Ecommerce strategy

13 Awesome Tips From Ecommerce Experts

Most businesses are online now, and if you're selling a product, you no doubt have a strategy to...read more

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Web design and development

Designing our digital life: how UX designers are shaping our modern reality

UX web designers are shaping more than the modern trends in web design - they are transforming our...read more

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Questions

How do I know which is the right web development firm?

James LiddellOwner at Liddelldev
Hi Guys,This one is simple. You can do the basic research like, have they worked with people in my industry? Do they know my local area etc.These are great as an initial vetting process, at some point you have to slim down the choices.Example:If you are a local provider, look for someone local, who may have some experience with your audience, who they are and how and why they buy. HERE IS THE REALLY IMPORTANT PARTBest tip is to get on the phone. Make contact somehow and see how receptive they are to you.Communication is a huge part of getting your project done, and done the way you want it done. You will get a great read on this with your first few messages or conversations.Does this designer have the time and will to help YOU?Someone who is willing to look after what you need is the best fit every time.Does your designer understand what a website is for you? Are they telling you the can create a clean design that looks great and has X amount of great features?NOT WHAT YOU WANT TO HEAR.Does the designer ask you what you need the website to do? What are your goals? What does a successful site achieve for you and your business?This is what you want from your designer.A designer who understands a site is a tool, an investment that needs to make a return to earn it's keep is the one for you.You can tell the designer who your audience is and how you want to engage them with your site. A good designer listens to this and creates a site with you, to meet these goals.
Andrew Nguyen
Andrew NguyenBusiness Development Manager at Advisible
Hi MorraGreat questionWhat type of Websites do we build?AdVisible builds beautiful websites that have a powerful impact on your business. We don’t churn out thousands of websites like a factory production line; each website is handcrafted by our team of in-house designers and developers, so we maintain quality control and make sure the process is as streamlined and enjoyable as possible for you and your team. We’ll take care of every aspect of your website, so you can focus on growing your business.Please message me for more information and samples of our work.
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Questions

Who are your preferred Facebook advertising service providers?

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Questions

Any suggestions for hosting a straightforward e-commerce enabled site?

Shopping cart, blog and a couple of contact us/about us type pages. Current shortlist is Shopify... read more

If you have under 10 items, ecwid is free for the shopping cart side.
Jef Lippiatt
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
My two cents is I'm preparing to move to Shopify after a lot of consideration. It just has some really slick integrations and the interface is very pleasant. It is a bit more costly than my current solution, SnipCart. Prior to looking at SnipCart I was eyeing Shoprocket. It is a great product, but didn't suit my specific needs as well as I'd have liked.There is also Celery, which seems pretty straightforward, but I haven't used it personally. Just keep in mind there are plenty of great platforms out there, but you need to use the one that ultimately fits your needs.
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Questions

What is the best email hosting?

My site is hosted through shopify, so need a standalone email. read more

Asked by:
Che CooperOwner at Ready2Launch
Hi Michelle,Digital Pacific are very good and affordable. Their support and customer service is excellent and they are Australian owned and based.https://www.digitalpacific.com.au/ Regards Che
Michael Tutek
Michael TutekMD at Preezie
Hi Michelle,I ran through this exercise before i set my emails up and by far the best (that i found and for my needs) was google for work.https://www.google.com/work/For me i pay $5 per month on each email address, i can add alias (info for example) for free and it also gives you 30GB of google drive space.Not to mention the emails never break because its google and you have full access everywhere as its a cloud based solution. I would always recommend google for work for emails, cloud storage, etc.Let me know if you need any more help.
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Questions

When looking for a web designer/developer, what qualifications should we ask to see?

