When it comes to having a successful eCommerce business, Cost Per Acquisition aka CPA is one of the main factors. Shareasale vs. Google Adwords isn’t really a valid comparison. They are two different avenues of bringing in quality traffic and customers. Should you choose one or the other? Or Should you combine them both? I will discuss these questions and also give some tips of how to make the most out of those two.
Let’s start from the beginning. Once you have everything setup to go live, you probably already have set up Google Adwords and Google Merchant account. Those two methods of advertising are the best in my experience for bringing in customers. You should start with Product Listing Advertisement aka PLA and slowly learn how to use other methods of running ads with Google. Google Adwords seems so simple to use, but once you dig deeper there are so many different ways to run ads, you will be surprised. But while you run your PLA’s and experiment with text and display ads, you should also seriously consider signing up with some Affiliate networks.
Shareasale is a network of affiliates and merchants. Merchants will pay commission for every order affiliate partner brings, while affiliates one way or another bring customers to merchants website in exchange for commissions. Merchants increase their sales and affiliates make certain percentage of that income. Why is adding Shareasale into your advertising budget a smart idea? Because once your account is setup, you do not have to pay per click, you only pay when you see results. Unlike CPC (cost per click), the system Google Adwords uses, affiliates are actually interested in you making that sale. Affiliates get paid only when you actually receive the payment for your products or services. The only risk is your upfront cost, which is not a lot, I think. Adwords on the other hand charges you per click and doesn’t really care if you make the sale or not. That’s not to say you are wasting your money. The opposite, I think Google is brilliant at bringing quality leads. The conversion for my website is anywhere from 4-5%. That means I have to pay for 100 clicks in order to make 4-5 sales. If you know your keywords and play with the bids, you will still make a lot of money through Adwords, but adding Shareasale may add even more.
The Cost Of Setting Up a Merchant Account with Shareasale
The cost is not high, but also not dirt cheap. The upfront cost usually deters new merchants from signing up with them. Sharesale charges merchants $550 set up fee plus you need to make a minimum of $100. So the total cost to you upfront would be $650, which may all go to waste if you your affiliate program is not successful. On the other hand, most merchants spend at least $1000 a day on Adwords, at least I do. Shareasale may have larger upfront cost before you see any results, but the future sales and traffic may well be worth it.
Tips On How To Use Shareasale Effectively
If you ever sign up with them, you will need to make sure you build a good program and effective one. Beware of coupon sites, which will use your store name and place coupons on their site. Why is that bad? Because most of your customers will probably be looking for a coupon code using your store name before they make a purchase. Why would you pay a commission for someone who is already a customer. So, do not use the auto approval option of your Shareasale account. I am speaking from experience.
Also, please make sure you prohibit your affiliate partners from bidding on your brand or store name. There are some “wise” affiliates who will simply send you customers who have already been looking for you. For instance, they will create text ad on Google Adwords using your store name “www.example.com” and the bid will be around 5 cents. They will pay 5 cents to bring you the traffic that is most likely to buy from you. The purpose of affiliate network is to get you new leads and increase your sales. If you fall into the trap of coupon sites or other “wise” people, you will just increase your spending without actually making any more sales. Does it make sense?
So Shareasale vs. Google Adwords?
I think the correct combination and implementation of strategies on both platforms will bring you the most. Successful online businesses use both for marketing purposes. You can not really compare the two since they both use different systems for bringing traffic to your eCommerce business. I think there is less risk with Sharesale as it may look at first. Yes, $650 is a lot, but it is worth spending that money and having access to thousands of affiliates who will drive traffic and sales to your site. Drive more traffic to your online store using performance based marketing.
Let me know if I missed anything or if you have tips for other readers.
It has been asked numerous times before and the question How to Create Price Comparison Website Similar to Pricegrabber or Nextag isn’t practical. It may seem as though there are only a handful of price comparison websites out there, Pricegrabber and Nextag are among many thousands of price comparison sites. Most of such websites do not become as successful as those two. Anyhow, if you are still interested, I will tell you about a script that very few know of that will allow you to create a site similar to Pricegrabber and Nextag. I will also discuss some plugins for popular eCommerce platforms as well as my thoughts on some affiliate networks.
