You can use AI technology when you are considering purchasing a new website. You will be able to tell whether the site is likely to be profitable and provide enough of a sustainable revenue stream to make up for the investment.
AI Technology is Making It Easier to Identify Opportunities When Purchasing Websites
Making the right decision when purchasing a content site can be challenging. Part of the issue is that the standard due diligence one would apply to SaaS or eCommerce businesses may not always be enough to evaluate a content site’s value fully. Instead, you need to learn to recognize the common traits of a quality site. And more importantly, you must learn to look below the surface to ensure that all is as it appears.
Fortunately, new AI tools make it easier for companies planning on purchasing a website to better evaluate them. This is just one of many ways AI is changing business. Here are some guidelines on using AI technology to better vet a website you would like to purchase.
Tip #1: Use AI Technology to Gauge the Quality of Your Content
The first thing you should look at when evaluating a content site is the content itself. Whether it’s a blog post, an infographic, or a video, all high-quality content shares a few common traits. These include:
Specificity. Good content is written with a specific audience in mind, and targeted to a particular niche. Eloquent. It is well-written, without spelling or grammatical errors. It uses natural language and avoids awkward phrasing. Consistent. It follows a regular schedule. You need to ensure you can follow this same schedule after you’ve purchased the business. Engaging. It directly addresses the audience, and is designed to inspire their active participation with the brand. Strategic. Created as part of a forward-looking content marketing strategy and based on keyword, topic, and audience research.
Unfortunately, these kinds of judgment calls are very subjective. It can be difficult to figure out whether the content on a site will appeal to your audience long-term or avoid a penalty from Google, unless you really know what you are looking for.
This is where AI technology can be very helpful. A lot of tools like Moz use AI to come up with a spam score, which considers the value of the content when determining whether the site will likely be penalized in the future. There are also AI tools that can help assess content quality.
Use AI to Watch Out for Duplicates & Plagiarism
Unfortunately, there are multiple low-quality copycats for every high-quality content site on the web. The owners of these businesses want all the success of their more talented peers without having to put in any of the work. And while you aren’t likely to come across these plagiarists if you work with an established advisor, you should nevertheless practice vigilance.
Fortunately, AI also helps assess sites for plagiarism. The easiest way to test whether or not a content site is original is via a tool such as Copyscape (for blog posts) or Turnitin (for video). You can even use machine learning to create your own plagiarism detection tool. Plug a few pieces of content into either of those tools and look at the results that pop up. Evaluate the following:
Publication dateAwkward or unusual languageSpammy or underhanded practicesLayout/design
Tip #2: Use AI to Estimate Traffic
A website with consistently high traffic may look like a sound investment at first. But traffic is a metric that should never be evaluated in a vacuum. It’s not enough to look at how many visitors a content site gets. You must also consider the quality of each visitor.
Ask the following questions:
Does the traffic primarily originate from organic sources? Is the traffic qualified? How many of these visitors convert? If the site leverages ads, are the traffic and the revenue proportionate to one another?What keywords generate the most traffic? Do these keywords align with the site’s brand?
But Make Sure The Numbers Aren’t Fudged
While evaluating traffic quality, there are also several red flags you should look for:
The site doesn’t rank organically for any of its primary keywords. The majority of traffic originates from sources other than social media, PPC ads, or searches. The traffic appears to be either trending downward or extremely unstable.The seller refuses to show you live traffic numbers, instead preferring screenshots.
Since sellers have an incentive to misrepresent their traffic numbers, you need to use third-party tools to estimate traffic numbers. The good news is that AI has made this much easier. Although Alexa is being discontinued this year, there are other AI-driven traffic estimator tools like Quantcast that you can use. You can also use AI-driven search engine analysis tools like SemRush and Ahrefs to see how well a site is ranking on Google, which will help you estimate the search engine traffic it is generating. You will just need to know what metrics to look at.
Tip #3: Excellent Design
One aspect shared between content sites, and other online businesses is the importance of the user experience. A good content site is streamlined and straightforward. It should be easy to use and understand without any extraneous visual elements.
Use your best judgment — if you feel that a site is difficult to navigate, then it probably is.
You’ve presumably already seen the numbers for your prospective purchase. So on paper, at least, the business appears profitable. But where do these profits originate?
The seller should be willing to provide you with at least an overview of their content monetization strategy. For example, is their site generating revenue based on a clearly-established plan, or does most of their profits appear to be the result of luck?
But Make Sure That Plan is Sustainable Post-Purchase
The more important question to ask is whether or not you can sustain the seller’s original monetization strategy after you’ve purchased the business. Is it reliant on expertise that only the seller possesses? Are there any partnerships that may not carry over with the acquisition?
You can use AI to also figure out how sustainable a revenue stream from a website will be. You can look at the types of traffic, the niche and probability of future Google penalties to predict future revenue. This is one of the best benefits of preditive analytics in this field.
Tip #5: A Strong Social Media Presence
Social media and content marketing go hand-in-hand. A high-quality content site will generally also maintain a strong presence on Facebook/Twitter, with an active and engaged community. Therefore, the site should also have a social media strategy alongside a content marketing and content monetization strategy.
But Be Wary of Ill Will
Again, no metric should be evaluated in a vacuum. Even if a content site appears to maintain an active community at first glance, as part of your due diligence you must drill down into the nature of that community. How do people engage with the content site’s brand?
Pay close attention to the general sentiment around the site and its content. If it’s highly damaging, that could signify that there’s an issue with ill will of which you are unaware. And that issue may well be why the seller is offloading the site.
Use AI to Look for Green Lights and Red Flags
Artificial intelligence technology is proving to be incredibly useful in many industries. Online entrepreneurs are among those that are benefiting from breakthroughs in AI. A content site can be an excellent investment. But it can also functionally serve as a money pit. The difference depends as much on you as it does on your ability to distinguish between a site with quality content and one that’s ultimately a lemon.
It all boils down to knowing what to look for — and now you do.
