For seasoned ecommerce sellers, those struggling through their first year, or even newbies, the decision on how and where to peddle your goods is critical. Everyone is familiar with the colossal platforms Amazon and eBay, Shopify, and more. They offer a vast audience full of potential customers. They also offer an almost insurmountable level of competition.
You aren’t stuck with them. Using good research skills, you can pinpoint an alternative market. We have some tips for exploring product-specific markets, or those that are best suited to your business.
The importance of choosing the right platform relates to the reason they exist in the first place. Ecommerce stores allow you to collectively manage products, offer promotions and sales, personalize the sales and service experience, and access analytics to see what is and is not working. Completely customizable, the best of these facilitate personalized content. In short, you can create a brand for yourself without investing in and counting on a solo website.
You’re a smart e-commerce retailer with quality, stylish home decor items in a variety of design themes. From classic to trendy, you have the perfect solution to update any boring decor. The orders should be pouring in, right? But they’re not where you want them to be, for sure. Customers can’t buy if they can’t find you.
SEO is both more important and more complex than ever. Technology advances in AI and voice commands make older techniques obsolete. You need to rank high on search results to make more sales, but how? What if we told you some of the best tools to help you boost SEO (and sales!) were FREE? I’m serious, and promise, we don’t work for any of these companies. We just think some of these are likely to become your favorites, too.
We're going to do a little something different on the blog this week...
Something that popping up on our radar more and more is stolen content. This isn't specifically our wheelhouse, but Greg Secrist and Search Engine Journal did a really fantastic job summarizing and providing options to stop content theft.
So we're going to send you there to read more.
Is Your Content Stolen? Here's What You Can Do
A Google search turns up plenty of results on this topic - lots of them are worth the time and effort find and read.
One more resource we found useful -- there's a WikiHow that talks about prevention and some easy deterrence methods that we think are going to be useful.
Check it out here: WikiHow
Got a story to share or advice to pass along about protecting against and dealing with stolen content? We'd love to hear about in the comments.
If you host your website on a WordPress CMS, you may or may not be aware of the enormous supply of valuable plugins that you have access to. With more than 55,000 plugins available for seemingly everything about your website, it can be very tricky to identify the most ideal options for improvement. Here, we’ll highlight the five plugins most valuable for satisfying and managing SEO needs.
First, let’s start with big-picture, all-in-one plugins.
It’s hard to talk about WordPress SEO plugins without looking at Yoast SEO. Since 2008, it’s been available as an all-in-one solution for improving SEO, with a variety of tools and features geared toward pushing sites toward the top of the search results. It includes templates to ensure you’re correctly handling titles and meta descriptions, while also helping to focus in on writing SEO-friendly content. A favorite feature is its snippet preview, which allows you to see how your pages appear in search results, before publishing them. Additional content is available through Yoast SEO Premium.
Happy New Business Year
If you think the pace for technological change is mercurial, you are absolutely correct. With the digital platform came a seemingly endless array of possibilities to make things bitter, better, and more voluminous.
If you run a business that is centered around the internet, your need to keep up with these changes can’t be overstated. One of the most distinctive will be a need to confront a change in the way people access the internet. Mobile devices are quickly topping desktop and laptop computers as the consumers’ go-to media, so it stands to reason that 2018 will see a significant transformation. If Google moves on this and makes 2018 the year of the mobile-first index, you won’t want to be behind the 8-ball. Keyboards rank far differently when it comes to mobile versus desktop content, and showing up in searches may require you to update your SEO strategy.
Many SEO experts foresee a move toward “dense content,” or a reduction in volume that still manages to preserve the information you want out there. This is consumer-driven; if potential customers are tired of wading through scads of overused copy, you may just lose a sale.
Keep Everyone on the Same Page
Maybe when your ecommerce business was just getting started, one person was doing all the marketing and social media, plus a whole bunch more. It’s easy to create and maintain a voice for your brand in this circumstance. But when your business grows, so does the needs for some formalized processes.
Why A Style Guide
The short answer to the why a style guide question is a consistent and clear voice to best represent your brand. The long answer depends a bit more on the specific needs of your business. A style guide can become the foundational building block of your entire social media and marketing strategy. Your style guide can easily become one of the most important and informative documents you create. Ultimately, your goal should be to create a go-to document that is constantly evolving with your business.
Your ecommerce social media arsenal simply isn’t complete without a strong presence on Instagram. Drawing a diverse audience that stretches from Boomers to those not quite ready for a driver’s license, Instagram is a powerful tool in your social media portfolio.
But you know this. And you’re there. You’re already making the most of your Instagram, right?
But there’s a good chance there are features you’re missing. Features that could boost your scope and help you reach more of your target audience.
There’s no fitting room to detour into while shopping online. Most sites allow shoppers to place items in a “cart” before proceeding to checkout, but there’s no mirror to help ensure that jeans or shoes are going to fit in a flattering way.
