Getting your web design right is crucial. Even more so when you are running an eCommerce or online business!
Since it is the place you meet your customers for the first time, your website needs to be in top shape and present all the information they need to see. Making a good impression on your potential customers is a priority. According to a study, it only takes up to 50 milliseconds to decide whether they want to stay or leave your website.
Many companies have realized its importance and as the 2018 Digital Trends report shows, over 70 percent of US businesses use website design to differentiate themselves from their competitors.
But what goes into the actual designing process of your website? And, how can you improve its performance?
This article presents some visual design tips to help you improve the performance of your website and boost your sales at large.
Let’s dive in!1. Define your branding
What is the first thing that comes to mind, when people think about your brand? To make it easily recognizable and memorable you have to build a website that reflects the personality of your business. This defines your brand.
Having clear branding starts with your logo and then moves on to more detailed information like the colors you choose to present your copy and blog content, the typography, and the layout of your website.
Before you change anything on your site, first consider color psychology and handpick your fonts so that they match your style and those emotions you want people to associate with your business.Image Source: HelpScout
If it helps, you can work with a graphic designer to find the one(s) that best represent your brand, and appeal to your target audience.2. Give it some white space
Any high-converting website needs the right amount of white space, text, and visuals. Filling up your website with too much information, different patterns, and shapes, creates clutter that is not only confusing but also unpleasant to the eye.
White space – which refers to the area between the elements – images, text, and other visuals of your page, helps to create a clean and minimalistic feel to your website.
Adding more white space means that you will:
Adding more space will create some structure inside the website and the different pages and sections. This will allow people to move in a logical order while navigating your website and naturally follow the visual cues to your conversion point aka your call-to-action (CTA) button.
White space between paragraphs and in the left and right margins can also increase comprehension. So make sure you make the best out of it.
Both examples show how less is more, without saying too much but also making use of all the white space they can get from the background.3. Choose high-quality images
A huge part of getting people to stay on your website for longer is choosing the right images. The ‘right’ image is an image that is most suitable to your brand and relates to the message you want to convey.
The ‘right’ image also helps to build trust and rapport with your target audience. Along with a story-telling bio about how you got your business up and running, adding a professional image that shows the human element is always a winning practice.
Your above-the-fold section needs to welcome your site visitors to your website. It’s the first thing they get to see, so it is the one element that ‘sets the scene’.
The best way to make it stand out is to include it in your branding message. Clearly present your value proposition and give a reason to visitors to keep scrolling through your site. This is huge, since as user experience – UX evidence shows, people like to scroll.
Select a powerful hero image and prefer to use high-contrasting colors that will bring out those elements you want to emphasize.5. Optimize your images
One of the most important things to look into when you want to boost website performance is responsiveness.
Site responsiveness dictates your page speed, which is an important parameter for people to stay on your website. According to Google and Microsoft Bing research, each 2 seconds delay in page load time reduces ad revenues by 4.3 percent. That’s a lot.
Optimizing your images will not only make your website load quicker but will also make it appear higher in search results. You can do that by choosing the appropriate file types for your visuals – JPEG, GIF, PNG, and HTML, compressing or resizing your images.
To compress images check out Tiny PNG – a web-based compression tool that deals with PNG and JPEG files.Best Website Building Tools to Choose From
Having the right tools can help you achieve the best design results for your website.
Many website-building tools allow you to customize your pages with their unique features. If you haven’t found what you are looking for just yet, you can try:WordPress
WordPress is the most popular choice for building a website from scratch. It has some powerful features and some pre-made themes you can choose for your website’s design. What’s great about WordPress is that it comes with drag-and-drop page builders which allow you to easily design your own page layouts.Wix.com
Wix is another popular option for building a business website. With this tool, you get to choose from a large variety of templates that can be customized to fit the unique needs of your business using design as your biggest asset. Wix is perfect for creative individuals, and with its rich artificial design intelligence capabilities – Wix ADI, you can design a beautiful website in minutes.HubSpot Website Builder
If you are a marketer or small business owner, HubSpot’s CMS is all you need. HubSpot comes with an all-in-one website builder, which allows you to choose from conversion-optimized website templates that can boost your website’s performance. With it, you can run adaptive tests that present 5 different page variations to help you chose the one that brings the best results.LearnWorlds Website Builder
If you are looking for a website builder that can host your eLearning business or online school, your best solution is LearnWorlds. LearnWorlds comes with a website builder that allows you to choose from ready-made templates that match your industry. Reinforce your brand’s power through elements like typography, color palettes, different shapes, widgets, CTA buttons, beautiful layouts, and many more.Shopify
If you are running an eCommerce business and want to build your online store, then you should try out Shopify. The platform has an intuitive drag-and-drop builder that makes it easy to build an eCommerce website in minutes. Shopify integrates with WordPress and comes with many shipping, marketing, and management tools.Ready to Boost Your Sales With Better Design?
A lot of factors come into play that creates the first impression including structure and layout, colors, spacing, symmetry, the amount of text it presents, and fonts amongst many others.
This means that tackling down and paying attention to each one can help you improve the way people interact and engage with your site. The longer people stay on your site, the higher the possibility of reaching out to you either to buy your product, request support help, or simply ask for additional information.
Once you change these key factors and invest in the right tools, you will see a boost in your website’s traffic in no time, which will bring valuable leads and ultimately more sales!
Why would you sell your business after all the time and effort you put into building it from the ground up and getting it to a point where it’s funding your lifestyle? And it’s not just a business but a brand that you love: your baby.
What you might not have considered is that when you sell your business, it can actually be a new chapter in your entrepreneurial journey. A way to open doors of opportunity for you to explore new ventures in your business and personal life.
Opening doors not just for you, but for your business, too.
You may not have the capacity to help your brand reach its full potential. So, why not cash out of your business for a capital reward that is probably larger than you’ve ever received in your life? At the same time, you’ll be putting your business on an escalator of growth by handing it over to a buyer who has the capital and resources to take it to its peak.
There are many benefits to selling your online business. The most important thing is that you sell your business for the right price.How Online Business Valuations Work
The first thing to understand is that every business is unique in how it’s built and how it fits into the market.
That’s why it’s not only how much a business makes that determines its value, although that’s the most important factor. However, many other factors also affect a business’ value; for example, two businesses earning the same amount in monthly profits could be valued at different prices.
A business’ earnings are one part of the equation, the other key part is the business’ multiple.
The net profit of a business is usually taken from its 12-month average, though the time span can be smaller if the business is new or if recent major changes in profits mean that a 12-month average wouldn’t accurately reflect the current state of the business.
The multiple is calculated by the valuer of your business using a wide range of metrics.
The formula above is the most basic valuation formula, and it is the foundation of all the valuations we calculate as a brokerage because it is so fundamental to the state of a business.
The metrics that go into calculating the multiple can be broken down into three key disciplines.The Business Blueprints
Business blueprints are the surface factors a potential buyer will assess first. The buyer will have key criteria that they need to tick off before they dive deeper into your business.
The first thing a buyer will look at is your business model to see if it fits their portfolio criteria or their expertise.
The second factor they might look at is the age of your business. This is important because older businesses are better established in their niches than newer businesses, whereas with newer businesses, there are opportunities to catch rapidly growing trends.
Another key factor is how much time it takes to operate your business. Most investors aren’t looking for time-intensive projects, so it’s important to them that your business requires minimal time to run.
Next, a buyer will ask to see your profit history, preferably in the form of a profit-and-loss (P&L) statement. Your business’ financial data tells the buyer about your business’ history and gives them a good idea of its financial health. The same goes for your site or store’s traffic history.
Once they’ve ticked off these surface factors, they’ll dig deeper into your business.The Business Foundations
One of the strengths of a business is its structure. Building your business with strong foundations secures its earnings and makes it a more desirable asset for investors.
The key structural areas that make for solid business foundations are traffic and revenue streams, product deliverability systems, and defensibility.
A business that is reliant on just one source for each of these areas—for example, a blog that drives 90% or more of its traffic from Google, earns from just one or two affiliate networks, and has a brand that’s easy to replicate—doesn’t have the strongest foundations.
Though a business could be earning a lot of money with this setup, it’s susceptible to single points of failure. A blog that has multiple traffic sources earns from a range of affiliate programs or other related revenue streams (such as paid advertising) and has a unique brand and a large audience is likely to be valued higher than the blog in the previous example.
Speaking of audiences, as you’ve grown your business, you will have built a number of valuable assets that will also be considered in your business’ valuation.The Business Building Blocks
Once a potential buyer has a thorough understanding of your business’ history and structure, they will look to see if it has any assets that both make the business a strong brand and offer opportunities for growth.
The main asset a business has is its audience.
The size of a business’ audience is a sign of its brand strength. A large audience offers many opportunities for profits and can help a brand scale new heights. The two main forms audiences come in are email lists and social media followers, so if you have either or both of these assets, they will count towards your business’ final valuation.
Beyond a business’ audience are other assets, such as eCommerce platform accounts, products, trademarks, domains and websites, employee and supplier contracts, affiliate contracts, and marketing assets such as advertising accounts.
All of these assets represent the building blocks of the business, and high-quality assets can add a lot of value to a business.
Now that you understand what factors go into valuing your business, you might wonder what the next step would be if you were to sell. It starts with getting your business ready for sale.How to Prepare Your Business for a Maximum Profit Exit
To successfully exit your business, it needs to be ready for a new owner to take over.
As an added benefit of preparing your business for sale, you will actually improve your business and likely make it more profitable and scalable. So, it is worthwhile to follow these steps whether you’re going to sell now, in the future, or never.
The first place to start is with your business’ numbers.Organizing Your Finances and Analytics
Your business’ number one goal is to generate profit. That’s why your business’ numbers are what hold it together.
Some entrepreneurs are more on top of this side of their business than others, but all entrepreneurs need to have clear finance and analytics tracking in place to run their businesses effectively. Those who know their numbers well have P&Ls for their finances and an analytics dashboard set up for their traffic figures.
You can have an accountant create a P&L for you if you’re less strong in that area or if you don’t have the time to produce one. This statement should cover the lifetime of your business to give that potential buyer a clear picture of your business’ history. It will also help your broker classify your business’ earnings and expenses. Remember, you know your business best.
Before selling through a broker like us, you need to have at least three months of traffic analytics data. You can track your site’s traffic using tools such as Google Analytics. You also need this data to present to a potential buyer because it also tells the history of the business.
While you’re tidying up your business’ data, you might as well keep going and tidy up your operations, too.Arranging Your Operations
How your business operates is crucial to its success.
Imagine a visit to a hectic restaurant where orders are being missed and the staff are making mistakes. At its core, the quality of the service comes down to the quality of the operational structure in place.
If you find yourself scrambling just to keep your business running, then it’s time to get your operations in order. The best way to do this is to create standard operating procedures (SOPs).
SOPs are documented procedures. By writing out your operational instructions step by step, you may even identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies that are slowing down your business.
Having SOPs in place with repeatable operations helps you mitigate the risk of operational failures and makes your business less time- and energy-intensive to run. Another key benefit of organizing your operations is that you can start to outsource and automate repetitive tasks that take up your time or specialized operations that require expertise.Outsourcing and Automating
The less time your business needs from you as the owner, the more desirable an asset it is. This is not only because a hands-off business doesn’t distract an investor from their other assets, but also because the business is scalable.
Having employees or freelancers running certain operations in your business and software tools taking care of others frees up your time to focus on big-picture growth.
