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The 4 Main E-Commerce Business Models
Running your own online business can be highly profitable, but it is not as simple as building a store and hoping for the best. You still need to have a set of business goals that will make your e-commerce store successful. That’s why, in this post, we are going to cover the four main types of e-business models, namely: B2CB2B (and B2G)C2BC2C Continue reading to learn more about these models and how they can help you build a successful e-commerce business. What Is an E-Commerce Business Model? An e-commerce business model is a company's plan for how it will monetize selling products or services online. There are many ways to do this, but some common e-commerce business models include selling goods directly to consumers, selling goods to other businesses, or providing digital services. So what’s the difference between digital commerce and e-commerce? The defining difference between digital commerce and e-commerce is that digital commerce includes all forms of electronic communication, such as social media, text messages, emails, etc., whereas e-commerce only includes transactions that take place on websites. Categories of E-Commerce Business Models There are many types of e-commerce business models. With examples, we cover the most popular ones here. Business-To-Consumer (B2C) Business to consumer (B2C) refers to transactions in which a business sells its products or services to consumers. B2C is the most common e-commerce business model and, therefore, many online niches fall into this category. They often use digital marketing for their e-commerce business success. Example of B2C Think of a clothing, entertainment, and household supplies retailer like Walmart, which sells products to individual consumers online. The main advantages of B2C include: Potentially endless customer base.Greater potential for sales and profits. The disadvantages of B2C include: Competitive business niches.Difficulties presented by customer service and return policies. Business-To-Business (B2B) A business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce model is one where a business sells its products or services to other businesses, rather than to consumers. This model is generally associated with high-end, high-priced products or services in industries in which the bulk of the revenue is generated by business purchases. The business-to-business model generally ends at the purchase stage—the company sells its product to another company, which then sells it to its customers. Another subsection of B2B is business-to-government (B2G). Although business-to-government business models are often grouped together with the B2B business model, instead of a business supplying another private business, they sell goods and services to government organizations. This can include anything from office supplies and technology products to complex consulting services. The B2G e-commerce model has become increasingly popular in recent years as governments seek to find ways to reduce costs and streamline operations. There are several benefits that businesses can experience when selling to governments through the B2G e-commerce model. First, businesses can enjoy increased visibility and access to decision-makers within government organizations. Additionally, businesses can benefit from cost savings associated with streamlined procurement processes. Finally, businesses can also benefit from opportunities to build long-term partnerships with government organizations. Example of B2B and B2G Think of an online retailer like Amazon that uses the B2B and B2G e-commerce business model. Amazon.com sells various products and services to businesses, including books, software, and electronics. In addition, Amazon has developed several web-based applications specifically for government entities, such as Amazon’s Web Services (AWS), GovCloud. The main advantages of B2B or B2G include: Larger orders.Fewer transactions.Shorter cycle times. The disadvantages of B2B or B2G include: Limited customer base compared to B2C.Potentially higher customer demands, like product customization and pricing options. Consumer-To-Business (C2B) A slightly less common but no less effective strategy is the consumer-to-business (C2B) e-commerce model. C2B involves a consumer selling their products or exchanging their services directly with businesses. This generally occurs without the need for a middleman such as a manufacturer or a wholesaler. Example of C2B Think of an online review website like Yelp or a social media platform like Facebook where consumers leave customer reviews, participate in company surveys, or even share product-focused social media content as an influencer. This is done in exchange for some kind of perk like the chance to win a prize, receive a discount, or be awarded a free product. The main advantages of C2B include Affordable or free advertising.Potentially limitless brand awareness. The disadvantages of C2B include: Unpredictable outcomes.The potential for negative responses. Consumer-To-Consumer (C2C) C2C, also referred to as peer-to-peer (P2P), is an e-commerce business model where a consumer sells their products or services directly to other consumers. It contrasts with business-to-consumer (B2C), where the focus of the business is selling products or services to consumers. C2C is a very popular e-commerce model as it allows business owners to broaden their customer base and reach a larger audience. Example of C2C C2C websites are often referred to as P2P selling platforms. The concept is very similar to classified ads, which are often posted locally at a neighborhood or community level. Think of something like Facebook Marketplace, which is essentially a sub-platform of Facebook’s main platform—a place that connects consumers with other consumers. Facebook makes money from the buyers and sellers viewing on-site ads, and the consumer gets the benefit of connecting to another consumer who either wants to buy or sell secondhand goods. Leveraging this business model is a great way for businesses to increase their profit margins by growing their brand awareness. The main advantages of C2C include: Potential for high margins.Low to zero manufacturing costs. The disadvantages of C2C include: Highly competitive market.Increased potential for scams. Need help with ad management? Read our beginner's guide to effective e-commerce ads. Another "Fast Growing" Business Model Direct-To-Consumer (D2C) In this post, we’ve outlined the four most common and most successful e-commerce business models—but know that there are more than just four. For instance, D2C, or direct-to-consumer, is now becoming a very broadly used e-commerce business model. D2C cuts out the middleman and allows a manufacturer to sell directly to a consumer. Regardless of which e-commerce model you choose to roll with, just be sure to clearly understand your business goals and which direction you’d like your online store to be heading. You should also take into consideration that you will have to address some of the challenges associated with e-commerce. Example of D2C: D2C