Turn Your #eCommerce Venture into a Success

The ecommerce industry has been growing over the years, and will only continue to do so. There are still some benefits to shopping in a brick-and-mortar store. We have yet to come up with technology that will allow customers to try out a product without visiting a store. However, shopping online can offer so many other benefits. It allows customers to do everything but hold the product in their hands. When people think about starting a business, so many of them consider ecommerce. It’s a type of business you can often run from home, and you don’t always need storage space for your stock.

Running an ecommerce business can mean that you face a lot of competition. Unless you have a unique idea that no one has got close to using, you’re going to be fighting to be seen and heard. Some people have mild success with a side business. But if you want to go further, there’s more to it than making a few casual sales. Follow these steps if you want to have success with your ecommerce business. You can start making a name for yourself if you do it right.


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Start with a Good Idea

The first step is arguably the most important. Your idea for a business isn’t just about what you’re going to sell. Chances are, you’re going to be selling something that many people already sell. So your idea should involve how you’re going to make your business stand out from the crowd. It could be that you sell just one product, but you focus on it being an outstanding product.

It could be that your store has a theme, like The Purple Store, which only sells purple things. Maybe you’re going to place your focus on customer service. For example, the shoe retailer Zappos goes above and beyond to make their customers happy. So much so that they hold the world record for the longest customer service call.

What are you going to do to differentiate your business from others selling similar products to yours? The answer could lie in your branding, your prices, or elsewhere.

Taking Your Time

Before you rush to launch your business, you should consider slowing things down. You might be impatient to get up and running. But allowing yourself time to get everything right could make all the difference. If you launch your store too quickly, you could spend your first few months ironing out problems. And if your customers are faced with various issues in the beginning, they may be reluctant to come back. You need to ensure that everything is organized behind the scenes before you make the big reveal. Don’t count on working it all out as you go along.

Choose Where to Sell

Choosing where you’re going to sell your products is a vital decision. Some people go with third-party sites, some with their own website, and some do both. If you want to make a name for your business, you can’t beat setting up your own domain. You might choose to operate on sites such as eBay or Amazon in addition. But you should create an individual web presence too. There is only so much branding you can do if you don’t set up a website away from third-party sellers. If you do decide to use other sites, make sure you pick those that are most appropriate for your products. For example, Etsy is better for selling handmade items than Amazon or eBay.


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Is Dropshipping Right for You?

One of the main dilemmas for people who want to set up an ecommerce business is whether they should use dropshipping. Finding somewhere to store stock and the money to pay for it isn’t always easy. Dropshipping helps by allowing your orders to go straight to your supplier. You don’t need to fulfill them, which means you can avoid ordering large amounts of stock. The question is, can you build a successful ecommerce business using dropshipping? Many people sing its praises, but it’s not the right choice for everyone. It means that part of the order process is out of your hands, and you have to trust that the service you use can get it right. If you want to be in charge of everything, dropshipping probably isn’t for you.

Finding Your Suppliers

Selecting the right suppliers can have a significant impact on your success too. You don’t want suppliers that are unreliable, overcharge or send you faulty products. All the components of your business need to line up to bring you success. Your suppliers are one of the most vital parts, so you need to choose them carefully. Finding suppliers can be difficult at first. Many wholesalers say they will only sell to established businesses. This can be confusing when you can’t get up and running without your stock. Don’t worry, though, as you don’t have to be making lots of sales to access these suppliers. When you choose where to get your products, focus on quality and customer service. You need to know your orders will be dealt with quickly and efficiently.


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Find Outside Help

If you start up a small ecommerce business, you might aim to do everything yourself. But not many people have all the knowledge and skills they need to make their store a success. You’re going to need someone else’s help in some way, whether it’s with website design or SEO. If you want a complete solution, look for a company that provides ecommerce development. For example, read some info about Ultra Web Marketing to see what sort of tasks you can get help with. You can outsource your branding, strategy, and sales. You might also want help with various marketing tasks such as content.

