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What is SSL and Why Is It Critical in 2021?

By 2040, 95% of customers will buy stuff online. As staggering as this number looks, the Internet needs to be more secure for this prediction to come true. 

Without appropriate ecommerce website security, it is impossible to facilitate online buying at such a large scale, courtesy of data breaches.  

Data breaches regularly happen even with mega websites that claim to have the best security. 

In 2020’s first half itself, 540 data breach cases got reported. It goes to say that websites are missing out on an essential security protocol, aka an SSL certificate.

What is an SSL Certificate?

Introduced in 1995, an SSL certificate is a security protocol that protects website data from getting stolen or manipulated. 

An SSL certificate encrypts sensitive information through public and private keys over the unsecured network such as the Internet and decrypts it for the receiver. 

In this transit, no other person can access or witness the data transfer as it gets transferred over an isolated network. 

SSL eliminates the possibility of hacking and data theft creating a safe environment between the client and the webserver (the sending and receiving party). 

Even a cheap SSL certificate works as effectively as a costly one. The process of encryption and decryption remains the same regardless of the price.

What does an SSL certificate consist of?

An SSL certificate consists of a cryptographic key that stores the details of the certificate holder. 

But if you don’t have an SSL certificate, all the details justifying your authenticity will be absent. 

Wondering what those details are? 

Well, here are the details that your SSL certificate consist of:

  • Your name or your company’s name. 
  • Your serial number and certificate’s expiry date. 
  • Copy of your certificate’s public key. 
  • Digital sign of your certificate issuer. 

How does an SSL Certificate work?

An SSL certificate can be categorized into a handshake protocol and a record protocol. 

A handshake protocol is used to facilitate the establishment of a connection between the server and the client. 

It also defines the type of cryptographic keys that both the server and the client are using for communication. 

However, the record protocol defines how a sender will exchange information, how he will prepare it for sending and, how it will get decrypted, etc. 

Once the data gets authenticated, both the client and server-side establish cipher settings and a key that they will share to encrypt the data exchange during the entire session. 

All this goes invisible both for the user and the hacker. SSL2BUY provides the best certificate that will establish an appropriate connection between the client and the server. 

What is the significance of an SSL certificate in 2021?

Although an SSL certificate is of extreme significance to an ecommerce website where people enter their usernames, passwords, sign up for forms, and add credit/debit card details, in 2021, Google wants every website to have it as a mark of authenticity. 

Search engines like Google want their users to enter a safe and secure environment, which is why they generally flag websites that do not have an SSL certificate installed. 

Whether it is a cheap SSL certificate or a costly one, it shows how committed you are to protecting user information as customers offer more interest in secure websites. 

Benefits of having an SSL certificate

  1. Information becomes invisible to hackers.

When you pass a piece of information, it transmits between multiple computer systems. 

If your data is not secure and is open for everybody to see, they can manipulate it according to their convenience and even steal it.

But, if you have an SSL certificate installed then, the information transfer will get encrypted, and no computer with an evil intention (or even a good intention) in transit can see what is being transferred except the receiver.  

Thus, it makes your information invisible to hackers through encryption. 

  1. Built a sense of trust among the customers

Every customer is looking for the most feasible website to buy from. They are smart enough to know the importance of their data. 

They won’t just deliberately handover their credit/debit card, username, and password details. You need to earn their trust, and an SSL certificate can surely help you in that. 

When customers see that their details are getting stored under the protection of a green padlock, they do not hesitate to share their details. 

It will help you in building an appropriate brand image and customer satisfaction at the same time.

  1. Improves your search rankings

Search engines like Google provide a small lift to websites that have an SSL certificate installed. 

Google views them as an authentic website that will add value to its user experience, so it ranks SSL secure websites over those who are unsecure. 

Only secure websites can rank on the top of Google’s SERP in 2021. The search engine is planning to flag websites that do not have an SSL certificate. 

So, if you want to be the top-ranked website in 2021, you have to install an SSL certificate. 

  1. It helps you stay away from legal repercussions. 

Not only does SSL protect your website from outside threats, but it also keeps you clear of legal problems that may arise due to compromise in consumer data security. 

SSL helps you in complying with DSS PCI standards so that no credit card or bank fraud can take place from your website. 

In case a customer sues you in court for stealing his information or his money, you can show your DSS and PCI complied SSL certificate in your defense and save loads of money. 

