5 Tips for Improving Your Business’s Online Reputation

Protecting and improving the online reputation of your business is vital to your success. Buyers are deterred by negative reviews from past customers, and there is no way to truly measure the number of sales lost due to a negative review. Fortunately, there are a number of tips that will help build and protect your online reputation. 

Create and Maintain Social Media Accounts

A coordinated social media strategy is an important piece to the puzzle in regard to managing the online reputation of your company. According to Capterra, the first step in the process is to start with the social media platform that is best suited to your particular business. Once you have gained traction on this platform, you can expand to others. 

Once your platform is chosen, you will be able to engage in conversation and build a relationship with your target audience. The best way to take advantage of this opportunity is to engage the audience with interesting and useful content. You should not constantly blast your audience with promotional messages. 

Respond to Reviews

You will need to use a bit of strategy to effectively respond to reviews that you receive on Google and social media. Positive reviews should be acknowledged promptly, and a sincere thank you should be delivered. If you are familiar with the transaction, mention a detail that will be remembered by the customer. The personal touch will be appreciated. 

As Podium explains, customer reviews allow businesses to both get a feel for how their customers think they’re performing and ideas for how to improve. Resist the urge to become reactionary if a bad review of your company’s product or services is received. Be honest with disgruntled customers and offer to do what is needed to reconcile the bad experience for them. 

Include Employees

It is not uncommon for customers to google salespeople. When salesmen and saleswomen working for your company are mentioned in reviews, it increases their value to future customers. Data from ReferralRock shows that when your employees are considered more trustworthy by customers, this sentiment carries over to your company. 

When the name of an employee is mentioned in a review, it is a great opportunity to get that employee engaged in the process. Encourage your employee to respond personally to the customer who appreciated the efforts enough to leave a positive review. 

Treat Online Reviews Like an Asset

It is a valuable advantage to you when happy customers leave reviews about their experiences with your company. These reviews improve your ranking in search engines and elevate your company to authority status when potential customers perform local searches. 

Positive online reviews and word-of-mouth promotion are powerful revenue generators that have earned a place on your company balance sheet. The time and effort it takes to build and maintain your online reputation make online reviews a valuable commodity. You should remember this fact if you ever look to sell your company. 

Be Consistent

One important point brought up by i5 Web Design is that building your online relationship is similar to other aspects of building human relationships in that consistency and delivering on promises are essential. If you have offered discounts to customers to make up for a bad experience or if you have promised to address an issue that was not to a customer’s satisfaction, you should make sure you not only follow up on the promises but that you also make necessary changes so that the original problem will not happen again. 

Remember that the interaction you have with a customer online is viewable by all potential customers. It is a simple process for others to follow the story as it develops. 

Online reputation management is becoming more and more important in today’s high-tech world. In moments, consumers can perform all the research needed about any company to decide whether or not they will choose to do business with the company. You should be proactive in your goals to present your company in as positive a manner online as possible.
Want to learn more about your target audience and your customers? PollCart allows online shoppers to poll family and friends about purchases processed after approval. Try PollCart today!

How to Make a Business Network That Will Increase Sales

In order to run a profitable business, you definitely need to have a strong marketing strategy. Is networking part of yours? There are many strategies to employ, some of which are effective and some that are not so great. If you tend to approach marketing with hesitation, there are luckily some techniques you can utilize that will make your networking much easier and help you to increase sales.

Start Early

Although it can be difficult to determine what type of business you might want to have several years down the road, you should start building your network early. Even if these individuals are not largely related to your chosen industry, they still might know someone you could use as a referral. Ideally, you have your network and connections started before you even start your business, according to Daymond John. This will help ensure business success. Don’t rule out building a network on social media either. This digital word of mouth could definitely pay off for you in the future.  

Connect Often

Creating and maintaining relationships is a great way to ensure continued sales, and it is even one of the main concepts taught in business school. Basically, as long as you do not overdo it, contacting former clients and potential customers can lead to higher financial returns. Moreover, according to Talent Culture, working on your “Return on Relationships” can also often lead to increased sales because a satisfied customer will often tell others about his or her remarkable experience with your business.

Are you wondering how you can connect with people? There are actually many ways to do it. Newsletters, emails, mailings, cards sent on special occasions, and even texts can all be ways to stay in touch. Doing these things will put your name in front of customers again, and they may consider a repeat purchase for your goods or services.

