E-Commerce for Brick-And-Mortar Retailers and Wholesalers

Do you have a store that sells a product? Perhaps you have been serving your local community for sometime now, expertly selling your product. You would like find new customers and increase sales. You know that the Internet has been responsible for creating wealth for countless entrepreneurs, but you still haven’t figured out how the Internet can help your business.

If you are a small to medium size retailer or wholesaler who would like to learn how the Internet can create more revenue with minimal cost increase, then this article is for you. If you already have a web store, and are not happy with you current results, this article will be helpful to you as well.

Why limit your sales to your local community when the whole world is available to sell to? If you sell items that are shippable, then you owe it to yourself and your business to establish an e-commerce platform. The following information will help you get ready for this transition. You will either need to have a member of your staff who is very Internet and computer savvy, or you will need to hire an outside Internet Marketing company.

1. Prepare your inventory

First, make sure that you have an accurate count of your existing stock. There is nothing worse than selling a product on your website only to go to find that it’s not on the shelf when you go ship. This creates multiple problems.

First, you need to figure out if you can actually fulfill the order. Can you restock the item fast enough so that the customer will still be satisfied?

Secondly, you will need to contact your customer and break the news. If you are unable to fulfill their order, I recommend offering a coupon with a discount-off their next order. You need to convince your customer that you are not in the habit of selling items you do not have. You also need to entice them to try your shop again when they have the need again. I usually offer a 10% off coupon code that can be used one time. Don’t forget to refund their money PROMPTLY!

If you are able to restock and fulfill the order, tell the customer immediately that there will be a delay. DO NOT wait for them to contact you looking for their order. Its better that they know the same day they place the order. I recommend contacting them via telephone and following up with an e-mail. This will tell your customer that there is a living, breathing person behind this website that they just gave their money to. I recommend offering to refund their money immediately if the new timeframe doesn’t work for them. If you do these things, more than likely the customer will be understanding and accept the later shipment. Offer them a coupon for their next order!

The lesson learned here is: be sure you know what’s on the shelf before you start selling to the rest of the world.

Specific Details on Inventory Preparation

For every item that you plan to sell on the web, gather and catalogue the following information:
1. Item Name
2. A unique id number (if it has a bar code, use it!)
3. Item Description
4. Unit of Measure (each, case, etc)
5. Weight – Use pounds and ounces in the U.S.
6. Item dimensions
7. Manufacturer Name
8. Manufacturer ID number
9. Your cost
10. Your listing price
11. MSRP (optional)
12. Any variations (color, size, etc.)

While performing this gathering of information, it is also a good idea to take a product photo or find one readily available on the web. Please try to size your photos to 800×600 pixels at 72 DPI. (Helpful hint: use your unique id number to name your photo: “uniqueid.jpg”)

2. Prepare to accept web payments
• Go to your bank and request a merchant account. You can also call upon a virtually limitless pool of merchant services providers. Be sure to compare costs.
• Get an Authorize.net account
• Sign up for a Paypal account

3. Identify your shippers
• Generally, you will want to offer shipping through USPS, UPS and FedEx. If shipping large items that require a freight hauler, be sure to know who you will use and know how to access their rates.
• I recommend establishing online accounts with any agency you plan to ship with.
• If you do not already own a parcel scale, get one!

4. Gather sales tax information
In most states, you will need to charge sales tax to customers ordering and receiving goods in your home state. Some states have a different sales tax by county and municipality.

5. Construct your website and shopping cart
I recommend hiring someone who is knowledgeable in this arena. E-commerce websites are a special science. There are a few “do-it-yourself” platforms available, such as Network Solutions E-Commerce, but generally, these pre-packaged programs are very limited in design capabilities and you may find that there are specific features you would like that are not available. Support is very limited unless you are willing to pay for it.

Do your homework and hire an e-commerce consultant who has experience in building web stores. This person can either set you up to manage the website yourself, or be there for ongoing support.

Be sure to run several test orders before going live. It is important that you are able to successfully receive order information, able to effectively transfer this data into your in-house inventory system and be able to fulfill the order in a reasonable amount of time.

