Go from the Longest Year to Your Strongest Year

2020 has been a long year. Businesses have struggled to conform to COVID-19 safety guidelines to keep their customers and employees safe while also having to deal with significant supply chain disruptions, travel restrictions, and other problems. If you’ve found yourself asking “Will this year ever end?” you’re not alone. As we finally come to the end of the year, we can reflect on what went wrong and how we can make next year go right.

Fishbowl’s manufacturing and warehouse management software can help you go from the longest year to your strongest year. While your competitors are shrinking, you can expand. Increase employee productivity, add mobility, cut costs, find new opportunities for growth, and make better use of your resources. How can a software solution help you stage such a dramatic turnaround? Let’s find out.

Increase Employee Productivity

Your employees can get more done when they’re not spending half their time combing through the warehouse for lost items or manually entering numbers into a desktop computer. Fishbowl lets you optimize your warehouse layout, perform batch picks, and make other time-saving changes to your inventory management. Integration with other businesses solutions, such as QuickBooks, eliminates double data entry. An app called Fishbowl Go allows you to use smartphones and tablets as barcode scanners to speed up both ordering items and fulfilling sales orders.

Add Mobility

Fishbowl Hosted Services enables your employees to work from home or any other location that is the most convenient for them. It does this by hosting your server on a VPN or other network and making it accessible to authorized personnel via Internet connection. Warehouse workers will still need to be in the warehouse, of course, but they are not tied to a desktop computer, and they can access detailed inventory data from anywhere in the warehouse on their mobile devices.

Cut Costs

There’s an ROI Tool that helps you calculate all of the cost savings you will receive by using Fishbowl to manage your inventory. It also shows you how quickly the software pays for itself and continues to be a boon to your business thereafter. These cost-cutting factors include the ability to automate time-consuming processes, allow communication and collaboration between departments, optimize your workforce, and comply with government regulations. Saving money is essential in the current economy, and Fishbowl is ideal at helping you do just that.

Find New Opportunities for Growth

The detailed reports in Fishbowl offer unique insights into your sales, purchases, and other aspects of your operations. These allow you to spot seasonal sales trends, see which items are often sold together, find sales patterns at each location, and much more. By identifying these trends, you can plan your inventory strategy so that you will have enough items on hand to meet demand without going overboard. And that is just scratching the surface of the new opportunities that open up when you analyze your inventory data in Fishbowl. – Read more

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How to Optimize Your Product Pages for More Sales

Everyone who owns an ecommerce store knows how important it is to get people to visit the website. But it’s just as essential to get the people who do visit to make a purchase or two. With ecommerce sales expected to reach $735 billion by 2023, acquiring a large piece of that pie should be a priority. One way to do that is by having the best possible product page so that users buy more items from you.

Lots of businesses in ecommerce focus on improving their checkout and cart pages, but the product pages matter as much, if not more, than those components of a site. This is where you can hook customers who aren’t sure whether to buy from you or not. Since ecommerce customers can’t feel or see your products in person, you want to do everything you can to give them the information they need to decide your product is the one they want.

Make Sure All Photographs Are Professional

Online customers will use your photos to make buying decisions, so the products you sell need to look outstanding. While you might think pictures from your smartphone will do the job, avoid going this route. Product photos should be taken by a professional. Having the right equipment and editing software will go a long way toward improving your photos and getting sales.

It’s also crucial to take photos of the product from every possible angle. Remember that the customers can’t touch what you’re selling, so you want to show them what to expect. If you’re selling something that can be worn or used, it’s best to have photos of the item in action. Someone selling jeans should show them on a model, while someone selling power tools should have photos of them in use.

Place Your Call to Action Somewhere Noticeable

Think about how a potential customer gets to a product to buy it. They’re going to need to click a checkout button to put it in the cart and give you a sale. That button needs to be simple and easy to find, or the potential customer might go elsewhere. Consider a large, bold button that has nothing more than a background color with text on it.

It should be the most prominent thing on the screen other than the product being sold. Take a look at your website and see if you already have this handled. If not, you need to make a change. It’s also a good idea to avoid having any other call to actions near the buy button since it can lead to a distraction. Once someone is on a product page, focus on getting them to buy over everything else.

