22 Mar

How to Improve the Shopping Experience of Your Online Customers

With online shopping growing rapidly in popularity, providing a great customer experience is no longer restricted to the high street. When it comes to shopping, most people would agree that they wouldn’t return to a store if the aisles were untidy and disorganised, they couldn’t purchase their goods securely, and the goods were priced ridiculously. The same is true for the online world – when it comes to running an e-commerce store, providing your customers with an awesome experience when they shop will keep them coming back for more and earn you some serious reputation points. We’ve listed some of the most effective methods of improving the customer experience at your e-commerce store.

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Upgrade Your Platform

If you are using a cheap, low-quality e-commerce platform, this could be contributing to a poor overall customer experience when shopping. Investing in an e-commerce platform upgrade, for example using this recommended Magento agency, will ensure that your customers are receiving a top service and create a great impression of your online store. Along with choosing a high-quality e-commerce platform that offers a great UI and a series of customer service features, outsourcing your e-commerce tasks to a reliable, experienced agency can help you to get the best results.

Ensure Secure Payments

When it comes to shopping online, many customers are still worried about their secure financial details being stolen. This is very understandable – even in the digital age of today, identity theft happens online more often than many of us realise. So, a secure payment system that allows customers to enter their payment card details with confidence and peace of mind is one of the most important components of a great online shopping experience. Along with this, it can help to give customers the option to pay with a range of other more secure methods, such as PayPal payments, which can easily be accepted on all good e-commerce platforms.

Easy to Use Navigation

Feeling like you’re navigating a maze would surely put anybody off purchasing in a high street store, and the same goes for shopping online. If it takes customers a long time to be able to find the items that they are looking to purchase, this can easily damage their opinion of your store and perhaps even leave them looking for an alternative. Investing in a professional web design that’s easy to navigate and includes a handy search tool so customers can find exactly what they’re looking for is critical to ensure a great shopping experience.

Develop an App

Lastly, developing a mobile app which customers can use to purchase products from your e-commerce store is a very worthwhile investment to consider making. With more and more web users swapping desktop and laptop PCs for smartphones and tablets, developing an app makes sense since they are easy to use with these kinds of devices. Being able to return to their basket easily in an app provides a much more convenient online shopping experience for customers. Additionally, you can utilise the power of push notifications for marketing.

Share your top tips for e-commerce success in the comments below!

08 Mar

Should You Move To Actively Managed Assets?

It’s very likely that the Federal Reserve will start with raising interest rates. This will cause the interest rates to rise very quickly, although I can’t say when will this happen.

It’s quite possible that the Fed will take action in the first half of 2015. But in case stock markets become unstable or if the economy doesn’t show signs of improvement, the Fed might not act at all.

The Fed keeps printing money because it expects this will speed up the economy and reduce the unemployment rate.

If you remember, the Fed bought treasury notes and mortgage-backed securities in November 2008. Bank debt was $2.1 trillion by the end of June 2010. $30 billion was printed, each and every month.

2011 was the year when the Fed started buying Treasury securities in amount of $600 billion. September 2012 saw the Fed printing $40 billion per month. This was increase just 3 months later – to $85 billion per month. The Fed’s balance sheet increase to $4.5 trillion.

All this money printing should generate inflation, but that didn’t happen. Since there’s so much money being printed, each and every month, we are bound to experience the inflation. Currently, it’s the 0% cap on federal funds rate that keeps the inflation at bay. But when this cap disappears and when interest rates start to rise, increase in inflation will occur.

As inflation rises, interest rates and capitalization rates will rise. Real assets will decrease in valuations, which will have a negative impact on real estate assets with single tenant leases. These assets will be sold at a higher rate and they will lose value. Therefore, the investors will take a hit as well.

This is why investors should shift their investments to actively managed assets that have inflation protected leases. Also, they should look for real estate assets that can be redeveloped, remarketed and repositioned.

At least 77% of the nontraded REITs have triple net leases with no rent increases. In case REITs have to dispose of these assets within a certain timeframe, they will take a hit.