Take Your Business Online

A strong presence in the world of the Internet is a necessity for the businesses of today. As a business owner, you probably already know that. You’ve probably created your business a website, and all the social media handles to match. You’ve probably liked a few photos, ran a few competitions and uploaded a few videos. But there’s so much more your business can do online. In fact, there’s a world wide web of opportunities out there. Below are just some of the things you should consider when it comes to taking your business online.

As a business owner you want to make profit from the goods you sell, right? Well then, there’s no better place to start than with e-commerce. Setting up a stall in the Internet marketplace is an online option that all manner of business owners are taking to in this day and age. And it’s no wonder they are when you consider how easy it is. All you need to do is find a service that will cater to your e-commerce needs and help you create your own marketplace and you’re up and running. An example of such a service is Shopify. They can help when it comes to building your site, ensuring that is is mobile friendly and making it as easy to customise as possible. And once you’ve set up your marketplace it’s time to decide upon the most important aspect: what you are selling. When it comes to this you should most certainly have a snoop at your competition. To find your competition simply search for the keywords linked to your marketplace on a search engine and, voila! They’ll appear. Once you find them take a look at what they’re selling, how much they are selling and how much they are selling it all for. And you should also take notes on a host of other things on your competitor’s site too. This includes taking notes on the overall theme of the site in order to figure out how to make your store as user-friendly as possible. Scribbling down information on how they are linking back to their parent website. And jotting down anything that you think contributes to their USP (unique selling point). You need to come up with a USP of your own, but there’s nothing wrong with drawing inspiration from the USPs of others.

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Photo courtesy of Max Pixel

And if you haven’t dipped your business’s toe into the pool of blogging yet, then you should most certainly do so. Blogs have turned into big business in recent times. So big in fact that some businesses have taken to hiring somebody that is known as a webmaster in order to keep their blog active. Blogs allow consumers to access and interact with like minded people. They allow consumers to see the development of a business in real-time. They allow them to feel close to the business. If you want to induce a healthy and incredibly modern relationship with your customers, then starting a blog should be at the forefront of your plans.

So, if you want to increase your business’s ROI and it’s relationship with it’s customers, make sure to take heed of the advice above! The Internet offers a plethora of opportunities for a business to thrive upon it, you just have to be brave enough to embrace the digital age to take them.

The Digital Entrepreneur’s New Business Checklist

In today’s fierce business climate, new entrepreneurs are far more likely to target online audiences instead of offline ones. Running a company in the digital arena can reduce overheads while the potential for profit is far greater also.

Those possibilities should not fool you into thinking that the journey will be easy. Competition in the online arena is stronger than ever. If you aren’t prepared for the battles ahead, your business will inevitably follow the same path as the vast majority of failures.

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Perfect your strategy with these factors, and you should be just fine.

  • Invest in the quality of your team. From successful recruitment drives to promoting improved motivation, those steps to a productive staff are key. After all, you are essentially putting the fate of your entire operation in their hands. If they perform well, the business will too. Combine the perfect internal team with the help of remote-based freelancers, and you should be set to thrive. As they say, teamwork makes the dream work. Do not forget it.
  • Appreciate the importance of your website. As an online business, your domain is the most important asset of all. It shouldn’t simply promote products. It should additionally generate trust from the consumer. Hiring an ecommerce agency to get your platform in perfect health is advised. Unfortunately, if the selling systems are lacking, transactions won’t be completed. Without sales, the entire company is destined to crash and burn.
  • Be prepared for the worst at all times. All business operations will encounter low points. But prevention is the best form of protection and can reduce the damage greatly. This could range from keeping the working environments safe to factoring in potential returns. Gaining this sense of control won’t only limit the risks involved in business. It’ll also help you make education decisions when growing the company.
  • Understand the needs of your customers. First and foremost, finding your place in the market will allow you to target your primary audience with far greater effect. Consumers don’t only deserve smooth transactions, though. Many online businesses fail to focus on customer care, but yours mustn’t fall into this trap. Even if it means using a virtual assistant service, attending to the ongoing issues of the clients is critical. Otherwise, one bad episode could see them take their custom elsewhere. Conversely, positive experiences should bring long-term loyalty.
  • Keep an eye on spending. Spending money is a necessary part of running a business, but excessive overheads will pile on the pressure. Finding the best deals on operational costs like energy rates will inevitably increase your profits. As well as maximizing short-term profits, this can also buy more time for the venture. The vast majority of failures occur because they run out of money before reaching sustained profitability. So this could be a killer component.

