The better way to sell online


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Loyalty building tricks used by airline companies to get inspired from

Innovative marketing strategies are essential for most industries, especially online store owners. People read daily about lousy customer service and product reviews. Without some pro-active and professional marketing approaches to create loyalty, you can't survive in this competitive world. Here are 4 marketing tips airline companies use to help you get inspired. Have a glance when you get a chance...

The idea here is to keep being creative and consistently perform better than competitors. In other words, sell less and provide more value. Think about the buyers first, and let profit follow on its own. After all, your business is all about your customer base.

Product Reviews: Grow Your Business - Engage Your Customers

We are proud to introduce a brand new Product Review App for all ShopFactory 14 Total Care subscribers.
There is now an integration with an excellent service called Stamped. You can start using their services for free with their Free Plan. And as a special introduction, you can now get the Stamped Review App in your ShopFactory Total Care for free for 3 months.*

Why should you consider using Product Reviews in your ShopFactory online store?

Product Reviews are a great way to grow your business.

When customers are about to buy something in your store, they love to see reviews from other buyers (social proof). The reviews will help them to make an informed decision. Statistics show that having product reviews on your product overview and detailed pages has a significant impact on the conversion rate of your products.

You can also show your product review rating stars on Google. Even though having the stars will not boost your rankings in Google (it is not a ranking signal for Google), it will improve your Google search results' CTR (Click-through-rate). People prefer to click on a search result that shows review rating stars over results without review stars.

Free advertising on Google Shopping: Google rolls out Free Product Ads Worldwide

Free Google Shopping ads become available to merchants worldwide starting mid-October 2021. It looks like Google has decided to come in and give merchants some Christmas presents, right before the busiest e-commerce season of the year.

Click here to read how you can add your products to Google Shopping.

This article will answer a few questions about Google Shopping's free shopping ads.

The "WHY" behind free Shopping ads

To understand the impact Google's decision may have on online store owners, buyers, and the e-commerce market - let's take a closer look at the potential reasons Google took a step toward free shopping ads.

Copy-pasting - the safe way

Is your shop unstable? Is it crashing for no reason? Do you get system, browser, or cookie errors? Don't look any further. You probably had inherited coding from other websites in conflict with your shop when you copy-pasted texts. Here are three essential tips about adding content from your supplier or a competitor's website to your ShopFactory shop to maintain its stability. Experience has shown that online stores built on this process very rarely have problems.

Why is your shop incomplete?

With the holiday sales season 2021 coming up soon, it is time to get organized to save time and make the best out of all the opportunities ahead of us.

Offer discounts, use powerful apps to streamline processes, create marketing and gift coupons, provide memberships and reward programs. Manage your customers, incoming payments, orders, shipping, and much, much more with ShopFactory Cloud.

ShopFactory Cloud compliments your ShopFactory 14.6 software with additional functions and features to help you grow your business and optimize your profitability by combing the strength of a Window-based PC software and a server-based (Cloud) eCommerce solution.

Whether you sell one product or thousands, whether you sell to end-users or other businesses: ShopFactory Cloud gives you the simplicity you need when you start and the power and flexibility you require when you are already successful.

ShopFactory Cloud compliments ShopFactory 14.6 software with additional functions and features to supercharge your business and optimize profitability.

ShopFactory is a windows-based PC software and leading eCommerce solution which can be bought or rented (subscribed) with additional cloud functions, features, and services available online separately as needed.

ShopFactory Cloud gives you not only access to the latest ShopFactory software but also the ShopFactory Cloud services such as:

The benefits of showing related items to buyers in your ShopFactory online store

Nudging buyers to browse just a little bit longer is a tale as old as time for retailers. Think about when you shop online yourself. Isn't there something strangely tempting about discovering which product might go well with the one you're planning on ordering or which items other customers bought? Upselling, cross-selling, and "bought together" are powerful merchandising tactics that benefit small to large online stores, regardless of industry. Read more to (re-)discover these benefits and learn how to implement them in your ShopFactory online store.

Related and recommended products can help boost sales by making buyers aware of other products available to them or providing more information to help them with their purchasing decisions. Before diving into the various merchandising options, let's review the benefits of showing extra items toward the bottom of your product pages.

The main advantages of installing related products :

ShopFactory is in charge of your SEO…

What actions can you take to bring your SEO to the next level?

We developed ShopFactory with search engine requirements in mind. The software builds pages that search engines can read.

All you have to do is add your content and text to create your search-engine-friendly pages.
But to achieve even better SEO results, we strongly advise that you review and update the SEO information ShopFactory automatically uses for Google.
Many merchants are not using the SEO tools, and features to their full extend at the moment.
It is essential to quickly look at the tools to facilitate better your (or your SEO experts) SEO work.

Take the time to re-discover the various actions you can take.

How Buying Online & In-Store Pickup can boost your sales

Online store owners today are adopting the Collect in Store model to meet buyer expectations better. Buy online, pick up in-store — or Collect in Store — is an excellent way to drive store traffic and combine offline and online experiences. For any online retailer with a physical store presence, it's a handy tactic and one which can give you the edge over online-only competitors like Amazon.

The option, sometimes called click-and-collect, has significantly picked up during the pandemic. As ShopFactory online store owners increasingly implement it, it's essential to understand what this is and why buyers are now expecting it.

Another form of this is also called "Curbside pick-up", which has become the norm for shoppers who are in a rush, and want to pick-up product with-out having to leave their vehicle when they arrive at the store.

