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Guide to eCommerce
Guide to eCommerce
Guide to eCommerce
Guide to eCommerce
Guide to eCommerce
Guide to eCommerce
Guide to eCommerce
Guide to eCommerce
Guide to eCommerce
Guide to eCommerce
Guide to eCommerce
Guide to eCommerce
Guide to eCommerce
Guide to eCommerce
Guide to eCommerce
Guide to eCommerce
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Guide to eCommerce

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Guide to eCommerce by Pinnacle Cart

Guide to eCommerce by Pinnacle Cart

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  • 1. 1© 2013 eCommerce Platform Solutions Pty. Ltd.eCommerce Guide: How to start your online webstore, acceptcredit cards and provide users with shopping cart software.5 Strategies to Run a Successful eCommerce BusinessBob Maydonik, a Vancouver-based entrepreneur and author of The New SchoolChina Trading Secrets (The New School Entreprneur) -- was interviewed for theInternet Magazine on how to automate a product-based business. He says,“Building a product-based business is like baking a cake: the rightingredients need to be added to bake the cake under the right conditions”.Making the right moves as you launch, run, and grow your eCommerce stores isjust as important. Here are a few tips to keep in mind before launching youreCommerce business:1. Go for a strategic launchChris Guillebeau, in his book $100 Startup1, dedicates an entire chapter on“launch”. He insists on building up a buzz or hype around your store launch justlike Hollywood producers build excitement, pre-launch shows, and promotionaltours for their movies. As an eCommerce storeowner, you might not have the1 Chris Guillebeau http://100startup.com
  • 2. 2© 2013 eCommerce Platform Solutions Pty. Ltd.budgets that Hollywood movie teams have. Yet, you can launch strategically bycreating buzz around your launch before the actual launch date.Make some noise on social media; get people to talk about your store or yourproducts; network with influencers to help gain momentum for your buzz. Ifpossible, give away a few products for free to test how your products fare.2. Make an offer they can’t refuseThink of making offers with your product that’s just hard to refuse like MarlonBrando and Al Pacino are so famous for saying in The Godfather. Zappos.com –the popular lifestyle products store (now a part of Amazon.com)– gives a bold,365 days money –back guarantee. Many businesses now provide services wheremoney isn’t made until customers or clients make money out of it.What’s your compelling offer going to look like?3. Get news worthyPeople love news. If anything makes it to the news, it’s considered note-worthy,timely, and irresistible (that’s how PR agencies stay profitable). How do youfigure in the news? You’ll have think of doing something no one (especially) yourcompetition has never done before.Instructure’s Canvas2 – an exciting, new, fully loaded, Open Source LMS(Learning management System) platform – almost disrupted the LMS industry(the likes of Moodle, Desire2Learn, and Blackboard LMS) by making its softwareopen for public use and free for instructors. Revenue for Canvas comes fromimplementation and support. Hundreds of leading American Universities,Colleges, other learning organizations now swear by Canvas.4. Keep your costs lowYour eCommerce store costs you a few dollars recurring each month. You canhire help from contractors online. Start your marketing for free and don’t pay adime until you actually start making sales.As you sell products and have a cash flow, you can gradually start spending moreby reinvesting your profits into your eCommerce store for better product imagephotography, design, graphics, content, marketing, and customer service. Don’tspend too much for the store launch. Keep your running expenses low.Trademark registration, offices, warehouses, and most other expenses can wait.5. Never take up order fulfillment2 Instructure.com Canvas http://www.instructure.com
  • 3. 