Category: E-Commerce

Solving Online Shopping Problems As a Store Owner

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More and more people are beginning to shop online these days. This has given many new business owners an opportunity to set up a store and start making a decent income online. Although there are many advantages to online shopping, there are still some online shopping problems that customers encounter along the way. As a reliable, trust-worthy e-commerce business owner, it is your job to be able to address these issues and help your customers have a satisfying experience with you so they will keep coming back again and again.

These online shopping problems do not happen very often but when they do, they can cause a lot of grief and irritation. for the online consumer. In the following article, we will look at some of the general problems online shoppers can encounter.Once you know these issues, you can take the steps to help your customers feel confident in doing business with you.

Wrong Item Purchases

When one shops in a store near their home, the ability to ensure that the right item is selected with the correct size and color is an easy straight-forward process. When shopping online though, mistakes can be made when a product is not physically seen until after the order has been delivered. A customer can click on the wrong item number, or if making a phone request, can tell the operator a wrong product number or quote an incorrect color code. Having a system that is easy to navigate and uses a simple color code will help to reduce these online shopping problems.

Wrong item received

From time to time, orders can be mixed up at the warehouse when preparing for shipping. This is not the customers fault so the expense would land on the store owner to take the necessary steps to send the proper item free of charge, and in some case, tell the customer they can keep the product that was shipped by accident. If you are using a dropshipper when you first start up with your e-commerce store, there are some benefits. The dropshipper will take care of all of the shipping, re-shipping and concerns. You just need to email them or call and talk to your account rep on the phone, to discuss the situation. If your customer needs this item for a special event and does not have the time to wait for a new item with the standard shipping time, you will need to go out of your way and order the right product and pay for express shipping. This may seem like it cuts into your profit margin, but it is the only true way to treat your customers as people you value and not just dollar values.

Not being able to return an item

Sometimes shoppers choose to purchase online because they live in rural areas where they can not get to the store easily, or they work odd hours when stores are not open. Having to try to return an item when you either do not have the time or ability can become a frustrating aspect for some shoppers. If you create a strong relationship with your customers through email or on the phone, your customers can come to trust you and will feel that you really care about their situation. Once a customer contacts you with a problem such as this, try to find a way in which you can both come to a solution where you both can be satisfied. Sometimes, this means giving the odd item away as a freebie, in order to retain a customer for future sales. This will keep the customer coming back to you because they appreciate your customer service.

If you have been collecting the email addresses of you customers, when you send them out an email for your sales or new products, you could also include a survey or poll to get an idea of the problems they are having both at your store or any other online shopping experience. Using this advice will help you to create a more enjoyable, and smooth customer experience they will want to tell their friends all about.

Running your own online store can be one of the most rewarding businesses you can start online today

 

 

eCommerce Business Start Up – Key Elements to Consider When Deciding How to Begin

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With online stores becoming more of an attraction for business owners, buyers are liking the shorter form of sales page found in the e-commerce shop setup. As long as you still detail the benefits, and describe how the product will help the customer, that is really all you need to sell an item. Do you see Walmart throwing up long 3 page sales pitches for all 500k products they have? Wow that would be time consuming. Instead, they practice the art of making their product as enticing as possible to the customers with as little wording as possible.

So, although I have created a long sales page for a couple of my products to do some conversion testing, I am still an e-commerce lover who would rather run a store.

How do you decide what store to choose? Are you a techie? If not, installing one of the e-commerce choices included in your hosting control panel, is probably the best way to go. Then all you need to do is click a few buttons to install, and spend some time adding products, and a logo to make your own designer storefront.

As you learn more, you can do more. If you are still scared of anything technical, there are always sites such as Freewebs.com that allow you to setup a shopping cart on your site by just clicking on a widget. I often encourage new beginners to start with this type of site because you can start for free. Then as you get more familiar with the way things work, you can upgrade to more product availability.

Take your time to learn all you need to about creating a dynamic and unique professional storefront. Take a look around online at other small business owners e-commerce setups and see if you can get any ideas you can use for your own. If you are not proficient in using graphics software, and you do not have the money for a freelance artist, there are free online services/sites that can allow you to make a header you will love.