How does click-and-collect work?

Buyers want options and flexibility in how they want their orders fulfilled. They want to be able to complete their orders or make returns quickly and efficiently. Collect in Store is a solution to delivering convenience by enabling buyers to conveniently select which article they want to purchase immediately and which products are worth waiting for. Here's a typical customer journey:

5 reasons to activate address validation for your ShopFactory online store

There is perhaps no data more crucial for achievement than buyer address information for online stores that rely on efficient delivery services. While it may seem like a straightforward piece of our identities, addresses contain many moving parts that present challenges in regards to data accuracy.

Street numbers and names, suburbs, cities, and zip codes. All of these elements are necessary parts of a buyer's address, and it ensures your merchandise is delivered on time and to the correct location.

Why use address validation for your ShopFactory online store?

The following are the top main reasons for you to activate the new address validation feature for your online store.

Patch the leaks in your online shop checkout process

Tired of seeing abandoned carts pile up? Find out more about the preventable causes of lost sales and the best ways to streamline your checkout process. There is no such thing as half of an order. Abandoned shopping carts combine the excitement of having provided a product that buyers are interested in with the disappointment that you did something to extinguish that interest along the way.

Nowadays, a great deal of research has been done for the top causes of cart abandonment. Many cart abandonment factors are beyond a merchant’s control, and have to be considered part of the psychological issues of doing business online. If a potential buyer is unsure if he is ready to purchase, or if he is using the shopping cart as a way to price check or build a wish list, there is little that your checkout process can do to convert that individual. But what about the other factors?

Here are the top major factors in the checkout process and how you can patch them with very easy changes.

What is the shipping strategy of your ShopFactory online store?

Does the following sound familiar?

A new buyer comes to your web store, identifies the product he or she wants and it's at the proper price point. He/She adds it to his shopping basket. He or she goes to the checkout page and then it happens. The shipping and handling rates show up and all of a sudden the buyer starts second-guessing their decision to buy.

Suddenly a product which was at a fair price is starting to seem a little too expensive. One of two things happens next. Either the buyer decides to press on despite the increased costs, or they abandon the cart and leaves your store disappointed.

So what can you do to influence this decision?

Let's take a look at few shipping strategies and how you can use them in your ShopFactory online store

The real challenge to figuring out your shipping strategy is determining a solution that cuts into your margins as little as possible yet remains attractive to your buyers. And, this is something you're going to want to get right. Studies have shown that shipping and handling fees are the top factors driving shopping cart abandonment.

With this information in mind, let's look at the three most frequent shipping options and the pros and cons of each.

Shoot Professional product photos for your ShopFactory online shop

If you don't have the budget to put resources into higher end camera gear, you might want to find the time to figure out how to take extraordinary product photos with your cell phone.

There’s no denying it; product visuals are a huge part of your online sales success. Great photos are the end-all / be-all ambassadors with your buyers. Showing off great product images helps persuade buyers to “Add to Cart” and close any sale online. High quality product photos increase sales and improve customer satisfaction, as well as show your brand’s story. And although investing in even semi-professional camera equipment is strongly recommend - that may not be an option for everyone.

The good news? Your mobile phone can serve as a great interim camera while you save up for the real thing. It may seem an unlikely choice for product visuals, but your Smartphone can be an incredible asset if you know how to use it. Smart phones have drastically evolved over the last few years to include cameras advanced enough to snap professional quality images, especially for viewing on the internet. Just because your smart phone can take high-quality pictures doesn’t mean it’s going to turn out perfectly the every time.

Here are some simple tips on how to improve the product photos you take on your phone:

5 Ways to Grow your ShopFactory online shop in 2021

2021 just started. There is plenty of time to grow your ecommerce business this year. Keep in mind that business growth can impact every area of an ecommerce operation. Cash flow typically rises, buying power increases, overhead expenses become a relatively smaller percentage of revenue. And in most cases the company thrives. The question then is not whether or not to grow - but how to grow your ShopFactory shop.

Here are 5 tangible ways to grow your business in 2021 and beyond.

Marketing, Facilities, Fulfillment - What are the key infrastructure decisions for your eCommerce business?

Every company requires an infrastructure to support its buyers and operations. This includes facilities, equipment, and processes to support all the functional areas of your business. Choosing the correct infrastructure to match your companies strategy enables your operations to run powerfully. Conversely, if an element of your infrastructure is out of sync with your business model, you will likely feel the pain in every aspect of your business.

Here’s an example. If your business model is to provide the highest level of customer service for premium products, then your infrastructure should include processes to deliver quick and responsive service. This may include communications channels such as: customer service telephone line, live chat, self-service web portal tools, and a quick turnaround on questions and orders.

If your business model is to provide the lowest prices every day, then your infrastructure should be focused on being the low-cost provider. You can accomplish this in multiple ways. But, you need to ensure that your cost of goods sold and overhead expenses, which include infrastructure costs, are as low as possible.

Here are seven important infrastructure decisions that eCommerce businesses face.

Selling Unique Products - The Holy Grail of online retail, Define your marketing niche in 6 simple steps

So you’ve got a great idea to start an online business. You are ready to start selling online with ShopFactory all-in-one e-Commerce solution.
There is one more step that you will need to take: defining your niche market. The reason this is important is because you will need to know who you will be selling your services or products to in order to appropriately and successfully market it.
Take a look at any successful business, whether B2B or B2C, and you’ll see that they have clearly defined their marketing niche.

