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What are Common Mistakes Ecommerce Newbies Make?

ecommerce

What are Common Mistakes Ecommerce Newbies Make?

Ecommerce businesses have recently seen a growth in their sales, and many business people have decided to start their own ecommerce business to capitalize on how well ecommerce has performed during COVID. However, newbies tend to make common mistakes that could easily be avoided if they caught them on time. These mistakes do not happen due to a lack of interest or knowledge, but probably due to the speed in which people are trying to jump into business. Once you realize the errors, you can easily correct them with a little more research.

The most common mistake newbies make is starting out with a new product. They try to create their own new product, instead of offering a product that is already trending. It would be better to start by following a trend to get people interested in the brand. This way, your business will attract more customers who want to purchase a product they have already seen others use and know it works, or it will fulfill their needs. By starting out with a new product, something people do not know nor trust, can set you back and lead to failure.

Some also choose to sell a high-ticket product. This means it will be a much higher cost per purchase, and you will need to have a set budget separated for advertising costs. Starting with high-cost products can be too big of a step to launch your business. You should focus on starting with a product within your budget to guarantee that you will not be losing money and your revenue will meet your goals.

Another common mistake is people not understanding their metrics correctly. There are several metrics to keep in mind.  Some of the most important ones are:

-Email click-through-rate.

-Cost per acquisition.

-Organic acquisition traffic.

-Social media engagement.

-Micro to Macro Conversion Rates.

-Average order value.

-Sales Conversion Rates.

-Customer retention rate.

-Customer lifetime value.

-Repeat customer rate.

-Refund and return rate.

-Ecommerce churn rate.

-Net promote score.

-Subscription rate.

The key metrics–the ones you really need to know and understand–to start your ecommerce are advertising cost, cost of goods, and revenue. It is particularly important to understand them before you go into business because the lack of knowledge can easily mean loss of money when you start advertising. Make sure you understand the cost per purchase and know how to make it work according to your budget.

One common mistake newbies tend to make is not setting up the right payment processors to accept the purchases. An example of that could be PayPal putting your money on hold for the next 30 to 60 days. To avoid situations like this, you need to find processors that were specifically created for ecommerce businesses and can make this transaction easier for you and for your customers.

Luckily, these mistakes are avoidable. The most important step is to do thorough research and understand your return on ads spent. You need to have an advertisement budget set aside; to spend and to have in case you lose money. Create a spreadsheet with your cost of goods and your revenue. Find merchant processors that are experts on ecommerce and suppliers who can provide the best prices to lower your cost of goods.

Starting an ecommerce business is like starting any other business. You need to be prepared to do it, understand what it takes to start a business and have the knowledge of what steps you need to be taking. If you do your research and know your key elements, you will be able to avoid all the common mistakes newbies make.

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Steven Ridzyowski has been a leader in the eCommerce/digital media buying space for over ten years. Ridzyowski takes pride in being self-taught in all aspects of his career. It’s probably why he is such a driven entrepreneur today! He started out of high school, deciding to never go to college and learning advertising blogs with Google AdSense and taking on what would soon become his career and passion.

After a couple of years doing that, Ridzyowski was introduced to affiliate marketing. During that time (2008-2010), cellphones and ringtones were becoming popular, and Ridzyowski became an affiliate in the ringtone niche for a few years. Little did he know, he was paying “influencers” on YouTube to have links for ringtone offers in the music video description, before “influencers” became the sensation they are now.

As he grew and became a successful affiliate marketer, he worked alongside many advertisers and colleagues. Ridzyowski then went on to create his own white label skincare brand, which became one of his pivotal successes.

Between the moment of changing from affiliate marketing to owning and running digital media buying for his own skincare brand, he started to follow trends, learning the ins and outs of digital marketing, spending over $30m in paid digital ads across the entirety of his career. Ridzyowski mastered different advertising platforms, generating income across many businesses in various niches and verticals.

Today, Steven Ridzyowski is focused heavily on e-commerce and marketing, especially with his new agency, which offers a turnkey solution for e-Commerce.  Ridzyowski has mastered everything from product research, to product trends, to marketing in all kinds of niches. In the past three years, he has created converting funnels to growing multiple 6 to 7-figure stores with his agency. He has helped hundreds of companies, both large and small, reach their full potential and created an online presence for them. Ridzyowski is also a member of the Forbes Business Council and the Young Entrepreneur Council.

