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How Great Product Photos Boost Your Conversion Rate

April 21, 2015 - 1 Comment

How Good Product Photography Affects Conversions_300Although we often hear that eCommerce stores are putting brick-and-mortar shops out of business, the main reason that many people still go to physical stores is that they have a chance to touch the products and see what everything looks like.

It’s harder to do this online. Imagine ordering a pair of shoes online and receiving the pair one week later, only to find that the color isn’t the same as it was in the photos and that the material looks different than what was shown on the website. If the customer walks into a regular store, they can completely avoid this problem.

It’s not possible to duplicate the hands-on sales process that you find at a brick-and-mortar shop, but with amazing product photography, you can improve your conversion rate and make people happy in the process.

Let’s take a look at how adding great photography to your eCommerce website can affect your conversions and strengthen your relationships with your customers.

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How to Successfully Sell with Social Proof

April 14, 2015 - 1 Comment

Social proof means that potential readers, customers, or followers will make a decision based on a larger group’s previous decisionsFast Company states that you can narrow down the topic to five different types of social proof:

  1. Wisdom from your friends
  2. Wisdom from large crowds
  3. User social proof
  4. Social proof from famous people
  5. Social proof from a credible expert

Through the careful use of these different types of social proof, you can reach more potential customers, sell more products online and improve your retention rates.

Let’s take a look at some ways you can use social proof to sell more, along with a few tips for finding the right type of social proof to use for your company.

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5 Ways to Gain Free Press Coverage for Your Online Store

April 9, 2015 - 2 Comments

Finding Free Press Coverage for Your Online Store

A little bit of press coverage can boost your sales within a few hours, but keep in mind that you can’t build a business based on press coverage alone. If you ever watch Shark Tank, you’ll sometimes see how Mark Cuban tears apart entrepreneurs who spend thousands of dollars on publicity and press coverage.

Why is this the case? It’s because a business that plans on striking it rich with press coverage is one that doesn’t have a clear plan on how to gain customers. Or perhaps the product isn’t that scalable. The list of potential problems continues.

Regardless, press coverage is still a nice thing for a business, but you can’t focus your entire marketing strategy around it. That’s why finding free, or low-priced, press coverage is the ideal route.

With that said, let’s have a look at how you can find free press coverage for your online store.

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Responding To #Mobilegeddon: Google Rankings Boost for Mobile eCommerce Sites

March 30, 2015 - 5 Comments

Over 50% of all Google searches come from mobile devices, and Google has taken this into consideration — they’ve tried to improve the search environment for those browsing on tablets and smartphones.

In fact, Google’s Zineb Ait Bahajji announced that this mobile change on 21 April 2015 will exert a stronger effect on search engine results than the past Panda and Penguin updates did.

All this means that your eCommerce store needs change — immediate change. Why? If you can’t reach people through their mobile devices, you’re leaving out a huge portion of your customers and potentially losing them forever. Any online stores that don’t address the new mobile update will see its search engine rankings fall, with sales likely faltering as a result.

In this post, I’ll run through what you need to do to take advantage of the Google rankings boost for mobile e-commerce sites.

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How the Twitter Buy Button Could Revolutionize Your Online Store

March 7, 2015 - 5 Comments

Last year, Twitter announced that they would be releasing a feature that allows businesses to post tweets about products and services that include a “Buy Now” button. The button would include an image, description, and link to your payment processor. Snazzy.

The program has already started, but only a few companies have had the privilege to try the system out. It sounds like the program is going well with the initial testers, but I still think that more small businesses and online shops need to get their hands on it to really see how powerful it is.

That, of course, is the problem: you can’t access the Twitter Buy button for your online store right now, but I wanted to outline some of the ways this new button could help revolutionize your online business — so that you’re ready to get in the game as soon as it’s open to the wider public. The key is obviously to make more sales, and I truly believe that the Twitter Buy button is a way for smaller to mid-size businesses to compete with the big dogs. Let’s take a look at how the Twitter Buy button could revolutionize your online store.

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8 WooThemes Features You’ve Never Heard Of But Need to Use

January 13, 2015 - 1 Comment

There’s a decent amount of information to digest whenever you create a new website. You need to worry about hosting, selecting a theme, getting content on the site and making sure everything runs smoothly for when visitors come knocking on the door.

