E-commerce Basics

Twitter Searches for CEO, Begins to Make Changes

ieplexus blog 1-18-16Earlier this month, Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, announced that he would be resigning as CEO at the beginning of July, at which time he will be replaced by another CEO, chosen by Twitter’s board of directors. Having split his time between Twitter and Square, a platform for accepting debit and credit card payments, it is likely that he will be aiming to focus primarily on Square. Twitter’s board of directors has said in response that they are hoping to ensure that Dorsey’s replacement is focused entirely on Twitter. They want someone “in a position to make a full-time commitment.”

A shift behind the scenes isn’t the only thing changing for Twitter. There have been some major changes in the past weeks since Dorsey announced that he was stepping down. Last week, for instance, they announced that product pages would be creatable on Twitter, featuring tweets, supplementary information about certain products, as well as the ability for users to easily purchase that product through Twitter. Additionally, users will be able to view ‘top tweets’ about a product, effectively allowing Twitter to operate as a reviewing service.

In another interesting move, Twitter has announced something called Project Lightning, which is a feature that will allow users to browse tweets based on live events, from music festivals to protests. These experiences will be curated by a team of editors, rather than automatically swept in via hashtag. Overall, Project Lightning sounds somewhat similar to Snapchat Stories and its approach to handling live events. Project Lightning is expected to be released later this year. In the meantime, Twitter’s search for a new CEO might lead them down other interesting avenues. It’s not impossible that they wind up picking Snoop Dogg, who has put himself into the running.

Making the Most of Social-Media Marketing in 10 Minutes Daily

As an entrepreneur of a new, online business it can sometimes seem like your daily to-do list is substantial. What may have originated as a foolproof plan for simplistic, home-based sales can quickly amount to a handful of responsibilities as you set up your content, pictures, products and so forth.

Fortunately, among the often hefty list of must-haves that every successful web store demands, there is one key area that can be cultivated in just 10 minutes a day. Social media is a new-age marketing platform that allows online-business owners to connect with a worldwide audience of consumers.

Below you’ll find three fundamental ways – courtesy of SocialMediaExaminer.com – to create the ultimate social-media experience for your consumers.

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5 Ways to Optimize Customer Service with Social Media

With a persistently booming popularity in e-commerce these days, it seems that web entrepreneurs of all ages and experience levels are emerging onto the scene daily, snatching up what’s left of the domains with their bright eyes and big dreams of fortune.

And, although, an online business promises many advantages to that of a traditional brick and mortar – little or no overhead, flexible hours and no face-to-face interaction – it’s important that these self-starters don’t neglect the crucial details that can make or break any business, online or not. Customer service.

Fortunately, Mashable.com, with help from social-media blogger Lauren Vargas, has extended a helping hand to these go-getters by providing some invaluable advice to industry newcomers. Below, they have highlighted five key areas worth noting to ensure that your business excels with many happily returning customers.

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Blog Action Day 2009

blogactionday1Blogger’s from around the world today are blogging about climate change and the environment as part of Blog Action Day 2009.  What is considered one of the largest social change events on the web, ever, Blog Action Day is an annual event which finds a world issue and brings bloggers together to not only bring awareness to everyone but also try to find solutions to the problem.  This year over 10,000 bloggers are writing about climate change and the environment for readers around the globe.

Many people around the world are  against the idea of “global warming” and when they hear that studies say the world’s average temperature may rise 2-3 degrees Fahrenheit, they say “what’s the big deal? It’s not that much of a difference.”  But think about it.  Maybe it is a huge difference.  Take the average healthy human for example.  The average temperature for a human is around 98.6 degrees and when our temperature goes up above 100 degrees, we feel sick, start sweating, and don’t fee good.  Well the same concept goes with the Earth.  It is a living thing, so those 2 or 3 degrees could mean drastic changes. (more…)

Google Checkout Store Gadget Makes E-commerce Easy

google_checkout_store_gadgetIn their continuing effort to dominate every aspect of your online experience, Google has taken e-commerce to the masses with the experimental release of the Google Checkout Store Gadget, a simple application that makes it possible for anyone with a blog or website to create an online store, with Google Checkout, in under 5 minutes. Google makes it sound very easy when explaining how to setup the gadget and manage the store, and with Google’s popularity and typical wide-spread adoption, this just might be the breakthrough many people need to open up the floodgates to selling online. Although still in beta-mode, Google Store Gadget has the potential to significantly empower those who normally could only turn to sites like Ebay for their e-commerce ideas.