Be Customer-focused

If you want your ecommerce venture to be a success, you have to focus on your customers. They can’t see your products in person. So providing them with an excellent customer experience is essential. There are a number of things you can do to make things better for them. You can make placing an order on your site easier by taking several steps. For example, you can allow people to order without having to create an account. You can provide different payment options and free shipping. Make it easy for customers to return items too. Being there for customers when there’s a problem is vital too. Providing excellent customer service is a must for many shoppers.


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Making the Most of Social Media

Marketing your business is crucial. But there’s one tool that helps with both marketing and customer service. Various social media channels are perfect for ecommerce. They’re useful for paid advertising too. Social media offers a way for you to connect directly with customers. It can be more instant than other methods, such as email and even phone calls. You should identify which channels work for your brand. Get involved with the management of your accounts instead of leaving it all to someone else. Many ecommerce businesses find that Facebook and Twitter work for them. You might also consider Instagram and other options, depending on your products.

Don’t Forget About Mobile

Mobile sales are on the rise, so you need to take them into account if you want to be successful. More and more people are using their smartphones and tablets to shop. So you should think about a responsive website design and mobile advertising. Mobile sales are still on the rise, so you may be able to get away with not paying too much attention to it now. But in a couple of years, you could be left behind if you haven’t built your website with mobile activity in mind. You need to set up your business so that your customers can have a smooth mobile experience. You could even consider creating an app for your store.

Remember That SEO Is an Ongoing Task

Many people know that they need to work on their SEO when they set up their store. However, it’s important to remember that it’s not just something you set up and then leave alone. You need to work on it consistently, which will often require a dedicated employee. You might choose to outsource your SEO work to a firm who can take care of it for you. You could also consider an individual freelancer. Or you can hire someone in-house if you have an office.

Monitor Everything

Having success with any venture involves being able to tell what works and what doesn’t. You need to keep track of which techniques lead to more visitors and sales. You can combine testing and collecting data to work out what’s successful. If you’re able to track various metrics, you can take a lot of the guesswork out of running your business. Knowing what your customers respond to will help you to grow and understand what direction to take your business in.

Making it in the ecommerce world can be tough, even though the industry is growing. You need to make your brand stand out from others to get the attention you want.

Website Load Times: Why Slow Speeds Are Hindering Your Success


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Do you remember the days of dial-up internet? We’d sit there and wait for what seemed like an age for websites to load. In actuality, it wasn’t all that long. However, we’ve become used to content being available in an instant. In fact, if we’re waiting longer than a few seconds nowadays, we’ll often give up and click somewhere else.

Now, take that information and think how it could relate to your business website. Are you losing sales because it’s so slow to load? Are lucrative clients clicking away because they can’t get the information they need quickly enough? It’s easy to gloss over, but slow loading websites are a huge hindrance for businesses across the world.


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The thing is: a well-optimized site has plenty more benefits than basic satisfaction for the potential customer. By getting the basics right, you’re opening up more possibilities in terms of techniques like SEO. Backlinks, as explained at https://www.gotchseo.com/backlinks/ can be particularly beneficial to boost your SEO strategy. However, if your website takes an age to load, you’ll actually be doing more harm than good. Eventually, that SEO strategy will keel over and die. Then, it’s wasted money down the drain.

There are help sources available to you. Arguably the most well-known of these is Google’s PageSpeed tool. This is a tool that uses insights to measure load times and identify the issues relating to them. If you’re not technically minded, the tool might not make all that much sense to you. However, if you are, you can find it at https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/.


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So, we’ve mentioned the importance of fast load times, but what can you do to ensure you get them? There are a few basic tips that we’re going to mention today to get you started. If you’re still having problems after implementing them, you might need to seek more expert advice. Let’s take a brief look.

  • It all starts with your website hosting provider. If you’re using an unreputable host that can’t handle the demands of your site, it won’t load quickly. You might even find that it suffers from downtime on a regular basis, which is damaging. It might be worth considering a new host.
  • Another problem you might face is filling your website with an abundance of images. This can be an issue for multiple reasons. First, it means that your website has to work harder to load the images you want to use. Also, you might not be optimizing those images effectively, resulting in a large file size. In programs like Photoshop, as found at adobe.com/Photoshop, web-specific images can be created.
  • Finally, think about the content management systems you’re using. In the case of something like WordPress, you might find that a plugin is slowing it all down. To rectify this, you’ll need to carry out some trial and error procedures.