The marketing profession has been fundamentally changed due to advances in artificial intelligence and big data. The market size for AI in marketing is expected to grow over 31% a year through 2028. It is growing at an even faster pace as more companies discover new benefits.
Unfortunately, there are a number of AI-driven marketing mistakes companies continue to make. One of the biggest issues is focusing entirely on outreach at the expense of customer service.
AI technology is helping solve customer service problems. However, it is only useful for companies that utilize it properly.
In order to appreciate the benefits of AI in customer service, you must recognize the most common customer service problems. When customers have a bad customer service encounter:
91% of customers leave without a warning47% of customers switch brands40% of customers recommend against the business
It is obvious from the statistics that each customer, facing a bad customer service experience, does more than one step to hurt the business. Think about your bad service experience with a brand and the actions you took after that. It is easily palpable that you would be reluctant to recommend the service to your friends and family. AI technology can help address these issues.
Customer Service in a Services Business
One broad way businesses can be categorized is as product business and services business. The marketing mix for product businesses includes the product, price, promotion, and place. But for services business, additional elements in the marketing mix are people, process, and physical evidence. These three elements are prominent in delivering customer satisfaction.
All the elements of a services business are accentuated in the customer service. It is where the people and process of a business are translated to physical evidence. Thus, customer service becomes the one area that has the maximum friction between business and its consumers.
All kinds of financial businesses are services businesses. It could be a fintech business, fund management, or brokerage. All of them are services business and the maximum friction between customers and financial businesses occur in the customer service process.
Why is Customer Service Important?
A customer has to do business with a services business for a long period to recover the acquisition cost incurred. This is determined by calculating the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) for each individual customer. This is essentially the profit the business can generate from one customer. In most modern businesses customer acquisition is a costly affair. The CLV of a customer increases the longer he conducts business with the firm.
When a customer has a bad experience, there is a very high chance that he will ditch the service. This decreases the CLV and it is possible to lose the acquisition cost that went into acquiring the customer. There is also a possibility of wider backlash from the public. With modern social media outlets, customers can share their bad experiences with customer service and garner significant attention.
On the other hand, excellent customer service delights consumers and he will not even consider alternatives. This ensures that he stays longer as a customer increasing the CLV. Also, a customer with a positive experience is also more likely to recommend the financial service to friends or family. This decreases the acquisition cost for new customers. In short, how the customer service of a firm functions can dramatically impact the profitability of the firm, either positively or negatively.
AI & ML: Problem Solver in Customer Service
Artificial intelligence and machine learning tools have advanced over the years. They can accomplish much more complex functionalities than simple computer algorithms are capable of. It is a constantly evolving area and more improvements are made possible each passing day. For example, deep learning can be used to understand speech and also respond with speech.
AI and ML can be used in customer service to tackle various problems that need a large scale. It also works as customer service functions deal with a lot of complexity. The following sections discuss some of the most common challenges and how AI can help solve the challenge.
1. Information Gap
A major challenge in customer service is the information gap of the customer service executive. This leads to inaccurate problem identification and incomplete resolution. As one can imagine one executive cannot be knowledgeable of all the systems and processes of a company. The information gap of customer service executives leaves customers dissatisfied.
A common way of bridging the information gap without AI solutions is with user forums. Take the example of 17-years-old MQL5.community, created by MetaQuotes, the developing company of MetaTrader 5. Here, the community themselves identifies the root cause of problems and figures out the solution. Such instances require very little external support from the company. But it is not applicable to all kinds of financial services companies and AI solutions will be more appropriate in most instances.
The AI Solution
Implementing AI with the knowledge base of the firm can transform the information gap experienced by the executive to information abundance. AI tools can identify the right solution from the knowledge base without the executive requiring to search through the database. Search tools with Natural Language Processing (NLP) can bring the right solution with very little query effort. AI tools can also search the knowledge database to find similar queries experienced in the past and how it was resolved.
2. Disjointed Customer Experience
There are plenty of touchpoints between customers and a financial services firm. This can range from various physical locations to a multitude of online touchpoints. Customers feel a disjointed experience when traversing the different touchpoints. It also makes the job of customer service executives as she is not aware of the customer journey of the particular customer in front of her. This makes problem resolution difficult and hence degradation in customer experience.
The AI solution
Applying AI to the various systems of the firm and stitch together the relevant information related to a customer. This helps to weave together the information of a customer across different touchpoints. With this, the complete customer journey of every customer is available to the customer service executive at the touch of a button. AI tools can also help highlight the parts of the customer journey relevant to the query at hand. This unified information leads to faster resolution and in turn better customer experience.
Customer service centers and other touchpoints have standardized procedures and processes to make things simpler. This is done for maximum efficiency. But the most efficient processes are not customer-friendly. Each customer is different in some way or the other. Standardized processes and procedures cannot deliver tailored resolutions to different customers. Due to this customer delight is elusive in most customer service interactions with financial services firms.
The AI solution
AI tools have a very large scale and they can accommodate various types of processes and procedures. It has the ability to deliver a tailored experience to each customer. The advantage of AI tools is that tailored experiences can be delivered without sacrificing efficiency. This AI is able to deliver the trifecta of scale, personalization, and efficiency at a very low cost.
4. Customer Service Volume
When a large number of customers have to be serviced, the infrastructure and the human resources required to serve them increase proportionally. Adding more physical locations and more customer service representatives is a cost-prohibitive. The firm faces a challenge between two choices. Increase the infrastructure at a higher cost or use existing infrastructure delivering poor customer service.
The AI solution
AI tools are easily scalable to a large number of users without needing additional infrastructure. A lot of customer service functions can also be automate with AI. More users can be served just by spinning up more cloud computing servers. This incurs a very minimal cost of operations compared to adding physical infrastructure and customer service executives. This helps to deliver the same level of service without huge capital expenditure. Another advantage is that scaling down operations is also much easier. The unwanted server capacity needs to be shut down to scale down. There is no problem faced with reducing physical infrastructure or downsizing employees.