3© 2013 eCommerce Platform Solutions Pty. Ltd.For an eCommerce store selling physical products, shipping and orderfulfillment is the most time-consuming part. Further, there are too manyvariables for entrepreneur to manage when dealing with “transport” or“logistics”.Making those frequent runs to the post office, worrying about space forwarehouse, packaging and keeping track of order fulfillment are all a part ofrunning an eCommerce business. It doesn’t make sense for solo entrepreneursor small teams to undertake such an operation. If you have to spend, go foroutsourcing, shipping and order fulfillment to companies such as UPS, DHL, andFedex.What plans do you have for your eCommerce store? How do you plan to run yourbusiness? Please share your ideas, strategies, and thoughts here.5 Hidden Reasons Your Customers Don’t Complete a PurchaseCustomer behavior is complicated. The International Journal for MarketingStudies published a paper titled An Analysis of Factors Effecting Online ShoppingBehavior of Customers3 which identifies some disadvantages that onlineeCommerce stores have such as: a higher perceived risk of shopping from awebsite, the lack of engagement of sensory elements such as touch, taste, sight,smell, or sound.Add the usual mistakes associated with shopping cart sites to the mix and youhave a host of reasons why customers don’t complete a purchase (or abandonshopping carts). While you can’t do much about the complexity of consumerbehavior, you still have control over your business.Here are some of the “not so obvious” reasons why they do it and how to workyour way around these pain points:A reassuring presenceeCommerce websites can be lonely places for customers. Shopping alone isdrudgery. Not having someone along to help make decisions is not exactly thekind of shopping experience customers ask for.Yet, that’s what they get when they hit any eCommerce store. The lack of “livechat”, “help”, “Chat with us”, “Would you like us to help you decide?” options arethe next best step to actually being there – in person – for every visitor to youreCommerce store.3 International Journal for marketing Studies | An Analysis of Factors EffectingOnline Shopping Behavior of Customershttp://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/ijms/article/viewFile/18487/13453
  • 4. 4© 2013 eCommerce Platform Solutions Pty. Ltd.Voice, Tone, Personality (or the lack of it)Customers want to relate, engage, converse, and learn before getting into the“decision making mode”. If your eCommerce website only offers dry productdescriptions and insipid cut and paste descriptions, how will customers learn totrust, like, and engage with your business? How do people relate to you whenyou don’t exhibit some sort of personality?Start a blog. Push your personality (even companies have personalities) throughyour blog and social media networks. Make your voice and tone resonate withcustomers.Lack of focus: What do you sell, really?eCommerce hosting needs focus for many reasons. These include:• The attention span of an average Internet user is short.• Offering too many choices makes it difficult to make decisions.If a customer loses attention because they can’t figure out where your site isgoing, online store will lose the sale completely. Make it clear what youreCommerce site sells and specializes in (use the header for this, perhaps?).Don’t make me think4 by Steve Krug dwells on the specifics of making web userstake action easily and directly.Not being available where your customers areLet’s assume that your potential customers take in visual cues from Pinterest. Doyou have a presence there? What about all those online conversations that takeplace around (or about) your product category? Are there forums that youshould be taking part in?The equation is simple:4 Sensible.com | Don’t Make Me Think By Steve Krughttp://www.sensible.com/dmmt.html
  • 5. 5© 2013 eCommerce Platform Solutions Pty. Ltd.Multiple points of contact are important, especially for SMBs. With so manyplaces for customers to lounge, it’s never been so complicated for marketers! Yet,the results are worth it.Customer Support always makes or breaks the dealNumerous stories exist on “customer support nightmares”. Everyone seems toknow its importance but very few actually make a difference to their customersusing customer service. Lack of an efficient customer service system – even ifyou are still being responsive, caring, patient, and quick in other ways -- drainsprofits quickly. Customer support can be a great asset to differentiate yourbusiness from competition; it could be the USP that you can count on.These pointers are not obvious but they hurt. Can you think of any other hiddenrealities that could make consumers not buy? Please share them with us; we’dlove to hear from you.eCommerce Product Descriptions: 4 Tips to Spice Up YourContentOn the Internet, your word can make you money or send it to your competitor.Literally. Most eCommerce businesses don’t focus on quality productdescriptions or “content marketing” the way a publishing site or blog does – andthat hurts. Every page of your site is important and the way it reads, aka thecontent marketing, has a role in determining what your customers think aboutyou and how your products sell. The product description itself is vital in givinglistenEngageStrikeconversationsDevelop trust• Offer Unbiasedhelp• AnswerQuestionsNurture• Social Media• EmailMarketing
