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Internet of Things, Technology
You may have heard the term “Internet of Things,” being used lately, but do you truly understand the meaning behind it? It’s a developing area of technology that isn’t always easy to wrap your head around.
Broadly speaking, the Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of devices that can connect to the web, making normal machines “smart.” For example, if your coffee maker connects to an app on your smartphone that allows you to begin brewing with a tap on your screen, that coffee maker becomes part of the Internet of Things. This technology stretches to all sorts of appliances from household objects to industrial ones, with new applications being developed every day. In India, these advances are taking shape very rapidly, with Deloitte projecting that by 2020, there will be 1.9 billion IoT units in the country and that the market value of this sector will hit $9 billion. So what do we have to look forward to with these developments? First we have to take a look at the current state of IoT in India.

Where are we with IoT?

A couple of big things happening in the IoT space are mobile payments, and the creation and implementation of smart devices. Despite the existence of over 750 million active, physical, credit and debit cards, mobile payment options are poised to dominate the market in the coming years. You’ll most likely be paying with information stored on your phone or with payment apps like PayPal or Venmo. To take a deeper look at what is happening with smart devices, we can explore what Airtel did to help power and energy storage company, Luminous. Luminous, a market leader in inverters manufacturing, wanted to take their customer experience to the next level. Their goal was to offer an inverter that would offer analytics and tracking capabilities, so that users would be able to monitor their use and performance in real time. Airtel developed an IoT solution for a smart inverter that does just this: Data is collected with this IoT technology and shared via a best-in-class mobile app that customers can access with ease. With this data, the experience of both the customers and Luminous has improved. Users were able to respond to problems proactively, which made their inverters more reliable and long lasting. Luminous is using the information they receive to improve their product even more. So, simply by adding the IoT to a product used daily, Airtel made the entire experience around that product better. This is great news, but what’s next?

Glancing at the future

Many theories have been formulated about the development of IoT, particularly in the manufacturing and automotive sectors. For manufacturing in particular, IoT is expected to provide insights at every stage of production on a unit level. This means that every single product can be controlled throughout the entire creation process. This increased visibility can help decision-makers monitor progress and hopefully prevent or fix problems before a chain reaction occurs. This kind of quality control has never existed before, and can potentially lead to safer products and better standards. Smart manufacturing like this has been adopted in companies like General Electric, Siemens, Cisco, and even Harley-Davidson. As for the auto industry, there are many ways the IoT can be an asset. Many cars with GPS capabilities are already part of the network. This tech allows you to navigate your route without the use of a map, and instantly redirects you in case you make a wrong turn or have to make a pit stop. From things as important as emergency roadside assistance, to luxuries like internet radio and music streaming services, our cars can be as web-enabled as our computers. Some are even projecting that future generations will see cars as “smartphones on wheels,” with text alerts and hands-free calling as well as internet connectivity. Companies like Google are even working on self-driving cars, which could be on the road by 2020. These cars eliminate the need for a driver and would allow passengers to relax or be more productive while traveling ­­– whichever they prefer. Some of these predictions will come to pass and some won’t, but one thing is for sure – our world is about to become much “smarter.”

Google has finally revealed what the “O” in Android O stands for, and it’s exactly what we all predicted: the “O” is for…Oreo. The announcement was made shortly after the solar eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21. Google is pushing Android Oreo out through the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). Google Pixel, Nexus 5X, and Nexus 6P devices will be the first to receive the Android Oreo update, followed by the Pixel C and the Nexus Player.This is only the second time in history Google is partnering up with a popular snack company to market its new mobile operating system. Previously, Google partnered up with Nestlé to brand Android 4.4 as Kit Kat. Though Google reportedly didn’t pay Nestlé any money for the branding — the partnership was to do something “fun and unexpected” according to John Lagerling, director of Android global partnerships — the company was still able to use the KitKat brand for Android 4.4. It was basically a win-win for both companies. Google got to use a recognizable snack as the nickname of its new version of Android and Nestlé got free advertising. Google’s decision to go with Oreo isn’t a surprise at all. Prior to Android O’s announcement, I polled my Twitter followers to see what they’d like the OS version to be called and the result was overwhelmingly in favor of Oreo:Now that the name’s been settled, what about Oreo’s features? Though a public release is still forthcoming, the developer beta has been available since February, and the public beta version was just announced at I/O. Android Oreo will come with a number of under-the-hood improvements, including tidier notifications, better battery life that automatically limits background activities, picture-in-picture support, upgraded keyboard support, 60+ new emoji, and more. This is post is orginally published on Mashable

Creating and maintaining good online presence is basically a full time job. There is no easy way to do this and you can’t just stop once you manage to generate high traffic on your website or social media profile. In order to stay visible and relevant, you need a constant flow of new content, so that users have something new to enjoy. YouTube channels, social media pages, entertainment websites as well as online stores, always try to bring something new and fresh, and to remain active. As a result, we usually get new posts, articles or videos on a weekly basis, considering that quality content cannot be created within a day. So, if you are interested in creating and optimizing your online presence in the year 2017, then you might find the following suggestions quite helpful.

Create a website

The very first and probably the most essential element of the online presence is a website. So, if you don’t have one, you should start with that. Depending on the purpose of your website (personal, online store, blog, magazine, business website etc.) you should pick a corresponding domain name. You should also either hire a web designer or select quality web building tools and a guide that can help you create your very first website. If you want a quality website that needs to attract a lot of users who are going to use the platform actively, either for viewing content or for contributing, you should ensure that it is a high quality website. A poorly designed website that lack optimization for other devices will reflect negatively on your online presence, so it’s better to go without a website than with one that is poorly designed. So, either find a quality guide before you start creating a website, or hire a professional.

