The Importance of Your eCommerce Site for Your Business

It is plain to see why a poorly designed website can be a major problem to online businesses, most especially during the holiday season, which covers 20% to 40% of the yearly sales.

In this regard, those who need data validation can refer to the stats that explain the importance of your brand's presence on the Internet:

  • Before people shop at a physical store, they often check websites of online stores.

  • Customers search online for the prices and availability of goods so they would know whether to shop online or at physical stores.

  • During an economic crisis, consumers exercise caution when shopping online to stretch their budget, resulting to an increase of website traffic.

  • Shoppers that tend to purchase downloadable gifts like eBooks, music and FB credits, among others, will likely buy more.

Optimize Your Online Site Immediately

Now that you are aware of your site's importance, what should you do before the holiday season approaches? It is never too late to try some of these strategies:

Prepare for unexpected traffic.Plan ahead of time to make sure that your site can manage all the orders. Anticipate peak loads, observe the responsiveness of your site and assessment application performance way before Cyber ​​Monday.

Increase the speed of your site. Use a CDN (content delivery network) for a speedy delivery of relevant content with videos and images to your consumers.

During the holidays, most shoppers use their mobile devices to search online before heading for the stores. Therefore, it would be wise to incorporate an in-store experience with info regarding your well-timed and relevant personalized website and mobile apps.

Find ways to let the customers easily find your products on the web. To improve exposure, submit a feed to the top online shopping comparison engine, Google Product Search. Try the Amazon Marketplace or add pay-per-click ads to Amazon Product Ads' product and category pages. This way, shoppers will be able to view your ads when they find products that are similar to yours.

Although social media is not the main channel for searching, it has targeted the main stream and has since gained importance, specifically to GenY shoppers. Transform visitors into sales channels by including social sharing in product pages. Display good customer service in public by resolving issues with customers on networking sites like Facebook or Twitter.

People who are low on budget usually search online before buying, so it is a good idea to follow the example of various sites in making it fun, simple and efficient to shop on the web. Provide product filters, rich product details, comparison tools, well-designed navigation and recommendations. Enhance the images of your best-selling products, emphasize your value propositions and make sure that shipping and return policies are clear.

Fix your leaky conversion funnel immediately by adding simple and cost-efficient website usability and feedback tools.

Whenever possible, ask for the visitor's email address and try to squeeze a lot of value out of each sign-up.

Try to employ remarketing campaigns so you can target consumers who take time to buy.

Internet Marketing Systems Cost Money – Read This First

Who Am I

I'm not going to attempt the normal practice you'll see all over the internet, and especially when being sold Internet Marketing systems, of telling you how poor I was and how cold it was living under a bridge in New York. I do not believe any of that any more, having read it in almost every other sales pitch on the 'net. No; I'm an ordinary healthy bloke, nearly fifty, married with two kids, and four grandschildren. I am very blessed to live in New Zealand, own the home, drive a nice car, have plenty of work as an independent contractor, and am priviledged to fly the old DC-3 Dakota for fun.

So why am I getting into Internet Marketing? Because I have ten to 15 years of useful working life left, before my value to my customer base diminishes. Nobody wants to engage old farts, and there is no leverage in selling my time. When I take a day off, a day's pay is lost – for good! While I do do the good life, I do have debt and do not wish to retire that by selling assets. I am determined to pay off all the debt, while also enjoying my lifestyle, and more. I want to replace my income, and boost it!

Internet Marketing Costs Money

If you are down to your last five bucks, go buy a lottery ticket! You will not turn your luck around on the internet, and establishing yourself on the net is going to cost money. I'll be honest, I've spent in the order of $ 2,500 on cost per click (CPC) marketing maybe two years ago, to make $ 40 after several months which I never collected; And another $ 800 – 1,000 in the last three weeks getting started up again. I'll be honest, I've made $ 26.40 so far, and that was within the first few days. Since then, nothing! So I'm not a guru, but I am here to tell you what I've learned.

I've bought three products in the last three weeks:

  • A Cost Per Action (CPA) Pay Per View (PPV) system,
  • A web page template system, and
  • A traffic generation system.

