Category: Martech

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10 Ways E-commerce Sites Can Protect Their Shipments

You take pride in running your online store and look forward to finding new ways to make it more successful. Your hard work makes it easy for customers to navigate your website and place orders, but sometimes shipping can cause a few problems.

While you wear multiple hats to run your business, you’re not in charge of every step in the shipping process. It might make you feel powerless after your products have left your hands, but there are a few things you can try to prevent issues in the future.

Check out these 10 ways e-commerce sites can protect their shipments so every order arrives on time and in one piece.

1. Print Your Shipping Labels

It’s tempting to let your chosen shipping company print the labels for your orders, but it’s smarter to do it yourself. That way, you can double-check the information and ensure there are no mistakes.

2. Reuse Inventory Packaging

After you get new inventory supplies, save the packaging. You could use the boxes and padding to secure future orders without costing you an extra dime.

3. Pick Your Pallets

Pick the pallets for your international freight shipping to guarantee they won’t break like cheaper options. Some business owners hope companies protect their shipments for them, but sending them with chosen pallets protects your products and gives you peace of mind.

4. Recognize Fraud Transactions

Keep an eye on any transactions on your website. Extreme or repeat orders could signal fraud and create unnecessary risks. Never follow through with purchases that might be fraudulent.

5. Use a Shipping Platform

Shipping platforms streamline your orders and expenses, so look into popular software to find one that works for your business.

6. Insure International Shipments

It’s smart to get insurance to protect international orders and shipments in case they’re accidentally damaged or lost. 

7. Call the Shipping Company

If there are issues with an order, you can always call the shipping company to find out what happened and check on your shipments. It’s their responsibility to handle your items with care, but that doesn’t mean they’ll call you if problems arise.

8. Invest in Insurance

Protect your business when you invest in seller suspension insurance, which will keep your doors open if your customers are upset with shipping issues. This is especially important for companies that rely on mega brands, like Amazon, to be the middleman between you and your customers. 

9. Seal Shipments Yourself

Take matters into your own hands and seal shipments yourself. A little extra tape could be all you need to keep everything secure after you send off your orders.

10. Get Delivery Confirmation

Some customers may have issues getting things by their estimated delivery date. Get confirmation from your shipping suppliers so you can guarantee their order arrived on time. 

Go the Extra Mile

Any extra steps you can take to protect your shipments will help your business in the long run. Do everything in your power to make your products safer on their journey to your customers.

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Fastest Growing Industries for Entrepreneurs to Invest In

Entrepreneurs need to be actively searching for new opportunities. 

Once your startup has stabilized a bit and is starting to make a reasonable amount of revenue, it might be the time to start looking into other investment options.

By not placing all of your eggs in one basket, in this case, your startup, you’re putting a safety net for yourself and your loved ones if things take an unfavorable turn.

Here are the fastest-growing industries for entrepreneurs to invest in:

Artificial intelligence.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are changing our world completely.

Almost every day, a new business has made a substantial profit thanks to artificial intelligence.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning have countless use cases. From recommendation engines to self-driving cars, intelligent drones to optimized route finders, the use cases seem to become one after another.

Having a technical background will almost certainly help you out if you’re thinking about investing in a company that primarily focuses on developing artificial intelligence solutions. But with a few online courses, you’ll be able to manage.

Plus, there are tons of resources online that you can take for free that will give you enough insights about artificial intelligence that you’ll be confident in investing in it. 

Thanks to AI and another advancement, customer service can also be improved. Having a free live chat app for website will help you satisfy your audience.

Fintech.

Fintech or financial technology aims to use technology to solve the problems faced by the financial industry.

More and more people want to see innovation in the old and outdated financial industry. People are willing to try new technologies to see how they can be more efficient and savvier with their hard-earned money.

Blockchain, the technology behind popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, is steadily being used for other financial applications.

Banks like the Russian ALFA Bank, Singaporean United Overseas Bank, and Australian Common Wealth Bank, Indian Yes bank, are all using blockchain in their fintech efforts.

Having a background in finance, business, or technology, would provide you with valuable insights that could help you in making a wise investment decision.

Health.

Health is an industry that is going through a lot of changes at a rapid pace.

People are starting to become increasingly concerned about how their actions affect their health and their quality of life.

Wearable technology like Fitbits is becoming increasingly popular, especially among a younger demographic. 

By investing in a company that is in the process of developing new technology that will help people and their health, you might be able to get a worthwhile investment.

If you invest in a company that has already developed a new product, the chances are that a lot of other people would also be interested in that company. 

It is up to you to decide what kind of investment and the level of risk that you are willing to take.

Construction.

Construction is quickly becoming a growing industry again. The need for efficient and environmentally friendly housing is becoming a fast-growing industry that you should consider investing in.

