How to Reduce Your Cart Abandonment Rate

If cart abandonment is significantly affecting your company, you must look for ways to encourage customers to complete their online transactions. This means resolving any issues with the checkout experience, whilst finding ways to encourage visitors to shop with you.

Technical Issues

Many people are forced to abandon a shopping cart due to a website’s technical problem. Slow loading times are often one of the biggest technical issues affecting a business’s turnover, which can waste your company’s time and investment.

With customers expecting a website to load within two minutes, you can guarantee they will become annoyed if they are forced to wait any longer. Not only is it annoying, but it will make your company appear unprofessional. In fact, 40% of visitors will abandon their shopping carts if they are made to wait for more than three seconds. This could result in your business losing out on a considerable amount of money.

There are numerous ways to reduce your load times, such as by minimising HTTP requests, optimising images, placing stylesheets at the top your website and placing scripts at the bottom. Your hosting provider could also be letting you down. If you want your website to offer quick load times that won’t frustrate your customers, you will need a dedicated IP address, which means finding the best web hosting for your ecommerce website to effectively deal with an influx in web traffic.

Email Marketing

According to a study by Marketing Sherpa, 50% of customers believe abandoned cart email reminders are helpful, because they prompt them to purchase a product they may have forgotten. Opt for an email marketing automation service, which will remind potential customers to complete a transaction on your website – and a percentage could soon return to shop with you.

Payment Options

A lack of payment options could be causing customers to abandon their shopping cart. Most customers expect to find multiple payment methods at the checkout area, such as credit/debit card options, mobile payment apps or third party payment gateways, such as PayPal. If a person’s preferred payment option is not available, they may choose to leave their items in the middle of the transaction.

A third-party payment option also reassures a customer that they are dealing with a reputable company, so they will more likely to trust your company and purchase a product or service.

Long Transactions

A long checkout experience will only result in one thing: abandoned carts. The more complicated the checkout, the more frustrated your customers will become. You must look for ways to simplify transactions, which can be done by eliminating the need for an account creation, or by featuring a step-by-step marker on how long a customer has until completion.

It is undeniable that tackling abandoned shopping carts can be quite a challenge, however, you must act to resolve the problems so you can reap the rewards. With a simplified checkout experience, faster loading times and various payment options, you could find customers return to shop with you in the future.

4 Things Your E-Commerce Platform Must Have

When it comes to running a successful e-commerce site, there are certain things that you might want to have but there are at least four things that are an absolute must. With the object being to make sales, these things are what you need to convert visitors to buyers. Here are the leading four things that every e-commerce platform must have.

1) Fully Integrated CMS

The most important thing your site must have is a fully integrated CMS. This is a platform that integrates front and back end so that there is a seamless process that keeps everything under one roof, so to speak. If, for example, your corporation runs a platform such as SAP, take a few moments to check out the website and you’ll see exactly what a fully integrated SAP CMS can do for both you, in terms of managing your SAP e-commerce solution, and your customers, in terms of having a real time view of their account, your product stock and overall product data. In fact, the right platform lets you handle everything from managing categories, products, catalogues, SEO and specific product attributes. Thus enabling your customers to easily navigate your site and find what they are looking for.

2) Fully Responsive Web Design

As of 2015, more people searched and bought from a mobile device than from a PC at home or work. This being the case, Google has made it mandatory to offer a responsive web design or you could slip down on the SERPs. It’s all about UX (user experience) and if users can’t view your site on the tiniest device, you don’t have what it takes to give them that great shopping experience.

3) UX Designed to Convert

When you have your website built for you, the one thing you must expect from your web development company is a site that is designed to convert. This means taking visitors through a logical progression of pages and steps that take them to the ‘close.’ Without knowing it, they will be led from an introduction of a product or service to information detailing what it is or how it can benefit them right through to the shopping cart where they will hit the ‘Buy Now’ button. This is something that will most likely take a professional web development/marketing firm, so don’t skimp here. After all, you are running an e-commerce site and the object is to make sales. This takes the expertise of experienced professionals, so pay now to earn later. It’s a simple formula for success.

