In 2022, in the US alone, there were over 1800 data breaches, according to Statistica, while the National Cyber Security Centre in the UK found that hackers hit over 4,100 retailers in Black Friday sales in 2021 via a payment merchant, and they were victims of skimming.
Heightened security to offer your customers peace of mind is vital when asking them to use your website, or when entering any sensitive information you might hold on them, such as names, addresses, and credit card details. If you experience a data breach, chances are you won't see those customers returning, and you will land yourself with a fine should you be found to be willfully negligent in keeping your data secure.
With this in mind, these tips can help you to stay safe and secure and protect your customers when using your ecommerce site.
52% of people use the same password for multiple websites, and this is something you need to discourage employees and customers from doing. Always suggest that they use a unique, strong password when creating accounts and that they are changed regularly, especially for employees.
Firewalls monitor all traffic for any signs of attack and can be your first line of defense in stopping hackers. Each firewall is unique to the website and is determined by a set of rules to pick out any traffic that is intended to cause your website harm, including SQL injections and DDoS attacks.
Using a third-party payment provider can offer your customers peace of mind as they are directed from your website to a secure terminal to make the payment. You then don't need to store any payment details; this is done via an encrypted server. If you want to know why you should use hosted checkout, this is why. To help you offer additional security to customers when entering payment details.
SSL or Secure Socket Layer on your website. Websites with an SSLare automatically changed from HTTP to HTTPS, which instantly offers an added layer of protection. 64% of customers will leave a website if they see that it doesn't have a green padlock in the search bar or the words “not secure” pop up.
It can be easy to overlook updating the software if you are busy, but it doesn't just offer front-end improvements and tools; it provides a better line of defense for your security and is often carried out to repair any vulnerabilities. You should use a platform that rolls out updates frequently to help you make sure that the code is up to date and that security is prioritized.
You need a multi-layered security plan for your website. It isn't enough to put one measure in the palace and hope for the best. You should be implementing as many tools as you can to offer an extra line of defense, from limiting access to customer details when they purchase and encouraging users to use two-factor authentication when logging into your website or app.
Security should be a top priority for any business, but especially for those who are taking online payments. Offering your customers the best experience with the added confidence their details are safe and secure is vital.
Have you ever wondered how to boost your online store's return on investment (ROI)? Here you will learn about the secrets of maximizing your e-commerce potential.
Understanding the E-commerce Landscape
Let's start by understanding the landscape of e-commerce. It's like a jungle where only the strongest survive. With 2.14 billion shoppers worldwide the competition is fierce. And that’s how business consulting comes in ready to lead you to victory.
In this fast-paced digital ecosystem, adaptability is the key. Whether it's battling cart abandonment or the ever-changing algorithms you’ll need new strategies that evolve with the times.
The Business Consulting Maverick
Now, let's talk about these business consulting experts. Picture them as your trusted GPS for e-commerce success navigating you through the twists and turns of optimizing ROI. Consultants like Zoho Consulting are masterminds armed with a wealth of valuable insights who will dive deep into your website.
Uncovering Opportunities for ROI Enhancement
Consider these consultants as your navigational experts on your e-commerce journey. They will be your strategic thinkers equipped with a wealth of insights. They will also closely examine your e-commerce platform and go through your online presence's intricacies.
Strategy Development and Implementation
Once the audit's complete it's time for the strategy development. They will craft a roadmap that is tailored for your e-commerce. Such strategies include optimizing SEO, increasing your digital presence and crafting a captivating online experience. They will be data-driven, ensuring precision and efficiency in the execution.
Ensuring the optimization of your website is crucial. Think of your e-commerce platform as your store. Consultants act as architects, ensuring that all elements blend together seamlessly. From improving page loading speed to designing user interfaces for devices, every aspect is carefully crafted to perfection. The outcome? A website that attracts users facilitates navigation. Elevates the overall user experience.
Marketing and Conversion Optimization
The journey doesn't stop at optimizing your website. Consultants become marketing experts. Use strategies like SEO-paid ads and email campaigns to engage your target audience. This leads to increased conversion rates as your website becomes a hub of offers and captivating storytelling.
