User Experience – Getting back to Basics & Filling The Gaps

The principle of User Experience has not changed in the past few decades; our approach to UX, on the other hand, is constantly evolving. User experience is the means, not the end to a problem; the process is never ending. The art of balancing user needs and brand message is an important element. We already have many trends rolling out in pace with the technology, and it all boils down to knowing what to use when.

Truly understanding your user

In the race to catch up with the latest trends and continuing to do what exists, we forget the most important aspect – users. It sounds like UX 101, but this is where many designs lose vision. We forget to find out what the users need and instead assume what they want. As a result, most websites look alike and most experiences feel the same.  One may argue that it is efficient and gets the job done. I agree, but what you haven’t tried out may get greater results. Grab the better one, always.

Do you really need a compulsory registration, does your customer have to go through 5 pages before buying a product, and does that information about the company founders on the home page help in any way? Your average user probably does not. The definitive answers to these can be found with some user research, but it’s important to ask these questions. One such case in point was when we designed a simple, no-scroll landing page for a real-estate client. The users had only the most important information presented to them without the frills. The main CTA on the mobile version was a callback feature, which encouraged users to drop just their numbers, without giving out much personal information in an enquiry form.

Casa Grande Monte Carlo

Rather than add a feature because the competitors do it or because it helps with ROI, we need to achieve the same without turning off the user. Find creative ways to add new dimensions to the user journey, a perspective for every type of user.

Satisfying the outliers

With technology advancing each day and the number of devices multiplying, we have a greater challenge to cater to every member of the community. Crafting experiences that are inclusive to all can be a challenge, and the key to achieve that is by understanding that there is no single approach to every problem.

There are plenty of avenues to bring in more users, increase conversions and make more money for the clients. The need of the hour for many businesses is to take it further and this is where UX fits in nicely. Instead of concentrating on what the majority of the customer base is thinking; we need to start looking at what the minority wants. In many mobile versions of our websites, we come across devices that are used by less than 15% of the users but we have ensured that they have a similar experience of browsing as the rest. Customizing to each device size is a little work, but it yields good results in the long run. Begin by understanding how the bottom 20% of the users behave and find ways to enhance the experience for them. Tap into all of your demographics and include the lesser-used browsers; the aim is to have a consistent user experience for all.

Personalization is important; users want to feel that businesses are directly talking to them. A good design gives them that without compromising on brand message and end-goal.

Decluttering without handholding

The last few years saw design minimalism in websites and apps – hamburger menus, single color & typeface, flat icons and hidden sections (the footer especially). This approach clearly works because the style is simple without distracting the user. It is a linear thought process, taking the users from Point A to Point B without making them think about anything else.

While minimalism will be around for a long time, it needs to be handled without being overdone. In the name of de-cluttering many websites and apps have dumbed down their journey so much that users feel powerless. No one likes to be told what to do and it is something that we should avoid. It is crucial to let the users decide how they want to fulfill their needs; the job of user experience is to ensure that the process is coherent and seamless. Gently push, don’t shove.

It can be as simple as having more options during the checkout process – can the customer continue as a guest user, can the customer login through any of social media accounts instead of a compulsory registration or Gmail signup? Test different options to see what works for your business and implement them in the longer run.

We are surrounded by best practices and latest trends that come out every week. They are good to implement but don’t get too caught up in them, always ask if it’s the right one for your user base. We need interfaces that are efficient & data-driven, not just what is in. Create memorable experiences that would bring a user back and make them remember you for a long time.

How UX can break or make your business sales or revenue

 Understanding User experience and its importance

The father of UX – Don Norman defines user experience as a science that encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services and its products. User experience takes more than just defining it. Let’s relate it to the real model.

What makes shopping fun? Most of you would say – ‘buying the product’. I agree, but not entirely. Buying the product is the last step of the shopping process. What led to buying is your positive experience at the store, walking down the different sections, stacked with a variety of designs and then finding the perfect take away. Not to forget, the billing experience!

Let us map the real-world model to your online experience on a business website – right from getting to your website through a certain landing page, to reading your content; from navigating the site to finally taking a conversion action, everything counts as user experience.

Research studies on UX and A/B tests on websites have led to pointing out thrust factors that impact the experience of a user on your website.

UX Factors that lead to conversion

Let us see below why product pitch, good navigation and aesthetic content form the crux of your website:

1) Product Pitch: The pitch of a website sketches out the business identity. Content that speaks out about how the business goals are intended to benefit their customers, caters positively to the user’s experience. This is the part of experience where tone of the website builds trust and communication with the user. A strong selling pitch can boost your sales.

2) Comfortable and Intuitive navigation:

Comfort and intuitiveness are key factors that lead a user to conversion.  Even if you perfectly speak out how good your product is, if a user fails to see the interface as friendly, intuitive and quick – they are likely to bounce.

3) Content & Aesthetics:

Neil Patel says that great content is definitely the reason behind returning visitors and he quickly adds that good content is valuable only when it’s readable and engaging. That’s where aesthetics comes in. Content becomes friendlier when the formatting stands out in a way that grip the user’s attention. A good use of contrast colors for backgrounds and text can make a piece of content interesting to read; adding images that are crisp and meaningful, makes your content 10x; visual cues using text formatting, colors, icons  can guide the user about your site;

Everything that brings about a conversion like important content, call to action, contact information etc. should be made to stand out by using principles of aesthetics.

In addition to SEO, Google algorithm is emphasizing on returning results that have an excellent user experience. So it’s important to always look back at how your website is doing from the UX perspective.

Here’s an excellent example to demonstrate how the thrust factors contribute to providing an experience that builds a trust relationship between the customer and the product.

Gehna, a brand that sells stunning unique Indian jewellery have made their online presence valuable by providing a user-friendly platform for online shopping and jewellery customization.



