Friday, January 30, 2015

Starting An Online Store

On the Internet, it really doesn't matter if you are physically located one km away of live in the other side of the world. It always boils down to the product itself. Your customers will be able to find and quickly buy something they are keen on but cannot purchase close to their geographical location. But as quick as they can find you, they can also visit other websites doing the same business and buy there instead. That's way you need to dominate your "niche" market.
With such a big audience there is much bigger prospective clients for "niche" products, products which are unique and compete in its superior quality, design and functionality than you can possible have by serving your local market.It's always easier trying to be "Vintage Port Wine" online retail leader than trying to make a dent on the "All Type of Wines" market. There's is just too much competition, both online and offline. What the benefit for any person on buying a simple table red wine online and wait for it to arrive if he can just buy it on his local super-market on the way home?
The good news is that starting a full online business requires much less investment than a traditional one. You will be able to successfully launch it with a few hundred Euros or Dollars instead of several thousands.
Bet Big on Branding
Your product's perceived value to the customer is very attached to the quality of the branding and image of your website. This also holds truth for the entire company. People will consider a lousy online shop just as reflection of a lousy business. Having a good company name and a matching Internet domain (like is the first step of many others. Starting your online business by focusing on online shopping cart software instead of your core business is very likely a mistake, especially considering the many turn-key solutions available, like ours. This will set you free of heavily invest in server hardware, expensive technicians and web-design boutiques to take your business out of the ground.
A store template fully matching your corporate image and colours, with a well-thought logo will provide a more remember able and consistent experience to your clients, which will help you convert into sales later. Choosing a Plus plan on Vender grants you access to fully edit your template code, including HTML / CSS / JavaScript. Once again, the most important asset in your online store is the products, and the bigger selling point on them is its images. They should transmit as much as possible information to your clients and be crispy and clear. To have decent images you won't need to have a last-generation camera, any 150 Euro range camera will do, if you take care about setting proper product background scenery, avoid light reflection and shades in our items and have proper contrast between your online shop background and your product's images background. White background product images against white background online shops works best.
Be Real & Loyal
An online store brings disadvantages to the brick-and-mortar ones. You can never know how "real" a shop is. You cannot just feel it as you do when you enter one of your neighborhood shops. 

