A Beginners Guide to Online Growth!

With the boom that is being experienced within the world of e-commerce, it is no wonder that more and more online businesses are popping up all over the place. This is a good thing that you should take advantage of and use to finally get you in a position that you are doing what you love and able to leave that job that ha a dead end. There is a lot that you need to make sure that you keep in mind before you even begin this journey for your business needs. Having this information beforehand will help to reduce the number of mistakes that you will make when you get ready to begin your online business. Let us take a look at a few of the things that you need to make sure that you keep in mind before you start this journey.

Market to the Right Demographics

There is something to be said about making sure that you are sending the right message to the right people. One example of this would be to make sure that if you are going for a crowd that is into surfing, then you do not want to target people that are into buying customized dog collars. The key to being popular is to make sure that your marketing is hitting the mark in the demographics you are aiming for. This can save you a lot of trial and error that many beginners will make when trying to get their business up and running. The next tip will be just as important as you will want to make sure that you look at the method of getting paid for your goods and services.

Setup a Payment Gateway to Accept Payment

Having a way to accept payments will be just as important as the business end of things. This is why you need to make sure that you set up a payment portal that is reliable, safe and easy. This is a step that many people will forget about as it will not be at the top of their thought process. Knowing how to find a good payment gateway and how to get it set up will be a very important process that you have to make sure that you keep in mind.

Accept Multiple Forms of Payment

There is no need to move forward if the payment side of your business is not in place. Even once you get the payment gateway established, you will need to make sure that you are accepting all forms of payment. Many businesses lose out on potential customers due to the fact that they limit the types of payment that they are able to accept. If you only accept cash, then that will reduce you from being able to be an online business. If you only accept Visa then you are not getting the customers that have other forms of credit cards that they use online.

Mobilize

Make sure that you are making yourself mobile ready to deal with all of the customers that will be doing business with you on a regular basis. More and more people are living online and as such, they want sites that are mobile friendly. Nothing is more frustrating than having a site that has not been optimized for mobile devices and as such will not display the correct way. This can hurt you in the fact that customers will not want to do business with you as well as it may affect the ability for you to accept payments.

Offer Feedback Options

A customer having the ability to leave feedback is one of the most important things that you can do in helping to build a customer base that will in the end trust you. Having the ability to accept this feedback as well as helping to listen to the feedback and take the advice that is being given to you via the customers. The feedback that they are able to provide to you will help you to better cater to their needs and allow you the chance to make things better for your business and thus allow you to improve on areas where you are a little weak.

Market the Business as Much as Possible

Marketing the business is as essential as the other parts of running the business. If you fail to market it correctly, then your efforts will not be as successful when trying to get new customers to come and check out your business. The ones that you do have will get bored as there will not be anything there to help and keep the customer engaged. If you are not sure what you need to do in the marketing of your business, then you can always hire a firm that will handle all of the details for you.

As you are able to see, there is a lot of running your own business and the more that you understand from the beginning, then the better results that you will have. Following these tips, will make sure that you have a business that will be profitable and will go a long way in helping to give you a sense of accomplishment.

Have Content/ Products that People want

There is no use in having products to sell if the people do not want to buy them. This will involve a lot of research to see what people are and are not into and what types of goods or services that they are seeking out. A little research, in the beginning, will lead to a lot better results for you down the road. Look closely at the things that are doing well and those that are not doing so good and shift your focus on these accordingly. Take ideas from established online stores like Oroton outlet to have a clear idea and implement them in your case. This will help to lead to you having a lot better results with getting products sold in a timely manner. After you have established the selection of products that you are going to sell, you will then want to make sure that you focus on the marketing of the products.

Consider These Digital Marketing Tips for Online Success

Research has shown that over 70% of Americans buy products online in a period of one month. With Internet you can check out various products and services online and decide what is best for you even though you will buy the products at a physical shop near your home. If you are a business person, you have to strategically plan how to market your products and services on the digital platform. This has proven to be a challenge for some brands, but that does not mean there is no way to make it work for you and your business. Here are some tips that will ensure your online venture is successful.

