The Benefits of Getting a an eCommerce Package for Your Online Store

There are many things you need to go online and start selling, at least selling successfully. The problem with the average entrepreneur is that they have skills and knowledge about the products they plan to sell, but they are not knowledgeable about how to create a website that will function and serve as a good platform to sell product. The good news is that everything you need to start your eCommerce business is available as a single package. There are companies that offer all of this, and still allow you to customize everything so that your store stands out as unique on the Internet. The following is a quick overview of the benefits of an eCommerce package.

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You can easily build your own website 

There are templates available that you can choose from, and with many companies, there are hundreds to choose from. Each of these templates can be customized in hundreds of different ways, so the final website that you have created will look different from all of the other websites on the Internet. These websites are also easy to build. Most of what you are doing is point and click with a mouse or using your finger on the touch pad on your laptop. There are some text that needs to be typed in, but this isn’t a lot. Your new website can be created quickly. The big problem is simply deciding on what you want: the colors, fonts, layout, etc.

They offer easy uploading for your catalog

Once you have your website ready, it is quick and easy to upload your products in a database file format. There is also the option of creating product pages one at a time. This is attractive if you only have a few products that your are selling. Your product listings can also include photos and other images that will help you make a sale.

Payment processing

Integrating a payment system with a website, even an eCommerce site, is time consuming, and it also takes skill. If you have never done this before, you will need to spend a lot of your time figuring out exactly how to do it. If you purchase a complete eCommerce package, the payment processing capability is already built into your website. Just like building your initial website from a template, payment processing is simple as point and click. There are also companies that will allow you to accept more than one type of payment method. This can be valuable because the more options you have for payment, the more sales you will make.

An integrated shopping cart

If you have ever tried to integrate a shopping cart with an existing website to convert the website into an eCommerce site, then you know how frustrating and time consuming it can be. However, the shopping cart function is already a part of the website you have built. Your customer will be able to select the products they want to buy and go to checkout when they are ready to pay. The whole process is easy and smooth.

An online store builder for an eCommerce business is a complete package that will solve all of your needs. It will also prevent a host of problems you will have when attempting to do all of this work yourself. You can quickly be up and running, so you can focus your efforts on selling your products and not trying to be a website builder.

Netflix Announces 2 More Original Series From India: Selection Day, Again

Two more original series from India are coming to Netflix, the on-demand streaming service company said on Thursday. The titles are Selection Day, a movie based on Aravind Adiga’s bestseller The White Tiger novel; and Again, a female-led detective series set in New Delhi.

Netflix said it has partnered with Seven Stories, a UK-based production company owned by directors Sharon Maguire and Anand Tucker. Aravind Adiga’s novel The White Tiger, which was first published in 2008, and won the 40th Booker Prize, paints a dark-humour spin on India’s class struggle.

Again, is a detective series where the female homicide detective “must put her career and life on the line” to solve a case that is close to her past. It will be written by Marisha Mukerjee of Quantico and Justified fame.

Netflix Announces 2 More Original Series From India: Selection Day, AgainNetflix didn’t share how soon people could expect either of the series to be available for streaming. But it’s likely going to take a year. The company announced Sacred Games, based on Vikram Chandra’s bestselling book by the same name, last year.

“We are excited to be expanding our slate of originals in India. These projects have specifically local subjects, but will be great for our global audience, and are supported by world class talent.” said Erik Barmack, vice president of international original series at Netflix in a press statement.

Netflix faces a stiff competition from Amazon Prime Video in India. Amazon Prime Video has been steadily expanding its local offerings as well broadening its international catalog. Prime Video also debut Inside Edge on Prime Video this year. It is the first of 18 Indian original series the company has planned.

Amazon Picks Its First Australian Warehouse, a Step Towards Launching

US retail giant Amazon.com unveiled the location of its first warehouse in Australia on Thursday, picking an industrial area outside Melbourne in a major step towards launching operations in the world’s 12th-largest economy.

Australians can already buy Amazon products from offshore, but the prospect of an Amazon warehouse adds to pressure on traditional brick-and-mortar retailers to protect already-fragile sales.

The Seattle-based retailer confirmed plans to bring its online shopfront service, Amazon Marketplace, to Australia in April, without saying when it would begin the service or where it would locate its warehouses in the vast country.

It has not said when it will start the service in Australia, nor which freight service it will hire. Amazon Marketplace charges retailers to advertise on the Amazon website and use Amazon’s warehouse and freight networks.

Amazon Picks Its First Australian Warehouse, a Step Towards Launching“This is just the start,” said Robert Bruce, Amazon’s director of operations for Australia, in a statement.

