Give Consumers What They Want With These Ecommerce Trends

The future of online retail isn’t just evolving, it is changing at an extremely rapid rate, a rate which many ecommerce owners are struggling to keep up with. It wasn’t that long ago that buying things online was considered remarkable and there were only a few companies out there that would provide this service. Some of them are even Nowadays, eCommerce sales are in the trillions of dollars, and it doesn’t look like they’re going to stop increasing any time soon.

Today, we look at the future of ecommerce with great optimism. The guys at Subscriptionly put together an infographic showing how brands both big and small are making improvements to their services, and making the entire online shopping process easier, more efficient, and quicker.

Industry experts have been following the movement of eCommerce since its beginning, and by also looking at consumer wants and needs, have come up with some predictions for the future of this industry.

One of the biggest changes that is set to come about in the near future is the rise of digital currency. Already, people all over the globe have started to use cryptocurrencies as a form of online payment method. As an immediate result of this, a few established ecommerce stores have started to accept certain cryptocurrencies, most commonly Bitcoin.

Over time, it is looking likely that the use of digital currencies will become more commonplace, therefore, people may favor stores that will let them pay using this method.

There are many perks with using this way of payment. For example, the transaction fees are much lower than credit card or PayPal fees.

Another benefit that people will be interested in is the fraud prevention that comes with it. All transactions that take place using digital currencies are recorded on a blockchain, a sort of digital ledger, making them safe and irreversible.

Speed is also a positive that comes with using digital currencies. When using a credit card to make a transaction, it will sometimes take hours or even days for the transaction to process. Some digital currencies are a lot quicker and could end up saving the user and store owner a lot of time.

If you are an ecommerce store owner, it may be worth taking the time to look into the various benefits of accepting cryptocurrencies as a form of payment.

You can find out more about this as well as various other trends that are set to change the course of ecommerce in the infographic below.

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eCommerce Metrics You’re not Looking at but Should be

Nowadays, there are various ecommerce stores available to online consumers. What’s more, there are countless new ecommerce businesses being opened each day. With such a strong competition on the market, it’s difficult for businesses to truly stand out and ensure that their target audience will pick their store to do business with. That’s why many ecommerce stores are tracking their business performance, in order to determine if their store is managing to grow and develop further.

After all, the primary goal of every ecommerce business is an increase in sales and for that you need customers. However, when tracking business metrics, a lot of ecommerce stores tend to track metrics that don’t portray business performance the right way. That way, when profits start to decline, business owners are unable to understand the reason behind such a decline. Therefore, here are a few ecommerce metrics you’re not looking at but should be.

Conversion rate

Many ecommerce businesses neglect conversion rate as a primary metric that should be tracked. The goal of this metric is to show you just how many people are actually converting into customers. With that in mind, you should have a clear picture about whether or not your marketing campaigns and other efforts are actually efficient in driving business goals. As you already know, the purpose of marketing is to engage your audience in different ways and eventually encourage them to make a purchase at your store.

If your marketing efforts aren’t able to do that, then you’re simply wasting time and resources on an ineffective marketing campaign. That’s why conversion rate is such a valuable metric to look at. If your conversion rates aren’t as good as you need them to be, then it’s time to re-think your approach and improve your marketing efforts.

Cart abandonment

Cart abandonment rate is a metric that many ecommerce businesses forget to track. Still, this is one of the most important metrics you should be looking at. As a matter of fact, cart abandonment rate has reached 75.6% for ecommerce stores globally. That’s 75% of lost sales. The main reason you must track this metric is that it shows you if there’s an outstanding issue your customers have with your check out process, which makes them abandon the cart altogether.

In most cases, these issues can be high shipment costs, additional fees customers weren’t aware of, lack of security measures on the check out and so on. All of these issues force your customers to abandon their purchases, which can have a significant negative impact on your sales and revenue. Tracking shopping cart abandonment metric allows you to identify the main issues your customers are having and fix those problems. That way, you can remind customers of abandoned shopping carts, as well as inform them that the issues have been resolved.

Website traffic

Another important metric that’s oftentimes neglected is the website traffic. Website traffic shows you how many visitors you have on your ecommerce store. It also shows how good your efforts are at driving leads to your website from various media channels. The more website traffic you have the more chances of you making a sale. However, the number of website visitors itself is not as important as the origin of the website traffic.

