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Turn Your WordPress into a Shop

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article |Wordpress Shop|Turn Your WordPress into a ShopWordPress is a fantastic platform that can be used to write and share information on almost anything. The beauty of this little platform is what can start off as something such as a humble blog about soaps could then turn into a full-blown business overtime – bringing in impressive amounts of views and comments and creating a fanbase larger than you ever would have dreamed of. So, what happens if you want to start selling products or services?

The likelihood is you will not want to move domain, and linking different domains together to get different benefits can become confusing.

So, with that in mind, this piece will show you how you can turn your WordPress into a shop!

“Easy, accessible and free to start”

Why Use WordPress?

WordPress is one of the easiest and most accessible content management systems available and is often used to create websites or blogs. Not only is it extremely user friendly, but it is easily customizable to create a website you love and can come with plenty of add-ons to give your users the experience you want. WordPress also offers a good level of security and is easy to manage and maintain. Many businesses start off with using WordPress as it is free to use and offers a decent setup that interacts with search engine optimization (SEO).

“Customize your WordPress so it feels like you and your brand”

Getting Advanced

For those who have moved past the basic setup, themes, and plugins, there are options for you to upgrade, which offers you more features, more advanced plugins, styles and designs, and more options for you to customize your website.

Upgrading can give you significant control over what your website looks like, how your consumers can interact with it and will give you the tools for precise customization.

Don’t forget, you will need to ensure your WordPress site is secure and you have the best WordPress security features activated. Hackers and cybercriminals are always looking for weaknesses in websites, including eCommerce sites and poor WordPress security can lead to your data and that of your customers being accessed and used by criminals in a variety of different ways. So before you make the decision to move past the free WordPress setup, make sure you know how best to secure your site.

“Sell from anywhere; you are not tied to a warehouse!”

Want to Sell?

Many people use WordPress as an ‘access to information’ website. More common interfaces for sales include systems such as Shopify, which are designed for you to sell your goods from the get-go. That being said, many people might not know what direction their website will begin to go in, and then further down the line might want the option to begin to sell without any hassle. That being said, if you are new to selling, do not have enough space, or simply want to test the waters, why not consider WordPress dropshipping?

Why Use Drop-Shipping?

Whether you are a first-time seller or your online store is very much established, drop-shipping is one of the most useful tools when it comes to running an online store. For those who have no space for inventory, or even the costs upfront to produce products, drop-shipping allows a wonderful amount of freedom in not only how much you can sell, but where you can sell from too. A simple plugin can turn your WordPress website into a fully functioning, automated shop for a low-cost, low-hassle option!

How to Successfully Make the Switch from Brick and Mortar to E-commerce

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article | How to Successfully Make the Switch from Brick and Mortar to E-commerceThere are many advantages to either adding an ecommerce store to your business to compliment your brick and mortar store or making the switch completely, closing the brick and mortar outlet to focus purely on online sales.

High streets are struggling more than ever thanks to a very challenging 2020, and many shops are looking at alternative ways to sell to their customers. Ecommerce gives you options. When you sell online, you can sell 24/7, without actually needing to be online all of the time. You can even continue to trade during lockdowns and forced closures. Online, it can be easier. It’s often easier to encourage people to click on a link than it is to walk into a store, it’s also cheaper, both for you and your customers. Online also has the massive advantage of taking you out of your local area. Even very small home-based businesses can use the internet to sell to a much larger area, instead of relying on local footfall and loyalty.

Selling online can be cheaper, easier, and a fantastic way to expand your business. But, making the transition isn’t easy. If you’ve never sold online before, or have only ever done so in a very small way, there can be a steep learning curve. Here are some tips to help you.

Prioritise User Experience

In a brick and mortar store, user experience is everything. With every decision you make, you’ll ask yourself how it affects your customers, and if it enhances their shopping experience. The same should be true online.

In store, you might carefully position shelves, take your time to find the optimal heating and lighting settings, and even consider the volume of your in-store music. Online, you need to think about how easy your website is to use, how accessible it is, how easy it is to find products, to add to basket and to check out, and how customers will get in touch if they need to. You’ll even need to consider how easy your font is to read, and whether the colours that you use are pleasant to look at.

Don’t Neglect Customer Service

New ecommerce sellers often make the mistake of skipping customer service. But, it’s at least as important as it is in the real world. Make the effort to engage with your audience on social media, reply to emails and messages, and send personalized notes with packages, or emails on dispatch. For a smaller business, relationships are crucial to success, whether on or offline.

