online tools you can use to delegate tasks

I get it. Your startup is your baby and you’re used to doing everything on your own.

As your team grows, you naturally continue to feel like you need to have your hand in everything, from making UX decisions to paying electricity bills. But this is where the long line of startup delegation mistakes begins.

While it may feel natural for an entrepreneur, being a control freak is one of the worst things you can do for your product and your team.

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Let’s be frank — delegating tasks can be scary, especially when you’re new at it. If you are the one in the position to do the delegating, then you’re the one who will bear the responsibility if things go wrong. If you’re a manager in a large company and a subordinate fails at an important task you delegated, upper management will demand an explanation from you. If you’re the business owner, the loss and liability of the subordinate’s mistakes will ultimately be yours.

Those concerns freeze many potential leaders. They don’t trust anyone else to do the task as well as they can and doubt their own ability to teach someone how to do it. This is a career and business dead end. There’s a limit to how much one person, no matter how energetic and productive, can get done.

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giphy downsized

Online Tools You Can Use to Delegate Tasks

You we  looking for virtual assistants and other professionals to hire so you can start delegating tasks, check out the following tools:

  • Fancy Hands connects you with US-based virtual assistants who can help you complete personal or business tasks, from booking travel to paying bills. Their lowest plan is $29.99, and you can get five requests per month (typically up to 20 minutes of work per request). They also have options if you need a dedicated virtual assistant.
  • Magic offers personal assistants for 50 cents per minute and business assistants for 59 cents per minute. Send a message through their app, and Magic will assign someone from their team of assistants to complete your request.
  • Zirtual has a team of US-based assistants that can complete personal and business tasks such as email management, social media scheduling, and vacation research. Plans start at $449/month for 12 hours of task work.
  • Design Pickle might be a good fit for you if you’re looking to outsource graphic design tasks. This website will pair you with a dedicated graphic designer to do the skilled work for you. Plans start at $399/month for unlimited requests and unlimited revisions

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Tasks to Consider Delegating to a VA

To decide which tasks to delegate, consider your own strengths and weaknesses, what takes up most of your time, and what you dislike doing. There are several tasks that most small business owners will want to delegate to a VA.

Calendar Management

Keeping your schedule in order may sound simple, but you’ll keep gaining more responsibilities as your business grows. Moving items around on your calendar and rescheduling appointments — all while making sure you never miss a deadline — can pose a challenge. A virtual assistant can take care of your calendar for you, even sending you notifications before a meeting or when you need to complete an important to-do.

Email Management

Email has a way of taking up all our time — and yet we still manage to forget to respond to urgent messages. Your virtual assistant can sort your inbox for you: deleting spam, notifying you of messages you need to see immediately, and storing other messages that can wait until later. Your VA can even respond to some of the emails for you.

Research

It’s common for founders of new businesses to conduct a great deal of research. You may need to find out what your competitors are doing and other key information about the market, learn more about potential clients and investors, and search for new opportunities.

If you’ve ever done any online research, you’ll know how easily the hours slip away — particularly if you’re unsure where to look or you keep getting sidetracked. A virtual assistant who’s experienced at research will know where to go to find the information you need and will focus just on the task at hand.

Other Admin Tasks

Other admin work you may consider outsourcing to a VA include:

  • Data entry
  • Travel arrangements
  • Making online purchases
  • Shipping packages
  • Sending handwritten notes
  • Managing your CRM

An advantage of outsourcing these tasks is that you can find a general virtual assistant who charges a low rate. This means you’ll free up your schedule by eliminating some of your dullest tasks for only a small investment. If a task is a waste of your time, it makes no sense not to delegate it.

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Data Analysis

Data can be hugely useful for a startup — but if you know how to use it. From website and social media analytics to raw data like information on business cards, a VA can turn data into a meaningful report or insights.

Project Management

Whether you have a team of virtual workers or you’re collaborating with another business, you need someone to manage the project. When there are many moving parts, you may need to be constantly monitoring progress, communicating with team members, setting deadlines for each new task, and checking everyone is meeting their objectives. It could be better to delegate all this to a virtual assistant with experience in project management than to try and handle it yourself.

Financial Tasks

All the numbers entrepreneurs need to deal with are enough to give anyone a headache. A virtual assistant can keep your accounts up to date. Tasks to delegate could include invoicing, managing expenses, payroll, and other bookkeeping tasks.

Social Media

To gain greater awareness and stay connected with customers, you need to be active on social media. The problem is that creating content, responding to comments, and strategizing all takes up a lot of time. You can benefit from social media without taking time away from other work by delegating some (or even all) of your social media-related tasks to a virtual assistant.

A simple exercise so you can start delegating today

  • Step 1: Write down 10 things you need to get done that you don’t want to do or shouldn’t be doing yourself.
  • Step 2: Think of the six levels of delegation and notice that as you move through the levels, you move from outsourcing (“do as I say”) down to true delegation (which is “just get it done”). Ultimately, you want to get to level six, “just get it done.”
  • Step 3: Take those 10 things and see which of the six levels they might fall under, and that will clue you in to where your issues are and which providers you may need to hire to get these things done.

becoming your own boss with this six steps

Being your own boss is thrilling. You have the weight of the world on your shoulders, but you also have the boundless freedom to soar wherever you’d like.

When you’re the boss, you get to call all the shots—but you also have all the responsibility. Mess up at your 9-to-5, and you’ll likely get loads more opportunity before there’s any real consequence. Mess up when you’re the one-and-only boss, and you might not get a paycheck that month.

On the flip side, you also get the full return on your investment when you’re the boss. If you invest more time and energy into your business and it succeeds, you make more money—and your business (read: your baby) becomes that much stronger.

That’s not usually the case at your full-time job—if you do well, you get a pat on the back and maybe a petty bonus at the end of the year. Ultimately, you’re spending 40 hours a week (or more) building someone else’s dream.

“If you don’t build your dream, someone else will hire you to help build theirs.” — Tony Gaskins, Author and Professional Life Coach

Entrepreneurs and business owners are often stereotyped as always traveling the world, flying first class, sipping cocktails on the beach, or lounging by the poolside all day long. Sure, that’s life for the fortunate .001%—but that’s not the day-to-day life of your typical entrepreneur.

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You’ll have long sleepless nights grinding out what needs to be done, and you’ll need to tap a shoulder or 2 to ask a favor. You’ll have days when you’re overwhelmingly busy and days when you don’t know what to do. It’s all part of being an entrepreneur.

All this is to say that being your own boss is incredible—but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.

Now that you know what being your own boss is all about, it’s time to make it happen. Below, we’ll show you the 6-step process for how to ditch your 9-to-5 and pursue a profitable passion as the head honcho.

1. Figure Out What You Want to Do

So many ideas, so little time. After browsing through our list of online business ideas and side hustlesfinding an idea won’t be the problem—but narrowing it down to one will be.

Think about what skills you have, or consider what you want to accomplish. Do you want to build an ecommerce business, or would you like to sell your talents to other companies as a freelancer or consultant?

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There’s no right answer. Sure, some businesses might have better profit margins than others, and a few will be a bit riskier. But you’re the boss—you get to choose what’ll make you happy and fulfilled.

Don’t worry too much about finding the perfect startup idea. Chances are you’d be a good fit for various business types. Find what makes you happy now. You can always pursue another idea later.

2. Validate Your Business Idea

Once you’ve got an idea for your business, it’s time to find out whether it can go the distance. Before you invest too much time and money into your idea, you’ll want to validate it.

When you present your business idea to friends, family, and colleagues, chances are you’ll hear a lot of “that sounds awesome!” even if your plan is lousy. Seriously. Go try it. Come up with a terrible idea and pitch it to your friends—see what they say.

There are a few ways you can validate a business idea, but we like to go with the classic landing page smoke test. Here’s how you do it:

  • Create a landing page marketing your product or service
  • Include a “Buy Now” button on your page
  • Drive real traffic to the page with a small advertising budget
  • See if people click the “Buy Now” button
  • Set a benchmark for the click-through rate you’d like to see

This test lets you bypass friend, family, and even stranger bias. You don’t want to hear whether you have a good idea or not—you want to know if customers will open their wallets and buy what you’re selling.

3. Build a Business Plan

Part of being your own boss is doing all the planning. You’ll need a game plan for how you’re going to take your business from Point A to Point B.

While it seems fresh and creative to just wing it, that’s a solid strategy to end up broken and battered. Get out your pen and paper (or Google Doc) and answer the hard questions from the get-go:

  • What is your business?
  • Who will you serve?
  • What are you selling?
  • What problem do you help solve?
  • How will you make money?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • What makes you different from all the other businesses?
  • How will you finance your startup costs?
  • How will you get your product or service in front of customers?

It’s a lot to think about. Take a look at our guide on how to create a business plan. It’ll walk you step-by-step through everything you need to outline and answer to improve your chances of success.

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4. Take the Leap

After you have a strong business plan, you’re ready to make things happen. Don’t worry—you don’t need to quit your 9-to-5 just yet. You can always start your business on the side (nice and slow) while you prove out your idea.

Launch your business and aim to make your first sale.

Once things start to pick up and you’re making consistent income, then you might decide to go all-in on your business and be your own boss. Or you might just skip the proving phase altogether and take the leap.

You’re the boss. You get to decide how you move your new career forward.

5. Grow Your Business

There’s no one-way-fits-all method for growing your business. You might want to expand your operations or increase your customer base. You may want to add additional products and services or boost your prices.

Resist the urge to be complacent, especially early on. Your business is either moving forward or back—it rarely sits stagnant. Take the right steps to keep it moving in the right direction.

Here are a few ways you could grow your business:

  • Hire help to accelerate work or increase bandwidth to help customers
  • Obtain additional financing to expand operations with upgraded equipment or more aggressive marketing campaigns
  • Expand your products and services to help customers in more ways
  • Raise your prices to earn more from every sale
  • Become more efficient to reduce your expenses and improve your ROI

When you’re the boss, you get to decide what direction you take your business. Once you’ve got a solid set of customers and consistent income, you may choose to dedicate more time to your family or a hobby. It’ll impact your business, but you get to make the decisions.

6. Do It Again (Optional)

After you’ve grown a successful business from the ground up, you may get the itch to do it all over again. You might want to start a complementary business, or you may want to build something in an entirely new industry.

Again, you’re the boss. You get to decide.

Managing multiple businesses isn’t easy, but for some, the thrill of the adventure beats out the demands of the journey. However, you may decide to launch, build, and exit your company before starting a new one. Or, you may just stick with your initial business for the next decade or 2.

There’s no right way to do it.

been your own boss for good: most have traits for entrepreneurs

You can be your own boss, but we want you to know what you’re getting into. It’s not just money, sports cars, and champagne toasts. It’s highs, lows, celebrations, and disappointments. It’s a journey.

Entrepreneurs and business owners are often stereotyped as always traveling the world, flying first class, sipping cocktails on the beach, or lounging by the poolside all day long. Sure, that’s life for the fortunate .001%—but that’s not the day-to-day life of your typical entrepreneur.

You’ll have long sleepless nights grinding out what needs to be done, and you’ll need to tap a shoulder or 2 to ask a favor. You’ll have days when you’re overwhelmingly busy and days when you don’t know what to do. It’s all part of being an entrepreneur.

All this is to say that being your own boss is incredible—but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.

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This article will take you through exactly what it’s like to be your own boss. We’ll walk you through the reality check, pros and cons, and must-have traits before giving you the step-by-step process for how to become your own boss.

Traits You Need to Be Your Own Boss

It’s fluffy and sweet to say anyone can be their own boss, but that’s just not the case. Not everyone is made out for this kind of work, and that’s OK.

Just like there are special people in this world who love numbers (bless you, accountants) and others who love to code (developers, we’re talking about you), there are unique individuals who can be the boss.

Here are a few must-have traits you’ll need to be your own boss:

Patience

Overnight success stories are few and far between—expect to invest time and money before you see the fruits of your labors. At times, you’ll be tempted to quit and go back to the cushy, uninspired 9-to-5.

You’ll need to be patient and hold on. It’s always going to be challenging initially, but things start to smooth out as you learn the ropes and pick up the momentum.

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Self-Discipline

You’re the boss. Nobody is going to tell you to get to work, stop watching YouTube, or pick up the slack. You’re going to need to have the self-discipline to notice (and look for) these things yourself and take action when you see something that needs doing.

You’ll also need the self-discipline to back off. You’ll do your business, your customers, and yourself no favors by hustling more than you can handle. Learn when to slow down and take a break to avoid burnout. There are always things to do, so it’ll be hard to ease up—but you’ll have to do it to succeed in the long run.

Drive

You’ll need a purpose. Being your own boss isn’t so much a purpose as a perk of being in the driver’s seat. Find what motivates you and gives you energy. Harness your drive and turn it into results.

From time to time, you’ll lose your drive. That’s OK—it’s all part of the journey. Learn to recognize when you’re losing steam and find ways to get your head back in the game. That might mean stepping back from the business for a long weekend, or it might be reading an email from a happy customer.

Find a drive that’ll keep you going, and tap into it when the going gets tough.

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Prioritization

You’ll need to be able to ruthlessly prioritize. As the boss, you’ll have a million things you can do but only a handful of things you should do. Learn to avoid shiny object syndrome and stay focused.

That’s easier said than done, but it’s easy to lose yourself chasing the next idea or spending hours trying to find ways to save more time. Prioritize your to-do list, make a schedule, and stay on track.

Empathy

This isn’t necessarily a must-have trait of a successful boss—plenty of less-than-pleasant people out there know how to run a business like a well-oiled machine.

However, don’t forget to be the boss you always wished you had. When you hire employees, remember to treat them with kindness and respect. Remember the reasons that made you want to quit your 9-to-5 and work to create a better environment for those you employ.

How do you measure the success of product launch?

You don’t know if a launch was successful without quantifiable metrics. While every business will have different KPIs, these metrics are some of the most common metrics that will give you a sense of whether or not your product launch was a success.

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  1. Revenue: You’ll know your product launch was a winner if it generated revenue, especially if it generated a lot of it. If you’ve created a new online course, released a new clothing collection, or launched a new premium level for your project management software, you’ll be able to track the success of product launch via the revenue it generated.
  2. Market share: Another measurement is how well your product performs against competitors. If your product launch inspires customers to choose your brand over competitors, it’s a win.

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  1. User retention: If you’re launching a new feature or capability, you may measure the success of the launch by whether or not it increases your customer retention rate. Any seasoned business owner will tell you that it’s cheaper to keep existing customers than to attract new ones. So anything you can do to keep customers happy, and therefore keep their business, benefits the bottom line and is well worth your time and effort.
  2. Product trials: If you’re offering trials for a new product, trial sign-ups can indicate the interest in your product and how much traction your launch marketing had.
  3. Product usage: For subscription-based products, customer usage is an even stronger indicator of success than product trials. This is because while trial sign-ups are a good sign, they don’t mean anything if the customers never use the product. Product usage, on the other hand, tells you that not only did your product marketing appeal to the customer, the product is also meeting their needs.
  4. Leads generated: Generating leads is the first step towards generating revenue. You may not close every sale or convert every customer on the first contact, making leads a worthwhile KPI for many new product launches.
  5. Marketing channel metrics: Open rates on emails, click-through rates, and social media engagement can all indicate how well the messaging is working.
  1. Web traffic: You’ll want to measure how your website traffic changes (and hopefully increases) as a result of your product launch efforts. You’ll want to measure traffic to new product pages and any content related to the launch.
  2. Media coverage: If you have a major launch and you’re trying to get PR coverage, you’ll also want to include media mentions in your product launch KPIs. Media coverage can create awareness that’s ongoing (especially if your product is named in web content that itself has high search value and so makes it more likely that customers will continue to encounter it as time passes). If the mention also includes a link to your site, this can provide 2 additional benefits. It can directly convert to sales, and it also can contribute to your domain authority. Essentially, when Google sees other credible websites linking to your website, they consider your site to have more value, making it easier for you to rank in the search engine.
  3. Internal and external feedback: Feedback is the most nebulous of the metrics because it’s not as clearly quantifiable, but it’s nevertheless important. Pay close attention to feedback and where the trends are. Whether positive or negative, feedback from customers and employees can help you determine whether or not you’ve achieved your launch goal.

starting your business from home successfully

How to start your business from home

To me, one of the strongest word in English language is this four words. “Be your own boss” nothing give more meaning and freedom to your life than it. Especially when you are running the venture from home.

But many aspiring entrepreneurs are met with a rude awakening upon launching their endeavors. Not only are they their own boss, but also their own human resources, talent acquisition, marketing, public relations, facilities, and events. The price to pay for unlimited freedom is a substantial amount of responsibility

You’ll increase your chances for success (and your enjoyment level) if you make your entrepreneurial efforts realistic and scalable. You don’t need to start small, but you definitely need to start smart. In the early stages, efficiency is the name of the game.

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Perhaps you want to be a freelancer or consultant, or you could have your eyes set on other goals. Whatever you decide, seriously consider working from your home. In sports, they talk about home field and home court advantage, and that’s exactly what you can give your business when you base your operations out of a place that is stable and familiar.

Start with a homegrown plan

When starting your business from home, your plan will have a decidedly homegrown feel to it. For example, in the executive summary you can state some of the distinct benefits you’ll enjoy from working out of your home as opposed to an external location that would only complicate matters and add costs.

After you’ve written the executive summary, which serves as your elevator pitch, you can pick and choose from additional business plan section options such as:

The product or service you offer
Your financial projections
Your market analysis
Description of your management
Your marketing and sales


Running a home-based business will be a relevant factor in the creation of all these sections. And if you’re seeking financing, your ability to turn the location of your business into an advantage will attract the attention of prospective lenders and investors.

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You’lll need a online home

A common mistake for entrepreneurs is to promptly purchase their domain, then forget to renew it when the time comes. You can prevent this by setting up autopay. If that isn’t possible, at least add a reminder to your calendar so you’ll always know when the renewal date is approaching.

To promote your business and protect your brand, you’ll also need to create accounts on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. You might not have plans to use these platforms right away, but it’s advisable to have the accounts in your control so that nobody else can create accounts to pose as your business.

get your home in order


As a home-based entrepreneur, you’ll need to enlist the help of as many digital tools as possible. Why? Because when you are burdened down by wearing too many hats, the likely results are a headache and the inability to turn your head from side to side. It’s a miserable way to live.

Modern technology has plenty of pleasant surprises that can automate tasks and simplify things for small business owners. The timesaving capabilities are huge, but you also shouldn’t underestimate the cost savings and reduction of human error.

Popular digital tools for home-based business include:

RescueTime (time management)
Mailchimp (email planning and management)
Hootsuite (social media posting and scheduling)
Deluxe (payroll management)
Marketo (sales and marketing)
QuickBooks (financial management)
Slack (communication and collaboration)
TripIt (travel management)
Quip (sales optimization)
17hats (project management)
Talk to other entrepreneurs to find out which apps and software solutions have worked best for them. If you can automate just 5-7 tasks a day, you’ll be amazed by how much it changes both your business performance and your outlook on life.