brands like Warby Parker and Harry's have disrupted the traditional eyewear and razor markets by cutting out the retail middleman and selling products directly to consumers online. The main advantages of D2C include control over brand messagingand direct access to customers and their buying behaviors. The disadvantages of D2C include increased liabilityand complex internal management. A great way to boost direct-to-consumer profits is through the use of advertisement. To learn more about how ads can boost your potential D2C profits, see our “using ads on e-commerce sites” guide. Selecting the Best E-Commerce Business Model There are a few key things to keep in mind when selecting the right e-commerce business model for your company. The first is deciding if you want to sell directly to consumers, businesses, or governments. Each e-commerce model has its own set of pros and cons, so it's essential to select the right model for your business. Here are a few things to consider when choosing an e-commerce model: What are your business goals? Analyze the market to better understand which e-commerce business model suits your business best. What is your target market? Define who they are, what they want, and how to reach them.What products or services do you offer? Decide this early on and market it appropriately.What is your budget? Set realistic budget goals, and stick to them as closely as possible.What is your level of technical expertise? Decide where your specialties lie, what you’d like to tackle yourself, and what work would be better outsourced to outside contractors. Once you've landed on a decision for each of these key considerations, you’ll need to decide how you're going to reach them by choosing the correct e-commerce business revenue model. Is your new business model going to use an existing platform like Amazon or eBay, or are you going to build your own website? If you're going the self-hosted route, make sure to have a solid understanding of web development and e-commerce platforms. That way, you can create a site that's both user-friendly and profitable. To help you make that decision, take a look at our comparisons of the three most popular e-commerce platforms: Wix vs. ShopifyWix vs. WooCommerceWooCommerce vs. Shopify
Business managementWix vs. WooCommerce: Pros, Cons, and Key DifferencesThere are many e-commerce platforms to choose from if you want to construct a professional website. Although, depending on your needs, you’ll want to find the right website builder that meets your business goals. To make your decision a little easier, in this post, we'll be looking at two popular platforms: Wix and WooCommerce. Let’s compare these two popular platforms head-to-head and break down the pros and cons of each. What Is WooCommerce? The online e-commerce platform, WooCommerce is an open-source e-commerce plugin for WordPress that helps people conduct business using their own self-hosted WordPress websites. The WooCommerce plugin quickly became widely popular because of its easy installation and customization options. WooCommerce Pros Open-source and free to useIt has a large community of support and add-ons, allowing it to create complex sitesHighly flexible, allowing you to add several features that are not available on other e-commerce platforms WooCommerce Cons WooCommerce is a WordPress only pluginNot the best option if you want to build a large, custom e-commerce websiteDifficult to customize your website using advanced programming languages like PHP What Is Wix? Wix is an easy-to-use website builder that makes use primarily of intuitive drag-and-drop tools and doesn't require any prior coding experience. Wix Pros Great and user-friendly interfaceGreat social media integration Wix Cons The free plan forces in-house branding on your websiteTracking Google analytics requires a paid planLike Shopify, once you set up a website with Wix, it’s not transferable to any other platform Compare the Ease of Use While there is a bit of a learning curve for WooCommerce, the trade-off is versatility. Most people choose WooCommerce for its flexibility, but the difficulty lies in understanding how to harness this flexibility. It's possible to change almost anything, but because of this, to create complex sites, you’ll need to understand code and programming to get the job done. The upside to this flexibility is that WooCommerce has over 55,000 compatible plugins that can be used to customize a site’s aesthetic and functionality. Wix is easy to use and designed so that anyone can work with it, its overall learning curve being much flatter. You're able to move articles, images, or shopping cart buttons anywhere on your website by dragging and dropping them. This allows your entire web presence to be created much faster on Wix than WooCommerce. Compare the Customer Support Customer support is one of the most important features you can offer your customers. WooCommerce offers basic support with its core feature set. There is plenty of helpful content from the WooCommerce Company that is quite impressive and geared toward solving common problems that many new users may have. Furthermore, they're clearly defined into categories such as “Getting Started” and “Security,” making them easy to search through when looking for a specific problem. On the other hand, Wix offers one of the best support experiences on the web. Wix offers a wide variety of products and services designed to help anyone get immediate help with any technical issues they might encounter. Apart from the forums, blogs, and video tutorials, Wix also has specialized email and telephone support services to help customers who need it most. Compare the SEO Features To gain SEO features for WooCommerce, you’ll need to install a plugin like Yoast SEO. It's the number one recommended plugin for WooCommerce, and over five million websites make use of it to optimize their internet presence. Wix offers several SEO solutions, with the most widely used being Site Booster. Site Booster is free, but it will cost users $3.44/month for Wix’s Unlimited, Pro, and VIP Plans. The Site Booster also has a lot of SEO options, such as integrating your company address in search engine results, which helps with local business optimization strategies. Compare the Pricing Aside from WordPress hosting costs, which are often less than $10 USD per month, WooCommerce is basically free to use. Wix has a free plan available. However, for a website that is free of Wix branding and has a set of full functionalities, you’ll need to pay a monthly cost. Wix’s pricing plans are: Combo Plan - $14/monthUnlimited Plan - $18/monthPro Plan - $23/monthVIP Plan - $39/month Which Platform Is the Best for Your Online Store? With the popularity of Wix and WooCommerce, it is only natural for e-commerce owners to wonder if they should migrate their store to one of these platforms. This decision will depend on your current needs, your future goals, and the budget you have up your sleeve. If this doesn't help you make up your mind, perhaps you should consider other platforms as well, such as Shopify. Visit our WooCommerce vs. Shopify or Wix vs. Shopify posts to learn more.