What I bought does not matter, but here's what I've learned. These systems are good, and I've no doubt that they're going to work when I get them all tuned up. One warning though, these systems sell flat out so do not expect a personal response to your questions. These guys have email engines set up to deal with the sales process. They're not sitting at their desk serving your questions very often. Face it, they've made it already and they're out on the beach!

Lessons I've taken from the last few weeks:

  • There is no instant money system, everything needs setting up and that takes time and money;
  • After your first purchase you will always be upsold, always; And
  • You are going to have to do some homework, there are some things you'll have to learn for yourself.

It Costs Money and There's Always More

Typically here's what will happen. You'll see an advertisement for a 'sure thing' marketing system. You'll watch a very reliable video, and you'll decide to spend the first $ 40 – 60.00. Once you've bought the system, you'll be offered a set of 'copy and paste' campaigns that you can put to work right away, then another bonus that will save you months and months of learning on your own. Within 20 minutes you'll have spent over $ 500.00. Next, you'll discover that you need to set up an account with a CPC network, or a PPV network; And that you need to register a domain. This will all cost you more before anything starting to offer your advertisements, or sell a thing. Nothing for it really, but to knuckle down, persevere and do the work. Be prepared to fund some set up costs, and feed the networks until you've learned what works! It does not need to be expensive, but it will require some time and funding.

Buy In Steadyly

The good news is that you can buy in for just the initial sign up fee, usually of $ 75 or less. The trick once you've bought that is to read the following offers carefully then decline them. Each time you decline, the offer will be discounted – up to three or four times more. Decline them and get started with the basic package. The first introductory lesson will tell you not to worry if you did not buy the special or the bonus, as you can still follow though and they'll be available to you anyway. Take the time to go through the training that comes with these packages and follow through with the required action. The lack of the bonus offers will not hinder your learning. Buy the bonus packages when you're set up and ready to use them; They'll be worth it then.

If you look at the detail on a lot of these pages, they're at least two years old and still selling. Compare the dates on the 'evidence' they present. Do not give in to the urgency of the offer. It's there to upsell you.

While I would not buy a system that has not got a money back guarantee, I'll treat that guarantee with some skepticism. Be prepared to ask for your money back though if the system is not performing for you and especially if the upgrade package is not available to you.

Summary

Getting into Internet Marketing is no different to getting into any other business, it costs money, takes time, and requires you to learn and apply lessons. You'll need to put time into setting up pages and systems. Dont let that knock you back though; While it costs money, it's not outrageous. Consider it an investment in a business, and you'll be on the right track; Think of it as the silver bullet, and you'd be better to go buy a lottery ticket!

Good luck. Get started, and stick with it. See you on the beach one day!

Using Digital Printing to Promote Your Business

Promoting your business may not be as hard as you first think. If well thought out, the daily running of your business can have a major impact on your marketing. Business people travel around on a day to day basis doing business. Customers also travel around and will take note of a well positioned advert, maybe on your building, on an employee, on a vehicle or by a local attraction.

There is a recession going on. Businesses can not afford to stop promoting themselves. Astute businesses will be looking for ways to market themselves at lower cost. One very effective technique is to create an offer, discount or enhanced service to promote your business to new customers and promote this using mobile advertising. Clever advertising has a call to action, for example a website or telephone number.

Digital printing is a very broad term, which covers a variety of products. The main point for business owners to bear in mind is that digital printing generally means that marketing activities can be undertaken in much smaller campaigns and at lower cost than at any other time in the past.

Magnetic Signs
Magnetic signs come in all shapes and sizes. Magnetic signs are very versatile; You can have several graphics and messages to enable you to choose different messages for different jobs.

Foamex Printing
A foamex display is like mobile exhibition stand that can be put up at any opportunity to promote your business in a useful context. This need not be restricted to work related opportunities, why not have a really eye catching board made up for your car window so that your car can promote your business while you are doing your shopping? This will not appeal to everyone but there are certain products and services for which it may be an excellent strategy.

Window Manifestation
Having an eye catching window graphic is a technique often overlooked by business owners. This is particularly the case if your business is positioned in a busy thoroughfare or junction. Window displays work in the same way that television adverts do and people who regularly pass will start to register the message given by your window manifestation in a subliminal way. This is very powerful.

