- Keep sourcing new inventory. Complacency can be the downfall of any retail business. While there may come a time that you are doing well with the products you are selling, you can’t adopt the attitude that it will stay that way. You have to continue looking for new products that will be appealing to your customers to stay relevant – and profitable.
- Do your research. It’s obvious that not every product you think will be a huge seller will actually turn out to be. So, it’s important that when you find something that seems appealing and priced at what you can afford, you do some market research to see if it will be a hit with your customers.
- Follow successful models. Competition for online retailers is stiff, so you want to sell products that are unique and profitable to your business. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t follow other successful sellers’ business models to be successful yourself. Try ordering a product from one of your competitors. Check the packaging to see who sourced the product. There’s nothing wrong with this kind of competitor research. You don’t have to re-invent the wheel.
- Check offline sources too. Just because you are running an online business, it doesn’t mean that you have to do all of your sourcing online. As your business grows, you should consider visiting trade shows where you can meet product manufacturers and establish real-life relationships that will help you with product sourcing.
- Look at local manufacturers. A lot of ecommerce sellers look to China for sourcing because of its reputation as a huge manufacturing locale. But it’s also in your best interest to check out manufacturers that are closer to home. There are some reputable suppliers in tNigeria. that are worth considering. The lack of the language barrier will make communication faster and disputes easier to resolve.
- Consider dropshipping. Dropshipping is a convenient way for ecommerce business owners to sell products without having to handle storage of inventory and packaging and shipping. When your customer makes a purchase, your manufacturer will ship the product directly to them, so you never have to handle the item. While the dropshipping strategy of order fulfillment is quick and easy, you will have lower profit margins. Still, it’s a strategy worth considering.
- Cut out the middle-man. The more steps there are in the distribution chain, the higher price you will pay for your products. When it’s possible, go directly to the source for purchasing (or as close as you can get). This will help keep your costs down, and your margins higher.
- Set your own trends. It may seem like a great idea to sell products that are trendy and selling well for other retailers – and in some cases, it is. However, keep in mind that by the time a product becomes a trend there will likely be a ton of competition out there trying to make a profit from it. Deciding whether you should jump on the bandwagon or not has to be considered carefully. You could get stuck with inventory that doesn’t sell as well when the trend dies down.
- Don’t always buy in bulk. Yes, you will get a better price on products when you buy them in bulk, but that’s not a strategy that works in every case. You will end up spending more upfront, and if the product is not a fast seller, you could have your money tied up for a long time. Automated inventory management software can help alleviate the need to buy in bulk by updating you to low inventory, helping you run more lean.
- Know what your plan B is. It’s important in any industry to have contingency plans, and ecommerce is no exception. It’s always a good idea to have backup strategies in place for times where your best-laid plans don’t pan out. What if your number one supplier goes out of business? What if your manufacturer raises their prices making it unprofitable for you to continue your relationship with them? Consider these and other scenarios and have a plan for what to do if they happen. You may never need to go to plan B, but if you do, you’ll be glad you were prepared for it.
We live in a fast-moving world where almost everything must come instantly to us. In this computer era, we depend on the computer to help us complete tasks, and to solve problems. Computers are used in various fields like business, pharmacy, music, education, engineering, defense, transportation, and cooking as they help to ease certain tasks, provide information faster, and speed up the work. Wherever you go whether it is a mechanic’s shop or a fast food restaurant, some form of technology and computers are being used. It may be a computerized cash register or the machine that cleans out your engine but it is a computer and everyone needs basic computer skills to function in today’s job market. By computer education, we mean learning how the basic concepts related to a computer works, gaining the basic knowledge of computer operation, knowing about the basic components of a computer, the basic concepts behind the use of computers and knowing how some of the elementary computer applications constitute computer education. Learning about the computer basics followed by a practical experience of using a computer is the key to computer education. As computers are widely used today, acquiring computer education is the need of the day today.