Keep Your Blog Updated

There are many situations in which new customers have become regular clients just from looking at a company’s blog, according to Lyfe Marketing. Be sure to keep your blog updated with new content published regularly. Maintaining a personal company blog is also a great way to disseminate your business philosophy.

There are definitely many out-of-the-box ways for you to network your business. Follow the strategies outlined above and seek out more experienced business leaders who can give you invaluable advice and insight, and your sales are sure to increase.

Building your business network will help you to increase sales, but PollCart can help you with that too. Check out how PollCart can help!

4 Best Ways to Boost Ecommerce Sales Fast

Have you been disappointed with the slow growth of your ecommerce site? There are four key things you might be missing that can make a difference in your results. Even if you already have a lot of sales, you can boost ecommerce sales fast by following the four methods below.

Email Marketing

According to this study, businesses that use email marketing earn $38 for every $1 spent. This can lead to an impressive ROI of 300% and above. Email marketing was found effective for both small and large businesses, so no matter what size your online store is, you should use email marketing. Ask customers if it’s okay to send them emails when they buy something from your store. You can include this as a checkable box in your form. Another way to get people on your list is to offer a free ebook or other relevant digital content in exchange for their email addresses. If your ecommerce store has products from many different niches, you could encourage people to sign up for your newsletter to receive exclusive offers.

Optimize Your Funnels for Mobile Users

Almost three-quarters of website traffic is now mobile, so it’s important to keep your website mobile-friendly down to the funnels. Many people use their smartphones to research purchases and complete their transactions. You don’t need to scrap your current funnel, but you should analyze where your strengths are for both mobile and desktop users. In general, you’ll be taking a minimalist approach to optimizing your funnels. Ideas for improving funnels are to shorten forms, use a mobile-friendly, responsive website design, and double check that CTA buttons are easy to view and click on mobile devices.

Show Your Website Is Secure

If you don’t have an SSL certificate, you’re losing out on sales. Many consumers don’t purchase from sites without SSL certificates because they’re worried about their sensitive information being stolen. Make your website as secure as possible, and display any security badges to help establish trust with online consumers. Examples of security badges are the “Paypal Verified” and “ScanAlert Hacker Safe” badges.

PollCart

Shopify users have access to PollCart, which is an application that speeds up the buying process. It enables your customers to poll their social network, including friends, family, and industry experts, about an item they’re thinking of buying. People have twenty-four hours to share their opinions on the item. If all goes well, then the customer will buy the product. PollCart reduces instances of abandoned shopping carts and returns.

You can boost ecommerce sales fast by optimizing your funnel for mobile users, making it clear your website is secure, using Pollcart, and utilizing email marketing. These effective strategies will lead to increased sales in no time when implemented correctly.

Check out our videos for more information on how PollCart works!

PollCart simplifies e-commerce shopping polls, extending functionality to URL and referral links

LINKS keyboard

PollCart simplifies e-commerce shopping polls with the new feature of automatic poll creation from any referring URL or a URL added to link.pollcart.com. Here are some use cases.

The “referrer” link use case (easiest)

Your e-commerce website has a number of pages, probably at least one for each item. You use includes like headers and footers for the navigation, but each page also has unique content.

PollCart’s past versions would require custom javascript to create a unique poll for each page. Now you simply add a link to your page for “https://link.pollcart.com” that might say, “Use PollCart to ask others” or “Ask one friend now with PollCart.” Any page with a link to “link.pollcart.com” becomes the subject of a PollCart poll when the user clicks on your item’s page and follows the link to PollCart.

While our competitors are thinking of more complicated ways to confuse your developers, we’re giving you permission to fire them. Don’t though, we’re developers, too 🙂

The “URL” link use case (easy)

Here’s the second new piece, a little more complex, but equally cool. If you want to add a PollCart link pointing to a particular item page somewhere besides that item page, like on Twitter or Facebook, you can simply add the item URL to the end of the “https://link.pollcart.com” URL. Like this, if you’re selling CBD oil for dogs:

Source Organic CBD Oil – 200 MG

You might have a URL like “https://market.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/products/cbd-oil-200-mg” – and say, no idea how to JavaScript or TypeScript or generallyScript a PollCart poll, all you have to do is this:

Add “https://market.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/products/cbd-oil-200-mg”

to “https://link.pollcart.com”

like this:

“https://link.pollcart.com/https://market.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/products/cbd-oil-200-mg”

So the final link might look like this. Close your eyes if you can’t stand the site of late 90s HTML.

