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Increasing In-Store Visits In A Growing Online World

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article |Physical Store|Increasing In-Store Visits In A Growing Online WorldOnline shopping has become a massive new market in just the past twenty years. So much so, that now many businesses are purely online, with no physical stores.

But for those who balance both online and physical stores, how can you convince people to visit in-person? Surely, with the ease of access and greater range associated with online shopping, the prospect of coming in-store would seem unnecessary.

Yet your physical store or stores are great investments of capital and staff and can be a great source of revenue. To dismiss them could bring greater losses.

So how can you increase in-store visits in the online world we find ourselves?

Promotion

Customers aren’t going to come to your store if they don’t know where it is, and even if it exists! Depending on the location of your store, you might have to do more or less promotion.

If you find yourself on a busy high street, less promotion will be needed compared to if your store lies out of the way. But in both cases, a little promotion can’t hurt.

Window displays are a great way to catch passer-bys’ eyes. You can get really creative with these, so do some research into the kind of window display that will tempt the right demographic into your store.

Consider making yourself known within your community. Sponsoring community activities – like this company sponsoring the local football team – to promote goodwill, and advertise both place and purpose of your business.

Website

On a similar track to physical promotion, consider the promotion of your physical store on your website. This is a great place to promote, as you already have customers who are considering buying with you there.

Tactical SEO can actually bring customers into physical stores, so signing up for live SEO sessions will help.

The question lies around how to convince those already on your online store to shop physically. There are several options available to you in regards to this:

Quality and Price of Products

When customers shop with you, you want them to shop again—basic business strategy. To even consider tempting customers into your physical store, you first need them to want to shop again.

Therefore, focusing on both affordability (in relation to your target demographic) and quality across all products is necessary.

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article |Physical Store|Increasing In-Store Visits In A Growing Online WorldRewards & Incentives

Another option for bringing customers to a physical store is to implement incentives. Physical stores can’t offer the range or ease of access that online stores can, so they must offer something else exclusive.

Try using offers like 3 for 2, or discounts on products that cannot be achieved online. Advertising these incentives on your online store has the potential to move customers away from online shopping and into the physical store.

By making these offers bright and eye-catching, it will be impossible for buyers to miss.

Presentation

So you have customers into your store with your promotions and incentives. How do you make them want to come back? The answer is simple: their shopping experience must be excellent.

Focusing the presentation of your store – from basics like wall colour to key details like store layout – can massively impact the shopping experience for consumers. You want everything to be clear and understandable, whilst also being a pleasant place to be.

Presentation isn’t just physical attributes, however. Your store is also presented either positively or negatively. Top-quality customer service is key to incentivising customers to return to your store to buy again.

Health & Safety

Right now, there is an extra level of importance when it comes to in-person stores. With the pandemic, fewer people are shopping in-store than ever before.

When people do come to shop in-store, they need to know that they will be safe. Depending on your location, there will be different regulations, but the inclusion of some general safety precautions can only serve to help you.

Safety precautions to follow:

  • Hand sanitiser upon entry to the store
  • Workers in masks or visors
  • Limited capacity depending on store size
  • One way systems

By following these safety precautions, customers are likely to feel much safer, and return to your store, as they know they will be protected.

Given the increasingly online world business must operate in now, it can seem like physical stores are growing to become dead weight. But a flourishing physical store can boost a business. All it takes is a willingness to focus resources onto enticing people into the store.

Making as Many Sales as You Possibly Can During Difficult Times

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article |Making Sales|Making as Many Sales as You Possibly Can During Difficult TimesIt’s nearing the end of 2020 and many of us are having a bit of a tough time in many ways. The coronavirus and Covid-19 pandemic has been impacting the majority of our lives since March – and for the most of us, this hasn’t been in a particularly positive way. Now, it’s important that we don’t forget the main tragedy to come out of this pandemic – the huge loss of life throughout the world caused by this potentially fatal virus and disease. But that’s also not to say there haven’t been other troubles along the way too. For many of us, the pandemic has caused significant hardship and financial struggle. Why? Well, in order to save lives by slowing the spread of the virus, many governments around the world have implemented measures that have caused businesses of all shapes and sizes to struggle. In order to combat the virus, we need to stay at least two metres away from each other, or, when the R rate has boosted, even had to go into lockdown situations where all non essential businesses have had to close their doors. All of this means less sales. If you can’t have people in your store, you can’t operate. If you can still have your store open, but can only have people in there if they’re stood two metres apart, you have a limited capacity and sales will suffer. This is all doom and gloom, we know. But what can you do to continue making sales during these difficult times as a business owner? Here are a few pieces of advice that could help you to get through this!