Profit optimizationThe 4 Best WooCommerce Payment Gateways to Maximize ProfitDid you know that there are over 70 payment gateways available for WooCommerce businesses? With so much to choose from, it's hard to know which payment gateway is best for your WooCommerce store. Choosing a payment gateway is as important as choosing between WooCommerce vs. Shopify. It is essential to select the right payment gateway from the get-go to avoid future complications from changing at a later stage. In this article, we'll cover factors to consider when choosing a WooCommerce payment gateway to maximize profit and the four best WooCommerce payment processors for your e-commerce store. How to Choose the Best WooCommerce Payment Gateway to Maximize Profit First, let’s discuss why a payment gateway is important and how it affects profits. A payment gateway could maximize profits or lead to losses. If customers don’t find their preferred payment methods, they’ll sometimes not pay at all, leading to an increased abandoned cart rate. However, if customers go through a seamless WooCommerce payment processing system at checkout, they’ll pay for the products and could even buy more. Here are some of the things you should consider when choosing a payment gateway: The Location of Your Business and Customers Like any other business, there are both advantages and disadvantages of e-commerce. An advantage is that you get to reach more customers globally. If you have foreign customers, you should consider if the payment gateway is available to them. Other gateways require the merchants to be in specific countries. Your Business Type If your business is subscription-based, you'll require a WooCommerce payment gateway integration system that accepts subscriptions or automatic payments. Having a payment gateway that handles in-house payments is best If you have both physical and online-based businesses. The Cost of the Payment Gateway Apart from transactional costs that every payment gateway provider requires, some require additional WooCommerce fees like setup costs, subscription fees, and sign-up fees. Compare the 4 Best Payment Gateways for WooCommerce PayPal Having a market share of 50%, PayPal is the most popular and trusted payment gateway known to customers. Especially for new e-commerce businesses that are not known, adding a popular gateway makes customers feel secure to buy products. Pricing PayPal is free for buyers, while merchants pay 2.9% plus 30 cents for every transaction and an extra 1.5% fee for international payments. Some of the Key features of PayPal include: Support in over 200 countries and for 26 currencies.Support for commonly used credit and debit cards.An in-built fraud prevention and risk management system.No monthly charges, gateway fees, or subscriptions. Some of PayPal's cons include: Restricting the plugin to those who have a PayPal business account.Not handling payments on your site, but instead redirecting customers to the PayPal checkout page.Not working for recurring WooCommerce subscription-based businesses. Stripe Supporting over 135 currencies in over 26 countries, Stripe has gained popularity in e-commerce businesses. It's best for international businesses and those that are both online and in-house. Stripe is one of the WooCommerce custom payment gateways that provides options to customize your checkout, making your business unique. This is just one of the many differences between Stripe vs. PayPal. Pricing Similar to PayPal, Stripe has no setup or monthly costs and charges flat rates of 2.9% fee plus 30 cents per transaction and an additional 1% fee for international payments. Also, an additional 1% for currency conversion. Some of the key features of Stripe include: Easy handling of recurring payments that are great for subscription businesses.Processing refunds automatically.Accepting payments directly to your WooCommerce store both on the web and on mobile.Supporting digital payments like Google Pay, Apple Pay, Microsoft Pay, and Alipay.Free integration for your WooCommerce store with no setup or monthly costs. Stripe has very few cons, with the only significant one requiring some software development expertise to use the open API and tools. WooCommerce Payments WooCommerce Payments is a great plugin that accepts payments online. It offers a deeper integrated payment system for your store and a better checkout experience. To use it, you’ll need a WordPress account and the JetPack plugin installed. Pricing Similar to Paypal and Stripe, WooCommerce Payments is free, having no setup costs and monthly fees. It only charges the standard transactional fees of 2.9% and 30 cents per transaction with an additional 1% fee for non-US issued cards. Some of the key features of WooCommerce Payments include: Viewing all your payments and cash flows while also managing revenue on your store’s dashboard without logging into other sites.Accepting payments in over 135 currencies and common credit cards, debit cards, and digital payments.A streamlined checkout where customers don't leave the WooCommerce store.Managing refunds easily. Some of WooCommerce Payments' cons include: Limiting use to certain countries like the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and a few others.Having to install the JetPack plugin to your WooCommerce store before being able to use it. Authorize.net Authorize.net is one of the best WooCommerce payment plugins. It has great features, especially for startups, such as advanced fraud protection tools that protect both customers and your business. Pricing Authorize.net charges monthly fees of $25 in addition to the 2.9% + 30 cents base rate per transaction. Some of the key features of Authorize.net include: Accepting all major credit and debit card payments as well as PayPal.Handling refunds, subscriptions, preorders, allowing customers to try products before having to pay.Allowing customers to save payment details for faster checkouts next time.Providing reminders to users with automated payments for future transactions. Some of Authorize.net's cons include: Availability only to merchants in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, and Europe.Monthly subscription fees of $25. Should You Change From Your Existing Payment Gateway? It is worth it to change to a different gateway if your current gateway isn't providing beneficial features for your business. You may face some issues while changing gateways, but it will be worth it in the end. If you want to offer your customers more payment methods, adding more gateways is better. We recommend having at least 2 WooCommerce payment gateways to better serve your customers. Conclusion Having a payment gateway is the last step to closing a sale. It’s the point where your customers put in credit card information and release funds. If you choose the wrong payment gateway, customers will leave your site and buy from other stores. PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, and WooCommerce are the top 4 best payment gateways for e-commerce businesses.
