Male Shopping Habits Versus Female Shopping Habits

We all know that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. Well, not literally, but males and females are very different types of people. Each gender has a different way of processing information, dealing with problems, and spending free time. You can even take this dichotomy and apply it to ecommerce since it turns out that men and women have different online shopping habits, as well. This factor is especially important if you run a store that sells products geared towards a specific gender. You can shape your store design and marketing strategy around gender habits and, in turn, see a larger response from your targeted audience. Here is how men and women are different when it comes to online shopping. Continue reading Male Shopping Habits Versus Female Shopping Habits

The Marketplace Fairness Act and You

Marketplace Fairness Act

Back in early May 2013, the US Senate voted to pass the Marketplace Fairness Act, inching it closer to its implementation and enforcement. The bill aims to level the playing field between ecommerce fronts and brick and mortar stores by making purchases from both taxable. Brick and mortar stores already collect sales tax based on local tax code rates and pretty much just serve the immediate community around them. On the other hand, ecommerce sites work across the entire country and currently just collect tax for in-state customers (in-state defined as an ecommerce store having a physical address in the same state). If the act is passed, state governments should see over $10 billion in tax revenue from online sales. The bill is still technically up in the air, as the House of Representatives hasn’t voted on it and President Barrack Obama has yet to sign it into law, but he has shown strong support for it. Here’s what you need to know about this piece of legislation.

A Brief History of Taxation and Online Sales

Back in 1992, the Supreme Court case Quill Corp. v. North Dakota resulted in a ruling that required a business to have a physical presence in a state for the state to collect taxes from it. Quill Corporation, headquartered in Illinois, is an office supply retailer that offered North Dakota residents a service that allowed them to purchase items remotely from the Quill Corporation store. North Dakota wanted to tax all purchases made through this, but the Supreme Court sided with the business and struck down the state’s attempt. Continue reading The Marketplace Fairness Act and You

How to Take your eCommerce Business to the Moon

How to Take your eCommerce Business to the Moon

The most incredible thing about Apollo 11’s journey to the moon was that it was accomplished without someone sitting at the steering wheel. It was engineered with systems that would triangulate its position based on the location and movement of various stars. It had sensors built in that knew how fast it was going, if it was slowing down or speeding up, and if it changed direction. Apollo 11 and all its successors had internal processes that handled the minutia and set the course ahead on autopilot.

Automation can do amazing things in ecommerce as well. By utilizing the right technology and creating processes that are scalable and repeatable, you can create tremendous momentum. Heck, you might even quadruple your vacation time.

Here’s how you can automate 3 of the core aspects of your ecommerce business:

1. Marketing
2. Fulfillment
3. Retention Continue reading How to Take your eCommerce Business to the Moon

The Pitfalls of Free Open Source Ecommerce Systems

PitfallsWhen you’re in the initial planning phases of setting up an ecommerce site, selecting a platform is a daunting challenge. There are dozens of software solutions out there. Going through each one’s benefits and features is a timely, painstaking exercise. One key factor in choosing an ecommerce system is price. Package pricing is generally based around business size, and some platforms are designed to work specifically with enterprise companies. And then you have your free open source ecommerce solutions. If you’re in a small startup business, the word “FREE” is going to catch your attention. “I get to put my products on the web for free? What could possibly go wrong?” Actually, a lot can.

Support and Hosting

One of the main problems with choosing a free ecommerce platform is that you are mostly on your own when it comes to running and hosting it. Sure, a number of open source ecommerce systems boast having active communities full of development support. In most instances, however, these developers are not going to hold your hand as you go through all your problems. Say that you’re gearing up for the holiday season and something breaks. One of the few things you can do in this case is submit a post to the ecommerce system’s community forum, pray for the best, and hit F5 a bunch of times. It’s worth noting that some open source platforms offer support at a price. This may prove expensive in the long run since some lock you into contracts, while others charge a costly rate per each incident. Continue reading The Pitfalls of Free Open Source Ecommerce Systems

Advanced Email Marketing Campaigns for Your Online Store

Email Marketing Tips

As a savvy ecommerce entrepreneur, perhaps you already know that it’s cheaper and more cost efficient for a company to remarket to an existing customer than win over a completely new one. According to SalesForce’s Desk.com blog, “a 5% increase in customer retention increases profits by up to 125%,” and “it is 6 to 7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one.”

