DevelopmentInsightsProducts

Cloud Kitchens – Everything You Need to Know

In a world where real estate prices are sky-high, a lot of restaurants are looking for ways they can avoid these exorbitantly high rental costs. Today, there’s a new business model that has been doing the rounds – the cloud kitchen business model.

A Cloud Kitchen, also known as a Virtual Kitchen, is essentially just a kitchen for a restaurant. It doesn’t offer any dine-in or seating areas to its customers. It is the central place for the preparation of food and beverages, which are delivered to a customer’s doorstep by designated delivery personnel. Customers can order food either using third-party apps such as Swiggy and Zomato or through the restaurant’s own food delivery app and website too. Sometimes, there might be a take-away option as well. So, customers have the choice of coming in and picking up an order.

With the rapid growth the food delivery market has witnessed in the last decade or so, Cloud Kitchens have become more and more popular. Saving a ton of money that would otherwise have gone on rent or maintenance charges as well as having easy operations, lesser workload…the perks are quite appealing. 

Today, it is not only new restaurants entering the food industry who opt for this business model. A lot of restaurants who have a loyal customer base and a sound reputation have been interested to give this a shot too. The popularity of this fresh concept goes hand in hand with the growth of food delivery platforms as well as the increasing customer preference of ordering food instead of dining out. However, restaurants do end up paying a large amount of commission to these third-party apps. 

In this article, we’re going to cover the following:

  • How to open up a Cloud Kitchen
  • Costs involved in opening up a Cloud Kitchen
  • How you can profit from opening up a Cloud Kitchen
  • Cloud Kitchens in the News

How to Open up a Cloud Kitchen

To get started with a Cloud Kitchen, you have to first pick a location. This doesn’t matter as much as it would for a conventional restaurant. You don’t have to worry too much about the kind of locality you are in. What you do need to make sure of is that you’re based at a distance of about 5-6 km from your target audience. This could be a student dominated area or maybe even one where there are several offices.

Next, get started on acquiring the kitchen equipment you will need. Woks, ovens, pans, ladles…you name it. All your utensils, electrical appliances, gas cylinders are included in your kitchen equipment. On the basis of the cuisine that you want to offer, start searching for qualified staff who have relevant experience. Explain to them what exactly you have in mind for your restaurant and what expectations you hold from your employees. Train them to be able to use the POS System at hand properly and manage all orders.

Depending on which state and country you are carrying out operations in, it is necessary to run your business in accordance with the law of the land. Apply for every license and permit you will need for your Cloud Kitchen. Make sure that you have acquired all these licenses before you start operations on a daily basis. After this, you have to keep in mind to renew licenses annually as well.

Decide how you want to reach your customers. Do you want to opt for food delivery platforms like Swiggy and Zomato? Do you want to launch your own website and application? If it is the former, you will have to get in touch with the apps to partner with them and show legal verifications as well. If you want to create your own website and app, get in touch with professionals who can help you with this task.

Build a sound marketing strategy. Check out your competition. If you want to market exclusively to youngsters out there, get started on actively promoting your business on social media platforms. Try to build a solid image for your brand and connect with your customers through every platform possible- email, SMS, Instagram, Facebook and so on.

If you are carrying out operations through your own app and website, you need to set up a customer service department that responds quickly to customers. Hire people for this job and have them keep tabs on the whereabouts of every single order that you receive. 

Costs Involved in Opening up a Cloud Kitchen

The costs that you have to account for while running a Cloud kitchen are a little different from the costs that come with running a traditional restaurant. To begin with, your rental costs will be significantly lower. You don’t have to go out of your way to get your hands on a location in a very classy neighborhood. Given that you only have a kitchen to run, your rent should come to about Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 40,000 every month.

You also need to account for the staff. This includes all the personnel in the kitchen- a head chef, a sous chef, commies…all in all, their salaries should range between Rs. 40,000 to Rs. 70,000.

Depending on the type of cuisine you’re offering to customers, you need to have all the necessary equipment. This includes everything that you might need for operations every single day- an oven, a microwave, stovetops, refrigerators, utensils and so on. The kitchen equipment will cost you about Rs. 5 Lakhs. This might even go up to Rs. 10 Lakhs, depending on the scale of operations.

A Cloud Kitchen isn’t like a conventional restaurant. However, you still need to acquire several licenses before you get started with your business. You will have to look into getting an FSSAI License, a Tax Registration License, and a Shop and Establishment License. Applying for these licenses should cost you somewhere around Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 18,000. As a restaurant, your business is bound by the law to ensure that its daily operations do not cause any major harm to the environment. Hence, you will have to acquire a Certificate of Environmental Clearance.

To ensure that operations take place seamlessly and there are no errors, you have to invest in a good POS system. This could help you manage your workload efficiently. It could also be of use if you want to evaluate your business from time to time through detailed reports. For this, you need to pay about Rs. 4000 to Rs. 5000 every month.

