How Amazon Makes A Strong E-commerce Business

amazon

Amazon seems to stay one step ahead in the online retail industry, with a market value of $427 billion. How do they do it? How do they increase their revenue for past several years?

According to a Sellbrite infographic, the company, Amazon focuses on customer service and development than emphasizing on sales and profits.  The reason why 35% of the company’s revenue stems comes from purchases and upsells on the online store.

What’s making money is the retail sales, which describes for two-thirds of the company’s revenue stream. In the second place, the third-party retail sellers which are 17% of the revenue.

The infographic noted that Amazon is expected to grow and hit 50% of its e-commerce domination by 2021.

news source: www.techrepublic.com

 

2018: Predictions of Retail Selling

retail selling

Retailers are dramatically changing the current state of retail selling.  While e-commerce online stores rapidly increasing. More brick-and-mortar stores are closing.  People are making their buying decisions on e-commerce stores quickly.

E-commerce is expected to change faster as its current retail trends show that 51% of Americans prefer online shopping.  At least 23% year-over-year is growing and expectations of using voice assistants are already being used.  40% of millennials used voice assistants to make purchases online.  This will continue to grow as more consumers integrate digital phones and devices into their shopping habits.

With the retail closures, eight e-commerce experts share their thoughts on the future of e-commerce in 2018 and beyond. Here are the trends to be aware of.

From Tomas Slimas – Co-founder and CMO, Oberlo.

It’s never been easier to launch your own online store, find a product to sell, or start an advertising campaign. In the near future, we’ll see even more aspiring entrepreneurs breaking through into the world of e-commerce, who may not have had the means to do so previously.”

From James Gurd – Owner, DigitalJuggler.

In 2018 we’ll see more companies investing in chatbot services to automate part of their customer service process. The market for chatbots and automated customer service is growing; a Business Insider survey reported that 80% businesses expect to have chatbot automation implemented to some extent by 2020. A LivePerson survey of 5,000 consumers showed that 67% had used a chatbot for customer support in the last 12 months.”

From Visakan Veerasamy, Content Strategist, CandyBar.

I think the ‘ nobody is 100% offline anymore’ is the critical part. That and tech is getting more user-friendly & the users are getting more tech-savvy, which means there’s a whole new area between ‘ traditional e-commerce’ and ‘ traditional offline retail’ opening up — it will be an exciting space that rewards bold new entrants.”

From William Harris – E-commerce Expert – Elumynt

In 2018, e-commerce will see much better 1:1 personalization. It’s going beyond just‘recommended products’ based on everyone else’s buying habits, and instead, giving catered recommendations based on your individual preferences.

The times are changing and we’ll see more subscription-based products. Retailers must realize that they have to compete with online subscriptions to survive in the business.

Both brands and customers should be advised to take a different strategy and look at the future of online retail if they want to succeed and compete in the retail sector.

Life of a Virtual Assistant (Featured on MattBowd.com)

ivy jordan

I am honored to be featured on MattBowd.com “A Day in the Life of a Virtual Assistant”. I never thought of being interviewed by one of the most highly sought-after digital entrepreneurs, Matt Bowd. His drive to get into the digital business that is people focused and dedicated to good quality service.  Those words that made me think that getting to the next level is possible.

Competition is tough. When you’re helping people to get where they are, speak volume about who you are and what you do for a living. It is a positive and uplifting experience for someone like me who has gone through ups and downs all my years of finding my true calling.

I tell people what I do for a living. Somehow, the responses I get can be varied. I get questionable looks, invalidating and sometimes positive feedback. I understand that not all people are acquainted with the virtual industry. It is a reassuring experience to be a part of the digital world.

Knowing each journey I have gone through, has made me what I am today. Not following the traditional route to success has made me aware of the possibilities that are out there for me as a virtual assistant.

Read more about me at this link.  Let me know what you think. 

Top Automation Tools For E-commerce Business

e-commerce business

Online Tools For E-commerce Business

Becoming a business owner in handling your e-commerce business takes too many hands-on efforts to make sure your store runs smoothly. I research tools to make your life easier and be able to give your business the attention it needs.

