All posts by Wendy Dessler

Wendy is a super connector who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized marketing plans depending on the industry and competition.

Digital Branding

How to Create Your Own Brand on Amazon

How would you like to open an Amazon store filled with products bearing your own brand labels? The thought is literally intoxicating because you know that Amazon is the world’s largest consumer marketplace and the ultimate place to find the greatest number of consumers interested in what you have to sell. If you are sincerely contemplating opening an Amazon storefront, the following information can serve as a guide to why you would want to sell your own brand, private label products and then how to go about ensuring maximum profits. After all, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? You want to make money and lots of it. Here is how it’s done.

Why You Want Your Own Brand

The very first step is to fully understand and appreciate the benefits of selling your own brand products. Sometimes referred to as private label products, these are simply products manufactured by a company and sold to you generically without a label. However, you don’t want to list generic products because consumers expect to buy them at rock bottom prices.

This is why you want to create your own brand so that you can build that brand and price your inventory accordingly as your brand becomes well-established. In other words, you don’t need to manufacture your own merchandise, you just need to build a brand with products manufactured by companies of your choice.

What New Merchants Should Know About FBA Benefits

At this point, it would be in your best interest to understand the benefits of letting Amazon fulfill your orders. Referred to as FBA listings, these products are housed in Amazon warehouses and all orders are fulfilled by Amazon, hence the FBA listing. The major benefits include warehousing and fulfillment. You don’t need to operate a large warehouse and you don’t need to pull orders, pack or ship any products. The best benefit of all is that FBA products are eligible for Prime free shipping which is a huge perk on the customer end.

Unfortunately, you should also know that mistakes can happen and sometimes those mistakes can be costly to a merchant’s bottom line. Many times Amazon owes their merchants money over mismanaged orders, improper stocking or even for products damaged in the warehouse or in shipping. If you want to minimize losses, you might want to consider software like AMZRefund that can help you track any Amazon errors which are affecting your bottom line.

Find Your Niche

This might be one of the most difficult aspects of opening an Amazon storefront unless you know exactly what market you’d like to enter. Consumer goods come in all categories from electronics to pet foods and everything in between. If you don’t know exactly what you’d like to list, it’s imperative that you know which products are hot so that you can find your niche. Much is written on finding a profitable niche and there is an actual science to it from researching to finetuning your sales marketing approach. Expect to spend a good deal of time with this step of your journey unless you have a passion you’d like to pursue.

Sourcing Products & Own Brand Labeling

This is another step which may take some time and research. Check out sites like Alibaba that list suppliers from all around the globe. Many manufacturers specialize in the private label ‘generic’ products and it’s up to you to choose the manufacturer that offers what you are looking for. Remember, a niche isn’t everything when sourcing suppliers and manufacturers because consumers are looking for the highest quality at the lowest cost.

Many new merchants look overseas for manufacturers because their cost is lower but the quality isn’t always inferior. Once you’ve found a supplier, it’s time to create your brand, design your labels and then work with a labeling company to produce your own brand private labels. If you find the right labeling company, they can also assist you with graphic design including eye-catching logos that will help build your brand.

Last But Not Least – It’s Time to List Your Products!

Once you have gone through all the above steps to creating and selling your own brand products on Amazon, it’s time to create a merchant account and start listing your products. Here is where you’ll find another benefit of FBA listings because you are not limited by the amount of merchandise you can warehouse.

Amazon will warehouse your products and fulfill orders so that you can continue working on building your brand and growing your inventory. This is just a snapshot of what it takes to build your own brand on Amazon but once you’ve caught the fever, there’s no end to what you can do or obtain. It’s not a cliché because as an own brand Amazon seller, the sky really is the limit. See for yourself.

Local Branding

How to Design a Retail Store That Attracts Customers

Designing an interior for a retail store is all about psychology. You see, it’s not just about putting all of your inventory on display, it’s also about the way you display accent pieces, push slow-moving products, and guide the shopper on their journey through your store in general. One wrong design choice and you can lose their interest and force them out the way they came, so all the more reason to employ the best practices in the field to keep them inside and inspire them to make a positive decision.