Asked by:
Web designing is related to Technical, graphic skills and creativity. A Complete web designer should have above 3 qualities. You can ask questions related to these skills. You may ask following Questions. 1. What are your technical skills? This question is related to his basic technical skills like his knowledge about Html, css, graphic designing tools etc. 2. Can you make responsive website? This question is about how much technology geek he is. Nowadays mobile friendly websites are in demand and also need of the time so he is able to develop mobile friendly websites using html 5, css3, bootstrap, jquery etc. 3. What was your recent delivered project. This question will give you an idea about his past work and quality of work. These are the question for the website designer. you can ask those question from the developer but you should ask about what programming language he knows and about his previous project relevant to your work.
Jef Lippiatt
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
As mentioned above, it is important to make sure they have a body of work (portfolio) that you can access and take time reviewing. It is also a good idea to look for any testimonials from previous clients. However, it is still worthwhile to contact several clients for more detailed information if desired. It is important to feel comfortable working with a designer or developer.Be willing to give them a list of your needs or more formal requirements. This can give them the ability to provide you a more accurate quote. Also, if you are unsure of what you want to do, start out giving them a smaller job. Ask them to review your current website (from a design and/or development perspective). This way you can hear what they think needs improvement as well as how they would potentially make that happen.Also, be sure to discuss your needed timeline. Many business owners disregard having a time line in mind, however, the turnaround time can greatly impact the price. Rush work will always cost a premium.Lastly, keep an open mind. Designers and developers (myself included) prefer to have the ability to produce great solutions. Micromanaging these roles will not produce the desired results. It is okay to ask for changes, but be specific when giving feedback so they know what needs changed. Remember, hiring the services of a designer or developer is no different than going to see a doctor or having a plumber come over. They are the experts so show that you trust their judgment. Would you second guess a doctor telling you about a procedure or a medication? If your drains were backed up would you tell the plumber he doesn't know what he is talking about? The answer to both of those questions is hopefully, "No".In that same light, be reasonable with a designer/developer. Remember you hired them for a reason. Also, designers and developers talk. If you are labeled a problem client, you'll likely have trouble landing any other designer or developer in the future. We don't like to work with frustrating people if we can avoid it.
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Questions

Have you ever employed a web developer/designer?

Jef Lippiatt
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
I personally haven't employed any. However, web design and front-end development are both skills I have. I've also partnered with more technical people in the past. What type of information are you looking for? Or what would you find helpful to know?
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Questions

Is there a way to link FB,Twitter,Instagram etc so you only need to post something one and it goes automatically to all?

Jef Lippiatt
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
I would also recommend looking at Buffer (which is similar to Hootsuite).Another alternative to checkout is IF or IFTTT also known as "If This Then That". It is a mobile app that has tons of easy to setup integrations. It can work around some of the issues mentioned above (like turning a picture into a link - it will keep a picture intact across networks for example).There is 1 counterpoint I want to mention. There are several sources that are telling people and businesses not to use functions like this for 1 reason. Each social network has its strong points and weaknesses. You should not only tailor your content to your audience, but also the specific social network.Remember focused content directed toward your target audience is more important that frequently blasting out the exact same content across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. If you are sharing the same content on all channels why would anyone follow you on more than 1 channel?
Sputnik Sputnik
Sure. Sort of. You can link SOME social media platforms via their own functionality. Ie Twitter and Facebook talk together no problems.Now that FB own IG you can also set up IG to post to FB directly also.But if you want to do them all you may find the best way is to use a 3rd party program like Hootsuite of tweetdeck.
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Questions

Does anyone have any ideas on how to best market the label or get it into stores?

I am in the process of launching a new casual/sportwear range. Bescides marketing on Facebook and... read more

Jef Lippiatt
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
It really depends on your brands positioning. Are you looking for an exclusive partnership? Wide distribution? Or are you focusing on niche / boutiques?Some of the above questions should easily be answered by how your brand is positioned. If you are "premium" you should look for an exclusive partnership or boutiques. If you are going for "trendy" you should focus on boutiques and high end department stores. If you are going for "affordable" you should aim at large chain stores.The deal has to work for both you and the retailer to make sense for both of your brands. Do you have your whole sale pricing in place? If not, you need to understand your price point for whole sale customers before you start reaching out to them.
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Questions

Which are your favourite apps that help you run your biz or life in general?

