Businesses have migrated to the digital world to sell their products and services. Because of this, online retail is booming, and it’s in large part because of the effects of COVID-19. If you are thinking of taking advantage of this, here are ten things you need to get started:
1. Lots of research
First of all, what business model do you want to work with? This usually depends on what you want to sell. Are you offering a product or a service? If it’s a product, is it physical or digital? For physical products, drop shipping, where a third-party stocks the item, is a smart choice for startups who haven’t built a client base yet as it will save on storage costs. When the business begins to upscale, then you can consider wholesaling or warehousing. As for digital products and services, you can offer a subscription model or a free version with an option to go premium.
Next, you need to know what niche your business falls under. Again, this depends on what you’re offering. Let’s say you’re selling stuffed toys, then your business falls under the general niche for toys. Follow your competition. How are the successful e-commerce toy sellers promoting their product? Is there a good level of competition or too much? Don’t bother selling in that niche if there isn’t any competition. That means there’s no market either.
Speaking of the market, you’ll also need to know the kinds of clients you’re targeting. Are you looking to sell to parents who want to get something nice for their kids or for teenagers who wish to give their partner a gift? Figuring this out early on makes it easier to promote your business.
2. A fitting name
With the research phase done, the creation and execution phase begins. There’s a lot of competition in the online retail industry, so you need to stand out. The best way to do that from the get-go is by thinking of a unique business name — one that’s hard to forget.
3. A formal business registration
Now comes the complicated part. Formally registering your business helps you figure out how you’ll be taxed, personal liabilities, and administrative requirements that need to be set up. Plus, you must ensure that your business complies with state and federal laws. A common business structure many new businesses file as is the limited liability company (LLC). Aside from establishing your business as official, registering as an LLC lets you set up a corporate veil that protects your personal assets should anything go wrong in your business. It also lets you avoid double taxation and maintain a flexible management structure — without the hassle of setting up a corporation. Sound like something you’d want? Check with your Secretary of State’s office to learn about the procedures and requirements.
4. A solid business plan
Now you’ve got a formal business set up. Next thing to do is finalize your business plan. Write down all the specifics, paying close attention to your finances. How much are you going to invest in your business? How much do you expect to earn? This is the time to work out all the logistics and budget allocations, so don’t rush it.
5. An e-store that suits your vision
Time to set up shop (digitally)! When choosing a platform, consider the fees, unique features, customer service, accessibility, and overall performance. You have to pick a platform that suits your needs the most. Otherwise, you might have to deal with complications and limitations further down the line.
6. Marketable branding
Put that creative brain to use! Another thing you need to run a good e-commerce business is an eye for design. Your branding includes your business’s writing voice, color palette, visual designs, and anything else that makes your brand, your brand. This is vital, as a visually pleasing website is more appealing to buyers. So work on your branding, and stick to it.
7. Engaging social media content
Where are your customers? Many will be on social media. So, the best way to funnel clients into your e-commerce platform is through a strong social media presence. It’s also a direct way to engage with potential customers and create a community.
8. An effective marketing strategy
Just being on social media isn’t enough. With a business strategy comes a marketing strategy. This can be as simple as incorporating your branding to your business’s social media outlets, to other options like paid ads or sponsorships. You can even hire brand ambassadors to promote your business on their social media. Whatever gets the word out there effectively is a good marketing strategy!
9. A great network
Struggling to make sales? Then make sure you have a network that can help you out. Apart from the camaraderie, networking is an avenue to form business relations that are mutually beneficial. A shout-out from one of your friends might be just the pick-me-up your business needs to get the sales rolling. Just make sure you do the same back.
It’s not easy to run a business, especially one that’s wholly online. Don’t expect it to become a big hit in one night (or in one month, for that matter). It takes hard work, skill, and dedication to build a successful e-commerce business. You’ll get there. You just have to keep going.
It seems like a lot of preliminary work, but if you really want your business idea to take flight, you have to take the plunge. We never said it’d be easy!
Besides, there’s something appealing about being your own boss. You have control over your time, your ideas, and your business.
So, what are you waiting for? Get to it, and good luck!
How to Outsource Website Development in 2022
Thanks to technology, more and more companies are moving to online platforms. It opens the door for the organization to the international market and expands the boundaries. Good promotion on the Internet requires a good website or application that can be convenient for both managers and clients.
Therefore, in matters of website development, it is worth resorting to outsourcing.
Outsourcing is an indispensable thing for the development of any business. This option gives the organization a chance to focus on the things that really matter without wasting time.