From the first thing they encounter at the front door, to the pathways that permeate your store, all the way to focal points and speed bumps to make them hang out in a particular section, there’s plenty that goes into organizing a retail store interior. Let’s take a look at the best practices in the industry that will attract shoppers.

Mind the decompression zone

Greeting your customers with amazing products and promotions as soon as they walk in might seem like the sensible thing to do – after all, you want to grab their attention before they’ve had the chance to reconsider. However, over the years this has proven not to be the case. In fact, what you should do is give your customers some space.

Also known as the “decompression zone”, the first ten to fifteen feet of space serve the purpose of acclimating your visitors to your interior, which means that the majority of products displayed here tend to get overlooked. Shoppers will notice other features such as lighting, colors, fixtures, and advertisements in order to gain a perception of your brand. With that in mind, it’s essential that you allow them to breathe and form a positive opinion, so refrain from putting products here.

Put your best offer to the right

Upon entering, 90% of customers will turn to the right without even realizing. This inadvertent decision creates an amazing opportunity for you to design this area for maximum impact and engagement, so be sure to put your best-performing products here. Also known as the “power wall”, the first wall they encounter will serve a distinct purpose of grabbing their attention, and even making a quick sale. Most importantly, it will inspire them to peruse the rest of your store.

Keep in mind that you don’t need to clutter the wall with all of your top-selling merchandise. Instead, devise a theme that will appeal to your customers, such as a wall with high-demand products, or a wall with discounts. You can even combine the products with brand messages in order influence their decision-making process through the power of storytelling.

Design shelving and displays with functionality in mind

Functionality is the key to effective store design, as the products you display should not only be within easy reach, but should also be stored safely and preferably without cluttering the interior or making perusing a cumbersome chore. Needless to say, this is a delicate process in which you will need to experiment with different shelving options to suit your needs.

Once you have measured the amount of space you have available for your merchandise, you can research the types of industrial storage shelving in order to find the best storage solution for your layout and the amount of space you have to work with. Be sure to use industrial-grade shelving for all cumbersome items that need to be stored in a safe way with no risk of falling on the unsuspecting customers.

Guide your shoppers on a journey

The modern shopper wants and needs to be guided on their shopping journey. If you don’t carve a path for them through your store, they’re either going to miss out on some of your amazing products, or they’re going to get confused and walk away. Needless to say, you can’t let this happen if you want to make a sale, and more importantly, generate repeat customers.

To achieve these goals, you can start by placing furniture, ads, road signs, as well as racks and displays to help your customer navigate the maze of merchandise and devote their full attention to every aisle. Provided that the path has started at the wall to the right, you want to guide your customers along the racks to the back of the store, and then counterclockwise along the left side and towards the exit. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t position strategic focal points throughout and even “speed bumps” that will make the slow down and stay engaged.

Emphasize personal space and comfort

There is an interesting phenomenon in the retail industry, popularly known as the “butt-brush effect”. In essence, people do not want to brush their respective derrieres with other customers, and they will even refrain from venturing into certain parts of the store if they think that these space is too narrow for comfort. This common design mistake will leave the area deserted and the merchandise within, unsold.

To prevent losing money on this simple design tweak, just make sure to put your customers’ comfort first. Broaden the aisles, declutter the racks and shelves, and create plenty of floor space to prevent the dreaded “butt-brushing”. This might be a difficult task, especially if you have plenty of merchandise on your hands, but it will nonetheless prove essential for the overall customer experience in your store.

The contemporary retail store design aims to simplify the shopping journey, influence the decision-making process in a positive way, and generate recurring business for your brand. Use these essential design tips to appeal to the modern customer and take your retail store to new levels of success.

Legal Branding

The Importance of Branding in the Financial Sector

Considering the fact that the financial industry goes back to ancient civilization, branding is a new concept which has become crucial for success in todays modern world. If you watch old TV shows and movies, you will know the concept of the frontier banker. There used to be just one bank in town, which would be a solid looking building with heavy bars on the windows, and you could go there to simply borrow or deposit money. The bank was always busy as it had no competition.