I use my calendar on my iPhone. Set More - Free online booking system https://www.setmore.com/
Jef Lippiatt
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
Some of my most frequented apps are the following:Social MediaTwitterLinkedInPinterestInstagramCommunicationSlack / Google Hangouts / SkypeGmailFreelance Gigs / WorkersFiverrProject ManagementTrelloGitHubLearningPrimer (by Google)Coursera
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Questions

What are some of the best ways to promote a new website?

A question that would benefit from some additionalinformation (in addition to the site’s newness) as it is impossible to respond constructively to such generalisation Michelle. Why do you want to promote it? What douse it contain? Who are likely to find it of most value? What makes it so outstanding that it is worthy of promotion?Without some specifics all you are likely to attract is a avalanche of random viewpoints potentially irreverent and maybe even detrimental to your purpose.
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Questions

What fonts do you find the most professional? The least? What does a font say about you and your business?

Bit of an oddball one from me tonight, and I have no idea where it came from. Thought it would be... read more

Jef Lippiatt
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
John,I'll give you some insights from a designer's perspective (I do graphic, branding, web and user experience just to name some). Why is mentioning those disciplines important? They all factor into typography choices and ideas.First you must think about your format (or media). Fonts that look great on paper do not always translate well to online consumption.Unless a font is selected for artwork (poster, flyer, or a logo) you want to minimize the strain you are putting on your audience (e.g. would you want to read an entire book printed in cursive or calligraphy? No, the strain would hurt your eyes).There are literally 1000's of fonts you could choose from, however, you should always keep your audience and the amount of words in mind.Popular fonts online are Roboto (Android), Ubuntu, Helvetica Neue and San Francisco (iOS) as well as classic Helvetica and Arial.In my opinion fonts that should always be avoided are (Comic Sans, Papyrus and Stencil). These fonts are typically overused, hard to read and just plain obnoxious.Good fonts for printed material are Verdana, Univers, Gill Sans and Courier New. These are easier to read printed out than many other fonts.Again, adapt for your needs, but do try to avoid mixing more than 2 to 3 typefaces (in all applications).
Steve Osborne
Steve OsborneOwner at Smarthinking
JohnYour question reminds me of the Desert Island typography game. You can only take 10 fonts with you, so list your go-to typefaces to cover every conceivable written situation. Yes, it's fun and interesting, but no, it can never be definitive.What the font "says" about the business depends on whether it has been selected for corporate/internal use and is therefore standardised across multiple media, or for a piece of promotion. For the latter, the only consideration is whether the type appropriately conveys the message to the market.In every case, font choice is down to the skill of the designer, and how successful S/He is in creating the desired impression in the reader.Font choice is completely subjective. One man's Helvetica is another man's Comic Sans. What I consider professional may not carry the same connotation with others. In the most basic sense, most typographers and designers I know generally accept that serifs can traditionally be invested with impressions of: conservatism, elegance, legibility, high quality etc. And sans are often associated with: modernism, clarity, adaptability, etc. Equally, the reverse can be true, depending who you're talking to.I have a short list of personal Desert Island favourites, but none are selected on the basis of "professional appearance." All are selected for their appropriateness to the project. Horses for courses.
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Questions

What are the key elements you take into consideration before choosing to work with a production house for videos?

Elements such as.The Team, Price, Portfolio, Recommendations, Website, Online Presence,... read more

Jef Lippiatt
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
I think reputation and online presence go hand-in-hand. In this day and age if the production house is not posting work on social media (Youtube, Instragram, Vine, Vimeo and their own website) maybe stay clear.Also pick a company that is aligned to your goal. Do you want creative control or are you willing to let them handle it? Many creative agencies that are top producers will want the ability to develop their own concept.However, if you have a specific concept and script and actors in mind you need to go with an agency that is setup more for shooting and editing.I would say that recommendations are always key (at least when they come from people you trust). Online reviews are helpful, but I would prioritize a recommendation from a trusted business partner or client first. Always review the website and content of previous videos (even when recommended to ensure they align with your goals as well).
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Questions

What do you love/not-love about your laptop... have you seen any awesome pre-fin-year sales on these laptops?