The millennial homeownership rate is declining. A large number of millennials can’t buy a house because of their student loans, and millennials are also less interested in settling down early.

You might have an opportunity in your hands. As an entrepreneur, you’re inclined to take risks when other people stay away.

If you find a company that is developing housing solutions that cater specifically towards millennials, you’re going to be able to tap in on an overlooked or unappreciated market. 

Consulting.

Consulting is a fast-growing field that entrepreneurs should be keeping a close eye on.

Most people are experts at least one particular thing. Find what you’re good at besides being an entrepreneur, and you’re all set to start consulting.

You can invest in a consulting business by investing only in your time. You don’t even need a lot of capital.

If you’re an entrepreneur who is running a startup that revolves around social media, you probably have more than average insights about social media. Businesses are willing to pay a good amount of money if you can consult them and help them out with the problems that they are facing with their business.

The great thing about consulting is that you don’t even need to be an expert. All you need is to do is have working, practical knowledge that will help you provide actual value to your clients.

Transportation.

Transporation is another rapidly growing industry. With climate change becoming a more significant challenge by the day, the way we commute needs to change, fast.

Smart cities will make our transport routes more efficient and less of a burden on our resources. 

Self-driving cars, once tested to perfection, will help save up for the time lost in daily commutes.

Electric cars will help save our planet by putting an end to our reliance on fossil fuels, as we go towards greener and renewable sources of energy.

The transportation industry is growing and will continue to grow in the future too. For entrepreneurs, transportation is a great industry to invest in with an expected stock market 10-year gain of 125.82%.

Consumer retail.

Consumer retail includes ecommerce, personalized retail, and pop up retailers.

As more and more people are becoming comfortable shopping online, consumer retail seems to be growing in the future.

When investing in the consumer retail industry, it would be ideal to invest in a business that has thoroughly invested itself in the digital world but maintains a sound brick and mortar presence as well. That way, you’ll be able to have the best of both worlds.

Conclusion

Entrepreneurs that take calculated risks can gain the most rewards.

Remember that you should only invest in industries and businesses you believe in and trust. Investing in something that you don’t completely understand (for me, it’s cryptocurrencies), you might be at risk of losing a sizeable sum.

By investing in fast-growing industries, you’ll be able to cash in on a trend at a good time. Keep observing the industry and when it’s time to jump, jump immediately, and move on to the next big thing.

Hamzah Adil is a digital marketing executive who loves to write about business and entrepreneurship. Lately, he’s also taken an interest in investing and finance. He is currently working for a startup that has developed a new live chat application called SwiftChat. Live chat software allows businesses to provide quality support to their website visitors at a reasonable price.

Website: https://www.swiftchat.io

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Does My Business Need an App?

The world has changed, and it keeps on changing. We know live in a world where mobile devices and smartphones have become almost all-encompassing; we rely on them for far more than just basic communication – they have become the items around which our lives are organized, through which our thoughts and plans link up to the wider world, and wherein we record our daily existence, do our shopping, our banking, book our reservations, find love, and discover new forms of entertainment. Our mobile devices have intertwined with our lives in ways hitherto unimaginable… and believe us when we say that this is merely the beginning.

As such, even thinking for a moment that your business might not need an app is increasingly ridiculous. Businesses rely on their competitive nature, on staying one step ahead of the others, and gaining the edge over any others within their field. Not having an app for your business in 2020 is something which not only marks your business out as irrelevant in the modern, dynamic, and ever-evolving marketplace, it also cuts your business off from a wide range of advantages and opportunities which custom app development offers with ease.

While there are, frankly, dozens of different reasons why custom apps for business are more important and essential for business growth than ever before, we’re going to focus on just a small handful of justifications in this blog. By considering the points below, and thinking seriously about why business apps can open the doors for increased trade, heightened marketing reach, greater customer satisfaction and so very much more in 2020, it will become blatantly clear why your business really does need an app, and why a custom app for your business may just be the smartest move you make this year. Read on and find out for yourself!

Direct Customer Interaction

It seems like a million years ago that businesses would have distinct and impenetrable opening and closing hours, outside of which there could be no questions answered, no customer interaction, and no promotional efforts made. If business apps have achieved one thing, and can help your business in one way above all others, it’s in this sense of completely throwing open the doors of opportunity for heightening your communication with customers.

Whether this comes in the form of advanced AI chatbots, which allow you to answer customer questions and provide assistance through the wonder of artificial intelligence, or in the form of interactive blogs, link-ups to Twitter accounts, or a live chat feature (or indeed many other possibilities) the options are more or less endless. Customers are more demanding than ever before when it comes to their time and the level of service they receive, and believe us, your competitors will be more than happy to snap up customers who look – even for a moment – elsewhere. Business apps allow you to keep customers happy and in the loop… and happy customers spend more, and return again, and again, and again.

