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7 Things You Need to Do Before Launching an Online Store

September 22, 2014 - 2 Comments

Launching an Online StoreGearing up for the big launch of your online store can be a bit overwhelming.

After all, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration. Is your site as good as it can be? Are your products interesting enough to capture attention? Is there a market for them?

These are things that you take care of in the early planning stages of your business – when it’s more of an “on paper” thing than a “real” thing. I’m going to assume you’ve got your bases covered on that stuff.

For now, I want to talk about the things you need to do right before you hit publish on that e-commerce site you’ve been working on day and night. Those things that, when done properly, can launch your business head and shoulders above the competition.

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How to Optimize Your About Page for Ecommerce Conversions

September 16, 2014 - 1 Comment

e-commerce-aboutYour “About” page is one of the most visited on your site. As such, it’s one of the most common entry points into your sales funnel. For the uninitiated, the sales funnel is a nickname for the entire process that takes a viewer from clicking an inbound link on your page to buying something. The minute a lead clicks on a link that leads to your website, they’ve entered the funnel, which is why your website’s whole design should contribute towards pulling them deeper in. So, as you might’ve imaged, it’s vitally important to put the effort into crafting a good one.

Used properly, it can even do a lot of the heavy lifting of converting leads into sales, and an effective one can go a long way towards making you look like a friendly, trustworthy business. Which is important, since people tend to buy from brands they’re familiar with, who they trust, and whose image they like. Makes sense, right?

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Are You Leveraging the Right Tools for Marketing Your E-Commerce Site?

September 12, 2014 - 2 Comments

marketing-ecommerceBefore we dive into this complex topic, there’s one thing I need to get out of the way:

No matter what type of marketing campaign you’re working on, I can’t overstate the importance of analytics. Top online marketers are able to achieve conversion rates over three times higher than their competition just by virtue of investing in analytics, testing, and optimizing.

Try to leave room for changes in the design of your campaigns. And, as data comes in, start thinking of ways to change them to accommodate your customers. That way, you can make immediate use of what you’re learning about what works and what doesn’t. Make a habit of conducting A/B testing for all of your marketing efforts. Let the data you receive determine which option you should go with over the long term.

That said, in this post, I’ll briefly run through several forms of marketing and touch on some fundamental ways to implement them. Some of this advice may seem simplistic, but you’d be surprised how far you’ll get just by making sure you’re doing these things. A lot of that has to do with the fact that many of your competitors are doing them!

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How to Use Big Data for Your E-Commerce Business

September 9, 2014 - Leave a comment

Big Data EcommerceWhat is “Big Data,” anyway?

It’s hard to define, and made even more difficult by the world’s inability to agree on what it is.

One generally-accepted standard was laid out by analyst Doug Laney in 2001, and has been in constant use ever since. It’s called “The 3 Vs,” short for volume, variety, and velocity. In other words, Big Data is “a large amount of stuff, being generated very quickly, and incorporating a wide variety of content.” However, some people disagree with this definition, claiming that’s an oversimplification or that other metrics need to be used. Still others claim that Big Data is just “anything too big to deal with in an Excel spreadsheet.”

But no matter how you personally choose to define it, the truth is that it’s a catch-all term for any data sets too large to process using conventional methods. It can sometimes take parallel software running on thousands of servers just to handle it.

Intimidating stuff.

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6 Ways to Better Use Coupons for Your Online Store

September 3, 2014 - 2 Comments

Coupons for Your Online StoreFirst of all, if you’re not offering coupon codes yet, you should be. It’ll definitely have an impact on your sales. The variety of online options for buying the same thing has trained customers to hunt for the best deals on everything. With twenty people selling a particular model of widget, it’s always wise to comparison-shop and your take their time to find the best deal on that particular item.

That’s why offering discounts can give you a distinct advantage in an indecisive customer’s mind.

In order for coupons to work to your maximum benefit, you have to know how to implement them. That’s why today, I’ll go over some ways to do just that.

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5 Ways to Make Your Product Pages More Responsive

August 19, 2014 - 2 Comments

We no longer live in a world where a 12 inch black-and-white TV screen is our only window into the world. Whereas one television screen per household was more than anyone would even dream of decades ago, these days, we live in a multi-display world.

It’s not unimaginable for homes to have 3 or 4 LCD television sets, a couple of laptops, a desktop PC, an iPod and iPad, and a smartphone for every member of the family. Everyone is constantly surrounded by screens of all shapes and sizes.

With so many display screens being used to access websites, it can be a sticky situation for a web developer when designing a site that’s responsive to each type of display. You want your web pages to look fabulous on every screen. But rather than just focusing on one type of display, it’s crucial to design your site so that it appears properly on all screen types and sizes, including mobile devices.

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What Online Store Model is Right for You? Pt 3: Dropship Goods

August 13, 2014 - 2 Comments

While a lot of people are excited about the prospect of making a decent living through selling items online, others may feel a little intimidated by the costs related to starting up and buying inventory – not to mention the potential hassle of dealing with orders and shipping out products.