Customer service is a key factor in retaining customers which in turn is needed for a higher return on invested capital for firms. But delivering a great customer service experience is quite difficult with physical infrastructure and customer service executives. There are limitations to what can be achieved by customer care executives. AI tools have the ability to transcend the customer service of businesses. They are capable of delivering scale, personalization, quality, unified experience, and information abundance. AI is capable of delivering all these resulting in customer delight at a significantly lower cost.
There are many ways that the cloud is changing our daily lives and the business models of entire industries. One of the biggest changes has to do with employee communication. A new generation of cloud-based workplace communication apps are leading to some drastic changes in many industries.
Cloud-Based Workplace Apps Are Changing the Company Culture in Many Ways.
Businesses are starting to appreciate the benefits that cloud technology is bringing to their workplaces. Most managers believe that communicating with employees through conventional channels such as email is sufficient in the current workplace. However, employees are increasingly frustrated for not accessing work-related information from their devices, especially in the current era of remote work. Cloud technology is necessary to bring these changes.
O’Brien talked at length about some of the cloud collaboration tools available. There were some great platforms listed in his blog post. However, they primarily were geared towards larger enterprises. Smaller companies can benefit from using free cloud-based apps like WhatsApp.
This is where designing a cloud-based workplace mobile app becomes essential. Below are some of the reasons why workplace mobile apps are necessary for every business.
What is a Workplace App and Why Should its Data Be Kept on the Cloud?
Like any other application, workplace apps facilitate communication and interactions within an organization. It allows employees and departmental team members to communicate and collaborate effectively. Workplace apps also allow managers to connect with their employees better, even in a distributed workforce.
There are a number of reasons that these apps should be operated on the cloud:
It is easier to preserve data on the cloud. Companies don’t have to worry about it getting lost if a local communication model has an outage.These apps are a lot cheaper, because they can leverage the scalability of larger, third-party cloud providers.The right cloud networks can be a lot more secure.
A growing number of companies will shift towards using cloud-based communication apps to realize these benefits.
Benefits of Workplace Apps that Operate Over the Cloud
Some of the benefits of introducing cloud-based workplace apps include the following:
1. They create a positive work culture
Workplace culture defines employees and managers’ interactions, relations, and coexistence. Positive workplace culture boosts loyalty and productivity, while negative culture has several predicaments. Building a positive workplace culture encourages employees to be concerned for one another, improving employee retention and attracting talent.
Open communication fostered by workplace mobile apps goes a long way in helping companies build and sustain a positive culture. Workplace apps eliminate the hierarchy at the workplace and create natural opportunities for employees and managers to interact freely while providing immediate feedback. They also promote consistent multidirectional feedback, which supports a positive workplace culture.
One of the reasons that cloud apps help improve the company culture is transparency. Everyone can see communications and address any harsh, discriminatory or inaccurate information presented in communications.
2. Better than email communication
While emails are important and influential for internal communication, they create clutter in your employees’ inboxes. They are also not engaging and lack immediacy.
To match the changing communication needs in a workplace, you should switch to workplace apps as they enhance the general employee experience. For instance, employees can easily access training resources with several features, such as file sharing and video uploading abilities. They rely on data stored on large, trustedd cloud networks, which has high uptime guarantees and excellent bandwidth. This shortens the time it takes to onboard new team members. A dedicated newsfeed feature also enables departmental heads to instantly share information with the right people.
3. They meet the unique demands of the modern workforce.
The new generation is very tech-savvy, so they are more appreciative of cloud apps and cloud platforms. Companies will need to introduce cloud tools to meet their expectations.
Gen Z and millennials make up the highest percentage of the modern workforce. Unlike previous generations, the modern workforce prefers mobile communication for easy feedback, transparency, and experience in new, flexible, and more productive environments. Workplace apps installed on employees’ smartphones can meet these unique needs.
Surprisingly, only half of the employees currently think that their employers score better to ensure efficient communication and collaboration across departments. This percentage is low, probably because these newer generations prefer transparent conversations with immediate feedback. Fortunately, cloud-based communication apps can help address these issues.
4. They streamline workplace communication
Due to the increased adoption of remote work, organizations currently communicate using multiple channels. Employees receive messages from various collaborating tools, including Slack, email, LinkedIn, iMessage, Facebook, and WhatsApp. Following up on all messages can distract employees, costing them a lot of time and focus.
While a workplace mobile app is another channel, it is the only channel that employees use for work-related information. With this, employees will no longer expect communication from multiple channels or information sources. Instead, everything will be receiving information from only one source.
Cloud technology helps create a central communication hub and improves the efficiency of internal communications. This will address many of the aforementioned conerns.
Cloud Communication Apps Are the Future of the Workplace
Advancing technology has made it necessary for organizations to integrate workplace apps into business operations. The suitable workplace mobile app improves employees’ efficiency and productivity.
There is no disputing the reality that cloud technology is the future of the workplace. More companies are going to use it to improve the communication dynamics in their companies.
There is no denying the fact that AI is transforming the cybersecurity industry. A double-edged sword, artificial intelligence can be employed both as a security solution and a weapon by hackers. As AI enters the mainstream, there is much misinformation and confusion regarding its capabilities and potential threats. Dystopian scenarios of all-knowing machines taking over the world and destroying humanity abound in popular culture. However, many people recognize the potential benefits that AI may bring us through the advances and insights it can deliver.
Computer systems capable of learning, reasoning, and acting are still in the early stages. Machine learning needs massive amounts of data. When applied to real-world systems like autonomous vehicles, this technology combines complex algorithms, robotics, and physical sensors. While deployment is streamlined for businesses, providing AI with access to data and granting it any amount of autonomy raises significant concerns.
AI is Changing the Nature of Cybersecurity for Better or Worse
Artificial intelligence (AI) has been widely used in cybersecurity solutions, but hackers also use it to create sophisticated malware and carry out cyberattacks.
In an era of hyper-connectivity, where data is viewed as the most valuable asset a company has, the cybersecurity industry diversifies. There are a lot of AI-driven cybersecurity trends that industry experts must be aware of.
