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The significance of online retail, though disruptive, has impacted the print map industry in a very positive way. It has not only added a significant sales channel for publishers, distributors, and retailers, it has also expanded the range of product offerings. From World Maps to municipal property maps and everything in between – the range of products has significantly increased. Online giants like Amazon, Etsy and others have helped to expand the market further and marketplace solutions like the Avenza Maps and MapSherpa have created new distribution points for map products. Growth in mobile internet usage has added fuel to the fire as a tool for product discovery. And although maps represent a small niche within the full spectrum of products sold through online retail, it is indeed a growing niche.
 
Some of the trends that are worth noting and reviewing for your online channels are:
 
– Customized & large scale map sales are growing. A lot of this work has previously been offered as custom or bespoke mapping services. With the availability of online customization tools like MapSherpa, integration of these products within your online map store brings in a host of new and repeat customers. NextByte integrates such custom mapping tools with Magento, Shopify or Woocommerce websites. 
 
– Mobile traffic keeps growing faster than visits from desktops browsers, however, the volume of conversions from desktop browsers is much higher than mobile. Using mobile traffic to find your products online and lead them to conversion through desktop websites is a key trend and will help increase conversions through this channel. NextByte helps deploy a strategy to acquire growing mobile traffic by converting eCommerce websites to use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).
 
– Offering Multichannel & Omnichannel sales to customers is becoming a must. Most successful map businesses are adopting a multi-channel sales strategy that ensures their products are available through their website and other marketplaces like Amazon, Etsy, etc as well as social platforms such as Facebook & Instagram. NextByte helps create deployment integrations from your website with these channels. 
 
– Using a common platform for retail & B2B customers at one web address, even though retail & B2B customers have different needs, has become an important strategy for publishers, distributors and retailers. This is achieved by having a common product database deployed differently for the two with different ways to order online through your single website. NextByte builds integrated web experiences for both retail and trade customers.
 
– Search remains the biggest traffic contributor to websites. Traditionally the core focus for online marketing has been to position for head keywords. They still bring a lot of traffic but very low conversions. In contrast, long-tail keywords are not only less competitive, but they also bring in more targeted audiences increasing their conversion rates. NextByte helps build & execute strategies for search marketing for online stores. 
 
NextByte Technologies has been focused on working with the companies in the map business for the last 8 years, providing web-based solutions. We bring to the table a rich understanding of web technologies, online marketing and above all specific understanding of needs for selling maps & books online. We service clients in the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, Netherlands, and Australia.

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