How to insert the search box on your Jekyll site using lunr.js in Shopify

In order for users to be able to find relevant content easily, you can actively add search to your store site. It is a relatively small site. Therefore, you are allowed to perform the search entirely client side. In case there were so many blog posts, customers may need to wait for a long time to search the post. Hence, a backend search could be a good choice.

However, please keep reading our instructional writing on How to insert the search box on your Jekyll site using lunr.js to know more deeply about this topic.

How to insert the search box on your Jekyll site using lunr.js

What is Lunr.js?

Lunr.js could be an excellent choice for you if you want to build the search. However, first, what is Lunr.js?

Lunr.js is known as a small, full-text library for use in the browser. It indexes JSON documents and brings along a simple search interface for retrieving documents that can match text queries the most. The search usually works in the following steps:

  1. Get the search term sent as a GET parameter to search.html.
  2. search.html then reads the GET parameter and searches thru JSON containing the searchable content.
  3. search.html shows a search result list.

To get started, we will generate /js/search.js to hold our search JavaScript and get junr.js installed to /js/lunr.min.js.

How to insert the search box on your Jekyll site using lunr.js?

Step 1: Create search.html

In the first step, we need to generate /search.html. This file contains a search box, a placeholder for showing results, a JSON output of all the content we want to search on. All JavaScript libraries are also included:

---
layout: search
---
<form action="/search.html" method="get">
  <label for="search-box">Search</label>
  <input type="text" id="search-box" name="query">
  <input type="submit" value="search">
</form>

<ul id="search-results"></ul>

<script>
  window.store = {
    
      "resources-name-your-brand-html": {
        "title": "How To Name Your Brand",
        "author": "",
        "category": "start",
        "content": "There are an estimated 300 million companies in the world today. That’s 300 million brands. Some brands are as big as Apple and Coca Cola, others are as small as a one-man operation.With so many brands in the world, it is harder and harder to find a unique name. So how can you create a great brand name? How can you play and win the name game?It’s easier to start off when you know how many types of brand names there are.Main content  Types of brand name          Descriptive brand names      Evocative Brand Name      Lexical brand names      Acronym Brand Names      Geographical brand name      Founder brand names      Historical brand names      Amalgam Brand Names        Naming tips          Keep your name short      Make sure it’s easy to spell      Don’t limit your own growth      Check the domain name      Be original      Say your brand name out loud      Ask for feedback      Make it relevant      Keep your logo in mind      Take advantage of technology      Related post  Buy a Domain from Shopify - How to Do It Right  How to use Instagram for business: the ultimate guide for beginner  How to create a logo for business- complete guideTypes of brand nameThere are 8 types of brand names that almost every brand name in the world falls into:Descriptive brand namesThis type of brand names, such as American Airlines or The Container Store, is straightforward and describes clearly what the company does and what its product is.With this type of brand names, you won’t have to make much efforts to explain to your customers who you are and what you do, and it’s easier for your customers to remember you. The downside is you can’t use the name when it comes to diversifying your business and adding new product lines.Let’s take General Electric as an example. The brand name is simple and clearly communicates the company identity to the customers, but if General Electric thinks of going into FMCG, this name are not going to make sense to customers and it would feel inappropriate. Another example would be General Motors.Evocative Brand NameThese are names that describe metaphorically, rather than literally, to the brand positioning. Evocative names move above the product and services being offered, and convey a bigger bolder picture. The best of them stands for a bold vision or a unique value.Examples include Virgin, Nike, and Amazon. The value of Virgin is providing exceptional customer experience across multiple industries, Nike is the name of an Ancient Geek goddess who personified victory, and Amazon uses the name of the great ancient forest to represent its vision of becoming the everything store.Evocative brand names do not stand for an obvious idea like descriptive ones do, so you’ll have to spend extra efforts to explain to the market what you are about. Once, however, you have branded yourself successfully, the originality of brand names of this type will help you stand-out and become memorable in your customers’ minds.It is essential that to maintain your brand’s dignity in the market by offering the products that suit your brand value, since a recognizable brand has acquired massive customer trust, and with that comes a great responsibility.Lexical brand namesThese brand names are dependent entirely on the wordplay. The most popular style of naming brands this way is forming a combination of different words that can represent the underlying meaning of the brand.Examples of the lexical brand name include Dunkin Donuts, BlackBerry, Burger King, Coca-Cola etc. The marketing efforts required for this kind of brand names depends on, well, the name you choose…Category name is a widely used component word that forms a lexical brand name. Burger King sells burgers so it has that word in its name. Then we have Domino’s Pizza which is of this type too.If you, however, sell cellphones and name your business BlackBerry, you really have to explain it to the market and answer the question “what is this BlackBerry guy? Is he selling black berries??”.Acronym Brand NamesAcronym brand names are simply acronyms of the entire name of the company which might be too long or difficult to pronounce.Acronyms have always been used as a brand name for a long time.  IBM (International Business Machines),  KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken),  UPS (United Parcel Service),  NASA (The National Aeronautics and Space Administration)  UNICEF (The United Nations Children’s Fund)This type of brand names was popular in the last century but seems to have gone out of style these days, so I would not suggest you to choose this group.Geographical brand nameWhen the brand name includes the geography or territory where it was born or operates, it is known as the geographical brand name. Swiss military, American Express, American Airlines, Boston Scientific, are few examples of geographical type of brand names.It is, however, found that expanding such a business in different countries has its limitations which comes with the geographical brand name. In countries where there are geographical problems with a certain country or state, it would be hard to expand and adapt.The HSBC is an example. This bank was formerly named The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, but then changed to HSBC (which is an acronym brand name) due to its global expansion efforts.Founder brand namesThis group of brand names has been around for centuries. Quite obviously, businesses with founder brand names are named after the name of their founders such as Ford which is named after Henry Ford or Disney named after the late founder Walt Disney.One downside of naming your brand after your name is your business will become hugely dependent on your personal reputation. Imagine you have spent your sweat, blood and tears to build up your business and brand, then for some reason, you get caught in a scandal and your name is all over the news, that means your brand is all over the news with your scandal too. To put this another way, a personal scandal that has nothing to do with your business can make your business go down the drain.Historical brand namesThese brand names are associated with historical figures and names who have no relation with the company in order to indicate support of the company towards the particular historical figure.For example, Tesla Motors was not founded by Nikolas Tesla (one of the greatest scientists of modern history) who died in 1947. The brand Tesla is representing and honoring Tesla’s incredible engineering achievements.Amalgam Brand NamesThis group of brand names is made by combining fractions of words and making a completely new term which stands for the idea behind the brand.Theranos (the health technology startup, once among the most well-known start-ups in the world, now has turned out to be a massive fraud) has its name from therapy and diagnosis.Then we have Instagram which is made of Instant Camera and Telegram.This kind of brand names is hard to create and require a massive amount of creativity and understanding of your idea to look for words, break them down and then form a new word that makes sense.You can get more ideas by finding the meaning behind all the brands that you love, and see why those brand names were came up with.Naming tipsHere are some naming tips that you can put into consideration when trying to come up with a name for your brandKeep your name shortPeople shouldn’t have to catch a breath twice to say your name out loud. Just think about some of the brands that rule worldwide. Nike. Apple. Walmart.It’s hard to come up with a name that is this short and represents the idea behind your brand though. A large number of businesses fall within the 17 to 24 character mark.The point here is your business name shouldn’t sound like a sentence, because keeping it short will make it easier for consumers to remember it, which will help you hugely with your marketing campaigns.Make sure it’s easy to spellPut yourself into your customers’ shoes.Let’s says they run into your product and brand somewhere. Whether it’s on Facebook, the radio, or in a conversation. Then, with a vague memory of your name, they go and search for it online, but can’t find you because your names doesn’t spell the way it sounds. Then they move on to searching for the product and land on your competition’s brand instead.Stick with names that are spelled exactly how they sound.Don’t do anything weird, like using the number 3 to replace the “e” letter, or use the letter “Z” where it’s supposed to be an “S”.Don’t limit your own growthAt the beginning, your startup may be focusing on a specific need. But that doesn’t mean you should use an extremely specific name for your business.For instance, let’s say you’re building a fashion brand selling jeans. “Jeansm” is a bad idea to name your company, what if later on you want to sell T-shirts and shorts too? You’re blocking your own way out of expanding your business.You shouldn’t name your business based on your geography either. If you remember the HSBC example I mentioned above.It was formerly named The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, but  this name restricted its global expansion efforts, so it had to change to HSBC.Check the domain nameSo, once you have settled on a name, you can use an online tool, such as GoDaddy to see if this domain is available.There is a mistake that I see businesses often make at this point. A company settles on a name, but someone has already taken the .com domain. So instead of trying to buy it back, they decide to use another domain type, such as .net, .org or .biz.I would not recommend doing this as consumers have grown used to peceiving .com domains as reliable and established businesses.This does not mean you should settle with a .com domain different from the name of your business either. If the .com name of your brand has been already taken and you cannot purchase it, I would recommend you to find another name.Be originalYou don’t want your brand to sound like your competition’s, do you?Your name should be unique and stand out among your competitors; without any confusion or association with other brands.Say your brand name out loudYour name may look fantastic on paper. But how does it sound when it’s spoken?Above I mentioned names should be easy to spell, but they should be easy to pronounce too.Make sure that when you say your brand name out loud, it doesn’t get confused with other words; especially ones that sound inappropriate.I mean… Really??Ask for feedbackYou don’t have to name your company on your own, you can ask for help and advice.Sure, you can ultimately have the final say, but if you’ve got a team or partners, discuss with them.You can ask for feedback from your family or friends too if you think their opinion can provide value.When Sir Richard Branson was about to launch his condom brand to battle with a disastrous HIV/AIDS epidemic in the late eighties that was destroying the lives of millions. Do you know what was the original name he came up with for the brand? Virgin Condoms.Then he told his wife about this idea, and she bursted out “Condoms! Virgin Condoms? Oh come on, Richard, pleeeease tell me you’re joking. Cos if you’re not, you’re soon going to be the butt-end of a hell of a lot of jokes.”Then he gathered his team and came up with MATES.Make it relevantEarlier, I mentioned that you should pick a name that doesn’t limit your own growth.But that doesn’t mean you should go for something random or irrelevant.Let’s say you start a company focusing on custom-made clothing. Don’t name it -This example sounds a bit extreme, but you get the point.Keep your logo in mindYour brand name will be tied closely to your logo, so keep your logo design in mind as well.Different color vibes can impact your sales and bottom line. That’s because visuals are absorbed much faster than words.  Customers will be more likely to remember a name if the logo is memorable.Think of McDonald’s. Isn’t the “M” golden arches are iconic?Take advantage of technologyIf you’re stuck on finding a good name, there are tools that can help you.Let me introduce a few popular ones for your name brainstorming.NamelixNamelix is arguably the greatest tool to generate a name for your business; and it’s free! This tool uses artificial intelligence to create short, catchy, and brandable names. It also allows you to filter the results using positive/negative keywords, short names preference, and domain availability.Namelix generates short, branded names that are relevant to your business idea. When you save a name, the algorithm learns your preferences and gives you better recommendations over time.Shopify Business Name GeneratorShopify offers you a helpful tool for checking the availability of business names and web domain.It will suggest you hundreds of relevant names with a few keywords you input into the “Enter Query” box.While the tool returns a great deal of possibilities for any keyword that you search, it automatically filters the results and only show business names with available domains.So, if you like a certain name, you can register for it through Shopify and set up an ecommerce store. It’s all in the same place!NaminumNamemeshNameMesh let’s you find a name for your company, app or product with just a simple search. Using ‘Mesh Intelligence’, NameMesh finds name trends and ranks names to get you the most relevant suggestions. Enter the keywords for your startup idea and NameMesh will suggest domain names available with the most common (and new) TLD’s.NameMesh not only shows you basic suggestions, but also short domain names by overlapping the keywords with the tlds, like del.icio.us, foc.us, citi.es etc. Also common alternatives for your domain name are generated, together with domains where other words and popular suffixes like -ly, -ify are mixed with your entered keywords.I have found that these 4 tools are the most widely used among brand-name brainstormers, so I think that they are sufficient to assist you, but just in case you need more, here are another 6 tools. :)  Brandroot  Novanym   BrandBucket   Business Name Generator  Oberlo business name generator  AnadeaI hope this article can give you a reference and help you come up with a wonderful name for your brand! At the end of the day, it’s all about choosing a name and knowing why you go for that one but not others. If a name makes sense to you, just go for it!",
        "url": "/resources/name-your-brand.html"
      }
      ,
    
      "resources-copywriting-for-ecommerce-html": {
        "title": "COPYWRITING FOR ECOMMERCE: HOW TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS WITH JUST WORDS",
        "author": "",
        "category": "start",
        "content": "When you are visiting an online store for the first time, there are many elements that can make you noticed: Attractive photos of products, incredible good prices, and many buttons to explore… But the thing that leaves much impression is probably the copy that is used to capture your attention. It is bold, funny, surprisingly relatable and full of personality because that is why copywriting was invented - To harness the power of words that can drive sales.Simply put, eCommerce copywriting is any type of text or copy an online store uses to inform customers. And if done right, good copy can double, or even triple conversion rates. Like FreckleTime increased the conversion rate for its homepage by 2.4x simply by changing its copy. In this article, we’ll show you how you can engage and encourage readers to make a purchase using proven powers of copywriting.Main content  3 types of eCommerce copywriting          Sales copywriting      SEO copywriting      Technical copywriting        Important benefits of copywriting to ecommerce busniess  How to master copywriting for eCommerce          Remember who you are writing for      Harness the power of brand storytelling      Write magnetic headlines      Use more verbs for actions      Focus on benefits over features        Strategy for great copywriting          Appeal to the audience’s emotions      Create a story      Edit and proofread        Fianl notes3 types of eCommerce copywritingIn modern days, an eCommerce site can be everything at once for customers - a catalog, store, marketing tool, and also information source - and the copy responsible for selling your product is at the center of it all.The three basic types of copywriting below are essential to any eCommerce business. All of them are the fundamentals for you to raise your copy to a new level.Sales copywritingPerhaps the most common kind of copywriting, sales copy is widely used to attract customers and make purchases. It includes:  Advertorials online  Product descriptions and category descriptionsSales copywriting needs to have an ability to tap into an audience’s subconscious, understanding what will appeal to them, in a creative and persuasive way. In addition, it requires to synthesize information into an easy-to-digest package. Sales writers need to research every detail of a subject but only draw out the most important benefits and features.SEO copywritingEvery business online depends on search engine optimization (SEO) to get found. This is the use of keywords or searches terms that give rank on Google (or other search engines) results pages. Therefore, SEO is found in online content such as:  Web content  Product descriptionsSEO content also needs to have creativity and insight to attract audiences. No one wants to read contents that are stuffed with keywords. And neither does Google.Technical copywritingThere is another aspect to copywriting which is less about sales, and that is technical copywriting. While the intention is still to make content that promotes the best use of a product, it is very different. It is found in:  White papers  In-depth industry guidesTechnical copywriting often requires in-depth knowledge of a subject, and cover various specialist topics such as science and health, marketing, finance, politics, and government. This gives audience information in their favorite field, and trust the business as an expert.If you are in a niche business with a very specific field and customer, technical copywriting is a great way to build relationships.Important benefits of copywriting to eCommerce business“When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it creative. I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product.” – David OgilvyWise words from one of the most famous copywriters in the advertising industry. That to show having a good, engaging copy has always been considered essential to business. The benefits of copy include:It defines who you are.Use eCommerce copy to introduce your brand to the world. Create tone and word choice to create a personality for your brand and products that your customers cannot look away. That is how you make a mark among millions of other online businesses out there.It can boost sales.Slow but steady, Ecommerce copywriting often has a huge impact on sales and conversion rates. According to Moz, brands such as Encyclopedia Britannica and FreckleTime enjoyed  dramatic increases in conversion rates  after focusing on improving the copy of their sites.It helps you identify your customers/audience.Who are you trying to sell to? It’s important that your copy appeals to your original customer base. Your copy should seek to solve problems that are unique to those personas and from there to attract more alike people.It informs customers.When a customer visits your site, they should leave with more useful information than when they arrived. The best way to deliver that is through rich copy. You need to accurately describe your products, give the customer insight into your company’s history, and let them know how to easily place an order with you (how much shipping costs, when orders arrive, what they should do if they want to return their items, etc.).It improves your site’s SEO.If you want your business website to rank well in search engine results, you need a search-engine-optimized copy. The better your copy, the better SEO is, and overall that is how you climb to the top of the search results.How to master copywriting for eCommerceWith all the benefits above, it is no doubt that excellence eCommerce copywriting is necessary for your multi-million dollar online business. Below, we will list 5 foundational copywriting that will help you improve your copy and nurture a better relationship with your potential customers.Remember who you’re writing forIt is a serious connection your copy is about to connect, so you should know who you’re giving that special thing. Once you know who is your target, your personality will naturally flow into your copy.Another incredible quote from Ogilvy is: “If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language.” And it’s never been easier to research your audience and find the shared tone, puns, obscure words, with some fun along the way.Sites like Quora and Reddit not only offer great insight into your target market, they also reveal how people in that community are like. Let’s say you are an e-tailer that sells long-lasting and fashionable shoes for men.r/BuyItForLife  is a popular subreddit where people look for products that are durable and dependable. If you look up for shoes, you would get something like this. As you can see, the community is active, responsive, and they appreciate good products.So, if you are a shoe seller, you can learn about customer pain right here, or come up with a witty way to reach them. Dollar Shave Club is one master of putting humor in their product description and that is how they made their millions of $.Remember, your customers need you to solve their problems, so understand them, talk the way they talk, and show how you can make their lives better. Your copy will find a way to write itself and match your targeted audience.Harness the power of brand storytellingStories are the backbone of human emotions. They move us emotionally, connect us, and somewhat entertain also. That is why businesses bring stories into “About Us” and how companies like Jack Daniels popularized their brand with story-driven adsIn product descriptions, compelling copy paints a picture of how the reader’s life will be different if they take the desired action. “Your life is about to get a whole lot better because of this, just click this button right here”. We’ve all been persuaded a few times like that.Better yet, the story is even better when it is about you and why you are doing what you are doing. It tells that the business founders are just people too, and decided to do something about a problem that many are facing with no solution. That is inspiring, trustworthy, and connectable.Take Bulldog Skincare About Us page for example. They talk about man grooming like a walk in the park with their product, very lovable and memorable. The adorable pictures of bulldog resonate with the brand purpose - to be man’s best friend and help them wake up with smooth (and cute) face skin.So it is okay to have fun around, find ways to inject personality into your page. The confident copy that tells exactly who you are will make customers immediately feel something and remember you better among million of results online.Write magnetic headlinesYou probably have heard millions of times how headlines should be prioritized before anything else. According to Copyblogger , 8 out of 10 people will read your headline copy but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. So it’s obvious that if people stop at the headline, the whole copy means nothing.With that in mind, writing magnetic headlines is vital to your eCommerce business. There are tons of documents online to guide you about making the attractive headlines but we will go through the most essentials.1st, you should write your headline firstOf course, you’ll need to have a basic idea for the subject matter. Then, simply take that basic idea and craft a killer headline before writing a single word of the body content. Because your headline is a promise to readers. It communicates the benefit you’ll deliver to the reader in exchange for their valuable time, then content will do its thing.2nd, insert keywords into your headlineKeywords matter, and it is a free or low-cost window into the mind of your target audience. A great headline would speak the language of the audience, while catches attention and offers obvious value.3rd, try incorporating the 4 U’s in your headlineThe 4 U’s stand for Unique - Ultra specific - Urgent - Useful, as the words speak for itself, your title should include at least one or more of these attributes. We highly recommend free document about magnetic headlines from Copybloggerto start.Use more verbs for actionsNow get this, you are writing to sell, not to entertain, so fancy adjectives may sound good but not necessarily work. When writing eCommerce copy, verbs are the ignitions because they help the reader move toward the desired result.You don’t have to use them excessively. Just put them in whenever you want to impress a feature/benefit or get your readers to take some action. And there is no better way to do that than a good Call-To-Action (CTA).Look how ScoutBooks captures all necessary in short product description and encourage customers to purchase with CTA in both copy and a clickable button.Or how Brooks Running make audiences want to join a run with them by an honest letter from the founder in their Purpose page.Verbs are used as instructions for customers. The better instruction you give the reader, the easier it is for them to take the desired action (and the faster you can turn casual visitors into paying customers).Focus on benefits over featuresYou are a great business and you know it, and there are so many things you can benefit your customers with. However, while it is tempting to make a list of 100 attributes of your product, most people just care how what you are offering can help them with their problems.Features are what your product is or includes, like “32G memory card” or “Real leather”. Benefits are what your product benefit your buyer, like “Never worry about running out of storage for selfies”, or “Look so good, and you can wear them for years”. Keep in mind that this depends on how your targeted customers actually talk to each other.See how Intelligent Chang focuses on the aftereffect of buying The Five-Minute Journal. There’s no mention of the material, or how the paper is made … all that matters is how it can improve your life.The same with your About Us page, focus showing that you really care and have the only purpose of making your customers lives better. Check out how Brooks Runningdescribe themselves in the Purpose page, it is quite inspiring.When you combine all practices like playful humor, brand storytelling, and benefit-driven copy, your copywriting can evoke more emotion in your ideal buyer—and your conversion rate will be the answer for all the word work.Strategy for great copywritingWith all the great examples above, you can now get started with eCommerce copywriting. But don’t just start sitting down and writing right the way. Try the strategy below to make your copywriting even better.Appeal to the audience’s emotionsAs you probably have researched about your customers by now, you know there is a community and how they talk with each other. Take another step and understand what they would be doing when visiting your shop, so you can use a copy to persuade them to take action.Try using “trigger” of powerful words to attract their attention right the way. These words include “now”, “here” or “hurry”, and are widely used in copywriting nowadays, and maybe forever more because they work. Check out 189 words that convert collected by Buffer here .Create a storyYou have come up with a compelling story about your brand, now you need to have elements of that story throughout all of the copy on your website. That way wherever your audience land on your website, they can immediately feel the original vibe of yours.For example, if you specialize in environmental - friendly and ethical fashion, then that information should be in your About Us page, as well as in your product descriptions (you can highlight how a t-shirt is made from recycled fabric, or a portion of profit from the sales would go towards initiatives to encourage workers).Edit and proofreadThis is so important but so few businesses actually do since it takes a bit more time. Your eCommerce copy needs to be super easy to read, and even easier to understand* because the audience has only an attention span of 8.25 seconds.You’ll want to edit and proofread for clarity and to make sure you don’t have any mistakes such as typos or grammar that bring dissatisfaction.  Grammarly  is highly recommended to achieve grammar-error free copy.Final notesLike any skill, e-commerce copywriting takes time to develop. All of the principles above gave you the knowledge you need to improve the reader’s experience and increase conversion rate. But you need to put in the effort for an online store with excellent copywriting.With not many compelling copies out there, you have the advantage to get ahead of your competition. Let us know in the comment below how you have used copywriting in your eCommerce business.",
        "url": "/resources/copywriting-for-ecommerce.html"
      }
      ,
    