4) User-Friendly Interface

From the way in which your pages are arranged to the ease at which visitors can navigate your checkout process, a user-friendly interface is an absolute necessity. Just as a SAP ERP makes your life easier from ordering to selling (and everything in between) so too is that user-friendly interface a must. The object is to convert and if a visitor can’t easily see and navigate your site, they will bounce off to the next merchant listed in the SERPs.

While there are a number of other features which a good e-commerce site should have, these are of ultimate importance if you want to be a success. Streamline everything with the right solution, and make the site user-friendly and responsive. If you can accomplish that, you will convert at higher rates than you ever thought possible and that, after all, is why you are in business. You are looking to convert visitors to customers and this is how it’s done.

Why Cashflow Is the Lifeblood of Small Business

Your cashflow shows the overall health of your business. The money that you have left each month, after you’ve received payments from clients and paid your outgoings, is your net cashflow. If you have money left over, then your cashflow is positive and your business is in good health. If, on the other hand, you have more money going out than you have coming in, then your net cashflow is negative, and your business could soon be on life support. Read on to find out how to establish good cashflow practices to protect your business.

Work Out Your Cashflow Forecast

A cashflow forecast is a tool that you can use to get a broad overview of your finances for the coming weeks, months or year.

On your forecast, you would include:

  • Anticipated income from sales.
  • Costs and overheads.
  • When payments leave your account for things like loan repayments, payroll, and taxes.

Setting out this information helps you to plan ahead and make decisions about staffing costs, raising prices, outsourcing, and getting additional finance in place.

If you do need to obtain financing, then your lender will want to see your cashflow projections, so it’s a good idea to get into the habit of producing cashflow reports so that you have one ready when you need it.

Ways to Improve Cashflow With Your Customers

Use payment apps so that you can take payments from customers right away instead of sending out invoices or waiting for checks to clear. Take a look at solutions like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Pay Anywhere, to see if they would help you to get faster payments from your customers.

Set faster terms wherever possible. Some customers won’t want to lose the benefits that come with having 60 or 90 days to pay, but others will work with you where they can.

Make sure that you have an accounting system set up that automatically sends out payment reminders for late invoices and alerts your staff to make follow-up phone calls. Often invoices are paid late due to the customer being disorganized rather than any malicious intent, and a reminder is all that you need to get paid on time.

If you need to, don’t be afraid to add a note about late charges to your invoices. When customers know that late payments will cost them more money, they are more likely to prioritize paying you.

Use accounts receivable financing to get paid for your invoices immediately. Different invoice factoring companies have differing levels of service, so shop around for one that meets your needs.

How to Manage Your Expenditure to Free up Your Finances

Look at every expense that your business has. Is each one necessary? If it is, research your options and see if you can find a lower cost alternative. For example, you could switch to a bank with more competitive fees.

If you purchase stock, can you negotiate a discount for buying in bulk, or can you get freight included in the price?

Try to arrange better terms with your suppliers. Having a 60 day buffer before payment is due gives you time to collect from your clients.

Don’t forget to claim all of your tax deductions. You can claim for business use of your vehicle, paying contractors, rent on your premises, utility payments, supplies, repairs and maintenance, insurance costs, advertising, legal and accounting fees, interest on business loans, business lunches, and more.

It’s a good idea to hire an accountant instead of wrestling with the tax forms yourself. Your accountant will know all of the deductions that your business can claim, and claiming deductions that you may well overlook, can more than cover the accountant’s fee.

Use an accounting system to keep your accounts organized so that your accountant can get your taxes prepared on time and save you from late filing fees and interest payments. You can find a wide range of low cost and free accounting systems online. Some of the most popular systems are QuickBooks, Sage Online, Wave, Zoho Books and FreshBooks.