Some of the reasons why Gehna’s landing page User eXperience ticks:

1) The first impact this website makes, is with its aesthetics. Clean layout with enticing images, interesting fonts and color balance, which ultimately leads to a pleasant experience.

2) The content on this page is kept optimum without distractions and has excellent customer value. Studies in cognitive psychology state that a user is prone to action whenever he finds all the necessary information around a CTA. The banner on this page impresses the user by laying out their available services in a dignified way. This is the point which engages the user and leads to conversions.

3) By giving their users an insight into their work, customization process and user testimonials, they have built trust with their prospective customer.

img24) They also maintain a user-friendly blog with design ideas and jewellery trends. This shows that Gehna is not just a business but also a work of passion at customer interest, there by bringing out the personality of their brand.


To sum it up, with their unique propositions, well organized content and evident CTA’s, they have provided the customer an impactful experience that bags conversions. I urge you to remember, a great landing page UX leads to the quickest conversions.

If you notice in entirety, it’s the little things that tend to add up in the big way. What demonstrates this is the power of a well-designed form with a proximately placed CTA

Every CTA leads a step closer to conversion. Once a prospective customer decides on a product/business, the only thing in between, is the experience of making it happen. Be it a registration, purchase checkout or a reservation – more often, the last step towards a conversion is completing a web form. UX is indeed impactful here.

To understand this better, let’s take a look at a few insights from conversionXL’s  Peep Laja

  • Less information request = more conversions

The key is to ask only for relevant information and skip the research questions. This means that a 5-field form out performs a 9-field form by approximately 30%. Research studies based on usability ROI, has seen that every time a form was simplified, businesses saw huge increases in their conversion rates.

  • Provide necessary information on the form. Missing information leads to confusion, frustration and no conversion.


With a great service pitch, an eye-catching image and simple fill-out form, Pamperazi clearly tells you what you’re up to.

UX is so impactful that it can break or make your business revenue

   Statistics from experiments conducted by various organizations has shown the tremendous impact that UX has had on sales/revenue. Let us explore a few examples & case studies

Call to Actions

According to Jared M Spool, founder of user interface engineering, changing a CTA button on a checkout form increased a major e-commerce website’s annual revenue by $300 million. In fact studies even show that a prominent CTA button right next to some related content can increase conversions from 2.78% to about 19%.

Here is a great example of Casa Grande’s Aldea. It adds prominence and proximity to the CTA.


1) Providing sliding images of the exteriors and interiors of the apartments.

2) Displaying the amenities and perks of the apartments, evidently

Having given a perfect picture of what the user is signing up for, a CTA is provided right in place for users to make further enquiries. This is a high-converting UX.

Visual Design

A well balanced design is about proper use of page elements and colors. Visually balanced designs have a positive impact on the user experience.


LaundryBoy is a winning design that puts together a great visual balance. With their website themed around blue shades, they’ve made their CTA completely stand out in a balanced contrast. Would you ever believe that a visually balanced design could lead to a 25% higher conversion rate.

Practice of Decluttering

Your landing page will always face a 5 second test to grab the user’s attention. The impact made here brings about the conversion. The Weather Channel wanted to turn people into premium subscribers. They decluttered their homepage and had a single subscription action with their features enlisted

Listen to the Users voice

Users, be it retained customers or prospective customers, have come into the habit of letting businesses know what is causing the friction. Valuing their feedback yields huge difference in your conversions.

Creating a new sign up page based on user feedback, raised the revenue for SEO Moz by additional $1million.

 Your users are adapting to trending designs, which is why your designs has to update as per contemporary standards or be even better. 

With a great UX – make them an offer they can’t refuse

A lot of research has been done around the impact of design on content. Recent studies on cognitive psychology states that people are moving from text-driven content towards visually mediated content.

Content is more strong and easily assimilated, when accompanied by informing design/images.


Olympia Grande makes the right use of content and images to showcase the strength of their residential project. By placing prime information like project overview, cost and enquiry in a compact space of the user focus, they’ve got the user’s attention. That’s a winning strategy for quick conversions!

UX impacts SEO which in turn impacts your sales

A good UX makes your website accessible, useful, usable, findable, credible and valuable. All of this impacts the SEO positively, leading to a good ranking on search engines. A website that is optimized with quality content and good experience, will gain customer traffic and succeed at customer retention.

It is wise to learn from others mistakes; it’s a faster path to move ahead. Bad UX is mostly about doing the basic functionalities wrong. So in addition to demonstrating what works, let me point out what doesn’t.

Common Issues in UX that break sales

  • slow loading time of websites
  • lack of content hierarchy
  • cluttered and confusing navigation
  • lack of basic functions or information that a majority of the users expect
  • exhaustive user engagement for simple tasks
  • falling short of an impressive personality
  • lack of responsive design .

Research studies in UX have shown that 88% of the visitors do not visit a website that has given them a bad experience.

As you see, UX is an integral part of a business website bridging your customer to your business. Understanding the usage pattern of your users gives an insight into their experience, learning what part of your website frustrates or confuses them helps incorporate some necessary changes to the website to get better conversions.

With a lot of companies investing in UX, it is evident that the user’s experience with a website is having a soaring impact on the sales and revenue.

Here’s wishing your user eXperience a good health!

Top Websites for Buying Royalty Free Images in India

Have you written a blog post or a great story but have no idea where to look for pictures to accompany the same? Or are you looking for some high quality images for your design project?  Well, worry not! We have put together a list of best websites for buying royalty free images in India.

Images Bazaar

Owned by Mash Audio Visuals Private Limited, Images Bazaar provides creative professional images under different categories. Founded by Sandeep Maheshwari, Images Bazaar has the world’s largest collection of Indian images, with over 10 lakh photographs, videos, illustrations and 3D imagery shot by over 10,400 photographers.