With all of these distractions you might have missed some of the lesser known WooThemes features. Yes, I’m sure you’ve tried out a few and implemented them on your website, but there are new and innovative features all the time and it’s quite common to miss out on new releases, giving you a bit of a disadvantage.

Why? Because some of these features could help streamline your checkout, convert more email addresses or even improve your customer retention. Just like any tool or software, there’s a whole world of things to do. Think about Excel. Most people only know how to create some nice boxes and complete simple math in the popular spreadsheet software.

The crazy thing is that Excel is one of the most powerful tools in the world if you just take the time to understand all the features you don’t currently know about. The same goes for WooThemes, so let’s have a look at some of the features you’ve never heard of but need to use.

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9 Conventions and Events For eCommerce Business Owners in 2015

January 9, 2015 - 7 Comments

There happen to be hundreds to thousands of e-business conventions, conferences, and events that occur every year, each of them pushing ticket sales to hopeful entrepreneurs and e-business owners who are looking for the next tip or trick to take their business to a new level.

With so many options it may seem overwhelming, and even take your focus off important tweaks and changes you can simply make with a few modifications to your site like building an email list or improving your overall customer retention.

Regardless, these e-business events and conventions are essential for connecting with people who have weathered the storms of online business and battled through some of the troubles you are currently going through.

These events offer training exercises and in-depth tutorials on which tools to use and which to drop.

The only problem is you certainly don’t have time to go sifting through giant lists of e-business conventions and events to figure out which ones you should invest more time and money into.

That’s why we checked some of the top options out for you and compiled a nice little list of the best conventions that give you a return on your efforts. Keep in mind that some of these events might be a little far for you to travel to, so don’t stretch it.

Pro-tip: Look for one of the events that occasionally stops by a location near you in order to save cash on that international plane ticket you’re about to book.

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Understanding Bounce Rate (And How to Keep it Down)

January 8, 2015 - 7 Comments

The bounce rate. You see this stat in Google Analytics, but what exactly does it mean? Well, it’s quite simple actually. It’s the percentage of people that come to your site and then navigate away from it after viewing only one page.

Every single time a visitor does this it increases your bounce rate, in turn affecting your search engine rankings a little bit. High bounce rates are bad, but you must understand that every industry has its own average benchmark for bounce rates, so sometimes comparing to other companies is not always the best thing.

Go Rocket Fuel explains that bounce rates have an even deeper meaning where they include all single interactions such as transactions and single events such as clicks. They explain that the average bounce rate usually sits somewhere in between 26 and 70 percent, but this is a rather large range, so what should you shoot for?

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The 6 Best Free Tools for Building eCommerce Landing Pages

January 7, 2015 - 8 Comments

It’s essential that your website has a strong landing page for each goal action that you want your visitors to take. However, that can quickly get expensive…

…if you go with the immediately available options, that is. With a little inventiveness and some research, you can find plenty of ways to build one for free.

Today, I’ve done some of that research for you. Here are some tools that you can use to design, build, and track a perfectly competent landing page with no money out of your pocket.

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How to Build a Brand Image That Pulls Customers to Your Online Store

January 2, 2015 - 3 Comments

I’m going to name a few design elements. Tell me what companies come to mind.

  • A red and white color scheme.
  • A smiley face.
  • Two black circles overlapping a larger black circle.
  • Product names beginning with the letter “i.”

I’m willing to bet that you can figure out at least two well-known brands from those elements alone.

It’s no coincidence that the biggest, most influential companies often have the most iconic brands. That’s the reason why branding is universally considered one of the most important parts of running a business, and why people who can create iconic brands are often the biggest influencers in the business world.

Your brand is comprised of a story and an image, so before we get into the “image” part, we really recommend this post we’ve previously done on how to write the story. Your brand image is directly tied to your brand story, in fact, you could say it’s a visual complement to it, and it’s very important that you have one worked out if you’re going to work on the other.

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How to Drive Customers to Engage with Your eCommerce Blog

December 31, 2014 - 1 Comment

customer-blog-engagementSometimes, it seems like there are more blogs out there than readers.

This has gotten to be even more of a problem with the rise of community content sites like Tumblr and Reddit that give blog readers one-stop shops for information on specialty topics that interest them.