Establish your website blog

A blog helps you to connect with your target audience and you can post your blogs across social media networks in order to attract attention to your website. You can make use of certain keywords to help advance your SEO hence more people will be in a position to click your site because it moves higher in the Google search results. When you write a blog post, you are able to connect with other bloggers and thus gain more brilliant ideas on digital marketing. On the website, displaying USPs and explaining how it functions can convert your website visitors into customers because they are able to know how your business brochures and the products can reach them.

Collaborate with same customer-based businesses

Small business entrepreneurs should partner with similar customer-based businesses but ensure that those you partner with are not your competitors. Partner up with another business that is complementary to yours rather than a competitor who might steal your clients. For example, a mason and an electrician. Write about the value given to customers by your partners and give reasons why you support those values. Make a point of sharing this with various companies and ask them to enlighten their audience on this information. Consider establishing a deal with your partners on customer referral and when customers visit your partners businesses, they learn about your business even if it is by word of mouth. By doing this, both of the businesses will be at an advantage.

Sell your business on social media

It is important to share your values, ideas on improving your business, ways your customers can acquire your products on social media because so many people are on social media and this creates a great platform for your marketing. Some of the social media platforms that you should target include; Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. On Instagram for example, consider using Instagram stories or hashtags to promote your products. The stories appear on the Instagram home page hence making it easier for your audience to spot them. Twitter and Facebook live chats will enable you to engage with your targeted audience. Through these chats you can be in a position to understand your customers and get their opinion on your products moreover you will be able to grow your business.

Pay attention to your local customers

Let us understand this with an example. If you are a real estate entrepreneur, consider offering home renovation finance to your customers. They are more likely to accept your services if you fulfill their more than one needs. See how other businesses are doing in your local market and ensure that you give the best services or products to your local customers. You can also give back to the local community by sponsoring sports teams etc. Those that benefit will mention you when they are discussing issues with their friends hence more customers are channeled to you.

Come up with a logo

In digital marketing, a logo is fundamental because it usually passes crucial information to your target audience. Make sure your logo is eye catching with proper graphics and a few words on both print and digital. Your logo should essentially explain what your business entails. It can pass a message of your values, your brand promises, your mission and your professionalism. Your logo talks a lot about your business so you should pay special attention to making one that is worth it. Work with a skilled graphic designer to come up with a logo that best suits your business.

Obtain your customers Email Addresses

Almost all adults in the United States of America have Email Addresses and this tells you that you can reach a large number of them using Email. This will enable you to pass all necessary information to your customers with no hitches whatsoever and create a connection between you and your customers. All that you will require is Internet to convey your important messages including changes in your services and products, bonuses or offers and your general business developments. On your website develop a form where your customers can fill in their names and email addresses.

Use information graphics as well as animated videos

Make your service page interactive and showcase how your product is beneficial. For instance, if you check Ford’s newly launched SUV, it has a 360-degree interactive graphics tour. These graphics not only attracts viewers to spend more time on your service page but also increases your conversion rate.

Having an informative funny animated video can also boost your business. Take time to create interesting videos for your audience. People will share your videos on social media and this will reach a lot of people. The videos attract more viewers and this may help simplify a complex business. For kids stuff for example you should focus on advertising your business using animated videos. All kids are lovers of animations.

Provide relevant information to other bloggers

Always be keen to provide useful information to any kind of visitors on your site. If influencers and journalists log into your site and they are able to get meaningful information, then it is to your advantage because they may mention you in their blogs too. This way you gain popularity among so many people.

Digital marketing is very important for any business to grow and gain trust from its customers. Pay proper attention to providing quality information on the Internet in order to benefit from digital marketing. Digital marketing is cheaper compared to other forms of marketing because it doesn’t require a lot of resources. All you need is a computer and Internet! All business marketers should opt to go digital on their marketing techniques in order to achieve the best out of the business.