1. Task Management Software.

Having a task manager helps you to achieve goals and be able to stay organized. The software reminds you of time and lets you set occurring schedules.

I recommend the following:

Asana  – I recommend it for anyone who is managing the small business team of 3 or more. What I like about this software is the ability to repeat tasks for a period of time and day. It helps me to identify which tasks are under a specific project.

Asana

Wunderlist – It’s as a professional collaboration tool and a personal organizer for any occasion. Usable for any devices that are compatible with Mac, Android, iPhone, Apple Watch, Windows Phone, Chromebook, and Kindle. It is free not unless you want to go Pro or Business.

Wunderlist

Evernote  – It comes in different plans, Basic, Plus, and Premium. The premium plan is only $5. 83. The free features only taking notes, tracking tasks and saving the information you find on the web. It has a feature called Web Clipper that I really like using.

Evernote

Dapulse – A visual project management tool. The nice feature about this program is the Board Project Template. It provides you to start from scratch or gives you the preview of templates you want to use. Here is a sneak peek below.

dapulse

2. Customer Support Software – Reaching out to customers can be time-consuming. Giving them the answers they need like purchasing a product, product concerns, payment issues and more. Implementing a help desk to make all customer service tasks efficient.

I recommend the following:

Zendesk – offers multi-channel support that includes live chat, call center software, analytics, reporting and group collaborations.

zendesk

Desk – All-in-one customer support tool that combines mobile support, multi-channels, case management and productivity tools. I heard a lot of positive reviews about Desk. They have plans like Standard, Pro and Business Plus. Free trial works only for 14 days.

desk

HelpScout  – The features are embed tools, 50+ applications, and integration, custom applications, email templates and signatures, Google apps, multiples mailboxes and more. Read all the features here. I have read positive and negative reviews about HelpScout. I observe that it depends upon your use of the software. Some people are confused about its interface. Some want to add additional minor changes that improve their quality of work. 

helpscout

3. Email Marketing Automation

Most consumers purchase after receiving a promotional email. A branded campaign is one of the tools to make sure your customer’s responses are recorded every device.

I recommend the following:

Mailerlite – I use this program to make creative and custom email newsletters. What I really like about Mailerlite is the drag and drop HTML editor and popups. It is hassle-free and takes less than a five minutes to make my own campaign.

mailerlite

MailChimp – The company has the most e-commerce integrations like connecting to Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce, Woocommerce, Prestashop and more. Their marketing automation is simple and the best that I used. Their customizable email templates help you to speed up the marketing process. You can even monitor your sales and website activity with their Google Analytics reporting features. Check all the features here.

mailchimp

AWeber – is one of the popular email marketing service providers. They target small to medium-sized businesses to manage their email marketing. My experience with AWeber is getting applications connected to the apps and WordPress. Using it was easy and effortless. Since 1998, they offer the best support and access to email tracking, templates, management, library of how to’s and tutorials.

Aweber

4. Finance Support – It is time-consuming to manage all your billing, invoicing and financial planning. By doing it right and by using the proper tools. You’ll stay on top of your business.

There are plenty of tools to choose from.

I recommend the following:

Quickbooks Pro Desktop – I recently attended training including the online version. I observed that the interface is understandable and easy to use. Using this software must have previous basic experience. For someone who does not have enough experience with Quickbooks. Try their online version and free trial for 30 days.

The online version caters to self-employed and small businesses. They currently have 50% discount for 6 months.

Quickbooks

Xero – A Mobile-ready platform that is ideal to monitor your financial transaction on the go. Most reviews say that Xero is manageable compared to Quickbooks when it comes to a smaller screened device. I have not tested Xero and its mobile features to give you a more detailed preview.

xero

WaveApps – is a free financial software for small business. The best feature is accessing the program anywhere using any computer with internet. What I love using it is their ability to invoice and bill clients on schedule. I can set recurring schedules on client monthly payments. Receive bills according to my monthly subscriptions like utilities, business payments, and expenses.