      "resources-email-marketing-for-ecommerce-html": {
        "title": "EMAIL MARKETING FOR ECOMMERCE MADE EASY: HOW TO INCREASE SALE WITH EMAILS",
        "author": "",
        "category": "start",
        "content": "Email marketing has always been considered as a low budget tool but a super effective marketing channel. In fact, more than 280 billion emails are sent daily, and many of those are from small eCommerce businesses trying to reach their customers with the right message at the right time. And the number of emails flying in the internet cloud is not going to reduce any time soon.So what are you waiting for and haven’t started apply email marketing to grow your online business right now? Our guide below will give you a detailed but easy to practice plan of using email marketing to make the most of it, and start hyper increasing your sales.Main content  What is email marketing?  Why your online business really needs email marketing          Have an email list      Ways to grow subscribles      Basic rules of sending emails        Some email marketing campaigns that help make quick wins          Welcome email campaign      Cart abandonment email      New arrival email      Promotion email      Order confirmation email      Shipping confirmation email      Follow-up email        Metrics of email marketing you should start tracking          List size and growth      Open and click-through rate      Deliverability      A/B test result      ROI        How to utilize email marketing for the long run          Newsletter emails      Curation emails      Win-back emails        ConclusionWhat is email marketingIn short, email marketing is the act of sending marketing messages to customers or non-customers via email in order to promote, educate, or build loyalty. Email marketing is one segment of internet marketing, and of owned digital marketing channel, which means you are in full control of what to write and who to send, with result data.Many have been doubting the relevance of email marketing in modern days, but it has evolved quickly and still is one of the best tools to make a personal, relevant connection with receivers. There’s a good reason 85% of U.S  retailers consider email marketing one of the most effective customer acquisition channels.Why your online business really needs email marketing94% of Internet users use email, according to HostPapa. That is enough number to show how big the market is, which allows you to reach almost anyone even if they’re using social media. In fact, over 90% of professional marketing executives believe email marketing is successful in achieving important marketing objectives.So if you are not using email marketing for your online business, you are basically leaving money on the table. We will give you some more concreted reasons eCommerce stores should really need to use email marketing right now.It helps to reach the audienceAs an eCommerce entrepreneur, you probably think about social media first when come to promoting your brand since so many are living there. But statistics show that while the engagement rate on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter is just around 0.6%, email has an average open of 22,86% and click-through rate of 3,71%.Why? Because email reach people in a more subtle way, and somewhat were already interested. They subscribed for it to be a fact. According to Adestra, consumers prefer emails for communicating with the brands they’re connected with.It can build relationships with customersSearch engines and social media platforms are great to get you on the search page, but email is still one of the best channels for maintaining and strengthening the relationship with customers over timeBased on Neilsen’s study, 66% of online consumers prefer to buy products from familiar brands. Since you are an online store owner, it makes sense to create familiarity through time by email and build trust within customers.Beyond that, email usually encourages customers to make a second purchase. Customers return rate is important to many businesses because it shows sustainable profit and long-time acquisition of customers.It is effective at increasing salesA 2018 study from the  DMA  found that for every dollar spent on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $32. Of course, certain businesses (and products) go especially well with email marketing, and many may not. But email remains as a high-performing channel to acquire profit.Even more, a 2018 report from Emarsys showed that 80% of businesses rely on email as their primary marketing channel. Email marketing is reliant on its ability to drive the first sale as well as unlock more revenue from your valuable customers.It is easily tracked for dataSince email marketing is an owned marketing channel, all results from it are acquired for you. Everything is trackable like who opened your emails, who clicked onto your site through emails, and so much more.One of the most important statistics is probably Return On Investment (ROI) which shows how much you have spent on email marketing to get a single customer. Through this, you can adjust your budget on customer group or email content which makes marketing cost more relevant. We will get through more important metrics later.It is not affected by third-party companiesAnother important aspect of email marketing is that email isn’t subject to the controls of centralized platforms, where unplanned tweaks to algorithms can completely derail a marketing campaign.On another hand, organic reach for Facebook pages has been declining since 2013, as the platform continues to focus on promoting content from communities. Similarly, climbing the search rankings in Google is getting harder since advertisements and answer boxes make a noticeable increase in no-click searches. Long story short, if you want to reach customers on these platforms you are forced to pay—and those costs are increasing.Where to begin with email marketingEmail marketing is incredibly versatile as you can customize emails for people’s names, send by separate lists, and promotions to different subscriber sets, and much more. In this section, we will go through the most essentials to start your first email marketing campaign.Have an email listThe first step is to gather an email list. This is not only a list of people you can send email to but also a very useful data source for multiple usages. A key thing to remember before you begin is that you should be clear what benefits customers can get from subscribing to your email list.There are countless ways to build your email list, and a good place to start is an email registration form right on your website. By this, you can attract visitors with special information or discounts in exchange for an email address.Ways to grow subscribersAs mentioned above with an email registration form, there are many more creative ways to increase the numbers of your email list. Here are some examples:Collect emails through sales and customer accountsCustomer accounts and sales are valuable to businesses because they can require shoppers to share information—including their email address—and make purchasing history easier to track.If you’re using Shopify, customer accounts are optional, and you can send customers direct invitations encouraging them to activate an account after they’ve completed a purchase.Build a landing page for more informationWith this, you can set up a landing page on your domain that invites visitors to stay informed by entering their email address. Write a copy that describes all the exciting things that are about to come and offer strong incentives for early adopters if possible (e.g., early-bird customers get 20% off on launch day).Make contest or giveaway with registration as emailAlthough contests can potentially bring in a lot of sign-ups, the inherent downside is the person you’ll attract is looking for free stuff. Use a giveaway to break through the noise, or to jumpstart your list, but don’t rely on them to grow an engaged audience for the long term. The best converting lead magnets offer something visitors can immediately apply and that highlights a gap your product can fill.Ask for emails in person at eventsThere’s hidden value in less-scalable approaches to collecting emails, particularly the options available to you in the physical world. If you sell your products through pop-up shops, take one-off orders from friends, or already have a physical storefront, you’ll encounter a number of opportunities to ask customers for their email directly.The same idea applies to physical calls to action: packaging inserts and small cards shipped with orders can include discounts or offers for customers who return to store—just set up a separate page customer can access by entering the link from the insert into their browser.Basic rules of sending emailsThere are some things you need to keep in mind before hitting that send button and don’t worry, they are not complicated at all.Firstly, you need to choose email marketing software which you will use to write, design and send emails to your lists. Many names will come up when looking for one, so try some out and pick what suits you best, you can always switch providers later. One of the most famous providers out there is Mailchimp , while Klaviyo, Conversio, Jilt, and  Omnisend are some of the email marketing tools that integrate with Shopify and are recommended by them.Secondly, become familiar with some rules and regulations before sending or you may get fined. Read links below for more information, or consult a lawyer in the area if you have more questions.  CAN-SPAM. Short for Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act. This sets rules about commercial emails.   GDPR. The General Data Protection Regulation protects personal data for individuals within the EU.   CASL.  Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation. This protects Canadians while ensuring that businesses can continue to compete in the global marketplace.Lastly, always recheck and test out. There is no perfect way to write an email, just the right way for your business. If you listen to customers’ reactions through each email carefully, you might understand exactly what they want from receiving your emails. Don’t let them hit that unsubscribe button at all costs.Some email marketing campaigns that help make quick winsNow we are getting to the exciting part! If you have set up all the above, the chance is you have grown an email list, written some excellent-copy emails introducing your business, and perhaps even got some engaged visitors. But as promising as that sounds, there are still more to be done.Why? Because eCommerce email marketing is about sending the right message at the right time to make people hit the purchase button. Below, we have gathered email marketing campaigns that are great for making early quick wins** in order to help your eCommerce business grow. These have so many benefits and suit needs of any online store, so let’s get started right the way.Welcome email campaignYou have one chance to make a good first impression. And if your introduction to a new subscriber isn’t memorable, it is hard for your follow-up campaigns to be as well. This research suggests that subscribers read welcome emails 42% more than they would a regular promotional email, so surely you should spend some time on it.Its role is to thank subscribers for joining your list of subscribers, set expectations for what’s to come (e.g. how often you’ll email) and provide an opportunity to encourage subscribers to purchase something from you or to at least check out what you have to offer.Ultimately what you want is to convey a positive and trustworthy first impression, which will make your new subscribers look forward to receiving more. Look how Levi’s gives 20% off right the way just to welcome one more email subscribers.Or how Aritzia, an online clothing store says their pleasing welcome with warm words, bright photos, and links to check out all of their available products.A few things to consider:  Aim for originality. If you want to rise above the noise in your audience’s inbox, you need to be original. And that means doing something that subscribers aren’t expecting. Offer a discount. Speak their language. Tell them to reply to your email. Give them everything they need to inform them that they’re in the right place.  Design for simplicity. If you have a big product range, remove barriers for making purchases. Whether that’s by product category or something else, make it easy for new subscribers to browse what they’re looking for.Cart abandonment emailCart abandonment email is definitely a way to bring some quick wins. It is designed to contact people who signaled an intention to buy something from your site. They placed items in their basket, but for some reason, they left your site without purchasing.And that is when abandonment emails come in and encourage people to complete their purchase. If done correctly, they are really powerful for an eCommerce store to win over customers who have already had their desired products.According to a recent report by Baymard Institute, 69% of all e-commerce visitors abandon their shopping cart. So maybe not all cart abandonment emails can convert lookers into shoppers. But you can learn why they did it, by simply asking.Check out how Ugmonk, a clothing and accessories store asks with concern to help if customers have any problem during the purchase process. This can give great info about the reasons visitors abandoned their carts.New arrival emailNew products are great news, and you should share it with everyone! And often they have been developed thanks to feedback from customers, so there’s no reason not to notify them about it.If your latest release appeals to a specific group of customers, you can segment your list based on previous purchases. And since this is another case of the first impression, email layout is really important to highlight the beauty of new products. Try gif, outstanding colors and big size words for impressions.However if you don’t usually have new products, you can consider emails about new services or versions, which should be less impressive but more informative.Promotion emailWith a self-explaining name, promotion emails are often sent to the entire list of subscribers to notify about a sale off or great deals in a specific time window. A traditional and effective form of this is based on seasonal or holiday time of the year.Black Friday, Christmas sale, Spring Clearance… you name it, or upcoming important days like Father’s Day. These usually require some creativity because customers receive tons of promotion emails these times of the year. So take some time to see how your products align with certain events and create based on the knowledge.See how Canon makes Christmas fun by a witty quiz to see if you are naughty or nice. Then you can sign up through the link in the email to receive more sneak peeks and exclusive access to holiday promotion.Order confirmation emailAn  Unific research  shows that order confirmation/receipt emails aren’t just important to e-commerce businesses and marketers. In fact, 64% of consumers believe purchase confirmations are the most valuable messages in their email inbox.Order confirmation emails let customers know that their order has been received and/or processed. It can give customers an order number, which they can use to find shipping information or contact you if they have any concerns. It can also give a visible receipt that users can save with all the necessary information about expected shipment or delivery dates.Below is an example of Joybird, an online furniture store, with explainer video in their order confirmation email to explain the delivery process:Shipping confirmation emailShipping confirmation emails are sent once a purchased package has been shipped. They’re valuable because they endorse the excitement of receiving the order— and provide an underused opportunity to get creative and delight your customers.Ask yourself: How can you use the shipping confirmation email to drive action and deepen a customer’s relationship with your brand?Amazon does so by spell out the estimated delivery time on their shipping confirmation email, and some relevant products for customers to consider.Or you can bring a whole lot of joy and personality like Fitbit does, with bright color, a clear subject line with some witty copy, and a tracking link for shipment as well.Follow-up emailThe follow-up email is another powerful yet underused tool. They are often sent after a touchpoint with the customer (e.g conversation on live chat; post product delivery; personal meeting) to reach out and get responses. Time will vary from business to business, a few hours with live chat or between one and three weeks with product delivery. But the main point is to make receivers take action of engagement with your business.Your follow-up email should:  Ask users what they think about the product or service.  Bring information about the discussed product or service, and encourage action.  Include review plugins that encourage users to share feedback that you can publish on your site.  List contact information of the customer support team so unhappy customers can speak up; this gives you the opportunity to resolve any complaints and avoid losing customers.With follow-up emails, make it as simple as possible for your customers to take action. The data from these emails are extremely valuable because they can be used to convince future customers, branding marketing, and improve the customer experience overall.Thirdlove  is a good example of a company asking for feedback in their email, easy to reply, clear message, and reassurance of information security.OrOr how  DSW uses the thank for purchase letter as an opportunity to up-sell and introduce their points-reward system.Metrics of email marketing you should start trackingWe are living in the world of data, and email marketing for eCommerce is no different. With the right info, you can get incredible insights into your online business in order to grow and make better decisions. Below is a list of 5 important metrics that you should be tracking your email marketing campaign.List size and growthAs we mentioned, building an email list is the first most thing you need to do, and it is indeed an important measure to show how your business has grown. If you have been collecting emails from customers and website visitors, the larger your email list is the more potential customers you can reach, and more revenue to make.Keep track of the important metric by using your email service provider to see how many new subscribers you have added on a weekly or monthly basis, or how well your promotion email did in attracting subscribers.Open and click-through rate  Open rate: The percentage of successfully delivered emails in a campaign was opened by subscribers. The standard is 20% - 30%.  Click-through rate: The percentage of successfully delivered emails in a campaign registered at least one click. The standard is around 5%.Why these are important? Because together they tell how engaging your emails are. Numbers don’t lie: If your open rate is high but few clicked through to the call to action, you can see the problem and how you can improve may be the images or call to action copy.DeliverabilityTwo factors that affect deliverability are hard bounce and spam report. A hard bounce means the emails that are returned to the sender because of invalid addresses. And spam report means the receiver marked your email as spamming. While hard bounce is often linked to the entry of data, spam is something you can avoid.As a general rule, you should avoid the following in order not to be marked as spamming on another:  Copy with too much “sale” factor, like using all caps, exclamation marks, and many trigger words like “free”, “warning”.  Big images with little text, because many spam filters don’t recognize images.  Sending emails to old lists you haven’t maintained over a year.  Hiding the unsubscribe option or making the unsubscribe process difficult.  Being vague about when you’ll email, what receiver will get.  Leaving unengaged, inactive leads or customers on your list.A/B test resultRunning an A/B test means carving out two groups of recipients: an A group and a B group. After sending 2 versions of an email to groups, you will use analytics to decide which performed better in generating sales or engagement.A/B testing lets you confidently send high-performing emails by testing specific messaging, design, and calls to action with a smaller segment of subscribers first.ROIWe have mentioned ROI as a very important factor, ‘cause it shows how much profit you have gained through your budget. Email marketing has been proved with a 3800% ROI , which means that every dollar spent can bring you a 38$ return, sound good right?Great! Then this is how you calculate it (monthly recommended):ROI = ($ Sales - $ Invested) / $ InvestedThis is for an email marketing campaign solely, so it is quite simple, but the tricky part is to know which revenue comes from which source, in this case, email marketing. So one way to do it is come up with a specific coupon name for each promotion campaign, then when customers use them you will know which email they got it from.How to utilize email marketing for the long runWhat is better than a high ROI marketing campaign you may ask, the answer is a business that lasts, and that should be the goal of your eCommerce store. In order to do that, you have to aim for emails with great content that can bring long-term benefits to customers. Below are 3 types of emails that you should look at and have a plan for.Newsletter emailsA regular newsletter can help with the important tasks of educating your customers and forming a lasting relationship. Case studies and success stories are a great way to keep contact and build trust without relying on discounts or promotions.Everyone loves compelling stories, so if you can find a notable one form a staff member, customer, or even your own life, it can be used as a topic for a newsletter.  Uncommon Goods shares with customers about their mission to make a positive impact on the world, specifically how the company supports ethical brands and artisans.So find your worth-telling story, like someone had an easier life with your product, or how you came up with the idea in the first place. Keep it interesting and relevant, you got yourself a heart-winning story for newsletter email.Curation emailsYou may be unaware of the name, but curation emails are all around, and its point is to share a brand’s best asset. You pick the best of the best in your store, then introduce them to customers via emails to learn more. It is like a win-win situation, receivers get to see the best you have to offer without going through endless items, and you get to do the great work of segmenting recipients based on interest.How? Remember that emails are easily trackable, so you can track down who opened what on pretty much any email service provider. Let’s say if a user only clicks tableware promotion emails, then it is safe to assume you can focus promotion campaigns related ONLY to tableware on them.Look how Houzz introduces all the best they got to offer with some great content to give subscribers more information. If you are someone looking to style your kitchen and laundry room, sure you don’t want to miss this email. However, the email is kind of too long which makes me dizzy for reading, try to keep it short if you can.Win-back emailsLet’s say, some users hit the unsubscribe button, or even don’t engage at all with your email, you need win-back emails to lure them back into your loving arms and start purchasing again.This requires some data, like how many days after first purchase should customers make a second one, or how long that disengagement should be worried about (90 days are usually too long for a customer to come back).From there, you can select which time to send win-back emails and what is the minimum amount you can offer to get them back (10%, 15%, 30%). In the long run, this is a way of reminding previous buyers that you’re still thinking of them and can reduce the loss of customers.ConclusionIf you are an eCommerce business, email marketing should be a top priority based on its benefits and cost-effectiveness. But more importantly, that is how you communicate frequently with your customers in your own voice and unique personality.So don’t wait, start planning your email campaigns right now. There are many people to make connections, and so much more to gain and grow.Share with us in the comments below how you would use email marketing for your own business, we would be excited to hear from you.",
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        "title": "HOW TO CREATE A LOGO FOR BUSINESS- A COMPLETE GUIDE",
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        "content": "Main content  What Is A Logo And Why You’ll Want It To Be Great?  7 Steps To Generate Your Ideal Logo          Define your brand identity      Understand design styles      Understand Typography      Understand colors      Find inspiration      Communicate with your designer      Evaluate the result        5 Best Online Tools To Create A Logo (free &amp; paid)          TURBOLOGO      LOOKA      CANVA LOGO MAKER      WIX LOGO MAKER      TAILORBRANDS      Related post  How to use Instagram for business: The ultimate guide do beginners  How to choose Shopify theme that sells: The ultimate guide  11+ best stock photos sites for your business free and paidWhat Is A Logo And Why You’ll Want It To Be Great?Have you ever seen a big brand without a logo? No? That’s because there aren’t any.A logo is not just some eye-pleasing arts, fancy fonts and text combined together artistically, but a whole lot more than that; a logo has a huge impact on how customers will perceive its brand.A logo is a brand’s face, and more often than not, it is more recognizable than the actual brand’s name!Think of your logo as the picture you present on your dating profile. It is one of the very first impressions that decide whether or not people are interested and want to learn more about you. So you want to look your best, don’t you?A logo can even stand for something bold, something iconic, such as the Apple logo stands for simplicity and elegance while the Nike logo stands for perseverance and victory.Coming up with a cool and original logo isn’t easy as you may know, and it’s likely that everyone who tries to generate some great ideas will find themselves banging their heads against the wall a few times along the process.Don’t panic! What I’m explaining next will provide you with everything you need to know, from defining your brand’s identity to understanding what makes a great logo, in order for you to design the perfect logo for your brand. Keep reading to learn how to come up with a great logo.7 Steps To Generate Your Ideal LogoDefine your brand identitySo, what is a brand?It’s not your logo, it’s not your slogan. A brand is a combination of several things.  It is how people perceive of you; it’s how you make them feel.  It is the commitments that you promise to deliver after your customers pay you.  It is the expectation that they have of you before they come and do business with you.All of these things combined generate an image of you inside your customers’ minds and when they think of your brand, they think of this image.So, how do you want people to think of you brand? How do you want to make them feel?  Professional  Full of energy  Simple &amp; elegantThe key is figuring out what the emotion behind your brand is.And not until can you decide what feeling you brand is going to create that you can know what design style, color, typography can be used on your logo.Understand design stylesOnce you have a clear idea of your brand and what feeling it is going to stand for, the next thing you want to do is pick the right design aesthetic. This has to based closely on the feeling of your brand and there is no one style that is right for everyone, only what’s right for your brand.Let me introduce to you 5 most widely-used design styles.EMBLEMSEmblems are logos that have text inside of a symbol. This gives your brand a classic look that represents time-lasting quality.Emblems are arguably the oldest type of logo as they have been used since at least the middle ages, if not before.When to choose an emblem?You want your brand to represent a sense of tradition/longevity.You are looking for your logo to convey a sense of solemnity.When to avoid an emblem?While the BMW and Fords logo look simple, emblems can get confusing to look at because of their many details, like this one.If you have to scale down this one to, say, the size of the favicon on a website, it will be really hard to see the logo clearly. In other words, Emblems might not look great shrunk down really small. It also does not read well from far away (if you want to put it on a billboard).So if you think these situations can be a problem, just avoid emblems.LOGOTYPESLogotypes are ones that are constructed completely out of the word(s) that make up the company’s name. Because the entire logo is just words, the main focus here is obviously typography. This style of logo closely ties a brand’s visual image to the company name.Because the shape, style and color of the words represent just as much meaning as the words themselves, you’ll have to put the majority of your focus on choosing the right font. And if you fall into the group who makes a nonsense word their names, such as Google, this point will be even more important to pay attention to, because a nonsense word created purposefully is called art, but randomly will be called, well, nonsense…When to choose a logotype?  It’s easier to get your name out there and get people to remember it when you are new. It requires much more marketing efforts to get the same result with emblems or any other style made of both a symbol and text.  You cannot come up with a symbol logo of your brand that gives you a sense of satisfaction while the logotype version of it does.  Your name is your brand. This will strengthen the connection between visual memory and name recognition.When to avoid a logotype?  You don’t want to redesign your logo every once in a while. Fonts follow trends. The neon bubble was once popular in the 80s now is completely outdated. The same thing just might happen to whatever font that is trending these days, Helvetica for example. Even Google and Coca Cola need to update their iconic logos to remain relevant and up to trend.  Your company name is just really long.MONOGRAM LOGOSA monogram logo is made up of a combination of one to three letters (traditionally three) to create a single symbol.Monogram logos are commonly used to represent the initials of a brand that is named in the acronym style (such as HBO – Home Box Office). The letters in this logo style may also be combined with imagery to illustrate the concept of the brand further.As monograms are made of mainly letters, typography and font are also the key. In comparison with logotypes, monograms provide more room for creativity for styling of the component letters, because legibility here is not much of an issue.The fewer letters your logo has, the easier it is for people to read them correctly.Monograms also have a weirdly elegant feeling to them when designed properly. This is why many high-end fashion brands use monograms for their logos (Louis Vuitton, Chanel, or Gucci).When to choose a monogram?  You want to have a close connection between your name and visual identity.  Your name is an acronym of something.When to avoid a monogram?  There’s no reason you should avoid this style unless you cannot connect your brand name and visual identity in an attractive way.BRAND MARKSBrand marks are logos made of only graphic symbols and without text.This logo style is commonly used by businesses in their branding because symbols take a shorter time for people to remember than text. They, on top of this, represent ideas more effectively than written words. Imagine, instead of its simple iconic logo, how many words would Apple have to use to convey the idea behind its brand?You might notice as we move further down this list of the types of logos, we are also moving away from the use of text in logos. You can think of logos as a game of conveying ideas. Graphic symbols and text are the tools that you have to describe your idea. The fewer tools you have, the more difficult it is to convey your idea precisely. This means The further you move away from using text, the heavier the graphic symbol will have to carry.This is why the imagery representing your brand should be easily recognizable, and further down the road will there need a huge amount of marketing efforts to explain the idea behind your logo.And for that it can be demanding (and perhaps costly) for a new business to exclusively use a brand mark. If you insist on using this logo style, I’d suggest you to associate a wordmark with your graphic symbol for a while before you can get rid of the text entirely. You can see how the Starbucks’s brand mark has evolved over time.When to choose a brand mark?  It feels to you that your brand identity will be represented more effectively by a graphic symbol than by text.When to avoid a brand mark?  As mentioned above, if your business is new, it’s hard for customers to understand right away what you’re doing if you just use a brand mark. The amount of marketing efforts and costs to explain yourself will be massive, so if you’re not able to accommodate this requirement at the beginning, you should stick with logotypes. If you want a brand mark, you can have your logo redesigned later when your brand has become more recognizable.COMBINATION MARKSYour logo does not have to be black and white, it does not have to be this and not that. There’s no rule that says you can only go for one logo type (if there is, break it!).You can combine 2 or all of the logo types I have mentioned; depending on how creative you are. You can combine a brand mark with a logotype like what Dove does with their logo.The greatest feature of combination marks is that they’re really flexible, so they are highly recommended for new brands. You can have both of the components, or you can keep the graphic symbol and remove the text where that is needed.When to go for a combination mark?  If you’re all about imagery but feel like you need some text to more effectively convey what your brand represents, or if you want a flexible logo that is highly adaptable for different situations, Combination marks are an ideal choice.When to avoid a combination mark?  You just want to focus on simplicity; combination marks are hard to design because you’ll have to be able to create a harmonization between the graphic symbol and the wordmark. Combination marks can get more complicated to use; every time you want to put your logo on something, you would have to question whether you should put only the symbol, or only the wordmark, or both.Understand TypographyThere are 6 different font types.In typography, a serif is the small extra stroke found at the end of the main vertical and horizontal strokes of some letters.Serif fonts arouse feelings of class and heritage. This makes them suitable when you want your brand to feel “established” and reliable.Serif fonts suits “formal” situations best (this is why Serif fonts are widely used in CVs). They’re perfect for brands who want to represent and promote their trustworthy nature. Often, serif types are ideal for financial companies and academics establishments. Some of the most popular options are: Times New Roman, Georgia and Garamond.2. SLAB SERIF FONTS Slab serif fonts are a “subset” of serif fonts, slab serif fonts look almost similar to serifs, but have specific slab sections in them. This group creates feelings of confidence, and a sense of bold attitude.Favorite Slab Serif options are Courier, Rockwell and Museo3. SANS-SERIF FONTSSans serif fonts are clean, modern, and classy. They’re favorited by brands who want to convey a straight-forward, simple, and no-nonsense attitude. In typographic logo design, sans serif fonts arouse a sense of honesty and simplicity. The message is clearly conveyed and not distracted by any decorative elements.The simple, yet powerful nature of sans serif fonts makes them perfect for brands who want to put clarity and simplicity on a pedestal. These typefaces are widely used on clothing brands, technology companies, and businesses that are focused on “forward-thinking” ideals and brand purposes.Some of the best sans-serif fonts are UTM Avo, Century Gothic and Helvetica.4. SCRIPT FONTSScript fonts mimic handwriting styles, and are  generally a lot more energetic than their serif counterparts. Their hand-written nature provokes feelings of creativity, brevity and freedom. If these are the feelings that your brand is set out to promote, then script is the perfect choice for you. Nonetheless, a lot of script fonts are difficult to read, so it’s crucial to make certain that the one you go for is legible.Script fonts, among typographic fonts, are arguably the most likely to inspire emotions and creativity. They can be particularly useful for brands who seek to show off their creative side. The key to successfully using script fonts is using it with caution. While they look artistically and creative, they can also be difficult to read if not designed properly.A couple of suggestions for script fonts are Lucida Script, Lobster and Zapfino.5. DISPLAY FONTSFinally, if you’re looking for typography logo design inspiration, you can’t get more creative than display fonts. These are originally script, serif or sans-serif fonts, but fired up with extreme features such as swashes or exaggerated serifs.Highly unique and stylised, these fonts add personality and energy to your business. They are also very flexible as you can easily convey whatever personality is right for you.By tweaking, twisting, and fine-tuning your fonts, you can demonstrate your business as being casual, direct, fun, or unique. Some of the most common display fonts include: Bombing, Gigi, and Jokerman.Step 4: Understand colorsBasically, each color arouses certain emotions and ideas.      Red: Red provokes excitement, passion and energy. It’s a great choice if your brand is energetic and wants to stand out.        Orange: Though in the same color range, orange is much less popular than red, but it’s just as exciting and energetic. This is a vibrant, playful and refreshing color.        Yellow: If you want to look accessible and friendly, yellow is the right choice. It gives off a youthful energy.        Green: Green is especially powerful for brands who want to establish a connection to nature.        Blue: Blue is a classic choice. It can make us feel calm and cool, and it symbolizes trustworthiness and maturity.        Purple: Purple is of luxury. Also, depending on the shade, it can get mysterious or feminine.        Pink: If you’re going for girly, nothing is more suitable than pink. With shades like pastel rose, millennial pink or neon magenta, pink can give your logo a grown up and cool, but still youthful and feminine look.        Brown: Brown may sound like a strange color choice at first, but it works perfectly for rugged and masculine vintage logos. It can give your brand a handmade, unique and aged look.        Black: If you are looking for a sleek, modern and luxurious look, black will be a great choice. A minimalist black and white logo is the way to go if you want to keep it simple.        White: You want your logo to look clean, modern and minimalistic? Use lots of white in your logo. As a neutral color it works in combination with all other colors, but adds a clean, youthful and elegant touch.        Gray: Gray is the ideal color if you want to achieve a mature, classic and serious look. Darker shades look more mysterious, while lighter shades are more accessible.  COMBINE COLORSYou certainly don’t need to stick with a single-colored logo, but you can combine several colors to tell a complete color story about your brand. To choose colors that are compatible with one another, let the color wheel guide you.      Complementary colors lie opposite from each other on the color wheel. They bring out the best in both colors and create a very dynamic look.        Analogous colors fall close to each other on the wheel. If you want your logo colors to be harmonious, these will work well together.        Triadic colors draw from three equal sections on the color wheel. Pick these for a stimulating and bold effect.  Step 5: Find inspirationHere is the truth about creativity. Creativity is not creating something out of thin air, it’s creating something new and unique, but on the back of something else.This means you don’t have to pull ideas for your logo out of thin are. You can have a look outside and find logos that inspire you or ones that convey the same feelings that you want your brand to represent.Then you can imitate the style that inspires you on your own brand name and make your own logo.There are tons of well-known logos out there for you to learn from. You just have to look for them.Step 6: Communicate with your designerAt this point, you should understand all of the important elements that make a complete logo, now let’s go for the most important part of the process: getting your logo created!It’s important for you to communicate what you want to have on your logo with your designer if you want it to come out perfectly. Try to write a clear creative brief and make as clear as possible what value your brand represents, what emotions you want it to convey and so on.This will help your designer understand who you are and what you need. Just be well prepared and make you that you will give your designer as much information about your company and style as you can.Also, try to stay open to suggestions. Keep in mind that your designer is an expert and has a great sense for what makes a great logo. when you and your designer work together, you will be much more likely to receive an outcome that makes yourself satisfied.Evaluate the resultThis step can be the hardest in the entire process, so you should get some feedback from families, friends or even potential customers and see what they think about the created logo.Don’t panic! You won’t have to follow all of the opinions that they give; which ones do not feel right to yourself, just skip them. Asking people for opinions does not hurt as you’re the one who have the final say anyway. This might give you some important insights that make your logo perfect.Here are some questions to ask yourself and the people who you’re going to seek opinions from when evaluating your logo:  Can it be told in 2 seconds what your business does?  Is it simple and memorable?  Is it flexible? Can it be applied to all your brand’s needs?  Is it timeless, or would you have to redesign it in a couple of months?  Is it unique? Does it separate you from your competition?  Is it appealing to your target audience?  And most importantly, do you like it?It is obvious that your brand’s needs and expectations for a logo depends on the product that you sell. A logo for children’s clothing is probably simpler and more playful than one for sophisticated high-end wine with an intricate label, or a high-tech phone application. So don’t forget to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.This is not just about personal taste, it’s also about what works best for your brand.5 Best Online Tools To Create A Logo (free &amp; paid)There are a lot of tools that have been created to help people with no access to designers create their own logo with just a few clicks.Logo generators are also much cheaper than hiring a designer, so it is a good choice for those who start their businesses on a budget.These tools basically do the same thing. First they need you to input your company name.Then they will show you a few design samples and ask you to choose which ones are your favourite.Their algorithm, then, will  analyze your personal preferences and output suggestions that are as close to your favorites as possible.As you might see, these tools will handle the legwork for you, which is creating the logo based on your preferences. All you need to do is input your brand name in, the tools will handle the rest.Though they all do almost the same thing, each tool has its own algorithm to analyze your preferences, so I would suggest you to use several of them to have a wide variety of options.From there, you can use the knowledge you have learnt from above to choose a logo that is a perfect match for your brand.Here is a list of 5 best logo generators.TURBOLOGOFrom my personal view, Turbologo has the best service among a dozen of logo generators there are. The simplicity of creating a logo and the quality of the result is just fascinating.After inputting your brand name and the required parameters of the logo, the tool will immediately began to generate amazing design options.Turbologo leans towards minimalism: simple shapes, eye-pleasing colors and a clear arrangement of elements. This is why I said this is the best logo generator (personal preference!!)You will have to sign up to see the results, and pay to download them, but the pricing is very reasonable.Turbologo provides several options for downloading a logo picture, including a logo with a transparent background, black and white and color options.This is very convenient, because it will be easy to put a logo on a photo. Vector logo files enable you to use the logo for any further design that you may have.Its service offers online support for 7 days a week. So I highly recommend Turbologo for the convenient and complete service it provides for creating a logo.LOOKALooka is also as good as Turbologo logo-design-wise. The process of creating a logo is also very simple; input your brand name, industry, then choose your favorite samples, and there you go. Few minutes in and you can see the first results.This app also has a very user-friendly user interface.Overall, Looka received fewer points because of its higher price.CANVA LOGO MAKERCanva is well-known for enabling people with little design expertise to create graphical design of many types such as banners, postcards, Facebook or Instagram posts and a whole lot more.Canva also offers a high-quality set of modern templates for logo design.The biggest plus about Canva templates is that they are non-standard. Almost every logo generator is using universal templates, and doesn’t offer non-standard design options.Canva, on the other hand, provides original design created by humans, not ‘AI powered’, so its designs look more alive.What you need to do after inputting your brand name is choosing the suggested template and replace the company name with yours.The drawback of this approach is that there’s no uniqueness in the logo, because it is likely that somebody has already created logo with the same template (Canva is one of the most popular tools for design in the world).You can make a change in the suggested design, but that requires you to be a bit of a designer, because there is no generator or smart-suggest tools.Although Canva allows you to free download the logo for most templates, you can only download a picture, not the vector files.This means that you will not be able to use the logo on anywhere, and this is a significant disadvantage.Overall,  Canva is a great tool where you can find modern logo template if you don’t worry too much about uniqueness.WIX LOGO MAKERWix logo maker is another interesting logo generator that is owned by the technology giant wix.com (a service for creating a website online).With Wix logo maker, you have to create an account first before you proceed to create your logo.This tool has a simple user interface and quite a good result.A minus point is, however, the number of possible patterns is very limited, and its pricing starts at $24 which is the most expensive in this group.TAILORBRANDSTailorBrand is one of the most popular logo generators of today. This tool has been around for quite a while, and for that reason probably, it generates logos with a less modern feel than the previous ones.TailorBrand offers you 3 options of logos: Name based, Icon based and Initial based.This service provides a monthly and annual fee plans. I personally think the annual plan is not always necessary as you probably won’t really need to redesign your logo within 1 or 2 years, so it seems to be a waste of money.Its pricing starts at $20, which I think is reasonable for a logo.Again, among a dozen, these 5 tools are probably the best ones for logo generating, and  I encourage you to try all of them so that you can have as many options as possible, then you can analyze them and pick off the best one.If you have read up to this point, I hope you have gained some insights that make it easier to create your first logo. I’m going to end my article with this, although it is important to understand the elements that make up a complete logo, it is even more important to know your brand from the inside out, because that is the only way you can convey precisely the values and emotions it stands for.",
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      "resources-what-to-sell-online-html": {
        "title": "HOW YOU CAN EASILY FIND: WHAT TO SELL ONLINE IN 2019",
        "author": "",
        "category": "start",
        "content": "The eCommerce business has grown so much over the years, with an estimated worth of  $3.45  trillion in 2019. So it is normal that you want to jump in and start making your own online store and join the million-dollar club of entrepreneurs. However, more than half the battle of a successful store involves finding the right products to sell.So you sit down, brainstorm the hell out and hope to find the best idea. You might get lucky, but the better chance is wasting a lot of time and money down the drain. If you want to hit a home run, you only need a bit of time, effort, and a good strategy.That is why we bring to you the step by step guide below to help you easily find what to sell online, and make a success from it. Get your paper and pen ready cause we are going through a lot of information, but hey, this is guaranteed a better start than start selling your grandma knittings online.Main content  The strategy to find prodcut ideas          Write down your own current problems and interests      Checkout product review blog      Explore niche community        3 types of products to sell online and examples          The fun type      The health type      The painkiller type        Identify what to sell online          Solve a customer pain point      Appeal to enthusiastic hobbyists      Has reasonable competitive edges      Offer decent profitability      Can be delivered easily        Evaluate markets and products          Determine the market and the size of it      Research on the audience      The estimated profit and cost      Limitations of the products      Visualize the scale selling        More examples of amazing products  Final wordsRelated post  Selling OnlineThe strategy to find product to sell ideasAs mentioned, things you see around that may be sellable is probably not that good of an idea (your grandma knitting is still awesome, don’t worry). Because the fact is people may just not want it, that is how the market is.Consider this, Amazon listed over 562 million products in January last year, the possibilities for you to sell may be endless. So we will have you explore in the right way, with a few tricks to find the golden (product) eggs.Write down your own current problems and interestsA lot of people started their business because they felt like no one was trying to so their problems, while so many others suffered from the same thing. So if you are the first one to sell that problem-solving product, you already have the reason to keep going.Your interests can be a good start too since you understand well how the game can be improved. Take the example of Jon Oringer, who was a programmer who was fond of photography when he launched Shutterstock. It started as a side gig with 30.000 of his own photos. Now the stock photo service is worth over $2 billion.However, keep in mind that your ideal product should solve a larger problem for customers since a serious business needs to be based on actual customers’ problems to keep growing.Check out product review blogThere is a wealth of insight you can glean from product review blogs. What’s awesome about these websites is the niche product ideas you can find, which often turn profitable for an eCommerce business.Also, you can scan through the blog to see the post that got the most social media love from customers. Those can be your potential products, or interesting fields at least.Some product review blogs you can check out:  Cool material  Firebox  Uncommon Goods  Cool Stuff  OdditymallExplore niche communitiesIf you’re already aware of the niche you want to serve with your eCommerce store, it makes sense to find relevant communities online.Reddit is the self-proclaimed “front page of the internet.” It contains thousands of subreddits (niche communities) you could explore for product inspiration.Here are three subreddits that you can get started with:  Buy It For Life  Shut Up and Take My Money  WTF Amazon (weird, crazy, and unique items you could purchase on Amazon)Facebook is also growing strong as a place to buy and sell, especially by location. Check their store features and groups of common interests for more ideas, we personally think Reddit communities are more active and information sharing.Pinterest is also a really cool site where ideas come together as boards of pictures, you can easily save them for inspiration and something necessary like a logo for instance.And of course, the old friend Google can provide information on almost anything, try using Google Trends and some keywords to dig into topics.Browse consumer marketplacesYou’re already aware of the biggest online retailers, Amazon and eBay. Here are some product lists you could explore.Amazon best sellers list  – Here you’ll find Amazon’s most popular products, updated every 24 hours. To jump to specific department bestsellers, use the left sidebar links.eBay Trending – This page gives you a list of products with the number of searches and product listing links.If you get interested in a specific product, read some customer reviews and keep an eye out for constructive feedback that could suggest an opportunity to provide competition.Once you’ve noted a few product ideas, it’s time to evaluate them. Let’s begin with the common characteristics of the most successful eCommerce products.3 types of products to sell online and examplesThere are millions of products to open your business, so we should think of a way to specify them. Here, we will divide them into 3 groups based on what purpose the product serves.The fun typeThis is the type of product that wasn’t meant to solve any huge problem, but more than a nice-to-have one. People enjoy buying them because they bring immediate pleasure.You can have a superb profit if you can offer trending products or an all-time must-have. Take fidget spinner for example, one of the hottest trends in 2018, they sold hundreds of millions of units worldwide in a short period of time but sales eventually fell off a cliff.Therefore, with the fun type products, you want to ride the wave while it lasts but you can’t expect long term gains.The health typeNot actually like drugs of all kinds, the health type product provides long term positives and solves an emotional need, but the benefit is hard to quantify.For example, all functional foods are advertised to be incredibly good, but you can’t know for sure if they actually do anything. But they provide the belief of a healthy life by taking them in.A successful health type product can become a habit and create a psychological need.The painkiller typePainkillers solve an immediate need and are the best types of products to sell online.Losing hair people need hair growth products, running folks need light and durable shoes, gamers need customized handler… you name it. This is the easiest to sell because they solve problems directly and effectively.You can already see the examples, the exact product for a problem, that yourself would go a-ha if you were looking for a solution.But in fact, there is a high chance you will find a product that lies somewhere between the health type and the painkiller type. And that is totally fine!You can make money no matter what type of product you choose if executed properly.Identify what to sell onlineRemember the old fairy tale that you need a magic bean to go up into the cloud and steal some golden eggs from a goose? It is kind of the same, you have to use some imagination, a bunch of determination, and problem-solving skills to figure out where the golden eggs are.And they need to have these traits:Solve a customer pain pointCustomers seek relief from problems in their lives. Indeed, we all buy solutions for our frustrations. We want to weed out the time suckers and poor experiences from our lives and we’re always on the lookout for something that can help. If your eCommerce product doesn’t solve a problem, then it’s going to be difficult to build a sustainable business around it.Appeal to certain groups of hobbyistsWhen consumers are passionate about a particular trade or hobby, they’re usually more inclined to invest money to get the exact product they want. This willingness-to-pay can be an important qualifier when evaluating the potential opportunity of any product, or line of products. (For example, golfers are well-known for investing hundreds or even thousands of dollars to lower their score by a few strokes.)Additional benefits can include higher levels of engagement and loyalty with your brand, as enthusiastic customers are generally more involved in the industry and get more value out of the products they purchase.Has reasonable competitive edgesIf there’s zero competition on the market, reconsider the product. It’s very unlikely that you will “create” demand for a product from scratch. On the other hand, hot-selling and popular products need a stellar differentiating branding strategy to cut through the noise. Shoot for the sweet spot between the extremes.Offer decent profitabilityWhile Amazon can work with products that have wafer-thin margins because of its scale, you don’t have the same degree of freedom. To build a strong foundation, ensure that you make a decent profit margin for every transaction. There is some metric for it, but we will get to it later.Can be delivered easilyNowadays, the standard of the eCommerce industry is fast and free shipping. It results in customer satisfaction, and even basic requirements. As a result, if the size of your product makes transportation expensive and inconvenient, you will likely struggle with shipping. The high delivery costs can also affect your conversions.Once you can understand the above aspects of your product, it’s time to move on to the five following questions to have a better sense of the product’s market.Evaluate markets and productsYour product’s market will determine the demand for it and the viability of your business, so we will lead you through 5 factors below to examine. A little data and fact are always better, remember that.Determine the market and the size of itTo future-proof your business, take a long-term view of the product you want to sell. Ideally, you want to get your hands on a stable and timeless product. Otherwise, ensure that it’s a product picking up on a trend. If the product only has short-time popularity, you also need to plan your exit strategically.You don’t need to be a data scientist to do this though, just use Google to gather information on these 5 factors and you will get some ideas of the market:  Geographic expansion  Pricing  Market growth  Upsell potential  Expansion or complementary productsHowever, if you are looking to approach a new market that doesn’t quite exist yet, you need to focus more on the audience and how realistic your product can get some market share. Which leads us to the next section.Research on the audienceAt this stage of product consideration, you don’t need to flesh out a detailed buyer persona. However, it helps to have a broad overview of who will buy from you. To get started, search for businesses selling similar products and try to find out some basic demographics of their customersHere are five free resources for you to do your audience research easier:  Consumer Barometer by Google  Facebook Audience Insights  Google Trends    Similar Web   Alexa We won’t go deep into each tool, because they are really easy to use and straight forward. Except for Alexa, with most features are paid, you can still find a free area to search for websites at the bottom of the homepage. This can help you look at some interesting information in addition to Similar Web.The estimated profit and costBusiness is made for profitability. It is essential to cover all the costs and grow into a bigger and better company. Luckily, Shopify offers just the tool. The Shopify margin calculator will calculate approximate what selling price makes sense to build a business after you entered the chosen product and percentage markup.The important metric that you should rely on for improving your profitability is the contribution margin (CM). Here is how Amy Gallo of Harvard Business Review defines it:Contribution margin = revenue – variable costsFor example, if the price of your product is $20 and the unit variable cost is $4, then the unit contribution margin is $16.For more insights and examples on how to use a contributor margin to increase your profitability, you can refer to this article by Digital Commerce 360.Limitations of the productsIt’s essential to understand any aspects that might reduce the sales of your product. To begin with, think about the following factors:  Seasons – If your product has seasonal demand, then you will see an inconsistent flow of revenue. If that’s the case, you’ll need to plan a strategy to tackle the lean season.  Perishability – Suppose you sell homemade organic food. You need to quickly ship and keep your packaging temperature-controlled, so you’ll need to figure out how to handle the storage and inventory for such quickly perishable products.A couple of other aspects you could face are your product’s durability and regulations that might limit the shipping of your product. Check the shipping restrictions of your potential providers beforehand.Visualize the scale sellingIf you try scaling a broken business model, you won’t survive for long. For example, if sourcing the raw material for your product is challenging, then it will become a huge problem when the demand rises.You need to brainstorm how you will outsource your production. Similarly, think about how your future employees will handle various departments when you attempt to scale your business.More examples of amazing productsYou have come a long way now, so you already have the winner’s mindset—you’re constantly learning, researching, and preparing for success. Below we will give you some more amazing product examples to start your eCommerce business (backed by data).AthleisureIn fashion, trends are constantly changing. However, athleisure is one fashion trend that’s here to stay. It is activewear for everyday look rather than just for going to the gym. Within this category, you can sell everything from sweatshirts, sweatpants, leggings, sports bras, tank tops, headbands, capris, and shoes—all in countless colors and styles.Plus, you can approach in several directions: with a dedicated store, a product collection within a broader fashion store, or you can market your products to one of the many fitness sub-niches. Depending on how you position your brand, there could be an opportunity to expand into other product, such as fashion accessories and jewelry or fitness accessories like yoga mats.Pet bedLooking for a trending product to sell to pet owners? Pet bed has constantly appeared on the top of the sales charts. According to Google Trends , “dog bed” has seen some strong growth in search volume.If you own a pet store, you can promote this pet bed on visual platforms like Pinterest and Instagram. On Pinterest, you can join pet group boards, which allow you to bring your products to a bigger audience. On Instagram, you can partner with pet-related fan pages to get a shoutout in a post or in an Instagram Story. By partnering with a big fan page, your product can be seen by a much larger audience, especially if you’re just starting out.SmartwatchesIn 2019, smartwatches continue trending upward with more features rolling in, and prices keep getting better for customers. There are now more options to choose than ever, and you have more opportunities to sell than ever.Facebook and Instagram tend to be the most popular channels for growing a watch store. Many watch retailers have influencers take lifestyle shots set wherever they travel, for outdoorsy and luxurious images that are perfect for social media.Posture correctorA study led by Columbia University found that, on average, people spent about 77% of their waking life in a sitting or sedentary position. On the same note, most people working at their desks use laptops, which results in them looking down instead of directly in front. Kenneth Hansraj, a spinal surgeon, has been studying the spinal changes caused by looking down at your phone. And our postures only seem to be getting worse.So, there’s no better time than now to start selling trending products like this posture corrector.One easy way to market this type of product is to advertise to people based on their job title. You can create a list of the most common desk jobs such as administrative assistant, writer, or programmer. Then, you can create ads detailing the benefits of the posture corrector.Minimalist jewelryMinimalism is trending as a lifestyle, and minimalist jewelry has seen strong sales growth for online retailers in years. Even Google Trends shows there have been more frequent, high volume searches from consumers for this type of jewelry.When it comes to marketing trending products like these necklaces, the ideal place to find customers will likely be on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. A good way to captivate the audience is to create videos featuring your products. Videos tend to get bigger slots in Instagram’s Search and Explore pages, which will likely create more visibility for your posts. Also, most jewelry retailers just post pictures, giving you a competitive advantage if you’re willing to put in a bit more work.Final wordsContemplating what to sell online can be confusing. But putting the time and effort to getting it right first can determine whether you succeed or fail. With the knowledge above, now it’s your turn to find your ideal products.Then let us know in the comments below how you find your products to sell online, and how your business has been growing. Hope to see some great news from you!",
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      "resources-use-instagram-for-business-html": {
        "title": "HOW TO USE INSTAGRAM FOR BUSINESS: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS",
        "author": "",
        "category": "start",
        "content": "Main content  What is Instagram and how can it be used for business?  What is Instagram Business          You will have access to Instagram Insights      You will have a contact button       You will have access to Instagram Shopping        What strategies can you use to promote your business on Instagram?          Determine Your Instagram Audience      Determine A Consistent Aesthetic For Your Content      Build Up Relevant Content and Post On A Consistent Basis      Gain more followers        Bonus section          How to switch from a personal account to a business account?      How to take great pictures for Instagram?      How to run Instagram ads        ConclusionWhat is Instagram and how can it be used for business?Instagram is a social networking platform built around sharing photos and videos. Unlike Facebook or Twitter where you can post a piece of text without any picture or video, Instagram requires a picture or a video on everything that you upload.What makes Instagram so powerful is the human preference of consuming pictures and videos over text alone.Since its launch in 2010, Instagram has grown its popularity and become a platform for people to share their life experience, for artists to showcase their art work.For businesses, after Facebook has acquired Instagram in 2012, the combined database of these 2 platforms has has provided them with an unprecedented leverage to build and promote their brands.These days more and more brands are leaning towards Instagram and leverage photography and cinematography to connect themselves more deeply to their customers.What is Instagram Business?Instagram Business is a new feature that Instagram launched in 2016. When you switch from a personal account to a business account, not much changed except there will be some additional features added to make it easier for you to do business.So, what are those features?You will have access to Instagram InsightsInstagram Insights provides data about your accountThis feature provides you with all of the important data you need to know about your account.It provides insight into what content works and what doesn’t. It gives you information about your followers to help you build a picture of those who are interested in you.It shows you your performance on Instagram over the last week - change in followers, number of posts, impressions, reach, profile views, website clicks, and email clicks.Instagram Insights provides data about your audienceIt then gives you detailed demographics of your followers – their gender, ages, locations by cities and countries, and when they are most active.You can have a deeper understanding of what Instagram Insights can do for you by watching this video .You will have a contact buttonYou can add this button only with a business account. This will provide your customers with your email and phone number, so that they can reach out to you easily when they need.You will have access to Instagram ShoppingInstagram Shopping allows you to showcase your collection right on Instagram.You can find out how to switch to a business account at the bonus section at the end of this article.What strategies can you use to promote your business on Instagram?Determine Your Instagram Audience:Determine the audience you want to reach before you begin marketing on Instagram.  Who are they?  What generation are they? Millennials or Gen Z?  Where do they live?  Are they male or female or both?  What are their levels of income? Are they willing to pay for your product?  What are they interested in?  What motivates them?  What do they have to struggle with?  What kind of pain they have to overcome?You should always start with your customers, and get to understand them. Because if you don’t understand your audience, you will not be able to build your Instagram content around what they feel connected with.Determine A Consistent Aesthetic For Your ContentAn aesthetic is a theme that all of your posts are built upon, so that when someone looks at your Instagram, they can sense a feeling of consistency and harmonization throughout your posts.Think of your Instagram aesthetic as the way you dress. What is the style that influences your way of dressing? If you build your wardrobe around basic clothing such as single-colored shirts, pants, and Chelsea boots. I would see your “theme” as simple and classy.If you dress in a simple and classy manner on the first 3 days of the week, then like a hippie on the next 2 days and switch to the Steve Jobs style for the rest of the week, you would look all over the place and everyone would be really confused about what style you stand for.In other words, when people think of you, should they think of you as a hippie, a Steve Jobs admirer or a classy person?The same is true for your Instagram. If your theme is not consistent, your audience won’t know what you stand for, and you will not be standing out among them as they are approached by a ton of brands every day and you are not any unique among this ocean of brands.It is easy to recognize the theme behind this simple and classy clothing brand, isn’t it?Determine what your aesthetic looks like by thinking about your brand personality.  What are your brand values?  Who are you trying to appeal to?  How do you want your customers and employees define your brand?  Are you bold, playful, or adventurous?Taco Bell is another great example of brand aesthetic. Its feed focuses on the bold and active lifestyle of its audience who is millennial, and features fun images to increase engagement.Once you determine your brand personality, refine your content to match. This can even apply to the color palette used in your photos.The bottom line is consumers have a ton of options these days for any given product, and they don’t buy from you because they need your product, but because they feel connected with your brand.So, don’t think of your Instagram as a place to sell your product. Think of it as a place to connect and engage emotionally with your audience, and think of your brand not as a seller on Instagram, but someone who understands and wants to connect with people.Build Up Relevant Content and Post On A Consistent Basis:Post on a consistent basisYour audience does not just follow your brand; they follow a dozen other brands too (and their friends).All of these brands are competing to get a place in their audience’s minds, and to do that, they all post consistently. Why? That is because out of sight, out of mind.If you don’t show up on a consistent basis in front of your customers, they will forget you and some other brand will take your place.That’s why you need to post and engage consistently on Instagram. Most brands post every day, and new ones even go twice a day. The more you post, the more you will show up in front of your customers and the better chances that they will remember you.Create content that can connect with your audienceBut don’t just post random stuff that creates no values.Post what teaches your audience something new. Post what makes your audience feel they are understood and connected. Post what inspires your audience to live more positive and meaningful.Then among those posts, gently tell your audience about what you’re selling.There’s so much content going on these days on every social platform, and Instagram is not an exception. And because people are “overloaded” by content approaching them from multiple directions, they have to filter out what’s not relevant to avoid fatigue and only consume what they feel connected with.If your content does not create a feeling of connection with your audience, or bring them any value, it will just become background noise.Gain More FollowersGrow organicallyGrowing your follower base takes a huge amount of time and efforts. So, the first thing it takes is patience. Every account with millions of followers once started with 0 and it took them years to build everything up from scratch too.You may be tempted to go for the easy way and buy followers… please just don’t do this! Buying followers won’t actually drive engagement which is actually what you need to make sure your posts are being seen.And people will know if you buy followers; imagine having an account with a million followers and has only 15 “hearts” and no comments for what you post. People will know.Make it easy for people to find youPut yourself in your customers’ shoes and make sure your username is easy to remember and spell. If people won’t have the patience to try a bunch of variations to find you, and if they can’t find you, they can’t follow you. People only follow you if they know what you do can benefit them and their lives in some way. So, fill out your bio with a short but clear description about what you do.Build your content with well-shot picturesYou can’t just post pictures taken by your phone without any editing. This is common sense.Think of Instagram as an art gallery, not as a photo folder. This is where people show off their best art to attract followers. And people only follow those with the best art.So, if you want to have followers, you have to post art too, not pictures.To do this, think of yourself and your brand as an artist who brings art to entertain and make your audience’s life more beautiful.You can learn more about how to take and edit your pictures for Instagram at the bonus section of this article.Build up your profile with a dozen posts firstYou can’t expect people to follow you when they go to your profile and see nothing there, can you?And for that reason, once your profile is informative and optimized, it is a good idea to bring your feed to life with about 15 high-quality posts with content based on your theme and your understanding of your customers.Then you can start showing people your feed and try to get them to follow you. You can find out more about types of posts on Instagram at the bonus section.Attract followersThere are several methods that you can use to attract followers into your profile.Method #1: Run adsThis is probably the most used method on Instagram to drive traffic to your profile.Instagram, similar to Facebook, can target ads based on criteria such as age, demographic and interests. This will help you show your ads to the right audience.As great as Instagram ads is, it requires serious efforts to learn how to run these ads to get results. You should spend time on learning how to run Instagram ads successfully in order to make the most out of your advertising spend.You can find a brief guide about how to run Instagram ads at the bonus section.Method #2: Interact on other Instagram accounts who have the same audience as yoursSome people suggest new accounts to follow and try to interact on other established accounts who have the same audience. Theoretically, this would show your presence to the world, and if the content you put out there is valuable, people would visit your profile and follow you.I personally find this method not really workable, because you can go to, say H&amp;M, and leave a comment there, but that is just a comment among thousands and easily get neglected.I can’t think of a scenario where someone can use this method and build up thousands of followers, let alone a hundred thousand or a million.With that being said, whether this method works or not depends the product it is used on, so you can still give it a try and see if this method can work for yours.Method #3: Work with Instagram influencersInstagram influencers are people with an established follower base of about 50 thousand to a few hundreds of thousands. This group ranges from popular figures in given industries to celebrities.It is important to work with influencers whose follower base is similar to your target audience. It doesn’t make sense to get a male fashionista to endorse a cosmetics brand, does it?Thanks to the huge follower base that influencers already have, products endorsed by these people can quickly get lots of people’s attention.Additionally, influencers are trusted by their followers, so working with these people to promote your products can help you gain credibility among your target audience.Engage with your audienceSpend your time answering your audience’s questions or engaging with them.This is super important because that’s how you can build deeper connections with your customers. We all want to buy from people that we know and are familiar with, and communication is the best way to grow familiarity between you and your audience.Content, Content, ContentI cannot emphasize this strongly enough, but in this digital world where there are a ton of brands for any given products, consumers have too many choices and they will end up resorting to the one that brings them the most value.How your customers see you depends hugely on the content you create and what value it brings.Content that makes consumers’ lives easier, more enjoyable, more beautiful, and less painful, less sorrow win every time, and therefore you should spend the majority of your efforts to generate content that can do this for your audience.Bonus SectionHow to switch from a personal account to a business account?This is fairly easy. You can go to your profile on Instagram (for mobile), and under Settings, go to the Account tab.Then you’re going to see “Switch to Professional Account”.Click on it, then follow the instructions, and you’re good to go.How to take great pictures for Instagram?In order to take great product pictures for your Instagram, you need to become aware of the types of product photography there are.1. Classic Product Shots:These are simple and high-quality shots of the product, and meant to showcase what you’re selling.This type of product shots is a must-have for your Instagram profile because without it, it would be hard for your audience to clearly see what you’re actually selling. You can take these pictures on your own with a little bit of set-up and camera skills, and it will be even better if you can hire a professional photographer to do this for you as an expert knows how to present your product more attractively than you do.What’s great about product shots is they are often clean and have lots of white space.  This removes distractions and allows the product itself to really shine.There’s no rule that says a product shot has to be on a white background (if there is, break it!!). You can choose any kind of background that you want, but it should be compatible with your product and your brand style to create consistency.Classic product shots are focused on presenting your product in a simple and clear “this is what you get when you buy” scenario, and therefore, in the caption, you should highlight its striking features. In other words, let your customers know exactly what they’re buying and why they need it.With this style of product photography or and other type, you should keep in mind that people decide to buy based hugely on how they perceive your product through seeing your product shots. The better your product shots are, the more likely people will love your product and buy.There are also types of set-ups you need to get a grip on -Two Types of Set-ups of Classic Product Shots  The FlatlayThe flat-lay style is shots of items arranged aesthetically on a flat layout. With flatlays, you have a whole lot of room to play with because the choices of the background are endless. You can also get creative by learning how to arrange items in an unconventional but attractive way.Just keep in mind that that every choice you make when styling a flatlay needs to promote the overall story you’re trying to tell.  The Human FactorThese types of shots involve incorporating, well, a real live human. Whether that means someone is holding the product, wearing it, or using it in whatever way it is intended for.This is great for establishing a human connection, arousing emotions and providing a glimpse of what it might look like for your audience — The “that could be me…” factor.2. Lifestyle product shots:This type of product photography is meant to create a scenario where the customers would actually use your product, and it acts as a complement to your simple classic product shots.Lifestyle product shots are much more complicated than classic product shots as they are not just something to highlight your product features. They need more elements to tell a story, or envision a scenario to inspire your audience.This type of content does not always feature or even mention your products in every post. It’s more about showcasing your brand DNA, connecting it with the lifestyle of your ideal client, and building trust with your audience. By doing so, you’re letting them know that you’re one of them and that you understand their needs, wants and desires.3. Behind the scenes:This is where you can give your audience access into your world and showcasing them how the magic happens.That can be a glimpse at the beautiful chaos of your studio space or desktop.If you have a storefront or a specific place where you sell your commodities, share that on a regular basis, so that people who may not be able to visit can still get a sense of that experience.And if you do business online or don’t have a permanent space, you can still take the opportunity to share moments of your workspace, a visit to your suppliers, a time when inventory arrives at your warehouse, etc. Think outside of the box and bring your audience into your journey with you.By including your community more in the behind-the-scenes of your process and building a relationship with them along the way, they will become  part of your story. And that’s exactly how you build up loyal customers!Here are a few ideas to get you started:  A peek into your workspace  A glimpse at the product photography process  Where your inspiration comes from  A visit to your supplierHow to run Instagram adsTo run ads on Instagram, you’ll need to set up the ad on Facebook.Facebook allows you to set up and manage Instagram ads through its ads manager.You can also customize audiences and other features, and monitor how your ads are performing.Here’s how to connect it to the Facebook Business Manager:  Step 1: Go to business.facebook.com.  Step 2: Click Create Account.  Step 3: Enter a name for your business, select the primary Page and enter your name and work email address.  Step 4: Move through the rest of the onboarding flow by entering the rest of the required fields.Once that’s done, you can move onto the first step of creating your Instagram ad.Step 1: Link your Instagram account to your Facebook Business profileGo to your Business Manager and click on the menu at the top left.Click Business Settings. You’ll get to a menu where you can click on Instagram Accounts.A new page opens, you’ll be able to add your Instagram account. Click +AddAdd your username and password, then click Next.At this point you have successfully just linked your Instagram account with your Facebook Ads Manager.Step 2: Choose your objectiveTo start, go to Ads Manager.And click +Create.You’ll now need to choose an objective for your campaign. Facebook Ads Manager offers a list of objectives.For Instagram ads, you can select from the following:  Brand awareness: Helps spread your brand to users who haven’t heard of you yet.  Reach: Shows your ad to as many people as possible.  Traffic: For clicks to your website or to the app store for your app.  App installs: Get the users to download your app when they see the ad.  Engagement: Increases the amount of comments, likes, shares, event responses, and offer claims you receive.  Video views: Increases the amount of views a video receives.  Lead generation: Allows you to gather lead data from users who click on the ad.  Messages: Get users to send a message to your brand.  Conversions: For sales and sign-up conversions on your website or app.  Catalog sales: Users see ads for products on your Facebook catalog.  Store visits: Helps direct users to brick-and-mortar stores you own.Not sure which one to choose? Check out the  Facebook guide to how each objective supports different business goals, and find the one that makes the most sense for your company.Once you’ve selected your objective, you’ll be prompted to name your campaign.The default name will just be the objective you’ve selected (for instance, “Brand Awareness”) but you should give it a detailed name to keep track of your campaigns more easily.Step 3: Identify your audienceThe next step is to decide who you want to target with your ad.Facebook offers a very powerful set of targeting options that go far and beyond typical demographic information like age, gender, and location.The Detailed Target allows you to target ads to very specific groups of people based on their behavior and interests. With this feature you will be able to show your ads to your most potential customers with messages uniquely crafted for them.I would suggest you to do further research to learn how to master this feature as diving into this is out of the scope of this article.Step 4: Select your ad placementsIn the Placements section, you can decide where your ads will appear on Facebook and Instagram.You’ll have two options for this:  Automatic Placements. Your ads will be shown to your audience wherever they’re likely to perform best. It’s generally recommended to run your ads on both Facebook and Instagram.  Edit Placements. You’ll be able to pick and choose where your ad appears. For example, if you want to limit your ads to only appearing in Instagram Stories, or only on the Instagram Feed, Edit Placements is the place to go.Here’s the window where you can edit your placement.Once you’ve chosen where you want your ads to go, it’s time to choose your budget.Step 5: Choose your budget and scheduleThis section is where you decide how much you want to spend on your promotion — and for how long.You may choose a Daily Budget (how much will be daily spent at maximum) or a Lifetime Budget (Budget for your whole campaign, and Facebook will distribute it in a way that it thinks is the most efficient).You can also choose to run ads continuously, or only at certain times of day.Facebook Ads Manager also includes Optimization and Bid Strategy options, which clarify how your budget will be spent. These may be customizable, depending on your campaign goal.As you adjust these options, the Estimated Daily Reach scale in the right-hand column will let you know how many people you can expect to reach each day with your ads.Step 6: Create your adsNow it’s time to create the actual ad.First, you’re going to want to choose a Facebook page to associate your ad with. Facebook won’t let you create an ad without a Facebook fanpage.Once you’ve done that, you can now choose one of three formats for how you want your ad to look.Then you need to add your media.Facebook has a guide to Instagram ad formats with all the specifications and design requirements you need to make sure your ad looks great. The Ads Manager also displays the technical format requirements as you select your images or videos.After that, you will need to create a caption for your post (The Primary Text Section).This is your first ads so you won’t need to do anything with the Conversion Tracking section.You can also choose a call-to-action button, and the destination URL (the Website URL section) that people will reach when they click on it.Once you’ve clicked Confirm, you’ve just created your first Instagram ad with Facebook Ads Manager!ConclusionAs you have reached the end of this article, though you will need a little more research to get a firm grip on Instagram for business. I hope my article has given you a foundation for this social platform, as well as directions into how you can navigate your further research. :-)",
        "url": "/resources/use-instagram-for-business.html"
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      "resources-profitable-ecommerce-content-marketing-html": {
        "title": "THE SECRETS OF PROFITABLE E-COMMERCE CONTENT MARKETING",
        "author": "",
        "category": "start",
        "content": "You may have seen the term: “Content is king” all over the internet. Probably because it is true. Content marketing has been proven to drive traffic, create brand awareness, earn customer loyalty, and gain a competitive edge.But the reality is, it is not easy to do content marketing well. Loads of e-commerce sites will put up a blog, write an update once in a while and call it a day.But there are so much more in e-commerce content marketing that you can do. And it can be the step and stone for a steadily growing business if done right. With that in mind, let us introduce you to the king of online business: content marketing for e-commerce.Main content  What is content marketing ?  How content marketing helps e-commerce business  Why do you need a content marketing stratergy          Identify your target audience      Learn their online habits      Create and distribute content        Types of e-commerce content marketing          Blogging      Video content      Interactive content      Product buying guides      Email marketing      Customer stories        World-class examples of content marketing  Closing adviceRelated post  How to change the contents of an automated collection on Shopify  How to remove content from a dynamic section on shopifyWhat is content marketing?By definition, Content Marketing is the process of creating and distributing digital materials to directly or indirectly promote a brand, a product or a service. With your e-commerce store, content marketing is the “sweet spot” where your expertise meets the interests of your customers.Rather than pitching products or services, content marketing provides information that entertains or informs your audience. The idea behind it is that if businesses consistently deliver valuable content without asking anything in return, readers will respond by becoming loyal customers.In the world of spam emails and disruptive ads, content marketing seeks to provide consumers with valuable content - content that makes them stop, think, and take action.So why is content marketing so valuable for e-commerce?How content marketing helps e-commerce businessAt the moment, there are over 500,000 active stores running on Shopify, and they’ve collectively driven more than 40 billion worth of sales. And that is just Shopify. How do you stand out in a jungle of competitors that all want a piece of customers for themselves? That’s right, content marketing.In general, content marketing is good at establishing your business’s position in the market. It can help to attract, engage, and retain customers. It builds a sense of reciprocity, so that consumers may become loyal, repeat purchasers. It moves shoppers along a complex buyer’s journey. It can lead to much better search engine rankings.Customers don’t want to be just, well, customers anymore. They want connection, pride, satisfaction in buying a product. And content marketing provides them just that. Great content can deliver new visitors to you for many years to come.And best of all, just like you want, it drives conversions. That’s the key to survive as an e-commerce shop.Why you need a content marketing strategyWith all those values, you might want to jump right in and start writing a bunch of articles for your blog. But wait, first, you need something called a content marketing strategy.Why? Because every business is different, and blogging is not everything in content marketing (it is not 2005 anymore). What works for one business won’t necessarily work for another. Content marketing campaigns will vary by industry as well.Content marketing strategy is the set of steps you take to research, create, publish, and promote information that’s of value to your audience. It not only helps you do better than many competitors but also raises the quality of content, and filters out the best contents suitable for your business.Julia McCoy from Content Marketing Institute notes that a solid content marketing strategy can generate three times more leads than paid advertising.So spend a few days on your e-commerce marketing strategy. And our advice is don’t get too detailed since you can change it later, and focus on making an action-oriented plan, which will make you start way quicker than a 50 pages document of planning.And don’t worry, we will guide you through the whole process of planning and strategizing in the next section.E-commerce content marketing step by stepAs an e-commerce business, your ultimate goal is to drive conversion. And that is your holy “why” when starting planning anything related to content marketing.Let’s say you saw some information online about how many users are on Linkedin and how much the platform has been growing over the years. So you want to put all of your efforts into advertising there. Is it a good strategy? Probably not.Especially when you are like an e-commerce business and most of your customers don’t want to find out about you on Linkedin. And there is no “why” in there.That is why we made a three easy step process for you to follow and create your first good marketing strategy.Step #1: Identify your target audienceI know this may sound simple, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t know the answer to this question. Take a moment to see if you really know your target audience.Here’s the thing. Your target audience needs to be crystal clear before every content marketing campaign. Otherwise, it won’t have a high success rate and lead to conversions.Without knowing your target audience, you won’t know how to reach them.  Age  Gender  Location  Likes  Dislikes  HabitsThese are just the basics that you need to know, at a minimum. Identifying the target market of your startup is a must. But your overall audience isn’t always the same for individual campaigns and strategies.For example, let’s say your company sells sports equipment online. Your audience isn’t just “people who play sports.”You can’t tailor your content around that because it’s way too broad. High school softball players aren’t the same as middle-aged male golfers.Step #2: Learn their online habitsRemember, content marketing is all about distributing digital touchpoints online. That’s why it’s so important to figure out who your audience is. You need to know where these people live online. Otherwise, you won’t know how or where to distribute the right content.Social media is a great way to distribute your content. Here’s a basic breakdown of social media usage based in 2019 on age from Convince &amp; Convert.  There are tons of information online like this to learn more about online customers, but the key is to take out the key ingredient that matters to your business the most.Based on this graph,you can see there are 76% of Snapchat users fall between the ages of 12 and 34. So if you’re targeting younger consumers, like Millennials or Generation Z, this might seem like the place to do it. Right?In fact, 49% of Generation Z females say that they prefer to use Snapchat for sending videos of themselves. 43% of that same group says they prefer using Snapchat for posting selfies. They don’t use this platform to interact with brands.However, 48% of Generation Z females say that Instagram is their preferred social media network for the following brands. Even though Snapchat has a greater marketing penetration of your target audience, it doesn’t matter if they’re not using that platform to interact with businesses online.So do your homework and dig in to see the real habits of your customers. It will help a lot if you can put up a persona or journey of them (we will talk about this later).Create and distribute contentOnce you figure out what platforms are the best places to distribute content for your identified target audience, now you can start to create content.If you start building the content before you go through the first two steps, you might be wasting your time creating content that people won’t end up seeing or using.The type of content you create will also depend on who you’re targeting people based on their stage in the marketing funnel. The graphic below from Lucid Chart is a great resource to give you inspiration for content ideas.A consumer who has never heard of your brand or e-commerce site will be targeted differently than a customer who knows what they’re looking for and is ready to make a purchase.Breaking this entire process down into steps simplifies content marketing fore-commerce brands. Each stage serves a specific purpose in the customer’s journey, as should the content presented to the customer in those stages.✅ Checkpoint:A lot of information has been given out and things can get a bit confusing. In order to help, we have gathered a checklist of what your e-commerce marketing strategy needs to consist of (minimum):✅ Content GoalsStart with the end in mind. What is the engagement objective (e.g. buy your product, sign up to your email list, reach out to message…?) Define your content goals upfront so you can measure progress.✅ Influencer ListYou are going to need to identify influencers who can help you with promoting, sharings and backlinking.✅ Buyer Persona(s)A Buyer Persona is a fictional character who you will create and who encapsulates a potential buyer of your product or services. This covers characteristics like age, gender, salary, job… as well as emotional triggers. This will helps you understand potential buyers so you can create content that directly responds to their needs. Do not limit to just one persona, there may be more for your products.✅ Buyer Journey(s)A Buyer’s Journey is the set of steps that a buyer goes through before they purchase a product or service. Typically it is 4 steps of Awareness - Evaluation - Conversion - Action and which touchpoints your business and your customers will meet at each step, with which types of content they will like.✅ Content CalendarYou need to commit to content marketing for a while before seeing results. Make a schedule to keeps you on track.✅ Content Distribution PlanIf links and shares form part of your Content Goals (and they should for some of your content) then you need to have a plan for distributing your content whether it is owned, earned or paid for.✅ Content Repurposing PlanRepurposing content means you don’t have to worry about creating new, original content all the time. It is a great way to breathe new life into your best content and also takes account of your visitors’ browsing habits, then presents it to them on a platform and in a format that they prefer like Slides, Videos, or Infographics,etc.✅ Content Optimization PlanRegardless of whether you are creating content for backlinks, shares or authority, every piece of content that you generate should be optimized.Types of e-commerce content marketingGreat job reading so far! You must have learned a lot and ready to make some quality e-commerce content that your customers would really like. I am eager too, so let’s jump right in and see some more specific types of content you should be making.Keep in mind, not all of these will be applicable for every campaign you run. The content will always vary and be based on who you’re targeting and the platforms you’re planningBloggingEasily the most convenient way to start distributing content, blogging requires little or no budget at all to start, and is very beneficial in terms of SEO.As an e-commerce shop, you’re competing with dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of other brands across the web. You can’t rely on all of your customers going directly to your site to buy.Blogging is the way you provide information, your own expertise, so your prospects can feel like you are the one to fix their problem. And that my friend, is a relationship that leads to sales numbers.And you can also put links or CTAs right inside your blog post so readers can find your products easier, talk about convenience.Video contentWhether you’ve written a 10,000-word Definitive Guide or a 2,000-word blog, video is still a great way to deliver information, especially in this digital age.Videos allow customers to learn more about your products, and they’re more engaging than text. If you sell a niche product, videos are a great way to demonstrate how to use the product and spell out various features and benefits.It could be as quick and easy as using your webcam to shoot yourself talking or you can do a screen recording of your Slideshare presentation.Now you’ve got extra channels to distribute to such as YouTube, Facebook, as well as some valuable extra content to add to your blog post.Interactive contentOne advantage of in-store shopping still has over the online experience is, in most cases, interactivity. Shopping in person can be a more engaging experience, and many still find it relatively fun.E-commerce retailers can change up this dynamic – and you can stand out from your online competitors – by investing in interactive content. Yeah, future!Take the cosmetics brand Sephora, which markets itself using the appSephora Virtual Artist. Users can “apply” makeup to get an idea of what would look good on them. While the app isn’t a perfect substitute, it can help users decide if the colors are a good fit for them.Interactive content isn’t limited to fashion brands. The never-ending love of personality quizzes, the usefulness of web apps and calculators, and the cool engagement with 3D videos are options for nearly any e-commerce brand with an appropriately creative marketing approach. This is how you stand out!Original photosVisual is an essential piece of content marketing now, since 63% of social mediais made of images. So it’s no longer a question of whether you bother to add visuals to your content it’s a must. And original photos means authentic feelings.It’s up to you to ensure that you have tons of pictures of your products from nearly every imaginable angle. This is necessary for your product pages, but you can also repurpose those images on other channels as well.For example, you can take an original photo of a model wearing the clothes that you’re selling and turn it into an Instagram shoppable post.Include photos in your blogs. Add them to your email campaigns. Share them on other social media channels. Keep taking original photos because you’ll always be able to find a use for them.However, if you don’t have much time, check out our articles of stock photos.Product buying guidesProduct buying guides are essential for the same reason as blogs. They can be used to drive organic traffic to your e-commerce site when people are looking for more information about specific products.The biggest difference between product buying guides and blogging is that they will each target different types of people.Blog posts are typically content that brings awareness since the consumer is still in the product and brand awareness stage. On the other hand, product buying guides are content that brings more detailed information as the consumer reaches the evaluation stage of the purchase process.And also make sure that all of your buying guides have CTAs to drive conversions.Email marketingThere are definitely ways that your e-commerce shop can leverage emails, just like any other business. Any time someone makes a purchase on your website, you have the opportunity to send them a drip campaign that’s relevant to that order.  Order confirmation  Shipping notification  Package delivered  Follow upThese messages can notify abandoned cart, provide discounts codes, show product recommendation, or recap any blog post that your customer might have missed.Email marketing stands tall as a low budget tool with great potential, and you have just the power of using all that.Customer storiesThere are lots of different formats you can use to tell a customer story.  Reviews  Testimonials  Case studiesThese can be in text format, image format, videos, or blog posts. Display them on your homepage. Create separate landing pages for customer stories. Share them on social media.When checking previous customer satisfaction, the consumer is really close to converting. Customer stories can be the factor that drives them to complete the purchase process.World-class examples of content marketingWith all the theory been handed out, it is still a long and hard process to get content marketing right. In fact, only a few e-commerce sites do it well to increase conversion drastically.Nike  In 2018, Nike is the one making headlines with their killer e-commerce content. Their content has a goal, and that is to motivate people to go do great things, just like their tagline: Just Do It.Your store needs to be known for a message it’s pushing, too. What content are you putting out to give your store a voice in this very crowded and noisy online world?And in summer 2018, they released a campaign celebrating the 30th anniversary of Just Do It. They used Colin Kaepernick, an American footballer famous for making political statements on the field, as the face of their campaign. It shook America.Nike sales grew 31% from Sunday through Tuesday over Labor Day this year (2018), besting 2017’s comparative 17% increase — according to research by Edison Trends . And this increase was directly related to the release of the video.They went all-in for a controversial, bold, dangerous, yet fitting content for a time of division in America. They just had the right strategy to attract their target audience, and that is creating content their audience is passionate about — which in this case is political issues — and using that to push their brand story.Lesson: Get your customer’s attention through content and topics they care about. And no, it is not the big-budget that makes success, it is the strategy.ZapposAs one of the most successful companies in the world, Zappos  already has a long reach. It’s no slouch in the content marketing department, though, and uses its blog blog  to attract a huge audience.You’ll notice that Zappos doesn’t just write articles about how to pick the perfect pair of shoes. Instead, the company covers a wide range of topics to appeal to its target audience.From local color pieces to tips on travel, you’ll find tons of information on the Zappos blog. The e-commerce brand even writes about how to make your shoes and clothing last longer, which seems counterintuitive, but the information is endearing and fosters customer trust.Lesson: Your blog can be more than just your own products, it can be a place for people to solve more problems in their real lives.ProFlowersIf you want an over-the-top example of content marketing it’s this.Proflowers created a list of 151 Types of Flowers, complete with images, seasons, zones, and more. It’s quite the doozy but it stands head and shoulders above similar content.The result?Not only does it generate over 17,000 visits a month in organic traffic, but it’s attracted 49 linking root domains.Overall, Proflowers pulls in a whopping 42% of organic traffic to their blog and content posts. This is huge, and quite surprising given the size of Proflowers already.Top-of-funnel content marketing is a great fit for Proflowers since virtually everyone will need to buy flowers for their special someone at some point in the next year.It’s a form of content marketing and branding combined, which works well in the B2C mass-market.Lesson: Sometimes it is good to go the extra miles and deliver super detailed information to your customer, like a pro.AsosUK-based ASOS is a global fashion retailer that sells exclusively online, targeting the millennial market.Where ASOS really stands out is in their use of influencer marketing strategy and user-generated content. Their ongoing “ASOS Insiders” campaign shows influencers worldwide promoting ASOS products and looks on their own platforms. The content is then cross-promoted on ASOS’s site with direct buy links to products.ASOS also encourages non-influencers to share their ASOS buys using the Instagram hashtag #ASSEENONME, which has over 1M shares.Their influencer and user-generated (UGC) content extend beyond traditional social media platforms to YouTube. ASOS video content ranges from “haul” videos with style influencers and ASOS fans to inspirational documentaries with young activists. This allows the brand to tap into millennials’ ethics-driven consumerism while still involving their influencers.Plus, 40% of YouTube visitors use the platform to learn more about a product before they buy it, according to Think with Google, making it a revenue-friendly channel for the fashion brand.Both influencer and UGC create a network effect for ASOS’s content marketing, extending the reach and brand awareness among target shopping demographics at a relatively low-cost for the brand.Lesson: Young generation has a need to show their colors on social media, so if business encourages them right can attract millions of potential customers.Closing advicee-commerce businesses need to go the extra mile to ensure their content is engaging and interactive, enabling them to establish their authority, increase their conversion rates and drive traffic on an ongoing basis.But there isn’t a one-size-fits-all e-commerce content marketing strategy - you need to understand your target audience and develop a content plan based on that knowledge. With the detailed guide above, you can start making your own content strategy and build trust with your audience.Wish you all the success with your e-commerce content marketing road ahead, and please let us know in the comment section if you have any question.",
        "url": "/resources/profitable-ecommerce-content-marketing.html"
      }
      ,
    
