Roy's Blog: Marketing

March 18, 2019

How can small & independent retailers survive? — infographic

We have seen a huge upheaval in retail in the last decade or so. The advent of the Internet means that consumers are the winner with so much choice from literally all over the world to spend their disposable income.

People don’t need to leave their homes to buy any product they desire so obviously this presents a huge challenge to all retailers, no matter their size.

Price too has become a battleground because Internet-only retailers don’t have the extra costs associated with having a physical store, store staff and other related overheads.

They can be leaner models and some then choose to pass those savings onto their customers. Offline and brick and mortar retailers are fighting back but we’ve seen many retailers fail as they simply cannot battle against the lower cost position of the online retail world.

So what about the independent or smaller retailer who doesn’t have the backing of a board, that doesn’t have systems in place to become leaner but do feel their brick and mortar offering has lots to give to consumers in terms of experience and choice?
Do they have a future or are they doomed to fail in the rising challenge of their online only counterparts?

The answer is no, they shouldn’t fail but they definitely need to be really strategic in fighting back. They need to understand those tools and skills available to them to grow and increase their retail business and make their store stand out to customers.

The guys from Storetraffic put this infographic below together that outlines everything you need to know about this niche.

The struggles, the opportunities, they’re all explained in this graphic to hopefully arm these smaller / independent retailers with the tools and knowledge they need to progress and grow.

Check out the full infographic below…

  • Posted 3.18.19 at 04:26 am by Roy Osing
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December 19, 2018

4 silent killer marketing strategies for new age small businesses — guest post

For any small business today, gaining the advantage over your competition can be tough work.

Killer strategy

The sheer scale of competition which exists is quite hard to get over, in any industry. Even the smallest of towns is likely to have at least one competitor waiting for you.

For that reason, getting your marketing strategy just right is so important.

Not sure how to beat the competition as a small business with a limited scope and budget?

Here are some good ideas. Use these, and you can very quickly make a telling impact on your visibility.

Get set up on Google My Business

As the most popular search engine by far, Google is where most of your resources should be going. Google My Business is very important as it
— adds credibility to your business and
— boosts visibility on searches.

It should be a major part of your small/local business advertising strategy. You will soon find that using a tool like GMB works as it allows you to easily rank higher simply by filling in the profile. If you really want to make big gains with GMB, then hiring a social media marketing manager makes a lot of sense.

Simply showing yourself as a professional who has his/her own GMB page, though, will make you seem much more approachable and professional. For that reason, it’s worth trying out.

Optimized correctly, GMB could help you to bring in a huge amount of organic visibility.

Make use of social media

Social

Secondly, make as much use of social media as you can.

With billions of users across platforms like Facebook, you can easily run cost-effective advertising campaigns with huge reach and immense potential.

I recommend that you work with a social media marketing advertising expert to help you get the ads right, though. While they are cost-effective, like any other kind of advertising you will burn through a lot of money if you aren’t sure what you are doing.

However, the ease of ad testing and multiple A/B testing solutions makes it easy for you to find a winning, profitable ad without breaking the bank.

As far as paid-for advertising for small businesses goes, making use of social media is a winner. Don’t try and push forward without a consultation, though, as it’s easy to waste resources without a clear marketing plan in place.

Run a webinar

How often do you find yourself answering the same old questions to customers? Do you wish that you could make it easy to point them to an easily understood, relatively short but fully detailed answer?

Then do a webinar.

These can be easily hosted on live streaming platforms like YouTube, and can make it easy to answer common questions and complaints in your industry. You could use your webinar to help answers common questions, go into detail about an upcoming industry change or simply ask for some feedback from those who are present.

Either way, running a webinar makes a lot of sense as it allows you to showcase your authority and give people information for free. People love value, especially from a small business. With a webinar, you answer questions for them, you give them valuable information (for free) and you prove your expertise.

Awesome, right?

Write

Write an article (or articles)

Want some exposure that will only take you some time to put together? Then write an article. You could send it to local media or local/niche blogs that fits with your business. You can make it easy to get a lot of exposure in a short and simple amount of time – all simply by using your expertise and knowledge.

If you are a good writer, then you can do this yourself and just spend some time writing. If you are not a good writer, then jot down a series of popular and important points and hire a freelancer.

I recommend that you write up a few pieces you can offer to sites right away (though only give one article per website: never send the same piece to two sites unless one rejects it) so that they can see what you are made of as a writer.

