Categories
Marketing Productivity

Brits report they will start Christmas shopping earlier this year – will your business be ready?

/ Insights      / Brits report they will start Christmas shopping earlier this year – will your business be ready?

Brits report they will start Christmas shopping earlier this year – will your business be ready?

Christmas is an important source of revenue for retailers – and a serious headache for their ecommerce managers. Traffic increases exponentially in the run up to December, placing web infrastructure under increased load. It is not unusual to hear of major retail websites collapsing under the weight of demand around Black Friday and Easter Monday.

This year promises to be somewhat different. Lock down has forced shoppers off the high streets and onto the Internet; online sales in July were 50% higher than February for instance. Ecommerce managers should have already noticed the additional traffic coming to their websites.

But stranger things are yet to come.

Cyber Monday 2020 may be slightly easier than normal

According to a report from eBay, 27% of British consumers plan to begin their Christmas shopping earlier this year. This should come as a relief to the website manager – peaks in traffic could be one-quarter lower than normal, helping to reduce costs and the risks of the website crashing in December.

But don’t forget – baseline traffic is already above normal – and any additional increase could cause similar issues to those normally restricted to Christmas. It may be that you need to deploy a scalable website sooner to avoid the kind of performance issues that drive customers away.

Leveraging the power of the cloud

Traditional websites are closely tied to the hardware on which they are installed. Once demand outstrips available resources, the website fails. The same is true of basic virtual servers which are also limited by assigned resources.

By reconfiguring the website to make use of cloud infrastructure however, you are far less likely to encounter these limitations. Cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure are built on an enormous pool of resources (RAM, disk space, bandwidth etc) that are shared between subscribers.

If your application begins to run out of available RAM, the platform automatically assigns more from pool to prevent a resource-related crash. This auto-scaling behaviour applies CPU power and disk storage too. Your applications should never run out of resources again.

Good for customers, good for your accounts

Under a traditional website model you would need to buy additional redundant server hardware, hoping that you have specified enough to manage peaks in demand. This would be a large capital investment and the majority of those resources would remain unused for most of the year.

Moving to a cloud platform completely changes the proposition. You do not have to make any up-front capital spend, nor do you have to guesstimate a resource limit that you hope will cover demand. Instead you only ever pay for the resources your ecommerce website actually uses. December’s bill will of course be higher, but your website won’t crash because it ran out of RAM.

Time to act

The fact that so much day-to-day business has moved online means that many websites are already under pressure. Any additional pre-Christmas load could begin to cause problems. And the December rush is completely unavoidable.

It makes sense to consider whether your current website needs to be migrated to the cloud sooner rather than later. Sub-optimal performance is one of the easiest ways to lose customers and revenue – so can you really afford not to take action before the rush begins?

Ready to talk? Give us a call and we’ll talk you through your website options.

blog-jas-img

Jas Panesar

Chief Operation Officer

Jas spent 25 years as a principal consultant and database specialist at Capgemini where she led digital transformation and migration projects for Public Sector Services, the Insurance and Property industry, DHL, Citibank, General Motors Acceptance Corporation, Nationwide Building Society, Swansea County Council and more. Jas now manages our operations and development team to ensure the highest level of quality for your development project.

Categories
Marketing Productivity Social Media

Festive marketing Tips and Tricks

/ Insights      / Festive marketing Tips and Tricks

Festive marketing Tips and Tricks

We asked our lovely Twitter followers to share their festive marketing tips for our ecommerce customers and we were inundated with lots of great advice! Here is a selection of some of our favourites that you can apply to your festive marketing campaign to maximise sales during the busy Christmas period.

Innovative visual software firm Grip stresses the importance of the customer experience during the festive season which is often a key factor for relationship building. “Customising the customer experience to deliver relevant information creates loyalty, brand awareness and encourages stronger customer relationships.”

With Black Friday sales often continuing well into December, ecommerce software firm Volusion shared their thoughts on online retailers offering excessive discounts. “Consider your discount levels and price points sooner rather than later so you can ensure you’re not sacrificing profits. Don’t automatically think you need to offer big discounts. Try tiered discounts or bundled items too!”

Taking advantage of FOMO (fear of missing out) during the lucrative festive season is the best way to encourage customers to spend. Nobody wants to miss out on that perfect gift and by targeting customers with limited offer products, outreach agency Seeker Digital says you can build urgency that drives sales. “Create a seasonal retargeting sequence that maximises the FOMO and urgency elements of ongoing Black Friday deals. Throw in some extras for people who engage with your brand on social or email.”

Would you like to share some of your own festive marketing tips and tricks? Simply follow Aspiring Panda on Twitter and our favourites will get a nice retweet!

anu_panesar

Anoop Panesar

Business Development Manager

Digital marketing and tech specialist Anoop is a well-known figure in the Harrow and North London community. Currently the Operations Director for Aspiring Panda, the company uses cloud and development expertise to solve some of the toughest business challenges – which has recently included consulting with East African nations to provide sustainable farming.