You also need to work actively in creating a solid online presence for your brand. This includes everything from sponsored advertisements on social media platforms to partnering with popular influencers and food bloggers. This can range from Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 40,000 every month, depending on how frequently you choose to partner with other people in the food business.

Summing Up

We hope this helped give you a fair idea of how to go about setting up your cloud kitchen. Do let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. More power to you!

DevelopmentInsightsMartechSaaS

3 Awesome WordPress Instagram Plugins

Creating brand awareness is one of the biggest challenges a business owner will face. Utilizing the power of technology is essential for any modern business trying to edge out the competition. Having a website and a social media presence is vital.

While most business owners use Facebook and LinkedIn, many fail to realize the untapped potential of Instagram. On average, Instagram has around 1 billion monthly users. Finding a way to tap into a fraction of this audience can help your business grow leaps and bounds. Part of any great SEO strategy is using social media to attract consumers from all walks of life.

Most companies use WordPress for their website. Some of the best web designs for your project can be found on the market, but more and more people ought to be authentic. Creative solutions should be consulted with relevant WordPress designer. Companies like UPQODE can be a great place to look for imaginative custom web presentations.

Once you have a site – you want to provide consumers with more information about your Instagram account, using plugins for your WordPress website is a good idea. These plugins allow you to optimize the content on your website and make it more engaging with the help of Instagram.

Read below to find out more about the best 3 Instagram plugins on the market.

Make Your Social Media Market Easier With the Feed Them Social Plugin

Are you looking for an all-in-one plugin to help you manage all of your accounts of major social media websites? If so, the Feed Them Social plugin is a great option. With a minimal amount of setup, you can instantly share your company’s Instagram feed with website visitors. You can also showcase the feeds of industry leaders, influencers and even celebrities if you want.

This plugin provides you with the ability to put these Instagram feeds in pages, posts and even sidebars. You can also change the color scheme used for these feeds. The Feed Me Social plugin provides you with the tools needed to put share and follow buttons on these feeds. Another great advantage of using this plugin is that it is responsive, which your mobile users will love.

Feed Me Social has over 80,000 active users. By all accounts and reviews online, this plugin works flawlessly and does not slow down the websites it is installed on. 

Increase Website Appeal With the Instagram Feed Gallery Plugin

One of the biggest website deal breakers for most consumers is pages of nothing but content. People want to entertain and captivated by the images on your website. If you want to offer an ever changing array of images and content, then you can’t pass up the chance to use the Instagram Feed Gallery plugin.

Showing visitors to your website the various images on your Instagram feed can also provide them with more insight into what you do. Luckily, this plugin allows you to display these images in a carousel or gallery. If you want to create a gallery of images based on a particular subject, this plugin allows you to do so by searching for a hashtag.

The Instagram Feed Gallery Plugin boasts over 50,000+ installations. With this plugin, you can take advantage of a simple and comprehensive one-click setup. The various reviews for this plugin are positive with most users noting that the plugin does exactly what it promises. No problems with website speed issues have been reported by former and current users of this plugin.

Create a Unique Look With the AccessPress Instagram Feed Plugin

For most business owners, creating a unique website is a must. The last thing you want is for your website and the content on it to look like a competitor’s. This is why you need to devote some time to figuring out how to achieve the unique look you are after.

The AccessPress Instagram Feed plugin provides three distinct layouts for your Instagram feed. Whether you want to display your feed in a mosaic style or in slider-form, this website can provide you with the tools needed to get it done. There are a number of features in the premium version of this website that may be helpful. The premium plugin offers more templates, various lightboxes, and even new hover animations to make your Instagram feed display more appealing. The money invested in this premium plugin upgrade will be worth it considering how unique it can make this part of your website look.

This plugin only has around 10,000 users. One of the biggest complaints about this plugin is that it does not work right out of the box. Extensive setup and optimization are required to get this program to function properly. 

Whichever plugin to choose, make sure you are aware of all the alternatives it provides. Also, the outcome received from a certain plugin should be useful for both – long-term and short-term strategy for your product or project.

DevelopmentInsightsMartechSaaSSEO

10 Ways E-commerce Sites Can Protect Their Shipments

You take pride in running your online store and look forward to finding new ways to make it more successful. Your hard work makes it easy for customers to navigate your website and place orders, but sometimes shipping can cause a few problems.

While you wear multiple hats to run your business, you’re not in charge of every step in the shipping process. It might make you feel powerless after your products have left your hands, but there are a few things you can try to prevent issues in the future.

Check out these 10 ways e-commerce sites can protect their shipments so every order arrives on time and in one piece.

1. Print Your Shipping Labels

It’s tempting to let your chosen shipping company print the labels for your orders, but it’s smarter to do it yourself. That way, you can double-check the information and ensure there are no mistakes.

2. Reuse Inventory Packaging

After you get new inventory supplies, save the packaging. You could use the boxes and padding to secure future orders without costing you an extra dime.