Selling Products? Switch to Ecommerce

If your store sells products, now is the time to switch to Ecommerce. Ecommerce stores are allowed to continue operations. Sure, you’ll need to make sure that the staff fulfilling your orders in the warehouse are safe, and if you have your own delivery staff, you’ll need to make sure they’re safe too. But this is an ideal way to be able to continue operations while stores are shut and even while stores are open, but you can’t have all too many people inside. Now, we’re fast approaching two of the biggest shopping seasons of the year so far. These are Black Friday and the Christmas shopping season. So, you’ll want to make the switch as quickly as possible in order to be able to make the money you usually might. So, how do you go about switching to Ecommerce? Here are a few steps that will help you to get it right first time around.

Set Up a Website / Improve Your Website

If you don’t have a website yet, now is the time to create one. If you already have one, but haven’t focused on it all too much in the past, now is the time to improve upon it. Your website is going to be your customers’ and potential customers’ main contact with your store. So you need it to look good and you need to make sure that people can easily navigate their way around it to find what they want. Of course, learning how to code and learning what kind of design works is a long and difficult process. You probably don’t have time for this right now. So, work with the following individuals – a web designer, a web developer and a UX designer. The web designer will make sure that your site looks great. They’ll know what to put where and how to combine everything together to create something that is on brand and beautiful. The web developer will take care of the back end of your site. They’ll make sure that everything actually works. The UX designer is a user experience designer. They’ll ensure that the site makes sense for your users and is easy to use. This reduces the number of people leaving your site. Finally, you should work with all three individuals to make sure that your site is optimised for mobile too. Increasing numbers of people are shopping on their mobile, so you don’t want to miss out on these sales!

Provide Customer Support

Of course, when people buy online, they tend to have more questions than they might in store, as they can’t feel or try out the products themselves before buying. This means it is essential that you have some sort of customer support put in place and that your website lets customers know how to get in touch too. If you don’t have time to deal with customer queries, make sure to hire a customer support agent who can respond to questions via a business email, via a chat box on your website, or even via phone. The more points of contact that customers have for your company, the better, as it allows everyone to use their preferred way of getting in touch!

Selling Essential Services? Manage Your New Workload

If you’re selling essential services and cannot work from home, chances are you’ll be able to continue work as usual. You’ll simply have to follow new safety measures, which will include staying two metres away from others, wearing appropriate additional PPE (such as face masks or face visors) and washing or sanitising your hands regularly. Now, chances are, you may be experiencing an increase in demand. Essential services are in high demand right now and, unlike the majority of the population, you may be experiencing a higher workload. You’ll need to organise and manage this effectively to ensure that you don’t miss anything out or disappoint anyone. Consider using software or apps like JobNimbus to help you with this. It will take care of everything from sales to estimating, scheduling and work orders. It can be tempting to take on more work than you can handle, but avoid this. You want to do a good job, get good reviews and maintain a good reputation. You also don’t want to burn yourself out.

Are Your Staff Able to Work Remotely?

If you’re running a business where staff would usually work in an office, consider whether they would be able to work remotely. Remote working is becoming favoured by business in a wide range of industries. Many have seen that their staff can work just as effectively from home and are opting to continue remote operations permanently, as it saves significantly on commercial property rent and overheads too! Now, a switch to remote working has to be done carefully to ensure that everyone copes with the move well. The steps below could make this process seamless.

  • Ensure All Staff Can Work Remotely Safely and Comfortably – in offices, you provide your staff with ergonomic furniture and equipment. This keeps them safe and prevents them from experiencing issues such as chronic strain injuries. Apply this same mindset to when they’re working at home. If your staff require, allow them to pick up their chair, footrests, backrests and other essentials from the office to use from their own home.
  • Make Sure Staff are Trained in New Software – it’s likely that your staff will have to use new software when they start working from home. This can include software like communications software, video call software, time tracking software and more. Don’t simply assume that everyone will figure out how to use it. Instead, hold virtual training that will ensure everyone knows what they’re doing.
  • Set KPIs – if you are concerned about your staff’s productivity while they’re working from home, you may want to set KPIs. KPI stands for “key performance indicator” and it will be some sort of individual goal that each staff member will need to achieve by a set date. This will indicate whether they are performing as they should. This will ensure that everyone keeps up with their workload and doesn’t slack.
  • Be Understanding and Flexible – of course, these are very difficult times for some people. So, make sure to be understanding and flexible with your staff. Some may not have ideal working conditions, or may have more responsibilities on their hands during the day, such as extra childcare if schools close, or caring for vulnerable loved ones.Chances are you’re experiencing a lot of changes if you’re running a business right now. But at the end of the day, change may be essential in order to keep things up and running! Hopefully, some of the above advice can help you to experience success with your business in spite of the pandemic. Some of the changes are easier to implement than others, but all are essential for different types of businesses to continue making sales and generating profit. Implement them into your operations sooner rather than later and you should benefit!

