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State of Mind: Looking Back to 2015

Ecommerce Income gives you practical tips and valuable tricks to get you on the road to online success. But what is the day-to-day practice like for an owner of an online store? The dialogues of “State of Mind” focus on what is on the mind of Kees and other ecommerce entrepreneurs – in short, it focuses on your burning questions! In the first “State of Mind” interview Kees tells us about his successes and failures of 2015.Kees van Dijk Read more →

Planning for success in 2016

We have been quiet over the last few months here at Ecommerce Income. That is for a reason: our business has simply been sky-rocketing! Kees would like to share some of his inside knowledge of how to build a successful, stable AND high-growth international ecommerce business. Therefore we decided to open the new year with an exclusive interview!

How to conquer Europe in a few years’ time?

How to go from a boot-strapping business in your attic room or cellar to a 6-figure annual turnover?

How to do business across borders?

Read more →

The best SEO site structure: Shopify, Bigcommerce or SEOshop?

All Ecommerce Software providers claim to be Search Engine Optimized. SEO matters, because if your online store is easily found using a google search, this means you will get a lot of “free” traffic. Every online store should try to achieve a healthy percentage of organic search acquisition. Shopify claims to be “Search engine optimized”, Bigcommerce even boasts about “Search Engine Dominance”, and SEOshop writes: “The SEOshop platform was specially developed – and is continually being refined – for optimal performance in search engines.” So what Ecommerce Software provider to trust on their claims? Which of these three has SEO killer features? Ecommerce Income finds out for you!SEO site structure

Read more →

15 Tips To Make 2015 A Great Ecommerce Success

After we focused on possible pitfalls (read here and here) that may have held you back in 2014, we will now focus on tips to make a good start in 2015. Consider this article as a checklist of things you should look at earlier or later this year.

1. Develop your nicheniche_mobile_15 Tips To Make 2015 A Great Ecommerce Success

It has always been important in any business to stand out from the crowd. In ecommerce in 2015 this is even more true. Traditional retailers have strengthened their ecommerce activities and Amazon has further developed its position as the biggest ecommerce company. What is, therefore, even more important in 2015 than it was before is to develop your niche (check this page for inspiration to develop your niche). The only real other possibility is to grow really big to be able to compete with the giant companies out there and to compete on price (what I wouldn’t advise to try to do for 99% of starting ecommerce entrepreneurs without significant funding and industry-changing ideas). Read more →

Potential Ecommerce Pitfalls To Avoid in 2015 – Part 1

The end of the year is traditionally a time to look back to the year that has flown by and look forward to the year that is about to start. In a multi-part series we will look at reasons for failure and success. We will start with reasons for failure because (1) we want to leave failure behind in 2014 and (2) because the way to success includes analysis of failure.new-year-300x299

I am able to draw on a broad experience in ecommerce, having launched several online stores both for myself and for clients. I have had my fair share of failures and success, and I always make sure to learn from business results – both from failures and successes.

I talk a lot to other ecommerce entrepreneurs. I also read a lot. One of your new year’s resolutions should be to invest (more) in knowledge; this is really important and central to your success. Start by reading blogs such as Ecommerce Income, e-books, books, etc. By the way did I tell you that a new e-book is on its way? It will become available end of January/beginning of February 2015.

Ecommerce vs. Brick-and-mortar stores: three possible pitfalls when selling online

Read more →

Fulfillment “Battle”: Amazon vs. Shipwire

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FBA_logo_usFBA vs Shipwire

Both Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) and Shipwire are huge players in the fulfillment industry. If you are thinking about using a fulfillment company for your online business (which could be a great idea!) these two companies may be interesting partners for you.

Make sure though, that they will really be partners for your business. FBA will take your customers’ data and their brand will profit more from the sale than yours. Shipwire allows you to have your own branding while using their fulfillment services, and they will not take your customer data – in short the sell and the client relationship is yours. Shipwire is more expensive than FBA for fulfillment, however they don’t invoice a referral fee, as Amazon does.

Check out the full article on differences between FBA and Shipwire here.

“Dead” Online Stores

RIP

Presume the following situation:

You have been busy  working on your online store for half a year now and for one reason or another it just does not take off. However you already have a few sales every week, you certainly can’t live off it. Perhaps you are already thinking about stopping with the online store…

I hear the above often in one-to-one conversations. I also experienced this with my online store. I call such online stores “Dead online stores”.

However the entrepreneur may be actively working on his online store every day it just looks like nothing is going on when viewed from the outside.

This mistake can often be traced back to two causes. Today we discuss the first possible cause. Read more →

The ABC of Time-Saving

As an e-commerce entrepreneur, you are always busy with something. There are new products that need to be purchased, the Adwords campaign needs improvement just like the Search Engine Optimization and the customer service also needs attention. It feels like there never comes an end to the to-do list.

To be productive and in balance, you need to have a plan.

Luckily there are a few unique methods that help you to get more out of your day.

The ABC of Time Saving and Productivity Increasing:

Automatizing

Automatizing is great for daily, weekly and monthly recurring tasks on your to-do list. You know what I talk about: paying invoices, keeping your online store up to date and depositing money at the bank…

I pay all my invoices (whenever possible) via direct debit so I never have to enter the payments myself. Other invoices I pay only once per three weeks (see also under “B”)

Programmes such as TweetAdder and TweetDeck are handy tools to automatize your social networks.

The online store orders we run through a fulfilment company so that also doesn’t take us time anymore. Read more →

Don’t stay in the “Logo phase”

I often talk to people who are already busy starting their own online store. Great! Often something does strike me; some already have the first sale within 4 weeks and other online stores just don’t take off.

These people stay, like I call it, in the logo phase. They are busy for days with their company name, logo, company letterhead, business cards and so on. They stay in this phase for weeks without any visible progress.

When I start a new online store, my first target is to start generating sales as quickly as possible. Only when the first sales are made, I start to focus on peripheral issues. Without sales I don’t make a profit and the risk on the investment becomes bigger (do take notice: time is also an investment!).

I recommend therefore just to skip the logo phase. For my online store EerlijkeWereld (A fair world) I only had a name in the end. The logo is the most simple logo ever. The logo also only came in the end. Before that there was just an empty spot on the website.

Coming up with a name for your online store doesn’t have to be difficult at all.

Just take the most important word you want to be found with. Put a word before or behind it – and you’re ready!

In this way you are assured within google of a good ranking and visitors directly know what you have on offer.

A logo is also easy to find. Go to Google and enter “FreeLogo”. Browse for half an hour through all designs and collect the best logos. Choose the most beautiful design and you are already done with that as well.

In this way you can finish the logo phase within a morning of work. From now on you can focus on sales!

Tip 17: Use the 80/20 rule to your advantage

Roughly 80% of the results you achieve are caused by 20% of your actions, products or processes

You will for example see that 80 % of sales exists out of 20% of the total products on offer and that 80 % of the problems that end up being discussed with your customer service is about 20% of your products, etc.

When you have the data you can start with a “most sold” page and your can promote your best sold items a bit more in that way. This process is also very suitable for automatizing, resulting in a best sold page automatically renewing when other products get more attention.

Apply this principle everywhere you can in your online store and it will enhance your efficiency, productivity, sales and profit.

This tip comes from the series 18 Short Tips for your online store. During 9 weeks, EcommerceIncome will publish a new tip on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Don’t miss a tip and subscribe to the EcommerceIncome newsletter!