Website Design Resources

Website Design - The Complete Guide

TMV Tips – When Designing a Website from Scratch

Designing a Website from Scratch is a hard process, it’s hard to know where to start. Luckily for you, we have put together this quick guide to help you hit the ground running with your new business.

Start with a great domain name

Since Google doesn’t care about keywords in the domain anymore, you’re better off creating a unique, short name that represents your business. Stick with .com for now until the newer TLD’s start to catch on (.io, .construction, .co, etc).

Find a Webhost

A hosting company stores your web files on a web server so people can reach your site with the address. A good host can make all the difference. Site speed, support, and uptime should be deciding factors.

Plan out your web content

A website is like a story. You wouldn’t read a book for very long that was out of order. (Oh! he found the princess, now she’s lost again!) well, that does sound cool actually…Make a Logo. People love logos rather you as a business owner care or not. A good logo lends power and respectability to your business.

Design the Website

Now you have all that figured out. now you’re ready to put it all into place. Find a good Content Management Software, or a designer to put your dreams on screens! We, of course, recommend TMV – Social for all your website design needs in Kearney, NE

How to Market Your Product Effectively Without Misleading Audience

When marketing your product today, you face greater risk than ever before. So! Market Your Product Effectively Without Misleading Audience. Let’s dive in!

Marketers have always taken liberties in describing their products but now the litigious nature of the consumer market means you need to have the right strategies to boost your brand image without misleading your audience. Here is what you need to know:

Unfair and/or Deceptive Advertising

According to Sherrie Scott, the FTC defines a deceptive claim as a statement that is likely to mislead a consumer who is acting reasonably under the circumstances. In a federal lawsuit the FTC can seek injunctive relief or civil penalties of up to 16000 per violation of FTC regulations as well as restitution. The FTC Act (15 USC §45) is the main statute that they enforce. They can prevent business practices that are deemed to be deceptive, not fair to the customer, or even harmful to them. This should be enough to concern every business out there that they need to take their marketing claims seriously. But what does it mean to have unfair or deceptive advertising and how does the FTC know about it?

FTC Investigation Triggers

Misleading or unfair information or marketing can be brought to the attention to the FTC in many ways. They don’t always disclose why they are looking into you, but here are common factors you should be aware of:

The first is a direct finding. This means they sought your company out and saw something on their end which constitutes a breach of consumer protection laws.

Second, and more commonly, there are consumer complaint. When a consumer files a complaint with the FTC, the agency takes them very seriously. They will look into your practices to see if you are making claims that are not substantiated or are outright misleading (such as claiming a free gift and actually charging for it).

News articles are another source of injustices that they make find about your company. If someone breaks a story about bad business practices and mentions you, you need to prepare yourself legally for questions about your marketing claims, your statements, and your disclaimers that you offer.

What the FTC Can Do to Enforce the Law

They can bring a federal court suit or initiate an administrative action against your company, which could have the following outcomes:

The first is restitution. If your gains are seen to be ill gotten, they can force you to pay the customers for damages. They can also file restraining orders against you keeping you from communicating with the accusers.

Another concerning element of their enforcement is freezing your corporate or personal assets. This can be bank accounts, vehicles, and entire office buildings. According to Hinch Newman, they can also enter your business at any time to conduct more investigations or freeze your physical assets and apply penalties up of to $16,000 per violation.

If you want to get the most out of your marketing, you need the right tools and tactics. This is not only for better sales and conversion but also to avoid legal pitfalls that many companies have fallen into recently. Avoid lawsuits and FTC rulings by using the information above to protect your company while marketing effectively.

TMV Social sets up your marketing hub to build a successful online presence. See how we can make your social media and email marketing strategy more effective today!

How to Use Coupons for E-commerce Business

Online merchants will be faced with the decision of whether to offer discounts. Today we’re teaching how to use coupons for E-commerce business

Offering discounts for your online store can be a powerful weapon in your conversion arsenal, however, used haphazardly, and you can do significant damage to your brand or worse, become unprofitable.

In this post, we’ll review some of the pros and cons of offering deals for your online store, look at some of the most popular ways you can use discounts to drive conversions and, of course, how to most effectively use them.

Let’s dive in.

Note: For the purpose of this blog post and keeping things simple, we’ll refer to coupons, discount and deals all as offers.

