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Six Tips to Improve Your Online Shopping Store

Posted in Tips on 17 April 2014
Image courtesy of (arztsamui)/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
 
There is immense potential in online shopping and hence lot of analysis involved in this area. Many firms are in the race of getting more customer attention and knowing what exactly will work for the firm can help. The climate is increasingly competitive, and it is imperative to know what can get you on the right platform and build a solid reputation. We have analyzed and listed six tips that can help improve performance of your online store.

Tip 1: Three-Second Test

The first impression is very important. People form a first impression on others within the first seven seconds. The same applies for online shops also. It is simple, you just have to ask two questions to yourself:

  • Can the shoppers find out what the website is selling?
  • Will the shoppers trust the website and use their credit cards on the site?

These are the pain points of a website, and after this, there is engagement, interaction and sales conversion.

Tip 2: Multiple Layouts

It is important to know which pages can convert more customers. Different approaches, items and aesthetics can help the visitors be turned into shoppers. It is also important to find out what works well and will help in the long run. Take a test and see the outcome of various layouts on various customers after seeing the conversion trend. Take an example of website selling rock-climbing supplies, trying to promote new shoes. In such a scenario, pictures can be used with attractive text, in another format; they may use a video explaining the effectiveness of the shoes and hands on experience of a climber who has used the shoes.

A third form can be Flash display that gives out key features and descriptions once the user mouses over. The store can test on these three different strategies to see which one has helped most to generate revenue.

Tip 3: Display of Price and Shipping Clearly

The aim remains to get rid of the pain points and help in better sales. It is important to examine the fear involved in the process of shopping and removing that fear from the mind of shopper. Some shoppers may hesitate to buy a product because of the hidden costs involved. Shipping is one such example. The website should make sure that the prices are inclusive of all charges and are clearly displayed.

Such an approach can generate understanding and confidence among the buyers.

Tip 4: E-mail Subscriptions

The buyers may like purchasing from your website, but it is important that they get devoted to your website. This will happen by mode of social media, word of mouth and e-mail marketing. The e-mails can prove to be a direct from of interaction between the product and the customer. The customers are directly linked to the brand by this mode.

You can use some java-enabled pop-ups to get the customer to your site and then give them attractive first-time deals to stay with you. Future communications will also be facilitated with the help of this mode.

Tip 5: Social Media Integration

Word of mouth is now spread on social media.  Fellow consumers can be a good source of information or product review. The trust factor comes in place when we talk about recommending or appreciating a product. You can include the share button on your product page so that the presence of your product is felt by everyone. With lot of sharing and suggesting, the brand will be improved and will be included in the conversations in social media.

Tip 6: Contact Information

It is of great help to have a human face behind your business relationship. You must offer all contact information in a straight-forward form. This will lead to better answers to any customer questions and better decisions made by the customers. Overall, your company will have a reputation of one that cares. If the customers can access your website directly and get the information they want, this will give them better knowledge of exchanges, returns, etc. This will involve some cost, but it will be worth considering the consistent brand reputation that is built as a result.

An online store can help figure out what struggles are faced by customers and finding any new possible opportunities. Correct contact information can help build lot of trust. Make sure customers can contact you via e-mail. Also, try integrating social media to improve your reach. By helping the customers, you can improve your image, income and outlook.

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A Step-by-Step Guide for Creating Your Content Marketing Strategy

Posted in Tips on 17 April 2014
marketing--business

In many ways, Internet marketing has become synonymous with content marketing.  After all, people log onto the Web to find answers to their questions and solutions to their problems, and the only way to provide those things is through Web content.  In fact, the Web content that your business publishes is so crucial to your online reputation — and, ultimately, to your bottom line — that you need a specific strategy for it.

Here are the steps you need to follow in order to create a content marketing strategy that really works:

1.  Determine what you want to accomplish

Are you trying to get more people to visit your Website?  Do you want to turn more of those casual visitors into buyers?  Are you trying to improve your ranking in the search results?  Do you want to build an actual relationship with your target audience?  Are you trying to establish your business as a legitimate authority in your industry?