Bangalore based Photoconcierge is a collaborative digital marketplace for photographs, illustrations and videos. The company provides a stock repository of photos, vectors and videos to marketers and individuals. With a wide range of photographs and network, the company is a perfect resource-pool to help you find photographs that match your every need.

Photosindia is a premier stock image agency that combines the entire processes of stock photography to bring you high quality and wide variety of pictures. With a team of highly enthusiastic and creative visualizers, photographers, software professionals, photosindia is a one stop solution for all your image requirements.


Thinkstock offers user generated premium royalty-free images, vectors and illustrations selected from Getty Images, iStock and other worldwide image partners. The unique thing about Thinkstock images is that you can download and use any image at any file size without affecting your price. It is also the only subscription that offers images from over 40 collections.


Shutterstock is the largest and most exciting platform for creative professionals to license content – including images, videos and music – as well as innovative tools that power the creative process. Founded in 2003 by Jon Oringer, they have millions of royalty free tock photos, illustrations, and vectors for all your needs.


Imagedb has a collection of high quality, diverse range of over 80,000 Indian stock images. Apart from this, Imagedb also has footage and other services including image key wording, retouching, masking or clipping path, Image filterization etc. The company also arranges for commercial shoots for clients, depending on their needs. offers pictures and illustrations for free of charge, for business, personal, charitable or educational use. The pictures that are available for free are small in size however, the website also lets you download larger size images but it comes with a cost. Once you have chosen the image you want, the portal lets you download them without even registering.


 ImagesKart was founded to provide advertising and communication agencies visual content key to researching, purchasing, and downloading of Indian Images. The company has more than 5000 contributors spread across India and aboard.

Unsplash provides free and high-resolution photos that have been submitted, free of any usage restrictions, by established and up and coming photographers. Every 10 days, 10 new images are added to the website. All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero so you can copy and modify them at your will.


IndianPhotoStock has a unique mix of stock images and fine art photography by Sanjay Marathe. The website hosts more than 20,000 images of India and USA and has pictures of travel, monuments, people, culture, festivals, infrastructure, agriculture, cities, villages, rural life and many more subjects.

Getty Images

An American stock image company, Getty Images has an archive of over 80 million images and illustration and more than 50,000 hours of stock film footage. They have a large central repository online where you can browse for images and buy the rights. Cost of the images varies from the size and resolution of the image. Apart from this they also offer custom photo services for their corporate clients.


 Dreamstime is one of India’s leading stock image companies that provide high quality digital images and illustrations at an affordable price. Currently the website has around 15,000,000 registered members, more than 300,000 contributing photographers and over 44,000,000 photos, illustrations, cliparts and vectors.


If you are looking for Indian contemporary stock images, then Stockimagebank is the place to go.  The company provides high quality images to agencies such as JWT, O&M, Leo Burnette, Lowe Lintas and clients such as Sony, Microsoft, Nestle, P&G in India & across the globe.


Dinodia has all pictures relating to India including historic pictures from 1980 onwards. They also house, paintings, illustrations, black and white images and contemporary color images. With a total archive of over 50 million images online, Dinodia, paintings, illustrations, black and white images and contemporary color images. They also have over 100 contributors who take pictures for clients in case they don’t have images a particular client is looking for.

Think we have missed out something? Let us know by leaving a comment!


7 Ways to Improve Your WordPress Website Speed

“Page abandonment increases with every second longer it takes for your website to load”


You just created the sleekest website on WordPress that has a super responsive user interface and killer content, but you’re not getting any conversions! It all boils down to page load time at the end of the day. No matter how wonderfully you craft your website, if your page loads slowly, your visitor will navigate away. They’ll navigate to an uglier website with terrible content but that loads quicker. You don’t want that.

Page abandonment increases with every second longer it takes your website to load. All hope is not lost, however. With just a few simple and easy to implement ideas, take your tortoise of a webpage and give it a turbo boost.

First of all, test your website’s load time with this handy tool from Pingdom or pagespeed from Google. Does your website pass the 2-second rule? According to several surveys that a Kissmetric article researched, most web users look for a website that loads within 2 seconds. The longest they’ll wait is 3 seconds! Any longer than that and your page needs heavy optimizing.

Before reading any further make sure you have a good server and has servers based in India (if you are targetting the Indian market. We would recommend Bluehost for a shared Linux hosting or a WordPress optimised hosting if your site is on WordPress.

So you’ve run the test for your website and it’s pretty slow. What next? Check out these scientifically-backed tips to improve your website’s speed.

1. Be lazy

Yes, implement LazyLoad into your website design to improve the amount of time it takes for your site to load. With LazyLoad, you can cut back on the page load time, and allow users to save their bandwidth. Win-win for all!

2. Compress images

Images (in sizes) are indirectly proportional to any website speed. Bigger the image, slower the loading, best solution is to compress images without losing quality. You can use free image compression tools like Caesium to compress images without losing much of its sharpness & clarity. In wordpress, there are plugins like Smush.It or Ewww Image Optimizer which use lossless/lossy method to optimize the images. The great thing about these plugins is that they work in the background every time you upload a new image you can also run it retrospectively on all of the images uploaded to your media library. They come with limitations that the base image should not be more than 1mb in size (so Caesium can be used to compress initially).

3. Free it Up

The WP-Optimize plugin allows you the freedom to optimize your MySQL database with just a click!

4. Cache them all

Want to be a cache-all master? With the W3 Total Cache, make caching a breeze. This will let your website load at blazing hot speeds, and ultimately lead to better conversions and leads. It can take care of elements like browser caching, Javascript, CSS & HTML Minification, setting expiry headers etc. Be careful in using the tool as it can affect your design & CSS files too.