      "resources-online-store-builder-html": {
        "title": "7 BEST ONLINE STORE BUILDERS TO QUICKLY START YOUR BUSINESS",
        "author": "",
        "category": "start",
        "content": "“Time is money”, and with an online business, that cannot be truer. Just look at Jibo, the dancing robot that crowdfunded 3.6 million $ just to fail because of slow production and introduction to the market.You don’t want that. What you want is to bring your wonderful products quickest as possible to prospects, with all the joy that they can provide. And the best way to do that? A well-running website.That is why we put together a list of the best online store builders available, so you can easily set-up your business, and start attracting potential customers to your site like a piece of delicious cake. Let’s get start!Main content  What is an online store builder ?  The pros and cons of online store builders  7 best online store builders right now          Shopify      Wix      WooCommerce      Squarespace      Volusion      Weebly      BigCommerce        Examples of great online stores  Tips on building your online store  ConclusionWhat is an online store builder?An online store builder or an e-commerce site builder is a program that lets you build, customize, and run an online store. A complete online store solution should come with the tools for the entire process: hosting, design, pricing and payment options, marketing tools and reports.You can usually use online store builders without knowledge of coding or website making. They will offer you the famous drag-and-drop design for your utmost convenience. And even a great customer support line is ready to help you with anything.The pros and cons of online store buildersOnline store builders are like magic wands, you just need to point at a place, say what you want, and an amazing interface would magically appear. Great as that, there are still a few minus points of online store builders to be noticed.Pros: Advantages of using an online store builder:  No coding required – Create and edit your online store easily using a drag-and-drop editor. In comparison, you need advanced web development skills to build an online store from scratch using open-source solutions (ie. PrestaShop or Magento).  Ready-made, beautifully designed storefront (see best 30+ eCommerce website templates here)  Get protected with built-in security features and shared SSL certificates  Grow your business on multiple channels and platforms easily (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Amazon, etc)  Easily get paid in various currencies via multiple payment gateways  Some store builders allow you to manage both online and offline sales at one place (ie. Shopify Pos)  On-going website support (including security and software upgrades) at no additional costs    Cons: Disadvantages of using an online store builder:    Price – Most online store builders are freemium, which means you get the basic features for free, but more advanced choices require payment.  Lowering your business margin – Some online store builders charge a transaction fee per sale (ie. Shopify charge 0.5%)  Some online store builders come with SEO issues (URL structure, .htaccess access, etc) that you can’t fix  The life and death of your store depending on the platform. If the platform goes out of business, so does your store.7 best online store builders right nowWith pros and cons in perspective, let’s begin looking through some of the hottest names in online store builders nowadays.ShopifyShopify is probably the most famous one-stop solution for business owners who want to be able to run an eCommerce store on their websites. Much like other site builders that allow you to build your site exactly the way you want it, Shopify gives you access to its online store builder.You can use the provided templates to save yourself some time, or you can put everything together from scratch. Over 800,000 online stores run on Shopify because of its dependability and countless features, some of which include SEO and marketing resources, secure shopping carts, and mobile device compatibilityWhy you will love it  100+ professional templates for eCommerce websites (free &amp; premium)  Over 1200 apps  Template customization that’s easy to use  Great flexibility on website design  100+ payment gateways  Tons of features and benefits for the Shopping Cart plugin  Unlimited bandwidth and web hosting  Tons of SEO features  An enormous Shopify community  Shopify Apps that provide great plugins  An all-in-one online store builder and web hosting solutionShopify Pricing  Shopify Lite ($9 Monthly): For people who sell on social media networks, in person, or on existing websites  Basic Shopify Plan ($29 Monthly): Everything that Lite offers plus the ability to create your own online store.  Shopify ($79 monthly): Great for medium businesses or eCommerce stores that are starting to grow.  Advanced Shopify ($299 monthly): Gives you advanced features that allow for scaling. Recommended for companies that are larger with revenues within $110,000 – $1,000,000.  Shopify Plus (Negotiated pricing): For larger companies that are yielding more than 1 million in revenue. Pricing generally starts at about $2,000 per month.Suitable forSerious eCommerce business owner who looks for the best jack-of-all-trades.WixWix has over 77 million users in 190 countries and they are continuing to grow at a fast rate. For businesses who are looking to start online e-commerce, Wix may be the fastest site to begin.Wix offers a great web building solution for a ready-to-go website within minutes and is very friendly to who has zero knowledge of building a website. From providing questions to automate the process, to choosing any details to mix your own style, you are sure in a helping hand.Why you will love it  Set up a website super fast (no joke, probably 5 minutes)  Simple drag and drop to make your life easy when designing your site.  Dedicated 24/7 to help you when needed  Optimized for your mobile users  Tons of templates to choose from that fit your needs and will catch your customers attention  Easily add blog features to your eCommerce websiteWix Pricing  Business Basic – (Month to month will be $28 monthly) – (Paid Yearly –  Comes out to $23 Monthly) – (2 years paid – Comes out to $20 monthly) – (3 years paid – Comes out to $18 monthly)  Business Unlimited – (Month to month will be $33 monthly) – (Paid Yearly –  Comes out to $27 Monthly) – (2 years paid – Comes out to $23.50 monthly) – (3 years paid – Comes out to $22 monthly)  Business VIP – (Month to month will be $56 monthly) – (Paid Yearly –  Comes out to $49 Monthly) – (2 years paid – Comes out to $42 monthly) – (3 years paid – Comes out to $38.50 monthly)Suitable forExisting Wix users who wish to upgrade their website to become an online store.WooCommerceWooCommerce is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms worldwide due to the fact that it’s built on the WordPress platform many people are familiar with. WooCommerce is an e-commerce platform that lets small and medium-sized businesses sell their services and products on a customizable online storefront.As an open-source platform, WooCommerce gives users a lot of control over various aspects of running their business. It’s also a great e-commerce software for businesses that have a higher volume of sales.However, WooCommerce is a bit technical and of course, you need to use WordPress host to use. There used to be no direct line of support except the forum because of its open-source origin, but now there are all over the world.Why you will love it  Modern and easy to design templates  WordPress content integration  Pre-installed payment gateways  Total control of the checkout process  Set default currency  Geo-location Support  Automatic taxes  Reduce page loading  Add/Manage high product volumes  Inventory management  Shipping calculations and flexible shipping destinationsWooCommerce pricingWooCommerce itself is free and available right on Wordpress. But a domain name (about $12/year), and a hosting service is needed ($5-$25 monthly). WooCommerce can have additional costs like a theme (~$59), plugins &amp; extensions (from $25 each) and developer fees ($20-$150/hour).Of course, you may not need all these features, but it will give you an idea of how much you should consider.Suitable forWordpress users who want to take their shop to a bigger level at a considerable price.SquarespaceSquarespace has been providing one-stop website building services since 2004. They are about as non-techy as it gets, providing users with easily accessible templates and design options. The platform can put out some really sleek looking websites (I mean just look at their website!)Whether you are a first-timer or already run a successful brand, to have your online presence fully organized, Squarespace is here to offer you its tools, services, and personal support. Oh, and there are many celebrities on the site to inspire you too.Why you will love it  Strong Branding Capabilities and Visuals  No transaction fees  24/7 email support  SSL security included  Customer reward features like coupons  Full Blogging Capabilities  Easy Search Engine Optimization  Free Domains  Analytics data  Email campaignsSquarespace Pricing  Personal Plan: $12/month, free custom domain, unlimited bandwidth, SEO features  Business Plan: $18/month, free plus e-commerce features, 3% transaction fee  Basic: $26/month, Business plan plus customer account, 0% transaction fee  Advanced: $40/month, Basic plus abandoned cart recovery, 0% transaction feeSuitable forStylish online store with few products and want to boost the branding “feel” more than just selling with great designs. If you lean toward selling a lot of products, other solutions are better.VolusionVolusion has grown a lot in recent years and it became one of the most popular eCommerce platform providers and store builder tools. It is a cloud-based e-commerce platform that has all the most important features and functions you might need to develop the best possible web store.The software that Volusion has allows you to create your online store without too much hassle and it is very user-friendly. However, it isn’t as easy to use as some other builder tools, so you will have to go through a guide that you can find on your dashboard.Volusion has many useful features and integration with Amazon and eBay definitely stands out. And they provide constant support, at any time of day or night, and you can contact them via phone, or email. You can also talk with them on the online chat they have set up for their clients.Why you will love it  70+ apps and 40+ themes  Live chat 24/7  Zero transaction fee  Simple SEO Features To Help You Rank Better  One Page Check Out Feature To Make It Easy For Your Customers  Auto-Generated Site Map  Email Marketing Tools  All famous payment methods acceptedVolusion Pricing  Personal: $29/month, 100 products, 1 staff  Professional: $79/month, 5000 products, 5 staffs  Business: $299/month, unlimited products, 15 staffs-Prime: Custom, unlimited products, unlimited staffsSuitable forA small or individual seller who wants to simplify the selling process.Weebly (Free &amp; Paid)If you are looking to start selling online, Weebly for sure brings the epic quality. The entire process of establishing the required eCommerce page with Weebly will take you barely any time.Weebly promises ease of use and customization through their professional eCommerce tools that are all in one place and intended for entrepreneurs like you. From countless stunning ready-to-use layouts to powerful design tools and all in between, Weebly is here to please. In addition, you can also control your website using Weebly’s mobile app and have access on the go as well.Why you will love it  270+ apps and 50+ themes  Award-winning support  Ecommerce marketing tool all in one  Payment processing available in 35+ countries  Shipping &amp; tax calculator  Complete mobile store checkoutWeebly pricing  Free  Starter – $8/Monthly  Pro – $12/Monthly  Business – $25/Monthly  Performance – $38/MonthlySuitable forUsers who want a simple online store on their website.BigCommerceWith that many great names listed, BigCommercestill holds high rank as a trustworthy online store builder. With more than 100.000 stores on site, BigCommerce is one of the most popular and fastest-growing platforms.A big advantage of BigCommerce is scalability. That means that you can use BigCommerce regardless of the size of your online store. Also, if your business grows with time, you can always scale up the features that you perhaps didn’t need when you started out.BigCommerce doesn’t offer a free plan like some other store builders, but they do offer a 15-day trial. And they don’t charge any transaction fees, which is very important for people that are just starting out.Why you will love it  Great SEO Tools (Helps you get found on search engines easier)  Unlimited products and bandwidth  Marketing Tools To Make You A Marketing Genius  Tons Of Product Configurations  Analytic Tools To Help You Analyze Data  Top-Notch Security  470 apps and 110+ themes  Zero transaction fee  60+ Payment GatewaysBigcommerce Pricing Plans  Standard Pricing – $29.95 Monthly  Plus Pricing – $79.95 Monthly – $71.95 if paid annual a month break down  Pro Pricing – $249.95 Monthly – $224.95 if paid annual a month break downSuitable forOnline stores of all sizes based on revenue. Also, looking for alternatives to Shopify.Examples of great online storesNow let’s see some great stores that you can learn from, and of course, they were all made out of the magic online store builders. Check them out!QüeroOur first example is a shop for hand-made shoes from Spain called  Qüero. Sports a nice, elegant design with the shopping cart right on the front page. Looking into the code, it quickly becomes obvious that WooCommerce is the force behind this shop and its theme a derivative of the Super Hijinksified starter theme by Wordpress. Well done.Harper WildeHarper Wilde is a bra shop that is run by women and has focused on what women really need in a bra. Backed by plenty of research, and a drive to improve the lingerie industry as a whole. They used Shopify to make their powerful store visible.TrendsFashion organization based in Taiwan  Trends  decided to use Wix to showcase their urban styles from a variety of different brands for both men and women. They merge fashion with art providing a fresh experience for their shoppers, right from the website.Fighting EelSquarespace always suits with minimal and breathtaking design, and Fighting Eel is no exception. They are a fashion retailer located in Hawaii. Their collections feel feminine, easy and suitable for the stylish woman that spends her day in the sun.Tips on building your online storeSeeing all of those wonderful online stores, you must feel really motivated to get your business on the web as soon as possible. But wait, let us give you some tips on using online store builders to achieve the best result.Know your businessAs we mention with each platform, there are stores that are more suitable than others. But you are the one to decide which suits you the most. So try a few out and know that there is always help for your online business journey.Adjust your budgetYour budget will decide what you can afford to get. If you have a bigger budget, you can get a bigger car. The same applies to online stores and eCommerce options. A bigger budget will definitely get you more interesting platforms that offer more built-in features. The affordable ones, on the other hand, will be more simple and straightforward.User-friendliness is essentialWhen looking for an online store builder, you need to understand the difference between something working and something being user-friendly. Certain builders will focus on design over features or vice versa. Since we are focusing on being quick, you might want a simple design over obscure features.The basic featuresA good online store builder should offer the basic features that you would need for an eCommerce site, such as SSL certificates, card recovery, and transaction plugins. Some will offer more features and plugins If they ask for more purchases with any of these, consider using that builder site.An offline sale/inventoryWith eCommerce platforms, you’ll be able to manage your orders and inventory. Some platforms, however, will allow you to sync it with your offline sales as well. You can even use some as an offline ordering system so that your inventory/payment can seamlessly work between online and offline stores. It is a real bonus if you can get this feature.ConclusionOnline store builder is one of the fastest and most useful tools to set up an e-commerce business without breaking a sweat with all the website coding. They do come with cons, but the beautiful website appears in just minutes is sure a win for anyone thinking about online business.Have we covered all the great online store builders out there? How have you used for your own big idea of e-commerce? Let us know in the comments and make sure you bring that great business website to the world as soon as possible.",
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      "resources-choose-an-ecommerce-hosting-html": {
        "title": "GUIDE TO CHOOSE AN ECOMMERCE HOSTING PLAN",
        "author": "",
        "category": "start",
        "content": "Creating an ecommerce website requires a lot of daunting tasks. You need to find a domain name, build up a user-friendly website interface, optimize your keywords for SEO, produce creative, design a logo, and the list keeps going on.There’s another important step that can be easy to get in trouble with if you don’t know what you’re looking for: your ecommerce hosting plan.Main content  What is an Ecommerce hosting plan and why is it important?  Two types of Ecommerce hosting plan          Hosted      Self-hosted        Things to consider when it comes to choosing a hosting          Consider your specific need      Examine reliability and speed of the host      Be sure about your upgrade options      Discover security features      Look at quality customer support      Look further into prices        Final wordsWhat Is An Ecommerce Hosting Plan And Why Is It Important?If E-commerce is a planet, and your website is a house, then you’re going to need a piece of land on this planet to build your house on.This piece of land is your ecommerce hosting. It’s what houses your website.Without it, you’re not going to have a website because you can’t have a house without a piece of land either.And there are hosting providers. They are landlords. Choosing a nice piece of land provided by a good landlord will make it easier for you to run your ecommerce website.Here are a few things that a good “landlord” can ensure you.Fast Loading SitesA good hosting provider can provide you with a piece of land that is easy for your customers to access, because the provider has all the infrastructure to support this piece of land.Imagine that you build a villa on a piece of land that is in the middle of nowhere without roads and transportation to access, would anyone want to visit your house no matter how beautiful it is? Probably no.The same is true for your website. Today the majority of customers expect web pages to load in two, three seconds or even less, otherwise they will just leave. If the load time of your website does not fall into this range, you’ll lose a ton of customers to websites with faster loading speed (your competitors’).Established hosting providers have already had all the infrastructure to support you and make your website lead as fast as possible, so it’s important to go for a hosting plan provided by this group.Secure SitesGood landlords also make sure that your land is protected, so that thieves are warded off and can’t steal you or your customers.Good hosting providers ensure that your hosting is protected too. This means that hackers cannot steal your customer information, and cannot steal your customers’ credit card information either. Everything is protected from these bad guys!A secure website is equipped with two things: HTTPS encryption and SSL certification.If your web page is not encrypted with HTTPS and does not have an SSL certification, your site will be identified as “Not secure” and you’re going to have a “Not Secure” symbol at the left corner of your browser.When someone visits your site and see this “Not Secure”, they’re not going to have the confidence to keep shopping, let alone paying on your site with their credit card.HTTPS and SSL are a layer of encryption that encrypt every information that is exchanging on your webpage.Without them, your credit will show up as exactly what you put in, and anyone who can hack the website can know what your credit card information is.For example, let’s assume your credit card is “123456789”, without HTTPS and SSL, a hacker can get in and steal this information because it is not encrypted. For your context, it is super easy for a hacker to access the information you input into a website.With HTTPS and SSL, on the other hand, your credit card will be encrypted and show up as some gibberish like “shg&amp;%ksafn$&amp;*3”. This way, even if someone can steal it, what he gets is just some useless gibberish.Also, Google is in favor of websites equipped with HTTPS and SSL, and therefore without them, you won’t be able to have high ranks in the search results.So, you should choose a hosting provider that offers HTTPS encryption and SSL as a part of their package.No DowntimeDowntime is the period or time when a server is unavailable or offline. Downtime also referred as outage duration is the time period when the system fails to provide or achieve its primary function. During downtime websites that are hosted on that server will be unavailable and offline.Uptime, on the other hand, is the amount of time that a server has stayed up and running. This is usually listed as a percentage, like “99.9% uptime.” Uptime is a great measure of how good a Web hosting provider is at keeping their systems up and running. If a hosting provider has a high uptime percentage, then that means that their servers stay up and running and so any site you host with them should stay up and running too.No hosting providers can assure 100% uptime because there’s always unexpected technical issues, and sometimes they have to have their servers maintained. But only 99% and above are acceptable, so you should stay away from hosts with uptime of less than 99%.Two Types of Ecommerce HostingNow that you have understood what ecommerce hosting is and why it is important, let’s move on to the next part, which is types of ecommerce hosting.There are two types of Ecommerce platforms, hosted and self-hosted, and each of them requires a distinct type of hosting.HostedA hosted E-commerce platform (such as Shopify) provides you with what you need to build your house (your website); website templates, dashboards, applications, hosting and other infrastructure required for running a website.Any hosted platform provider must provide hosting in their package to run this model, which means you won’t have to find a dedicated hosting provider.This is an ideal option for those who have little IT background and do not want to handle web development. The only thing it requires to use a hosted E-commerce platform is paying a monthly fee which varies across vendors.Most vendors of hosted E-commerce platform equip their package with:  Hosting  HTTPS encryption and SSL certification.  Built-in features.  Templates for building a website.  SEO optimization.  Multi-channel selling.  Inventory systems.  Abandoned cart recovery.This will help you focus on acquiring customers, managing inventory, shipping products and making sales without having to deal with technical requirements of web development.Using a self-hosted platform, however, comes with a few limitations:  Hosted e-commerce platforms generally cost more than self-hosted ones.  When your store grows bigger and attracts more traffic, that will require more powerful features. Your monthly or annual fees will increase as you’ll have to upgrade your package to get these features.  Customization possibilities will be also limited as you will be able to use only available themes and plugins. In other words, you won’t have the freedom to build your website the way you want, but have to adapt yourself into the existing infrastructure.  Switching platforms will be costly and time-consuming.Popular Hosted E-commerce PlatformsShopifyShopify is arguably the most popular hosted ecommerce platform. Its user-friendly administration interface enables store owners to manage their sales, inventory, customer database and customize their online store without knowing how to code.Pricing starts at $14/month for the Starter plan, but you will quickly need a higher plan if you’re serious about selling online. The next plan, called Basic, is more practical: It’s $29/month and gives you 1 GB storage, an unlimited number of products in your online store, and a 2.0% transaction fee.BigcommerceBigcommerce is comparable to Shopify, both are awesome. Bigcommerce is housing over 60,000 online stores that (combined) have generated over $4 billion in sales.Bigcommerce’s collection of free and paid store apps can arm your online store with extra features and integration with third-party services like MailChimp and Visual Website Optimizer.Pricing starts at $29.95/month and comes with 3 GB of file storage and a 1.0% transaction fee.VolusionVolusion is, as far as I know, in the “Big Three” of the top hosted ecommerce platforms (right behind Shopify and Bigcommerce). According to Volusion, the online stores they host (combined) have done about $20 billion in sales.This platform offers over 900 ecommerce features and offers additional personal services to their customers for a fee, such as conversion rate optimization which provides store owners one-on-one consulting with the company’s marketing consultants (for $899).Pricing starts at $15/month and allows up to 100 products in your online store, unlimited storage, and no transaction fees.Wix Online Store BuilderWix is an extremely popular and easy to use DIY (Do It Yourself) website builder. They recently ventured into the ecommerce space by launching the Wix Online Store Builder, a hosted online store platform.Pricing for their ecommerce solution starts at $19.90/month, which comes with 20 GB of storage and 10 GB of bandwidth.The take-away is hosted ecommerce platforms act like a “comprehensive” landlord. Not only do they give you a piece of land (hosting server), but they also give you a house (website) and all of the tools (apps) that you’re going to need to decorate it.Self-hostedIn comparison with hosted E-commerce platforms, self-hosted Ecommerce platforms only offer you materials to build your house (your website); they don’t have houses or land for rent, and therefore you’ll have to rent a piece of land from a third-party landlord, then, on that piece of land, build your own house with your own tools or ones bought from third-party tool builders.In other words, if you choose a self-hosted platform, you’ll have to rent a server to house your website. You will have to be responsible for building up infrastructure and installing applications to get your website run smoothly. You’ll have to create your own shopping cart, plugins and applications to manage users’ information and other assets.This option requires quite some coding and technical knowledge to get your website up and running.While you won’t have to develop your website completely on your own because there are themes and apps builders who will provide you with almost everything you need. You will have to learn how to combine those components together to make a whole piece, and probably you will have to have a dedicated technical team to run and maintain this whole thing (if you’re going to focus on developing your business).The cost of renting a self-hosted server is much cheaper than that of a hosted, however, the cost of developing your own web page will just eat off that savings.The biggest advantage of self-hosted platforms is you will have the freedom to build your website the way you want it to be. There’s no structure that you have to fit into. This is also the main reason why people switch from hosted to self-hosted; once their stores have grown so big that they realize they are limiting themselves with the limitations of self-hosted platforms.Self-hosted is the best choice for you once you have scaled up and need more functions, yet this is definitely not the best option for beginners, so if you are one, I would suggest you to choose a hosted platform and stick with it.Popular Self-hosted E-commerce PlatformsWooCommerceWooCommerce, unlike the platforms in this group, is not a standalone Ecommerce platform. It is kind of a plugin that operates on WordPress - the world’s most popular Content Management System (CMS).WooCommerce does a wonderful job of integrating Ecommerce functionality to the content platform. It is a widely favorite ecommerce option as the WordPress dashboard is intuitive enough for starters to pick up quickly. Mixing that with comprehensive and user-friendly E-commerce functionality and you are good to go.Pros:  Use the WordPress CMS to launch your online store, and Wordpress is very user-friendly.  Customize your store using dedicated WooCommerce extensions and themes.  The Wordpress user community is huge, so you can get support whenever you run into any kind of trouble.Cons:  It can take several extensions to add an advanced but necessary functionality.PrestaShopUnlike WooCommerce, PrestaShop is a dedicated platform for Ecommerce. Its goal is to enable business owners to set up an attractive user-friendly online store as quickly as possible, and it has been successful in that aspect.Not only Prestashop is easy to use, this platform provides an amazing number of features which are powerful product management functionality, multiple payment options, customizable checkouts, just to name a few.Apart from its built-in functionality, you can also extend the platform using plugins and themes. The platform provides pretty much everything you need though. It even includes analytics and customer support without needing any external installations.Pros:  Comprehensive product management settings.  Multiple payment options.  Customizable checkout experience.  Analytics to understand customer’s behavior.Cons:  There’s going to be a learning curve to fully grasp the many features offered.MagentoMagento is another name that you probably hear a lot in search of the best E-commerce platform. Magento, unlike Woocomerce and Prestashop, primarily targets larger-scale businesses.Flexibility-wise, Magento is far ahead of its competition in the ecommerce field. It’s a powerful and highly flexible platform that enables you to develop and accomodate big complicated stores. However, with this advantage, you will need to have some web development experience if you’re going to want to take full advantage of it.Magento is built with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in mind, it’s highly secure, and it also offers you huge libraries of extentions that Magento third-party extension buiders have developed.Pros:  Incredibly scalable platform that’s perfect for large Ecommerce stores.  Built with SEO and security in mind.  Compatible with almost any payment processor you want.Cons:  There is a huge learning curve to learn and master the platform.  It can be tough to use if you have little web development experience.  It’s not a good choice for beginners or if you just need a simple store.Hosting providers for self-hosted Ecommerce platformAs I have mentioned before, with self-hosted platforms, you are going to have to rent a hosting from a third-party provider to house your website.Here are some of the most popular hosting providers on the market.HostGatorHostgator is best bang for your buck.            Unmetered bandwidth: Yes      Unmetered disk space: Yes      Search credit: $150      Money-back guarantee: 45 days      Pricing :  HostGator Hatchling Plan: $2.64/mth  HostGator Baby Plan: $3.78/mth  HostGator Business Plan: $5.68/mthFeatures:  Very well-featured basic plan  Unlimited bandwidth, disk space and more  45-day money-back guaranteeHostingerHostinger is best for business.            Unlimited bandwidth: Yes      Free SSL certificate: Yes      DDoS protection: Yes      Disk Storage: 100GB      Pricing:  Single Shared Hosting: $0.80/mth  Premium shared hosting: $2.15/mth  Business shared hosting: $3.45/mthFeatures:  Wallet-friendly hosting  Easy-to-use  SSL included across-the-boardGoDaddyGoDaddy is best for small and medium-sized enterprises.            SEO Services: Yes      Free domain: Yes      Database backup and restore: Yes      Unmetered bandwidth : Yes      Pricing:  GoDaddy Economy: $2.99/mth  GoDaddy Deluxe: $4.99/mth  GoDaddy Ultimate: $5.99/mth  GoDaddy Maximum: $19.99/mthFeatures:  Speedy service  User-friendly website builder  cPanel-powered  Linux hostingCloudwaysCloudways is best for Magento.            24/7 Expert Support: Yes      Unlimited App Installation: Yes      Free SSL Certificates: Yes      Free Migration: Yes.      Pricing  :  Starting at $10/month, then moving up to $22, $42 and $80.Features:  Pay-as-you-go plans let you monitor real-time consumption  Speedy one-click provisioning in less than a minute  Easy to install, free SSL certificateThings to consider when it comes to choosing a hostingIt’s not easy, especially for beginners, to choose a web hosting company to work with while there are so many out there. But this is not a decision that you should make without serious consideration, so you can use the following tips to help you choose the best web host for your upcoming business.Consider your specific needsUnfortunately, choosing the best web host isn’t as simple as picking one from a list. Everyone’s idea of “best” will depend on their unique needs.If you just get started and only need a simple website, you should just go for hosted platforms like Shopify, because when you’re small, you won’t need that many functions to run your website.However, if you are bigger, need more functionality, and  want to start working with self-hosted platforms, say, Magento, you’ll be best off going for a host like Cloudways because it is the most popular among Magento users.Before you start checking out web hosts, make a brief about what you need from a web host based on the following questions:      Will you be creating more than one site? Some hosts allow you to create multiple sites from the same account. Some don’t.        How much traffic do you expect to receive each month? This will help decide how much resources you need. If you expect that your traffic will grow bigger and bigger over time, you may need a host that offers scalable traffic load in their offerings.        Do the host offer HTTPS encryption an SSL certification? Be sure the host you choose offers these essential features (and for free or at a reasonable rate).        What is your monthly budget? Knowing this can help you skip certain hosts and packages that are out of your range right at the beginning.  Examine reliability and speed of the hostReliability and uptime are among the most important things in choosing a web host. You should want your site to be active most of the time because even a few minutes of downtime per day can cause lost revenue and a poor customer experience.While it is impossible for any host to ensure that their servers will be up 100 percent of the time, hosts with uptimes of 99.5 percent and higher are who you should turn to. Avoid hosting companies that are with uptime below 99 percent.Additionally, you’ll want to go for a host with fast servers. There are a dozen ways to speed up your website (such as using resized images), but if your site is on a slow server, nothing can help and it will always be slow.Speed may not sound important to a new website with small traffic, yet it will get increasingly important as your web page grows. Slow loading speed can also be seen as unreliable and a great number of website visitors leave a site that takes more than three seconds to load. These tiny delays can have a detrimental impact on your bottom line.To check out reliability and speed stats on a given host, start by looking at their packages, and then google for online reviews to get a feel for how others’ sites have performed with that host.Be sure about your upgrade optionsIn general, shared web hosting is a great place to start for beginners because it’s cheap and suits most of their needs. Your needs, however, may not stay the same forever. As your website grows larger, you may find yourself in the need of more bandwidth, email storage, and other resources.That’s why you’ll want to look for a host that provides room to grow. Although you might start off on a shared hosting plan, a host that also offers VPS hosting and dedicated hosting will be able to help you make the transition to a new server easier as your site grows.Discover security featuresAnother essential factor to expect from a web host is their security features. This is especially a must as your E-commerce website will store or transport sensitive data, such as customers’ credit card numbers.Start by finding out whether or not the host runs firewalls or malware detection on their servers. Ask them if they constantly watch their servers for unusual activity. Look for a host that offers SSL certification to make sure that the data transferred over your site remains secure and encrypted. Some hosts even provide IP deny services, which enable you to block specific IP addresses, such as those that might come from groups of hackers.Finally, you’ll want to know whether or not the host offers frequent site backups. Even with a range of security measures in place, it’s never a guarantee that your site won’t be hacked or  ruined by some disaster. If your host offers backup services, you’ll be able to quickly restore your site in the face of a crisis.Look for hosts that back up your site on a weekly, or best, daily basis, especially if you’re going to continuously build up your site. That way, if any unlucky thing happens, you’ll only lose a few hours’ worth of changes.Look for quality customer supportCustomer support is what separates a good hosting provider and a bad one, especially if you don’t have a lot of technical expertise and need a bit of hand-holding to get your site up and running. During your research, find out what sort of support channels are available, such as live chat, email, or phone support.Also each host’s support hours is very important. Some hosts offer customer support 24/7 (which are recommended), while others are only available during business hours, which can make it difficult for you in case  you need support ASAP.Finally, google for reviews for each host you check out to get a feel for the quality of support they provide. Look for reviews that mention how timely and knowledgeable (or not) the support staff is. While you are at it, you should still keep in mind that people often only leave reviews when their experience was either very positive or very negative, which might skew the overall view about the hosts in question.Look further into pricesWhen checking out prices, it is important to look beyond the initial monthly price you are shown.Hosting providers tend to offer discounted rates for first-time users. However, after the first billing, your plan will renew at their regular rate which is higher than the introductory rate. Make sure that you have the budget for both the introductory price and the regular rate.Also look at the price of packages for the long-run. What I mean by this is if you go with the cheapest option now, but need to upgrade your plan later, you could end up paying more for that upgraded package than you might with another host.Final wordsBe sure to explore what are included in the package and the cost of add-ons and extra services (if there are). Some hosts charge extra for services like email hosting, while others include that in their base rate.As you have reached the end of this article, I hope it has given you some valuable insights into how to choose an ecommerce hosting plan, and helped ease your host-choosing process a bit.",
        "url": "/resources/choose-an-ecommerce-hosting.html"
      }
      ,
    
