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5 Things Your E-commerce Startup Needs to Succeed

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One of the biggest benefits brought to us is online shopping. You can order an item from another side of the world and have it delivered to your doorstep in no time. Of course, this also means there are plenty of online stores, and we can only expect to see more of these being opened. So, if you want to launch your startup, e-commerce may be what you’ll want to go for. That said, we’ve come up with a list of 5 things your e-commerce startup will need if you want it to succeed.

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Quality products

It may seem like we’re stating the obvious but it cannot be stressed enough how important having quality products is. And if you want products you’ll be able to sell easily, you’ll have to conduct a market research and see what the consumers actually need. Visit forums and talk to other people and see if there’s something people tend to look for but are unable to find. Once you manage to find a gap in the market, you should think about filling it with quality products you’ll sell online.

A good business plan

A business plan is a formal statement of the goals and plans you want to fulfill. It’s vital that you write a good business plan since this will give you a chance to put all of your ideas in one place and elaborate them one by one. This will help you enhance some of your ideas or eliminate the ones you won’t be able to bring to life. Even if you never wrote a document like this, there are numerous tutorials on how to write a good business plan, so make sure you check them all out.

A user-friendly website

Designing a website for your online store is one of the most important things you’ll have to do. Most of e-commerce websites today look quite similar – you need a login box, search box, and a shopping cart function. Make sure these are visible on your front page since consumers tend to leave online stores they find difficult to use. One of the biggest reasons why people choose to shop online is convenience, and if your online store isn’t easy to use, they’ll decide to turn to another website or go to a real store.

Quality content

Today, people tend to respond to quality content, and even if they don’t start visiting your online store straight away, visits to your block are a great thing to start with. By producing quality content, you’ll give consumers a reason to visit your blog, which means they’ll eventually take a couple of minutes to browse through the website. If you’re sure how to produce quality content make sure you take a look at the Shopify blog and try to follow the lead of their writers. Also, bear in mind that whatever you’re writing about, you should always try to include videos and pictures.

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Discounts and shopping deals

Even though offering these means you’ll be earning a bit less, it’s impossible to make it in today’s competitive e-commerce market. No matter how good your products are or how catchy your name is, you won’t be able to earn money unless you offer discounts and special shopping deals. In fact, people tend to go crazy when they see a % sign next to the products they need. So, it makes much sense to make banners for your discounts and special offers and overload your home page with them.

With the 5 things mentioned above, you’ll give your e-commerce startup everything it needs to succeed. And if you don’t want to see it closing sooner than you had it set up, make sure you always keep looking for new ways you can improve your store and attract more people to it.

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Business

Reasons to Outsource Social Media Management

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Outsourcing has become very popular among modern companies. Having professionals take over part of your business process and not having to deal with it on a daily basis is a great option. Not to mention that you don’t have to hire a professional to do only one thing in your company, just opt to outsource it to someone who does only that and pay for the service, not the talent. There are numerous reasons why outsourcing social media management makes so much sense, and we are going to cover some of those reasons today.

When do you know you need a social media manager

Most companies do not realize how important the presence on social media is for obtaining new clients and maintaining old relationships. This is why hiring an inexperienced intern to take over this part, or having someone post something a few times a month. This is not a valid strategy and ends up costing your company a lot. Having consistency is essential. So if you are not certain you have the right people or tools to take this on it is essential that you outsource it to the best possible expert who will be able to handle the workload and ensure that there is a foolproof social media strategy in place to ensure the best possible results for your company. Taking into consideration that there are currently 3.397 billion active social media users this is a channel you cannot afford to overlook.

Having a strong social media presence can help establish your brand

And having an experienced social media manager who can take on this challenge is essential. They will know what are the best strategies for your company. You need to have a strong presence not only to attract possible customers but also to quality SEO lead generation as conducting outreach from LinkedIn, Facebook can be far more efficient if you have an established name and following on the selected social media platforms. Leads that you are contacting respond better to recognizable brand names and to companies they can research and read about directly from their customers.

Your social media manager will know which tools to use

This is one of the biggest benefits of outsourcing social media management. You won’t need to invest in all the latest tools and products needed for this section of the business process. The company or person you outsource it too has already all the necessary tools and the required knowledge of how to use them, making it the process itself far more efficient.  In addition, using the right tools for social media management can ensure that you get the desired results far more efficiently than if you did the whole process alone, step by step.

Saving both time and money

This is definitely the most important reason to outsource social media management. First of all, having an expert take over means that you won’t have to allocate your own time and resources to deal with this marketing aspect. Secondly, you will only have to make one single monthly payment and not think about additional investments into ads or tools that can be quite costly. Based on the social media management plan that you get from the company you have outsourced so you can get all the necessary information regarding what you are paying for and be able to monitor the desired progress.

There you have it, valid reasons why social media management outsourcing makes the most sense for both you and your company. All that is left is finding the perfect fit so that you can outsource it as soon as possible.

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Business

Offline Business Promotion Tricks You Should Be Using

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In the digital world, it’s quite hard to find a business that focuses as much on offline business promotion as they do on their online activity. Sure, there are a lot of businesses that still don’t have a website but even they are present on social networks, with some even using their social media profiles as a primary sales platform. All of this makes people neglect, even overlook the importance of offline business marketing that still gives outstanding ROI. With that in mind, there are five methods that you should definitely be using.

