Why E-commerce Stores Should Invest in Customer Experience

Why E-commerce Stores Should Invest in Customer Experience

Business & Entrepreneurship

All set to sail with your new e-commerce store? Do you have the right product inventory – the team to execute the business – a platform to showcase the products? If yes, then it’s the time to get rolling!

Hey, don’t forget, there’s another interesting factor that plays a significant role in making your business successful. “CUSTOMERS”!!! You have to serve them in the best possible way to earn their faith. The key is to take care of your clients, and their concerns, to succeed. Otherwise, as hard as it may seem, just forget about generating an income from your business. All you need is to spend some bucks toward setting up a well organized and efficient customer experience process. “We’ve just started. It’ll prove quite hard on the pocketbook at the moment. Customer experience tools are in the pipeline” – is that what you say? Well then, you must be ready to compromise or risk your business! Try to visualize the customer cycle. You can see how influences directly affect your customers, thereby, enriching the relationship. Perhaps they’ll connect to your business through a friend who has been a happy customer or some other type of reference. Therefore, investing in the customer experience is essential. Let’s discuss the reasons behind this investment and the ways it can benefit your new business.

1) Designing elements during set up – an easier affair

Designing elements during set upIn an established business, it may be difficult to deviate from the flow and design something new. This is because implementing some new element in an existing setup takes a lot of time. It would involve trials, experiments, discussions, etc. But, when you’re setting up a new business, it’s much easier to put some services and processes in place, to avoid having to go back and change something later. You might create an e-mail tool, a social media platform, FAQ page, customer contact form along with many other elements needed to build a business. These would tie in with the other requirements and make the entire process run more smoothly.

2) Customer service – a part of your brand voice

In today’s competitive economy, where brands are striving to find and set an identity, customer satisfaction plays a critical role. The first impression that a brand creates on new clients often becomes a deciding factor on whether they become repeat customers. A bad first impression can quickly escalate into an unhappy experience for the customer and a bad review for the business. On the other hand, a good customer experience can, in no time, spread through word of mouth and bring you more customers. Your brand’s reputation is in your hands – start building it from day one.

3) Customers grow with the growth of the businessGrowth of Business

When you unveil a new business, potential customers may not have very high expectations. In many cases, they’ll realize that you’re still growing and will often forgive a few small problems. Many will even help you by offering suggestions and productive feedback. And if you are receptive, you can go a long way mutually. Remember, customer interactions and friendliness are proven to reap positive results.

4) Live up to customer’s expectations

To set up a promising business, it’s important that your customers feel your presence. This will also help you live up to customer expectations and demands. This can be achieved by diversifying the ways you reach out to your client base. Don’t feel that the only thing you can do is send out circulars and ads through the mail. You can form a social media presence, create a knowledge base, set up contact forms, take part in live chats and much more. Having such various channels will make sure you reach out to all your customers and take care of their needs as much as possible.

Relationships aren’t built through monetary transactions. They grow through faith and long-term engagement. So, how you educate, encourage and comfort them, is very important, which is why an effective customer experience management system is always beneficial.

How Crowdsourcing Content Writing Can Get More of Your Marketing Budget?

How Crowdsourcing Content Writing Can Get More of Your Marketing Budget?

Business & Entrepreneurship

Crowdsourcing Content for Marketing: The Smart Move

In the world of e-commerce, there’s no escaping the need for high-quality marketing content, and lots of it. Whether you’re operating in the B2B space or trying to attract consumer sales, content-as they say-is king. To keep up with the demand, many businesses are turning to crowdsourcing content for marketing purposes. The benefits of tapping into a flexible workforce include the following.

Make Your Content Marketing Strategy Scalable

If you started with a small inventory, it’s possible that you were able to handle your content needs internally for awhile. As a business’ product offerings grow, it will inevitably face the challenge of scaling its content while trying to maintain a reasonable online marketing budget.

A crowdsourced workforce offers writing and editing support, uninterrupted by staff issues such as vacation, sickness or side projects. As your content needs grow, so does the workforce. Crowdsourcing requires initial setup and nurturing to adjust workflows but after this initial stage, it offers an easier way to track your content marketing budget and ROI.

Get Customers Involved

Content Marketing StrategyDon’t forget the voice of your customers as a potential mine for online content. Not only do existing customers provide valuable information to your market research team, they also add credibility to your content. They can offer ideas for blog topics, let you know what information your site is missing or write share-worthy reviews and testimonials. Working with customers enhances brand loyalty while helping you craft your content marketing strategy.

 

Power Up Your Content’s Creativity

While staff writers know your brand very well, they can also suffer from topic exhaustion: the content marketer’s version of writer’s block. New voices bring new ideas to the table and keep your content fresh. Crowdsourced content often incorporates writers and editors from different regions and with different cultural backgrounds, which gives you insight into all the demographics that come into contact with your brand.

Meet the CrewMachine Team at Share16 in San Francisco

Meet the CrewMachine Team at Share16 in San Francisco

Business & Entrepreneurship

From October 24 to 26, San Francisco will play host to the Share16 conference, and invite the world of digital marketers to share ideas, learn new tactics and get a front-row seat to the latest digital marketing innovations. Some of the world’s top SEO, content and digital brand marketers will join industry thought-leaders for a series of keynote and small-group sessions.