For instance, if you’re using services, such as a Shopify agency, to endorse your ecommerce store, you’d want to know how your website visitors are finding your store. Moreover, you want to know which sources the visitors are originating from. This will show you which marketing channels are best suited for your business. Understanding your website traffic will allow you to focus your efforts on strategies and channels that will yield more qualified leads for your ecommerce store.

Customer acquisition and lifetime value

For ecommerce stores, the one of the most important factors in business success is sales. However, there are expenses you must be aware of to ensure that you’re actually making a profit. For example, if a single customer made a purchase totaling of $200 at your store, it means you made a sale and revenue. But, if it cost a $300 on average to acquire a customer, then you haven’t really made any profits yet.

That’s why it’s important to track customer acquisition cost (CAC) and customer lifetime value (CLV) metrics. Customer acquisition cost shows how much it costs your company to acquire a single new customer, while customer lifetime value shows you how much revenue your ecommerce store generates from that customer during their entire lifetime as a customer. If your CAC is higher than CLV metric, you won’t be making many profits. That means you must work on customer retention strategies to ensure that customers are actually bringing in more value than it costs you to convince them to make a purchase.

There are plenty of metrics that businesses can track in order to assess the overall performance of their company. However, it’s difficult to decide which metric will actually show viable results. That being said, metrics that are most commonly overlooked by ecommerce stores often turn out to be the important ones. That’s why it’s important to understand which metric will actually bring value to your ecommerce store and track it regularly, in order to ensure business success.

Guest author, Raul Harman, is a B.Sc. in Innovative entrepreneurship and has a lot to say about innovations in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing. While he’s not enjoying football and great food, you can find him on Technivorz.com

5 Brand Strategies to Better Position Your eCommerce Business

When it comes to retail, a lot of people tend to discuss which feature or factor affects one’s experience the most. According to some, it’s the price, while others claim it’s the convenience. The reason why e-commerce is on such a steep rise is due to the fact that it is the embodiment of both of these two traits. If that is so, then there’s much money to be made in the world of e-commerce. Still, the fact that your brand is separated physically from the audience doesn’t mean that they’ll take a rational approach to evaluate your offer.

Think about it, if this were the case, then every single person online would buy from the same e-commerce site – the one that offers the lowest price. Moreover, no one would ever bother with those online retailers that don’t offer same- or next-day delivery. When you put all of these features on paper, it’s fairly easy to tell which offer is superior. So, what’s the reason for this diversity in the business world? The answer is – brand and the relationship that your audience has towards it. Here are a few tips that will help you build a successful e-commerce brand.

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Start with images and features

When people enter the store, the first thing they want to do is see the product that they’re about to buy. Think about a person purchasing the desktop computer. When they are presented with the casing, they can’t really tell if the RAM memory is 4, 8 or 16 GB. They can’t tell if there’s an SSD or an HDD inside, nor what kind of CPU or GPU is in there. However, try to sell them a machine without actually showing them the item and see where it leads you. Needless to say, this would only work with the most tech-savvy of buyers, which aren’t the bulk of your target audience.

As you can see, this brings us to the first major shortcoming of the e-commerce – the inability of the customer to see the product in person. Nonetheless, you can do the next best thing and show them a page on your e-store, portraying the item from different angles, accompanied with a short description (up to 100 words) and a list of features. All of this contributes to your ability to build trust with your clients, which is pivotal for your branding efforts. As of late, even some retail places resort to this technique. Namely, most of these places have an e-store as well as an actual store, so, if a customer comes asking for an item that’s not in inventory, they show them the product page and ask them to make an order.

Invest in responsiveness

Another thing you need to understand is that, although people online have a low tolerance for long loading time, this is even more extreme when it comes to e-commerce. The last thing you want is for the browser to freeze during the check-out stage, forcing your clients to repeat the same purchase twice or wonder in fear whether their order went through at all. At the same time, you need to make your website interactive, intuitive and visually appealing.

This is why you need to abandon the idea of making your own e-commerce website and invest in professional web development. Even in the digital world, it’s better to collaborate with local talent, which is why NSW-based e-commerce entrepreneurs need to look into web design Sydney options they have available.