Today, times have changed considerably as we are surrounded by a wide array of financial institutions, both online and traditional bricks and mortar. There is fierce competition for customers, and institutions have to make an effort on multiple fronts for attracting and retaining customers. They now have to invest heavily in advertising, offering new products and services, while also adding new technology to improve efficiency.

But, where is the brand building? If no one knows who you are, they will not pay attention to your products and services. Your bank will not look any more different from the next one. A brand serves as the identity of the financial institution and represents its values, personality and traits. It distinguishes your business from others, because strong brands are captivating, likeable, memorable and relatable. A strong brand provides you with greater control over your bank’s future because it gives you the power to communicate with your peers, customers and the public.

We spoke with Katherine Rose a branding expert in the financial industry, about some of the ways branding is paramount to the industry, fresh from her latest campaign for logbook loans online lender elogbookloan.uk.

There are a number of ways that effective branding can help in the financial sector:

A strong brand gives you a competitive edge

With a strong brand, a business can create a strong emotional connection with its customers, whether they are individuals or commercial organizations. More than the products and services that are offered by a financial institution, the brand is their reputation, their promise. Not only does it resonate with people, it also helps you become recognizable instantly. When customers see your brand and listen to your message, it becomes easier for them to choose you. This makes a business less vulnerable to competitors.

A strong brand helps to build trust

When it comes to matters of money, trust is vital. Strong brands are perceived by customers as higher value and lower risk. This strengthens a business’s bargaining power when they are dealing with potential partners and vendors. It is also helpful in reducing turnover, fueling employee pride and also attracting top talent.

A strong brand can ease financial pressures

Organizations in the financial sector are also businesses. In fact, they are highly regulated businesses. Increasing regulation, changing tax policies and the need to find new revenue sources and cut costs have made uncertain times for businesses in the financial industry. These risks can be mitigated by a strong brand with goodwill that boosts actual company value and customer loyalty.

A strong brand directly speaks to your customers

Today’s world has become content driven, which means that everyone can now be regarded as an empowered decision-maker. Strong brands can support this fact because they position themselves as useful resources, not just purveyors of products or services. This can be immensely helpful in building customer confidence and trust.

A strong brand can mitigate the pressure of mergers and acquisitions

Due to the numerous benefits that a strong brand can offer, financial institutions that wish to stay independent can protect themselves from unwanted takeovers. A strong brand increases the negotiating power of any financial organization that wishes to merge with or acquire others.

These are just some of the prominent benefits that branding can give a business in the financial sector.

Local Branding

The Definitive Guide To Getting Your Commercial Pilot License

Getting a commercial pilot license is quite essential if you are looking to begin a career as a pilot. But first, you need to understand what a commercial pilot is and what they do.

So many people make the mistake of considering every commercial pilot as an airline pilot. While an airline pilot can be considered as a commercial pilot, not every commercial pilot can be considered as an airline pilot.

There are many opportunities laid out for commercial pilots. A commercial pilot can be a tour pilot, cargo pilot, corporate pilot, or even a pilot flying for the government. In fact, there are commercial pilots that are Certified Flight Instructors (CFI). They can also be ferry pilots, backcountry pilots, or glider tow pilots.

Basically, a commercial pilot is someone who is certified by the FAA to legally charge people for flying services. An airline pilot, on the other hand, flies for an airline or a regularly scheduled carrier.

A person with a commercial pilot license can fly for anyone and charge money. However, if you want to start flying for an airline, thereby becoming an airline pilot, you will have to meet some additional requirements, such as obtaining the Airline Transport Certificate and working for some certified operator before being able to charge money.

Generally, commercial pilots are tasked with the responsibility of flying an aircraft. However, they have other job duties including, air traffic control communications, controlling and operating the plane, navigating the aircraft, ensuring that the plane is well-balanced, and monitoring gauges.