3. Pick Your Pallets

Pick the pallets for your international freight shipping to guarantee they won’t break like cheaper options. Some business owners hope companies protect their shipments for them, but sending them with chosen pallets protects your products and gives you peace of mind.

4. Recognize Fraud Transactions

Keep an eye on any transactions on your website. Extreme or repeat orders could signal fraud and create unnecessary risks. Never follow through with purchases that might be fraudulent.

5. Use a Shipping Platform

Shipping platforms streamline your orders and expenses, so look into popular software to find one that works for your business.

6. Insure International Shipments

It’s smart to get insurance to protect international orders and shipments in case they’re accidentally damaged or lost. 

7. Call the Shipping Company

If there are issues with an order, you can always call the shipping company to find out what happened and check on your shipments. It’s their responsibility to handle your items with care, but that doesn’t mean they’ll call you if problems arise.

8. Invest in Insurance

Protect your business when you invest in seller suspension insurance, which will keep your doors open if your customers are upset with shipping issues. This is especially important for companies that rely on mega brands, like Amazon, to be the middleman between you and your customers. 

9. Seal Shipments Yourself

Take matters into your own hands and seal shipments yourself. A little extra tape could be all you need to keep everything secure after you send off your orders.

10. Get Delivery Confirmation

Some customers may have issues getting things by their estimated delivery date. Get confirmation from your shipping suppliers so you can guarantee their order arrived on time. 

Go the Extra Mile

Any extra steps you can take to protect your shipments will help your business in the long run. Do everything in your power to make your products safer on their journey to your customers.

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How Can The New RMA Extension Help Improve Customer Service?

Introduction

Customer service is one of the most important pillars for a successful business. Owners try their best to cater to all the customer queries in the best way possible. They try to make sure that customers value their products and look forward to purchasing more from them. The problem with organizations is that they believe that delivering the item to the client is when their job is done. However, that is probably when the customer care service actually comes into play.

What to do after product delivery?

The client likes your product. They give their orders. You deliver the order at their place. Seems like a good decent job, right? Well, not really. Once the product is delivered at the clients’, there are a bunch of different problems that may arise. The customers might have some queries regarding the product they just received. It could be related to the size, color, design of the product. This is when the customer service department needs to be on their toes to help the clients get their desired return.

Returns management

The customer care of any business is tested when the clients ask for refunds. An exchange might well do the trick, but returns is when the management is heartbroken. It is very important that the management handles the situation professionally and ensures that the customers are provided with the ideal product. They should ask the customers about the possible queries that they are facing and then provide them with the optimal solution. But, at times, it can become difficult to deal with this. It becomes entirely time consuming and cost ineffective.

RMA for Magento 2

While facing such hard time, the management should look forward to using the new Magento 2 refund tool. The new Magento 2 RMA helps the management to deal with all the tricky processes involving returns and refund management. It helps the business in creating their customized refund policy for various products that can assist their clients too. This in turn increases the overall customer turnover as customers feel that they are given importance and their queries are addressed seriously.

There is an automated system that manages all the requests made by the customers through an add-on. Moreover, the refund policy can also be customized to ensure that it provides all the details as to which products are allowed to be refunded and which are not. The extension tools also helps the business to communicate with the customers via a live chat. This helps in getting instant customer feedback and addressing their issues simultaneously.

Benefits of the RMA for Magento 2

The RMA tool helps the business to stay one step ahead of their competitors. The excellent customer care service attracts the customers to their business and will make sure they stay loyal to them. Furthermore, it makes sure that management can focus on other areas of strategic importance. The function of automated replies can help in ensuring the customers that their request is taken care of. The best part about this function is that it is extremely user friendly and the tools are very helpful in maintaining good business reputation. 

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Why is Custom Software Solution Thriving in Toronto?

When it comes to technology, North America can be the perfect choice for booming companies. This is primarily because of the investments taking place in the region to promote technological integration. The United States is undoubtedly in charge. With a gargantuan budget, the country has made a name for itself as the choicest preference for many industries. But many tend to overlook Canada. Only those with the know-how to find the best are well-aware of the emerging tech scenes of the country. It has a huge space for custom software solutions to work on and custom software development is taking full advantage of it. 

In Canada, Toronto is the financial capital. In recent times, the region is witnessing an influx of various tech giants who are developing infrastructures in the region. For instance, Google invested USD 5 million in 2017 to help startups in developing AI. A lot of startups are finding these opportunities beneficial and their concentration in the city is growing. 

Custom software solution- tech-talk 

A custom software solution is something that understands the specific needs of a particular company and provides solutions accordingly. The software architecture, in this regard, has been designed to suit the specific purpose. This is way better than off-the-shelf solutions. Off-the-shelf solutions are cheap, but they can only provide some specific assistance and each company has a different combination of structure and demography. That is why the relationship between companies and off-the-shelf solutions lacks chemistry.

