Boost E-commerce Sales with Better Product Photographs

Better Product Photography

Online shopping has some disadvantages. When you shop online, you cannot check a product out in person. You cannot hold the item in your hand to see its quality. You never know what the exact color might be because different colors appear differently on screens than in real life. It can be tough to spot fake or counterfeit products when you are shopping online. These are the main reasons why so many people still refrain from online shopping in our digital and modern age and why they would rather travel to brick and mortar stores. To inspire people to actually take the risk on your products, you need to supply them with enough information and especially with enough visual input. Yes, we are talking photographs. Lots of better product photographs!

Good photos will boost sales. People are visual creatures and they tend to flock towards better-looking products rather than products that are healthier. When your product photos look better, you improve the chances of getting likes and shares on social media and you boost the chances of getting more sales since your company seems much more professional.

There are lots of tips for better-looking product photos. No, you don’t have to go and spend a fortune on a specialized product photographer. There are plenty of online tips available to help you take better photographs yourself.

Here are the top tips for superb DIY product photographs: 

  • Natural light – Choose an indoor or under roof outdoor area with plenty of light, especially if you are using a smartphone for product photography. Good lighting naturally improves the quality of your photographs and reduces blurring or pixelation. 
  • Use a white background – Want people to focus on your specific product? Then a white background is best. You can even create yourself a mini photo booth with a white painted box or white sheet. The white surroundings will emphasize product colors, and will also reflect light better, which will result in much better-quality photos. There are, however, plenty of online stores that enjoy plenty of success by adding props or other backgrounds to their photography, but it is a bit harder to keep a uniform theme when you use this photography method. 
  • Use a tripod – Blurry photos are a big no! Use a tripod so you can get perfect product shots, especially when you have a lot of photographs to shoot. 
  • No over editing – Too much editing is bad for many reasons. For one thing, the photo ends up looking nothing like the products which can result in a lot of sales returns. Try to keep things as natural as possible. 
  • Take multiple shots – Online viewers want to see your products from all sides because it gives them a much better idea of what the product looks like. Take shots from multiple angles, even if it takes a little bit more of your time.

Good quality photographs are critical for growing your e-commerce sales. If your product photographs are of bad quality, or if the photos are not appealing, your web visitors will move on to a competitor’s site. This is because poor quality photos make you look lazy and unprofessional, and can even create the impression that your business is counterfeit.

Taking some extra time to create better-looking product photographs will be worth every extra minute and every extra penny you spend, especially if you are distributing products at a large scale.

Tips for Maintaining Brand Recognition in Marketplaces

Maintaining Brand Recognition

Multichannel selling does have some huge benefits to businesses and especially online businesses, but maintaining brand recognition is not one of them. Some of the biggest benefits that businesses enjoy when they sell products on various virtual marketplaces include the following:

  • Higher revenue due to higher volume sales.
  • Easier product marketing since these marketplaces takes care of a lot of marketing on your behalf.
  • Easier product and client interaction since the digital platforms log all of your orders and client inquiries.
  • Easier business management thanks to software like Atandra that integrates all your online stores, virtual market places, and e-commerce order management.
  • The ability to reach more clients and target the right clients based on the type of channel you use for sales.

One downside to multichannel marketing

An important downside to selling on these channels is the fact that brand recognition can get lost. Let’s look at shopping online on Amazon, for example. When you view products on Amazon, its brand is immediately recognizable and so is the brand of your product. Your business name, however, isn’t quite as obvious, especially when you are a business that sells products manufactured by other companies.

Brand recognition and business recognition is important for building a good relationship with your customers so they will buy again and for navigating your customers to your other products. Let’s look at a brick and mortar shop for example. If you enjoy a shopping trip in an actual store, find good products, and enjoy good service, you will shop from that particular store again. Selling on virtual marketplaces is nothing like this because the name of the virtual store is boosted and not your company name.

Tips for maintaining brand recognition

So how can you promote your specific brand or business name? Well perhaps these tips can help.