Career Essentials

  • Degree Level – To get your commercial pilot license and become a commercial pilot, you don’t necessarily need a degree. However, there are some airlines and employers who may require that you have at least two years of college or a bachelor’s degree.
  • Experience – To be considered as a commercial airline pilot, you must be at least 21 years of age. And you must have logged at least 1,500 hours of flight time.
  • Key Skills – You must have good communication skills, great health, and an excellent vision. Your aeronautical knowledge must be sound too.
  • Licensure and Certification – You must pass the practical test for licensing, which is usually set up by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Certification is needed in order to work for commercial carriers. You also need to have logged at least 250 hours of flight time.

How Exactly Do I Get My Commercial Pilot License?

Assuming you have no flying experience, which is usually the case for most prospective pilots, you need to take the steps below in order to fully become a commercial pilot and also have your commercial pilot license.

  • The first thing you’ll need to do is earn your Private Pilot License, otherwise known as PPL. It is the first step and it provides you with the freedom to fly a single-engine aircraft under the Visual Flight Rules (VFR).
  • The next step involves earning your Instrument Rating (IFR), also known as Instrument Flight Rules. With the IFR, you’ll have the ability to fly in bad weather.
  • Once you are through with that, you’ll move on to the Multi-Engine rating. With this, you’ll be able to fly multi-engine aircrafts.

To begin the next step, you must be at least 18 years old, and you must also hold a 2nd Class Medical Certificate. If you meet this requirement, you can go on to:

  • Acquire your Commercial Pilot Licenses, otherwise known as CPL. You’ll need to have logged at least 250 hours of flying time, take your written FAA exam, and pass your FAA check-ride. The 250 hours of logged flight time needs to include fifty hours cross-country and 100 hours as a Pilot in Command (PIC).

When you’re done with your CPL, you can now build hours towards attaining your ATP in order to become a CFI. Becoming a CFI usually requires that you take additional steps.

If you plan to work as a commercial airline captain in the United States, you’ll need to build 1,500 hours of flight time. And working as a CFI is one of the best ways to build more hours toward that goal.

Additionally, before you can be allowed to fly commercial passenger aircrafts, you’ll need an ATP license. And to get the Airline Transport Pilot license, you’ll need to have logged 1,500 hours of flight time. One of the better options for getting licensed to fly and begin applying for positions is to attend a commercial airline pilot flight school like AeroGuard Flight Training Center or another elite program in the USA.

Conclusion

That’s all to getting a commercial pilot license. All you have to do is engage in pilot trainings, such as maintenance, maneuvering, and communications, log 250 hours of flight time, and pass the FAA practical tests, which would involve a number of operational tasks, exhibition of your flying skills, and your ability to meet industry standards.

You’ll also need to pass a written test, which you’ll use to demonstrate how knowledgeable you are concerning the regulations, navigation, and safety of aircrafts.

Local Branding

Office Design: What Does It Say about Your Brand?

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Stretched thin between trying to stay above the surface and deciding on the right marketing approach for their products or services, not many startup owners have time to consider what their office design says about their brand. However, when it comes to the appearance of the office, there’s rarely a second chance. The moment a new client or potential partner walks into your place of business, the impression they get directly translates to you as an organization. The question, however, remains whether you are making the desired impression?

More than meets the eye

At this point, you need to clearly define what message do you want your office to send about your brand. Would it be a statement of a strong and energetic enterprise? Is there an element of clockwork precision, planning, and organization? Does the place look like it attracts goal-achievers? Perhaps the target clientele is family-oriented, so you want to stress your origins as a family-run business. When considering the details of your office design, you need to account for every inch of your space, as all those details reflect your brand’s values, culture, and core beliefs.

Entrance

Before visitors even enter your place of business, it’s important they have a prelude of what they’re going to see. The entryway, together with the company parking, walkways, and landscaping needs to be clean and inviting, but also to reflect the seasonal mood and festivities. Add decorative items to make it more welcoming. When coming for the first time, people don’t know what to expect, and if the entry area is poorly maintained, the initial tone would be a wrong one.