A Range of Features at Their Fingertips

While there’s little doubt about the fact that your website contains all the truly essential information your customers need to know about your business, it would be foolhardy to believe that this is the be-all-and-end-all of what your business requires.

After all, so very many online interactions and web searches nowadays take place on mobile devices, and your customers want to be able to access more than just the basics, and they’ll need to be able to do so on the go. With an app for your business, you can link up your website to your social media feeds. You’ll be able to add interactive maps. You’ll be able to turn those mobile devices into augmented reality marketing tools. You can bring mobile games into your app, turn phones into loyalty cards and voucher scanners. The possibilities are as broad as they are exciting!

Do I Need an App if I use Social Media Marketing?

In a word: yes. Don’t get us wrong: there’s no questioning the fact that social media marketing and social media feeds are fantastic tools for businesses of all types, linking your presence up to a truly global network, and helping your business to grow and establish itself on the marketplace. However, a custom business app can help complement your social media efforts, and can also achieve goals which social media cannot reach.

Why? Because a custom app for your business removes all the spam that comes with social media, and allows your customer base to have unfettered, uninterrupted access to everything your business does. Just think about it: when you put your messages out on Twitter or Instagram etc, those marketing messages and content needs to compete with millions upon millions of other items, and can easily get lost if the algorithms are not in your favor. An app will deal with this issue instantaneously, and it also gives you much more creative control regarding how your content comes across.

Take Email Marketing Further with Push Notifications

Push notifications are one of the most useful and effective aspects of a custom business app, as they allow your business to provide sharp, snappy, and efficient reminders and messages to your customer base, and keep engagement and interaction levels high.

Interestingly, this used to be the realm of more traditional email marketing, which many claim was effectively killed off by Google’s highly effective spam filters and ‘promotions’ folder. Be serious: when was the last time you looked through the emails in your promotions folder and gave the material there even the slightest hint of a second look? The chances are, this isn’t something you do often… if ever at all. Your customers will download your business app because they want to associate with your company, and they want to receive updates about what you do and will do in the future – push notifications bypass those spam filters and allow you to communicate your messages with ease.

Streamline Communications and Build Relationships with Business Apps

We’ve outlined just some of the key reasons why your business needs a mobile app, and why developing a custom app with a professional app development agency might just be the smartest move you make. The future is here, and through mobile apps, businesses are more capable than ever of keeping up with the increasing demands of an ever-growing consumer base, whose expectations and standards never stop growing higher.

Mobile apps not only place your business at the forefront of a quickly evolving market, they manage to do what businesses have been striving to do for generations: they deepen the relationship between customer and company, and personalize communication to an impressive and highly effective level. Add into this mix the efficiency of an app, the heightened marketing potential, and the progressive branding opportunities, and the reasons for developing a mobile app grow more convincing than ever before.

About the author

Though a lawyer by trade, Vasily Malyshev found his passion in the mobile tech, self-taught design and development. He is the founder of Messapps, one of the top New York app development companies. Today, in addition to working with Messapps, Vasily is also teaching app development and marketing at New York University and regularly invests in other tech startups.

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Mobile Point of Sale (mPOS)

The entry of the mobile point of sale (mPOS) has revolutionized many business sections by simplifying the options of cashless payments. Industries like hospitality, healthcare, travel, and tourism have been using mPOS systems and endpoints quite extensively. The rapidly growing payments ecosystem has mPOS as the major catalyst that triggered the industry into new heights.

Easy, seamless and secure cashless payment transactions free customers from the obligation of carrying a high amount of cash and at the same time, the business owners can focus on offering improved customer experience. It fastens the sales completion cycle, boosts productivity, saves time spent on manual cash-counting, drives financial accuracy, provides customer satisfaction and overall security.

Check out the Infographic to glean interesting insights about the current trends and future market of mPOS industry.


[Infographic] mPOS: Apprehending Future Market & Enterprise Benefits by Kiosk Lockdown Software
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Do You Own an Online Business? Here’s How Social Listening is Your Ultimate Tool to Online Success

For a business to exist in the contemporary world, it’s crucial to have an online presence. Enterprises that lack an online identity are invisible to the world of business and a massive online audience.

However, I believe apart from access to high-speed internet and a chic logo, there’s far more that goes in for a business to become successful online.

Similar to traditional businesses, digital businesses also require customer feedback and response. However, sustaining the reputation requires the use of social listening tools and a lot of brainstorming before measures that lead to the success of an online business are taken.

What are Social Listening Tools and why does it Matter?

Let’s be honest, the internet is a great place to access. Especially if you have high-speed internet and undivided time to spend online; a multitude of benefits can come your way through this medium.

From your daily dose of news and gossip to the goodness of wholesome memes, the internet blesses an individual with more than he/she expects.

