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7 Little Things to Improve an eCommerce Business

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7 Little Things to Improve an eCommerce Business

An eCommerce business is more dependent upon the goodwill of its clientele than brick-and-mortar stores. It is very simple really. In an average real-world store, once a customer walks in they are more likely to purchase something. After all, they have made the effort of reaching the store and checking the products. Few people walk out of a physical store empty-handed. However, the same does not apply to an eCommerce outlet since they can simply close the link and go to another site.

Here is what you can do to make sure that this doesn’t happen frequently.

1. Downtime is off time

One of the best things about an eCommerce site is that it’s always available,  24/7. Now that more and more people are logging on to the net to buy products, you can take advantage of it by selling your wares even when you are fast asleep. However, that won’t happen if unfortunately, your site crashes repeatedly. If the site is offline, it is likely that your target audience won’t wait and simply move on to another site.

2. Slow sites don’t get many customers

The average attention span of an online buyer is around 3-4 seconds. If the site doesn’t open fast enough, it is likely your customers will simply move on in search of other options. And why not? After all, there are millions of other online eCommerce outlets out there. If you want your customer to stay with you, make sure your site is as fast as possible.

3. Make sure the CTA is always accessible

Why should your customers come to you instead of your competitors? It is because of your CTA. This is basically the ‘call to action’ that attracts people into the web marketing tunnel. If this call to action is not available or accessible, you will lose out on a lot of customers. Your shopping cart should also be easy to see so that the customer knows how to buy the product.

4. Get rid of slow-selling products

In every store, there are products that sell fast and those that don’t. Concentrate on the former and eliminate the latter entirely from your store. They will stop your cash flows and over the course of time, bring down your business. Of course, you don’t have to throw them away. You can offer them at a real sale (as opposed to one where retailers inflate prices and then cut them down to give an impression that they are on sale). Once the customers see that you are offering a brief opportunity to add real value to their lives, they will buy your slow-moving products and help you clean your shelves. This way, you will also be able to get your cash flows moving.

5. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly

The number of people shopping with their smartphones has increased dramatically in recent months, and there is no sign that the trend will be slowing down anytime soon. In fact, 79% of smartphone users have made an online purchase using this mode within the last six months! This means a site that is not mobile-friendly will lose all of that vast potential market. It is absolutely imperative that your site should be mobile-friendly so it can be easy to see even on a small screen. Apart from that, you should also work on your SEO (search engine optimization) techniques so your site will show up on organic searches on the search engines.

6. Add a live chat option

Live chats will help to gently nudge your customers towards the purchase decision by answering all of their questions. It is a great way to boost your conversion rates and keep your target market happy. Even if they don’t buy the product, the speed and excellence of your response will make them come again. At the very least, they will bookmark your site.

7. Consider using residential proxies

Using residential proxies for market research will give you great insight into the buying habits of your target audience. At the same time, they will allow you to remain incognito.

If you are really interested in increasing your sales and improving your eCommerce business, you must make sure there is no downtime or latency on your site. You should also use residential proxies to help you with your market research with regard to your target audience.



Historic launches . . . and customs paperwork

On July 16, 1969, the Apollo 11 astronauts rocketed from Pad 39-A toward a rendezvous with history. Within hours, their massive Saturn V rocket — which churned out as much energy as 85 Hoover Dams — catapulted the astronauts out of Earth’s orbit and on a trajectory to the Moon. But, although Apollo 11 eventually slipped from the grasp of Earth’s gravity, the crew couldn’t avoid the reach of U.S. Customs. Upon their return to Earth, astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins filed one of history’s most unusual trade documents — a customs declaration listing their point of departure as the “Moon” and their cargo as “Moon rocks and Moon dust samples.”

Later this month, Pad 39-A should again witness history when a Falcon 9 rocket boosts astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft. This milestone launch will be the first time in the annals of spaceflight that a privately owned and launched spacecraft has carried humans into orbit. The Dragon launch—together with rapidly advancing plans to harness the resources on the Moon and asteroids—heralds a new era in which the trade and commercial implications of space are far more complex than the quirky experience of Apollo 11.

Facilitating space exploration

As a general matter, items launched into space are considered to be in international commerce. U.S. Customs, for example, deems the launch of an article into space as an “export” under its regulations.

Over the years, the United States and other spacefaring nations have taken steps to prevent trade rules from complicating space operations. Under a 1984 law, for instance, the United States doesn’t consider articles launched from and returned to U.S. customs territory aboard an American spacecraft to be an “importation” requiring customs entry. Similarly, under the agreement governing the International Space Station, the United States and its international partners have agreed to the duty-free import and export of articles required for the ISS. Like vacationing Earthlings, astronauts do, however, have to clear customs when they travel internationally for spaceflights, although officials hold their passports while they’re in space.

International treaties also establish critical norms for the conduct of nations and their nationals in space. The 1967 Outer Space Treaty forms the basis of international space law. Among other things, that treaty: (i) limits the use of the Moon and other celestial bodies to peaceful purposes, (ii) provides that space is free for exploration and use by all nations, and (iii) prohibits nations from claiming sovereignty over space or celestial bodies. Other treaties govern the rescue and return of astronauts, liability for damage caused by space objects, and the registration of objects launched into space.

Aldrin Customs Declaration for Moon Rocks

The era of space commerce and resources

While this legal framework has generally functioned well during the age of government-dominated space exploration, the rapidly emerging era of space expansion and commerce — in which governments and private firms increasingly harness physical space resources — requires new rules.

