Incredible Additions To Boost Your Online Store

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If you are running an online store, you are probably already aware that you have competition everywhere you look.

In a world that is so competitive, you are possibly finding incredibly tough to shine, right? Well, if this is the case, then this post is for you. Today we are going to look at some incredible things you can add to your online store that will really give your eCommerce shop the boost it deserves.

Why People Love Online Shopping

Many people still think that online shopping is lazy; this is obviously not the case; in fact, online shopping in today’s world is a necessity. 

With the evolution of technology, it has meant that more is expected from people, thus resulting in the human race being far busier today than it was twenty years ago. To keep up with the level of busyness, we now how solutions that enable us to multitask far easier and the most popular among them in online shopping.

In the next section, we are going to show you how to make your online store even more appealing to customers and leave your competition way behind.

Micro-Moment Marketing

If your business has seen moderate success from its existing marketing, why not try something a little new that’s really taking businesses to brand new heights.

Micro-moment marketing takes into account that people nowadays are incredibly busy and uses this to their advantage. Marketing like this plays to those moments where people are scanning through something and presents them with something that appears for around 20 seconds.

While micro-moment marketing can be quite complicated to get to grips with, it can also be one of the best tools you can use for your business nowadays. 

Enhance Your Store

When it comes to your website, you should realize that the better it functions, then the more sales that will come through it. 

There are some things that you should be considering like enterprise WooCommerce, which can really help things take off quickly, and you should consider looking to update your servers should they be running a little slowly.

Get Analytics

While there are a lot of analytics tools out there that vary in price, the best one you can use is free, and that’s Google Analytics. 

Google Analytics will allow you to monitor the behavior of every visitor that comes to your website, and you will be able to determine how long they stay for, where they have come from, whether they were recommended and what pages they looked at.

Having access to a tool like this enables you to make tweaks that can ultimately correct anything that you are doing wrong. Where most people go wrong with Google Analytics is they think it will help them add things, this is not its purpose. 

The purpose of Google Analytics is to help you identify where you are going wrong, and then it’s for you to put it right.

With tools like this and the other things we have mentioned today, if you apply one of all of them, you will soon see boosts in your business that you thought were not possible.

Seven Ways To Make Your Online Business Stand Out

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Many millennials are stepping away from the traditional world of work and choosing to start their own businesses. The internet has made setting up on your own easier than ever, and many young people are successfully running online businesses, selling everything from their own jewelry to coaching sessions for other business hopefuls.

  1. Set up a professional looking website. There are lots of tools online now to help you create a website that looks slick. If you’re new to setting up websites, look at easy to use platforms like Wix, WordPress or Squarespace, and use a template to create your first sites. Make sure it works properly and is easy to navigate. 
  2. Create a business profile on Google. Many people overlook this, but make sure you fill out the profile in full. Add your location, hours and services. Also add relevant photos of your business and projects, as well as links to any recent blog posts. Encourage customers to leave you reviews on Google too. Verify your business with Google My Business to help boost your search rankings. 
  3. Choose packaging that stands out. If you’re shipping out physical products, using packaging that looks good when it arrives will make your business more memorable. Choose poly mailers in the same colors as your branding or in fun patterns.
  4. Embrace video. Video gets a large amount of web traffic, and can really boost your search rankings. YouTube is still one of the main platforms for video, but Facebook also has great options for video too. Upload directly to Facebook to get your videos to perform better on the timeline and get more views. Video content can be used to showcase your products and services, and show off your business. 
  5. Create How To content. How To content tends to perform well on search engines, as it naturally builds in keywords that your customer base are searching for. Content like this solves problems for your customers, building trust. Guides are really shareable, helping them to perform well on social media too. Use your area of expertise to create this content. For example, if you’re a blogger, create guides on SEO tips for other bloggers. If you sell cakes, create videos of tips for creating decorative icing at home.
  6. Get on social media. If you’re not making the most of social media, your business will quickly fall behind. Most of us spend a lot of time online, particularly on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. Meet your customers where they are by making sure your business is on social, with properly branded social profiles. Use your campaigns to engage your audience, not just talk at them. Encourage conversation, not just advertising. 
  7. Show off good reviews. Customer reviews are a good way to enhance your online presence. Show testimonials on your website and encourage customers to review your business on social media. If you use an online marketplace, take reviews there too. Reviews build trust with potential customers, and help you gather feedback to improve your company.

Protecting Your Brick And Mortar Store From A Storm

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Although online businesses have major advantages over real-world businesses, they still don’t have the charm of a retail store. A brick and mortar store is something you can touch, see and smell. It’s a bit of an experience for customers as they walk in and absorb your business for the first time. However there are inherent weaknesses to a real-world store also because it has to stand tall against the elements. That’s one of the biggest worries that small business owners have. How they will fair in a situation like Hurricane Katrina is always in the back of their minds. Thankfully however many things have changed and we are seeing new ways of protecting your business from such an event. Bear in mind that sometimes you just cannot avoid some damages as mother nature is all-powerful. But here’s how you can make a start.

