Top 5 eCommerce Posts for August

How to Quickly Bolster Your SEO Results Organically – PR News
With 51% of website traffic coming from organic search, 10% from paid search and 5% from social, it’s critical to ensure you’re doing all you can to bolster your website’s ranking in Google’s search engine.

SEO

Success with Google Shopping Ads, Part 1: Getting Started – Practical Ecommerce
Shopping ads are becoming more prominent and versatile. They can appear for precise keyword searches — e.g., an exact product make and model — making them very effective in matching products to buyers.

The Madness Of Branding: Lessons From The Founder Of Skullcandy – Forbes
Rick taught me that refinement and innovation are two different things. Refiners maintain the status quo and brand that as innovation. Innovators reject the status quo so aggressively that everyone else thinks they’re mad.

How to have Google Chrome Recognize your Store as Secure – ShopSite
But now, Google wants all pages on the internet to be secure (e.g. transmit their content to your browser via encryption.)  Fortunately, for most merchants, making all their pages use HTTPS is fairly straightforward.

A Beginner’s Guide to Outsourcing eCommerce – FreeeUp
A lot of the tasks that come along with running an eCommerce store are really easy to outsource, including copywriting, order processing, customer service, support chat, web development, marketing, and more.

A Beginner’s Guide to Outsourcing eCommerce

This is a guest post by Connor Gillivan, Co-founder of FreeeUp

When you’re running an eCommerce business, you know there are a lot of tasks to be completed—big, small, and varying in the skills needed. A lot of the tasks that come along with running an eCommerce store are really easy to outsource, including copywriting, order processing, customer service, support chat, web development, marketing, and more.

Hiring freelancers could be the next step toward freeing up your time and building a scalable eCommerce business.

When You Should Start Outsourcing in eCommerce

There are quite a few situations that could indicate your “right time” to start outsourcing eCommerce store operations to freelancers. Some of the most common scenarios include:

  • There’s more work than there is time – When you can’t keep your head above the water with all the things to be done on your store, it may be time to start outsourcing. If you don’t, your business will suffer because you simply cannot do it all.
  • You’re stuck in the operations of your business – If you’re spending all your time managing emails or completing trivial tasks, picture a life where you can focus just on the things you enjoy doing in your business. The rest of your work can be completed by freelancers.
  • Your business growth is lagging – When you spend all your time on menial business tasks, business growth strategy often falls to the wayside. Because of this, you and your business become stagnant or even worse – fall behind. If you notice that your bottom line has suffered or has failed to grow month over month, you need to reevaluate your strategy.
  • You don’t enjoy your business anymore – When you get caught up in the everyday tasks and are no longer having fun, you will get burnt out as a business owner. If you don’t enjoy your business anymore, something needs to change! Why not hand over certain tasks that you don’t enjoy or don’t have time for and spend your time doing the things that you do enjoy!

How far can you take outsourcing? Well, technically you could outsource all of your eCommerce tasks. Some eCommerce store owners take it to that level, while many don’t. But hopefully, you can start to see the potential of outsourcing for your business.

5 Most Common eCommerce Tasks to Start Outsourcing

Once you’ve realized that using freelancers is optimal for your business, it’s time to decide which eCommerce tasks to outsource. As mentioned above, just about any eCommerce business task can be handed off to a skilled freelancer, but here are the most common:

  1. Order Management
  2. Customer Service
  3. Website Development
  4. Marketing
  5. Bookkeeping

Managing Freelancers Once They’re Hired

Most of the determining factors around how successful your outsourcing efforts will be are centered around what happens after the freelancers are hired.

Starting on the right foot requires setting clear expectations with the freelancers. Document what you want them to do and when, and answer any questions they may have. The more guidance you can provide, the better your experience is likely to be.

When you have freelancers working on projects for you, you’ll want to hold regular check-in meetings and lay out a system for providing updates. You can do this by Skype, email, or in your project management system.

When it comes to using freelancers in your eCommerce business, there are a lot of things to keep in mind, including avoiding the 10 most common mistakes of outsourcing. And once you start using freelancers, you’ll see the big benefits it can have on your eCommerce business.

Connor Gillivan is the CMO and co-owner of FreeeUp.com, a  freelance marketplace making hiring online simpler. 

How to have Google Chrome Recognize your Store as Secure

In July Google Chrome Browers began indicating that web pages that are not served up via HTTPS are not secure.  Prior to July, you had a little info icon in the URL/Search box that you could click on to get more information:

Not Secure Info Icon

Now the not secure is spelled out:

Not Secure spelled out

And in October it will be in red:

Not Secure in red

Other browsers such as Firefox also indicate a site is not secure:

This is definitely not something you want to be displayed on your website if you hope to have shoppers place an order!  Many would be leary of that warning and instead, leave your site.

Danger

Why is this now an issue, hasn’t my shopping cart always been secure?

For those using ShopSite and other shopping carts, when shoppers enter payment information those forms taking credit cards are on a secure page.  Likewise, when you log in to your merchant interface and view orders it is also done securely.  But “normal” product and home pages that just display content have typically not been secure (it is faster to serve up an HTTP page vs an HTTPS page.)  But now, Google wants all pages on the internet to be secure (e.g. transmit their content to your browser via encryption.)  Fortunately, for most merchants, making all their pages use HTTPS is fairly straightforward.

How to make your site use HTTPS

First, you need your own secure certificate for your domain.  If you don’t have one your host can help you obtain a certificate and install it for you.   They can even set up a “redirect” so that anyone that comes to your site via HTTP is redirected to HTTPS and never sees the warning on your homepage.   Once you have your certificate you should refer to all the pages and links on your site using HTTPS instead of HTTP.  In ShopSite this is easy to do.

With ShopSite 12 sp1 or greater go to Preferences > Hosting Services.   Go to the Store Settings section and check the box under “Make Store URL secure”

then click the Test URL button.  If “Success” is displayed, save the setting and you are good to go.  If you use ShopSite to publish your store or product pages the Publish button will now pop-up, click this and all links in your Shopsite generated store pages will now use HTTPS.

If you manage your store pages outside of ShopSite or place order buttons directly on non-ShopSite pages you will need to update those links to also use HTTPS instead of HTTP.

In the old days of the internet obtaining a secure certificate was expensive and serving up secure web pages was slow.  Nowadays certs are cheaper and in some cases even free!  Whereas serving secure web pages has gotten faster.  Some folks don’t like that Google is taking it upon themselves to force this change upon the web.  But regardless, they are doing it and if you want your shoppers to use your site you will need to have it fully secure.

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