Four Pillars of a Successful Web Presence in 2014

It’s amazing how things can change in one year. In 2013, there were many changes and innovations which became crucial for anyone who aspires to a successful web presence in 2014. While it might not have been possible for everyone to make those changes during the second half of 2013 and the beginning of 2014 – Q1 2014 is the perfect time (if not the only time) to meet your customer’s expectations.

The Global Market

Estimates from Morgan Stanley predict an exponential rise in eCommerce sales in 2014 to equal 9.3% of total of global retail sales (against 6.5% in 2012). Things are getting better for online retailers but only for those who make the effort. While we in our English speaking part of the web are safe and sound there are a lot of customers out there that do not speak or understand English. Approximately 55% of websites are English language but the other 45%? They exist because there is a need for them and the percentage of non-English websites will increase.

If you want to reach the global market and show your customers that you respect and understand them, you need to speak their language. There are many people out there who barely know their way around English, even as a second language. This can cause issues when it comes to making online purchases i.e. if customers can’t understand the website they will feel much less confident in making a purchase.

Branding

There has always been talk about the importance of branding in the eCommerce environment but only a small percentage of sellers have been paying attention. However, things are slowly changing as online retailers discover the importance of establishing a web presence that makes customers feel safe along with establishing familiarity with the website, in order to make them feel as if they are talking to a familiar retail seller.

Brands
Good branding on the web is something that is not easy to achieve but it’s long been apparent that one of the biggest contributors to a successful brand is good content. Many very successful web brands have been saying this since 2012 which was before Google’s Penguin and Hummingbird updates. Good content, consistency of the visual aspect and good customer service results in regular web shoppers and consequently natural web marketing through shares, tags, likes, tweets etc. It does not get any better than that.

Big Data

Information equals power, but there has been a change in our understanding of this. Thanks to modern web analytics gathering information is no longer the problem. Now the issue is interpreting the raw data and making timely decisions which are not outdated before they get implemented. While the data gathering process can be automated we may need to analyse several different platforms and sources. This complicates the situation even further, as it is an issue to compile this data into a universal data source before analysis.

In 2014, the eCommerce websites that resolve their data management issues and come to valid conclusions from the mountains of information will be the ones who come out on top. Big Data is not just for large companies – it’s also useful for small businesses. Data analysis will allow for greater eCommerce Website personalisation and “guided discovery” resulting in fewer options but the right ones.

Creative Marketing

In 2013, we saw the popularity of many new multimedia trends like Vine, Snapchat, Instagram etc. proving the popularity of videos and pictures that are fun, creative and entertaining. What makes this important? the age in which you could get sales from spam and pop-ups is thankfully behind us and invading a potential customer’s personal space is no longer possible thanks to AdBlock and other add-ons for browsers. Even if you manage it, you will still not get the benefits you were hoping for, since the customer will immediately block you and mark you down as just another spammer.

Marketing
By using multimedia which is becoming more and more popular in creative and interesting ways you will be able to make your customers want to watch your two minute advert. If it’s fun for them to watch it will make them want to share it with their friends. Contrary to popular belief, people don’t mind sharing adverts on their social networks, but they need to find it interesting otherwise they wont be inspired to do it.

Showing Respect

In summary – the Four Pillars of a Successful Web Presence in 2014 focus on customers. Whether it is making it easier to find what customers need, making them feel safe, gaining their interest or bridging the language barrier – 2014 will be the year of the customer and the sellers who understand this will find that their revenue and fan base will increase significantly.

Ecommerce Website of the Month – June 2014

Every month, we take a look at fantastic eCommerce websites for our eCommerce Website of the Month. From large online retailers to small boutique shops, there are a million great ways to make a fantastic user experience for customers that also generates sales.

This month, we’re looking at the revamped Harvey Nichols site. Retailer Marks & Spencer retooled their site earlier this year in a major way, spending £150 million, to mixed results. Marks was looking for a big, splashy magazine-style layout that featured editorial content for their departments, and responsive design that integrated with mobile and tablets.

For their new Website New Harvey Nichols wanted to accomplish much of the same, with departing CEO Joseph Wan saying no cost was too high, and Nichols would do “whatever it takes” to achieve multichannel success. They used Magento Enterprise to do so. What we get is a powerful update that utilises some of the best capabilities Magento has to offer. A few seemingly-questionable layout decisions are also obviated with some neat navigational touches. Plaudits go to Ampersand Commerce, who oversaw the new design.