The basic computer skills that every person regardless of age should know include common application programs such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Power point and Notepad. They should know how to go online, check their email account, and send mail with an attachment and how to use simple email features. The use of email and familiarity with the internet are becoming basic requirements for almost every job. Most jobs are posted online, and how can a person respond to an online advertisement without knowing how an email works? We use this technology wonder to balance our check, entertain ourselves, keep in touch with our friends, and find information on a particular subject. With the Internet, we can obtain information, exchange messages, and perform other important tasks. In most places of business, a computer is standard. In the bank they use computers to look up your account information. They use computers in the auto repair shop to assess your car. You can’t find books in the library by looking in a card catalog you must use a computerized database. Doctors’ utilize computers to store patient information. The point is this, no matter where you find employment, there is a good chance a computer will be a basic tool you will have to use. It is in your best interests to start off computer literate. It will help you get a job and it will help you advance in your career. You can now Register here and become a computer professional
Computer literacy does not mean you need to know how use every single piece of software you may encounter. It does not mean you need to know how to write programs or network computers. You just need to know some basics, how to save and open a file, how to use a word processing program, and how to send and receive email for starters. It means having some sort of level of comfort around computers rather than a look of fear and a feeling of foreboding. As computers are used daily, they have gained immense importance in day-to-day life. Their increasing utility has made computer education the need of the day. Computers are not only storage devices and processing units, but also are excellent communication media. They are the means to access the Internet and get connected to the world.
A small minority of people may have managed to avoid computers for the last several years, but even jobs behind a fast food counter are entering the age of computer machinery. I remember taking my first classes in basic computers and I marveled at people who left the class the first day because they were already effortlessly creating
error-free and complex Microsoft Word documents. I did not reach that level of comfort around computers until after I was forced to learn more if I wanted a better job and a career. I am still shocked and disappointed when I hear of kids and adults who have very little or no computer skills at all. I’ve met teenagers who could create beautiful complex websites by the age of 15, so how is it possible that some people have stayed in the unplugged dark ages? Hadn’t computers been a standard part of their education? Hadn’t they learned reading, writing, and computing? No… It is still up to each and every one of us to learn why the public school administration haven’t stubbornly provided Computer Literacy.
Computer education helps one manage one’s own business assets and personal finances. Computers serve as efficient means for management of information. Personal financial assets, medical records and important documents can be stored in an electronic format in a computer system. Today, banking transactions and payments of bills can be done over the Internet. Similarly, online shopping is becoming widely popular. To be in the race, it is very important to take computer education.
The word processing applications of a computer serve as an effective means of documentation. The database management software that is a part of computer systems serves as the means of managing large amounts of data. The networking capabilities of a computer facilitate connecting to the Internet to reach out to the world. Gaming applications and media players are some of the popular computer software, which are widely used across the world.
Click here to Register here and become a computer professional
IT SAVES YOU MONEY IN THE LONG TERM
As a small business owner, especially one that is just starting out, you’re probably thinking you can’t afford a professional website. But you really can’t afford NOT to. Although the cost of designing a website varies depending on your needs and your skill level, once it’s up and running, a professional website is worth the initial investment, especially if built using WordPress, which enables you to add and change your own content regularly, saving you money in updates.
Compared with the cost of traditional means of advertising, such as newspaper ads, radio commercials, promotional materials and even networking events that often include the cost of a meal or trade tables, when you consider the potential market you can reach with a website, it is a very cost effective way to promote your business long term.
Even if your skill levels are slim to none and you need to continually pay your website designer/developer to maintain and update your website for you, the upkeep costs are still lower than ongoing traditional marketing, and the investment is certainly worth the number of potential customers that will find your business online each year.
When it comes to comparing the cost of a professional website with a freebie D.I.Y. website, unless you are fairly skilled, your website will cost you in time and effort that could be better spent elsewhere in your business. Not only that, but if it’s not professional, or can’t be found in a Google search, you will lose customers and that will also cost you dearly.
Saving money is definitely a great reason why your business needs a professional website, but there are several more reasons.