This is way you should try, as much as possible, to share facts, opinions, testimonials, images of your team, building and a brief history of you company with your online customers. This will help your customers feel more related to you and assured they are dealing with an authentic company and not some teenager shipping boxes from his bedroom. Be loyal to your customers by sending them promotional coupons, reward them with a small gift on each item purchased and confirm after every sale they are happy with your products. This will rise up your customer loyalty and turn each of your customer into a fan.
Quality Service, Always
Not everybody purchases on the Internet; those who do are used to a superior quality of service. They'll make your life easier by buying from you without a printed product catalog, discard shop assistants and provide you their credit card details so you can process their orders more easily and faster. Treat them accordingly. This is modern times and there are dozens of international shipping carriers, so, do not make them wait two weeks for their items. Three days is more than enough. If possible include shipping costs on the total price and provide several payment methods. Email them answers to their questions within one day. 
A great part of business is lost due to the merchants' unresponsiveness. Have a sales phone number posted in your website. People will want to contact you directly, with inquiries, complains or more sales. It will also build more confidence in them about you. A person who is adventurous enough to grant you their credit card details and buy products they have never seen or touched should be gratified with a great quality. From all your clients they will be those more likely to tell all their friends about how great it was to buy from you, saying things like "can you guys imagine I bought a 2003 Vintage Port from a website and got it delivered next day even with a cork-opened included". That will mean more new customers and sales for you.
Surprise your online customers one day, they will surprise you next day.
Spreading the Word
   The first question our customers raise to us is "how do I get my store to show up in Google". Seems a trivial question but it is not. Being indexed by Google normally takes 1-3 weeks. Ranking high on Google can take a lifetime, depending on how specialized your online store content (product description texts, categories, etc) is. There are a set of things you should do to bring traffic to your website and ultimately rank better on Google: 
  • Content
Content is the most important factor for any search engine like Google, this dictates how well your website will be ranked and against what searched keywords it will be listed. An "Wedding Favors" online store should have content not only about "Wedding Favors" but also about how to create your own wedding favors, history on wedding favors; so that anyone searching the internet on "how to create home-made favors" will be pointed by Google to the "Wedding Favors" online store.
  •  Back links
A back link is any normal link, from any third website pointing back to your website. Google keeps track on the back links pointing to you. You ranking will depend on how many back links you have and how important they are (as more important the site pointing to you the better for you). To get your first back links you can manually submit your site to website directories, like Yahoo Directory. Later, and more importantly, you should have related websites, with similar content to your online store, linking to you. e.g. the "Wedding Favor" online store could benefit from a "Wedding Dresses" website's back link. You can also propose link exchange deals by also back linking to the "Wedding Dresses" website.
  •  Online Advertising
   Buying advertising is the typical way of getting traffic to your site, with the difference that in the Internet you are very sure the ads you buy hit the right type of person and what percentage of your investment on advertisement is converted into sales. The leader in targeted advertising is Google Ad Words, displaying ads accordingly the keywords people are searching. For example, if a person searches for "Sweet Chocolate Bars" on Google it is very likely you'll see ads to companies in the chocolate industry. That is because these companies have bid on keyword sentences like "chocolate bar" so that people searching for them will also be tempted to buy some of their Chocolate Bars. You should firstly identify the keywords more related to your business and then bid on those you predict to have a better conversion rate on sales. If you company sells Cereal Bars you are better off betting on the "cereal chocolate bar" than on the more general "chocolate bar" keyword sentence. In the latter you'll be competing against all chocolate bar industry. Also, I bet people searching for "cereal chocolate bars" are more likely to buy you a cereal bar than those search for "chocolate bars".
  •  Traditional Advertising
If you own a brick-and-mortar business you should think about our online store as an extension of your existing business. A 24/7 store front permanently running, converting web-surfers to your clients. Print your store URL in all you business cards and company merchandise and every time you invest in traditional advertising do not forget to mention your website.
Last but not least, efforts on spreading the word about your online store will firstly translate in more people visiting your website but that does not imply any sale. You should ultimately focus primarily converting visitors to clients and not only traffic.
        Lower Prices, Stock out and Launch your Products
As said before, the cost on running an online business is substantially lower than the traditional ones, so one good way to increase your profit and get new customers is to reflect those lower costs in your products' price. It is also a very smart and effective marketing approach, in comparison with buying ads. This way you are avoiding spending money on people who check your ads but do ultimately do not convert to buyers. By lowering prices as a marketing strategy you're only "spending" money when a sale takes place. In short, you are focusing in investing on customer’s not general public.
On your brick-and-mortar store you are most of the times confined to your local, regional or national market, sometimes saturated with competitors in the same market (like selling Premium Champagne in France or flowers in Holland) and selling out big stocks can be hard. This fact holds no truth in the online market and your online store can be a good way of stocking out your inventory in lower prices and this way getting more new customers who wouldn't buy with the original prices. Your online customers are the best customers and one way to appeal to them and make them feel more special is to launch new products firstly/only at your online store. Like a new line of products in a higher segment or a limited edition. In return they'll spread the love and share the word among their peers.
  •  Continuous Improvement
How do you estimate how much sales your store will have this week? Here is a question for you: how much time have you spent working on your store? There is tight relation between the continuous effort from a merchant and the performance of his store. Online stores which are constantly updated, with new products and new articles tend to sell more. Customers will feel when someone is taking good care of a store or just leaving it to abandonment. Having a Twitter or Face book feed displaying your last messages on this social networks is a great way to build trust on your costumers.
  •  Build, Wait, Monitor and Improve
Patience is also necessary in this business. Even if there's cases of over-night success most of the cases things start slowly and keep improving along the time. Amazon, the biggest online book retailer, took several years before even reaching profitability, and the same happen with most successful business in the Internet.
Focus in building a smart online store, in line with your business image, upload your first products and make your first attempt in online marketing. Then analyze the results you achieve, in terms of visitors, customer and sales conversion and improve this cycle by buying a premium template or hiring a professional web-designer to build it, improve your products description and quality of your images by e.g. buying a "light box" and select more effective keyword and better target the audience of you marketing campaigns. By iterating this cycle your online business will grow steadily representing very week a bigger and bigger share of your entire business revenue.
All good things take time. But at Izzonet we give to an easier way of displaying your product through your own online store specially created for you. So at your own comfort zone you get to sell your product at cheaper cost even with a 30 days trial.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Developing Online Products That Sell

With more than 6 billion dollars of online revenue being produced in 1999 alone, the chance of e-commerce and global sales is now remarked as a definite reality. To put it bluntly, the Internet is producing a heck of a lot of profits for many Internet Marketers worldwide who have developed online products that sell. We virtually live on the Internet, spending hours per day ‘tweaking’ our sites and actively studying the Internet Marketing process.

Allow me to add that we also:
  • Work from home, which is both flexible and needless to say, comfortable.
  • Have no need to travel to work at inhumane hours, facing the challenge of daily traffic jams and the 9-5 rat-race atmosphere that so many of us are sucked into.
  • Have no bosses – that’s right, no need to suck up to anyone in the effort to invoke a pay rise or to be told what to do and when to do it. This means we’re not working to contribute to anyone else success but our own.
  • Produce thousands of dollars of online profits, by simply using a home computer and having the ‘right’ website and sales system in place. I could go on and on, the benefits are endless. We know that and you probably know that. The point of this article is to set your life in line with these benefits so you CAN and WILL start living like this. It’s about HOW you need to start.
So How Can You Achieve This With The Internet?
Unfortunately for a lot of people seeking Internet riches, the talk of money clouds their vision to see the TRUE reason why E-commerce is now producing billions of dollars online every year.
It’s all about the customer. They want QUALITY products or services, and they’re willing to pay good money to receive those products.
So if the customer WANTS good products or services, why do people continue to promote rubbish?
Quite simply, because they don’t CARE. The talk of the ‘quick buck’ is their only goal, and that’s all they’ll consider…Not only is this a completely stupid move, but it’s also the quickest path to failure. Your clever sales letter may initially dupe your customer into spending their hard-earned dollars, but you can bet your life you’ll end up paying in lost credibility and returns.