One simple way to outsource operations is to hire a virtual assistant (VA). They are able to carry out those repetitive tasks that don’t require any expertise, and they’re cost-effective hires.
For more specialized tasks, such as web design, product design, or SEO content writing, you can look to freelancer platforms to acquire talent.
However, some operations are better run by a computer than by a human. This is where software tools are really helpful. Classic examples of where entrepreneurs find software tools useful are inventory management, social media posting, affiliate network tracking, and accounting.
Outsourcing is a great way to free yourself from the stress of your business. You also make your business easier to run, scalable, and profitable; ultimately, it is a more desirable investment asset.
By following all the above steps, you give yourself the option to free yourself from your business entirely through a profitable exit. When the time to leave comes, you have two main options.Where Can You Sell Your Business?
There are two routes you can take to sell your business: the private route and the online business broker route.
You might have already had business acquirers reaching out to you with offers to buy your business. If so, what do you do next?
Selling your pride and joy is a long process with many steps, and you want to make sure you are making the smart steps along the way to get you the maximum possible sale.
When you sell privately, it’s all up to you, from preparing your business for sale, finding the right buyer, and negotiating the best price, to migrating your business over to the buyer and collecting the funds.
As you can probably imagine, there is a lot that goes into each of those stages, and there is a lot you need to know. When you sell through an online business broker, it’s a lot easier.
If you sell through an online business broker, you get the broker’s expertise to help you arrive at an accurate valuation, find buyers for you, and assist you in negotiating the best deal to get your business sold.
At Empire Flippers, we offer a little bit extra. We help you prepare your P&L for the most accurate valuation, we migrate your business over to the buyer for you, and we collect your funds to make sure you get paid. What’s more, we offer a free service whereby we create an exit plan for you to prepare your business for sale.
Hopefully, this article has helped you realize that you don’t just have a business; you have a valuable asset that you could one day cash out of for a capital windfall larger than you’ve ever received. By knowing how to accurately value your business, you set yourself up for a successful exit.
Almost everything now takes place online due to technological advancements, so the importance of having a social media presence in a business cannot be understated.
On the other hand, digital transformation is at its peak, every industry wants to upsize its operations without spending hefty bucks. However, Some business owners do not believe digitization is necessary because they believe it is time-consuming and expensive and cannot be replaced by conventional marketing techniques. Well, that is a myth.
Marketing buzz phrases such as digital transformation, internet marketing, social media, etc. continue to be popular in 2021, and for a good reason. A survey said that more than 70% of businesses’ spending on digital transformation to stay afloat in the highly saturated business world amid the pandemic. Covid-19 has led to the launching of transformation initiatives in 58 percent of organizations that haven’t yet done so.
Now, we know the meaning of digital transformation but do you ever think about how social media plays a pivotal role? Well, in this blog, we will throw some light on the role of social media in digital transformation and automation of business. Bue before that, let’s summarise the meaning of digital transformation for better understanding.What is Digital Transformation? Source: Gartner
You have likely heard about digital transformation in some context since it’s become so popular in recent years. Essentially, this is not just a trend but rather a reality that isn’t going anywhere.
Considering the rapid growth of the digital economy, businesses especially need to know what digital transformation is, what it contains and what strategies and technologies will help them succeed in the years to come. Here, we will share how we mean digital transformation since there are quite a few different definitions of it.
Organizations can deliver value to customers through digital transformation by disrupting obsolete business methods, rethinking how technology is used, and why it’s crucial to advance into the digital age. It’s about understanding how digital strategies and technologies will lead to greater business efficiency and effectiveness.
Additionally, the digital transformation also includes business processes and company ethics.
Here, you can consider how a popular ride-sharing company, Uber became a billion-dollar company without owning a single car. Commuters no longer need to roam around streets to find a cab as they can book a taxi online with their smartphones.
After getting inspired by the success of Uber, many conventional taxi business owners have embraced the Eber Taxi platform because it enables them to automate, digitize, and upscale their operations that they never envisioned. From carrying out promotional activities to oversee business performance, digitization offers much more to businesses.
Now we all are aware of the meaning and need of digital transformation in the business. So it’s time to discuss how social media accelerates the process of digitization and what role does it play? Here we go.Role of Social Media in Business Digital Transformation
Social media’s broad reach and widespread use in the modern digital era has become a solid way to stimulate conversation within the social sphere. There is an area in which people meet, communicate, express themselves, and have fun. It is not something new that social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and others are increasingly popular with individuals, but not everyone is utilizing them to benefit their businesses.
They failed to realize the importance of taking advantage of the wonderful opportunities provided by social media and how it is a great way to market their own businesses. Business Wire said that 84% of B2B buying decisions are made through social media, suggesting that enterprises cannot ignore how social media can contribute to digital transformation.
A recent study conducted by Clutch and Smart Insights evaluated the current state of social media marketing by surveying 344 social media marketers worldwide to determine the importance of social media, the best content to share, common challenges, and what resources businesses use to utilize social media.
And the results are quite shocking.
Social media plays an important role in business when it comes to reaching the global marketplace and getting more customers. Taking advantage of this tool is one of the most efficient and highly effective ways to attract targeted traffic.
Several ways exist for businesses to use social media to accelerate the success of digital transformation and digital advancements. Let’s check them out.Upscale Brand Authority
As a result of social media being a platform that cultivates engagement and answers all of your clients’ questions about your brand builds trust and makes your brand more authoritative. You can also demonstrate your expertise in that niche by sharing great content on social media consistently.
As customers become tech-savvy and discriminating, they become more discerning. An interested customer will browse your site and social media before they make a decision. Will the storefront be empty, or will there be an abundance of information? Having robust profiles that you update frequently will help establish your brand as trustworthy, knowledgeable, and approachable and help build your authority on social media.Boost Your Conversions Rate
Your business can capture targeted leads using social media. People constantly share information about themselves on social media and express their preferences. When creating new content or ads, this helps target them. It is only one part of the equation to generate high-quality leads. And the next most important part is to convert those leads into sales.
Here are a couple of ways that can help you boost conversion rates through social media.Generating Social Proof
Establishing brand credibility online is how social proof works. Prospects will also feel reassured by this. Don’t sound like you’re selling anything. Let them know what your product can do for them. Your website’s reputation can be enhanced by using social proof from social media platforms.Publish User-Generated Content
You need to create compelling content on social media for your audience. Wouldn’t it be better if your loyal fans created engaging content for you? You are more likely to receive positive mentions from people who already follow you on social media. Your audience can be motivated to take action by featuring them on your profile. Quality content is as good as gold. Social proof increases your brand’s conversions by providing high-quality social proof.Humanize Your Brand
Social media is not all about likes and comments. According to TIME, the 80-20 rule suggests that 80% of social media posts should be about consumers, while only 20% should be about the business. An approach like this feels more genuine and approachable since it is less sales-driven. Giving your social media presence a human touch by posting a few photos of daily life at the office and involving important stakeholders and speakers is a great way to have conversations about industry topics.
You can see how social media helps you move forward towards the digital transformation process from the above points.Social Media as An Digital Transformation Accelerator
With social media marketing today, we can reach a wider audience than ever before, and it has shown to be a very powerful tool. Social media provides many benefits beyond simply connecting with consumers. Your company can benefit from this tool in other ways, from understanding more about your target audience to building brand awareness to retaining existing customers. Social media has it all.
It may seem scary and overwhelming to commit to digital transformation, but integrating social media into the process will yield better results than a seamless digital experience.
A web developer is a relevant and demanded profession today. According to Glassdoor, at the time of writing, the average web developer salary is $ 70,826 per year.
At the same time, the profession is quite variable. For each project or vacancy, employers require special knowledge from a specialist. But there is a base of skills that every professional must-have. What skills are considered basic and how they can be “pumped” we will analyze them in this article.
What are the basic skills for a web developer? This is a general list of required skills that are required for a candidate for a position in a company or for a project. The broader the basic skills and the more a specialist works through them and develops them, the more chances he has of getting a good position. Remember, the market is saturated with competition, so employers are trying to hire talents for web development that are really worthy of attention.What are considered core skills?
The list of basic skills is as follows:
Also, a professional must be able to negotiate, find contact with any customer, be loyal to criticism, edits, and comments.HTML / CSS markup skills
Markup is the backbone of the foundation for web development. With its help, all sites on the Internet are created. The most common languages are HTML and CSS. The first is the language of creating sites, the second is their styling. Fonts, colors, and other parameters are selected using CSS.Analytics skills
An analytical mindset enables a web developer to qualify for the best positions and projects. A specialist can apply his abilities in a wide range: from the correct selection of encoding to negotiating with clients. Skills in the field of analytics enable a professional to be flexible, quickly understand and implement the changes that the client wants to see and understand the requirements of the end-user.Skills in responsive design
Web page validation is a regular procedure that is carried out at every stage of website creation. Testing allows you to detect an error or malfunction at the earliest stage and makes it possible to immediately eliminate it. But finding an error is not enough. You need to debug it in time. Testing can be functional and modular, and having skills in both of these areas allows you to create working sites, debug them and launch them in the shortest possible time.Server skills
Some employers do not consider these skills necessary. Large companies have in-house developers who are paired with website builders. But in some projects, the customer may indicate the need for skills in working with servers. In addition, they improve the developer’s qualifications and expand his capabilities.
Server skills include an understanding of how servers work, APIs, SQL, databases, and cybersecurity. These aspects relate to the server-side of the site’s functioning.SEO or search engine optimization
The website creator must clearly understand how search engines see pages, by what criteria they distinguish them, and bring them to the TOP. SEO tasks are usually handled by a separate specialist, but the developer must know the principles, otherwise, the site will have to be redone and adapted to the requirements of the CEO. Without this match, the site will not show the required traffic, that is, in most cases, it becomes simply useless. Recently, optimization has become more and more interesting for clients, so a web developer with skills in this area has a better chance of getting the desired position or participating in a profitable project.Negotiating, interpersonal communication
Web developers are specialists who work closely with not only clients and customers themselves, but other professionals as well. Designers, creators of animation, texts, the same SEO specialists – this is one team, within which there should be complete mutual understanding and contact. Working with customers requires the skills of conducting business negotiations, you need to be able to defend your position, price, and professional opinion. Accept comments, criticism without nerves and conflicts.How to upgrade your skills?
A few words about how a web developer can strengthen his skills and bring them to a whole new level. Having the skills below will help you get the job you want.1. Coding
The practice decides here. The more codes a specialist writes, the less likely errors will be repeated. You can use special programs that are written for web developers and are freely available on the Internet.2. Stay on top of innovation
Web programming is one of the fastest-growing areas. If you do not follow the new products, do not master new methods and technologies, it is very easy to be out of work. Specialized online courses are becoming the optimal source of the necessary knowledge.3. Don’t forget to rest
Due to the constant workload, burnout has become a “plague” that mows down publishers. Talented people leave the profession. Therefore, it is very important to rest, gain strength and motivation to work further.4. Don’t forget about personal communication skills
Many developers, especially those working remotely, very quickly lose the skill of live and direct communication. This reduces the ability of the specialist to work in a team, and therefore reduces his value.
Each of these skills should be used when writing a resume, in a cover letter, and in an interview.
Your business has no doubt invested a lot of time into many facets of its operations. Two of those will undoubtedly be your branding and your marketing.
One of these is how your brand looks. The other is how that image is presented to the world.
And when you look at it like this, it’s easy to see how the two are related. But in reality, brand owners, marketing managers, and other specialists rarely understand how the two work in unison.