Running an online store can be fun and profitable if you do your homework and plan everything out as needed. More and more people every day are getting started buying online from the comfort of their own homes. This also is giving more business opportunities for those individuals looking for a way to start a home business.

Running your own store can be one of the most rewarding businesses you can start online today

 

eCommerce Store Advantages – Create a Unique Selling Point to Attract the Most Business

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Overall presentation of your site is key to keeping your visitors browsing around your pages. There are so many more shopping sites online now. What makes you decide to buy from one place over the other even when they may have the same products for the same price? Does one site appear more professional than the other site? Does it look like it has been around longer? Does it look like it is a more trustworthy site? What kinds of questions run through your head before you make that final choice?

The bigger name stores like Walmart, Toys R Us, Macy’s, Big Lots, and others can afford much more leeway in certain things than the smaller businesses. But does that mean they deserve all of the business then?

That is where the creative thinking/marketing comes into play. You need to find something unique to offer. Free shipping is a big one. If you can’t afford free shipping because you are working with a drop shipper who doesn’t offer it, can you find a cheap product that people may like and want to add for free? Free gift wrapping? I have a company I deal with that doesn’t offer free gift wrapping, but it is cheap so it is worth it to tell your customers it is free and you pay the little bit of difference. If it means the difference in sales or not for only a few dollars, it is worth it.

In these times as everyone surfs around looking for gifts online, it may get discouraging to the young new shop keeper trying to make a name for himself. They may feel like they really can’t compete. But Rome was not built in a day and neither was any other business. You need to keep persevering. Keep learning and practicing something new in regards to advertising and marketing every day, don’t allow yourself to have any negative thoughts, and just believe in what you have set out to do. Take out your mission statement.

Read over again what you had planned for your 5 and 10 year terms. Remind yourself that you are still on track, and will remain that way providing you keep going as planned. Something is only a dream without a reality if you have not properly prepared for it, and envisioned it as such. This is not a dream like winning the lottery. This dream is a future you have planned and prepared to work for long and hard no matter how it may seem from one day to the next.

The sad fact is that 95% of online businesses will fail within the first three years. To ensure that you are one of the top 5% who stay in business,you must be always looking for creative ways to help your customers, to market to new customers, and to keep in touch with those customers who have already purchased from you. If your customer has a positive experience with you and enjoys both your customer service and your merchandise, they will not only come back again but will run around and tell all of their friends and family. Work on improving your business every day, even if it is only one little thing at a time.

Running your own store can be one of the most rewarding businesses you can start online today.

 

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4113265

Comparison Shopping Factors of Online Shoppers

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Many online shoppers enjoy being able to visit multiple sites to view products for comparison shopping. What may take days or even weeks to complete in the offline world, can be done online in a matter of a few short weeks. Not only does the online shopper have the ability to compare products from stores in their own city, they can also check prices, deals, availability, shipping costs, and more from stores located all over the world.

The following factors will show the comparison shopping practices of many online shoppers.

With the ease of being able to open many browser windows with a number of stores for viewing, online shoppers can now smoothly take note of the many features they are looking to compare all at once. These aspects can include durability, available features, aesthetic appearance or price.

Online shoppers do not need to be bothered with travelling and expenses, weather conditions, or any other problems that can arise when having to visit physical store after store. This means that those online shoppers who are disabled or do not have the means to get out of their homes, can still look up charts and make a decision based on the knowledge they find as to the best store to shop from.

As an online store owner, providing a comparison chart where an online shopper can check the prices, features, availability, and more just by filling in a short form that will then show results from other stores for them to review, is a feature that many online shoppers can appreciate. This enables them to condense their research time for comparison shopping down even more by being able to view the information requested all from one main site.