At Share16, participants will benefit from an industry-driven agenda, as well as networking and collaboration opportunities throughout the weekend. With real-world case study session and an effective peer-to-peer approach, the Share16 conference’s goal is to boost your career and elevate your brand’s performance.

Learn from speakers that represent some of the world’s top brands, including Alex Volk, Director of Traffic and Content Strategy for Microsoft; Adam Singer, Analytics Advocate from, Google Analytics; Amy Shipman, HP’s Global Digital Go-to-Market Strategist; and Jonathan Schmucler, YouTube’s Global Expert of Branded Content Strategy. Share16’s list of industry experts also includes the likes of Kelly Rivard, SEO Strategist for Hallmark Cards; Cindy Phan, Sr. Manager of Digital Demand Strategy for VMware; Dave Lloyd, a Principal Consultant of Optimization and Personalization at Adobe; Khurrum Malik, Head of North America Direct Response Product Marketing for Facebook; and Joyce Boland, VP of Global Applications Marketing for Oracle.

Through lively discussion with industry experts, the Share16 digital marketing conference fosters professional development and a deeper understanding of changing digital trends and dynamics. Case study sessions will examine industry best practices and offer the opportunity for participants to learn how other marketers are addressing the challenges of the industry.

Watch for CrewMachine’s team throughout conference sessions, including Alok Jain, Co-CEO & CMO; Deepak Goyal, Co-CEO & CTO; Rahal Shah, Chief Product Officer; Brad Curtis, VP of Sales; Houston Jayne, Customer Success; and Padmini Murthy, Marketing. Talk to us about solutions to help organize your digital marketing and streamline your content marketing.

Opportunities to learn and boost your performance abound at the Share16 conference. Don’t miss out on this unique occasion.

How to Increase the Productivity of Your E-commerce Content Creation Team

How to Increase the Productivity of Your E-commerce Content Creation Team

Business & Entrepreneurship

E-commerce is an exciting and demanding enterprise. Content teams need to consistently create high-quality, conversion-oriented web content. Are you sure that your team is working as efficiently as possible? Follow these tips to maximize your content team’s potential.

1) Choose the Right Assignments

For large-scale e-commerce operations, a single writer is no longer sufficient. Training a larger team increases your output capacity now and keeps you flexible to scale up in the future. When you’re building a team, take the time to learn each member’s strengths and play to them. A product description that takes 45 minutes of intense effort for one person may be an easy 20-minute write-up for another. Similarly, some writers have a tone that fits naturally and easily with your brand voice, while others might find long-form writing more difficult. Don’t fight against people’s natural abilities. Match the right assignment to the right team member and watch your operations get more efficient.

2) Fit Tasks to ExperienceIncreasing Productivity of Content Team

The same can be said for experience. Some writers come to your team with a portfolio of descriptive, evocative writing. It makes sense to use that talent for conversational pieces like blogs. Other writers come from a technical background and never miss a detail. That style is ideally suited to product descriptions. Make sure you give your writers a chance to try every kind of writing but use their feedback and their results to judge for yourself who should be writing what.

3) Encourage Collaboration

Beyond the standard workflow of write > edit > QA, make sure your team is comfortable collaborating. To encourage this, everyone needs to know that thy’re on the same team, with the same goals. Writers should be encouraged to read editor feedback to improve future pieces and better understand their assignments. Similarly, editors should check with QA comments to confirm that writer feedback is both appropriate and helpful. Consider regular meetings where everyone can ask questions and understand each other better. Building trust between all the roles will benefit the entire operation.

4) Give Incentives

Give Incentives

Whether you’re having trouble getting work turned in on time or you’re receiving sub-standard writing, incentives tend to sort the wheat from the chaff. Incentives can be pay based, but don’t have to be. Ask your team members what will motivate them: priority in choosing their next task? Extra pay? A project bonus? A social event when a big delivery deadline is met? Experiment with different incentives and track which ones are most effective.

 

5) Set Priorities

Setting up workday procedures like daily to-do tasks is an effective tool for reducing the clutter in people’s minds and getting them to focus on the right priorities. Time limits and due dates are different approaches to meet the same goal. Just remember that everything can’t be top priority at the same time. Make your requests reasonable and keep everyone on your team informed about any changes.

6) Share Valuable Tools

Look for areas to improve and set aside some time to find tools to help your team. For example, if your writers are excellent but your researchers aren’t thorough enough, look for resources to save them time. Is there a reference site subscription that will cut the research cycle time? It’s well worth the investment to pay for such a site if it speeds up your workflow and improves the quality of your content.

How to Use Your Smartphone to Capture High Quality Product Images for Ecommerce

How to Use Your Smartphone to Capture High Quality Product Images for Ecommerce

Business & Entrepreneurship

The importance of good quality product photography for e-commerce can’t be overstated. When customers can’t touch or hold products directly, they rely on product photography to visualize the item and imagine themselves using it. Nothing erodes credibility faster than a poorly lit, amateur image.

