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How to Design an E-Commerce Store with Your Customers in Mind

Posted By Administration, Friday, July 6, 2018

Having an e-commerce store is very different from running a brick and mortar business. For those that are taking advantage of the many benefits of running an e-commerce site, it’s important that your priority is always the customer experience. This means that from the moment of your launch date, everything is in place and perfectly optimized to make the consumer experience as fluid as possible. When your website is the foundation of your business, it’s essential that you take the time to look at your e-commerce platform from a visitor’s perspective. Here’s how to make sure that your website design is the best it can be for customers to use.

The need for speed

Tech-savvy consumers have no patience when it comes to visiting new websites. The merest delay in page loading can result in an immediate departure, meaning that your bounce rates continue to soar and your sales continue to stay static. When the difference between making a sale and losing a sale comes down to mere seconds, it’s therefore vital that you make sure your e-commerce store is optimized for speed at all times. For those using e-commerce platforms like Shopify, take advantage of business advice from the Shopify experts at www.blackbeltcommerce.com, to make sure that your website design isn’t slowing down your website or your business growth. Slow loading pages will be the death of your business over time, so research ways to boost your site speeds and keep those visitors on your site long enough to make a sale.

Hidden costs

Everyone likes a bargain, but at the same time you don’t want to start slashing prices from the get-go. Instead, look for alternative promotions you can offer that will satisfy the need for a bargain in the eyes of your customers. One of the most frustrating elements for online consumers is the sneaky delivery costs being added at the final stage of the checkout. Little is more likely to cause sudden shopping cart abandonment. You can tackle this issue from day one by making certain that all costs are included as early into the checkout process as possible. Or, you could go the other route and offer cheap or even free shipping. This works best if the delivery costs are canceled when a customer is spending over a certain amount.

Use your reviews

If you’re just starting out in your e-commerce venture, then you may not have much in the way of reviews. As they arrive, you should use them. Online reviews are a better marketing tool than you might imagine, and by using them well, you can give your business a respectability and increased online presence with very little work on your part. The fact is that consumers trust reviews, especially those that are found on social media. That’s why Yelp is becoming more important than the Better Business Seal. Consumers prefer the authenticity of the customer review.

Running your e-commerce has the potential for great rewards, but there is work to do. Don’t overlook the consumer perspective, and make sure that you always live up to expectation. Failure to address the view of the customer is the fastest way to ensure that your business fails.

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What Makes a Great Website in 2018

Posted By Administration, Monday, July 2, 2018

In this day and age, everyone needs a website. Most importantly, a website is a great marketing tool for your business. If you do not yet have one, the time to start putting one together is now.

The question may arise – what should it look like? There are many factors to consider when building a great website, and the most important to keep in mind are the design, expert advice, content and its marketing usage. A great website is one that is creative in its design, keeps expert advice in mind, produces high-quality content and is effectively used for your business’ marketing purposes.

Design

The very first step towards achieving a beautiful modern-day website is to think long and hard about the design. Different website hosting services will offer various different design options, depending on who you choose to go with. Just remember, the design of the website will make an impact on those that are viewing it. Consider the professionalism of your site, the user-friendly components, the organizational aspects and creativity when choosing the best layout for your site. What is the purpose of your website to begin with? This will help you choose the best design possible. For inspiration, you can look at different online agencies and how they formatted their websites.

Getting expert services

Getting expert services will go a long way towards benefitting your website. Expert services can be beneficial as you will be working alongside companies who can help ensure every aspect of your website is the best it can be. This could include seeking out a web developer or even turning to a cloud hosting provider such as Access Group. This particular company can offer various options for your cloud hosting needs, including SaaS hosting. Seeking expert services such as this can ensure your website is hosted on a reliable and resilient platform.

Great content

One of the golden rules of a great website is that content is king. Moving past the layout of the site, what you put on it is key. Your website is a reflection of you or your business. What is the message that you are sending to people with your content? If it is written poorly and the images are a poor resolution, you can imagine that no one will be impressed with your company’s site. That being said, if your copy is eloquently written with high-quality imagery to match – you will make a much better impression on those viewing your site.

Marketing

As already mentioned, a website is a powerful marketing tool for both your company’s brand. A great website must understand who their audience is, and write content and create strong branding while speaking to that audience. Link various social media channels to the site in order to cross-promote the website content, and use it effectively to market your products and ideas!

A great website requires some rigorous thinking and planning on the part of the business. That being said, it is 2018, and your website should not look like your company is stuck in the 90s! Follow the tips mentioned here, and you are on your way towards building a great business website, one that is fit for this day and age.

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Why Is Artificial Intelligence Good For Your Business

Posted By Administration, Friday, June 29, 2018

If your life is all about work and you don’t want it to be, how can you change things? You could slow down and stop working quite so hard, of course, but would that have a negative impact on your business? If so, what are your options? One idea is to automate as much of your business as possible using artificial intelligence (AI). If you can do this, you will have more free time, and you will be less stressed. There are many areas of business that AI can help with; below are four ways.

Training

Think back to when you first started anything new such as checking out the Ichimoku Cloud system for trading or understanding taxes. You needed training, so if you have a team around you, one of your most important jobs as an employer is to train them well. If they are highly trained, they will be able to do a much better job for you, and you will be able to leave them to work autonomously. However, the training itself can sometimes take a long time and take you away from other tasks. If you can use AI for this purpose instead, you will gain more time and your employees will have a dedicated training system which makes things easier for them too. You might look at apps that transcribe sales calls, for example, so that your team can go back over them and see what worked, and what didn’t.