      "resources-find-a-profitable-niche-html": {
        "title": "HOW TO FIND A PROFITABLE NICHE FOR DROPSHIPPING",
        "author": "",
        "category": "start",
        "content": "Main content  What is dropshopping?  Where to get Dropshopping ideas  Best niches for dropshopping  How to evaluate a niche idea  Final thoughtWhat is Drop Shipping?Dropshipping is a retail method where the seller doesn’t keep inventory of the products he/she sells. Instead, when the store makes a sale, it ships the item from a third-party supplier directly to the customer.As a result, the seller never sees or has to handle the product. The biggest distinction between dropshipping and the standard retail model is that the merchant doesn’t stock or own inventory. Instead, the merchant buys inventory on demand from a third party – usually a wholesaler or manufacturer – to fulfill orders.Recommend  Best Shopify Dropshipping Themes  Best Dropshipping Shopify AppsWhere to get Dropshipping ideasIn order to start with dropshipping, or any kind of business, finding the right product is arguably the most crucial task to fulfill, because after all, you cannot sell a product that does not have any value to it and that the market does not want to buy.You need to kick off your dropshipping adventure with product discovery and research.Selling the right product is the deciding factor that distinguishes highly successful businesses with boring ones which are filled with products that shoppers have no interest to buy.Product research requires patience and an adequate understanding of consumer demand.There are a lot of questions that need to be answered while you’re navigating your way towards, among them are  Is there anyone who needs this product?  Is the product seasonally trending this year?  Has anyone sold this product on the market?  Is the competition fierce?  Is there any giant on the market that has dominated this product?You’re going to need to look at the market with great attention and analysis while doing product research. And while you are at it, these are the types of questions you should always ask yourself to determine if a product is worth pursuing.It does not make sense to decide to dropship a product that the market is already flooded with. Electronics such as headphones and speakers is the case in my area.So, let’s look at some strategies which you can use to begin your search with:  Your professional experience: dropship a product that you have already had experience with.  Customer pain point: dropship a product that solves a pain point that a certain group of customers has.  Trends: dropship items that are trendy and have great demand.  Other people’s passions/interests: dropship a product that satisfy an existing passion or interest.  Your personal passion: dropship a product that you are highly passionate about.Related Post  How to find supplier on Alibaba  Top Ecommerce Business Models  How to Start a Online BusinessYour professional experience - dropship a product that you have already had experience with.If you had a professional career before deciding to go into dropshipping, you should already grow familiar with the product associated with your profession. This means you know what the product does, how it works, where you can source it and how to talk about it with your prospects.You may not have passion for the product at all, but you know it from the inside out, which is a great advantage when it comes to selling something.Your professional career might give you another unique advantage which is it might allow you to identify a need/gap in the market that no one in your industry has successfully fulfilled. If this is the case, you can dropship products that can fill that gap.This ability can only be possessed by industry insiders and this kind of unfulfilled gaps is rarely recognized by outsiders.Customer pain point - dropship a product that solves a pain point that a certain group of customers has.At the root, a pain point is something that bothers your customers. It’s a problem waiting for a solution. It’s an obstacle that causes frustration. It is anything that causes pain.Could you imagine how frustrating it would be to eat beef steak without a knife and a fork?Eating beef steak without a knife and a fold is a paint point, and these two items are created to solve it.Then you have products like noise-cancelling headphones that deal with a different type of pain point – blocking all the outside noise from the environment for those who cannot stand it (yes, I’m one of them!).Solving pain points makes our lives easier and more comfortable, and therefore this is arguably the most common reason why we buy things. If a product can solve a pain point that is experienced by a lot of people, it will be highly potential for you to dropship.So while you are researching and reviewing products, seriously  take time to consider if the product is something that a lot of people are actively looking for to remedy their pains.Trends: dropship items that are trendy and have great demand.When a trend is emerging, being able to recognize it and get yourself ahead of the rest of the market can bring yourself to a large group of customers who are hungry to join that trend, and that, in turn, quickly generate you a lot of sales.That is short-term speaking though. To be able to succeed in the long-term after you successfully catch a trend, you need to “catch” ones that are part of a strong market, and not simply one that booms one day and is gone the next.For example, when the fidget spinner came, a lot of people made money with it… and also a lot more people lost their tons of money and still have garages full of these spinners because the fidget spinner is a fad that died out very quickly.Instead, to survive and grow in the long run, go after trends that fulfill a need or solves a problem that won’t be going away too soon.For example, 3D printing has been an emerging trend lately. Whether it’s printing toys or household objects, 3D printing is not going away anytime soon.When you recognize a trend like this, you could dropship anything from three-dimensional printers, or the raw material and accessories required to get the end products printed.Besides that, you can broaden your range by selling 3D plans for the items people want to print, and then, if so obsessed, you could print your own fidget spinners.The take-away is you should go for products that will be around for years to sell and make profit from; not ones that can be around for just a few weeks until people are tired of seeing them.Other people’s passions/interests: Dropship a product that satisfy an existing passion or interest.People have hobbies to keep themselves entertained. Hobbies can be anything; cooking, skewing, furniture building, you name them.While you may not be interested in a particular hobby, you can still start your business in these areas by dropshipping products related to other people’s hobbies or interests.There are places where you can easily find what hobbies or interests people often have  Google for “list of hobbies” and the  Wikipedia result will give you a long list of names to explore.  Check out    Magazines.com/all-categories and you will have another list of hobbies to do your further research on.Based on these lists of hobbies, you can search Facebook for existing groups related to them and see what these enthusiasts are talking about and how big those groups are. The bigger a group is, the greater number of people who have that interest.Once you have identified a group that is big enough, and find yourself interested in selling the product that is being discussed, remember to join that group and integrate yourself into that community to learn about your potential customers’ preferences and pain points.As you learn more about this group of people, you’ll have more insights about how to speak and market to them and know more about what to sell them.Your personal passion: Dropship a product that you are highly passionate about.When you have a passion for something, you should already know a lot more about that subject than anything else as you have learnt about it for a long time. One of my friends is super passionate about headphones and he has learnt all about them while trying out different models and brands.As you have worked your way through the pain and frustration that are associated with this passion, you know that those who have this same passion go through this pain and frustration too.In other words, you have already understood your potential customers because you are one of them.So when it comes to deciding what product to dropship, you’ll have a much easier time finding those that you know will sell, because you can focus on the ones that can solve the frustration you once had with your passion; ones that you would pay for.Thanks to the knowledge that you have, you’ll also be able to quickly skip the products that are not high-quality and won’t sell well.The great thing about working with a passion, is that when things get tough (and they will), you will find it easier to stay motivated and push yourself through the situation, simply because you love what you’re doing, and that makes you less likely to give up.Best Niches For Dropshipping 2019To give you a reference for what niche to look at as you’re navigating your way, here is a list of some of the best niches.This is surely not a complete list. It does not mean, either, that if you go for products in this your business will boom, and it also doesn’t mean that you’re not going to succeed if you choose a niche that is not in this list.Please keep in mind that this list is just to provide you some ideas to help you get started in case you find yourself without any directions, and the possibilities are endless.Take a name from this list, and move on to the next stage that I’m about to introduce.How to evaluate a niche ideaWSAfter you have chosen a few names that you are interested in, how can you know which of them are potentially profitable and which are not? so that you won’t have to waste your time trying the ones that are not going to work.Here are 4 methods that you can use to find out if your niche ideas are profitable:Method 1: Check out Google Search Volume For Your Niche Idea On Google Keyword PlannerDiscovering how many people are googling for your niche idea (related keywords &amp; search phrases included) is a good place to start, because when people need something, they search for it on Google.Although keyword research is by no means the complete picture, it gives you an idea of how much demand there is for your niche.To check search volume, simply enter your niche idea or keywords on Google Keyword Planner..(If you have not had experience with Google Keyword Planner, check out a complete guide here here.)While you’re at it, please remember to choose your location (‘USA’ or whichever country you’d like to target), otherwise the information will be misleading.You can see in the picture that the search term “3d printer” and its related all have high monthly search volumes, which means that this is a potential niche to tap into.Keep in mind that right now you are not trying to find out how competitive the niche is, you’re simply figuring out if there’s a big demand for your niche ideas.So the bigger, the better here so far.Method 2: Have a look at Google TrendA lot of people were stocking their warehouse with the fidget spinner not knowing that the trend was dying out.So, to spare yourself this disaster, do a quick check on Google Trends to make sure your niche idea is not dying. It’s also better to focus on evergreen niches than trends that come and go.Just enter your keyword or niche idea in the search bar at http://www.google.com/trends  and check whether it’s a rising or at least a stable niche.It is worth remembering that just because something is not as popular at the moment as it once was doesn’t mean it’s no longer profitable.Some things have huge spikes of interest because they are being all over social medias and there is a lot of curiosity about it.Other things get spikes at particular times of years due to being seasonal, after that the interest drops off (travel tours for example).Google trend can tell you your niche idea is going upward or downward, but it doesn’t tell you why. So you have to do your own research and find out about it and decide if it’s worth pursuing.Method 3: Find out if your niche idea is on sale on Amazon and EbayIf it is on sale, there are people who are buying it.There is a lot of information that you can find about your niche idea by searching for it on Amazon and Ebay.It gives you an idea how your niche product is priced, how many brands there are.It also allows you to gain more insights about your idea niche, as buyers leave comments on the products that they have bought.These details will give you guidance on what problem out there about these products that have not been successfully solved so you can find out what you can do about that.Method 4: Join Facebook groups about your niche idea.Facebook groups are where people with the same interest socialize with their peers. Joining them will help you gain more insights about what’s happening in the niche that you’re planning to join.To put this another way, Facebook groups are where your potential customers are hanging out, and no research can provide more insights than talking directly to your customers and listening to their problems!5. Final thoughtsI’m going to end this article with this, if you’ve seen that there are products on sale, especially across several channels, and a lot of people are talking about it, and if they show signs of selling well, your idea is likely a profitable one, and there is definitely money to be made in it.Please keep in mind that there is no such thing as a perfect process for finding and evaluating a niche. Every product is different and they might require different methods.Before you jump in, it will certainly be beneficial for you to do your homework first, but don’t get yourself stuck in the planning phase, you’ll never actually get to anything by just planning.To get to somewhere, you have to start going first. Be a good starter and keep trying things, if one does not work out, move on to the next.",
        "url": "/resources/find-a-profitable-niche.html"
      }
      ,
    