3. CUSTOMERS CAN BE KEPT INFORMED
In its most basic form, think of a website as being an online brochure or catalogue that can be updated at any time. It is much easier and quicker to update information about your products and services on your website than it is in a print brochure or catalogue.
A website is an effective way of introducing your customers to new services, letting them know about new products, announcing upcoming events and special promotions. You can also provide added value by posting tips, resources and other information through a blog on your website. Unlike print ads, newspaper articles and flyers, which quickly become outdated, your website can provide current information and news. And if you discover a mistake after you publish a page or post, it is a quick fix.
A website can be so much more than just an online brochure or catalogue though. Now we have YouTube videos, Podcasts, Webinars, eBooks and other online media to showcase our skills, expertise and products, provide online classes, courses and workshops. Not to mention social media integration which enables you to share information on your website across numerous other channels and reach an even wider audience.
4. A WEBSITE IS ALWAYS ACCESSIBLE
Unlike you bricks-and-mortar location, which is only open a few hours a day, a website is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can provide both regular and prospective customers the convenience of reviewing your products and services when your store or office is closed.
Not only that, with so many interactive features and add-ons available, visitors to your website can contact you, sign up for your courses, schedule appointments and even purchase directly through your website even when when you’re away from your desk or after closing .
With today’s busy lifestyles, this is a great selling point when making a purchase decision.
5. A WEBSITE ENABLES YOU TO TARGET A WIDER AUDIENCE
Websites are accessible from anywhere in the world provided there is an internet connection. Since more and more people have access to the internet, even in remote locations, you can target a much wider audience if your business has a website.
Whether you offer products or services, or you’re business or consumer based, your website provides you with an alternative location to sell. As a retailer, an eCommerce website is a great place to sell your products to a wider market. Think of all the people who can’t get to your bricks and mortar store that you could sell your products to.
Even service-based businesses can offer their services globally through a website. Now that we have so many affordable ways to communicate with people, we can do business with anyone, anywhere, any time. A website makes it so much easier to attract clients from a global market.
6. IT PROVIDES A MEDIUM TO SHOWCASE YOUR WORK
No matter what type of business you’re in, a website is a great place to showcase your work or demonstrate your skills. By including a portfolio, image gallery or videos, as well as testimonials about your work, you can demonstrate what makes your company or you unique.
Back when I first wrote my original article, there was no Pinterest or Instagram. Now 9 years later, a lot of people are using these social media channels to showcase their work. But is your target audience on Pinterest or Instagram?
On Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and other social media channels, the quality of your photos or graphics is compromised and the size may be substantially reduced. Not only that but Facebook and other social media channels control how people interact with them and even WHO can see them.
If you have a website, your portfolio can be viewed by everyone anywhere and you are in control of what people see, the quality and size of your photos, and how people interact with those photos.
Not only that, but did you know, in most cases, once you post your work on these social media channels you no longer own the rights to those photos and they could be being sold to use in those sponsored ads you see throughout your timeline?
7. A WEBSITE SAVES YOU TIME
I touched on this point in number 2. Time is money, so they are often linked together. Saving time is another great reason why your business needs a professional website.
Time is an important commodity in our ever increasing fast paced world even if you don’t attach a monetary value to it. Most people these days don’t have enough time for leisure, pleasure, family or healthy activities. Having a professionally designed website saves you time both in the short and long term.
By providing information to your customers online, you can save a vast amount of valuable time that you would otherwise spend communicating to your prospects.
Talking to customers on the phone, in messenger or emails, face-to-face at meetings, networking events or trade shows, it all takes time. Creating flyers, brochures and other promotional material takes time – time to plan, research, communicate to your designer, printer and so on. Not to mention the time needed to distribute your marketing material.
With a website, you can save time by providing information about your products and services in various online formats—graphics, video, ebooks, flip books— or as text right on the page—no distribution required. Once your website is up and running, it is available to your customers indefinitely, saving you time having to communicate the same message over and over again to different people.
- A WEBSITE CAN IMPROVE CUSTOMER SERVICE
A website is a great way to provide value added service to your customers and clients, and is a great way to keep them coming back to your when they need your products or services.