There is a lot of money to be made from cyber crime these days. With the plethora of available resources, even those without technical expertise can engage in it. Exploit kits of varying levels of sophistication are available for purchase, ranging from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands. According to Business Insider, a hacker might generate roughly $85,000 every month.
This is a hugely profitable and accessible pastime, so it’s not going away anytime soon. Moreover, cyberattacks are expected to become harder to detect, more frequent, and more sophisticated in the future, putting all of our connected devices at risk.
Businesses, of course, face substantial losses in terms of data loss, revenue loss, heavy fines, and the possibility of having their operations shut down.
As a result, the cybersecurity market is expected to expand, with suppliers offering a diverse array of solutions. Unfortunately, it’s a never-ending battle, with their solutions only as effective as the next generation of malware.
Emerging technologies, including AI, will continue to play a significant part in this battle. Hackers can take advantage of AI advances and use them for cyberattacks like DDoS attacks, MITM attacks, and DNS tunneling.
For example, let’s take CAPTCHA, a technology that has been available for decades to protect against credential stuffing by challenging non-human bots to read distorted text. A few years ago, a Google study discovered that machine learning-based optical character recognition (OCR) technology could handle 99.8 percent of bots’ difficulties with CAPTCHA.
Criminals are also employing artificial intelligence to hack passwords more quickly. Deep learning can help accelerate brute force attacks. For example, research trained neural networks with millions of leaked passwords, resulting in a 26% success rate when generating new passwords.
The black market for cybercrime tools and services provides an opportunity for AI to increase efficiency and profitability.
The most severe fear about AI’s application in malware is that emerging strains will learn from detection events. If a malware strain could figure out what caused it to be detected, the same action or characteristic may be avoided the next time.
Automated malware developers may, for example, rewrite a worm’s code if it was the cause of its compromise. Likewise, randomness might be added to foil pattern-matching rules if specific characteristics of behavior caused it to be discovered.
The effectiveness of ransomware depends on how quickly it can spread in a network system. Cybercriminals are already leveraging AI for this purpose. For example, they employ artificial intelligence to see the reactions of the firewalls and locate open ports that the security team has neglected.
There are numerous instances in which firewall policies in the same company clash, and AI is an excellent tool for taking advantage of this vulnerability. Many of the recent breaches have used artificial intelligence to circumvent firewall restrictions.
Other attacks are AI-powered, given their scale and sophistication. AI is embedded into exploit kits sold in on the black market. It’s a very lucrative strategy for cybercriminals, and the ransomware SDKs are loaded with AI technology.
Hackers are also employing artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate attacks on corporate networks. For example, cybercriminals can use AI and ML to build malware to detect vulnerabilities and determine which payload to use to exploit them.
This implies malware can avoid detection by not having to communicate with command and control servers. Instead of employing the usual slower, scattershot strategy that can warn a victim that they are under attack, attacks can be laser-focused.
Attackers also use AI to uncover new software weaknesses. Fuzzing tools are already available to help legitimate software developers and penetration testers protect their programs and systems, but as is often the case, whatever tools the good guys use, the bad guys can exploit.
AI and associated systems are becoming more common in the global economy, and the criminal underworld follows suit. Moreover, the source code, data sets, and methodologies used to develop and maintain these robust capabilities are all publicly available, so cybercriminals with a financial incentive to take advantage of them will concentrate their efforts here.
When it comes to detecting malicious automation, data centers must adopt a zero-trust strategy.
Employees have become adept at identifying phishing emails, particularly those sent in mass, but AI allows attackers to personalize each email for each recipient.
That’s where we’re seeing the severe first weaponization of machine learning algorithms. This includes reading an employee’s social media posts or, in the instance of attackers who have previously gained access to a network, reading all of the employee’s communications.
Attackers can also use AI to insert themselves into ongoing email exchanges. An email that is part of a current conversation instantly sounds genuine. Email thread hijacking is a powerful strategy for getting into a system and spreading malware from one device to another.
Data analytics has arguably become the biggest gamechanger in the field of finance. Many large financial institutions are starting to appreciate the many advantages that big data technology has brought. Markets and Markets estimates that the financial analytics market will be worth $11.4 billion in the next two years.
Companies in the financial sector aren’t the only ones discovering the benefits of using data analytics for financial management. Small business owners in many other industries are using new data analytics platforms to address many of the financial issues that they are facing. Data analytics can even help them prepare for financial disasters.
Data Analytics Brings Many Benefits to Small Businesses Facing Financial Challenges
Personal finance mistakes and issues often happen to businesses and business owners. A financial slip-up can have far-reaching consequences. Owners who get into financial dilemmas while running their business needs to make choices. It starts with which bills to pay, which opportunities need to be sacrificed, which partners to leave, and why they skimped on the best business bank account for another with a poor track record.
Good finance habits set entrepreneurs up for success by letting them focus on the growth of their companies. Bad habits steer their attention away from their businesses and deter their ability to expand.
The good news is that new advances in data technology can help deal with these issues. Many companies are using data analytics to mitigate losses due to fraud, identify the best opportunities to invest their money and make sure they saving enough to deal with future issues.
Specific Ways Small Businesses Can Use Data Analytics to Resolve Financial Problems
Here are some of the most common personal-finance mistakes business owners can fix with big data technology.
Small businesses suffer the greatest risks of fraud. The prevalence of fraud is 28%, compared to only around 22% for larger companies. A growing number of businesses are using data analytics for fraud scoring. New fraud scoring algorithms have proven to be highly effective.
Your credit score.
Your credit score follows you no matter how far off the grid you try to run. Personal loans, business loans, credit cards, and insurance premiums all have a dependence on your credit score. Missing payment could quickly result in exorbitant interest rates. Data analytics tools can help you figure out how to improve your credit score.
Services like Credit Sesame use sophisticated data mining and predictive analytics tools to help you better understand the variables impacting your credit score. You can use the information gleaned through their data mining tools to figure out the best way to improve your credit score.