      "resources-choose-a-domain-name-html": {
        "title": "THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO HOW TO CHOOSE A DOMAIN NAME",
        "author": "",
        "category": "start",
        "content": "Are you struggling with how to come up with a domain name for your new business? Every business starts with an idea and every website starts with a domain.This article will explain in details to you how to find, evaluate and buy a great domain.Now, let’s get started with the basics.Main content  What is a domain name?  What is a domain name made of  What is a good domain name?          Choose a domain name for SEO      Choose a domain name that looks reliable      Include your brand name in the domain        How to register and buy a domain name  ConclusionRelated posts  How to Set Your Primary Domain in 4 Easy Steps  Buy a Domain from Shopify - How to Do It Right  How to Enable Automatic Domain Renewal on Shopify  3 Steps to Disable Automatic Domain Renewal on ShopifyWhat is a domain name?Simply put, a domain is the primary part of your website’s URL address. It’s like the address of your online store.For instance, let’s have a look at our website’s address: https://avada.io/What is a domain name made of?Here, ‘avada.io’ is the domain. It consists of 2 parts:The ‘avada’ part is often called Second Level DomainThis is a word or a combination of words that represents your website.You can choose just any combination of letters and digits and make them your second level domain. This combination should make sense though. Something like grape425why65.com doesn’t make any sense or inspire much trust, does it?Second Level Domain, in general, is similar to or exactly the same as the store name. This makes absolute sense since it makes your branding easier. With that being said, to get better rankings on Google, you can play with your brand name a little. The idea here is to generate a short and memorable phrase – we will jump on this in detail later in this article.The ‘.io’ part is called Top Level DomainThe world has a dozen of top level domains for you to choose from, and this means you don’t need to invent anything new; simply follow the basics and choose the one that is available.A top level domain, generally, demonstrates what type an organization who owns it is. Let me walk you through the most common top level domains:  .com domain is the most popular among businesses as it is seen as the most prestigious and trust-inspiring domain. I would recommend you to go for a .com domain because we all need trust to do business with someone.  .co domain is the country top-level domain of Columbia. The majority of appealing names with the .com domain is already bought, which is why co. is getting popular and popular.  .net domain is short for network.  It is recommended and suitable for internet, email, and networking service providers.  .biz domain (short for ‘business’) is meant for businesses, but for some reason, it is unpopular and not as common as the .com one. I personally don’t see this domain as reliable either.  .org domain (for ‘organization’) is widely chosen by charities and other non-profit organizations that don’t center the core of their activity around finances.  .info domain tends to be chosen by websites/blogs that provides information and exist to raise awareness about something.  .edu domain is meant for educational institutions of various types.  .gov domain belongs to governmental establishments.  .io domain is the Internet country code top-level domain of the British Indian Ocean Territory. Its popularity is growing among tech companies because io can also stand for Input and Output.These are just the most widely-used top level domains (TLDs) these days, and there are a whole lot of TLDs that are less popular such as .xyz, .blog, .site, etc.Apart from the above non-geographic domains, there are a number of country-specific top level domains, for example:  .uk goes for the United Kingdom  .us for the United States  .kr for South Korea  .nl for the Netherlands  .fi for Finland  .jp for Japan  .vn for Vietnam  etcThis group of domains is suggested for businesses that operate only locally. It is a no brainer when it comes to choosing a top level domain that suits your business. What’s more difficult is coming up with the SLD.What is a good domain name? Are there any rules?Yes!In contrast to selecting a top level domain where there is no room for bold imagination, and what you can do is simply choose one out of 25 to 30 available options, there is no limit in coming up with a second level domain (SLD). You can just invent any name and use it as your second level domain (as long as that name has not been taken).When you’re brainstorming your SLD, there are 2 crucial things to take into consideration.Choose a domain name for SEOYou would want to achieve favorable Google rankings for your website, so the name should include an SEO-friendly word/phrase.This is the reason why many entrepreneurs build their website domains around their main SEO keywords.  In other words, the best way to ensure high SEO ranking is to try and put the product name in the domain name.This way, they can both increase their rank in search results and make it easier for Google searchers to run into this specific webstore.It’s necessary to use this tactic thoughtfully though. A website that has an address like buyhomefurnituresonlineusa.com looks quite confusing because it’s really hard to see clearly what the name is saying, and no one has that much patience to figure it out. A domain name that has a long-tail keyword looks spammy and unreliable.So, How do I choose a domain name for SEO?  Don’t put numbers in your domain name (e.g. kitchenware123.com)  Don’t make it a full sentence (e.g. buykitchenwaresnewjersey.com  Don’t make it too long (e.g. usefulkitchenwaresnewjersey.com)  A combination of the above ( buykitchenwaresnewjersey123.com)You get the point.Choose a domain name that looks reliableYour website domain is a touch point that makes the very first impression between your store and your customers.Pay attention to how you’re going to look on Google Search ResultsWhen Internet users search for something on Google, a bunch of different results show up, and they have to pick one among this paralyzing number of choices to click on.This means they have to filter out the choices that seem suspicious and not going to provide the thing that they are looking for. And the first criteria that they use to filter is very likely your domain.Imagine that your domain name is made of an odd combination of words, or a random mix of letters and numbers that makes no sense. Even if the domain is brilliant SEO-wise, the majority of Google users won’t even click on it.Don’t try to imitate a well-known brandThe same is also true if a website tries to copy a well-known brand or trademark. In particular, scammers do this by using wrong spelling (abibas.com) to trick searchers into clicking on their site. They click on the domain does not mean that they are going to buy what’s being sold in it. They will even bounce back the second they get to the site and realize they are being tricked. Everybody hates this, so taking advantage of someone else’s brand to mislead customers should not be your domain-name strategy.If you’re going to use some foreign language in your domain, you should always check if the wording you’re going to use has unexpected negative meanings. It surely is impossible to consider all the languages there are, but it is possible to check the meaning of the name in the language of your target audience. “Yes, I understand all of this that you’re saying, but how can I create a website domain? What should I do technically? And how can I purchase the domain?” you might say.Include your brand name in the domainIf you do have a brand name, you should always include it in the domain. That boots creadiability (you don’t want to deal with someone who does not have a specific name, do ya?) and helps promote your brand recognition.You can even make your brand domain more SEO friendly by including your main SEO keyword in it.How to register &amp; buy a domain nameHere you go… I’m getting to it right now.Step 1: Go to a domain name generatorFirst, if you have not got any vivid idea of what your domain is going to be, you can go to a domain generator. Almost all of the websites that provide this name-suggestion service are free of charge, so you won’t have to pay anything.I strongly recommend the generator by Namemesh: this tool is amazing because it allows you to evaluate any domain name by several parameters simultaneously.Here is how it works: what you need to do is enter several keywords that describe your business into the search bar, and press the ‘Generate’ button.The system will show you all the possible combinations of these words, and divides the list into several categories:  Common– This category is the most “traditional” domain names with familiar top level domains such as .com, .net., org, etc.  New– This one contains the most recent top level domains (TLDs) that has become available for websites (.tech, .chop, .center, etc). Since these TLDs are very young, there’s a good chance to get a good name before anybody else.  Short– this section provides the shortest domain names available. The shorter your domain is, the easier it is for customers to recognize you. But, don’t forget that it has to make sense!  Extra– This group consists of domain names with ‘unusual’ TLDs such as .name, .me, .ly, etc. This one is somewhat similar to the ‘New’ category, yet not uncommon for worldwide practice.  Similar– these similar domains are not made of the exact keywords you’ve input. Instead, they are synonyms, antonyms, related words, etc. Here you might get unconventional names that describe your business in a more precise and clever way. This might be the perfect option for you.  SEO– this section provides names that are optimal in terms of potential Google rankings. Namemesh slightly modifies the main provided keywords with prefixes or suffixes.  Fun– the domains listed in this group are the result of smart-word modification; blending and meshing words, misspellings, phonetic variations and other tricks are used to get some unique yet meaningful words that can make a perfect brand name.  Mix– This last group is just some other words generated by mixing prefixes and suffixes into the keywords you’ve provided.So, you just get a full page with hundreds of domain results that you can choose based on your purposes.Namemesh also has  filters that you can apply to remove choices that you already know that you do not want.You can show only .com domains, hide ones that are already registered, and set character range for suggested domains.“But among the hundreds of options that Namemesh offers, how can I know which one is the right one?” You might say.Step 2: How to evaluate domain namesHere is a checklist! Choose a domain that makes you say ‘yes’ to the criteria in this list.  You like this domain nameWhat you feel about the domain name matters! because after all, it’s owned by you, and no one wants to own what he does not like. If you are happy with the sound and the meaning of your chosen domain name, stick with it no matter what “marketing experts” say.  It is short and catchyIdeally, you should shoot for the 10-12 character range. This gives you enough letters to  generate something meaningful, but still easy for your customers to remember.  It is easy to spellThis is a crucial factor that affects your brand recognition. If your customers can say your name, but get confused spelling it, that will make it harder for them to find you or hashtag you on social media channels.  It does not limit your potential growthIn the world of business, very often that when you have grown to dominate one niche/product, you want to expand your business to others. In that case, will the domain still be relevant for your new range?  It is not taken on social mediaEvery one buys and sells online these days, so develop your store online, you need relevant accounts on social media channels like Facebook and Instagram. Imagine that the name you just pick is already taken by someone else on Facebook, it would be confusing for customers as they would constantly mix you up with this similar account.Fortunately, Namemesh got your back! It has this amazing function of scanning social networks for existing accounts.When you click on a suggested domain, the system will check its availability on Facebook and Twitter. This means that Namemesh scans and finds out if the name is already existing on these two social channels. Namemesh does not have Instagram integrated in its system, so you will have to check this manually on Instagram. This way, you can use the same name for all your social media channels, which certainly helps you create a strong brand and increase your brand recognition.  It has a good historyIt is a good idea to check a domain’s history before you pay for it.  Even if you’re not purchasing it from its previous owner, discover its history anyway just to make sure nothing suspicious was happening back in its days.You can use  Wayback Machinefor this task; it shows if a domain has been used before, and for what purpose.Domain with no suspicious actions on them can have more chances of ranking better on Google.Step 3: Register the domain nameOnce you have found your ideal domain, you can register that domain right on this platform because it is connected with domain providers. That “Registrar” box is the domain provider that you’re going to register with. Namemesh has a dozen of domain providers for you to choose from.You can just choose whichever registrar there are. All of them have the same range of domains available, and it’s impossible for a registrar to have ‘exclusive’ domains that you can’t purchase anywhere else. All of the registrars listed on Namemesh have the legal right to sell website domains.After you hit Registrar, you will be taken to the website of the selected domain provider. You are going to need to create a user account, provide the required information (Name, ID number, etc.) and pay for domain. After that you’re going to become a legal owner of that domain that you have chosen.At this point, you should already know how to generate name suggestions for your business, as well as how to register the name you’ve chosen.ConclusionSo now that you‘ve got to the end of this article, I hope the tips I have introduced will come in handy for you to figure out a great domain name for your up-coming business!",
        "url": "/resources/choose-a-domain-name.html"
      }
      ,
    