Only a small percentage of blogs have a regular readership. The high rates of abandonment among new bloggers is part of the reason why, but a much larger part is that too many of them are taking Field of Dreams literally and assuming that simply writing quality content will magically draw viewers.

So, if building it doesn’t ensure they’ll come, what will?

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SEO Beyond the Basics: An Introduction to the Technical Side

December 30, 2014 - 5 Comments

SEO Beyond the BasicsWe’ve all heard about SEO basics, but what about those areas that require you to have just a little bit of technical knowledge?

This is what we call technical SEO. Yes the term is quite technical, I know. In short, it’s less about focusing on keyword optimization and more about understanding how search engines work to index your site. It’s less about ensuring your images are ready for the search engines and more about things like rich snippets, sitemaps, and URL structure.

But, wait a second. If it’s so technical, why is it so common for people to implement these tips on their sites? Well, the good news is that it’s not all that technical. Everyone has a chance to use these tips, and plenty of companies are going out of their way to work on these SEO tactics. The only thing is that many people don’t want to take the time to learn about these slightly more technical SEO topics, creating a huge advantage for you.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the more technical areas of SEO and how to implement these tips on your own online store.

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How to Promote a Service E-Commerce Business

December 23, 2014 - 2 Comments

promote-service-ecommerceFor the purposes of this article, there are three categories of online service business:

  1. Businesses offering services that can only be delivered within a certain range (e.g. startup ISPs)
  2. Businesses offering services where distance isn’t a factor (e.g. freelance coders)
  3. Businesses that offer both types of services (e.g. design firms)

This article focuses mostly on the first type, but there’s some advice in here for everyone.

For example, no matter what type of service you offer, the first step to marketing it is to identify your target audience as precisely as possible, whether it’s through a buyer profile or just careful analysis of your analytics data. This will dictate where you should be looking for them and what methods work best to find them.

The second step is to register your business with Google Places. Yahoo Local and Bing will also help. Why? That brings us to our first step…

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How To Complement Your Online Store With a Powerful Social Media Strategy

December 22, 2014 - 3 Comments

Social Media StrategyCustomers have more opportunities than ever to engage with stores they love, and you’d do well encouraging your customers to take full advantage of all the opportunities they have to talk to you.

However, most retail stores are missing the boat when it comes to connecting online shoppers with offline information. They display their locations and hours on their websites, but less than 4 out of 10 provide information on their products and services on social media.

It’s a shame, since the e-store owners who do effectively use social networking have found that it is a very efficient way of discovering what their customers want. They also enjoy more control over their businesses’ reputations, as they can respond to complaints and controversies instantly.

So today, we’ll show you how to leave the first category and enter the second.

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How to use Enhanced eCommerce for Google Analytics

December 10, 2014 - 7 Comments

Google recently announced a program called Enhanced eCommerce for Google Analytics, which utilizes further data for eCommerce site owners, not only helping you understand what types of customers are coming to your website, but how they respond while moving about the site.

It replaces and adds to the current reports you receive for Google Analytics, but it incorporates a funnel system to hone in on the areas that you weren’t able to see before. Now you can view where people drop off in the checkout process and even find products that require more marketing efforts.

Let’s take a look at how to set up Enhanced eCommerce for Google Analytics and walk through an overview of the most powerful reports.

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Top 10 Things You Need to Do to Have a Successful eCommerce Holiday Season

December 8, 2014 - 5 Comments

Consumers spend around $52 billion on holiday shopping, and 90 percent of people will complete at least some of their shopping online. Those are some huge numbers, potentially bringing holiday cheer for all eCommerce website owners and businesses that are preparing for that holiday rush.

In short, the holidays are a good curse. As an eCommerce business you are pushed to your limit and have to prepare like no other time throughout the year. And mistakes do occur. Websites slow down, and customers get frustrated when the slightest mishap strikes during their shopping experience.

You can’t really blame them either, since the holidays are stressful and they just want to get their shopping done—until next year, of course.

There are two types of eCommerce sites during the holiday season: Those that are prepared and those that are unprepared. Your preparation creates your fate as to whether or not that eggnog goes down well. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the top 10 things you need to do to have a successful eCommerce holiday season.

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