5 ways to boost customer enjoyment with an online store


Venturing into e-commerce for the first time? You need to be putting your customers first – but with an online store, it involves some different techniques to physical retailers.

Here are just five ways to ensure your customers are enjoying your online store, spurring them to return in the future.

Have an engaging design

Potential customers won’t stick around for very long if your store’s design isn’t appealing. It’s important to consider the current trends of web design and where others in the market succeed in their appearance; flat design, minimalism and cleanliness are key when it comes to websites today, and it looks to stay that way for a significant amount of time.

Your products and services should do all the talking when it comes to your online store. A garish and ugly website that’s difficult to navigate will ensure the antithesis of success, and customers will almost certainly look elsewhere – to keep them around, your store’s design is almost certainly the most important factor.

Ensure your customer service is on top form

Once customers are convinced to buy from your store, you’ll want them to become regulars. To build those vital relationships with buyers, customer service is paramount. Be sure to give customers a way to get in touch if need be, and always follow through on promises, whether it be in regard to the quality of your product to delivery times and everything in between.

Phone calls are often said to be the most effective method of building relationships between buyers and companies, so if it’s feasible consider setting up a number for people to call. If not, emails are the next best option – so long as you’re communicating clearly and quickly with your customers, they’ll likely be willing to return.

Offer something different to the norm

“Niche marketing” should be your best friend when it comes to e-commerce. Don’t get it confused with a niche market, though. A niche market limits you severely as you won’t be catering to a large group of potential customers – there isn’t a massive demand with niche markets, due to a much smaller audience.

Niche marketing, on the other hand, aims for a completely opposite effect. It’s all about finding your own space in a market that is perhaps oversaturated or tired, with the same products being recycled and churned out by every competitor. Offer something new, and customers will see you as an innovator, effectively drawing them towards you.

Make sure you’re on a reliable server

To avoid any periods of downtime or slow speeds on your online store, you need to ensure you’ve made the right choice in terms of servers. There’s two ways you can go – a shared server is the more affordable option for those on a budget, but when sharing with another domain you’re at more of a risk of being overloaded, leading to effective downtime which may drive customers to look elsewhere.

A dedicated server, albeit more expensive, is the more reliable option for stores seeking exponential growth. It’s likely you’re looking to expand and keep growing in terms of buyers, so this could be the right choice for you. There’s a wealth of potential hosting providers to help you with this process – make sure you’re choosing the right one for you.

Security is key for reliability

Establishing an online store isn’t without its risks. With the threat of security breaches so rife and real in e-commerce, it’s crucial you’re protecting both yourself and your customers.

With attacks such as SQL injections common on online stores, the risk of confidential details being exposed and your store facing major repercussions is simply too high to ignore. Ensure you have a good level of protection in place to avoid any detriment to your safety.

Do you have any more tips to boost customer enjoyment in e-commerce? Be sure to let us know in the comments below

Financial Tips To Help Lower Your Debt In Life For A Debt Free Future


Get Rid off Debt

We all need money for us to survive in everyday life. We work hard to earn a significant amount of money. Debt happens when we spend more than what we make. As one of the most common mistake that most people make, we need to learn and understand on how to spend our money wisely.

Are you drowning in debt? Do you want to know how to free yourself from it?

Debt could cause a lot of troubles in life. It could ruin marriages, tear the family apart and could also cause stress, frustration, depression, and anxiety. Act now and follow these financial tips to help lower your debt in life for a debt-free future.

Good Debt
You need to understand that life is better without debt, and having debt is not normal. However, not all debts as bad for there is a good one called leverage or good debt. This results from borrowing money to finance investment. A home mortgage falls into this category too since the value of the property increases as the lease lowers.

Advantages of Being Debt Free
Being free from debt has many advantages in life. One good advantage is that you don’t need to work as hard. You have the freedom to work less and spend more time with your family. If you have lots of debt, you need to work harder to pay off the monthly payments. With that, it makes you tired which means less time for loved ones and activities that you enjoy.
Another advantage of being debt free is you can retire young. You do not need to wait until you reach 60 or 65 and may have the opportunity for early retirement⎯meaning that you can enjoy life while you are still energetic.
So, are those enough reasons to convince you? Now, here are a couple of ideas on how you can be free of debt.

Change Everything
One of the first steps towards a debt-free life is to change, take full control of your finances and change the way you live your life. You need to accept the changes that will happen in your life. If you are used to living a luxurious life, then you need to start living a simple and happy life.

Set a Budget
You need to create a written monthly budget to know where your money is going. Identify what is truly necessary in life. Make sure to strictly stick to it, no matter what. Talk to your family members and ensure that you have their support as well⎯your budget not only applies to you but for the whole family. Improvements should be made to make it work.

