What are you doing for Thanksgiving? It’s a question that both provokes good vibes and bad feelings. Whatever you’re doing, shouldn’t your business be apart of that plan, too? Thanksgiving is, after all, the official start of the holiday season (even though SOME retailers insist on November 1st) and with it, the promise of strong sales and financial security. You’re in the big leagues now, and you’re going to want to market your store the best you can. So what are you doing for Thanksgiving, and how are you going to pull off an advertising campaign for it?
Is there anything more valuable than a returning customer? I think about the bodega I frequent in my neighborhood in Brooklyn: how each transaction begins and ends with some pleasant conversation with the guy behind the counter, a scratch on the resident cat’s head, and the confidence that yes, I’ll be back, and that my local bodega will keep on thriving.
But haven’t you ever wondered how you compare to other businesses? SumAll recently researched and quantified the numbers of just how many customers were returning customers for a wide variety of online shops. Now I’m not just saying this because I’m employed by SumAll, but some of that data is truly impressive—and it verifies other research done on returning customers, like how 48% of all U.S. e-commerce transactions in 2015 were made by returning customers, profiting online businesses $2.7 billion. That’s almost an equal split between returning customers and new customers, and since the data reflects new customers as well, it pitches the opportunity to make those new customers returning customers as well. Now let’s dive into SumAll’s research!
Ah, Instagram. The final frontier (maybe for my mom) but a gold mine of potential. It’s where I post compromising photos of my cat, Ozma, or where my girlfriend showcases her animation portfolio. It’s where online entrepreneurs like you can further advertise what they’re selling online, and it isn’t just because Instagram is photo-based.
What makes Instagram a great addition to the ecommerce world is that it’s built to be personable; because most Instagram profiles belong to individual people, the platform’s developed into a culture of person-to-person communication. Online businesses who successfully use Instagram are able to reflect this laidback culture by welcoming comments and likes, direct messages, and an opportunity to network with their consumers.
With some of Instagram’s more intuitive features, it’s easy to integrate yourself without forcing the issue, and you can start showcasing your product without seeming like an awkward marketing campaign.
In the crazy world of online shopping, sometimes I find myself in awe of all those independent merchants who can handle creating their own products and then sell them, all on their own. There’s this alternate universe when I imagine myself running my own shop online too, but I don’t necessarily have the ideas (or the energy) to go out and set a shop up, and definitely not the time either.
But then there’s you, the go-getter, who may be in the same position as I am but actually has the ideas AND the energy. But if you’re truly like me—overbooked, between the job you’re currently doing and all the other activities you’re invested in—you may feel you just don’t have the time to run an online store. Fortunately, with all the options available on the Internet, going full-time while selling online isn’t the only path anymore. Maintaining a shop part-time is entirely doable, and you can do it without finding yourself stressed and overloaded.
In 2011, Google launched Google+, thus replacing the short-lived Google Buzz and marking Google’s fourth dip into the social media industry. Tech Crunch declared, “It’s Social, It’s Bold, It’s Fun, And It Looks Good — Now For The Hard Part.”
What was that hard part? In my everyday use as a social media user, I have to laugh about the prospect of incorporating Google+ into my daily regime. I’m already pretty satisfied with my cache of social media accounts. I even went so far as to omit some: I quit Snapchat, and I swear I’m a better person for it. And Google+’s mission—“Discover amazing things and connect with passionate people”—already seems on par with how I use Facebook. That hard part was that everyone was pretty satisfied with their social media use, and it seemed like Google+ wasn’t bringing anything new to the table.
But what if I told you Google+ was useful?
In the early days of any online business, there are preparatory steps to be taken: setting up your shop, getting your inventory together, and of course, budgeting. Budgeting everything! Perhaps the least fun thing about starting a business is spending money before you make money. Putting money into your business means you can do things like open its website, pay for packaging, and even advertising. And while none of that seems like fun, it’s the surest way of making your business prosper.
Imagine it’s 1997. You’re about to launch your handmade Dharma & Greg bobblehead shop online. You’ve got the bobbleheads made, the packaging ready, and a “Good luck!” fax from the full time job you put behind you. Going online, you discover to your horror you have no idea how to make a website. After all, the Internet only came out a week or so ago. How could you have failed so horribly?
Fortunately, it’s not 1997, but twenty years later, and rather than be a confusing and cold place, the Internet has plenty of ways to help you sell your products online. No longer is it necessary to have a website for your store; shopping platforms abound, you now have the option to host your shop on sites like Amazon. But it isn’t just Amazon at your disposal! So which to choose? Let’s explore your options…
Like most consumers, I’m always on the lookout for the best deals on the Internet. I feel guilty buying socks unless I know for sure they’re the fairest price! Sellers on the Internet know that their customers prefer bargains, but it’s hard to always give it to them when they need to turn a profit. So what about wholesale? Is it possible for a seller to offer their goods at that price and still make money? Is it possible for everyone involved in a sell to win?
If you’re like me, your strongest skill is writing; if you’re really like me, that’s where your creative talent ends. And when it comes to blog writing, sometimes the logistical stuff outside the content of a post itself can be overwhelming. Take me, again! I’ll write a post and then I’m at a total loss when it comes to adding graphics, and it always takes me a few tries to get the formatting right… but hey! If you’re reading this now, I obviously figured it out, and you can too.
When it comes to blog layout and all the other visual content that surrounds your blog, it might make seem like a dauntingly impossible task to make your visuals as good as your writing itself, but never fear! There are many tricks and shortcuts to make your blog look like it was uniquely designed by a professional.
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