Expand your mailing list

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The next thing you need to understand is the fact that email marketing isn’t going anywhere, seeing as how it’s still one of the techniques that yield the best ROI out there. According to numerous surveys, every single dollar invested in email marketing returns $44.00 of profit, which makes the ROI of 4400 percent. Keep in mind, however, that in order for these numbers to hold true, you need to make your own email list and gradually grow it. It’s important that we stress this out because there are some businesses out there that purchase email lists and then wonder why the impact of their targeting strategy is nowhere the same.

Developing a personal brand

As a small business, you won’t have much of a remaputation for people to base their opinion on. As an individual, however, you’ll already have an online presence, which might come in quite handy. Working on your personal brand may increase customer loyalty, seeing as how you’ll inspire people as well as appear relatable, at the same time. Next, it will create an aura of trust seeing as how you aren’t afraid to use your own persona and stand behind this new brand. When it comes to your business, you can always re-brand or pivot, however, it’s not that easy to erase your online footprint.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, the brand of your e-commerce business can’t be built overnight, which is a bit problematic due to the fact that you need some immediate results. Nevertheless, unless you’re specializing in the retail of one-time-purchase items, you need to keep an eye on your primary objective – generation of return customers. With this in mind, it’s never wise to compromise your long-term standing for some temporary gains.

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.

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.

Bitcoin explained – What it is and where you can buy it

Many serious business people and investors have only a vague notion about what bitcoin actually is. If you ask them, there is a big chance that they will say: It has something to do with those cryptocurrencies that come up like mushrooms after the rain. If you’re reading this, chances are that you are a little bit confused too, so let’s get to the point.

Enabling direct transactions

Bitcoin is the world’s first cryptocurrency. It is entirely digital and not controlled by central authorities such as banks or governments. It was invented back in 2009, by an anonymous person under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. This still unknown person (or a group of people) was driven by an idea to enable sending and receiving payments without involving intermediaries, which is the case with traditional, government-issued currencies.

For example, if you’d like to use your credit card while traveling abroad, you will have to pay a fee to the bank that issued your card in order to make an international transaction. On the other side, bitcoin is absolutely independent of national states and banks and serves as a global currency. Given that there are no intermediaries, the transactions are performed directly, without the need for third-party fees.

Built on an absolute trust

A double-spending problem is another thing that motivated bitcoin founders to create the first decentralized currency. It represents a drawback in the standard monetary system; when the transfer of money is performed digitally, the digital files are used, and they can be duplicated or falsified. What it means is that someone with bad intentions can use this flaw to send or spend the same amount multiple times. Bitcoin is based on a technology that completely solves this problem. But how?

Bitcoin is based on a peer-to-peer technology called the blockchain. When someone sends some amount or buys goods and services using bitcoins, everyone in the bitcoin’s decentralized blockchain receives a copy of that transaction record. All the members of the blockchain then verify the transaction in order for it to be approved. Thus, the bitcoin network allows consensus among the members and eliminates the possibility of fraud or double spending.

The members of bitcoin’s blockchain network use very powerful hardware and software to inscribe these transactions into a digital ledger. This digital ledger contains records of all bitcoin transactions that have ever been made. The records about the transactions are called the “blocks”. In order to merge another block with the existing sequence of blocks, huge computational power is deployed by thousands of members (or the miners) that do it simultaneously.

An economic game-changer

Today we are witnessing a staggering rise in the value of bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies. Many people use cryptocurrency exchange platforms to invest in them. The value of these digital currencies changes every minute and users of these platforms buy them, wait for their price to rise and then sell them to earn a profit.

One of the best things about bitcoin is that you can use it regardless of the country you’re currently residing in. It can be used for purchasing a wide range of goods and services, such as hotels, flights, or even fast food. The infographic below illustrates interesting facts about bitcoin. It is clear that it will have a huge impact on the economy as we know it.

Bitcoin Infographics Kriptomat

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 Encourage Impulse Purchases in Your Store

Before your customers decide to make a purchase, there are several phases they go through. It starts with becoming aware of a need or pain point, how your product satisfies it, and assessing information for making comparisons of value such as price or perks that impact the decision-making process.

Impulse purchases, however, are not so involved. Here you’ll find some tips on how to encourage impulse buying in both online and offline stores.