However, for online businesses internet has become more than just another place to sell their products or services. The medium provides effective platforms to channel and market a service or product. Through the internet, businesses can reach an entirely different audience that is more targeted, diverse and responsive. The good part here is that even the mightiest social media sites, like Facebook and Instagram that were essentially created for social networking, have updated their respective platforms in ways that benefit online businesses immensely.

And apart from all this, the internet also facilitates businesses with tools that encourage the seamless functioning of an enterprise. An example of this is social listening tools. Social listening tools not only make things easier for the business in terms of customer engagement and brand strategy but provide businesses with guidance on undermentioned aspects.

Social listening tools allow businesses to analyze, track and even respond to comments that are about your business or the online business industry as a whole.

To understand social listening tools more, consider it as a competent supervisor of a traditional set-up business who keeps an eye on everything happening at the workplace. Nonetheless, from keeping an eye upon how your business is functioning to receiving feedback from visitors and customers, social listening tools are more vigilant than an average human supervisor.

Now that we better understand how social listening tools basically work for online businesses, we shall address the part which must be very obvious by now.

So here are some of the reasons why social listening tools matter to online businesses: 

1. Essential for Customer Engagement

The aforesaid benefits of the internet only presented the bright side, quite oblivious of due acknowledgment of its dark or downside. The internet might be the greatest place for entrepreneurs, small business owners and of course, for well-established brands and enterprises too, but what’s troubling is its ability to tarnish the well-built reputation of a business concern literally overnight.

In recent times you might have noticed the power of a single tweet or a Facebook post that’s accusing a brand of its poor customer service or below par product quality. Such content takes rounds on the internet while the brand’s award for great customer service or its efforts to boost revenue cry in the corner.

It is because of these horrifying days that a business needs to take all possible measures to maintain a good business reputation. And social listening tools come most handy in this regard. Social listening tools help businesses in identifying possibilities that allow them to engage in conversation regarding their brand, product or service. 

2. Perform Action According to the Requirement

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, an online business doesn’t achieve success with only fast online connectivity and a stylish logo, a mammoth effort is required. Luckily because of social listening tools, these efforts have been rendered simple for smart entrepreneurs. 

More than just a tool for customer engagement, social listening tools present a medium that helps observe and analyze social sentiment. 

Social sentiment is known as an online response a business gets from customers. Social listening tools allow a business to keep an eye on the factors that trigger social sentiment in – positive or negative – in the first place. 

Positive social sentiment can either be the result of a successful brand campaign or a powerful product marketing strategy. In any case, a business must keep into consideration all kinds of social sentiment that come its way. Because this is what symbolizes and presents, in a nutshell, the ultimate signals that tell how a product or service is impacting your existing and potential clientele. 

Moreover, via analysis of collective response or customer feedback, social listening comes to help a business with altering brand strategy as per the requirement at any given point in time. As a result, an enterprise may come to understand how it should mold its brand strategy in order to work effectively at any appointed time.

3. Tells You More About Your Competitors

Social listening is one of the greatest tools that facilitate gain of information about how your competitors are working. 

Business is all about having maximum knowledge about your competitors. Especially if its an online business, even the slightest information about a competitor is equivalent to a treasure. 

Social Listening tools can help a business in knowing whether or not their business competitors are launching a new product; whether they are opting for a new marketing strategy or calling a press conference etc. 

All this information about competitors assists a business in going one step ahead and eventually bagging more opportunities for success.

Final Words

In conclusion, social listening tools let you analyze data to find out what people are thinking and saying about your business and what you can do to improve the performance and reputation of your enterprise. Also, in case you came here looking for the best social listening tools, we will for sure mention a few you may find advantageous: Hootsuite, HubSpot, Buffer, and TweetReach are some of the best from the lot.

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Strong Online Reputation Management in Workplace Matters – Know Why 

Undoubtedly, today, information spreads much quicker than before. It applies directly to product reviews or service made by consumers and clients. Social media’s growth coupled with the ability to access the net easily irrespective of where one is has produced the requirement for ORM or online reputation management. It is a process to monitor and influence the online presence of one’s business.

The Need for a Strong ORM in Place

Look at the vital steps that throw light on the need for a strong ORM in place

  • Put the Best Face Forward- The reputation of a company is how the investors, potential employees, and consumers view it. All or any of these can get impacted by a single unfavorable tweet, review, or post on Facebook. So, if one fails in having the right strategy, which includes a prompt reply to such complaints, the image of their brand can be tarnished.

It will indicate that their customer’s response indeed is not vital for the company; this is something no one desires to convey. It is through reputation management services from an ORM company New York that one can put their company’s best face forward. One needs to ensure that they are that go-to company for solving issues within their domain or the top service via overseeing reviews as well as replying to each.