Price Comparison Script
There is script called Pricetapestry and it does exactly what the price comparison is supposed to do. It doesn’t cost much and is easy to install. It can be installed into most cheap hosting accounts and works as advertised. The script is well written and comes with the best support forum I have every seen. Pricetapestry is meant for those who want to list products of other merchants on their website and send links to the stores of those merchants. What do the site owners get in return? Commissions. You will need to sign up with one of the affiliate linking websites and start uploading product data feeds into your new shopping comparison store. This is how your page will look:
Everything You Need
To build a price comparison website in 1 day and have it up and running, you will need few resources. First, you have to purchase the script from Pricetapestry. Second, you will need to get a hosting account, any will do. Third, you will need to register as an affiliate with one of the affiliate networks. Fourth, you will need some spare time and some money. While installing the script, you may run into issues, but the forum has almost everything answered. Obviously it is going to take some of your time, but If I was able to install the script and run a store, you can do too.
How Much Will It Cost?
It will be less than $500 and it all depends on your hosting account. When creating my store, I got a cheap hosting account and I signed up for 1 year. I will list the approximate cost for the whole thing in the list below:
Pricetapestry Script: approximately – $300
Hosting Account – $50 for the whole year
Affiliate Account – usually free.
Your time – anywhere from few hours to 2 days.
So, monetary cost will be around $350 and you will have a script that is yours and a hosting account for 1 year. Not bad to start such a lucrative business from home for less than $500. But is it as lucrative as it sounds? There are many sites that run on pricetapestry, while most of them are not making any money, I am sure there are some who do. It will all depend on your niche market and strategy you implement to bring traffic.
Most likely you all know WordPress and it is one of the most popular platforms used all over the web. WordPress can be used as a blogging platform, eCommerce, forums, etc. It is flexible and easy to use, thus, plugins are available to create a price comparison website on WordPress’s platform. They also have the theme design which is a mandatory for price comparison websites plugin to work, Prices are reasonable and the simple package for plugin only starts at $48 while the theme will cost you another $49. So you can have the theme and plugin for wordpress for $100 plus any other costs. Much cheaper than PriceTapestry and of course there cons and pros to both of them. If you want to start cheaper and try your business idea, this might a good starting point. Click here to check this plugin and theme
Magento also has extentions that will enable you to create a price comparison store and you will also be able to buy templates created for such purposes. Prices are reasonable just like WordPress plugins and start anywhere from $30 and run up to $300. Depending on the quality and the development of the script, theme, and efficiency. Since you are just staring out, any of these cheaper versions should work for you. I personally chose PriceTapestry, because I have some plans for the website and dont mind loosing $500 if nothing works out. That is my side project, just as this blog is. I love creating eCommerce businesses and try to develop them, I enjoy it, but will not risk too much.
Is It Possible For Me To Make Money?
Of course it is possible, but I have to be honest, will be a bit difficult. Pricegrabber and Nextag were one of the first ones to get into such business. Once the industry is established, usually the first ones dominate it. It is like copying eBay, which has been done many times, but unsuccessfully. Everyone knows eBay and for you to get people to auction their stuff on your site will be quite a challenge. Starting a price comparison website is, however, easier than copying eBay. Since price comparison website will only require you to get merchant’s products on your website and then send traffic over to them without users registering, it will not be as difficult. There are two factors that will determine whether your business will be successful: 1. Niche 2. SEO strategy.
Business Strategy For Price Comparison Website
Since Google doesn’t allow advertising of websites that contain solely from affiliate links, you will not be able to use adwords. Google also doesn’t like showing websites that merely copy the descriptions of products from other websites and post them on their own. Since your website will be everything Google hates, it will be tough to get organic or free traffic. There are few things you can do to build some audience:
Write blogs reviewing products of your merchants and Send links from your blog to your store front
Build Social Media Following and Post images or links of those products on your website
Create Youtube Videos showcasing or reviewing the products or services of your merchants
Finding Affiliate Merchants and Displaying Ads
Once you have figured out which script, plugin or extension to use and which platform to go with and worked out the way to bring traffic to your website, you will need to start signing up with Affiliate networks and display ads. There are networks that are perfect for starters and as you grow, you will have unique opportunities to make extra income from reviews and sponsored content writing. As a starting point Sharesale affiliate account should be good enough. They have many merchants with data feeds and you can even place banners from them on your website.