Successfully Managing Your Home Office
While working from home offers a fleet of benefits, it also brings its share of challenges. There are unique temptations when it comes to working from home, and without a clear line of demarcation between your private and personal lives, it’s easy for things to get blurred together.

Side hustle for doctors? Why they need one?

Doctors of today are sandwiched between the rising cost of acquiring their degree and the falling remuneration as medicine gets more corporatised with each passing year. We’re witnessing increased burnout and decreased satisfaction.

According to Medscape’s 2019 National Physicians, Burnout and Depression Report more than 40% of physicians and 50% of female physicians are burned out.

Furthermore, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open, there was an increase in physician burnout from 2014 to 2017.

These are sobering statistics, that paint an increasingly alarming picture. That’s why now, like never before, doctors need side hustle options.

Doctors like to ignore the money issue. We don’t discuss it in medical school even though it is a large part of the reason we are studying medicine. Faculty don’t teach us about it. They may not even know much themselves. 

Our parents may have avoided that taboo subject too. Unfortunately, those who don’t understand money are not likely to manage it well.Doctors who are bad with money are bad with other things. Important things. That leads to frustration, burnout, exhaustion, marital stress, and even suicide. 

Build many streams of income. Become financially independent, preferably in your 40s. It opens an array of options such as early retirement, part-time work, and mission trips.

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Reasons every doctors need a side hustle.

I’m here to tell you that regardless of your specialty or practice location, you too can start a side hustle that will grow your wealth ladder.  Here are some reasons every physician should side hustle.

1. Get P.A.I.D.

Passive income is great.  You put your money or time in some case, both to work. and it comes back to you in the form of dividends, interest, capital gains or rent.  There’s nothing better than easy money.  Unfortunately, passive income streams often need capital to get started.

Luckily, your medical degree is a passport to getting P.A.I.D.

– Passive Aggressive Income Design.  Your active hustles generate the cash you use to fund your passive hustles.  You make active income, maximize self-employed deductions to minimize taxes, and funnel the remainder into passive ventures. You’d be surprised how quickly this can amplify your retirement savings.

2. Hobbies can turn into side hustles.

Many of our hobbies are actually full-time occupations for some people. I know several computer programmers who dabble in photography in their free time. Some of them actually are transitioning to full-time photographers, starting with small-time events through Craigslist and then eventually larger venues through word of mouth.

One of the plastic surgeons in my area dabbles in woodworking and produces craftsman-style furniture. Could he dive into this full-time? Absolutely, but I’m sure that he wouldn’t be happy if his livelihood depended on it. However, it is conceivable that he could turn this skill into a side-hustle. Will he do that? Probably not, because he is busy enough correcting ptosis or making people beautiful.

Then there are doctors who really kick themselves into overdrive and basically find ways to make a name for themselves outside of clinical medicine. Some of the more popular routes include becoming a CEO of a hospital, joining an advisory board of a company, and or even becoming a writer.

3. Burnout is prevalent in the field.

Burnout is prevalent in medicine. Recent studies from the Mayo Clinic and @Medscape have burnout rates for physicians in the 50% range. One study reported that Emergency Room physicians, Internists, and Urologists have a burnout rate of 55%!  Another study reported that Critical Care physicians had the highest burnout rate.  It’s also not just the stress of medicine or long hours that contribute to the burnout; survey respondents report that the increasing amount of bureaucracy and computerization of the healthcare system that are the top offenders. Essentially, many of the tasks that cause burnout are things that we don’t like doing.

4. Expand a Professional Network

A side hustle can also open up avenues to network in new ways. Through a side hustle, physicians can meet people who may become clients, service providers, or professional partners. Side hustle customers can also become a source of referrals, introducing friends and family when they are looking for a new care provider. And, a side hustle can be a point of differentiation at traditional networking events, making physicians memorable when the room is full of doctors or healthcare professionals.

5. Hedge Against the Unknown


The business of medicine is full of uncertainty. There are many things outside of a healthcare practitioner’s control–regulatory changes, supply chain issues, insurance carriers that dictate timing and amount of reimbursement, and even public health matters that impact hours of operation or the scheduling of procedures.

A side hustle–particularly one outside of medicine–can provide another way to keep income flow steady when a primary job is in flux.

6. Escape Hatch

Some people wake up one morning and realize they could make enough money from their side jobs to quit their main job all together. If your dream is to walk (or run) away from clinical medicine, this might be your escape hatch.

Everyone has their own reasons for side hustling. Whether it’s to pay off debt, boost savings, add some variety to your life, reduce clinical hours or leave medicine entirely, there is a reason that’s right for you. The hardest step is deciding to start. Today is the day! Time to stop procrastinating and start hustling! You’ll be glad you did.

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Some side hustle doctors can consider starting today.

So if you’re a doctor, and you want to take back control of your life – take heart! You can start shaping a new, less frantic life by looking at some fantastic side hustle options.

1. Become a Conference Speaker

Telemedicine

You might be wondering about the need for this, but consider the following projection: “The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently posted that between 2016-2026 the meeting and event industry would grow an average of 11%”

Clearly here lies a viable opportunity to pursue as a side hustle.  Currently, there is much interest in the link between diet, lifestyle and auto-immune diseases.

NBC News reports that in 2018, “keto diet” was the most-searched word on Google.  This is backed up by Google’s “Year in Search” report.  This is just one example of an area you could focus on and specialize in.

Promote yourself through your LinkedIn profile and your own personal network, and pitch yourself to events and conferences you identify as good fits for your message. While on-site, make a point to network with attendees and position yourself for future speaking invitations.

2. Practice Telemedicine from Home

Thanks to the widespread availability of inexpensive web cameras and video chat programs like Skype, more doctors than ever are providing care remotely. Patients get cheap medical advice from qualified professionals and doctors avoid spending a lot on administrative overhead. Top telemedicine contractors include iSelectMD, NowClinic, Ringadoc and American Well. The American Telemedicine Association is a terrific resource for physicians interested in providing telemedicine consultations.

3. Start a Medical Equipment Business

According to the most recent statistics, the medical device industry is worth roughly $155 billion in the United States. You can easily snag a piece of that pie by working as a sales representative for major suppliers. If you want to go all the way, you could become a middleman and bid on supply contracts for smaller hospitals in your immediate area

4. Podcasting and Blogging

Podcast microphone and headphones set up near laptop on desk

The beauty of today’s digital media world is you don’t have to wait for someone to hire you to start writing or speaking. With a few Google searches, you can learn how to start a blog or launch a podcast to talk directly to patients, fellow physicians, or general health consumers. Some physicians enjoy blogging or podcasting for the opportunity to debunk common health myths or provide expert perspective on current medical headlines. Successful podcasts and blogs take work, but they can attract advertising income if they reach a large enough audience.

5. Freelance Writing

African American male doctor typing on laptop at desk in office

Your years of practice have made you a subject matter expert, and freelance writing gives you the opportunity to translate that knowledge into paid content. Start by researching online health sites or medical publications and pitch story ideas, or look for non-editorial jobs such as writing scientific manuscripts, medical marketing communications, CME content, or test prep materials. Many health websites also employ independent medical reviewers. Conversely, you can make yourself available as a medical source to journalists through sites like Help a Reporter Out (HARO), though these interviews are typically unpaid.

6. Teach Online

image of teach online

Teaching online is a side-hustle that definitely deserves consideration is producing an online course to educate others.

Consider this statistic. “Market research from Global Industry Analysts projected ‘e-learning’ would reach $107 billion in 2015 and it did.  Now, Research and Markets forecasts show trip the revenue of 2015 – e-learning will grow to $325 billion by 2025”.

This reveals that e-learning is a substantial area that offers great potential to generate a side hustle.  An example of an avenue through which to do this is Udemy.  With Udemy you are able to record courses, choose your own price and make money for each one of your courses that is purchased.

7. Kindle Publishing

image of kindle publishing

“Self-published books now represent 31% of e-book sales on Amazon’s Kindle Store”.  Clearly, self-publishing is going from strength to strength and using a well-known and trusted platform like Amazon only adds to this.

Kindle publishing allows you to publish your work on Amazon kindle. Choosing a niche can be based on your expertise combined with ideas you can glean from tools like Google Trends.

CNN released a list of the top 10 medical queries searched on Google in 2018 and top of the list was the keto diet. So there’s a big interest in a diet

Some common mistakes doctors make when it come to side hustle and money

Invest in wide money scheme

Everyone likes to get in on a good deal. We can’t wait to tell others about our successes.

Over the course of your career, hundreds of people will offer you deals. The offers may come from neighbors, in-laws, former schoolmates, peers, work colleagues, etc. The deals may involve new medical devices, pharmaceutical compounds, or real estate.

Each will claim to offer a lucrative once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. You will be seduced by promises of dizzyingly high returns with minimal risk. In reality, most of these ventures end in tears and sometimes lawsuits.

Money truisms include: “Money doesn’t grow on trees,” and “There’s no free lunch.” If something seems too good to be true it most likely is too good to be true.

Only a tiny percentage of business ideas survive and evolve to investing success.Stick with what you understand. For most of us, that means a passive strategy focused on diversification and low fees. All other opportunities should be viewed with a healthy dose of skepticism.

Procrastinate

Doctors are masters of procrastination. This may be partly due to their medical training. In medicine, it is best to wait for the body to heal itself instead of jumping to surgery or drugs. Unlike in medicine, when it comes to finance and side hustling, time is the enemy. Every day that goes by without action is lost forever, along with its growth crucial to our nest eggs.

Rely blindly on advisors

Doctors often find it easier to identify an advisor they trust and let the advisor make all decisions. Many physicians have no interest in money matters. They prefer to spend their time on medicine and family.

The problem is that “When the cat’s away, the mice will play.” You are the cat and you are electing to not oversee your advisors’ (the mice) activities.They may act in ways you wouldn’t condone.

The resulting misunderstandings undermine trust and foster anxiety. In extreme cases ignoring advisors’ activities can result in crimes of opportunity or fraud.

Conclusion

Breaking all the outlook of limitations that may hinders or cause you to justify, and accept that your side hustle can be one of the rewarding decision you can make today. Though, it’s not easy but still far may doctors are making it and there is chance to 100 that you can.

Want to master entrepreneurship? Keep reading.

Want to master entrepreneurship? Keep reading for my secrets on how I “did it all” (effortlessly) and built my company with ZERO funding. Just kidding. I hope you know me better than that. Let’s get serious:

There isn’t a post from an expert that can solve all the challenges of running a business. There is no webinar with the answers, no book, no mentor or coach that can do it for you.

(I really wanted to write that there is no “Entrepreneurship for Dummies” book but there actually is. Could be a start?) That’s just not how entrepreneurship works. Nothing in the world can really prepare you for the wild ride that is starting a side hustle, being a solopreneur, hiring employees, trying to scale up, scale down, start or exit a company. And mastering anything takes a LOT of time.

Did your favorite chef learn their culinary craft during their first line cook job? Does every Olympic athlete just come out of the womb as a superhuman? Did every influencer on the internet get rich quick? (They might make it look like they did but…) Absolutely not. Entrepreneurship is no different.

So go easy on yourself. It’s the small things that matter. The small habits, the daily actions, the way you speak to yourself, how you pick yourself up from a loss, your ability to persevere, to not give up in the face of challenge, to solve problems, to make decisions, to act when you don’t feel like it… These actions lead to big wins. And in my opinion, there is no other way to get there. If you made it this far, I want you to know that YOU are capable of seriously kick-ass things. (I tell myself this every day, especially when I feel like I am not capable at all.) What is one action you can take this week that will move you in the right direction? One decision you can make? One small habit to change?

business basics all freelancers need to master

I’ve seen freelancers full of talents, and still getting it hard to earn a living off there creative skills. Why? They think only there professional skills can get the job done. No,

If you’re going to be a successful freelancer you need to be able to manage your own career like any other business. , so your business may look much like a big corporation: there’s no CEO, no shareholders and only one employee. But if you’re going to earn a good living then there are business skills you need to learn and get good at. The better and more efficient you become at managing your business, the more time you’re able to devote to development work, which means you get to spend more time doing what you love (you do love it, right?) and earn more money.

Freelancing Versus Employment – What’s the Difference?

Chances are that if you’re considering going freelance, there’s one main difference that’s encouraging you: the freedom of not having a boss. As a freelancer you can get up when you want to, work in your dressing gown, finish working when you’ve had enough, and only take on the work that really interests you.

Correct? Well, no.

As a freelancer you still have to earn a living. This means having the discipline to put in the hours you need to complete work, hit deadlines and keep your clients happy. It’s also very rare for freelancers, especially new ones, to be able to take on only the kind of work that they enjoy the most. In the early days you’ll be building your reputation and your client base, and you’ll need to take on just about all the work you can get.

Sound pretty miserable? It’s not – read on!

Freelancing has some big differences from being employed, and some similarities too. I’ve worked freelance for about a third of my career, including the past five years, and I can’t imagine ever going back to regular employment. But I have learned some hard lessons along the way, and had to develop some skills that I didn’t need when I was employed.

Pros and cons of freelancing

So let’s bust some myths and identify some pros and cons of freelancing:

  • As a freelancer, you won’t have to work nine to five (unless you’re working on site for a client), but you will have to work a similar number of hours to earn a living, very likely longer hours in the early days.
  • You won’t have a boss telling you what to do, but you will have clients—and they can be much, much more demanding.
  • That boss who made sure you hit your deadlines will be replaced by you—you’ll have to manage your own time and motivate yourself.
  • If you work from home you can work in your dressing gown if you want, but beware if you have a Skype chat scheduled with a client!
  • You’ll have to find work, and keep on finding work. Even if you get a contract with an agency that can keep you in regular, ongoing work, I’d always recommend having other clients just in case that agency doesn’t need you any more in the future. As you develop, you’ll want to develop your client base, which means marketing.
  • There will be times when you don’t have any work coming in and aren’t sure how you’re going to pay the bills this month. You’ll need to anticipate this and have contingency funds in place. The biggest killer for new businesses isn’t income, it’s cashflow.
  • If you want to hang onto your clients you’ll need to work on your relationship with them—something an account manager might have done when you were employed. You can’t spend your whole freelancing life in front of a computer screen, sorry!
  • Freelancing can be lonely: for the sake of your sanity, you’ll need to make the effort to get out and spend time with like-minded people.
  • You’ll have extra costs: equipment, training and conferences, insurance, software, tax and more. All these come out of the money you earn.
  • You’ll need a bank account, and you may even need to speak to your bank manager or the bank’s business manager from time to time.
  • You’ll need to constantly develop your skills and knowledge of the industry you work in and adapt as things change and move on. Any training you do will be in your own time and you’ll have to pay for it.

Freelancers business basics 1. Selling yourself

In order to land work as a freelancer, you’ll need to be able to close the sale. That doesn’t mean that you need to be an expert salesperson, but you do need to be able to show clients what you can do for them and why they should hire you.

Selling yourself isn’t about being aggressive or pushy, this is really another point that comes back to communication. You’ll need to be able to communicate exactly what you’re offering and how it will meet the needs of your clients.

In order to sell your services, be sure that you’re focusing on the benefits to clients and what’s in it for them.

But most freelancers are doing them the other way around, they are not getting it well at all. Let’s discuss some best practices selling yourself.

1. Be Visible Where Your Audience Is

Your audience is somewhere online and it’s a good idea for you to be there too. You don’t have to always be actively pitching but by being visible, you are becoming known and eventually trusted. This can lead to lots of work opportunities. 

For example, if you are a writer who works with real estate agents, it’d be a good idea to be on real estate forums. You may also want to try to write for some of the brands they work with likeHomeLight or Zillow

Your audience may not contact you directly as a result of this visibility but when you pitch them, they’ll recognize your name. This recognition will result in a bit (or a lot) more trust than other pitches have, which will make your sales process easier.

2. Be the Expert in a Niche

A great way to market yourself is by being an expert in a niche. This works especially well in niches that require specialized knowledge. For example, marketing in the cannabis industry in the United States. Because local and federal laws impact the ways marketing expert to have industry-specific knowledge that most marketers, no matter how good, will lack.

It may feel limiting to choose a niche or two to specialize in. Do it anyway as this “limitation” can make your marketing much easier as you’ll be speaking to a specific audience. You’ll know the right lingo to use and how to speak to their problems (you know, the ones you solve.) Your audience will feel seen and you will have an easier time because you won’t have to convince them you understand their specific problems and can help.

3. Ask for Referrals

Right after a client has given you a glowing review is a great time to ask for referrals. They may not know anyone offhand, but letting them know you loved working with them and would love working with anyone they recommend is smart. It allows you to share some love back and could lead to more work for you, now or in the future.

You should also ask your friends, family, colleagues, and former clients for referrals. If you don’t ask, they may assume you’re too busy for more work and won’t share your information. Some people offer finders fee to the people who refer them new business but you don’t have to do that. If you do decide to offer a finders fee, be sure to pay them out as fast as you say you will. Don’t make people wait for their money.

Remember: asking for referrals is not bugging anyone. It’s not begging for work. It’s letting the people who already love your work help the people they know have a chance at the amazing results you provide

4. Pitch Your Services

Oh, you didn’t really think I’d somehow forget that you need to be pitching on a consistent basis, did you?Consistently pitching is one of the most effective ways to grow your freelance business. If you’d like to be earning more money, you need to be pitching. 

I see the impact of pitching immediately. My calendar fills up with calls with potential clients right away and my bank account starts to fill up shortly thereafter. If I stop pitching for some reason, I can see it in my calendar and bank account pretty quickly.

If you want a steady income, you need to be steadily pitching. If you’re not sure how to pitch in a way that gets responses and clients, you can check out The Essential Freelance Pitch Pack we put together just for you.

InIf all of these methods for marketing yourself sound great but you’re not sure how to fit them all together in a way that is actionable on a day-to-day basis, consider the Freelance Marketing Plan & Goal Setting Workbook.

You don’t have to use our workbooks and packs to successfully market yourself. You can absolutely just implement the methods in this article and see a huge increase in your freelance business income. 

So which of these seven ways to market your freelance business are you going to implement this week?

Freelance business basics: relationship management

How you manage relationships links together with your marketing. The ideal for any freelancer is to be getting all of your new work from existing clients or via word of mouth: that way you don’t have to go out looking for work and can focus more time on what you’re paid for.

But clients will never recommend you to other people if they don’t like you or get on with you. Your code could be perfect but if you’re not someone people enjoy working with, those referrals will be much less common.

As well as client relationships, you’ll also have relationships with other freelancers, who instead of being like your boss will be akin to colleagues. Nurture these relationships: they’ll keep you from feeling isolated and will impact positively on your professional development.

1. Clear Communication On Both Sides

Having multiple clear lines of communication is vital for both sides of the working relationship. We’ll get on to specifics shortly, but needless to say, the manner in which you converse is just as vital as the tools you use.

The benefits of this goes two ways. On your end, you’re able to get clarity on your questions about the project, and the instructions you receive. For the client, they’ll be able to ascertain your intentions without misunderstandings. This could also build an increased sense of trust. Overall, being open to communicating with clients stands to net you further work and income.

Keeping your requests and responses straightforward is key here, as is concision with your answers. Speaking your client’s language should be a primary concern, so altering your tone and complexity based on their understanding of the project is a good idea.