Reception area

As new clients step into your reception/waiting area, the first thing they’ll notice is its appearance. If you want to impose a serious no-nonsense tone, opt for a dark hardwood desk and chairs. However, if you accent them with bright colours, you automatically infuse the setup with a sense of humour, making the whole place warm and welcoming. On the other hand, bright coloured furniture and wall treatments will paint your company’s portrait as vibrant and lively. On top of it, the kind of furniture, colours, and logo display have a big role in perceiving your business as more or less successful.

Traditional or open plan?

A traditional arrangement with private offices and cubicles always convey an image of privacy and confidentiality. While in creative industries this might be perceived as unwelcoming and unimaginative, it suits perfectly for insurance, financial, and security business niches. An open plan is more suited for companies that want to emphasize their flexibility, cooperative values, and sharing which they aim to invest in their business. If you are not sure which approach to use, consult a construction company which specializes in design and construction of commercial developments with aesthetically appealing outcomes aimed at maximizing your returns.

Exterior

The way your office looks from the outside is just as important as its interior design. Current trends for exterior facades propose the use of lightweight aluminium cladding, comprised of a fire-resistant core with non-combustible minerals sandwiched between two aluminium sheets. In addition to meeting rigorous safety standards, the use of aluminium composite panels is also cost-effective and low-maintenance, and with a practically unlimited colour range that is available today, you can easily incorporate it into your brand identity.

Transitions and lights

The way one space flows into another makes a big difference in how your business is perceived. When a visitor to your space is met with a glass door, they subconsciously see transparency as one of your core values. The more they are able to see your business in action the more they are likely to trust you with their money. The lighting also plays an important role. An office that offers bright, but layered and non-invasive lighting brings on liveliness but also a degree of sophistication.

Office greenery

In order to present their business as environmentally conscious, many offices bring the outdoors inside by resorting to living walls, water features, skylights, and other elements that create an atmosphere of growth and natural cycles. In a simple variant, you can add greenery to your office by choosing office plants which apart from purifying the air, reduce stress and absenteeism. Succulents, for example, are perfect for office environments as they thrive in dry areas, which means their leaves won’t wither in case someone forgets to water them two days in a row.

The way you design your office interior not only advertises the inner culture of your company but also affects how your brand is seen among many others. For your employees, the office design can increase their productivity and efficiency, while for your clients, a positive impression of your space will reinforce their faith in your brand and organization.

Digital Branding

Pros and Cons of Kodi Usage for Watching Digital Content

Kodi was formerly known as XMBC, which is now one of the most popular media players, offering an optimum user experience with easily available content, user-friendly interface, and optimum security.

Kodi can be used with a wide range of devices including Windows or Linux PCs, Android or iOS smartphone, Android TV boxes, streaming devices like Amazon Fire TV and so on. Kodi is not coming with a default content in it, but you can add content of your choice to Kodi or stream content from the internet.

People use Kodi to stream live TV, sports, music, and other entertainment content through it. For Kodi content streaming, you need to get Kodi add-ons. There are thousands of add-ons available at the site about Kodi to watch almost anything you like as Netflix, HBO, Showtime, Hulu, Amazon Video, ESPN, FX, BBC, AMC, and the list is endless.

Kodi review

Kodi has a very loyal and wider user base, but it comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. For newcomers, Kodi could be somewhat confusing. There also a lot of confusion among people about the security and legal issues related to Kodi. So, here we are trying to have an overview of Kodi and some of its pros and cons.

The pros

Cost: Kodi is free to download and use. Most of the Kodi add-ons are also free.

Compatibility: Kodi is compatible with a large number of devices including Windows, Linux, Mac computers, Android and iOS devices, Amazon Fire TV, etc. to name a few.

User experience: Kodi is a cool, sleek platform which a friendly user interface. You have the option to customize the home screen to your comfort.

The cons

Security and privacy:  Security is a bit of concern with the unsolicited add-ons available to use with Kodi. Users who have not protected themselves with a secure VPN are vulnerable to digital threats.