Even The Smallest Side Hustle Has A Chance To Be Great!

There was a time when the idea of starting a business was reserved pretty much exclusively for those who were already well established or, at the very least, had a great deal of money to throw around. This was because a business usually needed premises, employees, infrastructure networks, and a whole host of other things. And sure, that’s all still very important to a lot of businesses, but the reality is that thanks to the rise of the internet, there’s been a pretty radical shift in the possibilities for smaller businesses. Now, all you really need to start your own business is a computer, a great idea, and the drive to make it happen.

Get online

If you want to start your own business and you don’t have huge amounts of money or power to throw around, then there’s only one place for you to go: the internet. The internet really has revolutionised the process of starting and running businesses in a way that no one could have predicted. Whether you want to become a freelance copywriter, you want to set up a retail store, or you simply want to promote a crafts business that you run out of your home, all of these things can be done online. With little more than some cheap online hosting a decent knowledge of web design, an understanding of social media marketing for franchises, and a few simple resources, you can create your own business in a matter of days. Sure, it’s going to take much longer than that to actually get it off the ground, but the barrier to entry really is that much lower now.

Crowdfunding

For a long time, if you wanted to get some capital for your business then you had to either sink a great deal of your own money into it or go courting investors. Both of these were perfectly viable strategies but they did come with their fair share of drawbacks. The first being that, if you didn’t have money to put into the business in the first place, you were kind of stuck. The other being that, if you wanted an investor’s money, you often had to give up a certain degree of control in your business up in exchange. Now, thanks to things sites like Kickstarter, you can fund your business with the help of your customers. Customers can donate to you in exchange for treats and bonuses which can help you finally get your business the funding that it needs.

Free marketing

Of course, however important funding is to any business, there are plenty of ways in which the internet has made things far cheaper. One of the best examples of this is marketing. Thanks to social media, it’s never been easier or cheaper to reach a huge potential audience. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are totally free and give you access to the kind of potential customer base that businesses in the past could only have dreamt of.

Sure, there are always going to be roadblocks in the way of creating a successful business, but in the modern era, it’s now more possible than ever before for people to start businesses that can become incredibly successful with only limited resources.

 

Don’t Fall Into These Traps With Your Online Business!

There’s no denying that the world we live in today is almost entirely dominated by the internet. Whether you’re shopping, socialising, gaming, watching TV, or doing just about anything else, the internet is almost certainly going to be involved. Because of that, it shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that the business world has had to change and evolve. Online businesses are springing up every single day, and more and more people are able to create startups from virtually nothing thanks to the internet. And yet, despite this, there are a lot of businesses that end up falling at the very first hurdle because they end up falling into some incredibly common traps that come with running an online business. To help you avoid that fate, here are some of the most common pitfalls for new online startups.

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Terrible web design

There’s an assumption that far too many people seem to have that as long as you have a website, you don’t really have to think about it that much. This is one of the most common reasons that online startups end up falling apart. If your web design is lacking, then customers aren’t going to be interested in your business. If it looks amateurish, then they’re going to assume that the rest of your business is the same and look elsewhere. That might sound shallow, but it’s a fundamental part of how many customers engage with businesses.

A misunderstanding of social media

Speaking of customer engagement, if you’re not using social media properly, then you’re missing out on an incredibly important aspect of your marketing. Far too many businesses end up using their social media pages for little more than copied and pasted advertising. If you do that, customers simply aren’t going to care and will unfollow your pages in an instant. You need to use social media to engage with customers on a personal level. This means creating entertaining and interesting content that they will want to share and enjoy.

Poor SEO

The other fundamental part of online marketing that is ignored all too often is that of SEO or Search Engine Optimisation. One of the big changes in the internet age is that customers can now come to you rather than you advertising to them. But to do this, you need to make yourself visible to those customers. That’s where SEO comes in. SEO is the way in which you ensure that your business is the first result when a customer searches for specific keywords on search engines like Google. If your SEO isn’t up to scratch, your business is going to end up getting buried.