Measuring ROI and Monitoring Progress
Understanding the importance of measuring ROI and monitoring progress is crucial. Skilled consultants are adept at interpreting data enabling you to keep track of ROI metrics, establish benchmarks and monitor progress. This ongoing process of improvement ensures that your ROI thrives like a nurtured garden.
Choosing the Right Business Consultant
When it comes to selecting a business consultant for e-commerce success, choosing the one is paramount. Their experience, expertise and industry knowledge are the foundation for their competence. Conduct interviews and trust your instincts when making this decision because consultants are not simply advisors; they become partners in your e-commerce journey.
In summary, business consulting acts as a compass in navigating the waters of e-commerce. It holds the key to unlocking your potential for ROI in this age.
As you embark on your e-commerce adventure remember that this journey is more than a path—it's an exhilarating pursuit towards triumph in the world of e-commerce. Embrace change with confidence. Prepare yourself for a future filled with e-commerce success guided by a skilled business consultant by your side.
If you are a store owner looking to maximize your brand visibility without breaking the bank, you have come to the right place. There are many inexpensive strategies that can be used to help promote your store's brand in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Below we will explore six of these budget-friendly tactics so that you can get started on building up your brand recognition today.
Social media is a powerful way to reach potential customers and promote your brand for free. Create profiles on the most popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Make sure that you keep the content interesting, relevant, and up-to-date in order to engage with followers.
In addition, you can use social media to engage in conversations with other brands, customers, and influencers. Utilizing these connections will help you build relationships and get your store's name out there.
2) Leverage Email Marketing
Email marketing is another excellent way to reach potential customers and keep them updated on your store's new deals or special promotions. Craft a compelling story that speaks to the values of your brand and make sure it stands out from other emails in the inbox. This could include offering discounts or free products for signing up for an email list. Additionally, try segmenting your email list into different categories so that you can target specific groups of people more effectively.
3) Engage in Community Outreach
Participate in community events or sponsor local charities. Doing so will get your store's name out there and can showcase your commitment to the community. In addition, it is a great way to reach potential customers who may not be familiar with your brand yet.
4) Develop Influencer Partnerships
Influencer partnerships are another cost-effective way to promote your store's brand by leveraging the power of influencers' already-established relationships with their followers. Reach out to influencers that align with your store's values, offering them free products or discounts in exchange for a shoutout on their social channels.
5) Use Vinyl Stickers
Vinyl Stickers are another inexpensive strategy to increase brand visibility. They are easy to print and distribute and durable enough to last a long time. Consider giving out vinyl stickers with your store's logo at events or by mail. They are also great for surfaces like walls or windows, which can be used to show off your branding even when your store isn't open!
6) Generate Word-of-Mouth
Word-of-mouth is a powerful tool for any business. Give customers a reason to talk about your store and share their experience with others by providing excellent customer service, offering deals or discounts, or hosting special events. These efforts will go a long way in increasing brand visibility in an organic manner.
Utilizing these six budget-friendly strategies allows you to maximize your store's brand visibility without breaking the bank. With some careful planning and creativity, you can easily spread the word about your store and gain more awareness of your brand!
Tips for Getting Into Ecommerce and Making a Go of It
Ecommerce is a rapidly growing industry and can be a great arena in which younger entrepreneurs can try their hand at starting their own company. And given how successful so many ecommerce companies are, it might even be viewed as an industry where success and profitability are guaranteed. However, the reality is that an ecommerce entrepreneur must work hard and be smart about their choices, just as any business owner must.
Steps to starting a successful ecommerce business.
There is no one guaranteed fool-proof recipe for ecommerce success – but there are steps you can take that can give you a major advantage in the ecommerce realm.
Start with a product that fills a need – don’t just come up with an idea for a product; look at customer demand and problems that need to be solved, then brainstorm to figure out how to provide solutions.
Getting into ecommerce can be rewarding in many ways, especially if you’re looking for opportunities to advance, as a younger entrepreneur. But don’t cut corners or assume that it will be easy. Instead, go into it with energy and determination, and stick with the principles that will help you succeed.