I schedule instant notifications to my email to send upcoming invoices, bills, and expenses. I like how it generates reports and statements. Here is a sneak peek inside WaveApps.

waveapps accounting

5. Website Analytics – Any e-commerce store needs to evaluate their performance in order to succeed. The life and blood for e-commerce stores to keep track the insights of their business. From traffic to conversions, down to the keywords you want to track.

Getting into analytics is complicated. Take an online free course before getting deeper into the analytics structure. Not all analytics are the same for every site.

I recommend the following:

Google Analytics – Free tool that you can start with. It is great for authority and blog sites. They do not accept affiliate sites. It is highly recommended for anyone starting out in the e-commerce business.

Google Analytics

Kissmetrics – It is called the Behavioral analytics and engagement platform. Your email campaigns are automated and every detail is all in one place.

kissmetrics

6. CRM Software – A tool to improve your relationship with your customers. You will be able to collect data from your customers and personalize their experience.

I recommend the following:

Infusionsoft – A powerful sales and marketing software that integrates with thousands of apps. Their features boast of centralizing client data, marketing automation, sales automation, online sales, analytics, payments, integrations and mobile support.

infusionsoft

Hubspot CRM – Free CRM tool for small businesses. It is easy to use and automatic sales processes. Good for companies with employees up to 1,000 employees. It centralizes all the information to keep track of the information for your business.

hubspot crm

Dapulse – A CRM and a Project tool in one with a visual interface. Keeps you on track customer interactions and improve sales. Fits your every need for a growing business.

dapulse

7. Inventory Management – Keeping track of your stock, manage inventory, sell more products and constant flow in and out of your business. Important data to oversee potential issues that might occur for any e-commerce business.

It would take a lot of time for you to manage everything without automation. The role of having an inventory management system is making sure you are organized. It also shortens lengthy business processes that end up ruining your business.

I recommend the following:

Plex Inventory Management – This cloud-based online inventory management helps you manage real-time and accurate inventory with vivid resolution. Specialize in manufacturing operations. It supports to keep you on track of records and activities of tools and products.  It is fully integrated with barcode printing and scanning.

Plex Inventory Management

Ordoro Business Operations Inventory Management – Boasts of having all these features in one package: Shipping, Inventory Management, Kitting, Dropshipping, Automation, Supplier Management and Advanced Analytics.

Their inventory management system is easy to use and organize. You can easily handle supplier and product information. Keep up with your workflow and be able to analyze your top selling products online.

Integrate this program with sales channels, shipping carriers, fulfillment services, accounting, point-of-sale, and tools.

Ordoro Business Operations Inventory Management

SIMMS 2014 Inventory Management – An affordable software designed for optimizing business inventory processes and makes it easy for you to use. It is specifically great for stock management. SIMMS handles mass business coordination and creates an environment very simple to understand.

SIMMS 2014 Inventory Management

TradeGecko – The best tool for modern merchants that offers the following features: Inventory Control, Inventory Optimization, Multi Warehouse, Order Management, Multi-Channel Sales, Wholesale, Sales Reports, Purchasing, Backordering, CRM, Order Fulfillment, Accounting, Batch and Expiry Tracking, Inventory reports, Price lists, and shipping.

The system allows you more time to organize and focus on your growing customers and e-commerce business. You can start a 14-day trial. Small business plans start at $199 per month.

TradeGecko

8. Marketing Automation – Get effective marketing campaigns on social media and on the web. The tool to focus on the right demographics and target market. Be able to get the right results and increase sales every time.

I recommend the following:

HubSpot – They provide an inbound marketing software that provides you responsive templates for website marketing, content with real SEO suggestions, personalized landing pages, personalized path to purchase and more.

HubSpot

Infusionsoft – All in one sales and marketing software that uses marketing automation targets small businesses. Achieve higher engagement on your business. This program is perfect for you. It helps you build marketing campaigns and landing pages. Their marketplace has ready-made campaign templates for you to use. They integrate website tracking to provide you real data to view customers efforts.

Infusionsoft

9. Social Media Management – Platforms or social media channels that help you to set up various marketing and content for your target audience. Automating all your social media makes the posting easy and efficient to execute.