Setting up the Google Checkout Store Gadget seems easy enough. Google states that there are 3 simple steps to getting up and running:

  1. Sign up for Google Checkout
  2. List Products in a Google Docs Spreadsheet
  3. Embed the Gadget Anywhere

All of these steps are obviously free and can be done by even those with very limited coding knowledge. Managing inventory in a spreadsheet and setting it up are as easy as clicking a few boxes to share it online and publish it as a website. Embedding the gadget can be done basically anywhere, as long as HTML code can be added to a site. This means bloggers, website owners and more can quickly add the gadget to their site, enabling product or service sales without the typical hassle of an e-commerce management platform.
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Psychology Your Way Into Sales

It’s no surprise that humans react in odd and irrational ways, particularly when it comes to spending money. To that end, Dan Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape our Decisions, offers many insightful lessons into the quirky (and largely predictable) human psyche. And in turn, these lessons may help web businesses shape their image and behaviors in order to garner as many sales as possible and become a successful online destination. Here are some important aspects of online sales tactics to consider when running an e-commerce or service-oriented business:

Relativity
It turns out Einstein knew what he was talking about—relativity does matter. Although this kind of relativity isn’t exactly what the theoretical physicist had in mind, there is something to be said for comparing your products to others. When products are offered in a standard and deluxe version, the standard version suddenly looks like a bargain and tends to sell. Create instant price comparisons on your site, and people are less likely to leave the site to shop around.
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Staying Home This Year? Get Some Gear

For many Americans it’s about that time to start planning spring and summer getaways. A couple of years ago that may have meant a visit to the Eiffel Tower, a week-long road trip to the Grand Canyon, or a few days soaking up the sun on a beach in Mazatlan. But, those days of excess have come to a grinding halt as the economy has worsened, and layoffs have proliferated.

This year has been coined the year of the ‘staycation.’ People are spending less, and staying home more. A recent Allstate poll found that nearly half of all Americans plan to cut back on travel in 2009. An International SOS survey found that 4 out of 10 Americans are reducing their international trips, and, according to a Zagat study 20 percent less people will travel in 2009 than 2008.

That doesn’t mean that people won’t be using their two weeks of paid vacation. In fact, more and more people are taking their vacations – at home. And, there’s good reason why they’ve decided to stay home. Even when gas prices are falling, airline fees are stagnant. In October, for example, airfares were up 10 percent. People could barely afford to fly a year ago, and this year it’s no better.
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Modern Old-fashioned Networking

There are very few situations where a social media profile will not be of use to your professional or private life. These days more and more people are jumping on the social media networking bandwagon. In fact, many teenagers who have grown up in the advent of social media don’t know any other form of networking. If you own a small business that’s kicking off a social media marketing campaign you shouldn’t underestimate the importance incorporating some old-fashioned, face-to-face networking. There are dozens of ways to connect that are just as good as “Social Media” on the web.

Here are some suggestions:
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Shopping Online Saves Lives, Money, Earth

On Black Friday millions of Americans fought the shopping crowds to get the best deals at stores like Wal-Mart and Best Buy. In fact, many Americans camped out in store parking lots Thanksgiving night just to make sure they’d be one of the first people through the doors.

The economic crunch has put a strain on shoppers’ budgets this year, but you wouldn’t know that with the throngs of people lined up outside stores last Friday morning. This year people know what they want and where to get the best deal on it.

But when the spoils of shopping begin to outweigh the benefits: is it really worth battling the crowds to shop on Black Friday when you can save time, money and stress by shopping online?
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Holiday Advertising Gets Shoppers’ Attention

As we count down the days before Thanksgiving and Christmas, many people are thinking about finishing their holiday shopping, and online business owners are scrambling for customers. With the current, shaky state of the economy, it’s no wonder that small businesses are focused on the holiday buying season.

Small business owners should be planning their holiday marketing campaigns in advance, as it’s not uncommon for holiday promotions to start as early as November 1. But business owners, just like shoppers, have hectic schedules, and often get a late start.

However, it’s never too late to start advertising for the holiday shopping extravaganza. If you’re running a business online here are some tips to help you prepare for this gift-giving season.
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