How to Determine the Types of Applications Your Website Needs

July 28, 2016

Getting started on a new web project is always a difficult task, that is, unless you have a few crucial elements in place. This is a guide to helping you decide what kind of website you’ll need and the type of application(s) you’ll need on the back end to make it function the way you hope it will. Read on if you’re unsure of where to start with your project.

Determine the Functionality First

A good way to figure out what you’ll need your website to do is to work backwards from a sale or a conversion. Or maybe you’re trying to get people to become users or contributors to your website. Any insight you can offer yourself here will help you in communicating this with whoever you choose to do your development work. Get out a pad and pen or your tablet and whiteboard out the visitor path from conversion backwards. What action did the user take right before becoming a lead or client? What was the call to action? What do they get in return, an email confirmation? A receipt? This exercise will help you in determining the step previous to this one.

Before they took that last action, what brought them there? Were there clear signals on your landing page that targeted that persona? Who is that person, a customer? A CEO? This question will help you to determine the buyer’s personas that you’ll be targeting from your landing page.

Determine the Reason People Visit your Site

What is it that has convinced someone to take the action above? Were they enticed by a free offer? Or were they sold on a product or service? This is crucial to the development of your application. Getting this right is crucial because it is where technology and sales or copy writing are “married.” It’s always a marketer’s dream to have these two become seamless, and “one.” But that’s not always the case. There is often a miscommunication between the developers and the marketing department. One is laser focused on getting the website to work and function properly. The other is focused on making sure the right messaging comes across in order to drive conversions. Include these pieces on your whiteboard as you continue the brainstorm.

Do you need an ecommerce site? Are you integrating shopping carts, order processing and integration with local or national fulfillment? Or are you delivering a digital good?

Decide what Functions your Website Applications will Need to Accomplish

apps used across iot platforms and devicesAre your visitors aware that they’re inside a programmed environment? Do they even care? Perhaps they have landed on your site because of the application you are using or selling. This is always the case, especially for game creators and mobile app creators and marketers. It’s often the application itself that is being sold or offered. When this is the case, which I assume is the case with your website or you wouldn’t be reading this, then here’s where the rubber meets the road.

Your apps will need to be fully ready with the proper user experience as well as the back end functionality and database that can support the expected number of users. Consider the recent release of Pokemon Go. New users flooded the databases and caused crashes during the first few weeks, and to my knowledge, this is still happening. To prevent this, and to prevent angry customers, you’ll have to do all the math before deciding on the type of hosting you’ll need to support the new users. There are several databases you can shop for but I won’t get into that at this time.

Decide if you’ll Need a Mobile Application Built for your Website

There are certain verticals that will always have more desktop users, now you’ll need to learn which devices your target audience is likely to use. Even in markets that have a lot of desktop users, there’s always going to be a need for a mobile app to ensure you capture the largest audience possible. In fact, the rate of mobile users across the world is growing year over year. Some predict that the large majority of users of the internet will happen on mobile devices. There are a host of legacy mobile application development companies that have the experience needed to get you in front of a broader and more tech-savvy market.

Once you’ve got a good understanding of what it is you want, then you’re probably ready to get started with sending out RFP’s to companies. This exercise will help you mitigate your down-time in post-production change orders. The last thing you want is to pay someone to do something, then pay them to undo it and redo something different. If you really think through everything properly, this shouldn’t happen to you.

I hope this was super helpful to you! If you have further questions or would like to get started on a project, contact me! -Traci

What good is your Ecom Site if you Don’t Optimize for Mobile?

April 7, 2016

The Importance Of Mobile Friendly Websites

I am one of those people who prefer my desktop to using the Internet on a mobile. With that said, I am certainly in the minority. These days, it is hard to find people who do not use their mobile devices to get online. As a result, website owners must do all they can to make things far more accessible for these people. Having a website that is not mobile-friendly is like suicide for some businesses, especially if they are trying to target the younger demographic – millennials. Those are the ones that are constantly attached to electronic devices.

Have a look at the difference between the two, which would you do business with?

mobile responsive vs non responsive web design

If you have no idea how to design a mobile friendly website, you should start working on finding someone to help you right away. The longer you wait, the faster your competition will be able to swoop in and take all of your business from you. Instead of waiting around until it is too late, you need to be proactive and make strides toward a solid mobile experience for users. Again, if this is not something you know how to do, you should hire someone who is experienced enough that they will make your site shine.

I’ve actually used duda before to get a horribly looking website like the one on the right above to turn into something like that on the left. It’s a great and cheap option if you’re worried about losing business. And you should be! Rather have someone handle it for you? Go ahead and get in touch with me to see if we might work together.

Welcoming Case Study

April 1, 2016

I helped knife company's web application and shipping processes to streamlineI don’t like to brag. But I want to tell you about a project I was brought in on recently for a company that was selling knives over the internet. They wanted to brand themselves as the most “heat resistant” knives, ok, that’s fine. They did a great job of that but they had a hard time trying to do everything in house from development of their website to the assembly of the knives to the delivery, call center, shipping fulfillment. Everything was a total mess and it was starting to cost them in lost revenue than what they thought it would save them by keeping everything in house. Why lost revenue? Glad you asked.

Revenue loss due to poor systems

They were getting calls for returns, new orders and service. All the calls were being taken by the same two people in their call room, who were, ahem… less than “go getters.”

They were also trying to ship out over 40 packages a day from their small warehouse, which was also the same space where assembly happened. This was causing a massive cluster of people running all over a very messy warehouse that was overcrowded, unhappy and kind of stinky. And hot, mostly because the servers were also in the warehouse, crazy right? The IT guys were tripping over bubble wrap when they wanted to work on the servers, this was not ideal.

I came in there and helped them get their IT offsite, fix their web applications that helped visitors decide which knives they needed, upgraded their shopping cart, sped up their website and outsourced their fulfillment with a company I work with and trust. And they’ve now even outsourced their call center. The number of people on site went from 24 to 7 almost overnight. Was this mean of me to help them downsize? Not unless you consider that they’d be out of business by now. They had very high turnover anyways.

What they have accomplished in just under a year is a 3x increase in overall revenue along with increasing their margins by almost 30 per cent. That’s a big deal, just by fixing their systems. If this sounds like you, we should talk. Why not apply for a project and let’s see if I can help you.