5. Divide and conquer

Are your images, content, Javascript code and CSS in the same location? Consider having them on external files via a Content Delivery Network (CDN) like Cloudflare for the same.

6. No cookies for you

Want a winning idea for speeding up your website? Reduce or get rid of cookies altogether. Your visitor will also be thankful that cookies don’t bog their system down.

7. Don’t Send them away

Don’t redirect. When you redirect your visitor to another page, you’re only adding an additional HTTP which makes your page load slower.

Go all out and give your visitor a faster website today!

Top-5 Content Management Systems for your website

If you are planning to build a website in the near future, you might be confused on which platform to use. While there is a whole bunch of content management systems (CMS) in the market, you might want to use the platform that allows you to do it without worrying too much about the technical aspects like coding.

What is a Content Management System?

In simple terms, a Content Management System is a software tool that allows you to create, edit, publish and manage web content. The main objective of a CMS is to provide an intuitive interface to manage your content on the web.

There are many good content management systems like WordPress and Drupal; and they are all fantastic. But choosing one among them can be difficult because you do not know if the website is suited for the needs of your website. The server can sometimes be a challenge in having an effective CMS and we usually recommend the Linux based servers being provided by Bluehost or Amazon Web Services.

This article shall make you aware of the different aspects of the Top-5 Content Management Systems in the market and help you make an informed decision.

  1. WordPress


One of the world’s most popular content management systems, WordPress started out as a blogging platform, but has grown and advanced significantly over the years. Based on PHP & MySQL, WordPress is used by almost 23% of the top 10 million websites around the world. Examples of WordPress websites are Social Beat, ithought, etc.


  • It’s free and the easy installation offered does not require complex technical know how to maintain the website
  • User friendly dashboard for managing content
  • Multi-user and multi-blogging support
  • Wide number of plug-ins and themes, both paid and unpaid, for customizing your website
  • A large developer community and plenty of tutorials and documentation available for support
  • Easy linkage to your email platforms such as Mailchimp to allow you to keep in touch with customers


  • Standard installation can have security issues and is vulnerable to attacks. Needs to be addressed with continuous updates and monitoring of the website


  1. Drupal


Drupal is the 2nd most popular PHP-based content management system. It’s a powerful, developer friendly platform that can be easily used for building complex websites. In the latest releases, database management modules have been added that allow managing SQL operations without writing SQL queries. Many big companies like General Electric, Time Warner and Sony Music, are using Drupal.


  • Less resource intensive than WordPress
  • Technically advanced in comparison to peers like WordPress and Joomla
  • Very flexible; has the feature to even edit the root files of the program
  • Easily customizable with numerous plug-ins & 6000+ modules available for easy extension of functionality
  • Powerful taxonomy & ability to tag and organize complex content
  • Faster load and response time
  • Powerful use cases available


  • Basic knowledge of HTML, PHP and other common programming languages is required
  • Theming system is complex along with a lack of high-quality plug-ins
  • Site complexity beyond a simple website or a blog requires technical know-how to keep it running


  1. Joomla


Joomla is quite often, an intermediate choice between WordPress and Drupal, having the power of a Drupal website and at the same time managing the user-friendly nature of a WordPress website. Joomla has a lot of plug-ins and themes available to choose from, so you can easily customize your website based on your requirements. It’s suitable for creating back-end networks for a wide range of purposes like inventory control and reservation systems to online commerce websites.


  • Faster and easier to setup an online store; has more native support online commerce
  • A great platform to create social networks
  • Long history of development and an active developer community
  • Tons of plugins and add-on tools available
  • 7000+ plus extensions and an extensive help portal


  • Not easy for beginners
  • Modularity & expendability puts greater demand on server parameters
  • Lack of high-quality themes when compared to WordPress


  1. SilverStripe


SilverStripe is another open source content management system, best serving the needs of developers slightly comfortable with coding. Built on an object-oriented framework called Sapphire, it has multiple platform modules allowing it to support a content formats like blogs as well as forums / communities. SilverStripe code is bound together through independent frameworks; thus providing it the capability to support any CSS Style Sheets and HTML codes.


  • Open standards for development leading to high development versatility
  • Easy back-end functions
  • Powerful content authoring tool with ability to publish/unpublish content on specific dates
  • Differential permission levels for different parts of the site to manage your own editor/author network
  • Strong developer community SilverStripe LTD to fall back for technical support


  • Less intuitive back-end in comparison to peers like WordPress
  • Less than 200 extension modules and not many high-quality themes available
  • Lack of documentation support


  1. TextPattern


A highly flexible content management system, TextPattern is a free, PHP based CMS that is more often skipped when looking at the top CMSs for websites. It leverages Textile to quickly convert plain text to XHTML, making it user-friendly for beginners.


  • User-friendly for non-technical users
  • Suitable for websites of varied sizes
  • Great documentation; complete manual available online


  • Minimal variety of themes (~120 front end themes available)
  • Fewer plugins
  • Small developer community

Top 10 live chat softwares for your website

Live Chat is an efficient communication medium for proactively engaging customers and converting them into leads. This can be done at ease with the help of well trained agents using some of the many Live Chat tools avalable. However, deciding which one to pick be a bit confusing. Hence, we have put together a list of the 10 best live chat softwares for your website that can help boost sales and service your customers.

Before we go into the details and the USPs of each of the live chat softwares available, here’s a quick comparison of the features these platforms have to offer and their pricing:

Top live chat options Social Beat



USP: Social Discovery to help better understand the customer

Facebook ,Twitter and LinkedIn icons are bound with the chat option and if the agent feels that he/she can connect with the potential customer through social networking sites the customer can give a friend request or follow the customer directly from the chat area. This feature is called as ‘social discovery’, which is a unique feature and it also helps the agent to know about the customers better and further chats can be made more customisable. The details of the customers can be seen only after accepting the chat requests. Apart fom this, Snap Engage also allows the agents to remotely control the user’s browser and help them navigate to the right pages quickly. Also, tthere are blogs written in their website which helps the agent to enhance his/her skill to be a star agent. Unlimited access to sites is provided by Snap Engage. CRM and help desk can be integrated.


