While trying to find the best ecommerce software, one should know about its important features. An ecommerce solution can provide numerous types of benefits to a customer, if it is packed with user-friendly features. For example, the templates that the software provides to the users during the buying process should be clutter-free and easily comprehensible so that a user can grasp the desired information to complete the process. The best software should have the functional excellence that ensures the convenience and comfort of shoppers visiting the website.
The e-store software should support content integration, which will help the shoppers to find products and information on the site. The content should be presented in an easy to view format. Good shopping software must also endeavor to present the contents in an interesting manner, with an attempt to make the shopper stay longer on the site. The longer a shopper will stay on a site; more the chances of making purchases on the site. Moreover, the information and content that the best ecommerce software presents to the viewers are intended to make the site more fun-filled.
Appealing to more customers is the purpose of any ecommerce website and the software integrated into it must endeavor to help fulfill this objective of the site. The software and solution implemented on an ecommerce site must focus to ensure successful business online, for the website. Presenting the content in an exciting manner is an important aspect to make a website successful in the online domain.
Another important aspect that the best ecommerce software must take care of essentially is the security feature of the website. Not only the security perspective of the online store but also the security of the consumers visiting the website, should to be kept in mind. The software must feature safe payment gateways and guarantee an utmost level of security to the customers while they come to make payment for their purchases on the site. The online shopping solution must strive for creating a safe shopping environment for the shoppers.
Functionality is perhaps the most essential component that can help evaluate the shopping software. An efficiently functioning online store will have the functional efficiency that will keep the buyers interested in availing its services. Buyers will come time and again because of the efficient buying process they must have experienced on the site. Features such as easy navigation, more than one payment gateway, a fast buying process etc. should be essential parts of any good ecommerce solution.
The ecommerce solution should also categorize all products and services in an efficient manner by clearly labeling them; making them easier to find. Moreover, the solution should allow searching the product database on the basis of keyword search so that a buyer can effectively sort out products of his choice, out of a number of products that any e-commerce site sells to its customers. By allowing to search the whole site’s content, the site can serve a buyer in a friendly manner and can help him find and buy the product that he wishes to buy.
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You've written a book and it's been published. You might have thought you were finished, but this is only the beginning. Now the real question is, where do you go from here?
On October 20th authors and writers from across the nation will be gathering for a marketing event dedicated to book promotion. The event begins at 8:30 a.m. and will end with an interactive questions/answers opportunity with each of the conference speakers.
In it’s third year, the 2012 Life After Publishing conference has moved to a webinar format meaning you can now participate from the comfort of your own home or anywhere that you have an internet connection!
Book Marketing expert and author of "Amen! A Simple Guide to Self-Marketing Your Christian Book" Leon Mentzer, will share practical advice and time tested strategies to help you make your book marketing efforts a success. Learn how to sell your book, "one book at a time" and keep your chin up as you climb the steep ladder to book marketing success.
Mentzer's practical teaching style and real-life examples of other authors who started out just like you will give you the encouragement you need to "pound the pavement" and make your book a success.
Other speakers include, JP Jones, author of "Market Yourself: A Beginner's Guide to Social Media" and owner of Paige1Media. Jones teaches authors how to use FREE marketing tools to leverage their awareness through social media and the importance of creating online connections and networking.
Nicholas Clayton, owner of Collipsis Web Solutions, will share the importance of having a good Author Web site and what should and should NOT be included, what a good site looks like, and how to achieve that without breaking your bank.
Wherever you are on the road of publishing you don't want to miss this conference! You are guaranteed to walk away with actual actionable steps that you can begin applying to your marketing and promotion immediately.
Additionally, every attendee will receive:
- Leon's 7,100 Media Outlets on CD in easy to use spreadsheet format. This list includes confirmed and up-to-date contact information for Bookstores, Churches, Radio and TV stations, Newspapers & Magazines outlets across the United States.
- FREE Membership to ChristianStoryTeller.com (A $35 Value) + 3 Months Free Site Advertising
- Notes and powerpoint presentations from every session available for download.
- Special Discounts on professional design and Web site marketing.
- Questions/Answers after the conference to converse with our speakers and ask questions specific to your niche and marketing efforts.
- An Author resource packet filled with contacts and coupons for items that Authors use frequently!
- The chance to win great prizes from our sponsors!
Thanks to local community sponsors Life After Publishing is being offered to the public for a low registration fee of only $39. For more information visit http://www.LifeAfterPublishing.com.