7. Market your new website
• Submit your website to major search engines.
• Utilize social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc)
• Get listed on your Chamber of Commerce website
• Submit your listings to Google Shopping, Amazon, Monster Marketplace, etc
• Exchange links with other websites – offer to advertise your colleagues’ websites in exchange for them advertising yours.

Other Considerations

Mobile Version: More and more people are using smartphones, iPhones and tablets for browsing the internet and making purchases. Don’t lose out on this valuable sector!

Data Handling: If you are successful in attracting new business, you may need to consider an automated method of moving sales information from your new website to your in-house accounting software. Your e-commerce consultant should be able to provide a method for doing so.

Drop-shipping is a very lucrative aspect to e-commerce. If you have an established relationship with a vendor, ask about their drop-shipping capabilities. This way, you won’t need to actually stock the item you are selling. Once you receive an order, you can notify your vendor of the sale, provide shipping information and have them “blind-ship” the item to your customer. They may even be able to include a copy of your invoice and place your return address on the package. Be prepared to pay a small fee for this service if it’s available. You can either absorb this cost into your profit margin, or pass the cost to your customer via a “handling change.”

Coupons: I mentioned these earlier. I am a big believer in online coupons for many different purposes. You can give your best customers a special discount code. These codes can also be included in e-mail and snail-mail marketing. They can be used in social media. Advantages to using online coupon codes:
1. You set the discount.
2. You set the expiration.
3. You control how many times they can be used.
4. You can control exactly which products are eligible…and which are not.
5. You can easily track their usage and profitability.

By taking your regular inventory and making it available to the rest of the world, you will surely increase your revenue with minimal extra cost. Most of the extra cost does come up front in the creation of your e-commerce store. There are many different companies who offer these services. Be sure to do your homework and choose the e-commerce consultant who has considerable experience and success. If you or one of your employees are Internet and computer savvy, you can certainly build an e-commerce platform on your own…just be sure to take into consideration the learning curve. With today’s technology, nearly anyone can build and launch a website. An e-commerce website is a science all in itself.

End-to-End E-Commerce Solutions:
Whether you already sell online, or you want to enter the lucrative field of e-commerce, Mathias Marketing has the tools, the experience and the know-how to make your business successful on the web. http://www.MathiasMarketing.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/William_S_Mathias/1275016


Uncover Some Simple Truths on How to Make Your E-Commerce Site Profit

Even if the economy is getting close to hopeless, many entrepreneurs are still going all out on creating new businesses. Most of them are considering creating e-commerce business. E-commerce, or less popularly known as electronic commerce, is the method of selling and buying products over electronic systems. These electronic systems include computer networks and the internet. Most entrepreneurs think that the downward slope of the economy is loosely affecting e-commerce. With the current data with e-commerce, its share and popularity on the United States total retail sales is still growing. Even if the economy is down, e-commerce is still gaining shares.

With this news, it is inevitable that many businesspersons will try to create an e-commerce version of their business. In addition, you might also want to join in the e-commerce industry. In reality, there are many competitors on the internet alone. You can just perform a search in a search engine about a certain product and there will be tons of e-commerce websites on the search results. Most of them are trying hard to obtain customers. However, only a few of them are successful on getting their e-commerce website profit. Earning in e-commerce is definitely not like a walk in a park.

However, there are ways that you can follow for you to have an edge against your competitors. Surprisingly, they are not that complicated to do. So if you are planning to take the first step on creating an e-commerce business or website, be sure to take the following in mind. In addition, do take note that in step 3, it is necessary that you get a cheap webhosting provider.

1. Think of one niche that you specialize in. If you are a crafter of jewelry, better concentrate on selling or making jewels. This is one of the basic in business do not forget this.

2. Next is to know your market, business, and future consumers. Would you be a retailer? Alternatively, would you like to be the manufacturer? You can be both if you want to. In addition, you had better know the demands of your future consumer.

3. Then you must now create a website of your own. You must get the cheapest domain registration there is on the internet. You will benefit greatly for their prices.

4. Decide on how you will create your website. Would you be the one who would do it? On the other hand, will you hire web technicians for them to do it for you? You must definitely decide on this one carefully.