If you want to display ads in addition to products on your price comparison website, the easiest way to place banner ads is with Google Adsense. It is easy to sign up and Google will provide you with HTML codes to place on your store. There are other places to buy and sell ad space, such as BuySellAds.com. I would say, to start it is better sign up with Google Adsense, since BuySellAds will require your site to have large enough traffic and popularity.
Time Consuming? Is it worth it? Depends
It will take a lot of your time, but to build a legitimate business that may start bring in income every month may well be worth your time. If you have a daytime job, you may want to put up price comparison website on something that you know a lot about and just work part time on your site. It can also be an ideal business idea for those who stay home with their kids. While your kids are asleep, you can be building the next Pricegrabber, you never know. Stay home moms are especially good candidates, because they are usually the ones to come up with creative ideas. As long as you focus on one area or niche, I believe you can make some income out of it.
Pros & Cons of Building New Price Comparison Website
Easy To Install
Difficult to bring traffic
Industry Already Established
Doesn’t Require Much Capital
May loose $350
Blogs Can Bring Targeted Traffic
Google Will Hate Your Site
Commissions range 7%-30%
Difficult to get good merchants
Some Sites Are Making a Killing
Lots of Sites Not Making Money
You can checkout some demo stores and real stores from below links:
Starting business from home or becoming self employed while not having money sounds crazy and unbelievable, but very possible. You know, when you don’t have much money, it is easier for you to take the risk since you have nothing to loose.
It is an eCommerce software that allows merchants small and big to open up an online store that has everything needed to start. As the name suggests, it is hosted on the server of the company offering the product. It is meant for people who would like to run their online business, but do not have technical knowledge nor do they want to spend a fortune on developing their own. Why build a bicycle when it is already built, just customize it for your needs, add bells and whistles and you will have a unique bicycle. The same goes here. The software is built by professionals, just get your customized theme, install your apps that you think will make your business more efficient and you are good to go.
Is Hosted Shopping Cart Software Right For Me?
If you are thinking of selling products online or if you already have been selling online through marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, Etsy and others, I can say with confidence that it is an ideal solution for you. Why? The first reason is that your customers may not be shopping eBay or Amazon while you are waiting for them there. The second reason is that most hosted shopping cart softwares offer connection between your store, eBay and Amazon, so you will be able to control your inventory and sales from one convenient dashboard. The third point in favor of having a stand alone eCommerce business is that never put all your eggs in one basket, more on this point later. Besides, signing up for a hosted shopping cart software is easy and ANYONE can afford it. Plans are dirt cheap and usually come with all the features new stores need. So, yes, it is the right solution for you.
Which Companies Offer Hosted Shopping Cart Software?
Since the rise of eCommerce and as it keeps growing year over year, there are more and more softwares being offered. Choosing a shopping cart platform is like choosing a car, if you don’t do your due diligence, you might get stuck with something you are not happy about. Of course, you can switch from one platform to another, but can be a painful process. It is easy when you are small and only have 10 or 100 products. As you grow and you have 1000’s of products, customers, and images, it is difficult to make the switch. Changing name-servers, stopping your adwords campaigns, and loosing sales is the usual process of making the switch, so please do your research. I have used Volusion, Bigcommerce, Shopify, and Magento for my stores and each one has pros and cons, but I would like to speak of another Shopping Cart Software that I have ignored all these years and was surprised by their offerings, that is 3dCart. Have you heard of them? Maybe yes maybe no, but you should definitely check them out.
