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Guest Blog: Let’s Take a Closer Look at Discount Coupons

3 May

Hi, it’s Myu again (real identity Laura) the proud owner of Collect and Play. This time the subject will be discount coupons which are very helpful to all stores out there. Once again I hope this article will be helpful to beginners and experienced sellers alike. Now let’s get started!

Creating discount coupons with a theme

You probably have seen discount codes out there – numbers and letters etc. But do you see any creative ones or ones that suit/fit the store and it’s products? I myself rarely encounter those and that is why I did a little experiment. I used character and series names and noticed that some coupons were more popular than others. So in other words, customers appreciate coupon codes that are related to the products they like and that is something store owners should make good use of. After all, it can make shopping a little more fun and you will see which code gets used the most.

Keep them guessing or not?

When you have coupon codes like Pichu, Pikachu, and Raichu, you may notice Pikachu gets used the most out of the 3. That is great but as a store owner, you decide how much discount each code gives. Pichu could, for example, give 5% off while Pikachu gives 10% off but only a few customers may find out that Raichu gives 15% or 20% off. So the question is, should you keep the big discounts a mystery or should you add the % to the coupon name? It really depends on how you handle the coupon rules. Do customers have to pay a certain amount to unlock a code or are the codes usable on all total amounts? If you don’t put up amount restrictions then you can keep the codes as they are and make it a bit of a fun discovery for customers. But if you set Pichu to the minimum amount of 5 euro or any currency then it would be good to give customers a hint by adding the % to the name so it becomes Pichu5%. Of course, you can decide for yourself what you prefer to do but a little testing and experimenting won’t hurt a bit.

A short article this time around but I hope it helped a bit. Be sure to stay creative with your store and I will bring you a new article someday. Also, any feedback is welcome on my articles.

Let’s get social: Facebook

7 Feb

Digital media has massively changed the way businesses reach, inform and communicate with their audience, with social media being a ‘key player’ for businesses to engage with their audience. A massive 2.34bn people worldwide have a social media platform of some sort (Statista).

The first section of the ‘Let’s get social’ blog will briefly cover the benefits of having a general social media presence and will look more in-depth into one of the most popular social media platform, Facebook.

What are the benefits of social media?

I’m sure you’ll want to know the benefits of having a social media presence and how it may impact your business. Below are a few key benefits that social media can bring.

Increased Brand Awareness: Social media is a great way of increasing your presence in one single click. Getting a few shares on your post will share your brand to potentially thousands of new customers and allow you to easily monitor the engagement.

Real-time content vs pre-planned, scheduled content:  Unlike traditional marketing methods such as print, you can share and create real-time content and easily adapt your marketing efforts as and when you choose.

Learn about your users: You’ll be able to learn about your customer’s online habits and possibly find out new things about your main demographic. You can target specific demographics with new imaginative content that’s relevant to the right audience.

Feedback: Social media allows for instant dialogue with customers in real-time and helps promote customer service. Again, unlike traditional methods, you’re open to a two- way conversation and not just a one-way conversation.

A lil’ bit of spying: It’s more than likely that your major competitors will have a social media presence, this is a perfect way to monitor your competition and stay ahead of the game. You may notice something that your competition are doing well that may improve your own business or something that they’ve not done quite so well – something you can exploit. You can engage with your rivals audience through targeted ad campaigns to let them know that you’re the better choice!

Gather leads: Connect with your audience on social media and then move the conversation on. Gather email addresses by offering newsletters, contests etc. You can use the email addresses to lead your potential new customers to your website

This is just a snippet of the benefits that social media can offer your business, sounds great, right?!

Facebook

We start our ‘let’s get social’ series with Facebook. According to PEW research, 79% of online adults use Facebook (US) – a huge number! It’s a great platform to connect with new customers and help retain existing relationships.

What can I post on Facebook?

Build up brand loyalty by producing and sharing helpful and entertaining articles to help educate the user, the soft sell approach works best! If you’re seen as being active and engaging with users, you’ll increase your chances of getting custom over someone who has a limited/no presence.  You can also drive users to your web-store and increase your chances of another customer. Post content that has a link back to your site, such as:

  • Informative blog articles.
  • How-to guides.
  • New product launches (as seen below).
  • Entertaining and visual content.
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Your Facebook page is a great way to promote product launches to new and exisiting users.

However, it’s important to know that it’s not all about attracting new custom, retaining current customers is equally, if not more, important. Interact with your users, get involved in discussions and show them that you value their custom! A simple reply to a comment goes a long way to achieving this, as seen below:

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Actively engage with your users & show them that they’re valued.

Encourage users to share their experience on Facebook page by comments, reviews and photos and interact with the posts! 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over advertising, so this is important to consider. Encourage customers to leave positive reviews on your store:

  • Offer an incentive for users to leave their feedback on Facebook, money off for example. (this is a freewebstore premium feature).
  • Inform your customers that you’re active on social media.
  • Encourage previous customers to share their product pictures.

Paid Facebook adverts are becoming the norm with most successful businesses utilising this feature. Now I know you’re thinking ‘what’s the point of spending money when I can post for free?’. The truth is, only 2% of organic posts reach their intended audience (Rob Peterson). So be prepared to splash a little cash to reap the full benefits. However, the costs are much cheaper than traditional marketing channels, such as print or adverts.