  • Include your logo on all products – Each and every product you sell should include your business name or logo. That way, you reduce the chances of competitors stealing your product photographs and you also implement brand recognition on each and every product you sell.
  • Emphasize your business name in all conversations – Every time you interact with a client, you should put emphasis on your company name. You can use phrases like “Thank you for using…your business name…how can we help?” or other similar phrases.
  • Ask customers to consider your other products – Customers that buy on digital marketplaces are not always aware that you might have other products available on that particular marketplace. When a customer buys a product, you can send a short message that refers customers to some of your other products which also highlights your business and puts emphasis on your service delivery.
  • Focus on interaction – Try to engage with customers. Ask them to view your other products, inquire about product satisfaction, and remember to include your business signature in all of your interactions.

Multichannel Selling on the Rise

Multichannel Selling

Trying to get more traffic for your website is a good idea, but it isn’t your only option for increasing sales. Multichannel selling is proving to be tremendously beneficial to a lot of online businesses so more websites with their own online stores are moving to using multiple channels to sell online!

What exactly is multichannel selling?

If you are not sure what multichannel selling is, then you might be in trouble because this might mean that your business methods are behind. Multichannel selling involves selling on different platforms at the same time. This form of selling involves distributing your products via different methods.

  • Offline sales involve selling through a retail brick and mortar store, trade shows, and other physical markets.
  • Selling through digital marketplaces means you are selling through large online locations like Amazon, eBay, and more.
  • Multichannel selling involves complementing your own e-commerce store with one or more third-party online stores like Etsy, social media channels like Facebook, etc.

What is the future of multichannel selling?

More and more online, and even brick and mortar, businesses are starting to ‘act out of the box’ because they are stepping over their own store limits by distributing products using other popular marketplaces and online stores.

By doing this, these businesses often reach a more of their target audience, especially if they choose virtual marketplaces that mostly suit their personal product category. Customers also enjoy much easier shopping experiences since they have access to all of the products they desire from the online stores they visit most often.

The future for multichannel is quite bright because this form of selling produces a much higher revenue and gives online businesses an easier way to target and distribute products to different sectors or even internationally.

No, multichannel selling isn’t hard.

Think that it is hard to sell on multiple channels? Think again! This sales method is actually quite easy because most online marketing channels do all the processing automatically. Client queries and questions are automatically navigated back to the seller, for example. It also isn’t hard to keep track of your different marketing channels or the data from these channels because software like Atandra links all of your online markets, including your own e-commerce store, as well as your shipping and tracking to a singular dashboard and QuickBooks business accounting software.

Get on board or fall behind!

The only way to compete successfully with your competitors is to constantly upgrade your selling strategies and to ensure that your products are the quickest and easiest to find and buy. It only makes sense that your business will start falling behind pretty quickly if you don’t get on board of the multichannel selling strategy, especially since businesses are flooding these marketplaces at such an alarming phase.

The future of online shopping may well involve shopping everything you want from a single virtual marketplace which means you need to be selling on these popular platforms or you might miss out on some good sales and good company growth.

Top Virtual Marketplaces to Consider

Top Virtual Marketplaces

Online shoppers love to buy from top virtual marketplaces. Shoppers can enjoy a much greater variety of products and they can scout for much lower prices on the same product. One of the biggest reasons why online shoppers prefer to buy from these virtual marketplaces is because these platforms pose a much lower risk to the buyer than smaller e-commerce stores due to the customer protection services these virtual marketplaces provide.

With these benefits, it makes complete sense that online marketplaces are often a much better solution than selling from an e-commerce store, especially if your product list is greatly limited. The only downside is that each of these online marketplaces operates differently. They have different terms and conditions and they charge differently to boost product ratings or for virtual store space. It is critical to choose the right virtual marketplaces for your sales. The right marketplaces will reduce marketing costs and boost sales at the same time.

Here are the top market channels to consider if you are planning on expanding your sales reach:

Amazon

Amazon is an online store based in Seattle, Washington. The store was founded in 1994 and is currently one of the top marketing channels in the world. Amazon recently expanded their services and now ship to a lot more countries than ever before.

eBay

eBay focuses on consumer-to-consumer (C2C) and business-to-consumer (B2C) sales. This is one of the biggest multichannel e-commerce stores in the world and they have headquarters in San Jose, California.