What Should I Be Looking At When Choosing My Platform
Watch for features that will help you increase your sales, improve your conversion rate, and make it is easier for you to run your business. Simple, but not easy to find. While your sales are affected by aspects that you have control over, many aspects of your store also have a big impact on how your customers see your business. Your shopping cart software must offer tools for you to present yourself in the best way possible to customers and search engines for you to be successful. Those tools include seo friendliness, clean and optimized theme, security, and tools for marketing to build an audience of loyal customers. I would take a look at 3dCart, because they offer all the tools you need and they want their customers to succeed. Now let’s get to the review of the One Hosted Shopping Cart Software That Woved Me, which is 3dCart.
The 3dcart platform boasts hundreds of built-in-features, free professionally-designed responsive themes, industry-renowned 24/7/365 free technical support, and competitive pricing to meet any business’s budget. And unlike the majority of their competitors, 3dcart is all about ecommerce evolution. Their development team is dedicated to rolling out frequent updates, often times at the personal request of their merchants. That’s right! 3dcart’s community helps shape the very platform they use, with developers implementing popularly requested features and improvements on a regular basis.
Tools and Features Offered By 3dCart
Their plans are created with the small business in mind. Plans start at just $9.99 and the highest plan is $100. I told you anyone can afford it. Compare those prices to Bigcommerce. The cheapest plan starts at $30 and the most expensive one is $200, not considering the Enterprise plan, which according to my phone conversation with one of the sales team can run up to tens of thousands of dollars a year. Even though Bigcommerce is the expensive one here, it doesn’t provide any more value than 3dCart. There are features that 3dCart offers that Bigcommerce doesn’t.
SSL Certificate Policy
All the shopping carts offer free shared SSL certificates, but not all offer you the freedom to choose to have your own Dedicated SSL certificate. As discussed in my previous post, other shopping cart softwares have been drifting towards limiting your options of choosing the security for your site. I would like to argue that a good SSL Certificate is on the top 10 list of must haves for small business owners if you want to succeed. Since you are not a big brand, you must convince your customer they can trust you. SSL is the answer. 3dCart offers you the freedom to choose whoever you like as your security provider, while Bigcommerce wants you to use shared SSL or the one they choose for you.
Cart Abandonment Tools
Recover sales automatically by sending out pre-defined emails to customers that started an order but didn’t finish it. Reporting tools show you just how much was recovered. This is a powerful tool and I know that by experience. I did not believe this tool would help bring more sales, but I was blown away by how much it increases conversion rates. 3dCart offers this tool for all the plans, while other platforms only for higher plans.
Implement a customer rewards point program, offer coupons and discounts, and/or start up an affiliate program to reward your brand ambassadors! This is super power feature that will give you an edge over your competitors if they are using hosted shopping cart platform other than 3dCart. Can you imagine being able to give your customers reward points right from your store? Bigcommerce merchants can not do that!
Responsive Design Themes by 3dCart
Choose from over 100 professionally designed responsive themes. Select, install, apply – design your store with just a couple mouse clicks! While some of them are premium themes that you need to pay for, many are free and beautifully designed, remember I spoke about the importance of having a clean and responsive design for your eCommerce business? Their themes are responsive so your customers browsing from their mobile or tablet device will enjoy browsing your store. Checkout the preview of one of their most recent responsive theme.
With 3dCart You can sell on Facebook, integrate with eBay and Doba. These tools will allow you to make the most out of what is available on the web. On facebook you can showcase your products and even sell them there. Do you know how powerful that is? Ultra-targeting your customers can lower your cost per acquisition while increasing your profitability. If you are selling on eBay already, integration will be very helpful and if you are not yet on eBay, this tool will help you get there.
100’s of Payment Options
With 3dCart you can choose almost whoever or whatever company you want to process your payments. Choosing the right merchant account is also very important. You can also integrate PayPal and Checkout by Amazon besides accepting regular credit cards through other merchant accounts. By having the freedom to give as many payment options as possible, you are reducing the risk of loosing a customer who prefers only one method, PayPal for example.
Other Cool Features of 3dCart
Google Trusted Stores- This is a must for all online stores, because it instills trust in your visitors, which in turn will become your customers. Bigcommerce customers will have to keep upgrading their plans to be able to easily submit their data to Google to be eligible for Google Trusted Stores Seal.