With information gained from Google analytics, Facebook analytics you can see who interacts with your content the most – then target Facebook users who fall under this demographic. Build up an audience that’s relevant to your business and are likely to interact and engage with your posts.

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An example of the Facebook custom audience page.

You can create custom adverts via the ‘Adverts Manager’ tab. From there, it’s possible to create a custom audience (so that you know the posts are hitting your intended audience), select your objectives and set the budget you want to stick to.

If you need help on setting up the perfect Facebook business page, have a read of this helpful blog article here.

 A great opportunity

Social media is a great opportunity for businesses to interact online. I’m sure that the majority of you have a social media presence. However, of freewebstore 40,000+ active store’s – only 5.6% (!) have utilised the FREE feature and connected their store to social media platforms. It’s a big opportunity lost in terms of customer engagement. Head over to your freewebstore control panel > Marketing > Social Media and connect your store now and get social!

The next blog in the series will cover Twitter.

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.

An Insight into Affiliate Marketing with freewebstore

7 Oct

Hands up if you want an easy way to make a bit of extra cash, without forking out any upfront fees yourself… If you’ve covertly raised your hand at your computer screen (I won’t judge) then continue to read. If not, read anyway as I’m sure you’ll be convinced at the end of this article…

So what’s the secret? Well, it’s not actually a secret, it’s freewebstore’s fantastic affiliate scheme. With the extremely generous 15% commission, excellent ad management, and reporting facilities – it seems too good to be true. It’s not.

I’ll be highlighting the benefits of the affiliate scheme and be sharing tips on how to maximise your potential earnings with some handy insights!

Firstly…

Financial benefits. Freewebstore offers an extremely generous 15% commission for the LIFETIME of a referred premium subscription. Let’s just put that into numbers:

  • If your referee joins freewebstore for one year on the professional package you’ll earn a cool $54. 🤑
  • If your referee joins freewebstore for one year on the wholesaler package you’ll earn a staggering $270! 🤑 🤑

And the best thing is… If they keep subscribing, you’ll keep earning! Your commission will be paid directly into your PayPal account – or into your bank account (UK customers only).

You don’t need to do anything yourself, just let freewebstore provide the support and, of course, the fantastic product.

Secondly…

You’re in control. That’s the great thing about the affiliate scheme; you’re your own boss. You can control how much/how little you put in (obviously, we recommend putting a lot of effort in). You can choose which marketing channels to use and are most comfortable in – freewebstore won’t put any pressure on you.

It’s so easy to use…

Our affiliate scheme offers a plethora or advertising banners to suit all marketing channels, whether that be on social media or an advertisement on your website – freewebstore has you covered. You don’t even need to tell us you’ve referred someone, we will know who clicks on your link!

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Additionally, we have a thorough and detailed statistics page, to help you keep track of your performance and how well your affiliate scheme is doing.

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Whilst providing you with a fantastic report facilities, allowing you to keep track of all your referrals and, of course, the commission generated.

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So…

If you’re passionate about freewebstore (and let’s face it, why wouldn’t you be) then use this passion to educate your network and generate some extra revenue for yourself.

It benefits everyone, you’re happy as you’ve made yourself a quick buck, your referral is happy as they’ve got themselves a brilliant product and the company are happy as they’ve gained another user! Win, win (win).

If you’re a current freewebstore user, you will already have an affiliate account set up! Just visit your ‘My Account‘ section on your control panel.

However, even if you’re not a freewebstore user, you can sign up to our scheme here.

You can easily paste the HTML code into your website – we’d recommend placing it in the footer.

Now that I’ve convinced you to partake in the freewebstore affiliate scheme, it’s only right that I give you a few tips in order to get the most out of the affiliate schemes.

How to get the most out of the affiliate scheme…

Plan! Every business big or small should have a plan in place. Take a look at this useful article to help you in the planning stage here.

Don’t go for too many affiliate schemes. This one is open for debate, I know a lot of people who say it’s best not to ‘keep all your eggs in one basket’but it’s important not to go for too many, either. The temptation to try and earn as much money as quickly as possible is a hard one to avoid.

However, it is easier to focus on one or two products that you’re passionate about, as opposed to many different products you have no interest in. Your passion and enthusiasm will be picked up and rub off on your audience and would do half the job for you!

Don’t oversell and bombard the reader with tonnes of information. Instead, educate the audience on why they should sign up to this product. Provide an honest review, mention any negatives aspects too. Promote how successful this product has been for you and the benefits it could bring to them.

By promoting and recommending the product itself to your readers will help in the buying process – people love to buy from people they trust. In fact, 84% of consumers say they either completely or somewhat trust recommendations from family, colleagues, and friends about products and services (Nielson).

There’s nothing worse than ‘sell, sell, sell’ – it’s not nice face to face so why would it be in the digital world?!

Be active! Get a blog, social media as well as a website. Note, the audience will vary on the different platforms you use, so don’t copy and paste content everywhere. Taylor this to the specific audience. For example, LinkedIn and Twitter will be different. Twitter will require you to get brief, straight to the point and regular updates. Marketing on LinkedIn will require you to engage differently, building up relationships with the audience, writing detailed articles etc. Remember, content is king.

social-media

Additionally, joining forums and learning off people embarking on similar campaigns will be beneficial. There are numerous platforms and forums to help provide you with useful hints and tips, such as affilorama and affiliate fix.

I hope this has helped you in your quest to affiliate stardom, if you have any comments or suggestions please post them below!