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7 Simple E-Commerce Tips for Beginners

If you are just starting an ecommerce business, you might find a few tips to help you get off the ground helpful.

Starting an ecommerce business is much easier, faster and less costly than launching a traditional brick and mortar business. In many ways, the principles of sales and business are the same, and in many other ways, an ecommerce business is vastly different than a traditional business.

Here are 7 basic tips to help you with your ecommerce start-up:

1. Your domain name is one of the most important things about your ecommerce business! Choose a name that describes what you sell, incorporates some of your best keywords, and is short and very simple to brand.

2. Keyword research is essential! Take the time to research and find the very best keywords for your products and niche. Remember that with an online business, being found by the search engines is crucial to your success.

3. Use best SEO practices when building your website! This means using your main keywords in page headers, page files, content, within text links, anchor text, alt tags, image titles, and more.

4. Use good website design principles. This means using harmonious colors with text that is easy on the eyes. Research has shown that dark text on a light background is best for the human eye. Avoid flash and a jangling clash of colors, fonts and content that is too long or crowded onto the web page.

5. When using social media marketing and display ads on websites, target your consumer audience for best results. For example, Friendster and Bebo are predominantly younger people. So, if you are selling products mainly in use by senior citizens, you need to go somewhere else for marketing.

6. Make your checkout process as quick and easy as possible. If it is too involved with too many detailed steps, you will lose a lot of sales! Only get the information that you need to make the sale, anything else like an opt-in for your email marketing subscription list can come after the purchase has been made.

7. Display trust and safety symbols prominently! One of the biggest factors in making or losing an online sale is trust. You must let customers know that your website is safe and secure.

There are plenty of other things you will need to do, but just observing these simple rules will help you get your home dropshipping business or other ecommerce enterprise off to a flying start!

If you liked this article, you may also like this one:

history of ecommerce

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Online Sales Sluggish? Offer Promotions and Coupons!

If things seem to be a bit sluggish for you lately in your online dropship store or other ecommerce business, maybe you should consider having some good promotions and offering discount coupons to beef up your sales.

While many ecommerce entrepreneurs go heavy on promotions, discounts and coupons during the holidays, some tend to get a little slack about these things during the rest of the year.

The “Dog Days” of summer are notoriously slow for many merchants both online and in brick and mortar stores, so using promotions to stir up some shopping interest is just good business sense!

First of all, if you sell anything that can be used or worn by kids going back to school, this is a great time!

In many parts of the US, school will start back next month, and many parents as well as students will begin shopping for school supplies and clothing early.

To get the word out about your promotions, send out a newsletter specifically geared toward whatever discounts or coupons you are offering.
Make sure to put the details and the best and most appealing points above the fold, or on the top half of the page.

Besides sending out a newsletter, make sure your website is up to date with the details of the promotion and/or coupons.

One of the best things you can do when running a promotion is to make it time sensitive!

Make sure people understand that your promotion, discount or coupons are only going to be good for a limited amount of time.

It helps to have a calendar with the dates circled on your web page.

If you run display ads about your promotion, be sure to have appropriate landing pages so that visitors who click on one of your ads goes to a page with details about the promotion you are offering.

Promotions, discounts and coupons are fantastic ways to beat the summer doldrums and boost your profits!

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E-Commerce: Taking Stock of Your Social Media Marketing Efforts

If you are an ecommerce entrepreneur, you are hopefully using social media marketing, and it might be quite beneficial to you to stop, step back, and evaluate your efforts and strategies to see how well things are working for you.

Anyone who still doesn’t believe that social media is the wave of the future needs to join the rest of us in the 21st century!

Social media is not a flash in the pan or a passing fad. It’s big, it’s powerful, and it isn’t going away anytime soon.