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask questions yourself – as many as you need to – and don’t feel as though you need all of the answers. A willingness to find a solution carries much more weight with clients.

2. Quality Resources the Client Finds Useful

It’s tempting to only think about the tools you’re using to deliver a project. After all, these types of technical details may not be something your client cares about. However, you should also think about introducing solutions that can make your client’s life easier.

We’re not talking about bringing something complex and developer-heavy to the table. Instead, you could help the client become more efficient with a few choice apps, sites, or other tools. This will show the client you care about their project long-term, and could also net you more work related to further training.

For example, they may appreciate a free way to optimize their images, or implement a better way of working within their team. In the latter’s case, apps such as Asanaand Front are great for collaboration, and may not be on the client’s radar.

Of course, this element will depend on your client’s needs and project. However, you should keep your eyes out for potentially suitable solutions that can enhance the client’s long-term work, and make them more efficient. Taking into account their technical expertise is also important.

3. A Way to View Projects Collectively

Finally, there’s always plenty of back and forth when working on a project – especially if the client is new, and the relationship is still burgeoning. As such, having a quick and painless way to ‘check in’on the current status of a project is important.

In short, the client should be able to get an update on how things stand at any point. Your concern should be to give them almost instant feedback, which lets you tweak and optimize the work you’ve done so far without delays.

This is one area you’ll want to be the most flexible when it comes to the client’s needs. After all, they’re paying for the project. This means taking a hit on your own requirements (usually a quiet working environment and an uninterrupted process!)

As for actual solutions, writers will value platforms with powerful sharing options such as Google Docs, while the aforementioned Asana is great for disparate teams needing both brief and ‘micro’ overviews. However, visual creatives such as web designers and photographers will likely want to introduce staging sites and proofing options respectively.

Freelancers business basics: contracts and charges.

Contracts protect your clients

It would be wrong to think that contracts should only be put in place to protect the freelancer. All of our business relationships are two-way affairs, and that’s exactly how contracts work.

I’ve heard many stories where a client hired the services of a freelancer and ended up high and dry because the project was left unfinished, or the end result was completely different from what they expected and ultimately served no purpose for them.

The whole situation is made even worse if the client also loses money in the process. It could mean they are unable to hire someone else to complete the project and it leaves a bad taste in their mouths about working with freelancers.

Contracts protect you

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been extremely lucky with all my clients, but not everyone is. Non-payment is the biggest issue faced by many freelancers and without a watertight contract there’s little recourse for them.

Late payments are also a problem, especially when you are living on a carefully-calculated budget and have bills to pay on specific dates. Your service providers expect you to pay them as per your contract and that’s why you should expect the same from your clients.

Some freelancers also find that when they eventually do get paid the amount isn’t what they were expecting. Their clients have seemingly made adjustments, and the lack of a binding contract has enabled them to do so.

Contracts boost your credibility

We all like to think of ourselves as consummate professionals. So why would you even consider entering into a new client relationship without a contract?

By starting every new project off on the right foot with a contract in place, you are automatically showing your client that you take your responsibilities seriously and that you mean business. It affords a sense of reassurance and sets a professional tone for your relationship going forward.

While a contract might not be able to prevent bad things from happening or relationships going sour, it will stand you in a stronger position should the worst happen.

As a final point, it’s always best practise to get any contracts that you are considering using checked over by a legal professional to ensure they cover every aspect you need them to. As contracts get edited to suit different purposes, they sometimes lose their enforceability, which is something that can’t be fixed after the event.

Have you ever had any problems with clients, which may have been okay if you’d have had a contract in place? I’d love to hear about your experiences…

Freelancers business basics 4: accounting

The problem is, without accurate books, you won’t have an accurate view of your financial standing. Accounting provides a snapshot of your company’s financial viability and records that are outdated or inaccurate provide a “snapshot” that is out of focus.

Yes, bookkeeping is inherently dull, but the results of bookkeeping—they’re thrilling. There’s a thrill at the end of the month when balanced books show an actual profit or at the end of year when you’ve stayed within your budget or at tax season when you add up all your write-offs and you’re actually getting cash back instead of owing. This kind of invaluable financial data can only come from accurate books.

You put your time into the things you value most. If you truly value your business, you will put your time into your books and you will see financial growth because of it.

Use a software

Many accounting products offer a free tier for freelancers, so take advantage of that! Don’t try to track all of your numbers in a spreadsheet. I mean, if you haven’t been recording any numbers then sure, start with a spreadsheet. But know that there are smarter, easier, and way prettier options out there.

Cloud-based applications are the norm today and they are incredibly secure and easy to organize. These software products can be accessed any time of day, from any platform and receive automatic updates.

You could also consider a desktop software, but when you compare platforms (like QuickBooks Online vs Desktop) it’s clear that most online options have the power of a desktop alternative, with the accessibility of the cloud. To me, it’s a no-brainer, especially for freelancers who are often on-the-go.

Start right away

The most grievous mistake business owners (even the most experienced business owners) make with accounting is procrastination. As soon as you start freelancing, start bookkeeping.

If you’re just learning the ins and outs of your business responsibilities, and you’re a few months behind on your books, that’s okay. You can start fixing your accounting mess right now, today! It will take hard work, but soon you’ll get in the habit of updating your books regularly, saving you time in the long-run.

Set aside a little time every week (or at least every month) to mind your books. A few minutes every Friday is a lot better than a few hours—or even days—come April.

Besides, the longer you wait to categorize transactions, the less likely it is that you’ll actually remember what those transactions were for. Then you’ll have to dig through old records and receipts, wasting even more precious time that could be invested in the business tasks you love.

Just grit your teeth and start fixing your books. Your business will thank you.

Interpret your report

I started by saying I wouldn’t bore you with the jargon, but there are a few basic accounting terms that will be useful for you to know.

The accounting equation, which I mentioned above (assets=liabilities+owner’s equity), is represented on your “Balance Sheet.” What matters most on this report is that the accounting equation is, well, balanced. The total of your assets needs to equal the total of your liabilities and equity combined. If these numbers are not identical, you will have inaccurate books and file a faulty tax return.

Profits and losses are accounting terms that business owners tend to be pretty familiar with. Your “Income Report” shows your total sales and expenses over a period of time, resulting in your gross profit. Your net income, or “bottom line,” is what you pay taxes on. It’s the heart and soul of your business.

It’s also important for freelancers to understand that profit does not necessarily equal cash on hand. Your “Cash Flow Statement” combines data from the Income Report and Balance Sheet in order to give you a summary of your cash position.

These three reports are of the greatest value to freelancers. And the beauty is, if you’ve kept accurate books, most accounting products will produce the reports for you. You don’t have to do any complicated math to view your financial standing. You just have to categorize transactions; let your software do the heavy lifting.

Freelancers business basics #5: marketing

I have to admit that marketing is the aspect of self employment that I dread the most. I’m not a natural salesperson and nor are many of the freelancers I know. But without it, you won’t get work.

Marketing for a freelancer isn’t about advertising campaigns or email lists. It’s much more subtle than that. Marketing activities include:

Leverage social media

Social media sites where potential clients hang out are a goldmine. I’ve found clients on Slack, in Facebook groups, and by participating in relevant Twitter chats. In addition to creating content to share on social media, find people you can help by searching for “looking for freelance X (with “X” being whatever it is you do: ie photographer, designer etc.).”

Attend networking events

Attending networking events and meeting potential clients or collaborators. Use meetup.comto identify groups in your area, go to conferences and hackdays. Use all of these as an opportunity to make contacts and talk about what you can do.

Join forums & communities related to your niche

If you want to be visible where your audience is, join communities related to your niche. Don’t promote your services right away, instead engage with the community and provide value. After a while you’ll become known as an expert and you can start marketing your services.

Reach out to your friends, family, and former coworkers. Let them know that you’re a freelancer and ask if they (or anyone they know) could use your services. You can contact them directly, on social media, or even using email. 

Ideally, you’ll use a mix of tactics to make sure potential clients know that you’re available to help them with your freelance services.

6 ways to keep your side hustle startup cost low with a bit frugality

we all know every side hustle demands a bit financial commitment. And lack of money and time has been the number one and two reason many has forfeited there desire for freedom by having there own side hustle.

expenses such as taxes, cost of goods, and anything you need to operate your new business. You also want to include what type of services you are offering and how much you are going to charge. 

Starting a side hustle may take a little bit of investment funds up front, though there are many ways you can keep your side hustle startup cost low.

but let’s major now on scrimpings, you can save I mean hundreds of dollars monthly from just keep track of your spending.

and this can save a lot of side cash to help finance the group of your side hustle like, paying for important software and delegating some tasks.

so, now is the best time to begin taking care of your finance. It’s not only that you have take a broad step toward creating a bright future. But you can still be cast in a hole even if your hustle has begin blessing you with some financial turnover.

Smart apps to help track your spending.

The problem is that the decision can be challenging to know where to start making changes that will save you money. The answer will be to get help from apps that are designed to help you make better decisions about your professional and personal finances .

1. Acorns

Acorns rounds up your purchases on the credit and debit cards you link to the app. The difference is automatically transferred to an Acorns account. This account is part of Acorns’ investing platform. Your money savings are then invested in exchange-traded funds. You get the option to invest in conservative or aggressive funds based on what you feel comfortable doing.

College students get to use Acorns for free for up to four years. Everyone else has to pay a monthly fee if your account is under $5,000 or a percentage fee on anything above that amount in your account.

The company partners with brands like Airbnb and Blue Apron, which means those companies give back a percentage of your purchase and place that in your Acorns savings account.

2. You Need a Budget

You Need a Budget is an app that helps you create an easy-to-use budget interface that teaches you more about the value of money.

As a result, you’ll learn to prioritize certain expenses, find ways to save more money for retirement and emergencies, handle unexpected costs, and live within your means rather than using credit.

The company offers the app and software that works on your Windows or Mac computer. It works for all mobile devices for iOS and Android as well as Apple Watch and Amazon‘s Alexa.

3. Digit

Digit does the thinking and acting on saving money for you. It may even do a better job plus it takes the effort off your shoulders. This app looks at your current income and expenditures. It then calculates what you can save and puts that amount aside in an FDIC-insured Digit account.

Typically, the app goes through and does this analysis between two and three times a week. It gives you the ability to earn a one percent savings bonus that is paid every three months. What you get is based on the average daily balance in your Digit account during that same three-month period. There is a monthly fee that kicks in to use Digit after the 100-day free trial period runs out.

4. Viggle

Viggle is a way to actually make money while you spend time on the sofa in front of the television. This clever app lets you check in to a show that you are watching and then earn points for watching it.

You can also get additional points for playing games and testing your television IQ. In return, those points that you earn can be used at places like Starbucks and Barnes &; Noble. That means you won’t be spending $5 a pop on a coffee or magazine, so essentially watching television and using this app will entertain you while you save money.

5. Mint

Mint helps you stay on top of your bills so you aren’t late and end up costing yourself more money than you need to spend on late fees and penalties. This money-saving app also helps you develop a budget to ensure you maximize what you can do with your money and allocate money for savings, an emergency fund, and retirement while covering all your other obligations.

You’ll also be able to get a free credit score to monitor how your savings and good money habits are giving you an opportunity to get a better loan rate should you want to buy a home or vehicle down the line.

6. Trim

Trim is a money-saving app that works like your very own personal financial assistant. You can link all your accounts securely so the app can analyze each transaction and suggest areas to cut back like subscriptions or all those trips to the coffee shop.

Then, the machine-enabled app goes to work on finding you more affordable service providers like cable, car insurance, and the internet. It will even cancel subscriptions for you. You’ll be able to get text updates on how your accounts are doing and immediately see any automated changes that have been made. This is a great option for most self-employed people looking for a personalized financial assistant.

Migrate Shopify to wooecommerce

Migrating from Shopify to woocommerce is one of the most common migration in e-commerce today. As more and more people understand. It’s actually quite a common problem — one that tends to appear when you’re ready to assume greater control over the finer details you were previously happy to overlook.

Shopify is one of the fastest-growing eCommerce platforms. It has an easy and clean user interface that can be operated by both technical and non-technical people. Shopify is a SAAS based platform, which makes it easy to manage and maintain by the Shopify team compared to a distributed open-source platform.

It has a wide range of themes to satisfy the needs of retailers of all sizes. Live chat and email support is inbuilt to help customers solve their queries.

Building an eCommerce store through Shopify is straightforward and comfortable. But as Shopify store size increases, its maintenance becomes tough and painful for store owners! Not only this but let me list down more reasons that compel store owners to migrate Shopify to WooCommerce.

  1. Shopify is a SaaS-based platform that gives very less flexibility to customize your store.
  2. To add more features you need to buy apps that add up to the overall cost of your online store.
  3. Only a few themes are available for free, and you can’t customize them!
  4. If you purchase plugins or themes from third-party, then Shopify is not responsible for your website security.
  5. You need to pay both transactional and additional fees for each transaction that happens on your site.
  6. Shopify can freeze your account if you fail to fulfill their terms and policies.

As the business grows it demands flexibility and expandability. You need customization to fulfill your audience’s expectations. You might need to add more engines to your machine to give it more power.

So, if you are facing a similar situation and want to migrate your online business from Shopify to WooCommerce, without losing any data then you are at the right place.

The Most Popular E-Commerce Platform

According to BuiltWith,WooCommerce is one of the most popular ecommerce platformscurrently being used by online retailers. An analysis of CMS market share found that WooCommerce is almost triple the size of Shopify. 

To understand the answer to that question, let’s take a closer look at what WooCommerce is, how it works, and what it offers to its users.

WooCommerce is an open-source software tool, which lets you have full control over your website and gives you the power to customize freely. This flexibility allows you to bring your vision to life without limitations. Anyone can access, copy, modify, and change source code as they wish. Create the exact store you want with deep customization options. In contrast, Shopify’s closed source tool ensures standardization through Shopify’s centralized control, but does not allow the same flexibility with creativity and personalization.

The base versions of WordPress and WooCommerce are both free to download and use. You will be in charge of your domain name, hosting your site, and enhancing your ecommerce website with features through the use of extensions. This allows you to get additional features while controlling cos

Company Background

WooCommerce was created by two developers, Mike Jolley and James Koster.

They worked on a fork (a replication) of an existing e-commerce plugin called Jigoshop, and the result was the first release of WooCommerce in 2011.

WooCommerce and WooThemes were both purchased in 2015 by Automattic, the same company behind WordPress itself.

Automattic is now the active developer for WooCommerce, which is used by over 300,000 online retailers, including some fairly large and high-traffic sites.

Users like WooCommerce for several reasons, chief among them the fact that it is relatively easy to install and configure, which is always a bonus for busy new digital retailers

Here are a couple of reasons why you should head for WooCommerce instead of Shopify:

Control your assets better

Control what to migrate from Shopify to WooCommerce

WooCommerce is an open-source platform. That means you are free to do whatever you want with it.

While Shopify offers much help to set up your store, there basically isn’t much you can do about making your own stuff. The platform provides all the materials and the variation isn’t quite a large number. There goes your custom-built site!

But in WooCommerce, you can pull any resources you want to use. There is no limitation. So, it’s a decent reason why you should migrate from Shopify to WooCommerce.

Flexibility, Customization & Pricing

flexibility

When it comes to flexibility and customization, there’s literary nothing that can beat WordPress.

WooCommerce is open-source so you can edit, modify, copy things or even change raw codes/settings as you prefer. In a word, WooCommerce lets you use their codes as if it’s your own while Shopify chooses to manage their own.

Additionally, the wide range of customization WooCommerce provides, makes it more versatile than Shopify. You can enjoy endless customization, use themes, add-ons as much as you like.

The WordPress developers team states that the plugin repository has over 50K options to help individuals design their marketing strategy. So, migrating from Shopify to WooCommerce will result in your benefit in the end.

As for the pricing, you can get a hint from this small comparison from below;
WooCommerce displays Real-time shipping rates with a little package of $79 a year. It includes all the popular carriers like USPS. Unlocking the same feature in Shopify will cost you a big chunk of $299 a month! Freaking high!

So, there you have it. While both systems are for setting up your eCommerce store, comparing the prices will really make a lot of sense.

Cost of features

WooCommerce and WordPress both are free for everybody. You just need to spend on a domain name, hosting, and a little to a large amount for additional features like plugins, themes, etc. Without saying much, you can save all the necessary money on unnecessary features you might not even use ever.

For WooCommerce, the pricing is not so high. For Shopify, yes indeed it’s high. It’s another reason why you should migrate from Shopify to WooCommerce. For example:

  • Depending on the monthly plan, you have to pay $29 to $299 if you are using Shopify. Within the same budget of a month, you can run a full-fledged website on WooCommerce for a year!
  • Websites are bound to use add-ons to make it more user-friendly and appealing as possible. Shopify users get it hard because the most basic add-ons like Waitlists costs $15 per month! On the other hand, WooCommerce has it for $49 a year. That’s definitely a steal.
  • A payment gateway is a necessary option for an eCommerce store must-have. While you are using external payment gateways, a permanent transaction fee from 0.5% to 2% gets paid to Shopify. This amount is pretty small at first glance, but soon they pile up in big numbers. WooCommenrce doesn’t take any transaction fees. No fees, no problems!

Total SEO optimization

SEO is important. Your website rank depends on how much work you have put behind the site structure and SEO. WooCommerce gives you SEAMLESS control over your site’s SEO. Means, you get to choose and use every tiny bit of the SEO system as you like. There! It’s worth to choose WooCommerce for this specific feature.

Unlimited product listing facility

If it’s a shop, it’s about products, right? Imagine having an online T-shirt shop. If you look for the size, color, standard format, the variation can go from 24 to 160 easily. And this number is for 1 product! Sweet!

But ops! Your Shopify e-Store can barely house up to 100 variation.

On the other hand, WooCommerce will let you put piles of tabs and tabs until you are satisfied. Cool! So, it is another reason to migrate from Shopify to WooCommerce.

Now, you might know this, the WordPress community (as well as WooCommerce) is one of the largest group of people. Millions of people are connected with it, developing a share-&-care relationship. The goal is to improve together. So, signing up for WooCommerce will connect you with all those happy faces instantly. Isn’t it great?

Developers are easy to find

Shopify supports both add-ons and custom development through its Liquid template language, but the possibilities are limited. 

Because Shopify has such a focus on convenience (and features being handled internally), there aren’t so many developers out there working on it. If you decided that you wanted a new feature installed on your Shopify store (and you couldn’t find an existing add-on to handle it), then you might have a tough time finding a developer.

WooCommerce, though, has a thriving community complete with an abundance of developers. Beyond the basic functions, so much of WooCommerce had to be developed by the community, and it certainly doesn’t help that WordPress (the underlying platform) is free, extendable, and the most widely-used CMS in the world — itself supported by countless great developers. It won’t take you long at all to find a decent and affordable WooCommerce developer.

