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14 Ways to Automate Your Ecommerce Business

Ecommerce
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14 Ways to Automate Your Ecommerce Business When it comes to owning a business, time is your most valuable resource — but, time is finite, and are a lot of tasks competing for your attention. You need to make sure the right products are listed on your website, that you're fulfilling orders and payments 24/7, and that you're processing and dispatching packages efficiently... all while staying on top of marketing campaigns, user reviews, and customer service. And, as you scale, your ecommerce processes get even more demanding. So, how can you make time for the work that brings in more customers while keeping everything else on track? With ecommerce automation. Automation is playing a vital role in the future of tech — and it's no surprise that we're seeing more of it in tools designed for ecommerce businesses. As a store owner, it's your secret to putting your time-consuming tasks on auto-pilot. In this post, we'll explain what ecommerce automation is, then show you what it looks like with 15 ways you can automate your online business. What is ecommerce automation? It means using software to turn manual tasks into automated workflows. These workflows can trigger internal or external emails, notifications, or actions in other apps — such as creating new support tickets in your help desk. To make sure everything works perfectly, you can set multiple conditions that need to be true for the workflow to run. Although ecommerce automation saves you time, it doesn't mean firing...

The Beginner’s Guide to Product Photography [Tutorial + Examples]

Ecommerce
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The Beginner's Guide to Product Photography If a picture is worth a thousand words, a stunning product picture is worth a thousand website visits. Although I don't have data to back up that statement (yet), product photography can be extremely valuable to your ecommerce website strategy. To reach your target audience members whoprefer buying online, you also need to give your audience clear, eye-catching photos of your products. But product photography isn't as simple as pointing and shooting. Even the most basic products need the correct equipment, lighting, and space to produce beautiful images that sell shoppers right from the purchase page. 6 Product Photography Tips (and Examples) for Taking Pictures That Sell Here are the tips, examples, and supplies you'll need to effectively photograph and market your products in a way that makes your visitors and prospects want to convert. 1. Don't be afraid to use your smartphone's camera. This is the part where I'm supposed to convince you to invest in a high-end, 50-megapixel (MP) camera with a 100-millimeter screw-on lens. But I'm not going to do that. If you already own a camera that fits this description, take advantage of it. But for many types of products, it's completely acceptable to shoot product photos on a smartphone. Newer smartphones boast powerful camera lenses and settings that allow you to optimize your shots for the different types of light and environments you might shoot in. If you need more convincing, just check out Apple's...

Variable Cost Explained in 200 Words (& How to Calculate It)

Ecommerce
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Variable Cost Explained in 200 Words (& How to Calculate It) There’s a frustrating truth that every business deals with early into its growth: More money, more problems. It seems counterintuitive — if sales and revenue are up, isn’t that a good thing? How are bigger profits a potential problem? Put simply, it all comes down to the fact that the more you sell, the more money you need to spend. This includes marketing and sales campaigns to reach more customers, the production costs of more goods, and the time and money required for new product development. Known as variable cost, this sales/spend ratio is something every business owner should understand, but online advice listicles and action plans often assume readers have an intrinsic knowledge of this concept rather than providing a working definition. In this piece, we’ll clear up variable cost confusion: Here’s what you need to know about variable costs, how to calculate them, and why they matter. Let’s examine each of these components in more detail. Variable Cost Per Unit The variable cost per unit is the amount of labor, materials, and other resources required to produce your product. For example, if your company sells sets of kitchen knives for $300 but each set requires $200 to create, test, package, and market, your variable cost per unit is $200. Number of Units Produced The number of units produced is exactly what you might expect — it’s the total number of items produced by your company....

How to Map Your Ecommerce Customer Journey [Template Included]

Ecommerce
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How to Map Your Ecommerce Customer Journey We've talked a lot about the customer journey -- how it impacts sales, service, and marketers. But one segment that feels a little different is the ecommerce customer journey. The customer journey is different from service based companies, because it can be much quicker (buying from Amazon or an Instagram ad). However, if you work at an ecommerce company, it's important to understand the customer journey: all the touch points and stages. Below, let's learn how to map your ecommerce company's customer journey. Plus, you can download some templates to help you get started. Touch points can include when someone sees a social media ad, when a friend tags them in a post online, when they come across your website, when they read a blog of yours, when your product shows up on Google, when they search on Amazon, etc. The journey from when they first come in contact with you to when they purchase your product to if they reach out for a return is included in the ecommerce customer journey. Writing down these touch points might make you realize that the journey on your website isn't ideal. If that happens, you can look for solutions to help you, like WooCommerce (a Wordpress plug in). Now, let's explore the various stages of the ecommerce journey. 1. Awareness The first stage of the ecommerce customer journey is awareness. During this stage, a potential customer is experiencing a problem and...

The Ultimate Guide to Ecommerce

Ecommerce
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The Ultimate Guide to Ecommerce The first ecommerce sale was made in 1994 … and can you guess what it was? It was a Sting CD. Dan Kohn, a 21-year-old who ran a website called NetMarket, sold Sting’s Ten Summoner’s Tales CD to a friend who purchased it with his credit card for $12.48 plus shipping costs. These exchanges are what we know as ecommerce today: Sales of services and goods made through the internet. Ecommerce has come a long way since 1994, and it’s growing as more shoppers turn to devices and computers as the primary tools for discovering and buying new products. Let’s take a deeper look at what ecommerce is and the growth trends around it, as well as some basic getting started tips. Guide to Ecommerce In this section, we'll review the many benefits of ecommerce, major ecommerce trends, types of ecommerce, and sales tax.  Benefits of Ecommerce Ecommerce is not a trend, and it isn’t going away any time soon. Why? Selling goods and services on the internet highly benefits both the seller and the buyer. Benefits to the buyer: Convenience Quicker and easier transactions Informed purchasing decisions Easier price and product comparisons Improved delivery process Targeted communication Benefits to the seller: Lower overhead costs due to the elimination of brick and mortar locations The ability to sell goods around-the-clock (versus traditional store hours) Ability to reach customers beyond...

Customer Experience Could Be The Reason Your Online Shoppers Aren’t Converting

Ecommerce
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Customer Experience Could Be The Reason Your Online Shoppers Aren’t Converting All humans — including your customers — are emotional creatures. That’s why it’s so important to make sure every interaction customers have with your company a memorable one — so memorable that they’ll want to recommend your business to a friend, family member, or colleague. That connection between your business and customers is exactly what customer experience is all about — providing the support that your customers seek throughout all stages of the buyer’s journey. You can think of the whole customer journey as a (very important) and complete transaction between your brand and customer, — what happens throughout that transaction and the way your customers feel define the customer experience. For instance, you visit your local ice cream shop; the waitress welcomes you with your name and immediately asks if you’d like your regular treat, a chocolate sundae with extra chocolate chips, or if you’d prefer to look at a menu. Wouldn’t this personalized and positive experience make you want to continue returning to that ice cream shop? Sometimes it hardly matters how the food tastes — the unique and delightful customer experience is what keeps you going back. This doesn’t just apply to brick-and-mortar stores either. For example, when a prospect visits your website, why would they want to stick around to learn about your products or what your brand stands for if they don’t feel valued, understood, and heard? In this case, it won’t matter...