responds, there is scope for improving browser caching to present pages faster.

How much good happens from speed improvement will reflect on the site SEO and overall revenue figures.

Categories
Money & Finance

How much does a hard money loan actually cost?

Hard money loans or private money loans are used when traditional lenders are taking too long or are not interested in lending. This is probably the reason that hard money loans are also referred to as the ‘last resort.’

The term hard money is used because, unlike conventional loans; this loan relies on a property that is kept as collateral by the investor. For traditional investors such as banks, your ability to repay is what matters, which is why they are more interested in your credit history and income. With hard money loans, however, the investor is typically interested in the asset, so that in case things go haywire, the investor can sell the asset.

Hard money loans make sense when people need short term loans such as in the case of fix-and-flip the property, where investors buy a property wait for the value to increase and then sell it. Taking hard money loans for the long term does not even make sense because they have higher interest rates.

People prefer hard money loans despite the higher rate because of the speed of approval, flexibility and the chances of approval because the lender will easily lend you the amount equal to the value of the property.

There are both advantages and disadvantages associated with hard money loans, the biggest disadvantage being the high-interest rate. Most people make the mistake of only taking interest rate into account when borrowing, and they often fall into the trap of cheap hard loan. However, there are several other costs associated with it. If you are contemplating taking hard money loan, here is what it actually costs:

3 Benefits of Hard Money Loan and Conditions

Cash flow Financing - Hard Money Load

1. There are no hard and fast rules

The basic thing that you need to understand is that when it comes to rates, there are no rules that lenders follow. The rates can vary from 7.5% to 15% and from 3 months to 36 months. The rates usually depend upon the risk involved, the type of asset and the experience of the borrower in case it is the fix-and-flip situation.

Interest rates tend to be higher for a higher loan-to-value ratio. This is because it compensates the investor for the higher risk. For example, a property that is located in a less desirable area will have a higher interest rate. These rates are not overlooked by the government or any other authorities; they are completely on the discretion of the lender.

2. Hidden costs

Hard money loans come with other hidden costs other than the apparent interest rate. Other costs include points, underwriting fees, appraisal fees, referral fees, and pre-payment penalties.

Points: These are basically charges that are for originating the loan. They are calculated as the percentage of the total amount of the loan. The percentage varies between 2-4 percent. The actual percentage depends upon the loan-to-value ratio, the risk involved, and the interest rate charged.

Underwriting fees: This is the charge to process the documentation and the entire application.

Appraisal charges: This is the fees that the borrower has to pay to the property appraised by a licensed appraiser.

Referral fee: This is not a mandatory fee. It is only applicable when you are referred by a realtor or a broker.

Third party fee: Other third-party costs may include escrow, title insurance, and notary. These costs depend on the loan amount and the state that you are residing in. A Texas hard money lender will charge you something different than hard money lender in Virginia.

3. Applying for a hard money loan

No doubt, hard money loan is less of a hassle than the traditional one. However, there are certain rules and minimum qualification criteria required to acquire the loan.  The investor’s primary focus is on your project. If you are investing in a fix and flip project, for example, the investors will be more interested in your success rate.

Some of the things that your lender may need include a FICO rate of at least 550. FICO is a score that takes into account your credit history, accounts owed and credit mix. The score ranges from 300 to 850. Scores above 650 show a good credit history.

Other than they usually need bank statements, purchase contracts and renovation bids in case of fix and flip. Hard money loans are processed quickly, i.e. within 10 to 15 days.

Once you get an offer from the lender, always get it checked from a lawyer so that you are covered legally.

Hard money loans may seem a lifesaver when you cannot get credit from conventional sources. However, before you get desperate, to do extensive research. Check all the pros and cons associated with the loan. Ask for all the hidden costs; don’t fall for cheap rates. Taking a leap of faith might not be the best strategy in this case.

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News

11 Indispensable Web Design Interview Questions and Answers

So, you’ve got an interview for your dream job as a web designer. How do you go about preparing? The best way to prepare for a web design interview is to run through some practice questions and come up with your best response so that you’re ready for the real thing. But before you get to the interview stage, you’ll need a polished resume. You can have your resume edited and proofread by an expert so as to get the required result. Now, let’s jump to top indispensable web design interview questions and answers.

