Ecommerce mistakes

7 Mistakes to avoid when building a successful ecommerce business

1. Thinking it’s easy

Associated with e commerce businesses is a relatively big misconception, which is that ‘they’re easy to set up’. Although the nature of the business may make the process less complex when starting up, there are many considerations to think about – as with every business. A prime example is that within the ecommerce environment, many different businesses are selling the same products. So, how can you make yourself stand out? Consider making a plan, marketing strategy, acquiring funding and further developing your business and range of products.

2. Assuming customers will ‘find you’

This will simply not be the case. Prior to launching your business, ensure that a proper launch campaign has been thoroughly planned and ready for implementation. In addition, consider other technical and marketing areas are covered such as: the typology, readable meta tags and post relevant, valuable content to entice the online community and potential consumers.

3. Presume you’re ‘unique’

Although its a great confidence booster to think you’re unique, in the grand scheme of things, you’re probably not, as other etailers sell their products via different techniques. To gain an idea of how many other sellers are selling similar products to yourself, simply Google the product and see how many results appear. To be tagged ‘unique’, the term is used often when a company is accredited to have: a innovative purchase process, well-respected brand values and great customer service.

4. Hiding so no one finds you

When creating a business, it’s a common not to let your competition see what you’re doing and one way to do this in ecommerce, is through ‘hiding’ your website, meaning no one will find it. However, it’s vitally important to make your ecommerce site VISIBLE and post in forums, on social media and shopping sites. By doing so, you gain more exposure, which can leverage your site and create more opportunities for you to sell your products.

5. Focus solely on the website and front end

It should not be forgotten that the front end is very important, as this is what the customer sees. With that being said, the front end isn’t everything, as the back end and people visiting is just as important. Ensuring that brand consistency is a must, as is an easily functional website, though functionality and customer service will enhance your chances of being targeted by customers. It must also be noted, that the purchase and payment process must be simple, baring in mind that stock needs to stay updated and customers must be able to track their orders. Marketing in all forms such as; PPC, SEO, Email, Social media etc is what makes an ecommerce business successful.

6. Thinking trading with any partner in the world is a possibility

Trading internationally is difficult for an ecommerce start up, as there are many global trading laws and regulations to take into consideration, which can cause a big headache by increasing unnecessary costs for example – especially at the beginning. Alternatively, find a niche target market to focus upon locally and begin to build your brand efficiently and effectively. Focus on the short term and once your business becomes more established, then consider expanding into the global market.

7. Ignoring customer service till later

Customer service should be a key priority for any retailer/etailer, as this contributes towards the brand’s personality. When setting up your ecommerce business, be sure to think about the customer in every aspect of your business plan including, which products you’re going to sell and the way you’re going to attract potential buyers. At the end of the day, the customers experience needs to be made simple and pleasurable to encourage sales. Maintaining a healthy relationship between the customer and your brand after the sale, can turn first time buyers into brand advocates – promoting your brand on your behalf and increasing your ecommerce business exposure.

pedchin

A city in China opens “smartphone lane” for pedestrians

Have you ever been walking along a public path in a rush to get somewhere, only to be held up by the person(s) walking in front, with their eyes glued to their mobile phone and not a care in the world? The answer for the majority is probably yes. Although you may find it a slight frustration in the village, town or city you live in, consider this – it could be worse.

china 1With the population in China currently around 1.3+ billion, unique solutions to tackle pedestrian management are needed. As such, the city of Chongqing has proposed and implemented a tactical master plan in an attempt to tackle this dilemma in a tech-savvy society, through introducing mobile phone walking lanes for pedestrians. Surrounding these footpath’s are large signs written both in Chinese and English, accompanied by heavily painted-warning walkways. In terms of the signs, the text on one side states “First mobile sidewalks in China… Cell phones, walk in this lane at your own risk”, whereas the other simply reads “No cell phones”.

Even though this ludicrous idea does seem viable, will all the money spent on signage and paint be worth it, and really grab the attention of of avid mobile users?
You could argue yes, as being made aware of the signs and their presence, could ensure that mobile users at least consider where they’re walking. However, on the other hand, potentially not, as the nucleus of the problem still remains the same – eyes are focused on the mobile, instead of the users surroundings.

mobile walking chinaLike any other initiative, there’s always pros and cons, but in terms of the original idea, it’s a great one. Taking into consideration, this common problem can cause more dangerous incidents than what meets the eye, there is a need to find a solution to this problem. This method could prove to be the answer and with 88% of people disapproving of texting whilst walking, this somewhat ‘ridiculous’ idea soon be adopted elsewhere. It has already been trialed and tested in Washington (USA), but will other countries soon follow suit?