Under Project Artemis, NASA, together with private sector and foreign partners, has ambitious plans to return humans to the Moon and establish sustainable, long-term operations there. This will require finding, extracting and using the Moon’s water and mineral resources. In the coming decades, countries and companies will target asteroid resources, extracting water to generate fuel for spacecraft, mining metals like iron and nickel to build equipment in space, and eventually returning rare elements like platinum to Earth. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson predicts that asteroid mining could ultimately generate trillions in economic value.

Who owns the Moon?

These efforts will face enormous technical hurdles, and a big legal one: the ongoing inability of the global community to agree on who can extract, use, and own space resources. This conflict dates back to the negotiation of the Outer Space Treaty itself, when the United States rejected the Soviet Union’s position that space should be a commons, where ownership was not possible.

One group of countries and legal experts continues to espouse a global commons approach to space resources, as outlined in the 1979 Moon Agreement. That treaty, which also covers other celestial bodies, provides that the exploration and use of the Moon “shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries,” and that the Moon’s natural resources are “the common heritage of mankind” and cannot become the property of any government, organization or person. The Agreement also calls for the eventual establishment of an international regime to govern the exploitation of the Moon’s resources. There are currently 18 parties to the Moon Agreement, most of which are not spacefaring countries.

Other countries, including the United States and Luxembourg, take a contrary view. Under a 2015 law, the United States declared that U.S. citizens engaged in commercial recovery of space resources were entitled to own, use and sell those resources under applicable law. A recent U.S. Executive Order doubles down on this position, reaffirming the right of private parties to exploit space resources, rejecting the Moon Agreement and the global commons, and instructing U.S. officials to seek agreements with like-minded countries on the private exploitation of space resources. The Trump Administration is planning to negotiate “Artemis Accords” with partner countries that would provide for “safety zones” around future Moon bases and rules for private Moon mining.

Future Lunar Base Artist's Rendition NASA

Proponents claim that these actions don’t constitute a prohibited claim of national sovereignty in violation of the Outer Space Treaty, while others believe that such steps can only be authorized by further international agreement. Russia has denounced recent U.S. actions as an impediment to international cooperation.

Failure to resolve this disagreement could eventually result in growing international and trade conflicts — both on Earth and in space. Nations that maintain that space resources are a global commons might, for example, impose trade or other sanctions on countries or companies that unilaterally mine space resources, or they could ban trade in those resources or their products. Without agreed rules on space mining operations, disputes among space prospectors competing for celestial stakes could, in turn, generate significant terrestrial conflicts.

Even if countries eventually resolve disagreements over rights to space resources, other issues of space trade and commerce will continue to emerge. If a government extensively subsidizes space mining operations by its national companies, for example, will there be a need for global anti-subsidy disciplines like those currently applied to state subsidies for steel production?

Peace in space

At a time of simmering trade wars, pandemic-related trade barriers, and calls to abolish the World Trade Organization, crafting clear international accords for space resources and commerce might appear to be a low-priority concern. But this effort is vital, given rapid advances in technology, the potentially vast value of space resources, and fundamental differences among nations about who can own and exploit them.

Even science fiction calls for action on this issue. After all, as Star Wars fans may remember, a conflict over galactic trade is what kicks off Episode 1 – and the entirety of the Star Wars saga.

Also on TradeVistas: The Global Space Economy is Taking Off Like a Rocket


Ed Gerwin is a lawyer, trade consultant, and President of Trade Guru LLC.

This article originally appeared on Republished with permission.

The “Deadly Dozen” and Human Behavior

Maritime safety and ensuring minimal risk impact is a topic that isn’t discussed enough. Human error is unpredictable, and until shippers evolve into a fully digitally integrated system, human hands are absolutely essential to keep business moving.

A report released  provides insight and tips to consider and leverage for improving procedures. Surprisingly enough, the majority of the high-risk behaviors analyzed are fairly common and are the determining factor between making or breaking business initiatives and successful processes.

Reducing risks while on the sea can greatly impact workers and business relationships beyond the numbers, creating satisfaction and a positive working environment. One of the most common themes in the trends highlighted boils down to simple communication: alerting, situational awareness and mindfulness of culture differences. Without effective communication, business is a shot in the dark.

Here are a few examples taken from the deadly dozen to consider:

Situational Awareness

This asks the obvious but extremely important question of, “What’s the situation?” If you can’t answer this, it’s a problem. The report advises effective communication and always leveraging your team for feedback. Remember to ask yourself WHIM: “What Have I Missed?


Make sure to speak up at all times. Encourage this within your team and don’t chastise an assertive or proactive approach to a potentially disastrous situation. Again, this is directly linked to effective communication. Alerts can save lives and prevent accidents.


Understand that 30% of communication is actually verbal and different cultures have different approaches will not only reduce risks but also eliminate possible strife due to offense. The report advises implementing climate control internally and externally through considering these factors for success.


Don’t overwork your crew – it doesn’t pay off and creates a toxic and risky environment. The report highlights this is an ever-present condition for workers on the sea and can create ill-health as well as present risky conditions.


Cutting corners should never be an option. In doing so, details are overlooked, tension is caused and stress is multiplied. Ensure there’s a system of balance in place and there’s always someone keeping a finger on the pulse to verify the safety and wellness of the team. Healthy pressure can create productivity, but don’t push it.

These common-sense tips and approaches can become more difficult to implement the more demanding the market becomes. Maritime trade is one of the largest sectors the industry utilizes. Within this sector, the human element is the common denominator associated with accidents, incidents and errors.

To view the full report, visit: Human Element Guidance


Source: MGN 520