It’s important to keep a close eye on your cashflow and take swift action when finances get tight. By working out your cashflow projections and taking steps to keep your business’s lifeblood flowing, you’ll be able to plan ahead and work out which courses of action to take and when to take them. The technology available today makes keeping control of cashflow easier than ever, so running that side of your business doesn’t need to be a constant source of friction for you.

Why Networking at Conventions Is Essential in the Finance Sector

Once you land an entry level job in the financial sector, the only thing you can think of is working your way up the ladder so that one day you will be a financial guru like your boss or your boss’ boss. You have been bitten by the promotion bug. So what do you do? The natural progression here is to take that bachelor’s degree and work towards an upper level finance degree, online or on campus, but always with the intention of rising up through the ranks to a position of authority. One of the ways in which you can begin rising, even before you have that degree in hand, is to network at conventions. Here is why this is so important.

Getting Acquainted with the Various Careers within the Sector

Every year, there are literally dozens, if not hundreds, of different types of conventions within the financial sector. Some are local, some are statewide; some are even international because the financial sector isn’t limited to national boundaries. It is becoming increasingly common to reach trade agreements on a global level and as such, it is interesting to learn first-hand what experienced professionals in the field do within their job description.

Looking for the Right School

If you are working towards your undergrad degree in finance, you may be looking for the right school to earn a graduate degree within the financial sector. This is where you also decide if you want to continue on in your same job while studying part-time evenings and weekends, or do you perhaps want to earn your finance degree online. Taking an accredited online degree program would then, most likely, be your best option.

If You Are Entertaining the Notion of Changing Employers

One of the things you can accomplish at conventions in the finance sector is to meet potential future employers. In between talks and demonstrations, there is plenty of time to mingle with other attendees. Sometimes this is during a banquet or during a cocktail hour and other times it is while browsing the various displays set up in the main convention hall. If you ‘feel’ that connection when speaking with someone who has the potential to hire you in the future, these are the ones you make note of to follow up on at a later date.

Where to Go from Here

The question you want to answer at this point in time is probably, “What can I do with a masters in finance?” This is where you’ll get ideas for your career going forward because conventions are attended by professionals from literally every end of the business. From newcomers like yourself to professionals who have made a name for themselves in the industry and are highly admired, you will get tons of ideas on what you’d like your future to hold. Why is networking at conventions essential in the finance sector? If you are looking for a career it’s a great way to learn the various jobs you could do and if you are already a budding professional, you can make contacts at these events that can lead you into the future.

If there is a financial sector convention to be held near you, get your tickets sooner rather than later. You just never know who you might meet and how they will factor into your future.

Tax Around the World – New Infographic Explains Interesting Facts and Comparisons

Taxation is one of the biggest financial talking points because it affects everybody. From business owners working on their strategies through to people on welfare, tax is a part of life, and of course pays for a lot of things we need as a society.

In the US, we have a wide range of both state and federal taxes, and while many other countries don’t have the state level of tax control and pay the same rates of things like income tax or VAT wherever they live, just about every country taxes similar things. An infographic produced for students undertaking an online master of science in analytics provides an interesting look at tax rates in different countries, and how they compare to what we have to pay.

This taxation infographic was made by the MSA program online at Villanova University, but is useful for anyone interested in the differences in tax around the world.

Is College a Worthwhile Investment for Entrepreneurs?

For entrepreneurs, the age-old question of whether or not going to college is a worthwhile investment still stands. And, there’s no set answer, either – college has helped many entrepreneurs to realize and achieve their dreams, while many successful business owners have never had a college education, nor plan to. The truth is, there are many different factors which could determine whether your choice to go to college is a wise one. We’ve listed just some of the main things for business owners or aspiring entrepreneurs to consider when deciding if college is worth it.

Type of Degree

If you’re hoping to become a successful entrepreneur, there are many different degree courses which you could choose from. Simply going to college won’t be enough to make you a better entrepreneur; you will need to choose a course that will teach you valuable knowledge and skills for entrepreneurship in your chosen industry, for example this MBA in healthcare management from George Washington University. If you are an undergraduate student, a subject such as business management, finance, economics, or marketing can help you to set off in the right direction.