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Web2Print goes by many names; web-to-print, print e-commerce and remote publishing. Regardless of what it is called, the process and practice is essentially the same thing. This process allows businesses to do print business utilizing websites, negating the need to deal with a print company face to face and thus streamlining the printing process.
History of Web2Print
The term web to print came into the online consciousness in 1999 when it was unleashed upon the Internet community by an article on Webmonkey. Since that time, and partially thanks to the explosion of web based e-commerce in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the term has become ubiquitous and covers a wide range of services.
How It Works
To get Web2Print going, the end-user must set up an account with one of the myriad of Web2Print sites out there. In most cases, once the account is set up documents are designed using a series of templates that are similar to various desktop publishing software interfaces and contain many of the same functions. Templates generally include different preset layouts, graphics and other elements standard to the chosen template.
Text can be entered into these templates, generally via a "what you see is what you get," or WYSIWYG editor. Once the document is complete, a preview can be had before sending the document off to get it printed. This allows the customer to see what the print job will actually look like. From there the design can be approved easily or, if necessary, changes can be made easily before submitting the final product.
Benefits of Web2Print
The benefits of Web2Print are many, and as the technology continues to come into its own, there will likely be many more benefits that come to light. One of the chief benefits of Web2Print involves the streamlining of the printing process. The client no longer has to meet face to face with the print house in order to deliver the proofs or files to be printed, and delivery is likewise automated.
However, perhaps the greatest benefit of Web2Print is the ease with which documents can be changed and altered, even at the last minute. Traditionally, this would require another trip to the print house, but with Web2Print the entire process can be done all online. If future revisions are needed, such as an updated business logo, this is also easy to change; simply change the template and place a new order!Add a comment
In the current economically disturbing and slow times, most people have resorted to business to save their drowning careers. Business is risky, but if you have a great idea and good implementation skills, there’s no looking back. You can easily script success with a reliable business even in disturbing conditions. E-commerce comes as a fresh and reliable business idea in today’s economically unstable world.
Drop-shipping is one such integral aspect of e-commerce often overlooked by most entrepreneurs. Drop-shipping is another success mantra that can be implemented in business for best results. Before knowing how drop-shipping can positively impact your business, it is important to understand drop-shipping.
What is drop-shipping?
Drop-shipping, an efficient way to save money and avoid accumulation of stock, is a good choice for novices in business. It is a technique where you can directly transfer customer orders and shipment details to wholesaler or manufacturer, instead of stocking up the stock in different warehouses. There is hence, less investment and more gains in this endeavor.
You shall need to follow the following basic steps to reap maximum benefits in your drop-shipping business:
Get a personal website- Once you’ve decide to venture into drop-shipping business, consider setting up an account with a popular online store at an initial level. You can later consolidate your online presence by getting a personal website for yourself. This will help garner a stronger customer base and help in driving more traffic towards your site.
Set up a free account- Once you’ve created an online presence for yourself; make sure you create your own merchant account. This account may be online or even telephonic. You would need to complete and return a merchant application. Certain companies may even want you to file a tax ID and a business license.
Choose a respected supplier- In case of drop-shipping; your supplier is responsible for maintaining the on-hand inventory and supplying it. You can lose prospects easily if you get negative feedback. This makes it essential for you to choose a supplier who can safely and quickly ship your merchandize. You should have proper communication with your supplier so that there are no unnecessary delays while shipping. You must also keep a check on your inventory, as being out of stock too often can also cause good business prospects to slip out of your hands.
Locating your niche industry- As long as you have a reputed supplier and reasonable rates, you can easily mint a lot of money. Once you progress towards better business, consider acquiring your niche industry for reaping even more profits. When you have a niche industry, you can concentrate on fast-tracking business and generating more income.
Promote the right products- When you’re in drop-shipping business, it is imperative to stay grounded and not experiment too much. You should promote products that are evergreen, helpful and valuable. Try luring more customers with hot deals during festive seasons.
Enhance customer service- You must undertake small and well-meant steps to satisfy your target audience. Advertize and promote yourself using social media, and be as interactive as you can. Keep them informed about your latest offers and business moves. This can help in garnering trust and loyalty of your customers. You can also guide your customers and ask them for regular feedback.
Make it a point to keep your site updated. Once you get a proper hang of this business, you can easily expand it and amass huge profits later. It is also essential to remain aware of the status of all your deliveries. You can gain larger clientele only by offering better services. The key to success in this business is constant dedication and proper execution.Add a comment
eCommerce stores need great advertising campaigns more than many other types of businesses because by nature, eCommerce is an extremely competitive industry. To get your customers to click through your ad and make a purchase, you need to keep them engaged and use an appropriate voice that addresses their needs.
