Blogging and the Roles it Plays for Your Business

Having a blog for your online business isn’t a compulsion but a must have. It has some great advantages which can help you push your business forward and keep it ahead of your competitors.
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  1. Develop relationships with your customers, readers: Blogs are an easy way to connect and engage with your customers. Your posts provide value to your readers and in return they give you more topics to write on through their discussions and comments. Your future posts could be on what your readers are looking for—this could be a way to create rapport with your target audience, gain their trust and share a common space with them.
  2. Search engines get fresh content: Search engines love it when you add new content to your blog. Every time you publish a new post or article, search engines get a new entry point into your website. Through regular blog posts, you are increasing ways in which people can find you through social media platforms or search engines.
  3. Push sales: A blog is a huge opportunity to drive traffic and sales. Blog posts bring large number of visitors to your website who might become your customers. Make sure you come up with enticing tag lines with juicy and original content.
  4. Establish yourselves as thought leaders: Having a blog gives you an opportunity to establish yourself as a thought leader. With your informative and relevant content, you can gain credibility among your target audience and readers. They should look up to you for your quality content and updates.
  5. Connect the audience to your brand: Use your blog to create awareness about your brand, products and services. Your blog entries—along with screenshots, info graphics, images and videos—could explain specific products or services that you provide to people. Share highlights of your upcoming products/services or any news related to your team or business that your readers can get excited about.

Blogs can be your medium to connect with your audience informally, have discussions and debates and build a community relevant to your business. Blogs have proved to be the best and inexpensive way to add quality content to any e-commerce business. Start yours now!

10 Ways to Keep Your Customers Happy

You’re doing well as an online entrepreneur if you have succeeded in making your customers happy and satisfied. Making them happy is in fact completely in your hands. Here are 10 ways to make your customers feel valued and special.

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  1. Products

As an online store, you have to offer the most exclusive range of products and at a reasonable price. Customers want the best that is available in the market and they always remember the best experiences. For customers to remember and follow you, offer high quality and unique products. Happy customers drive traffic and sales, put in everything you’ve got to make them experience euphoria!

  1. Secure Payment Gateways

You wouldn’t want a customer’s fear of unsecure payment gateway to kill your sales. Provide your customers with smooth and safe payment gateways and a variety to choose from—cash on delivery, debit card, credit card, net banking, PayPal, etc. Customers never like an online experience which is restrictive or limited, so by giving multiple payment options you are not only increasing the chances of a successful sale but creating a fulfilling experience.

  1. Page Loading Time

Your website should be fast. People have less patience these days and don’t think much before tagging an online experience as poor if your website is slow. The longer your website takes, the higher are the chances to lose an impatient and busy customer. With a smooth website experience, you can make any customer a regular.

  1. Store Locator

Some customers want to verify and cross check your business’s authenticity. Make sure you have the necessary and correct address for correspondence mentioned on your website. This helps build trust and confidence in your customers and they feel assured.

  1. Discount and Offers

Customers love deals, discounts and offers. You throw attractive, genuine deals and discounts and you will have the customers on your side. You should always find ways to give discounts and treat your regular customers. Remember to give your customers what they want and a little more. Their happiness quotient will only drive your website’s popularity and sales. So make them very happy!

  1. Active Customer Support and Email Notifications

One of the most important ways of keeping your customers happy is by keeping them informed. A customer should be constantly updated about his/her order(s) through emails or SMSes. You should definitely have a customer support number and an online chat option on your website. Any customer query or concern should be given high priority and should be resolved as soon as possible! By doing this, your enhancing your customer’s shopping experience and their fondness for you and your services.

  1. FAQs

Your website should have a section that answers and resolves most of the customer queries and doubts. This will help customers make better and informed choices. Giving your customers complete and thorough information puts you in a good and reliable place.

  1. Packaging and Shipping

You know you can actually make your customer’s day with your prompt shipping and stunning packaging. An excellent, safe packaging and timely delivery can make the customer go gaga for you. You’ll see them come back to you in no time and with more excitement and orders.

  1. Customer Feedback

You should always ask for your customers’ feedback. You could do that over emails or under a special feedback section on your website. By doing this, you make them feel important and use the feedback to ameliorate their experience.

  1. Plan Ahead

Aren’t surprises lovely? Yes, pleasantly surprise your customers by anticipating their needs and planning ahead. Look into analytics to understand your customers and their needs better. Plan your promotions and products accordingly. This will touch an emotional chord and your customers will be elated by your thoughtfulness! Not only that planning inventory and promotions with the help of data and analytics will reduce wastage or dead stock.

Always remember that a satisfied customer is the best business strategy you can ever have. For the smiles that you spread, you get unconditional loyalty in return.

Good luck!

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Lucknowi Andaaz: The Classic Hand-Embroidered Chikankari Apparel for Women

Supreet Bhatia is spreading the magic of Lucknow’s exquisite Chikankari through her brand Lucknowi Andaaz. She talks to us about her transition from an online shopper to an online entrepreneur, her journey so far and how Get Me a Shop gave wings to her dreams.luccknowiandaaz

  1. Could you tell me about your brand and the products that you offer?

The name of my brand is Lucknowi Andaaz and it’s about Chikankari from Lucknow. At Lucknowi Andaaz, we sell hand-embroidered Chikankari apparel for women which includes readymade kurtis, saris, tops and suits, including dress material. Every now and then, we introduce other kinds of hand embroideries, such as Kashmiri and Kantha. Our clientele generally likes hand-embroidered stuff and that’s what we deal in.