Right here are some web design interview questions and answers you can use to prepare for that important web design job interview.

Top Web Design Interview Questions and Answers

Top Web Design Interview Questions and Answers For Developers
Excelling at web design interview questions and answer session requires some level of understanding of the craft in and out. If not all, you should at least have answers to some of the most frequently asked questions in the past interviews. That’s why this post is focused on that.

1. What are some good, simple ways to optimize a website, and where would you begin?

Start by just minimizing the amount of CSS and JS to improve the page loading speed. Another option is to make sure every asset is compressed into its optimal format and in the best possible settings. Try and strike a balance between quality loss and speed gain. It’s also important to write your HTML concisely, avoid compiled frameworks, and to not keep loading unused scripts.

2. How are you with tight deadlines and handling pressure?

Effectively answering website design interview questions and answers on handling pressure and stringent deadlines should be your best bet to landing your dream job.

“To be a good web designer, it’s crucial to be able to maintain quality products while working with strict deadlines. It’s one thing to be able to create a quality design, but if you aren’t able to deliver on schedule, then you’re not cut out for the work.”

3. What are some examples of bad web design?

Generally, any time something is blinking, that is bad web design. Blinking or flashing images, blinking text, black backgrounds with difficult to read a dark text, having everything centered, and any time you see a list of links.

4. Talk to me about white space and how it affects web content.

White space doesn’t necessarily mean anything is actually the color white, it just refers to space that has been left blank on purpose. “White space works for making content more readable, and for calling attention to certain elements of your design. It can even be used to improve the aesthetics by contributing to visually interesting layouts,” recommends Lawrence Powell, HR at Paper Fellows.

5. Walk me through your design process. What are the steps you go through?

Tell your website design interviewer how you approach a project. Answer in a way that demonstrates the kind of thoughtfulness you put into each problem you are confronted with. Make sure you emphasize your determination to find solutions in these scenarios, and your willingness to have clients review the work get feedback.

6. What are some of the JQuery functions used for web design?

Simple slide panels, collapsible panels, image replacement galleries, animated hover effects, simple disappearing effects, Accordion#1 and Accordion#2, and chainable transition effects.

7. How do you go about combining fonts, and what are some fonts that work well together?

Some fonts look good together on the same page and some don’t. Properly combining fonts is all about noting the differences and similarities in things like aperture, stroke contrast, serifs, thickness, and historical background. Two fonts usually will work together well if they are similar except for one major difference, or if they are quite different but have one significant similarity tying them together.

8. What do you do to ensure web developers properly understand and implement your designs?

This question exists to make sure a designer is familiar with the world of web developing and prepared to work well with developers. The answer should reflect that you don’t just create your design, send it off, and call it a day. They want to know that you are aware of the big picture and how important it is to be able to work well with other professionals. This means things like being able to agree on a file format and level of specification. It’s also good to emphasize you are good at negotiating things such as agreements to modify a design if the original is proving difficult to create for the developer.

9. What makes a good color scheme?

There are a few ways to create a color scheme that is visually appealing. One way is by creating a monochromatic color scheme, using different hues of the same tint. You can also create an analogous color scheme, which involves using colors that are close to each other on a color wheel. The third option is to create a complementary color scheme, which is all about combining colors that stand on opposing sides on a color wheel, such as blue and yellow. Complementary colors generally have good contrast and pair especially well if they are different in lightness/darkness.

10. How did your last two projects turn out?

When you hear this question, it means the interviewer is trying to get a sense of what you like to work with. Your response should emphasize your ability to work with clients and meet them where they are, rather than a hint that you are difficult to work with. If your track record has a lot of difficult projects and clients in it, then the interviewer may deduce that you are the common factor making things difficult. This aspect alone could make or may your web design interview questions and answers opportunity, so master this aspect very well.