Here are a few tips for designing a PPC campaign for your eCommerce store.
1. Know Your Target Visitor. This is a good tip for any pay-per-click campaign, but it's especially important for eCommerce because you're generally targeting people who are ready to make a purchase. To get clicks from the right people, you need to understand your audience.
For example, if you sell clothing, you cannot use vague language or provide an unspecific lead line like "Shirts 50 percent off." You will need to choose keywords related to specific brands and make a specific offer that grabs your user's attention from the dozens of other links on their computer screens. Use prices, free shipping and other offers to get that initial click.
2. Drive the Ad's Points Home. Hopefully, you know about landing pages--specific pages on your website that individually address your PPC ads, giving you the best possible conversion rate. Your landing pages need to reiterate offers in your advertisements with clear, concise language.
When people shop online, they move from page to page quickly. Give them an easy way to start ordering your products from the landing page. If they have to click dozens of times to make a purchase, they'll go somewhere else.
Your landing page copy should speak directly to your visitors. Use a tone designed for your target audience and keep your language concise. You should also show your visitors that your website is secure by putting certification logos right up front on your order page.
3. Check Your Campaigns Regularly. Many eCommerce-related keywords are fairly expensive, so you'll have to keep experimenting to find a good return on investment. Use several PPC services, not just Google Adwords, and experiment with keywords from time to time to see what affects your incoming business.
Finally, ship quickly and follow up with your customers. If you develop incoming links and good word of mouth, you might not need as many PPC campaigns to bring business to your site. eCommerce is a tough industry, but quality stores tend to rise to the top quickly.
Written by Mike Thompson, an online marketer with tips on PPC Management.
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In today's ever-evolving digital world, it seems everything is moving online. From classes to defensive driving, it can all be done over the Internet. But, what might be the most rapidly growing sect of the web is the realm of ecommerce which has definitely grown exponentially over the last few years.
You want a sweatshirt? Yeah, you can find that online. Concert tickets? Definitely a website for that. Heck, you can even purchase a custom car online. So clearly it's a growing market that every industry should be taking advantage of. Customers today want convenience and instant gratification, and shopping online appeals to both of those desires.
Not to miss out on the action, the construction industry has been making waves in this realm with the growing availability of, not just construction EQUIPMENT, but full-blown pre-fabricated modules and structures over the web. This advancement is great for an industry that is usually very cyclical and at the mercy of the elements—two factors that tend to stall productivity, and thus earnings
Yet, with sites up 24/7 offering prefabricated buildings and structures, certain construction companies increase their chances of having a more regular, constant income. Traditionally, companies specialized in one or the other—pre-fab building methods or conventional—but now, with this growing market, it might be in companies best interest to broaden their offerings to include a balanced mixture of both.
A competitive market in itself, pre-fab building construction should not be taken lightly by any means. But, if a group has the resources to expand and offer a dependable, reliable pre-fab line, then it's something they should definitely consider.
Recognizing the trend and potential, Modular Direct shifted to an exclusively internet marketplace and hasn't looked back since. While this is an option for those exclusively offering pre-made products, those still looking to tackle bigger projects out on the job site need to strive to find a happy medium.
Basically, the moral of the story is ecommerce is a booming field that should not go ignored. Every industry, from pet care to fitness and now, as we see, construction, has the potential to profit from this digital shift and should take the time to assess their individual situations to do so.
About The Author
After years of DIY home improvement projects, Kristie Lewis became an official member of the construction industry as a project manager. She hung up her hard hat last year, but continues to share her knowledge and passion for construction through blogging. Informative and helpful, constructionmanagementdegree.org offers insight into the ever-evolving industry. Email Kristie your questions and comments at Kristie.email@example.com.
Gone are the days when one has to have a computer or a laptop to access the internet. With a tremendous amount of smart phones flooding the market, finding information literally is in ones pocket. This surely implies that there would be more hits on the websites owing to easy accessibility of the website. And getting your business listed on Google pages is important as the first result that people get to see during their searches on Android phones are from Google local. Google is also entering a local recommendation space with the recent launch of Hotspot. Consolidating the data that you and your friends like, it recommends your listed business and thus enables people to patronize your business giving you a cutting edge above your competitors. Thus it is very important to have your company listed on Google places to stay in business. It is very easy to maintain the top slot provided you follow some easy rules to stay in business.