One of the most important things to remember is that these things don’t just impact businesses that are exclusively online. Every business needs an online presence, and if you don’t consider these things, then you’re just going to end up wasting it. Even if your business has always been based in brick and mortar, you need the internet to succeed in the modern era, just make sure that you’re using it properly.

How to Build a Successful eCommerce Brand

People are rapidly turning to online shopping, which makes it a perfect time to start an online business. However, there are probably hundreds of companies out there offering products that are same, or at least similar, to yours.

The good thing is that branding can be a lifesaver for your business. You have to stand out from the crowd and show people why they should purchase your products, and not the products of your competitors.

Your products might be great, and your website appealing and well-optimized, but that doesn’t mean that you will succeed. According to statistics, 55% of all eCommerce sales are done through branded stores, while 45% are done via marketplaces. Therefore, you have to build a strong brand in order to beat your competitors.

It’s time to take the first step towards your success.

Personalized, but safe service

Customer data points are very useful for personalization. The data is your gold because you will know what your customers want before they do.

So, include those data points in your eCommerce business:

  • Shopping Cart – recommendations based on the current content of a customer’s wish list or cart
  • Search Queries – recommendations based on search terms
  • Purchase History – recommendations based on a customer’s past purchases
  • Social Behavior – recommendations based on product rating, shares and likes

You can also recommend products based on geographic location and customer segmentation, such as demographic. Use this data to provide your customers with the best service possible. This will help you understand your customers and their relationship with your product and brand.

Are your customers mostly gift-buyers? How often do they buy products from your website? Look for patterns in your customers’ behavior because that is precisely what will point you in the right direction. Also, it’s always a good idea to personalize your product packaging. Many brands are doing it, and people seem to love it.

Since, as an online business, you will collect and retain sensitive personal information about your customers, you have to show them that their information is safe with you, especially when it comes to payment and delivery.

You can make your brand trustworthy and reliable by using payment card industry data security standards (PCI DSS). These standards apply to all organizations that store, process or transmit cardholder data, so your business should have PCI DSS compliance, too. However, keep in mind that, even though you are operating online, you still need to adhere to your federal and state privacy laws.

Engaging approach

The impression you make on people who come in contact with your brand for the first time is very important. Therefore, you should make sure that they see your brand in the best light.

First, you have to ensure that your customers can see and feel that they can engage with your brand.

Always ask your customers for their opinion. Give them an opportunity to review your products and chat with you. Use these options on your website and social media pages. 71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend that brand to others. So, this will help you both increase brand engagement and attract new customers.

Next, you can turn your customers into brand ambassadors who will help you share your amazing story all over the internet. They are a powerful tool that will help you raise awareness about your company. The reason that brand ambassadors are so credible is that they don’t actually work for your company but are only huge fans.

Emotional connection with your target audience

If you want others to share your story, you have to give them a reason to do so. Tell them your story and engage with them on an emotional level. By giving customers a strong “why” you will provide them with something to believe in. Try to answer these questions:

  • How did you start your business and why?
  • What are your values?
  • What makes you different from your competitors?

People like to hear a story behind the products they buy. Get them to fall in love not only with your products but your brand as well.

For example, if you use your lifestyle as an inspiration for your brand image, you will attract people with similar interests.

If your vision matches your customers’ opinion, your fans will be dedicated to you. Actually, if you include this vision in your posts on social media and newsletters, they will be happy to share that with others.

Consistency as a branding tool

Did you choose your style? What about the color, design, style of writing, and other elements of your brand? Do your social media channels, emails and adds follow your style?

Once you determine your style, it’s important to stick to it. Use it consistently in all of your marketing efforts in order to become recognizable.

Your style represents your brand’s personality. It can tell more about your values then you think, and it can engage people on an emotional level.