Do you want to make your eCommerce Business' sales shoot through the roof? If so, then listen up. This blog post will give you all of the information that you need to know in order to improve your e-commerce Business' conversions and generate more revenue for your business.
The first step you will need to take to increase your eCommerce business sales is by increasing traffic on your website. The more people there are looking at the products that you have available, the greater chance of making a sale. Make sure that all keyword phrases are being targeted properly – you want to ensure that every phrase has enough searches so it can bring significant results for someone typing in related terms when they search for something online.
Optimization must be done effectively through SEO techniques and content writing which should include keywords throughout articles or pages, so search engines pick up on them easily while crawling through websites searching out information. You can also consider contracting a custom website design company if you’d like to build a more user-friendly website from scratch. This type of marketing works well if large numbers of internet users are also using their mobile phones because Google's response time will be faster and more efficient.
#2 Create a better experience for customers
The next step that you will need to take in order to increase your eCommerce Business' sales is by creating a better experience for customers. You want to ensure that customers are having an easy time when using your website. One of the best ways that you can increase conversion rates is by adding a live chat feature for customer support, so they have someone available at all times who can answer their questions and help them with any concerns.
A phone number should also be provided because it's hard for people to trust a website if there isn't anyone readily available to speak with live on the other side of the line. Also, ensure that you have properly built out FAQ sections where common customer inquiries will be answered thoroughly without requiring users to contact support immediately. In this way, potential buyers won't need as much information before making a purchase, increasing conversions easier overall.
#3 Amp up your digital marketing strategy
The final step that you will need to take in order to increase your eCommerce Business' sales is by amping up your digital marketing strategy. You want customers using all of their devices, including laptops, cell phones, and tablets, so they are always connected with what's happening on your website.
Your business should have a social media page for every major platform like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest that users can follow along with throughout the day because these platforms allow people around the world to connect quickly over various topics. Some companies also use LinkedIn, which gives them more opportunities for networking purposes. Once everything has been created, it's important that steps be taken daily towards keeping content fresh through updates about new products available, sales, or anything else relevant occurring with your company.
Over two billion people purchased their goods and services online in 2020 alone. While this makes e-commerce an excellent business opportunity, it also means you’re facing a lot of competition for those customers and challenges unique to online operations. With the likes of Amazon and Alibaba dominating the market and the e-commerce industry expanding at a rapid pace, growing an e-commerce business is no easy feat.
Like any business, the main objective is growth. But even if you’ve taken advantage of the move from brick-and-mortar stores to e-commerce to capitalize on a new revenue stream, steady growth isn’t guaranteed. You’ll not only need to figure out how to carve out a portion of that market for yourself but also learn how to overcome common e-commerce challenges.
Keep reading or use the links below to go directly to a specific section that addresses a problem you’re currently experiencing.
Choosing the right product mix is critical to long-term success. But in a highly competitive market, it’s virtually impossible to have a completely exclusive offering unless you manufacture and sell products directly to the consumer.
It’s common for businesses to invest in a product range they think customers will want but that doesn’t actually align with their target buyers’ needs or preferences. Likewise, many businesses put their faith in certain products only to find out that the same or very similar items are available elsewhere, cheaper.
If you find yourself with products that aren’t selling, rest assured that the majority of businesses go through a period of trial and error before settling on a product range that’s right for their customers. To mitigate the risk of costly missteps, however, make sure to:
Do a thorough market and competitor analysis, so you know what products are already out there before making an investment.
Define your target customer’s needs and preferences, so you can accurately evaluate if a product serves the right purpose.
Consider how you can differentiate your product mix to offer an alternative that’s a better value, better quality, or a more innovative solution to their problem.
2. Not understanding your customers
In a perfect world, your customer base would be a distinct group of people who share the same behaviors, preferences, and interests. However, in reality, most customers will readily switch from brand to brand as their needs change, your offerings change, and as competitors’ offerings change. This can make forming a reliable picture of your customer base a challenge.
Reporting and analytics are invaluable for tracking your customers’ behaviors, demographics, and actions on an ongoing basis. These reports and insights are often provided by tools such as your customer relationship management (CRM) software, inventory management software, or e-commerce platform.