Connect with Steve Ridzyowski on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevenridzyowski/

Follow Steve Ridzyowski on Instagram @ StevenRidzyowski

“Like” Steve Ridzyowski on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/StevenRidzyowskiOfficial/

Follow Steve Ridzyowski on Twitter @ SteveRidzyowski

Watch Steve Ridzyowski on YouTube at

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf-IaxhjT9vKP_P-bkmam8Q

global

How to Take Your Business Global

Companies around the world have increased their comfort level and ability to participate in international trade. Thanks to significant improvements in communication technology, infrastructure, and more numerous and adept service providers to support companies engaging in global business, the opportunity for U.S. companies to expand beyond our borders has never been better.

If you are considering taking your business global, the infographic below, Are You Ready for International Business Expansion? is a superb reference. It presents a concise overview of how to get started and the pitfalls to look out for when marketing products and services in other countries and cultures. The infographic is sufficiently broad to help businesses pursuing anything from straight exporting to local-market manufacturing, and yet it zeroes in on all the key issues to consider.

Preparation and planning make all the difference in any new enterprise, but for international business expansion, danger lurks in unexpected places. For instance, even sophisticated, Fortune 100 companies have gotten tripped up by using product names that appeal to U.S. customers — but repel customers in the foreign markets they were aiming at.* Language and cultural differences from one country to another, or even one region within a country to another, can create unintended consequences for every aspect of your sales, branding, marketing, operations and financial management.

Despite the challenges, companies can get plenty of help to overcome the hurdles and create new revenue streams from customers in faraway places. On the customer service side, companies have overcome language barriers by partnering with customer support organizations with multilingual skills — much more cost-effective and far faster than trying to build a multilingual internal team from scratch. Along similar lines, U.S. companies wishing to export can work with any number of experienced export firms with the knowledge to navigate the confusing and complex issues of local trade regulations.

Given the complexity of global operations, along with the increased costs and risks, it’s natural to ask, is going global worth it? Many organizations have correctly concluded that it is. Establishing positions in foreign markets enables companies to establish new and potentially vast revenue streams. It allows a company to shift focus from slowing markets to growing markets and maintain dynamic growth, rather than being anchored to the fate of a single national market. It enlarges the company’s talent pool, facilitates new product development, and establishes a competitive advantage over companies doing business locally or nationally. To learn more about what it takes to go global, continue reading below.

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Author Bio: Anita Lee is Marketing and Sales Director for Callnovo, an outsourced contact center service provider specializing in customer services and technical support. She has five years of experience in the industry, and focuses on e-commerce customer service and call center operation. 

*Source: https://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/the-20-worst-brand-translations-of-all-time.html

blume

Blume Global & Hapag-Lloyd Kick-off 2020 Partner Connectivity

This month marked the beginning of Blume Global’s support of Hapag-Lloyd’s global network of carrier partners. Hapag-Lloyd’s selection was confirmed earlier in December with a start date in January starting in North America to ensure that high-quality, door-to-door service capabilities were provided for its partners.

Known for being a global leader for shipping companies, Hapag-Lloyd boasts a fleet of 231 container ships, of which include competitively modern reefer containers that require expert handling and a level of visibility and partner connectivity that goes beyond the basics.

“Blume Logistics will help improve the quality of our door service for our customers including first and last-mile visibility while enhancing the efficiencies of our motor carrier partners”, said Uffe Ostergaard, President of Hapag-Lloyd North America Region. “Our North American customers are asking for enhanced end-to-end shipment visibility to better manage their supply chains and by implementing this integrated cloud-based solution we will be able to offer that value-added service.”

Blume Global will manage a streamlined connection for Hapag-Lloyd’s motor carrier partners, enabling digital and hassle-free capabilities for dispatch work orders, drayage rates, appointment scheduling, accessorial charges, live tracking, proof of delivery, invoicing and robust reporting.