Make no mistake: slow load times will hinder your website’s progress. Make sure you don’t suffer from them.



Are Your #SocialMedia Accounts Working Hard Enough For Your Business?

Most businesses rely on a digital presence to succeed in the modern world. Have you launched a new company, or recently set up profiles for an established firm? If so, here are some insider tricks to make sure you’re getting the best out of your social media accounts.


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Tips for beginners

If you’re new to the world of social media marketing, it can be a confusing entity. You may be able to chat with friends and post photos without any dramas. But profiling and promoting a business is a completely different kettle of fish.

The first thing to think about with this form of marketing is your strategy. Which platforms are you going to use? Who are you targeting? How are you going to use sites to benefit your firm and generate sales? Some companies use several different sites. Others prefer to focus on a smaller number. It’s up to you what you choose to do. If you do go all guns blazing and set up profiles on every site, you run the risk of diluting content. If you narrow down your options, you can pay more attention to individual accounts. Your target market may also influence your decisions. If you’re aiming to entice more older buyers, there’s no point in designing an expensive Snapchat campaign.

Once your accounts are up and running, you need to spread the word. Send out friend and follower requests and invitations. Run competitions and offer incentives for people who share or like your posts.


Image via https://www.flickr.com/photos/132604339@N03/22674149808

Keeping people interested

There’s a fine line between keeping followers interested and annoying them with too much information. You don’t want your pages to be focused solely on promotion. Don’t go overboard, and post hundreds of updates every month. Not every post should be an obvious marketing ploy. Combine offers and advertising with intriguing, entertaining content. Link videos and images to your posts. Visuals are more appealing than bodies of text.

Try and get people talking on social media. People enjoy sharing their opinions and ideas on sites like Facebook. Throw out a question or set up a survey.

Make sure the content you provide is suitable for your target audience and relevant to your business. If you’re promoting pet services, your followers will love funny videos of dogs or cute pictures of cats, for example.

Keep your profiles fresh. Update information frequently, and don’t cover the same points in every post. Think outside the box, and use your imagination. Your social media campaign has got to compete against others, so it’s essential to stand out. Make sure all your accounts are linked together and include your contact information. Many people click on website links from Instagram and Twitter bios and Facebook profiles.


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Taking your accounts to the next level

It’s not enough to attract thousands of likes on Facebook or pins on Pinterest. You need interest to develop into sales. People may be talking about your product, but you need to convert this into profits. There are various ways of increasing revenue. Using social media accounts to catapult your firm to the next level is one of them. Facebook advertising is a good place to start. In return for a fee, you can reach out to hundreds, even thousands of users in an instant. Your ads will appear on news feeds, encouraging people to click on them and find out more. Facebook has billions of users, so investing in advertising often pays off.

If you’re struggling to attract interest, you can buy Instagram followers. By doing this, you’ll increase the number of likes your images generate. Your hashtags will become more popular, and you have a better chance of being featured on the Explore button. The more people see your posts, the better your chances of business success. If you take a look at the Explore page, you’ll find that many of the pages that crop up have thousands of likes.

Twitter advertising is another potent weapon to have in your arsenal. It can generate traffic to your website and increase your social media presence.

Data analytics is a useful tool, which will enable you to see how well your accounts are performing. You can identify trends and see who is buying into your business. You can focus on the outlets, which are most successful and adapt your strategy in line with competitors.


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Social media is a powerful marketing technique. If you’re not reaping the rewards, consider these pointers and adjust your plans. Hopefully, your cash register will be ringing in no time.



#Marketing to a Young Audience Made Easy

If your business relies on the interest and participation of young people, you need to target them. Targeting young audiences is not something that can be done in the same way to other forms of marketing. It’s best to take an approach that’s specific to them. Here’s how to do that.

Reflect Them

Young people engage with companies and brands on a much more personal way. There are many reasons for this. For a start, they are growing up in the age of social media. Brands are not distant entities that churn out products. These days, most companies have a presence and a voice of their own. They become more like people than corporations. This is something that you have to keep in mind when you are producing marketing content for your brand. You won’t find success if you’re stuck in the past and not willing to give your brand a human face.

