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Guest Blog: Let’s Take a Closer Look at Stock Photos

30 Dec

Stock photos, not really a normal or common subject but more important than you think. Hi, I am Laura, also called Myu by people and I am the owner of the online store Collect and Play.  I hope this article will be helpful or at least contain useful tips for you to use for your own store. Now let’s get on with the main subject.

Stock photos

For those who don’t know, stock photos are the pictures you make of the products you sell so customers can see what they are buying. So, obviously, they are very important for your store. There are also two different types of stock photos. One is a very common used photo and is always used before the actual product becomes available or for folders but some stores stick to these standard photos as can be seen on sites like Amazon, eBay, Game Mania, Bart Smit and many others. The second type is the photo you make yourself once you received your new products. Now it should be noted that you should stick to the type that works best for your store and I highly recommend making your own because a product will stand out more in photos made by someone who can add a style to them. And so the next point is:

Experiment while making photos

Lighting and the background matter a lot. I recommend a white background but any neutral background works so if you have a table or anything to put your product on that’s neutral, you got one step covered. As for the lighting, that’s something you have to explore. I combine the room’s light with a standing table light to make sure the products are visible enough but also get highlighted enough. For example, I sell Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh! cards and just like any other TCG out there, they contain rare holofoil cards in their sets. That’s when regular lighting won’t do because such a card needs to sell itself to the viewer so the shinier they are in the photo, the better.

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If you aren’t sure about the lighting you can use and combine then make test photos and compare them to see which highlights your product the best. Then when you have the basic steps covered, you can decide whether or not you want to add personal touches to the photos to make your products stand out even more. In the end trying out and making test photos will lead to your store’s own unique stock photos. Next is:

Make your stock photos your own little assistants

Now I bet someone is going to say “hold on! how can a stock photo be an assistant” while also scratching their head? Just let me explain, as a seller, you seek popular products right? And what do popular products need? That’s right a stock quantity which means duplicates of a card, toy or any product you sell well. With all that stock, you have a little time-consuming job called counting. After all, we need to put in a stock number so we have to open our stock boxes and start counting all those products unless you use my nifty little trick and that’s where our little assisting stock photos come in. For example, I have 20 Pikachu cards that are the same so I put them all or just half of them together on the table and make the photo, voila! A stock photo that tells me exactly how many I have without having to open the box again to count.

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And customers also don’t mind these photos because then they see that they can take multiple and make their kids happy or complete their theme deck. Just like our trusty control panel makes work related to our stores easier so can stock photos. And you can make both a total amount stock photo and a detailed stock photo on which you show a single product so that you still have 1 highlighting photo.

That is all I can share for now so I really hope it was somewhat helpful. I hope to share more useful information soon.

Guide: How do I get Paid?!

7 Sep

You’ve completed your first sale. Great! However, you have no idea where your money has gone – not so great!

Don’t go all ‘Stewie Griffin’ on us; this short article will help put your mind at ease.

When setting up your freewebstore account, you’ll automatically be set-up to receive payments through PayPal. However, you are not limited to PayPal – there are many other payment providers you may wish to use. See for yourself!

Once a customer has completed their payment, the funds will appear in your account – you are free to withdraw! Simple as that.

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Choices, choices…

As you’ve seen, there are numerous payment gateways to choose from for your convenience. We’ve provided a little bit more information on two of our most popular payment processors:

The old faithful…

  • PayPal – available in 190 markets around the world, with 24 currencies to choose from.

Freewebstore automatically set up your store through PayPal. Their platform builds on the existing financial infrastructure of bank accounts and credit cards to create a global, real-time payment solution.

Click here for more information.

The new kid on the block…

  • Stripe – Stripe allows shoppers to pay for goods directly and securely on the store with minimal clicks – processing billions of dollars a year!

Stripe aims to reduce lost sales due to unnecessary data entry, slow redirects, and general checkout friction. Stripe’s lean checkout philosophy has been proven to increase conversions and reduce abandoned carts.

More information is available here.

Additionally…

If you choose to go premium, users can opt to get paid offline, giving yourself the BEST possible chance of landing the sale. Some of the options available on the premium package:

  • Pay by invoice
  • Pay by bank transfer
  • Cash on delivery
  • Local collection

Hope we’ve cleared that up a bit for you. Now, don’t spend it all at once  😉

 

Beginners Guide: Ideas for Products to Sell

2 Sep

Are you struggling to find a product to sell on your freewebstore store, or wondering which is the best route to go down? Don’t worry you’re not alone. It’s a hurdle many budding entrepreneurs are faced with.

Here, we’ve prepared a quick blog to highlight a few different options available to you, that will help to provide you with a few ideas.

Wholesale Marketplace

Wholesalers act as ‘the bridge’ between the manufacturer and the retail market. Sites such as ‘Alibaba’ and our recommendation DHgate are great for inspiration and to scope out possible products, providing a vast range of items.

Buying through wholesalers has its advantages:

  • Low cost in bulk
  • A wide choice of products to choose

Along with disadvantages:

  • Storage space – to qualify for cheaper rates, you’ll be required to purchase in bulk. This could be a problem if you’re working from home or a small office.

If storage space is a problem, drop shipping is the solution!

You’ll have no warehouse to run, no storage costs and reduce your level of commitment. However, this can be a problem when it comes to customer communication, as you’ll have to go back and forth between the company and the customer.

Read this article on how to find suitable drop shippers.

Opportunity Spotting in your Local Area

It may be worth having a walk around your local area and look for different ideas that could provide an opportunity online.

Have you got a cupcake shop around the corner that is ALWAYS busy but there’s no online presence in your local area? Bingo! There could be a gap in the market for you to exploit online!