In custom software solutions, the structure of the software has been coded as per the needs of the client with the guidance of experts with in-depth knowledge of the field. These experts are, in a way, seers. They can see the technical lags the company may face in the future and design the systemaccordingly. What they add to the solution as a bonus is agility. The software can mold itself as per the requirement. In fact, it can be modified by an internal IT team. 

It has several advantages as well like: 

· better return of investment
· improved scalability
· the ability to provide the seamless performance and solve previously unsolved puzzles
· interactive features
· provision to develop better end products
· impress customers
· finding a better way to integrate data and sync it with the system
· build a brand value

What makes it better?

The interplay of technologies is creating scope for individual tools to perform better. For instance, custom software development integrates several technologies to provide a smooth experience.

· Open source can be defined as a technology that provides a platform to both public and development communities who can enhance the user experience of custom software solutions

· Cloud-based solutions are providing a cheaper platform that helps in design, coding, testing, integration, and others. Also, it provides opportunities to work on programs from a remote location

· Artificial intelligence (AI) is probably the most valued support system. It can mimic human behavior using which predictive models can be developed and tests can be performed to make the custom software even better

· Blockchain can be definitive in its ability to provide security. Its act as a digital ledger is reliable and transparent. Its ability to decentralize the core can also be used effectively using custom software solutions

· Analytics can be used to translate the vast amount of data sourced from various corners and then create responses accordingly to deliver solutions on time

How can Toronto help?

The custom software solution can thrive anywhere but to make it thrive better space is needed where all would come under one roof. 

Imagine a place where all the leading tech firms are creating a base. Be it AI masterminds or startups, or other companies with Agile technologies, DevOps, and more. In one go custom software solutions would get everything. Toronto has emerged as that one-stop solution. In fact, it has now become the home of several giants like Ecobee, Top Hat, Apple, Ubisoft, Cisco, Oracle, and others. 

The city has added advantages of immigration gains and better government support, which matter for a lot of new companies. Immigrants are making the workforce better and, in some ways, cheaper. This is helping many companies in increasing their profit margins. These immigrants are also bringing in a lot of expertise. A jump in international applicants from 2016 to 2017 would vouch for it. 

This would work well for custom software solutions in two ways. The demographic dynamics would help custom software solution startups in building their infrastructure. Their rise would inspire innovation and back new ventures who are looking for solutions for their workforce. 

What’s more? Toronto is getting lauded as the eighth-best city for tech companies by Dailyhive. Since the last few years, it has also lured in more companies than the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City.

DevelopmentInsightsMartechSaaSSEO

Fastest Growing Industries for Entrepreneurs to Invest In

Entrepreneurs need to be actively searching for new opportunities. 

Once your startup has stabilized a bit and is starting to make a reasonable amount of revenue, it might be the time to start looking into other investment options.

By not placing all of your eggs in one basket, in this case, your startup, you’re putting a safety net for yourself and your loved ones if things take an unfavorable turn.

Here are the fastest-growing industries for entrepreneurs to invest in:

Artificial intelligence.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are changing our world completely.

Almost every day, a new business has made a substantial profit thanks to artificial intelligence.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning have countless use cases. From recommendation engines to self-driving cars, intelligent drones to optimized route finders, the use cases seem to become one after another.

Having a technical background will almost certainly help you out if you’re thinking about investing in a company that primarily focuses on developing artificial intelligence solutions. But with a few online courses, you’ll be able to manage.

Plus, there are tons of resources online that you can take for free that will give you enough insights about artificial intelligence that you’ll be confident in investing in it. 

Thanks to AI and another advancement, customer service can also be improved. Having a free live chat app for website will help you satisfy your audience.

Fintech.

Fintech or financial technology aims to use technology to solve the problems faced by the financial industry.

More and more people want to see innovation in the old and outdated financial industry. People are willing to try new technologies to see how they can be more efficient and savvier with their hard-earned money.

Blockchain, the technology behind popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, is steadily being used for other financial applications.

Banks like the Russian ALFA Bank, Singaporean United Overseas Bank, and Australian Common Wealth Bank, Indian Yes bank, are all using blockchain in their fintech efforts.

Having a background in finance, business, or technology, would provide you with valuable insights that could help you in making a wise investment decision.

Health.

Health is an industry that is going through a lot of changes at a rapid pace.

People are starting to become increasingly concerned about how their actions affect their health and their quality of life.

Wearable technology like Fitbits is becoming increasingly popular, especially among a younger demographic. 

By investing in a company that is in the process of developing new technology that will help people and their health, you might be able to get a worthwhile investment.

If you invest in a company that has already developed a new product, the chances are that a lot of other people would also be interested in that company. 

It is up to you to decide what kind of investment and the level of risk that you are willing to take.

Construction.

Construction is quickly becoming a growing industry again. The need for efficient and environmentally friendly housing is becoming a fast-growing industry that you should consider investing in.

