Monday, 25 April 2016

Here's What You Need to Know About The Future Of Mobile Apps

Ever since the growth of mobile phone industry, mobile applications have become a vital tool for organizational success. A statistical study shows that “In 2015, global mobile app turnover amounted to $41.1 billion and by 2020, consumers are expected to spend more than $101 billion on mobile apps. This growth represents that mobile applications will undergo a lot more changes in the years to come.

Today consumers can access any kind of information through the web and perform various day-to-day activities like online shopping, paying bills, tracking expenses and incomes, prepare daily schedules, etc. Moreover, mobile application development services have already covered all major industries and spheres to expand potential opportunities and extend their services while establishing one-on-one consumer relationships.

With all the given opportunities and functionalities mobile apps are already providing, what more can be expected of in future? Let us take a look at the following changes mobile technology is expected to bring about in coming years.

Future Changes in Mobile Apps

Personalization of Apps: With the evolution of geo-targeted notifications, it is predicted that many marketers will soon entail it into their app marketing strategies. A study by Localytics shows that in comparison of generic push blasts, targeted push messages will double the open rates and triple the conversion rates of a mobile app. In addition, the app marketers will be able to access sophisticated tools for collecting & analyzing in-app data quickly to know their customers’ preferences and utilize the power of tailor messages to increase app usage and conversion rates.

Remarketing To Grow Retention: Last year, majority app installs were based on advertisements coming from Facebook, Twitter, and Google. This means that the app marketers will gain more confidence in these advertising platforms and optimize their budget to gain more quality leads. As some of the advertising platforms play a major role in remarketing, marketers will optimize the ad spend to re-target the inactive customers by exploring video-based ads. So, remarketing campaigns on mobile will gain more traction and marketers will be able to retain users leveraging the power of deep linking.

Growth of mCommerce: With the global penetration of smartphones and enhancements in mobile, security, payment and usability, mCommerce is expected to blow up. Marketers who have already embraced mobile are helping customers to research and compare products better by showrooming and creating mobile-ready barcode scanners. But the biggest change will be seen in the mobile payment industry. Some bigger brands like Starbucks, offer their own mobile wallet allowing the customers to add money and scan at the register. Basically, the idea is to link gift or membership cards along with the loyalty programs within the app. A majority of other brands are also expected to adopt the mobile wallet strategy and grow the customer base.

Today’s attention-challenged customers want everything personalized. And as more and more changes evolve in mobile technology, the growth of mobile application is sure to continue. So, whether it is a marketer or a consumer, both have the opportunities to harness the mobile app landscape and make the best out of it.

What do you think is the future of mobile apps? Share your opinions with us in your comments.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Best Practices To Deploy Drupal Web Development

Drupal is a recognized open-source content management system (CMS) majorly used for developing large, high-traffic websites. It is one such platform that focuses on performance improvements, making it easier for developers to build robust and feature-rich websites. It is written in PHP and utilizes MySQL database. It offers an advanced programming interface to developers, without having them to learn basic website and installation programming skills.

Drupal can be utilized to build everything from personal blogs to business applications. Even though it is a streamlined platform for web development, it demands enough time and efforts especially if you’ve just got your hands on with it. There are certain best practices that can aid you in faster application development using Drupal development solutions, as well as improving the performance to tackle multiple websites. Let’s take a look at the best practices of Drupal you must keep in mind while deploying a large site.

4 Best Practices of Drupal Website Development

Understand Basic Requirements: It is necessary to check the requirement specifications thoroughly before jumping on to website development. Don’t assume the functionalities on your own. List out all your doubts and communicate it with your manager or client to have a clear idea. You should understand what you are going to create – the kind of content, layout of the site, the number of fields required, etc.

Use Version Control: The version control under the files you’re working on tracks the changes automatically. You can modify a file, delete a directory, add a new file, and move the files or just do anything. But it might change the state of the file. The version control waits until you submit the changes altogether rather than recording each change individually. This collection of actions in version control is called ‘commit’. Version control also offers additional benefits to manage your code such as multiple people can work together on the functionality and contribute. These changes are performed in an orderly manner. You can roll back to the older version when something is not working as desired. And it always has the history of whatever you do.

