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The Ten Golden Rules of a Successful eCommerce Store

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |eCommerce Store|The Ten Golden Rules of a Successful eCommerce StoreThese days, starting up your own eCommerce store is as simple as clicking a couple of buttons. With the right services, you could essentially build a working website in as little as a few hours, complete with all of your custom-made products and a fantastic website theme. Unfortunately, the ease of making an eCommerce website has created a swarm of subpar stores that are clogging the market, creating an endless sea of competition.

In that sea, there aren’t many eCommerce stores that can actually survive. Unfortunately, the small investment needed to actually create a store means that people aren’t afraid to try and fail over and over again until they hit the jackpot with a lucky idea. So to help you establish a successful eCommerce store without the trial and error, we’ve put together what we believe are the 10 golden rules of a successful eCommerce store. These tips will help you stand out, build your brand and ultimately stand out in a huge sea of competition.

1. Have your own website and email domain

Do not, under any circumstances, use some kind of subdomain for your business such as www.webhost.com/yourbusiness. This is incredibly unprofessional and will scare off all of your potential customers. Furthermore, don’t use an email service like Gmail or Yahoo. Make sure you have your own email domain as well. Both of these tips will make you seem a lot more professional and will greatly improve your chances of success as an eCommerce store.

2. Market on multiple channels and platforms

Make sure you’re not sticking to a single channel or platform when it comes to growing your business and advertising your brand. You should be on many different channels, social media platforms and advertising services to help you spread out and reach a wider audience. To give you a hand, here are some eCommerce marketing tips that you should absolutely follow. As long as you remember to advertise on multiple platforms, you’ll have an incredibly easy time getting your name out there.

3. Hire a web developer

We know that templates can look really pretty and will have loads of customization options. Unfortunately, a template is a template and most shoppers will realize that you’re using some kind of default theme that took almost no effort to make. This doesn’t reflect well on your brand as a whole, hence why it’s vital that you hire a web developer to help you make a good website for your brand. This can be costly, but it’s also a fantastic investment in your brand.

4. Support different payment methods

If your website doesn’t support PayPal then you’re going to lose a lot of business. If you don’t accept cryptocurrency then that’s another chunk of customers gone. Accepting cards should be the absolute minimum nowadays. Make sure you look at the most popular eCommerce payment methods and ensure that you support them on your website.

5. Specialize before you diversify

One of the problems that a lot of amateur eCommerce stores face is over-diversification. They try to add too many products to their website because they’re using a simple dropshipping plug-in, and they try to appeal to too many different people at once. The goal is to minimize the number of products you offer and specialize your brand before you try to spread out and diversify.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |eCommerce Store|The Ten Golden Rules of a Successful eCommerce Store6. Create genuinely helpful content

A lot of eCommerce sites tend to hire general copywriters and will request some incredibly simple articles that have very little relevance to their brand. This is usually a fairly poor way of approaching eCommerce marketing because the content doesn’t provide value to your users. Instead, what you want to aim for is evergreen content that will continue to provide your customers with something helpful to read. This could be a knowledge base of information for your products or even some explanations on how to use the items you’re selling.

7. Make your services work on mobile

Luckily, most modern web hosts and design services will include a mobile-friendly version of your site, meaning you don’t have to do much to support mobile users. However, what you can do to help is optimize images for faster loading, creating larger buttons and links for mobile users to press and potentially having a mobile app for your brand or store. This will open up your business to a huge audience of mobile-only users.

8. Communicate with your audience

It’s absolutely vital that you’re always communicating with your audience. Whether it’s on social media, on your website or even in reviews on a Google Business listing, you should always be happy to speak with your audience, receive their feedback and also discuss what your audience enjoys about your product. This is all valuable information that can be used to grow your project into a successful eCommerce store.

9. Don’t underestimate the power of influencers

Influencer marketing is starting to become one of the best ways for a small brand to spread its wings. It involves contacting influential people on social media platforms and working together with them to promote your brand to their viewers. Some influencers have a couple of thousand followers, while others will have over a million. It’s your job to find out which influencer could best represent or showcase your brand.

10. Maintain a blog on your website

Blogs are fantastic for improving your brand’s search engine optimization and it can also be a place to provide your customers with useful content and informative articles. It’s a great way to improve your brand’s trustworthiness and will provide a lot of value to your customers.

We hope that these ten golden rules have given you a different perspective on how you should run an eCommerce store. We know that creating a website to sell goods is incredibly easy nowadays, which means that you’re undoubtedly going to get a lot of competition. However, setting yourself apart from these no-effort stores is simply as long as you’re willing to invest some time into it.

10 Things to Consider When Hiring a Website Developer

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article, 10 Things to Consider When Hiring a Website Developer

Forming a strong team of professionals who are on the same page with you is vital and at times very challenging. But let’s face it, the success of your business in much depends on the people who are helping you sail your projects towards the rewarding revenues.