Doing this, you can easily boost exposure with people who are interested in what you have to say. You can also make it easier for your business to be seen and for your reputation to grow. You are giving people free advice and information – it’s only natural they’ll be curious to see what else you have to offer.

For any small business wishing to get ahead of the chasing pack, these conventional ideas should make that easy.

Small business marketing does not have to be complex or taxing: simply thinking a little outside the box, or using inside-the-box methods well, can make a huge difference.

So, where will you start?

David Guetta is a entrepreneur and freelance writer. He works closely with B2B businesses providing marketing, business, technology, content that gains social media attention and increases their search engine visibility.

Guetta

  • Posted 12.19.18 at 04:03 am by Roy Osing
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December 14, 2018

5 ways to make the payment process easy for clients — guest post

Millions of people are doing their shopping online on a daily basis. Making it easy for clients to pay for your products and services is surely a cute way of increasing sales and conversions.

Coins

This is exactly why you really need to have a good checkout page — where they become paying clients. Making it extremely easy for shoppers to pay on your site will motivate them to return and even refer your business.

Here are 5 ways that can actually make payment process easy for your clients:

Provide a variety of payment methods

This is very important because there are some websites that provide only one payment option. Multiple sources say that over 50% of clients expect you to have a variety of payment options on your checkout page.

Try as much as possible to offer any conceivable payment option available at your disposal. Before you do this, take time to research and make sure you get payment options that your target audience would love.

If you are able to do this, then you will captivate the attention of most people visiting your site. Some good ideas are also allowing for payments from multiple credit cards, direct bank transfers etc.

Make errors easy to fix

It is important to know that mistakes are inevitable; so while shopping on your website, there is the high possibility that someone may make mistakes, which could be forgetting the zip codes, or forgetting to add ‘@’ when writing their email address.

Your job at this point is to fix the error. So, you need to be working with a customer friendly team that will correct the error as fast as possible.

Another good way of helping people to pay is to by saving the personal details they submit — people’s personal information should be handled with utmost confidentiality. Many customers get frustrated when they are asked to resubmit all the information again just because they made one mistake.

Keep distractions to a minimum

Your checkout page is the final step. Many people are busy, they just want to click the ‘buy’ button, pay for the item and leave your site.
So, make sure you don’t distract them from completing their checkout process as quickly as possible.

You can avoid distracting them by making sure you don’t put any advertorial beside the “submit” button, because this may likely be going to distract them. Your number one objective here is to encourage them by showing them the easy process that will allow them to make their payments as fast as possible.

Distractions

Be flexible with payment type

There are many payment options that are available to customers such as external card readers, vouchers, coupons, checks, credit cards, etc.

All these can help them to make purchases. We are living in a cashless economy, so paying cash is now a thing of the past. If you are a retailer, it could be difficult for you to maintain varied payment options.

However, you will need to do this, because your customer will like you to provide different tender types. So that the customer can have an option of using any suitable payment method. If these options aren’t available, it may be difficult for your customers to return.

Keep in mind that working with varied tender types will require employee training, huge investment in technological options, as well as regular adjustment of your sales system.

The wish of every customer is to have the option of paying in their preferred method, and as a retailer, this is something you must offer.
If you can provide this, you will make your business very attractive and will surely outsmart your competitors.

Reward and recognize clients

Rewarding and recognizing your clients is the surest way of growing your brand. Celebrate them when they buy from you, virtually every customer likes to be appreciated for their contributions to your business.

Make sure you do this so that you won’t give your competitors the opportunity of taking the business away from you.  Ask for your customers’ feedbacks, invite them to a special function, and give them a referral bonus or discounts.

Your site should have a blog section, where you share interesting things happening around your business and niche. Provide value to them by teaching them awesome tips like how to benefit from the opportunities in debt settlement, business, management, technology etc.

Having a good shopping cart will motivate people to click the purchase button. So, do everything humanly possible to make your checkout page easy to use, and highly convenient for users.

Your checkout page is where you turn window shoppers or visitors to paying clients.

Please try to follow the tips described above, and you will not only boost your sales but will also create a great experience for people that come to your site.

— Focused on providing information for anyone in need of debt relief, Jackson Maven writes a blog on debt settlement, debt consolidation, tax debt relief and student loan debt which helps to find the debt solution that fits their unique needs no matter the amount of debt they are in.