What’s New
Harvey Nichols’ first order of business is a multichannel retail experience. The luxury retailer was looking to leverage their in-store experience, as well as their digital channels in (for them) new and unique ways. At the new Harvey Nichols, you’ll find little touches that improve user experience, nothing the store pioneered, but, taken as a whole, these little flourishes make a pleasant whole.

For instance, on the front page, below the clean drop-down mega menu and scrolling banner, are a series of buttons set to infinite scroll. The images, instead of being uniform images that would resemble repetitive tiles, are of different, but complementary dimensions. Each has a suggestive title, and each has a little coloured dot which indicates the department you’ll be heading to when you click. When you mouse over the photos, there’s the department-appropriate colour in a transparent filter over the photo, with the piece’s date, a nice flourish to train the viewer on the idea of new content. A simple menu above these buttons lets you filter them by department, as well. The layout of these buttons would be a little confusing, were it not for the colour-coding, so that’s a nice design solution, right there.

But that’s not all.

Fashion Emergency
Consider the footer bar. An afterthought, usually, a place for the glut of information the customer could usually care less about, or, sometimes, a garbage dump for SEO copy. The Harvey Nichols footer? Au contraire.

The footer on the new Harvey Nichols contains a “Fashion Emergency” link, where, soon, you’ll be able to speak to a live representative about fashion ideas, via real-time chat, or, currently, by email or phone. It’s a fun idea that will no doubt capture fence-sitters and take the “in-space” feeling out of online shopping.

The more personalised touch also extends to the new “Click and Try” feature where you can essentially click and collect at the store, with the added bonus of booking an appointment with a stylist when you pick up your item. The store also brought out a “My HN” feature where users can create profiles and maintain a wishlist.

Editorial Content
Harvey Nichols, like Marks & Spencers, has targeted editorial content as a major prong of their new eCommerce offensive.

The site’s “Inspirations” section takes a wide-view layout for text-heavy pieces, and a magazine view, in order to present trend pieces delivered by an array of fashionistas telling you about new trends. At the bottom, as you’d expect, is a product slider where you can view the products discussed in the pieces.

In all, the layout for the more text-centric editorial content is a little bland, but it’s a delicate balance when laying out a site subsection that is determined to be its own thing, and still not clash with overall site design. The photo-based features, however, have big and bold use of page space, and seem a bit more splashy and adventurous.

Social Integration
The new Harvey Nichols makes it easy for users to share pages on social media. The ubiquity of their hashtag system, and centrally-located “share” buttons make it easy for shoppers to do just that. It’s simple, confident, and doesn’t come off as begging.

Product Pages
The redesign also includes revamped product pages. In the department section, you’ll see evenly-laid-out preview images with AJAX-enabled scroll tabs on the preview images to view a couple different looks. You can also click a small icon to add a product to your wishlist, or flip the photo over to see product information, the animation for which is quite nice.

In the individual product page, clicking the zoom icon brings up another Javascript layered navigation page which lets you zoom in to view details of the product. Each product page also offers you multiple delivery options, including click and collect, and related items in order to complete your outfit.

From there, checkout is a simple endeavour, with a spacious, clean layout guiding you through.

Performance
GTMetrix gives the new Harvey Nichols a Page Speed grade of D, and it gets a Yslow score of C for image- and Javascript-related issues. The page load time is 4.27 seconds for a 7.18 MB page. It’s a content-heavy page with 100 requests, so it’s not unexpected that it would lag a bit.

Conclusion
There’s a famous quote mistakenly attributed to Pablo Picasso: “Good artists copy; great artists steal.” Harvey Nichols pulls together some design choices that, by themselves, would be trifling, but, when taken as a whole, add up to an impressive customer experience. If you are a small eCommerce retailer, you can be a great web designer. Plunder these ideas wholeheartedly.

eCommerce for Beginners – Everything Your Business Needs To Know

eCommerce for Beginners – Everything Your Business Needs To Know

eCommerce for Beginners
The number of people using internet shopping as their main way to buy products and services has risen exponentially in the last few years; making online shopping the number one revenue stream for over half of small businesses in the UK. eCommerce is now more important than ever for any SME or startup, in order to grow their customer base and sales. If you’re new to the world of online selling, then this guide covers everything you need to know about eCommerce.