      "resources-choose-shopify-theme-html": {
        "title": "HOW TO CHOOSE SHOPIFY THEME THAT SELLS: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE",
        "author": "",
        "category": "start",
        "content": "So you are thinking about opening an online store to sell the things you passionate about, and of course, Shopify comes up on the top of Google Search as the perfect tool. You are ready, the fire is burning, and soon money will flow into your pocket since you found the niche of the market.But wait, how should your shop look like to actually do that? Online shoppers are busy people, they don’t have time to look into everything you offer to consider. In fact, 45% of US online adults will abandon their online purchase  if they can’t find a quick answer to their question.So your online shop interface, or theme, has to be reliable, and provide exactly what your prospects want right the way. Lucky for you, we are here to tell you exactly how to choose a Shopify theme that matches you perfectly.Main content  What is a theme?  Why choosing a theme is important?  How to choose, use, and change Shopify themes          How to choose the theme      How to use the theme      How to change the theme        Where to get the best Shopify themes  ConclusionRelated Post  Best Shopify themes Free &amp; Premium  20 Proven Business Ideas  How to find supplier on Alibaba  Ecommerce Business ModelsWhat is a theme?A theme, or a website template, is a ready-to-use website design that you can download and install onto your existing website. This is different from the traditional way of building your store, which was usually done from scratch and involved a huge amount of knowledge in coding and web building.Themes allow you to create the foundation of your store within minutes without much knowledge of coding, and are available both free and paid, made by theme developers all around the world.So you can say, it is an interactive cover for your book, which is an online store with wide-open potential to reach millions of people. And you wouldn’t want to ruin that chance with a badly designed theme huh?Why choosing a theme is important?You might be wondering: “Why would anyone care about the colors of my website?” Well, they don’t really, but what they would do if they didn’t like the colors is the problem.In fact, research shows that 70% of people don’t trust poorly designed websites.So the visual representation of your store is really important. Since it can build trustworthiness, conversion rate, customers’ satisfaction, and much more.Let’s say you are a customer, and the journey to find the perfect sweater just begun. You came into a store that looked old and shady, clothes were hung randomly, with no help from the owner whatsoever. Would you buy your sweater there?Or you would shop at a clean and tidy store, with clothes hung by sections, and a smile to answer any questions you have? I think we know the answer.With that in mind, let’s begin our quest to find the perfect theme for your exceptional online store.How to choose, use, and change a Shopify themeCheck out Speck and Stonedesign, they are even recommended by ShopifyWhen looking at a well-designed website, it just feels right. It’s a hard thing to explain, but you’ll know it when you see it. But first, you would want to ask yourself some questions before looking at themes:  What kind of experience am I trying to create for my customers?  What are some desired features I want for my store?  What are my competitors doing that I like, and how can I emulate it?  How do I want my products to be displayed?  How many products will I be displaying in my store?  Do I want a paid or free theme?Tip: Don’t base your choice on theme colors or fonts, as you can customize things late.After you’ve considered some of the questions above, it’s time to dive into the jungle of themes for Shopify.How to choose the themeNow remember those questions you asked yourself, it is time to use the answers. And don’t worry if you haven’t figured it out yet, we got you covered with every section needed to choose a theme for your store.The LayoutYour products are sure to be original, and the best way to represent them to your customers? Be simple and familiar. The best Shopify themes follow a conventional design and use widely accepted layouts.Your website should be obvious and self-explanatory, so prospects can understand products quickly, and make actions even more quickly. You’ll find that playing it safe by using a simple design is often best for converting potential customers.This leads us to another important task: positioning your e-commerce site layout- which can make customers experience way better. There are somethings to be noted:  A very clear Call-to-Action button is necessary, make sure no one can miss it.  An interactive product page, like zooming in or browse different pictures.  A detailed description of exactly what the product contains, easy to read right next to the product.  A set of similar products or belonging to the same product line.  A button so signup with emails for more updates from your awesome products.  A mobile-friendly version of the layout is also essential.The logoSince the logo is one of the 1st things you got for your store, try imagining it on top of your favorite themes. Will it look good the way it’s laid out in the theme, or the shape won’t fit the layout for any reason.See the image above, it is a simple and well-designed website, but the choice of image made the logo nearly impossible to read in the latter part. A little detail, but it can have a negative effect since that is the first thing to load on customers’ screens.The productWill your shop categories work with the theme? For instance, if you have only one category, but the theme has a huge expanding menu of 50, it may be hard to get it to look right for you. If you have 50 categories with subcategories, make sure the theme will allow for that without having to stack your list up unattractively.The best is to have clear product categories that are displayed in a self-explanatory way. Then prospects can easily browse through your amazing products.The contentThe key is to understand your content. Know that you will add photos and text to your site, and does the theme support those content with available spots and look good?If your theme is heavy on big huge beautiful photos with text overlays and you don’t have anything like that, you may want to switch to something simpler. Tests and experiments are essential to get things right.The helpAll themes from Shopify store are directly supported by Shopify Theme Support team. You can reach out and get help at any time. And if you use a theme from a third-party developer, check the reviews and read the description to see if the theme developer will be available to support if you have any problems or questions.How to use the themeAt this step, make sure you have already signed up for a Shopify store, if not, you can read our detailed guideline here.If you’ve found a theme you like among Shopify’s 72 themes available, all you got to do is purchase it and add to your store quickly from within the admin section.Remember, you can preview or demo any theme from Shopify Store on your own store,  so make sure you try that before making any purchasing.If you want to install a third-party theme, navigate to Online Store &gt; Themes and click the Upload theme button. The theme your purchased should be downloaded to your computer, unzipped and contain theme files, theme’s documentation, and demo content so you can upload into your own store.One uploaded, click on the Activate drop-down menu next to the theme’s name and select Publish. Your theme will now be live on your site. You can also share a theme preview with others.How to change the themeSo what if you want to change your Shopify theme to be better after a while? The good news is that changing your Shopify theme is a relatively straight-forward process.But first, let’s see what you don’t and need to worry about when switching to a new Shopify theme.What you don’t need to worry about:  Product data  Collections  Blog posts  Pages (such as About Us)  NavigationWhat you need to worry about:  Changes you made when you Customize your current theme won’t be carried into the new theme.  Manual changes you made to any of your theme files such as custom CSS, Images, or HTML/Liquid will need to be assessed if worth bringing to the new theme or not. Be careful with these and ask help if needed.  Theme changes made by installed Shopify apps may or may not work properly on the new theme, so make sure you review that too.Also, the number of themes you can add depends on your plan, so if you reach your plan’s theme limit, you need to remove a theme before you can add a new one.With that in mind, you can change your Shopify theme pretty easily by repeating How to use the theme from the above section to load more themes into your store. Or you can change your current theme drastically by using Shopify Theme Editor, and even edit theme code if you want a more advanced option.Where to get the best Shopify themesAt this point, you’ve learned almost all you need to know about Shopify theme, only left is where to get that spectacular theme to get your business going. Wait no more, let’s check them out!Shopify themes storeSounds like a “duh” option, but this is definitely the 1st place to check and buy themes. Shopify themes store bring to you 72 options of beautifully designed themes, with styles for various industry, and even free options to start.The best thing about this is customer service provided by Shopify is always helpful, with a community of million shop owners all over the world. And as mentioned, there is a Theme Editor to play around with themes.ThemeForestIf you prefer a few more numbers of choices, then ThemeForest is the place to come. The site offers 892 themes for Shopify, and more than 3000 themes for eCommerce.The numbers of themes may make you overwhelmed, but there are also previews and many customers reviews to help. ThemeForest is an online marketplace, so make sure you find trusted suppliers to work with before purchasing.Pixel UnionDifferent from ThemeForest, Pixel Union is an independent developer, which means all products are their hard works especially for Shopify. They have an elegant designed website and products, so if that is your spirit, check them out.A Help Center is also dedicated to supporting customers all over the world, so you can say there is a good union here, with a good price too.Out of the SanboxAnother independent developer, and still for good reasons. Out of the Sandbox has developed about 24 themes already, and some even won design awards  by Shopify.All designs are beautiful with rich features and have been proved to perform positive effects on sales numbers. They have had more than 800 positive theme reviews, and that is a lot to count for when choosing a trustworthy developer.ConclusionStarting an online business on Shopify isn’t a walk in the park, as many obstacles may appear. But having a beautiful and functional storefront maybe a good headstart. With the above tips and information on how to choose Shopify themes, you can create an amazing customer experience that is enjoyable and profitable.And one more nice thing about Shopify, you can always upgrade and add additional gadgets later on. So, test and experiment all you want, and let us know in the comments the result of your works. Godspeed!",
        "url": "/resources/choose-shopify-theme.html"
      }
      ,
    
      "resources-best-stock-photos-sites-html": {
        "title": "11+ BEST STOCK PHOTOS SITES FOR YOUR BUSNINESS FREE &amp; PAID",
        "author": "",
        "category": "start",
        "content": "When it comes to branding your business online, visuals are really important. Using great photos has the power to convey the feeling you want your prospects to feel when they first touch your brand. Your visitors’ first impressions will often single-handedly determine whether or not you’re going to make a sale. The nuances of text are important for when your audience is interested in finding out the details of who you are, but it’s the imagery that will hook them.So if you want to level up your business, an investment in imagery is indeed necessary. And luckily, there’s been a growing trend of sites offering high-quality stock images, often for a free or low cost. You’ll have no doubt come across many of the images from these sites in blog posts, startup hero images, news websites, and more.Suggestion:Are you trying to find photos for your online business? If so, you’ve come to the right place. There’s been a growing trend of sites offering high-quality stock images, often for a free or low cost. In this post, we’re going to give you a list of the best stock photo websites out there, so that you can stop searching around and start getting some solid photos.But first, let’s go through the basics. Why bother using images for your business anyway?Because when it comes to branding your business online, visuals are really important. Using great photos has the power to convey the feeling you want your prospects to feel when they first touch your brand. Your visitors’ first impressions will often play a big factor in whether you’re going to make a sale or not. The nuances of text are important for when your audience is interested in finding out the details of who you are, but it’s the imagery that will hook them in the first place.Main content  What are stock photos anyway?  How using stock photos can level up your business media  Where to get free stock photos for commercial use          Nagative Space      Startup Stock Photos      Unsplash      Pixabay      Pexels        Where to get paid stock photos for commercial use          Death to Stocks      Shutterstock      iStockPhoto      Elements by Envato      Adobe Stock      Alamy        How to get paid stock photos without watermark  ConclusionRelated Post  Start a Online Business  20 Proven Business Ideas  How to find supplier on Alibaba  Ecommerce Business ModelsWhat are stock photos anyway?A bright stock photo from EnvatoFirst of all, let’s understand what stock photos are:Stock photography is existing photos –already created– made available for license by paying a fee to both the artists that produced them and the agency managing them, acquiring the right to use them legally in different ways, while the author retains the copyright of their work.So stock photos are legally created, ready to use, and have great quality since they are made by professional artists. As soon as you pay for a license, you can download them and use them within the accepted terms. Note that this is different from a public domain image, which is an image that has no copyright or its copyright has expired.If you choose an alternative of hiring a photographer or graphic designer to create a custom image for you, it will be both expensive and time-consuming. Not only a professional work can be high-cost, the estimated times between hiring and delivering of the final images can be days if not more. And getting the necessary equipment and skills to create images yourself presents the same problems.That’s why stock photos are such a great source for anyone needing images for professional use. Their immediate availability and low cost solve both time and budget issues at once.How using stock photos can level up your business mediaNow, ain’t that professional?As mentioned above, images can work wonders when you want to grab attention and boost customer engagement. Let these numbers do the talks:  Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images.  Facebook posts with images see 2.3X more engagement than those without images.Also, images can seriously influence purchasing decisions. That is why you see more and more people using visual platforms such as Youtube, Instagram to deliver content. Because “A picture is worth a thousand words”, the quicker your customers like your products, the more likely they are going to purchase. Nowadays, images are one of the most important tools you can use to deliver messages to customers.But be careful, the power does come with responsibility, you should know how to choose the right images for your brand or your prospects may respond negatively. We will cover the issue in the next article, so make sure to stay tuned.For now, let’s start with where you can pick the perfect free stock photos for your business!Where to get free stock photosAs mentioned above, there are many amazing websites out there offering beautiful stock photography at zero cost. Thank God for them! You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.Below, you will see a list of these awesome websites for free stock photos that we have hand-picked. Now, let’s dive in:Negative SpaceWebsite: https://negativespace.co/Negative Space offers up new free stock photos every week. All of its photos are shared without copyright restrictions, meaning you’re free to use them however you please.You can choose images on various topics from architecture to technology, and the collection is still growing day by day. The filter is also really reliable, with options of category, copy space position, hashtag, and color.Startup Stock PhotosWebsite: https://startupstockphotos.com/“Free photos for startups, bloggers, publishers, websites, designers, developers, creators, &amp; everyone else.”This is what you would find in About Startup Stock Photos. Needless to say, there are plenty of professional options to use no matter what industry you are in. And if you are in a startup company, this is the place to find the images you are looking for.UnsplashWebsite: https://Unsplash.comUnsplash is a great source for free high-resolution photos that are updated often. It’s a mixture of urban and rural landscapes, as well as close up shots of objects and really unique photos.This site is obviously a great option to get free stock photos. You can find almost anything here, for absolutely free. They update every 10 days with 10 new images so the selection keeps growing. With their Creative Commons license, you can copy, modify, and distribute the work, even for commercial purposes, without asking for permission.PixabayWebsite: https://pixabay.com/Another great domain with tons of quality photos that are released under the Pixabay License, which makes them safe to use without asking for permission or giving credit to the artist - even for commercial purposes. Pixabay is clean and easy to navigate, so you can choose the exact image you need from 1 million+ free photos, vectors, and illustrations.The main search bar even helps filter your query down by factors like media type, orientation, color, and minimum dimensions.PexelsWebsite: https://www.pexels.com/Pexels is a particularly good choice for web or app designers, with an excellent set of device images that are ideal for displaying interface mockups, just like the image above. You can search for something specific, or browse by filter including activities, emotions, and locations.However, the amazing space photography of Pexels includes some of the material from NASA - which only allow their images to be used in some specific contexts. So make sure you read permission before using those photos.Where to get paid stock photosYou may ask: “Why do I still need paid stock photos when I already had those wonderful free sites?”. It is because even free stock photos are superb, the numbers are usually limited due to community dedication.These websites below have millions of photos or more, preferred by several authors, media professionals, bloggers.etc. for various purposes. That is why they offer money for professionals to make their original submissions on their platforms. They also have image reviewers to make sure the quality is assured.Also paid stock photos websites usually offer membership package based on customers’ needs, so you can get the photos you need at a very reasonable price.So if you have a budget for professional stock photos, check out these sitesDeath to StocksWebsite: https://deathtothestockphoto.comFor creative souls out there, this is the perfect choice to get artistic and professional images. When founders and photographers, Alliee and David, noticed how challenging it was for business, bloggers, and creatives to find free high-quality images that fit their “vibe”, Death to Stocks was born.Just submit your email and enjoy a batch of great photos delivered to your inbox every month. If you have budgets to spend, a Premium Membership is available to access 3,500+ highly artistic photos and videos. And a percentage of the profit is used to fund other creative projects so the resource keeps enriching, how cool is that?ShutterstockWebsite: https://shutterstock.com With 295 million images, videos, and music tracks to launch your next big idea, Shutterstock is without a doubt one of the biggest stock photos sites right now. Images on Shutterstock are usually bright, easy to use, and available for any demand of any working field.You can sign up and get a free trial with 10 images/month plan free for 30 days. For corporations worldwide, Shutterstock has been a top-of-mind choice when coming to design and images.iStockPhotoWebsite: https://istockphoto.comiStock has been a leading platform for the crowd-sourced stock industry since 2000 and doesn’t seem to change that anytime soon with an enormous amount of resources, quality support, active community.You can choose flexible plans, between buying credits/files, or subscribe to get a certain number of images per month. The pricing is quite affordable, and like Shutterstock, you can browse millions of pictures, illustrations, videos, and audios.Elements by EnvatoWebsite:  https://elements.envato.comEnvato is an online marketplace for creative assets and creative people. And Envato Elements provide 1,300K+ items with a future-proof commercial license, which means you will never have to worry about how and when to use the items you purchased.Starting from only 16,50$/month, Envato Elements is a great place to look for stock photos, audio, video, and even design assets, fonts, 3D… Shopping for work may be more fun than ever!Adobe StockWebsite: https://stock.adobe.com/If you are a graphic designer or creative person in general, Adobe Stock is the place to come. It is a service that is included for Adobe’s Creative Cloud subscribers, which mean almost all Adobe users have come to this place.You will find more than 50 million royalty-free photos, videos, templates, 3D content, illustrations, vector graphics, and tons of design tips or guide. Another bonus is you can purchase images directly in Photoshop, InDesign, Premiere Pro, and Illustrator.AlamyWebsite: https://www.alamy.com/ Founded in 1999, with its database of over 165 million images, Alamy is one of the leading stock photo agencies on the market. Even though Alamy has a large online collection of images and video clips, they are still growing.Alamy only sells per image so no subscription plans are available and the price varies depending on the size and the rights of the photo. Much like other online shopping sites, it’s easy to check out without an account, but the price can be a bit overwhelming if you are new to stock photography.How to get paid stock photos without watermarksAs you may have noticed, photos from paid stock photography sites usually have watermarks on them.That is because they are under license, and you have to purchase or subscribe to the platform to get the no watermark version. There are different types of licenses to buy photos online and use them in your work, and each license comes with its own usage terms. Of all of them, Royalty-Free license is the most convenient option, because of its very flexible usage terms, its one-time fee structure, and its low prices.Very important to know is that Royalty-Free does NOT mean the images are free to use. The name refers to the fact that you only pay for the image once, and you are not required to pay any further royalties for the use, ever again. But you still have to pay for the license to use the photo.Unlike free stock photos that are obviously, well, free, this is also a very cost effective option for you to consider. Royalty-Free stock photos are the cheapest stock imagery resource in the market, costing from around $20 and down to $0.30 or less per image, depending on the buying system you use.So all you need to do is signing up for an account at any paid stock photos website through a few simple steps, choose the payment method you wish, find the photos you want and purchase them. Voila’, you get professional stock photos for unlimited usage.ConclusionBusiness imagery is no joking matter since it is the first thing that customers see and react with your brand. Stock photos, if used correctly, can be incredibly useful to promote positive impacts on your prospects.",
        "url": "/resources/best-stock-photos-sites.html"
      }
      ,
    