No matter what products you sell, you can share tips to your customers on how to use or care for the products they’ve purchased from you. If it’s compression garments, you can provide tips on how to wear their garments. If you sell beverages, such as tea or coffee, you can provide brewing times and temperatures.
If you offer a service, such as accounting, you can provide your clients valuable advice to help them pay less tax at tax time or how to simplify their bookkeeping. Or if you’re in insurance, you could give advice on how to choose the right insurance policy for theirs or their family’s needs.
By including a FAQ page or a resources section, you can regularly add articles or upload newsletters to answer all your customers’ questions you can keep them better informed and up-to-date.
- YOU OWN AND CONTROL YOUR WEBSITE
Even if you have a big social media presence, another reason, and probably the most important reason why your business needs a professional website, is so that you actually own or at least pay rent for your online space.
There are lots of free or low-cost ways to gain a web presence or claim your online space, but in most cases you don’t own your online home, office or store and, even worse, you have little to no control over all that’s contained in your online space. With a professional website, you do.
Social media is a great way to bring traffic to your website and it’s a great way to share content from your website. However, relying solely on social media to attract customers or clients is not only preventing several prospects from doing business with you, but you do not own your your stuff and you cannot control what happens with it. The stuff you’ve uploaded to your favourite social media channel could disappear at any moment without prior warning when they pull the plug for what ever reason and you could lose it all forever.
The same is true for a freebie website. When you decide it’s time to move on, you can’t always take your website content with you (at least not easily) and you will most likely need to start from scratch.
With a professional website, one that is self-hosted, granted you are renting space for your web address, but you own everything contained within your online space. If ever you want or feel the need to move to a different web-host, you can take everything with you (provided you have backups and/or do so before your account expires).
I’ve always maintained the importance of having a web presence that you own, and this is definitely a valid point to consider when determining whether your business needs a professional website or not.
There has been a surge in the number of eCommerce websites popping up over the past few years, and with good reason. Internet shopping has not only become more popular, it’s also much safer and more secure than it was years ago, when many people were still wary about giving their credit card details out online. Today, we choose to pay using our smart phones, with a growing number of people using Apple Pay. According to Apple Insider customers using Apple Pay were 92% more likely to complete their transaction.
More and more people are realising how convenient it is to shop online, particularly when they’re looking for goods and services that aren’t easy to find in their local area. This is especially true for people living in rural areas who may find it difficult to travel to the city on a regular basis.
People are also now more informed, giving them control over the buying decision. With the large adoption of eCommerce, consumers have all the information at their fingertips. Consumers dictate how they want to be marketed to and they can now decide where they want to buy from without just looking to the local shopping centre. 51% of Australian consumers even research products online before making an actual purchase.
eCommerce websites these days are built using sophisticated shopping cart software that make it easy for potential customers to navigate through and make purchases from. It is also much easier for business owners to update their own sites and even manage product inventory for both their online and physical store in the one place.
Most websites that offer products or services for sale need to be regularly updated to keep track of current prices, stock quantities and new product lines, so ease of use is incredibly important for the site owner.
However, you may want to consider a more tailored and custom website that’s unique to your business. This option is more beneficial, especially when creating a customer-centric website. This allows you to specifically meet your buyer persona’s needs and eliminate any pain points they may be facing along the way.
Two options are WooCommerce, which can be installed on a web hosting provider of your choice, or Neto, a hosted platform and an all-in-one solution.
Online Shopping is Growing in Popularity Daily
There are significant statistics around eCommerce and consumers buying habits. 53% of all US online sales growth in 2016 came from Amazon. With Amazon planning to offer its Prime service to Australian customers in 2018 it’s interesting to think how this will change the Australian market.
eCommerce websites are only going to become more popular as time passes. With technology progressing the way it is, and with people’s lives not getting any less busy, more and more people will shop online, and many traditional businesses will struggle unless they keep up and embrace innovation.
The progression of this technology is not slowing down by any means. Amazon is currently carrying out testing on a new delivery system, Amazon Prime Air. The service is designed to get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using drones.