Another factor to consider for comparison shopping with online shoppers is the availability for shoppers to look for and locate rare or hard to find items that can’t often be found in local stores. This can include products that are not in stock or items that are not widely showcased. Even if an item is out of stock, the use of a comparison chart allows online shoppers to view the features and benefits of the product so they can either look for something that is comparable that is available for sale, or they can find out when that particular item will be available in the future.

As an online store owner, being able to provide your visitors as much information about the products you carry will allow them to trust you, and have them frequently visiting which will increase the chances for future sales. Taking the time to look after your customers and offer them as many resources as possible to enable an easy and satisfying experience will turn many of these comparison searchers into long time return customers.

Running your own store can be one of the most rewarding businesses you can start online today

 

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4018837

3 Steps to Being a Competitive Retailer in the E-Commerce World

There are millions of shoppers online today looking for the best deal. Many of these consumers will spend hours going from shop to shop looking for the best price for both the product and the shipping, and how easy it is to place an order and return an order if needed. Since many online shops are selling the same products, online shoppers look for a few different factors to help them make a decision. In the following article, we will discuss what most consumers use for comparing online stores and how you can take the steps to being a competitive retailer in the e-commerce world.

Price Comparison Shopping
It only makes sense for the online shopper to want to get the lowest price they can. Most retailers will try to sell products around the same price as their competition. But, there are times when a retailer is trying to get rid of inventory so he can get in a new lineup, or is going out of business and needs to sell everything they can. As an online retailer, it is your job to constantly be on the look out for a cheaper wholesaler or dropship source so that you will be able to put on more deals without still losing out on your over all profit.

The best way you can build a reputation and trust from your customers is to make sure you are registered with the Better Business Bureau. When a consumer wants to shop at your store but does not know if they can trust you, they will check with the BBB to ensure you are a legitimate and solid company. If you receive any customer compliments or ratings, you should post them on your site for others to read. This will be another way the consumer can feel more at ease shopping from your store.

Shipping Considerations for Comparison Checks
The price of shipping may make or break the deal with an interested online shopper. If a shopper finds 2 shops that supply the item they would like for the same price, the consumer will then look to see if one of the shops has a cheaper shipping rate. Some store owners pad the shipping costs to make more of a profit knowing that they are not making much of a profit on the actual sale due to their wholesale connections. Or if a Canadian is shopping in an American store, the price of shipping could cost more as opposed to if that consumer were to find a store that has a Canadian supplier.

For smaller items with not much weight, offering an express shipping method or overnight shipping may attract an online shopper to make the decision to purchase from your store. If it is cost effective and still gives you a profit, this may be one of the best ways to make a sale.

The Importance of a Return Policy
If a product has a hefty shipping charge and is a heavy item, many customers may not want to purchase the item in case they end up not liking it, or it does not go with whatever they thought it would. In the case of the item being the wrong product shipped or a defect, the retailer will more than likely pay the cost for returns. If you can make it as affordable as possible for shipping, and an easy process for returning, your customers will appreciate it and even though they may have to return an item, they will still have a satisfying customer service experience with you which will keep them coming back again the next time.

Running your own store can be one of the most rewarding businesses you can start online today.

Choosing the Right E-Commerce Solution

I have been debating a few things in regards to ecommerce these days. I have set up and used several ecommerce software solutions over the last few years.

Recently, I have been setting up an affiliate program for my products. As with many products out there, individual sales pages are created. In these pages, a long sales pitch is detailed with benefits, and a call to action for the reader.

When you use an ecommerce store though, you have a bunch of products within the same area. Although you do have a sales page section it is meant more for a description before the cash out button.

With online stores becoming more of an attraction for business owners, buyers are liking the shorter form of sales page found in the ecommerce shop setup. As long as you still detail the benefits, and describe how the product will help the customer, that is really all you need to sell an item. Do you see Walmart throwing up long 3 page sales pitches for all 500k products they have? Wow that would be time consuming. Instead, they practice the art of making their product as enticing as possible to the customers with as little wording as possible.

So, although I have created a long salespage for a couple of my products to do some conversion testing, I am still an ecommerce lover who would rather run a store.