  • 6. 6© 2013 eCommerce Platform Solutions Pty. Ltd.your browser an appealing idea of your product. So, do you develop content foryour eCommerce shopping cart that works?Here are a few tips that can help you:1. Keep copy crisp, clear, and opinionatedLong-winding, scientific explanations are not meant to sell… to most consumers,anyway. Avoid run-on sentences like the plague. Keep the words simple, clear,and opinionated. Back up opinions with facts. Cut out unnecessary details andkeep your descriptions sharp, crisp, and short. Furthermore, since you arewriting for the web, spread out your product descriptions, blogs, and any othercopy into readable sentences. Increase the font size, check web pagebackgrounds and match these with the text to ensure readability.2. Develop copy with your heartA bland, tasteless product description will not do a good job explaining theuniqueness of your product. Filling up your pages does not mean you’re doingjustice to the products you are selling. To fill your pages and product description,try “Lorem Ipsum”. For selling products, create content that resonates withvisitors, speaks to them emotionally, and makes them reach for their preferredform of payment!3. Speak to your audienceWe have all seen it… web stores with copy that starts off, “one should blah blahblah…” How impersonal. Speaking to your audience in the third-person is out.This kind of content disconnects your visitors or potential customers. Try towrite as if you are a happy-go-lucky storeowner talking to your customers. Letthe world know that you are an upbeat store; a company that has fun producingand/or selling while serving customers.Inventing and ‘speaking’ to one, single imaginary customer can help youaccomplish this. And yes, read your content out loud so you will hear how itsounds to your potential online shoppers!4. Rouse emotionsCustomers – like all of us, indeed – are humans. We don’t buy most things usinglogic. Don’t clutter your online business pages with logic; spice it up usingemotional triggers instead! Latch onto emotions and make customers feel thatyour products (and your business) are on the same emotional level as they are.Strike a chord and develop relationships that will likely lead to future sales.How does your website read? Have we missed any tips for developing profit-pullingcontent? We’d love to hear your inputs in the comments below.
  • 7. 7© 2013 eCommerce Platform Solutions Pty. Ltd.Handy SEO Tips For eCommerce Business OwnersSearch engines are by far the most frequently used tools for customers lookingfor information – that includes product searches, reviews, and piles of otherinformation that people are looking for every day. Yet, SEO isn’t a one-timeeffort; it involves a mix of best practices, strategic publishing, painstakingresearch, ongoing analysis, and long-term work.Your eCommerce store needs as much (if not more) emphasis on Search EngineOptimization compared to other websites. Here are a few SEO tips that shouldserve you well:• Writing SEO content is an artOnline store owners are caught between the need to use most relevant keywordsin their content and product description and making content worth reading. Inthe past, there was a mad rush to plug as many keywords as possible into a 500word piece. After a series of Google’s Panda updates, however, some of the mostreputed and large retailers and eCommerce stores were hurt due to this keywordstacking strategy.Using keywords properly in web copy, blogs, and product description is an art. Ittakes great skill, creativity, and pain staking effort to weave in those keywordsinto an article or a blog post and still have it read well.For instance, if you sold Wooden Cabinets and you primarily cater to a localmarket anywhere within 50 miles of Orange County, San Diego. How should yourproduct description read? Here’s a comic example:“Our Wooden Cabinets are polished, made with maple wood, and built bycraftsmen – the kinds ancient Asian kings would kill after such art is produced toavoid reproduction of the same kind of artistic genius. Our wooden cabinets andwardrobes are built to withstand 8 hours of raging fire or incessant flow of waterdue to floods (not that Orange County, San Diego, U.S, witnessed any of thesenatural catastrophes; we are just saying)”The keywords (highlighted in bold type) don’t appear in a string, rather theyappear where appropriate. The copy still retains a sense of character andpersonality and is clearly written for users and not search engine spiders (akaGoogle bots).Weave in keywords where it makes sense and does justice to the overall productdescription or page content. Leave them out if there’s no use for them.• Keep your offsite SEO distribution relevant