Luckily, a great content marketing strategy can do all of these things.  To make it work for you, though, you have to figure out your specific goals right in the beginning.  Write them down if you have to.  Once you have concrete goals, you can create a content marketing strategy with a very specific focus — instead of getting pulled off-course by tools and techniques that are floating around all over the Web, but aren’t actually helpful.

2.  Figure out exactly who you’re targeting

When you hit Publish, who’s going to read what you’ve written?  The very best Web content makes readers feel like they’re having a one-on-one conversation with the author, so create a mental picture of ONE member of your target audience.  Who are they?  How old are they?  What makes them happy?  Sad?  Frustrated?  Scared?

Once you have a clear picture of who you’re “talking” to, it becomes easier to write quality content that your target audience will genuinely appreciate.  Or, if you’re paying someone to write your Web content for you, having this clear picture makes it easier to explain exactly what you’re looking for in a specific piece.

3.  Assess your existing content

Unless you’re a brand new business, you’re going to have existing content — like the sales copy on your website, a few blog posts on the company blog, or some newsletters that you’ve sent out to your e-mail subscribers.  So, now that you know exactly what you’re trying to accomplish and who you’re targeting, determine if your existing content still fits.

For example, if your sales copy uses a lot of hype and cheesy promises — instead of laying out the specific features and benefits for your target audience — it’s not going to fit in with your new content marketing strategy.  Leave it as-is, and you could do all of the marketing in the world, but your sales copy will kill the deal every time.

A great content marketing strategy will establish your business as a bonafide authority.  So, if you have any content that doesn’t match up with that reputation, you need to get rid of it.

4.  Determine who’s going to do the writing

The greatest content marketing strategy in the world won’t do you any good if you don’t have a great writer. Many business owners decide to handle the writing themselves, because they think it’s a good way to save money.  However, those same business owners soon realize that they don’t have the time, the talent, and/or the desire to write a bunch of Web content.  So, before you deem yourself the company content writer, make sure you’re REALLY capable of doing a great job.  Then, make sure you have the time to fit it into your schedule.

If you don’t want to do the writing yourself, you have another decision to make — hire a full-time writer or outsource your writing to a professional company.  If your budget will only allow for outsourcing, make sure you do your homework.  Professional content writers will give you all of the copyrights to their work — meaning you can put your own name on it and publish it anywhere you want — so the work they do will have a direct impact on your reputation.  If their writing isn’t as good as it should be, your business will be the one that takes the hit, not theirs.

5.  Figure out your content schedule

Your content schedule will ultimately be determined by who’s doing your writing.  If it’s you, you’ll probably wind up posting fewer pieces, simply because you have a slew of other responsibilities to attend to.  If you have a dedicated writer (either working full-time for you or someone you outsource the writing to), they’ll have more time to dedicate to your content marketing efforts — meaning you can publish things more frequently.

Figuring out your content schedule right in the beginning is important, because your readers will come to expect new content at certain times — like every day, every week, etc.  If you don’t stick to your content schedule, people will be less likely to make a trip to your Website part of their routine.

However, more content doesn’t necessarily equal more results.  Sure, it would be nice to publish something new every single day, but can you really keep up with that pace?  Above all else, your content schedule needs to be realistic.  Whether you want to update your blog once a week or once a month, your schedule needs to be something you can stick to.  Otherwise, you could be seen by your readers as not very reliable or even flaky.

6.  Make a list of what kind of content you’re going to publish

You don’t need to come up with every single topic you’re going to write about from now to eternity, but you do need to have a basic idea as to what kinds of topics work best for your industry and your specific brand.

For example, what kinds of news can you discuss?  What types of issues and developments can you analyze?  What kinds of things can you offer advice about?  The answers to these questions will depend on what industry you’re in, what kind of experience you have, and who your target audience is.

Once you have these answers, you’ll have a good idea where to go to research your content.  For example, you may want to sign up for a particular expert’s e-mail list because you know he offers such thoughtful analyses, or you may want to set Google Alerts that can tell you about breaking news in your industry.

7.  Think about where you’re going to publish your content

Publishing content on your own blog, in your own e-mail newsletters, and on your own YouTube channel is a no-brainer.  However, a crucial part of content marketing is moving off your site.  This is the “marketing” part.