<a href=”https://link.pollcart.com/https://market.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/products/cbd-oil-200-mg”>Ask others about Source Organic CBD Oil, poll your friends now</a>

Okay, the code part is done for now. No WordPress plugin required. No anyScript of anyKind. (Capitalization humor)

And if that URL thing is too much (believe me I can relate) then just put a link to “https://link.pollcart.com” in an included part of your websites like the header or footer and it will turn every page into a poll conversion waiting to happen.

Some details about how it works

To use the new functionality, simply add a link to https://link.pollcart.com on any page and PollCart will detect the referrer, creating a poll for that page. To get more specific, you can add a slash and the URL address of the desired product to the URL of the current page:

E.g. “https://link.pollcart.com/https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FMLZCR5″

Pretty cool, huh? You just add the entire URL completely unedited after a slash.

Try both links to see how effective adding PollCart’s referrer link or PollCart’s URL link to your e-commerce page.

Brand, Product Sales, and You

Building a successful business does not happen overnight. Great products and marketing strategies are not the most important aspect of building a business, even if there is a serious need for what your company provides. Without proper branding, you run the risk of getting lost in the competition without the ability to make your business stand out from the crowd. Your brand needs to work for you as much as your advertising and marketing does in order to effectively reach your intended audience while motivating customers to make a purchase. Understanding the importance of good branding is key to truly making a mark in any industry, especially when building your business online.

What is Branding?

Branding is a way to represent your business through the use of a logo, color scheme, and overall visual aesthetic. Think of some top brands, such as Nike, Facebook, McDonald’s, and Starbucks. According to Seabrook, brand is the single most important element to a business or organisation. It is easy to immediately recall the logo and colors of companies that have proper branding. With the right branding, you can gain trust and loyalty from those who are interested in learning more about your business.

Risks of Not Branding Your Business Properly

According to Entrepreneur, one of the biggest mistakes your company can commit is not understanding the power of branding. Without proper branding, you run the risk of losing the interest of potential customers, leading to fewer sales and less generated revenue. When your business is not properly branded, it becomes increasingly difficult to garner followers, attention, and motivated shoppers. Before revamping your company’s branding, consider the following:

  • Do you have a set logo that represents your business and the products or services you provide? Does your logo convey the message you want to send to prospective customers?
  • Do you have colors that are utilized consistently on your official website, within your logo, and on your social media pages? Is your logo too busy or too dull? Spend time comparing competitive businesses for inspiration and ideas during a brand revamp.
  • Who do you want to reach? What interests do your users have? What styles of graphics and photography translate best with your followers and shoppers? What successful companies and brands does your audience follow and invest in?
  • Is your company name easy to spell and remember? Does your logo require text, or is it possible to share your message using iconography and simplistic imagery?
  • Are you using high-quality graphics and photography in your branding? Are your images outdated or not relevant to your user base?

How to Develop Better Branding

Developing proper branding for a business requires a bit of research and testing. Gather inspiration by comparing competitive logos to determine which type of visuals work best for your audience and the demographics you are targeting. According to Oberlo, you should strive to be positive in your branding messages. Your business needs to use great photos, if you decide to go with that kind of visual. Use websites such as Pinterest and other online communities and technologies focused on marketing and design to learn new methods and techniques of creating visually appealing graphics and imagery to catch the eye of your followers and customers.

Ensure all of your social media pages use the same page name along with your website’s official URL. Use the same logo and color scheme on each of your social platforms along with your website’s layout and design. Avoid choosing usernames and page names that are difficult to remember or not relevant to your company’s name as this appears unprofessional and often leads to an inability to generate sales or gain the trust of users online.

Get Some Thoughts From Others

Ask for input from your followers and those who currently subscribe to your email newsletter, especially when you are just starting out with a new business. Gathering consumer input is extremely valuable and creates a sense of community with those who have a vested interest in seeing your business and brand grow. You can also ask any mentors you might have in the industry, as well, according to Under30CEO. They might have insights that you or your consumers might have never thought about.

Use AB testing with third-party ad hosts, such as Facebook ads, to see what works best for your business. Share different types of imagery, such as traditional photographs, illustrations, and graphics with varying aesthetics. Focus on reviewing and monitoring analytic reports that are available with each individual AB testing campaign you launch to discover what your users respond to most. Once you have an idea of the visual style your prospective customers prefer, it is much easier to solidify the brand tactics that guarantee success for your business.