MarketingManaging Abandoned Carts on Wix: Prevention and RecoveryAccording to the Baymard Institute, the average cart abandonment rate sits at just shy of 70%. Do you know why? Well, there are several reasons a customer may abandon a shopping cart and multiple reasons why shopping cart abandonment is bad. For one, abandoned carts leave conversions and profits on the table. Further still, abandoned carts can also affect your inventory. Products locked away in abandoned carts make it appear that you don’t have stock when you really do, taking products out of the hands of customers who are ready to make a purchase. To help you circumvent cart abandonment issues on your Wix e-commerce store, we have answered some frequently asked questions about cart abandonment and suggested some strategies you can use to avoid it. One thing remains clear: As an online store owner, you should do everything within your power to recover these abandoned carts. Can Abandoned Carts Be Prevented? Unfortunately, as nice as it would be, abandoned carts aren’t something that can be avoided entirely. Almost every online shopper has had an item in their cart without purchasing it. Most of them don't realize that abandoned carts can affect a business. Although, there are highly effective ways to reduce cart abandonment. Strategies that will reduce the chance a customer will likely leave your site with a shopping cart full of goodies. Alongside cart abandonment issues, e-commerce also has some upsides and downsides that you may want to consider. If you wish to know more, visit our post about the advantages and disadvantages of e-commerce. Why Are There So Many Abandoned Carts? There are several well-known reasons customers bail on their shopping carts, and the main ones include: A slow checkout process.Customers that aren't confident in their purchases or your site.Customers that aren't ready to make a purchase.Customers that have mutinied and bought from a different website.Customers who hoped for a guest checkout option and didn't want to create an account with your site.Not offering a customer’s preferred payment gateway. How to Stop Abandoned Carts Before They Happen There are several ways an e-commerce store can stop abandoned carts before they happen. These include: Building a well-designed, easy to navigate, and informative Wix store.Creating a user-friendly checkout process that has minimal steps and avoids unnecessary distractions.Creating a positive shopping experience that goes beyond the sale.Offering a secure and trustworthy shopping experience. Abandoned Cart Recovery Strategies There are several ways a Wix e-commerce store can decrease cart abandonment rates. The best ones are discussed below: Add a progress bar to your shopping cart’s checkout page This lets your customers know what step of the checkout process they are on and reassures them that their order is being processed. Provide product recommendations by the checkout page This will encourage your customers to add more items to their shopping cart. Provide incentives to your shoppers For example, offering a discount or free shipping for people who buy over one item in their cart. Send a follow-up email to your customers This could be a “thank you” email for visiting your store, or it could be a discount code for their next purchase. Send an abandoned checkout email or abandoned cart text message This type of follow-up has been incredibly effective at bringing a customer back to your store to complete their purchase. Automation Tools for Abandoned Cart Recovery Emails on Wix There are some awesome Wix email automations out there that you can use to reduce cart abandonment. Carti Abandoned Cart Recovery Provide an easier checkout experience with multichannel cart recovery by allowing Carti to reach out to your lost customers and get them back directly to the checkout page of your online store, with auto-generated discounts and coupons as incentives. Omnisend Email Marketing & SMS In one location, you’ll have access to messages worldwide, pre-built templates that get you going quickly, and the ability to use messages from start to finish throughout a potential customer’s journey. With Omnisend, engage new shoppers, recover abandoned carts, and reactivate lost customers with messages across multiple channels. MarketPush Cart Recovery A touch different, MarketPush Cart Recovery allows you to automate the recovery of abandoned carts using SMS, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger. It aims to boost your store’s sales by improving conversion rates and re-engaging lost customers. How to Tell if Your Abandoned Cart Recovery Campaign Is Working If you’re wondering how to understand whether your abandoned cart recovery strategies are working, you need to measure your results. Optimizing your cart abandonment strategies will come down to experimentation to see what works best for your business. Using the right approach, you’ll see a corresponding decrease in abandonment and an uplift in recovered carts. If you’re still on the fence wondering whether Wix or Shopify is the best e-commerce platform for your store, visit our Wix vs. Shopify post.
Business management4 Ways WooCommerce Stores Can Personalize the Customer ExperienceWhen it comes to e-commerce, having a personalized experience for your customers is just one of the many keys to success. The same can be said for your WooCommerce store. Even if you're just starting out, it's crucial to implement the right strategies in order to deliver a personalized experience. Without a doubt, customers need to be wowed in order to give you their precious customer loyalty. By delivering personalized service, you’re boosting your chances of a higher customer engagement rate, improved customer profitability, and even repeat purchases. To help you achieve all this and more, here are some tried and trusted methods of personalizing your WooCommerce store to improve the customer experience. 1. Understand Your Customers One of the greatest markers of success for an e-commerce store is how well they understand their customers. A brand's customer base is its most important asset and you should do everything possible to understand and provide them with the best possible experience. One of the first things you should do is to gather as much customer information as possible. Who are your customers? Where do they live? What do they like? What do they dislike? Understanding the answers to these questions will allow you to find a common ground between your customers and your brand - allowing you to not only create a personalized shopping experience but also better target their purchasing habits. A great way to do this is by creating a customer journey map. The benefits of customer journey mapping are that you’ll quickly understand your customers faster than ever before. This will empower you to create outstanding products and services that will meet and exceed your expectations, all the while maximizing sales and minimizing marketing expenses. 2. Engage Customers Directly Engaging with customers directly will help build a better customer experience. There are many ways to do this, such as replying to customer reviews, releasing surveys, or sending out newsletters. Creating dialogue through this type of outreach will help you gather valuable insight, allowing you to build a personalized service. It will also give your customers a feeling of importance and make them feel like a brand that they enjoy doing business with hears them. Another great way to engage with your customer directly is through social media. Additionally, Facebook has just made this easier with their Facebook audience optimization tool. This tool helps businesses target certain posts to selected audiences based on their browsing interests, encouraging them to interact with your posts and allowing you to engage with them directly on a more frequent basis. 3. Encourage Return Business Through Loyalty Systems Customer loyalty programs have long been a popular addition to e-commerce business models. This is because they help increase conversions, boost sales, and grow brand awareness. Loyalty programs are also an excellent means of encouraging customers to return to your business or to make repeat purchases. They help you reduce the cost of customer acquisition and increase the lifetime value of each customer. A points and rewards system is one of the best methods. Setting up a loyalty system that rewards your customers for repeatedly shopping in your store is a great way to encourage them to come back again and again. 4. Include Customizable Products Customizable products are another great way to add a touch of personalization to the customer experience. This has a number of advantages, such as: Products that are more personal and specifically suited to a customer's preferences.Helping to differentiate your product from competitors, thus making it more attractive to customers.Encouraging more time spent on your store.Giving the customer autonomy over how their purchased product looks, performs, and feels. Which Personalization Methods Are Right for You? Having a personalized experience for your customers is one of the keys to success in e-commerce. It's essential to create a connection and help your visitors feel like they're talking to a friend and not just a computer. The more comfortable they feel, the more likely they are to keep coming back. The good news is that it's easier than ever to give your customers a great experience online, and you can do it all yourself with the right tools. Although, it’s important to understand, depending on the niche your e-commerce store resides, that some businesses may find some personalization techniques more effective than others. It’s up to you what you’ll personalize in your WooCommerce store, but get it right and your customers will reward you with customer loyalty and repeat purchases. Fore example, offering customizable products on a branded clothing service probably isn't the best idea. If the jury is still out on whether or not you should choose WooCommerce or Shopify for your next e-commerce store, check out our WooCommerce vs. Shopify post to make your decision a little easier.