Alternatively, if going global appeals to you more, keep your eye out on new trends.

Social Media

Sites such as Instagram and Pinterest are great for providing visual inspiration and providing product ideas. Look at different products that have been trending in recent months. If you’ve got an interest in a particular commodity, follow the industry leaders – use the ‘power of the #HashTag’ to search for ideas and inspiration.

Now you can use your new found inspiration and get started on your eCommerce journey here.

Accept debit & credit cards directly on your store!

12 Jul

What is Stripe?

Stripe is a quick and secure way to accept credit card and debit card payments online. With freewebstore’s integration with Stripe, your customers can make a payment with their card without ever leaving your store.

Is Stripe available for my store?

Check out this link to see if Stripe is available in your country – https://stripe.com/global

How much does it cost?

It is free to create your Stripe account and there are no monthly fees.  Transaction fees are only applied when you make a sale!  – https://stripe.com/pricing

How do I add Stripe to my store?

Please see the following help article that will walk you through how to add Stripe to your store – http://help.freewebstore.com/guide/enable-stripe-checkout

 

Log in/Sign Up now to add it to your store

 

StoreBlog has arrived!

4 Jul

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Take your store to the next level with an integrated blog!

  • Increase Google Ranking
  • Engage your Shoppers
  • Value Added Content
  • Increase Sales

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Boost Google Ranking

Improve your ranking on Google by adding crucial content to your store!

Increase Sales

Generate more sales by showcasing your products on your new blog!

Engage with customers

Keep your shoppers coming back for more by creating conversations!

 

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Publish an unlimited number of blog articles for your store.  Keep the content on your store fresh, informative and engaging for your shoppers.

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Categorize your blog articles with searchable tags.  Making it easier for your shoppers to find what they are looking for.

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Keep on top of market trends and shopper behavior by accessing a range of statistical data for your blogs.

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Utilize the power of social commerce and let your shoppers do the selling for you.

Log into your Freewebstore Control Panel to access this fantastic new feature!

Read – Getting started with StoreBlog

 

Do you fancy a free domain name for your store on us?

22 Mar

Do you have a domain name attached to your store?  No?  Do you fancy a free one on us?

We have just released a number of free sub-domains that you can select from to attach to your store.  This will replace the http://www.freewebstore.org domain name we gave you originally when you created your store.

To change your  URL  jump on over to the Settings > Store Settings section of your Freewebstore Control Panel and click the “Change Store URL” button.

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From here you can select from the five available options.

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If you already have a domain name and want to attach that name to your store or if you want to purchase a domain name through us you can do so via the Marketing > Domain name section of your Freewebstore Control Panel.

What are the benefits of having a domain name?

When you first create your store we give you a temporary domain name such as (Freewebstore.org/MyNewShop). This will work fine but if you are serious about getting a lot of shoppers and sales then you are going to need your own domain name. This helps you stand out from the crowd and makes your store much easier to see and find both for shoppers and search engine spiders/bots. It is the single most important thing you can do for your store.

 

Seasons Greetings

23 Dec

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Seasons greetings from the Freewebstore Team.

It’s been a fantastic year and we wanted to thank you all for your business and support.  We hope you have a great festive period and wonderful New Year.

We have many exciting new features planned for 2016.  Lets make it the best year ever!

Live Store Hits Graph

21 Jul

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Everybody loves a nice graph!  You may have noticed that we have provided you with a brand new one in your Freewebstore Control Panel (shown above).

The graph shows you how many people have visited your store over the last hour as depicted by the pink line.  The blue data shows overall activity on the Freewebstore platform.  The platform activity is scaled to allow both data sets to appear on the same graph.

The data on the graph is refreshed every minute and you can see a countdown to the next refresh in the top right hand corner.

Cloud Server Migration

5 Jan

We are currently in the process of migrating to bigger & faster servers in the cloud.The new servers will deliver increased performance,security and stability across the platform.To ensure you receive the benefits outlined above you should ensure your domain name is correctly attached to your store.  The first step is to login to your account with the domain name company you purchased your domain name from. Once you have logged in simply create a CNAME of “www” that points to “shop.freewebstore.org” and an A record of “@” or blank that points to “54.154.42.22“.  If you are unsure of how to do this please feel free to send a support ticket in via your Freewebstore Control Panel and we will be happy to do this for you.

Business Users

9 Apr

As we’ve seen over the past couple of weeks, FreeWebstore is a powerful selling tool. You could use it totally free forever, never paying us a penny and making unlimited amounts of cash.

Some of our most advanced features are reserved for Business Users, so let’s take a look at what you get when you upgrade:

Removal of the FreeWebstore Banner
The banner across the top of a Free User webstore will be removed.

Upload your Products to Google Shopping
This feature has had a significant impact on many of our existing users’ sales.

Increased Product Limit
Add more products to your webstore.

Add as many pages as you want
You can add an unlimited number of non-product pages to your webstore.

Coupons and Vouchers
Run sales campaigns using our built-in Coupon system.

And a whole lot more!

We continue to add new features every month.To upgrade just visit the My Account section of the FreeWebstore Control Panel and
click on Upgrade My Package for more info

Sadly, we have reached the end of the Getting Started Newsletters – wipe that tear from your eye! But fear not, you can always contact us through the Support section of the control panel. And don’t forget: the Help Guides are always there for you, should you need them. We’ll also contact you from time to time with helpful tips and advice, details on any special offers, and news about any exciting new FreeWebstore features, of which there are many to come!

May we take this opportunity to wish you the very best of luck with your webstore. Good luck, happy selling and thanks for choosing Free Webstore!