The Pros and Cons of Online Store Offers

Before we jump into some different ways you can effectively use offers to help increase customer loyalty and acquisition, let’s first look at some of the pros and cons of utilizing offers for your online store:

Pros

  • Easy and quick to implement.
  • Easy to track.
  • Increased customer acquisition.
  • Increased conversions.
  • Increased customer loyalty.

Cons

  • Decreased margins and profitability.
  • Possible brand damage.
  • Decreased conversions outside of sale periods if you train visitors to wait for offers.
  • A tendency to drive non-loyal (price-driven) shoppers.
  • A tendency to reduce average order size.

Who Are Offers Right For?

As mentioned previously, online store offers can be an effective tool for not only customer acquisition but also for customer loyalty, however, it’s important to consider your overall brand strategy before you begin offering discounts.

If you want to position yourself as a higher-end brand or if you have slimmer margins, you may want to consider sticking to customer loyalty type offers as opposed to weekly sales. On the other hand, if you have healthy margins deep discounting and daily/weekly sales might be better for hitting your goals.

Ultimately, you need to consider if offers and the type of offer is the right strategy for your brand. Regardless, building an online business will generally involve a lot of experimentation to understand what works best. The best approach is to choose a goal for every campaign and offer, start small, and measure the results.

Types of Offers

There are several overall types of discounts and offers you have at your disposal. Let’s take a look at the most common:

Percentage Based Discount

The most popular way to offer discounts is percentage-based discounts. This can include small incentive percentages like 5% or 10% off, larger discount to really drive sales like 20%, and 25% or large percentages like 50%+ to liquidate merchandise that isn’t moving or old.

Dollar Value Discount

Offers that are based on a dollar value can be positioned as a credit. This makes people feel like they’re wasting money if they don’t use it. In some studies, the redemption of dollar-based offers vs. percentage based offers can be as much as 175% greater.

Free Shipping

Shipping costs are often cited as the number one reason for shopping cart abandonment. Offering free shipping is a great way to mitigate this and increase conversions. Often this is used in conjunction with a minimum order size to help increase the average order value.

Free Gift

A free gift with a purchase can be a great way to provide additional value to a customer. If used strategically, it can also be used to increase average order size and/or to get rid of a product that isn’t moving.

When and How to Use Offers

There are a hundred and one ways you can use sales, offers, discounts, and deals to drive customer acquisition and conversions. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular ways below along with an example for each:

1. Weekly/Monthly Offers to Drive Sales and Meet Revenue Goals – These are traditional sales used to drive increased sales. Many times sales are used at the end of a month or quarter to increase revenues to meet projections and goals.

2. Prelaunch Offers – If you’re still in the prelaunch stage of your business or maybe even launching a new product, you can use prelaunch offers to help drive traffic and peak interest.

3. Holiday/Season Offers – Black Friday, Christmas and New years are the big ones, but the whole year is sprinkled with holidays that you can use to stretch revenues with offers.

4. Abandon Cart Offers – With close to 70% of all people abandoning their carts, abandon cart email offers can be a powerful tactic to bring those people back.

5. Email/Newsletter Subscription Offer – As you probably already know, building an email list is extremely important for online retailers. By providing an offer in exchange for visitors emails address, not only do you increase the chance of a conversion, but you also get their email, providing you with the opportunity to market new products and offers to them in the future.

6. Offers for Liking, Following and Sharing On Social – One of the hardest parts of running a new online store is getting word out. Giving visitors and customers an incentive to share your store with their social circles can be an effective way to create some inexpensive word of mouth.

7. Referral Offers – People are much more likely to purchase from you if referred by a friend or family member. Use this to your advantage and use offers to encourage referrals. You can choose to give a deal to the person referring, the person being referred or both.

8. First Time Shopper Offer – Providing a first timers offer could be just the nudge those first-time visitor needs to be converted to a paying customer.

9. Volume/Cart Size Offer – An offer based on the total value of a shopping cart is an effective upselling tactic to encourage customers to spend more, increasing your average order size. A strategic way to incorporate this into your online store is to calculate your average order value for the previous few months and offer a discount or free shipping on all order 10-20% over your average order value.

10. Exclusive Social Offers – Exclusive offers on your social networks can be a great way to build a strong relationship with those that follow you as well as provide a reason for new people to follow and subscribe to your social channels, which will allow you to market to them in the future.