Research

Perfect preparation for your apprenticeship application

As with any job-related application, guidance is always welcomed. For that reason, we’ve compiled a list of things to consider prior to making your application, to put you on the right track, and prevent you from thinking “What if?”. Hindsight is a horrible thing, so lets ensure that you can submit your application with confidence, with these “5 Top Tips”:

1. Research

It’s of high importance to do your research before anything else to establish what industry you would like to work in, especially if you’re unsure. If you have a keen interest in something in particular such as; sports, marketing, construction and engineering for example, then use these industries as a starting point for your research. Once completed and when you’re satisfied with your findings, ensure that you tailor your application and convey your knowledge and enthusiasm about the industry you wish to work in, the company you’re applying to work for, as well as the role itself.

2. Investigate

Young investigatingBe sure to find out what comes with the package in the apprenticeship you’re applying for, as different employers may offer different training and qualifications (that shall be paid for by your employer), which can allow you to increase your skill set and acquire the required skills to work in various industries. These additional qualifications can also increase your salary, so they’re something worth knowing about.

3. Gain Experience

businesswomaAs with most jobs, employers admire individuals applicants who have work experience. It’s easier said than done to arrange, though it will give you an advantage when attending your interview. Moreover, gaining work experience will allow you to gain an idea as to whether the industry and the associated job roles are for you.

4. Effectively Communicate Previous Experience

ExperienceWhether you have had a full-time, part-time job or no job at all, make sure that you mention all the valuable skills you have learned in your day-to-day activities. Although they can be through employment, your skills can also be acquired through attending sports clubs and participating in other recreational activities i.e. Teamwork and leadership. Mention the ones you feel will be of more value to your potential employer.

5. Practise

Application formIt doesn’t matter how many interviews you have been to before, whether its 10 or none at all, it’s natural to be nervous. One way to calm these nerves is through answering practise questions with a friend, which you feel could be asked in your interview. Although it’s hard to guess what these questions might be, focus on your key strengths and your experience, to give your best answer possible.

WordPress 4.0

WordPress 4.0 (aka Benny): What’s new?

A new version of the most used open source CMS worldwide, WordPress, has been launched this week. WordPress 4.0 (aka “Benny” in honour of jazz clarinettist Benny Goodman) introduces new changes to make the platform even more user friendly, making it easier to introduce 3rd party content.

Regarding the new changes introduced, the main changes are related to the visual content with better previews for different files such as images .bmp and preview of the embedded content on the visual editor content box. There are also new supported oEmbed content providers such as Issue, TED Talks, Mixcloud or Youtube playlists.

There are some changes affecting the editor content box such as the page scrolling (now scrolls post content box) and the Edit Post/Page menu bar (now will stick to top of content box, making it easier for the user while editing/adding new content). The feature Colour picker has been added again to the visual editor.

Regarding the plugins list, now they will be shown as a grid including thumbnails adding a popup windows with the information from plugin’s directory page such as comments and features. Also it has added a “Beta Testing” tab to plugins screen for new features-as-plugins.

Other changes affect the language management making the platform more accessible in other countries such as the possibility to Install WordPress in your language and Streamlined Language management right from the dashboard.

These new changes are already implemented in lots of websites, however they affect more of the back office. You can see the full list of changes in the official WordPress website.

Twitter Analytics key metrics

Twitter Analytics: better late than never

One of the first concerns that people usually had when they join Twitter it was this strange feeling to be screaming into the void. When I joined, back in March 2010 twitter has only 30 million active users a month. Today, in 2014, this figure went up to 271 with a really interesting growing (Source: Statista)

We had to wait unit the platform was really established to get the new Twitter Analytics that were launched last week for free and for all the users.  It is quite interesting to see how, until now, there wasn’t any real and 100% reliable ways to understand the impact of your tweets. It was really necessary have to wait 8 years to be able to use this stats?

But as the title stands, better late than never!

