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Archive for October, 2013

Validating Customer Trust: Displaying Trust Symbols on Your Online Store

October 16th, 2013 Ashley Harbaugh No comments

I’m not the first one to say it: the Internet can be a scary place. The news is filled with countless reports about online fraud and deceptive online operations – which can make it especially difficult for honest e-companies to conduct business.

Since people are so cautious of getting ripped off, they are very selective on which companies they give their money (and who can blame them?). Online retailers have to counter this wariness by establishing trustworthiness and displaying it front-and-center. By displaying trust symbols from reputable security companies – e.g., McAfee, Better Business Bureau, etc. – merchants verify their online store security credentials. 

Drawing in Prospects with Trust Symbols

According to a Bizrate Insights study of over 6,000 online buyers, 85% of consumers find trust symbols to be meaningful, and most interpret them to mean “security” (66%), “trustworthiness” (45%), and “reliability” (33%).

Consumers are most likely to seek out the trust symbols when they are making a purchase for the first time on a site (even if it’s with a retailer that they are familiar with) – 41%, or when they are unfamiliar with the retailer – 29%. And consumers aren’t shy in checking, either: 48% have clicked through on one of these symbols to verify information, and 75% have clicked on symbols that share a retailer’s reviews and ratings before deciding on whether or not to make a purchase.

Since online transactions require a bit of a leap of faith, showing that proven, reliable, 3rd party security companies vouch for your store is an important way to build trust with the people who are browsing your website. Just as people will not purchase from a company if they don’t feel their data is safe and secure, they will also not continue shopping at a company for this reason as well. Because why waste time shopping if you don’t feel comfortable at checkout?

Prominently placed trust symbols on sites signal to both prospects and customers that their data is safe and secure with your company

Prominently placed trust symbols on sites signal to both prospects and customers that their data is safe and secure with your company.

Location of Trust Symbols

It’s important to be mindful of the locations that online shoppers immediately check for trust symbols. According to the study, 40% of respondents search for a symbol during the checkout or payment process, and 31% search for one on the homepage. With the highest number of respondents searching for symbols during checkout, it shows that customers want the sense of security that these symbols bring when they have their wallets open and are ready to purchase.

With these being the main points that people turn to, online retailers should ensure that symbols are displayed prominently in several places on their websites (especially the places where customers feel most vulnerable about giving up sensitive information – such as the checkout page) in order to fully take advantage of their power.

For example, when the study specifically asked respondents, “During my shopping experience I look for or notice online shopping trust symbols when…” 32% of people responded that they do so when they are starting the checkout process or entering personal information, with another 32% saying that they look when they are providing their credit card number.

Customers seek out trust symbols on pages where they are about to give sensitive personal information – such as during checkout. Make sure that your trust symbols are appropriately displayed so as to make them feel more comfortable with moving forward with the purchase

Customers seek out trust symbols on pages where they are about to give sensitive personal information – such as during checkout. Make sure that your trust symbols are appropriately displayed so as to make them feel more comfortable with moving forward with the purchase.

Even though online shopping is widely used today, and even though people may visit an online retailer all the time, shoppers still look for reassurance before making a purchase. And with trust symbols showing proof of your hon esty and security, you help drive a consumer toward conversion.

For more information on how you can make your online store more secure, please email us at ecommerce@ignify.com.

Ashley Harbaugh is a Product Marketing Specialist at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of ERPCRMeCommerce and Point of Sale software solutions to organizations. Ignify has won the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2013, 2012 and 2011. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for 7 years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine from 2007 to 2013.  

Experience from a Microsoft Dynamics AX Fixed Assets Implementation

October 9th, 2013 Yogesh Kasat No comments

Last summer I was involved in a complex Fixed Asset implementation project and wanted to share some learning from the project, which would be helpful for companies migrating from FAS to Microsoft Dynamics AX.

Background:

We were implementing Microsoft Dynamics AX Fixed Assets for a company that had around 50 legal entities, all of them in the US. They were using FAS for tracking Fixed Assets.

The way that the companies were created in FAS was totally out of sync from their legal entity structure. Over a period of time they had created companies per function – e.g., there was a company created for land and building kind of assets, and another company for drivers/aircrafts. Obviously their GL system and FAS were out of sync due to these being maintained in different systems and a different company structure.

After converting assets into Microsoft Dynamics AX, the key benefit they had was the GL and Fixed Assets were always in sync – it was one integrated system for GL and Fixed Assets. Fixed Assets was also integrated with their AP, Purchasing, and Inventory modules.

