E-Commerce Essentials: Packing and Shipping

Packing and Shipping

According to a recently conducted research, the share of online retail in the overall shopping expenditure in the US will have grown to $414 billion by 2018. Everybody working in the e-commerce field is happily rubbing their hands together. They will have more work and more opportunities to earn. Also, new players will join the online shopping first league. The most important thing they need to know is how to make their customers satisfied; and they will achieve that by ensuring that the products they sell reach their buyers in a perfect condition.

Think Outside the Box – Double Box It

While products sold in the offline world are usually placed in only one cardboard box, online retail requires multi-layered protection. Since boxes are still easily accessible, those more fragile items should definitely be surrounded with a double-box shield. By applying this matryoshka-like packing style, you provide better protection for the product you have sold and the buyer will spend more time opening it, as if it is a birthday present.

Careful with Tape

When packing a product for shipping, it is crucial to tape all the tricky edges and vulnerable parts of the box. The first assumption is that the box or the container in which you are going to put the goods will not stand still during the trip. That said, it is obvious that the box has to be properly sealed. You could try to apply the H-taping way of sealing it, but sometimes the X-taping method will prove to be more useful. Here you can check some other taping options for the boxes on the move.

Internal Protection Matters

Every product needs to be properly insulated and protected inside the container or the box. One of the most common ways for keeping goods safe during shipping is wrapping them with bubble wrap. These bubbles, filled with air, serve as shipping airbags that will save your products and the reputation of your business in case of a major collision.

In a recent conversation with shipping supplies, I discovered that every product sensitive to water needs to be protected with water- and humid-proof wraps, to keep it from becoming useless on the road.

Branding – Part of Shipping Folklore

The process of wrapping and protecting the products you have sold to someone living thousands of miles away has its marketing sides, as well. In order to promote through shipping, you could send your customers symbolic presents within the packages, like coupons with discounts for future purchases. On the outside of the package you can put stickers with the name/logo of your business. You can never tell who is going to see the package along the way.

However, be careful when offering free shipping and be aware that it is not always the best promotional method.

The most important thing that counts in the end in every business is the number of sold products or services. Those who work as traders know that a satisfied customer stands shoulder to shoulder with the number of sales. Luckily, online trade has enabled millions of people to freely sell and buy goods from all the parts of the world. By applying quality and consistent packing and shipping policy, every online e-commerce business will keep its loyal audience and continue gaining profits.

4 Things to Consider When Designing a Trade Show Banner

Designing a Trade Show Banner

One of the most important things to think about when attending a trade show is your visual presence. Of course you need to consider what your strategy is beforehand – which products or services you will showcase, which ideas you will discuss – but it is the visual presence that will attract attention and draw people in to hear your message. With the right graphics and design and, specifically, the right banner you can maximise the potential success of your stand. Here are a few pointers on what to focus on when designing a trade show banner.

1. The Colour Scheme 

Colours do not only attract attention, they also send a specific message to the audience. So, you need to choose your banner colours wisely. For example, red is attention-grabbing and vibrant, sending a strong call to action to the viewer. Blue is reliable, trustworthy and professional. Purple is creative and free-spirited. Green is natural, peaceful, and calm. Orange is young and confident. However it is important to remember that there are no hard and fast rules you must follow. Black does not have to be depressing, and yellow doesn’t have to be happy – you can use any colour so long as you do so with thought and attention.

2. A Simple Message

Your audience will not spend more than a few seconds taking in what’s on your banner. Those few seconds count, and your trade show banner should be simple and succinct. Use large letters, large graphics, and an eye-catching, simple layout to attract attention and also allow for easy reading. The banner needs to be seen and noticed from across a busy room, so make sure you have a clear layout and uncluttered message.

3. The Best Benefits 

So your company offers many benefits and advantages to customers, but don’t put them all in the same banner. Banner printing is the art of leaving out facts and ideas so that the ones that remain are stronger and more powerful. Focus on the main benefit you want to communicate to the audience. And make sure it is the benefit – don’t waste the space on your banner by talking about prices or features which don’t draw the person in.