You should analyze this data regularly. With the most up-to-date information, you can ensure you have the best understanding of current customer behavior and tailor your sales efforts accordingly.
3. Inability to handle multiple sales channels
Expanding your e-commerce business to multiple sales channels is one of the biggest challenges in e-commerce, no matter what you’re selling. This is especially true if you don’t have the right setup in place to properly manage all your inventory and orders. Having your own e-commerce store, plus other sales channels—Shopify, eBay, etc.—can be a lot to keep track of.
Before you make any major business decision regarding multi-channel selling, it’s imperative to ensure you have the right workflows in place. Streamlined operations enable a better customer experience and increased customer satisfaction, and also provide a solid platform for growth.
A cloud-based order management system like QuickBooks Commerce acts as a single source of truth (SSOT) for all your data, which is critical as your business expands to include more working parts. By having everything organized in one place, you can keep track of e-commerce sales across platforms and efficiently manage each channel.
4. Inventory management problems
Overstocking and understocking your products might seem like an unavoidable aspect of selling goods. However, if it’s a regular occurrence, it’s cutting into your bottom line. Having too much stock sitting around keeps your money tied up, meaning your cash flow is restricted. When that inventory becomes dead stock, you may end up taking a complete loss on remaining goods.
Not only are overstock and out-of-stock problems costly for growing businesses, but they also provide a poor customer experience and contribute to a negative brand reputation. Online shoppers want to buy from businesses who have what they need when they need it. If you’re constantly running out of popular items on your e-commerce site, your customers are likely going to look elsewhere.
Utilizing a robust inventory management system is the key to maintaining ideal stock levels. With an automated solution, your inventory levels are constantly updated as sales are made, allowing you to keep track of stock. With automated inventory tracking, you no longer have to worry about manual data entry, which can be time-consuming and inefficient. Before dedicating to one system make sure you’re asking the right inventory management questions for your business.
5. Setting prices
Pricing is a key aspect of launching e-commerce business and making sales. If your pricing is too high, online shoppers will simply turn to a competitor if there are other products similar to yours on the market. On the other hand, if your pricing is set too low, you’re losing out on revenue, which can be detrimental to your bottom line. This is why pricing is notoriously one of the biggest challenges in e-commerce.
So, how do you find the ideal price points for your goods and services? It starts with market research and ends with establishing a well-thought-out pricing strategy.
In addition to pricing your products in a way that helps you turn the most profit, you also need to consider other factors, such as shipping costs.
6. Marketing and driving traffic
You can take advantage of online marketplaces like Amazon to get your products in front of customers who are specifically looking for goods like yours. However, that shouldn’t be your only strategy. If you’re selling on several different sales channels, you need to be driving traffic to them, especially if you have your own e-commerce site.
The problem is that many small businesses struggle with marketing efforts. You’ll either need to invest the time to learn about marketing strategies or work with a professional marketer, but either way, it’s essential for e-commerce success. Some of the key digital marketing initiatives you should consider include:
Social media marketing to expose your brand to new customers and let current customers know about updates to your offerings.
Email marketing to retarget previous visitors, send reminders about online shopping carts, and send coupons to reward customer loyalty.
Another tactic e-commerce companies have had success with is influencer marketing. Look into your options and see what will realistically fit your budget, to figure out where to get started.
7. Failing to establish your own e-commerce website
Relying on online marketplaces to make all your retail sales for you puts you at a disadvantage. These e-commerce marketplaces and stores have countless products just like yours, meaning your brand can get lost in the sea of offerings. In this case, so much of the process is out of your control.
While you should keep selling on these marketplaces, you should also create your own site. Having your own e-commerce website gives you freedom and the opportunity to establish your brand.
With your own e-commerce site, you can:
Optimize the shopping experience for your core customers.
Emphasize what makes your brand different.
Have complete control over how your brand is presented.
Establish your own return and refund policies.
Choose which payment methods you want to accept and how payment is processed.
When you set up your business for online sales, invest in a high-quality design upfront, complete with user-friendly navigation and mobile-friendly functionality. Doing so will not only help set you apart from other online retailers, but it will also help you cater to the Google algorithm.