Latest Happenings in Microsoft Dynamics AX-GP-NAV-CRM

Microsoft Dynamics NAVMicrosoft Dynamics Project, also known as Project Green is a great platform to unify and modulate all the Microsoft Business Solutions ERP Applications. There are a number of components in this platform or project, namely, Microsoft Great Plains/Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Navision (formerly Attain), Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft (Navision) Axapta/Microsoft Dynamics AX. Due to the unification of all these components/platforms into one singular unified interface, there will be a positive change in quality of the products offered. In addition, the development platform for Microsoft Dynamics products is most likely to shift from proprietary tools such as Microsoft Dexterity to C# and VB.Net with Visual Studio. This write up is about how the IT managers can orient their product selections for international and regional markets. The competition to these products is coming chiefly from Oracle Fusion project and SAP.

Microsoft Dynamics GP – The regional markets for Great Plains 9.0 and the latest version Microsoft Dynamics GP 10.0 version will shrink to US, UK and Canada (both English and French speaking Parts), Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, English speaking countries in Asia, Africa and all over the world. In addition, Spanish speaking Latin America will also be included in the market for the latest version. However, Microsoft Dynamics GP 10 will not be available for Germany, France, Belgium, Netherlands and Poland. These countries will have to be contended with the version 9.0-June 2006.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV – In the present times, Navision has a solid presence in European countries, especially Eastern European countries like Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic and Slovakia. NAV is also doing well in new markets like Brazil where it first probed Solomon, the Microsoft GP 7.5 and in 2004 replaced it with NAV.

Microsoft Dynamics AX – Microsoft Axapta is totally based on renovation and product improvements rather than on gaining or dividing markets as is applicable to Navision or GP. Axapta has a great potential yet to be realized, considering its cutting edge and futuristic system design and architecture. Axapta is being targeted towards upper mid-market and corporate clients and is showing great progress in emerging markets like Russia, where the installations of Axapta are comparable with those of NAV. In addition, a number of entities who are Microsoft Business Solution gold certified partners rushed into Axapta consulting area, a trend largely seen in USA, UK, Australia and continental Europe.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM – This is planned as front CRM solution for the majority of Microsoft Dynamics ERP system. Integration with Microsoft Dynamics GP is available for GP 7.5, 8.0, 9.0, for CRM 1.2 and 3.0 and Microsoft NAV integration is achieved through third party integrations. However, integration with Axapta is still in the planning stage.

7 Easy Ways to Improve Website Conversions

There are millions of ways you can optimize your eCommerce website for maximum conversion – right from highly technical SEO strategies to product feed optimization to attractive design and user-friendly website features. However, discussing those millions of ways will take quite a bit of time – that too in months.

Instead, let’s have a look at top 7 strategies that are guaranteed to yield the results you are looking for.7 Easy Ways to Improve Website Conversions

1. Demo videos:

Add demo videos to your homepage to showcase how your products work. This will convince your visitors that you are selling quality products, building long-term trust and beneficial relationship. When you add high-quality video – technologically as well as content wise – you are creating an entry point for your sales funnel. Once the potential customers are aware about how beneficial your products are for them, they are now fully equipped to make a purchasing decision.

You can also consider putting up a video of manufacturing process, giving a glimpse of how the products are manufactured. If you are into philanthropy, put up a video with charitable theme. Generally this theme works like a charm during holiday season.

2. Intuitive product search:

When an eCommerce website fails to deliver user-friendly search functionality, it leads to high bounce rate. And increasing bounce rate means lost sales because frustrated shopper will take their business elsewhere – most probably to your competitors. So make sure your search functionality is accurate and intuitive. Place the search bar in highly visible location.

3. Enhanced product pages:

You need to have highly engaging product pages. Once your potential customers reach there, your product pages should be powerful enough to compel them to complete transaction. For enhanced product pages, make sure that the product images are of the highest quality, the images are showing your product from different angles, and product descriptions are accurate and rich. If your eCommerce store is big, you should also integrate full-featured reviews and ratings section.

4. Remove ambiguity:

Customers get very frustrated when there’s ambiguity in product prices or product information. Phrases like “Price will be displayed in checkout.” will compel customers to abandon the shopping cart in the middle of the shopping session. Also, be very upfront about shipping and handling charges. If you are sneaky about it, you will not only lose current sale but a customer for entire lifetime.

5. Encourage product reviews:

When you have honest testimonials on your website, you are building trust. Make sure that your happy and satisfied customers are honestly reviewing your products. This will also help you get customers who aren’t sure if they want to buy those products or not.