The millennial homeownership rate is declining. A large number of millennials can’t buy a house because of their student loans, and millennials are also less interested in settling down early.

You might have an opportunity in your hands. As an entrepreneur, you’re inclined to take risks when other people stay away.

If you find a company that is developing housing solutions that cater specifically towards millennials, you’re going to be able to tap in on an overlooked or unappreciated market. 

Consulting.

Consulting is a fast-growing field that entrepreneurs should be keeping a close eye on.

Most people are experts at least one particular thing. Find what you’re good at besides being an entrepreneur, and you’re all set to start consulting.

You can invest in a consulting business by investing only in your time. You don’t even need a lot of capital.

If you’re an entrepreneur who is running a startup that revolves around social media, you probably have more than average insights about social media. Businesses are willing to pay a good amount of money if you can consult them and help them out with the problems that they are facing with their business.

The great thing about consulting is that you don’t even need to be an expert. All you need is to do is have working, practical knowledge that will help you provide actual value to your clients.

Transportation.

Transporation is another rapidly growing industry. With climate change becoming a more significant challenge by the day, the way we commute needs to change, fast.

Smart cities will make our transport routes more efficient and less of a burden on our resources. 

Self-driving cars, once tested to perfection, will help save up for the time lost in daily commutes.

Electric cars will help save our planet by putting an end to our reliance on fossil fuels, as we go towards greener and renewable sources of energy.

The transportation industry is growing and will continue to grow in the future too. For entrepreneurs, transportation is a great industry to invest in with an expected stock market 10-year gain of 125.82%.

Consumer retail.

Consumer retail includes ecommerce, personalized retail, and pop up retailers.

As more and more people are becoming comfortable shopping online, consumer retail seems to be growing in the future.

When investing in the consumer retail industry, it would be ideal to invest in a business that has thoroughly invested itself in the digital world but maintains a sound brick and mortar presence as well. That way, you’ll be able to have the best of both worlds.

Conclusion

Entrepreneurs that take calculated risks can gain the most rewards.

Remember that you should only invest in industries and businesses you believe in and trust. Investing in something that you don’t completely understand (for me, it’s cryptocurrencies), you might be at risk of losing a sizeable sum.

By investing in fast-growing industries, you’ll be able to cash in on a trend at a good time. Keep observing the industry and when it’s time to jump, jump immediately, and move on to the next big thing.

Hamzah Adil is a digital marketing executive who loves to write about business and entrepreneurship. Lately, he’s also taken an interest in investing and finance. He is currently working for a startup that has developed a new live chat application called SwiftChat. Live chat software allows businesses to provide quality support to their website visitors at a reasonable price.

Website: https://www.swiftchat.io

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The History of Phishing Scams

Phishing and spear phishing are some of the most common tactics used by hackers to steal information from internet users and infect their hardware with malicious programming that could render it useless.

What is phishing? Phishing is the act of sending fake emails to a large number of recipients at random with the expectation that only a small percentage will respond. These emails consist of scams that attempt to trick the recipient into providing confidential information, like account credentials, to the attacker.

Spear phishing emails take this a step further as they are more targeted to the victim in nature. Hackers select an individual target within an organization, using social media and other public information and craft a fake email tailored for that person. This makes the victim more likely to interact with the email as they are tricked into believing it is legitimate.

Where did this all originate? How did phishing scams come to be? They are considered one of the most prominent forms of cyber threats out there today, which correlates with emails being one of the most popular methods of communication, such as in email marketing.

Origins of the Term

Internet records indicate that the first time that the term “phishing” was used and recorded was on January 2, 1996, in a newsgroup called AOHell.

Some of the earliest hackers in the game were dubbed “phreaks.” It’s no surprise, then, that the term phishing grew from the nickname. The use of “ph” in place of the “f” was common in the telecommunication field back in the day. For example, phreaking refers to the exploration, experimentation, and study of telecommunication systems. Phreaks and hackers have always been closely linked. The “ph” spelling in “phishing” was used to link the scams with these underground communities.

But why “phishing”? When you consider the definition of the term, one can see the metaphor clearly. Hackers capture information from users much like capturing a fish that is lured to a hook by a fake bait. In the context of phishing, the spoofy bait is the email.

Where Did Phishing Originate?

In the early 1990s, dial-up was king and American Online (AOL) was your go-to internet provider. During this time, millions of people were interconnected via the world wide web daily — granted, sometimes not at the same time if in the same household.

But not everyone intended to use the internet for good. Hackers and those who traded pirated software also communicated via the internet, forming bonds and schemes. This community became dubbed as the warez community. The warez community eventually made the first moves to conduct phishing attacks.

At first, phishers would steal users’ passwords and used algorithms to create randomized credit card numbers. These random credit card numbers were used to open AOL accounts, which were then used to spam other users and for a wide range of other things. In 1995, AOL finally interfered by creating security measures to prevent the successful use of randomly generated credit card numbers.