Here are few tips to keep on mind to get maximum of the Google places:
1. Make sure your listing has cent percent score: There would be about 20 fields that are to be filled before you submit the form. Not all businesses will submit a complete form. So when you fill all of them your business will surely occupy the top slot in the listing when a search is queried.
2. Include keywords in your description: Mention your product, your locality and nearby suburbs in the keyword description. This helps you to target your actual market. Research says that about 73% search on Google is for local content and hence you are increasing your chances of prospective clients in your locality. By providing suitable information in the keyword description, your business will definitely be listed on the Google places when searched upon.
3. Have your clients write review on your listing of Google places: Understand that you have a lot of competitors in your locality and each of them might have a cent percent rating. In this case what do you think are your listing chances upon a Google Search? To maintain a top slot, encourage your clients to give your business listing feedback so that the system has a good reason to list you on top in the Google places. More the reviews, more the chances of your business to be listed on top.
4. Get listed on local phone books and other websites: You may wonder why should you get listed in local phone books now that you are trying to get listed on Google places? The reason is that Google establishes data both in their data base and also the checks for local information. If it does not find you there, your chances of being listed on top slots become grim. They might not consider your business to be a genuine one and hence it becomes important that you get listed on local phone books and websites.
Marketing your business online becomes effective only when it has proper listing and SEO. Follow the above steps and enjoy the top slots of the Google places business listings.
About The author: Alyssa is an internet marketer/blogger. She loves travelling, meeting new peoples and SEO Services. These days she is working on feature that is related to SEO Morpheus that has affected due to recent Google and penguin update.Add a comment
With more and more people selling their own products online, good amateur product photography for ecommerce sites has never been more in demand. After all, it doesn't matter how amazing your products are if they never get purchased in the first place -- and the photo is often what makes or breaks an online sale.
If you'd like to improve your product photography skills -- and your sales -- follow these simple guidelines for do-it-yourself photo shoots.
Have three sources of light for a basic lighting set up.
Experiment with light sources- one above and one on either side- to light your product as a professional would. Test shots are useful in finding the best lighting placement. Product photography for ecommerce hinges on the quality of its lighting, so take your time.
Use a Tripod
A tripod is a must have. However, it doesn't have to be high-end; any sturdy tripod will produce a better photo than even the steadiest hand. Using a tripod also creates a consistency from one photo to the next, giving your shots a professional look. When shopping, look for a portable model with extendable legs.
Meet your New Best Friend, the Trial-and-Error Method
Sure, it can take hours to get a single shot just right. But because the product photography for ecommerce is so essential to any site's success, it's well worth your time. Explore the various settings on your camera; nowadays even the most basic of them come with many cool features.
Learn how to use the light balance feature on your camera; it can vastly improve the color quality of product photography. And once you do get those camera settings just right, be sure to make notes for later reference. You'll save lots of time in your next session this way.
Invest in a Reflector/Diffuser Kit
Remember, lighting is the key to product photography. Reflectors and diffusers will make a world of difference. Reflectors can be used to divert, increase, or decrease the light on your product. A diffuser will soften the harsh light coming from a direct source.
A good reflector/diffuser kit will include these five features: a silver side for highlighting, gold for warming the light, a white reflector for neutralizing, a black side for creating shadow, and translucent white to get that nice, softened effect. (Don't forget to pick up the clamps to go with the kit; you'll need them to hold it all in place.)
Get Seamless Paper for the Perfect Background
Looking at professional product photography for ecommerce, all the shots give a clean, edgeless look to their products. Professionals use seamless background paper- a large roll of white paper placed on two stands and hung behind the product- to capture this effect.
Lay the paper down across the floor or table under your product, making sure that it fills the entire frame. Your products can look catalog-ready with this one simple tool.
You don't have to be a professional to take professional-looking photos, but you do need a few of the same tools pros use. Small to moderate investments in these basic products will ensure that your own products look as good online as they would in a brick-and-mortar store- maybe even better!
About the Author
Brendan Sevack is a social enthusiast and a blogger for Wazala.com specializing in social commerce and social media marketing - yes, he definitely knows how to sell on facebook. Studied audio engineering, but soon after realized he prefers to share with words rather than sound.
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As an ecommerce solution, Izzonet provides one of the most extensive shopping carts in the industry. Not only that, the software allows even the most non-technical person to design, build, manage and promote their own ecommerce website. Given all of the features that you can get from Izzonet, you have a one stop shop for all your online store needs that gives great value for money.