How do you decide what store to choose? Are you a techie? If not, installing one of the ecommerce choices included in your hosting control panel, is probably the best way to go. Then all you need to do is click a few buttons to install, and spend some time adding products, and a logo to make your own designer storefront.

As you learn more, you can do more. If you are still scared of anything technical, there are always sites such as Freewebs.com that allow you to setup a shopping cart on your site by just clicking on a widget. I often encourage new beginners to start with this type of site because you can start for free. Then as you get more familiar with the way things work, you can upgrade to more product availability.

If you are interested in starting up an online business, you could visit my store, grab a copy of my free report on dropshipping and resell rights products. These 2 guides will give you resources for getting products free to start building your online store.

Then when you are ready to proceed, you can check out my tutorials for either setting up a site using freewebs(found in my tutorial on setting up a free store) or Cube Cart(detailed in my book “Setting Up and Running an Online Store”)

For more information, go check out my store now at http://kdbbookclub.info

Dropshipping and the Internet

Dropshipping has become more and more common as the Internet grows. Manufacturing companies realize they can reach more people and have more products sold if they allow other people to sell their product for them, place the order with them afterwards, and the manufacturer then ships the item/order to the small business customer for them.

There are companies who deal straight with the manufacturers and then offer their dropshipping services to the small businesses. Some of these companies ask for a dropship fee per order, some don’t. These companies are typically “middle men”. They are easier to find and sign up to but the profits for the small business owner are smaller than straight from the manufacturer. For a business just starting out who has no idea of how or where to contact manufacturers, these companies come in handy. If you can sell enough products with a smaller profit margin, it is ok for the learning curve. There is only the web hosting fees(monthly $5-$40), domain name(yearly $6-$15), and any marketing fees incurred(PPC(0.05-1.00 per click), paid ezine ads($5-$40 a month), targettted traffic($10-$30 for 10,000 hits)etc., that you have to worry about per month.

There are so many different companies these days competing for your business. Research is key to finding the best options for your specific needs.Just because a company is cheap does not mean it is the best solution. I remember finding a really affordable web hosting provider that I scooped up instantly. I ended up cancelling a month later when I realized the control panel and site building tools that came with the service where way over my head in comprehension. What good is a cheap site, if you can’t work with it? I know most of you don’t have web programming experience or training, I have basic HTML, and have picked up a few other things along the way, but not enough to build a fancy, standout, knock ’em dead, website without the ease of a built in script site builder. It can cost $2,000-$100,000 to get someone to build a site for you without it. But luckily there are lots of services that offer the ease of a built in site programmer. All you have to do is design your site, pick a premade template, use their widgets, write your content, and there you go.

Over time I have found and compiled a list of dropshipper available for little or no fee per order. Most of them are good because they offer the suggested retail price, then give you the price they will sell for. As long as you can make $5 an item minimum, I usually find it is ok to go with it. There are some things that don’t allow that option, so depending on what you really want to spend, you may want to just settle for $1 or $2 profit and aim to sell alot of them. Always make sure you research other sellers prices online before you make the final price. You know your visitors will. Creative marketing can get you the exposure you need to start getting people to buy.

I will also offer good wholesale sites I have found. If you can afford to go that route, the profits are better, but you need the space to store the merchandise yourself, and then you have to ship the products to all of your customers on your own. Most people who start, start off with minimal stock and sell on eBay or other auction/sales sites instead of setting up a website full of a whole huge inventory of stuff you have no idea if people will purchase. You should be doing research on the products you are interested in too to see if they will sell.

Online Auction Tips

Good Afternoon.
I was going to continue on with another business idea to make money, but I thought I would discuss online auctions first. It still ties in with having your own store, but can be used on it’s own as well if you want to get your feet wet in the online selling world but aren’t ready to set up your own website.