One of the main reasons why many entrepreneurs choose to attend college is that it’s a great opportunity for networking and meeting people who could potentially be very valuable to your existing or future business. For example, if you take an MBA healthcare management degree, you will be able to collaborate and communicate with not only other students, but people working in healthcare management, healthcare entrepreneurs, employers, investors, medical professionals and even patients, all of whom can be hugely beneficial to your entrepreneurial plans and goals.


Many entrepreneurs like to have a back-up plan. In today’s world where nine out of every ten start-ups fail quickly and competition is fiercer than ever before, knowing that you are employable if things don’t go to plan with your company can be great peace of mind and help to keep your stress levels at bay. Taking a college degree course in a business-related subject can not only help you to become a better entrepreneur, it can also open many opportunities for alternative, lucrative business careers if your business doesn’t work out or you simply fancy a career change in the future.

Keep it Current

The world of business and entrepreneurship is constantly changing, with new techniques, strategies and methods for gaining success being introduced to the industry all the time. Because of this, entrepreneurs who have little to no knowledge of starting and running their own business can often find it difficult to keep up, running into difficulty as they get left behind. Going to college will not only be a great way to learn about current business trends and more, but you’ll also learn valuable skills for research and keeping up to date that you can use throughout your entrepreneurial career.

Do you think that entrepreneurs can benefit from attending college, or is it unnecessary? Share your opinions in the comments.

Online Learning and Fintech: The New Future

Technology is shaping different parts of our future as we speak. New technologies are being implemented faster than ever, especially now that there are more users to benefit from these new technologies. The market is anticipating the next big thing at every turn.

Online learning has been one of the most successful implementations of technology in recent years. Instead of having to relocate to somewhere near the university, students can now access the best universities in the US and UK – and even across Europe – from the comfort of their homes. Paired with the latest financial technologies, online learning is shaping the future for a lot of people.

Better Access to Education

In the old days, enrolling in universities such as Hofstra Law meant moving to the other side of the pond. This wasn’t an easy process to deal with and it was certainly far from affordable. Today, however, the same universities and the programs they have can be accessed from anywhere in the world.

If you’re thinking about taking a health policy degree, for example, you can find a suitable program on Hofstra Law’s website, qualify for it and get started with the course without a problem. Their health law programs are also available for those with or without a bachelor’s degree in law, with different master’s degrees to pursue in each case.

Breaking Boundaries

Online learning is really breaking a lot of boundaries. The available programs are notably more affordable than their offline counterparts. More importantly, there is no need to worry about living costs and other expenses associated with moving to somewhere closer to the university.

Students are not required to attend classes. In certain cases, there is only a mandatory introduction session to attend. This may still require a trip to the university, but it is certainly not as demanding as having to relocate entirely.

Online learning is also making pursuing a higher degree possible for those working a full-time job or managing businesses. The flexibility offered by online courses is one of its main virtues. Students have the ability to complete the course at their own pace, with accelerated programs allowing students to acquire a master’s degree in as little as 12 months.

Pushing the Limits Further

Financial technology is making online education even more accessible in many ways. Fintech startups such as Upstart and Lending Club are making financing an online degree a lot easier to do. These lending services are starting to look into student loans and personal loans for students more seriously, especially now that the market is growing at a steady rate.

Some universities are even starting to accept online payments and cryptocurrencies. Coinbase is working with several top universities in the US and UK to make Bitcoin payment more accessible. Stores that sell books and other course materials accept PayPal and other forms of online payment already.

These changes are indeed shaping the future, not only for those who want to pursue a higher degree, but for many industries as well. Businesses now have more qualified people to fill essential positions. Employees can continue to expand their skills and capabilities without quitting their jobs. It is a whole new future indeed.