What is eCommerce?
First of all, let’s take a look at what eCommerce actually is. Essentially, eCommerce is the process of buying a product or service electronically. There are many forms of electronic commerce, however, we will be focusing on the most popular; online stores. The general process works as follows:

A customer is led to your website (usually through digital marketing).
They then browse the products/services you have on offer.
A customer puts their desired product/service in a virtual shopping basket, before checking out and paying.
The business then delivers the goods or services to the customer.
This is the most basic of principles when it comes to eCommerce, although obviously a lot more goes on behind the scenes – including a lot of different technologies.

The Products or Services
The first thing to consider, before setting up your own eCommerce store, are the products and/or services that you want to offer. Many businesses who already have retail stores will set up an eCommerce store that features everything they sell; others will pick and choose some of their best-sellers to display instead. If you don’t yet have a product or service then this is a vital time for you. What are you going to sell? Will you buy it in or make it yourself? How much profit should you make on each one? Who are you going to be selling to? Use other eCommerce websites and platforms such as eBay, Amazon and Etsy to get inspiration and ideas for your new business idea. Only once you have decided what you are going to sell can you then move onto setting up your online shop.

The Website
So, you know exactly what it is you want to sell, how much for and to whom. Next up is getting a website for your new business, that has the right technologies for you to sell online. As we mentioned before, there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes when it comes to an eCommerce website including; hosting, security, encryption, payment gateways and much more. Setting up an online store is unlike setting up any other type of website, due to the amount of software and technology needed to keep things running. As well as all of the techie stuff, there’s also the design and layout to bear in mind. Customers like to browse online stores that are easy to navigate, clearly set out and that look great. Combining all three of these key factors will ensure you start making sales from your new eCommerce website.

Taking Payments
SaleWithout being able to take payments on your new online store, you’re not going to get very far in the world of business! There are various software solutions that allow you to take payments from customers online, as well as keeping those customers’ details safe. Several popular payment gateways include PayPal, SagePay, Worldpay and Stripe. There are pros and cons to all the different payment gateways and merchant services, so ensure you do your research before picking the one that is best for you.

Marketing your Website
Last, but by no means least, is the marketing of your eCommerce website. Using methods such as social media, Google Adwords (PPC), search engine optimisation (SEO), and offline advertising will guarantee that people flock to your new website; and hopefully spend some money! Setting up a website and sitting back with your feet up will not make you any profit, so ensure you’re doing all you can to market your new online store to the right people. Brush up on your digital marketing skills to spread the word about your new business.

eCommerce has fast become one of the most popular methods for businesses to sell their goods or services around the world. If you want to make a success of your own business then you need to ensure you have an online store that looks great, works seamlessly and makes you money.

We hope you have enjoyed reading this eCommerce for beginners guide.

Contact us for more information, help and advice on getting your eCommerce Website up and running.

Cloud Computing for eCommerce Websites

Cloud Computing for eCommerce Websites

What is Cloud Computing for eCommerce Websites?
We hear a lot in the press and advertising about Cloud Computing but it seems to be very unclear about what it actually means especially when applied to Cloud Computing for eCommerce Websites.

The problem is everyone seems to have a different definition.

As a metaphor for the Internet, “the cloud” is a common term, but when combined with “computing” the meaning is less clear. Some vendors define Cloud Computing as utility computing i.e. virtual servers (VPS) and /or services (SaaS) available over the Internet. Others go wider, saying that anything you use outside the firewall is “in the cloud”.

Cloud Computing really becomes useful when applied to the ability to add capacity or functionality on the fly without investment in new hardware or software.

So how does this apply to eCommerce Websites?
eCommerce Websites need a certain set of resources to serve webpages to the end-users (hopefully customers). When an eCommerce website is hosted on a server it uses the resources of that server like the CPU, memory and the disk to run the system software for the website like Apache and a database.

With Cloud Computing the resources are created ad-hoc as needs arise, for example you could have a basic CPU allocation, a fixed amount of memory and some disk space. This could be capable of running your website with a small number of visitors per day.

Then as the volume of visitors increases the CPU or memory allocation could be increased or new instances brought in for extra resources. If the load falls off again then the resources could be retired on the fly.

