Easy Ways to Make your Ecommerce Start-Up Stand Out

More and more customers are now buying online. For this reason, you have to make sure that you are available and that you also provide the finest products so that you can stand out from the crowd. Of course, if you are already doing this then there are other methods that you can use to try and give yourself an edge.

Automate your Marketing

Sure, you might have a great catalogue of products, but as an Ecommerce start-up, you can’t expect your customers to turn up and buy from you. It’s so important that you are able to combine your strong products with great marketing efforts. The best way for you to do this would be for you to automate as much of your process as you can. You need to send out customised offers and you also need to send out newsletters as well. Push notifications are also worth investing in, and they can even be used to target customers based on their previous behaviour. This is a fantastic way for you to stand out from the crowd, and as if that wasn’t enough, it can also help to remind your customers who you are.  It keeps you fresh in their minds, and this can go a long way when you have so many people to compete with on the internet.

Advanced Analytics

Tracking how long a customer spends on your site is no longer enough. You now need to determine the journey that they are taking as well. Trackers can help you to determine the traffic sources and they can also help you to gather data on every single click that is made as well. This data can then be used to work out what your customers are doing, which products are more popular and even how your site is performing. Analytical tools can be used to sync your data pages together as well, not to mention that they can also be used to know how quickly your orders are being fulfilled. Little things like this can help you to find out where your business is falling short, not to mention that it could also show you what you need to do in order to enhance your customer experience.

Personalisation

Customers love it when they receive a personalised experience. You can do this by giving your customers the chance to put your site into their own language. This is very simple to do, but it could also increase your international sales by a significant amount. You might also want to have a currency setting as well.  If you want to step things up to that next level then you can even base your site on the geological location of the person who is visiting. Sure, this sounds complicated, but it isn’t at all and you would be surprised at how easy it is for you to really show your customers what you can do. As mentioned above, it is so important that you are able to use your customer data to try and enhance their experience and personalisation can be integrated here as well. You can show them products based on what they have recently viewed and this could increase your sales by up to 35%. This combination gives you the chance to send out targeted messages and even actions based on what your customers are doing, and this is a fantastic way for you to show them that you are investing in your service to benefit them.

Chatbots

Chatbots are most certainly a very exciting development. Facebook are constantly investing in their own messaging app and this will help them to form even more partnerships as a result. It is certainly something that you should invest in, and the sooner you do this, the better. The main reason for this is because not many companies are doing it right now, so you could be seen as being revolutionary if you are able to integrate this into your own Ecommerce service. This is especially the case if you are able to do this with a unique edge, so don’t be afraid to hit the drawing board and jot some ideas down.

Customer Support

The digital age has unfortunately taken away the human element of doing business. For this reason, it is very important that you have a system that gives you the chance to connect your merchants with your customers. You can have chat widgets that will connect your customer to an expert or you can even have an email or messaging system installed right onto your site. If you like the idea of having a live chat over the option of having a chatbot then try and make sure that you have a picture of the customer representative who they are going to be talking with. When you do this, you can add a human element to the support and it will make your customer feel as though they are really talking to someone from your team. If you want to step things up to that next level, look into custom t shirt design so that you can appear as a team. The problem with things like this is that it can take a while, and it can also be hard to keep your team online constantly. If you want to get around this then you can make it so your live chat option only comes up when a customer abandons their cart, or even when they try and cancel an outstanding order. When you do things like this, you can then integrate it across the board slowly and you can also give your customers a fantastic experience regardless.

Fraud Protection

A ton of online merchants are really concerned about fraud, and quite rightly so. Targets often try and hit eCommerce stores so that they can launder money by using stolen credit cards. Unfortunately, you are going to be the one dealing with the loss here and if you are just starting up then this can be devastating to your business. Site security will go a long way for you and even the customers who you work with, so it is vital that you take this into account.

How To Really Grow, Market and Promote Your Business

So, your business is going well, everything’s ticking along nicely, you’re feeling comfortable, you know what you’re doing, and your customers are happy with you…so what now? Now it’s really time to grow your business, market it, promote it, raise awareness, spread the word, whatever you want to call it, it’s time to rechallenge yourself and get to the next level. Like most businesses, you’ll probably have a limited marketing budget, but don’t let that deter you, here are a few ideas to get your mind whirling and get you excited…

Guerilla Marketing

Guerilla marketing is a great way to get noticed and get people talking. While business owners often want to see the direct conversion from marketing activity to sales, sometimes you need to look at the bigger picture, have some fun and use your creativity, imagination and originality – it doesn’t have to be expensive. Creating some eye-catching artwork on your office building, organise a flash mob or create a Youtube video. There are loads of great ideas online so do some research and get creative.

Make the Most of Social Media

Whether you use it in your personal life, like it, or don’t like it. Social media is fantastic for business, and yours needs to be on there. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, LinkedIn, Google Plus or Snapchat, each of these social media platforms are unique in their own right and require novel ways of engagement. Rather than try to master it all at once, choose a few you like and try to learn those first.

