Magento 2.1 – Just the Right Features to Empower Marketers and Merchandisers

Magento 2.1 brought with it a number of appealing changes that ecommerce businesses simply loved. It has all the great features to provide online shoppers with excellent shopping experiences.

It’s important to note that it’s the marketers and the merchandisers who create compelling campaigns for promotions and the platform that supports ecommerce empowers them with the numerous built in features.

Magento 2.1 gives you the power to create memorable shopping experiences for your customers – faster and in the easiest way possible.

Here’s how Magento 2.1 can help:

It drives sales and improves productivity

Magento 2.1 has new features for content staging and preview. You can stage and preview all types of content such as updates to products, categories and categories too. User friendly tools have been developed with extensive usability testing and the entire process of staging and previewing before you add new products or categories is made very simple and fast. It also has a new timeline dashboard that provides store owners with at a glance scheduled updates so that your sales and marketing team can use the data to maximize the impact. With Enterprise edition 2.1, you can preview this information across the sit and share the links so that reviews and approvals are easier.

Boosts conversion rates

In order to streamline the checkout process, the Magento 2.1 has a number of enhancements to increase the efficiency of the checkouts and boost sales. PayPal in-context checkout greatly increases the conversions as the customer does not have to leave your website in order to complete the payments. Securely storing credit cards is a great way to quickly pay especially for frequent purchases. Customers just love to pay quickly and checkout without having to manually type in the credit card information.

Scale for growth

One of the newest features of Magento 2.1 is that it comes loaded with Elastic Search which is a powerful search technology that supports over 33 languages or quickly searching the site. You can set stop words, search synonyms and can handle large catalogs that are required by fast growing merchants. The configuration for elastic search is fairly simple and you can begin using it right away.

Improved management experience

There have been significant changes to the way Magento is administered. The new technology elastic search enables you to quickly find customer records or orders and assign search synonyms that can be used to better navigate the site.

Deploy in the Magento cloud

Deploying in the cloud ensures that you can create amazing customer experiences without worrying about the infrastructure to support it. This is mainly because the cloud ensures that you get a highly customizable, secure and scalable storefront built on AWS. It is optimized for rapid deployments and high performance.

Magento allows you to flexibly deploy your store in any environment you wish – whether on the cloud or hosted or on-premises.

Magento is truly the most apt platform for ecommerce development. It is ever evolving and enables store owners to sell better and convert better!

Top Mobile App Development Solutions Platform

The inception of mobile devices and the subsequent exponential growth in the field of mobility has led to an immense opportunity and challenge both at the same time for companies, organizations and institutions. The mobile world brings with it a huge opportunity in terms of the increased reach that you can have for your products and services. The biggest challenge is to be able to provide a great user experience while being able to sell your product or service efficiently.

The mobile app for your company or organization will become your best tool to market your products or services. Depending on the domain your organization works in, your app can be either the first touch-point between you and your potential customer or can be a platform where your customers can purchase your products or services. Whatever the case, you as an organization need to make a transition towards a mobile mindset to keep your business relevant in today’s era.

There can be various factors that come into play when deciding the way forward:

1. Which mobile platform should we get our Mobile App development done?

The answer to this question will depend on who your target audience is. It is best to get some background work done to understand the device preferences (and thereby the platform) of your existing & potential customers. Based on this you can decide if you need your app to be on a single platform (say Android) or multiple platforms (say Android, iOS, Windows, Blackberry).

2. Should we go for native app development or use a cross platform development?

Native apps are usually preferred if you have sufficient budget allocated for your mobile app development solution. Some of the reasons for this choice are –

  • The taste in terms of UI/UX of an Android user is different than an iPhone user. Also, the designing standards vary from one platform to another.
  • It is easier to implement hardware related functionality efficiently. E.g. gestures or geo-location.
  • Performance is better due to faster execution of code.

On the other hand, if you have limited budget but would like to target users of multiple platforms and are OK to trade-off slightly between performance and cost, cross platform application development is the way to go. With improved tools like PhoneGap & Ionic, the overall performance of these apps have also enhanced over time.

3. What should be the UI/UX for the app be?

This will depend on the nature of your business and what you want to achieve through the mobile app. As a thumb rule though, your app should be easy to use, engaging and have a clean design.

4. How do we publicize our app so that we can have maximum outreach?

You can send out e-mailers, publicize on your social media pages or send messages to your existing customers. There are professionals who can help you with marketing of your app, especially to reach out to potential customers.

5. Who should we hire for the Mobile App Development Solution?

There are many companies who provide custom mobile application development solutions. It is best to hire a company that has got enough experience and expertise in developing mobile apps, preferably in your domain of work. It is also recommended to go for a company that also provides other related services like web design and development, digital marketing, app marketing and so on. This ensures that you can have all your work done through one company and don’t have to deal with separate vendors.

Solution Analysts has been providing technological solutions to Multinationals, SMEs and startups worldwide. We provide custom Mobile App Development solutions using native as well as cross-platform development. Our team works with you to understand your business and your app requirements to suggest you the best solution that will help you achieve your business goals. You can know more about us by visiting our website or feel free to call us to discuss your requirements and we will be happy to help.

The Way Google’s Material Design Surpassed iOS Design

Google is a type of search engine that gives the facility of browsing from various devices such as the laptop, mobile etc. Recently, Google developed material design so that it can unify the experienced users to use various Google platforms. The aim of this unification is to improve the overall technological experience of a user by making the interaction easier, simpler and more intuitive. Most people believe that the recent material design plan of Google surpassed iOS design. In the present writing, I will share my thoughts about this issue.

iOS design and Google’s material design:

iOS is a mobile operating system manufactured by Apple Inc. It develops an adaptive layout so that your design can work from multiple devices. Two years ago, it has changed its design manual and has made it simple and user-friendly. It allows its designers to focus on animations and function rather than intricate visual details. Here UI or your user interface should be stripped down to the core aesthetic. The present iOS apps ensure perceptible feedback in response to every user’s action. As a result, UX or user experience design of iOS develops and improves the quality of interaction between a user and all facets of the company. It’s UX design helps to enhance customer’s satisfaction and loyalty by improving the usability, ease of use, and pleasure provided by the interaction between the customer and the product.

