8 Things to Improve E-Commerce Profitability

Here is a list of things that helped sales and or profitability in 2007.1. Updated website to Website builder, domain name and hosting all for one low monthly fee at StoreSecured previously had been hosted through builderspot.com, which isn’t a bad place to start. Although there was a ton of downtime, and they had glitches like charging customers the wrong amount on their credit cards. I had put up with them for four years, two on my previous e-commerce site. The final straw came when I could no longer have access to customer’s credit card numbers for partial refunds and would have to call them to get their number again.2. Began a rewards program that customers could join and earn 5% toward future purchases. Not only did this reward best customers whom I wanted to do something for, but it made so-so customers shop with us first, to build up their rewards. An unscientific sampling showed better than 50% choose to enroll in the program, Those are customers who I don’t have to re-claim, they will come back without PPC advertising expense.3. Began a discount for volume purchases. If customers order a certain amount of each product they get a 5% discount on that product. This makes shipping more efficient from our end, and increases the dollars of the average order.4. Began a company blog. Had long ago used articles and free distribution services to spread the word around about the company. Now the blog which is set up on a separate freebie service shows people we are here daily and not a casual thing. Use the blog to publish tips, and company news. Also make some money off the Google Ads, enough for a weekend away once a year.4. Began working harder with instructors in the field. More apt to send out freebies to those who taught classes etc. These folks would spread the word to their students, and also encouraged bulk orders from these people. I am not much of a net worker by nature, but if the calls come in, I am quicker to offer special pricing etc.5. A little thing, but decreased the volume of paper used in marketing and the office. Saved scrap paper for office notes and lists. Also printed newsletter included with order on the back of the invoice.6. Bought a Dymo Twin Turbo printer for postage, instead of using ink jet printer for postage. Although the labels for the Dymo are more expensive than the labels for the ink jet, the amount of ink used is significantly lower.7. Used the SEO toolbar in Firefox to track competitor’s and our website traffic. Set up a spreadsheet and plotted the links, Google page rank, and traffic estimates by Alexa, Compete, and Quantcast. Visit it about every three months to see how we are doing.8. Took out ads in print magazines. Be forewarned these are expensive and are hard to track their effectiveness. But it is a great way to get your logo seen by the masses in your niche.

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6 Key Requirements For a Web Site, Online Affiliates, Network Marketers Or E-commerce Entrepreneurs

For many would be online entrepreneurs and even many who have started, there is some confusion about what is needed to get their business online. Whether you are involved in Affiliate or Network Marketing, e-commerce, or supplying information, the basic needs are very similar. Here are 6 key areas of importance:1. A web site: The web site is the first and most obvious thing that you need to run an online business. You must have complete control over your web site; you must make your web site personal and unique to you. It is likely that you are sharing similar information to others, and so you need your site to be individual and to stand out from the crowd. If it does not neither your human visitors nor the search engines will take any notice of you.To create your own web site is not as daunting as many people think; that is not to say that a complete newbie can construct a fully functional e-commerce site from scratch, but with the right tools any one can create a respectable and effective online presence to promote their business.You will also need to invest in some domain names for your business, the subject of how to choose a domain name is a large issue open to much opinion and discussion. However it is prudent to obtain domains that relate to yours of the name of your business, or alternatively names that are descriptive of your opportunity.You also need to obtain ‘hosting’ for your web site although this may be supplied with some self build web site systems. If you are using a hosting company bear in mind that ‘cheap’ is not always better. Also think about where you main target audience is. For instance, if most of your customers are likely to be in the UK, then choose a host who provide UK based servers. This can be beneficial if your potential visitor chooses search only UK businesses.2. Auto responder: An effective and powerful Auto responder is a necessity you may not be familiar with this term yet, how ever you are familiar with its use. Most times you completed the request form for information on a web site; your details are sent to an Auto responder. This system then sends you an email requesting your consent to send you further information. Most of the emails you subsequently receive are sent via this system, some will be fully automated and some will be bulletins or newsletters. Auto responders solve many needs and you will need to use one to properly and efficiently serve your subscriber list.3. A Product: With out a product your web site is like a Green Grocer with no Vegetables or Fruit. You may be promoting a Networking Business or selling your own product or many other possibilities but you do need a product. Your product needs to be something that people want to buy into and you need to describe it in detail to your visitor. Your descriptions should use Pictures, Text and Video as appropriate as well as any other effective systems you can come up with. Everything about your descriptions should be as accurate and honest as possible to reduce cases of dissatisfaction from your customers.However your primary objective for all your visitors must be to obtain their email and name along with their consent to send them further information. It is a well documented fact that most people do not buy when they visit a web site the first second or even several times. They need to feel comfortable and confident in the web site, the business and the owners. So you need to be in contact with them, to send them incentives and offers, you also need to be building a relationship of trust with them. This will lead to future sales and greater loyalty from your customers and subscribers.4. Traffic / Subscribers: This is something we have broached in the information above, there are many ways in which you can get free traffic volume to your site you may like to read my report, How Do I Get Lots Of Free Traffic To My Web Site. Where financial resources from either capital or sales revenue are available some forms of paid for advertising will prove to be very effective, however monitoring of all advertising should be considered a priority. For the start up business and through out there are many free ways to get Traffic to your site and these should be used as appropriate.5. Good Distribution / Fulfillment: If you are supplying a product that requires delivery to the customer good efficient distribution is essential. Even if your product is to be supplied in electronic form, such as e-books or audio files, your tools for sending these to the customer have to be as efficient and easy to understand as possible. So what ever you supply you need to satisfy the customer, after all you want them to come back as well as recommend your web site to their friends. If you are supplying a physical product, is it something that can be simply sent in the mail, is it something that requires a carrier company, do you need proof of delivery, are you supplying mainly to business premises or domestic, what arrangements are required for returned goods…. I would suggest that you write down a list of bullet points for the requirements of your business and then start to investigate which methods or companies can meet them. Give some thought to how you are going to package the items to avoid damage etc. what packaging materials do you need and where are you going to get them? Consider what space a facilities you will need to process the orders, the kitchen table may work for a while, but what happens when things start to hot up. Many potential online businesses have fallen by not giving the distribution matter enough thought, your product may well be fantastic, even unique but it has to get to the buyer, quickly, safely and with as few problems as possible.6. Terms and Conditions / Privacy Policy: Now I am going to start this by saying that I am not a lawyer, so I am not going to advise on the content of these. But I will say that a web site that does not have them is ‘on a sticky wicket’ (a cricketing term) for many businesses and in many territories this may well be a legal requirement. You will need to consult with a legal advisor who has experience of internet law, if you are trading overseas they will need to be able to advise on the international implications.The above is not meant to be a comprehensive manual; it is a guide to some of the key areas for consideration. Before embarking on a web site based business, make sure that you have a good grounding in what you need. Then get started, frankly a good web site that is on the world wide web and receiving visitors is way ahead of the perfect web site that never leaves the developers private files. Web sites are ‘organic’ and you can change improve and add to them as your business as well as your own knowledge grows. Like all the best things in life, ‘Have Fun’.