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5 ways small businesses can utilise e-commerce metrics

5 ways small businesses can utilise e-commerce metrics

E-commerce isn’t just convenient for customers — the data attached to it can help guide business owners in decisions to grow. But e-commerce analytics can be confusing, if not downright daunting. Here’s how small businesses can capitalise on analytics to help their e-commerce grow.

Determine the most essential analytics to monitor your goals.

Small business owners can quickly become lost in all the data that’s possible to track with online sales. Besides total sales, determine which metrics are most essential for you to track for your business goals. For example, if your goal is to increase your social media presence, monitor the analytics that determine where the traffic from your sales are coming from to see if your extra social media efforts are paying off. Determine which analytics best help you choose next steps for your company, and pay the most attention to those. Find a happy medium between only looking at overall sales, and wasting time spent analysing every snippet of data.

Consider analytics from long term customers — and customers who don’t finalise the sale.

Bringing in new customers is great, but pay attention to the metrics that offer insight into returning customers. Look at statistics like the customer lifetime order value to see how much of your business is return customers. On the flip side, be sure to watch analytics on abandoned shopping carts and strategise ways to get customers to finish those sales.

Become familiar with the tools at your disposal.

What analytics tools are already built into your e-commerce platform? Take the time to really dig into all the different tools and features. You may find options like automated reports that can help you save time or even reach your sales goals. Don’t just consider the platform you are using, however, third-party platforms can often offer more analytical data than the e-commerce platform alone.

Ask the customers.

A computer can tell you how many sales you are getting, where those sales originate from, how often those customers are buying, and what they are buying. But there’s still a lot that a computer can’t tell you. As a small business owner, stay on top of customer complaints, feedback and reviews. Use customer feedback — or even a survey — right alongside e-commerce analytics to guide your next steps.

Find tools to make analytics effortless.

Following e-commerce analytics is important, but let the computer do (most) of that work for you. Use the automated tools that your e-commerce provider offers to make it easy to see your analytic data on a regular basis. Look for third-party tools that can help you decipher all the data to find what’s most essential to your business.

5 Tips for small businesses to master social media in 2020

5 Tips for small businesses to master social media in 2020

Social media is no longer a maybe — using social networks to connect with your customers, for free, is an essential part of running a business in 2020. But, social media can be difficult to master and slow to get started. Choose one or two social networks to focus on where your target audience spends the most time. Then, to focus your efforts and build your business on social media, try these five ideas.

Set clear goals that are easy to measure.

What do you hope to accomplish on social media in 2020? Setting a goal helps focus your efforts and is essential to keeping your social media campaign on track. Once you have set your goal, however, take it one step further. Determine how you will measure that goal. List the social media metrics that you will monitor to determine how successful you are at achieving that goal, such as the follower count, engagement, or post reach.

Share content, not commercials.

Too often, businesses treat social media like one big commercial. Don’t. Instead, share posts that are useful to your followers. Share tips, advice, insight, inspiration, or even, if it’s on brand, humour. Posts on sales and promotions should be a small percentage of what is shared on your page. Sharing content from other pages is another way to build your page without loosing followers for sounding like a commercial.

Get creative with strategy.

There’s more than one way to create success on social media platforms. Brainstorm options to jump start your social media, and choose more than one strategy as you move forward in order to create a variety of content. Remember to treat social media as a conversation and engage with users, commenting on other posts and not just creating your own posts. Giveaways are another good strategy for growing your follower count, as well as creating hash tags.

Schedule posts.

Once you have a goal and strategy, start scheduling posts. Set aside one day a week or one day a month to schedule posts to your page. This both ensures that you have a regular stream of content and encourages more thought-out posts. Avoid scheduling too far in advance, or you won’t be able to use the information that you’ve learned from determine what posts are successful and which ones are not.

Use analytics to adjust your strategy.

No matter what network you use, it likely has some analytics that tell you how each post performs. Don’t neglect this data. Look at your most successful posts. What time of day were they shared? What content did you use? What format? Using analytics, you can recognise trends such as the best time of the day to share, or perhaps that asking a question increases the engagement on a post.

