The Best Ways To Attract Ecommerce Customers

You could be providing the best products available on the web. However, if there aren’t any customers checking it out, your business isn’t going to be going anywhere fast. In order to attract and convert customers, your ecommerce store needs to meet a number of requirements. If you’re not making as many sales as you’d like, here are some of the things you should be focussing on.

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Ecommerce Store Design

The first thing you should focus on is the aesthetic beauty of your ecommerce store. I know this doesn’t have a lot to do with the actual substance of your business. However, the outward appearance of any ecommerce store is an important marketing factor. It can have a pretty significant impact on your conversion rate. You should bear in mind that the average web user will decide whether or not to stay on a web page within a few seconds. A professional design and appearance should be at the top of your list if your site’s looking a little shabby. This is especially important if your business deals in aesthetic products. If you clicked on a link looking for a gorgeous formal suit, would you stick around if the site was unprofessionally presented?

Get the word out

You should also try to network a little more. As social media becomes a bigger and bigger part of all business, this is only going to get more important. Your average consumer spends hours on social media every week. When you have an active and visible social media profile, you’ll be tapping right into a huge market. If you think it would be beneficial, it might be worth liaising with other businesses, and negotiating a joint promotion. You don’t have to set up some mail forwarding and go out to meet them. However, when you build a close public relationship with another entity, it can be beneficial for both of you. True, it can be hard to find a willing business in a similar niche while avoiding your competitors. Once you get there though, your traffic can skyrocket!

Ecommerce Customer Service

Finally, make sure you’re providing good customer care. Customer service is a massively important part to any business, whether online or not. If your customers don’t feel like they’re valued, or that they’re being treated unfairly, they won’t come back. Having great customer service will not only keep your customers coming back again and again, but will help your marketing a lot. You could run all the expensive ad campaigns you want, but word of mouth is one of the best marketing tools out there. Consumers will always remember good customer care, so make sure you have it! All of the forms and carts on your site need to be fully functional. You also need to jump on any queries or issues your customers have as soon as possible. I know running a business can be stressful, but mind your manners!

Try bringing these pointers into your ecommerce business. Soon, your conversion rate will improve faster than you can imagine! Just remember to maintain your marketing efforts in order to keep growing.

 

Clever Ways To Free Up Funds For Your Business

As a company owner, you will spend more time thinking about ways of raising funds and cutting costs than you would like. Starting a business is one thing, but keeping it going is another entirely.

Cash flow problems will occur – with alarming regularity. And, when they do, you have better have some great ideas for getting yourself out of your fix.

So, with all this in mind, I thought I would explore a few ideas about raising funds for your business. There are the traditional methods, of course, such as finding an investor, or getting a bank loan. But, as everyone knows about them already, here are some alternatives.

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Beg

OK, perhaps begging is too strong a term. But, this technique has its merits. If you have a family member sitting on a large amount of savings, why not ask them to invest in your business? The chances are they will have their money stashed away earning microscopic interest. So, offer them a better deal – it will still be much cheaper for you than getting a loan from the bank. If you can write a compelling business case for them to help you out, there’s no reason they won’t invest. Give them a five-year exit plan and they will be happy – and you will have the cash you need for growth or fixing your current problems.

Use online lenders

Need some cash quickly? Then avoid going through the bank loan process, which can take weeks – if you are lucky. There are plenty of online lenders out there that will give you a decision in under an hour. Of course, you do have to be careful – quick lenders tend to have high-interest rates to counterbalance their risk. But, if you can turn that cash around into profit quickly you can pay them back before those harsh repayment terms come into play.

Presales

If you have a new product or service coming out soon, it can be a tricky time. You need to pay for the manufacture or production, but you don’t have the funds. So, think about setting up a pre-order system, and offer it as an exclusive to your loyal customers. You can give them a 10-15% discount for their efforts, and they will be pleased to be amongst the first to try out your new idea. Take the money, use it for manufacture and marketing, and with a bit of luck, you will be up and running in no time at all.

Pay less tax

If you are looking to save money to raise funds over the course of a year, then think about getting an accountant. They will help you cut back your tax bill, and you can use the money to invest in other areas. You can also think about incorporating your business if you are currently a sole trader. It means you can pay yourself in dividends from your company profit, rather getting taxed on your full income. There’s some interesting info on this over at dividendmantra.com.