Takeaways

Without proper branding, it is challenging to set your business apart from others, especially your greatest competition. Knowing how to effectively brand your business is key to generating sales while gaining followers who are genuinely interested in your products and services. Using the right methods and techniques (like polling your customers), you can create a brand for your business that your customers will find appealing, interesting, and unforgettable.

8 Software Packages Every Online Retailer Needs to Know

Millennials are now making 54% of their purchases online while non-millennials are doing it at 49%. If you are part of this growing industry or in case you have just seen its potential profits and you want to join, there are various software packages which can assist you to run your online business successfully.

Featured image credit: MLM Business Software Central

OpenCart

This basic package can be extended to meet your requirements. OpenCart requires little effort to install as long as you have a Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP (LAMP) stacked on a server. The setup is basic for the majority of web servers, and it is highly likely you are ready for the software package. In case you are unsure, confirm with your service provider. Clients can go to OpenCart’s marketplace to look for add-ons that add to its functionality. This includes free primary integrations like Facebook plugins or Square payments. You can find Microsoft Dynamics integration for up to $2,000 in the marketplace. Other tools offered by the marketplace include Excel tie-ins or SEO insights for product management.

PrestaShop

This software package applies the standard eCommerce solutions formula referred to as core-with-extensions. It comfortably fits into the majority of websites because it has been built on PHP which is a popular web development language. PrestaShop provides more than 1,500 templates. 500 of these are add-ons which allow integration with Amazon Marketplace, Google Merchant Center, and Stripe. The software package offers support to global stores and numerous stores within a single back-end. If you have separate storefronts in Canada and US, you can take care of all of them in one place. Prestashop has forecast ability, and Intelligent Merchant KPI features as reporting capabilities.

osCommerce

Being one of the earliest eCommerce software, osCommerce has numerous add-ons made for it. More than 7,000 integrations have been made for the program for free, and there is a big community offering support and working on it. Through its Apps Marketplace, osCommerce integrates with all kinds of third parties. It is possible to integrate Facebook and Sage Pay and present your website in numerous languages. It is not a sophisticated software, and in case you have some problems using it, you can consult the osCommerce Community. Hosted versions starting price is $8 per month.

Pollcart

This is an ecommerce plugin that seeks consensus from the inner circle of the buyer after checking out, before billing and shipping. It gives purchasers the confidence to shop, an incentive to maintain a product, and a reason for sharing. Pollcart assists to increase referrals and sales since the customers do the marketing for you.

Sonar

Keyword research and SEO is important for any kind of sales, but Amazon doesn’t work the same as Google.  If you use Amazon to sell your products, you need to have Sonar to help you.  This keyword research tool is free and, unlike other tools, it only looks at Amazon data and actual customer searches, which allows you to tailor your Amazon SEO to be more accurate.

WooCommerce

This is a WordPress shopping cart plugin which is open source and is not a full eCommerce solution. WordPress is the most famous content management solution and is not to be confused with WordPress.com. Businesses using WordPress can use the plugin to convert their websites into a store. If you are accustomed to WordPress, adding WooCommerce is easy. It has all the functions and needs little customization. One of its most famous features is the one-page process of checkout, which lets users pay for the items on sale easily.

Volusion

Volusion’s monthly plans can help you in launching an online store. Volusion has customer support around the clock with video tutorials and thorough support pages. It has themes covering fashion, beverages, food, beauty, electronics, and more. The themes are customized to be usable on mobile devices. Hence, your customers will have a smooth shopping experience on any device they use. Volusion’s App Marketplace has over 60 apps that you can use to boost your store. Additionally, the software assists in integrating with eBay and Amazon, getting automatic tax rates, offering subscription billing, and adding products.

Podium

Podium can help online retailers by providing a way for potential customers to message the retailer with questions about the product, and more importantly, has a feature that makes leaving review very easy, increasing the likelihood that customers will leave reviews. Podium’s specialty is using texting to prompt customers to leave a review after purchasing your product.

If you are an online retailer, one or a combination of some of these eCommerce software packages will assist you to run your online business smoothly.

Why Your Dental Practice Should Start Selling Home Care Products Online

Image courtesy of South Temple Dentists

If you’re looking to expand your practice, consider selling dental home care products. There are many types of dental home care products available for your patients — there are probably several that you already encourage them to use. It makes sense to sell them through your practice rather than referring patients elsewhere when they might forget. With that in mind, here are four important benefits of selling dental home care products online.