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5 Ideas to Increase Foot traffic at Your Stor

5 Ideas to Increase Foot traffic at Your Store

Foot traffic increases sales for small businesses — and now, more than ever, foot traffic is increasingly important. Besides ensuring customer safety, how can small businesses encourage more customers to come through those doors? Here are five ideas.

Inspire loyalty with a rewards program.

Loyalty programs help keep customers returning to your store instead of a competitor. Thanks to technology, loyalty programs can also be data-driven, sending your loyal customers coupons for the items they are most likely to shop for or on days when they are most likely to shop. Research different loyalty program providers to see if a program would be a good fit for your business.

Try coupons that require return visits.

Coupons can be great tools for getting more customers through your doors, but some coupons can get them through your doors twice. A coupon such as spend $20, get $5 off your next purchase will have customers returning to use that second coupon. Be sure to set an expiration date on that discount, and don’t hide the fact that the discount applies to the next order in the small print, or you’ll give potential life-long customers a bad taste of your business on their first visit.

Create a catchy window display.

You could increase your foot traffic and encourage customers to walk through your door simply by what you place in your window. Brainstorm catchy themes or funny motifs for your storefront that would allow you to display your product. Displaying a major sale item in the window is also a great idea. Don’t have a good window or want to draw attention even from further away? Try a sidewalk sale, which is also a great way to get rid of clearance items.

Build a display off-site.

Window displays only work for people who are already walking by your store. To bring in even more customers, consider building a display that’s off-site. Consider renting display space at the local mall, or trading spaces with another business in a cross-promotion. Renting a booth at a local event is another way to grab the attention of people that wouldn’t typically walk past your window.

Support local and share online.

Many customers go out of their way to support a local business. Be sure to include in your inventory locally sourced products. That won’t do much, however, if customers don’t know about those local items.  Use your social media channels to advertise the fact that you have local products to people in your area — use the social media platform’s tools to limit the audience by location.

Increasing foot traffic at your store often requires more creativity than cash — which means it’s a great way for small businesses to grow without a big budget for advertising.

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5 Keys to Organising Stores for Better Sales

5 Keys to Organising Stores for Better Sales

Ever buy more than you intended at a store, just because something you walked by caught your eye? Just like items in the checkout lane are easily added to an order, the way that your retail store is organised can play a key role in how much time customers spend in your store — and how much money. Here are the five keys to store organisation that small business owners can capitalise on.

Almost all customers will walk by the display that’s to the right of the door.

Customers tend to shop counter-clockwise in a circle around the store, says Profit First author Mike Michalowicz. That makes the display that’s to the right of the entrance a valuable spot. Place your high value products and displays here, Michalowicz suggests. Positioning your best display here will encourage more of your customers to walk by.

What do most people come to your store for? Place it far from the door.

The more time that customers spend in the store, and the more items they walk by, the more money they are likely to spend. Grocery stores place their frequently bought items — milk and eggs — in the back of the store because then customers will walk by several displays to get there. Identify what customers are most often coming to your store for, and strategically place those items so that customers walk through more of your store.

Eye-level shelf space is prime real estate.

Customers are most likely to see items that are at eye-level. Of course, not all items can be placed there, but that information can help you choose which shelf to place what product on. High value items can go at that eye-level shelf, while related items that aren’t quite as valuable can go on the top and bottom shelves. Keep in mind, too, that the definition of eye-level varies based on the height of your customers. Products geared towards kids should be lower on the shelves.

Maximise the space that you have.

Small businesses don’t often have the resources to create giant retail spaces — and that’s okay. Work to create a space that’s inviting, rather than vast. Find a balance between creating a store that feels cluttered, and creating a store that feels empty.

Keep products easy to find.

While strategising where to place your products in the store, don’t let retail strategy override the obvious — products should be easy to find. Keep related products near each other, and organise in a logical way by product category. Yes, you should keep customers moving through as much of the store as possible, but don’t allow them to leave frustrated because they couldn’t easily find what they were looking for. Be sure to use extra signage after rearranging for returning customers who may be thrown off by the new arrangement.

Using strategy when organising your store can help customers stay longer and even grab more items off the shelf — just make sure that your organisation scheme will also make sense to anyone looking for an exact product.