Think about it as if you were opening a restaurant.  It’s not good enough to just fling your doors open and say, “We’re ready for customers.”  To actually get people in the doors, you have to go out and market to potential customers so that they know you’re actually open for business.  On the Web, that means publishing content on other websites.

How do you find those publishing opportunities?

You have to start by thinking about the authoritative Websites that already exist in your industry.  Visit them, and see if they allow guest authors.  If they do, check out their requirements, along with the other content they’ve published.  If you’d be proud to have your name and content posted next to what you’re currently seeing on the Website, you’ve found a true authority.  If not, keep looking.  The content you publish off-site will be judged by what’s sitting next to it.

While all of this may seem like a lot of work, if you do it correctly, it will all be worth it.  After all, without a solid content marketing strategy, your business can’t tap into everything that the world wide Web has to offer.

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Skill Levels Are the Greatest Hiring Challenge for Start-ups

Posted in News on 17 April 2014

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Bing Home Page Gets a Little Dose of Cortana’s IQ

Posted in News on 17 April 2014
Bing

Bing’s homepage is getting a whole lot smarter thanks to Cortana, Microsoft’s first ever voice-activated digital assistant.

The software giant has debuted a set of personalized cards on the Bing homepage to help users keep track of items that are important to them such as weather, news or stocks.

To have Cortana remember the items, users simply sign in to their Microsoft account and set up their interests in Bing settings.

Bing 2

“When it’s appropriate, Bing will let you know if for example your stock changes or flight is delayed,” the company said in a blog post.

“The best part? As long as you’re signed in, Bing will remember your interests and notify you, as appropriate, across a range of Bing-powered Microsoft services, such as Cortana and the Bing Sports app.”

Cortana which recently debuted in beta in the U.S., was designed to be like a real personal assistant.

“Cortana is the only digital assistant that gets to know you, builds a relationship that you can trust, and gets better over time by asking questions based on your behavior and checking in with you before she assumes you’re interested in something,” said Operating Systems group corporate vice-president Joe Belfiore during the product’s unveiling April 3.

“She detects and monitors the stuff you care about, looks out for you throughout the day, and helps filter out the noise so you can focus on what matters to you.”

Bing 3

The first time users interact with Cortana, she will learn their name, how to pronounce it, and ask for some personal interests. The digital assistant uses the answers to curate content that would be of interest.

“To develop Cortana, we talked to a number of real personal assistants. One technique these assistants spoke about was keeping track of the interests and preferences of their bosses in a notebook,” Belfiore said. “We thought… what a great idea! So all the stuff Cortana curates for you is stored in Cortana’s Notebook. This information enables Cortana to be proactive and helpful throughout the day.”

Source

Facebook to Enter E-Money Service Fray: Report

Posted in News on 17 April 2014
Image courtesy of (arztsamui)/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Facebook is gearing up to enter the world of mobile-payments by offering remittances and electronic-money services on the social media site.

According to a Financial Times report, Facebook is awaiting approval from Ireland’s central bank to debut a service that would enable site members to store money on their accounts which could be used for Web and mobile transactions. The e-money could be used for purchase throughout Europe through a process known as “passporting,” the report said.

Sources told the Financial Times Ireland is “only weeks away” from giving the service the green light.

The social network, apparently, has also talked to three London companies that offer online money transfer services about partnerships, the sources said. The companies are TransferWise, Moni Technologies and Azimo.

Facebook will have an uphill battle in the e-wallet market. PayPal is already a force to be reckoned with and Google is pushing its own service, Google Wallet.

A Facebook spokesperson has declined to comment on the report.

Source

Twitter Acquires Social Data Firm Gnip

Posted in News on 17 April 2014
Twitter
 

Twitter is buying social data partner Gnip to make its data more accessible to third-party companies and organizations.

The micro-blogging site is also likely to use Gnip’s data to attract more brands and companies and, in turn, reassure shareholders worried that Twitter has not done enough to boost revenue.

“As Twitter has grown into a platform that delivers more than 500 million Tweets per day, Gnip has played a crucial role in collecting and digesting our public data and delivering the most essential Tweets to partners,” Twitter said in a blog post.