Earn More Money
You can do this by looking for a new job that pays well, or consider getting a second job. You can also do both. Another option is asking your boss for overtime opportunities. If it isn’t available, try making money through other creative ways.
If you have skills in carpentry, use it to earn extra by asking friends or neighbors if they have something that needs to be fixed. It may be hard at first, but with determination, you can do it.

Avoid Debt Enabling Habits
If you want to be free of debt, you also need to change your debt enabling habits. What are those? Overeating can be a source of it. Smoking and drinking can also be a part of it. Partying or going out with friends every weekend can also be a factor. But how can they lead to having debt?

Overeating can lead to debt because you always go to restaurants or coffee shops without noticing the money you have spent on these. Even on smoking and drinking, if you will calculate the amount you have spent on these, maybe you will be surprised to know. This is the same with going out every weekend as well.

If you are drowning in debt, all of these should be stopped. Stay at home and cook food for you and your family. Limit alcohol consumption, which is not only good for the body but your pocket too. Instead of going out every weekend, stay at home and spend more quality time with family.

To be debt free, there are lots of sacrifices that need to be done. You need to take action about it before it consumes you. You’ll need to be responsible with your finances⎯acting like your own mobile bookkeeper. I know it’s not easy, but I know you can do it.

Irena Mckenzie
Irena Mckenzie is a Castle Hill local and is a very experienced local, mobile bookkeeper and successful small business owner. She has many years’ experience in all facets of bookkeeping and office work. She has run various small businesses for many years and understands exactly what it takes to get a small business up and running at full speed.

5 Tips for Small Business Web Designing


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For a small business, your website is a significant part of your brand and plays a big role in your online marketing efforts.

Visitors to your website come searching for something and you need to give them the answers they seek while using your website to sell your product or services. You need to be the solution that they seek.

If your website is not optimally designed, you can easily lose thousands of potential customers that you could easily have gotten from a website that is functioning at optimal quality.

The following tips will help you avoid common mistakes so that your business can grow even faster.

Focus on your target audience

We all understand the importance of meeting deadlines and keeping up with timelines, however, when it comes to website design, you need to place more importance on researching your target customers and understanding your market niche. Your website should be built using this understanding of your target demographics as its core concept.
The little things matter. Researching your target demographic makes you know which is more important, focusing on a mobile optimized website, or targeting a faster loading desktop website. The font styles, sizes and the layout of your website should be designed in a way that is sure to appeal to your target audience. Finding out the part of your website your visitors are more likely to visit and the other subtleties of your website can be incorporated into your web design if you prioritise targeting your specific audience when designing your website.

Flashy or busy website?

Too many times, small businesses seem to think that the flashier, the better. The truth is if your website is designed to be too flashy or too busy it will come across as unprofessional. About 12% of visitors leave a website as soon as they notice flashy content.
Your website should be optimised for efficiency so that your visitors can find what they are looking for as soon as they get to your website.
Also, flashy and busy websites have longer loading times and are not optimised for mobile viewing. These can negatively affect your organic search ranking

Call to action

The call to action is a very subtle (or sometimes not so subtle) psychological nudge that tells your potential customers what to do next. 80% of B2B websites missed out on a customer transaction because they didn’t put a call to action. If you want them to sign up for a service, or subscribe, or buy, then you need to include a very distinctive call to action telling them what to do next.
There should be a collaboration between your website content and your call to action. While your website tells your visitors what you offer, the call to action tells them what to do to get it.

Inaccurate pay for web design services

Whether you hire professional web design services or you decide to go the DIY route, you stand the risk of paying wrongly for the services. Even when you understand that an online presence gives you access to a wider audience, and that a professional web design company can help your online brand a great deal, you may be tempted to go for the big names in web design only.

A big brand may often be an indication of quality and experience (but not always), but how certain are you that the ‘big’ web developer’s services are designed for the intricacies of marketing for small businesses, particularly start-ups with a limited marketing budget?
The trick is to stick to your marketing budget, but do enough research when searching for a web design company so that you get the best value for your money.

Outdated design and inaccurate information on your website
Visitors to your website come because they expect to get the most recent information about your product, services and your business. In a survey, 94% of website visitors said they distrusted a website because the website looked and felt outdated.

Some small businesses forget to maintain and update their website content to reflect the current state of their business and lose potential customers as a result of this oversight.
Try to update your website frequently and if you have a blog, then updating your blog at least once a week allows your website to remain SEO-relevant as well as contain enough information to keep your customers engaged.

Trying to be all-inclusive in your marketing approach and website design
You have to remember that your business has a niche and using an unfocused website design means that you are spreading your resources thinly.
Your website will be much harder to design and end up being a nightmare if you try to accommodate every type of visitor. This is a very inefficient marketing approach.
Try to design your web site for your target audience, that way you have fewer concepts to focus on. This will improve the efficiency of your website and make it easier to have that professional look that every business dreams of, but only a few achieve.

These tips cover a majority of the common pitfalls that businesses come across when designing their website.