“Over time, we will bring thousands of new jobs to Australia and millions of dollars of investment as well as opening up the opportunity for thousands of Australian businesses to sell at home and abroad through Amazon Marketplace.”

Bruce added that the warehouse, about 42 kms (26 miles) from Melbourne, would stock “hundreds of thousands of products which will be available for delivery to customers across Australia”.

Freight companies in Australia face the challenge of serving a country of only 24 million people spread across a continent nearly the size of the United States.

But with four-fifths of the population housed on the east coast, Melbourne or the larger city of Sydney were obvious choices for Amazon’s first warehouse.

Zoomcar Hop Launched, Its One-Way Intercity Self-Drive Service

Zoomcar, India’s first 100 percent self-drive car rental company, announced the launch of “Hop,” a one-way intercity self-drive service, in the city.

The new one-way intercity self-service facility allows a customer to travel from point A to point B which would enable customers to pick up a car from Zoomcar location from one city and drop it off at a Zoomcar location in another city, a company release said.

The launch of one-way inter-city service adds flexibility and options to people’s travel plans, it said.

Zoomcar Hop Launched, Its One-Way Intercity Self-Drive Service“Hop” service would be available across 24 cities including intra-state and eventually inter-state routes as well, the release said.

The 24 routes include Bengaluru-Mysore, Bengaluru-Mangaluru, Mangaluru-Mysuru, Mumbai-Pune, Ahmedabad-Surat, Kolkata-Siliguri, Chennai-Coimbatore, Vijayawada-Vizag.

“With the launch of Hop, the company is offering a new level of convenience for our 20 lakh-plus Zoomcar customer base. We expect demand from both business and leisure travellers,” Zoomcar CEO and co-founder Greg Moran said in the release.

Stating that the company had expanded from seven cities in 2016 to 24 cities in 2017, he said it looks forward to expanding to more than 30 cities later this quarter.

Bitcoin Split Expected, May Create New ‘Bitcoin Cash’ Virtual Currency

Bitcoin’s underlying software code could be split on Tuesday to create a clone called “Bitcoin Cash,” potentially providing a windfall for holders of the digital currency.

The initiative is being led by a small group of mostly China-based Bitcoin miners – who get paid in the currency for contributing computing power to the Bitcoin network – who are not happy with proposed improvements to the currency’s technology.

They have initiated what is known as a “fork” – where blockchain, a public ledger of all Bitcoin transactions, splits into two potential paths – that is set to be activated on August 1.

A fork, if it goes ahead, would be significant as it could create a new competitor for Bitcoin, which remains the oldest and most valuable digital currency. It is not clear if the fork will happen and how much the new coin would be worth.

If the fork goes ahead on Tuesday, anyone owning Bitcoins before the split will have access to an equal amount of Bitcoin Cash for free, which they will then be able to trade for fiat currencies – legal tender backed by an issuing government – or other digital currencies.

“This is somewhat like a stock split,” said Jeff Garzik, chief executive and co-founder of Bloq, a blockchain company. “You go to sleep with 100 Bitcoins and wake up in the morning with 100 Bitcoins plus 100 ‘Bitcoin Cash’, a new token.”

Bitcoin averted a split two weeks ago, when its software developers and miners agreed to implement a software upgrade called the Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) 91.

Bitcoin Split Expected, May Create New 'Bitcoin Cash' Virtual CurrencyBIP 91 was the first step toward a larger effort to upgrade bitcoin through software called SegWit2x, which would make the network faster at processing transactions, such as payments using the virtual currency.

The miners, a powerful segment of the Bitcoin community, represent a network of computer operators who validate information on the blockchain. Since Bitcoin is powered by open-source code, any group of coders can use it to create clone coins.

Futures of Bitcoin Cash are already trading on certain exchanges at around $282.40. Bitcoin traded at $2,806.27, according to coinmarketcap.com.

If the fork goes ahead, users will only be able to receive and sell the new token on certain digital currency exchanges and digital wallet providers, as several have decided not to support it, including Coinbase, BitMEX, and Bitstamp.

“We do not want to support any behavior whereby anyone can potentially split the Bitcoin blockchain and effectively create free money out of nothing,” said Greg Dwyer, head of business development at BitMEX.

Two other large exchanges, Kraken and Bitfinex, said they will allow users to trade Bitcoin Cash and will credit them with the same amount of the new token after the fork, if it goes ahead.

