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.

 

 

 

 

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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!

 

 

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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

 

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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.

 

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How To Build Your Personal Website

Building a personal website can be easy, fun and complicated. When you choose to build it yourself, you face the toughest competition on the internet on making it look professional and unique. You ask yourself what type of website do you want to make? Or how can you attract viewers with the look and feel of your site? Do you even have to compare your site to the others? What do you want to be known for?

Here are tips to build your website online.

  1. To build a foundation for your website, you need to build balance of what is important for you. For example, if you want to put up a blog site. Choose a blog style theme that you can write articles or post videos.
  2. Get ideas on what to name your site. A good domain name that sound goods and easy for people to remember. Try Namemesh tool if you do not have any ideas.
  3. Decide to have a free or paid site. To start with no investment, go for free blog resources. Sign up at WordPress to get your free blog. To get a paid blog, look for blog hosting or starter hosting with a free domain for you to start easily. I use Bluehost as my hosting provider.
  4. Educate yourself about your blog interface. Check on the available applications and programs that are compatible with your site.
  5. Research your niche and make necessary adjustments to make your site standout.
  6. Know the SEO descriptions of your site.
  7. Search for related Google Keyword tools to make your site appear on the search results.
  8. Learn how Google Webmaster Tools works and how it will enhance your website.
  9. Have a customized logo and personal picture so you can establish web presence.

Make your site personal so readers identify themselves with you. Show that you are legitimate and take time to build a site that is going to last. Getting a professional website will cost you money and too complicated for you (if you do not know anything about CSS, HTML or even JAVA.)

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8 Attitudes That Are Important At Work

Every company that hires people have their own standards when it comes to hiring the right person for the right position. Skills and experience are the most important characteristic of an employee. Though attitude plays a greater role in becoming successful. The question lies within in seeking out professionalism and ensure harmonious environment within the company.

There are 8 attitudes that you can practice to be successful at what you do.

  1. Commitment – Employees who are committed to the goals and initiatives of the company particularly to their position. Project a committed attitude by showing willingness to do whatever it takes to fulfill the duties of their job. Including making new ideas to help the company grow.
  2. Helpfulness – Being able to assist clients and customers with their needs in accomplishing the overall company goals. A display of helpful attitude makes more people want to be around them at work.
  3. Respect – Interact with clients and customers politely and professionally even if it goes against personal views.
  4. Innovation – Don’t shy away from trying something new or finding different ways to do things to get results. Small businesses likes employees to think outside of the box and approach goals effectively through new ideas to make the company better.
  5. Pridefulness – Taking pride to excel at the best of the employees abilities and skills. Contribution to the workplace matters highly when an employee values his work and focus on company’s growth than himself.
  6. Identification – Employees who know themselves a lot. Give a lot of effort to volunteer their time and energy to help others or work overtime. This attitude is recognize in the workplace a lot by employers.
  7. Cooperation – Learn how to collaborate with other people. Working in a company does not mean working all by yourself. Know when  to give value and consistently finish your daily goals.
  8. Good interpersonal relations – To increase your chances of not being left out in a group. Develop a good interpersonal relationship with your co-workers, boss and executives. Showing a positive and good role model can help you cope up with stressful situations at work.
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How To Be A Consistent Virtual Assistant

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

A must-have skill that can bring a significant change in life, ‘consistency’ means to always act or behave in the same way. Where, on one hand, it helps us achieve long-term greatness in our lives, on the other, it is hard to master.

How, then, can we try to adopt it? A few tips, if incorporated in our routines, can help us bring consistency in our work.

Tip # 1: Make a Conscious Decision to Remain Consistent

Keep an eye on your goal. In this way, you can have a clear vision of what you are trying to achieve and why such a task is important to you. When you know the answer to your purpose and you are clear about it, you can stay committed to it. Saying that I am committed to being consistent every day in my goal helps a lot as it instructs the subconscious to act now than later. It requires conscious thoughts and beliefs that you will stay consistent throughout.

Tip # 2: Revise your Concept of Time

The present is essential in the most fundamental sense because all of reality is included in it. What is past is no longer, what is future is yet to be. The only time we have is now. If we delay our work and think of doing it sometime later, know that it is only a concept or thought in our mind. So let go of thinking that I will be consistent all day, week, month or year. Instead, think only of the present moment as real power lies only in the present.