When it comes to finding your perfect developer, there are dozens of things to take into account. For starters, the number of possible existing languages of programming can be compared to that of spoken ones! Not to mention the plethora of platforms on which websites and apps can be built on.

To help you get a better understanding of which things to pay attention to most during your hunt for the ideal developer, here’s a comprehensive list of top tips that should help you in finding the perfect match.

1. Project-based or ongoing?

One of the first questions you should ask yourself prior to making any search attempts is whether you’ll need a developer to join your team “for the long run” or do you need someone who’s more or less a “one-time deal”?

Depending on your answer, you’ll either be narrowing it down to a talented person for a full-time position or start looking for a skilled contractor who’d assist you in your project and with whom you’d part ways after the work is complete.

In case you’re leaning towards the first option, undoubtedly, you should attempt to meet the candidate in person simply to get to know them better. After all, you’ll most probably be communicating with him/her frequently, so make sure that you and your interviewee “click”.

If your needs comply with the second option more, most likely you’ll be hiring a freelancer for the job. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you’ll be working together for a mere couple of weeks. In this scenario, it all goes down to the scopes and volumes which will need to be tackled. And even your project-based contract with a freelancer can last for years, so choose your candidate wisely!

2. Existing project vs Starting from scratch

Based on your necessities, it is important to understand that there’s a huge difference between advancing what you currently have and coping with website construction right from step one. Building from the ground up implies a different (usually larger) scope as new projects require thorough planning alongside quality implementation. On the other hand, dealing with already existing material stipulates additional time for audits or conducting optimization research, just to name a few.

Again, having a clear vision of what your needs are and outlining it in your job description will help you while seeking the right person for the job. The candidate’s previous work experience matters as it’ll safeguard you and maybe at times help you benefit from earlier practices, for example, you may obtain some ready-made solutions.

In any case, giving your prospective hire a test assignment to see “the magic” in action is considered a wise approach!

3. Area of expertise

In some cases, you’ll need to pay extra attention to the field that this or that developer specializes in. Are you sure that the candidate you’re considering is a developer and not a web designer? Is the candidate a front-end or back-end specialist? Or maybe full-stack? The list of alternatives can be lengthy.

Know what platform your website has been built on or what you plan to build it on. This way you’ll quickly weed out more than half of the potential candidates. Asking to view your potential employee’s portfolio can surely do you good as well.

Just to make the picture more transparent, here’s a common example. For instance, you’re an owner of a midsize online retail business and have your eCommerce website built on one of the most popular platforms, Magento. The super flexible platform offers as much customization for your site as you can possibly imagine, meaning that you have the opportunity to transform your most futuristic ideas into reality. To run this store without any glitches from the technical side and to boost your online customer experience whilst staying in step with the trends, you’ll find no better solution than to hire dedicated Magento developers for the job. Magento is without the slightest doubt a tricky thing to work with from the point of view of a developer, thus, rich earlier work experience with the platform and in-depth knowledge of the language, libraries, and systems should be key when choosing the right Magento expert to help grow your online business.

4. Is your candidate a fast learner?

Product knowledge, by all means, signifies value you can gain, so ideally your future employee should understand your needs. It’s among the “musts” to have the person working for you to be willing to find out more about your business, other players on the market, and the overall future direction of the field. Why? This can safeguard you from investing in some longstanding decision regarding your online presence which can soon become outdated.

Whether we like it or not, change is a constant process that always progresses. Thus it’s important to be able to adapt. Your developer will truly be great provided that he/she is constantly improving his/her knowledge and expanding the skill set. Each time something new appears in the world of coding, your IT specialist should keep pace. If that’s not true, bad news for you. Therefore, the ability to learn new things quickly is a major point to take notice of.

5. Communication, communication, communication

It may come to a surprise but not all developers can boast strong communicative skills. Moreover, their language is often filled with dozens of programming terms which can be hard to understand. Do your best to determine if your communication with the candidate is (or will be) effective since from the long-term perspective you and your team will most likely need to touch base with the developer often in regard to the project. And understanding each other with ease should be one of your priorities.

To be on the safe side, the golden rule is to avoid vagueness and be specific about your expectations, requirements, etc. Your first chat with the candidate may already give you the impression of whether you’ll hit off or not.

6. Detail-oriented and attentive

Seeing eye to eye with your developer is certainly a perk. And perceiving how your ideas become “live” within the deadlines is great. But are all even the smallest details taken into consideration after a task is claimed to be “done”?

The quality of the completed work can be measured in different ways, for instance, how well it passes the testing stage. It’s not a crime to make some minor mistakes, we’re all human beings; if something needs to be corrected it should be. Yet how many times the task spins in the testing circle can be an indicator worth noting, as constant do-overs won’t get you far, agree? Perhaps try to test the water on the subject when meeting your candidate and don’t hesitate to ask whether the person can define himself as attentive.