Following the right blueprint won’t guarantee success. After all, you still need to produce great products while marketing your goods in a suitable fashion. Nonetheless, those strong foundations will increase your chances.

If nothing else, adopting great habits now will serve you well in the future too.



Smiles All Round? Tips For A User-Friendly Ecommerce Store

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Photo courtesy of Tech in Asia via flickr

Customer satisfaction is essential for any business, and these days consumer standards are more demanding than ever. If the experience your customers get from your website is even a little clunky or inconvenient, then you run a huge risk of alienating them and crippling your bottom line. A smooth user experience and flow of information is essential to ecommerce success these days. Here are some tips for making it as user-friendly as possible.

Don’t Leave it to the Machines!

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Real-time, human support is now one of the most sought-after features for any B2B and B2C website owner, and if it isn’t a given in your industry, I assure you it will be soon! Many online retailers are also starting to use a co-browsing function. This is where a customer service agent can redirect a user’s browser in order to help them reach a product or some information that they’re having trouble finding. Millennials, especially, are beginning to prefer live chat over any other form of customer support. I know that your staff may be pretty strained, but having someone on-call for the live chat is definitely a good investment to make. Live, human support always beats FAQs and waiting for an email.

Keep an Eye on the Checkout

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As you may have discovered, one of the biggest issues for any ecommerce business is cart abandonment. You manage to get the customer onto your site, they fill their cart with all the products they want, get to the checkout page, and then poof! they disappear without giving you a penny’s worth of revenue. There are various reasons for this, but one of the most common is a clumsily designed checkout. Look at your options, and wherever possible, give your customers some way of making their purchase without having to create an account. The time it takes them to create an account gives them more opportunities to second-guess the process, and many people simply can’t be bothered with it! If you’re targeting a fairly wide target market, or offering both B2B and B2C products on a single store, then it’s also important to keep a flexible range of consumer financing solutions. There are all kinds of ways you can make the checkout process more user-friendly, make sure you’re leveraging them!

Keep Navigation Simple and Easy

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We’re all pretty spoiled and highly strung these days, and that means there are all kinds of things which can annoy us about a website, and make us hostile to the brand that owns it! However, if there’s one pet hate that absolutely every web user has, it’s poor navigation. I’m sure you’ll agree that there are few things more irritating than a website that’s difficult to navigate. Everything needs to be intuitive and user-friendly, rather than cluttered and complex. Whenever you’re designing, put yourself in the user’s shoes, and make sure everything functions as smoothly and easily as you’d want it to. Yes, even if you have to delete half the features you’ve paid for!

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Take these tips on board, and you’re sure to put smiles on your user’s faces!

This Is How You Can Grow Your E-commerce Store

If you have an E-commerce store, chances are, you’d like to expand and grow. Everybody wants to make more money and get more conversions, right? Here are a few ideas that can help you to achieve the success you want:

Make It As Easy To Check Out As Possible

Make it as easy as you possibly can during the check out process. Just because somebody is checking out, doesn’t mean they won’t change their mind if it’s taking too long. Go through it yourself and make it as simplified as possible to stop people from abandoning their cart and going elsewhere. This could mean offering a guest check out rather than forcing people to sign up with you, for example. However, there are a few things you might need to change.

Show Complementary Products

Make sure you find a way to show complementary products on the page as a way of up-selling. Show the customer what others have bought, or what goes well with what they’ve bought. This can help you to achieve more sales. If you’re a clothing company, you could show complementary shoes with a particular dress, for example.

Offer Coupons And Discounts

Offer coupons and discounts for certain things. For example, signing up to your newsletter, or even birthday discounts to loyal customers. You could even offer discounts when somebody recommends a friend. Many stores are also offering point systems, so customers can earn themselves a free product after so many purchases. The following infographic can give you even more useful information!

Infographic Created By Red Stag Fulfillment