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Photo Credit: Unsplash.com

#1 – PHYSICAL STORE LAYOUT vs. ECOMMERCE WEBSITE DESIGN

A physical store needs to be visually attractive and the layout well-organized so the customer feels comfortable in spending their time shopping. The traditional brick-and-mortar store should also be sanitary and look completely safe. Debris, dirt, clutter, and tripping or safety hazards, like loose wiring, present an unprofessional and unsafe atmosphere that will discourage relaxed shopping.

In addition to making the surroundings seem visually inviting, you could also make them seem more fresh and pleasant by providing some appealing scents. Fragrance affects us more than we realize, and at an instinctive level so that shoppers will associate your signature fragrance with your brand in an emotionally positive context.

That’s why many retailers utilize scented branding. While candles provide visual appeal and a range of aromas, they should be considered a fire hazard. Even when they aren’t lit they may emit some scent, but keeping candles all over the store isn’t really practical or cost-effective.

With aroma diffusers in your store, however, your customers will associate a smell at your establishment with a pleasing outcome, for instance freshly cut grass with a lawn equipment retailer. These compelling smells will inspire customers to make a purchase without even thinking about it. Human reactions to scent is automatic and highly intuitive.

Just as in a physical store, an ecommerce site needs to be attractively designed and logically ordered. Customers should have no trouble in searching your line of products. That’s where “webmospherics” are concerned. It’s a term that refers to website attributes that impel the customer through the buying experience without too many considerations or distractions. This includes features like one-touch checkout, appealing photos as product links, and search and filter capabilities.

Creating a positive environment on your website is just as important to encourage online shopping as it is in a physical store. Optimizing your site for smartphone shoppers is important to boosting sales, as that is where millions of consumers are doing their shopping. A mobile-responsive website is programmed to adapt to any device that accesses it in order to provide the best shopper experience.

#2 BE STRATEGIC ABOUT CHOOSING IMPULSE PRODUCTS AND THEIR POSITIONING

In either physical or ecommerce stores, product displays and placement should be simple and intuitive. If customers have to stop and think about what they’re looking at, impulse buying is restricted. Impulse items should be small and inexpensive so they don’t represent an imposing financial choice.

Attention-drawing signage is an important element in impulse sales. For instance, one with a smiling toddler near a bottle of baby shampoo attracts more customers. In physical stores, impulse items should be located near checkout.

Colorful displays that are amusing or educational entice the customer to focus on the product as they’re waiting in checkout lines. They can also be placed next to best-sellers as related or cross-merchandising items. Seeming out of place can draw attention to certain items.

In online shopping, product photos or videos can appear on the homepage or landing page, or be used in social media profiles as quick links to your site. Including product suggestions on the checkout page as “buyers also liked” lists will boost impulse purchases of those items. Suggestive captions can also work for cross-selling items, such as “try this hot look” for clothing.

While ecommerce sites can track individual user actions and personalize the shopping experience to optimize sales traditional stores have to rely on observation and experience to find out what works best.

#3 DON’T FORGET ABOUT DIRECT MAIL/E-MAIL MARKETING

Direct mail marketing has always been a successful tactic for brick-and-mortar retailers. Sending out brochures and catalogs creates interest through visual appeal and keeps the seller in the customer’s thoughts. It can also create strong associations through scented paper, card-board pop-ups, or full-page photos.

Ecommerce sites, on the other hand, tend to rely on emails. They can send out notices of special deals, digital coupons, or abandoned shopping cart notices to spur impulse buying. These tactics are intended to catch the customer at their most receptive and stimulate them to take action.

However, the content of the email needs to be carefully crafted. This means personalized messages, catchy subject lines, and friendly, helpful language to improve the chances emails will be opened and not simply deleted.

Overtime, these interactions will help to build brand recognition, trust, and strengthen consumer relationships. Both email and direct mail campaigns help your brand maintain visibility and develop a more engaging customer experience.

FINAL WORDS

There are certain factors that will help you to improve revenue from impulse purchases. This includes providing a pleasant, well-organized environment both on your website and physical store. Good strategies on product placement and promotion draw more customer attention, while direct mail or email campaigns help to stimulate impulse buying and improve customer relationships. Effective management of impulse shopping can make a big contribution to your bottom line.

 

About the Author:

Jasmine Williams covers the good and the bad of today’s business and marketing. She was rummaging through her grandma’s clothes before it was cool and she’s usually hunched over a book or dancing in the kitchen, trying hard to maintain rhythm, but delivering some fine cooking (her family says so). Tweet her @JazzyWilliams88