Modern courts do consider SSL certificates as proof that you are operating an authentic website. 

To Conclude

An SSL certificate is like your shop’s protection system. It protects you from cyber thieves that are on a constant lookout for pray. 

Having a strong SSL certificate from an authentic provider like SSL2BUY is the need of every website that facilitates the exchange of goods/services for money. 

So, get an SSL certificate installed today and keep your website and customer data in safe hands. 

5+ Tips to Optimize Your Website to Drive More Conversions

You might have the best product in the market, but you won't get conversions if your customers cannot see you online. 

Website optimization is paramount for conversions. On average, a website gets 2.35% conversions which is considered to be a reasonable rate. 

However, one must always aim for 10%. But, amidst the challenge of competition, how is that even possible?

If you integrate the right keywords in appropriate areas, ensure optimum website security, and enrich your site with infographics and relevant videos, everything is possible. 

So, to make it possible, we are going over the seven best tips that will help you get conversions.

Let's get started:

5+ tips to optimize your website for better conversions

1. Push the pace

The speed of your website determines its bounce rate. Therefore, if you want to drive conversions, you must bring your bounce rate down to minimal. 

When a site fails to load within 2 seconds, customers tend to feel offended and bounce back, which in turn decreases your search rankings. 

Search engines like Google are skeptical about their customer's experience, and a website experiencing high bounce rates indicates that customers are not finding the website worth their time. 

So, increase your site speed. 

2. Optimize your site with SEO

Search engine optimization bridges the gap between your website and your customers. SEO orientation helps search engines in figuring out what your website is all about. 

The search engine crawlers then decide which keywords should be appropriate in defining your rankings, so keyword integration is of immense importance in SEO. 

Moreover, optimizing title tags and meta descriptions with appropriate keywords help in getting traction to your blog posts.

A site without SEO is like a site that never existed on the internet because nobody will find it. So, get your SEO done today. 

 

3. Consider your design; make it cyber-attack proof!

Web design can make or break customers. A well-designed website has everything from an appropriate allocation of pages to a user-friendly interface. 

If your website lacks them, your customers won't reach relevant content on your site. 

Whilst chalking out a plan for delivering out-of-the-box website design, you need to check out the following facts. On an average, a total of 30,000 websites fall prey to the hackers’ bait daily. Thinking that you are safe because you are a small business owner and hackers won’t care to bother you? Sorry to burst your bubble but, almost 60% of the small businesses are out of business within six months of a cyber-attack.

Looking for a fix-all solution for all these cybersecurity troubles? Cease to fret, as we have got you covered. When you install an SSL certificate, the HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) encryption gets enabled, putting a gray padlock in front of the domain URL. 

The locks satisfy customers as they can view the name of the company and its address just by clicking on the padlock, if it's an OV Certificate, or EV SSL certificate

The padlock gives a sense of satisfaction to the customers that they are on a secure website where the data that they share is entirely safe. 

Once you have this element of cybersecurity incorporated into your website design, you can sit back and reap the fruits as conversions increase, SERP rankings improve, and your customer trust reaches an all-time high!

 

4. Recommend your customers on a personal level

If you recommend someone to take some action, you must know their behavior and what they are looking for. 

Recommendations help lost and first-time visitors to know what they can do on a particular website. 

However, reading how people have behaved on your website in part is essential to formulate an effective recommendation plan. 

When people understand the context of your website, they are likely to convert into your customers. 

Otherwise, when visitors don't know what to do on your website, they tend to bounce back. 

5. CTAs are mandatory

There is no way to increase your conversion rate if you are not using the Call-to-Action buttons in your content. 

Just like recommendations, CTAs also help visitors to take necessary actions after reading the information. 

For example, if you are a medical website then, "Free consultation with your doctor," or if you are an information-based company, then a "Download our eBook for free" can act as effective CTAs. 

A patient looking for a solution when seeing a free consultation button is likely to click it. Likewise, a visitor looking to gain information on a subject is highly likely to click a free eBook button. 

6. Have a mobile-friendly interface with voice technology

We can't stress enough how vital mobile friendliness is for a website. But it is essential to state this point because of its strategic importance. 

Technologies like voice assist, when collaborated with a friendly mobile interface, make searching information easy for visitors. 

They must speak through a microphone, and the search term gets displayed within seconds. 

This saves a lot of time, and the customer gets a great deal of satisfaction which significantly improves his chances of conversion. 