Marketing4 Ways to Boost E-Commerce Sales in the 2022 Holiday SeasonThe holiday season always brings in a huge influx of sales activity across all major e-commerce platforms. With this in mind, e-commerce retailers should start building an action plan to improve sales performance while also thinking about how they can boost e-commerce holiday revenue. Here are some ways to boost your e-commerce sales during the 2021 holiday season. 1. Optimize Your Website for PC and Mobile Optimizing the customer experience on your website will be sure to keep them happy and entice their return, while a poorly optimized website can scare customers off before they even reach the checkout. Some things to consider when optimizing your site are discussed below. Increase Page Loading Speeds To assess your website’s loading speeds, use a tool called PageSpeed Insights. Unlike other speed testing tools, PageSpeed delivers a website speed analysis for both mobile and PC devices simultaneously. The best part: PageSpeed Insights also breaks down any components on your website that could use improvement. Offer a Fast Checkout As consumers have become more accustomed to the benefits of online shopping, the importance of a quick and efficient checkout process has become apparent. In fact, it’s a well-known fact that the faster a website’s checkout process, the higher conversion rates are likely to be. One of the best examples of a super-efficient and high-converting checkout process is Amazon. The rollout of their one-click checkout process has been a tremendous success. To emulate the success that Amazon has had, try out these fast checkout tips: Add multiple checkout or shopping cart buttons to your website.Minimize the number of forms your customers have to fill out to complete their transactions.Offer a guest checkout option.Offer multiple payment gateways. Optimize Pop-Ups and CTAs Getting the timing right for pop-ups and calls to action (CTAs) is crucial. If you annoy or distract your users with too many pop-ups or CTAs, you risk losing their trust and conversions. And, if you don’t include any pop-ups or CTAs, you risk people not finding what they were looking for on your site at all and leaving disappointed. To strike the right balance between these two extremes, try out these pop-up and CTA optimization tips: Make sure your CTA is clear and visible.Make your pop-ups more relevant to the user.Use your pop-ups to highlight products or services they’ve previously browsed.Make sure your pop-ups and CTAs are mobile-friendly.A/B test everything to help you determine what works and what doesn’t. 2. Use Cross-Selling, Upselling, and Buy Now, Pay Later Apps Another e-commerce holiday marketing strategy is to use cross-selling, upselling, and buy now, pay later apps. If you haven’t heard of these strategies to increase online sales in your store, here’s a quick breakdown of each: Cross-selling is a sales technique where a retailer encourages a customer to buy an additional product or service at the same time as the original purchase.Up-selling is a sales technique where a retailer encourages a customer to buy a more expensive or more profitable version of a product or service.Buy Now, Pay Later is an online payment feature that lets customers buy online by paying nothing upfront. As an e-commerce seller, you are always looking for ways to improve your business sales results. With the help of these tools and tactics, you can do just that. Are you using Shopify? If so, why not check out our post on the Best Shopify Apps to Increase Sales. 3. Run Holiday Promotions Some popular promotion strategies to increase company sales are discussed below. Bundles Product bundling involves offering a group of products together at a single discounted price. This is a very popular sales strategy that can increase sales and profit margins significantly while also helping your customers create a more well-rounded purchase. Discounts The goal of holiday promotions is to encourage users to purchase more. Offering a discount is a very effective way to do this. You can send discounts to all customers or, if you are looking for a more effective strategy, you can use targeted discounts based on your customers' previous purchasing history. Our post on the best Shopify apps lists a few that can help you do this. A perfect time to use holiday-promoted discounts is during Black Friday sales. If you want to learn more about the best ways to do this, check out our Black Friday Marketing Strategy post. Giveaways A giveaway is a promotional strategy that involves distributing gifts to your customers. The purpose of a giveaway is to boost sales by encouraging people to buy a specified product or service. 4. Expand Your Sales Channels One of the most effective ways of boosting your sales during the holiday period is to expand your social media presence. Here are a few tips to help your e-commerce store achieve this: Grow your audience through appealing offers and incentives.Use influencers to your advantage.A/B test your social media adverts.Leverage Facebook audience optimization. Where Should You Start? Knowing where to start will largely depend on how big your e-commerce store is, how much exposure it already has, as well as how big of a budget you have to play with. If you’re new, start with the basics. Be sure your website is running optimally and you’re focusing on building your site traffic and conversions. For larger, more established sites looking to increase website sales and profits, try optimizing your checkout process, focusing on CRO, and expanding your exposure through social media.