Etsy

Etsy is a little bit different than other marketplaces or multichannel stores. The channel functions on a peer-to-peer basis and mostly focuses on handmade or vintage items. This channel is probably only suitable for your business focuses on consumer products.

Newegg

This is one of the best stores to consider if you have a technology products business. Newegg mostly sells electronics, gaming gear, networking products, office solutions, and similar technology items. While they also have categories like homeware, tools, hobbies, and toys, they remain focused on consumer electronics and business technology products.

Sears

Sears have been active for more than 120 years! They have a fantastic global rank and can be a great option for businesses that want to expand their product sales to international customers. The store consists of all types of products and goods such as appliances, auto, baby, clothing, electronics, fitness, home, jewelry, and much more.

Fab

This e-commerce site sells design products at the cheapest prices and might be a good option if you have unique or special designed products. Categories include home, art, tech, and gifts, but be aware they also offer and promote an adults-only category.

You have quite a lot of choices when it comes to virtual marketplaces and there is no way most businesses will be able to afford to sell on all of them. The best way to go about choosing is to pick the marketplaces with a customer base that mostly closely matches your target audience and currently offers products that complement those offered by your business.

Top Tips to Successfully Run Online Stores

Running online stores

Thanks to many online services, and even hosting companies, it is now easier than ever to create and run online stores.  Most of these e-commerce platforms use drag and drop functions that make it super easy to redesign and modify web templates to suit your unique business. Uploading your products to the online stores is getting easier every year.

The hard part of running online stores is generating revenue and profits.  The ease of shipping makes it much more convenient for you to sell products online, but also means that you have a much bigger competitor list. Getting traffic to your website is no simple task but often determines success or failure.

Top Tips to Make Your Online Store a Success

There are several small things you can do to run online stores and boost success, and many of these small tips won’t cost you much at all.  Here are the nine things that should be considered for improved online sales.

  1. Improve Your Website

You only have a few seconds to impress those that visit your website, which means everything on your website and especially online store needs to be perfect.

  • Ensure that your website has a fast loading speed
  • Regularly update and improve your design for a modern feel
  • Ensure your website functions well on multiple devices including smartphones and tablets
  • Watch out website ads because they things look messy and can affect credibility
  1. Include Company Info

It is important to state the obvious on your website.  Include an ‘About Us’ section when running online stores so visitors can quickly identify what your entire business is about. Add contact information so visitors know they can reach you if they have any questions or problems.

  1. Offer Online Support

A lot of people hate communicating via telephone and email can sometimes take too long.  Online support, especially via chat or text messaging, can help your customers experience an immediate response and provide a more positive shopping experience.

  1. Easy Payment Methods

Use easy and commonly used payment methods like PayPal, credit cards, EFT payments and more to run online stores. Supporting the most popularly used methods among your typical customers is vital, especially mobile-friendly options. Avoid having your customer struggle during checkout.

  1. Connect Your Social Media

Social media is a great way to promote your website and store online.  Include links to your website on all advertisements, promote products on social media often, and consider using social network advertising options to increase sales.

  1. Don’t Ignore your Blog

Blogs are great for two major reasons. Firstly, they increase your SEO because blog information is much more likely to appear in search engine results and blogs with plenty of backlinks and useful information are great for improving your website ratings so your site will appear higher in search engine results.  Secondly, a blog is great for supplying your visitors with something fresh and interesting to read.

  1. Highlight Reviews and Testimonials

A popular way to get people to trust the online store you run is by giving them a way to comment directly on products.  The reviews they provide help to convince others to purchase that product or service while giving valuable information on the product itself. Testimonials about your company build trust and credibility that benefits all products.

5 Tips for Your Multichannel Selling Strategy

Multichannel selling

So, you already have the basic functions of your business in place?  Well, perhaps it is time to start looking out for a next step to boost sales or to simply make it easier for customers to get your products.  Multichannel selling is one of the best ways to reach more clients, but this type of marketing requires a lot more research and time.

Multi-channel marketing involves distributing and promoting your products across multiple places or channels.  This usually involves selling on different online stores and using different e-commerce platforms.  For example, you can sell with online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, sell via social media sites like Facebook, sell on your website with an e-commerce store, and sell through physical ‘brick and mortar’ retail stores.