  • Credibility and Building Trust – the day will arrive when one gets a negative review. Be it on Twitter, Facebook, or any industry-specific website, it is genuinely inevitable in keeping every bad comment at bay. Though unfavorable comments may sway the decision of purchase of a prospective client, yet not reacting or responding to such review can create a bigger impact. 

Today people research companies much more compared to before. So, the moment they notice that any company has unanswered complaints, this will act as the red flag thus will be hesitant in doing business with them. Being capable of recovering from bad reviews will help in restoring the confidence that is lost in one’s company and thereby help in regaining trust with their audience. One should show their prospective business partners and customers that they genuinely value their feedback via acknowledging that they have appropriately seen it as well as letting them know of the fact they will mediate or consider the issue. 

  • Analyze the Needs and Wants of Consumers- To check all the reviews will give one an insight regarding what is right and what is not for their business. Consumers surely will point out things which they cannot get enough along with the things which they can do without. Most companies in New York refine their business via spotting such complaints as well as tracking those which appear consistently. That, along with helping them with their bottom line, will also show that their business is adept in adapting the current times and is also innovative.

Apart from these, companies in New York are also putting efforts to maintain their thought leadership. To know more, contact the best reputation management service provider in New York today.

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The Guide to Sending Bulk Emails without Spamming

An email is a powerful tool for the modern marketer, but it’s easy to lose sight of its importance when juggling responsibilities. Before you know it, your meticulously-crafted emails can end up in junk folders all over the globe without ever being opened.

What’s worse, recipients may mark your emails as spam. When this happens, your mass marketing campaign may struggle against spam filters of major email providers.

Open rates may plummet, and all that time and effort will go to waste. Not to mention, you may end up with a poor return on investment (ROI).

In this article, you’ll learn how to avoid these pitfalls of email marketing. Instead, we’ll show you how to send bulk email without spamming your readers.

Why do Bulk Emails land up in Spam?

Bulk emails, especially if they contain promotional content have a higher chance of landing up in Spam. This can be due to a number of various reasons. And most common among these is the use of Spam trigger words, which leads to some emails landing up in Spam. Since your bulk email list is probably huge, the number of Spam or low engagement rates have a very adverse effect on your IP and sending domain reputation. This can cause your triggered or transactional emails to land up in Spam too. Another reason the engagement rates are usually low for bulk emails is that usually people are bombarded with so many promotional emails in their inbox, they tend to ignore all emails which seem promotional in nature. Using a Bulk Email Service Provider goes a long way in making sure your emails land up in Spam. Also, keep reading to find some interesting tips to craft promotional emails in ways that can be more engaging to your users and get you better ROI on emails.

Here are 5 things you need to keep in mind before sending out Bulk Emails

1. Is your email content useful?

With your audience personas in mind, brainstorm some topics that address their pain points and personal goals.

Look for solutions to their problems, or opportunities to help them in the journey towards their goals. Sending people industry updates is great, but it must be relatable to them.

2. Is your template engaging?

Your templates add as much, if not more value to your emails as compared to the content you have placed in the email. Email templates that are very image-heavy and contain spam trigger keywords are going to land up in spam. It’s a no brainer. However, emails with a simple template having your company logo, containing maybe 1 CTA, are most likely to reach the inbox. Again, here the content you have placed in your email matters the most. If the user identifies your brand as one which is going to give them content that helps them, they will most likely open your emails as soon as it reaches the inbox. Keep your template simple, your content fresh and let the voice of your brand be clearly seen through your bulk emails.

3. Are you delivering on your promises?

As aforementioned, it’s important to set expectations for your subscribers. By delivering emails they weren’t expecting, you’ll deter recipients and lose subscribers.

After you set their expectations, there should be no nasty surprises, which means you can reduce the risk of spam complaints or a drop-off in subscriber numbers.

Just make sure that you follow through with the valuable content they need.

4. Are the emails in alignment with your business goals?

Your goal may be to build a bigger audience, sell a product, or drive more traffic to your website blog. Whatever it is, your emails should be intrinsically linked to your goals.

Every email you send to subscribers should be another step along the buyer’s journey, providing value for them, and also nurturing trust so that you can eventually get them to answer your call-to-action.

5. Are your emails adding value to your business?

You might want more people to sign up to your app, or more people to purchase stuff from your store, or you might be sending out email blasts to your customers just as a retention tactic so that they don’t forget your brand. All these emails serve a certain purpose which is contributing to your business achieving its goals. Email Blasts are not simple to execute, they require a lot of time and resources of your company and creates a brand perception among your customers/prospects. You need to make sure that these people only receive the best kind of email from you, which is beneficial to you as well as to your customers.

Wrapping Up

Knowing how to send bulk email without spamming is important for all marketers in the current digital landscape. As social media shifts towards being a paid advertising platform, the opportunities for cheap, easy marketing are dwindling.

An email has a lot of potentials, but only if you know how to use it.