Profit optimizationEffective Cost Leadership Strategies (With Examples)Business strategy is a critical but subtle aspect of a company's business. The strategy defines a company's long-term goals and should be based on detailed research of its industry niche and the company itself. A well-developed business strategy should be stable enough to be used as a foundation for crucial decisions and should be flexible enough to adapt to emerging changes. What Is a Cost Leadership Strategy? Cost leadership is a business-level strategy that aims to establish a company or business as the lowest-cost producer in its industry. This can be accomplished by cutting costs in all areas of operations including: WagesMarketingProduct developmentBusiness operationsMaterialsTransportation This approach allows companies to establish a competitive advantage over their competition, which often leads to increases in revenue and overall profit growth. Additionally, there is also an integrated cost leadership and differentiation strategy, which involves a company selling low-cost unique products that you can't get elsewhere. A great example of this would be IKEA. Pros and Cons of Cost Leadership Strategies Cost Leadership Advantages Dominate the competition If a sustainable cost leadership strategy is achieved, a business has the potential to dominate its industry by outperforming its competition through low operating costs, low product and services prices, and high-profit margins.Boost brand reputation A well-planned cost leadership strategy allows the firm to build its reputation rapidly, which quickly creates demand for the products and services.Increase profit High-profit margins, good market reputation, and low operating costs can significantly improve business stability and boost overall success. Cost Leadership Disadvantages Compromised quality of service A cost leadership strategy may force a company to cut corners and compromise quality in order to keep costs down.Risk inflexibility A company that's cost-focused has likely minimized all of the costs along the entirety of their supply chain including procurement, logistics, warehousing, and manufacturing. And this can create complications as high-efficiency companies tend to be quite inflexible by nature. Who Benefits the Most From Cost Leadership Business-Level Strategies? Businesses across the board all benefit from cutting operation costs. But when it comes to cost leadership business-level strategies, who benefits the most? Small businesses can benefit from cost leadership strategies in a lot of ways. It is quite easy for a small business to gain a competitive advantage through cost leadership strategies as it isn’t that difficult to change, adapt, or rework its business endeavors. Small businesses are quite flexible and can take advantage of market changes, fluctuations, and demand. Not to be left out, large businesses or companies can also benefit from cost leadership strategies. Cost leadership strategies work really well for firms that offer a product or service that can be standardized, is widely available, and is easy to manufacture en masse - something a large business is adept at. Examples of the Best Cost Leadership Strategies In a variety of different industries, there are commonalities between companies that have implemented successful cost leadership strategies. With this in mind, know that you can apply the lessons learned from these businesses in order to boost your own successes. Here’s a look at the best cost leadership strategies these companies commonly utilize: Bargaining power Securing low product and manufacturing costs with suppliers will drive down operating costs. To achieve this, shop around and use the competition between suppliers to your advantage - compare competitor pricing strategies, approach separate suppliers, and use your bargaining skills to secure the lowest product prices and increase your overall profit margins.Automation Finding and rectifying inefficiencies and implementing automation and technology to increase productivity and reduce costs. Recurring tasks like data reporting, email marketing, applicant screening during hiring, and many more are all business processes that can be easily automated.Replicable products and services Offer products or services that are standardized, are easy to reproduce, and are simple to deliver to customers.Scale operations Increase profit through economies of scale, where more units produced means lower unit costs.Pricing Cost leaders often evolve into price leaders as well because of the low prices they can offer their customers. Is a Cost Leadership Strategy Worth It for a Small Business? Cost leadership is a very powerful strategy, but it's not for every business. Not every business is capable of achieving the advantages of this strategy as it requires a lot of factors to be aligned. One of the most important factors is product differentiation. If you want to implement a cost leadership strategy, you need to be able to deliver a product or service that is better than the competition. That way you can provide a better quality product for a lower price and still make a profit.
Profit optimizationPower Up Your eCommerce Plan With This Black Friday Marketing StrategyFor marketers and brands, 9 PM on Black Friday can feel like the final few minutes of the moon landing. It’s the time at which sales typically reach their apex and your team finally discovers whether their hard work and strategy paid off. When it does go to plan, eCommerce stores can expect to make around 30% of their annual revenue over the November holiday season. But if it doesn’t: Houston, we have a problem! Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) get tougher to navigate every year. Shoppers are overwhelmed with options and paralyzed with decisions, plus wise to the tricks and nudges marketers are using to get them to spend more. That means brands must start each BFCM campaign earlier, be more creative, and hang in there longer after checkout is complete. The prize? It’s a once-a-year opportunity to clear excess inventory in time for Christmas, acquire new customers, and fill the funnel for the future. Where Can Brands Go Wrong With BFCM? Inevitably, as a consumer, you are going to see this in November — brands you haven’t heard from in weeks or months will start peppering your inbox with their BFCM automated flows (although your spam folder is probably the more likely destination.) Is there something new? Sadly not. For the most part, the products are from the current inventory list, but with — wait for it — a 20% discount! Don’t be that brand. Black Friday weekend is the busiest time of year for stores and marketers. It’s noisy and intrusive, but customers indulge us because there are deals to be seized. Without proper planning, however, eCommerce stores find themselves discounting items that could have gone for full price, going out of stock due to an unexpected demand or spending heavily to convert customers who are never heard from again. Some brands even skip the whole experience altogether — particularly if you’re a luxury retailer, BFCM discounts may not be a good fit for your long-term strategy. You could even emulate REI, the outdoor-gear retailer that chooses to give employees Black Friday off to #optoutside instead - which is very much on brand for them. But if you’re in, go all in. Here’s how... Adjust Advertising Plans To Fill the Funnel Prep well ahead if you want to feast over Thanksgiving. That means seeding the funnel from a distance, building interest and excitement, educating leads, and getting customers used to seeing you in their inbox and on their social media feeds. As customers engage, segment them by interest, behavior, and demographics so that you’re delivering a relevant message at each touch point of the customer journey. That might sound like the conventional funnel, but this one comes with an expiration date. Because once Thanksgiving is over, it’s time to unleash the BFCM discounts and special offers. At this point, your list should be warmed up and your customers aware of your products and brand values — ready to convert. Rather than trying to pitch a discount to new prospects — never a good idea — you can invite them to storm the checkout with a fully loaded shopping cart. Bear in mind that generating leads through paid social advertising means competing in an even more crowded marketplace around the holiday season. The average CTR for Facebook ads during the year is 0.89% across all sectors. Although conversion rates can increase by up to 36% over Black Friday weekend, it’s harder to grab a slice of the pie. Plus with the iOS App Tracking Transparency changes, it’s more expensive than ever! Try These Strategies Bring in the influencers to build buzz around your brand in a more authentic way that speaks directly to their audience.Offer early-bird specials and VIP sneak peeks to break out of the same cycle everyone else is using. Launch Time — Discounts Done Right Discounts are most effective when they’re delivered as an unexpected reward. But everybody expects a BFCM deal, so