      "resources-proven-business-ideas-html": {
        "title": "20 Proven Business Ideas",
        "author": "",
        "category": "start",
        "content": "When you’re planning to shift your career into entrepreneurship, it is a safer option to follow an idea that has already worked, because you can almost always find someone who has successfully executed it and learnt from them. This will spare yourself lots of trials, errors and lost money associated with trying a completely new idea that you do not know if it is going to work.1. Homemade foodsIf you can’t cook, don’t freak out. The idea is, through a platform, connecting local chiefs, such as stay-at-home mum who want to earn money in their spare time, with people who cannot or do not want to cook for themselves.Let me explain. For this idea to work, you will need to build up a website where local chiefs can sign up and offer their menus. The customer will be those, as mentioned above, who don’t want to cook their own food.When a customer places an order on your website, the order goes to the chief who provides that food. Then you will have the food delivered from the chief to the customer’s doorstep.Your revenue will come from a little service fee charged on every order.This is basically how this idea works. You can refer to Get Mumm and learn more about this idea. It is a business that is providing this homemade-foods service.2. Organic productsOrganic produce is on trend these days. Consumers are shifting to organic products to protect their health and the environment.If there is no business in your area that is selling organic products. You can be the first!The idea is simple; source organic produce from local vendors, set up an online store, and sell them.One important point about selling organic produce is… the products must be organically produced (you don’t say!!). Yeah I know. What I mean is you will have to look for verified vendors who can provide official certificates for their organic produce. This is how you’re going to build trust with your customers. You can’t just say that you’re selling organic products and hope that your customers will trust you.There are a great number of organic products that you can sell. Snacks, veggies, nuts, coconut oil just to name a few.You can have a look at this store in India to get more ideas about what organic products there are that you can sell.3. Wooden accessoriesWooden items have an elegant feeling to themselves. If you love elegant, beautiful items, a wooden accessories store wouldn’t be a bad idea to start off with.Wooden products are of variety. They can range from phone cages to sun glasses.27woodenaccessories can give you more ideas of what a wooden accessories store looks like.What’s difficult about opening a wooden accessories store is finding suppliers of these products. If you are not lucky, there can be no one who can supply you these items.But you can always look overseas for supply. Alibaba’s wholesale site is the go-to place.On this platform you  can find suppliers from all kinds of industries, and wooden products are no exception.You can search for wooden accessories and the result will show you a long list of suppliers you can choose from.This supplier is dedicated to Iphone wooden cages. If you want to add this item to your range, you can send them a message for further information.Or you can find wooden sunglasses from this supplier. Or Read our guide: How to find the right supplier on AlibabaWhatever product you want to add to your range, try searching for that product with the prefix “wooden” and see what shows up.Alibaba is a platform that connects suppliers in China to overseas buyers. You would not find anywhere that can offer cheaper prices.4. Cosmetics subscription boxesWith a cosmetics subscription box business, you’re going to get your customers sign up for your service, you’re going to ship to them a box of cosmetics products every month/quarter/year depending on what your offers are and which one your customers sign up for.This idea requires a fair amount of knowledge about skincare and cosmetics, because these products, to some extent, are similar to medicines; you have to use the right type to get the desired effects.Beauty enthusiasts tend to rely on experts to find out the right products for themselves, so if you do not have a good background in this area, it will be hard to earn their trust and get them to subscribe to your service.There is a great amount of knowledge about skincare and cosmetics available online and in books, so you can always learn about this field if you want to.Just know that this expertise barrier is blocking you from joining this field, as it does to a lot of people. Therefore, if you can overcome it, you will have to deal with much less competition compared to in other industries.There are already some big names of this business in the market, Birchbox, Ipsy and Allure Beauty Box to name a few.If no one is providing this service in your area, you can learn from these big names, and try it out.Another crucial thing about starting a cosmetics business is where to source. I would recommend you to start off with Korean cosmetics.Korean cosmetics products are universally loved, so it is always a safe choice to go for cosmetics brands from Korea.Q-depot is one of the most trusted and professional K-beauty distributors there are. They are based in Korea and dealing directly with brands. This means the products they supply are 100% authentic and I’d tell you that their prices are among the most attractive.5. SocksIf a cosmetics subscription box business seems too complicated and demanding for you, you can do something as simple as opening a sock store.Clothing shops are all over the place, they are everywhere and joining that competition sounds a bit… ughh, but a store that is dedicated to selling socks does not seem that universal (at least to me).You can source all kinds of socks and designs from Alibaba. Search for “women socks”, “men socks”, “baby socks”, “patterned socks”, “Caramella socks”, any kind of socks you can think of or find out and go from there.The Sock Drawer has an impressive collection of socks of all kinds. You can check it out and get some ideas from there.6. Handi-crafted products made of natural materialsDo you love decorating houses and care about the environment at the same time?These products are woven by hand by artisans from Asian countries like Vietnam and China. They are made of natural materials such as seagrass, bamboo and rattan. This means they are 100% eco-friendly while attractive and useful at the same time.Opening up a store of these items will require a fair amount of capital if you’re going to source directly from Asia, because manufacturers mostly require large quantities. So if you want to test this idea first, try to find a local wholesaler of these items, source a small quantity from them and see how your market responds.Connected Goods is a store of these products. You can have a look and see what they are selling.7. Water bottlesEveryone needs to drink, well, water… so water bottles are probably a universal must-have item.There has also been a rising need for water bottles in recent years as coffee chains like Starbucks are encouraging consumers to bring their own water bottles instead of using plastic cups at the store. This is so that we can reduce the number of plastic disposed into the environment.Why not making a contribution to this trend by opening up a water bottle store!!People are reluctant to bring water bottles partly because their bottles are just not attractive enough. No one wants to use a boring bottle, we will be more interested to use bottles that are not only attractive, but have a feeling attached to them.Building a water bottle brand that encourages people to bring water bottles instead of using plastic cups sounds like an environment-loving idea. We all are trying to protect our environment, aren’t we!!Finding a supplier of water bottles is fairly easy, just go to Alibaba and search for “water bottles”, “glass water bottles”, etc and you will have a good number of suppliers to choose from.A lot of manufacturers in China offer white labelled products. This means you can get your brand name printed on the water bottle you source from them.Water bottles are just a simple product that people can buy everywhere, so the idea is not that you’re not selling water bottles, it’s you’re selling your brand with the idea of protecting our environment. That will give you a higher chance of success.BKR is a water bottle business; it sells only water bottles, hundreds of thousands of units every year.But what it is really selling is actually water bottle, it’s keeping yourself hydrated so that you’re going to have a healthy beautiful skin. They’re like a beauty brand who just happens to sell water bottles.You get the idea.8. Basic clothing boxesWith a clothing box business, what you’re going to do is selling a group of different items packed into a single box. They can be socks, underwear, T-shirts, etc.Your target customers are those who don’t want to spend much time on buying clothes. When their clothes get old and they need to upgrade their wardrobe, they will just order a box from you with all of the items they need.With this idea, going for basic items such as single colored T-shirts is your safest bet, because this type of clothing has a large number of potential customers. Stylish clothing would be risky if you do not have a sense of style, and it also narrows down your market.If you want to go an extra step, you get your offer white labelled, which means clothing in the box is of your own brand. The above picture is a Vietnamese brand, Coolmate, that has been successful with this idea. They have their own white labeled items and sell them in boxes.A search for “basic clothes” on Alibaba will give you a dozen of suppliers to choose from. Suppliers of this type of clothing always offer white-label service.9. Kitchen essentials (Dropshipping)If you have not heard of drop shipping, dropshipping is a business model that allows you to start an online business and sell products to customers without having to stock the items yourself. Your customer places an order with you, and the supplier who you partner with will ship the item to the customer.Dropshipping is very popular among entrepreneurs these days because it requires little initial investment, and there are thousands of products that can be drop shipped. Kitchen essentials are among them.This is a steady, reliable niche to start a store in. There is always demand for useful kitchen items such as sponge storage racks, anti spill funnels and so on.Drop-shipping kitchen essentials is also a safer option to start off with, because these items are mostly made of plastic, which are durable and will not get broken during delivery.Electronics, like speakers and headphones, on the other hand, are relatively tricky to drop ship because they are easy to get broken during delivery, which leads to unhappy customers and a lot of going back and forth to get your money back from the supplier.You can use Oberlo to connect with a whole lot of suppliers of kitchen items on Aliexpress, set up a store with Shopify, and start selling.Kitchen Essentials is a store where you can learn more about kitchen essentials, about how to set up a store for these items, find out what items you can drop ship with.10. Online training coursesAre you experienced with skills that can be taught online like coding or designing?You (best if you can assemble a team) can make video courses teaching these skills and set up a store to sell them.Like what Mosh does with his coding experience.He creates video courses that teach beginners how to code, and set up a store to sell them. These courses are completely online, people from anywhere can enroll.It’s also not too expensive to implement this idea. All you need should be a camera (or your phone) and a computer (I’m assuming that you have already had the experience!!).People want to learn new things to enrich their lives, so if you can twist complicated skills and make them simple so that beginners can learn, you can teach anything at which you are skillful.11. Remote English teacherIf you ever travelled to Asian countries like Vietnam, China or the Philippines, you would know how eager people, especially students, in these countries are to learn to speak English.One of the most common obstacles that they stumble upon is they don’t get to interact with native speakers to improve their speaking skills.If you are a native English speaker and have teaching skills, you can establish yourself as an English teacher and offer personal courses to English learners in these Asian countries. If you can prove yourself, students will come in droves.With Skype or Facetime, online tutoring is so much easier these days. In Vietnam, there are already platforms that connect English teachers with students, but the quality is not always ensured because too many teachers sign up and those platform cannot make sure all of them have teaching skills.So, quality is the pain point here, and if you can always have it taken care of, students are going to be happy to come and learn with you.More on how to get started as an online English teacher here, you can learn how Emma Segev has been implementing this business idea.12. Paper FlowersIf you are a flower lover, you can learn how to make flowers from paper and open up a store.This idea is not too expensive to try, but it will take a lot of time to learn making paper flowers. There is always considerable demand for flowers so time spent on learning this will definitely pay off.And if you’re going to make paper flowers, make them attractive too, like what this store does.13. Print-On-Demand productsYou can sell printed T-shirts without having to do the printing, fulfillment and shipping. Yes, I’m not kidding. All you need to do is create what you want to print on your T-shirts, then there is someone who can handle the rest for you.That someone is Printify. It has a collection of about 200 products that can be printed on (T-shirts, hoodies, mugs, and so on). The legwork here is customizing them with your own designs to create something original. You can learn how Printify works with this video.You can think up witty slogans for developers, or references that only cat owners can understand — if there’s something that can resonate with a community, there’s a potential print-on-demand business you can start.The cons of a print-on-demand business is you’re paying per-product, and therefore the base price per unit will be much higher than if you were to order in large quantities. In other words, your margin will be quite stiff.But the pros is that the initial investment will be small, and if a certain design/concept doesn’t sell, you will not lose anything because you do not keep any inventory of them.Even if you’re not a designer, you can find a designer to work with using freelance sites like Fiverr.com.Crazy Dog Shirts  and Nasty Lifestyle are print-on-demand T-shirt stores which you can have a look at and see how this business looks like.14. Homemade CandlesWhy homemade candles?Because they are a popular essential home decor item.There is always a market for this category; your customer can be homeowners, hotel decorators, spas, anyone who wants to make their space more attractive and elegant.Also, homemade candles cost little to make, so this business requires little cash upfront to start.And even newbies can create homemade candles, because the base recipe for basic candles is easy to learn and follow.Whether or not you can scale big with this idea depends, but for a starter, learning how to make and sell homemade candles is a skill that can provide yourself a stable income stream.You can have a look Frost Beard Studio and learn more; this guy is a professional candle crafter. :)15. Homemade ChocolatesAnother popular product that can be made at home.Don’t we all love chocolate? Chocolate makes us feel great. It arouses our passions and tempts our senses.This idea is also simple to start off with; there are a whole lot of chocolate recipes available on the Internet, you just have to try and find the best taste (and give it an attractive package too).Making homemade chocolate does not necessarily require expensive big machinery, but these are what you’re going to need (heavy molds, a good thermometer, a roaster, a melanger and,… your brain).You can start by searching for “homemade chocolate tutorials” on Google and Youtube.There are a lot of online homemade chocolate stores you can find on Google to learn from.Raymer is one of them. :)16. Women Handmade Jewelry (Dropshipping)If you are a fashion enthusiast, this idea can be for you.Handmade jewelry is widely loved and easier to sell, because they don’t cost big dollars and almost every woman wants one or two pieces of jewelry to make their outfit complete.A quick search for “handmade jewelry dropshippers” will give you a list of drop-shippers to consider working with.This idea is absolutely affordable for any low-budget entrepreneur. All you need to do is reach out to the dropshipper to establish a relationship. Then, set up an attractive online store, and drive traffic to it through Facebook/Instagram advertising.At $29/month you can already build a beautiful website to bring this idea to life with Shopify.17. Private label bamboo toothbrushesThe trend of going eco-friendly to protect the environment has been growing fast. Why not be a part of that trend and bring eco-friendly products to the market?Most modern toothbrushes are made of plastic, and After worn off they will be disposed into the environment and be there for like hundreds of years.Bamboo, instead, is degradable and so toothbrushes made of this material will do no harm to our environment.Based on this idea, you can start your own store selling bamboo toothbrushes under your own brand, like what The Bam &amp; Boo does.And you don’t have to just sell bamboo toothbrushes, there are other bamboo products that can be sold too, like chopsticks or utensils; all of them sold under your brand.There are a lot of suppliers, who provide white-labelling for bamboo products, you can find on Alibaba.Give this idea a try and join the global environmental protection campaign. :)18. Organic FoodMore and more people are becoming aware of the importance of having a healthy lifestyle and making the shift to organically produced food. This is the food that are produced by local, small farmers.As not everyone has a store close to their houses to buy organic foods, you can take this opportunity, source organic food from local farmers, and offer the service of delivering them to customers’ doorstep.This is what Bella Bean Organics does.19. Rent high-end fashion:Fashionnistas love high-end clothing, not not all of them have the budget to afford it.You can offer them an opportunity to try out high-end clothing by lending it to them.What you need to do is keep inventory of high-end fashion, and let customers rent it for a weekly/monthly basis.This will allow your customers to refresh their wardrobe every month without throwing off anything.You can refer to Le Tote and lean more about this business model.20. HIIT equipment (dropshipping)People are trying to make time to exercise so they can stay well and healthy.Not everyone can make time to go to the gym everyday, so they go for HIIT exercises right at their home. With a whole lot of HIIT exercise videos on Youtube, this option has been very popular.Those who exercise at home need to equip themselves with their own equipment that some HIIT exercises require like jump ropes, medicine balls and mats.You can satisfy this demand by dropshipping workout equipment to these people’s doorstep.So, here are 20 ideas with successful examples that you can monitor and learn from. :) What you’re going to need to do is partnering with a supplier of workout equipment who you can find locally or on Alibaba.You can check out myhiitgear and learn from what they are doing.So, these are 20 practically proven business ideas that you can check out and learn from their successful examples.I hope that these ideas can give you a good reference while you’re planning your way into entrepreneurship. :)",
        "url": "/resources/proven-business-ideas.html"
      }
      ,
    
      "resources-guide-to-find-supplier-on-alibaba-html": {
        "title": "A comprehensive guide to how to find supplier on Alibaba",
        "author": "",
        "category": "start",
        "content": "What is Alibaba?Alibaba is arguably the largest wholesale website in the world; there are thousands of suppliers and suppliers across industries you can find on this platform.As it is so big and anyone can open up a store on this marketplace, not all suppliers are reliable and can be trusted. So, in this article, let’s find out about how you can effectively navigate Alibaba’s endless numbers of suppliers and products.Before we get started, there are a few points that are worth mentioning when it comes to buying from Alibaba  There are both trading companies and manufacturers on Alibaba; both can be reliable.  Alibaba offers the lowest possible wholesale cost per product.  Alibaba is suitable for entrepreneurs who have experience with dealing with suppliers, negotiating prices and handling customs regulations.Recommend:  How to Start a Online Business  Internal &amp; External Environmental Factors That Affect Business  Top 4 Success Ecommerce Business ModelsWhat does Alibaba include?There are 3 sourcing sites that Alibaba has to offer. They are Aliexpress, Alibaba Wholesale and Alibaba.Which one you choose will depend on the quantity that you are able to purchase. The best price will always come from Alibaba, but it also requires the largest MOQ. If you want smaller MOQs, either Alibaba wholesale or Aliexpress are better options. Let see what’s the difference between these sites.Take this charcoal bamboo toothbrushes as an example.Aliexpress  Price: $1.63  Minimum Order: 1 pieceAlibaba Wholesale  Price: $0.45 – $0.55  Minimum Order: 1000 piecesAlibaba  Price: $0.12 – 0.24  Minimum Order:  5000 piecesSo, what is the take-away?If you’re just starting your business and want to test ideas with a small order, Aliexpress is for you. Then, if you want to start placing larger orders, Alibaba Wholesale is the better option.Once your business has grown big enough, and you can deal with large quantities, buying from Alibaba will help you maximize your profit.Each platform is designed to provide you with what you need along your buying journey.How buying from Alibaba is like?Alibaba offers a wide variety of product categories ranging from apparel, textiles and accessories to machinery, industrial Parts &amp; tools.Once you have a product that you want to source, you’ll need to reach out to several suppliers to find the best option for you. While reaching out to the suppliers, you’ll want to do 3 things:  Evaluate their responsiveness (the more responsive they are, the more reliable).  Negotiate prices.  Building a strong relationship with them.Once both parties agree on a price, you can place your order, and afterwards, when the inventory arrives depends on the supplier’s lead time.How to search for products on AlibabaIn order to buy from Alibaba, you will need an account. Here is how it works –Step #1: Go to Alibaba and click on “Join Free”Step #2: Enter your Email address and verify that you own it.Step #3: Fill out your basic information.Password, location, first name, last name, and telephone number.  Where Alibaba asks you for “Company name”, the name can be anything you want, they will not ask you to verify it.Step #4: ConfirmConfirm your personal information and complete the opening of your new Alibaba account, and there you go, now you can start buying products on Alibaba.How do I find the right supplier?Alibaba is safe to buy from as long as you know the signs to look for. The most dangerous obstacles to finding the perfect supplier are the scammers.Fortunately, it’s not difficult to avoid these low lives.Here is a step-by-step guide on how to evaluate suppliers and safely buy products on AlibabaStep #1: Review the supplier profileThe Company section contains information that is verified by Alibaba.You can get a good idea about whether the supplier is reliable or not by looking at the following sections.What is Alibaba Trade Assurance?Trade Assurance is the safest way to buy products on Alibaba.Trade Assurance is a free program to use through Alibaba. This means Alibaba will protect your order and be responsible for it until the inventory arrives at your door.So if for some reason you place an order and you never see your products, Alibaba takes full liability. Then, they handle disputes with the supplier for you.Alibaba wants to create an easy and safe buying experience for its customers. For that reason Alibaba guarantee your money back in case your order didn’t meet the exact requirements you and the supplier agreed to.And on the supplier side, Trade Assurance uses a credit-rating system. It gives the suppliers a reward to ensure your products delivered on time, in proper condition.How do you pay with Alibaba Trade Assurance?Here are the steps to pay using Trade Assurance according to Alibaba:Order with a Trade Assurance supplier  Pay the supplier following the steps on Alibaba  Receive the shipment  Leave feedback on the order for the supplierWhen you’re searching for a supplier, choose one with a Trade Assurance symbol and place an order like you normally would with any other supplier. Alibaba will be the one securing your order.This is some FAQs about Trade Assurance on Alibaba.Another way to be safe on Alibaba is to make sure the supplier accepts secure methods of payment.Best Payment Methods to Use on AlibabaLegit suppliers on Alibaba will accept these payment methods: AliPay &amp; Credit CardsYes, you can pay with credit cards on Alibaba. If you never receive the products Alibaba will credit you back your money. Then they’ll open a dispute with the supplier on your behalf.Some legit suppliers don’t offer Alipay and Credit Cards, especially those from Vietnam. If the payment term can only be T/T (usually 30% as a deposit and 70% against copies of documents), make sure that the account you transfer your deposit and balance to is a company account, not a personal account. If you are asked to transfer to a personal bank account, high chances that the supplier is a scam.Step #2: Check supplier statusAnother way to check if your Alibaba supplier is reliable is by seeing if they have onsite checks and are gold suppliers.Suppliers cannot themselves put these icons on their listings. Alibaba has to send third party inspection companies to their factories, verify everything they claim is true, and there is an actual business in the registered address.Legit suppliers always make certain that their businesses are verified so that you feel completely safe and comfortable to work with them.This supplier went a step beyond Alibaba onsite checks, and paid for their own verification from a company in France (Bureau Veritas) to come in and inspect their factory. That’s where the Gold Supplier symbol comes from.Step #3: Always be cautious of quality issueQuality is a serious risk when importing from China and Vietnam. Quality issues, in fact, are a bigger reason to lose money than getting scammed. Quality issues can never be completely eliminated, but they can be minimized, but a “good manufacturer” is continuously monitoring quality and always take responsibility if you receive defects.You know it’s time to walk away from a supplier when they claim to be completely free of defective and damaged products. There is no such thing in mass production, so what you should expect is the least amount of defects, not free of defects.How to place an order on AlibabaCommunicate with Your SuppliersFirst, why this is important…It’s always the buyer’s responsibility to make sure your Alibaba supplier is legit and that the products are of high quality. Because if you’re thinking about buying a product in bulk, you might want to do deeper research and make sure.Top 3 Tips to Stay Safe on Alibaba  Reach out to them and begin a relationship. Ask for photos of their business license and company profile. Contact the phone number in the company listing on Alibaba and ask them what their procedure is for sampling products.  Get samples. There is no way that you can confidently invest in a product without samples or “small test orders”. That’s the only way to verify the quality. Be wary of suppliers that only allow you to place large orders.  Think abundantly. There are plenty of suppliers out there. If one doesn’t work out then you can move on to the next one.Step #1: Sending the first emailHere are a few important questions to consider for your first  email:  MOQ &amp; PricingThe pricing and MOQ seen the product post can be not the real price and MOQ. It might be the supplier uploaded the product a long time ago and now things have changed, or they just did not pay attention to these sections while uploading.So you should ask about MOQ and pricing in your email.  Pricing For SamplesSome suppliers charge you for providing sample, some do not. So you should ask them about this. When you request a sample, you’ll certainly have to pay for the shipping.  Payment TermsYou want to make sure that the supplier accepts the payment terms you’re most comfortable with.Please note that T/T 30% as a deposit and 70% against copies of documents is a widely used by suppliers, so this payment term is not as risky as it might sound. Just make sure that before accepting this payment term, you have made sure that the supplier is a verified gold supplier.  Product CatalogsYou can also ask for catalogs of the products that the supplier is supplying. Every reliable supplier has a collection of catalogs of their products. If they invest in making these catalogs look neat and professional, that is another sign that they are trustworthy.Step #2: Working on product requirements and contract termsYou are the one who knows exactly what you want for your product… so you will have to communicate with the supplier on a regular basis and make clear about your product requirements (color, shape, model, etc).You will also want to make sure that contract terms between you and the supplier are easily understood and reasonable. This is so that when there are issues, you have a benchmark to follow.Step #3: Placing an orderOnce both sides have agreed on everything product-wise and contract-wise, you can place an order.Case StudyThis guide seems really long and somewhat complicated (but that’s really what it takes to keep yourself safe). Let me wrap this chapter up with a real case study.Let’s assume that I’m looking for a supplier of water bottles.What are the steps I’m going to take from verifying this supplier to having the first interaction with them.Step #1: I’m going search for water bottle suppliers on Alibaba search engine.Step #2: I’m going to look for something similar to the product that I’m looking for, and which supplier among these looks reliable.I found this one. They are a gold supplier and have a Trade Assurance simple. The diamond tells you that they have made transactions on Alibaba over the last 6 months.Step #3: I’m going to check their company profile.Scroll down you’re going to see they provide a lot of certificates.With the signs I have discovered in this step and the second step, I can already be sure that this supplier is totally legit.Next I’m going to reach out to them for the first time.Step #4: I’m going to send them the first email to ask for their company profile, product catalogs, sampling policies, payment terms, MOQ and pricing for the item that I’m looking for.Keep in mind that, from this point on, you can keep asking questions about their business and their products, just ask as many questions as you need to. Reliable suppliers is not reluctant to answer any questions that you might have.Every supplier has a team of consultants who can walk you through their business procedures and consult you on their products, so take it slowly and learn with them along the way.Step #5: I’m going to work with them on their contract terms, my product requirements, pricing and anything needed.At the end of this step, I will have everything finalized with them.Step #6: I’m going to place an order.To sum this entire chapter up, Alibaba is a very powerful and effective platform for you to source products from China and Vietnam. What you need to protect yourself to do is to follow this guide and be patient to verify suppliers. The efforts will pay off. ☺",
        "url": "/resources/guide-to-find-supplier-on-alibaba.html"
      }
      ,
    
      "resources-ecommerce-business-models-html": {
        "title": "Top 4 Ecommerce Business Models ",
        "author": "",
        "category": "start",
        "content": "If you want to start your own business, you will need to familiarize yourself with business models. Business models are basically how your business is going to gain revenue and make profits.But as you’ll have to know who you’re going to do business with before you can decide how you’re going to make money, let’s find out what types of businesses there are and who you can do business with.I. 4 Types of businesses1.1. B2B BusinessIf you business is B2B, you will focus on providing products and services to other businesses. In other words, the sales are done between companies and companies.Herman Miller, for example, is a 100-year-old furniture and design company providing lasting office furniture to businesses.1.2. B2C BusinessThis is the most prevalent eCommerce model where businesses sell their goods directly to the end consumer.A local grocery store in your area is a good example of B2C business.1.3. C2C BusinessC2C business are where consumers sell directly to other consumers. These transactions, these days, are often done through C2C E-commerce websites.C2C e-Commerce websites are platforms that connect consumers who have things to sell and those who want to buy.These websites usually make money by charging commissions per transaction or through advertisements.Ebay is a C2C Ecommerce business platform.1.4. C2B BusinessC2B is business done between businesses and individuals. The majority of C2B businesses are freelancers.Once you have identified who you can do business with, let’s jump into how you’re going to make money with business models.Recommend:  How to Start a Online Business  Internal &amp; External Environmental Factors That Affect BusinessII. What are business models?Your business model is simply a description of how your business makes money. It’s an explanation of how you deliver value to your customers at an appropriate cost.For example, if you are an organic veggies retailers, your business model should be “buy organic veggies from farmers at wholesale, and sell them at retail, the difference between your wholesale price and your retail price is your margin”.Based on the inventory management and sourcing and selling of the products, Ecommerce business models are classified into:  Drop Shipping  Wholesaling and Warehousing  White-labeling  SubscriptionIII. 4 Types of Ecommerce Business Models3.1. Drop-shipping business modelDrop shipping business model is where you play the role of a middleman. You do not have to worry about stocking and maintaining inventory. This model involves partnering with a wholesale vendor who has inventory in their stock, and when your customer places an order with you, your wholesale vendor will ship directly to the customer on behalf of you.The primary work of a drop shipper is creating a website displaying the products for sales, and handle the marketing of the businesses. Inventory and delivery are handled by the wholesale partner.Inspireuplift is a successful ecommerce drop-shipper offering hundreds of products in their store, ranging from electronics to pet accessories.Pros and Cons of drop-shipping business modelPros:  It does not require big initial investments  It does not require inventory maintenance  It is suitable for those who only want to focus on the marketing side of a businessCons:  You’ll have a lot of competition (because it requires little initial investment).  It can be difficult to find reliable suppliers  You’ll have low profit margins because the majority of them go to the wholesale partner.  You’ll have heavy dependency on the wholesale partner (without you, they still can sell their own product, but without them, you won’t have any inventory to sell).  You’ll have no control over your supply chain and service. If you vendor delivers late or, worst, forget to deliver at all, that’s your fault. If the quality is lower than what you advertised it to be, it’s on your head too. All of the problem arising during the delivery process, though can be out of your control, will be in your reviews.Drop-shipping E-commerce PlatformShopify and Oberlo are popular among drop-shippers. These platforms are user-friendly and inexpensive to start off with. A widely used model is to set up a quick store and drive traffic with Facebook Ads.3.2. Wholesaling and Warehousing Business ModelThis is probably one of the most traditional types of business models. It runs on the principles of keeping inventory and distributing. This means you buy products directly from manufacturers at the lowest rates possible, store them in your warehouse, and distribute them to retailers at profitable prices.This business model suits businesses with guaranteed demand, because setting up and maintaining a wholesaling and warehousing business model requires big initial investments and efforts.DollarDays is an online wholesaling and warehousing business with an impressive product catalog of more than 260,000 products.Pros and Cons of the wholesaling and warehousing business modelPros:  You can have control over the supply chain, because you can manage from inventory to customer service.  You should have little competition because this business model requires big initial investments.  You can acquire a good amount of profit on a regular basis if there is guaranteed demand on the market.  You can sell both to businesses and end consumers, which can give you more sales.Cons:  It requires big initial investments.  Managing inventory and warehouse requires lots of skills and efforts.  You will lose your money if there is not as much demand in the market as you think there is.Wholesaling &amp; warehousing E-commerce PlatformThe basic plan of Shopify, which costs $29/month, is sufficient to open up an online wholesale store.3.3. White-labelling Business ModelThis business model is probably the most popular these days, and suitable for those who do not have the ability to, or do not want to manufacture their own products.White label branding involves two companies creating one product. One company manufactures the product, then the brand sells the product as their own.If you go to Target or Walmart and see that they’re selling some products under their own brand names, these products are white labelled products. These giants rely on their brand reputation to make offerings and give customers a better reason to shop exclusively with them.Outsourcing is mostly white-labelled too. When you want to start your own brand and outsource the manufacturing part to a manufacturer in China, your products are white-labelled.Nike, Zara, Adidas, any brand who outsources their manufacturing but sells under their brand names is white-label brands.Pros and Cons of white-labelling business modelPros:  You will not need to invest in production infrastructure or handle the manufacturing.Cons:  You have to develop a comprehensive process to monitor and maintain quality control.  You might have to already have a well-known brand.  You will be dependent on your manufacturing partner for inventory supply.White-labelling E-commerce PlatformSourcify is the most well-known platform for connecting businesses to factories. If you have a product of which you want to outsource the manufacturing, Sourcify can connect you to their database of reliable manufactures all over the world.3.4. Subscription Business ModelA company with the subscription business model sells its product or service to receive monthly or yearly recurring subscription revenue.The easiest example of subscription business model to understand is magazines companies. Instead of selling a magazine as a one-time purchase, magazine publishers offer a subscription service for the delivery of a weekly or monthly magazine.The customer pays a recurring fee for the publishers on a monthly or yearly basis to have newest magazines delivered to their doorstep.There are a lot of big subscription-based businesses these days. Netflix, Amazon Prime, and The Dollar Shave Club to name a few.Pros and Cons of subscription-based business modelPros:  You will have a stable income stream as your customers pay you recurring fees at intervals. To put this another way, your income will be more predictable.  You can spend less on advertising. Your customers automatically ‘buy’ from you each month/quarter, so you won’t need to spend on display targeting, social media advertising to bring them back.Cons:  Churn, or cancellation, is one of the biggest risks of subscription service-based companies. Your customers cancel anytime and immediately once they have a feeling that your service is no longer worth their money.  It is difficult to maintain customer interest. A product can become boring if it does not change (every month). Netflix provides new movies on a regular basis to keep its customers’ interests, or magazines publish new releases every month with fresh news to keep their customers engaged. If your product can’t be refreshed on a consistent basis, the subscription-based business model probably cannot work for you.We have just gone through the most common E-commerce business models of the digital era. It is important to understanding these models and choose one where you can make the most out of your existing skills and resources. That will give you a momentum to kick off your business and increase your chances of getting to the top of the pile.",
        "url": "/resources/ecommerce-business-models.html"
      }
      ,
    