“Blume Logistics helps companies successfully manage logistics execution across the supply chain network, and around the world, with first and last-mile shipment visibility and control over transportation spending. It also improves customer service quality and enhanced vendor relations,” said Pervinder Johar, CEO, Blume Global.

commercial

How to Reduce Commercial Warehousing Costs

With an unpredictable market, erratic economy, and huge competition, it can be quite difficult to get a warehouse business running smoothly. Your goal is to maximize profit while cutting down on production and operation costs. Well, that is not always easy. One of the biggest issues that create setbacks is spending money on things you don’t need to keep a business running. My goal is to show you how to reduce commercial warehousing costs, and increase your earnings while keeping the quality of the service on a satisfying level.

The Primary Goal

The primary goal of every professional warehouse must be to reduce commercial warehousing costs. Since all items must be in buy-ready condition, and in their proper place, you must have enough funding to keep this well-oiled machinery running smoothly. If you wish to improve the efficiency, speed, and accuracy in your warehouse, this strategy is a must. Let’s see how to achieve that.

Optimize Your Storage by Reducing Space

Optimizing your warehouse space is crucial for peak performance of your facilities. If we think about expenses, one of the major contributors is land cost. Since the productivity rate of the warehouse depends on the speed of locating the item and loading it onto the truck, you must think of the best system.

Optimize your aisles by carefully calculating the necessary length and width. Learn the dimensions of forklifts, and reduce extra space by moving the racks closer. Furthermore, sorting the packages on the racks makes everything easier.

When we think about square footage, it is crucial to go narrow and tall. That is the best way to reduce warehouse space, without losing productivity and effectiveness. Nevertheless, it is important to factor in the safety requirements of your workers, and provide enough space for them to work without constrictions.

Protecting the Inventory

Every warehouse has its own financial problems. Damaged inventory is most certainly one of the biggest culprits for the loss of money. Smart inventory management helps you keep your inventory protected.

One of the first approaches to take is to tightly stick to the packing and storage procedures. Extensive employee training is imperative for a smoothly-operated business without many losses.

Furthermore, it is not just the damage to the inventory that causes loss of money. It happens many times that a package is lost. That not only dries out your budget, but it is also bad customer service. Implementing proper control systems like RFID, VDP or RF is the best solution.

Finally, increasing overall security by installing top-of-the-art security systems will prevent theft, which is also a huge issue in many warehouses.

Cross-Docking

Cutting out the middleman and transferring a package directly to the customer is a great way to reduce commercial warehousing costs. This system is called cross-docking, and while many are aware of it, not everyone is using it. It is a great way to save both money and time, and improve store management, shipping, delivery, labor costs, etc.

Energy Cost Reduction

Reducing your utility bills is a great way to simultaneously reduce commercial warehousing costs. Better insulation, automatic lighting system, and water consumption reduction are just some of the ways to achieve this.

The more windows you have, the more natural light enters the warehouse. If you install hands-free faucets or automatic flush toilets with low flow, you will see great results.

All these changes require funding, but it is a long-term investment that always pays out in the end.

Used Containers vs. New Containers

Buying new containers for your warehouse seems appealing. Everyone likes to have new things straight out of the factory. However, that can be a costly investment. Instead, you should turn your focus towards used containers. You can find plenty in good condition, at a lower cost.

Believe it or not, you can save up to 40% on the smart purchase of used containers. All vendors keep them in superb condition, and all the containers are cleaned and inspected before selling. With such great savings, it really isn’t that difficult to see the benefits of used containers over new ones.

Cutting Down Labor-Related Expenses

When we talk about cutting down labor-related expenses, we are not referring to reducing employees’ salaries. That is not the way to go about this. However, it is important to properly manage your employees. Having idle workers is only draining your budget.

A great solution is to put everything you have into employee retention. If you keep your employees satisfied and give them an opportunity to develop, they will stay with you. Over time, they will turn into experienced employees that really have no cost. That strategy is much more affordable than hiring and training new employees.

Furthermore, the automation of warehouses is also an option. Machines can run as long as you need them. However, do not forget to factor in the installation and maintenance costs. Nevertheless, it is the main strategy of the future to reduce commercial warehousing costs.

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Joshua Collins is a business owner with a degree in economics, with over 10 years of experience. In his spare time, he runs a blog about startups and writes articles for multiple companies, like ccmover.com and many others. He is offering his advice both to young entrepreneurs looking to find a way into the small business industry and to experienced business owners looking for ways to increase earnings. Furthermore, his vast knowledge of marketing strategies provides a great foundation for any business and helps in reducing costs and increasing effectiveness and productivity.

dachan

DaChan Bay Announces Shore Power Advancements

South China’s DaChan Bay officially announced its position as the first to boast container terminals with shore power capabilities in all berths for the region.

