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.

Appy Days: The Undeniable Benefits Of Launching An App

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Smartphone and tablet devices have revolutionized the way we interact with technology. Subsequently, Apps have become one of the modern phenomenons to influence the world of business. Quite frankly, if you’ve yet to launch one for your company, you’re missing out.

Successful business Apps offer many rewards to modern businesses. Here’s why yours could become the greatest weapon in your arsenal in the battle for supremacy.

Reach New Audiences

The best thing about digital marketing is that it offers you a shot at reaching global audiences instantly. You’ve already designed a killer website to provide a great starting platform. However, adding an App to your list of products could be another great way to show the versatility of your brand.

Any tool that can increase exposure, especially to those that wouldn’t know about your business through other means can only be a good thing. In truth, it should be the only motivation you need, although there are plenty of other incentives too.

Encourage Increased Interaction

Statistics show that there has been a huge shift towards mobile internet usage in recent years. In fact, clients now spend just as much time on those screens as they do on their computers. This creates a huge opportunity to gain increased interaction from the customers. An App is easily the best way to embrace those sentiments.

Once a customer has downloaded your App, it can be accessed with the click of a button. This in itself should encourage frequent use. For a comprehensive experience, you could create additional incentives to use Apps, social media, and web browsers in unity. Essentially, it’s just another way to create that stronger overall product.

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Build A Bigger Reputation

Customer perceptions can be influenced very easily. A strong SEO presence or big social media following can make the business appear bigger and more experienced. Guess what? An App offers further indication to the quality of your company too.

This will only be possible when the App works faultlessly, though. Use the list of Java profilers to monitor performance at all times. By keeping on top of the potential issues, you’ll ensure that the App continues to enhance the image of the product and the brand.

Direct Marketing Opportunities

The increased familiarity gained from encouraging customers to download your App is fantastic. However, if that isn’t enough of an incentive, the chance to promote specific products will be.

Coding your App so that it promotes those specific products is easy. Whether it’s through adverts or push notifications, it can go a long way to influencing the client. Use a blog post to further promote that product, and conversion rates should soar.

Stay On Trend

There’s no doubt that an App can help grow your audience. Then again, it’s equally to think about the growing demands of your existing clients. They will expect to see more from your company as it grows, and this is a great way to show that you are still on trend.

Link the App to social media to encourage greater participation too, and the customer experience will feel greater than ever. Even if the App isn’t directly connected to the products or services you produce, it will boost your long-term revenue.

 

Are You Monitoring Your Franchise’s Online Reputation?

franchiseThese days, your online reputation is of paramount importance. When potential customers want to find out about your franchise, they’ll turn to the online community.

Review sites like Yelp are part and parcel of checking out a business online, while social media gives your customers a public platform to share their thoughts about your business – good or bad.

So just what can you do to keep your franchise’s online reputation pristine?

Listen to What Customers Are Saying

The first step to managing your online reputation is knowing what it is. Listen for what people are saying about your franchise so you can decide how to respond and how to improve any problem areas.

Social monitoring tools are your best allies when it comes to managing your franchise’s online reputation.

With social monitoring tools you can listen out for mentions of your franchise and find out who is talking about your business, where, and what they are saying.

As the article, “5 Tips for Managing Your Franchise’s Online Reputation” says, knowing what your customers and competition are saying about you is one of the most important things you can do for your online reputation.

Respond Professionally to Negative Reviews

You can’t please all the people all the time, which means you’re going to meet with online criticism at some point.

The important thing is not to shy away from it. Negative reviews give you an opportunity to fix problems and even make improvements in your business.

The key is to respond professionally to negative reviews. Going on the defensive or meeting negativity with more negativity will make you look unprofessional.

Take the opportunity to turn a negative review into a positive for your franchise with a swift, professional and truly helpful response.

Focus on resolution and excellent customer service, just as you would if a complaint was made in your physical premises.

Make Your Responses Personal

The more personal you can make your responses to negative reviews, the better. A generic response or one that sounds like it’s been copied and pasted, will make it look like you don’t really value your customers.

Instead, handle each negative situation on a case-by-case basis. Canned responses are out – take the time to really understand what the problem is, and why it matters to your customer.

Ask your customer what they feel would fix the problem. Ascertain where they feel your franchise let them down, and work towards a solution that will resolve their frustration and show them that you care.

Encourage Positive Reviews

There’s more to managing your online reputation than taking charge of negative reviews. It’s also important that you garner good reviews too.

cusotmersThe best place to start is with excellent customer service.

Always strive to give every customer a positive experience of your franchise. Satisfied customers are the ones who, when asked, will give you a glowing report.

You can actively encourage positive reviews, too.

The aim isn’t to prompt your customers to say what you want – fake-sounding reviews won’t help your reputation. But a simple prompt such as “let us know what you think” or even “like and share on Facebook” encourages your customers to let people know that they like your franchise.

Customers are checking out your franchise online.

Take steps now to manage your online reputation so that when they find you, they find glowing reviews and a franchise that genuinely cares about its customers.

About the Author: Tristan Anwyn writes on a variety of topics including social media, how to build customer relationships, content marketing and how to manage your online reputation.