Tip # 3: Have a Plan and Know Your Objective

Having a plan and knowing your aim can bring consistency. A scheme worked out beforehand can bring accomplishment of an objective. Having a right plan can make it easy to execute your actions and to direct your thoughts and efforts at a right time. The more devoted you are to the plan, the higher will be the chances of success.

Tip # 4: Remember that Feelings and Thoughts Are Temporary and Subjective

Ignore your feelings. Ignore the voices in your head that intrude you from being consistent in your work. Train yourself to over-ride that voice in your head and know the power of consistency. Remember that any negative thought or feeling is just temporary and lasts for a short period. It is only a false illusion that can keep you from heading to your plan. Be motivated to do your work and remind yourself the feeling to have conquered the moment.

Tip # 5 Keep Track of your Performance

Set milestones and gauge your performance against these milestones. This allows you to check and thus timely find any lag in consistency. You can then evaluate your performance and, if required, take corrective measures that may help you keep your performance on track.

Tip # 6 Do One Thing at a Time

According to Steven Covey, “Don’t prioritize your schedule, schedule your priorities.” The priorities should be scheduled and non-negotiable. Know the priority and stick to it. Trying to do a lot of things at the same time can only worsen it. A mind can only focus fully on one thing at a time otherwise you can get distracted. Being consistent requires you to be 100% present in the moment and to focus on a single thing with full concentration and attention.

No matter what, build a trust on yourself that you can stay consistent. Once you stay consistent with yourself, everything else falls into place.

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10 Ways To Dominate Google Search

You just launched a new website. After spending some period, designing, creating content and spending hours optimizing each page to ensure it is well positioned in the Google organic search, you finally realized that getting your website to Google’s first page is tough because of other sites competing to be on that very first page.

The tips discussed in this write-up will certainly help you to combat these competitors so that your website will find its place on the first page of Google. These tips are as follows:

  1. Google AdWords

Create a search campaign brand and make sure that its featured websites appear within the highest paid ad results. This is an excellent means of pushing down the results of the organic search on a mobile device if ad extensions like callouts are inclusive. Make sure that you have a unique quality to ensure a nice ad positioning.

  1. Google News

You might have noticed some searches in Google News Feed advancing through the of the results of the organic search. Submitting your website to the Google News presents all your release news articles on the first results within the News feed on Google. It sometimes filters through the pages of organic search. This works fine for news that is strictly discussing your brand.

  1. Site links

Site link is selected by Google based on their relevance to the search terminology. It’s linking is below the organic sub information. This will push other websites down in the search page. It also makes your link appearance to be more eye-catching and impressive.

  1. Search box

Some sites have an internal search box. When this is combined with the markup of Schema, it will serve as a linked site and enlarge the organic result. This will then push other websites below on the search pages and increase the visibility of their website.

  1. Google My Business

Google My Business” will aid your website by making it appear on any of result search side. This is highly effective for brand searches. It is needful to check the description of your company in your account of Google business. This will ensure that your site is highly important for potential searches and other brand details.

  1. Reviews

Review and Comments are very vital for retailers online. It is also essential for local establishments, whether they operate online or not.

As an online business person, you really need the service of these reviewing sites; Yelp, Zagat, TripAdvisor and Time Out. If you desire nice positioning in the local SERPs, user reviews and comment is highly needful.

  1. Twitter feed

Relevant tweets are now appearing in search results. This is meant for personalities and brands if a hash tag is used on them.

All that is necessary for you here is to open a Twitter account. Tweeting regularly and having large followers will go a long way in helping your site to rank well on Google.

  1. Videos

Make sure that the videos you are using are SEO-optimized for trademark searches. Google like to make use of videos. This will make the content optimization to be of great benefit. The more people are subscribing for a video, the more likely of its appearance in Google searches.