Since their random credit card number generating scheme was shut down, phishers decided on an alternative that would wind up enduring. They decided to send messages to users as if they were AOL employees communicating through the AOL instant messenger and email systems.

These messages consisted of requests for users to verify their accounts or to confirm their billing information. This scam tricked many people, especially since nothing like it had ever been done before. The problem intensified when phishers set up AIM accounts through the Internet since they were outside AOL jurisdiction.

AOL’s solution? The internet provider decided it would include warnings on its email and instant messenger clients to keep people from providing sensitive information on those platforms.

How Has Phishing Evolved?

Soon after the AOL schemes died down and e-commerce rose to the forefront of the online space, phishers turned their attention to online payment systems. The first recorded attack was on E-Gold in June 2001, although it was unsuccessful. By late 2003, phishers registered dozens of domains that imitated legitimate sites like eBay and PayPal to those who were not paying enough attention. They then sent out fake emails to PayPayl customers using email worm programs. These led users to spoofed sites, where they were asked to update their credit card details and other identifying information.

Fast forward to the start of 2004, and phishers are riding a huge wave of success that includes attacks on banking sites and their customers. They began to use tactics like popup windows, which were used to capture sensitive information from victims. Since then, many other sophisticated methods have been developed, including:

  • Links (change your password, click for discount, etc.)
  • Attachments
  • Impersonations of someone the recipient knows
  • Requests for sensitive data

These days, phishing is alive and well. It continues to be a hot topic of discussion among cybersecurity experts as they work to find better solutions to combat hackers daily.

DevelopmentInsightsMartechSaaS

Does My Business Need an App?

The world has changed, and it keeps on changing. We know live in a world where mobile devices and smartphones have become almost all-encompassing; we rely on them for far more than just basic communication – they have become the items around which our lives are organized, through which our thoughts and plans link up to the wider world, and wherein we record our daily existence, do our shopping, our banking, book our reservations, find love, and discover new forms of entertainment. Our mobile devices have intertwined with our lives in ways hitherto unimaginable… and believe us when we say that this is merely the beginning.

As such, even thinking for a moment that your business might not need an app is increasingly ridiculous. Businesses rely on their competitive nature, on staying one step ahead of the others, and gaining the edge over any others within their field. Not having an app for your business in 2020 is something which not only marks your business out as irrelevant in the modern, dynamic, and ever-evolving marketplace, it also cuts your business off from a wide range of advantages and opportunities which custom app development offers with ease.

While there are, frankly, dozens of different reasons why custom apps for business are more important and essential for business growth than ever before, we’re going to focus on just a small handful of justifications in this blog. By considering the points below, and thinking seriously about why business apps can open the doors for increased trade, heightened marketing reach, greater customer satisfaction and so very much more in 2020, it will become blatantly clear why your business really does need an app, and why a custom app for your business may just be the smartest move you make this year. Read on and find out for yourself!

Direct Customer Interaction

It seems like a million years ago that businesses would have distinct and impenetrable opening and closing hours, outside of which there could be no questions answered, no customer interaction, and no promotional efforts made. If business apps have achieved one thing, and can help your business in one way above all others, it’s in this sense of completely throwing open the doors of opportunity for heightening your communication with customers.

Whether this comes in the form of advanced AI chatbots, which allow you to answer customer questions and provide assistance through the wonder of artificial intelligence, or in the form of interactive blogs, link-ups to Twitter accounts, or a live chat feature (or indeed many other possibilities) the options are more or less endless. Customers are more demanding than ever before when it comes to their time and the level of service they receive, and believe us, your competitors will be more than happy to snap up customers who look – even for a moment – elsewhere. Business apps allow you to keep customers happy and in the loop… and happy customers spend more, and return again, and again, and again.

A Range of Features at Their Fingertips

While there’s little doubt about the fact that your website contains all the truly essential information your customers need to know about your business, it would be foolhardy to believe that this is the be-all-and-end-all of what your business requires.

After all, so very many online interactions and web searches nowadays take place on mobile devices, and your customers want to be able to access more than just the basics, and they’ll need to be able to do so on the go. With an app for your business, you can link up your website to your social media feeds. You’ll be able to add interactive maps. You’ll be able to turn those mobile devices into augmented reality marketing tools. You can bring mobile games into your app, turn phones into loyalty cards and voucher scanners. The possibilities are as broad as they are exciting!

Do I Need an App if I use Social Media Marketing?

In a word: yes. Don’t get us wrong: there’s no questioning the fact that social media marketing and social media feeds are fantastic tools for businesses of all types, linking your presence up to a truly global network, and helping your business to grow and establish itself on the marketplace. However, a custom business app can help complement your social media efforts, and can also achieve goals which social media cannot reach.