Philip BrookesOwner at Aktiv Tactics
I use a 13" MacBook Air and I *love* it's battery life, light weight, and robust construction. I travel a lot, and when a carry-on bag is limited to 7kg every gram counts. When I'm at my desk, I have it hooked up to a 24" external screen, position it on a stand, and use a wireless Apple keyboard plus a wireless Logitech mouse to have essentially a dual-screen desktop configuration.Irrespective of which brand of notebook you purchase, I'd definitely recommend you invest in an SSD (Solid State Drive) - they're so ridiculously faster than a traditional Hard Disk Drive (HDD) that it'll blow you away. You might think it's just one small part of the equation, but you'd be wrong - the specs of my Macbook Air are nothing special (1.8GHz i5 with 4GB RAM) but due to the blazing fast SSD this machine has handled everything I've thrown at it including Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Aperture, Microsoft Office suite, Dropbox, Google Drive, and scores of apps/windows active simultaneously - with a HDD you'd need to double all the other specs to make that possible. I can't recommend SSD highly enough.
Steven Freeman
Steven FreemanOwner at Evolved Sound
I love connecting mine into a good old fashioned docking station with all your plugs and screens connected and ready to go. This gives you the best of both worlds, full desktop experience and fully mobile on same machine when removed from dock.
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Questions

Where do I start looking to obtain my web address? Who do you find are the best web providers?

We refer our clients to www.domain-names-only.com if just after a domain name. Be sure to get the DNS Zone Manager option - it's free.Vast range of TLDs. Domain registration privacy is also available on .com domains.If purchasing a domain name as part of a hosted services package then we refer clients to clickonIT.com.au. Vast range of TLDs. Domain name pricing is the same as service above and major benefit is all services managed from a single account manager/login. Domain checker features finds available names in all TLDs.Prinicpal advantage with both systems is quality support. 95% of the time you don't need it, but when you do it's usually urgent and important. Support is local and solves most problems fast.Domain registration is subject to the rules and regulations of a variety of different authorities and agencies so procedures and requirements are often changing. Choosing a domain name and maintaining it as part of your business identity and IP are serious issues often taken lightly.While most registrars do offer a virtually identical system, some do it better than others, so check them out and ask questions as you are doing here on SavvySME.Good luck!
Philip BrookesOwner at Aktiv Tactics
Personally, it's been our experience that the *management* of your domain is frequently the biggest concern, not the basic registration. Many companies can offer domain registration, and while the domain is just parked there you don't experience any issues. You can, of course, point the domain to someone else's Name Servers and configure your domain through somebody else's domain services, but in our experience the smoothest and cleanest experience has been when we register and manage all our domains in the one spot, with a company that has a speedy and effective Zone Manager/Domain Management tool. NetRegistry (or their wholesale spin-off TPP Wholesale) have one of the best Domain packages on the market and it's competitively priced (though not as cheap as GoDaddy or some of the other 'discount' domain registrars). We've picked up a number of clients and transferred them across to our Reseller offering which we purchase from TPP Wholesale when they've come unstuck at the time they need to make changes to their domain configuration. And no matter who you use, you'll make you life a heck of a lot easier if you try to consolidate as many of them as possible to the one provider - there's nothing worse than numerous login credentials spread across multiple registrars and the owner can't remember how to log in to any of them.
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Questions

How do I sell web development services for the first time?

Some good suggestions above. I would like to add - start with what you have in your hand. Do you have a background in a particular industry where you already have contacts? Are they likely to need websites? Establish your position, and let people know you are meeting their online needs. If you try and be everything to everybody, you are increasing competitors rather than clients. Ask yourself where the open doors already exist. Create a landing page that targets that industry and then promote it.
Brad Lyons
Brad LyonsOwner at SMS Fusion
When I first launch something new I spend big with adwords. Then once I know the most popular key words people use I buy those domain names. Adwords puts your site at the top instantly and helps you gain an understanding of what people are typing when searching for your services. So I would recommend spending a large amount for the first week of adwords to ensure your ad is always at the top, then wide back the spend as you start to see the common keywords. Modify your current site to ensure those key words are in your content and buy up the keywords as domain names.
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Questions

Why do web designers create ugly sites for clients?