Support: There is literally no technical support for all, but there is a huge online community where you can get an answer for any Kodi related issues.

VPN for betting

Here is a list of best free VPN for sports betting ideal for the online gamblers to enjoy a secured and private online betting experience.

NordVPN

It is a premium VPN, but you can enjoy the advantage of its money back guarantee to try it for free. It has the top rating among the VPNs used for betting, which offers anonymous access to blocked content too.

Ivacy

The subscription starts from as low as $1.33 per month, and it has an average rating of 9.7/10 in terms of online betting. It has a very simple user interface and offers IP masking and secured connection.

PrivateVPN

A free trial is available, and the premium version also costs very low at $1.89 per month. It is another best choice for online betting enthusiasts from across the globe. The averaging rate is 9.3/10, which brings PrivateVPN into the top 10 listing of VPNs of all times.

BestVPN.com

With a rating of 9.3/10, BestVPN is a favorite choice of sports betting enthusiasts. It offers optimum privacy and anonymous access to blocked websites too through servers at various destinations.

These VPNs are suggested for betting and gambling based on their ratings in terms of speed, reliability, security features, locations of their servers, and the ease of use. Each of these VPNs listed here can help you safely access the leading gambling sites you wish to and get you placed on to the betting tables in no time.

Digital BrandingLocal Branding

5 Things That You Need to Invest in When Starting Your Business

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Starting a business is hard, but fun. It’s a dream for many people who want financial freedom and a vehicle to express their creativity while making a living. Whatever your goals area in launching a new venture, here are 5 things that you need to invest in right away early in your journey.

1. Invest In Yourself

New entrepreneurs sometimes forget that they are their business. It’s a direct expression of who they are as people and as business owners. Your business will reflect your values and your level of competency.

Leadership expert John Maxwell talks about the Law of the Lid. It’s a principle that essentially states that your organization’s effectiveness cannot exceed the leadership ability of the leader.

One area you should invest in yourself in first is in business acumen. That is the ability to understand finance and make good business decisions.

Many entrepreneurs are really great at their market and product. They know exactly what kind of styles their apparel customers want in their niche market. They know what kind of widget the companies in their industry needs. But they don’t often know how to run the finance side of running a business.

Roughly half of all startup business in the US fail in the first 5 years. Most don’t fail due to lack of demand for their product or even from not making a profit.

Most fail because they run out of cash. Essentially, these business owners don’t know how to manage their cash flow. Cash management is a real skill set, and it’s something that can be learned.

In addition to business acumen, other areas for investment include marketing, sales, leadership, and communications. Even as you grow, leaders should be readers. Never stop learning.

2. Invest In Your Team

Great companies are built on great people. That means you must invest in your people.

Developing and training is a vital part of employee engagement. You don’t want robots working for you. You want human beings that can problem solve, come up with creative ideas and make their own good decisions for the benefit of the company. That doesn’t happen without development.

Ongoing coaching is invaluable as well. People need regular feedback, encouragement, and direction. If you want your employees to grow and contribute well, you must water them with training, coaching, and affirmation.

3. Invest In Quality Branding

Investing in good graphics and marketing material early on will pay great dividends as you launch. A great logo can do wonders for making your business look credible, professional and reliable.

Even if you have to pay a graphic designer a lot of money, it’ll be well worth it. This is especially if you’re doing a consumer retail business.

For example, if you start an apparel business, good design is a baseline need. You can just consider it the startup costs of starting a clothing business, because your company can’t even launch without good graphics.

Shoddy graphics is a sign of a company that operates haphazardly and an indication that the business won’t last long. No one wants to do business with a loser.

4. Invest In Social Media

Social media has leveled the playing field for small businesses. It provides a very inexpensive way for brands to get their message out to the masses.

Investing in it early on will get you started on the long journey of gaining followers and becoming an influencer. It takes time for brands to get recognized and trusted on social media, so starting early is important.

5. Invest In Website SEO

Another aspect of marketing you should invest in right away is a website with good SEO. It takes time for Google and other search engines to trust a website enough to rank it. It also takes time to gain page authority for search engines to rank it high on the first page.