Why? Because a custom app for your business removes all the spam that comes with social media, and allows your customer base to have unfettered, uninterrupted access to everything your business does. Just think about it: when you put your messages out on Twitter or Instagram etc, those marketing messages and content needs to compete with millions upon millions of other items, and can easily get lost if the algorithms are not in your favor. An app will deal with this issue instantaneously, and it also gives you much more creative control regarding how your content comes across.

Take Email Marketing Further with Push Notifications

Push notifications are one of the most useful and effective aspects of a custom business app, as they allow your business to provide sharp, snappy, and efficient reminders and messages to your customer base, and keep engagement and interaction levels high.

Interestingly, this used to be the realm of more traditional email marketing, which many claim was effectively killed off by Google’s highly effective spam filters and ‘promotions’ folder. Be serious: when was the last time you looked through the emails in your promotions folder and gave the material there even the slightest hint of a second look? The chances are, this isn’t something you do often… if ever at all. Your customers will download your business app because they want to associate with your company, and they want to receive updates about what you do and will do in the future – push notifications bypass those spam filters and allow you to communicate your messages with ease.

Streamline Communications and Build Relationships with Business Apps

We’ve outlined just some of the key reasons why your business needs a mobile app, and why developing a custom app with a professional app development agency might just be the smartest move you make. The future is here, and through mobile apps, businesses are more capable than ever of keeping up with the increasing demands of an ever-growing consumer base, whose expectations and standards never stop growing higher.

Mobile apps not only place your business at the forefront of a quickly evolving market, they manage to do what businesses have been striving to do for generations: they deepen the relationship between customer and company, and personalize communication to an impressive and highly effective level. Add into this mix the efficiency of an app, the heightened marketing potential, and the progressive branding opportunities, and the reasons for developing a mobile app grow more convincing than ever before.

About the author

Though a lawyer by trade, Vasily Malyshev found his passion in the mobile tech, self-taught design and development. He is the founder of Messapps, one of the top New York app development companies. Today, in addition to working with Messapps, Vasily is also teaching app development and marketing at New York University and regularly invests in other tech startups.

DevelopmentInsights

Ways HR Professionals Can Provide A Great Experience For All Employees

The HR department in any organization plays a pivotal supporting role and may determine whether the larger vision of the organization is achieved. This department is not only responsible for hiring people that help to drive the vision forward but also helps in managing their daily tasks.

 People management is a complex activity given that humans will naturally adapt very slowly to various situations. HR professionals are thus key in providing a great experience to all the employees. This experience is further reflected in the results and the overall customer experience. In this article, we explore various ways in which HR professionals can help in improving the experience of all employees.

Think and Act Strategically

The main role that HR professional plays are providing an environment in which the company’s goals can be achieved. Human resource managers, therefore, need to align themselves with the company’s goals as a way of participating in their accomplishment.

This calls for the HR manager to create plans, steps, and means through which the vision can be achieved through the people hired by the company. For instance, working with other company leaders, the HR manager should develop training and evaluation processes with certain goals to be achieved.

Master Great Communication Skills

One of the unfortunate situations that affect the achievement of goals is having an HR department who cannot communicate effectively. Communication in this sense encompasses both verbal and nonverbal processes. 

If, for instance, there are changes or reorganizations to be made in particular departments, it not only matters whether it is done but also how it is done. 

Such communication is so vital that even how the message is crafted determines how employees respond to it. In a situation where the message is delivered by word of mouth, the tone of the voice, the time as well as the expressions that go along with it play a role in determining how it is received, understood and interpreted.

Be A Good Listener

A great part of the HR job includes solving problems. Solving problems, in return requires good listening skills without being biased. This is essential in helping you make decisions and give guidance.

Quite often, HR professionals get into situations where they have to solve conflicts and even handle personal challenges. Being a good listener helps to make sound judgment and offer guidance from an informed perspective.

Be An Inspiration

The HR manager in any organization is by default a leader. This means he/she is expected to abide by the rules and laws of the organization, but most importantly be an inspiration to others.

The role of an HR professional is not only in crafting policies but to a large extent, they are expected to live by them. They must lead by example in several aspects.

To a large extent, it is not an easy task to establish and live by the total requirements of the HR professional. It requires great interpersonal and intrapersonal skills.

Be Tech-Savvy

Modern communication is expected to be quick, efficient and timely. Through the use of technology, such communication becomes easier and should simplify the work of the HR practitioner.

For instance, the preparation of Powerpoint presentations and working with them through a projector requires one to be tech-savvy. In other circumstances, you will be needed to create video conferences for purposes such as long distant interviews. Whereas someone else may handle the technical elements in a meeting room, it still helps to understand the technology being used and how impactful it is to an organization

Being tech-savvy also helps practitioners to follow and implement what could be helpful for their organizations and enhance the experience of employees

Understand the Numbers

Organizations are always restructuring and adjusting in such a way that the profits are can cater to wider interests. It is very common for companies to cut costs by laying off employees. It is the role of the HR practitioner to establish how such changes will affect delivery within the organization.