Preparing to migrate from Shopify to WooCommerce

WordPress and WooCommerce are both free, but that isn’t all that is involved in keeping your ecommerce site running. Since these are open-source, you will have to purchase the other things you need separately:

  • Domain name ($10 – $20 on average a year; depending on domain)
  • Domain hosting ($5 – $25 monthly; but can go much higher for more unique services)
  • Design themes ($40+ per theme; free templates sometimes available, but often require attribution)
  • Plugins / extensions (subscription based fees; some free plugins with limited services available)
  • Developer fees ($20 – $150 per hour depending on the quality of the developer and difficulty of the task)

When making choices for each of these, consider the big picture, what you can afford, and the real needs of your business. Scale as needed to add features, but don’t waste money on features that won’t help you advance your business early on. An open-source tool gives you control over your budget and the features you need, but a full-service tool will often include these, at a higher cost.

Install WooCommerce to WordPress

If you’ve already installed WooCommerce to your WordPress dashboard, you can skip ahead.

Before we cover the steps for migrating, let’s make sure you have WooCommerce installed properly. It’s simple and quick to do.

From your WordPress admin dashboard, navigate to “Plugins” along the left column and click “Add New.”

Screenshot of Plugins button open and Add New highlighted

Click in the Search bar along the top right. Type “WooCommerce” and initiate a search.

Screenshot of Add Plugins screen with WooCommerce entered into search

Find the extension in the plugins marketplace, and click “Install Now” to download and install the WooCommerce plugin.

Screenshot of Add Plugins screen with WooCommerce app up and “Install Now” highlighted

The plugin may take some time to install. Once installed, click “Activate” to turn the plugin on.

Screenshot of WooCommerce plugin with Activate highlighte

TheNext, follow the configuration process you are presented with to complete setup. When done, you’ll be ready to migrate your Shopify data to your new WooCommerce store.

Choose a hosting plan

While WordPress and WooCommerce are free, you will need to pay for website hosting separately. There are a few main things to consider when trying to select a provider:

  • How many websites and pages will you be running from one server?
  • What level of security does the host provide and how much liability do they assume?
  • How much customer support is available when you will need it and what is the quality of service?
  • How much uptime does the server average?
  • Is the service scalable to match your traffic; can it handle any influxes?

Hosting costs can range drastically, from as low as $3.99 a month to over $5,000; it all depends on how much data is on your site, how much traffic you get, and how much flexibility you need at peak times. As a smaller business, you will be able to use a cheaper service, scaling up as your traffic grows. Most hosting services will also offer a free trial period so you can decide if you are satisfied with the service.

WooCommerce and WordPress recommend BluehostSiteGround, and Pressable for beginners, as these hosting services are easy to use and will meet basic performance needs. If you are looking to run a larger ecommerce store, you may want to work with a team with expertise in WooCommerce.

Steps To Take Before You Start Store Migration

WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce platform. One-third of internet users prefer to use the functionalities of WooCommerce rather than any other website builder. Furthermore, WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that means you also need to download, upload, and install WordPress along with WooCommerce – if you want to leverage the functionalities and join the community of expert developers.

So, before you start your store migration process, prepare a baseline by installing WordPress and WooCommerce. [Here, you’ll also get to know how you can install WooCommerce themes to give your store the look you want!]

1. How To Install WordPress?

WordPress can be installed either manually or using the one-click functionality provided by your hosting provider. [Many web hosting companies provide a one-click option to reduce and simplify the WordPress installation process.]

Beginners find manual WordPress installation a little tough and technical, and thus, in this blog post, I’ll let you know how you can install a self-hosted WordPress using Bluehost on your system!

Don’t know the difference betweenhosted WordPress and self-hosted WordPress? If so, then you first need to know the difference between them because they’re two entirely different websites created to serve different users and business objectives!

Maximum times beginners get confused as it belongs to the same founder and includes the name (WordPress). You can decide whether you want to know the comparisons right now and later on after completing this post on – how to migrate Shopify to WooCommerce!

Bluehost is popular and designed to fulfill the requirements of small-size businesses. If your business is new and going to receive moderate amounts of traffic, then you can select the services of Bluehost. Its basic plan starts from $2.75/month. You can go through Bluehost pricing plans and select the one that can fulfill your requirements.

I’m listing down the steps through which you can install WordPress using Bluehost. In case you decide to leverage the hosting services of any other company, you can mention your hosting provider name in our comment section so that we can help you install WordPress using your preferred channel!

WordPress Installation Using Bluehost

1. Purchase a Bluehost plan that can help you meet your business-specific needs.

<img src="data:image/svg+xml;charset=utf-8,
bluehost-hosting-pricing

2. Login to your Bluehost Account.

3. Click on My Site Tab from the left sidebar.

4. Now click on the Log Into WordPress button to enter your WordPress website.

5. Click on the Create Site button present at the rightmost corner under My Site section.

6. Enter your site name and tagline. Click Next to continue the process.

7. Now, add your Domain Name & URL (this section also provides a list of WordPress plugins you can skip their download for now). Click Next.

8. A notification appears stating- WordPress Installed Successfully!

Your self-hosted WordPress website is ready! Now, you can proceed ahead and install the WooCommerce plugin. [WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, and that’s why it’s also known as the WooCommerce plugin. Don’t get confused!]

2. How To Install WooCommerce?

After installing the self-hosted eCommerce solution. Let’s now see how you can install WooCommerce.

1. Download WooCommerce plugin from wordpress.org. You can install WooCommerce for free.

<img src="data:image/svg+xml;charset=utf-8,
download-woocommerce

2. Login into your WordPress Dashboard. From the left sidebar, click on Plugins > Add New.

<img src="data:image/svg+xml;charset=utf-8,
wordpress-admin-panel

3. Upload the WooCommerce plugin using the Upload Plugin button present at the top. Or type WooCommerce in the search bar to initial your WooCommerce plugin search within your WordPress Dashboard.

<img src="data:image/svg+xml;charset=utf-8,
configure-woocommerce

4. A list of plugins appears. Choose the WooCommerce Plugin that is developed by Automatic. After finding the right plugin, click on the Install Now button.

<img src="data:image/svg+xml;charset=utf-8,

5. After installing WooCommerce, you can click on the Activate button to activate the functionalities of WooCommerce in your WordPress website and to turn it into a WooCommerce website. For more, details click on the More Details button present below the Activate button.

6. After clicking on the activate button, you’ll be redirected to the WooCommerce setup wizard. Complete all the steps of the WooCommerce setup wizard to make your store more flexible and personalized.

<img src="data:image/svg+xml;charset=utf-8,
woocommerce-setup-wizard

Click to know the steps involved in the WooCommerce setup wizard and how you can complete them. You can also refer to the documentation created on the WooCommerce setup wizard.

Don’t skip the steps of the WooCommerce setup wizard. It can bring personalization in your WooCommerce store and also help in getting better business results.

If you have Configured WooCommerce on your system, then don’t forget to explore the ways through which you can automate your eCommerce store.

3. How To Install WooCommerce Themes?

Now, if you want to redesign your website using your selected WooCommerce theme, then you need to follow the mentioned steps.

  1. Go to your WordPress Dashboard.
  2. From the left sidebar go to Appearance > Themes Page.
  3. On the top of the page, there is a button named Add New you need to click on the same button. [By clicking on the Add New button you’ll be redirected to the Add Theme Page.]
  4. Click on the Upload button that is present on the top.
  5. An upload box appears, browse your downloaded theme and click on the install button.
  6. A notification appears when your theme is successfully installed!
  7. Click on the Live Preview button to preview the look and feel of your installed theme.
  8. Now click on the Activate button to make your theme LIVE.

How To Migrate From Shopify To WooCommerce?

As your business size increases, it becomes expensive to use and manage Shopify stores. In other words, with time your investment increases, and return reduces. It compels store representatives to switch from Shopify to WooCommerce.

Well, the decision of eCommerce store migration from Shopify to WooCommerce isn’t that easy! It consumes more time because, as a store owner no one wants to harm their store data. The level you have reached through your continuous zeal and passion, you don’t want to put that on risk at any cost.

But in reality, you can transfer all your data accurately without any security issues. Without losing your existing customers, orders, and sales, you can successfully migrate your Shopify store to WooCommerce using any of the methods described below.

1. Manually Migrate Store Data To WooCommerce

Manual migration might seem like a time consuming and boring process. But if you don’t want to spend money on migration tools, then this method is best for you!

It is relatively simple and easy to execute. Use the steps mentioned below to migrate your store data from Shopify to WooCommerce for free.

  1. Export and download your CSV file for customers, orders, and products. You’ll need to import these CSV files to WooCommerce later.
  2. Login into your Shopify Account. Go to Products > All Products section. Click on the Export button present on the top of the page. A pop-up window will appear with content – Export products to CSV files. In the window, you need to select All Products under Export section and CSV for Excel, Numbers, or other spreadsheet programs under the Export As section. To continue the process, you need to click on the Export Products button. [It will prepare your CSV file for products].Prepare CSV files for orders and customers as well. After downloading your CSV file, you need to modify its structure accordingly to match the predefined structure of the WooCommerce CSV file.
  3. Go to your WordPress Admin Panel. From the left sidebar, click on WooCommerce > Products.
  4. On the top of the page, there is a button named Import click on it to leverage the functionalities of Product CSV Importer. [Product CSV Importer is a built-in option provided by WooCommerce to make the migration process smooth and seamless for all users.]
  5. Click on the Choose File button and browse your CSV file that you want to import at the current moment. Now click on the Continue button.
  6. On the next page, you can see the Column Mapping Screen. Here WooCommerce automatically tries to map the column name of your Shopify CSV file to WooCommerce product fields. [Note- WooCommerce tries to map all the fields automatically, but you still need to map some of these fields by yourself using the drop-down menus present at the right of each row.]
  7. Click on the Run Importer button. You’ll need to wait until the migration process completes.In this way, you can easily export Shopify products to WooCommerce for free.

2. Choose A Migration Tool

If you don’t want to use the Product CSV Importer provided by WooCommerce and think you can damage your store data, then you can also use an extension for the same.

Using an extension you can automate your migration process and keep yourself away from manual processes. But you’ll need to pay if you want automation in your migration process; the more data you migrate to WooCommerce the more you have to pay!

There are several Shopify to WooCommerce migration plugins, you can easily get a huge variety to select from. Later in this blog post, I’ll let you know about these Shopify to WooCommerce migration plugins and the tool that WooCommerce recommends its users to leverage! Stay calm and keep reading!

3. Hire A Developer Or Agency

If you don’t wish to manually import your store entities to WooCommerce or an extension for the same, then you can take your problems to a developer’s table.

There is no issue if you don’t feel safe while migrating your store data all by yourself; you can contact a developer whenever you want! A WooCommerce developer can help you migrate Shopify to WooCommerce without harming your store data. You can concentrate on other essential things of your business as your developer will be managing all the migration process for you!

In the WooCommerce community, you can easily find an expert developer to handle your Shopify migration. Here at MakeWebBetter, we provide WooCommerce migration facilities from all eCommerce platforms. You only need to connect with our members to launch your store using WooCommerce.

What is abandoned cart in e-commerce, and how to fix it.

This guide contains everything you need to know about cart abandonment, from what it is, to why it happens, to how you can devise a strategy to combat it.

Understanding how to drive these consumers back to your website is fundamental to increasing revenue and winning loyal customers.

On average, 69.89% of shoppers will add something to the shopping cart but end up leaving without buying anything, leading to shopping cart abandonment.

The average conversion rate for eCommerce websites is a dismal 2.86%. Chances are — you’re grappling with this problem as well.

So, in this article, we will cover the A->Z of shopping cart abandonment – what is it? Why does it happen? And unconventional ways to reduce cart abandonment for your online store. 

What is Shopping Cart Abandonment?

Shopping cart abandonment is when a potential customer on your ecommerce site is in the middle of checking out (or has at least added it to their cart) and decides to no longer purchase. This is usually measured in the percentage of carts abandoned over a period of time. It can be impacted by bad UI, checkout flow, confusing pricing, brand trustworthiness, etc.

Statistics

According to the Baymard Institute, these are the most common reasons why customers abandon shopping carts:

  • Expensive shipping fee (55%)
  • Site wanted them to make an account (34%)
  • Long or complicated checkout process (26%)
  • Couldn’t trust the site with credit card information (17%)
  • Website had errors/crashed (17%)
  • Not enough payment options (6%)

Of course, there can be other reasons that also come into play, such as not having enough product in stock, waning brand loyalty, and checkout errors.

Other major reasons for cart abandonment include:

  • Having a slow website. A slow website can increase abandonment by 75%, and loyalty drops 50% when your site is slow.
  • Customers just browsing. 81% of customers are just browsing ecommerce sites because they are conducting online research as to the best available deals. 55% look for products on both Amazon and Pinterest, 79% look for free return shipping, and 71% evaluate shipping fees and policies

Why do customers abandon their shopping carts?

Why do customers abandon shopping carts?
Source: Baymard

1: High and Unexpected Extra Charges

Shoppers find an item that they like, they consider the price and then decide to make a purchase. However, once they get to the checkout page, they see something unexpected in the payment summary.

There are several extra charges—like shipping costs and taxes—added to the original price. Which causes the total cost of the item to rise unexpectedly. This frustrates and angers many shoppers, causing them to abandon their shopping carts.

In the Barilliance study, the top reason for shopping cart abandonment was unexpected shipping costs.

The Baymard study found that 60% of people abandon their carts because the extra costs for shipping, taxes, or other fees were too high.

Another 23% of customers abandon shopping carts because they can’t see, or calculate the total cost of their orders upfront.

2: Looking for other alternatives – leaving to do some research

Not every reason for cart abandonment has something to do with you or your website and brand. Many visitors like to look around and find the best option that suits their budget and wants. 

A simple and obvious way to avoid this – have a product comparison chart to provide the benefits of your products over other options. 

Here is a simple example of the same: 

example of product comparison chart

 3: When they have to create a new account

Over 20% of the visitors don’t complete their checkout because of the need to create a new account on your checkout page. 

When they are forced to do extra steps , they get frustrated and drop off. But this doesn’t impact the visitors buying experience as much as others on this list. 

The easiest way to solve this problem is to have a guest checkout process or an option to log in through google or facebook. Something like this:

Guest checkout option

4: They Do Not Trust Your Site

Users who land on your site for the first time, or who do not have an existing connection or relationship with your platform may take some time to trust you with their credit card.

Customers are afraid of filling transaction forms. They do not like the idea of providing personal details such as their phone numbers, email addresses, credit card details and addresses to people they do not trust. 

Buyers know the risk of data theft is always there. You have to convince users to choose your business by showing the steps you’ve taken to protect their data and identity.

Highlight companies or names you’re affiliated with and mention the steps you’ve taken to safeguard your visitor’s interest. This includes using SSL certificates, getting verified by credit card companies like MasterCard and Visa, and using a reliable antivirus program. 

Make sure to place logos clearly on your website. About 61 percent of consumers avoid buying for a site that does not display trust logos.

In addition to this, you can also offer a money back guarantee. It’s an easy way to win a new customer. Consumers are more likely to buy from a website or store that offers a guarantee that ensures their money is safe. 

Clearly highlight your refund policy and make sure to tell users they’re covered if they do not receive what they expect. Since it’s common for online marketplaces to promote false products, a money back guarantee can be very helpful in convincing consumers to complete the checkout process.

5. Your Website Crashes

This is a no-brainer, most users will leave a website that crashes, especially if it happens during the checkout process. 

Crashes can happen due to a number of reasons such as system issues.

In some cases, the website may crash during the payment process if it’s not able to form a connection with the payment provider. This might not always be in the hands of the store since you’ll have to trust the services of the provider you have selected.

On your part, be careful when selecting a partner. Choose reliable providers and makes sure to select a hosting company that offers a good uptime so that your site does not crash.

If you expect your site to be down due to maintenance or other such causes, flash a warning so that users are well aware of the risks.  

6. Missing Information or Details

Consumers will leave a website that does not provide all the required details about a product or service. For example, the page below is bad as it tells nothing about the product.

Amazon Example
Amazon Example

Now look at this another Amazon example:

You will find everything you need on a single page.

Amazon allows sellers to upload everything from company manuals to reviews and descriptions. This is one of the major reasons why Amazon has been able to find such success. 

Many users prefer to buy from Amazon because they know they will not have to do any research to find what they need and they’ll find everything on the web. Plus, they also have more trust on the platform due to its customer friendly policies. 

Amazon allows buyers to check the FAQ section, go through reviews to know what real customers think, and check the description to know how a product works or what it offers.

Some sellers even add videos and detailed guides to ensure buyers have no confusion. You should also do the same if you wish to reduce the cart abandonment rate.

7. Surprises and Hidden Costs

Nothing annoys consumers like hidden costs. Imagine the horror of searching for a product under $10, selecting one, and seeing the cost skyrocket to $12 when you reach the final page.

Extra costs can be in the form of taxes, fees, and shipping. The situation can be tough for sellers but the truth is that consumers do not want to pay these ‘additional charges’, especially if they come as a surprise.

About 23 percent of buyers will abandon the process if they do not see the total cost up-front. Make sure to advertise costs on the product page. If you want to advertise the product for a lower price (minus extra charges) you can mention so on the page so that buyers know what they’re taking on.

Abandoned Cart Emails

If your customers still abandon their shopping carts at a high rate despite your best efforts onsite, there’s good news: you can still get them back with the help of abandoned cart emails.

Abandoned cart emails are helpful and effective. Here are some abandoned cart email statistics to take note of from Moosend:

  • Open rate: 45% of cart abandonment emails are opened on average.
  • Click through rate: 21% of the emails are clicked on.
  • Conversion rate: 10.7% of recipients completed their purchases. According to Barilliance, abandoned cart emails can lead to a 18.64% increase in conversion rates!

You can create your own abandoned cart emails with the help of your email marketing provider and/or ecommerce platform (for example, BigCommerce offers abandoned cart recovery features built-in).

Additionally, these solutions can help simplify the process:

abandon cart emails airlines

1.Showcase trust and credibility in your emails.

We are all aware of the many scams on the internet and most of us will be able to tell a story we’ve heard about someone that lost money on a purchase that they never received.

Consumers, too, have become more careful and first-time visitors to your website especially will need a little more convincing before opening up their wallets.

This is where social proof can help you convert those first-time visitors or skeptical buyers.

The best way to do that is to use product ratings and reviews so that those prospects can see that other people (like themselves) have happily purchased from you before.

When 88% of consumers claim that ratings and reviews influenced their buying decision, this represents a big opportunity for you.

Instead of just using this social proof on your website, you can use it in your abandoned cart reminder emails too.

Here are two ways to do that:

  1. Remind your customers that they left highly-rated products in their shopping cart. You can use the star rating (of the highest rated product in the cart) in your subject line (something like “There are ★★★★★ products in your cart!”) to give your open rates a nice boost.
  2. Most abandoned cart emails that you encounter will contain a list of the products left behind in the cart. These emails include all of the basics you’d expect: the product name, image and price. By including the number of reviews along with the average rating, you can make your products more compelling. Seeing something like “Rating: 4.64/5 (67 Reviews)” will give you an instant dose of FOMO to complete that purchase ASAP.

The combination of a higher open rate and more compelling content has meant that some merchants have seen an increase in their recovery rate of up to 36%.