On the other hand, recent Google’s material design also helps its users’ in various ways. The design of Google aims how Google can improve your life by making their technology smarter. It is said that the material design of Google surpassed iOS design in the sense that it provides more facilities and simple user-friendly attitude. It is not just a new UI rather a whole Google UX. The great features of this new design are-

• Great interaction with various technologies:

One of the main features of any material design is how it interacts with various technologies. The present material design of Google has a very seamless flow between interactions. For example: you are writing a very important article on your laptop but do not finish it and left it open. Don’t worry, you can continue this writing from your watches, mobile, tablet or other technological devices because of Google’s new material design.

• A seamless information flow between devices and smarter technology:

Another advantage of Google’s material design is its quick and seamless information flow between devices and technologies. As a user, you do not need to worry that your messages or files are synced to a device, or you do not need to be bombarded with work emails while you’re at home – and vice versa, pictures and text messages sent to you from last night won’t be popping up while you’re at work.

In short, Google’s material design aims to unite Google’s expansive product line under a rich set of design styles and principles. It exceeds the design of iOS in various levels. It helps its users to use technology in a very comfortable and homely way.

5 Common Problems With Fiber Optic Cables

Most fiber optic cables are designed professionally and are meant to work effectively for a long time. While this is the case it doesn’t mean that the units don’t develop problems. Just like any other units, the cables develop problems and it’s up to you to identify and fix them. To help you out here are some of the most common fiber optic fiber problems:

External damage

Common external damages are splits and scratches on the units. The units are highly sensitive; therefore, even the most minor damages have the ability to prevent effective transfer of signals. If you have noticed some defects on your units you should replace them as early as possible.

The optic cable is too long

Optic fibers come in different sizes and lengths and it’s up to you to choose the one that is ideal for your application. In some cases, people install units that are too long than needed. A cable that is too long is at the risk of winding around itself. A long unit is also at the risk of bending or twisting. These actions often result in permanent damage to the optic fibers and its components. To avoid installing the wrong size of cable you should take your time to use a measuring tape and measure the distance that you are looking to cover.

Improperly installed connectors

Connectors join two or more cables and play a vital role in determining the effectiveness of the optic cables. It’s common for some contractors to improperly install the cables resulting to cable problems. To fix the problems you should hire an experienced contractor to install the cables properly.

Stretching

It’s a mistake to have optic cables that are too long. It’s also a mistake to have cables that are too short as they are prone to stretching. As mentioned, the cables are very sensitive and even a minor damage can prevent the cables from working properly. To prevent the cables from stretching you should ensure that you install them at the right place. You should also avoid pulling the cable jacket during installation. The best way of going about it is using grips at the connectors.

Old age

Just like anything else under the sun fiber optic cables get old. Old cables are not only ineffective in their working, they also tend to develop problems every now and then. When your cables are old, the best way of fixing them is replacing them.

RFID in Libraries – How Does a RFID Solution for Library Work?

What does an RFID library solution consist of?

A typical RFID library management system consists of RFID tags, a label conversion station, a self-service machine, a cart inventory, a RFID security door and a 24-hours Outdoor Book Drop.

1. RFID library tags – the core of the system. A RFID library tag is equipped with a programmable chip and an antenna and it can be fixed inside the back cover of a book or directly onto a CD.

2. Label Conversion Station – it provides a quick, easy solution to binding library items with RFID tags.

3. Self Service Station- it works as a combined station which provides check-in and check-out service.

4. Inventory Cart- it is typically equipped with a large RFID antenna with excellent detection rates, making it easier for librarians to take inventory of the items.

5. RFID Security Door – it works as part of the detection system.

6. 24-hours Outdoor Book Drop – A device mounted on the facade of the library. It offers a great flexibility and convenience for patrons, because they can return library items even when the library is closed at night or on holidays.

Process flow of the Management System

Book Tagging: Past each the library items with a RFID tag. This book binding operation is done by the label conversion station.

Automatic Inventory and Positioning: Librarians use an inventory cart to identify items for shelving process and trace the position of an item. If they find the items are in wrong place and they can put them back to the right place. By wirelessly connecting to a PC or laptop, it can significantly improve the efficiency of inventory.

Automatic Identification: The system will automatically record the whole behavior when patrons borrow a book with their legitimate library card. From the moment they use the subsystem of resource management to find out the specific location of the books they need, take the books from the bookcase till they get the book checked out on the self-service machine.

Automatic Anti-Theft Detection: When the items get through the RFID security door, no matter they are entrained in clothes or in bags, the system will automatically find that and identify if the items are borrowed and automatically alarm when the items are taken out of the library illegally.

Benefits of the RFID library management system

For Libraries:

1) They can conduct stock management more effectively as RFID technology improves in accuracy and reading range.

2) They are released from repetitive labor, such as finding lost and missing items and identifying mis-shelved stock, and provide better patron services.

3) They can spend less time for circulation operations.

4) They can improve inventory management.

5) Less staff are required to manage them may be reduced due to more automated operations.

For Library Patrons

1) They can save a lot of time for waiting in long lines by using self-service station.

2) They can find what they are looking for quickly & easily.

3) They can return borrowed items in time with the help of reminders for due dates.

4) Flexible timings are available for them by using book drops & return chutes for returning library material.