Understanding the numbers is also important in the evaluation of the kind of workforce needed to execute various tasks. Having a workforce that is lean but efficient is a result of such evaluations and helps to improve employee interactions.

Conclusion

The HR profession is undergoing overwhelming changes. Many practitioners are using experimental approaches as a way of testing the changes taking place in the profession. However, it has been noted that one of the best ways to enhance HR experiences is by using both new and old systems within the organization.

The bottom line is that HR is a key driving force in helping the organization to achieve the set goals. HR practitioners must constantly evaluate their systems and create processes that deliver a great experience. More importantly, the HR practitioner must create systems that address specific challenges within various departments and in the entire organization.

Uncategorized

Top Digital Marketers to Watch in 2020

Rand Fishkin, Neil Patel, Barry Schwartz, Jeff Bulas- legends in the sphere of digital marketing. And for good reason. These guys pioneered the industry and have provided the educational framework on which hundreds of thousands of digital marketers have built their careers.

These legends aside, we’ve compiled a list of digital marketers- from solidified veterans to emerging standouts, who’ve shown ninja-like skill-sets in their respective niches.

Eric Sharp (ericsharp.com

We recommend checking out Eric Sharp. He’s the CEO and founder of Protofuse, an agency specializing in website design and strategic marketing strategies for big-name companies like Stanford University, the Dixon pencil company, Carefree Communities (a $1.68 billion dollar company), and for many other companies — ranging from 1 Million to 1 Billion in revenue. Check out Eric’s interesting story on his website.  

Juan Merodio (juanmerodio.com) 

We chose Juan Merodio as our first choice for anyone interested in Spain and Latin American markets. He specializes in Social Networks and Digital Transformation, is a regular speaker at conferences, business schools and universities, and has offered customized training to companies such as IBM and Microsoft. 

Mel Carson (melcarson.com) 

Take a look at Mel’s website, and you’ll see the sheer amount of knowledge this guy has. An experienced digital powerhouse, Mel is a Digital Marketing Strategist, Consultant, Coach, Public Speaker, and author. His consultancy company, Delightful Communications, helps companies successfully implement marketing strategies that focus on Social Media, influencer marketing, Content Marketing, Personal Branding and PR.

Stephen C. Murphy (sbcmurphy.com) 

New Jersey’s Best 40 Under 40 Marketer in 2015, Stephen has 10+ years marketing experience and specializes in Marketing Strategy & Planning, process development, digital training and Digital Foundation Package for Startups. He’s also been featured in Business Insider Magazine, which is awesome on its own. 

Daisy Quaker (hiredaisy.com) 

Among many other reasons, we chose Daisy for the transparency and quality of her website- a site we favoured over the other marketers on this list. Really, check it out! She has over eight years of digital marketing and specializes in pitching, building and executing customer acquisition campaigns, inbound Marketing, SEO/SEM, Conversion Optimization, Email Marketing, and Social Media Marketing. She’s managed million-dollar digital marketing budgets and driven double-digit revenue and traffic growth.

Errol Vas (errolvas.com) 

We found this guy niched-up and operating overseas in China. Specializing in cross border international marketing, content-driven SEO, data-mining (apparently has a huge 3million+ database of sellers on China’s e-commerce giant Taobao), and running highly profitable email campaigns, his consultancy has helped companies in USA, China, Canada, India, and Australia improve their overall digital marketing strategies for Western markets. Ask him for a free consultation. Top-notch stuff.

Michael Costin (michaelcostin.com) 

Check out Michael Costin, a digital marketing consultant with 7+ years experience who specializes in SEO, CRO & Ad Words campaigns. His boutique agency has worked with UNICEF, Chem mart, Colgate, Konica Minolta, Netgear and ActronAir and also offers services to smaller local service businesses. He also posts AdWords tutorial videos on his website. Definitely worth checking out. 

Suganthan Mohanadasan (suganthan.com) 

If you’re looking to Europe, then Suganthan is your man. He’s a freelance digital marketing consultant helping medium and large companies around the world. His specialties include SEO, paid search, social and native advertising. Check out his site. He’s worked with some big names and is endorsed by some well known marketers, such as Hubspot’s Matthew Barby. Oh- and if you’re looking to work with him, plan to wait a couple months. He’s in high demand. 

Lisa Schwartz (lisa-schwartz.com) 

Experience talks, especially in the B2B marketing world. Lisa has 15 years of professional multi-channel marketing experience from strategy and development to execution and measurement. She currently works for the largest e-commerce and cloud computing company on Earth, but still manages to offer training and services to upper-level managers and marketers. Check out her site. Right now. 

Connor Corzine (connorcorzine.com) 

Worth checking out is Connor Corzine, a branding and Digital Marketing Consultant who specializes in SEO content writing, website design, corporate and personal branding, and social media marketing. Another marketer who excels in their niche, Connor is a great pick for startups looking to find their footing in the digital world. Check out his site.