The age of the website matters when it comes to SEO. As Sewport CEO Boris Hodakel likes to say, “Starting small and niche doesn’t mean your business will stay that way.”.

When you have this type of long term view of your business, you’ll want to start building your SEO right away. You’ll instinctively know that getting ranked high on Google, although won’t pay off in the short term, will have lasting effects as you grow.

Early Investments Pay Off

There are a few things that can’t wait for later. These are the things that are foundational to the success of your new business and well worth your time and investment early on. It’ll set you up for short and long term success.

Digital Branding

12 Things to Check Before Choosing an eCommerce Platform

If you are planning to build an ecommerce store, then one of the most important things that you should plan beforehand is which ecommerce platform you should choose. There are numerous platforms online with multiple features, so it becomes important that you choose one that provides you a greater range of options, flexibility, and scalability as per your needs.

In this article, we have provided a list of features that you should look at before you choose an ecommerce platform for your ecommerce store.

1. Compatible with a mobile phone

Nowadays, people use mobile phones regularly to browse the internet. The number of people using the desktop for Internet browsing compared to mobile browsing is going down significantly. Therefore, if you want to improve more traffic to your store make sure that the platform you are choosing allows your website to be viewed on a smartphone with compatible resolution.

2. A wide range of features

When you are choosing an ecommerce platform make sure that it has a wide range of features that will allow your commerce store to function smoothly. Some of the features that are essential for any ecommerce site or mobile app are; shopping cart plug-in and add-ons, different payment options, shipping methods, templates and themes, website security, content creation and so on.

3. Optimized for search engine

If you look at how people look at things on the Internet, then you will realize that the most common way is going through the search engine. Search engines have become virtually the gateway to the Internet. Therefore, it has become important for you to choose the right ecommerce platform with SEO features so that your ecommerce website gets higher ranking on the

search engine result page.

4. Cost effective

When you are looking for an ecommerce platform you should choose one that will allow you to pay as per your usage. There are many ecommerce platforms that give you a bouquet of options that you can use. While it has many advantages, the big negative of such an ecommerce platform is that it is very costly. Besides, you may not use all the features that are available on the ecommerce platform. Therefore, choose a platform that allows you to pay for only those features that are essential for your online business and you use. In this way, you have to pay only for those services which you have chosen and not for those which you don’t use.

5. Amazing user experience

Research on consumer behavior shows that people who have a negative experience in a website or mobile app will less likely to visit it again. Thus, it is very important for any ecommerce store to provide a good experience to their clients as any negative impact on the user experience will seriously harm their reputation online. Therefore, before you choose any ecommerce platform, carefully compare it with other such platforms to figure out which one of them will give your buyers the best user experience.

6. A wide variety of themes

As an ecommerce store owner, your primary aim is to start your business very quickly so that you can reach out to your clients and sell them your products to recoup the cost you have incurred in starting the business. However, if you spend most of your time building your website from the scratch itself, then It will take a lot of time and cost (it has its own benefits too) which you could have otherwise invested in expanding your business or improving your brand image online. Therefore, we suggest that you look for an ecommerce platform that gives you a wide range of ready-made template from which you can select the one that will satisfy the needs of your online business.

7. Highly customizable

When you are looking for the right ecommerce platform that will host your online store, choose one that will allow you to customize your website or ecommerce app according to your needs. There are many ecommerce platforms that allow store owners to add additional features by downloading plug-ins from the online marketplace. There are also ecommerce platforms that allow custom development so that you can use a unique and highly attractive UI and security features to give your buyers the best experience and secure payment service.

8. Functionality

When you open your ecommerce store to sell products online, then you need to provide adequate functionalities so that the different needs of your customers are met. There are some customers who like to buy products from brick and mortar shop that are in close proximity to where they live, then there are some who like to buy goods using filters like the size of the product, the price of the product, the quality of the product and so on. Your ecommerce platform should offer various functionalities that will allow you to fulfil the buying needs of your customers so that they get a great experience visiting your store and buying products from it.

