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Embrace Social Media Part 3 – Get More from Twitter

Embrace Social Media Part 3 In this exclusive three-part extract from his latest book, The Insider’s Guide to Ecommerce, Chris Barling gives an introduction to engaging on social networking sites. Part 3 has tips specific to Twitter and should be read after considering the general tips for social media in Part 1 , all of which apply. It took Twitter just over three years to achieve one billion tweets, while that’s the total every three days now. Nothing illustrates the significance of Twitter more than that. The brilliance of Twitter is that messages have to be kept short (140 characters maximum), so they don’t take too long to write and they don’t take long to read. People use Twitter to discuss their interests, share information and find out what the latest happen... »

Embrace Social Media Part 2 – Get More from Facebook

Embrace Social Media Part 2 In this exclusive three-part extract from his latest book, The Insider’s Guide to Ecommerce, Chris Barling gives an introduction to engaging on social networking sites. Part 2 has tips specific to Facebook and should be read after considering the general tips for social media in Part 1,all of which apply to Facebook. Facebook’s strategy appears to be to maximise the time people spend on their site by opening up its platform to third party developers and encouraging people to come to Facebook and then stay within its “walled garden”. It is also extending the reach of Facebook across the web by allowing people to use its Facebook logon to access third party sites. As well as this, third parties can embed Facebook functionality in its sites ... »

Embrace Social Media Part 1 – Tips for Social Networks

Embrace Social Media Part 1 In this exclusive three-part extract from his latest book, The Insider’s Guide to Ecommerce, Chris Barling gives an introduction to engaging on social networking sites. Part 1 has tips that apply to all social media. Part 2 has tips specific to Facebook and Part 3 is for businesses wishing to leverage the power of twitter   Understand the benefits of social media The way you benefit from social media is when a) you attract new customers b) people who buy from you or like your offering share this with their friends or followers c) you diffuse criticism or customer complaints by providing customer service and other added value, and hence protect your reputation and grow customer loyalty. Be there Many of your customers and huge numbers of your prospects... »

Ecommerce: Web Design Questions

Questions to Ask a Web Designer when Commissioning your First Ecommerce Site Ask yourself a question; what was the last thing you bought and where did you buy it from? If you are anything like the typical consumer (me included) there is a very good chance it was bought online with one in three of us now doing the majority of our buying via a web browser. The ecommerce industry is still growing at an incredible rate. Online sales are eclipsing traditional retail with overall sales growing by nearly 5% like for like with this time last year. Don’t forget this is despite a struggling economy and retail woe from almost every corner.  So, if you are thinking about starting out with an ecommerce store, where do you start? 1. What do you want to achieve? The best starting point is to define... »

Ecommerce Site Design to Increase Sales

In my article Questions to Ask a Web Designer when Commissioning your First Ecommerce Site I detailed a number of points any prospective ecommerce merchant should be discussing with their site designer or implementer. In this piece I go a little further and explore some of the fundamentals of ecommerce design and ways to involve prospects with your site. How do you interact with your customers? This is as much a question for you the store owner as it is for the designer of your ecommerce site. The designer needs to think about interaction and getting your products to stand out from the competition. Getting your customers involved and interacting with your store will really pay off. Ways to achieve this could be as simple as including user-generated content where appropriate. This could be ... »

Selling Successfully Online (Chris Barling Video)

Hello my name’s Chris Barling, I’m the chairman of Actinic. Actinic has helped tens of thousands of small companies start selling online in the UK. I’m here on behalf of the is4profit website, to talk about setting up your online store, and going through five things to think about to do that. Tip 1 – Choosing Your Niche My first tip is choosing your niche, in other words, thinking about the product you’re going to sell and whom you’re going to sell it to. It’s very important nowadays when you go online that you try to avoid going head-to-head with one of the majors because, frankly, as a small startup you’re going to lose. So ask yourself the questions: What do you know about? What are you most interested in? What area do you feel confident to lear... »

8 Tips for Profiting Abroad

Anglophile, Euro-sceptic or xenophobe – whatever your feelings towards the rest of the human race, I’ve found that most people forget about someone’s origins when they see the colour of their money. Web store owners are no exception and most would like to make overseas sales, but this can seem a scary prospect. So here we’ll look at a few tips and tricks on international sales as well as areas to watch out for like tax, shipping and fraud. 1) Establishing Credibility Firstly, surprising as it is to those of us who live here, the UK still has an excellent reputation around the world. This means we have an advantage. So if we’ve got it we should flaunt it – make it clear to buyers that you’re based here. 2) Global Marketing Above all else, the intern... »

10 Tips on Multi-channel Marketing

You can understand why multi-channel retailing has for some years been a bandwagon you can’t afford to miss. According to the IMRG in 2012 the value of the UK ecommerce market in 2012 was £78 billion – round 2.6% of the total economy. That’s why traditional retailers and catalogue suppliers have pretty much moved online and are now combining marketing and fulfilment through all channels. This presents new challenges and there are some major traps for the unwary. Apart from the obvious point that selling on the web requires some different skills, it’s crucial to replicate brand values and a proper level of service. Problems in one channel will equally damage the other. The following tips are designed to help stimulate your thinking about how to plan and operate a suc... »

StartUp Britain Founders

About Emma Jones Emma Jones is the founder of Enterprise Nation, a small business support company. A small business expert, Emma is the author of books including Spare Room Start Up – how to start a business from home, Working 5 to 9 – how to start a successful business in your spare time, Go Global – how to take your business to the world and The StartUp Kit. Following a career with Arthur Andersen, Emma launched her first business at age 27 and successfully sold the company two years later. Enterprise Nation was launched in 2006 as a website to help anyone start and grow a business from home. The company has since expanded to offer online services, publications, events and finance to small businesses across the UK. Follow Emma Jones on Twitter About Michael Hayman Michael is co-founder o... »

About StartUp Britain

StartUp Britain is a national enterprise campaign which aims to encourage more people to consider starting a business. Set up by eight independent entrepreneurs in 2011, it gets its funding from big businesses. Its work is currently sponsored by BT, Intuit, PayPal, Dell, Intel and project sponsor Viking. The campaign has more than 80,000 registered members, a thriving and active social media following with a mission in 2013 to see more than half a million people starting up. Its website offers advice for start-ups and growing businesses via its directory. To deliver the start-up message, the campaign offers free themed events with top speakers – these cover finance – with a guide to crowd-funding, VC funding, Angel investment as well as the basics including how to keep on top of tax ... »

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