Get Visual

One advantage that real-world shopping has always had over online is that you can see and feel the products. You can check for quality and better judge how much you like something.

But, thanks to the development in online visuals, this is changing. Great photos, 3D visualizations, and explainer videos mean that you can offer your customers a much clearer idea of what they are buying. Using a 3d visualization and rendering service from Cadesign form means that you can show consumers exactly what they are buying. Cadesign form can also offer videos explaining even the most complicated products, which are ready to use on your ecommerce store directly, but also on social media, and in your email campaigns for the best effects.

Filming live videos, and Q&A sessions on social media can also help your customers to learn more about your products and business. Excellent visuals give you the best chance to advertise, educate, and build relationships, and shouldn’t be overlooked.

Start Email Marketing Straight Away

Email marketing gives you a great way to form personal connections and keep in touch with your audience. Emails have a much higher conversion rate than social media posts, and give you an easy way to offer a range of content.

But, many businesses neglect email marketing entirely. Perhaps because it takes more effort to build an email list than it does a social media following. It’s worth it, however, and should be part of your marketing strategy from the start.

Get to Grips with Analytics

In store, you can see what is working. You look at sales to monitor conversions, and you can feel how busy your shop is. Online, initial impressions are harder to make, but if you study your analytics you won’t just get a conversion figure. You’ll know how old your customers are, what gender, how long they spend on your site, where they come from, and what kind of content they engage with. Analytics give you a great chance to build a very clear customer persona, which can be a big boost to your marketing campaigns.

With an incredible online store offering great visuals and an easy use interface, as long as you optimise digital marketing strategies and continue to build relationships with your customers, just as you would in the real world, your switch to ecommerce should be a complete success. But, it may take time. Don’t be disheartened if you make mistakes, or it takes you a while to find your audience online. Keep going, learn along the way, and take some risks, monitoring analytics to see what’s working, and you will never look back.

How Do I Start Your Own Business?

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article |Start your own business|How Do I Start Your Own Business?It requires a significant amount of your time and concentration to start a new business. To start this adventure, you need to know that you will eat and work with bread until you have a solid business and you can get it on track. There are various opinions about how to start a business. Read this article to find some basic ideas and guidelines for taking the initiative.

Part 1 Have an Idea

1.Come Up With an Idea

Before you can take bold action, you need an idea to start a business. A new business consumes a lot of time and money, so it should be an activity you are passionate about.

2. Consider Whether That is Possible

Before tackling the initiative head-on, think about the validity of your idea. Do people really pay for what you sell? Does your job generate enough profit for all the effort and time you spend on your business?

3. Make Sure your Idea is Unique

In any case, it should be as original as possible. This helps eliminate competition or fight significantly and improve business success. Usually, adding a little detail to an existing product (such as changing the colour of something) is not enough to start a business, so try more than you think you need.

Part 2 Create a Business Plan

1.Determine the Cost of the Operation

You need a solid business plan to present to potential investors. The best place to get started is to determine the base cost of the initiative. This gives you an overview of a particular model and helps you determine how much you need to manufacture a product or provide the service you are thinking of. This includes manufacturing costs, shipping charges, taxes, employee salaries, workplace rent, and more. Knowing the cost of a business is essential in determining whether a business is profitable. In fact, to stay active in the field, you need to earn more than you spend.

2. Determine your Potential Market

How many people actually use what you offer? Are they willing to pay to buy your product or use your service? If any of these numbers are insignificant compared to the cost of running your business, you need to revisit or change your plan.

3. Identify Obstacles

You need to plan ahead for issues that can interfere with your business.

4. Evaluate the Competition

If its market share or product offering is too strong and stable, it will be more difficult to enter the market. No one wants to buy a new version of an existing, proven product or service for an equal or better price.

You should also be aware of industry-related regulations and laws, especially when it comes to taxes and permits. Please check with your local authorities and read the laws in force.

Don’t incur exorbitant costs, such as the equipment being too expensive to monetize your business. For example, cars didn’t become popular until Ford found a way to make cars economical by building more efficient equipment.

Part 3 Creating a Marketing Plan

1. Make a Budget

Once you’ve roughly calculated the amount, you’ll need, create a promotional budget that shows how much you can spend on your ads.