Many prospective online shop owners may start out thinking they 'can be all things to all people' when they first start out. Many will find within the first few months that this is a recipe for a disaster.
Business models taking this 'do-everything attitude' will risk burnout, exhaustion, confusion, and failure. By creating a specific niche both you and your buyers will know exactly what to expect.

Rather than 'finding' your marketing niche, which suggests that it is something that is ready-made or pre-packaged, you can actually ‘create’ one to give your online store the greatest chance of success.

Define your marketing niche by following these 6 simple steps:

5 Email suggestions to send just before holidays

The 2020 holiday shopping season is nearing its end and ShopFactory online shop owners want to capture every possible order before many buyers go into retail hibernation in the first quarter. To help spur late Holiday season sales, consider sending five email messages aimed at overcoming shipping costs, offering discounts, and building lasting buyer relationships.

Timely email marketing campaigns that address buyer concerns can appeal to a shopper’s sense of value. Consider making your marketing goal to gear towards making lasting customer relationships. Here are some suggested messages you might consider sending in the next two weeks.

New checkout to boost conversions

Over the past few months, we have been hard at work improving the checkout experience for your customers.

We have used the latest research as well as the experience of many merchants using ShopFactory to streamline the checkout further than ever before.

With one goal in mind: to help you increase your conversion rates by simplifying the checkout and removing any hurdles which could stop your customers from completing their orders.

How to create a clear marketing strategy

As small business owners, we often hope our products will be able to sell themselves. While ShopFactory stores are optimized to show highly in search results, it’s still essential to have a clear marketing/sales vision and strategy.

3 tips for Halloween eCommerce business 2020

Besides Christmas, Halloween is typically the second most important holiday for online shop owners. It is expected to drive billions. Holiday sales from September, if 2019 was a major indicator of this.

Holiday Sales: Three Tips to Turn Browsers into Buyers

The holiday shopping season is upon us.
Based on a study of more than 1.5 million people who used the Internet for holiday shopping by one of the top online security providers, it was found that the first week of October marks the start of the shopping season.
This means it’s time to create your keyword list for both organic search optimization and for pay-per-click ads.
More importantly, you should have a plan in place for increased traffic to your site.

The real driver of your profitability: Continuous upgrading

Ensuring your site is always up to date by continuously updating and upgrading is THE real driver of your profitability.
In the fast-moving world of the Internet, updating and upgrading is a critical factor in winning the game, and it would be a big mistake to freeze a website.
Whether you choose a ShopFactory subscription with continuous updates and upgrades or purchase a new ShopFactory license with each new upgrade release, which solution is best for you?

Holiday Season eCommerce Marketing Strategies

Why are merchants with e-commerce experience preparing for holiday sales now ?

More than eight out of ten holiday-season shoppers will look for gifts and gift ideas on the internet before making a purchase, creating a significant opportunity for online shop owners. But to cash in on holiday sales, many merchants need to begin executing coordinated marketing campaigns now.

It is not too early to start preparing for the holiday 2020 shopping season that begins in late September and, in some cases, goes even beyond December 25. It is one thing for a shop owner to recognize the need to plan for the holiday season, and something completely different to know which marketing strategies and tactics to employ.

How should you promote for holiday 2020?

Why it pays to be up to date

If you are like me, you probably hate updating your software.
After all you are used to the way it works.
It seems to be doing its job and you really have other things to worry about, which are far more important.
But after reading this article you will probably realize why it is important to stay up to date.

Influence vs. awareness

When it comes to business, influence and awareness aren’t the same. Many businesses pour love and energy into marketing campaigns designed to increase brand awareness. And while brand awareness - how many people know you exist - is a valuable metric, it alone won’t guarantee you sales.

Making your product newsworthy

I always knew journalists were hungry for a story, but my degree in Journalism taught me just how thankful they can be for quick wins. Experience has also shown me that this gratitude can be leveraged into free advertising if done the right way. I can’t count the number of times my friends in the creative industry have managed to snag paper space in local newspapers for album releases, YouTube videos, and blog pieces. So why aren’t businesses doing the same thing when they release new products, newly open, or change their business strategy?

Refocusing on success in a crisis

Now is the perfect time to rethink how you manage your company. Without your team working effectively and logically, your business will struggle in the best of times. Now, it's more important than ever to refocus, work cohesively, and make changes for the better.

Leveraging Instagram influencers

You may have heard of influencer marketing before, but how can you leverage it to sell your products? In this post, we’ll be covering three ways you can use the popularity of others online to boost your own success.

Instagram's newest marketing tool

You may have heard of TikTok, a booming social media platform designed to entertain and amuse with 15 second clips. The platform has been so successful that Instagram, an established competitor, has released a new function, Reels, which closely mimics the design of TikTok.

Minimizing cart abandonment

The statistics are staggering: in 2019, the rate of shopping cart abandonment had risen to 79%. While the numbers aren’t in yet for 2020, it’s no secret that shopping cart abandonment is stressful and at times confusing: why are customers walking away when they’re so close to purchasing?

Digital body language

Having an online shop is one thing, but needing to communicate with your team 100% digitally is another. Here is our quick guide on mastering your digital body language, to make sure you can keep your employees engaged, avoid misunderstandings, and keep building stakeholder and supplier relationships.