2. Shine the spotlight on a single product.

These days many online shoppers practice a digital version of window shopping where they will add multiple products to their cart for future consideration.

It’s safe to assume though that when someone adds 10 very similar products to their cart, they don’t have equal purchasing intent for all of those products.

Most abandoned cart emails would, however, remind the customer of all those products, which dilutes the effect that your email will have.

Instead of using the opportunity to re-market and re-sell your customer on a single product (preferably the one they are most likely to buy), you (and others) use that fleeting moment across 10 different products.

I would invite you to think about what a one-on-one conversation with that customer would look like and how you could apply some basic sales principles to increase your conversion rate.

Here are three ways in which you can turn your abandoned cart email into a better salesperson:

  1. Use at least part of your abandoned cart email campaign to focus on selling only one product and then really shine that spotlight on that product. The easiest way to do this is to select your best-selling/highest-rated product in the cart, because it converted for many of your past customers.
  2. Once you have that single product focus, highlight some of the primary benefits of that product specifically. Instead of using generic marketing copy that relates to your brand and the abandoned cart, you can communicate the unique selling propositions (USPs) of this product.
  3. Along with using your marketing copy to elaborate on the reasons why the customer should complete their purchase, you can also add some objectivity by including recent reviews of the product. The combination of your and your customers’ own words will give your prospective customer the full spectrum of information to aid them in their purchasing decision.

When you do all of these things in a single email, it also quite a striking visual effect.

Here’s a comparison between a basic abandoned cart email (left) and the results of using the spotlight effect (right):

abandon cart emails comparing

Image Source

3. Make the most of loyalty.

One of the most prevalent strategies to recover abandoned carts at the moment is to include a discount coupon, but because this is such a popular tactic, we have conditioned many of our customers to now expect this.

Discounts ultimately erode your profit margins and over time it loses its efficacy too.

The bigger risk here is that regular discounting devalues your product over time.

Discounts are especially counter-intuitive when it comes to your most loyal customers.

They are familiar with your brand and have indicated a willingness to purchase from you regularly before; so you probably don’t have to sacrifice your profit margin with another discount.

The better way to do this is to leverage your loyalty & rewards program(something like Smile.io).

This tactic has improved abandoned cart metrics for every merchant for whom we’ve implemented this, ranging from a 39% to 600% increase in recovered revenue per email sent.

Here’s how we do it:

  1. First look at your global Average Order Value (AOV). For this example, let’s assume that is $100.
  2. Then look at your reward tiers in your loyalty program. What you want to determine is how many loyalty points a member needs to get at least a 10% discount (based on your global AOV). Let’s say 200 points equals a $10 discount.
  3. Create a segment in your email marketing software for all Rewards members that also has more than 200 points.
  4. Send that segment a different abandoned cart email campaign, where you don’t include a new discount. Instead you highlight the fact that they have loyalty points which they could apply to this purchase to get at least 10% off.

Not only does this tactic convert incredibly well and give your recovery rate a massive boost, you are also not issuing a new discount.

Instead you are just nudging your loyal customers to use the points that they have already earned.

The other, more general, tactic that you can use for all your Rewards members is to remind them of their points balance and how many points they need to reach the next rewards tier.

This will work especially well if every rewards tier unlocks some exclusive or exponential rewards.

The best example I’ve seen (and have fallen for) are airlines’ frequent flyer programs.

The more I fly, the more reward miles I earn. But if I earn a certain amount of miles in a specific amount of time, then I can also be upgraded to the next level.

The next level then normally means I can earn even more miles along with other benefits.

Suffice to say, I have been known to book yet-another holiday primarily to be bumped to the next level.

Airline $100. Adii 0.

HOW MODERN CONSUMERS SHOP ACROSS CHANNELS

Consumers shop on their own time, in their preferred channels and compare across stores and prices. Here’s everything you need to know from demographic shopping habits to how folks in the cities versus rural areas differ. 

Build your omnichannel strategy for your target customer right now. 

4. Keep a longer-term connection.

The recent introduction of the GDPR has shone the spotlight on how crucial consent is for online marketing.

As email marketers, we’ve always mostly agreed that a smaller, highly engaged list will always trump a bigger, disengaged list in many ways.

Making sure that you are only sending emails to prospects or customers who have consented to receive them is a critical component to ensure high engagement.

After someone abandons a cart on your store, you have a legitimate interest to email them about that cart (which is what you’re doing with your abandoned cart emails).

But after a couple of emails about this, you can’t email that customer again without their consent.

That’s a potential relationship lost.

The context you should consider is that often times the timing is not right for the customer to make a purchase now.

Maybe they need to save up a little more or they’re buying a gift that they only need later.

In those cases, you want to retain the connection until that time in future when they are ready to make a purchase.

One way to do that is to add a final email to your abandoned cart email sequence, asking your prospect to instead sign up to your mailing list instead.

That way you can either trigger another automated, drip campaign for them or just send them regular newsletters about new products or promotions.

This keeps you top of mind with them and will nudge at least some of these prospects to make a purchase (which would be an indirect abandoned cart recovery).

5. Give your emails a boost with other tools.

If you could only do one thing about cart abandonment, it would be to implement a good abandoned cart email strategy.

Email is a cost-efficient, stable and scalable way for you to recover more of this revenue.

And if you use the emerging, creative tactics I have included above, you should have a really good recovery rate too.

There are other things that you can implement though to complement your email strategy.

The reason these tactics work is not as much because you’re doing “more”, but because you are using different mediums to find alternative ways of speaking with your customers.

This optimizes for your customer’s individual preference for how they like to hear from you, whether that is email or text messages or phone calls.

Here are a few mediums and tactics you can use to boost you abandoned cart email strategy:

  • Actually call your customers. This is not very scalable, but you can prioritise this by only phoning abandoned carts that have a certain cart value. What is great about this is that you can get great feedback and address unique objections with a specific customer.
  • Use a tool like Shoelace to create automated retargeting ads on Facebook to coincide with your email campaign.
  • As a platform, Facebook continues to grow and Facebook Messenger is a big part of that growth. There are tools like Recart that allows you to send abandoned cart messages via Messenger for those prospects that prefers this (over email).
  • Another medium that you could investigate is browser push notifications or text messages too.

If you implement any of these additional tactics, you will find that the biggest improvement to your recovery rate will come by being consistent in your messaging.

When you have messages going out to multiple channels, the consistency in your voice, tone and even the discount on offer is critical.

On the other hand, your biggest risk too is that you contradict yourself across the multiple channels.

To that extent, make your abandoned cart email sequence your North Star and build out the other tactics around that.

Some abandoned carts email apps.

Jilt

Developed by the SkyVerge team, an official WooCommerce partner, Jilt was created to help ecommerce stores recover lost sales due to shopping cart abandonment.

Jilt ecommerce WordPress plugin

Jilt ecommerce WordPress plugin

Jilt is a plugin that you install. It integrates with platforms such as WooCommerceEasy Digital Downloads, and Shopify. Once you’re using Jilt, it monitors incoming customers and tracks them. Once they abandon their shopping carts, it kickstarts an automated email campaign to try to make them come back.

Jilt analytics

Jilt analytics (Image source: Jilt)

One great thing about Jilt is that they show you how much extra income you can make by reaching customers you could’ve lost. On that note, you’re only charged for the customers that you actually reach through your campaigns. You can also have Jilt dynamically create unique discount codes for you.

Conversio

Conversio is an email marketing company that specifically targets ecommerce stores.

Conversio WooCommerce plugin

Conversio WooCommerce plugin

They allow you to send any relevant ecommerce emails, such as receipts, abandoned cart emails, follow-up emails, product reviews, newsletters, and feedback emails. Conversio offers beautiful pre-designed email templates, powerful segmentation, and automated campaigns. Like Jilt, Conversio also charges according to a flexible pricing model.

How to drive organic traffic to your shop blogging

If a blog isn’t a core part of your ecommerce marketing strategy, you’re losing out on traffic, leads, and sales. As selling online becomes more and more competitive, having great products is no longer enough. Every day, over 500 new online stores are launched on Shopify alone.

Unlike the people already shopping in your store, readers of your blog may not be quite ready to buy from you. And while the primary goals of content marketing are not to produce a sale immediately, it’s great when it actually happens and it’s certainly worth trying. Since it’s unclear whether they’re ready to purchase or not, it’s going to be up to you to guide them towards a purchase with relevant and valuable content.

Blogs are a great way to bring in new customers. They host engaging content in the form of articles, which work as organic lead generators, and promote interaction between your customers. A blog functions as the top of your content marketing funnel by drawing website visitors in and eventually leading them toward buying your products.

The pros of blogging

Aside from the above, which are the biggest reasons, a blog is a way for your store to segue into more of a content-driven enterprise instead of being exclusively product-driven. Depending on the kind of content you post, you could wind up as an authority in whatever niche you chose.

For example, say your eCommerce store sells glassware with custom designs etched onto it. Now, if you start a blog dedicated to the industry and process of etching glassware, and post a few helpful articles about how others can do the same kind of thing themselves at home… you’re suddenly providing a valuable service in addition to selling your products. People will recommend your blog to others looking to etch their glassware at home.

A blog lets you publicly declare your brand’s authority in your niche

And those who aren’t quite as good at crafts as they thought they were will think of your store first and foremost when they realize they should probably just order the etching they want. You’ll be at the front of their mind because you’re the one that gave them such helpful directions!

As for the people that are that crafty…well, they have to buy their etching cream and sticker paper from somewhere. And if you just so happen to have affiliate links to brands you personally endorse, well…it’s not as good as selling your own product, but it’s something.

See now how your blog acts as a funnel to selling your products?

The cons of blogging

There’s always gotta be something, doesn’t there?

It’s a lot of work to keep a blog. You have to post content regularly, whether that’s every day or once a month. And you have to put in some effort to gracefully weave your products into your blog posts. You want your posts to be educational so that your readers find real value in them, and don’t just view them as a long-form sales pitch for your store’s products.

How do I choose topics that help my e-commerce customers?

First, you need to know what your customers care about and search for online. Then you can brainstorm topics that, while they may not directly relate to your business, will be interesting and helpful to your target audience.

If you sell women’s shoes, you could write about how to keep your feet comfortable while traveling. If you offer web design services, consider posts about digital marketing, since the same clients will benefit from both subjects. 

To develop a list of topics:

  • Pay attention to customer complaints and feedback.
  • Keep tabs on reviews.
  • Research commonly-searched keywords with tools like Google Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest, and brainstorm topics that naturally relate to those terms. 
  • Analyze each of your products and outline every possible problem each one solves.
  • Read what your competitors write.

Focus on covering one topic per post. It’s better to provide more details about one thing rather than a few details about many things. In an hour of focused brainstorming and research, you can come up with dozens of blog post topics.

woman writing a blog post on a laptop

How often should I post?

The more the better! If you can write a post every day, you should. But few businesses have the time or the money to post every single day, so here’s a more helpful strategy: Whatever you’re doing now, do it a little bit more often. 

If you have no blog posts, or haven’t written one in months, commit to writing one per month. If you’re writing one post per month, commit to two. If you’re determined to get results as quickly as possible, a good minimum is four per month.

To keep blogging manageable, try writing posts in batches instead of spreading out the work. Don’t write one post per week. Instead, write four at the same time, while you’re in the writing zone, and then schedule them to publish over the course of a month. You can then spend the rest of your time on other tasks. 

Three types of topics to write for, if you want to ranked in search engine.

If you want to use SEO to get more sales, you need to find article topics that:

  1. Will attract customers
  2. Are topics people are searching for
  3. Aren’t too hard to rank on

Let’s dig in a bit on what each of these means.

Topics that will attract customers

Cup & Leaf ranks No. 1 on Google for the query “how to make milk tea,” which brings in around 3,000 visitors per month.

But, in the months that this article has been at that ranking, it’s brought in zero sales. This is a topic that people are searching for, and it’s one that wasn’t too hard to rank on, but it’s not one that’s attracting customers.

Here’s why: Most people searching “how to make milk tea” aren’t actually going to buy any tea, so while this article is still somewhat useful for overall site strength and getting views on our Facebook pixel, it’s not directly driving many sales.

On the flipside, Cup & Leaf also has a top spot on Google for “best black tea.”

This article drives significantly more traffic back to the store, and more sales, primarily because people searching for “the best black tea” are actually looking to buy some black tea.

It’s a topic that attracts customers, not just readers, which is extremely important if you want your content to lead to more sales.

Topics that people are searching for

The second requirement you need your topic ideas to meet is that they must be topics people are actually looking for. You could write a great customer-focused post, but if no one is looking for it, no one will find it—even if you get the top spot on Google.

This is where tools come in. You can use a keyword research tool like Ahrefsto see exactly how many people are searching for a topic so you have an idea of whether or not it’s worth going after.

In this case, “best black tea” gets around 1,900 searches per month, which is more than enough to be considered interesting. There are no hard rules but we usually say that for B2B, anything above 100 searches per month is worth considering; for B2C, depending on your customer lifetime value (LTV), you might look at keywords with at least 500 monthly searches.

Now for the last piece of the puzzle.

Topics that aren’t too competitive

The last question you need to answer is, “how easily can I actually get ranked for this keyword?”

Your best bet for assessing this is to look at your keyword tool again for a “keyword difficulty score.” In the “best black tea” example, you can see it’s 0, which means it’s about as easy as it gets:

We typically say that for a new site, stick to keywords with a difficulty under 15. Once you have more than 100 domains linking to your site, you might bump that number up to 30. Anything above 30 will take a little while to rank on, unless your site has incredibly high authority.

One thing to keep in mind with the difficulty score is that seeing a “popular” site ranking for the keyword you want to go after is not necessarily a no-go sign. Even big sites can be beaten, assuming you follow the instructions in the next section about how to write your article to be competitive.

Creating your list

Before you think about writing anything, take some time to come up with at least 50 of these keywords.

Write down the kinds of questions your customers might be asking in Google that could lead to them buying from you. Benji Hyam has a great list of topics to help you brainstorm these in his “Pain Point SEO” article.

Hyam points to five types of posts that work really well for this:

  1. Comparison posts, where you look at your product or service versus another
  2. Best product or service lists, where you feature your product in a list with some competitors
  3. Alternatives to X, where you can rank against your competitors
  4. Articles that talk about pricing, where you show how much you cost versus the competitors
  5. Product or service use cases, where you show how your company has helped people

Once you’ve recorded at least 50 ideas in a spreadsheet or document, run those keywords through ahrefs or a similar tool to get their stats.

Then, see which ones have the best ratio of difficulty to volume—keeping in mind the rough guidelines I mentioned above—and you have your list of topics!

Now you’re ready to write the articles.

Which e-commerce blog post format should I use?

All your posts shouldn’t look the same; variety is more interesting and will keep readers reading. Here are some common format options:

List posts

List posts are made up of, well, lists. They’re easy to skim, make readers curious to find out more, and people love to share them. Examples include:

  • “Six solutions for organizing your garage”
  • “Ten ways to save money on your next car”
  • “15 tips for traveling internationally” 

How-to posts

A how-to post provides practical answers in the form of a guide. These usually walk readers through the steps necessary to achieve a goal, often in numerical order. 

This article is a how-to post that promises to teach you how to write content. But we could have formatted this as a list post titled, “Four Secrets to Writing Blog Posts for Online Stores.” The rest of the information would have been similar but, for the reader, it would feel different. 

Question posts

These ask a question in the headline and imply you’ll answer it: 

  • “Are Too Many People Unsubscribing from Your Email List?” This implies a solution to reduce the number of unsubscribes.
  • “Are You Worried About Overpaying for Life Insurance?” This promises to show you how to save money on insurance. 

Question posts directly relate to your target audience’s problems and highlight their specific needs. 

Promise posts

This sort of post directly promises a benefit for the reader. The previous three types indirectly make that promise. But promise posts present it directly: “Learn the Secret Muscle-Building Techniques of Elite Bodybuilders.”

Generally these posts use a verb like “learn” to make the promise

Writing Content that Ranks

With your topic list in hand, you’re ready to start creating the content that will bring you more customers.

There’s a lot of advice out there on how to do this, but based on our experience publishing more than 50 articles per week—bringing in millions of visitors a month—we’ve refined this to a fairly simple process.

  1. Get a good writer
  2. Research the competition
  3. Write something better

Obviously, there’s a bit to explain with each of these, so let’s dig into them some more.

Get a good writer

I know you think you’re the best writer to represent your brand, but you’re probably not.

The odds that you’re an amazing writer are low, and even if you are, you probably have more important things to be doing (like running your business) and could afford to hire a writer to help you.

Not only does hiring a good writer help make sure your content is well written, it also makes sure it gets written in the first place. Most blogs fail because you stop publishing, not because your title tags aren’t optimized; having a contractor whose job it is to keep publishing content will ensure that your content marketing work doesn’t fall by the wayside when other more urgent priorities pop up.

The last thing to keep in mind here is don’t look for cheap writers. A single article you pay $150-300 for will do more than 5 articles you paid $50 for.

How do I write a blog post?

Once you’ve determined the topic and format, creating a post is relatively straightforward, even if you don’t think of yourself as a writer. Remember, you’re writing about topics that you’re familiar with. You’re the expert. This is your business, and you understand how your products and services help people solve problems. 

Just remember: Stick to one topic per article, and be helpful! 

Here’s a quick six-step writing guide:

1. Research 

Even if you’re an expert, you should still search for additional information. Someone else might make a point or suggest an idea you haven’t thought of. Verify claims or confirm facts by linking to the sites where you found them. This isn’t just polite; it makes a difference for SEO. 

2. Plan a quick outline

This shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to produce — no one’s grading you on it!

Base your outline off of your post format. For a list post, your outline doesn’t need to be much more than a sentence per item. For other types of posts, jot down your main points and think about  whether a reader would be able to follow your train of thought if all they had was the outline. 

3. Write a draft — and include subheadings

Subheadings break up your text and summarize points so they’re easier to read. They also provide a place to insert keywords, which have more SEO value in headings than in paragraph text. 

How long should your blog post be? There’s no “correct” length that applies to every post — it depends on your industry, audience, and topic. Cover the information thoroughly without going into every detail. 

4. Write a headline

Your headline should include something enticing and be useful and actionable. The goal is to create a title that would be very hard not to click on.

screenshot of blog post - Guide to Bootstrap Columns: Examples, Tutorials, and Tricks
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Here are a few catchy examples: 

5. Add images

Images break up the text and help people visualize what they’re reading. They can also add humor or teach something in a different way. 

You can design your own images, charts, or graphics, or purchase stock images or find a site that offers them for free. (Just make sure you have the legal rights to use them commercially!) Zapier provides a great list of 20 free stock image resources

6. Finalize the post and publish 

It’s important to take a break before editing your post. Write the first draft, then walk away for a few hours. When you return to edit the post, you’ll see your writing more objectively and catch more mistakes. 

As you go through the article, insert your keywords a few more times as appropriate. But keep your primary focus on clarity, readability, and common spelling errors. 

Moving your blog readers towards purchase

1. Get Them To Subscribe

Offering to subscribe website visitors to your email list after they read one of your blog posts. Then send them specific content, like shopping guides, comprised of products that are available in your online store.