Additionally, when new reviews are regularly posted, it will keep your website fresh and give boost to your branding strategy.

6. Simple checkout:

Keep the checkout process simple and quick. Buying online is not a rocket science and try to keep it that way. Keep your checkout process free of any surprises. Assure them that their personal information will be kept safe and secure. Also, don’t ask the same question multiple times. That’s annoying, bound to frustrate your customers.

7. Guest checkout:

Don’t make registration on your website compulsory because according to a recent report by Econsultancy, one of the most common reasons customers abandon shopping cart is compulsory registration. Offer guest checkout or facility to buy using social media plugins such as Facebook plugin.

Do you want to know more tricks to push your sales up? Contact Kaushalam. We have more than 14 years of experience in guiding eCommerce companies toward their goals.

Benefits to Start eCommerce Business with Custom Website

When you start an eCommerce business online, you have two options:

  • A pre-designed website that comes with all the basic functionalities, or
  • A customized website that works according to your requirements.

Although the latter sounds interesting, you have to bear in mind that you will need to invest quite a bit in the development of such website. And that can be deterrent to many companies. But before you make any firm decision, you should know what you stand to gain through customized eCommerce websites. Just have a look.

Why to Opt Custom Ecommerce Website

Unique look and feel: Every eCommerce website has unique goals and target audience. With a customized eCommerce design code, you stand a better chance to attract and retain your target audience. You will also get lot of room to personalize the shopping experience of your visitors.

Advanced features: Pre-designed eCommerce websites offer limited number of features because they are mainly designed to please all. They just come with basic features that can be used by any and all types of businesses. However, if you need to stand apart from the crowd, you will need to customize it. There’s no two ways about it. So add features that help you attract your target audience and improve their shopping experience.

Better marketing: Pre-designed eCommerce stores come with basic marketing capabilities, including SEO. However, you can improve the potential of your store with a customized code. For example, you can easily use customized coding to attract a specific set of users. Once you attract your target audience, half of your work is done. Now you just need to do other half work that converts the visitors into paying customers.

Are you thinking to go for a professional custom ecommerce website design? Do you need help in that? Contact Kaushalam for more details and cost. We specialize in developing highly customized eCommerce solutions that satisfy all your needs.

Amazon’s Game Plan For 2014 Holiday Season Marketing

eCommerce merchants are going to mint money this upcoming holiday season with industry experts expecting online sales to reach $82 billion, up 15% from year ago sales. Given the rising surge in online shopping every year, we can safely assume Amazon – one of the big boys in the industry – to get a huge pie of the sales if it gets its holiday marketing strategy right. And it definitely seems it’s trying hard enough with its multi-faceted marketing strategy.

Holiday Marketing Strategies

Recently Amazon launched a new publishing program called Kindle Scout. The program offers readers a say in the publishing process; that is, only those books that get enough nominations from the readers will get published under Kindle Press. The authors of the nominated books will get $1,500 advance, 50% eBook royalty, and featured marketing on Amazon.com and Kindle store.

On the other side, Amazon is making the most of web-savvy moms to push up their sales. Moms whose opinions are taken seriously by peers. Recently, Amazon surveyed nearly 400,000 American moms and came up with “Mom Picks 2014,” a list of 50 top toys and games for 2014.

Lisa Diaz, a mom who unknowingly became part of the marketing strategy, is definitely impressed because she believes that the list is more than just a shallow promotion that every eCommerce merchants does to improve the sales of the items on the list. She believes that the list gives moms and everyone else a voice. A voice that shows upcoming trends of the market.

If we look at the history of Amazon’s eCommerce marketing strategy, we will find it that this is not the first time the eCommerce giant has tried to use word-of-mouth publicity. “Mom Picks” was introduced as a holiday shopping tool in 2013 and it had ended as one of the most popularly used tools. According to Amazon, it was in fact used more frequently than price and discount filters. The list is beneficial to shoppers as well as Amazon. Shoppers use the list for good gifting ideas, while Amazon uses it as the indicator of upcoming sales. In fact, this word-of-mouth marketing strategy creates a strong urge to buy among other shoppers – boosting the overall sales of the company.

Apart from regular shoppers, Amazon is also trying to attract the shoppers who believe in generosity. AmazonSmile is a program that allows shoppers to shop exactly what they are looking for at the seasonal discount prices while helping them contribute to their favorite nonprofits. Under this program, 5% of each purchase will go to the charity of shoppers’ choice. Almost one million nonprofits are participating – right from American Red Cross to The Nature Conservancy. This program stands a good chance of being successful, especially during the holiday season when people are more prone to donate for their favorite causes.