Use Identical Development Environment: Everyone has their own choice of operating system and tools they want to use. While you’re developing the website you have to ensure that it works on production, which is a specific version of Linux running specific version of Apache, PHP, and MySQL. While it is possible that the developer uses MAC to develop the site and the tester uses Windows. Fixing such platform specific problems is often painful. Also, you should avoid enforcing similar platform. In such scenarios, using Vagrant proves beneficial. It is a tool to manage virtual machines (VM). It allows developers to work on their preferred machines enabling the same environment for development similar to that of others in the team.

Use Different Database Server: Running large Drupal sites demands a lot of resources on the server. In addition, Drupal stores all the configuration and the content in the database and runs a MySQL server on the same machine. This can be overkilling. So, it is recommended to use a different server for databases keeping the latency issues in mind.

These best practices of Drupal development will certainly help you to plan your next Drupal project effectively.

What are the other Drupal best practices you are following for your web development? Leave your comments below.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Top 5 Benefits Of Opening An Online Automotive Store

Today's consumers want to research and buy everything online. With the development of eCommerce, a number of consumers have moved online to source their vehicles and car accessories. But the benefits of eCommerce stores aren’t only reserved for the consumers. The automotive industry has gone on to tie up with popular online sales portals and explore all the available sales opportunities. And there’s no surprise to the fact that with the rise in online shopping, a number of buyers will purchase the vehicle and car parts through the web.

A statistical study on automobile eCommerce sales shows that “In 2014, retail e-commerce sales amounted to 298.26 billion US dollars and are projected to grow to 481.94 billion US dollars in 2018.” As the automobile sales are poised to grow, the car dealers should immediately consult eCommerce website development companies or tie up with reliable online portals to sell automotive vehicles and accessories online. This presents the right opportunity for car retailers to capture significant market share of online sales in the coming years. Let’s consider the important benefits of shifting the automotive store online.

Benefits of Moving Automotive Products to Online Stores

Increased Market Sales: The industry analysts at Frost & Sullivan forecasted that the online auto parts sales will be doubled during 2016 to 2020. This bags a good chance for automotive dealers to acquire more customers by selling their products online.

Generates Additional Revenue: Selling auto parts online is a convenient and cost-effective way to generate more revenue. Tying up with a right provider can become an additional channel of income. Also, it will help you meet your profitability goals.

Consumers Change Cars Frequently: Consumer habits and behavior change with the emerging trends and digital lifestyle. It is a business’ responsibility to adapt to their changing demands as quickly as possible. In the US, the average age of a vehicle is 11 years. This indicates the rise in demand for car parts, as older vehicles need more maintenance and part replacements.

Competitors Have Online Stores: More and more dealers are realizing the advantages of selling their stuff online. Many other dealers are closing their deals online by sharing the availability of their products and offering online booking services. This way they are capturing more customers which could be yours.

Simplifies Order Processing and Shipping: As the entire transaction takes place online, the automotive eCommerce solutions integrate with shipping providers so the order information is transferred to the shipping label automatically. You can print the same from the eCommerce back office. Also, the information is tracked and saved along with the order to send out email notifications to customers about estimated delivery of the product.

It is surprising that how these benefits of an online automotive store bring opportunities for not only dealers but consumers as well. So, this is the most appropriate time for automotive retailers to start selling their products online and experience growth.

Are you a car retailer? Do you sell your automotive products online? If yes, share your details in the comment box below.

Friday, 8 April 2016

5 Reasons Why OpenCart Is A Feasible Choice For Your eCommerce Site

Are you planning to develop an eCommerce store for your business? Are you researching online to find the right eCommerce platform? If yes, then we have an answer - OpenCart.

While the eCommerce market is already booming with various open-source eCommerce solutions, determining the right platform for your business becomes arduous. All the platforms offer a wide range of extensive features and functionalities. But selecting a platform that fits well with your business requirements will leave you in awe. In such puzzling situations, OpenCart turns out to be the best solution. But the question is - Why OpenCart? Here’s our answer.

OpenCart is a widely used open-source eCommerce solution. It is written in PHP and is based on MVC platform. It contains numerous inbuilt features and lets you get started with your online shop easily after installation. Here we have rounded up a list of some important reasons of leveraging OpenCart eCommerce development for your online store.

Resourceful Features: OpenCart offers out of the box support for manufacturers, categories and sub-categories, individual products, product reviews, payment and shipping configurations, multiple languages, and currencies. The best part about these features is, unlike other open-source eCommerce carts these features can be directly worked upon.