Twitter Analytics: how does it work?

The first step that you have to do start on Twitter Analytics is to visit the web: https://analytics.twitter.com and log in with your acount. The sooner you do it, the better so in some accounts it will only start tracking the impressions of the tweets after your first log in.

The dashboard

The dashoard is really user friendly and the way it shows the information is clear. If you are new on Twitter Analytics, you might not see any information about the impressions for your last tweets…

Key metrics

  • Impressions: it shows the number of times that users saw the tweet on Twitter
  • Detail expands: it shows and indication of the number of times that users clicked on the content to find out more, specially on pictures.
  • Retweets
  • Links clicks
  • User profile clicks: how many people clicked on your user to see your profile
  • Favourites
  • Follows: how many followers you got directly related to this tweet
  • Replies

What are we missing on this Analytics?

Even though is a great new feature we miss three key points:

  • More detailed information about the devices being used (PC, tablet or smartphone).
  • Some tips to increase the impact of your tweets (best times, type of content working better for your audience…)
  • More information backwards on past tweets.
TED

Ted Talks – The Top 10 of all time! Ted Talks That will Change Your Life!

Over a BILLION views so far!

What is all the fuss about? TED?

It is Simple!

Because they add value to people and change lives.

TED was founded in 1984 as a one-off event.. It is celebrating its 30th year!

We are lucky and in a positive position we can watch and listen to educational talks for free! Since June 2006, the talks have been offered for free viewing online, under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs through TED.com.

Why have I posted this post? Because I was inspired and I am regularly by watching these videos The talks have made a profound difference to the way I look at life and try to add value to others. I am not going to waffle much longer apart from a few facts and then list these great talks in the order of views from www.youtube.com

As of April 2014, over 1,700 talks are available free online and each one is short but powerful and maybe life changing.

The Power of inspiration and a touch of social media!

By January 2009 they had been viewed 50 million times.

In June 2011, the viewing figure stood at more than 500 million, and on Tuesday, November 13, 2012, TED Talks had been watched one billion times worldwide

Figures correct taken from the Ted Website 21/08/14

Below was taken from www.ted.com/about/our-organization/history-of-ted

As TED Talks continue to be watched around the world, with an average of 17 new page views a second, the TED, TEDActive and TEDGlobal conferences continue to inspire, motivate and thrill attendees. In 2014, TED celebrates its 30th anniversary in Vancouver, Canada, with TEDActive happening simultaneously in nearby Whistler. The theme of this milestone conference: “The Next Chapter,” both a reflection on the most significant developments of the past 30 years as well as a look at what’s ahead.

And of course, the TED story continues…

I hope you get inspired as I did and do! Sir Ken Robinson is still my favorite ! What is yours and please leave a comment, share with you audience/connections to inspire and share any videos/talks that inspire you TED or not!

There are only 10 in my list above, there are thousands out there!

(Originally posted on LinkedIn)

6 Important Steps & Reasons To Start Blogging!

Formerly known as a “weblog”, blogs today in modern society tend to rival mainstream media and with the introduction of numerous social media platforms, there’s no wonder as to why. Blogging is a great social tool that allows individuals to produce content, which can be created in the aim of educating targeted audiences, among other purposes also. When content is produced and deemed credible, with significant value to a reader, active participants and members of multiple social networks are encouraged to share and leverage articles to extended online networks. As such, why is it so important for businesses embrace the art of Blogging? Here are 6 essential reasons;

  1. Set up a Blog

    Companies that blog get 55% more web traffic and 70% more leads than those that don’t. Blogging is a great way there is to reach your target audience with the useful, educational information they’re out there looking for. Not to mention how much it helps your search rankings.

  1. Set up an RSS Feed

    Approximately 46% of daily internet users read more than one blog every day. By adding an auto-discoverable RSS feed, makes it super easy for power users to get your latest blog posts and news stories, as soon as you publish them.

  1. Provide a link to company’s home page

    65% of daily internet users read at least one blog. It must be noted that this could be YOUR blog, so make it easy for internet users to find it. This can be achieved by providing a link from your company’s home page, promoting the blog posts via your company’s social media accounts, and even through the reposting or sharing by employees.