Some professional web design companies create some ugly websites for clients. I understand that the... read more

Jef Lippiatt
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
I think that overall many clients are unwilling to give designers and/or design agencies the freedom to create something genuinely interesting and unique.It has been a staple in my professional design career to run into clients that have no design experience, but feel they are perfectly qualified to judge or dictate design. These same clients wouldn't argue with a lawyer, plumber or mechanic, but designers are not respected as a profession in many parts of the world. This perception needs to change.The best way is to limit who you work with as a client. Remind them they came to you and you want their business to succeed. Sometimes you need to work a client up in phases of what they consider "risk". Innovation and design are both tricky business.The other issue is many junior or hobbyist designers do not understand how to correctly structure information to create easily consumable content. The structure of the information is just as important (if not more sometimes) than the visual aesthetic.
Steven Freeman
Steven FreemanOwner at Evolved Sound
Many call themselves web designers but do not understand the fundamentals of what makes a brilliant design to suit the given client.Yes design is subjective, but unfortunately too many designers are charging clients for something which is way of the mark to clients that do not know otherwise (but not their fault as they are not meant to be the experts).As anyone can be a web designer, authority on this service comes with no official accreditation or certification.
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Questions

What is your favourite piece of advice for launching a new website?

I'm preparing to launch my new website in July.  read more

Andrew Edwards
Andrew Edwards at Online Marketing Solutions
Hi CelineHere is a short video that answers your question: https://youtu.be/9hwoVC6llkw?list=PLFzGzdXJbfblUF_...Hint- Analytics to track & measure your ROI & website advertising.Subscribe to our YouTube channel for regular Internet Marketing Training goo.gl/rvR9V8
Jef Lippiatt
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
Make sure your website is response and adaptive in design (one website works across all devices). Any business that has a "Mobile Version" of their website has hacked off some of the information or functionality and I don't appreciate it when trying to find things.Keep in mind that just because the content "shrinks" to display on smaller devices the layout of the content doesn't need to remain identical to the desktop version. That also applies to navigation. The same links should be available, but they don't have to be presented in the same style or location.Mobile is important, so make it a prioirty.
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Questions

I'm running Facebook ads but no one is signing up on my website, what do I do?

I'm using Facebook ads to drive traffic to my website (Home). Many people have clicked the ad but... read more

Rebecca Carroll-Bell
Great advice Joel. I use Facebook ads for a few different reasons. Sometimes its to get people to like the post, and from there I invite them to like the page. Sometimes its to get them to sign up for a free offer (also called an opt-in or lead magnet), in which case I direct them to a LeadPage specifically set up to garner their email address in return for a free resource that is of value to them. And sometimes I throw $10-$20 at a post just to see what happens. When I first started using Facebook ads I was bitterly disappointed that people were not clicking, signing up etc. Now I treat each campaign as a bit of an experiment - did it work, who is looking, who is clicking, which posts do they like/not like. As Joel said, please feel free to add more detials and tap into the power of the Savvy SME Mastermind.Bec
Joel Warren
Joel WarrenDesigner & Strategic Marketter at Wiild Interactive
Hi Cassie,This is a common senario. The main problem is you are directing traffic with what I assume is an engaging ad if it's getting clicks, but then you directing them to a homepage - which generally don't have a strong sales narrative. I'm generalising here but that's my experience.If you visit your own website is there a clear direction to take the action you want people to take?If so- great, but then consider if the websites directive as related to what you discuss in your ad? If not people may be getting confused or not finding the right action to take on your website.If you are directing paid traffic to your website it worth considering this as a "campaign" and setting up the supporting structure to make it successful. I.e. use a landing page specific to the ad, so you get a consistent message that's obvious and can't be mistaken.Consider what you are giving people in exchange for signing up? Are you targeting the right market? is it valueable to that market? Are you expecting too much from a single interaction? Do you have a something in place to nuture them after they sign up so they eventually purchase?Sorry bit of a brain dump, but hopefully there are some gem's in there.If you reply with more detail I can advice more specifcally.Be amazing,Joel Warren
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