  1. Pictures

If you are using images, there are some things to be considered to ensure that your images appear in the search result of Google Images. They are as follows;

  • Ensure the clarity of your file name
  • Make sure the title of the picture is equally clear and precise
  • Reduce the picture so that its size will be suitable and does not substantially increase the speed of page loading
  • Remember to add alt tags to your images. This is necessary for the description of the image content.
  • Alt tag is relevant for visitors with issues of accessibility. It will also aid in indexing your content with accuracy in the Google search engine.
  1. Organic search results

Finally, the organic search result can help you to rank well on Google search page, as long as you know how to make proper use of it. Do more research for further information on how to use the organic search result for high Google ranking.

Ranking your website high on Google nowadays is not so easy because of the competition in the world of online business. But with these tips mentioned above, you can always dominate your competitors and find your place on the first page of Google search result.

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8 Virtual Teams Challenges Working Remotely

virtual teams

Working in virtual teams has its challenges. It may look as easy like hardly any face to face communication at all. You’re wrong. It is difficult to build trust and to manage conflict when team members lack the ability to solve problems face to face. Communication is often more challenging, particularly among global virtual teams, which can also make it more difficult to overcome cultural barriers (Ebrahim et al, 2009).

According to the report by RW3 LLC, a global business organization designed 34 questions to get information on several topics about virtual teams. The survey asks about the importance of virtual teams to their individual productivity and inter-cultural communication. The survey found out the following challenges working in virtual teams:

  1. Timezones – Setting up online meetings have to take into consideration the time zones of each of the virtual staff. The challenge is how to set up a schedule that will benefit everyone and does not compromise more of their time for the meeting.
  2. Colleagues who do not participate – Virtual teams are hard to control especially when you do not meet face to face. The tendency of meeting online only not face to face is the ability to gain a connection to your virtual staff. There are barriers to communication when other members do not understand that their role and participation contributes a lot to company tasks and goals. The solution is to make them feel they are part of the group. Isolation can be lonely. It is best to call to talk about the current tasks and goals. Letting them feel that they are valuable to the company.
  3. The pace of decision making – Decision making can be really slow when teams tackle large projects. Projects that require a lot of virtual teams involve can hinder the progress. The best solution for this is to schedule meetings and require virtual teams to collaborate and communicate consistently.
  4. Understanding different accents – It is natural for some people who acquire accents because of their mother tongue. Like how the French men talks with an accent when speaking in English. Virtual teams do have diversity in their languages. It does not have to require everyone else to speak the other team’s language. The only solution is to have the virtual teams communicate in English. When they encounter such communication barrier, let the person explain what he wants to convey to the team.
  5. The time required to reach decisions – Compared to a face to face meeting, reaching decisions can take a lot of time in the virtual environment. The solution about this is to create a communication preference to talk about the details that can happen in the spur of a moment. Making the final decision is hard when a group of the team is involved. It is better to use an application or tool to gather the best ideas for the decision making process.
  6. Different roles expectations held by each team member – When you are given a role and expect to deliver, follow instructions and fulfill company goals. You have to accomplish the tasks given to you. Never deliver when it is not your responsibility to do tasks that are beyond your capabilities.
  7. Follow through of team members – In reality, there are many reasons why virtual members have a good track record of follow through. It could be a lack of direction and to focus on the money making aspect. It does not have to be that way. Ensuring the follow through of your members is to make them feel accountable for their actions. Train them to be consistent and reach deadlines. Challenge their knowledge. Make them feel that you value their efforts.
  8. Cultural differences – The cultural aspect of each individual can also hinder the productivity and communication of the teams. As the only Filipino virtual assistant in the team, I can tell the difference between me and the other American virtual colleague. He is more expressive, opinionated and eloquent in addressing the customers. I am meek, eager to learn even if I am slow and kinda hesitant. It did not bother me a lot. Not unless I was told that I am not doing my best. The company shows respect for cultural diversity in the virtual workforce. That is why it was easy for me to work with them for years.

Never be lenient in addressing the challenges in the virtual workforce. Pushing the boundaries between the individual and the company will create benefits for both of them. Virtual companies should not restrict virtual employees on what they can do better. By creating a conducive environment, virtual teams may surpass and reach higher goals.

 

Reference: CultureWizard

Photo Credits: Freepik

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15 Web Commerce Business Topics To Learn

web commerce

E-commerce business has increased for over the past years. The expectations of an online store comprise a lot of unique ideas to make it successful. In order to design a good e-commerce site, it must find a common balance between the topics that I am about to discuss.

