Want to go online with a bang? Make your application do the heavy-lifting

Author: James
December 11, 2018
Want to go online with a bang? Make your application do the heavy-lifting


These are very exciting times for small-to-medium sized businesses. Why? The age of digital marketing and hyper-localization has made it possible for them to compete neck-to-neck with bigger enterprises and find customers in places where they never thought to look before.

Most of these small and medium-sized players, however, are yet to fully grasp the importance of creating a digital product for their brand. Sounds unusual, doesn’t it?

Take this report, for example. It is astonishing that over 29% of small businesses do not have a website and in contrast, 91% of customers have visited a store because of an online experience. Another contradiction!
In a world where all business battles are lost or won online, it would appear that a small business owner without a digital product or an app is one who doesn’t want to play at all. Also, many businesses opt for a garden variety of website solutions and apps. The reality is that they need more intelligently and coherently designed digital tools to stay ahead. Having siloed systems can hamper your business and leave you with a bloated and poorly designed digital product.

Businesses don’t realize that developing a digital product in the form of an app or web and mobile-based presence isn’t done just to engage with customers. It is an internal management software that doesn’t work in a silo but does in many different ways – helping you build digital products that transform your business.

Back in 2014, Björn Stansvik wrote about how the mobile revolution will change the way we do business. Four years later, things have evolved more rapidly than he predicted. For instance, if you are a small company dreaming of making it, well, medium, then automating your Google local SEO is the way to go, especially if you want to manage multiple business locations online or even scale your brand, the right way.

Challenges ahead blog inner image

Challenges businesses face in going online

A business that aims to conquer its niche market online does face certain challenges in going online. One big drawback is the time it takes to transition to an online ecosystem and product. Another problem area is visibility. The online space has many businesses competing for attention. Going online also calls for software solutions that streamline online digital presence and integrate all the online functions. For instance, as a business owner, if you look at the digital placement of your business, automating various digital services like local directories and SEO gives you a considerable advantage over other companies.

Another hassle could be a sudden spurt in traffic and difficulty in upping your resources to meet the surge in demand. In this case, switching to a cloud-based system ensures that you can increase your presence to meet the demand and simultaneously build websites that are placed automatically on the web, listed and connected to all local directories and listing services. Imagine the time and the effort saved?

Another problem that businesses face is that they don’t understand the importance of having a two-part solution comprising a website and an app that all work organically to grow and retain a large customer base. As for creating and building this customer base, let alone mining it for online use? Another gargantuan task!

However, the biggest hiccup would be to find a solution that is easy to use. Remember that your employees should be able to use it too.

Blog inner mage of an illsutration creating a mobile app

A digital product that blends simplicity and elegance

Application architect Louis Srygley understood the importance of a sophisticated plan when he said,

“Without requirements or design, programming is the art of adding bugs to an empty text file.”

It is essential for a business to know what it wants and the technical competencies that the work requires. If most of your customers, current and potential, are on social media, then you need a software solution that integrates and manages their behaviour on these platforms, not to mention direct customer feedback and collating everything in a centralized review hub.
Do you want to integrate a chat widget into all your websites? Do you want to connect these applications to both the web and mobile interfaces?

What about a booking system that automates SMS and email applications? Also, let’s not forget managing client bookings and integrating this with calendars. A cloud-based system that manages customer information and contacts is a huge asset. With a lean, scalable and intuitive stack of software solutions, any business owner can reap all the benefits of automation and compete for neck-to-neck with the best in their industry. As you can see, there is so much more to a business going online than just a website, although that is a critical starting point. Combining all functions and operations within a website and making it the ground from which you operate – it produces twice the impact!

It may seem daunting but with the right understanding of your business’s requirements, going online isn’t as hard as it seems.

The app that aids local businesses to go online

The David versus Goliath story holds especially true for small and medium-sized businesses that take their force online. And what’s the slingshot that makes this possible? Apps that aid the transition, effortlessly and successfully.
For example, Gosite built an app that helped local businesses go online with zero technical help. They wanted to create a platform that would arm businesses with the tools to go online and help them manage their online digital products.

Using a drag-and-drop website builder to create a website is a great tool, even for a non-technical person. What makes this solution powerful is the added suite of functions that turbocharges a business owner’s arsenal – automating SEO and local Google directories, booking management systems, and social media platforms.
How significant is an online presence for a business? The best part about companies like Gosite that help business owners go online is that they provide DIY solutions to small players and in doing so, help them concentrate on building a mobile responsive website right from the beginning, instead of just adding it as a last-minute decision. In a world where mobile optimization is a make-or-break decision for your company’s online presence, a toolkit that thinks this far ahead is revolutionary. The fact that it is simple for the layman to use? Simply ingenious!

Custom app development platforms for e-commerce

With custom E-commerce websites, you have greater control of your platform and do not have to depend on a pre-built framework and its limitations. From the appearance to the amount of data you want to collect on your customers, custom e-commerce platforms allow for greater customization and optimization.


Shopify is one of the most popular custom web app development platforms. An all-in-one e-commerce toolkit, it offers an astonishing number of functionalities. The biggest advantage of Shopify is that you need no development experience whatsoever. Scalability is guaranteed, and you can add more advanced features as your store grows. You can use it offline or online, you can sell whatever you want and add in complex transactions and layers to the platform. You have excellent technical support. Shopify’s interface is also easy to use and most importantly, it offers a huge app store with innumerable paid and free apps.

The downside? The app installations can be cumbersome at times. Also, you can only sell from certain countries by using Shopify.


With Bigcommerce, you have full CMS functionality, excellent SEO options, and a great set of features that is value for money considering its price plans. One of its best features is its card abandonment saver feature, which allows for three automated emails to be sent to potential visitors (Shopify allows only one.) This is a huge deal and has a significant impact on your business.

The problem with Bigcommerce is that you will have to pay a significant amount for the cart abandonment saver feature. Also, if you exceed an annual sales limit that Bigcommerce sets for you, you will be forced to upgrade to a costlier monthly plan.

Other custom options

There are many other custom e-commerce options available, depending on your business and the level of customization you need. Volusion, for instance, is particularly useful for online retailers who want to combine hosting and site-building capabilities without too much work or any technical knowledge. Ecwid is another custom web application e-commerce platform that is easy to set up, allows for seamless social media integration and offers great E-commerce tools.

In the end, whether you want to choose open source or custom e-commerce platforms, look for features that your business needs the most, whether it is scalability, ease of use, pricing, customization or excellent E-commerce tools that are vital to your profitability.