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Niagara Falls E-Business Boot Camp - May 18


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Notes from night 2 of the Niagara Falls E-Business Boot Camp Seminar Series.

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Niagara Falls E-Business Boot Camp - May 18

  1. 1. E-Business Bootcamp Tuesday: Websites, Advertising & Social Media
  2. 2. Websites
  3. 3. Websites Grassroots is the new normal Better to start an e-business with a content strategy than a full fledged store. Build rapport first, then sell.
  4. 4. Websites Utilize free services Better to start an e-business with a content strategy than a full fledged store that takes months to build. Build rapport first. Utilize free options, then upgrade.
  5. 5. Websites Have something built Price varies. Make sure whatever is built you have access to manage the content on. Any text on the site should be editable by you.
  6. 6. Websites Ask to see designs “paper prototype” Don’t let a designer go ahead and start working before you get the site down on paper first. Don’t let designers make business decisions.
  7. 7. Websites Usability Testing Follow the design on paper and set up some typical user scenarios. “so I want to buy an item... first I click here... then...”
  8. 8. Websites Calls To Action From every page on your website there should be a clear and easy to find “call to action” which may be making a purchase, signing up for a list, etc.
  9. 9. Websites Integration Store vs. Content Depending on your business you may not need the content parts of your website deeply integrated with shopping features.
  10. 10. Websites Less Integrated If less integrated, you can link to your account at a hosted service like and avoid the time & cost of having e-commerce software customized and maintained.
  11. 11. Websites More Integrated If your website is primarily a store, you utilize every chance you can to get people to shop. This ties your content to the particulars of your e- commerce software. Hosted options are still available.
  12. 12. Selling Online
  13. 13. Selling Online Two Parts Your store would need two components: 1. e-commerce shopping cart software (inventory, product listing, purchase) 2. a payment gateway to handle CCs
  14. 14. Shopping Carts
  15. 15. Shopping Carts Build Your Own If you only have one or two products or services to offer, it’s possible to just have a static website with links to PayPal or another 3rd party payment gateway.
  16. 16. Shopping Carts Shopping Cart Software There are many, many, many, many e-commerce suites out there. Choosing one is a major research job. Compare features, prices, hosting options and reviews.
  17. 17. Shopping Carts Payment gateway recommendations Your chosen payment gateway (PayPal, Moneris, etc) will have recommended e-commerce suites that integrate tightly with their services.
  18. 18. Shopping Carts Software Installed At Your Host You purchase e-commerce software outright, you get the files, you install them at your host. Configuring, security, upkeep is up to you.
  19. 19. Shopping Carts Fully Hosted Stores A 3rd party website hosts the entire store. You sign up and get instant access to store utilities, inventory, and customization.
  20. 20. Shopping Carts Hosted inventory management, content management, order management, payment gateway integration
  21. 21. Shopping Carts Video A
  22. 22. Shopping Carts Lots Of Software
  23. 23. Payment Gateways
  24. 24. Payment Gateways Manual (offline) Phone based. Use your site as a sales tool to get calls / emails to come in. Not scalable.
  25. 25. Payment Gateways Merchant Account Apply through a bank or merchant company (Moneris, Chase Paymentech, Global Payments). Your e-commerce software communicates with merchant to verify cards.
  26. 26. Payment Gateways Hosted Payments Third party website handles all credit card processing. More secure but your per-transaction fees are higher.
  27. 27. Payment Gateways Hosted Payments Video B
  28. 28. Payment Gateways Popular and trusted. Offers two options, standard and pro. Both accept credit cards without a merchant account.
  29. 29. Payment Gateways Website Payments Standard Takes customer off of page to pay for item(s). Payment is process on PayPal’s website. Service is free, costs are a based on sales (ie: 2.9% + $0.30)
  30. 30. Payment Gateways Website Payments Pro PayPal still handles payments but to the user it’s seamless. They never leave your website. Service has a subscription cost plus a fee based on sales.
  31. 31. Payment Gateways Similar to PayPal Standard. Off-site shopping cart and payment completion. Generally transactions are 2.9% + $0.30.
