Is your company getting the most out of your online potential? Follow the lead of major retailers like Apple, OfficeMax and The Gap, and improve an online presence to capture sales above your physical store sales. Online shopping is not just a passing trend. Companies large and small have discovered that e-commerce is the key to reaching all of their prospective customers. Miss out, and you’re giving up potential profits!
Running an online store can be challenging, but once you know the basics, you’ll be ready to create a plan and set up an online store that brings in sales and fulfills your customers’ needs.
Just as a physical store is made with bricks and mortar, a web store needs a solid foundation, too – such as these essential usability features that help customers shop with ease.
(image credit smashingmagazine.com)
If your customers are online, your company should be, too! Social media networks can be an ideal place to establish your presence. You can set up pages on popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, and post photos, messages and offers to your customers for free.
Or, you can try paid advertising:
Just about everyone enjoys watching videos online. Video content has a long-lasting impact and is highly sharable through social media. Many online shoppers prefer watching a video to reading text. Take advantage of this audience with your own videos, whether you provide instructions on how to paint a wall or describe the selling features of hiking boots.
Video advertising on YouTube can appear before another video is played, on the page as a video plays or in YouTube’s search results. The right keywords will help your customers find your ads, and you only pay when users click to watch your video. YouTube also offers free analytics tools, so you can see how your ads are performing – and increase the return on your investment.
Google Analytics can help you leverage all the data related to your website users’ activities, so you can better deliver what they want. Through Analytics, you can learn where your customers are coming from, as well as how they interact with your site and decide to purchase – or not.
It’s clear that brick-and-mortar stores of any size can benefit from an e-commerce website. Reaching more of your prospective customers, wherever they happen to be, is just good business!
Wicked Start has previously blogged about how to learn to network, with tips for meeting people in your industry online and in-person. But sometimes it is the simple things that can help you get going in your networking.
Some time ago, I ran an event called Social Media Camp, during New York City’s Social Media Week. There were probably 60 people who showed up pretty early, and many of them were in auditorium chairs, looking at their phones or laptops and drinking coffee before the program started. I grabbed the microphone and said “We won’t be starting for another 20 minutes or so, but please use this time to take a moment to greet the person next to you, introduce yourself, and talk about what you are interested in learning today.”
It was as if I had kicked a hornet’s nest. Suddenly the room was buzzing with people getting to know each other, and getting a chance to find out more about the folks around them. People needed permission to say hello, but once that permission was granted, it couldn’t be stopped. When we tried to start the program 20 minutes later we had to work to quiet everyone down! Amazing what happens when you tap into people’s abilities and open them up.
People in your industry are there to connect with you at conference sessions, at coffee breaks, or in the hallway – they just may need permission to do so. Here are a few tips.
Make sure you take advantage of any opportunity to talk with others in your line of work, or in your work community. Keith Ferrazzi is famous for his networking book Never Eat Lunch Alone and his website has some free networking resources (including tips for holiday socializing – perfect for this time of year!) that you can use to extend the learning from that book.
What are your networking tips? Let us know in the comments.