Surviving Covid: How to move your business online

For those of us with small businesses, the novel coronavirus has hit hard. In many places, customers are still unable to physically visit premises: or simply feel that it is unsafe to do so. It isn’t too late to jump onto the digital trend: and online sales might not just bolster you through these difficult times, but help you grow your business overall.
Here’s how you can get started with ShopFactory.

How to keep selling in times of crisis

We’re living in unprecedented times, and a lot of us are dealing with uncertainty: how will we be able to keep our businesses afloat? How can we stay profitable, and make a living? A lot of us are worried about our families and our employees: in small businesses especially, teams are tight knit.

Changes to order processing

Due to changes in legislations and security protocols we'll soon be forced to stop supporting order processing for old ShopFactory versions: 9 years and older. This is because servers, browsers security features and eCommerce regulations have changed drastically in recent years.

Shift to online sales speeds up

When the German Institute for Retail Research (IFH) analysed the future of brick and mortar shops at the beginning of this year, it came to a sobering result. Even before Covid-19 hit the world, it expected that 26,000 to 64,000 retail stores in Germany would close by 2030, because of changes in consumer behaviour. Covid-19 is expected to speed up this development, pushing sales online even faster.

6 tips to make working from home easier

Have you been asked to work from home because of Covid-19? If working from home is a new experience for you, these 6 tips can help.

Covid-19: so much worse than the flu

Around the world countries are locking down their borders and are asking citizens to stay at home. Yet many of us still have not grasped the seriousness of the situation.

Again and again I read in comments and articles online that Covid-19 is no worse than the flu, and that governments are overreacting.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Using Instagram live to boost sales

Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media platforms, and with its image heavy design it’s effective at quickly communicating visual messages. In 2018, the platform launched Instagram Live, allowing users to stream messages in real time to their followers.

Building the perfect customer solution

In order to craft the perfect customer solution, you just need to be able to anticipate their wants, needs and desires – which are likely constantly shifting and changing. Sounds easy right?

Boost sales with ShopFactory 14.5

We have just released ShopFactory 14.5 in time for the Christmas sales. And we are thrilled with the many improvements we have been able to include. The 40 times faster product search alone will help you net many more sales this festive season.

How to upskill employees in small business

In small businesses there is never enough time to learn new skills. Yet we all know we must improve our skills, if we want more success. While many owners of online stores have gone into overdrive due to Covid-19 with online orders hitting them from all sides, business has slowed down for others. If that’s you, now might be a good time for you and your staff to learn new skills. Especially if you are all working from home. Skills which might help you survive, or which will give you an edge, when things go back to normal.

Customer personas and how to make them

Creating customer personas will help you target the right people with your products, and make sure your marketing strategy suits them. In this post, we’ll talk you through what exactly a customer persona is, and how you can make one for your own business.

Four free ways to get your first ten sales

You’ve just created your ShopFactory store, your products are live, and you’re keen to get selling. Here are four ways to get the ball rolling; after all, your first sales are some of the most important. The first few feedbacks you get will shape how you market your products and will smoothen your workflow, making your business more effective. Your first sales will also, hopefully, snowball into the next ones.

The 90 day productivity hack

If you’ve been struggling to actualize your goals, I’ve got a potential solution for you: the ninety-day goal cycle. Embraced by businesses, CEO’s and productivity experts, the 90 day cycle has been branded something of a hack; a cheat code to actually accomplishing goals.

Top financial tips for small business owners

Business owners aren’t all financial experts: and it’s unreasonable to expect them to be. That said, they make the bulk of decisions which impact the business so maintaining oversight and planning is essential (for their professional and personal lives!). Here are five of the biggest pieces of advice financial expects give to entrepreneurs and small business owners to keep their finances in check.

How to prioritize small business tasks

I have, probably, around twenty things on my to do list. Prioritizing decisions in our personal lives can be difficult enough, but how do we set priorities when they impact not just us, but our businesses and the people we work with?

Why empathetic leaders build effective businesses

"I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." – Maya Angelou

3 Psychological tricks to make prices seem lower

I spent a lot of money on a product this week – but I was happy to shell it out, because I believed I was getting something of high quality and could see how it would have a positive impact on my life.

The power of testimonials and how to gather them

We all reference testimonials when we’re the ones buying online, so why do so few of us show reviews of our own products? Testimonials are powerful tools, proven to increase conversion, trust and engagement with your site.

3 ways to save a failing eCommerce business

Failure doesn’t happen overnight: it’s usually the result of multiple factors, and can sometimes be seen coming by a number of red flags. With over half of businesses failing in the first five years, it’s important to stay alert to the signs and make changes when necessary – beyond simply slashing budgets.

How to get your team excited for Mondays

A massive proportion of workers aren’t happy in their jobs, and half are late on Mondays. Feeling disengaged in the workplace can have a serious impact on your business, so it’s worth taking time to make Mondays merrier for your team.

Four design tricks to boost sales

Converting your website viewers into customers can be a tricky process. Thankfully, these four elements can help you come across as trustworthy and professional, without you needing to hire a web designer.

How to finally end procrastination

It’s human: none of us are focus machines, and getting distracted is a part of life. But procrastination isn’t unsolvable, and it can definitely be improved. If your procrastination is costing you productivity, time and potential customers, here are four effective ways you can learn to channel your energy in a positive direction.

How small businesses can rock customer service

Larger businesses have dedicated support staff, but when you own a small business it’s often you who does all the customer engagement.

4 ways to improve your time management

No one ever wants to be late, but up to 30% of people admit that they constantly are: and it’s costing businesses big money. If you’re someone who tends to be tardy, here are four ways to tackle the problem and make your time work for you and your business.