How to use online cross-promotion to boost your business

How to use online cross-promotion to boost your business

Cross-promotion is an affordable way to advertise your business by partnering with another business that reaches a similar audience. By sharing resources with each other, businesses can help boast each other up, without the spending of a major ad campaign. But, cross-promotion doesn’t have to simply be restricted to displaying fliers in each other’s stores. Online cross promotion can be a very effective tool to grow your brand. Here’s how.

1. Recognise potential brand partners online.

Start by identifying a handful of businesses that you’d like to cross-promote with. Look for a non-competing brand that reaches a similar target audience. A wedding photographer, for example, could partner with a dress shop — they both market to engaged couples, but aren’t competing with each other. With online cross-promotion, consider more than just other businesses but influencers too. Take a look at their online presence and see who has a higher number of followers.

2. Identify the potential ways to cross-promote.

The possibilities for online cross-promotion are big. Brainstorm both the platforms that your brand could promote another on, and the potential places you’d like to see your brand get cross promoted. Consider social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and Pinterest. Don’t forget about blogs and email newsletters.

3. Reach out and start crafting a plan.

With a few ideas in place, start reaching out to those potential cross-promotion companies. As you reach out, make it clear that the plan is mutually beneficial. Be sure to convey where you could promote them and how your brand has similar values. Once you find a partner, be specific about what you will cross promote, when, and where.

4. Build the cross-promotion campaign.

As you share posts for cross-promotion, be wary of making your page suddenly sound like an advertising service. Cross-promotion posts should still sound like a friendly or helpful social media post and not an ad — you don’t want to loose followers that don’t want to be spammed. Be sure to add links where relevant. Sharing each others posts is also another great way to cross-promote without sounding like a salesman.

5. Evaluate and continue brainstorming.

After a post, see how the post did and work with your partner to identify different ways to improve or to continue working together in the future.

Cross-promotion is a great tool for small businesses. Along with strategies like swapping flyers, online cross-promotion can help put your business in front of potential new customers.

Remember to “Think Outside the Square” in these challenging times.

Call Photo Direct Customer Service Team if we can assist you in any manner….03 9894 1644.

Stay safe and stay positive at all times.

5 ways to build an in-store ecosystem that keeps customers coming back

5 ways to build an in-store ecosystem that keeps customers coming back

A business’ brick-and-mortar location should be just as much a part of the brand as the logo. But, turning the intangible ideas that make up your brand into a tactile retail experience is no easy task. Here’s what the experts suggest to help turn your store into an experience that reflects your brand.

Appeal to all of the senses.

The first thing that comes to mind in retail design is probably the way your store looks — but don’t ignore other senses. CEO of Delta Global, a packaging company, Robert Lockyer suggests creating an experience that targets multiple senses. If you create a luxury look, but your store smells like commercial cleaning products, the ecosystem doesn’t feel complete. Think of smell, touch, and sound as well as sight. And in some cases, even taste where appropriate.

Create the feel of a treasure hunt.

Finding a deal on a hard-to-find item feels akin to finding treasure — and that’s something that could drive more customers to your store, suggests Vend HQ. How do you create that treasure hunt feel? With limited edition items and rotating products. Frequently adjusting some products — if it makes sense for your brand — can keep frequent customers entertained as well.

Create a layout with flow.

Have you ever left a store frustrated because you couldn’t actually find what you were looking for? Layout is important when creating a positive ins-tore ecosystem. Snap Retail suggests creating a layout that flows, where navigating is almost an instinct and products are well-organised. Creating aisles that are clear of clutter also helps.

Get creative with modern technology.

Technology too, can help add to the overall feel of your brand, even in-store. Some stores have integrated tablets in store to help find products or learn about products, while others allow you to check out on a tablet, or integrate large screens with content into the design. Brainstorm ways that technology could enhance the in-store experience for your brand.

Keep prioritising employees.

A great store design means nothing if customers keep leaving because of poor customer service. The people inside your store are part of the ecosystem too. Make sure employees are properly trained and offer incentives to employees that offer the best customer service. Also, make sure your employees are updated with any store changes, so they can easily help with new layouts or using new in-store technology.

The in-store environment is just as much of a reflection on your brand as the sign out front. Make sure that in-store environment is sending the right message.