Familiarize yourself with all the different aspects that affect your credit score and use financial analytics tools to monitor it. There’s more than one model that can be utilized to assess your score, but total credit usage, balances, and available credit are the most influential aspects. Learn the contributors to your credit score to let yourself know what measures to keep your numbers high.
Debt in itself isn’t bad, but some debts can turn into nightmares if you aren’t careful. Payday loans and credit card balances carry the same weight as lines of credit. The average credit card interest rate is around 19 percent, while payday loans charge several times, sometimes even as high as 500 percent.
Assess your outstanding debts and corresponding interest rates. Then, start a plan to pay the minimum amount, focusing on the one with the highest rate. When you finish off, be wise in your next loan.
Data analytics tools can help you track your debt more carefully. You will be able to track your debts more easily. Some financial analytics platforms can help you determine the amount of money that you can save by understanding the opportunity cost of paying some debts off rather than others.
Some of the best data-driven personal financial apps include Cleo, Eva Money, Wizely and MintZip.
Use Data Analytics to Help Create an Emergency fund
There is a substantial risk for entrepreneurship, even if you are on a solid financial footing. Going in without a backup might lead your business to financial issues. Emergency fund lets protect from short-term problems and allow a wiggle room when you have to wait under market distress.
Data analytics technology can also help you understand the best approaches to create an emergency fund. You can use data-driven budgeting tools to identify holes in your budget that you fix to save money. Most bank accounts allow you to search past transaction data, so you can see how much you are spending on certain nonessentials.
Separate your accounts
There are infamous stories about founders pouring their life savings into their dream business and coming out on top – this is rare and not practical for most. Many entrepreneurs fund their companies using their accounts, and that’s an accepted way to start a company. However, depositing funds from your customer’s orders in the same account invites massive financial (and legal) headaches into the business.
Make an effort to open and maintain a separate account through the best bank account provider in your area. Instead of pouring profit directly into your account, consider just giving yourself a salary. Capping your income will give you a better understanding of where your business stands and build up savings for growth and investments.
Data Analytics is Changing the Future of Financial Management for Small Businesses
Data analytics technology is making financial management much easier for many business owners. Improved personal finance leads to better business finance, which ultimately means a smoother ride to the top. Focus on your company’s growth and don’t complicate the matter with missed bills and poor credit by opening the best business bank account that fits your needs. Get your affairs in order, then devote your efforts to company growth strategies. You will have a much easier time if you use the right data analytics and financial management tools!
Apps are being published left and right these days, and to someone on the outside, it can almost seem as though application development is easy and everyone is doing it. But anyone who has actually worked on developing an app knows the process is exactly the opposite. It can be long, drawn-out, and unsatisfying – especially if your application does not turn out how you pictured it. If you believe you are ready to release an application for live use, make sure you check these things off of your list first.
Research Your App
This may seem hard to believe, but there are millions of applications out there, with over 250 million application downloads happening every day. Your application is likely not the only one of its kind out there, so knowing what makes your application different and stand out from the rest is an essential part of making your application pay off for you. For instance, what are your competitors like, and how is their pricing? Will you be able to compete in a market that may have thousands of other apps like yours available? It can also be helpful to look at reviews about apps that are similar to yours, as well. There may be information that will help in the development of your own app, to help you put it above your competitors.
Know Your Marketing Plan
If no one sees your app out there after it is released, then no one is going to use it. It is important before an application goes live to have a marketing plan, precisely developed for your target audience. Is your app a game, or a tool, or a source of entertainment? For any of these, you have to figure out how to capture the attention of the people you want interested in the app. How do you appeal to the demographics of the people you want as customers? You’ll want to make sure you are generating content, have a social media presence that talks about the application, and have also determined how to appeal to your target market.
Get Some Reviews, and Test Test Test
You know what’s the most terrible thing you can do before an application release? If you do not have it thoroughly tested in an end-user environment. You will never be able to discover all of the bugs in your own application on your own. You will never think of all of the different ways that your app could possibly be used when in the hands of your customers. Employing a reputable testing firm like Testrigor, or enlisting a group of people to test your app in the real world environment before releasing it to the public, may mean your app making it in the app life cycle instead of dying a horrible, early death.
Thoroughly testing your app has a wide variety of positive outcomes. Though it may require more time and possibly more monetary input upfront, vetting your application from a customer’s point of view is never a step that should be skipped. And when your app goes through beta testing, ask if the testers will be willing to give reviews. Honest feedback is important to the growth of any new application.
Choose the Right Launch Date
This may be one that would come to the minds of many application developers, but choosing the correct launch date for your app can mean your app gets seen when otherwise it might not. The market is competitive and certain types of apps do better at certain times. Do your research, check out the release date of similar applications, and pay attention to things like holidays and busy sales seasons.
Develop Your Screenshots
The world is becoming more and more of a visual place. If you are planning to release your app soon and have not taken some good quality screenshots showing the look and functionality of your application, then you are not ready to release it. Consumers are more likely to look at pictures of an application before they read a description, and many will likely pass by an app that has few or no pictures, or that does not display functionality thoroughly. Your app may shine in your eyes above all others, but the key is to remember that you have to make the customer feel this, as well.
Developing an app is a heady endeavor, but it’s also one that can pay off well in the end if it is done correctly. When your app is developed and ready to be released to the world, make sure you have checked off this list to create the most possible opportunity for your work to succeed.
There is no denying the fact that artificial intelligence has become important in the field of web design. A growing number of web developers are using data analytics, AI and other big data tools to make the most out of their strategy. In fact, e-commerce and SaaS platforms are part of the reason that the market for AI is projected to be worth $126 billion by 2025.
AI is Changing the Future of Web Design
We are at that time of year where we start to look towards the future. Many of us will have already started thinking about our resolutions for 2022, and it’s incredibly similar when it comes to the beautiful world of web design.