Time and Money – To start any kind of business online, you must have time and money to invest into the business. An e-commerce business has its complexities that will decide the timeline development. Determine your budget because website development can be expensive and quite tricky. Why? If you don’t have the technical ability to launch an online shop. You have to hire the right professionals and not build it yourself. Not unless if you don’t have the budget, you can do simple tasks by educating yourself.

The legal side of the business – This is an obligation for every entrepreneur to secure the legal permits and licenses before launching the real site. You need to be familiar with the documentation and the processes to undergo specific requirements for your business. If you encounter problems along the way, equip yourself with a good business lawyer (if you need one). In this area, you need to prepare you and your staff for the unforeseen events that might occur during the development phase.

Merchant Account – Get a Merchant or Business Account at a local bank. Before you open, make sure they have features that will allow you to transact on the internet and internationally. Educate yourself about their fees and other features that will help you on your business like the ability to transfer money, pay your business bills, e-banking, payroll, and collection.

Third Party Payment Gateway – It serves as an online point of sale terminal where you can accept credit cards, debit cards and more from customers who want to purchase a product on your store. Provide the best user experience for your customers so they will keep coming back for more. One of the popular payments you can integrate is PayPal. Have your PayPal business account verified before doing any business.

SSL Encryption – It means Secure Sockets Layer that encrypts information on the website. Your site must have its own SSL Certificate. They need a unique IP Address and registration fee. The certificate has requirements that you can choose. Check Comodo, RapidSSL, GeoTrust, and Symantec. Part of the changes is your HTTP status will change to https. The installation of the certificate on your website.

PCI Compliance – It means Payment Card Industry is an information security standards for all organizations that handle, accepts, store or send credit card information in a secure environment. Most banks are PCI compliant. As the transactions increases, it needs verification from the e-commerce merchants from their Payment gateway to their bank accounts. The Payment gateway maintains protection and encrypted network transmissions during the Checkout and Payment process.

Sales Tax – In the United States, they have a 1992 Supreme Court ruling that limits the sales tax requirements to only those retailers that have a physical presence. Check your State, Country and Product taxes and learn how much taxes added on the selling product. In the Philippines, we call it VAT (Value Added Tax). This is imposed on all importation, sale barter, exchange or lease of goods or properties and sale of services. The charge is 12% for companies whose income tax go beyond Five hundred thousand pesos.

Shipping – Calculate your shipping costs and decide which shipping methods you will offer to your customers. There are online shipping programs that you can integrate on your site to make it easier for your customers to calculate the shipping costs and timeline.

Website design – Designing your website must have several factors specifically for the type of customers you want to attract. Compile questions about your target customers and organize the information on the page to make sure it relates to the person who wants to buy your product. Make it simple and easy to navigate. Your web commerce business must show value and quality.

Chat support – Customers get confused and need some direction to purchase products on your site. Engage with your customers by using a chat tool. They use it anytime they encounter issues or ask questions.

Competition – Check other websites if they are selling the same products you want to sell. Giant online retail chains like Amazon and Ebay offer millions of products and information for their shoppers. They have product reviews and features like related products that the customer might be interested in. Watch out for the prices on the products and how it is presented.

Information Architecture – The way your website design is organized and how the structure of information on the site is important to the success of your business. Rely on a niche interface or a generalist view. Simplify your visual and information structure as possible. Use few categories. Put high-quality pictures. Two to three pictures will do.

Search – Another feature your customers will use looking for specific products. Some companies take advantage of a simple search field that allows customers to use the filter options to find the product attributes they had in mind. Be able to retrieve the best matches to the queries that the customer is looking for.

Product detail pages – The importance of this page rely on the different attributes it presents. Like the Product name, Images, Price, Buy Button, Product Description, Quantity, Number Available, Delivery information, Social Media sharing, Related Products and other details (size, materials, pages, length, weight, colors etc.).

Checkout – Some customers prefer a simple checkout experience. Some do not want to open an account just to order and check out. Customers want the fastest checkout experience. Check out details includes price, quantity and the product description. Make adjustments to your cart that your buyers will give them the opportunity to tweak their purchases.

 

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