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Improving Conversion Rates on Your Website: Some Tips – Part 1

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Improving Conversion Rates on Your Website: Some Tips – Part 1

To get people to buy your products and services in the online world, we all know that you need quality traffic. This is basically visitors who are interested in buying what you are selling and that have visited your site for that reason. However once they are on your site, there are certain things that you need to do in order to increase the number of visitors who will actually convert into a sale.


Of course, it is not possible to convert every visitor on your website into a customer. There are various types of visitors on your website and there are many reasons as to why somebody may not want to buy something from you, at least not at the very moment. Now why would visitors leave without buying? Here are some reasons:


  • The visitor was simply doing research. This happens quite often. The visitor may have been just curious about what your products are and how they function, but was not really ready to buy any of them. He may have been comparing prices between various different sellers online. Or maybe it was a student who was writing a report on your industry, etc.
  • Your prices were not satisfactory to the visitor. Basically, the visitor had an interest in what you had to offer, it is just that he found the prices too high and thinks that it is possible to get a better deal somewhere else.
  • You don’t have the product that they want. Your visitor was looking for something specific and you either didn’t have it, or it was listed as out of stock.
  • The terms of the purchase were not suitable for your visitor. This could mean various things. The visitor may have wanted to pay with PayPal but you only take credit cards. If you offer a service, such as a voicemail service or webhosting, you might have required that the visitor take a contract and pay you for several months in advance, which they weren’t willing to do. If you are shipping merchandise, maybe you weren’t shipping to his country, or the delivery methods weren’t suitable for him.
  • Your site was not functioning properly. There is something that you need to face: people have short attention spans. Also, there is competition out there. Unless you are offering something that is very unique and impossible to find anywhere else online, you will have competitors who are selling the same thing than you. Now the issue here is that if a visitor finds that your site is difficult to navigate, slow, or has error messages cropping up all the time, they are most likely to simply leave and look at another site. Very few people are going to keep hitting F5 because they got a “500 Internal Server Error” when they were checking out for an e-commerce purchase.


These are all things that you need to think about if you want to be a successful online merchant. Tomorrow you will see more tips on improving conversions.

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Is Magento E-Commerce a Good Solution for Beginners?

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Is Magento E-Commerce a Good Solution for Beginners?

If you are building an e-commerce website, you basically have two options. The first one would be to simply build a static site and add payment buttons for a service such as PayPal. While this may be OK for some people, it is not the best solution, especially not when you are building any kind of serious e-commerce site. You therefore need to use a type of content management system that will allow you to do things such as add and remove products, put some products as “featured” on your home page, etc.


There are dozens of different e-commerce platforms available out there. Some are free, while some cost thousands of dollars. One free e-commerce platform that many people talk about is Magento. It is included in the automatic installers for many web hosts and is touted as the most advanced free e-commerce platform. But is it really the best choice for you? Especially if you are new to e-commerce?


Well, to be honest, it is not. The first thing that you need to know is that Magento is an enterprise class e-commerce solution. Powerful, yes. But it is also very complicated to use for new users. But what about support? Isn’t there a knowledge base or something? Well there are support forums that are provided for users of the software. The problem with them is that there is not much “support” going on there. Mostly users saying “Oh! Darn this doesn’t work” and others joining in with “Yeah! It doesn’t work for me too! Bummer”. Magento staff rarely answer any questions on the forum and there is a reason as to why: the software is free. The support isn’t. If you want support from them, well then you would need to pay for it.


There are also a few other issues with Magento. The first thing is that the admin panel is quite slow. Sometimes it takes up to one minute for a page to refresh after you have made a change. It is not my hosting or my server that is a problem, believe me. I have tried with a cloud server and a shared hosting account. Both have given the same results.


What about customizing it? Magento says that you can customize their software fully to fit your exact needs and make the site look and work just like you want. Well, this is not a lie. It IS possible. Just extremely hard. There are some templates provided with the software, but they will not work for everybody. You can download some free ones or pay for premium templates, but the issue is that many of them are buggy and have problems working. You can also modify the code, as it is open source software. But you better be an expert on the Zend Framework. Otherwise, expect to spend several months (that’s right, months) learning it before you can accomplish anything useful with it. Quite simply Magento is not the best solution for beginners… unless you just want to take the default template and add a few products for your e-commerce site.

