It’s easy for me to get lost in the seemingly endless world that is online shopping. I partake in this hobby of mine far too often, as I let it change from harmless to harmful to my wallet as soon as I stumble upon something that calls my name.
I try my best to only get really worked up about things that seem worth the investment, both in terms of spending money and spending time waiting for my precious new item to arrive from my part-time best friend, the UPS man. There’s something about this Fontaine Gray High-Back Swivel Office Chair that not only caught my eye, but also had me picturing our long-term relationship together.
As someone who works from home, I spend a lot of time sitting down in front of my computer, and without the right support from a high-back chair, I’m unable to concentrate on my work. Not only does this chair look comfortable, but it also seems like a seat I’d like to retire in after coming home from a busy day. The high back of the chair is an absolute must for me, and I also appreciate the slight curvature of the back, which will provide a completely different experience for me while I’m sitting.
The seat adjustment and swivel features are also imperative. These features allow me to adjust the chair based on my needs in any given situation, making it an ideal place to spend several hours, like I’ll have to do while working.
Not only does this chair have all the makings of a comfortable and supportive place for doing work at home, it’s also going to complement my contemporary décor. I keep my work area at home fairly simple and casual, allowing neutral colors and a minimal style to highlight each individual piece. The warm gray polyester fabric works well with the black base on this desk chair and it’s going to be the perfect addition for my specific space. It’s going to feel like I designed my room based around this chair, when in actuality, the chair is really just going to fit in wonderfully with what I already have. It’s the perfect addition.
While I love online shopping because it allows me to have fun imagining how certain pieces of furniture will look in my home, imagining this sleek gray office chair in my home just makes sense. I don’t have to convince myself that having this chair will benefit me and my space, and it’s always a no-brainer for me to capitalize on anything that can improve my work experience. Remember, online shopping doesn’t always have to be like walking on a tight rope, because you really can find things that are exactly what you need.
Let’s get this out of the way—being a merchant on the vast expanse of the World Wide Web isn’t always easy. The trade-off to eliminating a storefront operation is a need to attract customers who would otherwise be clamoring for your products but have no idea who you are.
The good news is that a modest grasp of tech principles will set you on the right track. Your goal is to target key sources and sites that will get you noticed. Here are some strategies every e-tailing novice should observe:
• Are you a user of Instagram? If not, become one. This fast-growing platform of photo-sharing is increasingly used for commercial purposes, and with a jaw-dropping audience of 300 million worldwide Instagram users, it’s an incredible opportunity.
But true to form, talk is cheap, and these potential customers would rather see what you’re all about. Consider offering product samples to Instagrammers who flock to industry- or affiliate-centered accounts. Track those down using WEBSTA, a site that lists the highest-volume Instagram hashtags and users. Enter your search criteria (example: “pet accessories”) and pinpoint groups who may be receptive to a complimentary gift.
• The digital era is here to stay, but don’t forget the power of the press. Bloggers, especially, tend to attract like-minded followers who may want to hear what you have to offer. A simple Google search (example: “vintage clothing blog”) will take you to a litany of potential promotional opportunities. Hit each with your best pitch and watch your e-site draw new interest.
• Have you read it? It’s on Reddit. The Grand Central Station of Internet commentary resides here, offering mining opportunities to find out more about growing a thriving business, as well as sneaking in your own input through posts that “mention” your site and draw a host of followers.
• We’ve come a long way since our loved ones were reticent about using social media. Increasingly, the scope and age demographic of users has spiraled, making online communications a genuine “thing.” Encourage your family and friends to bolster your marketing efforts by posting your site on their pages, and offering a blurb or two promoting its benefits. The rippling effect means possible shares and re-shares, giving you free and easy publicity.
• Perhaps no social media platform has proliferated as quickly and extensively as Twitter. The instant communications platform is known mostly for news updates and celebrity squabbles, but an unknown benefit is free advertising for your e-site.
How do you start? Follow key people and organizations that relate to your products. Whether it’s hospitality, ready-to-wear clothing, or music-related sites, this targeted co-opting of someone else’s fan base it a perfectly legitimate—and successful—way to build your own business. Take advantage of uploading images to Twitter; not only are they easy ways to grab attention, but they are invaluable as a direct advertisement for your more graphically pleasing products.
For help in using Twitter to its full potential, take a look at Followerwonk, an app geared toward identifying and categorizing your followers on social media.
• Flattery will get you everywhere! If you’re blogging on your site, you already know the importance of personal communication and interaction with existing and potential clients. But here’s something you haven’t thought of: Engaging influence-peddlers within your industry can be a tremendous method of achieving new followers and customers by using the success-by-association strategy.
Consider featuring a key player in a blog post, and then forwarding it to your subject du jour. If it’s well-written and accurate, it just may earn you a new fan—and a mention in her or his own marketing communications.
The good news about this seemingly chaotic Internet jungle is its ability to inch you closer and closer to influential figures as well as hungry customers. With the right set of efforts, you can harness its potential and turn it into essential opportunities to build a client base. While nothing replaces a quality product—this will still be your ultimate objective—no offering is worthwhile if it’s unknown. Thanks to the web’s fairly recent social media craze, the concept once known as “word-of-mouth marketing” is now within reach at a head-spinning pace. Use it to your heart’s content.
Okay, I’ll admit it: I love coffee. It’s hard for me to start my day off on the right foot without my morning cup of joe. (Black. No cream. No sugar.) And with coffee being a staple in my morning routine so too are the mugs that transport my precious daily dose of liquid caffeine. I’m a bit of a sucker for a cute and kitschy coffee mug—one that embodies the perfect balance of style and character. I figure, why not inject a little fun and variety into your usual daily routine? I like to keep my living space clean and contemporary, which leaves room for a little bit of fun when it comes to my decorative additions.
Dot and Bo has a particularly great selection of fun mugs. Their College Ruled Mug, decorated with binder paper–esque line patterning, would have proved an appropriately themed go-to cup during my many college all-nighters or early morning prep for a dreaded 8 a.m. class.
An enthusiastic lover of the rustic aesthetic, I’m always down for a splinter-free taste of the great outdoors. I’ve fallen for this ceramic mug set with its cool wood grain-like texturing. This modern woodland-themed Antler Mug also delivers a subtle bout of character with its charming handle design.
Chic and quirky, these designs are also conveniently dishwasher safe—a quality I tend to look out for. And while I enjoy indulging in this useful luxury, I’ll cave in and habitually hand wash a truly special vessel. This Peanuts Flying Ace Spinner Mug from Houzz is one such worthy piece. An avid fan of the iconic comic strip and its associated gang of characters, I couldn’t help but ogle over this themed mug. Decorated with a delightful comic-style landscape and a spinning aviator Snoopy, I know this cup will help start any day off on a happy note.