2. Retarget Them Across The Web

Remarketing to them via Google ads to purchase a product they read about on your blog. For example, if they clicked on your shopping guide to shoes, you could then ensure that images of these shoes pop up in Google ads as they’re surfing the web.

3. Retarget Them on Facebook & Instagram

Retargeting your readers on Facebook with ads. Insert compelling images from your ecommerce store and blog posts into the ads.

Placing links to products within each blog and calls-to-action on the bottom of every blog post. If readers enjoy your blog content, they may want to see what else you have to offer.

Six bullet proof ways to gain traction and boots sales to your new e-commerce store

E-commerce is a big market, with Amazon dominating about 50% of all e-commerce trade toward the end of 2019, it can seem overwhelming trying to break the market when opening a new store. However, don’t let this statistic put you off. If your product is good and you have faith in your customer service then use these tactics to get traction to your online store and overcome new e-commerce sales challenges. 

There are over 12 million online stores already in existence and that number is set to grow even higher! The simplicity of setting up a new store is great for newcomers, but it also means increased competition for everyone else. Discovering how to get more traffic is something that every eCommerce business should be focused on. Here’s how to gained traction to your new e-commerce store in 2021.

Marketing tactics to get traction to your e-commerce store

Micro-Influencer Marketing

Influencer Marketing Tactics To Get Traction

Micro stores warrant micro influence. The best thing is? These are often trusted better than macro-influencers. A study by aspireIQ found that, on average, micro-influencers with 10-50K followers have just over 40% higher engagement rates than macro-influencers with 500K-1M followers.  

It’s essential that you involve micro-Influencer marketing in your own marketing plan. Micro-influencers not only promise a high engagement rate and often better quality content but they’re perceived as more trustworthy, are more likely to change their link in bio for your campaign link and will be more responsive with their community management. 

If you’re looking to gain traction for a new e-commerce store then micro-influencers who genuinely connect with your product can be a perfect fit. 

Youtube Marketing

Youtube Marketing Tactics To Get Traction

With over 2 Billion monthly active users, Youtube is currently the second-largest social media platform out there. It can be navigated in over 80 different languages and covers 95% of the world’s mother tongue. 

Where does your e-commerce business fit in? 90% of people say they have found a new brand or product via Youtube. 

Use Youtube as your video content distribution channel, it’s a fantastic way for you to not only reach new audiences but help to convince potential customers as well. A study from Wyzowl found that nearly 70% of all consumers prefer watching product videos than reading about them. 

Take this into account. Create review videos that answer FAQs, use interactive walkthroughs using Youtube’s video cards, comments, and 360 features. Lastly, gift the product to potential Youtubers that would be interested in reviewing it. 

How to use YouTube to to gain traction and boost sales to your new e-commerce

As we explained in this post about video marketing, the options that this format opens up are endless, but just merely being on YouTube is even bigger. Let’s check it out.

1. Positioning like an expert and reciprocity

When creating useful and valuable content you’ll be seen as a point of reference within your field. Imagine that someone wants to buy running shoes. Who do you think they are going to buy from? A shop they just learnt about or a shop from which they have learnt about running techniques or that taught them what the best accessories for mountain races are?That is called the reciprocity principle.We feel in debt when a shop helps us in a selfless way, so whenever we can, we return the favor.

2. Uses for your products

Here we find the typical example of an e-commerce that sells food and that uploads recipes using their products.But there is much more. With a video, it is easier to show your products combined with others, and therefore you get to sell more than one product at the same time. For example, if you have a clothing or accessories shoponline, you can show how to combine outfits with other pieces of clothes.

3. Fight negative publicity

We hope that you never have to do this, but if your brand gets affected by a case of negative publicity, YouTube offers the best scenario to explain yourself or to create a video clearing up the situation. That’s what the Domino´s Pizza presidente did (a client had found an insect inside a pizza), or even McDonald’s with this video when they explained how their chicken nuggets are made.

4. Streaming on YouTube

Another way of connecting with your audience that is becoming very popular nowadays is streaming (live videos). During these sessions, you can carry out tutorials of how to use your products or response to any questions that people in your community may have.

2. A Beautiful Site

User experience is crucial when it comes to success on your eCommerce site, which is all down to a simple layout, clear content and of course, great design. The world of design is moving quickly, so check out the latest design trends when creating your site to ensure you can catch the eye of potential customers.

Clarity is key. Make it easy for your users to navigate to different areas of the website, with a clear menu and simple language. Statistics tell us that 25% abandon shopping cartsbecause the website was too difficult to navigate, so don’t allow this to put off potential customers.

As well as ensuring a clear journey through your site, product information is just as important to hook in your customers. Item descriptions should be well thought out, accompanied by high quality photos or examples of the product.

If you want people to stay on your site, and keep coming back, remember that a good experience = customer retention.

Tip 1: Keep it simple

While it’s tempting to add lots of interactive features or graphics to a site, these can overwhelm your customers and drive them away.

For e-commerce website design, simple is always better. No one wants to click through 5 pages, deal with a million popups, or search for a nonexistent navigation menu. Design errors like these result in lost customers—and that equates to lost sales.

Approach your design as though you were the end user. Would you get frustrated navigating your site? Can you find everything you need in a click or 2? Are menus and buttons clearly and legibly marked? These are all ideas you should consider in your store’s design.

Other elements of simple design include:

  • Easily scannable content
  • Simple and legible fonts
  • Unified color schemes
  • Clearly identifiable navigation elements
  • Easily navigable product categories

Show the customer your product, clearly describe it, and let them know how they can make a purchase.

Tip 2: Use images and color to your advantage

Large, high-quality images are a great way to showcase your products on a website that features a simple design—let the pictures speak for themselves. They draw the customers’ attention and make them want to know more.

Images increase conversion—sometimes as much as 40%—so it’s critical to feature them front and center. Customers want to know what they’re getting and want to see it from as many angles as possible before they buy. Clean, professional shots of your product build trust.

Using color psychology in your e-commerce website design may also give customers a nudge. Everything from the color of your background to what shade you make a button can drive conversions.

Certain colors evoke certain emotions in people, whether they’re aware of it or not. In some cultures blue can increase feelings of trust. Red can signal energy, passion, and danger. Colors can also suggest something about traits of your brand.

  • Tone: Consider what you imagine as your brand’s tone—it could be anything from whimsical to serious to quirky.
  • Value: Colors like sleek blacks and shiny golds can be used to convey luxury.
  • Time period: Some colors convey a vintage or futuristic feel.

Using color and images in conjunction as part of your e-commerce website design can both inspire an emotion and motivate a person to take action. Just making a certain button red, for example, can increase click-through rates up to 34%.

Tip 3: Optimize your site for mobile, and make it fast

We all know more users are browsing the web on their smartphones than ever. Some people don’t even own computers or laptops anymore—their phones are their sole source of internet access. Younger customers, in the Gen Z age group especially, do more of their browsing on mobile.

If your site operates clunkily or doesn’t load at all on mobile, you’re going to lose sales. People will get fed up and click away to another site.

Your site should adjust to the size of the smartphone screen on loading, and the images should all load properly. Navigation links and buttons should work just as well and just as intuitively on mobile as they would on a laptop or desktop. You want to be sure you’re maintaining the same functionality and clean look as your desktop site—especially on your checkout page.

Your site should also be fast. A lagging page makes people pass judgment on your site, and possibly your brand, before they’ve even seen a single product. By the time your page hits 4 seconds of load time, you’ve already lost 25% of viewers.

To avoid slow loading times, lean on minimalist e-commerce website design and be mindful of the elements you’re using. Avoid overcrowding your e-commerce store page with a bunch of interactive graphics or random blocks of text. They will slow your load times. Use good images, but make sure they aren’t in the most data-intensive file formats. High-quality JPG images display just fine on the web, while massive PNG files will take longer to load.

Tip 4: Make checkout simple and seamless

It should be common sense, but it bears repeating: Do not make your customer struggle when they get to your checkout page. You spend lots of time and effort investing in a site that gets customers to the finish line. Make sure they cross it.

Give customers the option to check out as a guest. Make them fill out as few data fields as possible with only necessary information. Clearly label those data fields. Let them see a product preview in their cart with a description so they can review what they’re buying.

Also, don’t wait until the very end of the line to tell someone what shipping or other fees go along with their purchase. If they get all the way to “confirm purchase” and see a total that’s much higher than they anticipated, it comes across as dishonest and leads to cart abandonment.

Be up front about what shipping options are available and what they’ll cost. Outline your return and refund policies on your checkout page so that the customer knows exactly what to expect if they have to return a product. Knowing a policy is in place gives the user a little extra peace of mind and lends your site more credibility.

To get their product, the customer should know what information to give you, why they need to give it to you, and how you’re protecting it. Then, make the process easy for them.

4. Draw people back with email

As well as social media, email is a great way to connect with potential customers. 61% of consumers prefer to be contacted by brands via email and 60% of consumers say they’ve made a purchase as the result of an email marketing message they received.

One of the ways you can encourage people to hand over their email address is by adding website popups within pages of your website to sign up to your mailing list. To make this even more compelling, this could come with a special offer, such as a discount code for future purchases.

email marketing capture box

Marketing emails can be used to highlight new products, make your mailing lists aware of upcoming sales, or to send a monthly or weekly newsletter with a round-up of products that might be of interest. You can also highlight events, or content such as your blog.

An impressive 82% of marketers have reported an increase in open rates through email personalization, so pay close attention to the behavior of your customers and use this to segment and tailor emails to drive sales. A good example of this is ‘abandoned cart’ emails, or recommendations based on previous purchases.

2. The thank you email + post sales updates

One of the best thank you emails I ever received was from Ann Handley—the veteran author, speaker, and chief content officer of MarketingProfs—after I signed up for her email list. The subject line read “Thank you! And a question for you…” I found a warmly-written note, doused in humor, that made me feel close to her.

 Send helpful resources

Once someone has joined your email list or bought a product, automate their email to be added to an onboarding series, and move them into a nurture campaign. Start to send a flow of intriguing, educational content that directly speaks to their pain points and offers helpful solutions. Content marketing will allow your brand to stay top-of-mind for customers—in a non-annoying, long-term way. It can also help you expand your reach significantly.

One auto parts store created an infographic, “How Much Do We Spend on Cars?” which went viral. By aggregating information that is genuinely interesting to all car owners, it reached far more potential customers than advertising. By including an “embed this graphic on your site” it boosted its own backlinks, thus improving its SEO rankings.  

Abandoned cart reminders

According to the Baymard Institute, there is an average abandoned cart rate of 69.23 percent. That’s a whoppingly large number of potential sales that you could be losing to distraction, pausing or forgetfulness.

Digitally savvy companies need to loop back to re-engage with these customers through a series of automated reminders:

  • Set the first one to go out within 24 hours, while the buying impulse is fresh.
  • Don’t let it end there! Automate another email or two to follow up at gradual intervals if the purchase still isn’t made.
  • Personalize! Include photos of the item they nearly purchase, use their first name if you can, and draw from your CRM to add-in suggestions of other things they may like.
  • Use humor to your advantage—Shopify has some good examples here.

5. Write Guest Posts For Sites Within Your Niche

Another very important aspect of your SEO e-commerce marketing strategy that many shop owners forget about is that search engines favor websites that have a healthy backlink profile.

This means that the websites on the top of the search engine results pages likely have a lot of other websites linking to them.

The more links pointing to your website, the better.

As you gain more links to your website, your domain authority will increase. Your domain authority is basically a virtual scoring card that tells search engines like Google that other users on the internet recommend your website.

As you can imagine, the more ‘recommendations’ that you have through links, the higher your website will rank on the search engines. A robust link profile tells the search engines that your site is a trusted source of valuable information.

The higher that you rank, the more easily you can increase website traffic.

So how do you get a beloved link from other websites?

Rather than wait for other websites to direct traffic to you through a link, it is easiest to offer to write a guest post for other blogs within your niche.

You can begin by visiting yourfavorite blogs within your niche to see if they accept guest contributors. If they do, reach out and ask if you can write a guest blog post.

If you’d like a wider reach, then you can search for any blog within your niche that accepts guest writers. You can do this by using the site: operator for Google.

Using the site: operator helps you identify guest blog post opportunities. To use this function, simply type ‘intitle: write for us + your niche’.

For example, if your Shopify store sells products within the wellness industry, then you will want to write guests posts for websites within that niche market.

To use the function in this example, type ‘intitle: write for us + wellness’ to generate a list of guest post opportunitieswithin the wellness niche.

shopify traffic - how to get traffic to shopify store -- niche guestposting write for us

Reach out to as many blogs as you can manage and aim to publish a few guest blog posts each month. In your author bio, usually at the bottom of the blog post, include a link back to your Shopify store.

By doing this, you will slowly build your link profile and your organic traffic along with it.

If it helps share with someone.

Is starting a business simple?

Not knowing what you’re in for can lead to failure and no one wants that.

The first question potential entrepreneurs may ask themselves is, “Can I do this?” It’s a wise question to ask because not only is the process of starting a business challenging, it takes a lot of savvy and intensive work.  Not knowing what you’re in for can lead to failure and no one wants that.

Then How Does Starting Your Own Business Compare?

From personal experience, I would say it’s easier than starting a traditional career.

It’s easier than going to uni or college, doing a degree, competing for jobs, learning on the job and moving through the corporate grind.

It doesn’t take as long and it’s less controlled by outside forces telling you at what point you’re allowed to advance.

It also comes with a whole lot less office politics.

Hooray!

Why Does It Feel Hard?

It feels hard because there is no official one established roadmap to follow and no one telling you when you are ready to move to the next level.

No one gives you permission and you have to choose which path to take.

That is the hard part.

The unknown and dealing with how you deal with the unknown.

Meaning, your mindset.

Starting a business is easy with knowledge

While starting a business in a struggling economy presents a whole set of challenges, it’s not impossible. If you have a vision, passion, and drive, starting a business might just be a wise decision. But you also need resources and to understand what you’re up against before you start. That shouldn’t be a deterrent, but rather, knowing and preparing yourself is much better than going in blind and failing. Failure can be costly but is also part of the process. 

Here are a few things to consider before starting a business. 

Starting a Business is all about overcoming Inertia

There are a lot of forces working against you starting a business. Sir Issac Newton’s first two laws of physics state that:

1. An object at rest tends to stay at rest.

2. An object in motion tends to stay in motion.

Your new business is “at rest” and needs a huge external force – i.e. your effort – to get it into motion. In practice, this includes things like changing your daily life patterns so that you have time to work on your business. Even if you operate in a vacuum, this is hard to do as none of us really like change too much! But also, your friends and family may not like this as it’s different and disturbs the existing rhythms that you’ve all been working and living around.

Getting momentum in a new business is the next step. Once you have made some progress, there are other forces that start pulling your business forward. It doesn’t necessarily get easier, but it also doesn’t feel like everything’s working against you either.

Steps overcoming inertia, starting a new business

1. Fear of failure

Lack of confidence is an entrepreneurship killer. It’s true that the failure rate for new businesses is relatively high, with half of new companies failing within five years. To buck those odds, you’ll need a healthy dose of confidence in yourself and your idea. 

The only solution to a fear of failure is to change your mindset. You have to see failure as an opportunity for learning and growth and stop seeing it as the end of the road, an indictment of your abilities or a stain on your character. Reading accounts by successful entrepreneurs will inspire you to see the possibilities rather than focusing only on the risks.  

2. Inexperience

Becoming a successful entrepreneur typically demands experience; you need to understand your industry and business management in general if you want to earn a living from your venture. When you have limited experience, you may be reluctant to move forward, and understandably so.

You can make up for this, however, by actively seeking the experience you lack. Take an online course to gain a grasp of business management basics. Strive for a leadership position with your current employer so you’ll acquire strategic planning and people management skills. Work with a mentor or shadow an entrepreneur you admire. 

3. Financial limitations

Launching a business takes money, and most people don’t have ample cash to throw at a startup. There are several options here. First off, you could begin saving now for the funds to establish your business. If you shop for a better mortgage and reduce your house payments by refinancing, you can sock the savings away in your startup fund. You can trim costs in other areas to put away a few hundred dollars each month or save even more by picking up a side gig.

Barring that, you can secure funding in a variety of ways, such as borrowing from friends and family, crowdfunding, seeking loans and grants or even working with angel investors and venture capitalists. There’s always a way forward. 

Dealing with uncertainty

When starting a business, uncertainty is inevitable. Dealing with this is a matter of managing how this uncertainty impacts you and your health. Starting a business can be an anxiety-inducing experience, but doing your research and having a plan can help mitigate those feelings of anxiety. 

Dealing with uncertainty also means learning from your mistakes and what to do differently and there will definitely be some mistakes. That’s just part of the learning curve! Remember, you can’t forecast for everything and plans are never set in stone. Be flexible and always have a backup plan. 

How entrepreneurs bear uncertainty

But how do they do it? In his recent doctoral dissertation, Dr. Steve Trost studies how entrepreneurs bear uncertainty. They don’t simply rely on luck. Very often, entrepreneurs direct their efforts seemingly against the odds simply because they disregard information that others do not question — information that is oftentimes limiting.

Many entrepreneurs escape the curse of knowledge, because they don’t accept the notion that the past limits the promise of the future.

This is not necessarily an ability they are born with, however. There are ways to improve one’s ability to bear uncertainty.

Tony Robbins has a catch phrase that he says all the time: “The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with.”

Uncertainty is going to crop up anyway, wouldn’t it be nice to find a way to comfortably live with more of it?

Here are six ways you can make that happen:

1. Embrace uncertainty

Certainty is a cage.

Sure, we all like that warm feeling that comes from knowing where we are and what’s coming next, but that’s not the way life is meant to be lived 24/7.

We are meant to grow and become more as people, and growth is always, always, always preceded by something novel and uncomfortable. You cannot evolve without new and challenging experiences.

You know that expression, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten”? It’s true.

Uncertainty is your friend, because without it, you’ll stagnate, and you’ll begin to die a little at a time.

2. Learn what matters

As the founder of a startup, you likely already have expertise in your area of business. But what you need is entrepreneurship expertise. Your job is to imagine the future and go about creating the version of it that is best for you and your business. The only way of doing this is to learn two things: to understand people and understand the economy. Technical knowledge is easily acquired — and can be hired. You have a team for a reason, so use it.

We are desperate to know about the future, but the problem is that it is unknowable. This is the foremost burden on entrepreneurs, since they are in the business of creating their version of the future and hoping for the best. They bear uncertainty. And they do it for the whole economy.

The future is imaginable and, at least to some degree, can be controlled and even created. But to create something new, it is necessary to also think outside the box — new and different. Don’t allow yourself to be unnecessarily restricted by the past and what you think you know. More information is not necessarily better, especially if you endeavor to do what has never been done before.

In a very real sense, entrepreneurs create our future.

3. Acknowledge fear, and hear what it is trying to tell you

Look your fear square in the eye.

Don’t try to pretend you’re not afraid, because as psychiatrist rockstar Carl Jung told us, “What we resist persists.”