Now, I know everyone knows and seems to use eBay as the number one auction site,but I have found over the last few years that not everyone is still feeling the love.
eBay is getting so competitive these days, some people just can’t be bothered.
From the sellers point of view, unless you have your own unique product, that only you posses, you have to compete with everyone else trying to sell the same product as cheap as possible to get the sale. So, therefore, no room for profit eventually.
Also, the more people post, the more you have to promote to make your ad stand out(like paying extra for Bold,etc.)Therein, the price of your listing just doubled. Once upon a time it was affordable to post on eBay. .25c and you were good to go. Now the average costs you about $2.00.

That can get pricey if you are posting a list of items and only one or two sell with a profit of only $5.00. When I first tried this it cost me $95.00 for the first 2 weeks of posting.Ouch. That was something I could not afford on a regular basis. I started scanning around for other auction listing sites, I found and tried and few, now I use a combination of using the website traffic that goes to those auction sites, and my own online store website. Every few weeks I go and post about 20 items on www.ioffer.com or www.webidz.com and see how they are received. If they seem to sell, I keep it up, if not, I try something else.

I like these 2 sites of all the ones I have checked because they allow you to set up an online store on their site for free(up to 500 products), they can be listed as Buy now,with bidding,or make an offer options. I like to just pay a certain price online when I shop. Some people get a thrill out of haggling, and others love to compete with bidding. So having all the choices available at once is good. Once again,no charge to list the item either, unless you want multiple pictures, and special features, then it is .5c a piece. You also can leave your items up as long as you want. Unlike the auctions on eBay, the items don’t end in the 3, 7 and 10 day cycles. The competition is still there for other sellers selling the same items at low costs, but not as many as in the eBay community.

That brings me to the buyers point of view. Great for low prices, but as more people list,you have to scan through pages to find a good deal. Alot of the sellers only sell to Americans to keep the costs low for shipping.

The big thing for todays resellers is using dropshippers. What dropshipping is, is a company who has the inventory stored in a warehouse allows you to sell their products with out physically buying the items first. Then when you have a buyer for the item you put the order in to the company and they will dropship the item to your customer without their own company info on the box. That way, you pay a wholesale price they ask for and sell it to your customer for a retail price, you collect the money, give the lower price to the company when you place the order for the customer, and the difference is your profit. I use this method for most of my products. As you start making more money you can just go to wholesale sites, buy more products at even cheaper wholesale prices, and earn more profit. You will have to store the merchandise yourself by then, so usually most people wait to proceed to that step when they can afford a storage space or extra room in the house for their storeroom.

Dropshippers can be found online, but you have to do alot of research and spend a few dollars to find good ones. Most of them say they are, but they are what is known as “middlemen.” You would still get a discount, the profit margin would just be a little bit smaller. A good place to get into even though it is pricey to start is OneSource, brought to you by www.WorldwideBrands.com It costs $299. to sign up but it provides so many viable good sources it is worth the money in the long run. One time fee. There are other cheaper sites, but they are not quite as extensive. If you prefer to go that route, I recommend Shopster.com They have the option you can make a store through them, so you would not have to invest in a hosting site for $20 a month as well. Lots of products there. The profit markup isn’t quite as high as with worldwidebrands, but still good enough to learn the ropes with. They ship worldwide as well. Other big sites like Doba.com, only ship to the US.Shopster has good customer service to help you out. They are offering a 7 day free trial for you to check it out and see what you think. Then it is $29.95 a month with a one time $99 startup fee.

If you are interested in starting up your own online store, want to try the dropshipping method, and would love to have this great opportunity to try your own business online with relatively low start up costs, check into one of these two companies. Then remember, for promoting your products, use the auction sites as well as your website. Also, ioffer.com has a promotional tool you can use to create flyers for your products. You could print some of those out, and try putting them up around your neighborhood, or door to door mailboxes. You can promote in so many ways. They don’t all have to be costly either.

Create Your Own Online Shop

Have a blog of your own? Why not. But having your own online shop is even better! It takes less than five minutes to sign up, a few more to personalize your shop and finally, a pleasurable stroll through Zlio’s directory of over three million items to fill your newly-created virtual e-store. And at the end of the day, you get a commission on every sale generated through your store (2 to 15%, depending on the supplier).