How To Start Selling On Amazon

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Selling on Amazon|How To Start Selling On AmazonAmazon is the biggest retail company in the world. It’s no wonder that Jeff Bezos is the richest man alive when you consider how many people use Amazon. It offers all sorts of products and a convenient way for people to purchase goods in seconds.

Consequently, if you can sell things on Amazon, you tap into a massive market. Millions of people use this website every single day, so you could find loads of eager customers. Plus, you don’t have to worry about marketing as Amazon’s power already leads people to the website!

How do you get started? Selling things on Amazon is easy as soon as you have everything set up and ready for action. Here are the three critical steps to help you set your business up:

Create your Amazon Seller account

To start, you have to set up an account on Amazon that lets you sell products. You can do this by going to the Amazon Services page and clicking on the ‘ Start Selling’ button. From here, it’s a case of going through the different menus and filling in all the information. For a more detailed guide, you can check out the video here:

Get your supply chain sorted

Obviously, you have to think about how you will get your products to the customer. Ideally, you have a warehouse or garage that stores all of the products ready to be sent out. But how do you get the products to your premises? Basically, you need to find a shipping partner that can forward the products from their initial location to you. Generally, your best Amazon freight forwarder will have access to countries that provide cheap goods. Therefore, you can buy them for a low price, get them shipped to you, and sell for a profit. It’s business 101, and this is how most people make a profit as an Amazon seller.

Choose your products wisely

You can sell just about anything on Amazon, but be smart with your choices. If you sell a product that loads of other people/businesses are selling, it will be hard to gain a profit. Customers will choose whichever listing has the best reviews, the lowest price, and the quickest delivery! Instead, try to pick products that are quite rare on Amazon. This will be hard, but it’s not impossible. Food and clothing items are two great product categories to look into. It’s much easier to find products that are unique to Amazon in these domains. It doesn’t have to be 100% unique; you just need to pick things that aren’t too common.

These three steps will set you up with a plan to sell products on Amazon. The benefits of choosing this platform over, say, eBay is that it offers more profit potential. Amazon charges relatively low fees but provides a massive audience to tap into. You also don’t have to worry about things like building trust with customers or marketing your brand. The fact you sell on Amazon will make people trust you right away.

How To Start Your Own Online Business

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article |Start Your Online Business|How To Start Your Own Online BusinessStarting your own online business does come with a lot of benefits. It allows you to make money remotely while setting the time that you work by yourself. You can also choose to face that particular niche that you are interested in, and it is cheap, so you do not need to have a very high startup cost.

While it may appear like a rave or following what’s a trend already. It can be both easy and challenging to start your own online business. You just have to make sure that you do the right things and take the right steps. That’s the way for you to be successful at it. So, how do you do this? What are the steps that you will take? This article contains tips from australian assignment help on how to start your own online business.

1. Find a business that can meet people’s needs

The most typical mistake that people make when they are starting an online business is to decide on the product first before they start looking for a market to sell to. But this is counterproductive.
For you to have a high possibility of success, you need to get a market first. That’s where you start. What you need to do is look for people in search of a solution to a particular problem but are not getting much success from it.

These are the kinds of research that you do first. And it is very easy to carry out this research on the internet.
You can find these people through different means. One of those is online forums. It is now becoming a usual practice for other people to go to online forums to ask questions disturbing them.

You can also use keyword research to find those things that people search for very frequently. However, you must be careful not to get into already stiff competition with other people.

Look out for your business’ potential competitors, go through their website. You can learn something from their site as well. This will include things like how they fill their demand. Afterward, you can use your knowledge to create the ideal product for the market needs that you’re trying to accomplish.

2. Write a marketable sales copy

There are a number of proven formulas for sales copy that allows your visitors to go through the process from when they first arrived to when they make that first purchase. A proven method that you can use is one from authors at research paper writing service and here are some tips for it:

  • Include a compelling headline that will arouse their interest.
  • Talk about the problem that you or your product are going to solve.
  • Show that you are credible enough and able to solve this problem.
  • Once you get people to buy and use your products, include testimonials for them.
  • Explain the uses of the product and how the user will benefit from it.
  • Make an offer.
  • Include a reliable guarantee.
  • Create a sense of urgency
  • Ask them to make a purchase.