  32. 32. Payment Gateways Video C
  33. 33. PCI Compliance
  34. 34. PCI Compliance PCI Compliance Data Security Standard which governs how you handle credit card data and encryption. You are liable for any lost data.
  35. 35. PCI Compliance PCI Compliance Smaller merchants should use a compliant shopping cart or payment gateway. If you don’t...
  36. 36. PCI Compliance PCI Compliance Smaller merchants should use a compliant shopping cart or payment gateway. If you don’t you have to fill out self-assessment questionnaire and submit to periodic security audits.
  37. 37. Costs Involved
  38. 38. Costs Involved Domain Name Registration Through GoDaddy or a similar service. $10 to $30 a year.
  39. 39. Costs Involved Website Development DIY or with a development company. Costs vary wildly depending on the market, developer and what e- commerce solution you’re looking for.
  40. 40. Costs Involved Website Hosting Varies based on the provider. Some developers or e-commerce solutions may offer hosting as part of the fee for using the e-commerce software.
  41. 41. Costs Involved Shopping Cart The software could be purchased or hosted. If purchased, there may be no monthly fees. If hosted there may be no upfront investment.
  42. 42. Costs Involved Payment Gateway Merchant accounts and hosted options have different plans, usually garnishing a certain percentage off each sale along with a monthly subscription.
  43. 43. Advertising
  44. 44. Advertising Google AdWords Paid Search Results vs. Organic Search Results
  45. 45. Advertising
  46. 46. Advertising Google AdWords Placement process is determined by: Bid Amount * Page Relevancy Score An auction is run on every search.
  47. 47. Advertising Video D
  48. 48. Advertising Content Networks For image ads on content-specific niche sites. You discover these networks by looking at your competitors, similar niche sites.
  49. 49. Advertising Real World Integration Push your website out via print channels, real life channels. Integrate your physical and e-marketing.
  50. 50. Social Media
  51. 51. Video E
  52. 52. Social Media What Is Social Media? A website where the content is freely contributed by the visitors, rather than the publisher.
  53. 53. Social Media It’s about customer relations Social media is about listening and interacting in communities where you don’t set the rules.
  54. 54. Social Media The "Mom and Pop" businesses in our neighborhoods have always followed sound and pragmatic business practices, rooted in developing, maintaining and strengthening relationships with customers... They listened to their customers and used their suggestions to improve the business. They provided great service and found ways to thank their clientele. Social media is really nothing more than the simple application of these business practices in a digital form. Manish Mehta - Dell
  55. 55. Social Media The Social Playing Field You’re just a user like any other, so act like one. As a business you don’t have any special privileges unless you pay for them.
  56. 56. Social Media Respect the Implicit Contract The contract promises that advertisers must give you something in exchange for your imposition on people’s time. What value do you provide?
  57. 57. Social Media 2 Main Responsibilities For Businesses
  58. 58. Social Media 1. Engagement The only reward of virtue is virtue; the only way to have a friend is to be one. -Ralph Waldo Emerson 
  59. 59. Social Media 2. Content Creation ...with sharing as a goal. Social media isn’t broadcast media. Create to share, to teach, to entertain.
  60. 60. Social Media But we’re boring! Passion is the currency of reputation economy. Choose the medium that fits best...
  61. 61. #2 Search Engine
  62. 62. Video F
  63. 63. Video G
  64. 64. 100 million in less than 9 months.
  65. 65. 6 years 400,000,000 people
  66. 66. Mobile: 100,000,000 monthly users
  67. 67. Why Facebook? You don’t have to sell the platform.
  68. 68. Real time
  69. 69. Social ambience
  70. 70. Social Media Strategy
  71. 71. Social Media Strategy 1. Set goals and have a strategy Facebook vs. LinkedIn vs. Twitter...
  72. 72. Social Media Strategy 2. Listen and learn the culture Cultural anthropology -> Participant observation
  73. 73. Social Media Strategy 3. Hustle and spend the time Rapport takes effort
  74. 74. Social Media Strategy 4. “Set and Forget” is worse than not trying Real Time is the new paradigm
  75. 75. Social Media Strategy 5. Be Flexible Facebook has 400,000,000 users... since 2004.
  76. 76. Social Media Strategy 6. Discover your metrics ROI isn’t clear cut. Count your conversations. Influence people.
  77. 77. Free Workshops Monthly in Niagara Falls
  78. 78. May 27 Dom’s Restaurant St. Catharines