Tips for Marketing a Healthcare Product

Healthcare is one of the most competitive business industries, therefore getting your marketing strategies right when advertising a healthcare product is important for keeping your company afloat. Healthcare products are different from many other products in that many customers will need them, but this doesn’t always mean that they are easier than other products to market. However, there are many unique features of healthcare products, which often require a slightly different marketing approach in order to ensure success. Read on to discover some innovative ideas for marketing a healthcare product to any target audience.

Get an Endorsement

Depending on the type of medical or healthcare product that you are selling, an endorsement from medical professionals can be a great way to earn the trust of your audience and improve the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. A good example of this is toothpaste brands, which are endorsed by dentists, or cold and flu medicine brands using doctors and nurses in their television advertisements. In general, people will trust and listen to what medical professionals advise them about their health, therefore pairing up with doctors, nurses, and other healthcare practitioners who will recommend your product is one of the best marketing approaches in healthcare.

Get Academic Backing

If you have come up with a new healthcare product and need to show that it is trustworthy, getting the backing of universities and research colleges is a great way to do this. Students undertaking degree courses, such as a masters of science in nursing online, will often need to undertake research as part of their studies, and new healthcare products have often been brought into the market as a result of university research. Finding students on medical or RN to MSN research programs and teaming up to conduct a study of your product can be a good way to spark interest and expose your product to industry leaders.

Content Marketing

The healthcare industry is perhaps one of the most behind when it comes to digital marketing. Healthcare companies still rely on word of mouth marketing, television and radio more than many other industries. But, in recent times, more healthcare companies have seen the value of using digital content marketing to increase awareness of their brand. Today, one of the first things that people do when they feel something is wrong with their health is a quick Google search of their symptoms. Providing interesting and informative content to readers will improve your online presence and enable you to be the go-to information source for your audience.

Social Media Marketing

Finally, using social media is a great way for healthcare brands to advertise products and improve their marketing strategies by reaching a large percentage of their audience at the same time. Not only are social media networks some of the best places to link your audience to products, deals, content and more, they can also provide the perfect platform for marketing your brand through great customer marketing and a friendly brand image.

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Healthcare Innovations We Could See Next Year

Healthcare innovations are always happening, so it can be difficult to keep up. Even medical breakthroughs are occurring every day and leading to much better treatment plans and faster diagnosis rates for patients. If you are interested in learning about a few of the healthcare innovations that you might end up seeing next year, in particular, keep reading.

Advancements in Health Communication

Health communication, or the ability of a healthcare facility to promote itself and reach a larger group of patients, will certainly change in 2017 and beyond as new technologies emerge. If you already have your health communication degree, you can head back to school to stay abreast of the latest changes and upgrades by getting your masters in health communication from a school like Boston University. The future of health communication involves using your knowledge of health and your knowledge of marketing to grow any healthcare company, so it is definitely exciting.

Telemedicine Can Connect Patients with Doctors from Remote

Telemedicine will let patients interact with their doctors, as well as their specialists, by simply utilizing their mobile devices like their smartphones and tablets. Video chats could allow for super fast communications and cost-effective ways for patients to get the medical advice that they need, when they need it. So rather than having to go to the doctor’s office and wait to be seen in person, you can connect with your physician and get answers to put your mind at ease.

A New Type of Biopsy for Cancer

Liquid biopsies can be a better way to determine if cancer is present in a patient because it does not involve any of the pain associated with traditional biopsies, and it might even end up being more affordable. This year, liquid biopsies could be taking center stage as a new way to locate tumor DNA that is in the blood, urine, and spinal fluid. These types of biopsies might even be able to help physicians better understand the ways in which tumors will change to overcome treatments, and it can also help them identify the disease in its earliest stages.

An HPV Test That Patients Can Take Themselves

With nearly 13,000 new cervical cancer cases diagnosed in a year, it is vitally important that women test themselves for HPV, which is one of the leading causes of the disease. Now there is an HPV test that patients can take themselves. It is designed for women over 30 years of age, and it will detect the presence of the virus within cells in the cervix by using a vaginal swab. Women can take the test at home, use the appropriate packaging to send their sample to the lab, and receive the results via email, text, or postal mail.