surprises have to be more sophisticated. Offer an alternative. Who knew that 20% of shoppers prefer free shipping to a discount? Similarly, gift wrapping or personalization can unlock responses that price reductions can no longer reach. Save your best deals for your most loyal customers. VIPs spend three times more than your other customers, but usually make up only around 5% of your list. Encourage customers to spend more, not less. Use your discounts to lure buyers toward higher-ticket items or bigger shopping carts, instead of offering them from the outset storewide. Likewise, discount certain product categories only, not the whole store. That adds an element of exclusivity. If you do run discounts, all your deals should be prominent on your landing page. Ideally, you want to separate them from the everyday stock with a distinctive color scheme, theme or mega-menu. Consider adding payment options such as “Buy Now, Pay Later” or one-click checkout. Nothing extinguishes the buzz of a big discount like a long, convoluted checkout process. Shopify recommends ditching the coupons and codes altogether, because they add friction and customers find them annoying. Instead, run dynamic scripts that apply discounts once a shopping cart reaches a specific target. Don’t overlook A/B testing just because it’s Black Friday. In fact, make it a priority to test send times, discounts versus other offers, even copy lines and creative. If your e-commerce store is about to be swamped with shoppers, there’s a lot of valuable insight to be gathered for your ongoing marketing strategy. Leverage SMS and Email To Boost Conversions Although the trusted approach is to set up a solid funnel to grab attention on social media, nurture leads through email or content marketing, then convert with discounts when BFCM weekend arrives — it’s not always that simple. Customers can reach your eCommerce store over the holiday season from all angles, with or without intent, for the first time or as a repeat visitor, happy to browse or ready to buy. Whatever route they’ve taken to reach your store, the frightening reality is that around 75% will leave by abandoning their cart. Without SMS, Messenger, and email to retarget them, weeks or months of hard work (and budget) could be lost at the final hurdle. The key takeaway? Don’t overlook lifecycle marketing. SMS in particular can boast open rates as high as 98%. Exploiting SMS will also force everyone to keep mobile top of mind when crafting their strategy. Bear in mind that around 60% to 70% of your customers are going to view your Black Friday campaign on mobile. That means your site has to be responsive, your emails dynamic, and your checkout process as frictionless as possible. Reap the Rewards After the Season Is Over Smart marketers know that the week after Cyber Monday is often just as popular as the two weeks leading up to Black Friday. After all, there’s no rule that says you have to shut down the sale when the clock strikes midnight. If everything has gone to plan, your store has a lot of happy customers, many of whom are first-time purchasers. Now is the time to turn them into brand loyalists and maximize their customer lifetime value. From Conversion to Delight Offer incentives for referrals, who typically generate 16% higher revenue than average customers and are four times more likely to refer other customers themselves. Upsell your related products based on previous purchases. If you’ve just treated a new customer to a Black Friday discount, they’re likely to have a positive opinion of your store.Continue to reward loyalty. They may have arrived as a BFCM shopper, but you can make them a VIP and grow their average order value or secure their subscription. Have a plan for returns. Around 30% of products purchased online are returned, and 80% of consumers expect their returns to be free. Now is not the time to turn a return into a positive customer experience rather than a negative outcome. A straightforward return policy and process can build trust which leads to repeat purchases. Up for the challenge? Reach out to Hawke Media today with these points in mind and watch your eCommerce profits soar over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday week. SOURCES Dynamic Yield 7 Black Friday Mistakes to Avoid on Your Ecommerce Site Shopify Black Friday Ecommerce: 15 Ideas, Tips & Strategies to 3X-10X Sales Salecycle Black Friday 2021 Ultimate Ecommerce Strategy Dixa Black Friday Cyber Monday 12-Point Ecommerce Checklist
Business metricsThe Business Life Cycle: Maximizing Company GrowthThe business life cycle is a model that shows how a business grows and changes over time. It can be applied to a single product, a portion of a business, or an entire company. It aims to show how a business evolves and how to handle each stage of its development. The business life cycle model helps make business strategy decisions, such as how much to invest in research and development or whether to develop or acquire new products. Conceptualizing the life cycle of a business can sometimes be challenging. To help you out, this post will run through everything you need to know about the business life cycle model. Why Is the Business Life Cycle Important? Up-and-coming entrepreneurs often overlook the life cycle of a business. They get so caught up in their ideas and getting their business up and off the ground that it is often easy to overlook the expected corporate lifestyle and forget about the future. With that in mind, understanding the business life cycle model is critical to the success of all managed businesses. What Are the Four Stages of the Business Life Cycle? The life cycle of a business entails several phases that a company can go through. The 4 stages of the business life cycle are: Start-up A product or service is introduced to the market.Growth The product or service is received favorably by the market.Maturity The product or service reaches its peak in popularity or demand.Decline/renewal The product or service declines in popularity and is subsequently halted, reintroduced, or modified to suit new market conditions better. How to Maximise Introductory Growth as a Startup Business There is no surefire way for instant success. Although, there are proven strategies you can employ to help your start-up business grow faster during its introductory stage. Here are a few “how to grow your business" tips that you can easily take advantage of as a startup: Hire the right people Get the right people in the right positions, and your business is sure to get off the ground quickly.Encourage feedback Listening to your customers is a must. Ignore the voice of your greatest critics, and you’re sure to fail.Be adaptable Change is inevitable. With that in mind, it is best to make sure you are staying adaptable before it comes round to bite you later down the road.Incentivize customer loyalty Referral programs are an excellent way to get more people talking about your business faster. How to Employ Growth Strategies to Your Business Ensuring the best possible business growth cycle is important for the efficacy of your company, and here are a few strategies you can employ to do so. Market Strategies Penetration Using strategies like advertisements, product bundles, and discounts can help to outcompete your competitors.Development Leverage the success of your existing popular products or services by launching them in a new geographical area.Segmentation By segmenting your market into groups like customer preferences, interests, and locations, you can easily create targeted campaigns with a much higher chance of success. Partnerships Sometimes to make things happen, businesses may choose to work alongside other businesses. This can lead to joint ventures, mergers, or licensing deals. In many cases, this is a good idea as long as the arrangement benefits all parties involved. Product Expansion Small businesses can benefit hugely from an expansion of product lines. It may be the case that you are experiencing a deceleration in sales or profits due to outdated products or services. If so, it could be time for you to expand your current lineup and boost your chances of success. Alternative Marketing Utilizing non-traditional marketing methods is one of the best ways to grow your budding business. Many small businesses already use more than one online platform for marketing their business, but sometimes switching from one to another can achieve even better results. Can Your Business Grow in the Final Stages of Its Life Cycle? The process of reinvestment can be different for every company, but the purpose is always the same - to ensure that your business can continue to thrive. For businesses that are already experiencing success, reinvestment is about expanding or upgrading. For businesses that are in decline or struggling to get off the ground, reinvestment is about reinvigoration. You can take solace in the fact that, regardless of where your company is in its lifecycle, investing in your business can help you avoid decline and ultimately help to ensure the overall success of your business.