  • 8. 8© 2013 eCommerce Platform Solutions Pty. Ltd.Guest posting is a great way to establish your credibility, boost your searchranking, increase traffic to your site, and get precious links pointing back to yourown business. When writing guest blogs, however, be sure to distribute themwell. Analyze the audience of your host’s blog to make sure their target audienceis compatible with your goals. Who reads that blog and why? Is the host blog’saudience the right consumer for your products, as well?The same goes for all publishing that you do to promote your store. Keep yourcontent distribution relevant and targeted. Don’t waste time by guest posting foran irrelevant blog. Don’t write a post with too many keywords in it. Always aimto develop great, authoritative content with a dash of well-placed keywords.• Quality of links ranks over quantityAs you build your eCommerce store and publish more content related to yourproducts and services, other websites start looking to your content becausebloggers, publishers, and general users deem this content as authoritative andtrust worthy. On the Internet, this “pointing to your website” relates to linkspointing to your website or eCommerce store.Your shopping cart software platform for ecommerce should understand this• eCommerce Hosting• Shopping Cart• Website BuilderThe more links that point to your store, the more Google thinks that your contentis relevant for keywords that your business relates to and hence your websitetends to show up better on Google’s search results.Before Google’s Panda updates, this was the norm. Today, it’s not as simple asthat.Jayson DeMers of Search Engine Watch recently interviewed5 Neil Patel, thefounder of Kissmetrics and QuickSprout. In the Interview, Neil swears by thequality of links pointing back to your website and not the quantity. Today, postmultiple Google Panda updates and Google’s insistence on weeding out badcontent and links from the system, this is true.Don’t try to build links from random sources. Instead, links that are relevant toyour business are best. Resist the temptation to “buy” your way to build links byoffering to pay, purchasing links from link brokers, and sacrifice quality overquantity for both content and links that point to your site.5 SEW | Neil Patel’s Interview with Search Engine Watchhttp://searchenginewatch.com/article/2235536/SEO-Link-Building-Best-Practices-for-2013-Interview-with-Neil-Patel
  • 9. 9© 2013 eCommerce Platform Solutions Pty. Ltd.Keyword research, content development, Onsite SEO, Offsite SEO, Link Buildingwhile weeding out the bad links – that’s a lot of work. Yet, it’s critical to work onyour SEO, the right way.How does your eCommerce store show up in search? What’s the state of yoursearch presence? How do you manage your SEO process?Heads Up: do this for your eCommerce Site in 2013 (andbeyond)As is true everywhere, things are changing on the web. Google, for instance, isgoing to release more Penguin/Panda like updates to make sure it cleans theweb of all sorts of manipulative content, links, and spam.While there’s a rise in the broad scope of opportunities available for eCommercestoreowners and other online entrepreneurs, it’s getting tougher for businessesto advertise on the internet. As for online marketing, some practices are a thingof the past and new marketing ideas are already in. Starting this year, you’ll havea lot to work on.Here are a few of them:• Aggressive marketing doesn’t workRand Fishkin wrote a clairvoyant post titled 10 Predictions for Inbound Marketingin 20136 and one of those points was that aggressive ads while using PPC (Payper Click) ads wouldn’t work. He states:“Overly aggressive search ads will result in mainstream backlash againstGoogle”He further explains that there’ll be a great movement to layer social search overGoogle’s traditional search. As a result, Google will do all it can to make Google+an important inclusion for every marketer to consider. Overall, it’s a trend that’shard to miss: multiple channels will affect basic search listings for business. As ifthat wasn’t enough, social media will continue to play out various benefits,extending into SEO, link building, and branding.What you’ll need to work with these changes, is a strategic approach to onlinemarketing that combines multi-faceted content development, social media,search optimization, and a website builder software.6 SeoMoz.org | 10 Predictions for Inbound Marketing in 2013http://www.seomoz.org/blog/10-predictions-for-inbound-marketing-in-2013by Rand Fishkin