The basic price is $60 in which 4 agents can be employed.


USP: Competitive Pricing

Zopim is an affordable, easy to use Live Chat option. When you engage with a customer, a separate pop up doesn’t appear on the screen for every customer, instead all the windows and controls are integrated with the dash board they offer, unlike many other chat options. Automated chats are possible so that you can reach out to customers, before they complete their conversation. Integrating with Zen Desk can help in multi-channel support like emails and social media. Chat history is available by which it becomes easy for the agent to know the customer.


Free version is available and the basic version costs for $11 (single agent) per month.


USP: Customizable GUI 

The customisable graphical user interface GUI makes Olark stand out from the rest. When it is Christmas time, it gets updated to the Christmas theme. Every celebration can be more fun with the GUI it offers. The logo of the organisation can also be incorporated in the paid versions of Olark. After every chat, rating can be given for the chat from which instant feedback of the conversation through live chat can be noted. Another noteworthy component of Olark is ‘savethecart’ feature by which the agent can know what is the product that is stored in the cart and based upon this the chat can be done and targeting becomes easy.


The basic version costs $15 (single agent) whereas the free version limits in the number of chats.


USP: Geo targeting and content targeting

The geographical location of the website visitor can be tracked along with the content what they are looking for so that even the greeting by the agent can be of the language which the viewer  follows which gives a personal connect to the user and the user is more likely to buy the product. Keeping track of the content can also help in product that can be promoted through chat as a follow up.  Unlimited access to sites and can be managed centrally. There are three versions like other chats that include basic business, smart business and enterprise Omni.


The basic price is $29.95 and free version is available with limited features


USP: Integration with G-talk and Instant Messenger

Ogg Chat can be integrated with G-Talk and Instant messenger. Separate desired departments can be created and operators can be added to the chat. Every operator can include a schedule chart to keep a track on the pending schedule. Some data are available that can be used to analyse like brief chat history but however real time monitoring of the viewers, usage of canned messages is a considerable setback.


The basic version of the product costs $9.95 and all plans include a 14-day free trial


USP: Real time translation

Internationalisation is possible as it offers real time translation feature. Languages are translated instantly which makes it easy to use in non-English speaking nations. The admin interface isn’t much cluttered. It is a simple, user friendly admin which the consumer may like to use. Prioritising the mails become easy with the email management system that is offered. All the information about the clients can be viewed in one click, but a separate window opens up every time which may be tough to view for a series of clients.


A 30 day free trial is available with constraints and the basic version of LiveHelpNow chat costs $21 per month


USP: Quick response through the Mobile application

Users find the mobile application very useful as the agents can respond to the queries from any place. However, the user interface doesn’t support any other language other than English which is seen as a drawback. Live Chat tickets can be administered through e-mail. Service Level Agreements are complex when compared to other chat options. Kayako allows the user to create a macro which enables automatic response to some of the basic and repeated queries as it reduces the response time of the agent.

PRICING: The basic version of the Kayako Live Chat costs $24 and three versions of Kayako are called as Case, Fusion and Engage


USP: Ease of file sharing

Casengo has one inbox for all the chats, emails and social media posts. The cloud based application allows the responders to post their answers in a quicker phase than other options. The customers of online retailers and other small businesses have the response in a very fast time period.  Most of the live chats, attachments can be sent only through downloadable links, where as the file itself can be sent as an attachment, however sending multiple attachments is not an easy task using Casengo.


The basic version costs $9.65 (9Euros), Free version can be used in which enables only the chat option


USP: Guaranteed 100 percent uptime

Comm100livechat, as the name suggests this live chat claims to produce 100 percent uptime. A typing indicator allows agents to see what their customers are typing before they submit their message. With ‘MaximumOn’ technology, the software also ensures that your live chat program runs continuously without interruptions, despite failures at both server and data center levels. Chats can also be extended onto mobile platforms; including on iOS and Android devices.A drag-and-drop file transfer feature allows agents to share a file that provides all the requested information. However, no real time translation is available and no co-browsing option is available.


The basic version of the live chat costs $29 and there are different versions based on the Shared Server and dedicated Server


USP: An all in one live chat with email integration

If your business is a small firm and is looking for a one stop solution that integrates e-mail with your live chat options, website live chat can serve your business. It supports till 20 multiple chats with quick tabs to enable swift performance.  The user interface helps to edit the interface without coding. Internal operator chat that helps to interact internally when a query hard to manage by an agent can be used to clear his doubts.


The basic version of the live chat costs $20 and there are different versions available with different pricing.


Are you going to be hit by Google’s Mobile Friendly Update

Almost a year back we had created a list of top Indian Websites that were not responsive. A lot has changed since then. Myntra has moved to an App Only approach and closed down their mobile site. In the same context, Google’s next update is expected to be rolled out on April 21, 2015 and will concentrate largely on positively impacting sites that are mobile responsive. There will also be a marginal negative impact on mobile search results for websites that are not responsive.

So the question to ask here is, whether you site is mobile friendly? Google has its Mobile Friendly Testing Tool which can help you check. If you get a message “Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly.”, then you have little to worry as you will most likely be on the safer side of the line.

However, for those who haven’t made their site responsive this Google update is going to put in jeopardy the search traffic and eventually ranking. Here are some tips to help you get started on this front.