4 ways to optimize your online shop

If you've been running your store for a while, chances are you've let a few things slip – but it doesn't have to be a big deal. These four things shouldn't take longer than a week to implement, and once done they can boost sales, lower bounce rate and increase your audience.

Common security mistakes small businesses make

Cyber crime happens every 39 seconds on average, so being online won’t protect you against someone breaking into your business. These are four of the most common mistakes small businesses make when it comes to data security, and how you can keep your business safe against them.

How to manage remote employees

It's the internet age – and more people than ever are being hired remotely. If you have long distance staff who you'd like to see succeed, here are six ways to help communicate with them to make your business stronger.

Why every business needs a manifesto

Manifesto: a public declaration of policy and aims.

It might seem irrelevant to have a manifesto if you have a team of three, two or even one; but putting the values of your business into writing can help set expectations, boost motivations, and keep everyone accountable.

Mistake proofing your emails

We’ve all sent an email only to wish we could take it back – we’ve noticed typos, broken links, missing images and poor grammar. When it comes to email marketing, a typo can make or break a sale (after all, so much of sales is based on trust).

The upside of company competition

It can be frustrating if you’ve spent months or years building your business, and then suddenly a competing product hits the market. But competition doesn’t necessarily mean a downturn in sales and doom and gloom – in fact, it can help boost awareness of your products, get customers talking, and ultimately be the push you need to continuously improve your business.

How over-promising can damage your business

Studies show that you shouldn’t share your goals before you’ve accomplished them: the rush of people admiring what you’re setting out to achieve can be enough to zap your motivation right in the bud. In the same vein, it doesn’t make too much sense to regal your customers with grand tales of all the things you’re going to deliver, especially if you haven’t worked out all the kinks yet.

Why trust makes more sales than value

I'm sure most – if not all of us – have seen deals that just seem too good to be true. Packets of high demand items for mere dollars, bargain bin steals, items which are promised to us as free (just pay shipping!). Sometimes we cave and buy them, but usually we glance past them and move on quickly.

Why solutions don't always fix problems

I've always been a solution orientated person: I hear about a problem or an opportunity, and I start pouring in ideas. But a recent workshop I attended on innovation gave me a well-deserved slap on the wrist.

Five tools to help optimize your business

If you're a small business owner looking to optimize processes, it might be worth exploring some of the available tools. Many simple apps and online platforms have been designed to make managing time, people, and methods of communication much easier.

Why Hustle Culture isn’t peak productivity

Hustle culture: it's been on the rise for years, and more and more people are feeling the pressure to adopt it. But hustle culture - the process of working non-stop and abandoning all hopes of a work/life balance – simply isn't sustainable.

Why being replaceable will make your business better

A friend of mine has a motto he lives by: "learn what they teach, teach them what they know". In recent years, he's headed into workplaces with the intent of absorbing every piece of knowledge given to him. Then, when he stops learning, he takes that knowledge and heads onto his next role. He might sound a little cynical, but it'll all make sense in a minute.

Four ways to increase your creativity

If you’ve been struggling to generate fresh ideas at work, try using these four methods to increase your creativity.

Forget celebrities: Our peers are the new influencers

You might have heard the word influencer thrown around over the last few years, but what exactly does it mean? It arose after the rise of reality television: ordinary people were thrust into the limelight, gained fans, and for no reason beyond their likeability began to influence those fans. The term influencer was coined, and it became a legitimate career: instagrammers with enough followers can earn up $1 million per post: and people like the Kardashians became famous for being famous.

How to tackle cognitive biases and make smart decisions

We like to think our decisions are infallible. We hope that when we've picked a direction, it’s the right one. But research shows we're often guided by error when we’re determining what to do. These errors are built upon experience, flawed perceptions, and the desire to preserve ourselves and our already existing opinions.

What to do if a customer complains

Criticism happens. Negative feedback is unavoidable. At some point in our lives, we’ll be on the receiving end of it. But how we respond to that feedback is what matters.

Four ways to source business funds

If you’ve got a million dollar idea and empty pockets, don’t fret. Raising money is difficult (in fact, it’s the reason why most start-ups never get off the ground) but it’s by no means impossible.

Nailing your investment pitch

Pitching to investors can be a process of absolute obsession. Business founders follow templates, research known models, and try to make sure there’s as much detail in their speeches as possible. But I’ve seen it backfire.

How to create real connections with teammates and customers

Despite the social media boom (or maybe even because of it) many of us feel more disconnected than ever. Talk to most people and they’ll say they’re craving more genuine connections. The way forward might be surprisingly simple: being specific.

Maximize your workday in the first ten minutes

When you’re the boss, it can be easy to let your workday become unstructured: but the first ten minutes of your day can set the tone for the rest of it.

How to write product descriptions that sell

Great product descriptions will help you make sales. While some people decide which online products to buy based on photos alone, others scour product descriptions to ensure they’re buying the right thing.

How much transparency do your employees really need?

Transparency in business is the new big thing: cluing your employees in to what’s going on behind the scenes can raise enthusiasm, make them feel more like team members, and allow them to better help and be more hands on in their roles. But how much information is too much information? And where do you draw the line?

How to stop your employees from burning out

You might think your "always on" employees are your best assets (after all, they’re constantly checking emails, and they’ll even get back to you at 1am) but those who commit too much time to your business are at the highest risk of dropping out completely.