  • 10. 10© 2013 eCommerce Platform Solutions Pty. Ltd.• Mobile webIn the future (as it’s already happening now), mobile devices will turn out to be amajor access point for consumers. Businesses that don’t invest in responsiveweb site design (which helps websites render appropriately on respectivedevices) are going to be left out. According to The Next Web7, which alludes toMorgan Stanley research, Mobile Internet will surpass desktop web by 2014.One look at Corey Eridon’s blog post 23 Eye-opening Mobile Marketing Stats YouShould Know on HubSpot8, and you’ll see why it’s such a big deal after all.Build a responsive eCommerce store and blog today. Make sure they render forthe mobile and the tablets exclusively. If possible, develop an app for yourbusiness.• Adapt to the changing habits of the online shopperAccording to a Case Study by Think with Google9, customers conduct at least 10searches on average before buying anything on the web. Additionally,approximately 33 days is the time lapse between the initial searches to the sale.Mobile phone service shoppers who click on sponsored links are at least 2.2times more likely to buy. First-time shoppers are also 30% more likely to usesearch engines in the research process when compared to repeat buyers.Further, at least 69% of buyers who use mobile take less than a week decide andmake a purchase.Today, mobile is the new shopping kiosk. Searches fuel purchases online andoffline. Word of mouth happens on the web faster than ever through socialmedia. And businesses have to engage with buyers and earn their trust.The world of business is changing. How do you plan to cope up with thesechanges to sustain your eCommerce business?What are your plans for the ever changing world of eCommerce? We’d like to hearyour ideas in the comments below.7 The Next Web | http://thenextweb.com/apps/2010/04/13/internet-predictions-morgan-stanley-forget-desktop-mobile-japan-showing/8 HubSpot | 23 Eye-opening Mobile Marketing Stats You Should Knowhttp://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/33314/23-Eye-Opening-Mobile-Marketing-Stats-You-Should-Know.aspx By Corey Eridon9 Think With Google Case Studyhttp://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/insights/library/studies/the-role-of-search-in-a-customers-mobile-experience/
  • 11. 11© 2013 eCommerce Platform Solutions Pty. Ltd.Lessons From eCommerce Success Stories: 5 Lessons To AchieveSimple GoalsLessons from real life are powerful – they inspire us, motivate us, make usrethink our own approach to work, and point us towards our own goals with agreat degree of clarity. In fact, learning from other’s success is actually the cornerstone of education, mentor-mentee relationships, etc. What do entrepreneurs ineCommerce space have to learn? Turns out that there’s plenty!Here are some success stories that eCommerce entrepreneurs can learn from:1. Customer Centric Business from Zappos.comEveryone knows Zappos.com, whether customers or not. That’s just the kind ofcustomer-centric business Tony Hsieh – CEO of zappos.com – built. Take a lookat their website and you know why customers love the company. They have agrowing list of 400 pages of raving customer testimonials10 -- they must be doingsomething right.Lesson: Concentrate on reaching customers (and potential customers) in avariety of positive, memorable ways!2. Paranoid Customer Service from RackSpaceWe all think customer support is a pain to deal with; RackSpace maintains thatthey are proud of their “fanatical support”. One look at their support page notonly communicates what they do as a part of customer support, but they also tellyou what they don’t. RackSpace is an open cloud, technology ecommerce hostingservices company. So, they go all out and declare that they don’t “lock in”technology, encourages open standards, no vendor lock-ins, promises not todeliver scripted answers, and never gives out a one-size-fits-all solution.Lesson: Avoid scripted answers – it’s not a good feeling to know that every queryoriginating on the web leads you to the same answer. Your customer supportfunction is not a “cost center”; it’s a “profit center”.3. Speed from Amazon.comJeff Bezos didn’t know this when he started Amazon.com, but eventuallyamazon.com does what most business bleed to achieve: speed of the websiteloading times (no matter how large it grows in size). Amazon.com rarely stalls; itdoesn’t flinch, groan, or take forever to load. Given the number of pages it hasand the product portfolio it maintains, the speed at which amazon.com deliverswhile making webstore transactions as smooth as ever is no mean feat.10 Zappos.com| Customer Testimonialshttp://www.zappos.com/testimonial/page/1/start/20