Of all the ecommerce solutions in the market, you can find a trustworthy partner in Izzonet. You begin by utilizing their web design features that allow full customization from their vast library of templates. The drag and drop interface makes designing very easy even for non-technical users. After designing your site, you can customize every detail in through the store management features. You can set up your online store through the Task Manager (dashboard) where you have full control over your products, discount schemes, promotions, featured items, drop shipping and other analytical reports that can be generated for you automatically. The web-based supplier integration system allows the site owner to coordinate and track every transaction anytime and anywhere. The same is true for the orders of your customers. They can track their deliveries without difficulty. An interactive feature also lets them create product reviews and ratings as a user generated content for the online store.
In terms of site promotion, this ecommerce solution is well integrated with the best online market places like Amazon and eBay and key social network sites. Social media and mobile integration is a feature that can expand market reach and access to the site. Izzonet also offers SEO techniques that will enable their clients to enhance their chances of ranking in search engines – thus increasing visibility and site traffic. Content creation is also a feature that will let site owners promote their products through comprehensive and informative articles. These are neatly organized in a blog page on the same online store.
The Izzonet ecommerce package comes with the complete support of a secure web hosting service, unlimited bandwidth and a reliable backup system. Their customer support system is available via email, chat and phone 24/7.
They offer a free 15-day trial period with no credit card or any obligations on your part. You can explore their features to figure out what type of package you want to avail once the trial period is over – or if you want to avail of their services at all. Plans go as low as $19.97 to $299.97 a month. You can even come up with your own package and have it quoted specifically for your needs.
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All in all, Izzonet is the one stop shop for all your ecommerce needs. Although the basic plan is very limited, the customized plan is a feature that the most tight-fisted ecommerce investor will definitely find economical in every way.Add a comment
You have a great product and now you are thinking of selling online. So why haven’t you?
Many people make the mistake of waiting far too long before they feel ready to start selling. The reality is - there will be no magic moment that you become ready to start selling online. So start today and begin growing a following around you.
Here are some important reasons why you should stop waiting and start selling:
Someone Could Beat You to it
If you wait for too long, you are inviting competitors to enter your space and take away customers that should have been yours. Don’t give someone else the opportunity to steal potential customers, start selling as soon as you have a product you think people will like.
The Market Could Change
If you keep your idea locked up for too long, what was once an amazing solution could become obsolete. The market is always changing and evolving, if you have identified a need right now, help solve it before that need might shift. By getting your product out there faster you can grow and change with the market. You will be able to better adapt to changes that might occur.
You Can Still Change Your Product After You Launch
A big concern people have is that their product might not be exactly perfect. The best way to see if your product will be popular is to offer it out to the market and watch for feedback. You might discover a few small changes you could make that will help drive up user satisfaction and help you sell more.Add a comment
Thanks to the many technological innovations spawned by the internet, the tasks involved in starting a business have been streamlined and simplified. Gone are the days when entrepreneurs would have to sit down and hand over thousands to big city lawyers to establish the legality of their venture. Retailers no longer have to travel across town searching for the most suitable location for a brick-and-mortar storefront. In short, the barriers to entry for online startups have been torn down and the field has been leveled for a more equal opportunity marketplace.
Here’s how to start a business online:
First, startups must establish themselves legally.
This involves securing their name and setting up the legal structure of the venture.
To secure the desired company name, individuals must check with authorities to see if it’s available for state business registration, then check with a domain registrar such as GoDaddy to see if it’s available in the ever-popular .com format. When it comes to the state, it’s just a matter of requesting, completing and filing a few straightforward forms and paying the required filing fees. When it comes to the internet, it’s generally a simple matter of completing an online form and entering a credit card to pay for the registration. It’s recommended that businesses secure their domain name for at least 5 years to show dedication to search engines and take advantage of long-term savings.
To establish the legal structure of the company, whether it be sole proprietorship, LLC, traditional corporation or non-profit corporation, it is often best to just consult an online legal service such as Legal Zoom or Rocket Lawyer. The process varies from state to state and can tend to be rather involved, so it’s best to leave it to the experts. Again, thanks to the internet, the prices for setting up the legal structure of a company have gone down significantly over the last decade or so.
Second, startups must establish themselves virtually.
This involves setting up an online storefront/shopping cart and instituting payment processing procedures.