5. Make sure you can reach your customer. Create some good advertising schemes for your business. You can implement viral marketing to your product or you can apply search engine optimization to your website. Either way works.

Those mentioned above are the fundamentals you must know and must do when starting an e-commerce business. Those people or business that does not follow those basic things will surely suffer from difficulties on getting their e-commerce business click. In addition, with the economy today, it is difficult to risk your money on a business that will not work. Therefore, be always reminded to follow those mentioned above, especially with getting a cheap webhosting provider. It will surely help you save a few extra dollars if you do find one.

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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Chris_F_Blanche/1290859


How to Start a Successful E-Commerce Business

With the economy slowly recovering, it has created anxiety for e-commerce retailers. They are now cautiously checking and evaluating their e-commerce businesses and investment programs. However, many retailers are unaffected by this situation. They still strongly believe that there is still more to gain from e-commerce even if the economy is going down. In addition, many e-commerce retailers are still benefiting from the growth of e-commerce sales. Nevertheless, some are resorting to plans to improve their brick and mortar establishments to enhance their profit further. Even if this is the current condition of e-commerce, many people are still interested on trying their luck on it.

Getting to the e-commerce world is difficult at first. You might experience frustrations with your first months in the business. In addition, it might overwhelm you in case that you do not have any business experience. Moreover, if you do not have some technical knowhow on the internet, this may slow down your future business’ growth. To combat these things, here are some pointers on how you will start your e-commerce business.

You must get funding for your e-commerce business. It should not be necessarily high like a normal loan a business with a brick and mortar establishment requests. It is best to check individuals who can lend you some money without any high interests. On the other hand, you can look for angel investors. They are rich individuals who will provide you with the funds in case that they will see that your business will succeed.

The next thing is to find the cheapest domain registration available on the internet. Even if you have the necessary funding, it is important that you take advantage of cheap webhosting. In addition, when checking the webhosting provider, make sure that you understand their packages. Common packages on webhosting are ‘Basic’ and ‘Business’. The difference with those two packages is that the ‘Business’ packages are always ready for e-commerce websites. Choosing the ‘Business’ package will greatly reduce the effort of creating your e-commerce website.

After getting a domain for your website, the next step is to build the website itself. In case that you have sufficient knowledge on creating one, do it yourself to avoid additional expenses. However, if you are not that technically inclined enough, you had better get help from freelancers on developing your site.

To keep your personal and business finances separate from each other, create a dedicated bank account for your business. To reduce the financial risks, you might want to register your business as a Limited Liability Company.

Even if you are just starting with your business, you still need to hire employees. Even if it is an online business, some physical work needs to be done and you cannot do all of them. In addition, as help to your financing, you will need to have an accountant by your side. Moreover, to help you with your website, you will need to have a web developer or technician especially when some problems occur on your online website.

Those are many things. If you followed them religiously, frustrations with e-commerce will be minimal. Even if the economy is on difficult times, you will still make it on e-commerce. To sum everything up, you must make sure that you have all the employees you need, a cheap webhosting provider, and some money to start of your future e-commerce business.

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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Chris_F_Blanche/1290859


What You Need To Know About E-Commerce Hosting

E-commerce hosting is an important part of e-commerce strategy. In a high percentage of cases, companies leave the choice of e-commerce hosting to the web development company to select. This is perfectly acceptable so long as the hosting costs are not over inflated and represent fair market price. Web companies often take this approach because they have intimate knowledge of the server architecture, have established relationships with the host provider and can make modifications to a client’s site with greater ease and at a reduced cost. If the client selects the e-commerce hosting solution, the anticipated upfront cost saving may be absorbed by the extra time it takes the web developer to institute changes on the unfamiliar architecture.

Here are some guidelines to consider when selecting e-commerce web hosting:

E-commerce website hosting security: One of the primary concerns of customers who buy goods and services online is the security risks of providing their credit card details. With the reported cases of online fraud, there is a reluctance of some people to participate in online commerce. If you are doing business on the web then it is important that your site resides on high-grade architecture with adequate firewall protection. This insulates your site from outside malicious attacks on databases that contain valuable credit card information. You should also consider subscribing to the ‘hacker safe’ service which is an independent testing service that checks the integrity of your site on a daily basis. Current market research indicates that organizations that introduce the ‘hacker safe’ logo experience an increase in sales.