Three ways to discover ideas for successful businesses

It might sound a little sad, but most of the best businesses were built because of problems. People didn’t like the existing solutions, nothing on the market helped them, they couldn’t figure out how to make things work...

Eight great business tools for under $20

If you want great tools that work at prices you can afford, look no further! In this article we’ll outline eight online tools that can help you organize your business communications, scheduling, and workflow – and each is less than $20.

When it comes to selling, vision is key

I came across a great quote the other day – “people don’t buy products, they buy better versions of themselves”. Reading it made me realize a key thing: we’re not just selling people benefits, we’re selling them dream lives.

4 Ways business owners can cope with rejection

No one likes being rejected; each of us want to be accepted, and we want our ideas to be appreciated. It’s no secret that, as business owners and entrepreneurs, we’re closely attached to our creations.

Learning to delegate in small business

Many if not most startups and small businesses begin as one person shows. An idea is hatched, and for a while, a single person creates, packages, ships, manages and posts everything. The business grows, and eventually one person isn’t enough. But for many founders learning to delegate is a difficult process.

Five essential reads for small business owners

Last week we outlined a few of the best TED talks to watch to gain business inspiration. This week, we’re going to clue you in on five of the best books to read if you’re looking for guidance when it comes to your small business.

Five TED talks that will transform your business outlook

If you have your own business these five TED talks will inspire you, help you reframe certain problems, and reevaluate what you can do with the resources you have. Whether you’re scrappy, broke, physically isolated or scared of failure: these speeches have something for you.

Your customers are more important than you

Changing your language from ‘I have’ to ‘I can’ is a simple trick that can help you gain customers and genuine fans. A lot of us tend to focus on our skill sets and wants and use them as selling points. We enter meetings and say, ‘I want to create this project’, followed by ‘I have the skills needed.’

How to budget with a variable income

When you own your own business budgeting can be difficult. After all, your income can change dramatically from month to month. But with the right strategy you can make smart financial decisions even when your income is uncertain.

Amazon is breaking the Button law in Germany

Germany's 2012 "Button Solution" law is designed to protect customers from misleading or accidental purchases, but most online sellers are breaking it. But ShopFactory users fear not: we’re proud to be fully compliant, as we believe in protecting our merchants and their customers.

Achieving business growth without getting bigger

People always seem to assume that any goal should be focused on growth. More money, more employees, more customers – more, more, more. Most coaches, organizations and even countries measure success by how much growth is happening, but it could well be that you don’t need to – or want to – grow any further.

Why listening is essential in business (and how to do it)

Listening in business is an essential skill to have. It can help you identify which issues customers and clients face, what exactly they’re looking for, and how you can help. It can also improve the relationships between you and your employees and co-workers – so it makes sense to improve and maintain your listening skills.

How to boost traffic to your website and do something good for children

I am sure you have heard by now that content is king, when it comes to generating traffic on your website and in your web store.

But how do you create that content? And where do you constantly get ideas to create new content?

That's where the " Boost Your Blog" webinar series by our content writer Lena Klein comes in. Launched to raise funds for the children's hospital in Dublin in Ireland, it is targeted at the owners of new blogs.

But its lessons also apply to you as online seller and website owner, if you want to attract more customers to your website and achieve higher listings in search engines with unique content.

Amazon forced to pull 400,000 illegal products

Amazon has been forced to pull more than 400,000 products from its shelves in India - because it owned or had invested in the companies selling these products.

It used these companies to create and sell products in India in direct competition with regular merchants using the Amazon platform. A new law in India has made it illegal for the owners of eCommerce platforms to complete with their customers - i.e. the merchants.

How to effectively market a small business

Whether you’re a team of two or ten it can be hard to make resources stretch when you’re small or starting out. Small business means all hands-on deck – it’s likely you’re all highly invested in the business, you want to make it succeed, and your exact roles are a little blurry (if there’s a task that needs to be done, it’ll get done, and it doesn’t really matter by who).

Businesses vs. Start ups

You’ve always wanted to earn your own money and be your own boss, but you’re a little confused about the definitions. What’s a start-up? How does it differ from a small business?

How to pitch to Clients and Investors

It’s inevitable that at one point or another you’ll need to convince someone of your business. Maybe you’ll need the support of an investor to expand or introduce new products. Perhaps you’ll need to convince a client that your solution is the one they’re looking for. Either way, having a pitch all planned out can be an invaluable asset to have.

How to win at Instagram in 2019

Instagram is now the fastest growing social media platform. The photo sharing site has been lauded for its image focused timeline: there are no chunks of text, only photos and videos. It’s a marketer’s dream: you can showcase your products, offers, and team in an engaging, eye-catching way.

How to start a side-business in 2019

If you’re anything like me, you’ll have started 2019 with a whole suitcase of ideas. With side-hustles on the rise (According to Deloitte over 60% of people in their twenties want to have their own business) it’s the perfect time to talk about which strategies will help you succeed.

How to set your 2019 business goals

It’s a new year, and if you haven’t started laying down plans for 2019 now is the perfect time to start.
I’m not talking about forecasting here, where you estimate how much you’ll be earning, but strategic planning: what can you do to improve the condition of your business?

How inspiring others can help boost your business

I can remember every time I was truly inspired by something. Once, it was a framed print at my primary school, of a quote another student had painted out and decorated. It said ‘Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you will land amongst the stars.’

The top social media marketing trends for 2019

Want to know how to make your business stand out in 2019? Here are four of the social media marketing tools we’re predicting will make a big splash.