To Conclude

The conversion rate is all about the convenience rate. If a customer's convenience rate is high, he is highly likely to convert. 

The faster your site is, the less time a visitor must spend to get his work done, which is why you must be attentive to your site speed. 

Apart from that, relevant CTA buttons, SSL certificates, recommendations, optimum design, and mobile friendliness are the most important points to emphasize. 

By employing these points, you improve your search rankings, attract more visitors, and convert them. 

So, follow these tips and see your traffic and conversion witness an unprecedented surge. 

10 Things to Consider Before Launching your eCommerce Store

At this point, it's hard to find a brand that doesn't have an online store for customers to browse and shop. Due to increased internet access and the rise of mobile commerce, eCommerce is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. It's expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.7% from 2020 to 2027. That is why a lot of entrepreneurs are learning the ropes and exploring opportunities in the eCommerce space.

But with so much competition, launching an eCommerce site can be a daunting task. Before you're ready to launch, there are many factors to consider—from eCommerce requirements, competition, marketing, sales, SEO, design, and logistics, and more. 

But with some planning and research, launching your site doesn't have to be as tricky as it seems. Here are ten things you should consider before starting an eCommerce store.

What You Should Know Before Launching an eCommerce Store

Before you dive headfirst into launching an eCommerce store, it's important that you know what you're getting yourself into. ECommerce is an amazing business model that’s superior to the traditional model in many ways. However, starting from scratch is never a simple feat. There are many things that you'll need to take care of before your store is ready for the public eye. 

  1. Product Research and Selection: What type of product should I sell?



The success of your eCommerce store is heavily dependent on the products that you offer. Product selection and sourcing are crucial to your eCommerce success. The competition is stiff. So you must choose a product that consumers can't find anywhere else other than your store.

You need to get your thinking cap on and identify your product's unique selling point to get started. Suppose you're plugging your products in a saturated market with nothing special to offer. It would help if you had something that differentiates your brand, whether that's new, highly innovative, supports social causes, and so on. Always ensure that your product has an added benefit to draw in more customers.

  1. Target Market Analysis: Who should I sell my product to?



Once you find out what you want to sell, you should figure out whom you want to sell it to. Choosing your target market is critical for the success of your eCommerce store. When selecting your target audience, answering these questions may help:

  • Where are they located?

  • What are their buying preferences?

  • What is their demography?

  • What is the culture?

  • What are their hobbies?

  • How do they get their information?

  • How do they communicate?

  • What marketing channels do they use?

You need to know what type of customer you are trying to attract, answering these questions will help point you to the right market. 

  1. Competitor Analysis: What companies are selling the same product as me? 

Making sure you have a competitive target market is proven to be profitable. But it may also not prove beneficial if too many competitors are already working in the same space as yourself. So you need to know who your competitors are in order to differentiate your product and offering better.

Doing a competitor analysis will help you strategically position yourself in the market. Based on the analysis, you'll be able to craft and align your business strategies, processes, production, purchase, marketing, sales, and financial strategies based on how your market moves. 

For example, your competitor is using multiple digital marketing strategies to tap into different channels. Then you should explore more digital marketing strategies—personalization, segmentation, ABM, etc.— that align with your current market.

Remember, an eCommerce business, with a good competitor analysis will have a greater understanding of their market’s purchasing behavior because they know what their competitors are trying to do and how their competitors are reaching the audience.

  1. Investment and Buying Capacity Planning: How much can I sell? How much can I buy?

This is where all the financial talks come in. You have to estimate the buying capabilities of your prospective audience. If your target audience are locals residing where your business operates—you'll be able to do your estimates quickly with local data available from local resources.

However, if you're thinking of operating globally, it becomes more challenging. Running surveys and optimizing competitor studies will be your best friend to gauge how much you will sell and how much you need to invest in an eCommerce business.

  1. Inventory Management: Where do I store my products? How will I monitor my stock?

Now that you have the ideal product to sell, the next question is where should you store it? Launching an eCommerce store doesn't mean you're free from inventory facilities and inventory management responsibilities.

There are available warehouses (known as 3PL providers), inventory tracking software, and sales automation platforms that can be integrated seamlessly with any eCommerce store to help you simplify inventory and stock monitoring. 

  1. Logistics and Shipping Management: How will my product reach my customers?

Storing your product is one thing. Shipping your product is another. Typically, you also need to figure out how your orders will arrive without lifting a finger. 