There are many examples of small and medium enterprises that have perfected how their branding and marketing communications complement each other. In this article, we will take a look at a few of them and why they work so well.Why marketing and branding need each other
When your brand looks good, it’s a lot easier to spread its name, message, values, and products. That being said, looking ‘good’ is a very subjective term. Knowing what your ideal customer defines as ‘looking good’ is critical – and knowing your ideal customer is a crucial part of marketing any brand.Source: Concrete Jungle
Already we can see how branding and marketing are overlapping.
When your brand has a design system that’s echoed over several channels, you make it easier to appeal to that ideal customer. Marketing channels like social media, your website, as well as letterheads and email signatures, should have your brand’s imagery.
Consider for a moment the role of packaging in an eCommerce brand.
A small boutique selling apparel made from locally sourced and organic materials may use those values in its marketing and branding. The area that the materials are sourced from may be part of the marketing message, the same with the fact that those materials are organic and no chemicals have been used to process them.
Such a brand can implement eco friendly packaging to bolster further their commitment to using environmentally friendly materials. This move can support their marketing efforts and create another branding opportunity.
The values of these actions amalgamate to help your customer ‘feel’ what your business stands for. Your branding is a pathway to present that ‘feel’ to your customers, while your marketing helps you find more customers to ‘feel’ your brand.
When effective branding is implementing by a stable business build around a good product, your customer is in a prime position to remember your product and why it’s different from your competitors.
Quality branding helps your User Generated Content, too.
Simply put, User-Generated Content is pictures, reviews, videos, and such featuring your product, created by your customers. Without going into too much detail, it’s a fantastic way for trusted content creators to spread your brand’s name around their engaged audience. It is also excellent at proving that your business is real and it creates a good product.
Take, for example, unboxing videos.
Unboxing videos are:
Pretty impressive numbers for a video that’s little more than your product being taken out of a box.
This is a perfect example of how good branding (quality packaging) enhances your marketing efforts (user-generated content).
The rewards are simply more significant and more long-term when marketing and branding work together.
Consider the following word: Nike.
What first comes to mind?
It’s the tick, Air Jordan’s, and sport that comes to your mind.
The fact that ‘just do it (Nike’s marketing) and the tick (branding) is the first thing that enters your mind is proof that both elements are working in unison.
Just another example of how your brand can use these two creatures side by side.Using your branding for marketing purposes
Hemp Juice is a manufacturer of CBD oils. This market has exploded since society has been made more aware of the therapeutic benefits of cannabis. Regulations have also been changed to allow the product to be taxed and sold.
The brand has gone in a unique direction with its branding. When many competitors have taken the cold and sterile medical/clinical approach to branding, Hemp Juice uses warm colours, round shapes, and informal copywriting.
They take this approach as they know that their target audience doesn’t necessarily need the ‘medical’ image to be convinced of the product’s effectiveness. This is because Hemp Juice’s audience is more than likely already familiar with such a product.
Hemp Juice’s branding strategy complements its marketing when we take a look at its use of colour.
The company sells several types of oils in the same tincture bottles, yet each formula has a different strength and is designed to have a different effect on the user.
On retail store shelves, the array of colours pop and stand out, drawing in the potential customer’s eye – a great retail marketing tactic.
For their eCommerce store, it’s a quick and easy way for users to understand that ‘this colour has this effect’ – a great way to speed up the buying process.
Here we see how good branding complements both online and offline marketing.Social media marketing and branding
Nearly 4 billion (yes, with a ‘B’) have access to and use social media. With consumers in the US and Europe now wanting to keep their money in local communities and move away from large corporations, the power of social media marketing has never had the potential it does today.
In other words, social media is a marketing channel that’s ripe for your business’ branding.
However, you’ll only garner notoriety and brand recognition on social media if you create the right content, speak to the right people and present your brand with the right imagery.
This is a great moment to remind you, whether you’re a marketing manager, brand owner, or budding entrepreneur, that ‘branding’ consists of much more than a fancy logo and sleek colour palette.
Your branding is your word choice, the vocabulary used in your messaging, and it’s the tone you use when writing blog content. It’s the faces and body language of the presenters in your video content and all the greetings your customer service staff use.
Tailoring your ‘branding’ to the right marketing channel, whether a social media platform or not, is crucial.
LinkedIn, a social media channel more tuned for a B2B brand, is obviously a lot more professional than, for example, Instagram. This, therefore, dictates the way that you use your tone of voice to communicate a message. Similarly, a flash sale of 15% off probably won’t get much traction on LinkedIn. Instead, it’s a channel ripe for your brand to talk about challenges your industry faces, present your businesses’ values, and attract a different type of customer.
Mr Fothergills is a British retailer of seeds, bulbs, and other plant varieties.
They use Instagram, a very visual social media channel, to present the quality of their products and explain how to get the most out of their products and general gardening tips, and sharing the content of their other customers.
The tone of voice is consistent on all posts, as are the responses to any comments left. The content shows off the high quality of their products, and overall, it’s very appealing to look at as you scroll through your Instagram feed. The content is tailored to that medium, while the marketing presents the brand’s values.
Mr Fothergills’ LinkedIn tells a different story.
Here, they discuss content involving the export of goods to Europe post-Brexit. This is something that has an effect on the company’s B2B or enterprise clients. They still communicate with a friendly and open tone of voice, creating that consistent marketing message. Their values are still focused on a quality product, again showing that the company uses its branding effectively in their marketing efforts.
Fine-tuning your word use and the messages you push in all marketing channels, not just social media, is core to making your branding help your marketing.Branding, your image, customer loyalty, and marketing
It’s much cheaper, easier, and faster to get a customer to buy from you again, rather than convince a customer to buy from you for the first time. This is where the power of customer loyalty really starts to make an impact on your bottom line.
Good branding and marketing, accompanied by a great product, naturally create and foster customer retention. As a result of the above, your brand’s name stays in the customer’s mind, and they’re more satisfied with your brand.
This retention rests heavily on the trust that your branding and marketing initially built between you and that customer. Consumers often remember how they first heard about your brand!
When marketing to reactivate past buyers, consider a different message to build that relationship. If your product competes on price and tries to be the lowest, add more value to the sale to increase average cart spend and live time value. You can do this in the form of buy one get one free or an extended warranty.
Remember, though; it’s hard to change your brand’s image at this point. Suppose your brand is seen as one of high quality and rugged durability. In that case, it’s going to be challenging to make a customer start to see you as affordable, accessible to everyone, and produced en masse.
The way that you promote incentives to reactivate past customers can also affect your image. If your brand prides itself on elegance, luxury, exclusivity, and opulence, a flash sale with 20% off everything will more than likely undermine that image.Branding and marketing symbiosis
Every customer-facing channel of your business is prime for your branding and marketing efforts to spread your products, name, values, and morals. Making your branding complement your marketing efforts and vice versa isn’t particularly hard, but not many brands consider the symbiotic relationship between the two.
At the end of the day, your marketing efforts are never really done, and your branding can continuously evolve and change should your buyers’ sentiment also shift.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is arguably the most talked-about technology in the recent decade.
While there are still several AI-based solutions still in the development stage, there are several others that are helping businesses, as well as customers, save time, effort, and expenses. In this article, we will discuss some of the solutions powered by AI that are helping Customer Engagements in various ways.Quick Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
AI is a branch of computer science aimed at enabling machines to replicate human intelligence to collect and process information. And even to make decisions. AI inhibits traits, such as intelligence, problem-solving skills and is able to learn much quicker than humans.
Depending on the overall capabilities, AI can further be classified into Narrow AI, General AI, and Super AI. Its usability can vary from virtual voice assistance (Google OK, Alexa, Siri, etc.) for individual users to a set of complex functionalities that can empower some of the key business functions. A report predicts that the AI market size will reach US$ 270 billion by the end of 2027.Impact on Digital Mediums
There is hardly any industry that AI has not touched yet. Across industries, AI has fully replaced some of the human tasks and most of it has been in the digital segments. A greater dependency on computers and a large amount of available data is the core reason that makes AI more impactful for digital mediums.
Various digital platforms from SaaS businesses to social media are using AI in various formats to transform the user experience while adding efficiency with time and expenses. The kind of ads that are shown to users on social media, filters suggested in the photo editing app, songs that music service recommends, and the way chatbots interact with users are personalized and unique for each user based on their previous interactions or available data. The manual effort in these customizations is minimal and mostly limited to R&D, which AI delivers most of the execution on its own. At the end of the user or customer, this experience is supposed to be more impressive and satisfying.Use Case and impact on Customer Engagement
Customer engagement is probably the most crucial element for the cloud contact center; so much that several business experts claim it to be more important than the product or service they offer. Obviously, such crucial roles will not shy away from adopting the technologies that promise to improvise the operations. Hence, we already have several use cases of AI in customer engagement.1. Virtual Assistance
AI is being used as personal assistants like Alexa, Amazon Echo, Siri, etc. which can perform the daily tasks for us and when we talk with them they will find an answer and reply like a human. AI-Powered assistants like this have not only attracted customers but it does change the way of living for Humans.2. Customer Service
Customers need better service and they do have options in the market so if you are not adopting according to their requirements then sadly you have to shut your business. We have seen AI-Powered chatbots in messaging apps such as skype, slack, Facebook messenger. The chatbot market size is to grow from US$2.9 billion in 2020 to US$10.5 billion by 2026. Many Brands have their own chatbots such as Nestle has NINA, HDFC Bank has EVA which is considered as the most advanced chatbot, SBI Cards has ILA, and Alibaba has ALiMe.3. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
AI-enabled tools and software have more capabilities. We have seen the use of AI in CRM’s where AI collects the information and predicts the customer’s need or requirement. Digital marketers also use Google Analytics or Google search console for pulling the data and suggesting or predicting the next possible move for you.4. Computer vision/AR/VR
Integration of AI in computer vision transformed the computers into supercomputers and analyzing vehicles has been so easy that it helped law enforcement officers to put a penalty on breaking rules. Augmented reality & Virtual Reality is already using AI & have the potential to revolutionize the world with their amazing functions.AI in Future of Customer Engagement
Even with a massive impact on the customer experience across industries and sizes, there is a lot where AI is yet to make a significant impact. Here are some of the key reasons why AI is going to play a crucial role in the future of customer engagement.1. A better understanding of customers
Without a doubt, understanding the customer is the core of your customer engagement quality. Interestingly, customer’s requirements and expectations from the brand are growing at an unprecedented rate and most brands are just trying to catch up instead of planning ahead of time.
AI’s contribution in this aspect is probably going to be the most important. With the available data and analysis, it can help businesses predict the upcoming trends faster. Utilizing which brands can understand their customers better and uplift their contact centers and other touchpoints better.2. Proactive approach in query resolution
In the near future, it is highly unlikely that there will be a system where customers have zero queries/issues with the brand. However, it is always possible for businesses to find out ways to resolve the queries faster. Chatbots and voice bots are assisting in that by automating replies to standard queries from the customers. However, AI has the potential of going a step further and answering complex queries as well.
AI should not be limited to answering the queries, but it can even take certain actions to automate the process further. Human intervention can be reduced to the approval step only. This will minimize the load on your agents, who can spend their time addressing more humane requirements of the customers.3. Hyper-personalization with effective compliance adherence
Knowing customers better to help them better is something that every business wants and that can be achieved by collecting and processing customer data appropriately. However, data sharing and utilization is a genuine concern for customers. AI can bring in the much-needed compliance adherence in the system to address these concerns of the customers. It will enable a safer environment for the customers while enhancing the trust in the brands.Wrapping Up Thoughts
While some may say that the growth and implementation of Artificial Intelligence are not as much as it was expected some years back, there is no doubt that AI has turned into a resource that no business can afford to ignore. There seems to be a massive potential in AI technology and the faster you adapt it for your customer engagement, the more rewarding it will be for your business.