Sending out a generic email that offers no value to the recipients will no longer cut it. You should treat all of your email campaigns as a direct extension of both your business and your brand.

Using a conversational tone is great, but above all else, you must be consistent and provide valuable content that your recipients find useful, interesting, and unique.

By setting expectations early, and then following through with valuable emails, you can build a list organically, and avoid being marked spam as people recognize your brand as one that delivers.

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8 Warning Signs of a Bad Website Host Provider

Your web host is one of the most important aspects of your website. Thus, choosing a good web host is recommended to ensure that you can easily optimize your website, as well as provide an excellent user experience.

A poor hosting provider not only hurts your search engine rankings, but it will also cost you a lot of money in the long run. It is because your web hosting can play a significant role in how search engine bots can crawl and index your website.

Fortunately, you can spot the warning signs that will tell you whether or not you have a good web host.

Frequent downtime

While a web host could not precisely guarantee you a 100 percent uptime, it is not a good sign if it is frequently down either.

Frequent site downtimes can decrease your site’s overall traffic and conversion, and eventually, your bottom line. You might have to pick another web hosting provider and migrate your site if that is the case.

Poor customer support

No provider in the market could guarantee that your site will not encounter any problems or issues along the way. However, a lousy hosting provider can create issues like having a reduced response time and inadequate technical support.

If you cannot talk to anyone in your host’s support team as to why you are experiencing some issues, then it is high time that you switch to another web host.

Slow loading time

The amount of time it takes for your site to load is a determining factor whether or not you will be able to convert more sales.

There is nothing more frustrating than having to wait for a site to load. So, if your website is taking too long to load, there might not be enough bandwidth across the host server.

Cheap hosting companies will be selling shared hosting to numerous websites. They will bog down the processors and bandwidth across the server. The result? A slow-loading site.

So, if your site is taking more than three seconds to load, it might be time to switch to another web hosting company.

Insufficient storage space

The amount of storage space that you need will usually depend on the type of website you are running.

So, if, for some reason, your current web hosting provider is unable to meet your needs, you should start looking for a new hosting company. That way, you would not hamper your site’s productivity.

Inadequate security features

Your website should have top-notch security. A cheap web hosting provider will not provide you with security applications, leaving your site compromised and open to being hacked.

If your current web hosting company is not offering security features like a firewall, anti-malware applications, and anti-virus software, then you could risk losing that information and get hacked.

Choose a web host that will offer you strong security so that all your information and data are safe. Also, if you are running an e-commerce store, your data is not the only thing that is at risk ‒ your consumer’s data as well.

Pick a web hosting company that will give you and your customers’ strong security features that will keep your data safe across all servers.

High renewal charges

There are some web hosting companies that will offer discounted rates for first-time customers. But they are also making it clear that they are giving discounts for the first year only.

But here is the thing: They are also forcing their customers that have already subscribed to pay exorbitant rates to renew their subscription.

In essence, old customers should continue paying for what they initially paid. It is the new customers that should pay for the new rate.

Bad user-interface

The primary purpose of UI is to make it easy for the user to do something on your site. But if they are encountering a lot of errors, and the content of the page does not make sense, then those couple of dollars that you saved with a cheaper host is not worth it.

Lack of features

The features that a web hosting company is offering should be on par with the price that you are paying every month.

Being able to implement features like Media Wiki, Joomla, PHP scripts, or b2evolution technology is vital to keep up with the latest trends in the market. Moreover, other features that are common in the most excellent web hosting providers include WordPress, vBulletin, and Drupal.

So, if you are working with a web hosting provider that does not have these features, then you might have to install these features on your own.

Final Thoughts

Web hosting is one of the most crucial aspects of your website. When you pick a cheap host, then you are putting yourself at a terrible disadvantage.

So, do not rush in setting your site up and picking a web host. You should do your research, do a website hosting comparison, and carefully weigh the pros and cons of a specific web hosting provider.

Remember that a poor choice can lead to negative consequences later on.

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Growth Strategies and Landmarks for Small and Mid-market Merchants

It takes unflinching determination and a will of steel to be able to start something of your own knowing the risks involved and the immense competition. Cheers to the never say die spirit of entrepreneurs.

Once you’ve set foot in the industry digital maturity is something that you must have planned to achieve considering the heights to which the internet can scale your business. It’s safe to say there would hardly be any small or mid-market merchant not thinking about digital transformation to shift their business to the web.

What are the Growth Milestones for small and mid-market merchants?

The journey of a business need not be accounted in terms of months, years or decades, rather in the milestones that it has achieved in the however limited time it has been running. What are these milestones now? Let’s find out.

The strategies, the working model that works for your competitor may or may not be the right ones for you. Investing enough time and dedicated energies towards your venture will help you get closer to the business model that would bring you success. The business model hence becomes the first and foremost milestone for your budding business.