A multichannel selling strategy is useful because each multichannel network has individual sales pros and cons that can affect your success overall success, revenue, and profits.

5 Tips for Your Multichannel Selling Strategy

To create a simple but effective multichannel selling strategy, research and consider the following five things:

Choose the Right Channels

You need to do your homework before deciding on the sales channels to use.  Each is going to cost you some money in the form of marketing, management, hosting, or rental expenses. Using these channels involves different infrastructures which mean different training requirements.  Here are the top sales channels to consider for your multichannel strategy:

  • Virtual marketplaces like Amazon or eBay
  • E-commerce stores on your and other websites
  • Direct social media sales like Facebook Store
  • Physical brick and mortar retail stores

It is always best to start off slowly by picking one or two new marketing channels until you feel comfortable enough to expand further.

Find the Best Multichannel System

One of the hardest parts of multi-channel marketing is finding a multichannel retail system that allows you to process invoicing, sales, and inventory across all channels. Without a common system, you should expect to spend a lot more time on product administration, order processing, and financial accounting using the different systems provided by each channel.

Integrate Your Channels and Systems

For your systems and multichannel networks to co-exist effectively without resulting in chaos, you need to integrate these systems so they function from a single management point.  T-HUB by Atandra is a terrific platform to consider because it enables you to manage products, process orders, and update accounting across different networks with ease from a single system.

Enhance the Customer Experience

Customer experience is critical if you want to make a success of any e-commerce channel.  It is important to follow up on the shopping experiences of your customers on every different channel so you will know which channels require improvement.

Simplify Multichannel Management

It is only natural to want more channels as your business grows.  You want to be able to generate sales data from all different networks, and you want to maximize profits on all different platforms.  There are quite a few options when it comes to multichannel management, but you find yourself using individual managers to optimize the success of each channel.

Virtual Marketplaces – Should You Be Using Them?

Virtual marketplace shopping

One of the biggest things that most online business owners consider is ways to boost sales.  Every marketing strategy, advertisement, and hashtag you include on social media is done with the hope of generating more sales.  One big sales strategy that every online business should consider is whether to use virtual marketplaces, an e-commerce store, or both of these online retail stores combined.

What exactly is a virtual marketplace?

A virtual marketplace is a huge online market where third-party sellers, and even individual businesses, can sell or resell products.  Direct businesses earn based on profit while resellers earn based on commission.  The virtual marketplace itself, however, earns through quite different methods like listing fees and product promotions. eBay is one of the biggest and most successful virtual marketplaces in the world and is even consider the ‘World’s Online Marketplace’ because this marketplace has localized sites in more than 24 countries. Online customers can buy just about anything imaginable on this popular site.

So, should you consider selling on virtual marketplaces?

There is absolutely no reason for you not to sell on virtual marketplaces.  You can choose to sell on a single marketplace or offer your products on several different virtual marketplaces.  One of the top advantages you get from using these sales platforms is greater efficiency since the marketplaces automatically process orders, payments, and delivery tracking.  Another huge benefit is the fact that you can target many more prospective buyers, especially if your website isn’t getting much traffic.

Watch out for these marketplace disadvantages.

There are a few disadvantages you should be aware of before you dive into advertising on virtual marketplaces, including the following:

  • It is going to be hard to establish brand recognition and to distinguish your business from the rest since the product is highlighted in search results and not the seller’s company name.
  • It is hard to prove your product quality because there can be counterfeit products that steal away the spotlight from your genuine and slightly more expensive but higher quality products.
  • Your marketing and sales cost can get expensive if you sell on several virtual marketplaces since they don’t earn based on sales commission but rather for product space and promotion.

Can you combine virtual marketplaces with an own e-commerce store?

A lot of resellers and businesses that sell on virtual marketplaces choose these markets as their primary distribution point to keep things simple, but many of these businesses also have their websites with e-commerce stores that sell directly to the public.  You can choose to sell on your website and e-commerce store and virtual marketplaces at the same time, or even consider resellers to be in charge of your marketplace sales and provide them with commission based on sales.