  • 12. 12© 2013 eCommerce Platform Solutions Pty. Ltd.Lesson: Invest in whatever is needed to make your eCommerce shopping cartinfallible. Downtimes cost you money. Online customers have no patience forslow websites. If your eCommerce website isn’t quick, it just doesn’t exist (or intime, it simply won’t).4. Focus, Elegance, and Simplicity from AppleApple products triggered a rush from competitors to make similar products.Take a peek at any random Apple store (even their physical stores) and it’ll behard for you to miss the elegance, the neat layouts, and a laser-like focus oncustomer delight. Apple leads its sales process through demonstrations. Whenyou are on an Apple eCommerce site, it’s hard to get lost.Lesson: Avoid the temptation to sell way too many products. Don’t choose garishcolors and fonts that are hard to read. Focus on simplicity and eleganceeverywhere – from the logo to the layout; from product images to product copy;from navigation to a resistance-free checkout process.5. Reach and Scale from eBay.comPierre Omidyar started eBay (then known as AuctionWeb) as a simple portal in1995 to allow anyone to sell and an easy way to buy stuff online rose to aworldwide online market place with a global customer database of 233 million.Today, eBay makes sales worth $60 billion per year, according to an Infographicon Geek Zu11. At least 4 billion visitors throng to eBay on “Computers andtechnology” category alone.Lessons from eBay: You could start as one person and start a phenomenon.Simple portal can scale up easily provided you build a business with “scaling up”in mind. If it’s online, there’s nothing stopping your business from going global.The Power of Transactional Emails: sometimes, it’s the boringstuff that deliversAllow us to introduce Bob, the salesman. He is stoic, unyielding, not-so-creative,plays by the book, and is not exactly the most cheerful member of the team. Yet,he ends up performing at the top and gets in the most numbers. How does he dothat? What’s his secret?Apparently, Bob revealed that these opinions about him are only what is seen bythe office staff, his boss, and his colleagues. When he is out and about with hiscustomers, he is at his best: cheerful, understanding, patient, intelligent,persistent, and empathetic. He asks the right questions, guides customers11 Geek Zu | ebay Infographic on http://www.geekzu.com/ebay-stats/
  • 13. 13© 2013 eCommerce Platform Solutions Pty. Ltd.efficiently, and helps them solve problems (even if that means he has to lose asale).Why are we telling you about Bob? That’s because Bob is just like the silent butpowerful transactional emails. You’d not think much about these emails but theyhave the power to pull in revenue. How does that work? Here are a few insights:Transactional emails can be power packed with potential resultsTransactional emails are often interactive and expected. They come in the formof order confirmations, site notifications, receipts, event reminders, and so on.Carolyn Nye wrote an apt post on Practical eCommerce12 where she showsexamples that relate to the power of transactional emails. Before she gets to theexamples, however, she offers insights on how triggered emails (transactionalemails) work for S & S Worldwide -- the company she works for -- whiletransactional emails only account for 4% of all emails sent by her company, morethan 40% of revenue is generated from these emails alone.Transactional emails are almost always opened: What do you do with that?If you’ve been wondering why all this fuss about transactional emails, you’ll onlyneed to read up Carly Brantz’s post on Send Grid13 titled “Why TransactionalEmail is so engaging?” Transactional emails are opened at least 2.5 times morethan regular emails. Customers open transactional emails on a recurring basisand transaction rates are 8 times higher than bulk emails for orderconfirmations.It’s not an email; it’s an opportunityBorell and Associates, Inc. and Merkle14 published a report, which claims that64% of consumers regard transactional emails as valuable communicationpieces from companies, and they almost always open them. What does that meanfor your eCommerce store? Would it mean that you could use the space in anemail for cross-selling, promotions, and drive higher conversions?Professional doesn’t have to be boringWhile transactional emails are valuable and most email subscribers do openthem, it doesn’t mean that these emails should state the minimum, say almostnothing but thanks and let the opportunity slip into void. You could spice those12 Practical eCommerce | The Power of Triggered emails (6 Examples)http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/2431-The-Power-of-Triggered-Emails-6-Examples-13 SendGrid | Why Transactional Email is so engaging?http://blog.sendgrid.com/why-is-transactional-email-so-engaging/14 Borrell Associates| Research papershttp://www.borrellassociates.com/reports/industrypapers/