“We are proud to have such an achievement which marks a milestone in our continuous efforts to help protect the environment,” Brian Yeung, Managing Director of DaChan Bay Terminals. “We are committed to sustainability and will continue to introduce new initiatives to enhance our performance in this aspect.”

The Modern Terminals Ltd. business unit recently concluded the second installation of its shore power project that kicked-off in February. Since then, the project received preliminary acceptance as of September and was recently confirmed for acceptance in a meeting that included:

Transportation Bureau of Shenzhen Municipal, Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Ecology and Environment, Development and Reform Commission of Shenzhen Municipality, Transportation Bureau of Bao’an District, Ecology and Environment Bureau of Bao’an District, Development and Reform Bureau of Bao’an District.

Dong Yanze, Director of Port and Shipping Administration of Transportation Bureau of Shenzhen Municipal, added:

“Shenzhen port has the largest number of berths with shore power capability in China. The shore power project has the full support of Shenzhen government and we look forward to the participation of other terminals and relevant stakeholders in the development of the Green Port in Shenzhen, and vessels switch to shore power while berthing.”

A total of three test ships with more than 10-hour shore power deployments yielded satisfactory levels of stability, reliability, and safety standard. DaChan made mention of an incentive scheme to further efforts for shore power deployments among shippers.

vendor

Reduce Risk in Your Global Shipping Strategy With Vendor Management

Trying to coordinate deliveries to make sure they arrive on time can be a stressful job in today’s volatile shipping landscape.

You need to contend with unexpected shipping cancelations by carriers that are trying to stay profitable. Unpredictable rates caused by too many or too few vessels available at any given time adds to the uncertainty. And if you don’t have complete visibility across your global supply chain, your job is only harder.

Many shippers have found peace of mind by using a global vendor-management program, which combines PO management, global visibility, and shipping consolidation. The program can help you make sure freight arrives on time. And it can help you bring greater savings, consistency, and security to your shipping strategy.

How the Program Works

With a vendor-management program, a logistics provider helps manage both your POs and your global flow of cargo, while serving as a single point of contact between you and carriers.

As POs come in, the provider can calculate when cargo will be picked up and continue to verify that timing as delivery dates near. The provider can also use consolidated shipping to combine your partial shipments with others to create full shipments. This can help you get shipments to their destinations on time, and do so cheaply and efficiently.

With a vendor-management program, you no longer need to arrange multiple order pickups or worry about orders not being ready for pickup.

Instead, you can use the provider’s transportation management system to monitor your current order and shipment statuses in real-time, and see exceptions down to the item level. And if you encounter increased demand or last-minute supply chain outages, you can use the system to reroute freight.

3 Key Benefits to Your Business

A vendor-management program offers you more than the comfort of knowing that your shipments are in good hands. It can also improve your global shipping strategy to help you realize some key benefits.

Lower Costs: There are clear cost benefits of using consolidated shipping. You only pay for the volume of a container that you use rather than paying for a full container that you may not fill. Combining multiple shipments into one can also reduce your customs entries and terminal charges, deliveries, and handling fees.

And the savings only start there. Because you can reduce your supply chain spend even more when you combine a vendor-management program with a provider’s transportation, logistics, warehousing or customs services.

Better Consistency: Global supply chains have more opportunities for service failures. A single point of contact can give you answers and offer alternatives before service failures happen. Customs entries can also be processed more consistently. And fixed weekly schedules that have known transit expectations can make it easier to track your orders.

Greater Security: Less-than-truckload and less-than-container-load freight faces the risk of theft and needs to be secured.

With a vendor-management program, a provider can accept your containers for unloading, consolidation, and reloading. And they can pick up containers at ports and bring them to their facilities for faster, more secure customs clearance. Providers can also run CCTV and seal containers to reduce theft risks.

Choosing a Provider

Make sure the logistics provider you work with can not only understand your unique needs but also turn them into solutions.

For example, shippers have different levels of risk exposure. Limitations of liability, terms, and conditions, and cargo insurance options vary by mode of transport, service type and country.A logistics provider can help you uncover potential liabilities in your supply chain and prepare to manage costs associated with cargo damage or loss. This is why it’s important that you use a provider that has in-house risk-management professionals.