In this day and age on the internet, users have no patience for websites with poor loading speeds or substandard performance.
Half a second can make a world of difference on whether or not someone stays on your site. Website conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42% with each second of load time according to a study by Portent. Simply put, allowing your website to be bogged down by oversized images, unoptimized files, or shoddy design can be the downfall of any website in 2021.
Topics like optimization, compression, and content delivery networks can be a pain to master. Add on top of that Google’s new Core Web Vitals implementation that every web professional is scrambling to understand and you’ve got yourself a lot of homework to guarantee your website ranks well. Your users expect your web pages to load fast, and they won’t stick around if they don’t. It’s important to know what to avoid when building your site in order for it to perform. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the top five common mistakes that increase website loading time.1. A low score on Google’s Core Web Vitals
Google started to roll out its new search ranking metrics, referred to as Core Web Vitals, in mid-June 2021. These metrics are designed to help web professionals and site owners optimize websites for a streamlined user experience. Each one of the Core Web Vitals provides the desired benchmark for a specific factor, based on the user experience of an average site visitor.
The Core Web Vitals are three metrics that Google has identified as crucial in affecting website load time and search ranking. The first is Largest Contentful Paint, which is calculated by the time it takes for a page’s main content to load, with the ideal measurement being faster than 2.5 seconds. First Input Delay is the second metric. This is the time it takes for a page to become interactive, with the ideal measurement being under 100 milliseconds.
The final vital statistic is the Cumulative Layout Shift. It’s frustrating to website users when an entire site seems to change its layout just as they’re about to click on a link. This is due to a site being designed with a complete disregard for Cumulative Layout Shift. The amount of unexpected shift in the visual layout of page content should be less than 0.1%.
Describing the finer details of Google’s Core Web Vitals can easily make up an entire article on its own. There are many resources online that can further assist you in making sure your websites meet all of Google’s desired benchmarks, but understanding how they affect your website’s load time before starting a build can go a long way in avoiding complex site changes in the future.2. Images that are not optimized properly
Do you remember back in the early 2000s when dial-up internet was still a thing and websites would load a huge image painfully slow down your screen? We may have much faster internet today, but this issue surprisingly persists on websites that are not designed properly. All of the images you use on your site need to be resized and compressed to reduce their total file size. This immediately improves how fast they load on your website. The other key to making sure your images load rapidly is to use modern file formats that are optimized for website loading speed. These file types include Google’s WebP, JPEG XR, and AVIF. And I know what you’re saying, what about good ol’ JPGs or PNGs? Despite their popularity, JPGs and PNGs are terribly slow to load if they are not optimized and are no longer the standard. You’ll begin to see their use in web design be phased out more in the coming years as more web professionals catch on that they’re old news. Which leads us to…3. Files that are not minified and compressed
When designing a website, it is crucial that you minify the files you use in your design whenever possible. Minification means removing all the extra spaces, line breaks, comments, and just about anything else that is non-essential for your users to see. After putting your files through minification, it is critical that you compress them to further optimize loading time. When a browser visits your website, you want the file to be zipped up for quick delivery by using GZIP or Brotli. Compressing all of your files into a ZIP archive will go a long way in making sure your website moves quickly. Think of it as a way of packaging files together at once.
It is vital that you leverage a CDN when designing your website for speed. According to a study by BuiltWith, over 41% of the top 10,000 websites are using a CDN, and it’s easy to see why. A CDN, or Content Delivery Network, has servers all over the world. When a user goes to your website that utilizes a CDN, the server closest to your location will be used. Since the server is local, your internet connection and download times to that CDN will be much faster. A great analogy for how a CDN works is to think of when you play online video games. When you play a video game online you choose the server closest to your location to speed up loading and avoid lag. The same exact process applies to how CDNs operate.
A million little errors can truly add up and slow down a website that would otherwise load in an instant. It’s easy for your website to get bogged down by common mistakes in web design, but avoiding these six major bungles will help guarantee that your website is lighting fast.
As a small business owner, you’re always looking for ways to raise brand awareness and increase your sales. But scaling a business is hard in today’s competitive market.
If you’re the sole owner, it means you’re doing everything yourself, from updating your website to managing your social media campaigns.
But what if you could have publishers in your industry promote your business? How much of an impact would that have on your bottom line?
This is where affiliate marketing comes in — a type of performance-based strategy that you can leverage to generate more sales.
This article will take an in-depth look at what affiliate marketing is and how you can use this strategy to grow your small business.What is Affiliate Marketing?
Let’s cover the basics before we dive into specifics.
Affiliate marketing is when other people (or affiliates) promote your products or services. They earn commissions for sales they bring in, which gives them a strong incentive to continue promoting your company.Source
Affiliates are typically publishers and content creators — bloggers, social media influencers, YouTubers, etc. Anyone with an audience or community can become an affiliate for your small business.
Let’s look at an example to illustrate this further.
SimpleMoneyLyfe is a publisher that provides personal financial advice. The company regularly posts articles on topics like investing, making money, and credit repair.
In addition, it also helps its audience make informed decisions by writing in-depth reviews of various financial services.
Similarly, affiliate marketing allows you to develop relationships with publishers who can promote your products or services. Because you’re paying based on performance, it’s a cost-effective way to spread the word about your business.
Given these benefits, it’s not surprising that more companies are pouring money into their affiliate programs.
In fact, affiliate marketing spending is projected to reach $8.2 billion by 2022.Source
That figure will only continue to grow as more companies use this marketing strategy to increase sales.
Now let’s look at how you can use affiliate marketing to grow your business.1. Decide Whether to Create an Affiliate Program
First, you’ll need an affiliate program to manage and pay your affiliate. There are two options to get started:
Each has its advantages and disadvantages.
With a little technical know-how, you can create your own affiliate program. This allows you to manage your affiliates directly without having to pay any middleman fees. But unless you have a strong brand, you may have trouble attracting publishers.
You can also join an affiliate network. These are companies that act as intermediates between merchants and affiliates. These networks can drive more publishers to your program but have higher initial costs.
Which option you choose will depend on your budget and goals. You can always join an affiliate network and move your program in-house later (something that Amazon did with its Associate’s Program).2. Build a Strong Commission Structure
Affiliates earn commissions on sales they bring to your company. But you’ll have a hard time getting publishers to promote your company with a weak commission structure.
How much should you offer affiliates? That depends on factors like your industry, profit margins, and the products you sell.
However, commission rates for physical products are typically between 5% and 15%. They also tend to be much higher for software products.
Here’s the commission structure that Amazon offers for its affiliate program:Source
Offering a high commission rate can help you attract quality publishers. Of course, you still want to generate a profit for your efforts.
Think about your customer lifetime value (CLV) and factor in your cost of goods sold (COGS) to develop a solid commission structure.3. Provide Marketing Creatives
Publishers can add affiliate links to their content to track clicks and earnings. But to drive more traffic to your product pages and raise brand awareness, you’ll want to provide creatives.
Creatives are promotional materials that affiliates can add to their site (or online platform) to promote your business.
Create different kinds of marketing assets and make sure they have clear branding. Add them to your affiliate resource center, so publishers can quickly download the ones they need.4. Increase Your Conversion Rates
Publishers are already doing a lot of the heavy lifting by driving traffic to your site. It’s your job to make sure your product pages are optimized for conversions.
For example, if your affiliate program pays for new leads, make sure to include signup forms on your landing pages. This will help you bring in more leads (and make your affiliates happy).
This page promoting the best PEO companies adds a form to its landing page to get visitors to fill in their contact details.Source
The form also has contrasting colors, which helps it stand out from other elements on the page. Experiment with your product pages and consider running A/B tests to improve your conversion rates.5. Reach Out to Publishers
Attracting affiliates can be challenging in the beginning. To gain more traction, take a more proactive approach and reach out directly to publishers.
Here are a few places to start:
Leveraging coupon sites can be a great way to attract new customers. These types of sites help consumers find deals online by organizing coupons from different brands.
You provide a promo code, and a coupon site adds it under a relevant category. Anyone searching for a deal can save on their purchase, and the coupon site earns a commission.
Even offering a small discount like 10% off for a limited time can be incredibly effective at bringing in more first-time purchases. Just be sure that you’re not undercutting yourself and losing money.Final Thoughts
There’s no shortage of marketing strategies you can use to grow your small business.
But one of the most effective is affiliate marketing. Partnering with publishers in your industry can drive targeted traffic to your site and generate more sales for your small business.
Follow the tips as detailed here to get started. These include creating an affiliate program or joining an affiliate network, providing marketing creatives, and reaching out directly to publishers for partnerships.
Shipping is one of the most important aspects of an eCommerce business. Customers are directly influenced by the shipping services you provide in your store, based on which they will make decisions on future purchases.
Some issues customers encounter on shipping may not be in your control as it also depends upon the carrier service you have chosen and other logistic processes. As a store owner, it is your responsibility to minimize these issues and provide your customers a hassle-free shipping experience by delivering the products as per the estimated delivery date.
Fortunately, WooCommerce allows you to make all your shipments properly and systematically with the help of additional plugins and extensions. You can choose a plugin or extension as per your shipping requirements. Since there are so many plugins available in the WooCommerce market, you can choose the essential ones by analyzing their features and efficiency.
In order to make your task easier, I have come up with 10 WooCommerce advanced shipping plugins you can install on your WooCommerce store. They are:
This advanced premium plugin will help you to feature a shipping calculator on a dedicated page in your WooCommerce store, which will be very helpful for your customers to calculate shipping rates and choose a feasible shipping rate based on the cost and delivery days. In addition to that, they can print the labels and get the tracking information in a couple of clicks.
You can provide the shipping services of FedEx, UPS, USPS, and Canada Post using your EasyPost API. Customers can enter the sender and receiver’s address and contact details, and create packages by entering their weight and dimensions. Using these data, this advanced plugin will calculate all available shipping services of selected carriers, from which they can choose one. Admin can set a handling charge and can add a percentage or fixed price adjustment on shipping carrier services for adding them on the cart total price that must be paid by the customers.
Price: Single site subscription plan starts at $79.ELEX EasyPost (FedEx, UPS, Canada Post & USPS) Shipping & Label Printing Plugin for WooCommerce
This all-inclusive shipping plugin is the most efficient method of integrating the shipping rates of FedEx, USPS, Canada Post, and UPS into your WooCommerce Store. The ELEX EasyPost Shipping Method Plugin allows you to automate shipping using EasyPost APIs by displaying shipping rates on the cart/checkout page, paying postage, and printing labels all from within your WooCommerce Store.
With the help of this plugin, you can show real-time shipping rates and estimated delivery dates to your customers when they add products to their cart and on the checkout page. The plugin fetches UPS, USPS, Canada Post, or FedEx postage prices from your EasyPost account based on product weight, box dimensions, shipment location, and other factors. It also enables you to generate and print shipping labels and track orders from the WooCommerce Order Admin page.
Price: Single site subscription plan starts at $69
Note: EasyPost offers limited free services, exceeding which they charge a membership fee. To know more: EasyPost pricingWooCommerce Advanced Shipping
With this premium shipping plugin, you can set multiple shipping rates by configuring different conditions based on the total amount on the shopping cart, weight and dimensions of packages, shipping country, state, and so on. You can create unlimited shipping methods and assign shipping prices that must be only applicable for specific user roles.