If you are already leveraging the awesome power of social media, here are some tips to help you evaluate how well your efforts are paying off:

  • Are you furnishing information and messages that your target market is interested in? Each niche has its own demographics, at least to some extent. In order to optimize the effectiveness of your social media presence, you should be gearing your efforts toward your own particular niche. Otherwise, it would be akin to setting up a Hawaiian Ice stand at the North Pole. No matter how tasty and delicious your slushies might be, it is doubtful you would get many customers up there.
  • Are you on the right social sites? Again, the social communities you should be frequenting for your marketing efforts should reflect your niche market audience. For example, if your online dropship sales website sells Depends and other like products usually best suited for a more mature audience, you would probably be wasting your time on Bebo, where the demographics are mostly teens and young adults.
  • Are you paying attention to what others are saying to you? Social media can be immensely helpful in allowing you to keep your finger on the pulse of your potential or existing customers who interact with you IF you listen when they speak! Some of these folks might have a valid complaint about your product or website—or a suggestion for improvement—that it would behoove you to listen and act on.

Social media marketing is a wonderful, free way to build your brand and promote your online business!

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Email Marketing for your Home Business: What NOT to Do

If you have a home dropshipping business or other ecommerce website, you have probably at least considered doing some email marketing, and while it’s important to know what to do in order to for your email marketing to be effective, it’s equally important that you know what not to do!

Here are some essential no-nos for email marketing:

  • A long, wordy subject line that is cut off in mid stream by the recipient’s email provider. This is a very bad idea! You want a subject line that is short and snappy, to the point and brief enough that it all fits in the subject line space of the email! Anything more than that will have a bad effect on your open rate.
  • A complicated, exceedingly long email with tons of distractions such as flash graphics and an inharmonious clash of colors and content. If you compose this type of email and send it out to those on your opt-in subscription list, you can count on having a lot of them opt-out of any future mailings. Everyone is in a hurry. Respect your email recipients’ time and get straight to the point!
  • A pointless email that offers nothing of value to the reader. Who needs this? While it may be tremendously exciting to you that you have added a new employee or upgraded your office space, little tidbits of news like this will be nothing but bo-ring to the majority of your readers. Don’t send out emails to your subscribers unless and until you have something of value to offer them!
  • A mishmash mess of misspelled words, bad grammar and confusing sentence structure. This is something that should never, ever happen! Besides being unprofessional in the extreme, it also makes you come across as a first class dummy. Would you want to do business with someone like that? Probably not. Neither will your readers. If you are unable to proofread and edit your emails yourself, hire it done for a nominal fee or recruit a friend or relative to do it for you. But regardless of how the proofreading and editing gets done—do it!

Avoid these few taboos and your email marketing efforts will meet with a lot more success!

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Social Media Marketing Tips for Quick Results

If you are like most ecommerce entrepreneurs with a home business in dropshipping sales, you need social media marketing that will bring you quick results!

While social media marketing is actually a slow process that requires time, patience, persistence, commitment and diligence over the long haul, it is gratifying to know that there are a few things you can do that will bring you some fast ROI, or Return On Investment.

Here are some tips for social media marketing strategies geared toward fast results in terms of increased traffic and sales:

  • If you don’t already have a blog for your ecommerce business—don’t put it off another day! Get a blog set up and begin posting entertaining, interesting, informative articles that will generate some buzz and interest within your niche. Make your blog posts share worthy and the rest will take care of itself. As more people share and pass along your blog articles, you will see an immediate increase in traffic to your website.
  • If you have not already signed up for one of the free services available on the World Wide Web that help you streamline and integrate your social  media presence across all platforms you are using—do it now! One very handy service is Ping.fm. Check it out and save yourself a lot of time and hassle, plus boost your exposure so that you get results soonest!
  • Don’t ignore your audience! Be it a business blog, your Facebook Fan page or Wall, a Twitter tweet or whatever—never ignore people who reach out to you. If someone posts a comment on your blog, or asks a question; be sure to reply as promptly as possible. For one thing, if this person is a potential customer, what impression do you think it will make if you simply ignore them? Wouldn’t they have reason to be skeptical of your customer service if they did business with you? Sure they would! So, always reply when someone “speaks” to you online!

These three little things can help net you instant gratification with social media marketing by boosting traffic and sales!


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eCommerce: Shortcuts to Success in a Home Business

The internet has opened the doors to a whole new world of opportunities for enterprising entrepreneurs who want to make a living online, and taking a few shortcuts will have you making a profit even faster in your home dropship business!

Time is of the essence for many “netpreneurs” who are starting and running a home business.

Most home business owners take care of every aspect of operations by themselves and consequently wear a lot of different hats. So, making every minute count is of paramount importance!