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Secondary line of business

Another option is to double dip yourself into new business opportunities. There are plenty of examples of how a company can boost its income by offering a complimentary service. For the sake of argument, let’s say your business is an online tourist guide for the city you live in. All your money comes from advertising, both from banner ads and local businesses. So, a complimentary business idea could be something like offering tours to tourists. It’s easy to set up, and you can start taking bookings straight away. Have a think about the service your business offers, and see if there is anything complimentary that you can add. The simpler, the better – you are looking for quick cash wins here.

Credit cards

If you have a good credit rating, then why not use a credit card? You could go down the traditional route of a business card, but if the rates are better with a personal card, then go for one of those instead. Look for a credit card with no interest payments for 12-18 months, which will give you the time you need to pay it back. You will have the injection of cash you need, and as long as you meet the minimum payments, you won’t have any bother for the rest of the period. One thing I would say is that as soon as your good terms come to an end, switch to another card. As soon as those interest charges start to kick in, it could spell trouble for your business.

Enter a startup competition

There are startup competitions happening all over the place these days. And, if your idea is compelling enough, it’s a great chance to get hold of some funding. They tend to follow a similar format – you pitch your idea on paper, and judges will take a closer look. Then, if you get through that stage, you will face a panel of judges to pitch your idea in person. The judges choose a winner, and you get your prize – and a lot of free publicity. Not only that, but angel investors watch these award nights with great interest. They can be tough people to approach, but if they approach you because of your idea, you might well be onto a winner.

Rent out office space

If you run your business from an office that is a little big for your needs, rent out your spare space. Sole traders and freelancers are always on the search for a good home, and many will be willing to pay a good price. Not only that, but you could find yourself with a few extra skills that you can make use of on a daily basis!

Crowdfunding

Have you heard of Kickstarter and Indiegogo? There was a lot of noise about these crowdfunding businesses a few years ago. And, although you don’t hear much these days, they are alive and kicking. They are an excellent opportunity to get a product up and running, and to make a few early sales. Just be sure to read the small print so that you don’t break the rules. Checkout this guide for more info – http://www.entrepreneur.com/

Building A Brand For Your Ecommerce Company In 2016

Today, we’re going to examine the importance of a business brand and how to build brand recognition. What is a business brand?A brand is how customers and the general public recognizes your company. It can be strengthened by your business design, your promotional campaign or even your customer support. Establishing brand recognition is the best way to ensure your business has a base of customers who you can count on. It’s particularly important an E-commerce business has brand recognition. There is so much competition online that without brand recognition you’re going to get be lost in the shuffle of other companies. Essentially you need to make sure your company stands out and makes a mark on the mindset of the consumer.

To do this, we first need to think about the basic tools an online e-commerce should be using. These are, a fully operational website, a blog and a large social network. While these are the basics of an e-commerce business, that’s not all you should be doing. There are also ways to build an online brand offline, and we’re going to get into that a little further down. But for now, let’s start off by examining the importance of your site.

Establishing A Brand On Your Website

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To establish a brand on your website, you first need to think about the basic design. If you’re a B2B business, it should look professional and tidy. You don’t need to worry too much about flair and artistic impression. Your main focus should be on making sure that it looks professional. On the other hand, if you are appealing to general customers, you may want to have a little more fun with your design. Add some colour, moving parts and anything that makes your site a little more interesting. This could get customers to want to visit your site more than once. It might even get them to bookmark it as a regular source for them online.

You will also need to consider the content on your site. As you can see on my blog, I’ve adopted quite a friendly style of writing. This isn’t just an informative blog; there’s a little fun added into the mix. I hope that’s apparent by the picture I’ve chosen and other attributes. Even my style of writing isn’t totally informative. You should think about choosing a particular style for your site as well. This is going to help customers establish a brand for your business. And, don’t forget that poor quality content only damages your brand, it will never add to it.

Included in style and content are other bits and bobs like images and videos. It’s up to you how many images and videos you add to your site. But do bare in mind that while this makes a site interesting it also makes it look a little jumbled and messy. You might be best saving a lot of these for your blog. That way, you can keep your site clean and clear. Have a look at http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ to set up a business blog.

Now, comes the tricky part to think about and that’s marketing. How much marketing do you want displayed on your site and how subtle should it be? You should be particularly careful of how many ads you allow to plague your site. I recently visited an informative blog that was running 90 ads on one page. If I hadn’t been using an ad blocker, it would have made comprehensive viewing impossible. As I said, you do need to be careful because more people are using ad blockers these days.