Instead of using third-party shipping rates, you can create your own table rate shipping based on the conditions you have created. The main advantage of using this plugin is its user-friendly interface. Even though you do not have much experience in handling the technical side, you can configure the conditions and set shipping rates with its simple dashboard.
Price: Starts at $18.WooCommerce ShipStation Gateway
This free shipping plugin will definitely help you save time by importing and exporting orders. You can also use this plugin for batch label creations and even to communicate with the customers!
An advantage of this plugin is its high flexibility to work well for small to large scale businesses. You can print the labels wirelessly and connect with your printer remotely using the ShipStation Connect option. You can access all these features using its mobile app (available for both Android and iOS), which is totally free.Table Rate for WooCommerce by Flexible Shipping – Pro
This WooCommerce shipping plugin allows you to create shipping rules based on different parameters like quantity, weight, and so on. You can also create shipping methods with unique names in this plugin. Also, you can use its hide shipping method option, if you require to hide specific shipping methods based on certain conditions.
Additionally, you will be able to import or export all your shipping methods and can edit them from a spreadsheet as per requirements. Admin can set a handling fee, which will be charged along with the shipping rate from customers.
Price: Single site subscription starts at $79.Advanced Shipment Tracking for WooCommerce
This free WooCommerce shipment tracking plugin helps you configure an option for your customers to easily track their shipments. This plugin supports 250+ default shipping carriers by providing their tracking information. If you could not find a shipment carrier you are using in your store in the default list, you can add it seamlessly.
The tracking information will be passed to the customers along with the order completion email, which will also include details such as the shipping carrier name and the date. You can sync your shipping carriers to this plugin, which will automatically update the tracking status for the customers. In addition to these, you can customize the template, layout, font, etc., of the order emails.WooCommerce Conditional Shipping Pro
This advanced plugin is used to restrict all available shipping methods in your store using various conditions for setting shipping costs. Rather than adding custom shipping methods, it works on the existing default shipping methods like free, flat rate, and local pickup along with the other shipping methods from third-party plugins.
So, it will work smoothly on your store as it focuses only on the available shipping methods rather than creating new shipping methods which may lead to compatibility issues with the shipping zones in your store. You can configure the conditions based on package volume, product volume, cart subtotal, etc., for increasing, decreasing, or setting a new value to the shipping cost. You can also set a ‘no shipping methods available’ message for certain conditions.
Price: Starts at $49 for the single-site subscription.WooCommerce Weight Based Shipping
As the name suggests, this plugin allows you to set shipping rates based on product weights by setting conditions. You can set these conditions based on weight, order destinations, and subtotal ranges. It supports all shipping zones in WooCommerce which will not cause any compatibility issues.
You can also set shipping costs based on specific shipping classes with this plugin. Also, you can even set free shipping for orders reaching a minimum threshold price.
Price: Starts at $19.Order Delivery Date Pro for WooCommerce
This advanced WooCommerce shipping plugin will help you to manage the delivery and local pickup of your products. You can create delivery schedules by shipping methods, classes, locations, and specific products, etc. Admin can set a delivery date and time slot which will be visible for the customers in the front end.
You can set the delivery days, working days, and holidays seamlessly for the accurate configuration of delivery date and time. And, with this plugin, the admin or customers can seamlessly reschedule the delivery date and time slot. In addition to these, you can send reminders to your customers before delivery.
Price: Starts at $99.WooCommerce Print Invoices & Packing lists
This plugin allows you to seamlessly manage the order invoices in your store. You can individually or print order documents in bulk directly from the WooCommerce Orders page. The customers can access the invoices from the ‘My Accounts’ page of your store.
You can customize the format of your invoice template and format with this plugin. You can print or email the invoices of multiple orders at a time for seamlessly processing bulk orders together. You can also configure it to automatically email packing lists to store admin.
Price: Starts at $79.AfterShip Order Tracking and Shipment Notifications for WooCommerce
This free WooCommerce shipping plugin will help you get tracking details of multiple orders in your store with a couple of clicks. It supports 800+ shipping carriers including DHL, UPS, USPS, etc. This plugin mainly focuses on customer’s post-purchase experience which will help you to increase the additional purchases in the future.
It will automatically import all tracking numbers, so you can access them all in one place. Admin can filter the shipments based on the date, destinations, statuses, etc. Furthermore, you can generate a tracking page for each individual order, which will be redirected to your store’s page rather than third-party carriers’ pages. There is also an option to customize the look and feel of the tracking page on your store.Conclusion
I hope this article helped you to get an idea of essential WooCommerce shipping plugins, which will make your shipping and fulfillment experience smooth and efficient. Go through their product pages and get a quick demo, if available to get a detailed understanding of a plugin before choosing it for your store.
The use of customer relationship software (CRM) is bringing great changes in the corporate world.
Every brand is struggling to gain maximum benefits with its smart use. However, many newly developed companies are unaware of the core functions and outcomes of a CRM. Therefore, a deeper understanding is imperative for leveraging CRM and increasing productivity. Before we move further, let us see the basic purpose of a CRM:What is a CRM?
Apart from other fundamental advancements of the business landscape, CRM is the most commendable one. This customer relationship management software is a smart tool for managing potential as well as current customers. Be it a marketing team or a sales department; every unit reaps its great benefits. Furthermore, it plays a vital role in shaping future marketing strategies.
An auto CRM has made things even easier. Yes, it automatically stores the information as soon as the company acquires a new lead. Thus, the systematic channel helps in knowing the former trends and recent changes in consumer behavior. But, there is a lot more that we can get from this software. Many successful brands have boosted productivity just with the smart use of a CRM.
Let us see how we can use it in the best possible manner and increase productivity:1. Change Your Sales Protocol
As mentioned above, the auto CRM automatically updates your database. But this is only possible for the online interactions with your brand. For instance, a CRM will add a prospect if someone downloads something from your site. Now, there is a lacking of offline interactions. Interactions through trade shows, meetings, conferences, and exhibitions also mean a lot to a brand.
The sales team should include a rule of manually adding offline interactions into the database. By avoiding these interactions, companies lose a lot of potential clients.
Tip: Always schedule 10 minutes in your calendar for manual recording after your sales meeting. In this way, you will never forget to record the keynotes about offline prospects.2. Increase Efficiency through Regular Use of CRM
If you become habitual of using CRM, you will start reaping its benefits in no time. CRM is not something that is used occasionally. Instead, make it your everyday tool. For instance, if you use a CRM, you will get to know where your prospects are standing in the buying journey. This will help you make the right move to increase customer satisfaction and convert customers.
Whether you are an online retailer or a service provider, a CRM will help you design a better sales process. Online education services, eCommerce sites, hospitals, and hospitality businesses; all use CRM to nurture and manage their leads for higher conversion.
Today, prospects have all the power to do online research, but they are more than happy if you do all the legwork for them. It means finding out the gaps and presenting their solutions at a rapid rate. This will automatically speed up the buying process and increase productivity.
Additionally, companies can increase efficiency in the following ways:
Another great way of leveraging CRM is by bringing collaboration among multiple departments. For instance, if a sales representative is planning to have a meeting with a prospect, getting knowledge about all previous interactions is essential. Since the former salesperson has recorded all information, all other departments can use it for future planning.
Additionally, it will help in preparing for the meeting and showcasing the brand in a better way. Since the prospect has already interacted with the brand, success in this meeting is likely to make a conversion. Therefore, prime importance should be given to all former records, and data saved by one department should be used by every other department.4. Satisfactory Customer Experience
Once the prospect is finally converted into a customer, the process of customer service begins. Here comes the role of all those team members who will serve this new customer. The customer service team and project managers play a key role. If they use CRM for getting informed about the former interactions and conversations, they will better understand the customer psychology.
Additionally, they will get an idea of immediate customer needs. For instance, if it is a technical product and the customer service team knows that the customer has zero technical knowledge about the product, they can address it with very basic knowledge.
On the other hand, they cannot use the basic terminology for a well-informed customer. In this case, they will use technical words that can leave a great impact on a new customer.5. Use Visual Data
Make the most of the dashboard for extracting information. This graphical representation of data saves time, requires less effort, and speeds up the decision-making process. For instance, if the marketing head wants to inquire about the email metrics, the dashboard can help to know how many people received a particular email.
Similarly, a dashboard can also tell about the total number of the call or the calls with a positive response. Thus, all these benefits of visual data help managers focus on their core duties and plan strategically.6. Personalized Outreach
CRM also enables you to increase the personalized outreach. Thankfully, this software helps you group the customers according to interests, needs, or any other specific criteria. For instance, if you have a real estate business, you can use the CRM for real estate to segment customers according to the type of property they viewed. This will help you in sending targeted messages to all customers with a single group.
Similarly, travel agencies can target customers according to the cities and countries they viewed online. A targeted email will have a lasting impact in comparison to a generic email sent to every customer.Leverage the CRM for Boosting Productivity
After going through the above points, you must have got a great idea about leveraging your CRM. From enhancing customer service and increasing personalized outreach to reporting and sales forecasting, there is a lot you can do with this software.
Since competition is increasing, companies need to make the best use of CRM. Lastly, be sure to use an appropriate CRM platform as per your industry. Efficient use with all core functionalities will provide great outcomes in no time.
Different marketing campaigns have different goals to achieve. What’s common among all of them is that they are aimed to let the word out about your business and increase the revenues.
Where does a local business directory fit into the context? Here is what you need to know.
If you run a small business, it is basic knowledge that local clientele is going to give you the most profits. Whether you run a coffee shop or an apparel store, your local customers should find it easy to reach you.
There was a time when the Yellow Pages directory was used to find basic information about local businesses but things have changed now. This is the era of the internet thus the directories have also been shifted to online business directories. Users can instantly identify the business directory that can cater to their needs.
If you are like most small business owners, you have heard about the web directories but are not fully aware of what they can bring to the table. Should they be a part of your next digital marketing campaign? Don’t wait any longer and start listing your business in the most well-reputed business directory instantly in order to get the following benefits.Free/Inexpensive Advertisement
Marketing isn’t cheap. Even the most basic campaigns take a huge chunk of money but thanks to the internet there are several ways to cheaply advertise your business. Business directories are credible and most effective sources when it comes to free or inexpensive marketing.
For most web directories, adding your business listing is free of cost. You can enjoy additional features of most of these directories at very low costs. Once you have added the business details such as name, address, and phone numbers, anyone searching for businesses like yours, will see your ad. The most interesting aspect of this cheap advertisement is that it is going to stay up for years and years.Strengthen Your Online Presence
Whether you have an online storefront for your business or not, you must have a strong online presence. As the majority of the users check the online presence and reputation of a business before making any purchases, building up the online presence is critical to your success.
One simple way is to start adding your business to the top business directories. Maintaining the listings in the top few gives you access to several other websites. When you search for your company name, you will see your business name appearing on web directories you never even visited. That’s because many listings pull data from larger directories and hence you get the benefit of an amplified online presence.Amplify Your Visibility to Local Community
Claiming your business on major business directories is beneficial because it improves your visibility in the local community. Most of your customers belong to local communities and once they know what you are offering, they will keep coming back to you.
Users can see your business if it is situated near their locality even if they never searched you by name. If you have added the perfect business description and accurate business details, local customers will find it easier to connect to you.