Increase the Profitability of Your Dental Practice

It’s understandable to want to increase the profits that come from your dental practice. Considering that, you’ll definitely want to sell dental home care products online. Referring patients to another home care provider gives this company all of the profits. Instead of doing this, selling your own dental home care products helps to ensure your office obtain increased revenues.

Grow Trust Between Patients and Dentists

Many dentists know the importance of creating a trustworthy relationship with their patients. With that in mind, it can be hard to obtain this trust while referring patients to other companies. On the other hand, choosing to sell dental home care products increases this trust. Patients will be much more likely to order from a trusted dentist than an unfamiliar company.

Enhanced Patient Understanding

While it might seem wise to refer patients to another home care provider, this could end up damaging patient relationships. For instance, patients might falsely assume you’re trying to get rid of them. In addition, this could alienate patients who are wanting full explanations of dental home care products. However, selling these items online give patients an easy avenue for ordering the products they need.

Drive More Traffic to Your Dental Office’s Website

In the modern age of doing business, you’ll certainly want to have a website. That being said, having a website doesn’t mean much without receiving traffic. With that in mind, you’ll find that selling home care products online can increase the number of website visitors you receive. Having more visitors often helps to increase local search engine rankings.

 

To summarize, there are several benefits of selling home care dental products online. Selling these products works incredibly well for increasing the profitability of your practice. Providing products directly can also help increase the trust factor between a dentist and their patients. While these products might be purchased online, your workers can still ensure that patients easily know how to use these items. Lastly, selling your own dental care products works wonders for increasing your office’s online presence.

How To Address Negative Product Reviews

As a business, your reputation weighs heavily upon the reviews that you get. The way that customers share their experiences with your products and services can shape your future sales and memberships. Your goal should be to gain positive reviews always and turn the negative ones around as soon as you realize you have them. You don’t want to have a bare review history because that’s as bad as a negative one. Here’s some information about the fact that having no reviews is as bad as having negative reviews and how to solicit legitimate reviews without paying for them.

Why Reviews Are So Important

The reason that reviews are so direly important is the word of mouth factor. You see, people usually read consumer reviews before they make a buying decision, and they usually share that decision with their loved ones, family, and friends. That means that a prospect has the potential to share a positive or negative word that can hugely affect your productivity. For that reason, you have to stay on top of your reputation and take steps to correct it if something tarnishes it.

Tips for Handling Bad Reviews

There are three steps to handling a bad review, and there are two rules. Rule number one is never to ignore a bad review. Rule number two is never to react negatively to a negative review. Prospects don’t just pay attention to the negative review itself. They pay attention to how you handle the negative review, too. There is a way that you can bounce back from even the worst of reviews and come out of the challenging situation looking like a complete and total hero. Here’s how:

Apologize Immediately

The first thing you need to do is to apologize for the customer’s poor experience no matter what the complaint is. This is something that you must do. It doesn’t matter whether the patron is right or wrong. Just apologize for it. That shows that you are empathetic, compassionate and understanding.

Tell the Customer You Appreciate Him or Her

Let the client know that you appreciate his or her business. Consumers like to see a business that acknowledges their customers. Therefore, you must thank the customer for choosing to deal with your company.

Ask How You Can Resolve the Matter

Finally, ask how you can resolve the problem that the customer had or has. Nine times out of 10, you will be able to turn things around. Even if you can’t, prospects will still see that you tried to resolve the matter. That means a lot.

How to Get Free Positive Reviews

You can get your clients to leave you positive reviews by just asking them when you know they’ve had a great experience. You could also use incentives such as discounts on products and services. Some customers enjoy leaving reviews and don’t need an incentive to do it. People tend to trust reviews that come from a third-party more than reviews provided by the company. In this review for ASEA, the reviewer makes it clear that they are not affiliated with the company. This lends greater credibility to the review itself. 

Don’t Buy Reviews!

Buying any reviews at all, whether it’s on Google or Yahoo or anywhere else, is a bad idea. It’s a strategy that will break the trust of customers and get you painfully punished by search engines. According to Podium, “While there are ways to get disingenuous and non-organic reviews, based off of google guidelines to remove inappropriate reviews, the practice is not appreciated by Google (or really any review site). Using fake reviews can result in getting your business blacklisted or worse, as some review sites are cracking down and taking legal action against egregious offenders.”

Make a habit out of asking each one of your customers to leave a review for you. Pretty soon, you’ll get enough of them accumulated to make a difference. If you consistently check your reviews and address the negative ones positively, you’ll build a wonderful company image that customers will value and trust.