Everything Must be Mobile

Nearly 90% of young people have a mobile device that they use to browse the internet. This is something that brands like yours have to be able to take advantage of in order to find success. The website you use has to have a responsive design. That way, customers will be able to browse it when they’re on the go or using their phones. It’s young people who are driving the movement away from desktop browsing and towards mobile browsing. So, if you can create an app, a good mobile-friendly site and have plenty of social media accounts, you should do well. Companies like GravityDigital can help with online marketing if you are struggling, so don’t be afraid to get help.


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Focus on Achieving Comments and Shares

If you want to know where to find young people, the answer is clearly on social media. This is where the vast majority of young people are most accessible for companies. There are many more young people than old people using Facebook and Twitter. That means there is no better way to engage with them. Focus on creating content that creates some kind of buzz and interest on social media platforms. It will have to be humorous and playful in some way if you’re going to grab people’s attentions. And if you succeed, you’ll know because you’ll be plenty of shares, comments and likes. That’s exactly what you should be aiming for.

Don’t Worry About Loyalty

Many business owners are still hung up on the idea of loyalty. The old types of brand loyalty are not really applicable anymore. If you want your brand to be relevant to young people, then there are other ways to do this. You have to be moving forward and trying new things all the time. If you’re not, then young people won’t hesitate to move towards another brand. You can’t expect brand loyalty or take customers for granted. That’s why it’s important not to get complacent off the back of some early success. When you’re selling to a young market, their interest can fade quickly.


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Creative Business Tasks That Are Always Worth Outsourcing

Your business or company can be full of the most competent staff in the world, but there will always be used for outsourcing.

Here are three creative tasks that are always worth outsourcing. The first is digital marketing; we’ll also explain why a creative eye in this facet of business can make all the difference. We’ll also touch upon photography and three primary benefits of outsourcing this task. Finally, content writing, and what a professional content company can bring to the table!

Read on to find out more…

Digital Marketing


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While a technological skill, we’ve included this because approaching it should be done creatively. The market and formulas are changing so rapidly; a one size fits all approach just won’t do. For this reason, thinking outside the box is necessary. Take the company Tiger Log Cabins! What they sell isn’t that exciting or interesting to many people. So, their digital marketing agency encouraged them to make a £1million Zombie Apocalypse Shed! It got loads of interest and was covered in news outlets right across the world. Of course, not even the best tech in the world could have suggested that idea. It came from human creativity. The same goes for things like SEO and ppc management. While the basics are about the tech, the implication comes from humans. That’s why outsourcing to specialists is so wise. It allows 100% of commitment, time and energy to be put into getting all sides of this facet of marketing right. This is one industry that moves so fast, keeping up with changes and developments is key to success.


There are a plethora of solid reasons for outsourcing your photography to a company. For starters, they are likely to have far better quality of equipment. Plus, they will have a wider variety of things like lenses, lights, and camera. The right equipment can make all the difference to getting the perfect shot. Secondly, when paying to outsource this task you are also paying for their experience. The photographer or photography team will have had special training and lessons. These will prepare them for whatever task you need to throw at them. There is also great value in seeing a product with impartial eyes. The person or team who came up with the concept or design might be too focused on one benefit (or flaw) to create the best possible photograph. These images can then be used for your website, marketing, or something else entirely.

Content Writing


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Just like the two tasks above, content writing is something that not everyone can do. It takes a lot more than just writing words on a screen, after all. There needs to be thought into things like a structure that will keep the attention of your audience. The work also needs to be tailored to the audience’s level of education and understanding of a product. Great content also needs to be followed up by more great content, which keeps coming regularly. This is the best way to maintain peaked interest within your readership. Outsourcing this work that no less than professionals are taking on this work.

Your #Marketing #Strategy Needs These #Research Methods

Market research is an essential staple of any strong digital marketing strategy. After all, your product or service is designed to fulfil a given need. If you’re not familiar with the people who have this need, you’re not going to do too well at meeting it! If you want to start doing some market research but you’re feeling completely lost, then here are some effective techniques you should be using.