You can reap the maximum benefits by adding a listing to huge directories that use advanced filtering and suggestion techniques to present business names according to their location.Get Discovered and Hired More Frequently
Well, isn’t that the dream of every business person? You want to be discovered at the right time of customer journey and hired more frequently than any of your competitors. The top local business directory will help you with that.
Let’s say you have opened a cake shop recently. You didn’t put the expensive flyers but added listings in the best directories including Google My Business. Now when a user will search for cake shops near me, the results will also include your business listings.
If you are the nearest cake shop, your name will appear at the top of the results. So, a quality listing allows you to get discovered and hired more frequently. And all of that sums up to be bigger and faster profits.Leverage Your Reputation with Word of Mouth
Word of mouth has been the more reliable source for businesses and users for ages. Business owners do their best to win over customers by encouraging their present clients to pass the word on. Thanks to the internet, the means have increased manifold.
Online web directories can help you leverage your business reputation by providing a review section. Most of the reliable and well-reputed directories have review sections that allow customers to leave honest and unbiased reviews. All of the positive reviews act as the word of mouth. The ongoing pandemic has limited the opportunities for direct contact so these comprehensive platforms have emerged to be even more important today.Improve The Credibility of Your Business
Modern businesses rely on their credibility and online reviews are pretty helpful in that. Positive reviews are great and every business needs more of them at any given time. If you have been fearing the negative reviews and the criticism, put your worries aside because here is another opportunity for you.
The negative reviews can be handled well by responding to them and resolving the issues. Moreover, customers consider the businesses more reliable when they get mixed reviews instead of all-so-good comments. If you want to be known as a legit company, a business directory can surely help.Get Ranked on Google and Other Search Engines
When it comes to Google rankings, a business directory is no longer as important as it once used to be. The algorithms used by Google and all major search engines are evolving at a fast pace. Now the quality of inbound links is far more important than their number.
Still, you can use the tool of the local business directory to boost your SEO efforts. And that’s by setting up a listing on credible directories. When the information is transferred across other directories it gives you even more quality links. You must check and update your business listing so that all of your credentials are accurate across the internet.
Here is a catch. If Google finds your business listed on a business directory with poor domain authority, it can harm your SEO.Enjoy Better Brand Awareness
Building your brand among the locals and then national and international users takes years at best. Kick-off your way to success with the best local directories. The users will see your business even when they are not hiring you for the first time. Over time, they get familiar with the name and that’s what brand awareness is all about. You will start to see steady yet consistent results over a matter of few weeks.
User experience (UX) research is drawing the attention of many companies and accurate UX research methods are questioned. Before we start to explain how to conduct UX research, we need to simply ask this question: What is user experience (UX) research?
Hint: It is more than just finding some good research interview questions.USER EXPERIENCE (UX) RESEARCH
UX research is a systematic investigation of target users and their needs in order to provide genuine insights to design processes. To find challenges and design opportunities, UX researchers use a variety of methodologies.THE DIFFERENCE IN UX RESEARCH
User experience (UX) research can be divided into two parts: quantitive and qualitative.
Quantitive research: It is basically any type of UX research that can be quantified. It’s useful for deducing statistical probabilities and determining what’s going on with a service or a product.
Qualitative research: Another part of UX research provides solutions to queries. Interviews or discussions are often used. Qualitative research of UX aids in the understanding of why individuals act the way they do.TOP 9 METHODS FOR A GREAT UX RESEARCH
1. Card Sorting: Ask users to organize information into a logical structure and try to create a dendrogram (category tree).
2. Use Cases: Document the possible interactions between users and the system with use cases. Keep in mind that it is good to create different scenarios with alternative paths and various users.
3. Contextual Inquiry: Observe users in the relevant context which provides deep insight into how users behave.
4. User Testing: Ask a user to perform tasks and observe their behaviors. It is important to understand usability issues and user concerns.
5. Task Analysis: Observe the steps and approaches of users to complete a given task. Try to understand what users genuinely want to achieve.
6. System Usability Scale (SUS): Offer a questionnaire with 10-questions with options from “Strongly Disagree” to “Strongly Agree” in order to evaluate the usability of a product or of a process.
7. Interviews: Make conversations with users to understand how they think about a site, a product, or a process. It is crucial to choose the right users and the right pre-determined questions!
8. Prototyping: Design a mock-up of the site, product, or service, the design team may test ideas before adopting them, and also it is a good way to collect feedback from users and to show the visualization of the product or service.
9. Surveys: Ask a set of questions that you ask many visitors of users of your service to learn more about the individuals that use it. Asking accurate questions is the key! Your survey questions should include task-driven feedback questions, open-ended and follow-up questions. Try to avoid yes or no questions or leading questions.QUESTION SUGGESTIONS FOR AN UX RESEARCHER
As we mentioned before, if you find the right user to use some questions then it is really important to ask good ones! So we listed some of our picks for you.
Long story short, any UX researcher should take into account that these methods and questions can differ from one product or user to another. It is important to choose the right one to start or to improve your user experience (UX) journey and then you will realize that you customize some methods and questions by taking some steps on your journey!
It’s no secret that managing employees’ schedules can be a time-intensive process. Creating a work schedule that accommodates the needs of your employees while meeting the demands of your operation takes forethought and organization. Further coordination is required to ensure the schedule gets updated when necessary and that everyone has the most current information.
Before the initial schedule is built, several factors should be considered:
Beyond creating the initial work schedule, managers spend additional time on other schedule-related tasks, such as managing schedule requests, making and communicating schedule changes, and ensuring every shift remains covered with the right number of people. Add in call-offs and filling open shifts, and it’s easy to see why managers can struggle to keep up with other key responsibilities in addition to maintaining staff schedules.
To simplify the scheduling process, and give managers time to focus on day-to-day operations, many administrators are turning to online employee scheduling software. These systems are designed to automate the staff scheduling process, and many include tools that help improve communication and manage labor costs. But with so many software options available, how do you know which program is right for your organization?
Here are eight things to consider when you are evaluating which solution best meets your organization’s specific scheduling requirements.
Finding the staff scheduling software that best meets the requirements of your organization requires some research upfront that will pay dividends in the end. Start by asking yourself the questions outlined above and determine which features are most important for you and your team. The right scheduling solution will simplify the scheduling process, improve communication, and can cut time spent on scheduling by up to 75% — that’s a sound investment for any operation.
Marketing automation allows you to handle time-consuming, repetitive tasks with ease. This can be a lifesaver for busy business owners who don’t have the time to be running their business while taking care of all their marketing efforts.
With marketing automation, you can put important campaigns on autopilot, knowing that they will be covered. You just need to make sure that these automated campaigns are set up as optimally as possible if you want to achieve the best possible results and a great marketing ROI.
We’ve put together a list of 10 essential tips and strategies that you need to know when setting up your marketing automation. Follow these tips, and you’ll achieve much better results with each campaign.1. Set Your Marketing Automation Goals
Before you start creating your marketing automation campaigns, you need to have clear goals that you’re trying to achieve. Without goals, you won’t be able to measure the success of your campaigns or achieve your business targets.
Start by understanding what you want the end result to be, and set this up as an actionable, measurable goal. Then you can start to develop your automation strategy around this.2. Have a Clear Strategy
You need to have a clear strategy for each step of your automation process if you want to achieve great results. Know what you’re looking for and what you want to achieve with each aspect of your marketing automation strategy. From choosing the right software to tracking results, having a clear strategy will help you achieve your goals far more easily.
Every stage of your campaign creation needs to be strategically optimized. By having a clear strategy in place, you’ll be able to produce far more effective automation campaigns with each step. This includes things like writing the right messages or targeting the right prospects.3. Align Sales and Marketing
Your marketing automation strategy is all about moving leads down your funnel, to get them to your sales team. Of course, you only want to send qualified leads to the sales team.
When putting together a marketing automation strategy, sales and marketing should work closely together to come up with the best practices for lead nurturing and lead scoring. This will help the campaign to result in more sales.4. Use the Right Automation Tool
There are a lot of different marketing automation tools out there, and you need to make sure that you choose yours carefully. Different software solutions offer different capabilities, and the one you choose needs to align with the goals you’re trying to achieve.
Try to choose a marketing automation tool that allows you to create lead-generating landing pages, as well as create seamless email campaigns. The best tools should offer features like A/B testing, easy lead management, and email templates. Of course, this should all be able to integrate with the tools your business is already using.5. Build a List Organically
Your automated marketing campaign is only as good as the email list you use. You need to make sure that this list is full of qualified leads, and that you’re able to send the right content to the right leads.
Firstly, you need to build this list yourself, and not buy it. This might take some time, but buying leads won’t do your business any favors. To do this, you’ll need to generate leads through landing pages, pop-ups, social media, email marketing outreach, ads, and more.
Your goal should be to have a list of leads who are interested in your business and will eventually end up as customers. By targeting qualified leads with the right content, you’ll be able to execute far more successful campaigns.A good example of a banner to collect more leads 6. Segment Your Leads Properly
You might have built up a strong email marketing list, but now you need to make sure that this list is divided into the right groups. Sending broad, general messages across your entire email list won’t be nearly as effective as sending specific, relatable content to the right individuals.
Use your leads management platform to segment your list accordingly. This can include things like location, the lead’s history with your business, and what steps they took to become a lead. Now you can send personalized content to each lead segment, which will help you achieve far better results.7. Understand Your Customers
On the topic of segmentation, you should also have a clear understanding of your different customers and leads within your different lists. Creating accurate customer personas for each list will improve your automated marketing messages in a big way.
Understand who these people are, what their pain points are, and how they want to communicate. Building detailed personas will help you to target the right customers with the content they want to see. This will help to move your marketing efforts along much more effectively.8. Create the Right Content
In marketing automation, nothing actually matters if you aren’t delivering high-quality content. Sending out great content is the only way to attract attention and get your leads to take the right actions.
As mentioned earlier, this content needs to align with the leads you’re sending it to. Make sure that your content speaks to their pain points, offers insightful solutions, and educates your audience.
There are loads of different types of content that you can create. Always make sure that it’s original and of high quality. This will result in more interest and more conversions.9. Don’t Let Your Automated Campaigns Seem Automated
Using marketing automation shouldn’t stop you from developing relationships with your leads. Just because you’re automating your marketing messages, it shouldn’t feel automated. Make sure that you set your campaigns up to still feel human and personal.
Make sure that your brand’s voice is clear with each message, and that you sound like a human. You want to develop a real connection with your audience. Marketing automation may save you time and effort, but it shouldn’t seem like this from whoever is receiving the content.10. Start Small and Grow
Marketing automation can become incredibly complex, with many different steps involved. The best strategy is to start your campaigns small, with two or three steps, and add to these as you progress. Instead of setting up everything at once, automate a few processes and gradually build it up.
This is a much more efficient approach to marketing automation, and it can help you to avoid many common mistakes. You’ll also be able to access insights easier, which will help you to optimize and strengthen your campaigns.Conclusion
Marketing automation is the easiest way to grow your business. It can save you loads of time and effort while helping you achieve awesome results. Follow the strategies listed above when setting things up, and you’ll be able to create amazing marketing campaigns that add more value to the customer. Now you can grow your business with far less effort.
WooCommerce has been a game-changer in the rapidly growing eCommerce arena. By strategically using the right WooCommerce product slider plugin you can add extra functionality and that much-needed appeal to your website to boost sales like never before.
Are you new to WooCommerce slider plugins and wish to know their features?
Are you wondering how product slider plugins can enhance your sales?
