Having a website is essential and very important for your business. To have a good website that can benefit your business well, there are some factors that are required to help you add value to your website.
In order to protect your visitors, you need to have your website secured. But what is the meaning of website security? You might have heard about HTTPS. HTTPS is a way to encrypt information that you send between a browser and a web server. This protects your website’s users from different attacks, where someone steals the information being sent to a website, like credit card information or logins. Another issue in security is SSL certificate. An SSL Certificate is a set of data files that you can add to your server to achieve an encrypted connection between a browser and your server. When installed, a green padlock will be displayed when users visit your site to indicate that the site is secure.
So, we can say that SSL certificate is a product that you purchase and install on your server resulting that your website becomes HTTPS.
Thus, If you’re selling anything online, you need to put some effort into securing your site with an SSL certificate. The SSL will encrypt communications between you and your clients (i.e. a credit card number, Social Security number). This will make them more comfortable to share their data with you. VeriSign, TrustE, Entrust and GeoTrust are good options to explore.
Social Media Integration
Nowadays, people are increasingly connected to the internet through any possible internet enabled devices. They spend majority of their time on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, etc. Because of this increasing usage of social media, it has become a critical part of marketing any business, as people now tend to associate more with the brands and businesses they see more on those social media platforms.
So to increase your presence online, you should promote your presence on them. Integrating these platforms into your website, will help you boost your SEO, improve your business image on the social web, expand your network, add to your credibility and improve your sales.
Thus, you have to integrate with social media. This integration should not be only by posting some content every while, but it should be a strategic process that involves the intelligent promotion of your social media channels.
Mobile Friendly Version
Now-a-days, mobile phones, tablets and other portable devices have become essential to our lives. According to Statista, in 2017 56.1% of the global mobile phone population accessed the internet from their mobile phones. These numbers are only going to grow as mobile devices become cheaper and more mainstream. In 2020, the number of smartphone users worldwide is expected to reach 2.87 billion, up from 2.1 billion in 2016.
For this reason, it is important to have your website optimized for mobiles and other portable devices. This will allow you to increase your reach and give better user experience since nearly everyone is on mobile now.
Having a mobile optimized website may also help to increase your sales since the studies have showed that mobile users buy more than people who primarily use desktop computers.
Live chat can add to your website. Having a live chat on your website allows your customers to have access with you and seek help. Wait times at live chat are usually less than call center. The general trend among users in marketing forums and on blogs is that live chat on a website can generally lead to improved sales numbers.
Live Chat can increase your potential sales, but to do so, it must be executed correctly. To do this, you must train your team well, take care of your shopping hours, not to be robotic in your responses and give your customers useful chat features.
You will be able to get all these benefits with a reduced cost than the traditional phone support method.
Buying and selling on the internet has become very well accepted and with the implementation of encryption for the transmission of sensitive data, the entire process is completely secure. So if you have a store, you can customize your website for e-commerce which will help your business grow.
CRM stands for “Custom Relationship Management”. The idea first started in the 90s. When it first began it was meant only for simply managing the relationships with customers. Today, it refers to methodologies, software and internet capabilities that allow companies to manage their relationships with current and potential customers. It also refers to practices, strategies s that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, with the goal of improving business relationships with customers, assisting in customer retention and driving sales growth.
Thus, CRM enables you to focus on your organization’s relationships with individual people; whether they are customers, service users, colleagues or suppliers.
Benefits of CRM to your business
CRM system can help you grow your business by helping you track your history with your customers and your interactions with them. So what does it track and how can this be useful? It tracks calls made, emails sent, meetings held, presentations delivered, and even the next steps required to close deals or grow customers’ accounts. Of course this is very important to your business because tracking is the most important thing. By one click you can review every action that took place between you and your customer which enables you to foresee how to continue.
With a CRM system, you can have one place where you can store all data related to your business and your customers. You will be able to store every customer, every lead, every request, all contact information as well as the history which enables you to make personal, relevant and up-to-date approaches with your customers. All of this information is stored in a safe and organized way that makes it accessible to authorized users.
Having a CRM system, also allows you to conduct and follow your work from any place. It also helps you in increasing your sales, as it allows you to follow quality leads and reduce time wastage. This shortens the sales cycles and thus improves your win rates.