7. Time management

Talent and knowledge is one thing, managing and using your time wisely and effectively is another. The last thing you’d want to do is to take on someone who easily falls for distraction. Even if a real IT guru is sitting in front of you, have your guards up regarding time management matters as, bottom line, this person will be responsible for handling your requests.

To be consistent, inquire about the methods and ways your possible co-worker handles work time or which hours in the day has he/she found to be the most productive ones. This should make the matter’s curtain come down a bit.

8. Self-motivation and initiative

Being able to work in a team is a quality to cherish, staying motivated is another no less vital one. Don’t make the wrong conclusion that the candidate that’s right before you isn’t self-motivated if you don’t see some hyper enthusiasm straight away. It’s fine to be humble during interviews or as you’re making first communication steps with someone new.

Ask your potential employee what motivates them and how he/she overcomes obstacles when dealing with something unknown. This should surely help you get a better idea.

The same goes for being the kind of person who can take initiative. Having a general understanding is one thing, but showing interest and having the ability to give an opinion that’s backed up by facts and from which the whole team can benefit from is a trait you’d also want to try to detect before deciding to hire a developer or not. “No questions asked” guys aren’t always the right choice.

9. Geographics

To be fair, the digital world of the 21st century that we live in today has given us the unmatched privilege and ease of communicating with each other from practically any point on the planet. And when you come to think of it, does your developer’s location really matter?

This question is a point of common debate since many people prefer to back up the opinion that as long as the work gets done, who cares from which point on the map your developer is working from.

Yet for the sake of the convenience of your communication, it has recently become habitual to give preference to working with a developer who is in (or at least close to) your timezone rather than to the one who’s doing so remotely. The thing is that time difference can play a bad trick with you, and it appears that tasks get completed faster and better when thousands of kilometers don’t separate you from your developer. But again, things are not always the same.

10. Where to look for a developer

As mentioned earlier, if you’re in search of a freelancer, you may easily make use of one of the many platforms, created especially to connect you with developers. As such, Upwork, Gun.io, Freelancer.com, and Hubstaff Talent are a couple of examples of places to get you started.

Need someone to join you in-house? Consider opting for the popular and efficient professional network of LinkedIn which has won over the hearts of recruiters worldwide.

All in all, looking for the best possible fit usually takes time. It’s more than safe to say that you shouldn’t expect the candidate to check off every single point on your list of expectations straight away. But if you’ve found the perfect match for you, do your best to have this collaboration going for many years to come since, without a doubt, your developer can help you grow your business!

Need to Hire Developers? Here’s the Perfect Strategy

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Whether you’re looking for a developer for your website, your app, some desktop software, or a game you’re developing, you need to ensure you’re hiring someone who can really bring the goods. Sounds like obvious advice, I know. But it needs to be highlighted because hiring a developer can be trickier than you think.

Where exactly do you turn when you want to find a developer? Who can help you out during this process? What kind of developer should you be hiring first? We’re going to take a quick look at some key advice for those looking for code wizards to join their business.

Take your time – and hire the best

The best developers out there only want to work with the best developers out there. Something you should learn pretty quickly about this field: there’s a huge ego problem going around. Developers really want to stand out from the rest – unless they’re truly passionate about taking a project to as great a level as it can be. Many business owners have found that “B-level” developers tend to want to work with “C-level” developers – this means that, when it comes time to recruit more developers, those are the ones that will be recommended to you.

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If you want to ensure you’ve got the best on your team, then it’s recommended that you give each developer a trial period. You may want to go with ninety days, or three months. Bigger companies, like Google, go with 180 days. This way, you can find out what “level” a developer is. You want the best. But how can you tell how good a developer is?

Judging the developer

There are a few metrics you can use to judge the quality of a developer you’re trialing. If they’re delivering the work on time and with minimal fuss, then that’s certainly a good indication. But there is more to consider. A developer who does this is simply doing the job you asked them – the best developers not only work well with others, but they also contribute creatively to the project.

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The best way to judge this, of course, is to have developers on-board already who are working with them. They’ll be able to tell you how good their code is, whether they’re using the best practices available, and will be in a better position to inform you about the developer’s potential longevity at your company. If you don’t have another developer, then this guide may help you!

Make sure they know what you want

Your job advertisement has to be crystal clear. Don’t hire a developer who knows C# then surprise them later with a request to investigate some Java or some Objective C. And just mentioning the programming language you want them to use probably won’t be enough; you also need to detail precisely what kind of problems they’ll be expected to solve.

They should also be filled in on work hours and company culture. Make no mistake: a good developer won’t have a hard time finding an excellent job with great benefits, a friendly and fun company culture, and a fat paycheck. You need to be ready to offer them a very good opportunity indeed.