Fear is not bad. It’s here to warn you. It’s saying, “This might happen, so plan accordingly.” But — and this is key — make sure you don’t believe fear knows more than it does about the future.

It’s making a guess, not assuring you that something bad willhappen. Prepare, and do your best to mitigate any potential peril. Then try hard to let fear go.

Once you’ve heard the message and have prepared as much as you’re able, don’t let it keep screaming in your ear, repeating its prophecies of doom.

4. Do something

Action is the antidote to fear.

If you’re uncertain and afraid, the worst thing you can do is to simply wait to see what happens.

Do something. Do anything.

If you’re worried about money, send some emails to prospects who may hire you. If you’re worried about your marketing message, re-read your sales copy and do what you can to refine it.

Remember how I said that uncertainty and fear are the keys to growth? Well, this step is where it happens. Don’t just experience fear. Use your fear.

Chuck D. from Public Enemy said, “When I get mad, I put it down on a pad — give you something that you never had.” He doesn’t just get angry; he gets angry and uses that anger to write lyrics. Fear works the same way.

It can cripple you, or it can inspire you to do something awesome, even if that awesome thing just feels like a way to escape fear at the time you do it.

Starting a business is about managing financial risk

Just about every entrepreneurial venture starts off under-capitalized. Before you can seek outside investment, you need to have developed a prototype of your product and proof of concept, if you’re selling a service and / or product. This takes time and money. This is the bootstrap phase of your business. This is where we ask “friends and family” for an investment or a loan to help us get our venture off the ground. Or we convince our life-partner to let us mortgage the house one more time to fund our latest crazy idea. This is the start of financial risk and financial pressure.If we are fortunate enough to build our prototype and demonstrate proof of concept, we have to start building our team. This costs money. We still don’t have revenue. Top talent is expensive. Cheap talent is more expensive in the long run. We may still be too early for outside investment. Either we are not big enough or their money is too expensive in terms of the equity they require at this stage. Do we take a loan, max out our credit cards, mortgage the house (if you have one), close out the 401K, raid the kid’s tuition

Forms of Financial Risk

Over time, as our business grows, we face different forms of financial risk

Customer risk

Our customers are a form of financial risk. Customers are looking to buy on credit, and we are looking to generate revenue so we extend credit pretty readily. All of a sudden we are facing a bloated accounts receivable and a skimpy bank account. What happens if our customer goes under and  we don’t get paid?

Supplier risk

We also face supplier risk. In times of financial distress, suppliers concerned about their own accounts receivable exposure may tighten credit and accelerate payment terms. You may not have that same luxury with your clients. Collecting in 60 days and paying in 30 days can drain your bank account pretty fast.

Banking risk

There is also banking risk. Banks generally like to lend in growing economic environments when businesses are making lots of  money and really don’t need a loan. The worst time to ask a bank for a loan is when you really need money. In severe economic times, banks have been known to limit credit lines to amounts already borrowed and cut off your supply of oxygen (cash) when you can least afford it.Leverage is another huge risk for any business. Leverage is simply the use of debt to grow the business. The problem with too much debt is, if sales take longer than expected to materialize, or if business in general slows down, your lender still expects to  be paid every month. And if your business fails, you will generally still be personally liable to repay that debt. There is a place for debt in growing your business, however, that decision needs to be made very prudently and the proceeds from the loan managed very carefully.Some businesses get very lucky and they take off immediately growing faster than their founders ever could have imagined. While this sounds really exciting, there is an element of financial risk when growth is too rapid, which is you may out-grow your capital. What could be more awful than running out of money while running a business that is growing at exponential rates? None of these scenarios are pleasant. However, in the life cycle of building your business you will encounter most, if not all, of these risks.

Exploring the Personal Financial Risk

Shifting gears a bit, while contending with all of these potential financial risks to your business, there is also the personal risk.  If your business is experiencing a cash crunch and your struggling to pay your employees and vendors then guess who will go without getting paid? Yet, there is still mortgage / rent, car payments, grocery bills and children’s tuition to get paid.None of this is meant to scare you, or dissuade you from pursuing your entrepreneurial dream. In fact, it is meant to encourage you to follow that dream. Knowing the risks that lie ahead of you and having a solid plan to manage your scarce capital and related risks makes all the difference between success and failure.  The more disciplined you are in your approach to financial management, the better run your business will be and the more attractive you will become to investors or lenders as your business matures.

So, What is an Entrepreneur to Do?

So, what is an entrepreneur to do? Establishing some very simple protocols early in the life of your business is key.

  1. Know your numbers: What will it cost to build, sell, distribute, provide your product and / or service. Know your unit costs and your gross margin.
  2. Know how much capital you need to get to that first sale: Do a detailed plan. Once you have come up with the amount you believe you will need to get funded, double it.
  3. When you are starting out, allocate a certain amount funds to 90-day sprints: Have a clear set of goals and dollars available to fund those goals. Are you spending more or less? Why? What can you control? What can you Adjust? The earlier we figure out there is a flaw in our plan the earlier we can adjust before it is too late and we run out of cash. There is a very simple tool I have used with all of my businesses and my clients that I will be glad to share with you. A side benefit of this practice is that it creates a disciplined culture of accountability.

While none of this will guarantee your success, it helps tilt the scales in your favor.

Starting a business demands a lifestyle change.

Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone, but for those who adapt to the lifestyle changes required to run their own business, the rewards can pay off. Those lifestyle changes might be daunting, but going in knowing what to expect will help set you up for success. 

Your workdays will change

Time spent working as an entrepreneur is vastly different than in traditional employment. This is both a good and a challenging thing. As your own boss, you aren’t necessarily beholden to any supervisor on a daily basis, and you can be far more flexible with your time. 

Conversely, and particularly when starting a business, there are little to no bookends to your day. Hours will be long and days off in short supply. This is where business plans come in handy. Having those attainable goals can ensure you are on the right track and will be able to hire people to help grow your business so you can have a moment’s rest! 

Learn self-discipline

For those who struggle with self-discipline, starting a business can be challenging. Learning to hold yourself accountable for tasks and achieving goals is paramount in running a business. While you are your own boss, you are responsible for your business’s success and therefore, are responsible for all the cogs in the wheel that make up your business. 

How to generate the best e-commerce products idea

the answer is now. E-commerce is huge, and getting bigger every year. According to Statista, in 2014 the global e-commerce market was 1.3 trillion dollars. In 2023, it’s projected to be a whopping $6.5 trillion. The best time to get in was when it was still nascent. The second best time is right now.

“Okay,” you say. “But I have no idea what I’m getting into. How do I even choose what to sell?” A great question, and one that’s easier to answer than you might think, but it’s important that you get it right.

Because selling online is completely different than selling in a brick and mortar store, you want to choose products to sell that are conducive to online purchases and appeal to the typical online buyer.

Here are some of my “must have” product guidelines when choosing what to sell.

  • The product should not be fragile and easy to ship – Because we are going to be shipping products through the mail, you can avoid most headaches if you choose a product to sell that won’t break during shipment.
  • The product should not take up much physical space – Certain ecommerce business models require carrying inventory so it’s in your best interests to choose something small to sell and preferably an item that fits in a shoebox.
  • The product’s inherent value should be ambiguous – For example, I would never sell electronics because there is a set value for your goods that everyone is aware of. On the contrary, keepsakes and informational goods are much harder to place a price tag on.
  • The product should be timeless – Once again, I would never sell electronics because they lose value the longer they stay on the shelves
  • Avoid seasonal goods – In general, you don’t want to choose products that are only purchased during a specific time of year. For example, I would tend to avoid selling Halloween costumes.
  • Sell goods that sell from $15-200 – This is the sweet spot for pricing for online purchases.

For example, what if you’re selling alcohol? You have to deal with extra types of taxes. Or what about shipping large, bulky items like mattresses across the country? Maybe you’re importing from a foreign country and have to learn about import duties. Whatever the case may be, the product is the bedrock of your e-commerce efforts. 

If that’s you, don’t despair. While picking an ecommerce product is the first step, it’s also one of the hardest. Hard, however, doesn’t mean impossible. If you learn the right tactics and put in the work, you can do it. Here’s how to choose a product to sell in your ecommerce store.

You may have been told in the past to just sit down and have a good ol’ brainstorming session, and ideas will come to you. But this advice is trash. It’s trash, not because it’s wrong, but because it doesn’t tell you exactly what to do and why you are doing it.

The key is to flip your thinking: The question isn’t, “What can I sell to make money?” The question is, “What do other people need that they will pay money for?” Switch from me, me, me to them, them, them. That’s how you’ll win.

(Bonus: You also don’t need to sit down while brainstorming. Pace the room, lie in the park, go for a jog, whatever gets your creative juices going.)

Niche Products

Niche product serve a very specific consumer base. Instead of a hundred different product lines, you choose one high-quality item — perhaps with multiple variants — and develop a targeted marketing strategy. Because they’re exclusive and desirable, niche products tend to be price inelastic and usually have quite high-profit margins.

Niche products can be one-of-a-kind (a crocheted shawl or a piece of hand-thrown pottery) or small-batch (handmade leather bags, seasonal preserves).

They can also be single-product ventures like Larq, for example, which only makes self-cleaning water bottles (and a limited number of accessories). Larq’s customers are incredibly passionate, and they’re willing to pay more than average for a good-quality product.

LARQ Water Bottle Product Page
Source: LiveLarq.com

The following tips can help you come up with a solid niche product idea to sell online:

For each idea you have, click the category that best describes it. You’ll see the top products in each category, which can help you figure out whether people are looking for anything like your idea. If lots of companies are selling the kind of product you’re interested in, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If their ratings aren’t great, you’re looking at a golden opportunity to break into a market if you can improve on what’s available.

  • Every problem has a solution:Innovation often starts at home. Can you create marketable solutions (products or services) to solve problems you encounter regularly?
  • Find your passion: You’re about to put a lot of time and effort into your new business, so you need to ensure it’s based on something you can stay interested in.
  • Figure out branding potential:Branding is vital in ecommerce. How will you brand your product? Who will your target audience be, and how will you create fellowship with them?
  • Guilty pleasures are a-go:People spend a lot of money on things they love. If you can tap into consumers’ passions — or vices — with a strong product, you’ll almost certainly build a customer base.
  • Keep an eye out for opportunity: The most successful entrepreneurs constantly look for gaps in the market. Pay attention to societal shifts, and you’ll see consumer trends before they ever materialize. You might even help them manifest themselves.
  • Get on the trend train early:Speaking of trends — if you do notice an appealing product trend, get on board with it early. The earlier you segue into an emerging market, the more likely you are to be seen as an original part of the industry. “Authentic” brands get a bigger slice of the industry pie.
  • Spot niche markets: We mentioned Larq earlier because it’s such a good example of a niche idea. Larq identified a problem (unhygienic water bottles) and came up with a solution (a rechargeable sanitizing water bottle). Larq raised millions of dollars in venture capital before ever producing a single production run. Ah, the power of the niche

Validate Your Ideas

Now choose your favorite ecommerce productideas from your list. It’s time to see if there’s anything to them. This process is called validation, where you see if an idea stands a chance on the market before you sink a bunch of money into it.

Where to start? Amazon. The site’s Best Sellers list isn’t just a cool place to find stuff to buy. It’s a free tool for the ideas stage of starting an ecommerce business.

Let’s say you had an ecommerce product idea for a fun new baby toy. You could check the Amazon Best Sellers list and click “Baby” in the menu on the left. To get more specific, you could filter down into sub-categories—in this case, you might check both “Gifts” and “Activity & Entertainment.”

how to choose a ecommerce product

Research Keyword Volume

One of the first and very basic advances you can take to decide if there’s a suitable market to offer your products to will be to inquire about the keyword volume. Keyword volume is an information point that speaks to what numbers of individuals scan for your specific keyword every month, which gives you a sign of how popular your product thought may really be. To look for keyword volume you’ll require a keyword analytics tool.

The initial phase in utilizing keyword volume research to approve your product thought is to make a rundown of keywords or expressions your group of spectators may use to scan for your product. These keywords or expressions can be as straightforward as the product name, or as intricate as to incorporate the product specs. For instance, in case you’re selling a rucksack, your keywords could essentially be “knapsack,” or “book bag.” You could likewise get increasingly explicit by including key expressions like “knapsacks for experts,” and “cowhide knapsacks with zippers.” The last two key expressions sharpen in more intently on the specialty that your knapsack products may oblige, in this manner helping you see how many requests there may be for the accurate sort of products you intend to sell and the specialty you intend to take into account. When you have a rundown of keywords, to begin with, input them individually into your picked keyword analytics tool. The tool utilizes information and calculations to comprehend the month to month scan volume for keywords and expressions so you can comprehend what the requestor intrigue level is.

You may imagine that there are bunches of interest for your product thought, however, the keyword examination device you use may demonstrate something else. Then again, you probably won’t feel that there are numerous individuals looking for your product thought however you might be refuted all things considered, as well. That is the reason it’s so critical to utilize a keyword examination tool to really investigate keyword volume: You don’t really have the foggiest idea what the keyword volume is until you investigate it and keyword instruments give the cool hard actualities instead of just contemplation or suppositions.

It is significant, in any case, that keyword analytics tools don’t generally take care of business. The keyword volume information they produce is a decent marker of what the genuine pursuit volume is, in any case, there is potential for mistake as it is anything but an accurate science. Remember this as you’re inspecting keyword search volumes and don’t accept the outcomes as limited yet rather as an overall pointer of the various keyword information that you inquire about. When you utilize the keyword analytics tool to inquire about your important keywords, at that point you’ll have a smart thought of what the interest is for your product thought. Contingent upon the keywords you use, it likely won’t be an accurate portrayal of what number of individuals are looking to really buy the product consistently, however, only a general review of the enthusiasm for the product thought itself. It can give you a rough approximation to consider so you can start to comprehend the size of your market.

Build a Landing Page

Give your clients a chance to come to you with a well-advanced point of arrival. Greeting pages are incredible in light of the fact that they can be as straightforward or intricate as you need them to be but the two choices can assist you with finding and interface with your market viably. This choice is generally a much more slow strategy to approve product thoughts as it regularly requires some investment to drive a considerable group of spectators to your point of arrival. As you develop your group of spectators, notwithstanding, you’ll have the option to interface with them and assist them with becoming more acquainted with your image and what your arrangements are for product advancement later on which can assist you with building deep-rooted client connections.

Build a Landing Page

By building a point of arrival, you’re making a space online where individuals searching for your product thought can gather to examine, collaborate, and interface with you or different purchasers inspired by your product thought. Along these lines, you can start to build up a network around your product thought which will give you knowledge into what individuals are and are not inspired by, as far as your product thought. You can utilize your greeting page to measure intrigue, request exhortation, associate on the web, interfaces disconnected, and share your strategies as it creates.

To effectively cooperate with the group of spectators you work through your presentation page you’re likely going to need to incorporate an email catch on the point of arrival itself so intrigued individuals can join your email list. Along these lines, you’ll have the option to speak with them all the more adequately and you’ll likewise manufacture a developing rundown of individuals intrigued by your product thought. Consider additionally posting your business’ internet-based life handles so your group of spectators can associate with you there, as well.

Determine The True Cost Of Production

There are a handful of things you must take into account before launching your business. The first involves the cost in getting the product into the hands of the customer.

First, how much does it cost to bring a product into existence?

Product Profitability Analysis

As an extremely basic example, consider the case of someone who makes yarn-based crafts as a small side business. She might pay $5 for two balls of yarn, from which she creates an item that she sells for $35. The ultimate profit—$30—is impressive for a hobbyist, but not particularly significant in the greater financial scheme of things.

Now apply the same logic to goods whose production is more extensive.

A company that makes T-shirts is paying for more than just the cost of the material. Most likely, it has to employ people with access to equipment, which in turn is kept in a building, which in turn requires electricity to operate, and so on.

One of the biggest mistakes I see entrepreneurs make is to not account for the time they spend working. Eventually, you need to hire someone to take on your role, that will increase your cost.

Bigger profits require bigger outlays in terms of initial investment.

As explained on Entrepreneur, running a business comes with many potential costs, including, but not limited to:

  • Property and equipment leases
  • Loan repayments
  • Utilities
  • Salaries/wages/commissions of employees
  • The inventory itself

These concerns are not limited to the realm of traditional businesses.

For example, a seller whose inventory is housed in a third-party warehouse must still pay the costs associated with third-party logistics.

Other factors that will need to be written into the profit margin may include:

  • Markdowns
  • Unexpected shortages
  • Damaged inventory
  • Shrinkage (e.g. shoplifting)
  • Employee discounts

Finally, even after a product has been “produced,” there are freight costs—the shipping of the product from Point A to Point B.

Point A is the place or places at which the product was manufactured or assembled; Point B is your place of business—or, depending on the scenario, the customer.

Again, note that similar principles apply even to “nontraditional” business enterprises: a seller who utilizes the drop-shipping services of a third-party distributor must still contend with the costs of shipping.

What makes the determination of profitability tricky is the ultimate realization that every factor listed above is subject to change.

Overhead and shipping costs can (and will) increase over time. Employees can (and will) ask for raises or attempt to renegotiate salary. But perhaps the biggest source of change will be found in the specific nature of the market you have chosen to enter.

To get a true grasp of your costs, you need to learn the difference between fixed and variable costs.

After your first reporting period, you’ll have a much greater insight to information and numbers driving your performance.

How To Start a e-commerce store that earn you millions


In 2019, ecommerce had a 14.1% share in the global retail marketplace; by 2023, Statista projects that 22% of all retail transactions will take place online.

In hard money terms, sales in the U.S. could total more than $475 billion by 2024 — and that’s just B2C.

Statista Ecommerce Growth Projection

At the same time, legacy brands with physical stores like Lord & Taylor and Century 21 are filing for bankruptcy.

Is This Guide for You?

If you want to learn how to start an ecommerce business, or you already have one and want to up your game, you’re in the right place. We’ll talk about how to set up an ecommerce business, from pinpointing an idea to finding a manufacturer to growing your customer base. Throughout, we won’t just talk theory—you’ll get concrete tips on what to do to make it happen.

The time to move your business online was yesterday.

You’ll find this guide useful if…

how to start an ecommerce business

You are starting an ecommerce business from scratch

how to start an ecommerce business

You already have an ecommerce company, but sales just aren’t where you need them to be

how to start an ecommerce business

You own your own ecommerce store but are having trouble scaling it up to size

1. Finding Ecommerce Products

If you’re totally new to the world of ecommerce, you might be wondering just what exactly you should be selling. In fact, getting stuck on this is a big reason why people never take the plunge in starting their own ecommerce businesses. 

In actuality, you have to be strategic in identifying a set of products or a single item that’s trendy, or not so easy to find in stores or on popular ecommerce websites like Amazon. 

That’s why going the generic route and opting to sell books or jewelry will likely lead to a dead end. There are already lots of major players out there meeting those demands.

Instead, you’ll want to go with more specific items that appeal to a particular audience. We suggest starting by making a list of potential products you might like to sell in your store. Think about things that you, your friends, coworkers, or family would be interested in. Also explore social selling siteslike Pinterest, Etsy, or even Instagram for more input on what to sell.

