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Tips for Managing a Sudden Surge of Sales Just how do you ma…

Tips for Managing a Sudden Surge of Sales
Just how do you manage a rise of eCommerce sales without emphasizing out?

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R&D Roundup: Tech giants unveil breakthroughs at computer vision summit

Computer vision summit CVPR has just (virtually) taken place, and like other CV-focused conferences, there are quite a few interesting papers. More than I could possibly write up individually, in fact, so I've collected the most promising ones from major companies here.

Facebook, Google, Amazon and Microsoft all shared papers at the conference — and others too, I'm sure — but I'm sticking to the big hitters for this column. (If you're interested in the papers deemed most meritorious by attendees and judges, the nominees and awards are listed here.)

Microsoft

Redmond has the most interesting papers this year, in my opinion, because they cover several nonobvious real-life needs.

One is documenting that shoebox we or perhaps our parents filled with old 3x5s and other film photos. Of course there are services that help with this already, but if photos are creased, torn, or otherwise damaged, you generally just get a high-resolution scan of that damage. Microsoft has created a system to automatically repair such photos, and the results look mighty good.

Image Credits: Google

The problem is as much identifying the types of degradation a photo suffers from as it is fixing them. The solution is simple, write the authors: “We propose a novel triplet domain translation network by leveraging real photos along with massive synthetic image pairs.” Amazing no one tried it before!

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How to Increase Website Traffic: 6 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Online Business

Driving traffic to your online business can feel impossible when you’re first starting out. Use these 6 ways to increase website traffic to your store!

The post How to Increase Website Traffic: 6 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Online Business appeared first on A Better Lemonade Stand.

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What is better to start: sell a single product or assortment for the niche?

Starting my first online store and choosing products.

What is better to start in terms of marketing costs and visitor's trust: selling a single product on the store or assortment for the niche?

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SEO How-to, Part 6: Optimizing On-page Elements

Keyword research can help improve your organic search performance. Search engines attempt to sync the words and intent of consumers’ queries with web pages. Ecommerce merchants should therefore align their pages using the right keywords to convey the proper intent.

This post is the sixth installment in my “SEO How-to” series, following:

Body copy is important. But the title tag is still the most critical SEO element on a page. To be sure, it’s not enough to simply optimize the title tag without the other items. All of those elements — the meta description, heading tags, keywords in the URL, and alternative attributes on image tags — should sing the same keyword theme.

SEO Elements

It’s helpful to know what each of these content optimization elements looks like in the code of a web page. Consider the screenshot, below.

  • Blue highlights the title tag (“Purchase Quilting Fabric…”).
  • Yellow highlights the meta description (“Shop thousands of bolts…”).
  • Grey highlights the meta keywords (“fabric by the yard, cheap fabric by the yard…”).
  • Green highlights the H1 heading (“Fabric by the Yard”).
  • Purple highlights the body copy (“With thousands of bolts…”).
Important SEO elements in code include the title tag ("Purchase Quilting Fabric…”), the meta description ("Shop thousands of bolts…”), meta keywords ("fabric by the yard, cheap fabric by the yard…”), an H1 heading ("Fabric by the Yard”), and body copy ("With thousands of bolts...").

Essential SEO elements in code include the title tag (“Purchase Quilting Fabric…”), the meta description (“Shop thousands of bolts…”), meta keywords (“fabric by the yard, cheap fabric by the yard…”), an H1 heading (“Fabric by the Yard”), and body copy (“With thousands of bolts…”).

And here’s how that page looks on the frontend. I’ve highlighted the title tag in blue, the H1 heading in green, and the body copy in purple.

Key SEO elements that are visual on the frontend include the title tag (blue), the H1 heading (green), and the body copy (purple).

Key SEO elements that are visual on the frontend include the title tag (blue), the H1 heading (green), and the body copy (purple).

Each content element comes with its own guidelines for optimization. Most content management systems allow you to modify these elements, though they may call them by different names.

Title Tags

Title tags remain the most important on-page factor.

Google limits title tags in search results to 60 characters. Thus try to restrict your title tags to 60 characters and place the most relevant keywords at the front.  Don’t panic if you go over by a character or two. Product names and blog post titles tend to create longer title tags.

You won’t be penalized for longer title tags unless you stuff them full of unnatural keywords. The portion after 60 characters simply won’t show.

The title tag often appears as the blue text link in your search result listing, as shown below. Search engines use the title tag — or some version of it — to introduce searchers to your content. Thus the tag should appeal to searchers as well as search engines.

The title tag often appears as the blue text link in your search result listing. This example listing also includes the meta description.

The title tag often appears as the blue text link in your search result listing. This example listing also includes the meta description.

Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions impact a searcher’s click decision but not rankings. Search engines may choose to use them as the black descriptive text below the blue link in a search result.

Limit meta descriptions to 160 characters — enough to populate two lines in a desktop search results page. Some informational searches can merit a third or even fourth line, especially when Google can provide the answer directly in the search results page as a rich snippet. In these cases, the search engine may pull text from the body copy or a field of structured data.

Always provide a unique meta description that describes the page and ends in a call to action. Be sure to use the targeted keyword theme. Search engines place in bold type the words that match the searcher’s query.

Meta Keywords

Leave this field blank. Do not use it. No major U.S. search engine has used meta keywords in its ranking algorithm since 2009. (The Chinese search engine, Baidu, does use meta keywords, however.) Inserting meta keywords gives your competitors an easy way to identify what you’re trying to rank for.

Keyword URLs

Place keywords in URLs if your content management system or ecommerce platform allows it. But do so wisely. Set the URL once — when the page goes live — incorporating the most relevant keyword for that page. Do not change it again unless the content on the page changes so radically that you’re forced to.

For example, do not change the keywords in the URL every time you optimize the page. URLs are like street addresses, and search engines are like the post office. Every time you change your street address, some of your mail — your search performance — goes missing. It may find you again eventually if you have 301 redirects in place. But then again, it may not. Don’t risk your natural search performance by changing your URLs unnecessarily.

Heading Tags

Headings (such as H1, H2, H3) help readers and search engines alike. At times, it’s hard for the two functions to coexist.

For optimal search optimization, a heading tag should use the same keyword theme as the other elements (title tags, meta descriptions, body copy), which can result in a longer phrase. However, editors and marketers tend to prefer short headings for reading and comprehension. (For example, “Heading Tags,” above, is an H3 header. Practical Ecommerce prefers shorter headings, even though longer ones, such as “How to Optimize Heading Tags,” might perform better for SEO.)

Try to explain in a heading the core relevance of the page or section of a page. Usually all it takes is a noun with a modifier — such as “women’s shoes” instead of just “women’s” or “shoes” — to help search engine algorithms understand what shoppers know by reading.

Advances in HTML specifications allow more than one H1 heading on a page. But don’t abuse it. Search engines likely would consider, for example, 10 H1 headings with trophy keywords as over-optimization. Lesser headings —  H2, H3 — communicate relevance almost as well.

Body Content

Text tends to be much shorter on an ecommerce site than, say, an informational site such as a blog, wiki, or similar. For ecommerce, try to include a line of text on the home page, a couple of lines on each category page, and a description on product pages. Content such as articles or FAQ pages should be as long as needed.

On each page, use the keyword at least once, as close to the start as you can without appearing forced. Include the keyword again, or another contextually relevant keyword, if the content is long enough and if it naturally flows in the text.

Your priority in content optimization should be well-written copy that shoppers find interesting or useful. No one wants to read “SEO copy” — content that has been over-optimized with strings of keywords and text that doesn’t communicate anything useful. It’s painful and turns off shoppers.

Well-optimized content uses the real-world language of shoppers — not marketing-speak or industry jargon.

Try to insert in the body copy a couple of links that your shoppers would find relevant. Such links have two important SEO benefits: They contribute to the keyword theme on the page where the link occurs, and they pass link authority and keyword context to the page being linked to. Make sure that your platform supports updating the link or 301 redirecting pages. This will avoid broken links when your URLs change.

Alternative Attributes

Also called “alt tags,” alternative attributes to image tags are more important for accessibility than for SEO. Screen readers speak the text in the alt attributes to help visually-impaired shoppers navigate a site.

However, alt attributes can add a small keyword relevance boost, and they are especially helpful in optimizing image search. Keep them short and descriptive. For product images, use the name of the item. If the name is not descriptive, include a keyword or two.

For images that include words, place those words into the alt attribute. Don’t insert alt text in images that are for decoration (such as lifestyle pictures of smiling people) or formatting (spacers, dividing lines, bullets).

Do not stuff alt attributes with keywords. There’s no SEO benefit, and it’s a terrible user experience. If you wouldn’t want to listen to a screen reader speaking them, take the words out.

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How AI is Changing Customer Experience – and Other News

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape.

 

Industry News:

Augmented Reality Brings the Customer Experience Home  – Cmswire, 6.30.20

  • People are beginning to accept and adapt to the idea of shopping through augmented realities and companies need to come up with innovative ideas that can catch the attention of our customers.

12 Essential Tips for Businesses to Improve Their Customer Experience  – Forbes, 6.29.20

  • Customer experience has become such a significant factor in business interactions that avoiding it leads to lower customer retention. 