11. What format would you use to embed a self-hosted video on a website?

Recently, the big-name browsers are supporting mp4 video format. But it’s also a good idea to have copies of your video in OGV and WebM formats to ensure people using certain Android devices and Firefox can play the video.

Conclusion

One of the best ways to prepare for a web design interview questions and answers session is to go through some practice questions that you can master and come up with your best response so as to prepare ahead. It’s crucial to go into a web design job interview well-prepared, and that means anticipating some of the questions you’ll be asked. The more you practice responding to these type of questions, the better an impression you will make on your interviewer, and the more likely you are to be hired on. These questions are designed to illuminate what kind of a worker you are, and what you will be like to work with on design projects. Practice these eleven indispensable web design interview questions and answers to prepare for your dream job.

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Business

Document Conversion Solutions for Enterprises: Automating The Process of Business Conversions

One thing that every business enterprise has in common is the vast amount of data and information they generate on a daily basis. From confidential information to the regular list of materials and supplies, enterprises have all kinds of data stored in their systems.

Now, this data is shared within the enterprise and with the outsiders who are the suppliers, vendors, customers, stakeholders, etc. The data is also in various formats depending on the system that was used to generate it. That means the data has to be converted to other formats when sending it to others. This is where the document conversion solutions come into the picture.

The output management systems come with a document conversion software that enables the employees to convert the information in numerous formats to other formats such as PDF, SecurePDF, PDF/A, etc. The documents are also given a digital signature as a proof of authenticity and have extra protection when they are being shared to unknown recipients and metadata stores the steps performed during the process for future references.

Automating The Process of Business Document Conversions

The document conversion solutions can be seamlessly integrated into the following systems.

SAP

    • The document conversion services can be expanded to perform additional functions such as adding status information, validity notes, signature displays, etc.
    • Over 50 different input and output formats are supported.
    • All key storage methods are supported for document files such as Content Server, ArchiveLink, file system, URLs.
    • Reconverting, refiling, file exporting, etc. can be carried out either once or repeatedly.

Teamcenter

    • The conversion to appropriate formats takes place automatically in the background.
    • This is possible for both mass conversions and interactive conversion of individual documents.
    • Different target formats are generated based on the file types of those that need to be converted.
    • The conversion process is a part of the workflow. The process can be monitored anytime directly in the Teamcenter.

SharePoint

    • SharePoint is a web application that covers several of the typical applications in an enterprise.
    • Adding the conversion solutions to SharePoint helps the employees carry out interactive document conversions within the SharePoint environment.
    • Parameters can be set to define the scope of the conversion process and the process can be monitored directly using the DPF Tracker.

Email

    • Emails are a boon when it comes to communicating on a daily basis with numerous persons involved with the enterprise.
    • When files in various formats are received from suppliers, vendors, etc. the employees prefer to convert them to standard formats before storing them in the system.
    • The emails with information that need to be converted are sent to special exchange mailboxes where the pre-defined parameters are invoked and the information is converted. The employee is updated once the process is complete.

CallBack

    • This is a web service where the employees send the data that needs to be converted to the company that provides conversion solutions.
    • The company does the job for them and informs the employees once the process is complete. This reduces the load on the existing systems.

The output management system can perform the following conversions with ease.

  • PDF/A is an ISO standard long term neutral format which is one of the most preferred formats to save the data.
  • CAD Conversion is where the files and designs in CAD are converted to neutral long term formats. The recipients need not have to use a CAD viewer to access the files.
  • Files from Microsoft and Apache Office are converted into standard PDF/A format.
  • Optimal Character Recognition makes it possible to recognize the texts in scanned documents.
  • Outlook conversion is where the files received via Outlook are converted to standard formats before being saved to the system.

A corporate conversion server is an efficient document conversion engine that performs the task of converting all files on a company-wide basis. The server can be integrated into the existing IT interfaces. It is a uniform infrastructure that creates many cost advantages to enterprises. The servers offer possibilities for straightforward configuring, and management of processes and structures. By automating the process by leveraging a conversion solution, employees can save time to focus on the core aspects of their job.