In our modern digital world, the possibilities for doing business online are endless, and the extent of your imagination is your only limit.

9 E-Commerce Tips to Boost Sales

What is the most crucial part of inspiring e-commerce to boost sales?  Most people think that the amount of traffic on a website is crucial for getting more sales. Sure, it is important to get web visitors but what most businesses forget is the importance of conversions.  It is important to convert visits into click-through or signup activities, and even more important to get web visitors to complete purchase.

Check out 9 of the sneakiest tricks that e-commerce businesses with high conversion rates use to inspire their clients to hit that Add to Cart button:

1. Provide Product Proof

Most online shoppers are terrified of being scammed out of their money which probably makes this one of the most useful tips for higher sales conversions.  Add proof that the product in question is genuine, worthwhile and a good value by showcasing testimonials, reviews and social interest next to your e-commerce products.

2. Give Guarantees

The chances of getting more sales are much higher if your customer thinks there is no way he or she can lose when buying your product.  Try including a guarantee like a 5-day money back guarantee or a product guarantee reduce perceived risk for buyers.

3. Skip Registrations

There is nothing that will make customers redirect to a competitor faster than a forced registration, especially before they had a good opportunity to view products.  Try skipping registrations or include your registrations after purchase confirmations.

4. Free Stuff is Always Good

A free software trial or gift is always a good idea to seal the deal and convince customers that they simply cannot miss this opportunity. It’s probable you can find items to offer for free that have a low cost to you and a high value to buyers.

5. Add Demo Videos or GIF’s

GIF’s are making a major comeback in website trends.  By adding a GIF or demo video, you can better explain the product and visitors can get a much better visual idea of the product. While high-quality animations and videos are useful, it might be better to have more videos of acceptable quality.

6. Include a Call to Action

Call to action buttons like “Buy Now,” “10% Discount with First Purchase,” or “Buy 2 Get 25% Off” are examples of great ways to encourage clients to buy instantly instead of delaying their decisions. Once a visitor leaves your website, it’s unlikely they will return to complete their purchase.

7. Lead Visitors to Related Items

One of the best ways to encourage more sales or higher valued sales from the same customer is by showcasing related items where the product in question is displayed.  If the relevant product captures the attention of the visitor, he or she might just add the original product and perhaps even one or more related items to their shopping cart.

8. Give Color and Visuals a Try

Many large corporations invest a lot of capital in buyer’s psychology so they can boost sales and much of this information is shared online.  It might be a good idea to check out the best colors and visual aspects to use in your e-commerce store.  Changing action button to blue colors, for example, can boost sales.

9. More Information is Better

Finding a product that doesn’t have enough information remains one of the most annoying things about shopping online. More is better when it comes to product descriptions and technical specs, especially since the buyer cannot hold the product in his or her hand.

5 Effective Hacks to Sell More on Amazon

sell more

More than 170 million unique visitors go to the U.S. Amazon website each month. That’s a lot of prospective buyers to sell more items to! Just compare it to how many people come to your website in a given month. It’s easy to see that tapping into Amazon’s potential is a smart idea for the small shop.

As a marketplace, Amazon is efficient and convenient for vendors to sell more. It has a variety of tools that can streamline selling, distribution, and managing your shop. These tools and the size of the marketplace also mean you can scale up without worries.

To make the most of your Amazon experience, here are 5 tried-and-tested hacks that will help you sell more.

  1. Give Your Product a Great Title to Sell More

The title of your product is what draws the buyer in. You have 150 to 250 characters (not words) to get people interested. The three essentials in the title are:

  • The name of the brand
  • The name of the model or product
  • Features like color and size

Try to get one or two keywords into your title. This makes it easier for people interested in your product to find it when they search. But don’t stuff the title with keywords, which can make it unreadable.

  1. Sell More Using Lots of Images

Once customers find your listing, get them interested with images. This means investing in high caliber photos and graphics. It’s worth the money. Did you know that there’s a 15 percent conversion rate on Amazon product pages? The image you post is often what determines whether or not a visitor will actually buy from you.

Wondering how to photograph your product? Good shots include getting it from several angles, like the top, bottom and sides. Try to get a picture of it in action. Post a photo of the label. Include charts and other images that give customers information about your product.