Establishing A Brand Offline

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We’ll go back online in a moment. For now, I want to think about how offline marketing techniques can help you establish a brand and ties back to online promotion. You may be under the impression that offline promotion is dead and fairly useless for an online company. Oh, how wrong you are. Offline promotion isn’t dead, it’s evolved, and the fact is that are certain forms of promotion that only work in the real world. One example is the concept of event marketing. Event marketing allows to gain the interest of customers, the media and investors all at the same time. If you hold an event for your business, you can use a promotional campaign to get the word out. Have a look at http://promotion1.com/solutions/event-marketing/ for possibilities on organizing event marketing.

You can connect this type of promotion with online marketing by using social networks to announce it. Then, you may get the attention of the media and have stories of your business event written by other people online. If you continue to boost your social media presence, this story could go viral. At that point, you’re going to have millions more people interested in your company. Not only that, they’ll have an idea of what your business is and what it offers. That idea is the seed of brand recognition.

You may say that you can get the same effect by writing powerful content online. It’s true, online written content from a marketing agency can go viral. But it’s far more likely to occur if the content has a story behind it. This story should have a basis in reality. This site http://socialtriggers.com/craft-contagious-content/ has great tips for making content go viral.

That’s not the only way you can use offline marketing to boost your online campaign either. At these events you might have people handing out fliers or business cards. These types of products should have links back to your online promotion. They should have a twitter handle, a Facebook page or a Snapchat. If you don’t make the most of these possibilities you’re wasting a lot of resources that could boost your business.

Back Online With Social Media

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I’ve already mentioned how you can use social media to build a brand for your business with offline marketing. Now, let’s examine how social media can be a force separate to anything else. In fact, I would argue that social media is one of the best tools a business can use for promotion. It’s free, it’s potential is endless and it’s easy to set up and establish. To use social media effectively, you should have opened all available channels. It’s not enough just to be active on Twitter, you also need to make sure that you have an active Facebook page and Instagram. If you regularly update these with fresh interesting information you will engage customers. Every piece of information you give them, adds to their image of your brand.

As well as this, it’s important to keep an eye on trends in social media. What are the biggest social media trends this year. For starters, we’re going to see increased interest and popularity of social media buy buttons. Rather than going to your site, customers will be able to purchase products straight from your feeds. You can expect this to become a prominent way people buy in 2016. As well as this, you should be incorporating more live marketing promotion material. You’re going to see a lot more businesses using live feeds to promote products and services. Remember, it’s these type of marketing concepts that show the people behind the companies. That concept alone makes businesses more attractive to consumers and clients. Try these tips http://www.entrepreneur.com/topic/connecting-with-customers for other ways to connect with consumers.

Lastly, be aware of the importance of sharing. Social media is your biggest weapon because of the power it gives you to get your information shared. But this is only going to happen if you make the content appealing. Pictures and videos are important. The most shared pieces of information in 2016 were pics and vids. You can expect this trend to continue. And, remember to hashtag. Hashtags statistically increase your chance of shares. An annoying yet true fact. What other tools can you use to help establish your business brand online?

A Picture For The Profile

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If you look at the most successful brands in the world, you’ll realize that they all have one thing in common. They have a name or logo that people recognize. Now, you can view this as a chicken or egg scenario. In other words, does a cool logo make the brand or does a logo become cool after the brand reaches a level of success? There are arguments on both sides of the table here. For instance, Sony doesn’t really have a logo at all, it has a name. Is it a particularly interesting name? Not really, but that hasn’t stopped Sony reaching a massive level of success. On the other hand, there’s Apple. That company has a particularly memorable and prominent logo. Would the company have achieved success without it? Most definitely, yes. That said, having a logo won’t do your brand any harm and will benefit it even if the effect is minimal.

Just from a psychological point of view the human brain is better at remembering images than names. So, if your business is attending a trade show investors are more likely to remember a logo rather than a word. Remember, if you do get a logo get it trademarked so that no one can copycat it. Look at this, http://thetrademarkhelpline.com/trademarking-a-logo/ for more info on trademark law.

I think these are the main ways you can build a business brand for your company. If you do, I guarantee there will always be a place for your company on the world market.

Why Aren’t You Seeing The Business Results That You Crave?

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Running an online business isn’t easy, so it’s only natural that you want to achieve the very best outcomes. However, competition in the modern world of commerce is fierce. If your company is going to unlock it’ full potential, every aspect needs to be efficient. Otherwise, profit levels will always be limited.