As today’s generation of youth don’t remember a time without the internet and mobile technology, demand for online stores is only increasing.
There are certain ways digital marketing can help boost your business but many don’t know.With the change and evolution of modern technologies, small and medium businesses are doing everything they can to keep up, digital marketing can boost your business beyond your Imagination.
For it is the process of attracting targeted audiences online that will spell the difference between a successful thriving business and a failed one.
The following 12 reasons will prove to you why the use of digital marketing is not an only investment-wise decision…
WAYS DIGITAL MARKETING CAN HELP BOOST YOUR BUSINESS
1. Digital Marketing Levels the Online Playing Field
Gone are the days when business owners still welcome the notion that Digital Marketing is only for the likes of multinationals and large corporations that have the ample resources required to mount an online marketing campaign.
Digital Marketing actually levels the playing field, providing small and medium enterprises with the chance to compete against the big boys and attract their share of targeted traffic.
With digital marketing,
Small companies now have the resources to perform sales and marketing processes that were previously available only to large corporations.
Without a call centre, small businesses can engage effectively with multiple customers, even to customers from many parts of the world even if they don’t have physical stores or branches in these locations.
2. Digital Marketing Is More Cost-Effective than Traditional Marketing
Small businesses have very little resources and even capitalization. This is why Digital Marketing provides them with a better and much more cost-effective marketing channel that delivers results.
3. Digital Marketing Delivers Conversion
Businesses marketing products and services online measure success by the percentage rate of incoming traffic gets converted into leads, subscribers or sales, depending on the intended purposes of your website.
Without conversion, all your traffic would mean nothing and all your marketing efforts will simply go to waste.
That is why business owners are streamlining their digital marketing campaigns towards conversion optimization making it a top priority above everything else.
4. Digital Marketing Helps Generate Better Revenues
Higher conversion rates generated by effective digital marketing techniques will deliver loads of profitable benefits for you and your business in terms of better and higher revenues.
Google Confirms this in a study with IPSOS Hong Kong, claiming 2.8 times better revenue growth expectancy for companies using digital marketing strategies to those who do not.
With better revenue growth expectancy, small and medium enterprises using digital marketing techniques will have 3.3 times better chances of expanding their workforce and business, opening their doors to better, larger and farther reaching markets both locally and abroad.
Google’s Asia-Pacific Head of SME Kevin O’Kane describes the Internet as rocket fuel for growth for small and medium enterprises.
5. Digital Marketing Facilitates Interaction with Targeted Audiences
One of the reasons why digital marketing is taking over traditional marketing channels is the ability of internet marketing tools to interact with targeted audiences in real time.
Engagement in any form is what your customers expect to receive when interacting with your brand or business.
6. Digital Marketing Caters to the Mobile Consumer
Undoubtedly, mobile internet will be the next wave of information dissemination and communication channel, brought about by the rapid proliferation of smartphones, tablets and other internet-enabled devices.
Most Adults uses smartphones, now would be the best time to have digital marketing campaigns intended towards mobile consumers, paving the way for them towards achieving better growth and faster expansion.
“Mobile gadgets have evolved from being mere alternatives for laptops and personal computers, into something that is influencing their purchasing decisions” –
“Mobile gadgets have evolved from being mere alternatives for laptops and personal computers, into something that is influencing their purchasing decisions” –eMarketers
7. Digital Marketing Builds Brand Reputation
The power of digital marketing lies in its ability for attracting targeted traffic.
The types of audiences for your content are most likely already prepared to know more about your brand, products or services and may be interested enough to purchase what you have to offer.
Delivering on what you promised will help you develop a better relationship with your targeted audiences, help them transition into paying customers that will go back and interact with your site some more – on a regular and continuous basis.
This will prove beneficial for your brand reputation, as satisfied customers will most likely tell other people about their experience with your brand, product or service.
Your brand reputation will go viral as expected, further opening new doors of opportunities for reaching bigger markets and attain business growth.