Tying up loose ends

The number one way storms hurt businesses in the real world is through projectile damage. This is when the storm winds are so violent that they pick up lightweight objects and hurl them at your storefront. Things like sign stands, loose objects like trash cans and products that you showcase outside can turn dangerous. So avoid any of these sorts of happenings you can move everything inside quickly. Store the racks and signs in your storage space or just leave them closer to the exit so they’re easier to get back out again. Another thing you can do is to fit storm shutters so they can quickly be deployed and protect the entirety of your storefront.

Gutter and fold

Awnings are especially vulnerable to storms as they are essentially sails in the wind that get picked up or blown flat off their hinges. However the sudden increase in rain is also a concern because the build up is not usually taken into account. Awnings are not really designed to take many liters of rainwater and still be left standing. If you do suffer such damage you can contact a professional awnings repair company and keep the same awning you have but just have it fixed up. Obviously, it’s far cheaper than replacing it by buying a brand new one. They can also reinforce the awning with storm resistant measures such as bolstering the joint supports and using better materials. You can have a word with them to get your desired style as well.

Regular sweeping

Wet carpets during storm season are a pain to walk on. They also bring inside the store a bad smell as grit and dirt are sunk deeper into the weaves. Therefore the simple way to manage the incoming water is to just send an employee to regularly sweep the water away from the front of the store. This will also limit the chances of a customer slipping and being injured from water inside your store.

Any real world store has to make sure it is protected against storms. The wind damages windows and entrances of stores by hurling loose objects at them. Bringing signs and products indoors until after the storm can avoid this altogether.

3 Ways For Online Businesses To Tackle Late Deliveries

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Customers have very high expectations when it comes to shipping. Big companies like Amazon can get products out to people the following day or even the same day in some places. You’re not going to be able to compete with that, and that’s ok, but it does mean that your customers are still going to expect quick and efficient shipping. If your products don’t arrive when you said they would, it’s likely that you’re going to lose that customer for good. Problems arise from time to time and products will arrive late for reasons that are outside of your control, but if it’s happening a lot, you’ve got a big problem on your hands. If you’re struggling to get your products out on time, here are some of the best ways to improve your shipping service.

Choose A Better Courier

A lot of smaller businesses will outsource their shipping to a third party. When you’re choosing a courier to handle your shipping, it’s important that you choose wisely. If you find that you’re getting a lot of complaints from customers about late shipping but you’re sure that you’re processing orders quickly on your end, it’s probably an issue with your courier. Often, new businesses try to cut costs by going with the cheapest company, but they’re cheap for a reason. You should ask your courier to explain why your products are arriving late and what they’re going to do about it. If you find that you’re still having problems after that, it’s time to find a new courier service, even if it costs you a bit more.

Evaluate Delivery Routes

If you aren’t outsourcing shipping and you’re handling it yourself, you’ve got nobody else to blame. There must be a reason why your products aren’t getting to customers on time and more often than not, it has to do with your delivery routes. If you don’t plan your routes effectively, your drivers are covering more distance than they need to and that leads to lateness. You can easily get around that by using telematics software to evaluate your delivery routes. It will help you to identify the most efficient route possible. That means your deliveries will get out on time and you’ll be spending less money on fuel costs as well.

Manage Expansion

So many businesses run into trouble with their deliveries because they don’t manage expansion properly. They get products out on time just fine when they’re first starting out, but as the business starts to expand, they can’t handle the increase in orders properly and that’s when they fall behind. It’s important that you manage expansion properly by creating sales projections and working out what your demand is likely to be. Then you need to increase staff levels and add more delivery routes as sales increase, so you can maintain the same level of service that you were offering before.

It only takes one late delivery to lose a customer for good, and they’re likely to tell their friends about it as well. That’s why it’s so important that you deal with delivery issues straight away before they kill your business entirely.  

Is Starting An Online Business The Right Decision For You?

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Starting a business – especially an online one has never been easier and more accessible than it is today.

In the past, starting a business was a huge big deal, and that’s not to say it’s not a big deal today, but it was just so out of reach for most people. Even 15-20 years ago, if you wanted to start a business you would have to have a really unique idea, or at least a very specific angle on an existing idea.

That was the easy part, you’d then have to invest a lot of money to get your venture off the ground and oftentimes this involved either having your own savings that you’d use or approaching the bank for a small business loan, and a lot of these were declined.

Fast forward to the present day, and anyone who knows how to switch on a computer can start an online business, there’s an endless amount of paid and free support for aspiring entrepreneurs to help them get started, as well the opportunity to work with clients from all over the world without even having to spend money on advertising to actually reach them – with social media, the world has become much smaller, and that’s a great thing for those looking to create a life on their own terms.

However, as the saying goes – just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

Starting a business may be easier and more within reach, but it’s still hard work, and it’s definitely not for the faint of heart, so with this in mind, we wanted to give you a variety of points to consider for yourself if you’ve been thinking of starting an online business so that you don’t waste time or even money on something that you later realize was a mistake.