These numbers serve as steadfast proof that it pays for ecommerces to invest substantial time in strategizing an effective customer retention program and while Ecommerce Rules does have 3 Simple Strategies to Increase Customer Retention, we’re going to narrow in on one aspect of successful customer retention here and that’s through well-tailored and executed email marketing campaigns. Continue reading Advanced Email Marketing Campaigns for Your Online Store

Top Five Reasons Why Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Fail

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For every success story we hear about smart entrepreneurs who have founded a lucrative lifestyle business, there are hundreds of untold stories about those who have failed. So what makes the difference between lifestyle businesses that thrive and those that crash and burn?

I don’t believe that it’s simply a matter of bad luck that many wannabe lifestyle entrepreneurs struggle to launch a successful venture on their first attempt. In fact, many people are making the same mistakes over and over again.

Each person and business is a unique case of course, but there are five common factors in particular that can contribute to the downfall of a small biz start-up. Continue reading Top Five Reasons Why Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Fail

Examples of Three Successful Lifestyle Entrepreneurs

EntrepreneursSo you’ve heard the term ‘lifestyle entrepreneur’ and you’re intrigued. It sounds great, right? Location independence, financial independence and the ability to create something that has impact on the world, whilst living on your own terms. Who wouldn’t want those things?

Dealing with doubts

However, maybe the doubt has begun to creep in. You mentioned it to a few of your friends, or maybe your partner or family, and they just stared at you like you were talking in the Klingon tongue. Or worse, maybe they told you that it was a pipe-dream or unrealistic goal. Continue reading Examples of Three Successful Lifestyle Entrepreneurs

How to Build a Bigger Facebook Following for Your Lifestyle Business

How to Build a Bigger Facebook Following for Your Lifestyle Business

Are your efforts to build a bigger Facebook following failing? Are you seriously fed up and embarrassed by the deafening silence that greets your business’s Facebook Page updates? Join the club. Facebook has become a conundrum for businesses, thanks to their frequently changing algorithms about who sees what in their newsfeed.

Yet Facebook is one of the main destinations for our customers. According to TechCrunch, Facebook has 669 million daily active users as of 2013 which adds up to 20 billion minutes of usage per day, and those numbers are only growing.

Most importantly for entrepreneurs, your lifestyle business’s success will be judged by the size of its Facebook following as it is still one of the major metrics when it comes to online social proof (whether you like it or not).

So how can you build a bigger following for your lifestyle business? Here are a few tips. Continue reading How to Build a Bigger Facebook Following for Your Lifestyle Business

5 Ways Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Can Manage Their Energy Better

5 Ways Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Can Manage Their Energy BetterM

If you’re building an Ecommerce Store or lifestyle business you probably have two things on your mind; time and money.

The more time you have to work on your business, the more money you can make; and the more money you can make, the more time you can spend in the future doing what really matters to you.

We’ve already shared 10 Time-Saving Tips for Lifestyle Entrepreneurs, but it’s also important not to discount the importance of our energy levels when working on our business.

You can usually get much better results from a few solid hours of focused work than you can from a 12 hour day running around like a headless chicken, and if you’re well-rested you’ll make much better business decisions than you will if you’re frazzled and distracted. Continue reading 5 Ways Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Can Manage Their Energy Better

10 Time-Saving Tips for Running a Lifestyle Business

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It is often said that time is money, and most start-ups/entrepreneurs have a lot more of the former than the latter, especially at the early stages of launching their business.

As a lifestyle entrepreneur, you want your business to be a success, but you don’t want it to take over your life. So from the very early stages of planning your business and how it will function, you want to consider ways to save time.

Note that I’m not talking about that overused term ‘time management’ here – after all, as lifestyle entrepreneurs we don’t want to find ways to fit more work into each day.

Instead, we want to find ways to fit our work into as little time as possible so we can spend more of our lives doing what is most meaningful to us rather than postponing our dreams until we retire.

With that said, here are ten simple ways to save time and still run a successful business. Continue reading 10 Time-Saving Tips for Running a Lifestyle Business