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Selling on eBay: Choosing a Good Drop Shipper: Part 3

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Selling on eBay: Choosing a Good Drop Shipper: Part 3

Now that we have explored some ways to find dropshippers, let’s take a closer look at how you can evaluate a particular supplier to see whether they are legit or not. Here are some of the things to watch out for when you are looking at a dropshipper. These are not conclusive proof that the supplier is just another scammer, but should be seen as red flags telling you to proceed with extreme caution.


  • A recent join date and low amount of feedback from clients


Many dropshipping sites and some online marketing forums have a feedback system that will allow people to leave feedback for each other after completing a transaction. You will also be able to see exactly when somebody became a member of the site.


One thing to watch out for is a member who has recently joined and has no or little feedback on the site. Scammers frequently create new accounts after they begin receiving negatives from clients that they scammed or get banned from the site. Also, don’t let the fact that they’ve completed a few transactions fool you into thinking they must be legit. Some will complete a few transactions successfully at the beginning to build up their “reputation” on the site and then when they see people are starting to trust them, they will simply turn to scamming.


  • Insisting on paying using methods such as Western Union or bank wire


It is true that in some countries where suppliers are based it is not possible or practical to use a payment processor such as PayPal or Moneybookers. However you should be careful about using one that insists on being paid with a method that is not reversible such as by Western Union or Money Gram. Even bank wires are not really safe, as banks in foreign countries will seldom want to help you in the event that you’ve wired a few hundred dollars to a scammer. If possible, make use of escrow facilities that will sometimes be advertised on dropshipping sites. However, here again check to see if the escrow service is legitimate too, as some fake ones have been spotted.


  • Offering items at prices that seem too low


Well if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is. If you see that a supplier is offering merchandise at prices that are far below what others charge for the same item in the same quantity, then you need to ask yourself some serious questions about them. Most probably, the deal is not legitimate and even if they do send something, it may be merchandise that was stolen or is counterfeit.


  • Not providing contact details


If you are going to do some high volume business with a dropshipper, then you should at least have their phone number in case you need to call them if there is a problem with one of your orders. A supplier that doesn’t want to provide one should look instantly suspicious to you.

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Selling on eBay: Choosing a Good Drop Shipper: Part 2

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Selling on eBay: Choosing a Good Drop Shipper: Part 2

Previously, we have seen some tips on how you can test the dropshipper that you intend to use and the fact that it is much better to have more than one dropshipper to do business with. But how do you find a good dropshipper? There are a few ways to do this. Here are some of them:


  • Look through dropshipping websites


There are some website out there such as DH Gate, TradeTang and Alibaba that are a real treasure trove for all kinds of merchandise. Anything like clothing, electronics and jewelry can be found there. The good thing about these sites is that they are mostly aimed at business owners who are looking to acquire merchandise rather than at individual consumers. This means that you can easily find dropshippers or buy merchandise in bulk. This is the good thing. But the bad thing about these sites is that they also contain many scammers who will either rip you off and not send anything, or ship something different than what they advertise.


But there are ways to protect yourself from that. Obviously, you can apply what we covered in the previous article which would be to make a test order first to see if they deliver. But you should also check the seller’s feedback on the site. See how long they have been active and how many positive comments they have from others who have done business with them. Also, look to see whether they have a website and phone number. While this is not a guarantee of safety, it does make it more likely that you will be dealing with a legitimate supplier rather than a scammer. If possible pay with PayPal or a credit card and avoid sending money through Western Union or Money Gram, as these services are preferred by scammers due to the fact that the transaction cannot be reversed.


  • Look at internet marketing forums


Most “make money online” forums will have a section that is dedicated to eBay selling or dropshipping. Check it out to see what others are saying. You may find the contact information for some good suppliers, complete with comments from forum members who have used them and were happy with their transaction. You might even find some members of the forum who are suppliers for a wide variety of merchandise and who can drop ship to your eBay buyers.


Dealing with someone from a forum can be safer than dealing with a seller on Alibaba, as the supplier will often be well known in the forum and have members who can vouch for him. But this is not a guarantee that everything will go well. Don’t forget to use common sense when you are looking for a dropshipper, no matter where you find him. Always try to check their reputation out before you decide to use them as a supplier for your eBay online business. If you are careful, then you will reduce the chances of getting scammed when doing business with one.

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