Save a little time with these shortcuts to success in an internet business:

  • Use a free website design program. There are some great ones available online! Professional website designers spend a lot of time and a lot of money getting the right website design programs and learning all about how to use them. Face it, unless you are a wealthy home business owner, you probably can’t afford to hire one of these ultra snazzy design firms that produce the sophisticated websites for multi-million dollar corporations. So take advantage of one of the free sites that allow you to create a very professional looking website.
  • Sometimes it is best to spend money by hiring a pro. You need the best content for your website that you can get. It should have effective SEO, as well. If you are not proficient at writing content and/or not good at SEO, then definitely hire someone to do this for you. This is not the area to cut corners and try to save a few bucks!
  • Get started in social media marketing ASAP! Especially for a fledgling business, money may be in as short supply as time, so use the free marketing available from social sites and a business blog to drive traffic to your website. There are several free services and tools available on the internet for social media marketing that allow you to save considerable time by basically consolidating everything for you.

Success awaits anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort necessary to make it happen, whether it is an online dropshipping business or another ecommerce endeavor. Time is money, so saving time with shortcuts can help speed you on your way down the road to success!

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Tips for Building an eCommerce Business Blog

According to internet marketing analysts, having a blog for your ecommerce business is a great addition to your social media marketing efforts.

If you don’t yet have a business blog, but are eager to get started, here are some tips that may prove useful for establishing a blog that will help build your brand and grow your online dropshipping business or other ecommerce website:

  • Check out the fantastic FREE blog platforms available to you on the World Wide Web. The following three blog platforms have much to offer a blogger. Plus they’re all extremely user friendly. You can set up your blog and start posting in a matter of minutes!

Blogger.com
WordPress.com
Tumblr.com

  • Choose a name (web address) for your blog that incorporates the name of your online web store or product. For example, if the name of your ecommerce business is Better Ink Pens, then make the URL for your blog something like BetterInkPensBlog. You get the idea.
  • Make sure to use images in your blog. Internet research has shown that viewers respond more favorably to blog posts with images, and that images do more to keep a reader engaged than a post without images.
  • Choose pleasing colors, but nothing too busy or distracting. Human beings can most easily read a dark text on a light background, so bear that in mind. Don’t choose a font that is too fancy or off the wall because these tend to make your content hard to read.
  • Don’t make your blog posts too lengthy! The average internet viewer only scans content instead of actually reading it. If you drone on too long, you will probably lose the attention of your readers and that will be that. If you have an exceptionally long piece to write, break it up into segments.
  • To be successful in business blogging, you must provide fresh content on a regular and frequent basis. The search engines love fresh content, so make sure you have it for them! Getting noticed by the search engines is a must if you want to build your home dropship business or other ecommerce enterprise!

So, if you don’t have a blog for your business—get started without delay! It will be well worth the effort!

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How to Become a Social Media Marketing Expert

If you have dabbled in social media marketing with success, but would like to become an expert, what should you do?

First of all, regardless of how complicated and overwhelming the whole process of social media marketing might sound, it isn’t anything that can’t be mastered if you apply yourself and follow a few basic rules.

Even if you don’t become a Marketing Master and a true expert at social media, you can do well enough to reap rich dividends for your ecommerce business!

Here are some tips for mastering the mores of social media marketing:

  • Regardless of how much you may think you’ve already learned about social media marketing, this educational process must be an ongoing thing. You should allot a certain amount of time at least every week to catching up on all the latest and greatest developments in the world of social media. If you want to stay on the cutting edge and keep pace with your competition, make it a point to continually add to your knowledge of social media marketing.
  • Experiment! Don’t be afraid to try new techniques and strategies in social media marketing. It’s unrealistic to expect your marketing efforts to be perfection, because that won’t happen. But, only by striving for perfection and constantly trying to improve on your marketing skills and techniques will you be the very best you can be.
  • Don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help or suggestions from true experts in the field of social media marketing. These people are all active on the major social sites such as Facebook and Twitter, so be sure to include them in those that you follow, and pick their brains for useful tidbits of advice that will help you in your own social media marketing efforts.
  • Be actively involved in the social sites you join. You can’t sit on the sidelines, you need to get in on the action! Once you have been on a social site long enough to understand its own etiquette and rules for behavior, start making an effort to contribute something of value to the community on a frequent and regular basis. The more you do this, the better you will become at social media marketing. Remember, practice makes perfect!