All business operations can be improved. The sooner you start to realise this the better. Pinpointing the areas that require the most important is your first, and arguably biggest, challenge. Once you’ve done this, you can start to work on building a bigger and better venture.

Here are some of the areas where you are likely to be failing.

Staffing

No successful entrepreneur can achieve their dreams without being supported by a winning team of employees. Their function is the driving force behind the company. This will ultimately determine whether the business produces quality goods. Therefore, it’s imperative that you get this element right.

As an online venture, the likelihood is that quality will be more important than quantity. The staff is your most valuable asset, so recruiting the very best candidates is vital. It’s such a crucial element that you may even want to use a professional staffing agency to ensure that you get it right.

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It doesn’t matter how the work is completed, just as long as you get the best results at the best price. There are a number of tasks that may be better suited to outsourcing. You should have no problem finding willing freelancers. Aside from cutting staffing costs, it may also reduce other overheads too.

Whatever you do, just make sure that the whole team is capable of fulfilling its duties. With a strong staff, there’s no limit to what you can achieve.

Atmosphere

Ensuring that your team has the right skills to thrive is crucial. But it’s equally important that you appreciate their emotional needs. They are only human after all. Whether dealing with on-site staff or remote employees doesn’t matter. Generating a better atmosphere will bring huge rewards for your operation.

Many business owners see those colleague interactions as a distraction. On the contrary, good communication will promote improved teamwork and general levels of happiness. And a happy workplace is an efficient one. Meanwhile, you should be prepared to go the extra mile for creating a better employer-employee relationship too.
Arranging staff outings and rewarding good work with staff perks can take things to another level too. Ultimately, if your employees are happy and proud of the company, it will shine through in their endeavours.

Productivity

In business, time is money. To gain the very best results, you need to ensure that you’re making good use of any opportunity for increased productivity. And that means incorporating the latest tech features.

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Embracing the power of cloud computing can transform your business operations. As well as lowering costs and making processes quicker, it also provides a safe and easy way of working with those remote-based employees. Visit www.ATB-Tech.com/ to find out how those systems can enhance your activities, and you’ll never look back.

Once the business is achieving more from the working day, it can only begin to see increased profits too.

Google Ranking

By now, you’ll already be well aware that visibility is everything for an online business. If you aren’t gaining traffic, then you aren’t converting sales. Ultimately, that leads to low revenue and damning impacts for the company.

Understanding the web audience is crucial. One notable fact is that the majority still turn to their favourite search engines to find a specific product. Most companies appreciate this and try to boost their Google rankings. Sadly, many of them see underwhelming results. Take the time to debunk these common SEO myths, and you should find that you’ll make far better decisions with your future strategies.

In turn, this should fire your website into a more prominent position on the search engine results pages. If this doesn’t lead to an increased volume of visitors, then nothing will.

Marketing Strategies

Encouraging people to find your business through search engines isn’t the only way to gain increased traffic. Marketing is a key element of any company’s fortunes, and your ability to find cost-effective ways of gaining support is vital. The internet boasts a host of fantastic resources. As an online venture, you should be eager to capitalise on them all.

 

 

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Using social media platforms in an effective way can help build a much larger online following. However, those followers are only worth having if they fall into the category of potential customers. With this in mind, gaining a deeper understanding of your target market is key. Not only will this boost your marketing endeavours, but it will also help you to streamline other crucial parts of the operation.

Strategies will be tailored to suit the audience. However, as an online business, it’s safe to say that you’ll be looking towards those with good computer literacy. Borrow ideas from the most successful social media strategies and give them a unique spin to ensure that you gain the desired response. Try to use as many media types as possible too.

Web Design

Getting people to visit your company site is one thing, but getting them to stay is another. There’s no point in gaining their interest if you can’t convert it to a sale. It’s imperative that you set a great first impression.

The website is essentially your shop window. Therefore, it’s imperative that you make it look attractive. If you fail to do this, potential customers will quickly move on to find a competitor. The web design doesn’t have to be overly complicated, but it does need to engage trust from the customer. Placing testimonials from previous clients can make a telling impact. But it’s equally important that you make those first appearances count.

Regular readers will be aware that I’m a huge advocate of using WordPress. This is the perfect option for those with limited graphic design skills. You can discover tons of fantastic themes at www.elegantthemes.com. As well as looking great, the navigational properties ensure that the customer can enjoy a familiar experience.