Yes, the world’s best designers have long been thinking about what progression looks like in 2022, from freelance and distinguished designers respected the world over to huge brands of website building platforms like Duda. The latter are continually looking for ways to simplify web design to make it easy for beginners to set up in just a few steps. They have discovered that learning AI is one of the best ways to improve the quality of their work.
A number of important trends are playing a role in the future of the web design sector. AI technology will be at the epicenter of these changes for the foreseeable future.
So, what are we expecting with AI-driven web design in 2022?
Here are some of the biggest AI trends shaping the web design profession.
We’re already welcoming bolder and brighter designs to websites these days, and that’s going to continue in 2022 and beyond. We’re seeing new fun and more festive designs that offer more interactivity without losing focus or user simplicity. Imagery and shapes are what many designers are using at the moment and more intriguing fonts and overall lighter elements.
This is one of the most important benefits of using AI in web design. Developers can use sophisticated AI tools like Canva or Befunky to create unique shapes that can be incorporated into their layouts.
Black and White
We’re stepping into the age before color TV for this next trend and the monochromatic glory of black and white. If you get it right, there’s nothing that quite matches a black and white color scheme more, and it allows designers to focus on simplicity, a key element of any user experience.
This is another area where AI can be useful. A number of tools can automatically transition a number of images into black and white.
In gaming, we see a considerable rise in VR, and in web design, we’re welcoming the arrival of 3D in style. This is one of the most important applications of AI in modern web design. Virtual reality wouldn’t be possible without major advances in machine learning technology. The last few years have seen many websites develop three-dimensional elements, and in 2022 we’re going to see more simplistic elements added, such as shadows, animations, or layering.
It’s becoming more and more the time to start thinking about 3D, as they ultimately provide a more “real” experience for the user, which can be incredibly important for e-commerce. Users are more likely to get a fuller, more detailed image of a product, while they can also see all angles and ensure it’s the right product for them.
It’s believed that we are likely to see ‘the one-page website,’ with all the information you need on one page over the next few years. Of course, scrolling text will play a huge part in this, and it’s a trend we’re already seeing more and more of.
Scrolling Text is a great way to encourage engagement and interaction with a website, and if this is currently lacking on your site, it could certainly be worth considering as we move into 2022.
AI technology can help improve the presentation of scrolling text. It can help you change the speed of text, transparency and other important factors to improve the user experience. Also, conventional methods of creating scrolling text were very tedious and often entailed creating a lot of different frames in a tool like Canva. AI has made it a lot easier to create scrolling text without this level of time involvement.
No Image Homepages
That’s right. While we’re all so used to seeing imagery on a homepage, designers are going to be ditching it for the next 12 months, using powerful and oversized fonts, shapes, and animations to emphasize their brand values and purpose.
As seen with the black and white trend, minimal aesthetics will be popular in the coming months and years, and no image homepages really play into that movement. Just don’t leave your homepages completely blank…
AI technology can help with automated testing. It can create variations of a webpage with and without images and determine which one converts better after the split-testing experiment is finished.
Often an area of a site that gets forgotten about, 2022 will be the year of the footer. The footer is where lots of vital information can be found, from front contact information to quick links to get around the site.
The next year will bring in the era of the “mega footer,” a must-have element of design that will provide multiple points of information. The WWF is already using this and offers a good example of what one looks like. They’re most useful for more significant sites, with the ability to direct people to critical pages quickly and easily.
Again, AI technology is useful for conducting automated split-testing experiments and making sure the right footer is presented to improve the user experience.
Savvy business owners recognize the importance of investing in big data technology. Companies that utilize big data strategically end up having a strong advantage against their competitors.
However, despite the benefits big data provides, companies that are using it are in the minority. Only 30% of companies have a well-defined data strategy. An even smaller number of companies have a data strategy that is supported by the company leadership.
In order to make sure that a data strategy is supported, companies need to appreciate the potential applications it provides. They will be more likely to invest in it.
There have been some significant innovations in the workforce that have changed the way they operate as a whole. Technological advancements like enhanced software tools and e-learning content to assist in training employees are among these innovations. Still, in the world of business, perhaps nothing has benefited the industry more than big data analytics. But how exactly do they help businesses? Furthermore, how does that help then translate to better service for their customers? And in what ways have they influenced businesses for the future?
It Helps Locate Target Demographics
Understanding your target audience is one of the essential parts of running a business and utilizing Big data analytics is a critical component in doing so. Statistics on social media usage, customer ages, genders, hobbies, careers, income, and lots more are used to determine a target audience accurately. Not only that, but an analysis of competitor data and demographics can prove helpful as well for comparing results and practices. This data collection can then be used for countless marketing strategies but ultimately is processed to make any necessary changes or adjustments.
Are you still skeptical of the benefits of using big data to target demographics more effectively? One study found that data-savvy companies were 23 times more likely to acquire new customers. This is largely due to the fact that they are able to use data analytics technology to get a better understanding of their target customers and adapt their marketing strategies accordingly.
Like so many other departments, advertising is a vital aspect of marketing and business. Many companies fight tooth and nail to get a jump on the market and hold ranks throughout it. This is where Big data analytics comes into play. By using collected data and demographics, monitoring online transactions, and keeping tabs on customers’ direction, advertisers can throw together viable campaigns that will give their company an added push for success.
Lets Businesses Track Customer Moves
As any employee or business owner would tell you, customers keep their world spinning and the organization booming. With Big data, businesses can determine their customers’ habits and patterns and any potential trends that might emerge. This collected data is then used to ensure current customers continue to return and new ones follow suit. It is because of this that, Regardless of how long you’ve been in the game, keeping a tab on customer moves is vital to both aspiring and long-lived businesses.
There Are Many Other Profound Benefits of Big Data
While these are some of the most essential highlights of Big data, it is capable of much more. It is essential for all businesses that hope to reach high levels of success, retain their customer base, and aspire for future longevity. Is your business utilizing it to its fullest potential?
The market for AI technology is going to continue to grow as more companies discover the benefits it provides. In November, Garter published a study that found companies around the world will spend $62 billion on AI technology. This is a great opportunity for software publishers that have a knack for creating quality AI programs.