API and FTP Access- You will need this access to your store to be able to change, delete, or upload files. Usually as you grow your business, these tools will help you hire developers and designers to do custom work for you. Having so much freedom is great.
Built-in Blog- Knowing the importance of a blog for eCommerce business, I value this tool a lot. Google looks at you differently when you are writing a blog. So every online store should have and implement a blog to bring organic and free traffic from search engines. 3dCart offers this tool to you for free.
SEO Friendly- There is no way to overestimate the importance of this feature. SEO friendly means Google friendly, which means high ranking on google searches.
3dCart is one of the options among many hosted shopping cart platforms that offers value and tools to have successful merchants on their team. They understand that your success is their success, thus all the free features that usually come at a steep price. There are many other features, apps, and partners 3dCart has and I did not get into. if you are thinking about starting an online business or you are not happy with your current hosted shopping cart software, give 3dCart a try. They offer free trial, so give it a shot and see for yourself. The following image is a screen shot from their plans page:
If you think I missed something or have a different opinion on this matter, leave a comment and I will definitely get back.
Far too many times I hear people saying outsourcing is for large businesses only. Since most of the businesses in the United States start and operate from home, according to research, we should look into the Benefits of outsourcing for home based businesses. Can small businesses afford to outsource and does it even make sense? In this article I would like to look at the possibilities outsourcing brings and how can it affect the profitability of your business. I will give real life examples and also draw from my own experience. I think my conclusion will make sense, but if it doesn’t, let me know and we can discuss.
Outsourcing is a practice used by different companies to reduce costs by transferring portions of work to outside suppliers rather than completing it internally.
As investopedia points out, it is meant to reduce cost for an organization while reducing their work load. They also say that it is a smart move for some companies to implement outsourcing strategy only if used properly. It is easy to get into disastrous contracts and loose lots of capital for large organizations if managers do not do their due diligence. But for smaller businesses, there is not as much risk as for large ones. So, you must be asking yourself, what function of my business can I outsource? Let’s get into that right now.
Home Based Businesses Should Outsource
Let’s take my small business where we sell small items, such as cellphone accessories online. This business started back in 2010 and daily volume of orders is now at 250-300 orders. That’s a lot of work to do if you know what I mean. The work is not just packing and shipping, but there is much more to it. Since the items are small in size and the weight is not that heavy, we use post office (USPS). If you have ever used USPS you will understand why I am mentioning it. It creates lost of issues with mis-deliveries and lost packages, but let’s take everything step by step. I will describe the process needed to keep up this business and you think about which part can be outsourced.
Placing orders and keeping Inventory
Placing orders can be done through order management softwares, but I like to do it manually. I like to know what I am ordering and how many. Sometimes I will sell an item that may never sell again, so by settings, software may order more than needed of that product. As I already mentioned, I do not like to outsource this part of my business, so the answer is clear.
Printing Shipping Labels
It is a simple process that requires you to upload all the orders with shipping details to a software called Stamps.com. Once uploaded, each order should be checked for weight in order not to overpay or underpay USPS. Orders that are ready to be shipped should have their tracking numbers posted once the label is printed. Fairly simple, but lots of time considering the amount of orders we get. So, I do outsource it. I hired someone from overseas through upwork.com and gave them access to one of my computers through Teamveiwer. Temviewer is a software that allows someone else to get into your computer and use it. So the person does all the posting, uploading, and printing. We just collect the labels and label packages for shipping. Easy, cost effective, and smart.
Taking Packages To USPS
Taking all the packages to drop off at one of the local USPS locations. Not a bid deal, but again time consuming and lots of packages. Physical work is not my favorite one. So, we schedule pick ups for USPS through their website. Mailman comes in everyday and picks up those packages ready to go. Is that outsourcing? I would so and it is free!
Customer Support Through Phone, eMail, and Live Chat
We provide all three support systems for our customers in case they have any trouble with their order. We also use the support system for pre-sale calls and questions. Increases conversion rate and brings in more cash flow into the business. So, while packing all the orders, it would not be fun to take all the calls. My next move was again to go to upwork.com and get a virtual assistant who would perform all those three functions while I am busy taking care of packages. Again, outsourcing, cheap and effective. Customers are happy and we are happy.