Some of the Cloud Computing vendors effectively combine some of the services which are commonly used by websites into packages, maybe providing a mySql database for example. Again some of them will bundle up the whole stack of software needed for common web applications like Magento and they’d offer a one-click install.

I’ve tried to cover the most commonly used vendors and this is by no means an exhaustive comparison of what’s on offer. To level the playing field I’ve looked at what would be needed for two scenarios –

A minimal Magento installation i.e. a small eCommerce Website with acceptable performance for low volume of visitors
A small scalable solution consisting of –
1 CPU core
at least 1GB of ram
at least 10GB of local storage for the O/S, web server software, Magento and temporary storage for images etc.
Load Balancer
MySQL Server
20GB of shareable Cloud storage
What’s Available
These are the vendors that we looked at –

softlayer cloud computing

IBM SoftLayer Build Your Own Cloud
SoftLayer offer what they call the “Build Your Own Cloud” which is basically a packaged VPS Linux server that’s configurable with –

1 – 16 cores of CPU
1GB – 64GB of memory and
25GB – 250GB of SAN or local disk storage (additional storage available).

You can choose your flavour of Linux but nothing is pre-installed other than the O/S.

There are no packaged add-ons (that I can see) other than Object Based Storage (not sure what they mean by this), Content Delivery Network and the SoftLayer Message Queue (which doesn’t appear to be IBM MQ).

For any other software it appears its up to you to download and install it yourself.

The basic configuration may be pushing it a bit to run Magento – you’d probably want to either run the database on a 2nd server or increase the memory.

The pricing starts at –
1 Core + 1GB Ram + 25GB Local Storage £0.088 Hourly £47.19 Monthly

As there are no packaged offerings from SoftLayer for things like a database or a load balancer the only option would be to use several servers and install the various software packages yourself. For that reason I havent put together the pricing for a scalable solution for SoftLayer.

Amazon Web Services

Amazon Web Services
AWS probably provide the most comprehensive cloud computing for eCommerce websites solution available. Firstly they have a one-click Magento package which means that you could choose your size of VPS and go for a pre-installed Magento installation with the operating system, web server, database and Magento all out-of-the-box.

Another option would be to choose a size of VPS and use a combination of the Amazon Web Services to put together a stack.

Some of the services from Amazon which can be used for a Magento stack could include –

EC2 – Virtual Servers
S3 – Scalable Storage for Images etc.
Cloudfront – Content Delivery Network (CDN)
RDS – Relational Database (mySql)
ElastiCache – Cache Server
ELB – Elastic Load Balancer
As a total solution AWS has to be the most comprehensive but when it comes to the cost it’s not the cheapest.

For a minimal Magento (non-scalable) stack you’d need –
A small EC2 instance 1 vCPU 1.7GB Memory 1 x 160gb disk at $0.065 per hour

which is $48.75 a month or about £30.50 which is ok but it’s not really a scalable solution, to get to a starting level of something scalable you’d need –

the same small instance as above at $0.065 per hour = $48.75
A small instance RDS at $0.085 per hour = $63.75
An ELB (even with one EC2) instance at $0.028 per hour = $21.00
say 20GB of S3 storage at $0.05 per GB per month = $1.00

so that’s a grand total of $134.50 per month which is about £84.00
Note: this doesn’t include the cost of the Network bandwidth which the website will generate.

That would give you the ability to automatically scale up (or down) your infrastructure as traffic increases, which is what this is all about.

Google Cloud

Google Cloud Platform
Google’s Compute Engine offers a variety of options for Virtual Machines ranging from 1 virtual core to 16 cores and from 0.6GB of memory to 104GB. You’d need to add to that some persistent disk space for a even a very basic setup.

Add to that their Cloud SQL offering for a mySql database, Cloud Storage for a CDN and put it behind a load balancer then you’ll have a comparable system to what could be put together with AWS.