  1. Make Your Description Easy to Read

Make your description of the product easy to read. That means avoid big clumps of text. Give it lots of white space. Break up the text with images, subheads and bullet points. Use short paragraphs.

Put the most important benefits of your product in the first few bullet points. Toward the end of your bulleted list, include answers to questions that are often asked.

  1. Pay Attention to Search Terms

Get familiar with the Search Terms section of Amazon’s seller guidelines. You have 5,000 characters to describe the benefits of your product. Make the best use of this by including a variety of search terms.

Never keyword stuff to the extent that your copy isn’t readable. But be sure to include, as naturally as possible, the words that prospective customers use to search for your type of product.

  1. Get Reviews

Your customers pay attention to reviews on Amazon, so you need to also. Amazon uses several metrics for measuring the average rating for products in each section. These include how old the review is, if the product was discounted, and if other shoppers click the “Helpful” button on a review. So it’s not just a matter of getting all your friends to give you 5-star reviews. In fact, that will work against you.

Be sure to monitor your reviews. Reply to negative ones and quickly respond to complaints. Another way to make a positive impression is to answer questions in the Questions and Answers section. Give full information in your answer, and make sure it is updated and accurate.

These hacks can increase your business on Amazon. To help you handle the money you get, team up with Atandra. Our T-HUB connects you with QuickBooks accounting, so you always stay up-to-date with your finances.

Greater Productivity Equals More Money for Your Business

greater productivity

E-commerce is one of the best business models for aspiring entrepreneurs. Selling products online benefits from greater productivity and is potentially one of the most lucrative ways of being successful.

But greater productivity is a detail-oriented process, one that takes brainpower, attention to detail, and time. And most owners have far too little time in the day. In the process of putting out fires, it is easy to lose track of essential tasks and decisions.

To help you make the most of your time through greater productivity, here are 5 productivity hacks that will help you leverage your time and efforts wisely. And that means more money in your pocket.

1. Greater Productivity Starts With Getting Unpleasant Tasks Done First

First thing, do your most disagreeable task, your most intimidating task, the one you just don’t want to start. When you get it crossed off your To Do list at the beginning of the day, everything else feels easier. And you don’t waste energy with resisting and procrastinating.

Author and business guru Brian Tracy calls this “eating the frog.” As he points out, once you get the worst task out of the way, you can feel proud of yourself for the rest of the day. You have already completed a major goal.

2. Work Efficiently with Suppliers

Check with your suppliers to find out if you can streamline operations with them. Treat them like a partner, which is actually true. Both of you rely on each other for business success.

One company got help from the U.S. Post Office. What they thought was speeding up delivery was actually causing problems. By working with the post office, the company was able to make better use of technology, saving money, and improve delivery times.

3. Keep Meetings Short

With video conferencing so widespread, it can be tempting to hold meetings whenever a problem crops up. But meetings tend to last longer than scheduled. When you bring people together, it is tempting to talk…and talk…and talk.

The way around this is by coming up with an agenda, even for short meetings. Then stick to it. Another good policy is to schedule meetings for the same time every week. Let this be a clearing space for a wide variety of issues. One longer meeting is often a better use of time than several shorter meetings throughout the week.

4. Reduce Clutter—Mental and Physical

Keep your desk as clear as possible. Insist that your workers do the same. Studies show that cluttered workspaces are distracting. People waste time trying to find missing paperwork. Keep your computer files organized, so you know where to find information quickly.

It’s smart to declutter your brain too. Mind mapping apps can help. They let you do a brain dump, then organize random ideas.

5. Use the 80-20 Rule to Your Advantage

According to the Pareto Principle, 80 percent of effects of an action come from 20 percent of the causes. What that means to you is 80 percent of your clients come from 20 percent of your sales efforts, 80 percent of your revenue and return on your investment comes from 20 percent of your customers.

Figure out what is returning the most on your effort and time. Then concentrate on it to grow it even larger.

Using your time and energy wisely is the way to grow your e-commerce business. Another way to leverage your efforts is by teaming up with Atandra.com, the efficient, productive way to handle e-commerce order management for your small- to medium-size business.