The right provider can also help you manage your regulatory challenges and combine vendor management with your other logistics needs for greater efficiency. Additionally, with businesses, suppliers, and the solutions provider integrated onto the same technology platform, you can gain clear visibility to overall inventory, maintain lower transportation costs, and help ensure on-time deliveries.

Countries require compliance with their own specific set of customs rules, governmental regulations, VAT, duty rate calculations and payment schemes. Even small errors like misspelling on a declaration can lead to fines, penalties or even cargo seizures. For this reason, it’s critical that the logistics provider you choose has regulatory experience in the markets where you do business.

Tailored to Your Needs

Vendor-management programs can be structured in different ways based on what you want to achieve. You could customize it to deliver freight from multiple global suppliers to multiple customers. You could also source all freight for a single company. Or you could use a highly efficient merge-in-transit approach to ship products directly from vendors to customers.

Whatever approach you choose, the end result is the same: Efficient and cost-effective control of your global freight so it arrives on time, wherever you do business.

rewards

UPS Launches Access Point Rewards Program for Increased Holiday Support

UPS customers gearing up for the upcoming holiday season are being encouraged to keep things simple in terms of shipping through the utilization of the UPS Access Point® network through the UPS My Choice® service.  By doing so, consumers can expect up to $35 in value rewards back from the shipping company from Target eGift cards to upgraded deliveries via a free UPS My Choice Premium membership.

UPS understands that busy consumers increasingly need choice, control and convenience in the delivery process, especially during the holiday season,” said Kevin Warren, UPS’s chief marketing officer. “With the expanded UPS Access Point network, they get that, as well as the added bonus of not having to worry about package security, missed deliveries or hiding presents until the right time.”

The added rewards in conjunction with the Access Point network are direct initiatives supporting the needs of UPS consumers. Customers are currently offered more than 15,000 convenient pick-up destinations through the Access Point network. A survey conducted earlier this year revealed 20 percent of global shoppers expressed alternate delivery location preferences to home delivery. The Access Point network and now rewards program are direct responses to fulfill consumer demands.

To take advantage of the rewards program, consumers are encouraged to enroll (for free) in the  UPS My Choice® service for global delivery options access. An email will be sent to eligible rewards members in January 2020 with information on redeeming their rewards. To learn more about the holiday program, please visit: ups.com

tt club

TT CLUB SUPPORTS CONTAINER LINE MOVES TO PUNISH “MIS-DECLARERS”

The international transport and logistics industry’s leading provider of insurance and related risk management services is applauding a number of container lines for recently announcing measures to discourage shippers from mis-declaring hazardous cargoes, which is a practice strongly suspected as being either the cause of, or at least contributory to, a spate of recent container ship fires.

TT Club says it welcomes such initiatives by liner operators as the international transport insurer has growing concerns about the lax cargo packing practices and erroneous, sometimes fraudulent, declaration of cargoes. Under the banners “Cargo Integrity” and #Fit4Freight, TT Club has been collaborating with stakeholders through the freight supply chain to highlight ongoing risks, including severe ship fires, arising from poorly packed and declared cargo.

“Clearly, the shipper has primary responsibility to declare fully and honestly so that carriers are able to take appropriate actions to achieve safe transport,” explains Peregrine Storrs-Fox, TT Club’s Risk Management director. “Since this is not always the case, carriers have to put in place increasingly sophisticated and costly control mechanisms to ‘know their customers,’ screen booking information and physically inspect shipments. Equally, carriers have the opportunity to review any barriers to accurate shipment declaration, including minimizing any unnecessary restrictions and surcharges.”

Penalizing shippers where deficiencies are found should be applauded, contends Storrs-Fox, who adds that “government enforcement agencies are encouraged to take appropriate action under national or international regulations to deter poor practices further.”

 TT Club’s Cargo Integrity campaign seeks not only to promote awareness of good practice but also to reveal the plethora of influences from both direct and indirect stakeholders within the supply chain that result in behaviors leading to dangerous incidents on land or at sea.

 “A key element of the campaign is to identify levers–both sticks and carrots–that are available to improve a safety culture in container transport,” Storrs-Fox says, “including considering unintended consequences inherent in trading arrangements or fiscal/security interventions and the possibilities presented by technological innovation.”