I recommend the following:

Hootsuite – Simple dashboard user-friendly and efficient to use. I love using this tool. I have an app on my smartphone and it pleases me every day that I schedule and share my social media campaigns.

Hootsuite

Buffer –  Great social media management tool for collaboration and businesses. You can schedule up to 2,000 posts in advance. Be able to connect to 25 social media accounts. Get deep insights about your performance in getting to know your audience.

They have a free 14-day trial plan.  Plans for Small Business good for 25 social accounts, Medium Business good for 50 social accounts, Large Business good for 150 social accounts and Enterprise good for 150 plus social accounts.

Buffer

SproutSocial – The Top tool for every social media marketer. The software features an all-around platform that suits every e-commerce business needs. Manage your every social media on this powerful tool. It helps you to engage, publish your campaigns and measure analytics report with ease.

sproutsocial

Note: All links provided are direct sources of information for the article.

 

 

 

 

Create your own app with Appypie

Create your own app

Create your own app with Appypie as easy as 1-2-3

Competition and availability always play a major role in the e-commerce small business. In this industry, it is hard to keep up with businesses that started way ahead of you. Being able to stay consistent with the technology and developing strategies to keep winning proves to be a challenging approach.

Several e-commerce small companies branch out to a more advanced way of engaging their customers and stay afloat for the long term. Starting an application extends every online company into attracting mobile users. The end users as what they call them. Having a mobile application makes every end user access the services and products they want.

Appy Pie is a cloud-based mobile apps builder software that allows anyone with no programming skills to create Android and iPhone applications. Features include:

create your own appmobile casino

best workout appsloyalty card app

More features are read here.

The features are designed to make any entrepreneur stand out from any competition. You develop a custom app for any program development. Business owner, students and anyone with no knowledge are welcome to try the program.

One of the services they offer is the Student App Developer Program for University and School. Young or old are requested to join regardless of age. Everything is drag and drop. Easy customization options for any industry related app you want to develop.

Their program is compatible with iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows, and FireOS. They have helped and support built over 1 million applications worldwide. The company provides sales and live chat support. Currently, they have a limited offer 20% off on the plans.

They have in house developers that ensure your app meets the guidelines of the app stores. Not everything is for free. Except for the Free plan that allows you to edit your app within 48 hours. Not bad.

I recommend this mobile making software to anyone who wants to create your own app. Please feel free to browse the site.

Content source: Appy Pie

Upwork Job Scams: Tips To Avoid Them

upwork job scams

I want to share you some tips to avoid Upwork Job Scams even the “smart ones” from revealing your personal information. Worst case scenario is not getting paid for what you work and the getting the value you deserve.

Tip 1:

Assess their profile. Obvious signs are they just join Upwork. Check Member Since information on the right corner of the invitation or job.

Tip 2:

Under the About the Client, it says Payment Method Not Verified. It’s a red flag not to have a payment method within Upwork. Upwork made it possible to have a verified payment method to get your money securely. Not a short cut method. It is never going to work with a client who does not follow Upwork policies when it comes to the freelancer’s earnings protection.

Tip 3:

No interviews or no hire rate on their profile. There might be 1 or 5 more proposals. 1 interviews might be appealing. Seriously, it does not have a proven track record that it ever hired someone from Upwork. It rings a lot of bells. Just trust your gut.

Tip 4:

Information provided is too general. There is no company name. The name provided by the Human Resources department sound too good to be true. Check for the company resources online. There are a lot of resources about scammers and companies. Sometimes, they have all the information right. Ask a few questions about the job, the company, how are you going to be paid and contact numbers. Some scammers are able to answer these questions. Always have the name of the person who interviews you.

Tip 5:

No company ever sends you a check without completing a job! Ever! These type of scammers prey on your personal information and they are identity thieves. Be careful not to divulge any SSS or Tax No. No employer asks for information up front before you sign contracts.

Tip 6:

They use Google Hangout for interviews and use chat as means of getting to know you. Most of my clients use Skype and Google Mail. Be careful doing conversations with them without knowing the person first and who they represent.