These are legitimate concerns, yes, but there is a way to sell products online for a profit without exorbitant startup costs and massive amounts of inventory to invest in and store.

It’s called dropshipping.

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What Online Store Model is Right for You? Pt 2: Sell Wholesale Products

August 12, 2014 - 3 Comments

Thanks to the Internet, you can make money in ways you never could before in the e-commerce sector and even hit the big time if you’re lucky. Selling products through wholesaling is one of those ways.

This sales model isn’t just being used by big businesses anymore. Now just about anyone can harness the power of the net and develop their own online shop through which endless opportunities for profit awaits.

While there are other ways to sell online, in today’s post we’ll look at the world of wholesale products and whether or not it’s the right approach for you.

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What Online Store Model is Right for You? Pt 1: Create Your Own Products

August 11, 2014 - Leave a comment

When it comes to launching you new online store, coming up with an idea for a product is amongst the first but most important steps towards building a profitable online business.

You’ll need to decide how you’re going to get your hands on the products you intend to sell. There are a variety of options with regards to getting the products you’ll be selling, each with its own set of pros and cons. Should you make the product yourself? Should you have a manufacturer make it for you? Or should you buy wholesale or even dropship products?

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Unleashing the Power of Video on Your E-Commerce Site

August 4, 2014 - 1 Comment

E-Commerce VideoEven though the almighty word still rules online, video has been gaining traction, especially over the past few years.

Just think of all the streaming video sites that have cropped up lately. Still, I find it interesting that video is so underutilized on e-commerce sites. Sure, some use it but not nearly as many as you’d think.

When there’s the opportunity ready and waiting to feature your products on video, why wouldn’t you include at least a few clips on your site?

If you want to learn how to make the most of video for your online store, keep reading. I’ll walk you through some helpful tips.

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Five of the Top ecommerce Fears – And How Your Business Can Allay Them

July 31, 2014 - 1 Comment

So you’ve found a great product, put together an awesome business/marketing plan, and built a beautiful ecommerce store – yet sales figures are far from envisioned, and conversion rate is low.

What could have possibly gone wrong? 

Despite the breakneck growth of ecommerce in recent years (projected to reach an astounding USD 1.5 trillion for B2C ecommerce in 2014 alone); the typical consumer still sees online shopping through a stigma-tainted view of substantial perceived risk and uncertainty.

Understanding, addressing and helping overcome these inherent consumer fears of ecommerce is often the key towards changing their (lack of) purchasing decisions, and ultimately garnering success for your store.

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How to Use Location-Based Marketing for Your Online Store

July 28, 2014 - 1 Comment

Location-Based MarketingLocation-based marketing is becoming more popular thanks to geotargeting. In case you’re not familiar, this kind of marketing works by displaying ads and targeting messages when a customer is in a specific physical location.

Location-based marketing is typically associated with brick and mortar businesses. When a potential customer gets near your business, she’d be presented with a targeted ad that encourages her to come into your store.

But what if your business is online only? Believe it or not, e-commerce stores can benefit from geo-location marketing, too. Here’s how.

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Top 10 SEO Tips for E-Commerce Stores

July 23, 2014 - 10 Comments

SEO for E-CommerceIf you plan on selling any products or services via the internet, you need to make sure that people can actually find you.

There’s no sense in having a fancy website with the best products at awesome prices if your site can’t be found after the first page in Google. Few people will take the time necessary to look that far.

This is where your SEO efforts come into play. Rank higher in the search engines and people are more likely to find you. The more traffic you get, the more likely you are to make sale after sale. After all, isn’t that why you’re in this business in the first place?

Here are 10 tips to help you maximize your SEO efforts to help create a strong presence on the internet.

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The Psychology of Color in E-Commerce

July 21, 2014 - 6 Comments

Color PsychologyColor plays a major role in our lives.

Don’t believe me? Think about the last time you were in a physical store that you frequent.

It likely had good aesthetics and a large part of that has to do with the selection of an appealing color scheme. The colors a store chooses should reflect both the products and the emotions the company wants to evoke from its customers. It’s about using human psychology to make a sale.

Is this all sounding a bit confusing? Not to worry. I often find starting with an example to be best.

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So You Want to Be a Dropshipper: Picking the Perfect Product

July 15, 2014 - 3 Comments

DropshippingTell me if this sounds familiar: you want to be a dropshipper, but you haven’t quite put your finger on the exact niche or products to focus on.

Not surprising, as this is often the biggest challenge that dropshipping hopefuls face before their online biz takes off.

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Your Ultimate E-Commerce Product Pricing Guide

July 11, 2014 - Leave a comment

The world of retail business is chock full of secrets, one being how to price your products for maximum profitability.

Price your product too high and your customers may shy away from you. Price them too low and you’ll undercut your profit margin so much that you could wind up in a hole.

Finding that sweet spot as far as pricing goes is crucial for making solid profits and places a certain value on your brand.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when figuring out the ideal price to charge for your products.

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