Internet marketing tip- considered e-commerce

 

66.  Attend as many trade shows and relevant conferences as possible. If you cannot go send someone in your place. This is a good way to discover new business connections.

67.  What are you selling? You have some options depending on what you are selling for shopping cart systems. If you are selling subscriptions which are a means of protecting content from non subscribers, an internet marketing tip is to use a service such as Amember, or use the WrodPress plugin Member Wing which has similar facilities. If you are selling software use one of the specialist platforms such as regnow.com. These will integrate payment with the emailing of registration details to buyers that enable them to unlock the product they have purchased. For physical products you have the choice of either hosting a payment system on your server or outsourcing to a third party supplier. Try osCommerce which is a PHP based open source ecommerce packages which you download and install on your server. It is particularly good, I am told, for those who have a wide range of products and who are prepared to spend time configuring it so it matches the look of your site and integrates with your payment processors. If however you have a limited product range then use the WordPress plug in known as WP Shopping Cart which is a free plugin with additional features that can be bought later on.

68.  For payment systems the most straight forward choices are Google Checkout and PayPal. For PayPal you will need a PayPal business account and for Google Checkout you will need a Google Checkout Merchant account; both are fairly easy to set up. In each case a small amount of money is automatically deposited into your chosen bank account. This is used to check that you do indeed own the account. To complete the process you will be asked to type in the amount of the deposit that was made, then allow a bit of time- mine was completed in a week- to complete the process. Both options allow non-members to pay by credit card. However PayPal will not allow a credit card that has been registered against a PayPal account to be used independently. Therefore, if you are a member, you can only pay via PayPal and not using your credit card.

69.  Hosted ecommerce may be a solution for you. Whilst having your cart on your own server gives you control it also gives you responsibility for everything and you will have to pay up front for the software. Another option is to go down the hosted route and use a system such as Big Commerce to host it for you. There is a free trial period too. Hosted e-commerce within BigCommerce is worth using if you have a large number of products, you are expecting to make repeat sales to the same customers, have products that vary greatly in weight and if your are expecting to grow significantly- BigCommerce will be able to accommodate your expansion needs.

70.  eBay and Amazon are   good options to consider if you need infrastructure and have physical products to sell. The basic idea is that you link up with an existing providers system and benefit from the search based interface used by most shoppers, whilst having a catalogue style that people can browse. You can list your products individually and benefit from a shop front that gives you added visibility and credibility. There are a range of fees to understand so read the information provided carefully. Amazon is similar but you can only sell items that already appear in the Amazon system. Search for the product you have to sell, click ‘I have one to sell’, specify the condition and price. As with eBay there are fees to be aware of so please read the information provided carefully.

.  71.  Build a Landing page for the product or products you wish to promote. If this sounds daunting, hire a geek to do this for you.

72.  Have a regular sale day. Or, regularly offering discounts will not only increase your sales and visibility but also attract links to your stores.

73.  Use product bundles to simplify/reduce too much choice and increase value per purchase

74.  Make sure you have a privacy policy

75.  Use reputable autoresponder services which obey anti-spam regulations so that you ensure that your customer’s details remain on your system rather than being stolen by hackers

76.  Use PayPal, Nochex or World Pay to make sure that your users’ credit card details are never stored on your server but only on the secure servers of those service providers, each of whom has policies to protect them from fraud.

77.  Let your customers know how they/their details are protected. Include the company logos of suppliers on your site and also on your landing page. Link the logos to the service providers’ consumer protection policy pages (ensuring as mentioned before that the link opens in a ‘new window’).

78.  Issue a press release for your new products or site. You can issue free releases at Press box, PrLeap, i-Newswire, Pr.com, ClickPress, Free_Press_Release; PrWeb. One of my Twitter followers Jeff Bullas wrote an excellent piece which I retweeted on the new rules of digital PR. Simply visit Twitter, search my followers for Jeff Bullas and locate the tweet. It really is worth a read.

79.  Consider joining an association such as Safe Buy which has an accreditation scheme that will reassure your buyers.

80.  Notify the Information Commissioner’s Office that you will be storing personal data- you can find them atwww.ico.gov.uk/what_we_cover/data_protection/notification.aspx

81.  If you can, use testimonials on your site –social proof at its best. There is some debate as to how effective these are on landing pages; however they are effective on sites used properly. Internet Marketing Tip -an easy way to get testimonials is to ask customers what they think of your site as part of a customer satisfaction survey. Ask the questions that will help you get the most information. Let them know you will use their comments on your website whilst reassuring them that their full name will not appear. I have collected quite a few testimonials this way- however I am not sure yet where to put them

 

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Ihubbusiness is an information hub for small businesses who wish to learn about internet marketing. The site was founded by Lola Bailey in 2010. Lola is a member of the Institute of Digital Marketing and has over 20 years sales and marketing experience. She is also a full-time copywriter at www.write-upcommunications.co.uk, a copywriter consultancy which she founded. Email: editor@ihubbusiness.co.uk

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