  1. How did you get the idea to go online and sell?

After completing my MBA in 2010 from Amity University, Noida, I plunged into the content marketing and e-commerce industry. Being an active online shopper, I started blogging and involved myself in online marketing for the next 2 to 3 years. After that, I decided to quit my job and freelance as a content writer for around 6 to 8 months. I wrote for different technology blogs and started my own blog called “The Avid Online Shopper”. Here, I shared my own online shopping experiences to introduce people to the e-commerce world and what it had to offer, at a time when online shopping had only just started in India.

Also, I always wanted to be an entrepreneur but the right idea was yet to click! Once the idea of chikankari hit me, I had rigorous discussions with my mom and we finally came up with Lucknowi Andaaz. My mother and I started the online store in February 2014.

  1. What is your understanding of the online industry? How is it different from other forms of doing business?

I was big time into online shopping and already knew the perks of being an online shopper. Earlier, people had a lot of inhibitions about online shopping; as a result, cash on delivery came into light. I knew that for a start-up, cash on delivery was not a feasible option. Customers who were new to online shopping could cancel the order and we couldn’t afford that. It was a big challenge for me to get prepaid orders, either online payments or bank transfers. But as an entrepreneur, I learnt that genuine customers did not mind paying online.

Another challenge was creating trust in the minds of people because a few businesses spoilt the game for genuine sellers. I overcame this challenge by offering flawless quality and timely deliveries with the help of my courier partner.

Before I had a store of my own, I got many good leads from Facebook groups, such as Mumbai Wholesale Bazaar, Delhi Shopping Guide, Gurgaon Shopping Guide and Chennai Shopping.

According to me, online selling stands out because of its clarity and convenience. After exhibiting my collection at Dilli Haat, New Delhi, in the beginning of March 2015, I realized that online selling was more driving and exhilarating.

  1. How do you cater to the diverse needs of your customers?

In Chikankari, white is very popular and somehow always in demand. After a year, I have a fair idea of what my clients need and, accordingly, I keep stocking and restocking. It’s unbelievable but true that people change their taste every month. Currently, blues, yellows and peaches are in.

I also work through WhatsApp as high-profile clients don’t have much time and prefer getting updates via WhatsApp. This keeps me on my toes and I don’t get time for anything else. It’s an overwhelming, yet awesome experience.

  1. How do you tackle competition and stay ahead in the market?

Chikankari has a huge demand, especially in South India, Mumbai and Rajasthan. I also have a good client base in the UAE, Malaysia, the UK, the US and Australia.

In a span of one year, I have done well because of these reasons:

  • I focus on keeping things which are unique or not easily available: exclusive and exquisite stuff is my strength. Sometimes, I go out of my way to get stuff specially made for my clients to cater to specific needs.
  • I keep experimenting all the time because people like change.
  • I also keep a close tab on the celebrity Chikankari by following blogs and movies as they seem to set the trend in the market.
  1. How has Get Me a Shop helped you in setting up your online store?

My experience with Get Me a Shop has been awesome right from the start. The process of setting up and maintaining my online store has been very easy and I always got timely support from Get Me a Shop team. The look and feel of my online store is great. I feel a website is very important as it solidifies and authenticates your presence online and Get Me a Shop has done exactly that for me.

  1. Do you have any suggestions for us to help you sell better?

Get Me a Shop has amazed me with the new features; these features save a lot of my time. The only area I need some help with is online marketing. I want direct leads on my websites and that would be another experience as an online entrepreneur. Otherwise, I am thrilled with the way things are moving. Also, the mobile app is great and very handy. I upload my products directly through the app and save time.

Inspired by Lucknowi Andaaz? The online world awaits… take the leap now! Visit http://www.getmeashop.com/.

Your Missing Piece for Online Success: Customer Data

Knowing and understanding your customers can take you places. If you haven’t been focusing on customer data, here are a few reasons why you should.

Customer Data Sources
  • Analysing customers through qualitative and quantitative data can help you structure your actions around their needs. Customer data can be obtained from various sources, such as point of sale systems, orders, shipping details, newsletters, abandoned cart information, etc.
  • Customer data is important for coming up with an effective marketing and sales strategy. It also helps you in directing your marketing and communications towards the relevant audience.
  • By being customer-centric, your business will not only evolve but you will also be able to match your customers’ shift in tastes and demand better. You could deploy Google analytics to capture the trends and behaviours of your customers on your online portal.
  • Preparing questionnaires and feedback forms for customers will be a step ahead in knowing your customer and engaging them with your brand. Try to incentivise the respondents with an offer or discount.
  • Customer emails collected via authentic channels, for example, newsletters, subscribers can be used to send out promotions, offers and information they might be interested in. Make sure the email list is not ‘sourced’ or you risk your domain to be blacklisted and forever be devoid of email marketing.
  • With customer details in your system, you can efficiently and effectively resolve their issues and concerns, including problems while making payments, tracking orders, lack of customer support or information or any other complaint. If you promptly settle their issues and provide assistance, they will happily come back to you!
  • Having a deep insight into analytics regarding your customers could help you in identifying their shopping patterns and habits. You could use this information to your advantage by offering the right products to the right audience.
  • Social media plays a huge and crucial role in making or breaking your brand’s image. As an online business, you always have to be proactive and creative. Engage your target audience on the social media and gauge their likes and dislikes. This could be some crucial data on buyer’s choices and preferences.
  • Customer data can help you understand and identify bottlenecks in your system. You can identify issues that customers face at acquisition, activation and retention levels. This is the most important role that customer data can play for a business.

With this valuable data and the insights you gain, you can achieve multiple goals. By having customer-centric approaches and understanding, you serve your buyers better, you introduce them to something they did not realise they needed and attract them to place an order. You also manage your performance and resources to create an impressive brand image and a wholesome experience for your target audience.

Understanding changing needs, trends and behaviours of your shoppers with the help of relevant data is the way to go. You will not only be the market leaders but also the customers’ favourite as well.

Plunge in and start gathering your customer data now!