Does Who You Follow on Social Media Matter?

Who you follow on social media can have a big impact on your business. Depending on your choices, your social media network can either help or harm your business and your reputation.

so_meSo just why does who you follow matter so much? Just as importantly; should you accept every request or not?

Company You Keep Reflects on You

For good or ill, people will often judge you on the company you keep. Just ask any teenager who’s gotten in with a bad crowd. In the same way, the company you keep on social media says something about your business.

By following a person or business, you’re implicitly endorsing them. Say for example your business is all about buying local food.

Following Target might not be in line with that ethos. If on the other hand you are part of a supply chain that works with large supermarkets, following Target wouldn’t be out of place.

Potential colleagues, contacts and employers will all check you out on social media, so think carefully about what impression the people and brands you follow will give.

As the article “Should You Accept Every LinkedIn Request?” points out, who you follow has the power to help or harm your business.

More than Your Reputation

Who you follow on social media impacts your business in other ways, too. Following leading brands in your industry, interesting bloggers in your niche, and relevant news feeds, can all help you to keep abreast of what is happening in your industry. Following people who are interested in what you do can help you to build good business relationships.

On the other hand, following people who don’t provide good quality content or interesting updates can lead to a social media feed that’s overwhelmed with irrelevant information, causing the good stuff to get lost in the noise.

To Follow or Not to Follow?

Armed with this information, you might be wondering just who you should follow back on social media? And of course, you would be quite right to point out that an empty social media profile doesn’t reflect well on your business either. The key is to exercise a little caution when deciding who to follow.

Check out the people who request a follow before you add them back. What does their profile say about them? What do they stand for and is it something you are happy to be associated with?

If you’re not sure why they’re adding you, don’t be shy about sending a friendly message or email asking how they found you and why they’d like to connect.

Balance Quantity with Quality

It’s understandable that you want to build a strong social media presence and following and being followed is an important part of that. Many followers will be genuine people and brands who want to connect, but some might not be the best fit for you, so do take the time to find out more before you hit that button to follow back.

On LinkedIn for example, adding someone as a primary connection allows them to see and message other people in your network, which could reflect badly on you if they are too pushy with your other connections.

It makes sense that you might want to exercise more caution depending on the kind of access each social network gives followers to your details and network.

Your social media connections can raise your profile, provide a value source for networking and even be instrumental in finding a new job or landing a new contract.

Building up a strong network takes time, so do be pro-active and don’t be afraid to follow back, but balance that with using good sense and making sure the connections you make have value to you.

About the Author: Tristan Anwyn writes on a wide variety of topics, including social media, SEO, social media and business networking.

Would You Open an Office in India?

Starting and running a business in India is challenging. But there’s a reason more and more U.S. offices—as well as other businesses across the globe—are setting up shop in New Delhi, Bangladesh, and other Indian regions.

So, what are the benefits and drawbacks of making such a move, and which types of businesses are thriving in India’s market?

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The Advantages

India has a lot to offer in terms of manufacturing, natural resources, and the importing and exporting of goods. All this leads to a healthy market and strong economy that lends itself to a thriving business sector.

Growing economy aside, here are just a few more reasons why India is such an attractive business destination:

  • Specialization – India’s workforce is extremely experienced in almost all facets of business. Because education and certification are such prized assets in the Indian market, local employee recruitment is impressive. And because India has the desire to compete in the world market, the pool of qualified candidates is incredibly diverse.
  • Dedication – When an employee is dedicated and hardworking, it makes running a business that much easier. With that in mind, a strong and reliable work ethic is part of the Indian culture. The Indian workforce is willing, trained, and prepared to go the extra mile by working overtime and around the clock to ensure any business runs smoothly.
  • Accepting – The Indian market as well as its workforce is accepting of new business ideas and open to innovation. Because India takes stock in its market, it’ll do whatever it takes to see new businesses form and grow. By adapting to the way new and unfamiliar industries are run, India is always expanding and strengthening its appeal as a worldwide business destination.

The Disadvantages

Unfortunately, there is always a little bad with the good, and India’s downfall comes in the form of complex regulatory systems and complicated business startup procedures.

Some other reasons why doing business in India might raise some red flags:

  • Tax Rates – Taxes are a way of life no matter where a business decides to take its offices, but India’s tax rates are particularly high. Foreign corporations are subject to a 40% tax rate with an additional 1% to 5% wealth tax increase.
  • Formation – In order for company formation to take place, a minimum of two shareholders and two company directors must be Indian. That’s regardless of where the company hails from.
  • Start-up Capital – Any business opening offices in India is required to pay around $3,000 in startup capital to the Indian government. And if the business wants to use India or Hindu in its name, it’s an additional $10,000.

Successful Businesses

With the good and bad taken into account, which businesses are currently thriving in India? Information technologies, web hosting/outsourcing, and online reputation management services prosper in India’s market

And with all the talk about eco-friendly products, it looks like India is listening. Their green technology industry is growing every day as well as their production of quality consumer goods for the worldwide market.

So, for new businesses looking to open their offices in other lands, look no further than India.

About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including personal health and business markets across the world.