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Another great thing about using WordPress is that you can use various plugins to monitor the performance of your site too. If this can help you gain a better understanding of what efforts are working, it can only have positive impacts on the company

Transaction Facilities

‎Online activities have grown exponentially over the past decade. But many internet shoppers still have apprehensions about using companies that aren’t global giants. The most effective way to put their fears to bed is to ensure that the transaction process is flawless.

Investing in the best e-commerce cart software will give the business a more professional and trustworthy vibe. Accepting as many payment types as possible ensures that you are leaving your doors open to as many potential customers as possible. Losing a potential sale because the buyer can’t complete a purchase would be utter madness.

Of course, offering free delivery and other perks can help boost those positive feelings towards the brand too. This could make all the difference as you look to complete an online sale.

Customer Care

Having invested so much time and money in recruiting clients, losing their long-term custom would be nothing short of a tragedy. But many online companies find that this happen. Quite often, the inability to retain a customer is down to poor treatment.

Just because you are dealing with an online audience, it doesn’t alter their importance. It’s absolutely vital that you make customers feel special. Consumers shop on emotional instincts. Forming positive bonds can give them an extra incentive to use you over a competitor. Besides, it helps build trust too. Sending greeting cards and showing your appreciation can work wonders.

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Another top tip is to encourage an active role. Running surveys with a prize draw will underline that you respect their opinions. The competition aspect can become a great marketing tool too. More importantly, though, you need to make it easy for them to contact you.

Using social media services as a portal for customer care will help. Telephone and email services will further increase their trust and warmth towards the brand. Learn about virtual receptionists at www.answerallamerica.com/about.php. With this help, your customer care game will soon shoot through the roof.

Financial Control

Your main goal in business is to generate more sales. However, that’s not the only crucial element to deciphering profit. It’s equally important that you focus on lowering your overheads. After all, the less money you spend, the fewer sales you need to break even.

Any cutbacks that won’t impact the quality of your services is a must. Finding cheaper website hosting plans and more effective energy rates can have a huge impact on your business ventures. Failure to do so is essentially throwing money away.

You wouldn’t use personal finances in a frivolous way. Treat your business funds with similar maturity, and you cannot go far wrong.

How To Keep Your Business Running When The WiFi Goes Down

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If there were to be a blockbuster horror movie that would swoop all of the awards in 2016, its premise would be around losing your WiFi connection. Is there a more terrifying prospect in today’s digital age than losing your only tenuous grip on the outside world? Not as far as I can tell. Only, things could go from bad to worse when you’re trying to run a business. That’s a tough enough gig in its own right without finding yourself handicapped by a temperamental internet provider.

The difference for a business losing its internet connection is night and day. It could cost you an awful lot of money, for starters. But, not only that, it brings your workforce’s productivity to a screeching halt. Try to contain your shudders. I assure you; it’s all going to be okay. If you find yourself in this horrifying position, just follow these tips for keeping your business connected. Even when your WiFi can’t connect.

Gateway

This is an option that originally came around with the ability to send text messages from the internet. A good few years ago, hundreds of sites popped up allowing you to send a text message online. God knows what information they took from you in exchange. But hey, at least, your crush knew you weren’t ignoring them after you’d used up all your credit.

Gateway options are also popular among businesses now. In fact, they’re one of the leading outsourced communications services on offer. You can easily send email to SMS so that you can be sure your workers can stay up to date with all your latest developments. Regardless of WiFi connection. Joy.

Tethering

By now, just about every person in the developed world owns themselves a smartphone. They’re a must-have essential, and we won’t hear another word about it. While some may roll their eyes and chastise how reliant we’ve become on our little devices, this is one scenario in which they could be a lifesaver. With pretty much any given smartphone contract, you’re allocated your own data hotspot. That means you can access the internet on the move. Admittedly, a pipedream once upon a time is now a reality we can’t imagine doing without

And best of all? You can turn that little cellular hotspot into your very own internet connection. It’s an act known as tethering and has become increasingly popular among people who forget to pay their utility bills. You can achieve this with both Android and iOS, but the costs to do so will vary greatly. Also, be aware that the quality of your new wireless connection isn’t going to rival that of fibre-optic broadband. But hey, it’s a start, right? At least, you can get online again.

And if all else fails, remember you can always gather the team together and call it a day. Throw together an impromptu trip to Starbucks. Bring your laptops along. Leech off their WiFi connection until they decide you’re taking liberties. Just take it easy on the Pumpkin Spiced Lattes if you ever want to sleep again.