To set up an ecommerce website, it’s generally best to go with an established all-in-one hosted solution such as those provided by Shopify and Magento. The sites themselves are WYSIWYG template-driven storefronts with coordinated shopping carts and product management databases. In addition, most offer some form of payment processing service. The great thing about going with a known quantity such as those mentioned is that there is a huge community of support that is ready and able to assist their fellow businesses with advanced online retail concepts and components.
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As can be seen, it’s much easier to start a business in today’s virtual world than at any time in history. There are any number of services available to give you advice and help you in your quest for continued business growth and success.
Are you an entrepreneur?
Then, you must be aware of these statistics.
- With nearly 80% of U.S. Web users shopping from e-stores, some forecasters have stated that their number will go up to over 150 million by 2015.
- Approximately 71% of the British population buys online, while around 14.9% of major businesses and 14.3% of small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are on e-commerce.
- An estimated 54% of consumers have bought groceries on the Internet, cutting 4% (in average) off their grocery budget.
- All over the world, virtual buying and selling has increased by 13% since the past 5 years.
Given these big figures, you can see that transacting business on the Web does pay off.
So, if you want to boost your visibility, build brand image, cater to a global market, and increase your revenue, the best means is ecommerce.
The Key Ingredient of Selling Online
But before you start marketing and advertising your products or services, you have to know that it is not enough to simply set up a website and fill it with information about your company. You also need to consider a fundamental aspect, and that is search engine optimisation (SEO).
If you are wondering why, the main reason is that SEO is essential for your success. Through it, you can tweak your site to make it appear in search engine result pages (SERPs). Additionally, you can work around specific elements, wherein the most important are the following:
I’ve come across the word ‘Mamut’ a few times as I’ve researched the subject of eCommerce in general and various integrations and accounting software in particular. It sounded as a solid set of solutions and services so I decided to take a closer look at it.
First of all, Mamut was one of the first companies that started providing full-package integrated software solutions and Internet services for small and medium enterprises throughout Europe. The solutions are user-friendly and they pay off their value for money through incorporating CRM, accounting, eCommerce, domains, web hosting, security, sales force, logistics and e-mail.
Being founded in 1994 with headquarters in Oslo, Norway Mamut is a part of Visma Group. The company employs 460 experts and has over 400,000 customers in 16 countries around Europe.
Mamut is extremely concentrated on their customers’ satisfaction. Easy accessibility from a number of multiple devices is a high priority therefore Mamut has been investing in extending rich applications into software and services through integrating web-based services to keep the access possible from any device at any location.
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In terms of customer support Mamut believes in communication with real people and native staff which helps the company grow the client base. Any Mamut software or services related issues can be addressed by phone or through e-mail of a support centre followed by a contact from an actual specialist from the company.
When it comes to unique content, it seems many eCommerce stores have not gotten the memo about how beneficial it is for their site. And it’s not their fault, they’re usually running their business and are not up-to-date on the SEO world. But 90% of the time when I look at an eCommerce store, this is what I find: manufacturer copied product descriptions and no blog.
This means their entire store besides from the home page, about page, and contact page is duplicate content. But the cool thing about this is that since most of your competitors are pulling these same duplicate descriptions and not spending time blogging, there is a simple solution to ranking higher than them and ending up on top.
Write Unique Product Descriptions
Writing unique product descriptions may be time consuming, but boy will it help you out. Recent Google updates make it so that if your site contains a large amount of duplicate content, not only will those certain pages be ranked lower, but your whole site will also be penalized.
When you write your own descriptions you reverse this effect. Google sees a business who spent time creating original content and rewards you for it in higher rankings. Also, writing unique content increases your conversions by allowing you to tweak descriptions to fit your business's personality and target your customers.
Apple is expected to sell $10 billion worth of iPads and $9 billion worth of Macs to the corporate market in 2012, according to Forrester Research . When it comes to business technology, a paradigm shift is taking place right before our eyes.
In the past, the best software and devices in use in the enterprise eventually made their way to consumers. Today that trend is reversing: employees, who use social media, tablets, and smartphones at home, are increasingly wanting to bring them into the workplace ¾ a trend which Forrester dubbed ‘take an Apple to work.’
This trend is not just limited to Apple and devices. The worlds of business and consumer applications are merging, resulting in a new class of general and vertical apps that are as social as they are powerful. These new applications are increasingly easy to use, collaborative, and based in the cloud.
While IT managers may cringe each time they hear “can you help me connect my iPad to the company server,” here are ten reasons why businesses should embrace the consumerization of IT.