It seems Amazon is quite optimistic about its marketing strategy if we look at the company’s move to hire 80,000 seasonal employees. In 2013, Amazon had hired 70,000 seasonal employees and in 2012, it was 50,000. The extra employees will work in the Amazon network of fulfillment and sorting centers where they will execute millions of orders daily.

If you own an Amazon Webstore, you stand better chance of making the most of Amazon’s aggressive marketing strategy by having your own little tactic that complements the eCommerce giant’s plans. Are you wondering how you can have one? Contact Kaushalam. We are recognized Amazon Webstore developers who can help you get an advantage over your competitors.

To help you boost your holiday sales, we will:

Special Shopping Days: We will develop special strategies for Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday, Black Friday, Free Shipping Day and end-of-year sales. The strategy will include detailed information about how to go for ad promotions, sale items, coupons and social media pushes. We will study your last year’s holiday sales data to figure out what will appeal the most to your customers. Are you thinking how much to spend on advertising? No worries. We will help you figure out that too.

Loyal Customers: You never had planned holiday campaigns before? That’s OK. We can use the data about your best selling products and loyal customers as a springboard for planning. According to the Pareto Principal, 80% of your business generally comes from 20% of your total customer base. As the same principal is going to work in the holiday season, we will focus first on your loyal customers with holiday-special offers.

Look & Feel of Your Store: Your store will get totally new look to suit the upcoming holiday season. Your logo will be changed and the landing page will be redesigned to put your shoppers in the holiday spirit. We will even brand your action buttons to create a sense of urgency for quick shopping.

Gifting Ideas: Most of the times it’s quite difficult for your shoppers to come up with good gifting ideas. To help them along, we will create a gift ideas section wherein we can feature your bestsellers. We can even display testimonials of your satisfied customers to create trust among your visitors.

Creative Promotions: We will go beyond the standard solution. Your marketing strategy will include special package offers and creative promotions that are bound to push up the order value. We will also help you implement creative cross-promotions with other brands to make sure you get high sales. We will help you set free shipping for orders with dollar amount exceeding certain threshold.

Email Campaigns: Apart from doing creative things, we shouldn’t forget email campaigns. When designed tastefully, email marketing tends to deliver the highest returns. We will study your customer demographics to come up with an effective email campaign. Consequently, you will see a significant boost in your holiday sales. We will even add value-added services specifically for your email subscribers. Although this value-added services may not bring huge amounts but it will definitely help your overall sales figures.

Are you looking for something out-of-the-box for this holiday season? Contact us. We will make it happen for you.

Comparison Shopping Engines Become Expensive

Holiday season is coming up, and eCommerce merchants are getting ready for mind-boggling sales. And it seems all comparison shopping engines are getting ready to make money out of the sales season. Most of the comparison shopping engines have released their annual holiday CPC rate increase.

Do you want to know who all have hiked rates for how long? Read on to find the answers!

Comparison Shopping Engines Become Expensive

Nextag:

Nextag has increased 25% rates across all the categories. The hike will be effective from Oct. 27, 2014, through Jan. 5, 2015.

PriceGrabber:

PriceGrabber has increased rates by 25% on all subcategories in the rate card. The hike relates to fixed CPC rates only. If you are a participating in their bidding program, your active bid amount will not be automatically adjusted. The CPC rates of competing product offers will increase. But if you don’t adjust your bids to include 25% rate increase, you will lost visibility and traffic during holidays. The hike is effective from Oct. 25, 2014, through Jan. 7, 2015.

Shopping.com:

Shopping.com, an eBay Commerce Network, has layered rate increase. 64% of the rate card will have no rate increase while 4 categories will witness an increase of 15%. The rate of 81 categories will increase by 30%. The comparison shopping engine will adjust CPC bids automatically during the holiday pricing period. The hike will remain effective from Oct. 27, 2014, through Dec. 31, 2014.

Comparison shopping engines such as Gifts.com, Pronto, Amazon Product Ads and Become have yet to announce any rate hikes. Industry observers do not expect Shopzilla to increase the fees in light of its recently introduced Fixed Rate Smart Pricing. This pricing structure has smart pricing of of $4.00 for all categories and CPC rates are based on product performance.

Are you thinking to expand your product listings on various comparison shopping sites? Contact us. We will simplify this task for you by automating the entire process. This will also remove room for human errors. Depending on your business model and business goals, the solution will be customized from start to finish.