9. Regular security updates

While the Internet platform provides you with an unlimited reach throughout the globe, it also allows people sitting in different parts of the world to hack your site and ruin your business. Therefore, you need constant updates of security patches that will plug-in any loopholes through which hackers can attack your store. Therefore, choose an ecommerce platform that provides you with a regular update.

10. Provides help in analytics

You need to subscribe to an ecommerce platform that provides you with in-depth analytics that will help you to market your products in a more targeted manner. Web analytics are of prime importance for web marketing and it will give them an in-depth idea of what is working and what requires further effort.

11. Easy checkout option

If the checkout option is very slow on your ecommerce store, then you will find that the rate of cart abandonment is very high. To reduce cart abandonment rate, ecommerce platform must provide the checkout option in such a way that the customer does not feel any hassle and it is done quickly and efficiently.

12. Provide social media integration

Nowadays social media has become very important for marketing reasons. If you want to reach out to the right people in the right way, then you must leverage the power of social media. Therefore, when you are choosing for an ecommerce platform select the one that comes with social media integration (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and many more).

These are important things which you need to keep in mind when you are researching for the right ecommerce platform for your ecommerce store. A well-planned ecommerce business always succeed. You must know how to start an ecommerce business before you actually start it.

Digital Branding

The Importance of Online Presence to Your Business

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Advertising and marketing are some of the pillars of effective business strategies. There are many ways to get your business out there and advertise your services. One of the oldest ways to market your business, be it a product or a service, is by word of mouth. This is the most credible, and cheapest way to help grow your business. Although the best things in life are free, this is not the case for marketing. If you want to grow your business, you will have to invest in good advertising.

 

Traditional vs Non-traditional Advertising

When we say traditional advertising, this mostly encompasses advertising through the most common forms of media such as billboards, newspapers, and radio or TV commercials. This is an older advertising method and has been around for centuries. Non-traditional advertising, otherwise, involves the use of technology to reach out to the target audience. There’s advertising on the internet through page banners, social media marketing, and mobile advertising. Non-traditional advertising reaches a wider audience with an estimated number of 3.2 billion internet users worldwide.

 

What is Online Presence?

Simply put, online presence is the establishment of a business that can be found via an online search. With the rise of social media, most consumers would find a business more credible if it has a strong online presence. Meaning this business manages either a social media site, a website, or both. Businesses that are able to establish an online presence are able to leverage the use of these platforms to help promote and grow the business.

 

 Benefits of a Strong Online Presence

Sure, it’s great to hear all this talk about establishing an online presence. But let us break down how this will actually benefit your business.

Free Advertising

Instead of spending money on advertising firms, you may want to invest this capital into a good construction contract and bidding software that can help you run your business and get ahead of the game. Nowadays, you can use social media platforms to create a page for your business, provide chat support services, and even create online order forms- all for free! It’s like getting something for nothing. In addition, there are also free web hosting websites that enable you to create a webpage for your business for added online presence.

Global Audience

Traditional print advertising only limits your ads to those who have access to this material. Most of the time they come in the form of a section in the newspaper or magazine, as well as outdoor billboards and TV ads. In this day and age, more and more people are opting to go digital and print ads may not be as effective in reaching your audience, most especially the millennials. Establishing an online presence means that you can reach far and wide all over the world. With a growing number of internet users, there is great potential in your business once you have established a strong online presence.

Online Presence = Credibility

The modern consumer will look up most likely anything and everything on the internet. To most users, if your company does not appear on an online search, this can set off a red flag. It is established that a credible company should be searchable online. If your company does not have an online presence, you can miss out on a valuable opportunity to market your business to the right audience.

Advertise 24/7

            The internet never sleeps. With a strong online presence, you can be sure that you’re advertising round-the-clock. People from all over the world can search and contact your business any time of the day once you’re established on the internet. You don’t have to wait for the day’s paper to arrive or for your spot to air on TV to be able to get the message across. With an online presence, advertising is just a click away.