  • 14. 14© 2013 eCommerce Platform Solutions Pty. Ltd.emails, add character, launch dedicated campaigns, cross-sell, or perhaps donothing else but promise to follow-up with them.How do you plan to plug into the power of transactional emails? Please share yourideas with us.The 10% Rule For eCommerce Websites: Little Increments,Sustainable ProfitsEntrepreneurs have a need to stay, think, and operate on their feet. Thecompetition, the self-inflicted pressure to perform better, the challenge ofrunning a business, and the rapidly changing environment in whichentrepreneurs operate could be cited as reasons. As a result, entrepreneurs tendto take themselves seriously, which in turn stunts their own progress. It doesn’thave to be that hard if you are in business. The answer to perform better is whatI call, the “10% improvement rule”.Here’s how you can apply this rule to run your business better:Aim For a 10% Improvement Across the BoardLet’s assume that your total sales revenue last year turned out to $10,000.Instead of worrying about growth, try to aim for 10% more in sales revenue thisyear, and then add 10% increments for total sales revenue every year from nowon. A mere 10% increase in revenue is easy to achieve since it’s a modest goalcompared to $100,000 in revenue. Most people forget what little increments ingoals can do.200 units sold X $30 price per unit = $6000 in revenueIncrease either the price per unit or the number of units sold by 10%, and you get:220 units sold X $30 price per unit or 200 units sold X $33 price per unit = $6600 inrevenueThis might not seem much, but it amounts to a lot when you trade in enoughvolume or when your price point is profitably higher. You may add this principleto almost any measurable metric while you run your business. You could look atan incremental 10% reduction in expenses, 10% increase in profits, and muchmore.Focus On Stellar Customer ServiceIf you have competition, chances are that your customer service function is anarea where you can differentiate. Customer support makes or breaks your
  • 15. 15© 2013 eCommerce Platform Solutions Pty. Ltd.business, assuming that everything else remains the same. Even companies likeSalesforce.com can’t escape the wrath that follows even a single instance of badsupport. According to a story on Computer World15, Bray International -- aHouston-based valve manufacturer -- sued Salesforce.com over lack of support.It might not turn out to be this dramatic for your business, of course. Customerswill choose your competition or just stop doing business with you even if a singleinstance of customer support goes wrong. How do you apply the 10% rule forcustomer support?Use metrics: can you increase the overall positive feedback for your customersupport by 10% each quarter? How about trying to reduce the number of missedsupport tickets by 10% each month?Social Listening & Social MediaSocial media seems like a vast, chaotic ocean to coast through, and that’sunderstandable given that many new entrepreneurs who take to social mediaare not sure what they’re dealing with, at first.As a business, your activity on social media should take a direction. Using clearmetrics will give you a sense of purpose once you take stock of where you areand where you want to go, based on parameters such as instances of socialmentions, social listening, increase in the number of followers and fans,measured influence, etc.Grow your social networks by 10% each month/week/fortnight. What can youdo to get mentioned by others on social media? Since you can measure mentions,track conversations, can you apply the 10% rule here? You bet.Website Traffic, and ConversionsInternet marketing is such a big deal is because you can “track” the impact ofyour marketing dollars. With online marketing, you can focus and analyze thenumber of visits to your online store, effectiveness of every online marketingchannel, your Return on Investments, and how each of your web property helpswith conversions.Applying the 10% principle is the easiest with your online marketing efforts:seek to increase click through rates on your PPC ads, banner conversions, emailsubscriber growth or opt-in numbers, etc.How do you think you’ll benefit from the 10% improvement rule? Do you think thisis an easier way to reach your goals than BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goals)?15 Computer World | Salesforce.com Faces Lawsuit Over Support Servicehttp://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9235380/Salesforce.com_faces_lawsuit_over_support_service
  • 16. 16© 2013 eCommerce Platform Solutions Pty. Ltd.Notes:

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