The most important thing, then, is to generate traffic on your shop (mine’s here, by the way!) Or in addition, you can rely on your family and friends – indeed, if you refer someone to Zlio, Zlio gives you a free bonus of 10% of that person’s commissions, for ever, and 5% of the commissions of anyone they refer in turn! By the way, I thought I might mention that my referral link is http://zlio.com/?page=app:signup&r=116049, in case you’d care to click on it!

Traffic Tips-How to Use Ebay Traffic for More Sales

Do you sell items on eBay? I have a brother who makes a healthy living doing that. He sells computers, parts, software, ipods, and other assorted products. Of the people I have talked to who sell on eBay, they all say it can become an addiction. They enjoy it immensely. Now doesn’t that sound like the best kind of job? Ebay gets a lot of traffic and one of the best traffic tips is to use that to drive more to your own website through the use of an auction.
The following article should give you some tips on how to make eBay work for you to generate more traffic to your own site. Follow the guidelines though or you may break some rules and regulations.

How to use eBay auctions to drive traffic to your site
Copyright 2005 Peter Tarrida del Marmol

Many eBay auction sellers rely only on eBay for generating
100% of their online income. Many of these people are
running a successful auction business; however, they could
do even better. They are missing a huge opportunity to
turbo-boost their business profits and reduce their listing
fees at the same time. If you feel you are one of these
people, these are the steps you should follow to optimize
your net auction business:

1.Create a website. If you can write an eBay ad, then you
can design a website. It is not rocket science. You can
download many free web templates from the internet and
customize them easily with any HTML editor. If you type the
words “free web templates” in Google, for example, you will
get more than one million results!

2.Register a domain name and hire a web hosting service.
These services start at about $40 per year, depending on
the web space and special services you require. Once you
have set up your hosting account, you must publish your
site.

3.Register an account in Paypal in order to allow online
payments from your website. Paypal’s payment buttons and
shopping cart options are easy to use and allow you to set
up your site very quickly.

4.Use allowed strategies in your eBay auctions to drive
traffic to your website. You don’t have to pay listing fees
and commissions for the sales that come from your website,
so your objective should be to use eBay only to generate
traffic and monetize your sales from your own website.

But everybody knows that eBay does not allow placing
outbound links in the auction ads, so how can you turn the
massive eBay daily traffic into a continuous stream of
visitors to your site?

Here comes the interesting part…

The first method is to put a link to your site on your
“about me” page and then link your auction ad to it. This
is allowed by eBay. Your auction visitors will be directed
first to your “about me” page, and then driven to your
website. A second way to gain traffic is advertising your
business using a picture or logo on your auction ad that
includes your website’s URL. By doing this, you will be
using eBay as a very cheap way of advertising online. All
your auction visitors will see the name of your site and
will be invited to type your URL in their web browser.

To optimize the number of visitors to your auctions, make
sure to use popular words in your auction’s title.

Another easy technique is to write your site’s name without
the “http://” or “www” in a paragraph of your eBay ad. This
should be done carefully. The paragraph should not look
like an ad for your site, but as a natural explanation. For
example, let’s say your website is www.auctionearnings.com.
You could include a paragraph like this in your ad:

“You can find more information regarding this product at
AuctionEarnings.com, as well as free articles and free
e-books that will contribute to increasing your knowledge
on your subject of interest.”

Finally, and in my opinion, the most efficient way to gain
massive traffic is to create an information product and
give it away on eBay. Sell it for one penny and send an
email to your customers with a link to your download page.

Attention – very important!

You MUST capture your customer’s name and email address in
order to build your own customer list, so that you can
promote other products in the future using auto-responders.
At this point, you will be taking control of your own
business and you will not have to depend on eBay anymore to
monetize your sales.

—————————————————-
Peter Tarrida del Mármol has succeeded on using eBay to
generate traffic for his affilliate internet business. To
learn more, click on:
http://www.auctionearnings.com

While there are many other traffic tips that you can find to use to your advantage, using a huge traffic source such as from ebay, can really mean a lot to the growth of your business if you play the game right.