E-commerce website hosting redundancy: A redundancy setup is very important for maintaining maximum exposure on the web. If you have a high velocity of traffic and your web server goes down you can lose money from the loss of transactions attributed to down time. By having a web redundancy setup, you are more likely to avoid this problem because if one web server goes down the automatic redirect sends traffic to the mirror server. This is an important consideration for high volume transaction businesses. Not all companies provide this setup and the additional cost involved in finding an e-commerce hosting solution that can provide this functionality could be expensive.

Web hosting for e-commerce cost: The cost of the hosting will depend on the platform, functionality and whether you are using shared or dedicated hosting. Shared hosting is simply a sub domain allocated on the server for your site. Other companies also have the same setup and multiple sites on the same server reduce overall operating costs. This cost saving is passed on to the client as a cheaper hosting solution. In some cases where the site has basic functionality requirements and a low volume of traffic, shared hosting is fine. Sites that are likely to require high bandwidth for video streaming or to cater for a high velocity of traffic may require a dedicated server. Dedicated web hosting for e-commerce is where the server is structured and setup to contain only your site. This is a high-end hosting solution for companies that have more specialized hosting needs.

A practical e-commerce hosting solution should weigh the importance of these factors and select the provider who best suits your needs and budget.

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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/_James_Corr/1395464


Seven Steps to Successful Online Marketing for New E-Commerce Solutions

With the advent of better (and easier) web technologies, it has led to an advent of numerous e-commerce solutions taking to the web. Early birds have already left the flock in many key segments, but there are a lot of segments which still have the early bird advantage. We provide to you Seven Steps to successful Online Marketing for those who were earlier hesitant but have decided to launch or already have launched e-commerce solutions for themselves:

1. Online marketing moguls believe that the e-commerce solutions segment for electronics has almost reached the stagnation point, but there are countries or regions which still have space for development of new business opportunities. You will be able to market naturally if you find these regions, which have been left behind those already in the market. Providing them with services will always be a good business and marketing strategy.

2. Make use of segmentation, and by this we mean segment the already existing categories into segments. By doing this you can pick up a few products/services from the existing available players in the market and give better and more efficient service/products of the same background. It may be counted as specialization services/products, but it can be very efficiently marketed to your consumers. This will even help you in online marketing for your keywords will have less competition and maybe even unique.

3. Branding is very important when it comes to new e-commerce solutions, as the market is filled with numerous e-commerce solutions. But contrary to the stated fact if you ask any by standing consumer who is not a novice to online portals, he/she would not be able to name more than 4-5 e-commerce solutions. Branding can be easily achieved via numerous online marketing tactics as well as traditional marketing, but it helps if the branding has been well thought of before deciding on the brand name as well as logo.

4. Online marketing is different from traditional marketing in many ways, in online marketing you are competing with others online for users attention but it is open field, and it is not necessary that you need to be on the prime location to sit back and mint money. There are no prime locations online, and even if there are, they won’t be same with passage of time. E-commerce Solutions for various products rise and fall in the market share statistics because of various reasons.

5. Connect with your consumers, with the e-commerce solutions, even though the consumer can’t touch and feel with the portal, they still can connect with you. With efficient online marketing decisions, social media can be efficiently used to connect with your consumers. Meet them, greet them, solve their issues, introduce them to new products or services, and much more things can be done, which are limited to your imagination. Connecting with your consumers will lead to development of trust and bond between the brand and consumer.

6. Don’t hide behind the website, whenever you can interact with consumers through traditional media, meetings, seminars, workshops, etc. so that the physical presence is felt by the consumer. This will help your e-commerce solutions a long way as the trust is built over time due to physical presence. These can be effectively made prominent using online marketing campaigns, mixing the online marketing with traditional media is an effective concoction for success.