SoftBank Said to Be in Talks to Invest in Flipkart

SoftBank Group is still in talks to invest in India’s Flipkart – despite the collapse of discussions to fold a smaller rival into India’s largest e-commerce site – but it would do so through its Vision Fund, according to sources familiar with the matter.

SoftBank, already invested in Indian online grocer Grofers and cab hailing firm Ola, tried for months to engineer a share swap transaction between Snapdeal and Flipkart, India’s two main homegrown e-commerce companies.

That deal would have given SoftBank, as Snapdeal’s largest shareholder, a significant stake in Flipkart – but it was scuppered on Monday, in the face of opposition from Snapdeal’s founders, Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal.

Three sources, who declined to be identified as the discussions were private, said SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son was still eager to invest in Flipkart through his Vision Fund, in which Saudi Arabia is also a major stakeholder.

SoftBank Said to Be in Talks to Invest in FlipkartThe Vision Fund’s planned investment is not dependent on a deal between Snapdeal and Flipkart, one of the sources said.

Flipkart, the most significant Indian challenger to US retail giant Amazon’s ambitions in the country, declined to comment on the matter. A spokeswoman for SoftBank said the Vision Fund “follows an independent process and judges every investment on its own merit”. Snapdeal also declined to comment.

Bloomberg reported earlier on Tuesday that the fund could invest up to $2 billion (roughly Rs. 12,815 crores) in Flipkart.

The Vision Fund, created by the tech-to-solar conglomerate, has raised more than $93 billion from investors including Saudi Arabia’s main sovereign wealth fund and Apple.

Baidu Competitor Says to Focus on AI as It Plans US IPO

China’s second-largest mobile search engine Sogou, controlled by Sohu.com and 45 percent owned by Tencent Holdings, said it will focus on artificial intelligence (AI) as it aims to build a next-generation search engine.

Chinese internet and gaming company Sohu on Monday announced the plan to float Sogou in the United States “as early as market conditions permit”, saying the search unit would make a confidential registration filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Sogou is the second-largest mobile search engine in China after Baidu. Tencent is the largest shareholder in Sogou, though the stake carries less voting power than Sohu’s 39 percent stake.

Sohu on Monday reported a 10 percent revenue rise to $461 million (roughly Rs. 2,954 crores) in the second quarter, including $211 million from Sogou, which rose at a faster pace of 20 percent rise year-on-year.

Sogou CEO Wang Xiaochuan said in an internal email after the announcement on Monday that Sogou would leverage its strength in natural language processing, which he called the “crown jewel” of artificial intelligence, and move from search to question-answering.

The aim was to become an “innovator and pioneer in artificial intelligence in China,” he said in the email, the content of which was confirmed by Sogou.

Wang also said Sogou would increase investment into AI, big data and the so-called Internet of Things.

Baidu Competitor Says to Focus on AI as It Plans US IPOSogou declined to comment on the possible size of the IPO. Wang told Bloomberg in an interview in January that Sogou was targeting a valuation of $5 billion.

Sogou merged with Tencent’s search business Soso in 2013 upon Tencent’s strategic investment. Sohu management said in an earnings call on Monday that content-sharing with Tencent’s social media app WeChat contributed to Sogou’s search traffic growth, which jumped 50 percent in mobile in the past quarter.

WeChat, China’s most popular social media app with nearly 1 billion monthly active users, in April established a small search department of its own, which analysts said could grow into a powerful threat to other Chinese search companies such as Sogou and Baidu.

Sogou declined to comment on collaboration details with Tencent.

Sohu’s Nasdaq-listed shares jumped 12 percent on Monday to a 19-month high.

Airtel Payments Bank, HPCL Tieup for Digital Payments

Aiming to further boost digital payments in the country, Airtel Payments Bank on Tuesday announced a strategic partnership with Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL).

All 14,000 HPCL fuel stations will act as banking points for Airtel Payments Bank, an official statement said.

“All Airtel Payments Bank customers would be able to access a range of convenient banking services at these 14,000 fuel stations like open new accounts, make cash deposits and withdrawals facility, and transfer money. This will add to the depth and reach of Airtel Payments Bank’s retail based network that leverages over 300,000 Airtel retail outlets as banking points,” it added.

Airtel Payments Bank, HPCL Tieup for Digital PaymentsShashi Arora, MD & CEO, Airtel Payments Bank said in a statement, “We are delighted to partner HPCL as part of our endeavour to build a robust and diverse merchant ecosystem that brings more digital payments avenues to our customers. We are, in particular, pleased to have these fuel outlets as our banking points. We are confident that this partnership will add to the growth of digital payments in the country and contribute to the Government’s Digital India vision.”

