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Everything You Need To Know If You Want To Sell Online

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article |Selling Online|Everything You Need To Know If You Want To Sell OnlineThanks to technological innovations, selling online has become easier than ever. And because it’s scalable, it’s precisely the type of business that entrepreneurs need to get themselves into. Instead of trading your time for money, you can just increase the number of units you shift over time, generating massive returns.

If you’re currently selling on Shopify or any of the other platforms, this post can help you. Remember, flogging goods is about more than setting up a website. It’s also about putting the systems in place that will allow sales to happen.

Here’s what to do.

Choose Where You’ll Sell

The first thing you’ll need to do is choose where you want to sell. There are lots of platforms out there, each with advantages and disadvantages.

Remember, if you choose one of the larger e-commerce vendors to host your goods, you’ll have to pay them a commission every time you make a sale, so your margins will always remain depressed.

If you go down the hosted route and sell independently, you’ll get bigger margins, but you’ll also have to do more marketing. Thus, it all comes down to where you think your competencies lie.

Choose How People Will Pay

Payment systems are the most complicated aspect of setting up an ecommerce business. Just displaying goods and writing descriptions is easy. But connecting your site to POS and banking is much more challenging.

Fortunately, most platforms now provide tools that do this automatically for you. For instance, the Shopify FFL checkout allows you to sell restricted goods safely. Other services use their own methods.

Where possible, you want to offer a variety of payment methods. Try to include PayPal if you can, as people who haven’t been to your site before are much more likely to trust this method.

Start Marketing Your Online Store

The next step is to start marketing your online store.

This is more challenging than you might expect. You can have a great ecommerce platform. But if you’re failing to reach out to the community, you won’t get anywhere.

Social media is perhaps the best place to start drumming up business. It’s relatively inexpensive and a great place to begin getting people interested in your services.

Work Out How You’re Going To Do Shipping

Shipping is one of the most challenging aspects of e-commerce. Finding a system that allows you to deliver the right goods to the right customers on time is a notoriously challenging process.

The best option here is to simply outsource the task to a fulfillment provider. These services store and then distribute your goods on your behalf when customers order them.

Please note that these solutions aren’t just “cutting into your margins.” For many new companies, they’re a necessity. You simply don’t have the systems to bring distribution in-house, unless you’re selling just a couple of dozen items a day (and even then, it can be a hassle).

In summary, selling online has never been easier, but it requires a degree of patience and strategy.

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.