Web, Banner, and Product Image Designs
I am familiar with photoshop and know how to use it, but i am too slow. It takes me hours to create a nice banner. Besides, I feel like I am wasting my time every time I try to create something like that. We create banners for new products, events, holidays, and so on. So we need them made quite often and we do not like using the same old one over and over again. So, I go straight to Fiverr.com and get 1 banner done for $5. As a result I don’t have to spend hours and my banner will be made professionally.
I do outsource as much functions as I can as they arise. When you try to grow your business, you will face additional challenges that most of the time will only require your time. But isn’t time is most valued currency in this world? As you can see from my example, I don’t just blindly outsource functions and positions. I do it only when it makes sense. I would argue that some functions should never be outsourced by the small business owners. Because Benefits of outsourcing for home based businesses is also limited to an extent. Keeping inventory is one such function and responsibility that should only be done by the owner. Because you know your business best and keeping a good balance at hand is of outmost importance.
I have already made my conclusion and have been implementing it long before this post. Now it is your turn to think about which functions can you outsource? I am positive you will be able to find at least 30% of activities that you can hire someone from overseas and let them do it for you. There are challenges of course. You will need to fin the right people for the right price. You have to think of the pay off and see if it makes sense for you. I am positive that at least some things can be done by others.
If this post helped you run your eCommerce better, please like, share, and leave a comment below.
I will be discussing my frustration with the recent policy changes by Bigcommerce with their SSL Certificates. If you get to the end of this post and see something missing or inaccurate, please let me know.
Shopify and Bigcommerce
I have always been a big fan of shopping cart softwares that are fool proof, such as Bigcommerce and Shopify. They are really easy to use and provide features that make running online stores enjoyable. I have grown my own store from $0 to seven figure online store with Bigcommerce. But the new policy by Bigcommerce in regards to Dedicated SSL certificates is disappointing and undesirable trend. My guess is that they grew to a level where they want to focus more on the bigger businesses rather than the ones built from home and operate from home. Small businesses that can not afford their Enterprise plan will now have to settle for shared SSL certificate or buy an SSL certificate from Bigcommerce and GeoTrust.
The Problem I See With This Trend
I always used third party SSL certificates for my online store and I loved that about Bigcommerce. But now, with the shared SSL I might loose business and I will explain why. If you look at the image below, you can see that the link doesn’t look anything like my main domain. It may scare some customers off, because it doesn’t look legitimate.
I do have an option of buying a dedicated SSL certificate through Bigcommerce from GeoTrust. The problem with that is nobody knows who GeoTrust is and everybody knows who Symantec is. I always used Symantec’s SSL certificate, because it pays off. As I have noted in my other posts, Trust is the most important factor for your eCommerce business to succeed. I rather pay $1K a year than $70, but have sales in the millions. Since my website processes 200-300 orders everyday, it is important for me to keep the option of having anyone company I want as my security provider.
Bigcommerce’s SSL Certificate Policy Forced Me to Switch
I have decided to switch over to Magento and keep using my Symantec SSL certificate with all it’s benefits. I believe the pay off is too high and I am not ready to loose my business. Big commerce however, is on it’s way to loosing it’s smaller accounts upon which it was built. Some new merchants might agree to the unknown name SSL certificate, but it will be difficult for them to grow. I know from experience that you can start your business with less quality website, but if you want to grow your business, your approach to things will need to change. Magento is not as easy to use as Bigcommerce and Shopify, but the freedom of being able to customize it is worth the challenge.
So What’s My Point?