If yes, here’s a list of the top 6 responsive and mobile-friendly WooCommerce product sliders for your WordPress website. So, read on-1. WooCommerce Product Slider Pro
WooCommerce Product Slider Pro is one of the best WooCommerce product sliders you will find in the market at the moment. It makes it easy to filter and display tonnes of products with sheer ease.
From best-selling to most-viewed, top-rated, up-sells, cross-sells, and related products; you can feature the products in various categories. Whether you want to display your products by their IDs, SKUs, or attributes, it is all easy with this amazing slider plugin.More Salient features
WP Online Support’s Woo product slider and carousel with category is an SEO-optimized plugin that helps you create amazing sliders by leveraging easy-to-use shortcodes.
Add as many responsive sliders as you want and take your WooCommerce game to the next level with this Woo product slider.
Unlock a whole new world of possibilities by choosing to make the most of elegant and minimal design styles that make your product stand out.Features of Woo Product Slider & Carousel with Category
Created by PickPlugins, this WooCommerce product slider plugin is one of the most popular plugins. If you wish to build a conversion-oriented WordPress website, this plugin is a must-have.
Create numerous product sliders according to your preferences and display them on a page or post simply by using a shortcode. Below are listed some more features of PickPlugins’ WooCommerce product slider WordPress plugin.More Features of PickPlugins’ WooSlider
WP Online Support’s Product Categories Designs for WooCommerce is the next one on the list. This slider plugin has 2 slider layouts with more than 10 slider designs at your disposal. Whether you want to display products in grid or carousel view, this plugin allows you to do that responsively.
What’s more? This plugin with phenomenal capabilities facilitates seamless integration with your favorite page builders including- Gutenberg, Beaver, Siteorigin, and Elementor to name a few.
This feature-rich and robust plugin is compatible with all the latest versions of WordPress and owing to its compatibility with other plugins, you can enjoy a seamless web development experience.
It is astonishingly easy to create and use shortcodes to display products on a specific page, post, or section.More Features of WP Online Support’s WooCommerce Product Slider
Enhance the interface of your eCommerce website and transform the way customers interact with your website in an unprecedented manner.
YITH WooCommerce product slider plugin adds a strategic value and aesthetic appeal to your eCommerce website and grabs the attention of your customers. Boost conversions of your eCommerce store by creating various sliders and showcasing specific product categories.
You can also show your slider in the sidebar and make the most of the plenty of features this plugin offers.More Features of YITH WooCommerce product slider plugin
WPM WooCommerce Product Slider is one of the most sought-after plugins out there. This reliable and simple-to-use WooCommerce product slider is lightweight and easy to use. It adds to the functionality of your website without weighing it down.
If need be, one can use more than one slider and place it on the sidebar.More Features of WPB’s WooCommerce Product Slider
WooCommerce Product Carousel PRO is equipped with a variety of unique features. This is undoubtedly one of the most popular plugins you will find out there in the online space. Display multiple products simultaneously with seamless navigational facilities.
You can re-order the products according to your preferences and automatically select related products according to tags and categories.More Features of WooCommerce Product Carousel PRO
There is no dearth of WooCommerce product sliders in the market and each of them brings its own set of advantages. You are advised to use your discretion to choose the one that fits your needs the best. The eCommerce market is increasingly progressive and competitive. Choosing the right WooCommerce plugin will help you gain a leg-up in the ever-competitive market.
Hope the post made for a good read. For more information related to WooCommerce product slider WordPress plugins, feel free to get in touch with us.
In the ever-changing and fast-moving world of digital marketing, brand storytelling carves out a niche for itself by building bridges between brands and customers.
In today’s digital-oriented world, people tend to feel the absence of human relations which leads them to attach importance to sentimental elements. By using brand storytelling, brands create a connection between their customers and get the chance to introduce their products. But how does that connection is established and what exactly is brand storytelling?What Is Brand Storytelling?
While the wide usage of the term brand storytelling in the marketing industry sometimes leads to confusion, its meaning is quite simple and literal. By using narrative, brands share their values and the important milestones of their journey with their customers. This exchange creates a connection between the brands and their customers, which strengthens the commitment between the two parties.
When executed properly, brand storytelling enhances the brands’ impact and profit as well as their recognition. In such a crowded marketplace, brand storytelling gives brands a chance to stand out and make a memorable first impression on customers.The Importance of Brand Storytelling
Via brand storytelling, brands can reach out to their customers and give them insight into their business and the value of their products. Since the marketplace is more competitive and crowded than ever, proper and outstanding publicity will help brands connect with their customers on a trust-based level. By brand storytelling, businesses use their story as a marketing strategy, which helps customers to be a part of the brand’s community and businesses to connect with prospect buyers. Through this connection, brands get the chance to identify their target customers and get their attention with the help of their shared values.Substantial Factors of Brand Storytelling
In brand storytelling, there are some crucial points every brand should consider before taking any action. Outlining a few baseline facts about their businesses before beginning is a great start for brands that are new to brand storytelling. Defining the company’s vision and history will make a remarkable start and give the customers a chance to learn about the values of the brand and its mission. Following the history of the brand with the introduction of their products or services, brands can now describe their products or services in detail.
At this point, it is of great importance for brands to add some anecdotes and share the interactions providing that product creates. These anecdotes and the stories of the interactions can be used to reflect the difficult parts of the company’s journey, creating a sentimental bond with the customers.
Giving examples of who does the brand help with their service or product and sharing customer success stories is another significant factor of brand storytelling in terms of guiding the target audience. Giving insight into the development and creation process of the product is also a substantial factor of storytelling that helps customers to understand the value of the product. Finishing off, explaining the future of the product and the company in general makes a great end to the story as well as informing the customers about upcoming events and products.Successful Brand Storytelling Examples
Spotify’s original stories can be shown as one of the most successful examples of brand storytelling, differentiating the brand from others in the most fun and customer-oriented way. By collecting data about their users’ choices, Spotify creates original content for their Insights blog and provides unique stories as well as reflecting the company’s values.
Airbnb’s animated video for New Year’s 2015 takes its place as another remarkable example of effective brand storytelling. In the video, the company announced the number of travelers who chose Airbnb in 2015 and highlighted the most popular Airbnb choices. By telling the story of their company and sharing successful customer stories, Airbnb set a great example of brand storytelling.
When told effectually, stories can create a massive impact on the audience. Brand storytelling helps brands connect with their customers on a deeper level and create long-dated bonds.
It is a perfect way to bring human values back into the marketing world as well as creating important opportunities for brands. In a digital-oriented world like this, sentimental values can go a long way and brand storytelling holds the key to successful and valued customer relationships.
Despite the roughest year in recent memory, employers and employees can pat themselves on the back. Most remained resilient in the face of minute-by-minute changes.
In fact, figures from a 2020 study from online payroll provider OnPay reveal a general sense of optimism as the pandemic took hold. About three-quarters of workers and executives felt good about their initial handling of pandemic-related concerns.
However, a substantial number of employers who completed OnPay’s survey said they received PPP or CARES Act dollars. Yet those federal funds were meant as a short-term bridge, not a long-term solution to revenue challenges. Consequently, businesses needed to look at ways to trim costs without trimming internal or external customer service.
So if you haven’t moved toward more streamlined operational workflows, protocols, and tools, now is the ideal time. The more your company can trim the fat and scale up (or down) as business fluctuates, the easier it will be to run profitably and take advantage of new opportunities. Here are a few steps the most successful growing businesses are taking.1. Let machines handle repeat tasks.
Just about every big task is made up of countless little tasks. But is it necessary for your people to do all those little tasks manually? Or could they be automated to save time, resources, and headaches?
According to a 2019 Fortune article, AI-focused researchers believe automation could streamline 30% of most workers’ daily tasks. For instance, the software could automatically populate spreadsheets. Or, chatbots could quickly lead customers to find their own answers without human intervention.
Once thought of as a “job killer,” automation has now risen as a way to free up human capacity. The less your top performers have to repeat mundane tasks, the more time they have to complete high-level assignments.2. Reevaluate your supply chains.
Every organization deals with some kind of supply chain. Yours might be complex, as in the case of a manufacturer that buys everything from raw materials to finished widgets. Alternatively, your company’s procurement involvement might end with regular office supplies and furnishings.
Though you may be happy with the flow of your supply chain, take a look at the overall numbers. Are there places where you could save money? Could a different supply chain system shave off valuable time, allowing you to make and ship products faster?
Don’t be afraid to ask hard questions when it comes to your supply chain needs. Your vendors may be willing to give you discounts to keep your business. They may also have recommendations to bring down your overall costs, such as placing orders at different intervals. As the saying goes, every little bit helps.3. Move your company partially or fully remote.
It costs a bundle to operate a brick-and-mortar office. In addition to a lease or mortgage, you’ll pay for utilities, upkeep, taxes, and myriad other things. You may be able to eliminate all those bills by transforming your team into a remote-only workplace.
This isn’t as radical as it sounds, especially if you spent a lot of time in 2020 operating as a WFH crew. A 2021 piece from the Washington Post indicates plenty of leading tech companies are embracing telework for their people. Take Microsoft, for instance. The giant software provider is allowing workers to go remote half the time.
Even if you don’t want to pull the plug on renting traditional office space, you might be able to get by with less square footage. Let’s say your team members only come in three days a week. You could rely upon hot-desking to ensure everyone has a private workstation. At the same time, workers’ schedules could rotate, meaning you’ll always have fewer employees in-house.4. Remove communication roadblocks.
The faster your employees can communicate with one another and customers, the better. Chances are strong, though, that you have some communication obstacles here and there. Those obstacles aren’t just eating away at efficiency, though; they’re eating away at morale, too.
Consider the case of a customer service employee who can only make minimal service concessions without approval. The time it takes to ask a manager for approval and get back to a customer can seem like ages. Wouldn’t it be better to give the service agent the authority to make decisions up to a certain dollar figure? That way, the agent could resolve customer issues faster and without communication delays.
Even if you think your organization has communication down to a science, conduct a thorough review. Find all the places where communication breaks down or goes into a stall. Then, brainstorm ways to move everything through the decision-making process quicker.5. Elicit feedback from employees.
Your workers already know exactly where the “fat” in your company lies. Unfortunately, most won’t bring up their concerns because they don’t want to rock the proverbial boat. Rather than waiting for them to give you their insights, ask for ideas.
For example, why not send out quarterly, bi-annual, or annual surveys to your team members? Ask them where their processes and tasks get gummed up. Then, request their solutions. You might be surprised at how innovative their answers may be.
Of course, you have to be willing to both listen to and follow up on any recommendations you receive. This helps keep an open line of dialogue between you and your colleagues. It also fosters a better sense of trust and transparency in your organization as you all “get lean” together.The bottom line
You’ve made it through one of the most challenging social, economic, and political years on the record books. And you’re almost on the other side. Chances are, you had to adapt and make operational improvements over the past year. Keep that spirit alive by looking for more ways to keep your operations lean. It will make you better prepared for whatever the future holds, and you’ll be well-positioned for more profitable growth.
The main goal of a website is getting conversions. You can’t reach that goal if your visitors don’t have a great experience. Therefore, it is necessary to create web designs based on your users’ requirements.
Google Analytics is one of the best free tools that helps you to know about your audience behavior to convert more customers and avoid high bounce rates.What is UI/UX, and Why is it Important?
UI/UX (User Interface/User Experience) is used to maximize user experience and usability. Designers use this discipline to analyze how users interact with a website and provide solutions that address their pain points. Moreover, UI/UX delights users and improves the overall experience.