Here are things to watch out for during a typical Microsoft Dynamics AX Fixed Assets implementation:

  1. Data conversion
  2. Transfers across legal entities
  3. Re-class of assets within different groups (e.g. Moving an asset from Development; i.e. WIP to Furniture group)
  4. Mass updates for assets
  5. Difference between Depreciation books vs. Value models
  6. Tax updates
  7. Reporting

Here is how we approached this implementation and turned it into a success story:

  1. Data conversion: This is key for the success of an implementation. You need to start right and make sure you are set up for success.
    1. Try to go live around year-end or quarter-end with a new Fixed Asset system. It will simplify conversion.
    2. Bring over only remaining life values and book value as part of conversion. We converted assets with their acquisition cost and posted one entry for all the depreciation till date. That helped us build book value on the asset.
    3. Do you need to migrate inactive assets? These assets may add a lot of noise for migration with acquisitions, dates for disposals, etc. The best way could be to save some reports for the last few years if you need them for audit purposes. 
    4. You need to consider values for different books – e.g. Federal Tax books may have different values than State Tax books, and values for GL/GAAP purposes may be different.
    5. Understand volume and create import programs accordingly. We had close to 100,000 assets to be migrated; if we had used Excel add-in migration, it would have run for weeks.
  2. Transfers across legal entities:
    1. If you are transferring assets across legal entities often enough, you need to think about building functionality to support that. Standard Microsoft Dynamics AX doesn’t have functionality for transferring assets across legal entities. Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 supports transferring across different dimensions – e.g., divisions or cost centers.
    2. We made customization which allowed transfer from one company to another. It created a new asset in a company where the asset was being transferred, transferred balances across different value models, depreciation books from one company to another through journals, added fields to keep track of new and existing asset numbers (transferred to and transferred from etc.) for ease of research.
  3. Re-class of assets within different groups (e.g. Moving an asset from Development; i.e. WIP to Furniture group)
    1. Oftentimes assets get created in wrong groups or need to be moved from one group to another – e.g., while a store is being built it needs to be considered 'In Development', that way you are not depreciating it until the store opens; and you may want it to be on different GL account, etc.
    2. Standard Microsoft Dynamics AX has functionality to re-class but it does not bring over information in Depreciation books. We had to make some customization to address it.
  4. Mass updates for assets (e.g. Mass updates of remaining life due to store closing in few months, mass updates to bonus depreciation due to changes in IRS rules)
    1. It's important to understand mass updates to be done on assets upfront. So some of the mass update templates can be defined and developed as part of implementation.
    2. e.g. If you are closing a store in 6 months, you may need to update the remaining life of all the assets you are not planning on moving to another store to 6 months. That way you can depreciate the remaining values evenly in the next 6 months rather than taking a big hit in the last month.
    3. Another example could be, you are into the 5th month of the year and bonus depreciation for the year changes from 100% to 50%. You need a way to mass update bonus depreciation of all the assets acquired during that year.
    4. Updating serial numbers, warranty information could be another classic example of needing mass update functionality.
  5. Reporting: A lot of reporting on fixed assets is needed around year-end and that's when people realize they need reports ;-) . It's always a good idea to identify those requirements and have reports built accordingly upfront as part of implementation. Even though data is there, that may not be enough. Standard Microsoft Dynamics AX may not have the reports you need, but you can use standard reports as a starting point to build what you need.
  6. Difference between Depreciation books vs. Value models:
    1. Depreciation books were introduced in Microsoft Dynamics AX version 4.0. We changed the label to call them ‘Tax books’ to make it easy for users.
    2. You can use Depreciation books functionality for tax books, or use Value models for tax books. Using Value model was way prior to Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0.
    3. By using Depreciation books functionality, you get bonus depreciation functionality. Also, it is disconnected from GL, so you can use safely delete these transactions in case you have to.
  7. Tax updates: FAS provides tax updates, however in Microsoft Dynamics AX world you need to configure changes yourself. For a lot of businesses this is not a big deal, but if you have a presence across multiple states and are maintaining state/federal/tax/Amt profiles in the system, it could add up work pretty quickly.

If you have questions or would like more information on Microsoft Dynamics AX implementations, please email us at dynamics@ignify.com

Yogesh Kasat is Vice President of Microsoft Dynamics AX at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of ERPCRMeCommerce and Point of Sale software solutions to organizations. Ignify has won the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2013, 2012 and 2011. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for 7 years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine from 2007 to 2013.

Personalization, Not Privacy Invasion: Getting Sign Ups on Contact Forms

October 8th, 2013 Ashley Harbaugh No comments

I have a confession: I’m kind of a double agent on the topic of getting people to fill out contact forms. On the one hand, I’m a marketer – I understand the need for that information in building up prospect and customer lists, and I know the importance and value that companies place on it. But on the other hand, I’m a consumer – I worry about my privacy. How is my information really going to be used? Am I going to have to deal with spam email and intrusive, sales-y phone calls all the time?