Unfortunately, this can be difficult. Companies need to understand the needs of customers purchasing AI solutions. In order to meet their expectations, they must use the right software. Fortunately, a growing number of software publishers are creating great applications that help their customers capitalize off of the wonders of AI technology.
Unfortunately, new AI software has the possibility of being infected with bugs, just like any other application. It requires extensive testing to ensure that it works appropriately.
Testing is Essential for Companies Creating AI Software Applications
Testing is an integral part of software development. Not only does it ensure the product is bug-free, but it also provides valuable information about how well the product solves the problem for which it was written. This is even more important when developing AI software applications, because they often use machine learning technology to improve their functions over time. They can get worse at performing certain tasks if the machine learning algorithms are not tested properly.
There are many types of testing, some more specialized than others, so this article will briefly overview different types.
Ad Hoc Testing
One of the fundamentals of software testing is ad hoc testing. This type of testing is done at any point in the development process when deemed necessary by either a developer or an analyst.
These tests are typically created on the spot to test hypotheses about certain parts of the code, such as whether or not one section can handle more users than another. This is one of the most important testing guidelines AI software developers need to follow. They are often documented after they have been performed for future reference.
The first test to perform on any code is a unit test. This type of test focuses on individual units within a program and verifies that they work as expected. The unit can be anything from a simple function to a complex class with many methods and properties.
These tests check that each piece works individually and then run through several usage scenarios to make sure everything still works properly when all elements are used together.
Unit testing is a great way to find bugs early in the software development cycle. In addition, it provides a growing suite of regression tests that can be run throughout development to make sure nothing was broken during implementation changes.
This is one of the most popular testing methods for companies creating AI applications. AI programs are usually built piece by piece, which means that it is necessary to test these elements independently.
The next level up from unit testing is integration testing. This type of test focuses on larger chunks of code, often individual classes or modules within classes, ensuring they all cooperate when used together as expected.
Integration testing typically occurs after basic unit tests have been completed successfully to make specific higher-level components still work correctly with each other. In addition, these tests check individual parts and how those parts fit together into the larger system to ensure everything works well at the interface between units (i.e., how the units talk to each other).
The next step up from unit and integration software testing is functional testing. While these tests are given the same name outside of software development, for our purposes, we will call them functional tests rather than system tests because this type focuses on how well a program satisfies its requirements rather than how well the program works in general.
Functional tests are typically created by business analysts or users who use the product as if they were its target audience to ensure it does what they expect. These test cases are incredibly valuable when used throughout development because they provide real-time feedback about whether or not the program meets the user’s needs. In addition, it gives a clear view of potential problems before the product reaches them.
If you are creating an AI application that relies heavily on machine learning technology, it is prudent to see how it performs over an extended period of time. The software needs to be trained with enough use.
Another type of functional testing is load testing, which focuses on how well a program can perform with varying numbers of users or other amounts of work. This type of test simulates low-, medium- and high-load scenarios (determined by the analyst) to see which types cause bottlenecks in the system.
These tests are often run during development but may also be scheduled for times when it’s convenient for users who will ultimately use the product this way.
A smoke test is a quick check that verifies whether or not an application starts up properly after being installed onto a machine, usually performed at pre-defined stages throughout development to make sure new additions to the code don’t break anything.
An acceptance test is a functional test created by the actual users of the program to ensure it meets their needs and can be used as one type of functional test on this list. Often, business analysts work with end-users to create these tests during the planning stages before writing any code.
Performing web scraping with Java is a great way to gather data that is useful for an acceptance test. What is web scraping and how can it help? By collecting data that shows user experience, business analysts can analyze real world scenarios. As a result, these tests are valuable because they are written based on what real users need rather than what developers think they need.
Like the smoke test mentioned above, a sanity test is used to ensure an application starts up properly after being installed onto a machine. These tests are typically performed at pre-defined stages throughout development but tend to be less formal than smoke tests because they do not verify that all requirements are met. Instead, these tests check if anything breaks when upgrading versions.
Follow the Right AI Testing Strategies
Artificial intelligence software has evolved in recent years. It has helped many companies develop a competitive edge. Companies need to make sure the software is rigorously tested when creating these programs.
Although there are many different types of testing when you are creating AI software, these ten tend to be the most common and relevant for project stakeholders. Of course, depending on the type of product being created, the specific functions that need to be tested will likely change, but those listed here can serve as a good starting point from which to build more functional tests as necessary.
Many major companies have already moved to the cloud and discovered the benefits of doing so. However, some organizations are still unsure of what measures they should take to adapt to the cloud. They might be skeptical of some of the benefits as well. These companies will be more likely to adapt and start investing in cloud technology if they have a better understanding of the advantages that it offers.
Here is a quick question.
If you are asked to exchange your POS system with hundreds of new customers for your e-commerce store, would you say yes to the deal?
If there is one tool keeping your store up and running smoothly, it is your POS system. Bartering it for a few hundred new customers wouldn’t make a difference if you cannot deliver those customers a hassle-free shopping experience. Will it?
So, when the POS system is critical for your business growth and sustainability, why not take it to the next level?
A cloud-based POS system exactly helps you to achieve that.
Integrating inventory operations, marketing, sales, and customer management, brings the best of all worlds. But to know exactly how, you have to read on.
7 Benefits a cloud-based POS system can give your business in 2022
In a heavily disrupted world by the Covid-19, a cloud-based POS system is no longer just a growth hacking strategy. It is a foundational need irrespective of your business size.
Integrating a cloud-based system is the way how future businesses deliver their consumers the complete shopping experience without interacting in a physical environment.
To do so, it deploys multi-level automation to operations in an e-commerce store. What follows is you suddenly experience a spike in the productivity and efficiency of your employees.
The best part?
You have more creative time to innovate inside your organization.
However, to experience the full power of a cloud-based POS system, you need to ensure you choose the right tool. If your software is not robust, you end up doing more bad than good to your process. Lightspeed is a powerful tool to consider here.