Easy To Use: Setting up OpenCart is extremely easy. Whether you’re a skilled developer or a clueless entrepreneur, with a few products, categories, payment and shipping configurations you can easily get a simple online store up and running within hours. You can perform a major part of the set up in OpenCart’s classic backend. The highly intuitive admin panel also allows you to integrate multiple payment options.

Multiple Templates, Extensions, and Modules: A wide array of free and commercial templates and extensions are available on the OpenCart website for your cart system. The templates can be easily modified into a unique design to make your store look splendid. The free extensions are GLP compliant and can be easily customized as per the requirements. Also, there are 200 modules with wide-ranging functionalities to enable simple calculations, a tag cloud for live chat, run OpenCart blog and more.

Off-the-shelf SEO: OpenCart offers excellent SEO support. The user can define the meta description, meta tags, and keywords for all the products and categories. OpenCart also includes Search Engine Friendly URLs that contributes to SEO. Moreover, services like Google Analytics are easy to integrate. You can expand such services just for $15 which also offers Google Analytics eCommerce integration.

Online Community Support: Above all, whenever or wherever you feel stuck with OpenCart development, the OpenCart Community is always there to assist you. They provide prompt responses to your problems and queries. There are multiple full-time active communities and forums out there, and you can either participate and contribute as a developer or look for complete solutions for your problems.

From the perspective of both technicalities and user experience, OpenCart provides the best of all in the eCommerce industry and that too free. So, what more do you want? Set up your own cool online store today.

Which eCommerce cart are you using for your online business? Share with us in your comments below.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Xamarin 4 Features - Everything You Need For Native Mobile App Development

Xamarin 4, a resourceful release by Xamarin, is a complete mobile app development platform to build great apps from start to end. It is a package full of major enhancements to the Xamarin Platform and Xamarin Test Cloud along with the release of its real-time app monitoring service – Xamarin Insights.

Xamarin business features provide an integrated, complete solution to build, test, monitor and accelerate mobile app development at scale. It allows developers to deliver fully native Android and iOS apps by reusing code up to 95% across various mobile operating systems. With Xamarin C#, developers can do everything they did in Java, Objective-C or Swift. Let us take a closer look at the major features of Xamarin 4 highlighted below:

Xamarin Insights:

Xamarin Insights is now generally available. It provides automatic crash reporting and seamlessly tackles all mobile crashes – managed or unmanaged. It also allows you to report errors and warnings to Xamarin Insights and track them via the dashboard. You can rank the issues by impact, spot patterns in app or device usage and diagnose the corresponding ones. It is a vital tool for businesses to determine challenges and track usage metrics proactively which are crucial to measuring the ROI and ensuring high user satisfaction along with app store ratings.

Xamarin.Forms 2.0:

Xamarin.Forms has evolved into a fantastic tool for developing real production apps without compromising the user interface design. It brings a truly native experience with cross-platform advantages to the development world. The latest features of Xamarin.Forms 2.0 include: over 40 controls and layouts, support for pre-compiled screens outlined in XAML, support for iOS 9, preview support for Universal Windows Platform applications, Android Material Design and new gestures like punch and pull-to-refresh.

Xamarin Test Cloud:

Xamarin Test Cloud is an excellent tool to automate the testing process and Xamarin has upgraded the ante by launching Xamarin Test Recorder and Xamarin.UITest 1.0. Both of these tools make the writing and running tests processes smoother.
  1. Test Recorder utilizes a simulator or USB-connected iOS or Android gadget to record interactions— swipes, text input, page navigation and taps. It automatically creates test scripts which can quickly run on over 2,000 devices in Xamarin Test Cloud, or imported into mobile test projects within Visual Studio and Xamarin Studio.
  2. Xamarin.UITest 1.0 is a C# test automation framework. It offers support for advanced testing scenarios such as local testing and captures video of tests execution. Earlier it was restricted to Xamarin Test Cloud users, but now the company has made Xamarin.UITest free for everyone, with no restriction on test time.
Xamarin offers various subscription tiers for businesses with ramping applications which includes Xamarin Insights and Xamarin Test Cloud to match your requirements. It also offers a new paid plan called “Xamarin Ultimate” that gives you full access to all the features of Xamarin Platform, Insights, Test Cloud and University for your entire development team at a reasonable price. So, dive into the immaculate world of Xamarin 4 and take your native mobile app development to another level.

Are you using Xamarin 4 for your cross-platform app development projects? Let us know which other features of Xamarin 4 are more conducive.