For e-commerce businesses just starting out, the expense of a professional photographer and the sophistication of smartphone cameras make the DIY route more appealing. If you’re considering doing a product photo shoot using a smartphone, follow these tips to get the most professional results.

1. Choose the Right Background

Remember that your product is the star of the shot, which means the background should be neutral and bland. A piece of fabric in white, light grey, taupe or beige will absorb light, avoiding distracting reflections better than a painted surface like a wall. Paper has the same effect without fabric’s potential for wrinkling. Just be sure your chosen background surface is both behind and under the product.

2. Adjust the Lighting

Diffused natural white light is best for product photography, so try to shoot near a window on an overcast day. Alternatively, you can purchase soft light kits relatively inexpensively. And do a bit of experimenting with your phone’s native light adjustment features and with photography-related apps.

3. Stabilize Your Phone

smartphone stand for photographyEven if you have the steady hands of a surgeon, it makes sense to position your camera so you’re not relying on hand-held photos. Tripods and smartphone stands are worth the investment for clear, sharp product images.

4. Take Photos From Several Angles

This product photography tip helps you in two ways: it allows you to find the most attractive angles for the image and it offers a better experience to your customers. Any method that helps a customer to better imagine the product in their hands is helpful.

5. Try an External LensCamera Lens Kit For Smartphones On White Background

One element of product photography for e-commerce that’s a bit tricky is creating images for zoom apps on your page. These images allow the customer to focus on particular details of the product but require that you provide sharp, zoomed-in photos. External clip-on lenses for your smartphone let you zoom in and can help overcome some difficult lighting situations.

6. Adjust Your Phone Settings

  • Make sure the zoom feature is switched on, so it’s available when you need it.
  • Use the live exposure mode to help you track the camera’s auto exposure settings. This will give you a baseline for adjustments if they’re needed.
  • Set the image quality to high. Images can always be compressed later, but it makes sense to start with the highest possible quality.
  • Use the grid function to help align the products for consistency between shots.
  • Use any adjustment available to help the camera auto-focus on the correct object in the frame.

7. Browse Photo AppsBrowse Photo Apps

If you’re not satisfied with your smartphone’s native image captures, look for camera apps that extend your smartphone’s capabilities. Apps like Android Camera Zoom Fix and Camera+ for the iPhone give you extra options to create images consistent with your brand message.

8. Learn Basic Photo Editing

There are several applications that help you edit your image before it’s ready to publish. PhotoShop is the best known, but Pixlr, VSCO Cam, Camera FV-5 and GIMP all do the trick.

The most common edits are the following:

Crop: Fine tune your composition by cropping the image.
Sharpen: This function further sharpens the edges in your image.
Brighten: While this is helpful, use it sparingly. Too much brightening reduces contrast and makes the image seem faded.
Filter: Filters add a mood or effect that may be more in step with your brand image. Get creative, but remember that clarity trumps all in product photography for e-commerce.

Seven Tips for Successful Blog Optimization

Seven Tips for Successful Blog Optimization

Business & Entrepreneurship

You’ve hired a great writing team and done your market research. You’re convinced that your blog is share-worthy and engaging. But the posts aren’t gaining enough traction to drive conversions. Unless you’ve considered blog SEO optimization, even heavy traffic might drive sales if it’s not the right traffic.

You want to capture the attention of potential buyers just as they’re seeking solutions that you offer. A motivated reader is much more likely to buy than a reader who happened on your blog accidentally. Search engine optimization is the process of setting your blog up so that readers who have specific questions will find you when they seek answers. Those readers are primed for a purchase and are therefore your most valuable audience.

The way to attract this audience is to improve your search engine rankings. Here are some tips for blog optimization that will get your brand noticed by the right people at the right time.

1) Domain and Hosting

Selling with your own unique domain makes your URLs unique, and therefore more credible in Google’s eyes.

2) Keyword Research

Incorporating keywords to improve organic search rankings is a good start. But unless you make sure that people are actually searching for the terms you use, you won’t get a lot of ROI. Take the time to use analytics tools to discover which keywords will have the most impact.

3) Keyword Use

keywords to improve organic search rankingsAlthough the science of blog optimization is new, there are some ironclad rules about where and how to use keywords. To improve your page’s chance of getting indexed, your primary keyword should appear in the:

  • Article title
  • Anchor text
  • Title tags
  • Meta description
  • Headings
  • Subheadings
  • Body text

4) Content Quality

Readers will only stick around for high-quality contentReaders will only stick around for high-quality content. This means articles that solve a reader’s problem, answer her questions and give her more background information about your area of expertise. So before you add any content at all (articles, videos, images) always ask how valuable it will be for your site visitors.

 

 

5) Natural Backlinks

Search engines take into account the credibility of your links. Be sure that you link to sites with accepted authority to increase your credibility, and therefore search engine rankings.

6) Blog Subscribers

Make sure it’s easy for interested readers to follow your blog by offering an RSS feed or email subscription button. This will remind readers every time you have a new post, keeping your brand top of mind.

7) Social Media

If your content is already shareworthy, make it easy to share. Include sharing options for as many social channels as possible so that readers can post links to your site and share them with interested friends and family.

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