Let’s name and consider the main advantages of outsourcing:
- cost savings
- time savings
- focus on key aspects
- reduce risks
Significant budget savings are the result of outsourcing. When you hire an outsourcing team, you spend much less money than when you hire your own team.
You will save your time if a team of specialists works on the development of the site. Professionals create a good project, while you are turning your attention to other aspects of development.
Focus on key aspects
You will receive the opportunity to calmly review and improve other business processes. Moreover, you will not be distracted by issues that are not in your priority.
To be sure that your project is multifunctional you should choose outsourcing. The majority of specialists use appropriate sources for making the software of the websites as flexible as possible.
By assembling your development team, you not only waste time and money, but also miss the opportunity to work with professionals who specialize in creating individual projects. Outsourcing – eliminates possible stress.
Non-disclosure of information is a guarantee of the security of your data. You can be sure that by choosing good outsourcing companies, your project will be protected.
Experienced outsourcing companies are interested in long-term relationships with the customer. They take responsibility for the technical creation and launch of the project.
Why should you choose to outsource web development among the options?
There are three options for creating and developing a site:
- In-house team
If the customer wants to hire his own website development team (in-house team), he must be prepared that sometimes the team is not enough to launch the project.
Then the customer has to turn to outstaffing – to individual IT workers. It can reduce the level of communication and increase costs.
If the customer chooses to outsource, this process will include all stages of project creation.
How to find a good outsourcing team?
Outsourcing affects the speed of bringing the site to the market, and also gives you the opportunity to choose between many professionals.
Here are some steps for you to understand which company is the best choice:
- identify the goal
It is real to find a good developer team only if you know what result you want to achieve.
- understand your request
By clarifying the requirements it will be easier to understand if the team suits you.
- calculate the budget
Understanding what your budget boundaries immediately makes the research easier.
- choose the model of the creation a site
Is it an in-house team, outstaffing or outsourcing?
- discover reputation
Check information about a particular company on the websites; make a personal communication.
- find team which has already achieved success in your field
Select specialists who already have experience in your field to be sure of the quality of the product.
- prepare questions
To avoid misunderstandings, prepare a list of questions you want to be answered.
- sign a contract
Write down all the necessary details of cooperation: from budget to security.
To develop and improve your business, it is worth using advanced technologies that will make the company competitive. Successful cooperation with an outsourcing company will provide a unique project that will be convenient for both you and your clients.
6 Reasons to Use Video Email Solutions in Your Sales Strategies
Email marketing remains a popular sales tool. Most marketers use the platform to send targeted email assets to up their chances of converting leads into sales.
However, as the competition in your industry heats up, you may need to enhance your email marketing strategy with a video email. Several brands have already started using the technology to improve conversions and win customers.
If you are still unsure about the effectiveness of video emails, here are six reasons to encourage you to start using them in your digital marketing campaigns.
1. Easy Engagement with Mobile Users
Mobile traffic now accounts for 60 percent or more of web traffic, so marketers cannot ignore mobile responsiveness when planning their email campaigns. If your emails look messy on mobile devices, users will not engage with them.
If you regularly send out the message of a sale, a promotion, or other sales assets to your customers via email, then you should consider adding video to your campaigns.
When subscribers open the message on their smartphones, they can immediately see what it is all about without clicking any buttons because video auto-plays on their devices.
It will help you increase the engagement rate, which will lead to more conversions. Not only that, your subscribers can quickly identify with your brand message and remember who you are when it is time for them to make a purchase decision.
2. Boosts Brand Engagement
Video emails also encourage customers to engage more with your brand. They are not only more likely to click on a video email, but they will also spend more time watching the message and interacting with it.
What’s more, you can add a lead generation form to the video so that users have another call-to-action option once they finish watching it. The last thing you want to do is annoy them by pushing sales messages too much.
Instead, use the call-to-action at the end of your video to encourage viewers to sign up for your email newsletters or seek more information about your brand.
3. Lowers Costs Per Lead
An additional benefit of using a video email is significantly lowering your cost per lead. Since video content is engaging, users will want to click through and watch the entire message.
With this feature, your open rates and CTRs should increase, which will help you target a bigger audience at a lower cost. It means that every dollar you invest in this type of marketing will bring more conversions than using other forms of sales channels.
4. Leverages Social Media Marketing
Making your video email marketing viral can be an effective way to get more clicks for your brand because people enjoy sharing exciting content online. The best part is that you do not have to spend hours or days trying to get the message out there yourself.