1. Improved collaboration
When information is in the cloud, it’s readily visible and accessible to everyone involved: employees, managers, clients, and contractors. There’s no issue trying to send files that are too big for email, or painfully reconciling multiple versions of a project that were saved and edited on individual desktops. When projects are moved to the cloud, workers can share and collaborate with far less friction than when data and documents are trapped in an on-premise desktop solution.
2. Real-time communication
In their personal lives, people are becoming more and more accustomed to web-based communication channels outside of email. When people are used to FaceTime, chat, and instant messaging at home, the act of sending an email to a vendor, or even sending a fax to your lawyer, seems like an artifact from a different, and far slower, era. If I can chat with my friends on Facebook, why can’t I interact with co-workers on our CRM system? Why I can’t I have a secure instant message session with my lawyer?
The socialization of enterprise applications gives workers, clients, colleagues, and customers, and vendors better tools to communicate in real time. These tighter communication loops should ultimately drive key performance goals for any business, including employee productivity, operational efficiency, and customer satisfaction.
3. Greater accessibility
While traditional enterprise systems trap data in a single location, the cloud makes applications and business data available to more users on more devices in more locations. For employees, this can be a game changer, as the information they need is right at their fingertips – whether they’re at a client location, on route to a meeting, at home, or on vacation.
4. End-user buy-inUltimately the success of any technology initiative hinges on the ability to convince employees to actually use the software, device, or process. When employees clamor to bring their own tools into the workplace, there’s no risk that a new tool will sit idly by. Throwing employees in front of a stodgy application is hardly a recipe for success. Rather, end users are more likely to use those tools that evoke the same look and feel of their friendly social networks and consumer apps.
Merchant services used to be a somewhat closed and arcane world. Thanks to rapid increases in credit and debit card use coupled with an equally large increase in businesses accepting credit and debit cards, a vibrant and competitive economy now exists for merchant services providers. The challenge for most businesses is finding a good one to serve their needs.
If you are like many businesspeople, your first instinct may be to go to the bank that handles your business's cash management accounts, capital reserve accounts and credit line. However, many business banks do not offer competitive credit card processing options. Most businesses do best by working with a company like Choice Merchant Services that shops a number of merchant providers to find you the best possible option. For most businesses, the best merchant service provider is one that offers fair rates, good quality equipment, and terms that meet their specific needs.
Believe it or not, some businesses still pay merchant rates as high as six percent. In today's market, many businesses can qualify for rates very close to one percent. Merchant rates depend on a number of different factors including the type of business, the way that they process cards, the quantity of business that is done and the credit profile of the business. Even though every business is different, there are still some processors that charge better rates than others, all things being equal. Shopping around, or hiring someone to shop around for you, is the best way to get the best rate available.
Equipment that Fits Your Business
Different businesses require different types of credit card terminals. While the traditional small keypad unit with an integrated printer works extremely well in traditional retail settings, it is not the one size all option that it may seem to be. Retailers where people are in a rush, like convenience stores, benefit from having a customer-swipe terminal that supports new tap-and-go payment cards. Traveling merchants benefit from a wireless terminal that can use WiFi or cellular networks, and e-commerce businesses do not need any type of terminal, but do need a software-based gateway.
Not every service provider offers you a choice of every type of device. Finding one with a good selection will make it easier to find the perfect terminal or gateway for your business. Finding a company like Choice Merchant Services that will give you a terminal for free is even better.
What do you sell online?
Gifts, clothes, toys, sports equipment - sophisticated diagnostic medical or electronic equipment? How do your customers get information about your company's products and how they should be used? Content may be king but video rules the kingdom.
Most eCommerce sites and online marketers are aware of the value of web video to promote services and products. Online Video can be used in many ways - these include product demonstrations, customer testimonials, and provide online support in order to reduce customer service calls.
But how do you make an effective online video for your eCommerce site?
The most important tip? Keep it short. On the web everyone has a short attention span. If they get bored, something new and different is just a click away. We recommend that online videos should be under five minutes in length - preferably even shorter. Two minutes is perfect. If you have a complicated subject or the process you are demonstrating requires numerous steps, consider slicing the video up into a series of shorter videos.
This is especially important if you want your audience to share and redistribute the video. The one common trait of successful viral videos is brevity.
Here are a few technical guidelines to ensure that your video looks and sounds professional.