Craft Exciting and Interesting Product Descriptions

One of the most common errors on product pages is not paying enough attention to the description itself. Even if everything else looks excellent, someone might leave the page if the descriptions aren’t perfect. While photos and videos are useful, there also has to be a well-crafted description. Go with something short with bullet points so it can be read more easily.

Lots of product descriptions end up dull and without a sense of personality, which is something else you want to avoid. Your brand needs to have a consistent voice that matches what your audience wants to read. This is different for everyone. For instance, a business marketing to students will have vastly different product descriptions than a business focusing on retirement-age folks.

Make Sure Your Ecommerce Site Is Mobile Friendly

When it comes to ecommerce, mobile cannot be ignored. Based on data from December 2017, 82% of online shoppers in the U.S. do at least some of that shopping from a mobile device. Also, 35% of those people do their shopping strictly on mobile using a smartphone or tablet. That means your site as a whole, as well as your product pages, need to be optimized for mobile devices.

On top of that, Google made a change to their algorithm to introduce mobile-first indexing. That means if you have a product page that isn’t mobile-friendly, it could lead to lost sales, traffic, and revenue. Using a tool like Startup from Designmodo will ensure that every page of your website works well on any device. – Read more

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The 5 Most Commonly Asked Questions About Cloud Solutions

We believe there are many reasons to migrate your organisation’s applications to the cloud, not least of which are cost savings, streamlined operations, redeployment of resources, reskilling of your internal teams and talent retention.  

In this blog, I answer the five most common questions I get asked about moving applications to the cloud, so you can make an informed decision about whether it’s the right thing for your organisation.  

1. Is it secure and where is my data? 

“Is it secure?”  is one of the most commonly asked questions about the cloud. But as the cloud has become universal in organisations, the nature of the question has changed. 

Every year, major cloud providers like Amazon and Microsoft spend billions to make their cloud services stable, robust and secure. Security measures and compliance certifications are available for all to see, and Microsoft’s cloud offering is as secure as it gets in terms of compliance, governance and physical security.  

The result? Today, almost everyone accepts that the cloud is secure. The conversation now is less around how secure it is and more around data control. It’s essential that organisations understand where their data lives, where it may go and who can access it in order to feel comfortable with moving to the cloud. 

A lack of understanding around how the cloud works is a barrier to adoption for many organisations. In the UK, law firms are amongst some of the most cautious adopters of cloud solutions, largely because of questions about where confidential client data will reside and who can access it.  

There needs to be an understanding that, by its very nature, the cloud exists in multiple locations – and your data can too. Azure, for example, for resilience can have multiple copies of data in multiple locations. And this conversation isn’t always an IT-led discussion; it needs the business to decide in which country their data should be reside, and whether they are comfortable with it potentially leaving UK soil. The cloud gives customers choice here, different services having different options about where data is stored, but it’s important that well informed decisions are made in this regard. 

Organisations need to know what they are letting themselves in for and understand how data will be stored and accessed which needs a complex, but not impossible, discussion about trust and understanding. In our experience, anyone who truly understands the options and how the cloud works has been confident in making an informed decision based on facts not fear.  

2.  Will all my IT staff be out of work/redundant? 

Generally, there isn’t a direct correlation between adopting cloud services and IT staff being let go.  We prefer to see this as freeing up IT staff to focus on more strategic tasks. 

Whether they’re in retail, manufacturing, healthcare or any other sector, businesses are trying to be ‘the best’ and provide the best service to their customers. IT should enable them to do that. It should be a supporter and enabler for a business to do its job and operate at its highest level. And for organisations that are held back by inefficient, outdated IT systems, embracing the cloud is one way to make improvements. 

Few organisations today choose to use physical servers; they are costly, require office space and need people to maintain and manage them. Solutions like O365 and Exchange Online are making delivery of common IT services easier, better and lower cost, and like it or not, the requirement for on-premise skills will reduce as cloud adoption becomes the new norm. As IT evolves, the skillset of IT teams needs to evolve with it, or face being left behind.  – Read more