2. Think of an Idea That Fits your Budget

Understand how much money is available, investigate the cost of different types of promotions, and think about the right ideas for these methods and how effective they are for the price range. For example, if your ad spends cap is reasonable, you can consider running your ad. If your uptime is close to zero, you need to consider how to use social media effectively. This is very convenient as it requires very little investment.

3. Plan the Time and Place of Your Ads

Once you know the type of marketing that suits you, think about the most effective places to promote yourself and the best time, day, month, or year to reach your target market. You need to ensure that you are using a marketing strategy that is tailored to the target audience you are thinking about your product or service. For example, using social media to promote a cruise line targeting people over the age of 55 is virtually pointless. Similarly, when promoting a new club, advertisements printed in newspapers are usually not the best way to inform yourself. It’s barren to promote a business that is only available in Rome to the locals in Venice, so consider the location itself. If your service is seasonal, you should ask yourself when it’s best to market yourself. Also, TV commercials need to be timed at the right time, as seen by the demographics you are thinking of at the time of the broadcast.

Part 4 Get Finance

1. Choose The Source of Finance

You have to arrange for finance at this stage. You can either take a loan from a commercial bank, or you can approach local investors or combination of both. You can also take finance from venture capitalist or angel investor.. Angel investors are high-value individuals, and venture capitalists are companies. The two individuals fund high-risk economic initiatives in exchange for participation (partnerships), often bringing experience, management expertise, and contact information. Usually, they work over a network or association.

2. Provide a Report

Be sure to provide investors with important investment, strategy, and accounting information on a regular basis (usually twice a year), regardless of the source of funding. We recommend that you hold a board meeting that everyone can attend directly. Otherwise, schedule a conference call.

Part 5 Building Infrastructure

1. Find an Office

You need space to run your business. If you don’t have a big need and you don’t have employees, you can design a home office. If not, you will need an actual workshop or warehouse. Instead of signing a lease in an upscale neighbourhood, prefer renting in a cheaper area or use a business incubator. In some places, universities and other organizations offer low-rent spaces designed for new business ventures, especially when accompanied by innovative scientific ideas. Make sure your space complies with relevant regulations and laws within your intended use and budget.

2. Buy Equipment

Buy all the equipments you need to get to work including power tools, computers, telephones, or crafts. This gives you a big discount, so try buying from a store that wholesales hardware for your business. If you run out of money, a rental solution or similar contract can help you start your business and avoid a deadlock.

3. For Recording Income and Expenses, Develop a System

You will notice that you are paying taxes. To do this smoothly, you need a good system to keep your business running smoothly and efficiently. Invest in binders, labels and digital ledger software to keep things organized and finds everything you need.

Part 6 Create a Customer Base

1. Use Marketing and Public Relations

You need to have a way to reach potential customers in order to get them to trust your business. This is especially important when you start before establishing a stable and regular customer base.

At the very least, advertise in a way that draws little customer attention. This is probably more than just advertising and intriguing. Be creative and harness the right needs of your customers who want to convince their business.

2. Provide a Sample Product or Service Free of Cost

That way, some people will like to comment on your offer. Word-of-mouth (like good public relations) is the best way to attract new customers. If you receive bad reviews or negative feedback, please be proactive in resolving the issue. People will be far less critical of your mistakes if you are willing to correct them.

3. Develop Excellent Customer Service Skills

You will be good at interacting with people. Practice reading what others say between the lines.

4. Open the Website

The world has changed online. Businesses that intend to survive for the next 10 years must definitely have a site. People will use it to contact you, find out where you are, find your attention time, ask you questions, offer you suggestions, and maybe buy your product or service. By making web pages and services available online, you can extend your network across regions and even reach the world.

Part 7 Receive Payment

Please make sure to get paid the unpaid amount. If someone pays you late, talk to them. By ignoring these issues in the hope that they will resolve themselves naturally, you will find yourself working for free, and your business will decline. Accepting credit and debit cards makes your business much easier to run, record updates and accounting management.

Organize your system on the web. You need to ensure that you have the right online payment system in place if you plan to sell your product online. Services like PayPal make things incredibly easy. Do some research to find the right way for you? In any case, you need to make sure that whatever your system is safe. You also need to prevent malicious individuals from hacking or stealing your information or your customers’ information.


About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Nishil PrasadNishil is a passionate writer, hungry for new innovation. New trends fill him with tons of enthusiasm to uncover hidden topics. Speakaudible covers a wide range of subjects related to audiobooks. You can Listen and start to transform your morning with these audiobooks at Speakaudible.

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!