Why Ecommerce personalization is so effective

Studies show that 48% of customers spend more while online shopping if their experience is personalized. But what exactly is a personalized experience, and what about it makes such a difference?

Why Pop-up shops are cost effective money makers

As Ecommerce traders, we make the decision to sell online for a reason. Selling offline can have high overheads, and the price of running a physical store can be crushing for new businesses. But pop-up Shops – exclusive, short lived events which allow businesses to sell their products physically for a limited time only – have many of the perks of retail selling with minimal costs and no real commitment.

Why overnight shipping is the future

We live in an age of instant satisfaction. Instead of driving to the video store, we stream videos through Netflix. We have our meals delivered, subscription services bring us household goods, and we expect our packages to be shipped quickly. Today's on demand economy means that ‘time is money’ has never been truer: your product might be better than your competitors, but if it takes too long to arrive, you might still lose customers.

The perks of multichannel selling

Back in the day multichannel meant selling your products via mail, catalogue, telephone and in store. The goal was to get your product in front of as many people as possible, tailoring each solution to a different customer type. Now multichannel means largely the same thing, but with one key difference. Many businesses today exist only online, and so being multichannel has become more important than ever..

Video will help you make sales - Here's how to do it

It used to go like this: you’d make a product, you’d tell everyone how great it was, and – hopefully – people would go ahead and buy it. But marketing and selling products has evolved enormously in recent years, and products are no longer priority: the customer is.

Is a subscription model right for your business?

Depending on what you sell, a subscription model might help you better meet customer demands (and make more money!).

Why perfection is bad, and done is good

We often strive for perfection in our businesses. But if we spend too much time ironing the wrinkles out of our ideas, no one will ever get to see them.

Your store shouldn't just be online, it should be mobile

E-Commerce has been a buzzword for a while now, and not without cause. It's becoming more and more apparent each year that the businesses who didn’t embrace digital when it first appeared are paying for their mistake. Sears, Toys R Us, Claire’s – the shock closures of massive companies in the last few years has proven that even the largest contenders are no longer immune.

How to use email receipts to make more money

It’s a standard part of the checkout process: every time someone makes a purchase from your store you send them an email confirmation. But have you ever considered using that email as a way to connect with customers.

Ecommerce design trends for your online store

As fashions and tastes change it’s important to keep your online store on trend. Seeming modern, or having a distinct style, can be the difference between making and losing a sale!

Being a leader isn’t one size fits all

It can feel strange to talk about leadership when you own a small business with only a handful of employees, but no matter how informal your set-up is it’s important to guide it with the right approach.

Why entrepreneurs need to evolve

A lot of people seem to think businesses exist in a stationary bubble. Things are done a certain way, they’re established and maintained, and there’s no need to update or upgrade if things are already working.

How to prevent burnout

Entrepreneurs do a lot: they manage, organize, budget, market, package, research and more. It’s no surprise so many of us are burnt out: but we don’t need to be. Here are some easy tactics you can implement in your day to day life to help keep you calm, happy, and ready for work.

Using psychological pricing to boost sales

Do you want to know how you can boost sales with minimal effort? Psychological pricing can convince your customers that they’re getting a much better deal, and can help you make money.

Why intelligent people struggle in business

It takes a lot of guts and a lot of brain to start your own business. It’s one thing to work for someone else and something else entirely to start out and pursue your dreams on your own: but why do so many smart people struggle at it?

Even online businesses need face-to-face communication

We run online businesses, so it makes sense that most of our customer engagement will occur online. And while that’s true, it’s important to not forget that we’re still selling to real people.

How mentors can help you grow your business

You’ve got the skills, you’ve got the ideas, you’re ready to grow- and you’re stuck. Sometimes the best way forward is to reach out to someone who’s been where you are and ask them for advice.

How to regain the spark in your business

No, you’re not failing: it’s natural to feel uninspired every now and again. But that doesn’t mean it has to be the new normal – there are a number of ways you can regain your creative energy if your business is making you tired.

How to make ShopFactory 6 x faster

User JvanKalken reported on the ShopFactory user forum, that he improved the speed of publishing his store from more than 30 minutes to 5 minutes with a simple trick.

Profitable products: How to find your first

If you’re not sure how to find or create your first profitable product, here are three ways to trigger ideas.

How to creatively thank your customers

Thanking your customers doesn't need to break the bank; but it is worth gold. Genuinely thanking your customers can help solidify your relationships with them, make you memorable and encourage them to buy again.

How to win over six types of investors

You've come up with the perfect business idea. You know exactly what you want to create, how you want to do it, and who you want to sell it to. The only problem is that you don’t have the money: and that’s where investors come in.

How to build a customer focused business

In the good old days, building a business in a bubble was standard practice. An idea was turned into a product or service, and once completed would be rolled out to customers. And while that used to work, the advent of the internet and consumer-led growth means that creating a business is now more of a collaborative event than ever.

What's your unique selling point?

The market is saturated, your competitors are thriving, and customers are buying products from all over the world. In an online market, knowing how to stand out from the crowd can be the difference between sinking and swimming.

But how do you stand out?

Know more, help your business grow (the 5 hour plan)

If you want to become successful, committing five hours a week to learning could make all the difference.

How to boost your word of mouth advertising

I wish I could give you a five-step program that would make everything in life easy. But if there’s one thing I’ve learnt, it’s that there aren’t any short cuts. If you want to make magic happen you’ve got to set goals, put in the work and be accountable.