Just create great videos and share them on all your social media profiles, and people will do the rest for you.
5. Boosts Your Brand’s Credibility
In your email marketing campaigns, video content offers a more personal feel that can help build trust with subscribers. Videos capture attention better than words because they provide real-time visual information to users.
According to statistics, 48 percent of customers want videos to reflect the specific products and services they own or are interested in.
With the use of product demonstrations, testimonials, and other helpful information for your preferred audience, you can remarkably increase the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns.
When customers have a positive experience, they are likely to associate this feeling with your brand. As a result, they will keep more faith in you and be more receptive to sales messages in the future.
6. Easy to Produce
Video emails are not time-consuming or expensive to create. You can quickly turn it into a video with just your smartphone based on your content type.
What’s more, the money you spend creating product demonstration videos for emails will pay off in spades because it can also be used online and on social media channels.
Video emails content can help you boost engagement, improve brand loyalty and generate more leads. Plus, it makes your marketing more interesting for online users who may not be ready to buy yet but want to learn more about your brand.
When done right, video email solutions offer an effective way to increase conversions while strengthening customer relationships at the same time.
Top Tips for Simplifying the Checkout Process for Your E-Commerce Store
The checkout is the last step a customer has to take in a sale. You would be surprised at the number of people who click away from their basket simply because there are too many steps to the checkout, or it is too overly complicated. Checkout needs to be straightforward and easy to navigate, whether it uses a simple payment scheme or offers something like buy now pay later. Here are some tips to help you simplify yours.
Settle on Your Payment Methods
Offering a lot of payment methods can be good if it truly gives your customers variation. Not everyone might have a credit card or could not want to use their bank cards for shopping online. Some might want to take advantage of a buy now pay later scheme you might offer. Others might want to use an e-wallet system like PayPal.
You need to settle on the payment methods that you want to offer in your business so you are then able to focus on improving the checkout process. Some methods will need extra support, others might need you to pick a certain widget. Before you even begin to simplify the overall checkout process, make sure you know which payment methods you want to use.
Remove the Need for Registration
You should certainly offer the option for registration. A customer might be very impressed with your brand and will want to come back again. Allowing them to register an account means that they can store certain pieces of data and make the next checkout process a bit easier for them to manage. However, there are many customers who will not want to go through this process.
For this reason, you should make sure to offer a guest checkout. A signup process can be quite lengthy, and you don’t want a customer to abandon their cart simply because they are faced with filling out this form. Guest checkout allows them to quickly purchase whatever they might choose, and they can then decide to make an account later if they so wish to.
Put in a Back Function
Nothing can be more frustrating than being hit with a “form resubmission” request when you are just trying to click backward to check something out that you might have got wrong. Mistakes happen, we can accidentally enter the wrong address or use the wrong domain in an email address. It is important that someone is able to click backward on their basket without messing things up too much.
Therefore, it is important that they are able to navigate backward easily, through links provided on the page itself or by using the browser’s back button, and that they are able to do so without messing up the basket. Should they leave the checkout by accident or deliberately, you need to make sure that they are able to return to the checkout with their basket intact.
Keep the Checkout Interface Simple
You might have adverts scattered around other pages on your site, but the checkout is not the place for them. It can be a good idea to maybe throw in some last-minute tempting deals on the page where customers review their basket, but when they step beyond this point things need to be a little different.
You need to ensure that the checkout is as simple as possible. Try to get rid of any links that don’t relate to the purchase process directly. They should be put on tracks that will direct them through to a completed purchase and it should not deviate in any way. With a checkout that is as free as possible from distractions, you will hopefully see many more conversions and fewer abandoned baskets.
Add a Progress Indicator
Many checkouts will stretch across multiple pages. It is often convenient to separate things like shipping information from financial data. However, it can be frustrating to have to just click through page after page. Your checkout might not even be that long, but it can seem like an eternity of form-filling to a customer in the dark.
The easiest way to negate this is by adding a progress indicator to the top of the page. This will tell them exactly how many more steps they have to take to be able to finish the checkout process and can avoid them choosing to leave due to frustration. Try to keep this progress bar simple, and make sure it lists all the steps they will need to take.
These are just some of the things that you can do to properly simplify the checkout process for your e-commerce shop. Since this is where you will pull in revenue, you need to avoid actions and choices that will result in your customers choosing to click away instead of completing their purchases. Try to look at your current checkout through the eyes of a customer, and establish where some of those changes need to be made.
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