When you’re building a business, it’s easy to get bogged down in minutiae, jargon, and tunnel vision. You start assuming that everyone understands your product or service as well as you and your team members do. Of course, this is rarely the case. When consciously avoiding groupthink, how can you and your colleagues break out of your own bubble and address an old problem with a new perspective? What methods can you rely on to get feedback and understand your customers’ pain points and desires?
I spoke with several entrepreneurs who offered the following advice. … Continue reading
Chris Gronkowski runs Everything Decorated, an online shop for personalized gifts. “Choosing inventory to offer is the hard part,” he says. “We are a small family-owned business, so we have to make the right choices with inventory and colors or it really affects our cash flow and also our storage space. We have our own manufacturers for almost all of our products, and lead times are usually 3-4 months, so we have to be on top of our ordering or we will be stuck without product for months at a time.”
This dilemma is a familiar one in the e-commerce space. So what’s a store owner to do?
Read these tips from successful business owners on choosing inventory that sells. … Continue reading
If you run an e-commerce site, you know that photography is crucial to making sales. Lisa Chu, owner of children’s clothing company Black N Bianco said, “one of the most important aspects to running an e-commerce business is having product photos that convey value and trust in your business. High-quality beautiful product photos can heavily influence your conversion rate.” Test product photos for a simple, fast, and actionable way to help your conversion rate along.
Steve Chou, owner of Bumblebee Linens, knows this lesson first-hand. He tested two product photos using PickFu and saw that his female respondents preferred a new featured photo over the old one by a 3 to 1 margin. When he updated his listing with the new photo, sales of the item jumped 209%. … Continue reading
How do you bring the right people to your online store? How do you get them to stay? How do you set yourself apart from competitors?
Many sites take advantage of pay-per-click advertising, social media channels, and search engine optimization to boost site traffic and sales. But on top of these tried-and-true strategies, what else can you do? I spoke to e-commerce site owners to get their advice on marketing opportunities you don’t want to miss. … Continue reading
When it comes to e-commerce, anything that moves the needle up is a welcome change. I spoke with leaders from successful e-commerce sites to discuss site features that increased sales.
A surefire way to lose a customer is to have a package delivered to the wrong address. Using an address verification software such as Addressy or SmartyStreets saves that hassle. With address verification, the customer only needs to input a partial address, and valid postal addresses will be automatically suggested, saving time and improving the user experience. Having accurate addresses also helps the online seller, as error messages can be avoided and user-inputted spelling errors are eliminated. According to Natalie Green, marketing manager at PCA Predict, “this technology is used by thousands of global retailers around the world including L’Oreal, Lands’ End and Monkey Sports. Here’s an example of it in action on Dormify’s website. As the user types, the tool autocompletes the
verified address – saving the customer from typing out the whole address.” … Continue reading
Editor’s Note: Thanks to Peter Alessandria, photographer at GreatProductShots.com for the following guest post.
1. The camera
DON’T use your cellphone. Please. It’s not because I am a camera snob. The main problem with your cellphone camera is the lens. The wide angle can distort the view of your product. Since you spend thousands of dollars acquiring, designing, developing, prototyping and/or manufacturing your product, you want it to look its best, and the lens on the cellphone will not do it justice. It just can’t come close to the sharpness, clarity, and perspective you’d achieve with a decent camera. Plus, if you don’t have enough light, cellphone pictures look grainy. … Continue reading
I’ve written before about how a simple photo swap can dramatically increase sales. But how do you accomplish that gorgeous product photography? Should you hire a professional, or can you learn to do it yourself? I talked to businesses and photographers to see what tips they shared. If you think I’ve missed any, please leave your advice in the comments!
First things first. Consider what your product shots should accomplish, and what tone of voice they need to create. Food photographer Sarah E. Crowder writes, “as a photographer, it comes as no surprise that I think high-quality photography is important to your business, but it’s important to get other aspects of your venture in order before investing in photography. For example, you should establish a marketing strategy and go through some sort of branding process before hiring a professional photographer so that you can get the most out of that investment.” Plan the kinds of product photography you need as well as those nice-to-have extra shots that might be leveraged elsewhere. Understand what media channels your product photos will inhabit: e-commerce pages and social media images all the way up to larger-than-life posters or trade show displays. … Continue reading
Exactly who likes your product or design should never be a mystery to you. Knowing your audience means understanding their needs and desires, and knowing how best to address them.
On PickFu, you always know who answers your polls – each result includes a demographic breakdown of gender, age, income, ethnicity, and education level. But you can also target certain demographic groups so that only certain subsets of the population respond to your poll. … Continue reading
Steve Chou runs an online store called Bumblebee Linens. As an e-commerce site owner, he knows that an appealing photo can make the difference between losing a customer and making a sale. In fact, a simple photo swap helped Steve improve sales on a listing by 209%.
In order to test photos, Steve ran split tests on his website, whereby he published a listing, waited several days, swapped out the images for new ones, waited again, and then compared the results. The problem with split testing, however, “is that it takes forever. Every test that I run usually takes at least 3 weeks or more,” he wrote in a blog post. “And I’d say that 9 times out of 10, my tests are inconclusive.”
Besides the time required, a conversion pixel or some kind of tracking mechanism was needed, adding complexity and hassle to the tests, especially when selling on sites like Amazon, eBay, or Etsy. “Not only is this a major pain in the butt if you have multiple listings,” he said, “but if you’re lazy like me, you’re never going to do it.”
So when Steve heard about PickFu, “I thought I’d give it a try just for fun.” He took a listing from his store and tested his current featured photo against a new photo. … Continue reading
An attractive photo, a great layout, a memorable logo or app icon – these elements are often touted as the keys to optimization. Indeed, a well-converting site, ebook, or app will need them all. But sometimes we tend to underplay or altogether overlook the importance of copy testing – and to our peril. Whether it’s description copy of an e-commerce product, the subhead of a new book, or the elevator pitch of a growing startup, words matter.
Recently, PickFu increased the number of characters you can include in your test text block to 1,000. That’s the equivalent of roughly 200-250 words. Here are some great ways to use this feature for copy testing to improve your business: … Continue reading