CRM systems also allows better team collaboration. All departments will be able to collaborate with each other. They will all have access to the same data. This will also enable them to share marketing ideas that are specifically targeted towards customers and leads.
CRM system can help you in concentrating on your target market. You can apply your marketing campaigns to specific leads who have a higher interest in your products and services. Email campaigns can also be personalized, which makes them more convincing and impactful.
These are some of the benefits that you can get from having a CRM system for your business.
Finally, when you take the decision to get a CRM, you must not be hasty in such decision. First, you must be clear about your objectives, needs, and expectations, and then methodically embark on the selection process. This can will ensure that your purchase decision delivers the cost savings and enhancements you expect. The time invested in research and analysis will not be wasted time, but it will be worth it if you can find a suitable CRM application that delivers the advantages and benefits your company needs.
Do you have a website for your business? Do you get all the possible benefits from this website?
Few years back, the forwards-thinking business owners realized that having websites for their businesses will be a profitable marketing opportunity. This encouraged them to build their websites and host them. When they finished doing that, all was done regarding the website issue.
Nowadays, things have become more difficult and more complicated. It is no more just about having a website for your business. The internet has become overpopulated and is continuously changing. So if you aren’t able to show and draw targeted traffic to your website, it will not fulfill the expected contribution to your business’s success and growth. This means that building a website is not the only job. What do you need to have?
What you really need after this is to manage your website or have someone manage your website for you. But what do we mean by website management?
Meaning of website management
Website management is all the multiple tasks involved in the administration and control of the hardware and software used in the Web. This is done by performing all the tasks necessary to keep a website up-to-date and in good working order so that it works and shows up correctly with the latest web browsers and mobile devices. It includes hosting, monitoring, verification that all contained links are active, maintenance, and so on.
So Website management entails a number of different services that are combined together to keep you website running without having to worry about it.
The duties and responsibilities of website management include:
1. Ensuring the website functionality and SEO availability continuously.
2. Performing regular software updates.
3. Ensuring the website’s security and keeping it up to date. This includes setting up good firewalls to block hacker as well as performing regular malware scans.
4. Monitoring, assessing and reporting the website performance.
E-commerce is the transaction of purchasing and selling products and services through electronic systems.
The beginning of e-commerce can be traced back to the 1960s. At that time, it was meant for exchanging data electronically for the first time. After that, the 90s saw the first secure online purchases. The e-commerce industry then grew quickly from this point onwards. Online sales accounted for more than a third of total U.S. retail sales growth in 2015. This is according to data from the U.S.
E-commerce is still growing. It is also expected to continue growing all the time. As you can see in the graph below, global online business-to-consumer (B2C) sales are expected to nearly double between 2012 and 2018.
The rise of e-commerce forces IT personnel to move beyond infrastructure design and maintenance and consider numerous customer-facing aspects such as consumer data privacy and security.
Reasons for customers to shop online:
1- 24/7 availability: they can do their shopping at anytime of the day and at any day of the year. It doesn’t matter whether it was midnight or noon, or if it was a holiday or a normal week day. The possibility to shop online gives the customers the freedom to shop at their own pace and convenience.
2- Variety: One can get several brands and products from different sellers at one place.
3- Comparison of prices: Online shopping has made the comparison of products and prices possible and easy. This allows the customers to determine which online store offers the most affordable item for them to buy.
4- Avoid crowds: Crowds may be one of the annoying issues that anyone could face while shopping. Crowd can also be a problem when it comes to finding a parking place where you want to shop. So online shopping can help customers buy without having to stand in long lines and wait, or go around the place searching for a parking.
5- Save time: Purchasing online saves time. The customers only choose what they want to buy and with just a couple of clicks they put the order. They can save time this way and move to other important things they want to do.
6- Save fuel: The market of fuel industries battles from increasing and decreasing its cost every now and then. One of the advantages of shopping online is that there is no need for vehicles; so no purchase of fuel is necessary.
7- Easy to search for products: the customers can easily search for the product they are looking for with all its specifications. In addition, it is easy for them to find out whether this product is available or out of stock.
Advantages of shopping online for small businesses:
After we’ve learnt how the customer would benefit from shopping online, you must be wondering, how can a small business benefit from it? We are now going to cover a few key advantages of running an online e-commerce store for small businesses.