There really is inspiration everywhere once you start looking, and you can always verify whether your product ideas are any good by searching for them on Google Trends. 

For more on what to sell, check out the following resources: 

Have a brainstorming session

You may have been told in the past to just sit down and have a good ol’ brainstorming session, and ideas will come to you. But this advice is trash. It’s trash, not because it’s wrong, but because it doesn’t tell you exactly what to do and why you are doing it.

The key is to flip your thinking: The question isn’t, “What can I sell to make money?” The question is, “What do other people need that they will pay money for?” Switch from me, me, me to them, them, them. That’s how you’ll win.

(Bonus: You also don’t need to sit down while brainstorming. Pace the room, lie in the park, go for a jog, whatever gets your creative juices going.)

To assist your brainstorming, there are tools out there that specialize in product research. Take for example Jungle Scout. They offer a Web App and Chrome Extension to help you sort through potential products to sell on Amazon.com. The Jungle Scout tools report the kind of data that helps you discover products with high demand that you might not otherwise find. Data such as monthly sales estimates, competitor reviews, sales rank, and even an opportunity score that weighs demand and the competition.
There are several different ways to filter all of the data, but there are several pieces of criteria they recommend to use as a rule of thumb during your research:

  • Social listening. Hang out on parts of social media where others in your industry post or where your target customers spend time, and see what they say. Browsing trending hashtags or using social listening tools to gather data over time can also provide valuable insights.
  • Following search trends.Google Trends is a great place to see what trending products people are searching for. It can also tell you the keywords used most commonly in search, and what problems people are commonly trying to solve.
  • Browsing e-commerce websites and aggregator sites.Pages like Trend Hunter or assorted subreddits for your niche can clue you into developing trends before they get big.

As you brainstorm, try to keep in mind that you’re brainstorming specifically for ecommerce, not a brick-and-mortar store. The best ecommerce ideas check off three major boxes. We call this the golden trifecta:

  • Trending – You ideally want an idea that’s en vogue. Everyone can go to their local store to grab the same old, same old. What are you doing differently to capitalize on recent trends?
  • Light – We’re not talking color or aura. We’re very literally talking about weight: You want a product that isn’t heavy. Why? Unlike a physical store, you have to ship your products, and shipping for heavy items can be astronomical. Keeping your product light keeps your costs low.
  • Cost efficient with high value – This is simple. In a perfect world, you would sell a product that costs nothing to make yet sold for millions of dollars each. We don’t live in this magic world, though, so the goal is to get as close to that ideal as possible. Try to brainstorm products that have low production costs but high perceived value (so people look at your products and say, “Oh wow that’s impressive and I want it now!”).

2. Researching Other Online Businesses

marketing ideas for small businesses

Research is integral to the success of your ecommerce store. Once you have chosen your products, look at competitors and what they are doing. Here are a few things to pay attention to when doing a competitor analysis: 

  • What is their business model?
  • Are they selling multiple items or just one product?
  • What social media channels do they utilize?
  • Who is their target market?
  • How do they push sales? (e.g. paid social, PPC, SEO, email, etc.)

Competitor analysis can lead you to identify better products to sell and give you a great understanding of how to launch an online business. 

Executing a competitive analysis requires some planning, research and honest introspection. Take it step by step, and you may be surprised what you discover about the business environment in your neck of the woods.

Identify your competitors

On the surface, this seems like an easy step. A quick Google search reveals who else is selling similar items. But understanding competition requires a bit of thinking and nuance. First, you must understand the different varieties of competition you face.

Direct competitors are those rival businesses who sell goods and services identical or nearly identical to your own. If you sell funny t-shirts, you are in direct competition with other websites selling funny t-shirts as well as brick and mortar stores also selling funny t-shirts.

Indirect competitors sell good and services that are not the same as yours, but which satisfy the same customer need. For instance, a restaurant that sells pizza is in direct competition with another pizza parlor down the block, but it is indirectly competing with hamburger stands and catering companies. Potential customers want food, and they can satisfy that need in a variety of ways.

Finding your competition begins with research. Use keywords that describe your company in a Google search. Be thorough and search every term and combination of terms you can think of, taking care to include terms that cover your indirect competitors as well.

Identify the top search results for businesses in your product or service area. Determine how your offerings compare to theirs and what differences stand out. Dig deeper into your biggest competition by investigating:

  • Websites
  • Annual reports
  • Government reports and certifications
  • Prices
  • Promotions

If possible, contact their current and former employees. They provide invaluable insight into how a competitor’s business strategies, best practices and potential pitfalls.

SWOT the competition

Once you’ve identified your main competitors, analyze their capabilities and the health of their businesses. A long-standing economic tool known as SWOT analysis focuses on four sectors to determine a company’s viability: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. For each competitor, use a whiteboard, draw a large box and separate it into four equal parts. The top two quarters contain strengths and weaknesses, the bottom two contain opportunities and threats.

Strengths and weaknesses refer to real assets and tangible factors that affect a business. List the company’s available resources and possible liabilities, such as:

  • Funding, income and investments
  • Profitability
  • Location, equipment and facilities
  • Employees, customer base and other human resources
  • Trademarks, patents and copyrights
  • Processes, employee programs and software systems
  • Fixed and variable costs

Opportunities and threats refer to external factors that can positively or negatively impact a business, such as:

  • New products entering the marketplace
  • A shift in technology or customer needs
  • Economic trends
  • Demographic changes
  • Changes in government regulation
  • Changes in supplier and partner relationships

This analysis provides a sharp picture of your competitors’ health and where they may be vulnerable. Once you’ve performed a SWOT analysis for them, perform the same analysis for your own business.

Create product profiles

Now that you know your competitors’ strength and weaknesses, assess their products or services in much the same way. If your products are similar, how are theirs better than yours? How are they worse? If your products are identical, what service do they provide to add value for customers?

This is the most important step in competitive analysis. By understanding what your competitors sell, you identify gaps in the market. Adapt your products or services to fill the gaps and create new customers.

Be systematic and begin by analyzing yourself.

1. Perform an honest assessment of your own products and services by rating several relevant metrics on a ten-point scale:

  • Price
  • Quality
  • Selection
  • Customer service
  • Location or market visibility
  • Business reputation

2. Perform the same ratings for your top competitors’ products or services.

3. Examine where your product is strong in comparison to your competition and what your competition does better than you.

4. Use this information to change your product, offer new products or re-focus your promotional strategy to fill gaps in the market.

This process works on any scale and for many other aspects of business.

9It is particularly valuable to create profiles for marketing and promotional strategies. Discover where your competition is not advertising and expand your marketing into those areas. Find new target demographics. Perhaps there are untapped populations who will form a solid customer base for your business. Reach out to them and let them know how your product or service will benefit them.
Competitive analysis never ends. The marketplace continuously evolves. Businesses without a clear picture of the landscape fail to adapt. Use the tools outlined above at regular intervals to avoid surprises and keep a step ahead.

4. Create your business structure and register your company.

To get started in earnest, you need to pick a business structure and register your business. If you’re a freelancer trading under your own name, you can sign up as a sole proprietor; otherwise, you’ll most likely register your ecommerce company as a partnership, an LLC, or an S corporation.

Sole Proprietorship

This type of business structure is ideal for self-employed people who don’t want to (or aren’t ready to) register as an LLC. It’s a straightforward process in most parts of the country. In many states, you don’t have to register your freelance business unless you operate under a pseudonym. Five states — Oregon, Alaska, Montana, Delaware, and New Hampshire — don’t have statewide sales taxes. In most other states, you pay sales and use taxes quarterly.

The setup might be simple, but there are a couple of major drawbacks to sole trader status. Firstly, if your company goes bust, your personal assets aren’t protected under the terms of a sole proprietorship. Secondly, you’ll be subject to self-employment tax, which increases as your earnings go up. The way out of both issues? Pick a different business structure.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

When you register an LLC, you limit your personal liability by separating your own assets and your business’s assets. To get going, appoint a registered agent — the person who’ll represent the LLC — and file articles of organization with your home state. You’ll need to pay a fee, but it won’t come to more than a few hundred dollars.

As the owner (also known as a member) of an LLC, you can manage your own company or hire staff to do the work for you. You’ll need to get an Employer Identification Number(an EID, also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, or FTIN) from the IRS before hiring employees.

You don’t have to file a tax return specifically for your LLC; instead, its profits travel through the company to you, and you pay self-employment taxes on all of your profits.

If your company hits the big-time and you begin to earn a lot, you can elect to pay taxes as an S corporation instead. At that stage, you can allocate yourself a “reasonable” salary and avoid any taxes on profits over that amount.

How to Form an LLC
Source: BizFilings

Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)

You can create an LLP just as easily as an LLC, but there are a few differences between the two business models. An LLC can have one or more members; an LLP has to have at least two members. Unlike LLCs, LLPs have to define at least one partner member who will take legal responsibility for the partnership’s actions. Silent partners and investors in an LLP are not personally liable if the company goes bust, gets into business debt, or gets sued.

Small business owners usually register as LLCs; professional partnerships — law firms and accounting firms, for example — go for LLP status. In many states, LLCs and LLPs both have to produce annual reports. Like LLCs, LLPs function as pass-through organizations for tax purposes.

Corporation

You don’t have to bring in millions of dollars a year to incorporate your company. With that said, nearly all very large publicly traded businesses are corporations. Two corporate structures exist:

The C Corporation

All businesses that incorporate are automatically C corporations unless they apply for S corporation status with the IRS. Like LLCs, C corp owners have limited liability, so they’re not held responsible for business losses. If you need to raise significant capital, you can take your business public and sell corporate stocks and bonds to investors. On the flip side, you’re taxed twice: once on your own salary and again on company profits.

The S Corporation

To create an S corp, you first need to form a C corp and then apply to the IRS for S corp taxation status. Like LLCs, many S corporations act as pass-through organizations.

Owners pay themselves salaries and pay income taxes on those earnings, but then don’t have to pay taxes on their remaining profits. S corporations can’t have more than 100 shareholders, so if you decide to go public later on, you’ll need to convert your S corp to a C corp.

You’ll almost certainly spend more on accounting services after you incorporate your company. Corporations have to issue regular financial statements and tax season is quite a bit more complex if you decide to register your business as a corporation, so you’ll almost certainly spend more on accounting services every year.

Obtain Appropriate Business Licenses

If you plan to do business as an LLC, an LLP, or a corporation — basically anything but a sole trader operating under your own name — you’ll probably need some type of business license. I

f you run a dropshipping business from home under an assumed name, you’ll have to get a DBA license and a sales tax license, for example. Business licensing and permitting requirements vary from state to state, so it’s important to check if you fall into any of the categories in your jurisdiction.

Branding Your Company

Visual branding is a complex topic worthy of its own 2,000-word article, but we’ll go over it in nutshell form here. To make your company memorable and create brand awareness, you need to come up with a logo and complementary branding colors that stay the same across all of your sales channels.

You can design a logo yourself, or you can use a freelance designer to get a professional result.

5. Set up your e-commerce store

Once you have chosen your products and done your competitor research, the next thing to do is build your store. Choosing e-commerce platform like  like Shopify can make setting up your store easy. Shopify has lots of templates to start with and an easy to use online store builder that doesn’t need coding input. 

When building up your ecommerce store, choose a theme that suits your target audience and prices that reflect the success you envision.Naming your ecommerce business something memorable will guarantee that people will remember your name. This also applies to your logo, which can be as colorful or creative as you want it to be.

When your website is ready to start taking orders, remember to try a test order yourself to make sure the process is smooth for the customer. Alleviate any additional steps needed to buy something online and only ask for information that is necessary for the check out process.

When setting up your website, you’ll want to include these essential pages:

  • Shop
    An obvious link to your store is a must, even if you have products for sale on the home page. If you have a number of different product types, you can include a drop down menu for different categories.
  • About
    Don’t forget to tell people the purpose of your site, and the story behind how you came to be.
  • Shipping/returns
    Provide essential information on the logistics of shipping, and your return policy, in one easily accessible place so that customers don’t have to tear their hair out looking for it. Macy’s, for example, has a great returns page, as it gives visitors clear steps for how to return items. (Want tips on how to write a great returns policy? BigCommerce has you covered.)
  • Contact/help
    Make sure the header of your site gives users a clear place to click for info on how to contact customer support.
  • FAQ
    As you run customer support, you’ll start getting a certain set of questions about your store over and over and over again. Instead of just emailing the same answer a billion times, you can compile all those answers on a “Frequently Asked Questions” page.

The next step is to set up the store itself. Don’t panic. While this could get technical really quickly, it doesn’t have to, because you can let someone else do the hard part for you. There are severalE-commerce platforms that allow you to set up a shop pretty much instantly, letting you focus on your product and brand.

3. Manufacturing, Packaging, and Shipp Your Ecommerce Product

Make Your Ecommerce Store A Reality

One of the biggest pain points for people learning how to start an ecommerce business is the pure logistical challenge. You’re not a huge corporation, so how, exactly, can you manufacture a real, live, physical product?

Yeah, it can seem staggering. Lots of people just think, “Oh, that’s not realistic. I couldn’t do that.” And they turn away, pursuing some other business idea, or even worse, abandoning their entrepreneurial ambitions entirely.

That’s too bad, because the truth is that in today’s world, ordinary people really can hash out the logistics of manufacturing and shipping products.

What’s more: You’re reading this guide, and you’ve gotten this far. That alone means you have enough drive to push through and make this happen.

Manufacture Your Product

When people are first learning how to set up an ecommerce business, they have a ton of questions about manufacturing. That’s fair—it’s complicated. But here are the basics.

There’s no need to stress out about assembling parts or figuring out every technical detail on your own or turning your garage into a mini factory. Really, you don’t need to manufacture your product yourself at all.

Instead, you can contract with an experienced manufacturing company to get the job done. By working closely together and drawing on their expertise, you can keep upfront costs low when first starting out.

Who should you work with? There’s a lot to consider in that decision, but when you’re first developing your product, the first rule is to stick with someone local. By partnering with a nearby manufacturer, you can be more involved in the process and avoid the hassle of communicating with strangers halfway across the globe.

How much does it cost to start an ecommerce business? The majority of the costs will come from manufacturing your product. Global manufacturers can put out lots of product for cheap. But they generally demand a high minimum order, requiring that you purchase something like 1,000 units of your product right off the bat. For new ecommerce stores, unless you’re lounging in a hammock between two money trees, that cost can be prohibitive. Global manufacturers can be tough to work with when developing and prototyping a new product, mainly because of the logistics of being so far apart and dealing with a place you’re not familiar with.

So how do you find a local partner? When searching for a manufacturer for your early-stage ecommerce business, you should ask two big questions:

  • Where are they located?
  • Can they put out quality product?

Location is key, for the reasons mentioned above. Unless you already have connections, the best way to find a local manufacturer is simple: Just search for it online. Say you live in Boston and you’re starting an ecommerce business selling bracelets and other jewelry. Go to Google and type in “bracelet manufacturer boston” or “wholesale bottle manufacturer seattle.”

Yes, I basically just told you to Google it, but what can I say? That’s where you start.

how to start an ecommerce store

Try out another search engine or two as well. You can use general search engines like Google and Bing. You can also try specialty business search engines like ThomasNet.

Once you find several manufacturers you might want to work with, it’s time to research them.

What are their track records? Can you find other business owners complaining about them online? Who else do they manufacture for?

You should also reach out and chat. Ask them to explain their processes and pricing. Get them to give you an idea of the quality of the work they produce, not with empty promises, but with real, physical examples of things they’ve made. This is another reason starting off with a local manufacturer is the best move.

Later on, once you feel confident enough in your product to place much larger orders, you can always transfer production to a global manufacturer. The best bet for finding a global manufacturer who fits your needs is Alibaba, where you can create a free account and browse millions of merchants.

Even if you’re creating your product on your own, you still might need a supplier for raw materials. Some of these same tips can help you through that process.

Find a Global Manufacturer

Eventually, you may be ready to move from local to global manufacturing in order to get a higher volume of product at a more affordable rate. When you arrive at this stage, fire up Alibaba, the biggest online commerce company in the world.

Alibaba is a massive directory of manufacturers, suppliers, and other merchants. With millions of sellers on the site, it’s the perfect spot for finding manufacturers who can produce merchandise at scale.

Finding and sourcing global manufacturers is an extensive subject and needs more detail than what we can write here. Fortunately, we can offer some great resources to dive in a little deeper:

7. Drive traffic to your e-commerce store


Launching an ecommerce site is easy. The challenge comes when you need to drive traffic to it. We’ll cover both paid and free digital marketing tactics to boost your website traffic – and sales.

Organic Marketing Channels

Organic marketing channels take time to build traction, but they create the strongest long-term return on investment (ROI). A few of the best tactics include:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO): Relevant keywords included in page text, product descriptions, and other website content boost search engine rankings.null
  • Content marketing: This includes starting a blog on your site, optimizing blog posts, articles, to drive targeted traffic to your site.
  • Social media pages: Active Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages encourage new website visits.
  • Link building (off-page SEO): It is very hard to get Google traffic without a lot of high-quality, relevant links to your website. These link building strategies include guest blogging and forming link partnerships with other sites in your niche.
  • Email marketing: Email is a huge marketing channel for ecommerce businesses. You should choose and email marketing service that lets you create email popups, send abandoned cart emails, create welcome email series (that include discounts), and send targeted, image-rich marketing emails for holiday promotions.

Paid Marketing Channels

Paid marketing channels produce quick results, so they’re a popular choice for start-ups as well as large-budget businesses. While they provide quick online marketing wins, they typically have a lower ROI than free tactics (excluding affiliate marketing, which has a strong ROI).null

Here are some of the top paid acquisition channels for ecommerce brands:

  • Affiliate marketing: Bloggers and influencers with popular websites join your company’s affiliate program and are paid affiliate commissions for any sales they help generate via their affiliate links.
  • Influencer marketing: Social media influencers on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and other platforms promote your products for a fee. (Here are my guides about how to make money on Instagram and TikTok.)
  • Pay per click (PPC) advertising:You set up PPC ads with Google and pay each time someone clicks on your ads. This can also include Google Shopping ads, which sync to your product catalog and make your products available on the Google Shopping platform.
  • Social media ads: Paid social media ads on Facebook can target new prospects and retarget previous website visitors. One of the best Facebook Ads strategies is to use their DPA ads. These ads appear to Facebook users who visited your product pages and highlight the exact same products they saw on your website. You can also sell directly on Facebook with product listings.

The most effective marketing strategies use a combination of different channels to capture consumers and generate conversions.null

If I were to start an ecommerce business from scratch today, I would first create a strong SEO strategy. This includes conducting keyword research around terms that have high search volume and could bring in your target audience.

For example, if you sell camping supplies, you could write a blog post on “The Top 10 Backpacking Tents” and link to your product pages within the content.

Next, you’d want to develop a strong link building strategy and partner with other blogs in your niche to get backlinks. This will increase your website’s Domain Authority (DA) and make it easier to rank all of your pages on search engines.null

Finally, I’d use paid advertising carefully, staring with retargeting ads on Facebook. Then I’d move to PPC ads on Google only if you can generate a strong ROI.

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