Tip 7:

They use fake email addresses for companies. An example would be like “info_transcomworldWide@qswitchdns.net”. I actually applied to Transcom Worldwide and their email address is nothing close to what I read.

Tip 8:

Looking for freelancers with the lowest rates. They target people who are badly looking for jobs.

Tip 9:

You receive an invitation. You never send a proposal about the job. That’s alarming.

Tip 10:

They cut you off when you ask questions. Drop you out of the project without any warning. Good riddance!

Take my word for it. It is never easy in any freelancing organization where everyone is trying to get jobs and be paid. Learn your value. Don’t waste your time. Be wise!

 

 

Ways To Increase your Digital Marketing Tactics

digital marketing

Looking for the complete digital marketing course that will get you back on the right track? If your answer is YES. Check this skills based online company called General Assembly.

They offer Digital Marketing course that upgrades your skills in Analytics, Social Media, Google Adwords and Excel. Everything you need to know social advertising.

It is a 10 week part time course that helps you to use the most relevant tools, frameworks, and best practices to promote a brand, drive sales lead, and increase customer engagement.

Personally, I check this course a few days ago and they’re good. The only thing you need to know that some course offers are not for free. They come with a price.

I am not discouraging anyone who is interested to take a course at GA. There are always financing options if you want to get certified with the best source for training, staffing, and career transitions.

The gap in your knowledge in getting the right career you love is the cause for not booking enough clients and land more projects. Why not take the courses that are fit for you and harness your skill.

It is all about your skills and the opportunity that comes along with it. Make your passion an important aspect for yourself or your business. Grow and be a part of the thriving digital marketing environment that helps small businesses and e-commerce companies succeed.

Not now. Not Later. Today. Learn to grow. Learn to acquire the knowledge and skills you need. Be a part of the growing elite community that educates individuals and companies in demand of workforce in our changing economy.

Get award winning education and be in demand everywhere you go. Stand out in the crowd and get noticed by employers and small businesses. Check General Assembly to learn more.

Top 8 Mistakes in Ecommerce Business

Over and over again, newbies love to know which mistakes are common in starting an ecommerce business. I love to talk about this and sometimes find that I made particular mistakes as a beginner. Everyone wish to avoid the mistakes that we encounter all the time. Rather learning it the hard way, we ask veterans to share their experiences and thoughts about the mistakes occur in the business setting.

So I put together a list people shared with me what to watch out for in a start-up business.

  1. Waiting too long to launch a product or service. I admit I make this mistake. This links to a particular goal like getting 500-1,000 subscribers. Other goals that gets in the way of taking time to create a product or service. You need to put a product or service that will convert to sales not wasting time.
  2. Solving a problem nobody cares about. Little problems that does not bring a lot of sense.
  3. Not listening to your customers. Listen to the positive and negative remarks from customers. Find out why they make comments and try to do something about it. Choose to go beyond the what the customer really mean.
  4. Be unique. Learn how to make your business stand out admist the competition. Give them a reason to choose your business than the others. Get your customers to understand your business easily. Start with the right expectations. Never expect your business to be famous or in demand by over night. There is no such thing. Rewrite your business plan when you need to. Make it flexible and reflective of your goals.
  5. Spending too much time thinking. There is a saying that says “Actions are better than words”. Most of the time, effort gives you a lot of results than thinking. Make sure you plan your goals effectively and reach them.
  6. Going it alone. It is tough running a business alone. Having other people help you in your business will make the job easier. Delegation is the key to run a successful ecommerce business.
  7. Not starting at all. It’s easy to talk about starting a business for years and never do anything about it. If you don’t start, you will end up in frustration. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. You are not alone in your journey.

 

 

Source: www.fizzle.co

 

5 New Tools For Your Ecommerce Business

Running an online business is challenging and complicated. Factors like SEO and Analytics are a daunting task for a newbie who wants to have his own ecommerce shop. Having your own business means you have to enhance its credibility, add customer support, create rewards, manage online order fulfillment and many retail operations.