We want to help you make the right decision, so here are some things to consider when it comes to starting an online business.

We’re going to look at some of the wrong reasons people get into working for themselves.

The reason we’re doing this is because we know that social media can really show things in an unrealistic way and often people who are marketing things like courses to help others start an online business will flip these points around and manipulate people’s pain points to lure them into thinking that starting a business will solve all of their problems and make them millionaires when that really isn’t how it works.

We want to give you the full picture so that you have a realistic idea of what business entails and allow you to not make a mistake.

You may NOT want to start a business if these are your motivators:

You Hate Your Current Job:

Let’s be honest here, everyone has a moment of not loving their job, because life isn’t going to be perfect all the time, and no one is saying you should put up with a bad job and be miserable, but if this is your only motivation for starting a business, then your heart probably won’t be in it as much as is needed to keep going during tough times.

Many people who have started their business will often cite hating their job as a reason, but you can be guaranteed that if they’re enjoying a good level of success, then this is not the only reason.

You Hate Your Boss Even More:

Again, your boss may not be your favorite person in the world. In fact, they may be downright horrible, but using hatred for anything as a reason to start a business really isn’t bringing the best mindset or energy to your new venture.

You Only See The Dollar Signs:

Of course you need to make money, and you should always set good financial goals – especially for your business. Unless you’re running a charity, then you should never apologize for needing and wanting your business to be financially successful, but if money is your primary motivation, then your business is as good as doomed.

Not only will you find you have very little passion for your business, but you’ll fail to feel fulfilled, and as much as you may be surprised to realize it, people will actually see right through it, so you won’t really be as financially successful as you had initially hoped, anyway.

Even if you’re not completely focused on the money side of things, doing your homework before starting a business is definitely something you should be doing anyway so that you can estimate what the potential of that business is. Reading books on sales, marketing, attending webinars, and even getting your hands on some guides, such as Estimating Market Size: The Complete Guide For Startups And Small Businesses can really help you avoid a lot of the mistakes that new business owners make.

You Think Starting A Business Means You Won’t Have To Work:

Again, social media and the rise of self-proclaimed online business gurus shares a big part of the blame here for making the running of an online business look so flawless and easy, and whilst it’s true that you will have more freedom when you’re the boss, in order for your business to actually be successful you’re going to need to put in the work to make it happen. If your reasons for wanting to start a business is not wanting to do any work, then you may have to reconsider.

You Don’t Want To Work At Certain Times:

Yes, it’s true that in most cases when you have an online business, you have more flexibility and freedom over your schedule, but this is simply a perk and shouldn’t be a main reason for starting a business of any kind. The thing to realize is, when you’re the boss, you’re always the boss, so although you get to take time off if you want provided you have systems in place to cover you, you also have to step up when things go wrong, and sometimes things don’t always go to plan and you’ll have to to work at unusual times even if you don’t want to. Building a successful and sustainable business means taking the good with the bad and understanding that it won’t all be smooth sailing.

You Think It Will Be Easy:

Although people online can make it look easy, and just because it’s easy to start a business, that doesn’t mean that the day-to-day running of the business itself is easy. It’s also helpful to remember that social media rarely shows the challenges, problems and downsides of things, so it’s not the best place to be looking if you want a realistic idea of what running a business is all about.

Certainly, you should never start something just because you think it will be easy, because business is far from it, as is the case with most things that are worth doing.

You Don’t Like Authority:

Whilst none of us particularly enjoy being told what to do, if you’re only starting a business because you don’t want to answer to anyone, then this is only going to lead to bad things.

You Only Care About Having Fun:

Your business absolutely should be fun – otherwise there’s really no point, because it should be something you love to do each day and that you have a complete passion for, but if you’re only interested in having fun and are using that as your reasoning for wanting to start a business, then it’s not a great idea.

You Think It’s Going To Make You Famous:

In recent years there has been quite a disturbing growing trend of people using their online business as a way to make themselves famous – though there’s nothing wrong with creating fame through your business when done for the right reasons, many of these examples simply use it as a way to boost their ego and aren’t actually interested in helping people or using their business for the greater good.

Your business, depending on what industry its in does have the potential to make you famous in some circles, but if that’s your primary reason for getting into business, then you’re going to be sorely disappointed.

Not only will it lead you to a business that’s not enjoyable or fulfilling to you, but it takes a lot of time and energy to build up to that stage, and if you’re not creating authentic and organic fame for the right reasons and are using it for your ego, then people will see right through it and won’t want to work with you, anyway.

Someone Else Is Trying To Get You Onboard With Their Business Idea:

If someone else has a business idea and has approached you for a potential partnership, then this is something you need to think about very hard. There will be so many factors that go into making this decision, and that includes if the person is a family member or friend, and if you trust them to be able to run a business, as well as if they’re putting pressure on you to join them or are letting you decide at your own pace.

Having your own business is a wonderful thing and can lead to great rewards and a very satisfying career, but you need to be sure it’s the right thing for you before jumping in, and not just doing it because you feel like you should.