As an eCommerce business, you need to forge relationships with trusted third-party logistics providers. These are companies that manage the shipping, handling and storage of your goods. Many also offer value-add services like inventory planning and optimization. This type of service removes the need for you to lease or buy a warehouse to store your stock, drastically reducing capital requirements. Fees are typically spread across various services provided, like storage, picking & packing and receiving goods.  

  1. Building your eCommerce store - What eCommerce platform should you use?

Once you have mapped out your product, concept, process, and vendors, it's time to think of how you'll be able to showcase your product by choosing a platform. At this time, you should be thinking about where you will host your website, what the layout is, how the user experience will be, and so on. 

Often, eCommerce stores build their websites through Shopify, WordPress, Magento, and more. These platforms often include apps and plugins that you can easily integrate with your third-party software. Others have bespoke requirements and choose to develop their own proprietary e-commerce platforms based on custom software

  1. Marketing and Customer Relationship Strategy and Selection: How can I out-do my competitors to keep my customer's attention?



If you have the online storefront ready, you should now focus on creating an effective marketing plan. 

With eCommerce marketing, the competition is aggressive. You should apply all possible online marketing techniques—social media, email, content, SEO, paid ads, and more.

It might seem a daunting task, but these are interconnected and can be executed incrementally. For example, you can start with SEO and content marketing to boost your brand awareness, domain authority and eventually -- organic traffic. Once you have enough of an audience eager to hear from you, you can begin launching email campaigns catered to your audience segments and nurture them until they are ready to buy.

  1. Testing and Compatibility: How will you ensure you have a quality UX?

The eCommerce train doesn't stop once you have your website and marketing activities in place. Testing your website and making sure it all fits your audience’s preferences is another aspect you need to shift your focus on. 

Typically, testing starts with the eCommerce development process, and each phase needs some kind of testing and quality assurance procedure. So you must invest in experienced testers and QA experts to evaluate and implement the correct strategies and techniques.

You need to make sure your eCommerce website is accessible to the audience through many browsers and operating systems—Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari, and more. Being compatible cross-device and cross-platform will help you create a seamless customer experience for everyone visiting your store. More importantly, it’ll help you make more sales.  

  1. Future Growth: What are your short-term and long-term goals?

Remember, success takes time. So in every step that you take as you build the foundations of your eCommerce store, you need to look beyond the present. Plan your quarterly goals. Define the target you want to achieve over the coming months and reverse-engineer these into actionable tasks you and your team can work on. Working backwards from the goals you want to achieve and breaking things down into small chunks gives more meaning and purpose to your day-to-day tasks that can often feel fruitless. 



The Wrap Up

Starting an eCommerce store is no walk in the park. It’s like building any other business. It takes serious work, dedication, planning and commitment. To succeed, you need a quality product that people actually want or need. You must get it in front of the right people through a medium that’s profitable. And you should have a sublime user experience, speedy shipping and a memorable customer experience. It's best if you make a list of all aspects involved with starting up an online store so you can get started on the right foot. Best of luck on your journey! 

Packaging Design: 10 Ways Your Packaging can Increase Your Sales

When browsing a store shelf, the first thing we often do is look for a familiar product. And our indication is the packaging of an item.

A familiar color, glossy packaging, or even font is enough for us to know that we picked the right product. Thus, we cannot deny the fact that packaging can boost our sales.

However, keep in mind that how you package your product should be in line with your branding.

Why is Packaging Design Important for your Branding?

A lot of people think that packaging design is simply making a design come to fruition.

Sure, choosing the suitable material and process can improve your product's shelf life. However, packaging design can also provide a tactile experience to your customers. An excellent example is the look and how a packaging feels to the hands.

This explains how packaging can attract customers and boost your sales.

But more than anything else, a great packaging design allows the customers to understand what your product is all about. Just one look, and they should know that your product is a food, household item, or office supply.

In addition, your packaging design can educate your customers on how to use your products best.

If you are still not convinced, we have listed down ten ways packaging design can make your product stand out and boost your sales:

Attracts Customer's Attention

Your packaging design plays a powerful marketing tool that will draw customers' attention to your products. While having a blunt packaging design is acceptable for some products, overall, they're not advisable if you wanted to stand out.

A great design should be made from high-quality materials. In other words, premium packaging can enhance the look of your product. This makes it more attention-grabbing and memorable to your target customers.