Practice these unwritten rules for social media marketing to grow your home dropshipping business or other online endeavor, and you may find yourself a social media guru someday!

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eCommerce: Push Marketing vs. Pull Marketing

March 14, 2010 by  
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When should you use push marketing, and when should you use pull marketing for your ecommerce business?

Let’s begin by defining both:

Push Marketing is when you actively push your product toward a targeted audience. In some cases, you literally create a market for your product. For example, you have launched a website featuring your own custom made and designed baby clothes….then you advertise this clothing and your website with PPC, display ads, etc. In this case, you are creating a market for your product and pushing consumers toward it.

Push marketing is usually geared directly to the buyer.

Pull marketing involves creating a demand for your product. A good example of this would be the infamous Tickle Me Elmo a few years ago, or the Zhu Zhu pets this past holiday season. Kids saw these toys on TV and wanted them. Usually, you sink a considerable sum of money in pull marketing because you must actively build a demand a desire for the product, which generally takes a lot of advertising!

There is a place for both kinds of marketing—both push and pull—to help grow your online business.

The best of all possible worlds, though, is to use both types of marketing side by side.

Here are some examples of push/pull marketing strategies you could use:

Pull: You create an online community associated with your online business. As more members join and participate in the forum, they become involved with your website and your product/s. In this way, interest is translated into buying, and buying into customer loyalty.

Pull: Start a blog for your business and consistently post good quality, well written and informative articles relevant to your industry in some way. By delivering information that is of value to readers, you attract attention to your business and products through people who read your blog.

Push: eMail marketing is a prime example of push marketing. Sending out email newsletters and emails telling subscribers about sales, specials, promotions, contests or other noteworthy happenings on your website that might benefit the reader is a great way to use push marketing without spending much money.

Push: Paid advertising such as pay Per Click and banner display ads is an example of push marketing, although not inexpensive.

You can use push and pull marketing to build and grow your online business!

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10 Tips on How to Build and Manage Your Identity with Social Media

March 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Bonanzle, Drop Shipping, eBay, Home Business, Home Worker, Wholesale

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Are you doing everything you can do to build and manage your ecommerce identity with social media marketing?

Your personal business brand is who you are and what you are about. Your brand equals your reputation, so it is vital to your online success to build your brand the right way from the ground up.

Here are some tips for building and managing your personal ecommerce brand:

1. If you don’t have a blog, start one! This will give people a chance to connect and interact with you.

2. Let people get to know about you…your business, what you’re all about. Invest some thought and time into your “About” page and write it so that readers will get a good feel for what your brand stands for.

3. Find a new way to say what your business is about, or barring that—put a new spin on an old tried and true expression. Whichever it may be, make it uniquely your own.

4. Find people on social sites that are relevant to your business, or who have interests that correlate with your industry, and follow them. Don’t feel as though you have to be a Yes man or woman with these folks. If you disagree, or have an opinion that doesn’t exactly coincide with one of theirs, don’t be timid about airing your own views, in a very polite and respectful way, or course.

5. Be real. It doesn’t pay to be a phony on the internet. Rest assured that others will pick up on it really quick if you are not sincere and honest about what you say and how you represent yourself and your brand.

6. Stay up to date on your knowledge of the online world. The World Wide Web is in a constant state of flux, always changing and evolving. Make sure that you keep up with things so that you don’t come across as old hat or dated.

7. Keep your brand fresh and updated by continually adding new content. For example, your blog posts should reflect what is new and fresh on the internet or within your industry.

8. Generate some buzz about your business by getting on the good side of the Influencers on the social sites you are using. Remember, these people can be of immeasurable value to you because they influence many, many others! If they say something good about you, or Retweet you on Twitter, for instance—it will carry a lot of weight.

9. When you post on a social site, make it a contribution that will be of value to others. You might share a funny joke, anecdote or cartoon…..or an informative, educational message…but whatever message you put out there, make it something worth sharing.

10. If at all possible, choose a username on social sites that mentions your business/brand name. This will come in very handy when it comes to being remembered!

Build your identity online to grow your ecommerce business!

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