1- Lower cost: Starting an offline business needs a lot of money. You will need to have a physical storefront which will incur rental and management costs. On the other hand, it is not expensive to start an online business. Your main costs will be the software you use to set up the online store, the hosting and the domain name. So in general, an online store costs less to set up and run than a physical shop, but it’s still important to recognize that making e-commerce work requires continuing investment.
Some of the other costs that can be also reduced by opting for e-commerce are: advertising and marketing costs, personnel costs and travel costs.
2- Visitors tracking and analysis: Google analytics makes it extremely easy to know where people finding your website are from, which pages they visit and from what region they are. There are also other tools that can analyze the cursor movement as they browse your site. Such statistics would be very difficult to get with a physical store. These statistics can help you easily track what works and what doesn’t . It can also help you calculate and evaluate sales effectiveness, customer effectiveness, marketing campaigns, product mix, customer engagement and more. Having gathered all these information, you can thus build your customer persona and all the suitable things for them.
3- Social media: Social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and others, have now made it possible for everyone to express their feelings and recommend products and services to others. You can also use social media for your marketing campaigns and to promote your products for free.
4- Product inventory: Since the products are purchased online, you can easily track what products are being shipped to the customers and how much products are left in your storage. You can also decrease the operational costs of inventory management by having an automated management system.
5- Customer email communication: In the online world, it is easy for you to get the customers’ emails. This will enable you to send them future offers and marketing messages. It’s a cheap and easy way to keep in contact with your customers.
6- Written reviews: Online, it’s easy to take advantage of customer reviews and reviews around the web to build credibility in the eyes of a potential customer. You can also support your digital marketing efforts by including these reviews and testimonials.
7- Location independent: You can easily manage your business from any part of the world. You don’t have to be in the same place in order to keep an eye and manage your business. It’s also not a must to have your warehouse and staff in the same place, you can hire a staff member from another state or even country and take advantage of possible cost reduction.
8- Larger marketplace: Selling online removes all the borders to your business. Any person, from anywhere with an internet connection can access your website. This gives you an expanded geographical reach and even a local business can become international, just by having an effective e-commerce strategy.
9- Advertisement tracking: It is much easier to measure and track your marketing efforts and marketing campaigns done through online platforms. Through this, you can keep an eye on your customers’ buying interests and habits and tailor offers that suit their needs. The result of this tracking will help you in your future campaigns.
Finally, are you still hesitated to customize your small business to work online?
Have you ever heard about Social WiFi? Did you ever think how it may benefit your customers and your business?
Social WiFi refers to WiFi hotspots that allows visitors to logon to the internet using their social media accounts. This is of course much easier than asking the staff for the internet password.
It is obvious that the major benefit for your customers is obtaining free and easy access to the internet during their stay at your place. Thus it can be used at restaurants, coffee shops, car dealers, beauty salons or any other hospitality business. It can be also used any business where there may be some waiting period for the customers.
But how will your business benefit from this social WiFi?
Benefits of Social WiFi
1- Performing in-depth analysis:
When your customers login to your WiFi once, they will login to WiFi automatically when they return back. This will allow you to make your analysis and know who your customers are and the frequency of their visits.
2- Increasing engagement on your social media:
You can ask your customers to like your social media pages when logging to your WiFi. This will increase the reach of your page. Then by posting interesting content, you will be able to engage your customers and make them share your page with their friends.
3- Engaging in loyalty programs:
You can ask them sign to a loyalty program easily using their social media account. They can get discount coupons through this program; or you might encourage them to rate your products and services.
4- Building valuable relationships:
You will be able to get your customers’ Facebook accounts and emails which allows you to build long-lasting and valuable relationship. For example, you can send them exclusive offers and newsletters. This means that you have opened an ongoing communication channel with your customers.
5- Generating customized mailing lists:
By collecting the demographic data of your customers, you will be able to create targeted mailing lists according to the demographical data that you have.
As Stacy Deprey-Purper, author of the ebook #1 Social WiFi Marketing Tool says, “For the first time in history, brick-and-mortar businesses can obtain greater data than their online counterparts. Once you capture your customer’s information, you have an opportunity to immediately message them via email or text and positively impact your bottom line and enhance their customer experience through information or special offers. The best part for the consumer is there are no apps to have to download or cumbersome login experiences.”