Thankfully, we live in the day and age of technology.Amid the pandemic, almost every single business and citizen is banking on cutting-edge innovations to help them perform crucial day-to-day tasks.The fast-evolving retail sector is no exception.Tech integration has been on the rise in the retail industry.Technological advancement over the years has managed to cushion the fall owing to the pandemic’s impact.For the retail industry which has taken a considerable hit, technology has proven to be indescribably useful to help it slowly, but surely, bounce back.Let us take a look at technology’s pivotal role in retail during such unprecedented times.Changing consumer behaviourThe outbreak of the coronavirus is certainly a wakeup call for businesses to up their game as this marks a paradigm shift in consumer behaviour.The pandemic has brought about decreased footfalls for the industry as customers are hesitant to make purchases, and the lockdowns in several countries have only limited their needs to essential items.With the help of tech, however, retail stores have been able to assume an online presence and offer on-demand services that have become increasingly popular.Consumer behaviour and demand have truly evolved to stay in sync with the technology available.Currently, the future of retail is actually unfolding right before our eyes.In times of such a global crisis where social distancing has become the norm, businesses that sell online will flourish.While online businesses have been around for a while, the pandemic has shed light on their importance to the economy and livelihoods.Ecommerce enablers: Offering easy access to improve businessFor entrepreneurs who have only recently ventured into this highly competitive and ever-evolving business environment, ecommerce enablers are a dream-come-true of sorts.Particularly for those without technical know-how, these e-commerce enablers facilitate their progress by offering easy access to technology and required handholding for them to further develop their businesses.This allows them to retain their customers and continue their business operations even in the face of adversities such as the current pandemic.With the demand for essential items surging dramatically, small-time retail entrepreneurs can make the best of the situation by leveraging technology offered by platforms designed to boost their success.Ecommerce enablers act as catalysts in empowering small-time businesses to help them flourish in the increasingly competitive online setup.For emerging entrepreneurs, it is also important to be mindful of the website they choose before displaying their products online.
Hence the first question you might encounter when you tell people about your business is, “Do you sell online?” And, going online is not just another example of becoming a lemming.The options are unlimited for a customer, and for the business, its audience is no more restricted.Let’s get a broader understanding of the reason that has made eCommerce create a huge momentum from the following points:With correct marketing and correct reach, you start catering to the needful customers.Be it an existing business, a startup, or freelancers looking for a platform to showcase their service, the online market is a space for everybody.Ready to start your own business online? eCommerce Business Guide: How to Build, Launch, and Grow a Profitable Online small eCommerce Business.
But sooner or later they would have to look outwards for funding and seek out investors.It started off as a way to fund artistic and creative projects, medical expenses or community-oriented social enterprise projects and gained mainstream traction with the launch commercial crowdfunding sites in the US like Indiegogo, Kickstarter and GoFundMe.The market is still in its early stages in Asia and there are issues concerning consumer protection and the regulations in the financial systems of the different countries.However, the idea is steadily catching up as your location ceases to be a limiting factor to securing investments.It is important to keep your backers engaged and updated by sharing updates and following through with the promised rewards.Launching a series of small campaigns to reach specific benchmarks builds brand loyalty over time and gives fans additional opportunities to support the startup at various stages.
It is basically a temporary sales outlet to supplement your online business.The idea is to make flash appearances and get customers you couldn’t reach before.One option could be a stall in an already existing store.Otherwise, you could be looking at renting a small commercial space in an area with a good football.Promoting the event to your existing social audience is the key to having sustainable foot traffic at your pop-up.Running promotions during your pop-up also helps to keep the momentum going.
This is vital and it is up to you to get creative to make this happen.In order to help you meet the end goal of revenue growth for your firm, we have some ideas for you.This offer can also come as a follow up to the initial purchase in the form of a discount coupon emailed to the customer that can be used within a limited time period.You might also consider Introducing a discount ladder by sending discount coupons periodically to your paying customers.All they will need to do is pay a small amount for shipping which hints at their genuine interest in your offering.In order to show your appreciation, you could offer them a coupon code as a mark of gratitude.
Time management is the process of organizing and planning how much time you spend on specific activities to increase effectiveness, efficiency or productivity.Good time management skills will also help in increasing productivity and help you stay motivated and focused on what really needs to be done.Completing them successfully will give you the momentum to help you sail through the rest of the day.It makes sense to follow the well-known Pareto Principle where 80% of results come from 20% of activities.The way to succeed is to identify the top 20% of efforts that are producing 80% of results and scale that as much as possible.Daily goals are easier to achieve while helping us move towards the bigger goal.
With Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year over, and many other traditional and marketing events taking place throughout the year, are you ready to take on the surge in traffic and (hopefully) transactions?In anticipation of the higher traffic and sales, there is considerable planning and organization necessary on your end.It is a great idea to develop seasonal products by creating new collections around holiday/festival themes.Sales promotions could also be the opportunity to bundle some of your existing products with festive add-ons.A gentle nudge to your customers in terms of suggestions of other products they might want increases sales.Being an online florist and gift shop, it goes without saying that Valentine’s Day or Chinese New Year is a huge source of revenues, and must be focused on.
As you start off, you are trying to save time and money and think that having a Business Plan in place is not really necessary.This becomes an absolute necessity when marketing your product or even looking at external investors for fundraising.Underestimating the sales cycle can sometimes land the business in trouble!One can go very wrong here and land into deeper crisis unless they are able to fix the flaws in the business model first.Hire only those truly needed and take staffing up step by step.Have a well-defined target market and good knowledge of your opportunities and threats, competitors and substitutes of your products, customer needs, and behavior, market value and demand.
Your self-funded resource pool has covered all your expenses for the past 6-8 months.At this point, one has to consider raising funds through investments.Sooner or later, most small businesses and startups look for funding and find investors.Let us look at some of the funding options available to you as a small enterprise.Such funding has been able to bring numerous investors and entrepreneurs together, even though they might be geographically far removed.If your product is solving a real problem and you illustrate thinking outside the box, you greatly increase your chances of successful crowdfunding.
What kind of a planet are we leaving behind for our children?Or can we ride the wave and do good both for ourselves and the world at large?Social consciousness is on the rise and data reveals that customers are becoming increasingly concerned about where their produce and products are coming from.They do care about a company’s sustainability efforts and would perhaps reward it with brand loyalty.But Their Behavior Does Not Always Support Their BeliefsIn reality, we find that while consumers care about the issue, they do not always follow through when it comes to actual shopping habits.
Online brand building will allow you to tell a story about what makes your business remarkable.It is going to be hard for you to compete with the bigger stores in terms of price, so it’s smarter to compete by differentiating your product.For starters, spend some time in developing absolute clarity on the mission your store serves.Once you do have a clear idea, write this mission down; preferably in a sentence or two.It will help you use the right words when you speak of your store, when you send emails to your customers, and when you write any copy on your website.Tell the story of your brand to uniquely position your products in the minds of your target customers.
You have got customers, and prospects for the future are generally looking good.Understanding your financial position provides you with valuable insights to help you make the best decisions for your business.As your business grows, cash gets sucked up.This helps in managing cashflow.Sometimes cashflow problems occur due to poorly managed Accounts Receivables.Please do your due diligence and make sure to follow up on your collections regularly.
Analytics is a powerful tool that helps you better understand what is going on in your website.Essentially, the more you know what is going on inside and around your business, the better and swifter your decisions for change will be.‘Business intelligence’ tools are the ones that can identify customer or product segments that are giving you maximum sales when you sell items online.Revisit your website periodically and try looking for areas that you think is performing below par.Usually traffic is categorized into four groups – Search (from search engines like Google), Referral (from another website via links on another webpage), Campaign (marketing activity mostly created by your own company) and Direct (from unknown source eg a bookmark or a PDF document).Tagging each post can help split the results and give you indications on the best areas to focus your energy and resources on.
This multi-faceted tool has the potential to reach large global audiences that may not have had the chance to access your website before so it’s important to harness this power in the correct way, create a great impression for your business and make it work for you.Studies show that companies spent $9billion on Facebook adverts in the second quarter of 2017 which is an increase of 47% from 2016 so here is how you should be following their lead…..Create your Facebook Business Page and Personalise it!Facebook users tend to use the site to connect with friends and socialise – to give your business a ‘voice’ you will need to write in a personable, friendly manner that engages people and that they can relate to and resonate with.If users comment or ask questions on your site ensure that you respond quickly as they will soon lose interest if they feel unheard.Identify your goals from the start either conversions, lead generations or just driving traffic to your store.
A “subscriber list”, full of interested customers and prospects is a valuable resource to any online business.It has therefore become essential for every entrepreneur and is a doorway of sorts to your prospects and customers.Offer a “subscribe to our newsletter” form where prospects can leave their contact information to receive your emails.They do not need to necessarily make a purchase immediately but have a good chance of becoming your customer if you can make them remember you.Again, when a customer has already made a purchase and is in the process of checking out, make sure they have the option of clicking on a button that gives you permission to send them email communications.Instead of using a one size fits all approach, using smart segmentation tactics to better cater to subscriber interests and needs works well.