4. The Visibility

Choose the style of banner carefully so that it will be visible where you want it to be seen. Roller banners are designed for positioning at the edge of a stand or in front of a table and are placed on the floor. An overhead banner can be stretched across the top of a display. Or you can get banner backdrops or curved displays to go behind the stand. Whatever type of stand you choose, make sure the message can be seen when the banner is in place in the trade show hall. You don’t want to waste time designing something impressive only for your logo to be hidden behind a table.

How Outsourcing Tasks Can Secure You Results

Outsourcing Tasks

If you’re the owner or manager of a small to medium sized business (SME), then it’s more than likely that your head is spinning with jobs to do, and that your ‘to do list’ is over a page long. If it’s your business, then it’s understandable that you want ultimate control, driving it to be a success or a failure. However, if you try to take too much control then it’s likely that you’ll create a bottleneck, stifling creativity and profitability. Contrary to popular belief, by delegating and outsourcing, you can secure greater results than you currently get. Here’s how.

Experts Provide Detailed Knowledge

Although you may not want to delegate responsibilities to your staff due to their relative inexperience, by outsourcing certain elements to external companies, you’ll be able to gain experienced, detailed knowledge on a subject area.

One area where most businesses do this is through finance and auditing. Many SMEs have an external accountant who comes in to carry out audits and file tax returns. The benefits of this are twofold. Firstly, you’ll be getting accurate information and you’ll be certain that your tax returns are correct, saving you money in fines and admin corrections. Secondly, and almost as importantly, you’ll be freed up to manage the day-to-day running of the business, overseeing things that require your expertise. It’s a no-brainer. Just make sure you look around for the best price.

Free Up Your Staff

However, simply freeing yourself up to manage the day-to-day running of the business isn’t enough, and you have to consider how delegating tasks can also help your staff, giving your business great results in the process.

As your business expands and your product offering grows, it’s likely that your staff will become bogged down in administrative duties. Even simple tasks such as scanning and printing can be incredibly time consuming, so outsource them.

Tasks such as this don’t actually add any monetary value to the business, and instead they take up too much time where staff could be selling the produce you’re producing. Many of the companies offering this service also do it relatively cheaply and, because the staff are out selling, you’ll recoup the money you spend on outsourcing. Again, it’s a no brainer.

To conclude, although you want to keep a tight grip on your business (and rightly so), outsourcing and delegating can be a cost-effective way of securing great results for your business, giving you and your staff more time to focus on your jobs. Isn’t it time you gave it a try?

3 Ways to Incorporate Technology into Your Hair and Beauty Business

Technology into Your Hair and Beauty Business

Revenue growth from the beauty industry is a repeat customer spends, on average, around 67% more than a new customer. There are many ways you can try and improve customer retention, such as employing loyalty card schemes or sending targeted emails. The important distinction is to make it worth the customer’s while. When sending out emails seeking feedback, offer them loyalty points in return for their time. Similarly, employing new methods like SMS reminders and Facebook auto-likes you could see a dramatic turnaround in the number of clients coming back to your business.

Creating a Flexible Schedule

If you were to ask someone what the purpose of technology is, they might say to make their people’s lives more convenient. The internet has made it so much simpler to find out answers to questions, email and social media has much it much easier to stay in touch with people all over the globe, and, yes, specialist like Phorest means you’ll be able to create a secure system that allows you to remotely log in and check inventory levels, upcoming appointments, and any other information you might need from wherever you are. You could also create a mobile app, for internal use only, so that you can see this data more easily while you’re on the move.

Incorporating Social Media

In the past, having your own website was a way to legitimize your business to your customers. Now, though, social media is another, just as important, way that customers will seek to find you. Searching for businesses through platforms like Facebook or Twitter has become second nature just like searching through Google. Having an online presence isn’t enough anymore though. You need to incorporate it into your business in a way that presents value to your consumer. For instance, you could create a widget or extension that allows customers to easily make appointments and add it to their Facebook events or calendar.

The hair and beauty industry looks to be a good place to be for the foreseeable future. Make sure you’re adopting the latest technological solutions to make sure your business is still competitive in the long-haul.