“We believe Gnip has only begun to scratch the surface. Together we plan to offer more sophisticated data sets and better data enrichments, so that even more developers and businesses big and small around the world can drive innovation using the unique content that is shared on Twitter.”

Gnip CEO Chris Moody said the acquisition will enable his firm to collect data more quickly and deeply.

“We’ll be able to support a broader set of use cases across a diverse set of users including brands, universities, agencies, and developers big and small,” Moody said in a blog post. “Joining Twitter also provides us access to resources and infrastructure to scale to the next level and offer new products and solutions.”

Aside from Twitter, Gnip analyzes data from other social companies such as Facebook, Foursquare and Tumblr.

Neither company has said if such data collection will continue. Gnip did say, however it would deliver “new offerings with Twitter.”

Financial details of the deal were not divulged.

Source

Public Relations Account Executive

Posted in Jobs on 14 April 2014

On a day-to-day basis you’ll support the account director and team, so you’ll need to be a tenacious media relations operator with the ability to work on a number of projects. Great client management skills, highly organised with a great attention to detail are prerequisites for the role.

The ideal candidate
Experience of working with business-to-business clients
Experience of working with food and drink clients is desirable
Proven ability in writing strong, impactful copy
Confident communicator
Ability to build relationships with clients and journalists

Our people
William Murray doesn’t just depend on the brilliance of one person. Our team is made up of musicians, mums, dads, horse riders, sailors and foodies who enjoy life outside work.

A young, fun, social and down to earth bunch who enjoy food, drink and hospitality.

Former journalists, marketers, event organisers and award winning PRs.

Benefits
You’ll get generous holiday (5 weeks increasing to 6), subsidised gym membership, regular funded nights out, and a fridge full of beer and wine make Friday’s fun. However, our last two Christmas parties in Majorca have been particular favourites. To coin a phrase, you could say we work hard and play hard.

This is in addition to childcare vouchers, mentoring programme, chill time, season ticket loans and regular team meetings where we share and listen to your ideas.

In a nutshell
You’ll be joining the UK’s leading food, drink and PR agency where you’re valued for your ideas and who you are. Not only will we look after your career, we’ll look after you too.

Source

Events Executive

Posted in Jobs on 14 April 2014

What’s the job? 
Events Executive

Where do I work?
News UK – Sales and Marketing 
Thomas More Square, London E98 1XY

Why are we here?
To attract passionate, loyal and valuable customers to our brands.

Sales and Marketing Department
The News UK Sales and Marketing department is made up of 4 teams; Brand Marketing, Marketing Communications, Sales and Customer Experience, working together to deliver the Sales & Marketing vision. Our strategic objectives:

  • Be distinct and differentiated
  • Know our customers better
  • Do more with customer relationships
  • Fuel passions for our brands among customers and staff
  • Grow the volume of repeat, known customers
  • Grow average revenue per user
  • Maximise the life time value of our customers
  • Own the customer experience from beginning to end

What’s my personal contribution?

  • To develop and implement all events plans coming out of brand, sales and customer management
  • To ensure all events production is to the highest standard and reflects the values of our brands
  • To manage the events budget and relevant agencies and ensure all plans are delivered on-time

What are my Responsibilities & Accountabilities

  • Develop events plan and strategy in-line with the quarterly management plans
  • Overall responsibility of creating and updating the events calendar across titles
  • Execute events to high standard whilst integrating brand principles
  • Work with the internal stake holders to Identify new event opportunities that will retain and acquire new customers
  • Build relationships with editorial and partners to maximise customer engagement
  • Day to day management of sponsorship execution
  • Develop and manage execution plans for large scale events and sponsorships in order to sell tickets and engage with our customers
  • Work with the Team News to create in-paper advertising to promote and sell tickets to events
  • Create regular reports for the post activity, evaluation, ticket sales, member feedback and insight
  • Manage suppliers and agencies
  • Support in managing the events budget feeding into department plans. This includes raising and logging all supplier PO’s

What do I Know
Useful knowledge, skills and experience

  • Experience of a wide variety of event production
  • Extremely well-organised – the success of our event depends on all angles and every detail being covered
  • A passion for our brands and an understanding of how events can bring brand values to life
  • Ability to juggle many relationships and to manage successful agency/production company relationships
  • Track record of working with small budgets to create impactful events resulting in high customer satisfaction levels
  • Experience of managing senior stakeholders within the business in the planning and event execution