Profit optimizationTop 6 Shopify Sales Funnel AppsGetting the perfect customers is quite tough. No one comes to an eCommerce store predetermined what to buy. You’d be lucky if you get such a customer once in a blue million. For the majority of your customers, you would have to create a funnel that would lead them to make the sale eventually. For most startup businesses, this is exactly the problem. Understanding and implementing the marketing funnel is the only solution to ensuring maximum conversions from your visitors. But, how do you do that? You Don’t. The Shopify funnel app does that for you. Fortunately, for Shopify customers, this mammoth task can be easily achieved through certain apps and tools. But, before that, you need to understand what the marketing funnel is. Understanding the Marketing Funnel The marketing funnel is a visual representation of a customer’s journey from being aware of a brand, to visiting its website page to finally making the sale. The marketing funnel demonstrates this journey in three major steps: awareness, consideration and conversion. Here’s an easy way to understand this: Awareness: Customer sees your ad on social media or search engine Consideration: Customer visits your website, goes through the product and weighs it for pros and cons. Conversion: Customer finally decides to purchase your product. By understanding the marketing funnel, you are able to better align your marketing campaigns with its goals. A brand awareness campaign should not be focused on generating maximum ROI. On the other hand, a remarketing campaign should be focused most on conversions, exactly what Shopify funnel apps contribute to. How Do Shopify Sales Funnel Apps Help? Shopify’s funnel apps help you improve the overall customer journey for your visitors, present your brand in a more professional manner and create processes that lead customers to buying your product. If you are looking for a sales funnel app on Shopify then here the top 5 most sort after ones for 2021: Ali Reviews App: What’s better than having direct reviews from Amazon & Ali Express customers as social proof to increase your website conversions? The Ali Reviews importer app by FireApps helps with a significant boost in product sales and strengthens customer trust. It allows importing authentic product reviews and photos so enhancing your credibility. Pros: Automated Review Request EmailsEasy moderation of product reviewsContributes to inline SEO with rich snippets Reviews available in 15 different languages24/7 customer support Cons: Might not work for all themes Shogun Landing Page Builder: Your landing page is the page where your customers land when they click on your ads. Unlike your home page, a landing page should be more aggressive, targeted to your audience, specific to their needs and professional enough to convince them to buy your products. That’s exactly what Shogun Landing Page Builder does for you. With its professionally designed templates, drag and drop functionality, and thousands of templates, you would have a compelling landing page that would convert your visitors into customers. Pros: Easy to Use with Drag & Drop FeatureMultiple Page Types such as Home, Landing Pages, Services, etc.Mobile & Performance OptimizedEasily to integrate with Google AnalyticsAwesome Support Team Cons: No call support for plans under $149No Free Plans Available PageFly Fast Page Builder PageFly is another popular landing page builder with more than 60 templates and individual section templates. In case, don’t like a particular section of the template you have selected, you can simply replace it with another. It’s easy and allows you to create professionally designed landing pages within minutes. Pros: There is a Free Version availableEasy to use drop and drag featureProfessionally designed page designsA separate database of professionally designed sectionsMobile & performance optimizedLive chat support Easily integrates with Google ads, analytics & FacebookThe dashboard includes visual representations of sales & conversions Cons: Limited Functionality with Free Version such as only one-page template per page type Honeycomb Upsell Funnels Probably one of the smartest Shopify apps to boost your sales! Honeycomb Upsell revolves around the idea of grabbing customer attention when they are about to make the sale, since this is considered the peak of a customer’s attention span. Once a customer buys a product or is about to buy a product, this app displays offers that compels them to add more to their cart. For instance, if a customer is buying a product at a certain price, the app might display a banner showing the same product plus another product with discounted prices. In most cases, customers don't mind paying a little bit extra to get two products for almost the price of one. You make an upsell there and then! Pros: Superb Performance of upsell banners in terms of speed and mobile compatibilityAI integration to scan customer history to suggest relevant upsell productsUnlike most apps, Honeycomb allows offers to appear on any page including thank you page or cart pageEasy to use and set up24/7 support on all packages and free accounts Cons: Limited funnel views with the free package Zipify Pages Builder Here’s another time-tested landing page building Shopify app with drag and drop functionality to make the task easier yet effective. With Zipify, you get the option of using pre-designed landing pages, build one from scratch or customize an existing template as per your liking. There are a bunch of tools that make the process easier for you. Pros: User-friendly drag and drop functionality to build awesome pagesCustomizable pagesMobile and device responsiveAllows you to copy the sales funnel to create more funnels Able to track visitor’s data for remarketing purposes Cons: No free package. Prices start from $67. UFE Cross Sell & Upsell Funnel With any eCommerce website, cross-selling is an opportunity and a missed one for those who don't know about it yet. Cross-selling is the art of selling related products to customers when they select a product. UFE takes this concept to another level by allowing you to offer freebies, gifts, coupons and complimentary offers to customers. It’s a simple tool that charts your cross-selling plans and executes them without any hassle. Pros: A user-friendly app that even beginners can use to chart cross-selling and upselling funnelsEasy to integrate and useAllows to create upsell pages, banners, pop-ups and the likeYou can monitor your customer’s journey liveSupport in multiple languages Cons: Software bugs, rarely though Why Should You Care About Your Marketing Funnel? If you are running an eCommerce business, understanding the way customers behave on websites is the key to maximizing your ROI. Certain elements remain constant regardless of how good your products or marketing campaigns are. This is why it becomes important to break down the process into a marketing funnel and focus on your offerings accordingly. Once you implement a sales or marketing funnel, you’d be in a better position to implement strategies and tools for specific phases. For instance, it would be useless to offer upsells or cross-sells to a visitor when s/he hasn't even reached the checkout page yet. Only with effective marketing funnel tools, you will be able to grab your customer’s attention in accordance with the funnel phase they are in.