For the convenience of browsing the seemingly endless online marketplace from their couches at home, Internet shoppers have surrendered the convenience of being able to try something on before purchasing it. Image quality is what consumers rely on to fall in love with an item that isn’t tangible for them until their credit card has been processed, and they’ve waited for it to arrive at their door.
Searching for an ecommerce payment gateway that isn’t PayPal?
You’re not the only one. There are a good many alternatives, though maybe none as well-known from a consumer standpoint.
When it comes to managing your payments and financials, there are a lot of things to consider, and every case is a little different, so it’s worthwhile to do your research when someone else is counting your pennies.
The hard truth about e-commerce is this: your visual presentation may be even more of a factor in your success than it would be if you ran a brick-and-mortar store. Why? Because the web is saturated with buying opportunities that can confuse or overwhelm shoppers, and if you’re not paying attention, you could fall into its trap.
We know you’re devoted to building a successful online business. So do the various entities offering platforms for running e-commerce sites. One of the most prolific is Shopify, which may hold the distinction of having the catchiest name of all.
Aside from its branding, Shopify is a leader for some very good reasons. Founded in the earlier days of e-commerce, this Canadian-based company has fascinating roots. Originally designed to hawk snowboarding equipment, it evolved over the years – largely due to solid planning and a strategic approach to marketing that works, as well as a reliable platform that’s amenable to customization.
For these reasons, Shopify continually rates at the top of sites committed to reviewing online platforms. While competitors have their unique strengths, let’s focus for now on the Grandaddy of all e-commerce platforms.
The beauty of relying on a platform such as Shopify means you are addressing multiple issues at once. It’s a comprehensive model that ties together page layout, product display, ordering mechanisms, payment, and satisfaction monitoring all in one fell swoop. For some, this may be a drawback; often proprietors prefer more hands-on control over their business. Yet for novices to mid-level sellers who lack the training and time to coordinate functions separately, Shopify can be the e-commerce guru’s best friend.
Another daunting fact about online shoppers: if they encounter issues with your site one time, that may be their last visit. It’s best to be prepared.
Though it should be obvious, there are perks to going with a leader. Providing timely and satisfactory customer service requires accessing timely and satisfactory customer service. Using Shopify places you in the center of a three-party pyramid, with Shopify as a base level, your store in the center, and your customers on top. Shopify’s customer support option is available 24 hours a day. Should that top level experience issues with your site, your ability to respond with immediate solutions increases dramatically as long as you are available to receive a communique. This is perhaps the best argument for entrusting a ready-made platform in general, and Shopify in specific. Shopify enjoys an outstanding reputation for its devotion to helping users navigate through a variety of fixes.
Want some backup for our glowing reviews of their service and offerings? No problem. See what we mean here, a highly respected national rating site for e-commerce platforms.
The “e” in e-commerce is most often associated with remote transactions. But that’s not the entirety of how vendors may offer wares. Shopify makes it possible to sell to customers in person through Shopify Payments, a point-of-sale app option allowing payment processing using a smartphone. Who loves this? How about artisans who spend untold hours at flea markets, fairs, and farmers’ markets, behind tables and racks stocked with their goods. Cash boxes are still a thing, but why not accommodate the impulse shopper who came armed only with plastic? And for merchants operating small indoor stores, this app is a lifesaver, often replacing outdated bank processing systems.
Shopify Forecast: High Visibility
If this isn’t your first go-round with e-commerce, you’re painfully aware of how much of an obstacle competition can be. Your best efforts to craft a compelling message and excellent mix of product offerings may be in vain if no one can find their way to your site. Marketing is no less important in the online sales universe, which is why it’s critical to find a platform that offers clean SEO code. That’s sort for “Search Engine Optimization,” or the likelihood that a potential customer looking for your goods can find you relatively quickly.
Shopify’s built-in code is branded “crawl-able,” which means it delivers hits based on a variety of search criteria which may not be in an exact order. This may seem like a small thing, but to get a feel for its importance, experiment yourself by looking for a specialized item in your favorite search engine. Notice the limited returns you get, and how they omit sources you know offer these items. It’s a simple matter - they can’t buy from you if they can’t find you.
Based on its longevity, comprehensive offerings, and favorable reviews, it’s easy to see why Shopify reigns supreme as one of the most trusted and used online sales platforms. Its ease-of-use reputation and competitive pricing makes it a logical choice for beginners, intermediates, and even seasoned e-commerce specialists.
But don’t take our word for it: peruse through this list of 40 fabulous online sales sites using Shopify services. The best sales tactic is eye-witnessing a fully functional vendor who has turned to Shopify for its operations. See something you like among these sites? Or something you’d love to customize and build upon? Give Shopify a dry run and take your first step toward establishing yourself as a player in e-commerce.