Prepare your e-commerce business model keeping in mind the importance to stay relevant to your customers throughout the run. Identify your target audience and what exactly are their expectations for better product delivery. You might need to make changes to your model basis the changing needs but that’s alright till you have your finances managed. This brings us to another important aspect of a business model, i.e. financial management. Analyze, from where and how much revenue your business would generate, the part of it that would be utilized in business development and the part that remains as profit.

Source: blog.ibsindia.org

Once the model gets planned next up would be a struggle to find customers. Your first few customers are going to bring immense joy which will be another very important business milestone as a small and mid-market merchant.

Try to make sense of what the audience you’re targeting actually needs when it comes to not just the products but also the overall experience. If you tap the right nerve you’ll never again struggle for customer inflow.

Once you start getting your old customers back for new products, consider that you’re doing something right that’s bringing them back. Loyal customers serve as great testimonials for the products, services and the experiences you provide. 

Striving hard and building strong relationships with customers is extremely crucial for you to look at success in the near future. Try to tap the right nerve and serve exactly what is required. And, as they say, do your duty and a little more, a small reward or loyalty bonus time and again for your customers would go a long way.

Another most important aspect of your e-commerce business would be to have a positive cash flow in check. A business that too a budding one would begin to struggle for finances without a consistently positive cash flow. Even with a well-paying customer base, stagnant cash flow would start to pose problems. If you have that managed you’ve successfully made your business reach another milestone.

It’s crucial for small and mid-market merchants to have a well-planned marketing strategy chalked out. It not only helps in well-constructed marketing but also ensures effective utilization of resources available at hand.

Source: http://websitemarketing.com.ng

If you’ve not yet come up with one, do it at the earliest. You might need to make changes to your strategy as you go on but that’s inevitable. Prepare the plan keeping in mind your resources and how far you are ready to stretch. Keep your goal in mind to come up with a plan that suits you best and ensures positive results. And, that would be another growth milestone for your business.

A good team consisting of people whose goals align with your business’ is the most important to constitute. Find time to recruit and train employees to understand your niche and the demands of it. Only a well-meaning team will give in their 100% to meet your targets. Would it be anything less than a milestone if you’re successful in constituting one such workforce?

When you’re all set with a business model at hand, loyal customers to seek your services, a marketing strategy at your disposal and even a good team, what comes next is your plan for expansion. If you’re not just sustaining your business but also expanding it however slow the rate be in the initial years you’re moving towards your next growth milestone.

The road to meeting these growth strategies can get somewhat challenging if you’re not following the best practices to mitigate risks and handle growth and expansion. As a business owner, it takes gallons of courage and effort to start your own venture. Take every step carefully to avoid any blunders. Some best practices followed by successful business owners can make your road to success smoother.

What are the key considerations and best practices for your e-commerce business?

Several risks may pose a threat to your business in the initial years. Let’s find out what they are and the prospective solutions for the same.

-Lots of Cyberattacks keep looming over e-commerce business dealings. Stringent security measures must be taken to protect your online website from such cyber threats. Obtaining SSL certificates, using strong passwords, deploying multi-level security and closely monitoring transactions are few ways through which e-commerce business websites could be secured.

-Customer disputes might arise which may need immediate resolution. These issues could be ranging from product quality issues, delivery concerns to clerical errors. Such problems could be dealt with by having a return/refund policy in place and prompt customer support service in action.

-Safeguard your IP and diligent audits performed regularly.

-Also, take care of regular tax payment and maintain consistency in marketing to avoid any glitches and experience the best results. 

-Take measures for business growth and expansion from day 1. Make efforts to build a database of customer emails. Stay in touch with them and constantly update on the running deals.

-Choose the right platform and focus on making your website search engine friendly in order to attract traffic organically. Also, leverage the power of social media in the current age.

-Utilizing pay per click options, making your website mobile-friendly, deploying affiliate programs, providing for efficient subscription services are a few other extremely popular methods of keeping your website in the limelight and attracting customers.

Shared above are the key milestones along with the business considerations that you shall not miss. Taking informed decisions is way better than blindly following any popular trend that your competitors might be after. You know your customers and their requirements best. Keep experimenting and utilizing the best practices for amazing results.

About the author

Abhishek Jaiswal is a serial entrepreneur and a co-founder at CedCommerce. He is an e-commerce enthusiast and takes great interest in exploring different dynamics of the industry. CedCommerce is an e-commerce facilitator, founded in 2010 for abling Small and medium businesses to make an easy shift to the web. With over 10,000 satisfied customers to date, CedCommerce is a proud achiever of several industry accolades.