Categories
Apps Productivity

Three Ways Business Apps Can Improve Processes, Reduce Costs and Increase Sales

/ Insights      / Three Ways Business Apps Can Improve Processes, Reduce Costs and Increase Sales

Three Ways Business Apps Can Improve Processes, Reduce Costs and Increase Sales

The right business mobile apps can save business owners’ time, effort and money by streamlining processes and increasing visibility of business processes.

Depending on the nature of your business there are many ways that apps can improve your business.

Here are three key areas that we have helped small businesses use mobile apps to improve processes and reduce costs.

Project/Job Management

Business apps can be used to increase the visibility that you have of your employees and the projects they are working on.

Mobile apps can be used to create project or job management tools that can track the progress of work. This can include the ability to save and store notes, photos and progress reports.

At Aspiring Panda we have built custom apps for tradesmen such as electricians to help them manage their growing workforce and jobs. The app we built for one tradesmen eliminated the need for him to sign off every job personally giving him more time to grow his business.

Monitoring and Managing Processes

Mobile apps can be combined with the internet of things to monitor and manage business processes. These can be monitored in real time and adjustments made directly in the app saving on the time and effort needed to monitor and adjust.

A good example of this in the retail sector is the HIVE heating apps, these are constantly transmitting information about the temperature of the house and allowing the customer to change the thermostat accordingly.

A recent business client we worked with used our technology to monitor and update their circuit breakers.

Storage and File Sharing

The ability to store data and give users access to it can be powerful. Tools such as Dropbox and Google docs have allowed teams to work together.

These apps can also be used to share tailored information with your customers such as educational videos, product guides and other information they may find useful.

A good example of this is the app we built for Mark Bowden a hypnotherapist. The app allows his customers to access his audio books from anywhere using the app.

If you would like to know more about how we use business apps to power growth at Aspiring Panda give us a call or drop us an email.

anu_panesar

Anoop Panesar

Business Development Manager

Digital marketing and tech specialist Anoop is a well-known figure in the Harrow and North London community. Currently the Operations Director for Aspiring Panda, the company uses cloud and development expertise to solve some of the toughest business challenges – which has recently included consulting with East African nations to provide sustainable farming.

Categories
Productivity web Webdesign

Many Business Owners Still Have Websites That Do Not Work On Mobile Devices

/ Insights      / Many Business Owners Still Have Websites That Do Not Work On Mobile Devices

Many Business Owners Still Have Websites That Do Not Work On Mobile Devices

It has been nearly two years since Google announced that it was changing the way it displayed search results to penalise websites that were not designed for use by mobile phones and tablets.

Many business owners have updated their websites to meet the new requirements however we still encounter those that are not and therefore are not appearing on mobile searches.

This is significant as more than half of all internet searches are made from a mobile or tablet device. Meaning that websites that are not compliant with Google’s guidelines are potentially halving the amount of people that visit their website having searched for businesses like them.

If your business website is not optimised for mobile devices, this is important as these are people that are looking for businesses like yours.

If they do not find your business, then the likelihood is that the person searching for the service will end up using a competitor.

What To Do If Your Site Is Non-Compliant

The first step is to check if your site is mobile friendly. To do this you can go to the Google website https://search.google.com/search-console/mobile-friendly and take the test in the link.

If your site is not mobile friendly, then it is likely that you have not updated your website for at least three years. The internet and consumer trends have transformed in this time as has the possible things your website can do.

Therefore, it may be worth investing in an entirely new website to refresh the design and functionality and ensure that your website is mobile friendly.

If your site is not mobile friendly and you are not sure of the next steps then call us on +44 020 8861 0115

 

 

This is a guest blog by en-ACT member Kristian Downer a social media expert based in Peterborough

anu_panesar

Anoop Panesar

Business Development Manager

Digital marketing and tech specialist Anoop is a well-known figure in the Harrow and North London community. Currently the Operations Director for Aspiring Panda, the company uses cloud and development expertise to solve some of the toughest business challenges – which has recently included consulting with East African nations to provide sustainable farming.

Categories
Marketing Productivity

Three Ways To Create New Business In 2017

/ Insights      / Three Ways To Create New Business In 2017

Three Ways To Create New Business In 2017

Whilst there is a huge amount of change taking place within the business landscape, we thought we would take a minute to highlight a few steps you can take to generate new business in 2017.

 

Create A Video To Explain Your Business

Video is going to dominate social media and online marketing in 2017.

The easiest way for your business to join the revolution is to feature an explainer video on your website explaining in no more than 90 seconds who you are and what your company does.