How to overcome your fear of self-marketing

When we think of marketing our businesses we often think of the same tactic: make ourselves look as good as possible. But more and more customers want more than a sales spiel; they want a real understanding of how our businesses run and how our products are made.

How to run a successful competition for your business

Running a competition can be a great way to get people excited and involved in your business. But how do you do it? And are there any legal things you need to know?

Four counterintuitive ways to gain customer trust

When we think of marketing our businesses we often think of the same tactic: make ourselves look as good as possible. But more and more customers want more than a sales spiel; they want a real understanding of how our businesses run and how our products are made.

A guide to reaching goals

I wish I could give you a five-step program that would make everything in life easy. But if there’s one thing I’ve learnt, it’s that there aren’t any short cuts. If you want to make magic happen you’ve got to set goals, put in the work and be accountable.

The secrets of good networking

Networking is an essential part of building business connections, but how do you do it? Find out the best ways to go about it.

Four ways to cope with criticism

No one likes getting criticism. But when it comes to our businesses, criticism is what will help us (most of the time) hone our products, services and customer experiences. Here’s how to handle it.

Three amateur business mistakes you should avoid

Starting a business is an exciting time. You’ve gathered experience, you’re passionate, and you want to leap right in. But before you jump into the deep end, make sure to avoid these three mistakes.

Boost your productivity with the perfect morning routine

Establishing a morning routine is easy, and your business will thank you.

Don’t let loneliness kill your entrepreneurship

More and more people are becoming entrepreneurs. They’re launching, marketing and running their own businesses, and they’re doing it all alone.

How to make sales in a competitive market

Not every new product is groundbreaking. In fact, most new products are variations of already existing ones. If you’re worried that you’re launching products into an overcrowded market; don’t fret. There are always ways you can stand out from the crowd.

How to earn money by teaching courses online

Running an online business is hard. It’s time consuming, often expensive, and requires constant attention. But with e-courses you can earn money without having to switch on 24/7.

Strategies to help your business become profitable

If you’ve just launched a business you’ve likely got money on your mind. Here are six ways to minimize your costs and maximise profits in a new business.

Four ways to market to millennials

There are a lot of damaging stereotypes surrounding millennials. They’re called lazy, entitled and the killers of industry. But studies have shown that millennials (the generation born between 1981-1996) are highly motivated and educated. Almost 50% have attended higher-education institutions. They’re tech savvy, they’re sceptical, and they’re looking to change the world.

Thin Content: What it is and how it impacts your Google ranking

Are you wondering why your Google ranking has suddenly dropped? The answer could be thin content.

Grow your business these three ways

When you run a small business, you are the small business. So if you want to see your business grow, take control of these three aspects of your personal life.

How to fight fear in Small Business

As entrepreneurs our lives revolve around our businesses, so it’s no surprise we sometimes worry about things going wrong. We have bills to pay, families to support, competitors to fight and customers to keep happy.

Why Podcasting is the new marketing

Back in the day a good marketing campaign just meant dropping flyers into as many letterboxes as possible. But with customers spread out across the whole world, online stores simply can’t use the same old tactics.

The importance of vision in business

You want to have a successful business. The question is, doing what? Without a clear vision, you’re in danger of drifting with no direction.

The HR policies your start-up needs

As a start up with just a couple of employees, you might not realize you need to think about Human Resources. One of the benefits of small business is being able to step away from a lot of the red tape which governs larger operations, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore it entirely.

How to stay creative as a business owner

Monetizing your hobbies and passions can be a dream come true, but what do you do when it all starts to feel like work?

Why Comparison could kill your business

When it comes to comparing ourselves to others, we’re all guilty. As entrepreneurs our businesses form a large part of our lives, so it’s no surprise we compare those too. But if you’re engaging in negative comparisons, it’s time to stop.

Why advertising on Facebook could lose you money

If you want to gain fans on Facebook, then advertising seems like the logical thing to do. But with the recent changes in the Facebook algorithm, you might not get your money's worth. Here’s why, and what to do instead.

Write the perfect email call to action

Writing the perfect call to action has become an art. Generic prompts like learn more, shop now, and click here have become so popular that customers glaze over them entirely. In order to grab attention, you need to think smart. In this article I’ll teach you how to create call to actions in your emails that readers won’t be able to ignore.

Cut your time marketing on social media by 70%

Social media marketing can be expensive, time consuming and tricky. This simple tool will make managing your accounts a breeze. If you’re using social media, you’ll know that changing between your Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts can be tedious at times. You have to log into multiple sites multiple times a day to keep them updated.

6 Mistakes to avoid as a freelancer

We are in the largest freelance economy of all time, and more and more entrepreneurs are taking the plunge. But for every successful freelancer there are many more who quickly give up and move back to their corporate jobs.

Have a business idea? Here’s how to invest without money

We’re taught from early on that money is vital when it comes to turning dreams into reality. But even if you don’t have much money right now, there are still steps you can take to bring your ideas to life.

Six mistakes entrepreneurs make

According to Forbes, nine out of ten startups fail. Too often entrepreneurs make the same mistakes over and over. They do not market, they do not manage time well, and they invest too little or too much money into their products.

The one tip that will help you close sales

Do you want to gain clients and make sales? This one thing could make all the difference.

How to write killer email copy

Want to know how to hook in customers, seal deals and boost sales? Your emails can be a powerful tool; here are four ways to make the most of them.

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