Big commerce and Shopify know their business better, but I believe this is a roadmap to disaster. Disaster maybe a strong word, but they will surely loose some business. I will still recommend Bigcommerce and Shopify as one of the best platform to start selling, but as you grow you will need to switch over to Magento. I believe paying ridiculously high monthly bill for Bigcommerce’s enterprise plan is not worth it. You can achieve much higher results with Magento’s Community Edition if you spend the same amount on improving your store. For starters I would recommend 3dCart, because they offer the option of having dedicated ssl certificate
What I have noticed lately is that most commonly offered free themes by shopping cart softwares are designed very sloppy. I do not know if it is done intentionally or unintentionally, but you have to know this one secret that I have found over the years to increase my conversion rate by as much as 40%. It sounds crazy, but it is true. Check a photo below and think about what’s wrong with it:
DO you see what’s wrong? I hope you did, otherwise I am afraid you are in the wrong business, my friend. The “Add to Cart” button is not visible there, and you know where it is? All the way at the bottom of the page close to the “Footer” section of the site. Never make your customer look for the add to cart button, because you will loose almost all of your customers and they will simply become a visitor in your eyes. You will not see any sales and you will waste all your advertising budget on useless campaigns that do not bring in customers. That is because you have not optimized your website and it is not set up for success. I will show you where should the call to action should be, it should be next to the image and below the price:
The Difference In Conversion Rate
The difference it makes is unthinkable and the amount of money lost on such simple mistakes is incredible. Running an eCommerce business is not difficult, but attention to details is required. Even the color of the button and the color and the font of the price matters on how your visitors will respond to your products. Subconsciously we are all affected by certain things and the presence of the button below the price kind of pushes visitors to click that button and make the purchase. Green color for the button also signals “Go,” so combined: Green color and the correct location of the button will create a response that will blow you away.
One Small Change and You Improve Conversion Rate
Improving conversion rate in your online store should be your primary goal as it is what determines your business’s profitability. If you are actively running campaigns with Google, Bing, or Facebook, you will see your advertising budget shrinking while maintaining the same sales or maybe even increasing them. If your conversion rate is currently 2% and you increase that to 3%, you will have 50% more sales. Look at it that way. If your current sales are $200 a day, you can easily get it to $300. Wow, $100 more in sales is impressive. Once you achieve 50% increase in your sales, don’t stop there, you can keep improving. How, you ask? Read other posts.
Thanks for reading, if you liked it and if you learned something new, just share the post with your friends and family so they can also learn. Leave a comment below and let me know what you think or if you have suggestions.
But let’s try to learn from the mistake of others to avoid wasting money and time while loosing sales. All of us who get into the eCommerce business usually come into the field with different goals in mind, but one goal is for sure the same for everyone: that is to make money. Just like in any other area of profession you learn by trial and error first, especially when you don’t have anyone giving you information. So most new online sellers (those who sell from their own website) underestimate the importance of few aspects of running an online business. When shoppers come to your site, they do not see you face to face and that brings a lot of issues and Trust is one of them.
Think Like Your Buyer
Put yourself into the buyers shoes, if you went to a website that did not look professionally designed, if images did not look attractive, if they did not have a toll-free number, if they did not have a legitimate address, and if the checkout page was not secured, would you trust that website with your credit card number and billing address? Absolutely not. By merely getting a store front from one of the shopping cart platformsand posting your product images and details you will never see any sales. Managing an online store takes much more than that. It takes vision and the ability to think like your customer.
Some of the most common mistakes that new online businesses make are:
Provide your legitimate information
– if you are selling products or services online, you will require your customer’s sensitive information, such as name, billing address, and credit card information. Why would anyone give you theirs if you do not want to give them yours? So, make sure your name, business name, address, phone number is all intact and customers can contact you.
Have a presentable front store design
– Would you go into a brick and mortar store that looked like it was abandoned in the 18th century and spend money there? I don’t think so. Websites that are not very well thought of and are not designed with user in mind will loose lots of business and that means money running to the competition. According to research, the first few seconds are the most important impression for your customers and if they are not impressed, your website visitors bounce rate will be very close to 100%, which means you are paying for traffic for no reason.
Dedicated SSL Certificate
– This is one of the most costly mistakes that people make. They will use shared SSL provided by their shopping cart platform, which is not good. Why? Because shared SSL means when your customers click “Checkout” they will be transferred to some weird url which is not your main domain name. That scares people off even though the site is secure. Think about it, even if your customer did not pay attention to the fact that you do not have a phone number on the website and even if they did not care about your design, they will care about their security once they land on your checkout page. So go ahead and spend $70 and get a dedicated SSL Certificate for you website and start collecting payments.