In the following section, we give you a deep dive into the top benefits that a powerful cloud-based POS system can render to your business.
Spoiler alert? Lightspeed has each of the following features.
1. It gives you universal accessibility
Managing an e-commerce store is a complex process. This makes efficient team communication indispensable for smooth operations. A cloud-based POS system precisely addresses this need.
Centralizing your database, the tool not only helps you use data for more optimal business decisions but also improves the data transparency and visibility of your entire organization. No matter if you have a single point of sale or multiple, you can access your management floor remotely from anywhere.
Here are a few ways how this feature can transform your operations.
2. Builds your dream team
The cloud-based POS system can boost the productivity of your employees exponentially.
Unlike legacy-based systems, a cloud system enables your team real-time access to reports on what is going on your work floor. The best part?
They can update information related to their operations, schedules, and tasks whenever they want, from wherever they want.
Data management is one of the most crucial elements when it comes to running an e-commerce store.
Be it lead generation reports, SOPs (standard operating procedure), productivity reports, or monthly sales reports, it manages it all.
The best part?
You can update any information from anywhere without immediately notify each member. No matter how many reiterations you undergo, all of your team members will be kept on the same page.
4. Keeps your store running
Your next customer might be lingering just around the corner, but if you fail to deliver what they are looking for, you lose money on the table.
Inventory management is no doubt critical for an e-commerce store. A cloud-based POS system ensures that you never miss out on keeping track of your inventory.
From inventory counts, reordering inventory, triggering promotional prices to labor usage percentages, you can do it all. It is ideal when you need either a single store location or multiple. Its centralized system keeps you updated.
The best part?
You can enjoy heavy automation on these tasks.
5. Easy maintenance
Updates and upgrades are an integral part of any software maintenance. After all, it is what keeps the application in top performance.
However, unlike on-premise POS systems, keeping your software fresh is much easier with a cloud-based POS system. Its centralized, cloud-based software keeps you ahead of the curve.
With this tool, automatic updates are a common phenomenon.
Updating a single device is sufficient to update the entire chain linked to the software. That is a huge time saver. It ensures there are no communication inconsistencies due to any workflow disruption.
Yet another distinguishable feature for cloud-based POS systems is that their upgrades occur at a much higher frequency than traditional legacy systems.
6. Enhanced security
There is so much sensitive information that your online store handles in a day.
From user transaction information, personal details to your payment system information, so much information needs protection.
In such an ecosystem, can you afford to take the security of such information lightly? No matter how many safety protocols you adhere to, digital products are always vulnerable to data breaches. One way or the other, hackers try to find a way to acquire unauthorized access. Hence, it is important for organizations to implement critical data security strategies to keep off cyber attacks.
With a cloud-based POS system, your data security has safety insurance. Unlike on-premise software, the security system of a cloud POS system is much more advanced and comprehensive.
From encryption technology to strong firewalls, cloud-based software takes multiple measures to safeguard your data from the hands of hackers. Yet that is not all a cloud-based POS does for your e-store.
There is more. You do not need to worry about losing your data with a cloud-based system. Unlike local servers, storing data in a cloud server is way safer.
Even if you lose data on your device, your central system always has a backup of the data. This means 360-degree security for all your data.
7. Enhanced customer success
All POS systems’ performance comes down to one core factor: usability. If your teams cannot use it, it does not matter. This makes customer support a key element to what you can achieve with the software in the long term.
A cloud POS system is way better than an on-premise POS system with post-sales support when it comes to customer support.
With on-premise software, you get into purchasing a one-off product.
Here, even if your software provides great post-sale service, the maximum support you get here comes in FAQ sections and DIY tutorials.
But with a cloud-based POS system, this support runs deeper.
Utilizing the SaaS-based model, a cloud-based POS has an ongoing journey with its customer. This ensures they give you high levels of attention to solve your problem day in, day out.
To do this, they install real-time customer support and deploy AI-enabled assistance. This ensures your questions are answered in the best possible way whenever you want, wherever you want.
Sometimes these support experiences also have bilingual experts who make it easier for you to do the job. Fix your problem.
8. Improved scalability
The cloud-based POS system is designed for scalability.
With a transparent, ongoing pricing system, a cloud-based POS system ensures you can customize your requirements as you scale.
The best part is it supports your cost optimization venture. This means you pay only for what you use.
Unlike legacy systems, cloud POS systems keep the pricing lean and recurring. This can help your company reallocate resources in more critical areas like inventory stocking. So if you are removing on a tight budget, a cloud POS is any day better than on-premise systems.
9. Reduced costs
If the benefits of a cloud-based POS system could not convince you to invest in the tool, its cost efficiency definitely will.
Its all-over costs are much cheaper than in-premise POS systems, from installation to maintenance. Here’s how?
Utilizing the democratizing SaaS model tends to make the product’s price point much cheaper and ongoing. In addition, this helps to personalize the demand of the product in real-time. The best part?
It supports your business to scale.
Yet again, the additional system setup costs for the POS system are significantly cheaper when it is cloud-based. After all, with the cloud, a huge part of the system is taken care of for you.
Again, when it comes to upgrades, the cloud-based software helps to stay ahead of the herd at zero to minimal costs.
Unlike traditional legacy service providers, cloud-based software updates automatically at no added costs, opposite to legacy software.
When you face an occasional technical malfunction in a legacy POS system, the issue is usually unique to your process. Unfortunately, this means the service provider may take longer to fix the problem while costing you some significant service charges down the line.
With cloud-based POS, it is never the case.
If there is a glitch, it is faced universally amongst its users and fixed by the provider at no extra cost from the users.
Cloud-Based Systems Offer Many Distinct Advantages
A cloud-based system can prove to be one of your best business decisions for the coming year.
Not only does it have the capability to transform your business into a growth hacking machine but helps you reallocate your resources for maximum ROI (return on investment).
Whatever tool you choose, ensure it can support your dynamic business needs. No matter where you are now, a startup or an enterprise, it must be able to support your ambitious goals.