1.      Networking

The first thing you need to understand is that in the B2B world, face-to-face meetings are still incredibly relevant, which is why you need to put a stronger emphasis on networking. Therefore, you need to learn how you come across in the business world, how to present your business in a positive light and, overall, how to make a strong first impression. Other than this, you need to understand the nature behind these interactions and make sure that a positive personal relationship has a way of transferring itself into a business world. Keep in mind that practice makes perfect, so don’t expect to make a huge impact on your first convention.

2.      Offer samples for free

The simplest way to get word of mouth endorsement (and positive reviews) is to ensure that some people get your products early on. Now, even those who are interested may be reluctant to be the first one to try (or test) the product, which is why you may want to consider offering some of these products for free. In return, all that you should ask from these lucky recipients is that they endorse the product and spread the word, of course, if they like it.

3.      Promotional materials

Another great idea that you need to explore is the use of promotional products in your campaign in order to create a stronger brand image. This way, you get to spread the brand awareness about your business without actually offering products for free (in any quantity). Also, these promotional materials can be offered to your customers, given to your employees for their loyalty, shipped to your partners or be used in a contest. They can even become an incentive if you decide to include them in the offer. Overall, this is an amazing idea worth some exploration.

4.      Street art

The reason why street art is somewhat more effective than billboards and signs is due to the fact that it works in a much subtler way. You see, when you encounter a billboard, you don’t even have to look at it in order to know that it’s an ad. This means that your defence mechanisms will already be up and you’ll take any message that comes to you this way with a slight dose of doubt, even scepticism. This is a process that every single audience member goes through. With street art, the curiosity might prevail and the message you decide to send may stand a better chance.

5.      Attending an event

An industry-related event is a great place for you to do some networking and display/spread your products, both of which are methods that we’ve already mentioned. However, it’s also a place where your presence may be mandatory. Potential clients may expect you to be there and failing to appear could send a wrong message. You’ll either be seen as not-relevant-enough-to-be-invited or it will be assumed that you aren’t that interested in what you do. This is one of those scenarios where the consequences of not attending may be a more relevant factor than the actual benefits of attending. Therefore,  send your staff at least if you can’t go there in person.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, most of these offline business promotion tricks can be integrated into your digital marketing as well. Street art can be used as guerrilla marketing to enhance your online presence; giveaways can be turned into a social media contest and networking can easily start with an online outreach. As you can see, each of these methods creates a positive ROI in more than one way.

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Business

4 Pivotal Branding Rules That You Should Never Ignore

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When it comes to any field, there are some dos and don’ts that are familiar to every veteran of the industry. Now, while to those who are seasoned enough this may seem like common sense, for a newcomer to the industry these rules are easy to overlook. Sometimes, there is a way to tolerate minor missteps, yet, when it comes to concepts as delicate as branding, there is no such thing as a minor mistake. With that in mind and without further ado, here are four pivotal branding rules that you should never ignore.

1.      Appealing is more important than captivating

Even a complex design may attract some attention from your audience, yet, this might not be the kind of attention that you need. Not being able to discern what your logo stands for might cause some frustration, even anxiety in your audience. Sure, this might be both slight and subconscious but it still pushes the pin from positive to negative customer experience. Therefore, when it comes to designing a logo or developing a website, you need to make sure that it’s appealing first and unique/memorable second. While this may seem intuitive now, you would be surprised at how many people make a mistake of believing that complex means quality.

2.      Consistency is what makes you different

There are so many brands out there who put all their talent, effort and resources into making a great first impression only to fail to deliver on these promises later on. Remember, in order to run a successful business (of any kind) you need to establish a relationship based on trust and this takes time. This means that if you aren’t consistent in your efforts (regardless if it’s content marketing or performance of your business), you’ll start losing your audience.

The best way to ensure consistency is to develop a strategy, which is something that you might need some professional assistance for. Nowadays, you can even find competent local help instead of looking further on. For instance, a Victoria-based business can look for an agency specializing in brand strategy from Melbourne, in order to ensure more successful and fluent collaboration.

3.      Understand what your customers are interested in

Everyone you meet in life is more interested in their own needs, worries and inclinations than what you have to say. This goes for the business world, as well. However, this also gives you a unique opportunity to gain first leads and then loyal customers by addressing topics that your audience is interested in, instead of just talking about yourself. Now, while it is apparent that these people need your services, you may still not have a clear answer to the question of why this is so. What makes them choose you over all the other competitors? Once you have an answer to this question, your branding efforts will become much more efficient.

4.      Be relatable

Most importantly, in the present day and age, people are more likely to do business with organizations they have similar values with. You see, in the past, the market was mostly product-centric, yet, now that the business world is so oversaturated, it’s fairly easy for a customer to look for alternatives elsewhere. This means that an average person now has the privilege of doing business with those they like, instead of just looking for those who satisfy their criteria. This is why you need to become as relatable to your customers as possible. Start from your corporate values, mission and objectives. All of these should be decided after elaborate market research.

Conclusion

Branding is a complex matter only to those who don’t understand what it’s really about. You see, you’re selling an idea. Therefore, your brand is the first thing that pops in the head of your average customer, whenever your business is brought up. Fortunately, this gives you a lot of room to work on your image and make it as appealing as possible. Needless to say, by sticking to the above-listed four rules, your job should become substantially easier.

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