To compare like-for-like for the minimal non-scalable Magento stack you’d need something like –

A Standard Instance Compute Engine with 1 virtual core and 3.75GB of memory at $0.114 per hour and say 20GB of Provisioned Persistent Disk Storage at $0.04 per GB which comes to $86.30 per month or about £54.00 which is quite a bit more than the loosely comparable example from Amazon at about £30.50

For a more scalable solution you’d be looking at –

The same size standard Instance Compute Engine as above at $0.114 per hour = $85.50
10GB of Provisioned Persistent Disk Storage at $0.04 per GB = $0.40
A Load Balancer at $0.028 per hour = $21.00
A D1 Cloud SQL Instance with 0.5GB of RAM at $1.46 per day = $45.26
20GB of Cloud Storage (which includes CDN) at $0.085 per GB = $1.70

So for a scalable Google Cloud Computing eCommerce solution it comes to $153.86 per month which is loosely equivalent to £96.00 i.e. slightly more expensive than Amazon Web Services but for a slightly higher specified solution. Again this doesn’t include the charges for the network bandwidth.

Rackspace Open Cloud

Rackspace Open Cloud
Like the other offering Rackspace offer a range of Virtual Servers with virtual cores from 1 to 32, 1GB – 120GB of Ram
Unlike the other offerings the Rackspace Virtual Servers include SSD hard disks so the disk read / write performance should be excellent.

For a comparable basic (non-scalable) eCommerce Solution with –
1 core + 1GB of Memory and a 20GB SSD disk the cost comes out at £21.90 per month which is far less than the other vendors. Again this is slightly less RAM than is probably needed for Magento but has the advantage of the SSD storage.

For a comparable scalable architecture you could look at –

1GB Performance Server (as above) at £21.90 per month
Cloud Load Balancer at £0.01 per hour = £7.30 per month
A Cloud Database with 1GB of memory at 4.5p per hour + 10GB of storage at 60p/GB/month = £39.75
20Gb of Cloud Files (including Akamai CDN) at £0.07/GB/Month = £1.40

Which comes to a grand total of £70.35 per month which is less than any of the other vendors

Summary
Here is a summary of solutions for Cloud Computing for eCommerce Websites –

VENDOR SMALL BASIC SERVER ENTRY LEVEL SCALABLE SOLUTION
IBM Softlayer £47.19
Amazon Web Services £30.50 £84.00
Google Cloud Platform £54.00 £96.00
Rackspace Open Cloud £21.90 £70.35
Conclusion
For an all singing-and-dancing scalable Cloud Computing for eCommerce Website solution I dont think you can beat Amazon Web Services but for value – Rackspace wins the day for me.

Can Social Media Marketing Really Boost Your Online Business?

Can Social Media Marketing Really Boost Your Online Business?

There’s been a lot of talk about social media over the last couple of years, with experts from digital marketing agencies and huge corporations all tipping SMM to take over search engine optimisation (SEO). Can Tweeting, Facebook posting and Pinning really provide you with a huge number of sales, however? Will social media marketing take over from search engine marketing anytime soon? We take a look at SMM and whether it can really boost your online business.

Social Media Marketing Basics
We’re all aware of social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ being some of the most visited websites in the world. With billions of active users between the top networks, there’s little wonder why businesses have taken to getting social in order to market their business. It’s fairly simple to set up social media pages for your online store, complete with logo, description and even product pictures. From these profiles you are then able to market your products, services, offers and events to your target audience. Using tons of free tools available online you can even schedule your posts and updates, include dynamic content and attract followers and visitors.

Twitter

Who uses SMM?
Everyone! Well, nearly everyone. Take a look at some of your favourite businesses online and you’ll see that they all have at least 3 or 4 social networking profiles; some have many more. Some businesses use it to just promote their products or services, others use it as a way of communicating with their customers and the best companies use it for a mixture of both. Big name giants such as Tesco are renowned for their clever use of social media to market their services (such as Tesco Mobile), whilst also providing a high level of customer service and comical interaction. If you want to market your business to potential customers then you need to be spending time on your SMM campaign.

Can Social Media Marketing Generate Sales?
The short answer is yes, but only if you’re willing to put some time and effort into it. Of course, big brands have teams of digital marketing experts and social media managers, which not all of us can afford. However, if you’re willing to dedicate an hour or two a day to building up your profiles, networks and getting friendly with customers, then that is all you need. 1,000 followers on your Twitter profile are 1,000 more people who could potentially see the products or services you have to offer. By using product images from your online store, or creating interesting content on your website blog, you are 72% more likely to generate a sale through social media (according to research carried out by SEOMoz).