Customer Experience Management – COVID Demands it’s Time to Change the Narrative – Customerthink, 7.1.20

  • It is time to align closely with the commercial imperatives of the times we now find ourselves in. Cost and revenue are what matter during times of crisis.

How AI is Changing Customer Experience – Internationalbanker, 7.2.20

  • AI is proving itself to be useful in a variety of ways in back-, middle- and front-office applications.

 

Oracle CX Social Content:

  • Join our #CX marketing #customer user forum on July 21 to gain an understanding on how #marketing will change as the world emerges from the global crisis: http://oracl.info/uFkb50AlWr0
  • It’s tough for #salesreps out there, especially when buying signals are multiplying by the minute. Wondering how to separate insight from noise? Read our latest blog post: http://oracl.info/RpiY50Ai4js  #CXSales #CustomerExperience
  • .@Ovum in its latest report gives good insights into the current landscape, common use cases and areas of #innovation. Check out this blog that summarizes the report: http://ora.cl/O6zk8
  • The organizations that use any emerging technology are noticing improved #customerexperience performance and higher #custsatisfaction. But what do these technologies look like in real life? http://ora.cl/TZ0sA  #SmarterCX
  • Inundated by customer service inquiries? Here are three different approaches that can help: http://oracl.info/rxqQ50Ahxm3 #BusinessAsUnusual
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What is a “Winning Product” and how do I find it?

So throughout my time doing e-commerce I’ve introduced many people to the scene and it’s a common question that EVERY SINGLE PERSON has asked. They try to make a cookie cutter store with a “trendy” product and expect it to sell like hot cakes. Some times you’ll strike gold, but other times you’ll strike bankruptcy.

Here’s my steps to finding a winning product on a budget!

1) Survey the quality of product and size of the audience who will buy it.

2) Once finding 4-5 products, split test! (Audience, image, text, delivery, etc.)

3) Take the 2 best performing products and split test further.

4) Design/Theme your store around your winning product and up sell the 2nd and 3rd place products if they compliment your winning product.

Breakdown!!!!

1 a.) Quality of the product should be number 1! – Did this product hold up to shipping? – Is this product safe for my intended audience? – Is this product on par with competitors products?

1 b.) Audience Size – The larger the audience, the more you’ll need to spend on order to narrow that audience for a higher conversion rate – Facebook’s “Audience Insights” tells you the potential reach of different audiences (USE IT)

2) Split testing – testing different aspects of an ad 1 by 1 to find out what works and what doesn’t -Split testing never stops, the changes just become less drastic – Split testing generally doesn’t generate as much revenue but loads more data

3) Refined Split Testing – Push a larger budget to find out what product will perform better on a larger scale (after all scaling is where money is likely to be made) – YOURE INVESTING THE MONEY – data is not free. Let Facebook guide you, you can’t guide it

4) Redesign – Multi-Product stores don’t thrive in the e-commerce industry without fame – Focus on how to sell this 1 item better and better and the up-sells with happen naturally – Build this environment to make your PURCHASING audience comfortable

Let me know if this helps!

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Is there a way to keep track of a websites inventory levels?

As the title suggests, I’m wondering if there is a way to keep track of a websites inventory levels on certain products without having to track them everyday and go directly to the website. Like a way to scrape the site (I’m not very technical so my knowledge is limited here). This website is not mine and let’s say for this example is bestbuy.com.

Say I’m watching bestbuy.com site and I see they have 5 left in a specific product. I would love to become alerted when they are out of stock, back in stock, etc.

I know this may be completely impossible but I figure it worth a shot making a post on to atleast see 🤷🏻‍♂️

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Ebay reseller

Anyone is a full time eBay reseller? I am a full time eBay reseller. I am making around 10k-16k monthly, all by myself. The work is a lot especially solo. Buying, selling, and listing etc. I am making a lot of money especially for me. I am only 23, and I love reselling and the online. But damn I always overworking. I puts in 10-12 hours each days. I don’t want to lose the love of reseller, but at this paces I feel like I will start hating it. Any advices?

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High Volume Shippers – L4 Best Software to Track My Shipments

Hey everyone – after a few months of work my family's store is now doing 500 shipments per day. We've moved from Shippo to ShipStation, so far we're happy with Shipstation even though it is a bit glitchy and slow.

I'm having a tough time tracking all of our shipments and understanding where they are in the field. I'm looking for something like Aftership, however, I can't justify spending more for Aftership ($599 per month) than Shipstation ($159 per month). I just cannot do it when the functionality doesn't compare.

Is there any shipping software (or AfterShip) alternative that has the functionality of Aftership embedded within it? I need something because it will help me keep track of our shipments at a 30k foot level and pre-empt any customer issues.

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