What do I Show?
Essential Behaviours
As a department, we have 5 values that guide our day to day work. We call them the 5 C’s

  1. Customer Led
  2. Commercial
  3. Creative
  4. Collaborative
  5. Courageous

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Project Manager

Posted in Jobs on 14 April 2014

 

Position Description

To ensure that all design & VM projects are scheduled and prioritized working with Studio Creative & Visual Merchandising, coordinating with Category and Innovation teams when necessary. Making sure the VM process runs in conjunction with the Studio Creative and Brand Milestones. 


To track progress and create status update which are clearly communicated to the projects’ stakeholders. Including progress reported, dependencies identified, risks assessed and delays addressed as quickly as possible in order for projects to be delivered on time.


Key Job Accountabilities:



  • Develop and maintain a comprehensive risk assessment report for projects across all categories, identifying issues and actions needed, circulating and directing to ensure remedial action is taken with regards to projects at risk

  • Work with the Category Project Managers on packaging CPA’s to fully understand the design deadlines and identify the impact upon Design studio workload / input throughout the process in order to ensure the studio is working within the NPD CPAs.

  • Work with all levels of the Creative teams on each live project to ensure that all milestones are on track, identify potential risks and delays with a view to rapidly addressing the cause(s) and analyse/ monitor the track to ensure the effective management of risk across all projects reporting risk

  • Propose and activate solutions to overcome accrued delays and timing issue in a proactive and creative way in agreement with the different parties involved to deliver on time

  • Liaise with Category colleagues, the Studio and other areas of the structure to ensure that VM componentry is finalised and ready for final approval from VM Director and Brand Director

  • Work proactively to ensure components are completed in line with project deadlines, managing each studio related activity across the multifunctional teams.

  • Responsible for the creation, maintenance and communication of the mock shop planner

  • Deputising for the Brand Operation Manager where appropriate

  • Actively engage with Company and Franchised Markets 

  • Commercially control spend within your specific remit, working creatively and in a SMART way to reduce both overall costs whilst increasing efficiency

  • Responsible for maintaining the ethical standards of The Body Shop

  • Champions, supports and participates in The Body Shop’s Values and Campaigns.


Other:

Experience:



  • Previous experience in a production/ Visual Merchandising/ project management position, ideally within a complex multi-site retailer/FMCG ((beauty/toiletries industry strongly preferred)

  • Sound knowledge and experience in NPD and launch to markets

  • Experience of collating and analysing information across various forms of data

  • Complex project management experience in a commercial environment

  • International experience and/or exposure to a varied and demanding client base


Qualifications (Desirable):



  • Degree educated in a relevant discipline (i.e. Design, Business Studies, Marketing, Operations, Sales) or equivalent


Competencies required:



  • Interact effectively

  • Manages complexity

  • Achieves results with integrity

  • Innovates

  • Demonstrates entrepreneurship
  •  

 

Source

Event Assistant

Posted in Jobs on 14 April 2014

Central Event Operations is looking for an event assistant to join its busy and talented team. This role will entail the professional and timely delivery of a variety of events for the Professional Services Division.

The Role and Candidate

This is an entry level position and would be ideal for anyone looking to start a career in the events industry, and has an event-related degree. Previous experience is not essential but evidence of previous event planning experience is preferred.

Working hand-in-hand both with the publishing and events teams, the event assistant will assist the operations team with the organization of a number of different types of events including seminars, conferences, exhibitions and awards dinners. They must have excellent interpersonal skills and an ability to communicate clearly and in a timely manner.  

The role will entail liaising closely with sponsors and speakers so interested applicants must be able to demonstrate a flair for customer service.  Often working on several concurrent events, the successful candidate must be adept at multi-tasking and prioritizing their work load. Excellent time management skills are a must, as is the need for careful attention to detail.

The position requires an individual who can thrive in a fast-pace, high-pressured environment and who is prepared to hit the ground running. It is an excellent opportunity for someone wanting to take the first step in their event career.

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