How to Boost Online Sales with Social Media
If you want to see a big increase in sales and profits using social media, then follow our handy hints and tips to get you started:

Mix up your updates – Don’t just send out a load of promotional tweets and updates, as you’ll lose followers pretty quickly. Instead mix self promotion with your personality and a bit of conversation. Look through the conversations people are having, instead of focusing on your own profile. The same goes with scheduling updates; scheduling a few through the day is fine, scheduling them all is not!
Unique and interesting content – As we’ve already said, using product images or website blogs are 72% more likely to generate your online business sales, through social media. Make sure that the content you’re sharing is unique, interesting and links back to your own ecommerce site.
Keywords and hashtags – Search for keywords that are relevant to your industry, in order to find people to follow, followers and fans. Also, keep an eye out for hashtags that you can use in your own tweets or use to spark conversations.
Your website itself – There’s no point in using social media marketing to promote your business if you don’t have a very good website to promote! Make sure your ecommerce site is up to scratch before you start linking potential customers to it.
Social media marketing is a modern way of attracting customers to your online store, if used correctly. Make sure you use all of our hints and tips; you’ll soon see your visitor numbers rising and hopefully your profits too! Do you use SMM to promote your business? If so, let us know how it has worked for you in the comments below.

Bitcoin – Is it a Con or a currency of the future?

Bitcoin – Is it a Con or a currency of the future?

What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin

In 2009 an anonymous developer who called himself Satoshi Nakamoto built the Bitcoin software and confused a lot of people in the process. Bitcoin is a new currency system that has shaken-up the whole world. It’s actually a digital currency – you can’t go to the Bitcoin bank and withdraw your bitcoins. Thanks to the cryptography software which controls it’s usage, Bitcoin doesnt need banks to process your transactions – that’s the best thing about it. The software is totally independent of banks and financial institutions for payments and transfers.

The best definition for Bitcoin is that it’s virtual cash – when you use this virtual cash, you don’t pay fees like you do when using a credit card – you just pay for what you’re buying.

Being totally decentralized, this new currency could be causing problems for governments everywhere as it’s not possible to track transactions unless the participant discloses them. This opens up opportunities for illegal operations – with one of the obvious uses being for drug deals.

So far, this self-controlled currency has yet to be declared illegal in any country and realistically how could it be?

How do you get bitcoins?
bitcoin-mining

There are several ways to get bitcoins, but they all require that you have the Bitcoin app installed on your smartphone or computer. When you download this free app, you need to setup an account to become an ‘official user’. After that, you can purchase bitcoins at the Bitcoin exchange, send and receive payments in bitcoins, or earn them.

Once you download the app, you’ve actually created a virtual wallet – if you lose your virtual wallet your bitcoins will be lost forever as you’re the only one who can access the wallet – as with cash.

Earning bitcoins
Earning (or mining) bitcoins has become a really competitive business. No one is actually given bitcoins, you’ve got to earn them by mining them. To mine them you (or your computer) verifies or solves blocks of transactions and adds new blocks to the chain. As new blocks are added to the chain the verification becomes more and more difficult to solve. By solving the blocks you earn bitcoins.

You can join your computer to what are known as Mining Pools where you join a pool of other miners to combine your computing power in order to solve blocks.

Spending your bitcoins
bitcoin-paper-coin-and-USB-wallets

The only precondition to buying something from a merchant using bitcoins is a membership on Bitcoin.org. Managing transactions is very simple and fast – all you need is your wallet application and the address of the user that you want to send your coins to. The only thing left to do is to enter the sum that you want to transfer.

Should you start using this new currency?
There’re more than several advantages of bitcoins that other ways of paying can’t match. First and foremost, there’s the freedom – anybody, anywhere can make any kind of transaction. Transactions are not limited, so you have full control over your money, and there is no fee. Also, this system offers almost bullet-proof protection from a possible identity theft – the accounts are your personal information and you choose whether you want to share it or not.

bitcoin

Also, there are a few disadvantages of this system. In order to work properly, the Bitcoin system needs a greater level of acceptance. Other than that, the foreign exchange market in bitcoins is very volatile – today one virtual coin is worth $846USD, in January 2013 it was only $13USD. The development of this new currency is obviously still in progress, but people are starting to trust it as it represents a totally independent source that’s completely decentralized and open to the public.

