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Implementing An Effective eCommerce Strategy: A Guide

You’ve done your research and decided that going branching out onto the worldwide web is the best decision for your business. But how do you actually go about implementing that? Building an online store and an eCommerce website requires a sophisticated content management system and a strategy that combines many separate elements. Not sure where to begin? Here is a guide to help you transition to the wonderful world of eCommerce.

Finding your online voice

Firstly, you will need to think about how you want to present your company online. What sort of tone do you want to have? Formal and serious or open and friendly? You will need to consider your product or service descriptions, as your online voice will play a big role in this. If you’re not sure how to go about this, looking at your competitors is a good place to start. How are they presenting themselves? How do they describe their products? Your descriptions will require keywords that online users search for in search engines, as well as being compelling enough to convince your customers to buy.

You’ll also need to take professional quality photos to accompany your inventory, as eCommerce relies heavily on visually appealing interfaces and imagery.

Setting yourself up

The second thing you will need to do is set up your website. This can be done independently, through platforms such as WordPress, or through a professional website designer. You need to ensure that your website is easy to navigate, has a clean and sharp design, and holds all the information your customers might need.

For much large organizations, especially those running ERP, eCommerce will be part of a wider strategy. This is usually outsourced to companies who can implement comprehensive product suites, such as Omnia, which ensure you offer up real time data under the secure umbrella of the ERP infrastructure.

Create a marketing plan

Doing business online comes with many benefits, including the vast array of marketing techniques and tactics for you to utilize, many of which are either free of charge or inexpensive to use.

Take social media for example. Especially due to changing algorithms on media platforms, you should strongly consider paid promotion due to the accurate targeting options on offer. However, you can do a lot for your business by simply engaging with customers on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Regular posting shows consumers you are active and involved with your customer community, and can be a good way of showing your strengths and previous customer loyalty. Many people go straight to social media when checking out a business, as it is the perfect insight into who you are. It will certainly give your brand a stronger, more personable identity.

Focus on customers

In the face of fierce online competition, remember that your strongest strategy weapon is prioritizing your customers. Social media users respond well to brands that build and nurture meaningful relationships, while Google is constantly updating its algorithm to favor those who give greater precedence to the customer experience.

DOA: Don’t Let This Happen To Your E-Commerce Business

It’s a well-known fact that the majority of new businesses online fail, typically within their first year. Why does this happen? What’s the cause? These are questions that you should be interested in if you are planning on setting up your own e-commerce company. E-commerce companies may look easy to set up and run, but it’s notoriously difficult to actually make a profit with this type of business models unless you know what you’re doing which most people don’t. So, how can you make sure that your e-commerce business isn’t DOA?

Get The Right Domain

First, it is important to make sure that you are getting a fantastic domain name for your e-commerce company. People often miss the importance of a great domain because they are distracted by the fact that no one searches for this. While that’s true, it’s worth pointing out that the domain name will impact your search ranking and this determines how much interest you’re going to see online before you even start to think about investing in SEO.

On top of this, you should also consider revisits. People are far more likely to revisit your site if they can remember the domain. That’s why certain domains sell for thousands online at auction. It does have an impact, and straight off the bat, it’s worth making sure that you are paying a little more here for the perfect domain.

Hosting is important too as this will give you complete control over how your site operates.

Keep Things User-Friendly

Next, it’s important to make sure that your site is completely user-friendly. You need to keep things as easy as possible for buyers. The easier you make it, the more likely they are to buy. It’s as simple as that. There are lots of ways to make your site easy to use but if you want to perfect the interface, it’s worth working with an IT support team. Using IT services, you can make sure that there are no issues with interface that could ultimately drive customers away.

You should have a blog as part of your e-commerce site as well. A blog will allow you to hit a number of birds with one stone. First, it will give you an easy way to add lots of SEO optimised content to your site and indirectly impact the rankings. Second, it allows you a great way to connect and target your audience encouraging them to commit to a purchase. Third, it will keep the rest of your site clean and free of cluttered content.

Target And Remarket

Lastly, you need to think of ways to hook the customer so that they can’t escape. One of the best ways to do this is to get their details even before the sale. Newsletters, email offers and deals are all fantastic ways to do this. That will ensure you can continue to market to them and get those always important repeat purchases.

We hope you take this advice and make sure that your E-commerce company isn’t DOA.

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What Can E-commerce Stores Learn from Amazon?

There are quite a few different things that just about all e-commerce stores can learn from Amazon. If you own an online store and want to increase its profitability, you will need to take a close look at all of the things that this internet retailer giant does right. It can be difficult making it in this world unless you really know what you are doing.

In this article, you’ll get some insight into how you can improve your internet-based business by following some simple but effective tips. Amazon has set the standard for e-commerce, and there are numerous reasons for that.