11. Customer Loyalty Offers – Rewarding customer loyalty can help build an even stronger bond while also only providing discounts to customers that already spend money with your online store. It can be as simple as sending your best customers a personal email with a discount or credit.

12. Exit Intent Offer – Sometimes all it takes for to convert a visitor to a customer is a last second offer before they leave. An exit intent offer will popup just as your visitor is about to leave your site or close the tab, presenting them with a final offer to purchase.

13. Retargeting Offer – Retargeting offers are effective because they’re only shown to people that have been on your site before so they already know who you are. The ads serve as a reminder to come back and the offer serves as a nudge to purchase.

14. Influencer Offers (Bloggers, Celebrities etc.) – Partnering with influential people that have large audiences is a great way to increase exposure to your brand and by providing an exclusive offer to the influentials persons network, you’re more likely to convert their fans to your customers.

Conclusion.

Offers and discounts aren’t right for every online business, however, with a clear goal in mind, a firm understanding of the brand and some experimentation, you can most effectively utilize offers to meet your objectives, building customer loyalty and increasing revenues.

Tell us in the comments what offers has worked best for your online store and what you have found as the best channels to promote your offers.

14 Simple Marketing Tricks to Increase Conversions

Want more traffic and more sales for your online store? Of course you do. That’s why we put together 14 marketing tactics to increase conversions – for you to put into action today.

If you’re wondering whether you’re doing the most you can to get as many visitors to your store as possible, then this is the post for you. The tactics we’ve put together range from triggering a special discount just as a customer is about to exit from your store, to creating emails for customers who have placed items in their shopping carts but failed to complete the purchase.

So here’s a fun idea: Implement one of these tactics every single day over the next two weeks. And on the last day of this two-week sprint, evaluate, take stock, and figure out what worked best for you.

Get ready to get new visitors, get more out of current visitors, and get back lost visitors today.

1. Up-sell Your Products

“May I interest you in this upgrade?”

Most of us have heard some form of that question. It’s an example of up-selling, or the effort of merchants to sell you a slightly more expensive product when you consider a product.

And guess what? It works. According to E consultancy, up-selling is 20 times more effective than cross-selling online. Sometimes your customers don’t know that a better product is available, or they may be convinced that a different product may be a better fit for their needs.

Are one of your products made of slightly better leather? Or carry a special component that’s handmade? Make sure to emphasize the difference, and ask if the customer might be convinced to make an upgrade.

There are two keys to up-selling: 1) Making your up-sells related to the original product, and 2) Being sensitive to the price range of your customers. Just keep in mind that your product has to fit the original needs of your customer, and that they may not be very enthusiastic about a higher product price once they have an anchor price in mind. The new product must really be better than the original.

2. Leverage Instagram

The average order value from Instagram marketing is $65.00. That’s higher than from any other social media platform except for Polyvore ($66.75).

In addition, a recent study has found that Instagram gives brands 25% more engagement than any other social media platform.

If you use the right hashtags, appropriate filters, and post at the right times, then you’re well on your way to building a big following on Instagram. The key to mastering Instagram marketing is engagement with your users.

What are some ways to engage with your audience? You may try out running campaigns or contests, going behind the scenes for your products, and most importantly, showing pictures of your customers using your products. These are called user-generated photos, and they’re an excellent way to demonstrate that to potential customers that you have happy current customers.

User-generated photos are a great way to generate social proof. Prospective customers see that your products are regularly being purchased people just like them, and feel more comfortable doing something that others are doing.
So keep building your Instagram following and engage more with them.

3. Reduce Abandoned Carts

You’re losing money by missing out on potential orders. But don’t take it personally. Every online store is missing out on potential orders.

The phenomenon is a well-studied one: Customers add items to their carts but abandon their carts during checkout. According to the Baymard Institute, 67.45% of shopping carts are abandoned before they’re completed. Think about that for a minute. Your sales are one-third of what they may potentially be.

It’s worth the effort to resolve as many hesitations as you can, because a significant percentage of those who abandoned their carts may yet be convinced to complete their purchase. Perhaps they can be persuaded with a discount, or the offer of free shipping, or maybe they never even meant to exit from their cart in the first place because their computer crashed.

One simple and effective way to reduce the incidence of abandoned carts? An email recovery campaign to convince your customers to complete their purchase.

4. Make It Easy For Your Customers to Get What They Want

If your store is badly designed then you’re losing customers.