Doing so also allows you to gain more customers while treasuring the relationship with the existing ones.

Connects Potential Customers with Your Product

For a newly launched product, your packaging can impact how customers will perceive what you offer.

Sure, it has to grab their attention. However, customers should be able to associate your products with your brand.

Potential customers will also know more about your products by simply looking at the packaging. Great packaging will translate to them that you took the time to create an excellent product.

If they cannot associate a product with your brand, it will be challenging to compel your customers to buy what you are offering. That's because they are unsure if the product is yours or not.

A good packaging design should also include information about the brand. These details make a customer feel more connected, fostering trust and customer loyalty. As such, it can help boost your product sales.

Defines Your Products

Your product packaging will define to your prospects what your products are all about.

Elements such as color, fonts, and styling will tell them who you are. If you want to attract more customers, you need to understand that certain factors can impact their purchasing behavior.

A great example is food chains that use red in labels and packaging since it affects a person's appetite. You might also notice that products that are deemed organic use green and elements of nature tied to their packaging.

How your packaging is designed lets you communicate better with your patrons. You can use colorful and playful designs if you want to attract a younger demographic.

If you're a high-end or luxury brand, you might incorporate silver, black, or gold colors in your packaging.

Builds Your Brand Identity

Another advantage of a great product design is that it gradually builds your brand identity by solidifying your brand.

Let's say you're selling personal hygiene products like toothpaste, soap, shampoo, and facial wash. See to it that you somehow have the same packaging.

Doing so will motivate customers to purchase an entire line of products because they can easily distinguish your brand from the rest.

Also, many buyers tend to stick with products that they like and work well for them. So, if they're planning to buy one item from your product list, the more likely that they'll purchase other products that you're offering.

Adds Value to Your Sales

A sale did not end when a customer purchased a product. There is more to it than that.

Sales include the following:

  • Informing your customers about your product
  • Providing excellent customer service
  • Prompt and accurate delivery

These are what make a successful sale.

It also means that every step in the sales process can help you boost your sales. High-quality products might be one thing, but customers will enjoy it better if you have fantastic customer service. In fact, they'll enjoy it even more if the products are packed well.

Your packaging should be high-quality, original, and memorable.

Ensures Quality and Safety

Customers must receive the product the same way you've sent them, without any wear and tear or damage. You should also pick the appropriate structure, materials, as well as packaging design.

To get the best packaging design, you can work with a professional packaging designer. He can help you create suitable packaging in line with your branding, protect your product, and compel your target market.

Fosters Brand Loyalty

How you package your product can also affect your brand loyalty in the long run.

At its core, brand loyalty is a customer's behavior that favors one particular type of product over another.

So, if you have built a steady base of loyal customers, you'll likely get many sales in the long run. This also works well to your advantage because it builds anticipation if you want to release any new items in the market.

Leaves Great First Impression

An excellent product packaging leaves a great impression. The thing is, no one wants to purchase a product that has lousy packaging.

Again, it all boils down to leaving a great first impression. People judge you right away the moment they pick up your product from the shelf. It would help if you gave them a good reason to buy it.

An attractive, high-quality packaging creates an excellent product image at the back of a buyer's mind. If you are using boxes, you might want to check out this handy guide to carton boxes.

Generates Positive Reviews

When purchasing things online, many consumers tend to read reviews first about a specific product before they decide to buy it. If it gets poor reviews, then you might lose a lot of prospective customers.

A great way to get positive reviews from your customers is to pay attention to how your products are packaged. Your customers will feel important if these items are well-packed. Mind you, many customers these days consider packaging when leaving a product review.

Excellent product ratings also help you win over more customers and enhance your company's image in the long run.

Communicates and Gives Information

Your packaging should have all vital and relevant product information essential for every customer to know. This can include ingredients, instructions, manufacturing and storage details, expiration, and many more.

This allows your customer to understand your product better and make better decisions on the purchase.

Over to You

There are several ways how your product's packaging can boost your sales. It helps you build your brand and lets your customers connect with your product better. It also attracts more prospects in the long run while giving your product a unique identity.

In other words, product packaging is vital. That's because it can help or affect your sales.

That's why you must pick a product packaging that fulfills the following:

  • In line with your branding
  • Can make your product stand out
  • Help connect with your customers
  • Inform customers what your product is about

Doing so ensures that your product will be the first thing your customers will pick up in the store.