Managing an online shop can create problems if you’re not taking it seriously. Thats why online tools serves it purpose to lessen the tasks you need to do everyday. I am glad to show you some of the new tools to use for your business.

  1. HappyFox – Help Desk Software. A great tool for online retailers. It gives you the option for mobile purposes. It handles all customer support system like email, phone, web and chat requests into tickets. It integrates your social media accounts too. Specifically for Facebook. It integrates a chat widget on your website and offers various languages in accessing their self-service knowledge base.                                              
  2. Shipwire – Logistics, Supply Chain Management and Order Fulfillment. They offer a cloud-based platform to power your global logistics network. Their order fulfillment supports B2C and B2B commerce. They help you by connecting you to a network of fulfillment centers and optimize orders. They also offer Dropship solutions for retailers.              
  3. Cratejoy – Inventory Management, Traditional Ecommerce carts, Subscription Business. They help you setup unlimited subscription boxes for your business. Provide tools for shipping logistics, customer management and marketing.                
  4. Celery – Pre-order management. This tool accepts payment from Paypal and helps you get the information you need before sending the real product. One of their features is to automate your orders and help with the management of payments and back orders.                         
  5. AddShoppers – On-site Commerce Marketing Platform. A tool for all your marketing needs. Isn’t this heaven-sent? It quickly launches your marketing campaigns easily and save your time by providing a full management solutions for your company. This app helps your social media engagement with sharing buttons, social rewards and referral programs.

 

How To Open PayMaya Visa Account For Paypal Use

paymaya

PayMaya Visa is another way to withdraw money from Paypal. I encounter several people online looking for a way to cash out their money from Paypal. Clearly, they have no idea how to get a card that is easy and simple for them to use. I thought about doing research on available options of getting a prepaid visa card. That’s where I found PayMaya Visa services.

I thought SmartMoney was easy too. It was only available to Smart subscribers. It was not flexible. For the benefit of looking for an easy way to receive cash online. I opened an account at PayMaya.  Here are the steps I went through just to get verified by Paypal.

  1. I have to download the PayMaya app on my phone. You need to have the internet on your phone to be able to download it.
  2. Open the app and select Register. Indicate your personal information such as Name, Mobile Number, Email Address and Password. Please write your password if you forget it.
  3. Continue and wait for a message that has your activation code. Input the code on your PayMaya where it indicates the code.
  4. On the home page, you will see a green rectangle. Click on the x button above to close it. You will see your Account Number, Valid Thru, CVV2, and Name.
  5. After getting my account, I went to the nearest 7/11 store where an attendant helped me how to manage the Touch Kiosk. It is a simple interface where you need to select the PayMaya icon. Put in your mobile number and the cash amount you want to load.
  6. The machine generates a receipt for the cashier to process. You give the correct cash amount. After three minutes, it will show up in your HOME menu.
  7. Go to Paypal. Log in to your account. (If you don’t have Paypal, Sign up using “Receive Payments With Paypal”.
  8. Go to your Profile.
  9. Select Profile and Settings
  10. Go to Financial Information.
  11. To Add the PayMaya Visa Account. Click on Update. 
  12. Proceed to Add Another Card.
  13. Fill in the information.
  14. The system gives you a success prompt about your PayMaya Visa account.
  15. Find your PayMaya Visa account and proceed to Confirm your card.
  16. Go through the Paypal verification process. Once you click this, a coded message will be sent to your mobile phone.
  17. Paypal sends the coded message immediately once you click confirm.
  18. Once you have the code, enter the Four digit code by clicking on the option below.
  19. The code is between PP* and CODE. PayMaya sends you a unique code. Do not copy this code.
  20. Enter the code carefully to minimize mistakes. You only have three attempts to enter the code.
  21. Success. Congratulations! Wait for 24 hours for the activation. You can use your PayMaya Visa online and load more cash at any PayMaya partners. You can also ask an upgrade (Visa Card) through their Facebook page.

 

You have to wait till your account available for use. You can buy a card online for 150 pesos only if you want to withdraw your cash at any Bancnet atm. You need to register at their online site and order the card using Paypal payment. Any customer inquiries and issues are welcome on their Facebook page.