As more and more innovations are released in the coming year and beyond, it will be very exciting to see where the healthcare industry goes. It will also be great to see how much more effective the industry will be when it comes to how it can deliver the best care to patients all over the globe.

Will Mobile Payment Systems Replace Banks?

Mobile payments are poised to become the new standard over the next few years. Use of mobile payment platforms such as Android Pay, Samsung Pay and Apple Pay will triple this year, predicts eMarketer. The average amount spent per user will rise from $376 to $721.47 a year, and total spending will rise from $8.71 billion to $27.05 billion annually. By 2019, this will rise to $3,017.02 per user for a total of $210.45 billion annually. This will not only have a dramatic impact on the retail industry, but it will also mean repercussions for the financial system. Here’s a look at how mobile payment systems will affect the role of brick-and-mortar banks in the near future.

The Rise of Mobile Banking and Mobile Payments

Consumers are increasingly using mobile devices to perform tasks that formerly required traveling to a bank. A 2015 Federal Reserve survey found that 43 percent of cell phone owners had used their phone for mobile banking over the past 12 months, an increase from 39 percent in 2014 and 33 percent in 2013; among smartphone owners, this rose to 53 percent.

Mobile banking currently remains more popular than mobile payments among cell phone owners. Only 24 percent of mobile phone owners used their phone for mobile payments in 2015, a number that rose to 28 percent among smartphone owners. Newer smartphones such as the iPhone 7 Plus make mobile payments easy by providing built-in compatibility with payment platforms such as Apple Pay, which lets users make payments at contactless points of sale and in iOS apps while using dynamic security codes and Touch ID fingerprinting to prevent identity theft.

What Consumers Use Mobile Banking and Payments For

A survey conducted by the Federal Reserve found that 94 percent of mobile banking users have used their phones to check account balances or recent transactions over the past 12 months. 62 percent have used their phone to check their account balance; 58 percent of mobile banking users have used their devices to transfer funds between accounts; and 56 percent have used them to receive alerts from banks such as texts, push notifications or emails.

When it comes to mobile payments, the most common type of mobile payment activity among smartphone users is using a mobile phone app or browser to pay a bill, carried out by 65 percent of those surveyed over the past year; 42 percent have used a mobile phone to make a remote online purchase of digital content or a physical item; 33 percent have used their mobile phone to buy something in a store.

The Changing Role of Brick-and-mortar Banks

Currently, mobile banking and payment patterns indicate that mobile financial management is supplementing the role of physical banks rather than replacing them. Most consumers who own bank accounts use a mix of physical and mobile methods to interact with their bank. Among all consumers who own bank accounts, the number that have visited a bank teller, used an ATM or done online banking is higher than those doing mobile banking. Among smartphone owners who do mobile banking, the number who say their mobile device is one of the three most important ways they interact with their bank has risen to 54 percent, slightly higher than the 51 percent who cited bank tellers but below the 65 percent who cited online banking and the 62 percent who cited ATMs.

When consumers were asked why they use mobile banking, the most popular reason was convenience, followed by recently getting a smartphone or their bank recently offering mobile services. Among those who have mobile phones and bank accounts but don’t do mobile banking, approximately three quarters say their needs are being met without mobile banking, that they don’t see a need for mobile banking or that they have security concerns. Security remains a major concern deterring mobile banking adoption, with a MyBankTracker survey finding that only 6 percent of consumers trust mobile banking for financial transactions.

Indian financial provider Janalakshmi Financial Services, which services “unbanked” poor customers lacking bank accounts, indicates how mobile banking may change the way physical banking is done. Rather than using branches and ATMs, JFS sends field employees with handheld devices to customers, providing prepaid cards that can be refilled rather than checking accounts or debit cards. Banks may move in this direction, with fewer on-site staff and more mobile services, while still providing on-location services for other financial services.

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