So, in other words, I guard my personal information very closely. But there are ways to get me to crack. And being the marketer that I am, I want to tell you how to get others to crack too.

Make It Clear What Information You Are Collecting

By seeing clearly defined fields on a contact form, people are able to understand at a glance what kind of information you’re looking for. And if a person sees that you’re asking for just the basics – first and last name, email address, phone number – then it can help nudge them toward filling it out.

Now, it’s okay to add a few more non-essential fields that would help you drill down more into individuals’ preferences, but too many non-essential fields can also scare people off too. Remember that length is key – if a contact form page seems to go on and on with fields, very few people will have the patience (or the desire) to fill it all out. And some people simply aren’t willing to divulge anything but the basics.

If you add other fields, demarcate the ones that need to be filled out, and leave the other ones as optional. For example, for information such as name, phone number, and email address, put a red asterisk next to each field, and have some text at the top that says, “The fields in red are mandatory”.

Make It Clear What Information You Are Collecting

A contact form should ask for the basics and be relatively short; the quicker and easier you make it, the more inclined that people are going to fill it out.

Communicate the Benefits of Giving Information

To push people to commit to filling out the contact form’s fields and submitting their information, you need to clearly communicate the benefits that they will receive after submitting.

For example, will they be signing up for a newsletter that tells them about new arrivals, promotions, and discounts? If they sign up, will they be receiving special offers directly? And remember that the content you send is crucial: the better stuff you send, the more likely people will sign up (and the more likely they will encourage their friends to join too – everyone likes to share cool, new things). So don’t just send sales-focused emails – send messages that will be of value.

And be truthful – when describing what people will get if they volunteer their information on a contact page, don’t say that you’ll send specific stuff if you don’t (or won’t) actually send it. If you don’t stick to what you say, then people won’t stick with you – and they will also be sure to tell family and friends as well.

Communicate the Benefits of Giving Information

On your contact page, be sure to clearly communicate what benefits people will receive if they choose to give their personal information to you – people are not going to risk getting on spam email lists for no reason. And always be sure to send valuable, interesting content that makes it worth subscribers’ while.

Make it Easy to Opt Out

If a customer no longer wants to subscribe to you any longer (for whatever reason), make the process for unsubscribing as easy as possible. In fact, make it just a click of a button. And also prominently display the ability to “unsubscribe” in not only the emails you send, but also in your contact page as well.

Although it might sound counterintuitive, telling people that they can unsubscribe at any time if they sign up is really persuasive in getting them to actually sign up. Because again, people are wary of giving their personal information away – if they know they can opt out at any time, that they can choose to no longer have their personal information used, then they feel far more comfortable. They feel an element of control – which is important, because people will not give you their information if they don’t feel safe and secure about giving it away in the first place

For more tips and information on how you can optimize your retail channel, please email us at retail@ignify.com.

Ashley Harbaugh is a Product Marketing Specialist at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of ERP, CRMeCommerce and Point of Sale software solutions to organizations. Ignify has won the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2013, 2012 and 2011. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for 7 years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine from 2007 to 2013.

SalesLogix Vs Microsoft Dynamics CRM

October 1st, 2013 Sandeep Walia No comments

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Versus Saleslogix: Feature Comparison

A prospective customer asked us the difference between Microsoft Dynamics CRM and SalesLogix functionality so we’ve put this feature comparison between the two products.

 

SalesLogix

Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Marketing Automation
Static Marketing Lists
Dynamics Marketing Lists
Campaign Management (Traditional)
Campaign Activity Distribution to Record owners
Event Based Campaigns
Activity Feeds
Collaboration Framework
Email Marketing
Sales Force Automation
Contact Management
Customer Management
History
Lead Tracking
Lead Assignment to Sales Reps
De-Duplication (Lead to Lead, Lead to Customer)
Opportunity Management
Sales Stage Automation
Sales Quote Management
Sales Orders
Invoices
Sales Forecasting
Sales Goals
Automated Email Templates
Language Support
Chinese
Dutch
English
French
German
Italian
Japanese
Portuguese
Russian
Spanish
Swedish
Customer Service
Case Management
Knowledgebase
Service Calendar
Service Scheduling
Service Goals
Call Center
Collaboration
Dashboards
Dashboard Customization
Activity Feeds
Integration with Yammer
Integration with Outlook  2013
Mobile UI Only in v7.5.3
or higher
Offline Capability
Workflow Rules
Alerts and Notifications

Disclaimer: This document is put together by Ignify Inc based on its research and knowledge of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and SalesLogix

Sandeep Walia is the CEO of Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of CRM, eCommerce and ERP, and Point of Sale software solutions to organizations. Ignify has won the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2013, 2012 and 2011. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for 7 years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine from 2007 to 2013.