Image: Wikimedia

First of all, surveys. By drafting a survey made up of some basic, straightforward questions, you can find out all kinds of handy insights into the way your target market perceives the products or services they pay for. In-person surveys are the more traditional way to go about this, and allow you an extra marketing opportunity, as you’ll have representatives talking directly to your target audience. However, these can be costly and time-consuming. Telephone surveys are another more traditional method, but you may find that a lot of the consumers you’re targeting are extremely hostile to telemarketing and anything that smells like it! Online surveys are probably the most efficient and affordable, but the results can be very erratic if you conduct the survey yourself. Fortunately, there are several services which will do all the hard work for you. For a reasonable fee, you can grab info at Pollfish or another service, and start using it in no time.

Another popular method is using focus groups. In one of these, a designated moderator will read out a series of scripted questions or prompts, and direct a discussion about them within a group of people. Rather than the unpredictable environment of a public survey, focus groups operate in neutral environments, usually blank rooms with a few video cameras, and perhaps a one-way mirror. I know, it sounds like an interrogation. Believe me, the tone’s a lot more friendly. The point is, when people are left to trade notes and debate on a certain part of your business, you can get even deeper insights into how your ideal customer feels about the products or services you’re dangling. There’s a pretty helpful article on setting up focus groups on Chron.

Finally, we have personal interviews. These are something of a middle ground between mass surveys and focus groups. Like focus groups, these are less structured, and open-ended. A typical session will last for about an hour, and be recorded. Compared to surveys, a series of personal interviews will provide your marketing team with much more subjective data. When they’re taken out of the environment of a focus group or public place, many people will also give more honest opinions about the niche your business occupies. The only real issue with personal interviews is the time and money it takes to set them up. Because you have a limited pool of people, the data you collect may be more detailed, but won’t be statistically reliable. This is why personal interviews are usually used in conjunction with another tactic.

If your target audience seems like a complete mystery to you, then try one of these methods now!


#Instagram #Marketing Blunders You Can’t Afford To Make

When Instagram was first released in 2010, no one really paid it much attention. Many of us saw it as a silly little gimmick used by Facebook to bump up its already considerable profit margins. How wrong we were! These days, Instagram is huge, essential part of any business’s marketing strategy, and you need to know how to leverage it to cash in on its popularity. To make sure you’re getting the best start possible, here are some costly mistakes you need to avoid.

The first mistake you could be making is not focussing on the quality of your content. Of course, you’ll have certain time-constrained goals in your marketing department, and in the rush to meet them it can be easy to neglect what you’re posting, and focus more on posting it. If you carry on like this, you’re only going to be holding yourself back. Take a moment to think about how Instagram works from a user’s point of view. They’ll typically be scrolling through a column of photos, glancing over the repetitive content and skimming for something that interests them. It doesn’t matter how much content you can post when none of it is gaining any attention! I know it can be hard to come up with good content, especially if your business exists in a somewhat dry niche. However, neglecting the quality of your content is a seriously damaging mistake.


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Another big mistake, which is a sure fire way to bring down your Instagram influence, is misusing hashtags. The issue is usually that a brand uses too few, or that the ones they do use are irrelevant. Like other social networks, hashtags play an important part in accounts being discovered and followed. You can use your budget to purchase Instagram followers and get fairly far. However, more organic traffic invariably comes from well-placed hashtags. A good hashtag has to be relevant and popular, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be pre-existing! Creating your own branded hashtag, and promoting it successfully, can increase your brand awareness massively overnight. Generally, more is better when it comes to tags-per-post. Instagram has obviously clocked onto this, and set the cap at 30. About 11 should be fine, and will garner a lot more engagement than just a few.

Finally, not posting content enough. I know, at the start of this post I told you that quality was much more important than quantity. However, that maxim will only take you so far. If you can maintain the quality of your content, while still posting often enough to attract good engagement, then the sky’s the limit. Getting the balance right may sound like a pretty big task. The good news is that’s it’s pretty easy to beat a lot of brands on quantity! The average business account posts on Instagram once a day. However, brands that post once or more an hour throughout the day get overall better engagement. If you’re a little sporadic with frequency, then figure a manageable quota and make it part of your strategy today!