  1. How to Ensure You Site Is Mobile Friendly 

Creating a mobile responsive site will be the key step towards being in tandem with the Google update. This was Google’s announcement earlier this year which clearly indicates Google’s focus on mobile friendliness. “Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.” 

The main reason behind the update taking this path is Google’s consistent stand on giving users the best online experience. With mobile traffic having significantly overtaken PC traffic in the past two years this update seems all the more relevant. Google even has an extensive guide on creating mobile friendly sites. If you have Google Webmaster they have a new Mobile Usability feature to showcase if there are usability issues that still exist.

If you are using a Content Management System (CMS) To make your site mobile friendly here are a few essential tips:

For Word Press Sites: If you own a word press site you can simply use a plugins available online. The three best plugins available are 

  • WP Touch: This plugin converts your website automatically for mobile devices. The admin panel of the plugin allows you to modify various aspects of the site’s appearance enabling you to provide a simpler yet stylish version of your website. They have a free theme which works wonders but they also have premium mobile themes if you are looking at something more specific. It essentially takes your existing content on wordpress and embeds it into the mobile theme.
  • WP Mobile Detector: This plugin works by automatically detecting whether the browser being used is from a normal phone or smartphone. Once detected it loads a compatible version that suits the particular browser.
  • Mobile Press: Renders a mobile friendly version of the site when accessed via a phone. It also provides options to use other custom themes for better user experience. 

For Magento Sites: Using existing mobile responsive themes is one option that many are considering. If you have an existing theme which is non-responsive then there are plugins to help with this.

  • ShopGate: This plugin allows you to launch your own mobile website or native app with your existing magento installation. The look and feel may not be identical to your existing desktop design but its a quick fix.
  • SimiCart: Another way to handle this issue on Magento is to have a native Mobile App connected with your existing Magento installation. Simicart is an amazing tool to accomplish this.

The last option would be to adapt the existing theme to being responsive, but it requires extensive changes to be made at the code level.

  1. Increase Speed of your Mobile Site

The time your site takes to load plays a strong role in improving your page rankings. Despite the best mobile data connection, sites sometimes take a while to load and the reason behind it could be due to complex codes, slow server and other factors. Analyzing these problems and addressing them quickly can help give your site an advantage.

Using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or Pingdom Speed Test tool can help give you an insight into the changes you can make in your site to make it speedier.

Once these changes have been made appropriate modifications have to be made in the Google Webmaster Tool as mentioned in the steps below.

  • Sign into your Google Webmaster account and add your site if you haven’t already.
  • Once done click on the crawl option in the sidebar and then click on the ‘Fetch as Google option’
  • Select the mobile and desktop options one by one and click ‘fetch and render’.
  • Once rendered you will then have to click on the ‘submit to index’ button to let google crawl your updated site.

With the update coming out today, it would be prudent to make these changes to your site as early as possible. Making changes sooner will help your traffic remain higher after the update. If you are having difficulties in making these changes, hiring good developers to make them is always a recommended option.

We would love to hear from you if you have seen any positive or negative mobile traffic from today. Please do share it in the comments below.

10 Best E-commerce platforms for your online store

With the global & Indian ecommerce market growing at a rapid pace, we are seeing a lot of new trends. When starting out a new ecommerce venture, there are a lot of elements that need to be figured out – right from the ecommerce platform (which this post explains in detail), payment gateway to integrate with your ecommerce site, product photography, social media strategy, customer acquisition, customer retention, search engine optimisation & a whole lot more. There are a whole lot of specialists out there who can help you with each of these elements. There are a lot of digital marketing courses and if you are looking at getting a holistic view on digital marketing & analytics for ecommerce then ISB Hyderabad has an interesting programme.

The first step when starting out is the ecommerce platform and the number of such platforms and content management systems available has grown over the years. In such a scenario, figuring out which platform to use when you’re looking to build your online store can be a fairly confusing task – especially if you aren’t from a technical/ecommerce background.  This post intends to make your research work easier by helping you choose the platform best suited for your needs.

Managed e-commerce platforms vs. Content Management Systems (CMS)
There are two options available for building an ecommerce website – one can either use managed (hosted) ecommerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce or open-source Content Management Systems (CMS) like Magento.

As the name indicates, a hosted ecommerce platform is hosted on a server that you will not have access to, while CMS-based websites are self-hosted on server space (such as Bluehost) you will have to purchase. Which option to choose will depend a lot on your specific needs as well as your level of technical involvement. Below is a list of benefits of both which could help you make a choice between the two based on your business’ current requirements:

Benefits of using Hosted ecommerce platforms

  • Lower development and maintenance – There is no coding expertise required, thereby eliminating the need for a development team. Also, the hosting is shared, which lowers the server costs.
  • Better technical support – Most online store creators have a strong tech-support team to assist users with any issues that may arise.
  • Less complex to work with – The back-end for most of these platforms is user-friendly and is built for ease of use keeping in mind users with limited technical knowledge.

Benefits of using a CMS

  • Better functionality – Multitude of plugins, add-ons and themes available for content management systems allow the addition of advanced functionalities that would not be possible in the case of self-hosted platforms.
  • Better customizability – Content management systems allow the freedom of adding/modifying features as well as building a customized design unique to one’s brand. They also allow for constant improvements and enhancements to the user experience on the site, which plays a major role in today’s highly competitive ecommerce space.
  • Can support large stores and sophisticated websites – Content Management Systems, being self-hosted do not have a limit to the number of products or categories allowed, so they can handle much larger stores as well as sophisticated websites.

The server can also be an important aspect of how your ecommerce site is built and we usually use the Linux based servers being provided by Bluehost or Amazon Web Services. We usually refrain from using Windows based servers.