A Customized Experience

One of the revolutionary things that Amazon did as an online retailer is to personalize each customer’s shopping experience. You can clearly see this when you look at the “Related to Item’s You’ve Viewed” section and others. When you create a more custom shopping experience for each person who visits your website, they are far more likely to keep coming back.

On-Site Reviews

Another great way to increase the likelihood of people buying from your online store is to include a section for customers to post reviews of the products they have purchased. This is something that really helped Amazon a lot, and it will really help the people who visit your site decide which products to buy. These days most people read customer reviews before purchasing an item online, so you will want to seriously consider doing this.

Stay Current with Business News

As successful as Amazon is, they are still always trying to figure out how to become better as a company. It is important that you stay current with business news on a daily basis so that you can make the right decisions for your business. There are many different websites to visit for business news, including Apex Beats.

Learn the Art of Promotion

Amazon is really good about promoting themselves and, more specifically, the deals they offer customers. Almost everyone knows about Amazon Prime and it’s because they generate a ton of buzz for it. If there are certain things that you can offer your customers to save them money, you will need to make sure they know about it.

Make Searching for Products Easier

It should be the goal of any online merchant to make searching for products as easy as possible for those who visit their site. The last thing you want is for your customers to have difficulty locating what they want because they’ll likely get frustrated and go somewhere else. Amazon makes doing this incredibly simple and easy, so you will want to follow suit and do the same.

While it may seem like it’s nearly impossible to succeed as an online merchant sometimes, there are quite a few things that you can do to increase your chances of making it. Every single e-commerce business owner should take a close look at Amazon to see what they are doing right because there are a lot of them.

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Fix These Potential Failings To Save Your Business!

As a company owner, you of course want your business to succeed and get ahead, but this can be difficult in such a competitive market. There are so many things to consider, and so many details that need to be right- any of the following things could be letting you down (even to the point where they cause your business to fail!) For this reason, make sure you’re not overlooking these essential elements.

Invest in An App

The world’s largest companies might have been first to get on board when it comes to mobile apps, but it’s definitely not something you should disregard for your own medium sized or smaller business. An effective mobile strategy isn’t just about a mobile friendly website, mobile apps do so much more than this. They allow customers to have all your information at the click of a button and can result in better interaction and more sales for you. It can help you gain new customers, and all in all is an excellent tool to increase your company’s profits. An app for your business will help to improve your brand and increase brand awareness. This is important as customers are more likely to choose brands they know simply because they are seen as safer and more reliable. When you have an app that your customers can download to their phone, it means your website is just a click away. This also means you can send things like offers and coupons directly to their smartphone even when they’re not using the app. These days mobile apps from small businesses are still rare, and this is where you can take a leap ahead of your competition. In the next few years every business will have one, and so take the chance to get involved while it’s still early days and it will set you apart. Anything that can make your company stand out in a good way will have a positive effect on it. Since mobiles and tablets have replaced more traditional desktops and laptops in being the most used devices- the future of your business depends on your ability to get your business onto the phones of your potential customers.

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Use Good Business Software

Keeping good accounts is vital when you run a business. You will of course have an accountant to tackle the difficult things. However, you will still need to keep efficient records day to day. Good accounting software can allow you to do this and means either you’re able to do your books yourself, or at least tackle a  lot of the work, so you don’t have to spend as much money paying an accountant for more hours. Old methods of accounting such as paper records or Excel can slow or even jeopardise your business. As well as the risk of mistakes, you also have to pay someone to trawl through and take care the tedious task- more efficient methods are the best way to go. They’re more accurate, will save you time and can be saved to cloud based backup services which protect your day. Another type of software you will need if you sell products is presentation software. Your first thought might be Microsoft Powerpoint, but there are a whole range of other programmes out there, many which will likely suit the needs of your business more. Some are relatively simple, others give you the ability to create more complex presentations so find one that’s right for your business. Employee scheduling software will  show you how to create the perfect work schedule for your team. No more manually swapping things over or spending time working it all out, the right software will do all of that in seconds. Email marketing software is another useful one to consider for your business. It can attract new customers as well as maintains relationships with loyal customers- plus it has a large reach and has been shown to lead to more conversions in the form of leads and sales. Unlike social networks, email will always be around and is an efficient way to deliver a message to all of your customers.

Write A Business Blog

There are numerous benefits of running a business blog. It helps drive traffic to your website, plus it means more pages are being indexed by search engines boosting your PageRank. It establishes authority about your brand and also helps to spread the word about your website through social media shares. Write regular engaging content in order to draw in potential customers in and boost business. Each piece of content you produce is another way your blog can be found in organic search. I t’s a free and a straightforward way to promote your business and something any business owner can get on board with. You don’t even have to write it yourself, employ a writer, or pay a writer online to create posts for you.