  1. Add social media sharing buttons

    Blog posts that were shared on Twitter and Facebook got 149% more inbound links than those not shared on social media at all. As a result, it’s advised to add social media sharing buttons to your blog. These handy little buttons make it super simple for your readers to share your content on their social networks, in turn extending the reach of your posts to a wider audience.

  1. Post insightful and informative content

    90% of consumers find customer content useful, with 60% of consumers feeling a company’s positivity after reading the content. As such, be sure to put yourself in the position of your typical consumer, and consider what information would be of interest to you. Make sure the content is relevant and appropriate before publishing online, to ensure the article is enticing and stimulates positive emotions from targeted and potential readers.

  1. Post content with relevance

    82% of consumers enjoy reading relevant content from brands and 70% of consumers learn about the brand through articles rather than ads. Thus, blogs can provide companies an opportunity to truly connect with their consumers through the content they’re producing, to develop and establish long-term mutually beneficial relationships.

Conclusively, blogs are as popular as they’ve ever been before and allow businesses, other professionals or non-professionals to share expertise, gain recognition and establish a meaningful and rewarding online presence, whilst building a positive reputation among the online community. Therefore, if you haven’t started blogging as of yet, get cracking as you could be missing a trick or two!

Marketing Companies UK – Directory of UK Marketeers

Traffic Website

You want traffic for your website…here are some tips!

We all want to generate more traffic. Here’s the know how to get more traffic, and fast.  Follow these three tips.

Forum marketing

Know your niche, and then sign yourself up!

If you find forums specific to your niche, you will find the like-minded, and then finally reach your target demographic. This can be a high ROI (return on investment) strategy.  Respected bloggers and net savvy forum users are an influential audience. Impress this lot of sharp surfers and they can help spread your content far and wide.  It only works if you actually add value to the forum you are using. Know your niche topic well, and remember that nobody wants to see content regurgitation!

Be specific and focus on a around 5-10 forums that will be worth your time. Follow the criteria below:

  • Look for forums that have at least 1,000 members and 10,000 posts
  • Make sure the forum gets at least ten to fifteen new posts on a daily basis
  • Ignore forums that are overrun by spam, always be vigilant
  • Avoid forums hosted by your direct competitors

Blog commenting

This is can be far more lucrative than you imagine- if carried out correctly. Follow the same principles as forum marketing.  Again, know your niche and don’t be repetitive. Remember your audience at all times and share valid, insightful observations.  Growing your online credibility will then automatically add value to your presented opinion or stance on any given topic.   Have fun, be inquisitive and create activity through stimulating conversation.

You must remember that your comment layout needs to include your name, email, and website!

Viral content buzz

Share your content to all your social media platforms. There are great sites to generate traffic – for free! Try Viral content buzz, it’s proven to be an effective platform. Especially for bloggers, one of the most significant areas of growth comes from Pinterest traffic.

This is the kind of traffic you want to get stuck into….take note of these tips and your website will be jam packed in no time!

Why Bing will be the next one invited to the internet party

binghomeIn the last few years every conversation regarding Internet has been in fact talking about Google. It’s true that this company has completely changed  the way we use the internet. Starting as a really simple concept (just a search engine) nowadays it is the biggest actor in the internet scheme with the most used internet desktop browser (Google Chrome) and the most used mobile OS (Android).

About two years ago, aligned with the Facebook growing, some articles started to suggest that the social media platforms could defeat Google, but nowadays it doesn’t looks likely to happen because Facebook is still just a social media platform.

Google have another rival on this tail, that being Microsoft. Even if most people think that they are almost out of the business and still living in the golden ages, now Microsoft is developing good technology. A good example of that is how “Bing” search engine is getting better and better.

BingMapsIf we compare Google Maps with Bing Maps, we can see it live. For example, searching for the Bullring (Birmingham) we can feel the difference. On Google Maps, the information is just about the shopping center, on Bing we have information about the stores inside and a directory on the left.

In terms of users, Bing Maps is still almost insignificant in comparison with Google Maps, but is being a really good solution for all these users unhappy with Apple Maps and will be the default maps system in all the Windows devices each day more multi-platform

Microsoft knows that they have to keep moving and one of the ways is via mobile. The company bought Nokia because of that and now with Windows 8 and the new terminals we can start to gain (or recover) a juicy piece of the cake. Don’t you remember when Nokia was the top company in the mobile phones market?