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8 Tips for Running a Successful eCommerce Business

Over the past decade, the global marketplace has undergone a substantial shift. No longer are businesses limited by geographical borders or location, but more by the amount of creativity they can marshal and their willingness to adapt to new technologies.

In particular, entrepreneurs and business owners who are willing to launch and run an eCommerce business may position themselves to enjoy an enormous level of success.

The State of the eCommerce Industry

One of the beauties of the eCommerce industry is that there doesn’t appear to be any essential limit to strong and steady growth. In fact, overall sales volume and other vital metrics in the field have dramatically increased each year for at least the past decade.

Just consider the following statistics curated by Selz, an online selling tool:

An incredible 80 percent of Internet users have purchased something online at least once, while 50 percent have made a purchase more than once.

Roughly 71 percent of shoppers believe they’ll find better deals online, as opposed to shopping in brick-and-mortar stores. The average Gen X consumer spends 15 percent more online than a Gen Y shopper.

The total number of online shoppers in the US is expected to exceed 206 million in 2015 … and 215 million by 2018.

Running a Successful eCommerce Business

If you own an existing brick-and-mortar store and have thought about launching an eCommerce branch — or perhaps have an idea for a completely new business that you think might work effectively as an eCommerce operation — now is the time to act. These markets will only continue to grow more crowded in the coming months and years.

Although it may be impossible to address some of the very specific and personal facets of every eCommerce venture, the 8 general tips below have helped many small business owners get off on the right foot:

Build Strategic Partnerships

It’s rare that an eCommerce website becomes successful on its own. No matter what your experience or skill level may be, you can probably benefit from forming strategic partnerships and aligning your new brand with firms that have already established sturdy brand equity and influence.

Look for opportunities wherever you can and find ways you might be able to help other brands whenever possible.

Drive Traffic Through Targeted Landing Pages

While there’s something to be said for attracting large amounts of organic traffic through search engines, the more targeted your traffic is, the higher your conversion rates will be. Regardless of whether you sell subscriptions, digital downloads, physical products, or something else, the best way to drive that focused site traffic is to nudge users from social media to secure landing pages that invite them further into the conversion funnel.

If you can find a way to integrate payments into the landing pages themselves, that’s even better.

Narrow Your Focus

While you may think you have a great idea, be careful not to launch an eCommerce venture that’s too broad.

“I’ve got news for you, the chances are there are hundreds of other people that are thinking the same thing and are already doing it,” says entrepreneur Sean Ogle.

While your overall idea may be good, you’ll strengthen your position if you can find a way to specialize it further and capture a true niche market. The total number of customers in that market might be significantly less, but the potential for carving out a loyal following is much higher.

Ogle uses the example of selling tablet cases and exclusively targeting Kindle Fire users instead of trying to encompass iPads, Galaxies, and Kindles.

Don’t Build a PPC Foundation

There’s nothing inherently wrong with pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements, but you probably don’t want to place your brand’s foundation on a PPC-heavy strategy. Use these ads with discretion; focus your time and resources on building brand awareness and driving organic leads instead.

Have a Comprehensive Content Strategy

The best way to drive organic leads is to focus on a content-heavy strategy. While the ongoing costs of developing and publishing steady, quality content will likely seem high, it almost always pays off in a quantifiable manner.

Start with a blog, share your posts on social media, then work on connecting with other industry publications and websites.

Optimize all Product Listings

As for the site itself, optimization should be a priority at all levels. When it comes to individual product listings, focus on creating unique and keyword-rich meta descriptions, optimizing product images, and using unique, descriptive sales copy.

Harness the Power of Social

According to Shopify, in 2014 eCommerce orders spawned from social networking sites increased by an incredible 202 percent. A large part of this is attributable to the fact that people value the opinions of their peers and are automatically more interested in something if a friend references or shares a link.

In order to use this to your advantage, try to invest heavily in social media, both by incorporating elements into product listings and setting up a heavy social media presence on such sites as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Split Test Absolutely Everything

There’s no longer any excuse to avoid split testing. New software and resources make the process as simple as dragging and dropping various site elements in order to see which items lead to conversions and which ones fail. By paying attention to the specific details, you can increase sales with comparatively little effort.