As the competition increases each day, having a good website design has become essential to stay relevant. Visitors are more likely to leave if the site has problems with loading, mobile friendliness, etc. Therefore, issues with web design will adversely affect your brand value and sales. UI/UX design helps you tackle these problems by creating highly user-friendly websites that work on all devices and provide the best experience.How Google Analytics Helps UI/UX Design?
A good design and user interface are critical for your website’s success. Visitors tend to leave a site if it’s not user-friendly. Google Analytics is a powerful tool for web developers that provides a wealth of information about how your visitors are navigating or using your website. The tool has various specific key performance indicators that will help you improve your UI/UX.
Google Analytics can keep track of every user behavior from the point they land on your site to the moment they leave. With this data, you can optimize your website’s user experience for increased sales or conversions.
Let’s look into how Google Analytics will help web developers to improve UI/UX.1. Easy to Set Up
You can easily set up Google Analytics on your website with a snippet of code. You will receive this tracking code once you create an account in Google Analytics. With the code, you can access your website data on the Google Analytics dashboard.2. Track Pageviews
Pageviews let you know every time a unique user lands on a webpage, as well as the number of times the user views that page. Moreover, this feature allows you to track visitor activity on your web pages like their regular journey, type of device and browser they use, etc. This data helps developers know the interaction happening on different pages to address and fix related issues.3. Analyze Traffic
Google Analytics provides comprehensive reports about the channels that drive traffic to your website. You can analyze the traffic to your site besides accessing other data like engagement, bounce rate, conversions, etc.4. Analyze Behavior
Google Analytics supports web design services by offering rich insights about user behavior . For example, you can understand how users come to different pages, their behavior at particular points, and what they do on a page while staying on it. Moreover, you can find out the factors that lead to high bounce rates, which CTAs drew users’ attention, and which pages received the most attention.5. Track Events
The event tracking feature of Google Analytics is very beneficial to UI/UX designers. You get access to well-defined micro-interaction data that is not included in the default page view tracking. You can measure the success of multimedia elements, downloadable content, video plays, etc.6. Guide to Testing
Google Analytics data alone cannot provide you with all the information to improve your website. User testing is also critical. It is done by developing a set of actions commonly performed by your website’s target audience. The data from Google Analytics can be helpful in this stage, as you can compare different issues.7. Time on Page & Bounce Rate
Time on Page data lets you know where your visitors spend most of their time on the website and where they are not. The data can help you identify UI/UX elements that will benefit user engagement and the harmful elements. That is, the analytics data will help you identify specific parts of your website that need design improvement.
The Bounce Rate data provided by Google Analytics lets you know the percentage of users leaving your landing page before exploring other pages. A strong UI/UX design can help reduce bounce rates by captivating users with the website’s aesthetics.8. Set Goals
Google Analytics lets you set specific goals to help you know how well your website fulfills the target objectives. For example, you can opt for several critical business goals in the admin section like checkout items, ebook downloads, newsletter signups, account creation, lead capture, etc.9. Conversion Tracking
UI/UX designers need to know the path taken by users before becoming paying customers. With the conversion data from Google Analytics, web designers can create user journey maps. Then, you can use these maps to modify elements for maximum success.10. Performance Data
Google Analytics provides device performance data to help you make sure that your design works well across desktops, tablets, mobile devices, etc. If there is an issue with a particular device, you can immediately adjust the UI. You also get to know whether the website has issues loading on different browsers.11. Audience Insights
Audience insights are very important for good UI/UX. You can access useful information like interests, locations, demographics, devices, etc. This data can help you create designs that your users want. For instance, if you have more visitors at night, you can include a dark mode. Likewise, gender and age data helps you tweak content based on specific interests.Conclusion
Designing based on guesses doesn’t work if you need conversions. Instead, you need to follow a data-based design to meet your business goals. With so many amazing features available free of cost, Google Analytics is, without a doubt, the finest tool a web development company can have. As we saw, the rich data and insights offered by the tool can help you fine-tune your UI/UX to boost user engagement, improve sales and stay ahead of the competition.
Your inbound inquiries are coming in quickly, but you’re unable to respond to them promptly because you’re too busy working or are short-staffed.
Are these common challenges that you regularly face with your business? Well, you’re not entirely alone, but you’ve likely been slow to address these problems head-on and it’s likely costing you potential revenue. We truly understand these issues and have the advice to help you immediately.
Your customers will communicate directly with your business via online forms, calls, chats, SMS messages, social media, emails, and any other channel that they’re comfortable using. But, just as important as responding quickly to inbound inquiries, being readily available 24/7 to your customers is an expectation that many now demand. And if you’re not meeting this demand, they will find another business that is.
Research from HubSpot’s consumer report paints a grim outlook for businesses that are not responding quickly enough to new leads and existing clients.The report found:
Businesses, especially solo, small, and medium-sized businesses, with limited staff and availability are expected to be available to respond promptly to all inbound inquiries. This can be rather unrealistic as the same staff is also responsible for thousands of other existing projects and client deliverables making it difficult to be responsive during all hours.Outsource your responsiveness
Fortunately, businesses that are feeling squeezed due to limited staff and availability to respond to inquiries have available solutions that’ll enable them to outsource and delegate front-line communication responsibilities to others. Outsourced 24/7 answering services staffed by virtual receptionists offer businesses a breath of fresh air as they’re better positioned and equipped to handle prompt lead responsiveness.
Using a 24/7 virtual receptionist service lets businesses outsource their call and chat answering needs during business hours, nights, and weekends. Virtual receptionists can also serve as a backup answering option during peak hours and seasons for your business — or even just during lunchtime, when staff members are away from their desks.The role of virtual receptionists
Virtual receptionists support businesses with screening calls and blocking potential spammers, qualifying leads and conducting client intake, answering customer support requests, responding to text messages, and transferring calls to the appropriate employee to handle, freeing up staff members to focus on existing tasks without losing potential revenue from new leads as they come in.
You might be thinking about the financial impact of not responding promptly to inquiries and how a virtual receptionist service can help alleviate that concern right now. Well, there is data to provide more clarity on that.
Harvard Business Review audited 2,241 U.S. companies and their responsiveness to web leads by measuring how long each company took to respond to a web-generated test lead.
The study found:
The average response time, among companies that responded within 30 days, was 42 hours.
The study also uncovered that organizations that respond within 1 hour to a lead query are seven times more likely to qualify the lead than those who responded in just 2 hours, and 60 times more successful than those who responded within 24 hours. In fact, 78% of sales go to the first company to respond to a lead!
To quickly recap the above study, businesses shouldn’t be caught napping at the wheel when responding to leads as it can limit their growth. So, if you’re slow to respond, you’ll be putting your business at risk of succeeding for simply not responding quickly enough to inquiries. Rather than assuming that risk, consider using solutions and services that’ll help ensure you’re responsive 24/7.Using virtual receptionists as your SDRs
Traditionally, businesses have used virtual receptionists to primarily handle inbound support and lead qualification. However, virtual receptionists are able to provide much more value for your business and free you up to focus on productive work and client deliverables.
Outsourced receptionists have the unique ability to serve as an extension of your sales development team. This can be extremely valuable for solo and small businesses that are limited by time and resources to promptly follow up with potential new clients. Imagine sending a quick note to your answering service to make an outbound call and scheduling the qualified lead within minutes of them completing your online web form. Well, you’re in luck as that’s all it takes!Conclusion
Businesses interested in growth should consider improving their lead responsiveness as it pays to be the first to answer their inquiry. One option to improve the speed of answering is by delegating your frontline communications to an answering service capable of not only handling inbound calls but making outbound calls to your potential clients.
You’ll likely start seeing more scalable and sustainable growth in converted leads as your responsiveness increases. Don’t leave your next big client hanging!
Today’s consumers have so many different businesses to choose from and this can be overwhelming.
For any business to succeed in this competitive market, they need to take care of brand recognition so they can become recognizable by their logo, slogan, or anything else related to their brand.
But building this recognition takes a lot of work and it takes approximately 5-7 interactions with a brand for people to start remembering it. So, to get your business to the top of your ideal customers’ priorities and into their minds and hearts, you need to prioritize brand promotion.Use your social media right
It’s impossible to find a business with great brand recognition that doesn’t have a social media presence, and there’s a good reason for that. There are many reasons your brand needs an unmissable social media presence.
Social media platforms have billions of users, people interact with them daily, and no matter what your target audience is, you can find them on social media.
However, not all social media platforms work well for every business. To figure out what platforms you should use, do some research. See where your target audience is, how they usually interact with that platform, and what they like to see from their favorite brands on social media.
Let’s say, for instance, that your ideal customers consist of a younger audience. If that’s the case, you should have a strong presence on Instagram. Not only should you post regularly but you should always reply to every message quickly and accurately.
You can do that if you use a tool such as Instagram chat API. This tool will allow you to provide great customer service on Instagram by automating all of the busywork and giving you features such as auto-replies, quick replies, and no-code chatbots. It will also keep all of your channels in one view and provide you with useful statistics.Have a presence on LinkedIn Image source
Creating brand recognition amongst other businesses is just as important as creating it amongst your customers. And what better place to do that than the only social media outlet for professionals? LinkedIn has 722 million members and that’s more than enough for brand promotion in a professional setting.
One of the recently added features on LinkedIn is its publishing tool, which allows you to publish posts, spread brand awareness, and establish yourself as an industry leader. Content is king, and the more content you have about your brand, the better.
Publishing content will get you noticed and help you make more connections. And when all of those requests and messages start coming in, you should have a LinkedIn automation service that will help you with messaging, event invitations, automated replies, profile auto-follows, and much more.Appear locally as much as you can
Every company’s ultimate goal is to create brand recognition worldwide, but before you can do that, you need to start small and aim to be recognized in your local community.
When you get together with potential leads and similar businesses in your area, you can network, get to know your competition, and introduce your brand face-to-face. Additionally, you can use this opportunity to hand out swag and get your company’s name and logo out there.
When mingling with your local community, you can emphasize the meaning and purpose of your brand, and the best way to do that is to explain what your mission is.
To do that, you need a great mission statement. This is a simple and short description of your businesses’ purpose which explains why your organization exists in the first place. A compelling mission statement can be memorable and impactful, and that’s exactly what you’re hoping to achieve with brand promotion.Have a unique and fun personality Image source
For as long as there have been businesses, there have been boring businesses. Even if you have a lot to offer, if you don’t know how to present your offer memorably, you will be lost in a sea of competitors. If you want your brand identity to be memorable, you should make it fun and unique.
This will work great if you work in an industry where not many companies dare to stand out. Being different isn’t bad or something people will look down on. Unique expression is popular right now, and if you take a look at some brands that dare to be fun and silly, you will see how much uniqueness pays off.
Let’s take a look at Old Spice, for example. Their ads are popular in the entire world and people often watch them online because they’re silly and entertaining. These hilarious ads always leave an impression, but more importantly, they also drive sales.Create remarketing campaigns
Remarketing campaigns involve creating advertisements that will be shown to the people who have already visited your website in the past. This is a great brand promotion strategy because it brings attention to your brand with people who have already had contact with it.
Remarketing ads are usually placed on the websites your customers visit after they leave your website. So before they know it, they are seeing your brand everywhere. This will give them the impression your brand is larger than they knew and will ultimately increase your conversion rates.Final thoughts
No matter how good your products are, how well you execute your marketing campaigns, or how much you invest in any aspect of your business, you won’t go far unless you put focus on brand promotion.
When you get your brand in front of enough people and can be sure that it’s recognizable, it will be smooth sailing from then on.