You could use this flowchart below (Click on the flowchart to enlarge) to help you arrive at a decision on whether you should go ahead with a hosted ecommerce platform or with a CMS, based on your requirements:


Once you’ve made your choice on going ahead with either of the two platforms, here is a list of the 5 best options you could explore in each niche:


5 Best Content Management Systems
If you’ve decided that a CMS is what will suit your needs best, then below are the 5 best ecommerce CMS available in the market at the moment. The most important factors which will come into consideration when zeroing in on the CMS would be the availability of extensions, availability of support, functionality, customizability and the cost of development and maintenance. All of them are open source and have free community versions and paid enterprise versions.


Top 100,000 websites using Ecommerce technologie
Top 100,000 websites using Ecommerce technologies – Source:


With nearly 21% of the world’s top 100,000 ecommerce sites built on the Magento platform*, it is by far the most popular and one of the best ecommerce CMS’ being used today. Its biggest advantages are the large number of plugins and extensions available which allow the addition of any new functionality, the ease of availability of experienced developers as well as a lower overall development and maintenance cost.


  • Robust platform with a high level of functionality and customizability
  • Large number of marketplace extensions available
  • Highly active community for assistance with tutorials and troubleshooting options
  • More SEO-friendly as compared to most other platforms
  • It is highly-scalable – no need would arise to upgrade to another platform while scaling up in future
  • Easy Integration with emailing platforms such as Mailchimp so that you can stay in touch with your customers


  • It requires sufficient server space to operate efficiently at high speeds. Smaller servers may cause speed and other related issues
  • Might be too complex for businesses that are too small


WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin used for building ecommerce websites on the WordPress platform. A large number of WordPress themes have the WooCommerce functionality built-in. The plugin provides almost all the features that are available in the other open-sources CMS’ listed here. WooCommerce might work out more user-friendly and cost-effective for smaller businesses as well as for those familiar with WordPress.


  • Easy setup – WordPress requires very little time to get familiar
  • Runs on Wordpess – so does not have powerful servers requirements
  • Good number of lower-priced add-ons and themes available
  • Huge WordPress support community
  • Easy Integration with emailing platforms such as Mailchimp so that you can stay in touch with your customers


  • Might not work for mid and large size businesses or for businesses looking to scale up soon

osCommerce is a fairly popular platform as well, with about 11% of the top 100,000 sites built on open source technologies using osCommerce. Being one of the earliest open-source platforms available, it has a huge support base and a very active forum, though some users find that updates to the platform have not kept up with the times.


  • Easy installation and an easy-to-use interface
  • Active forum with a large support base
  • Large number of plugins and add-ons allowing the addition of most functionalities


  • Some users find that the software updates and designs have not kept up with times and remain slightly outdated


Top 100,000 ecommerce websites using Open Source technologies
Top 100,000 ecommerce websites using Open Source technologies – Source –


Drupal Commerce:
Drupal is the second most-used open source website content management system after WordPress and Drupal commerce is the plugin for ecommerce sites built on this platform. Its seamless integration with Drupal makes creating a blog or forum much more convenient than most other ecommerce content management systems.


  • Seamless integration with the Drupal CMS framework gives it an edge over other platforms when it comes to blog integration and content marketing
  • Allows for easy implementation of SEO strategy


  • The support community/forum is not as large or active as Magento or osCommerce.


Opencart is another open source CMS for ecommerce. Though it has one of the easiest to use backends, its support systems are not as comprehensive as compared to the other platforms listed.


  • Easy to use back-end
  • Feature rich with large number of plug-ins
  • CSS can be edited from within the admin


  • Some users report difficulty in installation of some themes
  • Support documentation is not comprehensive enough


Magento vs Woocommerce vs Drupal Commerce vs Opencart vs osCommerce
Magento vs Woocommerce vs Drupal Commerce vs Opencart vs osCommerce


5 Best hosted ecommerce platforms
If you’ve decided that an online store creator would better suit your business, then below are the 5 best platforms available for you to choose from. Two of these – Zepo and Kartrocket have been chosen with the Indian market in mind, as being mostly domestic players, they might have a better understanding and feel of the local market.

Shopify is one of the first names that comes to mind when one thinks of an online commerce platform. With 74,418 sites using Shopify*, it is one of the most popular as well.


  • Large number of add-ons as well as beautiful and professional templates to choose from for a beautiful storefront
  • 24/7 customer support – Can be reached by phone, online live chat or email.
  • SEO Compliant


  • May work out slightly more expensive as compared to other platforms
  • The back-end UX is slightly complex to understand in the beginning

Pricing**: Starter – $14/month, Basic – $29/month, Professional- $79/month, Unlimited – $179/month.


Bigcommerce is another popular platform, with 17% of the top 100,000 sites using hosted ecommerce solutions; and 51,977 sites overall*, being built on Bigcommerce.


  • A large knowledge base – The Bigcommerce university provides extensive help resources
  • Easy-to-use interface


  • Some users claim that customer support is a little unreliable at times

Pricing**: Silver – $29.95/month, Gold – $79.95/month, Platinum – $199.95/month


Volusion also has nearly as big a share of the top 100,000 sites using hosted ecommerce solutions – nearly 17%*; with over 90% of its market share is in the United States


  • Wide variety of features
  • Personalized service from account specialists
  • Easy to use interface


  • Volution stores use a mobile site as against a responsive design
  • Add-on store is not as large as Shopify or BigCommerce
  • No Blog setup available

Pricing**: Mini – $15/month, Gold – $35/month, Platinum – $75/month, Pro – $135/month


Mumbai-based Zepo supports more than 1200 ecommerce stores at the moment and has also raised an undisclosed amount of funding in December 2014 to drive its expansion plans.


  • Local brand – local support as well as a better understanding and feel of local market
  • An easy interface, especially for newbies
  • Hosted on Rackspace servers – so you can expect a better speed as compared to most platforms.