Don’t Be Afraid of Learning

While eCommerce businesses offer the potential for lucrative returns, they’re by no means easy or effortless. You’ll make mistakes along the way, and it’s important to use each experience as a learning opportunity.

By keeping that in mind — as well as the foregoing eight tips — you’ll position yourself for long-term success.

© All Rights Reserved by: Small Business Trends


Top 7 Web Design Tips to Help Your Website Load Faster

When it comes to business marketing, it is important to ensure these days to have a prominent online presence. And for that, having a website is a must. It can be a great marketing tool for your business. But what’s the use of owning a business website if it has no visitors? For your business to perform properly, you need to ensure that people are attracted to your website on a regular basis. There might be several ways to ensure this. And one of the most important among them is surely how you have designed your website.

The primary aim of a well-planned web design strategy is to create a unique user experience. It must be an experience that’s unparalleled and that will make the visitors return to your website time and again. And for that, it’s essential to have a website that loads fast. But how can you alter your Web design to get the best results in terms of speed of your website?

Here’s a quick look.

Make the Website Lighter

That’s the first thing you need to do. One of the major reasons behind long loading time is a heavy Web page. You have to get rid of all that’s trash. Remember, the smaller a Web page is, the faster it will load. If there are images and videos that are absolutely not relevant to your content, delete them immediately. Getting rid of something that’s not needed is surely the hardest thing. So, take your time. Find out which components are actually adding value to your website. But ensure that you remove from your Web page everything that’s not necessary or does not add any value to you or to the visitors.

Compress the Web Page

A full size Web page is sure to take a lot of time to load. A compressed website, on the other hand, is faster. Which compression algorithm do you want to use? You can have multiple options, such as:

Deflate
Gzip

Compressing the Web page ensures that the server does not need to send a lot of data to the page while it’s loading. So, it is going to take shorter time to load.

Split Large Pages into Shorter, Multiple Ones

Why have websites become slower these days? One of the primary reasons is the increase in the size of the Web pages. Are most of the pages of your website too long? Then they are sure to take a bit of time to load. There’s no way you can help it, except one. Just split the long Web pages into multiple pages that are shorter in length.

Doing this will help you get rid of that long scroll bar on the side of the page. Moreover, the attention span of most people these days is pretty short. Having multiple pages with less information on each will help significantly to cater to these people perfectly.

Use Single Code Source for All Web Pages

Have the same script on a number of pages of your website? Just wait before you create separate scripts for each page. Once you use separate scripts, the website will have to read them every time the pages are loaded. That will take a lot of time. Instead, use an external code, that is, you should use a single code source for all the pages. It will ensure that the code remains in the cache. Thus, the time taken for loading the scripts won’t be necessary anymore. This will help the page to load faster. And more so for pages with larger codes.

Keep the Coding Clean for Google

When it comes to coding, you will have to keep it clean. It is essential to write the JavaScript properly. Moreover, you will need to avoid using a lot of external resources. Ensure that the images are not too large. You should pay proper attention to the different attributes of Web design for your page. This is because, Google likes cleaner coding.

By following these steps, you will be able to help your website in terms of SEO. It will rank high with Google’s search engine results for relevant keywords and thus, generate more traffic. It is also important to make the codes smarter to ensure they can be easily read by the search engines. The HTML should also be simple enough. It is also essential to remove the duplicate scripts to make the Web page load faster.

Reduce the Extra White Space

White space is one of the most important components of Web design these days. It can give your website a unique look. It can also form different shapes on it. But are you using too much white space? This can also have a negative impact in terms of the page load time. Remember, the white space also adds up to at least a few bytes in terms of size. Hence, reducing this space means you can cut down on that size. So, it will be less for the server to load. The result: the pages of your website will load faster.

Optimize the Images

When you are creating a website, it is essential to include images there. It helps to enhance user experience. But make sure you use the right format for the image. There might be multiple options, such as:

Scaleable Vector Graphics (.SVG)
Portable Network Graphics (.PNG)
Graphic Interchange Format (.GIF)
Weppy (.WEBP)
Joint Photographic Experts Group (.JPEG or .JPG)

No matter which format you use, you will need to optimize the image for the web and compress it to ensure that it loads properly and fast.

A web page that takes a long time to load usually results in reduced user interest. It is essential for the Web page to load fast, so that the visitors remain interested in the topic.

© All Rights Reserved by: Small Business Trends




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