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6 Reliable Graphic Designing Tactics for Professional Appearance of your Website 

Your goal as you provide graphic design services is to create stunning designs to appeal to visitors. If a website is poorly designed, it loses its attraction and credibility, and web visitors will not take it seriously. Effective web design, on the other hand, has all the right elements that a visitor requires to navigate the website and get the information needed. For a perfect web design that all the qualities to attract clients, you need a few web design tactics. Here are six tactics needed for stunning designs. 

Study design theory

To understand web design concepts in-depth, you need to get acquainted with design theory. A useful design theory that you need to understand is the grid theory, which can help you transform your work. Since graphic designing is an art and not a trade, there are different ways to understand how it works. You don’t need to study for five years to get a degree so that you can practice graphic designing. With enough theory and practice, you will become successful. 

Some of these theories include color theory, grid theory, typography, and the golden ratio. For those who went to web design college, this is where their education pays. The beauty of the graphic design is that there are a lot of avenues to try out. You can go with a full university degree, short courses, or distant learning. Many online courses offer free design courses.

Learn how to get more from the feedback

Since this career involves a lot of criticism and compliments, you should learn to appreciate feedback as it helps you improve your graphic designing skills. Try to understand why you received such criticism as they are not all about putting you down. Positive feedback is encouraging. However, it doesn’t push you to do greater things. 

Negative feedback, on the other hand, helps you to improve web designing skills by pointing out what you are doing wrong. Therefore, when you are sharing your work with the design team, a forum, or social media, learn how to appreciate all sorts of feedback. 

Start a side project

If you are working as a graphic designer in a company, and you are doing the same thing over and over again from 9 to 5, your designing skills may get stale. If you are not exploiting some of your many learned design skills, you may be undermining your potential. The best thing breaks out from boredom is to find a different side hassle that challenges you. You will be surprised by what else you can achieve with graphic designing. 

A good way to gauge your progress as a graphic designer is by finding out what you have learned while handling your projects. Don’t settle or count on what you already know as a graphic designer. Remember, this industry is fragile and keeps changing now and then. What is relevant now, won’t be after a couple of years. Learning new graphic designing ideas that involve new technologies like AI, AR, and VR will secure your graphic design career in the future and also expand your repertoire. 

Experiment

It is impossible to know what will work in your designs if you do not experiment by creating a website. Many startups are popping out every day, and they present a perfect opportunity to try out some of your best designs to how they pan out. The good thing about graphic designing is that anything can work nothing is perfect. There is always room for improvement. If you don’t try out anything, you will not get anywhere because in the creative industry is all about trial and error. This sort of experimentation can even help you quantify an ROI from your design work and win higher-profile clients by benchmarking specific results that business-owners can appreciate.

If it doesn’t work out as you wanted, you can rule it out and go back to the drawing board for another fresh idea. Either way, it’s a win-win because you have established what won’t work. When experimenting, you have tried out something that is slightly out of the ordinary and doesn’t go overboard and overdo it. It’s about new technologies, new media, or skills. Instead of using the same old font, layout, color scheme, or even software, try mixing things up a bit to see what happens. 

Talk to other designers

Another way of staying ahead of the game is to associate with fellow graphic designers who have made it or need a helping hand and support from you. The ones who have made it will show you the right path to success and those who are just starting will benefit that you pass on to them. As I said, it’s all about ambition and what you are willing to do to get ahead. 

Graphic designers don’t exist in a vacuum, and we need each other to succeed. You may find yourself as the only graphic designer in a company. Don’t worry as you can still reach out to other designers through forums and support groups. You can go to meetups, graphic design conferences, or even events. When you get a chance to meet with your fellow designers, don’t waste time and begin interacting by asking questions, discuss proper solutions, and other challenges that you face in your day to day designing work. This way, you will gain incredible knowledge and also share it with others who don’t have it yet. 

Read a book

Learning never ends, no matter what career you are pursuing. A college degree is not enough; you need to read every time you get a chance. It’s too bad nowadays people only care about their mobile devices and don’t have enough time to read real books. A wise graphic designer will set aside all the gadgets and expand his designing knowledge by reading a book about professional website designing or taking a free udemy course their spare time. This will develop your repertoire. 

You don’t expect to get new gigs or projects from clients if you don’t have any value addition in your delivery. If it’s not about new skills, new techniques, or new software, a least learn a new language so that you can easily communicate with your prospective clients. Books make you think holistically and expose you to a lot of ideas and knowledge. 

Conclusion

I hope that these six graphic designing tactics were helpful to you, and you are going to implement them in your graphic designing work. You don’t have to try so hard to acquire new skills and knowledge. Just commit yourself to learn something new about graphic designing once in a while and eventually gain a professional graphic designing status.

About the author

Naman Modi is a Professional Blogger, SEO Expert & Guest blogger at NamanModi.com, He is an Award Winning Freelancer & Web Entrepreneur helping new entrepreneurs launches their first successful online business.

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