Not Everyone Wants To Use PayPal
– Some new websites offer only PayPal as an option for payment. I understand that it is the easiest way to accept payments and probably everyone has one, right? Not exactly. Even though lots of people use PayPal, not everyone does while everyone who shops online definitely has some sort of credit or debit card. So by limiting yourself to PayPal only option, you are trimming down your customer base from already a subcategory of customers.
– Small but very important detail, which seems that not everyone understands the point. Most of the new themes offered by shopping cart softwares have the “add to cart button” all the way at the bottom, closer to the description of the item. If you require your customer to scroll down and find the button in order to buy the item, most likely you will loose about 35% of your customers, according to the research done by marketing companies. Making sure that the button is located right in front of the customers eyes, you increase your chances of making that sale.
Avoid These Mistakes and Inflate Your Conversion
The prevention of those mistakes increases the chances of your store succeeding while those who do not pay attention to details will eventually fail. Because they will be spending their budget on marketing while neglecting the very people they are paying to come to their site. Ironic, but happens everyday. I am talking from personal experience.
Thanks for reading, if you liked it and if you learned something new, just share the post with your friends and family so they can also learn. Leave a comment below and let me know what you think or if you have suggestions.
It is not surprising that your website gets no visitors, if you think about it. There are millions of websites and thousands if not hundreds of thousands created daily, so how on earth do you expect someone to notice your website or find on the search engine. They won’t unless you do one of the few things or all of them, which I will get to in a minute. I am not tech guy nor am I a professional traffic driver, but i know of places where such people are waiting for me to come and pay them few dollars to do the job for me. Why? Even though I can probably do search engine optimization myself, it is extremely time consuming and I have better things to do. Here few things that need to be done, and everyone can do it, regardless of their background:
Share your link with those whom you know- social media sites are the best places to let your friends and family know about your new website and ask them to share it with their friends. Depending on how many friends you have on FB and how many followers you have on Twitter and other sites, you might start getting visits. I personally do not have a large group of friends on Facebook, so this method does not work for me.
Hire an SEO specialist- go to websites like upwork.com (formerly known as oDesk) and post a job. You will be surprised at how affordable this things are. Within minutes you will get 10’s if not 100’s of applicants. The challenge will be choosing the right person for the job. And don’t forget, SEO takes time and you will have to be patient before you see results. But once you get some rankings and your website is useful for visitors, you will start growing exponentially. Another great place to search for freelancers is fiverr.com, where you can find people who can submit your site to search engines, send you traffic, and so on. Really great place.
Do some keyword researching- Go to google adwords and use the “keyword planning tool” to find some low competition and niche keywords for your website. You can target those keywords on your website and do if you are running a business, not a blog, start writing a blog.
Start writing a blog- why? Because google favors websites that give information for free and are not trying to sell products. If you are selling products, they want you to advertise and pay for those clicks, traffic, and sales. If you are running an e-commerce business, you will have to start writing blogs and sending links to your store. Write articles about your products or ask someone to write a review about your product and send links over to your site.
Record a video and upload it to YouTube- Youtube is a great place to get free traffic. If you sell products, make a video about that product and explain the benefits and so on. You can place a link on your videos description and send people who are interested in buying directly to your product page. The same goes for those who sell services.
Start advertising- Google Adwords, I find, is the best place to advertise your products or services. Again, you can find professionals on upwork.com or Fiverr.com who can create killer campaigns for you, but you can do it yourself as well. If you correctly identify your keywords, you can start selling the same day and be in business. If you sell physical products, google Merchant center is the BEST! Using Google Merchant center, you can publish your actual products, and get traffic that is very well targeted and interested in your product. If you sell local services, use local ads and you will see results right away. Google advertising is a treasure.
If you decide to do some SEO yourself, just know that it takes time, otherwise, you can probably hire someone for about $50 a week who will work really hard to get your website rank on the first page of Google within 3-4 months. Thats a good deal. If you combine all 6 suggestions, you website will rock and you will see results right away and if you keep working and let other work as well, within 6 months you will see lots of free traffic. Good Luck