What exactly does it mean for your store to be badly designed? Besides looking untrustworthy, your store could be suffering from some combination of the following: lacking a clear value proposition, not writing good product descriptions, and difficult navigation.

And even when you’ve improved every dimension above, you could still be committing some ecommerce design mistakes. Are you properly segmenting your products or are you putting too many products on a page? Have you figured out the right balance between text and visuals? These are all things that you should consider.

5. Generate More Product Reviews:

According to the online magazine Internet Retailer, you can increase your ecommerce conversion rate by 14-76% by adding product reviews to your online store.

Why? For two reasons:

First, social proof: Product reviews are a form of testimonials. You see immediately what people are saying about a product that you’re considering purchasing.

Second, SEO: Having product reviews increases the amount of content on a page and also increases the probability that you hit a few long tail keywords.

For both these reasons, adding product reviews increase sales.

6. Improve Your Ad Spending

Are you experimental in your ad spending? You should be regularly trying out slight variations on your bids for keywords to find a good niche.

One of the best ways to attract qualified visitors is by using Google AdWords to get your store to show up in Google when people search for your keywords.

After advertising on Google, try out advertising Facebook. Consider that Robert Nava of National Parks Depot spent $60 and got nearly $1000 in sales on the very first day. We’re not saying that his success is easily replicated, but Facebook advertising is not something that you should ignore.

Play around and see what kind of ads work for you.

7. Engage With Your Visitors

It’s not just asking your visitors to subscribe to your email newsletter. There are other ways to engage with them on your storefront.

For example, you could direct your visitors to your social media profiles. Do you have a gorgeous Instagram feed? Are you actively managing your Facebook page? Make these “follow” buttons more prominent on your homepage.

Feature your blog more actively. Every ecommerce store should be blogging regularly, to connect with fans and to rank better for SEO.

And also, why not try offering promotions on your products? Everybody loves a special sale.

What’s one way to do all of these more effectively? Try using an on-site pop-up to capture emails, link to your social media profiles, or promoting a product.

8. Do Market Research and Anticipate Future Sales

If you have the ability to expand your product line or add new products, then you should evaluate market demand and see if it’s worth the costs.

You can do that by keyword research, geographic validation, and looking at social media trends.

One more creative way to test out your market?

Pre-selling items, or listing them as out of stock, and see how many people place sales.

That’s right, if you’re considering selling one out of three items, create pages for all of them (with good photography and appropriate text), and place them up on your store. Then list them as “out of stock” and see simply which ones get the most attention in terms of orders placed and requests to be notified when you restock. That’s the one to sell.

9. Feature a Strong Call-To-Action

Call-to-Actions (CTAs) are a powerful tactic yet they’re often overlooked. Theres nothing quite so simple and effective than pointing out the next logical step in a users journey towards conversion. The effect of adding CTAs in the right places really can make all the difference in generating leads.

A call-to-action can be any wording or graphic that provides an obvious link to the next clear action. This can be to highlight a sale or promo, or even just to subscribe to your newsletter. Regardless, a CTA should be obvious and simple, with one clear action you want your visitors to take.

10. Run a Contest

A great contest can not only increase engagement from your current subscribers and customers, but it can also effectively help you reach new customers. In fact, BeardBrand was able to grow their social presence by 300% and doubled their email list in less than one week with a well thought out online contest.

11. Encourage Referrals

Referral marketing, simply put, is word-of-mouth marketing from your customers and it’s one of the most powerful and influential forms of marketing there is. In fact, according to Nielsen, 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family, over all other forms of marketing and 77% of consumers are more likely to buy a new product when learning about it from friends or family.

12. Introduce Live Chat

Studies suggest that 21% of online shoppers prefer live chat over other communication methods, like phone and social media, and of that 21%, 79% said they liked it because they could get answers to their questions immediately. That’s important because in the world of ecommerce, answering customers questions and handling objections before they leave your site, significantly increases your chances of making a sale.

13. Write Great Product Descriptions

Writing great product descriptions is an art. Not only is it an art, but it’s extremely important for ecommerce businesses to have unique and compelling product descriptions not only to help sell the product, but product descriptions also help your search engine optimization. Unfortunately, most people tend to neglect this aspect of their store, opting to just write a few lines or even copying and pasting manufacturer descriptions.

14. Think Outside the Box

Come up with your own tactic, and share it below in the comments. It can be big or small.

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