G S V Prasad, Executive Director – Retail at HPCL said in a statement, “We are pleased to join hands with Airtel Payments Bank to promote digital payments in the country and contribute to the government’s digital India endeavour. Customer visiting our outlets will now be able to pay seamlessly for fuel purchases and will also be able to enjoy the added convenience of banking with Airtel Payments Bank. We are confident our customers will benefit significantly with this unique association.

Government Forms Panel to Suggest Data Protection Framework Amid Aadhaar Concerns

The government has constituted a 10-member committee to recommend a framework for securing personal data in the increasingly digitised economy as also address privacy concerns and build safeguards against data breaches.

The formation of the panel comes amid concerns over personal information being compromised with increasing use of biometric identifier Aadhaar in an array of services – from filing tax returns to availing government doles.

The committee of experts headed by Justice B N Srikrishna, former judge of Supreme Court, will suggest a draft data protection bill, the IT Ministry said in a release.

The panel which draws its members from government, academia and industry will study and identify key data protection issues and recommend methods to address them.

An office memorandum issued by the Ministry of Electronics and IT said: “The government is cognizant of the growing importance of data protection in India. The need to ensure growth of the digital economy while keeping personal data of citizens secure and protected is of utmost importance.”

The panel will make specific suggestions to the government on principles to be considered for data protection in India and “also suggest a draft data protection bill”, it said.

The official note did not specify a timeframe for submission of report by the panel but said it will endeavour to do so “as expeditiously as possible”.

The panel also includes Aruna Sundararajan, Secretary, Department of Telecom; Ajay Bhushan Pandey, CEO of Unique Identification Authority of India; Ajay Kumar, Additional Secretary, IT Ministry; Gulshan Rai, National Cyber Security Coordinator; and Rajat Moona, Director, IIT Raipur.

Government Forms Panel to Suggest Data Protection Framework Amid Aadhaar ConcernsThe constitution of the panel is significant given the offtake of digital transactions in the country, as also the rising apprehensions around safety of personal data. Although, the Information Technology (IT) Act provisions deal with cyber crime and data protection, but the spike in cashless transactions in the country post demonetisation and an increasing number of business going online have necessitated the need for fresh look at the existing laws.

Questions have also been raised over data security and privacy safeguards after some websites of the central and state government departments were found to be displaying personal details and Aadhaar numbers of beneficiaries.

Aadhaar has been issued to over 115 crore people, and many government schemes and subsidies now mandate quoting of the 12 digit identification number. Also, the biometric identifier has been made mandatory for applying for PAN and bank accounts.

Telecom regulator TRAI too intends to start a consultation on data privacy and security within the telecom networks, particularly with regard to mobile apps seeking user data.

Mastercard Working With Indian Government to Drive Low-Cost Payment Tech

Leading global payments company Mastercard is working closely with the Indian government and industry to drive low cost payment technologies and popularise the country’s digitisation programme, a top company official has said.

“To date, there are more than 300,000 merchants who have deployed BharatQR, the world’s first globally inter-operable payments solution,” said Ajay Bhalla, President of Global Enterprise Risk & Security at Mastercard.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Indian Banks Association launched BharatQR on February 21 this year to boost digital transactions.

The solution was developed by Mastercard in collaboration with National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), Visa and American Express.

Noting that digital payments in India remain “very positive”, Bhalla said it was a growing business.

“We are committed to India in a very big way as an organisation – working with regulators, banks and stake holders in developing solution,” said Bhalla.

Citing industry estimates, he said there was an 86 percent increase in merchants accepting card payments on a daily basis compared to pre-demonetisation period.

He also highlighted the RBI’s data showing 70 percent growth in point of sale terminals in six months, from 1.5 million in September 2016 to 2.5 million in March 2017.

With 850 million debit cards in circulation in India, debit card per capita is approximately one today, he added, referring to the RBI data.

Mastercard Working With Indian Government to Drive Low-Cost Payment TechOn card market potential, Bhalla said there were 900 million adults above 15 years of age in India today.

He said India remained a big base for Mastercard for developing solutions.

“We are using India as a big base for developing a number of solutions and innovations,” he said.

Mastercard has a huge staff deployed in India who are working on developing some software products which are used uniquely for India and some of these are used globally, Bhalla said.

“We really compliment the Indian government in the laudable step that they are taking in converting the cash economy into the digital economy,” he said.

American multinational Mastercard held a two-day meeting in Singapore on August 1 and 2 for its clients and customers to share knowledge and best practices on key payment security issues, vulnerabilities and innovative techniques to mitigate fraud.