  • Limited Images per product on the lower priced plans

Pricing**: Basic – Rs. 949/month, Starter – Rs. 1899/month, Pro – Rs. 2849/month, Unlimited – Rs. 4749/month


Delhi-based KartRocket has powered over 1900 stores via its platform and snapped up close to $2 million investment in January 2015 to fund its expansion as well as develop innovative and India-focused product solutions


  • Good choice of storefront templates
  • Usability – Clean backend interface
  • Local brand – better understanding and feel of local market


  • Comparatively new player in the market as compared to the others above

Pricing**: Studio – Free (5% Transaction fee), Starter – Rs. 1500/month, Pro – Rs. 3000/month, Unlimited – Rs. 7000/month


Top 100000 websites using Hosted Solution technologies -
Top 100000 websites using Hosted Solution technologies –



Every platform and CMS has its plus and minus points and choosing the right one depends on your business model and requirements. If you are going in for a hosted platform, Shopify or Zepo (if you prefer a local player) might be the best options, while if you are looking for a Content Mangement System, then Magento would most definitely work best. This, however, is based on our experince and we would love to hear what your experience says.

As a last word, switching platforms or content management systems after a store is up and running is not really a straightforward process and can truly be a nightmare. So, make sure you take a prudent and informed decision with a good amount of foresight.

If you’re a retailer looking to get onto the ecommerce bandwagon, please feel free to contact us and we would be glad to assist you.

Once you’ve zeroed in on the right platform for your ecommerce business and need to decide on the best payments solution you could use, you can check out our blog on the top payment gateways for ecommerce websites.

*Statistics from
** All price data is from the respective websites as on 12th January, 2015

Google PageSpeed Insights to make your website mobile & SEO friendly

Mobile responsive design

The Internet Era has now given way to the Mobile Internet Era, with 15% to 35% of traffic coming from mobile devices, and this is only slated to grow. Inspite of the fact that already about 1/4th traffic is from mobile, many top Indian websites are not mobile compatible (read our article on 10 Indian websites that are not mobile responsive). If your website is not optimized for the mobile, you are definitely losing out on leads and customers and also on search engine rankings.

So how do you go about optimizing your website for the mobile? Google PageSpeed Insights is a useful tool that helps you identify issues, rectify them and make your website mobile friendly. Below is a summary of the key recommendations to make your website mobile friendly:

  • Object Scaling

It can be really frustrating to click or tap on a link / button on a phone or tablet and accidently, hitting on the wrong button because your finger pad is larger than a desktop mouse cursor. The tap targets should be scaled such that they are large enough to press / click easily.

  • Viewports

If your webpage does not have a meta-viewport tag, mobile browsers will consider you page to be not mobile friendly and hence, fall back on a desktop viewport. Moreover, it might apply font-boosting which can interfere with your intended page layout. The first step in configuration should be width = device – width. It should be kept in mind that not all mobile devices have the same width. Also, users prefer mobile sites scrolling vertically rather than horizontally.

  • Fonts

Check the font sizes. They should be legible to mobile users across devices. Google PageSpeed Insights checks the font sizes on whether it is enough to be read comfortably by most users.

  • Plugins

If you want to attract users who are using their mobile, avoid plugins, as most smartphones do not support flash and other plugins.

If you have a website already and are thinking of making it mobile friendly, it’s possible. But in many cases, a complete redesign, factoring in user experience and website analytics will help increase your website’s conversion rate and boost web and mobile traffic. If you are using WordPress or a CMS then there are quick fixes to make your site compatible – for example in WordPress there is a mobile solution called WP Touch.

We would love to hear your thoughts on mobile/tablet compatibility and how do you see it evolving.

Mobile Responsive Web Design: 10 Indian websites that are not mobile responsive


Mobile Responsive Web Design: 10 Indian websites that are not mobile responsive


At a networking meet last week, I was not surprised to hear a couple of interesting questions thrown around. Some of them which I got hold of, are as follows:

  • Does your company have a mobile website?
  • Do we need a responsive website as we already have a mobile website in place?
  • We are not an e-commerce company so is a mobile responsive website critical for us?

Firstly, let me start off with the difference between the mobile website and a mobile responsive website.

A mobile responsive website design means that no matter what the screen size is, the content always optimizes for the corresponding screen size. Thus, the website can be viewed using any device with any screen size like mobile, tablet, etc. This eliminates the need for cumbersome panning or resizing the website when viewing on different devices.

Alternatively, a mobile website means that you have a separate entity built for a specific devices’ screen size only. Try opening it in a differently-sized device and you would immediately want to check out other competitors in the industry with a better user-friendly website rather than suffering anxiety, eye-strain and blood pressure trying to work your way through the website.

This inspired me to have a look at the Indian companies that do not have a mobile-responsive website and I was pretty surprised to see that a lot of the big names also, do not have an optimized mobile web strategy. Some of them are discussed below:

  1. Pantaloons
    Pantaloons Pantaloons
  2. Mom & Me Mom & Me Mom & Me
  3. Groffr Groffr Groffr
  4. Apple India Apple India Apple India
  5. Tata Docomo Tata Docomo Tata Docomo
  6. Shoppers Stop Shoppers Stop Shoppers Stop
  7. Café Coffee Day ccd Ccd
  8. TCStcs Tcs
  9. Reliance Communications RCom RCom
  10. Groupon Groupon Groupon

The advantages of moving to a responsive web design are many, right from getting mobile traffic to your website to making the website adaptive to the future devices. There are companies that do have dedicated apps but again, not everyone is expected to have the app installed on their device. Instead, a responsive website can allow them to browse without frills. Companies can either opt to brace up for the future or be ready to lose up to half of their traffic in the future in the absence of a mobile responsive web design.

Feel free to reach out to us in case of any feedback or comments at [email protected].