- Use a good video camera. You don't need expensive professional gear but you do need a video camera that can capture high resolution, HD video. A cheap $50 dollar camera is not going to cut it. Video captured with a cellphone is not going to make it either. It will work but you ought to do better. A good way to tell if your camcorder is good enough is if it has an external microphone jack.
- Audio is VERY important! Use a good microphone plugged in the external mike jack. Most of omnidirectional mikes built-in into cheap camcorders are not very good and tend to capture sound from all over the room rather from your expert. It is preferable to use a handheld or a lavaliere mike that plugs into your camcorder and provides nice clean audio.
- When shooting your video, make sure your subject is well lit. Dark and murky videos do not engage the viewer; the lack of pixel info adds extra digital noise and degrades the overall video signal. Another tip - If your camcorder supports it, turn off automatic exposure and focus and shoot manually.
Even in 2012, a lot of people are still uncomfortable buying things online. As an eCommerce business it’s your responsibility to make each and every one of your customers feel as safe as possible purchasing products from you. In order to do this, there are some effective and proven methods for building trust on your site.
1. Trusted Symbols
A common and quick way to build trust is by using logos customers are already familiar with. A good example of this is the Better Business Bureau symbol. It is commonly added to sites by businesses that are a part of the organization. This is effective because customers know only businesses following best practices can be accepted into the group. So if they trust the Better Business Bureau, they trust you. Can you think of any other trusted organizations you are a part of or secure payment processes you use in order to make prospective customers feel safe?
Testimonials are a great example of social proof. If someone can see that others are buying from you and are satisfied with the results, they are much more likely to trust in you since someone else already has. Testimonials show you have a proven history of excellence.
3. Clear Support
People want to know that after they purchase from you it won’t be the last time you talk to them. By having clear contact info, live chat, and support channels it shows you care and are willing to answer their questions or even hold their hand throughout the purchasing process if needed. Customers are human after all, they want to know they’ll be taken care of.
The term ‘success in business’ is an ambiguous one. Jack might be happy by simply making a profit, but Jill might only be satisfied with a few million in her pocket. Whatever your understanding is of success and however long it takes you to get there, you all start from the same place. As a beginner of selling online, you have a steep learning curve ahead. Follow these Seven tips as a base to future work and you’ll be well on your way to ecommerce success.
1. Define a Marketing Budget, e.g. SEO, payperclick ads, magazine ads.
Too many merchants only include set up costs and can’t afford to market their store once it’s ready to trade. Marketing is one of the highest expenses to a business; as a beginner, watch your conversion rate so you don’t blow all your money in the first month.
2. Good Product Photography Sells
Buying a product online can be impulsive for customers. Don’t waste a conversion opportunity with a poor quality, dark photo with a busy background. Your photos should showcase your product. Set them on a white background, well lit without shadows. Let them convey quality in every way.
3. Cheapest Doesnt Equal More Sales
There are strategies to achieve selling without losing profit margins. If you’re in a highly competitive market, find something you can do better than anyone else. Service, speed of delivery and loyalty programs are all examples of what can set you apart from competitors. Push this difference to your customers and your prices won’t matter as much anymore.
There’s plenty of people talking about Pinterest right now and for good reason. It recently became the third largest social network on the Internet, with only Facebook and Twitter ahead of it. So what it is it? And how can your business cash in? BigCommerce support team ninja, Erika Jarvi, explains:
What is it?
Pinterest is a visually-driven website, where people can “pin” pictures or videos of their favorite things/places/people on a virtual pinboard. As a user, you can categorize these pinned pictures into multiple boards, all with their own theme. When a picture is then pinned, a short description can be written about it, and the picture is automatically linked to the place from which it came.
The ease with which you can post pictures, coupled with the social nature of the site (which uses Twitter-like “following” to watch pins from other users) makes it a great way for you, as an e-commerce store owner, to get your products promoted.
When you first get into Pinterest (it is a invite-only service right now, but after I requested an invite, I got in fairly quickly), you’re asked to specify a few interests of yours, and then you’ll automatically follow prominent members with those same interests. It’s a great way to start buying into the service.
Pinterest will also start you off with five common board themes (which you can change or delete, if you want) to start pinning your favorite things. There’s even a handy bookmark you can put in your browser’s link bar that will automatically start the pinning process without having to login to Pinterest if you’re on another website.
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- Social Marketers Take Note – 6 Lessons from Social Commerce
- How to Accept Payments for Your E-Commerce Business
- 5 Critical Tips in Launching an eCommerce Website
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