Beyond Facebook Twitter and LinkedIn – other Social Media Options for eCommerce Marketing

Beyond Facebook Twitter and LinkedIn – other Social Media Options for eCommerce Marketing

If you run an eCommerce store, you’re going to need to spend a lot of time constructing successful social media strategies to ensure you achieve the level of traffic and conversions that you need. While you obviously need to create Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages to promote your brand, today we’re going to focus on some of the lesser talked about social media marketing options that could make a significant difference to your success. With that in mind, give us your full attention for the next few minutes, and we’ll do our best to give you some handy tips and advice that could make your life that little bit easier.

Of course, you still want to run Facebook and Twitter accounts, as these are definitely the largest and most influential social networks. Even so, as more and more people are turning to alternatives, overlooking some of the smaller sites could mean you miss out on lots of lucrative opportunities which your competitors are taking full advantage of.

YouTube
Regardless of what you’re selling online, YouTube can be a brilliant place to gain an audience and increase your customer base. You see, while people don’t really like watching adverts on video sites as such, so long as you wrap it up inside interesting and informative content, they’ll be far more willing to oblige. All you need to do is create an account, and then tag any uploaded clips properly to ensure people find them when typing the right keywords.

Instagram
You’ve probably got the impression that Instagram is of little use to the business world. However, this really isn’t the case. As you will realise when you create an account, this photography based social network actually provides a great platform for promotion of just about anything. Maybe you have new products to advertise, or perhaps you’ve just moved into a new company premises, and you want to tell the world. Instagram is the perfect place to do this.

Flickr
Okay, so, this isn’t generally classed as a social network as such, but so long as you take the right approach, it often performs the same functions. Flickr is an image site where people can find creative commons photographs for blog articles, websites and whatever else they might need them for. What you need to do is take some good quality images that you know people will want to use. Make sure your company logo, or at least some of your products are in the background, and that way other people will promote you all over the internet without having to spend a penny or exert too much effort.

So, now you know about some of the other social media options for eCommerce marketing that could help to improve your sales success, hopefully you’ll be ready to alter your plan and incorporate the sites we’ve just mentioned in the near future. Any failure to do this could mean you miss out on lots of sales you would otherwise have achieved, so take the endeavour seriously, and start working towards your new goals as soon as possible.

How to Find Reliable Free Minecraft Server Hosting

Playing with Minecraft server is great challenge and excitement for the player. This is very interesting online game and now it is worldwide. But sometimes the player may be disappointed
by the services and stability of the server. So it very important to find a reliable server.

Two major downsides for those who are quietly interested in free Minecraft server hosting are that: –
free hosting servers are not reliable and for searching best free hosting server you have to spend your time and time is the big money, if once your server is shut down it will not keep any back up of your old records.

Run Minecraft server at your home: –

It is best option to create your own Minecraft server at your home only. Required things are a persistence net connection with fully configured decent computer. This process will not cost you much because normally you use computer with the internet connection.

Well sometimes free server hosting is good and easy when you run it at your home only.You can easily play with your all friends, even if they are not near to you. Minecraft game hosting server is easily available on the official website of Minecraft that is Minecraft.net. Downloading of Minecraft server is free, but you have to purchase the full package of the game. Server does not cost extra.

If you are using free Minecraft game server there are so many things you need to know and you should evaluate.

finding reliable Free Minecraft Server Hosting

Here we have some methods for determining good public server:-

Slots: – How many slots are providing by that server, and how many are open for use .Slots word means how many people will place the same server simultaneously, slots are in use at particular time.
PvP or no Griefing: – The server you are using allows you or not for the player versus player combat, if it does not allow you for these feature than you have to move with some other server. If you like to enjoy battling of other game players than you have to choose a PvP server.
Simultaneous Players: – How many of players can play the same game at same time. Some of the highest volume servers are DuncsWeb 24/7, Nyancraft server, empire Minecraft server, these server offers you more than 150 slots.
If you are thinking that you are using free and reliable server but it is not true why someone would provide you a free reliable server. It is free for you but it costs them a huge amount of money.
So if you are looking for a reliable Minecraft server you have to find paid Minecraft server with some best price and good feature.

Searching cheap and reliable Minecraft server is not easy. For that you can check the review of company, it will help you to find a reliable server.

Price of Minecraft server is depending upon the number of slots. If you want high amount of slots you have to high for that.

If you want cheap Minecraft hosting server you can go for those server who offers less number of slots but they are reliable.