Meet People

Networking is key, and customers love a personal touch and love to see the faces behind a company. Get out to exhibitions and events, get yourself a 10×10 exhibit booth, get some promotional materials and have a chat with people. You’ll be surprised how many people you meet and the opportunities and learnings that come from being at an exhibition or networking event.

Make the Most of the Media

It’s free marketing, so all you need is a good story, a reason for the press to want to feature you. Try creating a publicity stunt, or do something for the community, and send out a press release before the event. For example, some innovative hairdressers have offered free haircuts to the homeless. You could also sponsor an event by donating your products or services as giveaways or prizes or host a contest or nominate yourself for a business contest or award. If you win, even better! Introduce yourself to the media and offer yourself as the expert in your field. If they ever need someone to interview or quote, make sure it’s you who they come to. There are ways you can seek out opportunities like this by signing up to an email list like Help A Reporter Out.

Content, Content, Content

Potential customers love great content and even better, so does Google. There are many ways to share information — blogging, creating videos, hosting podcasts, designing infographics or submitting articles to online authority sites. If you create great content for your business, you will gain authority as an expert and as well as that you’ll get free traffic. You don’t have to produce the content yourself as there are plenty of options for hiring freelance writers, graphic designers and personal assistants through websites like Upwork.

Competitions and Prizes

Everyone loves a free gift, so if you can give away desirable or fun items, it will get you noticed, it will get your posts and links shared, it will build brand awareness and enable you to connect with potential customers as well as gathering data. They don’t need to be expensive prizes, online ebooks, white papers and checklists don’t cost you anything but your time. You could also promote your products through Facebook groups where members agree to try your product for free or a discounted price in exchange for an honest review. Physical gifts with your advertising on it such as balloons, smartphone wipes, key chains, fridge magnets, pens and notepads are always a favourite too.

Make sure that all of your marketing should is of some use to your audience. Make sure you provide them with useful information, assistance by being available to answer questions posted on forums and websites like Quora and direct your audience to your site for more information; then finally entertain your audience. Make them laugh or cry. Think of the funny and touching ads that you see and how quickly they are shared

Financial Resolutions Worth Making

Most of us, really deep down, know that New Year’s Resolutions are a complete waste of time. If someone asks about your resolutions early in the year, you might come up with something that you vaguely want to change or improve in your life. But, the reality is often that you don’t mean it, it’s not realistic, or it’s something that you don’t really want. Our resolutions are often based on our dream lives. We don’t put much thought into them, and they stay forgotten in January.

Even if it is something you want to achieve, it’s going to take more than an announcement at the start of a New Year to get you there. You need smaller goals and achievable targets to help you. You need to break it down and make a plan to help you get what you want from your year. You can’t just say “I’m going to save money” and hope for the best. You need to look at how much you can save, you need to budget and set goals, and you need to find ways to save.

Money is often the focus of our resolutions. We want to make cutbacks. We want to clear debts. We want to save or take greater control of our finances. But, these are all quite vague, which is often why they are forgotten. Let’s look at some more detailed finance resolutions that are worth making.

To Have Less Debt by the End of the Year

In the ideal world, we’d all love to clear our debts within the next year. Debts cost you money. They can be bad for your credit report and having them means that you can’t get more credit if you really need to. But, paying all of your debts off within a year is unlikely to be a realistic target. Especially if you’ve got a large debt, more than one, or you are still paying off the minimum each month.

Instead, look at what you can afford to repay right now. Assume that you’ll be able to pay that all year and set yourself a target. This might be to pay 20% off a credit card or to pay 30% off the debt with the most interest.

Start the year by exploring your options. Could you consolidate your debts? Or move a balance on to an interest-free card? You could give yourself a big head-start on your resolution with the right choices now.

To Create a Household Budget that You can Stick to

Most of us live without a household budget. We set up direct debits for bills, we send our paycheck to that account, and we hope for the best.

Setting up a household budget can help you to manage your money. You’ll be able to see what you are spending and where, and get a clear idea of how much you could save or pay off debts. You’ll also be able to see where you could be making cutbacks or spending less.

But, you don’t want to make it that complicated that you can’t follow it. Set up a simple budgeting spreadsheet, and make sure you update it and check it whenever you need to.

To Explore Your Investment Options

After paying debts off, investing your money should be your next financial resolution. Look into your investment options, visit our website here to find out more about handling poor advice and speak to an advisor. If you’ve never invested or even saved before, focus on small amounts and exploring your options in the next year.

To Use Your Piggy Bank

It doesn’t need to be a piggy bank as such, a jar or pot will do as long as you use it. Look at penny savings challenges and find one that you can afford. Perhaps saving anything less than $1 in your jar. Make sticking to your challenge your resolution and enjoy watching your pot fill up.

To Monitor Your Credit Report

Your credit report is essential. Your credit score determines what you will be able to borrow in the future. Companies use your credit report to determine how reliable you are, and a high score gives you more options. In today’s world, most of us check our score online, but we rarely make the effort to read and monitor our report. Make your resolution this year to check your report each month and work on improving your score.

Make More Money

Having more money is the ultimate goal for many of us. Saving, clearing debt and investing are great ways to do it. So is earning more. Look at gaining promotions and pay rises at work, and consider side hustles to make extra.