Your sales copy has to focus on showing them the unique way your service or product solves their problems or helps them live a better life. The real question to answer is the “what do I gain from it” question.

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article |Start Your Online Business|How To Start Your Own Online Business3. Design your website

Once you have completed the most critical steps in determining your market and the product that solves their major problem(s), you have completed the hard part of starting your own online business. The next step is for you to create or design a website.

The thing with your website is that you have to make your web design as simple as possible. You also do not have all the time in the world to catch people’s attention. You only have about five seconds or even less. Some few tips are:

  • Use a white background with a plain font or two.
  • Make sure that your navigation is very simple and clear and is available on all pages.
  • Make use of video, audio, or other graphics that might help you strengthen your message or boost your content marketing.
  • Include an offer for website visitors to opt-in so that you will be able to get their email addresses.
  • Make sure that the buying process is as simple as ever and straightforward too. Potential customers should not get over the clicks during the checkout process.
  • Make sure that your website is user-friendly.

4. Drive potential customers to your website with search engine

One of the easiest ways to bring traffic to your new website is through pay per click advertising. There are some advantages that it has in driving traffic to your site.

Firstly, pay per click ads come up immediately on search pages, and secondly, you can test different keywords, headlines, selling approaches, and prices with PPC ads. It does not just bring you immediate traffic; you also use this advertising medium to find the keywords that can give you the best chances of conversion. Then you use them throughout the different content and webpages of your website. This will also help to increase your organic search engine ranking.

5. Establish a reputation for yourself as an expert

The internet is used to seek information. That’s what people do with it. So, give them that information for free and watch how you will get increased traffic and a better ranking on the search engines. What you need to do is to add your website’s link with every little information.

Give away your expert content for free. Create videos and articles and other forms of content that is useful to people. Then distribute this content through social media sites and online article directories. Also, include links to “send to a friend” on these critical content from your website. This will help you draw more traffic.

Make yourself into an active expert on social networking sites and other industry platforms where you can reach out to your target market. This will open you to new readers, and all the sites that make a post on your content or posts directly will add links to your website. Getting these links from the relevant websites is very important for search engines, and it will increase your ranking afterward.

6. Convert visitors to buyers by leveraging email marketing

By building an opt-in list, you are building an asset that is valuable to your online business. For every subscriber on that list, you already have their permission to send emails to them. This implies that:

  • You are sending something that they asked of you to them.
  • You are creating a relationship of a lifetime with them.
  • You can measure the response 100 percent.
  • You can enjoy a highly targeted marketing that is more effective and cheaper than radio, TV, or print.

Every of your website visitors that opt-in for your emails is a lead. And one of the most effective tools to follow them up is email marketing.

Conclusion

The internet world is always changing with trends coming and going. But the basic principles for starting and growing a successful business online have not changed and will not change anytime soon. So, if you are looking to start your own online business, these are the sequences that you should stick to. You can also carry out a quick review and check for steps that you might be neglecting or aren’t doing well.


About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Tiffany HarperTiffany Harper is a training guru who has been working in the corporate sector for over a decade now. She is a management graduate and loves to share her experience through blogs and articles. For her love of writing, she also provides freelance help to the cheap assignment help in Adelaide as a paper writing services review writer while working with top essay writing service.

Comparing 10 Shopify Alternatives: What Are Their Main Strengths and Weaknesses?

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article |Shopify Alternatives|Comparing 10 Shopify Alternatives: What Are Their Main Strengths and Weaknesses?Shopify is the most popular e-commerce platform used for setting up and selling products through online stores. The Shopify Point-of-Sale (POS) software is also used for in-person sales. Shopify has been around for ten years and has been very successful.

There are many benefits to using Shopify, including ease of use, flexible designs, and solid support staff. However, there are also some issues, like increased transaction fees and higher charges for increased functionality.

Shopify is not the only e-commerce platform available. These ten alternatives are worth a look that might be more suitable for your online shop needs.

1. Volusion

Volusion is a cloud-based, e-commerce platform currently supporting over 200,000 small businesses and sole proprietors. Volusion charges no transaction fees and has a simplified, one-page checkout interface. Check out Sharp Commerce for additional details.