5 Top Business Vehicles to Make a Great First Impression

Vehicles to Make a Great

Whether you’re turning up to a job interview, meeting clients and potential investors or just want to impress your colleagues, having a professional vehicle gives off a fantastic first aura. There are thousands of cars out there to choose from and unsurprisingly the best ones are often more expensive. If you’re a successful businessman or woman and want to show it then this should pose little problem. Here are some of the best cars for demonstrating that success.

Audi A4

Audi is now one of those car manufacturers associated with professional, luxurious vehicles and they have a number of suitable cars for sale through Ridgeway. The R8 coupe and Spyder are what many aspire to drive but for one with a more realistic price tag the A4 saloon is ideal. Balanced handling and plenty of grip are complimented by the clean-cut design and interior leather seats.

Range Rover Sport

Feel like you own the road and look like someone who holds plenty of authority by cruising around in this high-powered beast. The classic design has been updated over the years and an older model may give off more of a country vibe. Stick to one of the newest releases, the tinted windows really giving off the air of someone important.

Jaguar XF

An elegant and stylish executive saloon, this is perfect for showing great fashion sense and success. Though it does come with a heavier price tag making it not ideal for purchasing an entire fleet for use as a company car. Smooth to drive and with a new version out later in 2015, this features a sporty design and plenty of room in the cabin for giving a ride to those you’re hoping to impress.

BMW M3

Another sporty car, avoid putting any spoilers on your M3 as this instantly reduces its professional image by at least half. Buy in black, white or dark blue too as the lighter blue and a few other colours border on more of a boy racer vibe. It’s a dynamic vehicle which delivers a high performance in getting you from meeting to meeting too.

Mercedes S-Class

Luxury barely seems to do the Mercedes S-Class justice as it is a car seeping with class. From the soft leather interior to its refined design, this is a vehicle where everyone stops to see who’s getting out of it (mainly due to the heavily tinted windows). It drives like a dream as well, which you’d expect from the cost of all these excellent cars for the professional businessperson.

5 Top Business Vehicles to Make a Great First Impression

Business Vehicles

Whether you’re turning up to a job interview, meeting clients and potential investors or just want to impress your colleagues, having a professional vehicle gives off a fantastic first aura. There are thousands of cars out there to choose from and unsurprisingly the best ones are often more expensive. If you’re a successful businessman or woman and want to show it then this should pose little problem. Here are some of the best cars for demonstrating that success.

Audi A4

Audi is now one of those car manufacturers associated with professional, luxurious vehicles and they have a number of suitable cars for sale through new version out later in 2015, this features a sporty design and plenty of room in the cabin for giving a ride to those you’re hoping to impress.

BMW M3

Another sporty car, avoid putting any spoilers on your M3 as this instantly reduces its professional image by at least half. Buy in black, white or dark blue too as the lighter blue and a few other colours border on more of a boy racer vibe. It’s a dynamic vehicle which delivers a high performance in getting you from meeting to meeting too.

Mercedes S-Class

Luxury barely seems to do the <ahttp://www.whatcar.com/car-reviews/mercedes-benz/s-class-saloon/summary/26190-2″>Mercedes S-Class justice as it is a car seeping with class. From the soft leather interior to its refined design, this is a vehicle where everyone stops to see who’s getting out of it (mainly due to the heavily tinted windows). It drives like a dream as well, which you’d expect from the cost of all these excellent cars for the professional businessperson

What You Didn’t Know about the Many Benefits of an Alarm Response and Key Holding Service

Alarm Response and Key Holding Service

Security is a bigger issue than ever before, especially if you have business premises which contain valuable items, confidential records, and the like. If you are increasingly concerned about your business security, you can have better peace of mind knowing that your premises are secured at all times through an alarm response and key holding service.

What is an alarm response and key holding service?

For those who are not quite sure what this type of service entails, the name actually speaks for itself. With an alarm response security service, you employ the services of a security firm who will then be in charge of checking your premises in case your alarm goes off. They will basically be the first responder to an alarm. Once your alarm has been activated, the security service, which holds your keys, will be in your premises within minutes to check that everything is as it should be. If there are no intruders, then the security service will re-set your system, secure the premises, and make a report of the alarm activation incident.