Whenever you want to share something, ask yourself – is this consistent with your brand story?

Remember, your employees should also understand your style and vision. They have to represent your brand in the best possible way.

Conclusion

If you miss the opportunity to build a brand today, it can cost you your business. Products come and go, but if you build a personal brand, people will keep coming to your web shop.

Remember, brands are not established in a day, but these tips will help you get one step closer to success.

 

Guest author, David Webb, is a Sydney-based business consultant,online marketing analyst and a writer. With six years of experience and a degree in business management, he continuously informs the public about the latest trends in the industry. He is a regular author at BizzmarkBlog. You can reach him on Twitter or Facebook.

 

 

How to Build an Effective Shopping Cart for Your eCommerce Site

How much has the internet changed the way that you sell to your customers? If you’re like many companies, you probably started to take advantage of e-commerce as soon as you could, either by selling your whole line of products or services or by offering internet-only merchandise.
But whatever way you’re taking advantage of e-commerce, there are things that remain unknowable to you. For example, do you really know how many people get as far as loading things into a virtual shopping cart, only to abandon that potential sale? Some estimates place that number as high as 70 percent.
While there are a variety of reasons for abandoning an e-commerce site—some of which may have nothing to do with you—there are some website pitfalls that can make a retail sale via the internet more difficult. To learn more about how to optimize your site and move the needle to more e-commerce sales, not less, use the ideas in this graphic.

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How to Build an Effective Shopping Cart for Your eCommerce Site

On The Shop Front Lines: How Brick And Mortar Stores Can Fight Back Against Ecommerce

The retail sector has been engaged in a war of attrition with ecommerce for nearly two decades. In that time, it’s been beaten back, thanks to the inherently lower overhead of online stores. But it’s not been defeated yet. Now regular brick and mortar stores are again rising up for a renewed push back against the insurgents.

Physical stores need to focus on what they can do better than online stores: their displays. No matter how good photos and videos get, the online experience can’t create that visceral connection with shoppers. Customers want products that they can feel and touch and imagine owning. The online experience, despite improvements in technology, still feels abstract and distant.

Here we’re going to ask how you can better present your store front. Check out these tips.

Create A Focal Point In All Of Your Displays

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Pixabay

Interior designers have known for years that focal points are essential for creating great spaces. The same principle applies to shop fronts too. There needs to be something on the display that is interesting and immediately catches the eye. Displays shouldn’t be cluttered in an attempt to show all the products that you offer. They should display something interesting that can stand by itself. Remember, shop fronts aren’t about creating a visual brochure of all your products. They’re about enticing new customers into your store who will buy stuff.

Invest In Bespoke Signage

Every single store on the high-street has its own unique signage. But why? The main reason is obviously to signal the brand. But there’re other reasons too. For one, it makes the building more appealing and attractive. And second, signage helps shops stand out more than if the name is simply painted on the wall. If you want to get signage installed, you’ll have to use a company like SAS Rope and Rail. But once the job is done, you’ll finally have something that is distinct and helps make your business recognisable.

Find Great Lighting, And Use It

Retailers have known for years that great lighting is essential to a great shop front display. But in recent years, their options have multiplied. Now that we have LEDs, it’s possible to use lighting in ways that were unthinkable in the past.

For starters, it’s now easier to play with different locations for the source of light. LEDs are safe and small and can be placed just about anywhere. Professional displays always use multiple light sources to avoid unsightly shadows. At a minimum, place lights at both the top and bottom of your display to avoid shadows.

Experts also place lights “off-centre.” This is so that the shadows that their products cast are at a slight angle. Again, this helps to improve the aesthetics of the display.

Keep Your Display Ruthlessly Simple

Don’t try to use a single display to communicate multiple messages. Your customers will get confused, and your marketing efforts will fall flat. Instead, stick with a single product or theme. Remember, the purpose of displays is to attract people to your store, not direct customers to the exact product they need.