Strengths of Volusion include ease of use, extensive template library, no extra transaction fees, free themes, a decent mobile app, and numerous payment processors. Volusion has some drawbacks, though, such as limited features, monthly bandwidth limits, and the need for users to possess coding skills.

NathanIves.com Designing Your Digital Products Platform Online Training Program


2. Big Commerce

BigCommerce has been powering online stores for over eleven years and is very popular. It is flexible and easy-to-use, drag-and-drop-editor provides a user-friendly experience. BigCommerce can track inventory across Amazon, eBay, Facebook, and Pinterest so you never double-sell an item.

BigCommerce’s strengths include compatibility with most business models, outstanding theme designs, numerous features, no additional transaction fees, and a decent mobile app.

But, as with all of the e-commerce platforms, BigCommerce has its weaknesses as well. There are only seven free themes, and it can be a little slow at times. Also, if you exceed your limit of sales, BigCommerce will automatically upgrade your plan to a higher tier, resulting in a substantially higher monthly cost.

3. WooCommerce

WooCommerce is ideal for use with WordPress sites. It is free, open-source, and well thought of by users. There are advanced functions that can be purchased, but the basic platform can hold its own with the other, more-expensive tools.

Advantages to WooCommerce include no additional transaction fees, availability of free plans, and it’s easy to set up and use. It is great to use for all types of physical or digital sales.

WooCommerce has some drawbacks as well. It has no hosting feature, tends to be slow, and may require technical skills.

4. LemonStand

Another great and easily customizable ecommerce platform is LemonStand. It is particularly fitting for medium or large businesses as it offers customizable monthly subscriptions based on the number of orders.

The strengths of LemonStand are no additional transaction fees and that it can accept recurring orders from customers. The biggest weakness is that coding skills, or a web developer, are required. It is also somewhat limited in available templates and third-party apps.

5. 3dcart

3dcart is hosted in the cloud and offers features such as coupons, subscriptions, and Facebook sync. The cost is variable, depending on which features are required.

The positive aspects of 3dcart are support for multiple payment modes, fast load time and store speed, no additional transaction fee, and a multitude of features. But, for updated themes or strong service and support, 3dcart is not the best choice.

6. BigCartel

BigCartel is a good fit for small businesses or soles proprietors. Although the features are limited, it is reasonably priced and offers unlimited bandwidth and inventory tracking.

Other advantages of BigCartel are no extra transaction fee, it works well with PayPay, it’s easy to use and, if you sell five products or fewer, it is free.

Due to its limitations, BigCartel is not a useful tool for large companies. It also does not provide support or an inventory search feature.

7. Magento

Magento is a free, open-source e-commerce platform that is well-suited for medium to large-sized businesses or a smaller business with substantial growth potential. Although it does require coding skills or a staff web developer, Magento offers a vast number of features, flexibility, and adaptability.

Other positives about Magento include no monthly service charges, inventory management, multiple payment mode support, and advanced functionality. The only negative other than the need for a coder is that it does not provide hosting.

8. Wix

Wix is one of the premier, free ecommerce website builders that can also include a simple online store. Although limited in functionality and features, this tool is perfect for a beginner with minimal web development skills. Once the website is up and running, it is possible to migrate over to a more robust e-commerce platform, such as BigCommerce or Magento. Or, switch to Wix Editor and take advantage of the advanced features.

The biggest strength of Wix is that anyone can use it to create a nice website and a functional store. It also has over one hundred templates, works with many payment modes, and the price is right. Its weaknesses include limited bandwidth, traffic options, and apps.

9. Squarespace

Squarespace is another website builder that does not require much technical ability and offers an e-commerce option. Squarespace can compete with the higher-priced platforms in its advanced features and functionality. Other advantages of Squarespace include no additional transaction fees and a wide array of inspiring designs.

The disadvantages of Squarespace include limited compatibility, with only PayPal and Stripe included, and although Squarespace does not charge a transaction fee, both PayPal and Stripe do. Also, there is limited support and add-ons.

10. Prestashop

Prestashop is considered a free e-commerce platform. However, it is not attached to website development tools such as Wix and Squarespace so there will be costs for a domain and web hosting. Prestashop offers limited themes and templates but it will do fine for a start-up shop with limited funds.

The strengths of Prestashop include its cost (free), no additional transaction fees, and that it supports international sales in 25 languages and many currencies. The weaknesses are that it does require some technical skill and, as we said, it has limited themes, templates, and features.

Shopify is an excellent platform for e-commerce, but it just might not be the right fit for your business. If one of these other alternatives calls out to you, give it a try. Your e-commerce store will be up and running in no time.