The benefits of an alarm response and key holding security service

 

A cost-effective way of guarding your business premises

First of all, what makes this type of service beneficial is the fact that you no longer need a 24-hour security guard on your premises, which can entail significant costs. If you have multiple business locations, staffing it with security personnel can be an expensive endeavour. But with an alarm response and key holding service, you do not have to have security staff manning your premises day and night – it can be done remotely, and the security personnel will only come if the alarm in your location has been activated.

More efficient, focused monitoring

With an alarm response and key holding service, the security personnel in charge of your business premises will be able to make use of advanced technology to monitor your entire building facility. If you want, you can even install a variety of surveillance cameras where the security staff can see what is going on in your building as well. Remote monitoring services like this also enable the security staff to summon the right emergency responders, depending on what has occurred – whether it is a break-in, a fire, an electrical accident, flooding, or more.

A better way of handling false alarms

Another benefit brought about by an alarm response and key holding service is the better handling of false alarms. As a matter of fact, did you know that more than 90% of UK intruder alarm activations are false? If the alarm in your premises is activated and it turns out to be a false alarm, then the security staff can easily de-activate it themselves – without having to bring in local police officers. This can also strengthen your business ties with local law enforcement, as they do not have to worry about false alarm calls as well.

Amongst the many security companies in Oxford, there is one firm that has stood out for many years: Securipol.net. The firm not only offers an alarm response and key holding service; it also offers other services such as caretaker support (where, in the event of alarm activation, they can go with a member of your own staff who holds the key to check your premises), as well as other security services such as lock up and unlocking services, electronic security system installation, access to a plethora of well-trained security guards, and more.

7 SEO secrets for every business owner

7 SEO secrets

Search engine optimization today is nothing like it was just a few years ago. The most significant of course being Google’s insistence towards improvement of user experience, which governs most SEO strategies implemented today. SEO is no longer just for traffic driving and ranking improvement, these are merely results of effective SEO.

The secret of succeeding in SEO today is that there isn’t any secret. It’s all about using common sense. The brands that are performing well in search engines results pages are those with high quality content that addresses specific user intents and which devote time to technical optimization to improve user and search engine crawling experience.

Below is a list of 7 tips which will land you at the top of your SEO game:

1.Don’t over think
SEO is a difficult field because it has too many uncertainties, but this shouldn’t clip your virtual wings when carrying out your SEO. Remember that every marketer faces the same uncertainties that you do, we’re all just trying to figure out the SEO secrets and with little information to guide.
Instead of focusing on its complexity now, focus on building the best user experience in every technique. You won’t fall too far from the mark.

2.Ensure your content stays fresh
People searching for content online are looking for accurate, up-to-date information. This is why it’s important to ensure your content stays ‘fresh’. ‘Currency’ is becoming an important factor in Google search rankings, and why not, users don’t want to waste their time ingesting content only to find that it’s no longer applicable.

3.Focus on usability
The user experience equation heavily relies on various technological aspects. You need to do more than provide informative and helpful content but also that content should be easy to reach and enjoyable to browse through. Ensure that your website is mobile-friendly, which forms a vital part of digital marketing strategy today, and that it loads within the shortest possible time.
As of 2014, Google announced that over 50% of searches are now conducted on mobile devices, which drove the Mobilegeddon update launched in April this year. As time passes, greater emphasis will be placed on mobile user experience, so ensure your site is not found wanting. You can use Website Auditor tools to identify any technical flaws that interfere with user and search engines bot crawling/browsing experience.

4.Focus on building relationships
Building links is no longer what it used to be. The idea is simple, links indicate how much trust other people place in your brand and content, hence building your credibility is pivotal for consideration as an authority source in your niche. Getting links should not be the goal of your networking; rather, they should come as fringe benefits.
Links are still an important part of the Google ranking algorithm, but marketers today should remember that these links will only come from building relationships – honest relationships – with others. After all, Google has become critical of most link-building methods. Forge connections with bloggers and influencers within your niche and offer true value. You can use SEO SpyGlass to identify who is currently linking to your site for ideas.