Numerous studies have shown that returning visitors have a much higher conversion rate than new customers – typically 4.5% against 2.4% – proving that longevity is crucial in the online shopping world.If a customer has bought from you once – the chances are that they like your product and have the potential to buy again but you must work hard at this relationship to maintain customer loyalty and future purchase power!Follow these steps to keep your existing customers coming back for more….Everybody wants to feel like a V.I.P – offer an ‘exclusive’ discount to very loyal customers or give returning customers access to sales and discounts before anyone else.In a similar way to a loyalty bonus – you could offer a discount code for the customer’s next purchase or a total discount amount after their cart has reached a set figure.Shipping discounts are also particularly favored by lots of customers, as well as discount codes that can be passed on for friends and family to use.
Some may think that choosing a supplier is merely a matter of comparing price lists – but this should only be one factor in the decision-making process and in fact, there are many other things to consider when choosing a supplier for your products.Price is obviously a large factor but there should also be other considerations of quality, reliability, stability, and location when making this important choice.Additionally, whilst exclusivity is sometimes a good thing and can build loyalty – to put all of your eggs in one basket can also be risky.What if your chosen supplier lets you down or goes out of business?Clearly, cost is a huge consideration and more so if you are a new business, trying to manage your finances – a competitively priced supplier is likely to look very attractive indeed!It’s prudent to check the supplier’s credit history and ask other businesses for references.
So doing some groundwork before you set off to sell products online.It will go a long way in saving your precious time, energy and money.Try to find out what your planned target customer really wants – An easy way would be to speak to potential buyers about their current pain points, understanding their buying habits and get their feedback.This can often provide valuable leads regarding the most popular topics/ ideas on the minds of many.Do remember though that visits to a test website may not adequately reflect interest purely because not many people will actually know about you in your testing stage.Once you have an idea that you have created a sellable product, research on similar existing products.
There is a process that follows the simple steps of engage, persuade and sell products online and here’s how we can help you achieve it!Steps to writing product descriptions that sell● Define your target – Your ideal buyerHave an image in your head of how your buyer looks, what is her personality, what sense of humour does she have, which words will she not like and which words will resonate with her?You are creating the person who you are pitching to and if you understand them, you can get into their psyche and envisage how and what they will want to buy.And, a creative product description can help with this.
Consider adding a ‘Hello’ or a ‘Welcome’ message on your landing page.It feels good when one is served by an enthusiastic and efficient sales person at a brick and mortar outlet.If you are using Shopmatic, the WhatsApp or Facebook Message icons offer great avenues for this interaction.If you sell furniture online for instance, in addition to the dimensions, consider adding recommendations regarding the assembly and coordination of the various pieces and a virtual view if possible of how it would all look together to help the customer make decisions.Also provide a number or easy way to contact you if the customer needs help with any delivery/shipping related issues that may come up.Sometimes, as the customer returns or replaces the product, the customer service department is in for a stress test of sorts and has to be able to handle the dissatisfied customer with tact and efficiency so as to not lose the customer forever.
Whilst the freedom of having your online business from home or working from home often means that you are able to dictate your own hours, attend school sports day or work in your pajamas if you so wish…..it also means that you will need to develop super-human skills in self-motivation and how not to become easily distracted whilst working,If you find your mind wandering to the clogged up drain or whether the dog needs a haircut, then it’s high time to read our top tips on keeping your attention focused on your business and regaining your work mojo!Set up a dedicated ‘Office’ spaceSet aside an area in your home – it doesn’t have to be a separate room – where you can stay ‘on task’, avoid interruptions and be ‘at work’.Although comfort is important, you will feel more productive working at a desk than slumped on a sofa or bed with your laptop.Build a Schedule or Routine
You want to sell, you want to show your products or services to their full advantage, and you want your customers to trust you.Customers will decide very quickly if they like your store or not and move onto another website with a more attractive home page if they don’t.This is the age of instant gratification and if you cannot give that, you may as well be saying bye to your customers.Tell your customers upfront if you are a secure site (display relevant logos or certificates clearly), how they can pay, (what payment options you accept) when they should expect to receive their product and what they can do if they need to return it.To put it in perspective, about 30% of all products ordered online are returned and almost 92% of consumers will buy again if the return process was easy.Offer free shipping if you can; time and again this has proven to be a draw for online customers.