Marketing

You can also use AI in your marketing efforts; Facebook is an ideal example of this. It has certain algorithms in place so that it can identify your ideal target audience after you have inputted the data required. When you do this, your page or ad will only be shown to those target people, and since they are the ones who are most likely to buy from you, it means your marketing budget goes a lot further.

The User Experience

During the day you might be able to respond to customer queries online, through email, or on the phone (assuming you’re not too busy, of course). However, at night and over the weekend when you don’t want to be working if you can help it, your customer’s questions might go unanswered. It can be a problem if your competitor can get in touch with them because they will effectively have ‘stolen’ your potential customer. If you can use a chatbot, for example, to help your customer when you’re not available, you can stop this from happening. Doing so will give your customers a better user experience and will ensure they are not ignored.

As an additional benefit to this, you won’t have to employ people to work later shifts responding to customers. Plus, you can close the office when you need to, perhaps you are sick, maybe there is a special event you need to attend, or you could just be tired, yet still be in touch with your customers.

Yours Systems

If you can incorporate AI into your systems, your entire business will become much more productive and efficient. You will have happier, less stressed staff and you will have better profits. Automation of your systems can be really simple and include automatic backups of your data to a cloud system, or it could be more involved and include a BPM or CRM program. 

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Ways To Keep on Top of Business Records

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Keeping accurate business records helps companies to identify a range of things based on the data available. In a small business, where resources are limited, this is sometimes not kept up to date or done at irregular intervals, which doesn’t help when information is needed in a timely fashion. Financial records are not only crucial for the day-to-day running of a business, but also when it comes around to tax time and reporting your financial results each year. By staying on top of everything and making time to report fully on the successes and failures of your business, you’ll have a greater view of where you could take it in the future.

Take a look at some easy ways to keep everything up to date.

Use effective software

One of the best tools for your financial records is smart software that records and reports on your financial information. There is plenty of software packages available depending on your budget, and each offers a range of functions and features to support your business size. This type of software makes inputting easier and can also automate some processes such as invoicing customers, to make them faster and more efficient.

Make time each day

Time is always a significant element in how well you process records in your business, and if you only spend a few hours doing the basics, you won’t be able to get much out of your system. By having a dedicated person or team to take care of this function, you can fully utilize the data in a faster way. If you need help interpreting the information, hiring a bookkeeper or accountant will ensure you can identify critical areas for improvement.

Get your personal finances in order

In order to understand the importance of business finance, it is vital to ensure your personal situation is in order to move forward. Although business owners are savvy in many areas, there are occasions where some personal financial aspects may impede judgment or concentration on business operations. Personal tax debt is one area that is often highlighted for all types of workers, as this can affect payroll processes. By using a professional such as My Tax Lawyer, you will be able to resolve any issues quickly without stress.

Meet deadlines

Deadlines are set in place for a reason, and if you are dealing with government bodies such as the IRS, you need to comply fully with their stipulations on filing records and results. Both business and personal tax records are required on a regular basis so ensuring you have up to date information to hand is vital for timely tax filing and if any queries occur, you will have the information available immediately.

There are many ways to keep better records for your business but looking at the basics such as accounting software, reporting tools and dedicating time to this function; you will have a stronger understanding of your company to take it forward. 

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Getting To Grips With GDPR

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 19, 2018

GDPR, or the newly actioned General Data Protection Regulation, is the data protection law that came into effect in 2018 and applies to countries in Europe. The change from the old law has many business and website owners confused, as there are changes which need to be made to the way data is collected in order to comply. If you are wondering how GDPR affects you, then this guide will help you get to grips with it.

What has changed with GDPR?

The main difference that the GDPR laws have brought about is the way that permission is obtained for collecting the personal details, such as names, addresses, email addresses and phone numbers, of both clients and customers. Businesses often keep these details, and websites often have a mailing list that people subscribe to.

However, the introduction of GDPR has given more power to the person whose details have been collected, in that it cannot be obtained without express permission, and a company must remove the information from a database on that person’s request.

Businesses and websites are also required to state the reasons why they collect personal detail, for example, for marketing purposes.

How do I make sure my business complies?

To make sure you follow the rules regarding GDPR, you must make sure you get the correct permission from people who are on your mailing list, or for whom you hold their personal details.

To do this, you should change your opt-in forms on your website to have a box that people tick to give their permission, and also a statement as to how you will use their information. If you have irrelevant or unused addresses on your database, then they should be removed as there are no clear reasons why you should have them.

Re-sorting a database and setting up new ways of collecting personal data can seem like a daunting process, but there are professional IT services that you can hire to help, such as Torix.co.uk who can help protect and secure all the sensitive data you collect.  

What about the people already on my database?

If you already have an email list or a database of business clients, you might be wondering if you have to get their permission again for you to be able to store their details. The good news is that you only have to do that if details were collected without their permission or knowledge. That means that most email subscribers should be fine to keep because they entered their own details to become part of a mailing list. For businesses with physical clients who have not given express permission for their data to be stored, it means that clients will have to be contacted for fresh consent.

GDPR is a law that will help protect the public from having their details used by unauthorized parties, but it also helps a business build trusted relationships with customers. For websites, their database will be of people who know exactly why they are being emailed, and are likely to be an engaged audience as they have chosen to be contacted. Getting to grips with GDPR now is a must for any business or website, so take action to make sure you comply, or the result could be a hefty fine and loss of a hard-earned good reputation.

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