What I’m about to show you is the simple 5-step approach to achieving online success by producing your OWN products or services. Dump those zillion-and-one worthless affiliate programs, and develop your own solid program. If you’re serious about creating an impact on the ‘net, then this is the only way to go. The benefits are amazing.
Don’t get me wrong, a LOT of money is being produced with affiliate programs. But to be honest if you’re ONLY promoting an affiliate program, you’re not really owning your own business. To me, affiliate programs are great side-line income produces, and I’ve developed many profitable techniques to integrate them into my everyday business life.
However, what I’m about to teach you now will produce the basis for which all future online ventures will build upon?
Are You Ready? Good, Then Let’s Begin …

Step 1 – Defining Your Product 
I’m constantly asked the question of ‘what sells online’. To be honest, there is no one single answer to this question. However, the question of ‘what sells BEST online’ can be defined more easily. Quite simply, information-rich products or services are the HOTTEST online sellers.
Let’s consider Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft. His company is built entirely on information-rich products. Their biggest money-earner is software, which is just data. Nothing more than information, a collection of binary digits that forms a program.
Microsoft earned over 19 billion dollars this year selling software (among other products). See the potential here? But it’s not just software that sells like hot cakes. The old saying that ‘knowledge is power’ is becoming more and more believable, because its knowledge and information that sells so well on the Internet.
If you have the information to create a solution to someone’s problem, and there’s a HIGH demand for this type of info, then Hey Presto. You've struck gold. You've found the PERFECT product to sell.
Why? Let’s find out…

Step 2 – Creating A Product With A HIGH Profit Margin
The Internet is making more millionaires than any other invention in history. Never before has it been so possible for the average person to go international and to earn excessive amounts of money selling products and services online.

And why? Because virtually ALL of the overheard and production costs are eliminated with many online products. You can get started for less than $250 a year (that’s to cover the website hosting costs) and then you simply purchase a domain name and design your site for free by yourself. Once you’re up and accessible on the WWW, the potential for global sales exists.

Compare that to the costs of an offline shop, and you’ll see why the Internet is being favored.
In the real-world you have to pay for land rental fees (which can be hundreds of thousands of dollars), hiring staff and staff training, interior decorating, product inventory and much, much more.
On the Internet however, none of these costs need exist. You can create a powerful website for free using your home computer, and get your own domain name and website setup for a few hundred bucks a year. With this in mind, why should your production costs be any different? You can create an information-rich product from home that provides valuable information, and produce and replicate the SAME informational products at no extra cost.

only data, and data costs nothing to produce. However, that doesn't mean people aren't willing to pay BIG money for valuable information. For instance, if you sold a 10 page book that told people how to earn $2000 with the stock exchange, then chances are an investor would be willing to pay $500+ for that valuable information, even though it costs only pennies to reproduce.
It’s the quality that counts, not the quantity. Even if your product takes only 10 minutes to reproduce and no-cost, your customer will still pay BIG for valuable information.
Notice that I say ‘valuable information’. Not just any old product will sell. Forget those ‘Buy 5000 reports for $30′ programs. Create a BRAND NEW informational product that’s guaranteed to satisfy.

A ‘Slat in Your Face’ Example:
Have you noticed the amount of Internet Marketing courses being advertised at the minute? And why do you think that is? Simply because a LOT of people want to know how to successfully sell on the Internet, and the people who can teach them that will earn a lot of money (and are doing).
And this is exactly what you should be aiming to do. Create a product based on your OWN expertise and offer that advice for a fee. 

Step 3 – Automation Is The Key To Success “The Secrets To Internet Marketing Success. Order NOW and you can be reading our POWERFUL marketing course within 30 seconds. “What do you think of the statement above? Better still, what do you think a customer would think of the above statement?
People are impatient creatures. When they want things, they want them NOW. Not tomorrow, not next week, but now. And if you can give them that information NOW, you’re already half-way toward making the sale.
Automation is the key to success with any online business. If you sell an information product, then why not offer an IMMEDIATE download for your customer as soon as they've ordered the product?
Not only will this satisfy your customer a great deal (They get INSTANT access to the info they’re eager to read) but it’ll save you a lot of hassle too.

Your website is a VERY powerful selling machine. If you have the right knowledge, you can automate the process of virtually every business task.
For instance, once a customer fills out their payment information, you can create an online ordering system that:
  • Automatically verifies the customers’ credit card information. Once accepted, the payment is immediately added to your account and a thank you screen is presented to your customer.
  • Automatically emails the customer thanking them for their order, and gives them information on how to download your online product.
And you have no intervention with this process. The money that the customer spent is yours, without ANY inventory/overhead costs whatsoever. Plus your customer gets INSTANT access to your quality product. The result? You’re both happy-chaps.
Therefore, your product margin can be HUGE. Whether you make 1 or 101 sales per day, your costs stay the same. Making 10 sales per day with a product that you charge $49 for would make you $490 every day – with NO production costs. 

Watch out for the next and final part of this article....