Now an idea on the same theme is developing fast and could help to get your business recognised.Although these mini-clips disappear after one hour – their impact is still great.Young people in particular seem addicted to the more ‘closer to life’ aspect of a video – living candidly in the moment.Rather than staging a photographic shot of carefully laid out products, a live clip could be an inspirational thought or just capturing an interesting moment.Because of the urgency of Instagram Live, people are compelled to watch it; they know it will disappear soon.At the end of your session try asking your viewers to sign up for more information or to pre-order a product to encourage them to act immediately and capture the moment.
If you are looking at the small number of visitors on your website, knowing you deserve more and wondering how to get more people interested, you can do a few things to help yourself right now!
The path of an entrepreneur is never an easy one but keeping up the steady focus on your goals is among the best help you could give yourself
So here are some quick tips to help you bring in more people to your online store
Link up to a Facebook page where you attract your target audience and begin a meaningful exchange around your product to increase website traffic.. Don’t look only for promoting yourself; that is not what your customers want to read.
Be willing to engage about topics that are beyond your product or service, yet still relevant to your industry.
Facebook provides the ability to ‘retarget’ your ads; that means you show on pages of people who have viewed products similar to yours.
But by the time they have converted into buyers, there are many valuable lessons they can teach and it is worth your time to keep eyes and minds open for these lessons.Look beyond the teething issues, the setbacks and the heartache you might have had securing your first few customers and understand instead what those challenges teach so you know how to stay on the right side of positive performance.However, your product or service might appeal to an audience quite different or perhaps there was another set of people you didn’t consider would appreciate your product as well.Say, for instance, that you are selling unique wooden DIY craft signs with messages designed to appeal to young adults and you find interior designers very interested in them too.So keep an eye open to find out what your first customers find special about your product.Yes; that’s what your funnel is – sending them down the ever-narrowing path that leads only to buying from you; again and again.
It is the first impression that your customers will take away with them.It has to look professional and articulate your business ideals and standards – and inspire trust.If your website looks dodgy, it is a reflection of your business – the chances are it will immediately put customers off.Fortunately, Shopmatic website theme comes to the rescue with pre-designed themes guaranteed to attract attention for the right reasons!For products and fashion, these Shopmatic website templates would be perfect – giving a clear layout and showcasing your wares expertly with clear precise images.● Think ‘Services’ and ‘Events’
Your perks are unique and many; you create online store where you develop and sell products you love, solve problems you care for, create your own environment of suppliers, vendors and co-workers, work on your own schedule, create your own opportunities and destiny, make a real difference in the world and for yourself, be the boss, influence people’s thoughts and actions, and stand up for what you believe in.The challenges of being an entrepreneur especially of running an online store are unique too; you are plagued by self-doubt, it is a lonely place to operate in, you don’t have the same opportunity to develop a relationship with your customers as you would through a traditional brick-and-mortar store and you may even lack expertise on the computer.Thankfully though, there are some things you can do to help yourself along the path of success.If you ask people what their problem is and show them how your product can solve their problem, you are setting the stage for a great marketing plan and ultimately great product sales.You build confidence, enhance your reputation by delivering on a promise, increase the efficiency of your own operations, and form a base for long-term relationships.There is a lot that on-time deliveries impact
10 Places to Find Awesome Free Images for your WebsiteStunning images that make our website attractive.If you are taking photos of your product for your store, here are some awesome tips to help Showcase Your Product Like a Pro.Some of these are available under the CC0 – Creative Commons Zero (Public Domain) and can be used for personal or commercial use for freeHowever, please do give credit wherever due; it is a generous community after all!For a wide range of artistic images; good resolution and relatively easy user interface.
So, being an online entrepreneur itself gives you the potential for fantastic growth in the next few years for sure.By its very nature though, the internet is a fast paced place forever updating itself and you do need to keep abreast of latest trends to stay relevant; you know that!Global phenomenon like the growing role of an online marketplace, however, is an important trend that must be looked into carefully and evaluated before you create online store for your continued online success.If you want to broaden your online reach to more customers and boost sales, you might need to look at selling through more channels than your own website.Marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Lazada and Facebook help you reach more customers; a more global audience evenThey are a good place to test how people react to your products in different price sensitivity spaces.
This could be the name of your product, its description, a call out to a visitor, what your customer reads as they checkout or just the words that come up when they first enter your online store.You engage digitally with your customers in four different stages during their online buying process.Studies now show that over half of the visitors that come to your page will spend less than 15 seconds looking at it.However, there are some general considerations to keep in mind that will serve you well and help you create more impact with your messaging and copy.No self-serving sales pitch to promote your product, please!You will build trust in your business by putting the power of choice and understanding in your customer’s hands.