      "resources-start-online-business-html": {
        "title": "How to Start a Online Business",
        "author": "",
        "category": "start",
        "content": "It has never been easier to start an online business. We are living in probably the greatest time for entrepreneurship in the history of mankind.Why is that? Because this “Internet” thing has created way more opportunities for all of us than anyone could imagine. Of course, the game of business is still the same online or offline, but it has become much easier to join.You no longer have to save up your entire life or asking every one of your acquaintances for some startup capital. Now a day, you don’t need that much money to start.For some businesses, all you need is a laptop and wifi connection. This is the kind of opportunity that our grandfathers could only dream of!Maybe you also have that entrepreneur DNA in your blood. Maybe you have looked around and decided that you also want to start your own business online.And maybe, just maybe, you’re looking for a blueprint to guide you through your first steps on this journey.Then you’ve come to the right place!Chapter 1: How to find business ideas1. Know your resourcesFinding ideas is probably what pains entrepreneurial spirits the most! You have the drive, you’re willing to put into the work, to be resilient, you are not afraid to fail, but you just don’t have any business idea to start…Well, if this is the problem that you’re having, you might want to look at finding ideas from a different perspective..Please bear with me when I say that ideas are all around you, but you just don’t know how to notice them. Let me explain.A friend of mine started his company (on an impulse, not planned) when he was going to college as he noticed that his peers wanted to learn Photoshop at an affordable price.He was experienced at this Adobe tool, and he proceeded to sell a short Photoshop training course for absolute beginners at a price that any university students could pay. After 5 years, His company has now dominated this niche of selling affordable design courses.My point of telling this story, if you notice, is what’s more important than finding ideas is knowing what resources you are having and whether or not you can build a business out of them.The resources that my friend had were his excellent designing skills and his ability to explain things to beginners, and his product was a designing course. Makes sense?He would not have been able to start this business if he had not had this skillset.He also wouldn’t sell customized shoes if he came up with this idea; he just did not have the skillset.So when it comes to building a business, it is not about ideas, it is about what resources that you have.Resources are your skillset, your connections, your capital capacity, or anything that you can build a business out of.Once you know your resources, you will start to realize that ideas approach you all the time, and now you will be able to filter them, and find out which one you can make use of your resources to develop a business with.It does not make sense to think of opening, say, a clothing store when you do not have both the experience with clothing design or capital to buy inventory.2. Understand the role of a productAnother thing to pay attention to while filtering ideas is that every product is there to solve a problem.Steve Jobs developed affordable personal computers because during those days, computers were too big and too expensive for technology enthusiasts to afford. Even the local market in your area is there to solve a problem which is providing food.Ideas of little value are ones that do not solve any problem or problems too few people have.Let’s get back to the clothing store example for a second. If there are already a dozen of clothing stores in your area and people just have enough of them, then opening another clothing store sounds like an idea of little value. If there is, however, no one providing headphones in your area and local people have to order from nearby cities, opening a headphone store can be an idea that is worth thinking of.You get the point right? An idea or a product is there to solve an unsolved problem that a lot of people have.It takes experience and attention to notice unsolved problems just like how my friend noticed his peers needed an affordable Photoshop course; he had the skillset and kept looking around to see what people are struggling with.It is okay to copy ideas and bring them to where there is a need. You might stumble upon a potential idea from somewhere else, copying it does not matter, what matters is whether you can develop it into a successful product.It is also safer to stick with the ideas that have already worked elsewhere, because a completely new idea which no one has ever tried is extremely risky; no one knows if it can work.While you probably do not have a big budget to start off, anything that goes wrong can drain out your cash, so doing what is likely to work is a reasonable approach when it comes to building a business from scratch.Still needs a solid step-by-step way to find business ideas at this point?Well, I’m not an expert in the field of coming up with business ideas, so let me direct you to the expert.Recommend:  How to Start a Online Business  Internal &amp; External Environmental Factors That Affect Business  how to find supplier on AlibabaChapter 2: Validate your ideaOnce you have a potential idea, the next stage is to validate it and see if it is viable. In order to validate an idea, there are a few steps that you can follow.Step 1: Find out about customer need.Is there a market for this idea where you are going to sell it?Do people need it?Probably the best way to know whether someone needs something is to talk to and ask them directly, like what my friend did. He walked around his campus and asked his peers if they would attend a short basic Photoshop course at a given price.Once he found out that his idea has an audience, he kicked off his program.Step 2: Examine pricingHow much would people pay for your product?Would that be enough for you to make a reasonable profit?The basic equation for pricing is -Retail price = Cost of Goods Sold * Gross profit percentage  Cost of Goods Sold is everything you pay to get the product to your warehouse.  Gross profit percentage is how much profit you make when a unit is sold.This means if you buy a pair of shoes for $10, and people are willing to pay $20 for it, your gross profit percentage is 200%, and you make $10 every time a unit is sold.When it comes to retail pricing, it is not about how much profit you want to make, but how much your target customer is willing to pay.To put this another way, if your potential customer is willing to pay for $15 for your pair of shoes, but you’re selling it at $20 just because you want to earn 200% gross profit, your product is not going to sell.There are several ways to come up with pricing -Method 1: go and ask people about how much they are willing to pay for this product. You should do this at the same time when you ask people if they need your product (at Step 1).If people say, for example, they would buy your product, ask them how much they would be willing to pay.You should create a questionnaire with different levels of pricing (your targeted pricing included, of course) for them to choose. It will be easier for them to give you an answer rather than expecting them to come up with some pricing out of thin air.Method 2: look at the market and see how much your product is being sold at. This method is only applicable if your product has already existed elsewhere.For example, if you were to sell organic veggies in Texas, and the same type of veggies is being sold in New Jersey at $5 per pack, you can take that pricing as a reference and see whether it can work in Texas.The bottom line is there is no magic formula for pricing out products. It all boils down to how much your target customer is willing to pay.It will be helpful to look at pricing with the demand-supply axis as a reference. With high demand and low supply, you can charge higher for your product, and vice versa.Step 3: Evaluate your  capital and human resourcesDo you have the money and people required to implement your idea?Capital and human resources are always big obstacles for people who start off a business.Some idea requires no capital resources to start off with. Facebook is a good example; Mark created this platform in his dorm room with nothing but his computer. This kind of idea, however, oftentimes requires skills.Mark did not need capital, but he had the programming expertise to create Facebook.It was also the case with my friend. He barely needed anything to create a Photoshop course for beginners apart from the designing expertise that he already had.Other ideas require some capital, especially with selling commodities where you need to buy inventory and hire a piece of property to make a store.If you were to open an organic veggies shop, you would need organic veggies in stock and a store, online or offline, to sell them.At the beginning, no investors would be willing to put money into your business no matter how fancy your idea can sound; investors do not invest in fancy ideas, they invest in ones that work.Therefore, investors are probably not a go-to place for capital at this point.Most people that I know start off with money borrowed from their family, or their own savings.The point here is if your idea requires capital to begin with, you will need to find capital. If your idea requires certain skills to begin with, you need to have those skills.Otherwise, it is not practical to implement your idea.Step 4: Make use of freelance if need beNo one can be good at everything, so if you need someone with an expertise that you do not have while you’re building your business, hiring a freelance can be a good way to go at the beginning.Freelancers are those who are self-employed. They are typically very good at a single skill such as designing or content writing.If you need designed banners to promote your products but have no designers, you can hire a freelancer who can do that for you.Hiring freelancers is cost-saving for your business, because you only have to pay them project by project without having to pay for fixed costs of hiring an employee such as monthly salary base and insurance.Fiver is a great place to look for freelancers of all kinds of expertise, you can reach out to Fiver customer support team and ask for more guidance about how to use their service.Chapter 3: Find Suppliers To Source ProductsHow to find suppliers to source products?Once you have validated your idea, it’s time to look for suppliers who can provide you with the ingredients that make your product.If you were to open a home decor boutique, the items you would sell are the ingredients.Where to look for suppliers really depends on the product that you are selling.1. Products manufactured overseasIf the product you want to sell is manufactured overseas, you’ll have to find suppliers who deal with this kind of products.I started off my career working for an export trader here in Vietnam, and my company was part of the global supply chain.From my experience, when it comes to sourcing products produced overseas, there are many layers of suppliers.1.1 The ManufacturerThe first layer is the manufacturer. This is where the supply chain starts.Manufacturers are those who actually produce goods. They have machinery and a huge workforce to manufacture goods at a very large quantity.Manufacturers typically do not work directly with retail buyers, but through the second layer of suppliers, which is the trading company.1.2 The Trading CompanyTrading companies are not producers of goods. Their product is service.They are in partner with manufacturers to export goods. This means they work directly with retail buyers and process their purchase orders on one side, and work with manufacturers to produce goods on the other side. Basically, they are middlemen.Let me give you a concrete example.When I was with the trading company, I worked directly with international buyers and assisted them to get their orders manufactured.The process goes like this - the customer places an order, then we take it to the manufacturer to get it produced. After the production is finished, we handle everything required (customs, logistics, etc) to get the goods exported to the destination country.You might be wondering, at this point, why trading companies exist. The answer is all about speciality.Imagine that you are a baker, and the only thing you are good at is baking cakes. In order to sell your cakes you would need to have full-range team including customer service, sales team, and marketing.Would you take time (likely a lot of it) to learn about these areas to establish this team, or would you partner with someone who already has great customer service, marketing, sales teams?The same thing is true for manufacturers. The only thing they are good at is producing goods, and trading companies are the ones who already have great customer service, marketing and sales teams.A typical requirement of working with a trading company is its Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ), which is the lowest quantity of an order that it will accept. In general, MOQs range from a few hundred to a thousand pieces per SKU.This MOQ is much larger than most new businesses can handle, so generally, only big retailers or wholesalers can work directly with trading companies.Trading companies are very reluctant to work with new businesses because they prefer large quantities, so if you just start off with limited capital, I would suggest you to find local wholesalers instead of looking overseas for supply.This is where the third layer of suppliers come in, which is the wholesaler.1.3 The WholesalerWholesalers are those who source goods in bulk from overseas and distribute locally to retailers.Wholesalers always work directly with trading companies as they can purchase large quantities.Most of my customers were wholesalers, they sourced goods and distributed to home decor retailers in their countries.If you have a limited amount of capital and are trying to test ideas, partnering with wholesalers is an ideal choice, because their MOQs are much lower than trading companies’ and you will not have to deal with the pain of import regulations.Sourcing from wholesalers, your profit margin will be less than sourcing directly from trading companies, but once you get bigger and can purchase in bulk, you can always switch and go to trading companies.Products manufactured locallyIf the product that you’re going to sell is manufactured locally, such as organic veggies, sourcing it should be easier.The same formula is still applied.If the supplier requires large MOQs, they must have distributing partners who supply to small businesses who cannot deal with large quantities.You just need to google and find them.How to find suppliers from AsiaIn case you need to find a supplier from Asia, Alibaba is the go-to place.Alibaba is an E-commerce platform that connect suppliers (mostly from China and Vietnam) and international buyers.You can refer to this link to learn how to navigate Alibaba.Based on my experience, I have a few advice for you:There are reliable high-quality suppliers on this platform, but there are also the opposite. So in order to verify the one you’re about to work with:      Ask questions. Ask a lot of questions about the product that you’re going to buy, whatever you need to know, just ask the supplier you’re working with. If they are legit, they will know what they are doing, and can answer your questions at ease.        Ask them if they go to any trade show and ask for pictures of their stands. Suppliers go to trade shows (such as Hong Kong Megashow in October) to promote their businesses and find more customers, if they go to one or two trade shows a year, they are legit.        Look at their websites. If their websites look professional, organized and easy to navigate, these suppliers should also be legit.        Get quotes from several suppliers. Do check with a few suppliers for pricing, but 2 or 3 of them is enough for you to know how much is overcharging. This will give you a feeling of how your product is priced at this level. If 2 of the suppliers charge you at $5 but the other charges you at $7, you know which one is ripping you off. Suppliers have to compete with their competition too, so these days almost no supplier tries to overcharge their customers.        Do not go with the cheapest price. Every business needs a reasonable amount of margin to operate properly. Suppliers who charge low price to win orders do not have the margin to sustain a qualified team to assist their customers. So the money you spare from teaming up with the cheapest supplier will be spent on the headaches and the messes resulting from his incompetent team.  Chapter 4: How to create an online store with ShopifyHow to create an online store with ShopifyOnce you have sourced your products and ready to sell, yes, now you need a store.Hiring a piece of property can be expensive, and if your product does not need a brick-and-mortar store to sell, why not just open an online store?These days there are many platforms that allow you to create an online store even if you have little technology experience.Shopify is probably the most popular among them.Let see what Shopify can handle for you.Oops, sorry, let’s see how much it costs you to open a store on Shopify first.It has 3 packages for you to choose, more expensive packages offer more functions. You can see the full range of functions coming with each of the packages here.The $29 package is an ideal option for new businesses, so, in this chapter, let’s focus on this option. Once your business grows up and needs more functions, you can always upgrade to higher packages. I’ll leave these Shopify and Advanced Shopify packages for future articles.Now let’s get back to Basic Shopify which costs $29 per month.What does Basic Shopify have to offer you?1. A websiteFirst, it offers a website where you can display your products on the front-end of your business.The package does not include a built-in theme for your website, so you’ll need to get one on your own.(This is the default website template)To get a theme for your store, you can go to the Shopify themes store or see our Shopify themes review here.There are both free and paid themes in this store.Free themes are not as well-designed as paid themes. If you need a theme to try out, a free one is sufficient, but once you open a store, I’d suggest going for a paid theme.There are categories on the left side that you can use to filter themes that you do not want.2. A dashboardSecond, Shopify offers a dashboard that you can use to manage the back-end of your business; things such as staff, inventory, delivery.To get a full understanding about what you can do with Shopify Dashboard, you can check out this video.One important feature of Shopify is it helps you ship your order without having to work separately with a third-party logistics partner. This feature is Shopify Shipping.Basically, Shopify partners with popular logistics vendors including DHL, UPS and USPS, and integrate their services into the Shopify dashboard.You can get shipping rates on your Shopify Dashboard, book a pick-up at your doorstep with one of these shippers and get the package shipped to your customer; all of this is done in your dashboard. How convenient that is!!!This is not the only benefit that comes with Shopify. You can also get huge shipping discount thanks to Shopify’s partnership with DHL, UPS and USPS. With Basic Shopify, you can get discount up to 64%. This basically means, using Shopify Shipping, you will always get the lowest shipping rates available, whether you ship domestically or internationally!To find out more about how Shopify Shipping works, you can refer to this video.3. Sales channelsThird, Shopify allows you to connect your E-commerce website to many online sales channels.You can sell your products on your website, Facebook, Amazon and some other sales channels.I’ll take the most popular ones, Facebook and Amazon, as an example.You can link all of the products from your online store, and sell them on these channels. This feature sounds premium right? But it comes with all of the packages, and of course, Basic Shopify included!To know how you can add sales channels to your Shopify Dashboard, you can watch this video.With Facebook, you can understand how selling on Facebook with Shopify is by going to this link.With Amazon, this video will guide you through how to sell on Amazon with Shopify.Rest assured that I have watched them to make sure they are short and on point!This is basically all of the major features that Shopify has to offer you. They handle all of the technical side of your business for you so that you can focus your time and energy on providing a world-class service that will make your customers satisfied!Now that you have a website and an entire back-end system to manage it at ease, let’s move on to the important part that can make or break your business: sales, marketing and customer service.Chapter 5: How to make sales, marketing and customer service strategiesYour sales, marketing and customer service will make or break your business.This is where your revenue is generated, this is what decides whether your customers come or go, stay or leave for your competition.Hundreds of books about these areas have been (and are being) written to guide business owners. Some of them give solid applicable advice, others can make you feel like you’re listening to a drunk person (what he is rambling is just so confusing and unconnected that you have no clue what he is talking about).That is my way of saying that these areas of business are too broad to cover in one chapter, so, here, let’s stick with the basics; the foundations that your sales, marketing and customer service strategies should be built upon.1 Sales Strategies1.1 You cannot succeed in business with an average product.Consumers have a lot of options for a product these days. Have you lost count how many brands of cellphones that you could buy from if you needed one? I have!Because of this many options, if your product sucks and consumers do not buy from you, that is not the end of the world for them, because they can buy from your competition.So business is no longer about providing a product, it is about providing a product that is so great that it wins over your competition, and it makes people want to pay their hard-earn money for.This means the foundation of your sales strategy should be your product; make yours something that your competition cannot beat and that people want to buy and stick with.1.2 A great product makes your sales job easier.Once you have a great product that you know can successfully solve your customers’ problems, you will automatically find it easy to introduce it to your customer and get them to buy (because you know your product works, and the only thing you need to explain to your customer is how your product solves their problem). Yes, with a great product, business becomes that simple!You’re not going to need salesmanship to sell your product, or in other words, you will not have to lie.The world is full of corn artists who use their salesmanship to sell products that barely work, products that do not deliver what is promised. This is not business, this is fraud, and everyone hates fraud.The take-away is do not start selling until you are certain that your product can successfully solve a problem.1.3 Outbound Sales &amp; Inbound SalesOutbound and inbound sales are two most widely used sales philosophy.Outbound sales is the traditional sales approach involves cold calls, trade shows and other activities where you actively engage your customers.For example, when you call your customer on the phone and introduce your product, that is outbound sales.Outbound sales these days is mostly used in business-to-business (B2B) sales. This is when the sales team of the company actively search for contact information of its target customers, and start cold-call these customers to introduce their service.This practice is widely used in the software and real estate industries.Inbound sales, on the other hand, is when you do not actively cold call your target customers, but instead, introduce and explain your service on digital channels through content.You would write about how your product works, what problems it can solve, how your customer can use it, and so on. These pieces of content will be published mainly on your Ecommerce website, and then you would use a tactic called SEO to enable your customers to find your content.You can get a comprehensive understanding about SEO here.The underlying strategy with inbound sales is you would be establishing yourself as an expert in your industry, and as you might know, we trust and buy from experts who know what they are doing.Some companies do a combination of both outbound and inbound for their sales strategies, some only do outbound and others only do inbound. There is no one-size-fits-all, you just need to dive deeper into this topic and see which strategy fits your business.One key take-away is the larger the market size you’re operating in, the more difficult it is to do outbound, and therefore the more heavily you’ll have to rely on inbound.Imagine that you are a cellphone retailer and decide to do outbound for your sales strategy, that would be cold calling thousands of people everyday to introduce your phones, which clearly does not make any sense.If you, on the other hand, do inbound, you would use your expertise about cellphones to produce content (write articles and make videos) about this industry for your customers to consume. That would establish yourself as an expert in their eyes, and when they need to buy a cellphone, they would certainly go to the expert.Marketing StrategiesWell, this area is way tooooo broad and complicated to cover within any short paragraph. I don’t even know where to get started, so I’d recommend you to read The 1-Page Marketing Plan by Allan Dib.This book will give you a solid background about marketing. It is very well written for  beginners to understand and very comprehensive about how a business, regardless of size, can go about its marketing.Read it first, and you can thank me later.Customer Service StrategiesEvery touch point between your customer and your company can have an impact on whether your company is considered to have great customer service; anything from your employees talking to your customer to how you pack your product and deliver it.One of the best ways to know the difference between great customer service and poor one is to go to local shops in your area.See which ones make you feel satisfied, taken care of and want to come back, and which ones make you say I will never step in your store ever again.Recognize what they do that makes you feel satisfied, and what makes you uncomfortable, and then bring the best to your customer service strategies while avoiding the worst.If I have to put customer service strategies in one sentence, it would be “do not make your customers uncomfortable”.By the way, by customers I’m referring to the gentle, nice and reasonable ones who seriously care about your product and want to buy. The worst customers are the ones who are too fed up with their own lives and go on to pass that negativity to everyone they interact with, yes, I’m talking about the yelling unreasonable type of customers who get crazy over every little thing that does not match what they expect. Just avoid this type of customers, they bring you nothing but headaches.Let’s get back to customer service strategies. Let me give you some examples to make my theories more practical.If you sell online, design your store in a way that makes it easy for your customers to navigate.Make it easy for them to reach out to you for questions or support when they need.Hire nice and caring people because they will be the ones who interact directly with your customers.and so on.Every little touch point between your company and your customer can affect how they feel about your brand. We all want to buy from brands who make us feel comfortable and taken care of, so be one.Chapter 6: Supporting Apps For Your E-commerce SiteThere are a lot of features you need to run your Ecommerce store, but the paid Shopify packages do not offer. That’s why we have apps, they are here to save your day, to save your time, to make your life easier.So, let’s find out what the most popular apps on Shopify are and how they can make your E-commerce business more exciting and convenient!1. Orange Lucky:This is a fantastic app that I would always recommend because it gives you a lot of insights into how your prospects navigate your website.This app works the same way supermarkets track you while you’re travelling through aisles.It shows you how the prospect directs their mouse, what he is seeing, whether or not he gets confused by the user interface of your website, which product gets clicked the most, and a whole lot more.One of the main reasons prospects leave a website is because the user interface is just so confusing that they cannot find what they are looking for, so with these insights you will be able to know what’s broken in your website design, and fix it.You can go to Orange Lucky’s homepage on Shopify and find out more.Pricing starts at $10/month.2. McAcfee Secure:This is a security app built by the security software powerhouse McAcfee. With the rise of internet information thief, consumers need to feel assured that their information is protected, especially when you want them to use their credit card on your website.McAcfee Secure tests your website and put a trustmark on it so customers can know that your site is tested and now safe.Let your customers know that you care about their private information and have it protected.You can find out more about this app here.This app has both free and paid versions. You’ll have to contact McAcfee for pricing of the paid features.3. Insta Feed:No doubt that breath-taking lifestyle photography posted on Instagram helps improve sales significantly as we all are attracted by beautiful photographs.Do you have an awe-inspiring Instagram collection and want to show it to your website visitors? There you go, an app that allows you to do it with a few clicks!Instafeed Free costs you, well, nothing…, and Instafeed Pro is $3.99/month.You can see what functions come with each option here and decide.4. Product Reviews:Do you often read reviews when you want to buy something just to be sure that it works? A lot of people do too! Reviews give more trust, and more trust means more sales.So let’s give your fantastic products what they deserve, great reviews from buyers, with Product Reviews. It’s free!5. Facebook Messenger Marketing:How would you send order shipping notifications, order receipt notifications, email marketing messages to your customers? Email, right?Now you get a better alternative! Facebook Messenger Marketing allows you to send these notifications directly to your customers Facebook inbox!It’s convenient for your customers, and your email marketing messages are much more likely to get opened in Facebook Messenger than in Email. Do you ever let your Facebook messages unread? I do not, no matter who that message comes from.I have no clue why this amazing app is free, but who cares right? Here is your Facebook Messenger Marketing!6. Frequently Bought Together:An amazing upsell app!!If you sell trousers, why don’t let your customers know that you also sell bells by showing these two items on the same page?If you are a big fan of Amazon, you should already know how this app works.Frequently Bought Together is $6.99 per month, and it offers you a 30-day free trial!7. Order Printer Template:You might not want to use the standard order document designs offered by Shopify (invoice, receipt, packing slip, return form). They are boring, dull, and ughhh.This app allows you to make invoice look the way want it to, neat and professional!The installation is free, and you can try out and customize templates before you make any purchase decision.One-time fee for a template is $29. You can find out more about Order Printer Template here.8. Privy:This is a well-developed email marketing too and has a lot of functions, so it will be a bit tricky to understand what it can do.So let’s start with what its core purposes are.The core purposes of Privy are to build you a database of customers’ email addresses and reduce your abandonment cart.Please watch this video first before we get into details.Let’s dive into the first objective - build up a database of customers’ Email addresses. When it comes to E-commerce, customers’ email addresses are arguably the most valued asset that any business wants to acquire, because they help build up customer loyalty and reduce acquisition costs.When customers are on your site, Privy will show them pop-ups such as “sign up for 20% discount”, or “sign up for free shipping for the first order”.Once the customer hands out her email, she will be provided with a coupon for what she signs up for.It will be boring to just show the same display type all the time, so Privy provides many types of these such as popups, spin to win wheel, banners, flyouts, scroll boxes, and announcement bars.This function will gradually build up your email database which can be used for your future email marketing campaigns.The second objective is to reduce your abandonment cart rate.Abandonment cart is when a customer has already chosen products on your site, but for some reason, exitted and did not check out.Privy can send reminders to these abandoned carts to remind them to check out, which has been proven to considerably reduce abandonment cart rate.Privy has many functions which you can play with, but all of them are built upon these two core objectives.Privy offers four packages; free, $24, $79 and $299 per month. The more premium the package, the more functions that you will have.Privy customer service will  always be available to help your through this complicated but powerful tool.You can find out more about it here.9. Aftership:Aftership is an app that allows you to track the status of shipped packages real-time.Its creator provides a very comprehensive description video about what Aftership can do. You can watch it here.It is so comprehensive that there is no need for me to explain anything further.Aftership has a wide range of pricing from $9 a month to $999. You can access all features with any package, but the number of trackings depends on which one you choose.For example, with $199 a month you can track 5,000 delivers while with $999 it’s 25,000. So it depends on how many trackings you’re handling a month to choose a suitable package.If you want to try it out first, there is a free plan for you.Find out more about Aftership here.10. Bulk Product Edit:When managing your inventory, you will sometimes need to change your product prices for, say, a discount campaign or product URLs for an SEO campaign.With the shopify plans, you will have to edit your hundreds of products one by one, which is already terrifying to just think of.Bulk Product Edit helps you fasten this time-consuming task by enabling you to edit a bunch of products at the same time. You can filter your inventory to edit by categories, collection, vendor, title, etc.You can also schedule the update of your editing. This means if you want your discount program to run on Saturday and Sunday, but you will be happier to spend this time with your family, you can create an edit on Thursday and set it to run on the weekend.The pricing is from $9.99 to $99.99 per month with different sets of functions offered.You can find out more about Bulk Product Edit here.11. Quickview:This is a simple of powerful app that makes it easier for your customers to view and choose multiple products on your site. I really wish every E-commerce website installs this app, it just makes product viewing much less frustrating.The creator has already a video description to explain how this app works. No need for me to explain any further.You can watch it here.Choosing a pricing plan depends on what you need. You’ll have 3 options including free, $16.99 and $49.99 a month.12. Volume &amp; Tiered Discounts:This app is dedicated to helping you create volume discounts; something like buy 10 items to get 10% off.This app will be extremely helpful if your business includes wholesale, and what’s really amazing about this app is that it’s totally free…You can watch this video to fully understand what Volume &amp; Tiered Discounts does and find out more about it here.",
        "url": "/resources/start-online-business.html"
      }
      
    
  };
</script>
<script src="/js/lunr.min.js"></script>
<script src="/js/search.js"></script>

Step 2: Write JavaScript

Move to the next step, to have /js/search.js perform 3 tasks, we need to write the JavaScript. Those three tasks include:

  1. Get the search term
  2. Perform the search
  3. Display the results

We are going over the sections of code. Then, we will see the whole file at the end.

Step 3: Get the search term

It is not really easy for JavaScript to instantly read GET parameters so we need to add a getParameterByName function to get things done. Please do not be worried if you don’t get how this function works, it is merely manipulating the query string to divide it into variables.

Now you are able to employ getParameterByName to get the search term:

...
function getQueryVariable(variable) {
  var query = window.location.search.substring(1);
  var vars = query.split('&');

  for (var i = 0; i < vars.length; i++) {
    var pair = vars[i].split('=');

    if (pair[0] === variable) {
      return decodeURIComponent(pair[1].replace(/\+/g, '%20'));
    }
  }
}

var searchTerm = getQueryVariable('query');
...

Just in case there is a search term, we need to set up and adjust lunr.js. This job involves telling Lunr about the fields that interest you and adding the search data from the JSON. You can perform the search once this is already set up:

...
if (searchTerm) {
  document.getElementById('search-box').setAttribute("value", searchTerm);

  // Initalize lunr with the fields it will be searching on. I've given title
  // a boost of 10 to indicate matches on this field are more important.
  var idx = lunr(function () {
    this.field('id');
    this.field('title', { boost: 10 });
    this.field('author');
    this.field('category');
    this.field('content');
  });

  for (var key in window.store) { // Add the data to lunr
    idx.add({
      'id': key,
      'title': window.store[key].title,
      'author': window.store[key].author,
      'category': window.store[key].category,
      'content': window.store[key].content
    });

    var results = idx.search(searchTerm); // Get lunr to perform a search
    displaySearchResults(results, window.store); // We'll write this in the next section
  }
}
...

Step 5: Display the result

Now you are allowed to show the results in your list when already having them.

...
function displaySearchResults(results, store) {
  var searchResults = document.getElementById('search-results');

  if (results.length) { // Are there any results?
    var appendString = '';

    for (var i = 0; i < results.length; i++) {  // Iterate over the results
      var item = store[results[i].ref];
      appendString += '<li><a href="' + item.url + '"><h3>' + item.title + '</h3></a>';
      appendString += '<p>' + item.content.substring(0, 150) + '...</p></li>';
    }

    searchResults.innerHTML = appendString;
  } else {
    searchResults.innerHTML = '<li>No results found</li>';
  }
}
...

When putting it all together, you will have a working search:

(function() {
  function displaySearchResults(results, store) {
    var searchResults = document.getElementById('search-results');

    if (results.length) { // Are there any results?
      var appendString = '';

      for (var i = 0; i < results.length; i++) {  // Iterate over the results
        var item = store[results[i].ref];
        appendString += '<li><a href="' + item.url + '"><h3>' + item.title + '</h3></a>';
        appendString += '<p>' + item.content.substring(0, 150) + '...</p></li>';
      }

      searchResults.innerHTML = appendString;
    } else {
      searchResults.innerHTML = '<li>No results found</li>';
    }
  }

  function getQueryVariable(variable) {
    var query = window.location.search.substring(1);
    var vars = query.split('&');

    for (var i = 0; i < vars.length; i++) {
      var pair = vars[i].split('=');

      if (pair[0] === variable) {
        return decodeURIComponent(pair[1].replace(/\+/g, '%20'));
      }
    }
  }

  var searchTerm = getQueryVariable('query');

  if (searchTerm) {
    document.getElementById('search-box').setAttribute("value", searchTerm);

    // Initalize lunr with the fields it will be searching on. I've given title
    // a boost of 10 to indicate matches on this field are more important.
    var idx = lunr(function () {
      this.field('id');
      this.field('title', { boost: 10 });
      this.field('author');
      this.field('category');
      this.field('content');
    });

    for (var key in window.store) { // Add the data to lunr
      idx.add({
        'id': key,
        'title': window.store[key].title,
        'author': window.store[key].author,
        'category': window.store[key].category,
        'content': window.store[key].content
      });

      var results = idx.search(searchTerm); // Get lunr to perform a search
      displaySearchResults(results, window.store); // We'll write this in the next section
    }
  }
})();

Step 6: Search field

Now only by adding a form that submits to /search.html can you be able to insert a search box any places on your store site. You will need to prefix the action with `` when you are using a base url on GitHub pages.

...
<form action="/search.html" method="get">
  <label for="search-box">Search</label>
  <input type="text" id="search-box" name="query">
  <input type="submit" value="search">
</form>
...

Conclusion

This solution is also approachable to your blog posts, you can do the same thing for data files, collections, or static files.