Jackson Maven

  • Posted 12.14.18 at 04:04 am by Roy Osing
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October 24, 2018

5 easy ways to use Instagram to grow your business — guest post

If you have successfully set up an Instagram account for your business, then you are on the right track. However, setting up the account is the easier part, finding followers and converting them into customers is the hardest part. You must be looking for strategies and methods to grow your business with Instagram.
Worry not, we’ve got you covered with our 5 different ways to grow your ecommerce business with Instagram.

These tips will help you connect with your audience, build relations with influencers, and bring in more sales for your online business.

Create content your customers want

Make sure that you craft a niche for yourself and create content that resonates with your audience. If you have a fitness-related business, then your posts should be a mix of fitness tips, product showcase, motivational quotes, etc.

Instagram

It’s up to you to figure out what your audience likes and what they want to see. If there are any content themes or style that resonates with your audience, then you should cover that aspect. Once you figure out what works and what doesn’t, start posting images, videos, quotes, and promotional content that ties into your business and resonates with your target audience.
A great way to find out what your audience loves is by researching your competition. Check out what your competitors are posting and take that as inspiration for your content.
You can also take inspiration from popular websites and blogs in your industry. Always keep in mind that engagement is the REAL King. You need to populate your account with content that gets real engagement.

Actively engage with influencers in your industry

One of the easiest and fastest ways to go higher in Instagram ranks is to build and maintain relationships with Instagram influencers in your industry. These influencers already have a massive fan-following and getting your brand a mention (shout-out) from one of these influencers can give your Instagram profile and your overall brand image instant credibility.

Bloomingdales

Influencers get approached by popular brands and companies on a very consistent basis because their single post provides a lot of value to these brands. So, most of these influencers offer paid shoutouts while some of them do so organically for free.
You can start off by commenting on their photos, videos, and other posts. You can also tag them in your content, they will receive a notification every time you tag them in our posts. This way they will become familiar with you and your brand and will be more receptive to your offer.
You can also offer them free samples of your products so they can review them and mention them in their posts. This way your products will be in front of a large audience that trusts the particular influencer and value their word.
However, be very selective of who you connect with. Look for influencers that have a high engagement rate and are known to get their followers to take some action.

Use strong call to action on your profile

There are a lot of companies and brands that have started posting on Instagram. Sadly, their content lacks any goal. They never tell their audience where to go or what to do.
For this purpose, you need to always use (Call to Actions) in your content, on your bio, etc. The call to action should be clear and should direct your followers to your store or product page. You have nearly 150 characters to use in your Bio, so make a witty CTA that works best with your audience.
If you are selling physical items, then posting images and videos about your products should be your go-to strategy. However, what adds extra oomph to your content is when you add CTA in your comment section. Mention your item in the comments section, provide a link to the sales page and direct people to the page.

Make your product images shoppable by tagging them

We already talked about using Call to Action in your content and bio. Now, comes the advance CTA usage. Having your product images tagged is a great way to increase your overall sales.
Tagging your products in your Instagram images provides a very clear CTA and makes it very simple for your followers to purchase from you. Instagram has recently allowed business accounts (in select countries) to tag items in their content, similar to how you tag people.

Instagram1

The setup is quite simple. You can quickly transform your Instagram profile into a sales channel with just a couple of clicks.
Here are the steps to get you started:
— Create a “Shop” section on your Facebook Business page which is connected to your Instagram business account
— Add your products to the Facebook page. Wait for a notification from Instagram that says you can now start tagging products. It takes a few days for the approval.
— Now, Whenever you are posting an image on Instagram, click the “tag a product” option, and you should see a list of all your product from the Facebook shop. Tag each product accordingly.
Whenever a viewer clicks a product tag, they are taken to the product page to buy it.

Pay attention to analytics

Finally, you should keep a close eye on the analytics inside your Instagram account. This area provides you with very useful information and data that can be used to increase the engagement on your content.
You can also see when your followers are active on Instagram under the “Audience” tab. You can break this down to each hour and plan your future content according to the peak times.
Pay attention to the photos and content that gets the most likes and comments, this is what your target audience prefers. You can use this data to curate content that your audience loves and increase overall engagement.

Hopefully, these easy-to-follow tips will help you grow your business with Instagram. Feel free to let us know what other methods you use on Instagram to grow your business.

Saleem Ahrar is well-versed in knowledge about ecommerce strategies, digital marketing, and entrepreneurship. He spends his time testing new approaches, hacks, and tricks to help the e-commerce community.

  • Posted 10.24.18 at 03:55 am by Roy Osing
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