Create A Social Media Marketing Strategy

Regardless of what your product is and who you sell it to, you need to be using social media as a marketing tool. This can help you grow your brand awareness no end, and these days it’s not just an added extra. It really is something that needs to be an integral part of your company’s digital marketing approach. It’s free to use, and according to research is twice as effective at leading to sales than other traditional outbound marketing techniques. Plus, a good social following makes you look reliable to customers, and provides them with another point of contact should anything go wrong with the transaction. It provides a unique way to have more interaction with your customer base, and you get to find out what makes them tick- this is all information that could even give you ideas for your marketing strategy.  All of your accounts should be run efficiently, get a social media manager on board your team if you’re not an expert. It’s an excellent investment into your business in today’s digital age.

Use An Ecommerce Platform

If your business sells products, you will need to find a good ecommerce platform. Don’t try listing things just on your website, at the very least you need an online storefront with payment processing capabilities. It looks professional and will make life easier for you too. Different platforms will have different customizations and themes on offer so you have the opportunity to really personalize it to your business. There are plenty of comparisons to read online, so spend some time working out exactly what’s right for your business. For many businesses, this will be the main thing that the customer sees when interacting with the company so be sure to get this right.

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Take On Board Customer Feedback

Any feedback you can gain from customers is useful – good or bad. If and when you do receive complaints or negative feedback, make sure this is carefully looked into and is a way to improve. It’s easy to get defensive over your company but the old adage ‘the customer is always right’ is true- these are the people buying from you and keeping you in business.  Whether it was long shipping times or items arriving in bad condition, incorrect sizes or colours sent out or poor quality items it shows you where you’re going wrong. Whatever it is, focus on what the problem is to come up with a suitable solution. And of course, positive feedback is always good and lets you know what you’re doing is working.

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Ways to Improve Your Website’s Navigation

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There’s no point taking the time to create a website for your business if you don’t also take the time to ensure that the site is easy for your visitors to find their way around.

Good web design answers the important questions about your business and what it’s about, and that means that your website’s navigation needs to be spot on if you’re going to convince visitors to become customers. Unfortunately, so many businesses, of all shapes and sizes, get it wrong.

Here are some simple things you can do to improve the navigation of your website and make it a whole lot easier for visitors to access the information they require, make purchases, and get in touch:

Plan, Plan, Plan

Before you even think about working on your company website, sit down and plan its content and navigation. Create a flowchart that shows the direction you want visitors to take through your website and the main areas that you’d like to draw their attention to. Pay particular attention to your website’s main navigation and the categories you want to include.

Check Out the Competition

It makes sense to see what the competition is doing if you want to get your website’s navigation right. Make a list of the 20 biggest competitors you have and make a point of going through their website like a customer. This should give you some valuable insights into good and bad navigation, which h you can then use to make your website one of the best in your niche.

Pare it Down

Ideally, if you want to make your website as simple and informative as possible, paring down the number of navigation options on offer is a good idea. The fewer options there are, the less cluttered the site will feel and the easier it will be for visitors to find exactly what they want.

Keep it Clean

Keeping your website as free of animations, auto playing videos, and sizeable images will ensure that your website loads more quickly. It will also keep distractions to a minimum so that the focus of your customers is on your content, products and services. There is nothing worse than a slow loading website to make things difficult and send potential customers away, so avoid temptation and leave those unnecessary elements out.

Make it Static

Your website’s navigation menu should stay in the same place from page to page. It shouldn’t be at the top of the homepage and the side on the about me section.

Text-Based Links

You might think that image-based links look more interesting, but they’re also more difficult for some users to find, and they don’t work as well when it comes to search engine optimization and boosting your website’s position on Google.

Use Basic Language

A lot of companies are tempted to use flowery technical language because they think it makes them look more professional, and this might well be the case, but it also makes it more confusing for their users. So, at least when it comes to menu headings and page titles keep things short and simple.

Be Very Specific

Instead of making your navigation labels general, like saying ‘services’ make them more specific like ‘divorce’ and ‘criminal law’ This will ensure your visitors find exactly what they want quickly and give you another handy SEO boost.

Avoid Drop Down Menus

If you really want to include drop down menus on your website, go ahead and do so, but be aware that a lot of users find them annoying because they can start to move around, and thus cause people to click the wrong link, and get in the way. They’re also a lot more difficult for the likes of Google to crawl, which means your website might not be as easy to find in the first place.

Include a Search Box

Including a search box right at the top of your website is a great way to help your visitors out. If despite your best efforts, they still find your website tougher to navigate than they would like, they can simply type that they’re looking for into the box and a list of options will appear.

Excellent website navigation, which enables visitors to move through your website quickly and without issue is a proven way of increasing conversion rate and boosting your website’s performance. It is vital that you take the above steps, and any others that you can think of to ensure that this is a reality for your website.

Good Luck!