Optimize your content

The website is just a first step, you should also give your users something interesting and insightful, if you are to motivate them to frequently visit your site. For that reason you should also have social media sharing buttons on your site, so that users can conveniently share the content they like, and you should do the same on your social network pages. However, if you want your content to be truly visible, it needs to be optimized and visible to the search engines. Basically, your title, your keywords, and topics need to correspond with your website’s niche and they should target the searcher’s intent. In other words, you should write or create video guides or tutorials, as well as product reviews.

Quality web hosting and CDN

Content quality is not the only thing that has an important impact on positive user experience and on your visibility. In order for your website to be categorized as valuable and relevant, you need to ensure it loads fast and that it can support a large number of active users at once. You can do this by picking a competent web hosting agency that has good server uptime. Additionally, your web hosting provider should offer you content distribution network or CDN. This will allow your website to be uploaded to different servers across the globe, which again will increase its visibility, since search engines take server proximity into account when someone types a particular search query. Moreover, server proximity also impacts website’s loading time, so users around the world will have the same experience as those who are in the same town as you.

Local SEO

The best form of exposure is definitely word of mouth marketing, or getting personally recommended to be precise. In other words, you need to work towards this goal, or to impress the locals so that they could recommend you, and as the word spreads, your popularity will grow. Since this is the case, you need to rely on your friends and family, as well as local SEO, and secure your position on a local level. Consult with an SEO expert or SEO agency about the best approach to local SEO, and make sure your product or content is adjusted in that manner.

Embrace the sharing economy

Having a website and optimized content is a great way to start, but that certainly is not enough. New websites are popping up each day and since everyone is trying to solidify their online presence, the endeavour becomes much more difficult due to all the competition. Luckily, there are other ways to get noticed and acquire users. A sharing-economy relies on different apps and online platforms to connect people together, or to connect consumers with providers and job-seekers with employers etc. It would be wise to find an online platform or an app which can help you out in this department and register there. This is a great way to get noticed by your core audience, and to get their feedback, which can help you out in the future.

Social media marketing

Lastly, you need to be active on social networks, and share your website content there as well. If you are an online store, it would be wise to allow users to order products via social media, or to provide customer support over chat. Social networks allow you to boost your posts, and this won’t even burden your budget. You can simply pay to test how your content will perform, and monitor the results. If everything goes well, you won’t need these services in the future, and if it doesn’t that means you need to alter your approach. It is crucial though, to use catchy taglines, and meta descriptions along with corresponding and popular hashtags, if you want to boost your visibility. As you can see this is not too complicated, but it is an ongoing process and you must constantly adjust your strategies in order to figure out what resonates best with your users. As long as you do as instructed, you should be able to create a strong and widespread online presence. This Article was origanally published on Nimble.

Business, Ecommerce, Technology
Most first-time entrepreneurs set up a physical store for their small business and expect sales to grow organically. Rarely does this happen. That’s when you realize the true challenge in getting potential walk-ins to your store. It takes concentrated effort to ensure that your business is doing the kind of sales it needs to be. Have you ever considered using the internet as another channel to sell your products? Instead of waiting for your store to become popular in your locality, you can expand your sales online with an e-commerce website. Let us start with the basics.  

What Is E-Commerce?

Electronic Commerce, or E-Commerce, refers to any business or commercial transaction that uses the internet as a medium. Your business is an ecommerce business when you have an online platform (website) enabled for shopping and transactions. An e-commerce platform or website is a place where you can showcase your products and services online for your consumers to buy. It allows them to buy your products and services without the constraints of store timings or commute distance, all of which enable a level of scale that can’t be accomplished by a physical store. And because of this, more and more businesses are moving onto the e-commerce sector.

How Can You Build An E-Commerce Platform?

Building an ecommerce website for your business from the ground up involves a strong committed investment of both resources and funding. A typical e-commerce project requires extensive work and time to make it a success. To make the process of getting online easier for you, there are several e-commerce solutions available in the market. An e-commerce software solution allows you to build your own website for your business. These solutions reduce complications involved in getting online and equip your store with the features required to expand your business online. There are several e-commerce software solutions available for you like, Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, Volusion, etc. Each of these options are unique, and suit different target markets. Some providers like Shopify and Wix have packages tailored towards small and medium sized businesses, allowing you to take your store online quicker than ever.  

What Makes A Good E-Commerce Website?

There are some basic needs that your website needs to have to attract customers. Some of them are listed below.
  •    A logo: A logo is a symbol of genuinity and reliability. Ensure that it is unique and does not look similar to any other logo. Your logo will also go on all your marketing collateral, and will help consumers recollect your brand easily.
  •     Latest news and popular products: Your homepage is the hub of all information. Make sure it is always active with information about the newest products, deals, and also the latest trends and campaigns.
  •   Offers and free shipping: If you offer regular discounts and clearance sales, you are bound to get more customers to visit your site. Add free shipping options for a minimum purchase – this allows your customer to spend less on shipping and purchase more products from your website instead.
  •   Shopping cart: A shopping cart software solution behaves as the backbone of your website. It shows your customers the different products on your website and also manages their issues and queries. Some shopping cart software solutions also come with login functions where your customer can login to your website. This way, your customer will have a more personalized experience.
This list isn’t exhaustive. There are many things that you will need to explore on your own to try and figure out what works best for your website. Visit other active e-commerce websites to get an idea of how things work and what they are doing to growth hack their sales. Good luck!