5.Focus on long-tail keywords
Search engine-user interaction is becoming very personalized. This is why businesses today should focus more on long-tail and location-specific keywords. In this way, your potential consumers will find your site based on the value your offer and services you give.
You should no longer strive to rank for vague terms, which offer very little in terms of conversion e.g. “Los Angeles Doctor”. Not only are you placing yourself in higher competition, you’re likely to reel in potential visitors only to find they want someone in a different field of practice. Instead, go for more specific keywords like “Los Angeles dermatologist” and get more targeted leads likely to convert and reduce your direct competition.

6.Use keywords appropriately
Take a structured approach. Don’t just focus on the right keywords; ensure that this information is communicated to Google the right way by going structured. Ensure your long-tail keywords are present, not stuffed, in your main title and body content. If the structure of your site makes it hard to do so naturally, introduce a newsfeed or blog and create content around your long-tail keywords.

7.Detail is everything
Apart from focusing on optimizing for elements that make up direct SOE ranking factors, don’t forget your Meta descriptions, which are very important. They make up the previews for your site and give you a chance to distinguish yourself from competitors on SERPs.
Your Meta description, if correctly written will drive more click-throughs for your site. Ensure it is well developed, with a few short lines including your main keywords to drive greater traffic from SERPs to your site.

Conclusion
At the end of the day, it’s important to focus on your audience. Everything you do, do for them. Logically, this will not be hard to achieve. Because Google is also focused on providing the best user experience for its users, you’ll be headed in the same direction, and land huge gains for yourself as a result.

4 Ways a Business Can Maintain a Wide Internet Presence

Business Can Maintain

The internet is an ever-present aspect of the modern business world. Customers, investors, and employees utilize the internet for a variety of tasks. Whether looking to purchase products or services, apply for employee, or consider an investment, the internet provides support to a number of different activities, which means companies must maintain a wide and significant internet presence to capture as much traffic as possible. Luckily, there are a slew of surefire ways that businesses and organizations of every shape and size can maintain and enhance a wide internet presence for maximum optimization.

Landing Pages
Landing pages are basically the center of the digital hub for many companies. These valuable internet tools direct visitors to relevant information deeper within the company website. While serving as virtual directors, the pages have to be easy to use and simple to navigate. By using effective landing pages to effectively point users to the proper destination, companies can increase the use of the site overall and keep users viewing the page longer. By increasing the stick rate, businesses can optimize interaction with the page leading to more customers, increased employee use, and overall effectiveness. A glance at the Sentry Energy Production online page is a great example.

Social Media
Social media is a great way for companies to direct customers, employees, and investors to the main webpage. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and more are regularly viewed by millions of users each day. If companies manage to capture the attention of a few users each day, the overall exposure of the company is increased dramatically. Since social media has the ability to reach a wide and diverse user base, companies can reap the benefits of driving a number of different demographics simultaneously. In short, social media helps a business stay visible on the internet.

Current Data
One of the most important aspects of maintain a strong internet presence is keep data current. Pages and sites with out of date data or contact information does little to inspire the confidence of users. Therefore, companies that update sites or blogs regularly have a greater chance of getting the right information out to the masses. The internet is a powerful communication aid, but it also needs to be kept up to date and fresh should any changes or relevant information change.

Calls to Action
Using calls to action within a website is a popular way to encourage users to explore the site further. Simple buttons and links that include Apply Here or Click Here to Learn More are effective enough in driving users deeper into the site. By stirring up emotions of activity into users, companies can stimulate a desired process to evaluate customers. Sifting through leads can take time, but using a web-based call to action for anyone wishing additional information can help the entire organization become more efficient.

In the end, maintaining an effective and wide internet presence by keeping data current, spurring users to action, taking advantage of social media, and maintaining effective landing pages are great ways for companies to stay visible online. The internet gets more and more crowded every single day, and businesses that focus on staying at the forefront of the minds of customers have a greater chance of closing the deal.