These videos are powerful as they make your website active rather than passive, a concept we preach to clients. Google and your clients love active websites and get bored or skip passive ones that cannot hold their attention.

 

Hold An Event

Building trust is an incredibly important part of generating new business. Events for new products or even just to network can have a huge impact on your reputation and be a powerful tool to create new businesses.

Holding an event could be the perfect way to kick start 2017 for your business.

 

Reach Out To Old Contacts

Over time you may have had customers or prospects where communication wound down or they have not been in contact recently.

It may even be existing customers or clients that with the right conversation may be open to buying more from you in the future.

The New Year is the perfect time to reach out to them and rebuild the relationship. Whether this is via a phone call an email or even a newsletter to your entire list, don’t forget that often the biggest value in marketing is to the people you already know.

anu_panesar

Anoop Panesar

Business Development Manager

Digital marketing and tech specialist Anoop is a well-known figure in the Harrow and North London community. Currently the Operations Director for Aspiring Panda, the company uses cloud and development expertise to solve some of the toughest business challenges – which has recently included consulting with East African nations to provide sustainable farming.

Categories
Marketing Productivity Webdesign

Web Designers – How Partnering with An App Development Firm Can Increase Your Bottom Line

/ Insights      / Web Designers – How Partnering with An App Development Firm Can Increase Your Bottom Line

Web Designers – How Partnering with An App Development Firm Can Increase Your Bottom Line

The web design industry is highly competitive with lots of different approaches to helping customers grow their businesses using the internet. This competitiveness means that web designers need to find ways to maximise the value of the relationship and trust they have built with their customers.

Offering Additional Services

Offering integrated or related marketing solutions such as social media and app development can be an effective way for web design companies operating in a highly competitive marketplace to increase their bottom line.

This means that many companies are now “full service” marketers offering a wide range of products and services. This creates a number of challenges in maintaining the level of knowledge and expertise across all product sets to their customers.

The App Development Opportunity

Instant internet connectivity and access to smartphones mean that many of the companies that start the process of improving their web presence can benefit from development of a bespoke enterprise app designed to increase sales or improve internal processes.

This app is designed to either interact with customers and be generally available, or it could be an app for use by the company itself to manage internal processes such as stock management, project management or HR.

Benefits of Outsourcing or White Labelling App Development

Partnering with an app development company can allow web design companies to provide an app to their clients and generate revenue whilst maintaining the customer relationship.

As Aspiring Panda, we are fortunate to have developed a team of developers with skills in web design and app design, this means that we are able to provide a full service to our customers and help them build a user flow that helps them develop.

So if you are a web design agency looking at ways to increase your bottom line, then

anu_panesar

Anoop Panesar

Business Development Manager

Digital marketing and tech specialist Anoop is a well-known figure in the Harrow and North London community. Currently the Operations Director for Aspiring Panda, the company uses cloud and development expertise to solve some of the toughest business challenges – which has recently included consulting with East African nations to provide sustainable farming.

Categories
Development Productivity

Collaboration To Support Digital Agency Growth

/ Insights      / Collaboration To Support Digital Agency Growth

Collaboration To Support Digital Agency Growth

Since the creation of Aspiring Panda we have repeatedly used collaborations with other professionals to grow our business.

Although we are based in Harrow, we have offices and clients across the world ranging from education projects, app developments to complex web development.

We have used collaboration to work on projects ranging from education projects, app developments to complex web development.

Some of these we have been the lead contractor, others working as part of a large multi-disciplined team working on large scale projects with a long term delivery and impact timeline.

We would not have been able to be involved in the project without a positive and mutually beneficial collaborative relationship with the client and other providers.

 

Value Of Collaboration

Collaboration allows small agencies or those that are growing rapidly to increase their capacity, skill sets and product offering without the risks inherent in adding to the headcount.

Accenture summarised the need for collaboration in this white paper

“Companies need their critical workforces to perform smarter, faster and more productively. Achieving that goal requires embedding collaborative technologies deep into processes and incentivizing collaborative behaviors—ultimately transforming the way organizations turn knowledge into action.“

Collaboration involves working with businesses that may work in the same or similar sectors and requires a level of knowledge and trust in each other. Getting over the hesitancy of working with potential competitors is a cultural shift that creates more opportunities than problems it can create.

Since we started Aspiring Panda we have successfully developed a wide range of programming, app development and design skills. We are now looking to build collaborations to support the growth and expand the skillsets available to design agencies and boutiques.

 

If you would like to know more about collaborating with us on a project give us a call or drop an email to the team.

anu_panesar

Anoop Panesar

Business Development Manager

Digital marketing and tech specialist Anoop is a well-known figure in the Harrow and North London community. Currently the Operations Director for Aspiring Panda, the company uses cloud and development expertise to solve some of the toughest business challenges – which has recently included consulting with East African nations to provide sustainable farming.