The initial outlay to have a window professionally covered is not as expensive as you may think and considered over the many years that it will serve your business it can only be a great investment.

Exhibition Graphics
You may be surprised to see exhibition graphics included in a list of low cost ways to promote your business. Large exhibitions may well be an excellent forum for promoting a business but we all know that they are not a small financial commitment.

A business can create a small portable exhibition stand which can be taken to locations such as leisure centers, hotel receptions and golf clubs to create a smaller exhibition scenario at a fraction of the cost.

Everyday will give the determined business owner an opportunity to promote his business at relatively low cost utilizing fundamental day to day things that would need to be paid for anyway. Maximize your impact, utilize your assets, let your business do some marketing for you.

RMS Titanic Insurance Claims

It is exactly 100 years since the pride of the White Star Line, the RMS Titanic, hit an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean and sank with the loss of over 1500 lives.

The centenary has prompted many insurance companies on both sides of the Atlantic to publish documents relating to the greatest maritime loss to date in relative costs, mostly showing their company’s involvement with claims payouts.

When the Titanic sank on the 15th of April 1912, the Lutine Bell was rung at Lloyd’s of London, and a very rapid claims process was begun.

A few months earlier the ships owners, the White Star Line, had instructed insurance brokers Willis Faber and Co. to find cover for the hull, cargo, contents and personal effects of the ship. Willis Faber passed the ‘slip’ to their Lloyd’s mercantile division where it was assessed and subsequently underwritten by multiple syndicates and insurance underwriters acting on behalf of members.

The Titanic’s hull was insured for total loss for $5 million or just over one million pounds sterling at the exchange rate of the time. The policy also included total loss cover for cargo at $600,000 and contents at $400,000 a value equivalent to two hundred thousand pounds.

The original broking slip passed around Lloyd’s has been lost, but was photographed and can be seen in Wright and Fayles book of 1928 called ‘A history of Lloyd’s’. It shows that seven large insurance companies took nearly forty percent of the risk between them and the other sixty percent was underwritten by over seventy individuals and Lloyd’s ‘Names’.

According to documents recently released by Willis the marine insurance policy cost White Star £7500 or $38,000 to insure the Titanic at a rate of 15 shillings per hundred. Modern day rates for cruise liners are considerably lower.

The Ship was considerably underinsured for a value of only five-eighths of its replacement cost. This was apparently because the owners thought the hull to be unsinkable and were prepared to bear the additional $3 million dollars of risk themselves.

Willis state that despite the owners belief in the vessel being unsinkable, they had trouble placing all the hull cover at Lloyd’s and some forty thousand pounds was underwritten in Germany. There was also an extremely high excess or deductible of 15% of the insured value.

Four days after the Titanic sank the US senate held a preliminary investigation at the Waldorf Hotel in New York. The surviving officers of the ship presented their evidence to the panel describing the events of the sinking and signed what is called a ‘protest’ which enable insurance claims to be paid.

Incredibly White Star were reimbursed for the loss of the hull within seven days of the sinking, presumably minus the excess, and fully paid up on cargo and contents losses within thirty days.

They were however grossly underinsured for their liability to others given the value of the people on board. Claims against the company exceeded their cover by over $1 million and whether they had private P and I accident cover for their staff liability, remains a mystery. Suffice to say that payouts to families of lost members of the crew, were paltry.

Claims for the loss of people amounted to in excess of five times what the value of the ship was worth, for those lucky ones who happened to have had life insurance policies or had taken out travellers personal accident cover. Although no disputes about loss of life occurred, families had to wait a lot longer than White Star for compensation.

The final payout for human losses has never been fully asserted as over one hundred and fifty different life of accident insurance companies were involved in cover, on both sides of the Atlantic. American companies took the bulk of the claims, due to the many rich entrepreneurs and millionaire family members who were drowned.

The total loss is estimated to be in the region of $20 million and one of the largest payouts was by the Travelers Insurance company of Hartford who paid out a life policy for over $1 million.

The sinking of the Titanic also brought about the first and only insurance claim for a car being hit by an iceberg, by a Mr William Carter who claimed five thousand dollars for his 25 horse power Renault, lost at sea.