7. Lastly, understand what the consumer needs, e-commerce solutions like any other business always needs to think, advance and build to a larger and more stable state. This is required in order to survive in the dog eat dog world of e-commerce solutions. Even though you may lead in a segment, any new competition or even a diversification effort by another existing e-commerce portal can affect you in ways you can only imagine. Online marketing can be very effective in getting a feedback from the first day at how your consumers are able to find you, which services are in maximum demand from you, or even regions where your e-commerce solution has the most number of consumers. Online marketing surveys can also be an efficient and effective of getting a feedback from your consumers.

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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Anshul_S/1437699


Massage in Bucharest

Recognize it! You’re busy! And so must be! That’s what life is like! But you want more than that, you want to do more for yourself and massage can help. Because massage makes more than a simple relaxation of the mind and body. It keeps your body in shape and gives you enough energy to make you enjoy a longer life better than you do it today.

Massage releases stress. At the moment, stress is a universal evil. Every time you are late, every time you avoid a car in traffic, every time you have trouble working, stress is doing his job. Each time adrenaline increases heart rate and cortisone levels and organs respond to the measure. You will be in a state of nerves and constant agitation.
When there is no release of stress, serious problems such as an upset stomach, hypertension, sleep disturbances, chest pain, or existing illness may worsen.

Some of the changes that may occur are: Anxiety, lack of concentration, depression, permanent fatigue, muscle or bone pain, sexual dysfunction, excessive sleep or insomnia

All these stress-related problems can be diminished and some can be totally eliminated by massage. The researchers concluded that a massage session can lower heart rate and blood pressure, relax your muscles and increase endorphin production. The massage also releases serotonin and dopamine and the result is a general relaxation, both physical and mental.
Our body care must be at the top of the priorities.
By adding the massage to your routine you will look much better and you will be much healthier and relaxed. Massage can improve your vitality and mood. Massage can prepare for a long and beautiful life.

Our masseuses personalize each massage session according to the needs of the individual.
Our massage parlors offer a variety of relaxation styles and techniques to help you. Apart from relaxing, massage can be a powerful ally in reducing pain, increasing energy levels, improving mental and physical performance

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After a massage session, you will see how the mental prospects are enriched, the body allows easier handling, better pressure resistance, relaxation and mental alertness, calm and creative thinking.
When you have the impression or force yourself to stay straight, your body is not actually aligned properly. Not only does the posture look bad, but it forces some of the muscles to go muddy all day, while others become weaker. After a long time, the incorrect position may cause other drops. For example, internal organs press on what affects digestion, breathing ability is also diminished, which means that much less blood and oxygen reaches the brain and hence all sorts of other complications.

Massage allows you to return your body to the track. Allowing the body to make healthy and accurate movements is one of the greatest benefits of massage. Massage can relax and restore muscles injured by bad posture, allowing the body to position itself in a natural, painless position.
Apart from posture, there is also anxiety. One of the signs of anxiety and stress can also be heavy breathing. When the body begins to breathe too little and deeply instead of breathing at a natural rithm, it is impossible for one to relax. One reason may also be that the chest muscles and the abdomen get tightened and the air gets harder.

Massage plays an important role in learning the body how to relax and how to improve breathing. Respiratory problems such as allergies, sinuses, asthma or bronchitis are a group of conditions that can benefit from massage. In fact, massage can have a positive impact on respiratory function.

Many of the muscles in the front and back of the upper part of the body are breathing accessory. When these muscles are tight and shorten they can block normal breathing and interrupt effective breathing natural rithm. Massage techniques for stretching and relaxing these muscles improves breathing function and breathability. Massage leads to an opening of the chest as well as structural alignment and nerve dilatation that are required for optimal pulmonary function. A good way to treat respiratory problems with massage is the taping made in Swedish massage. When done on the back, along with vibrations, it can detach the mucus from the lungs and can clean the airways for better later function.

Massage not only relaxes muscles, but helps people become aware of daily stress levels. Once the body recognizes what really means relaxation, the mind can rest easily relax before the stress becomes cornice and harmful. This will help you enjoy a balanced life. Massage controls breathing, allows the mind to re-create relaxation before the occurrence of chronic and harmful stress and increases the level of energy.