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Is There Room for Improvement with Facebook's Social eCommerce?

Sep 14, 2014 by Camille Brenkwitz

Social eCommerce is big news and it's everywhere.....just Google "social eCommerce" and you will see a plethora of marketing advice, facts, and figures. The reason for all the hullabaloo is grounded in hard facts, social driven eCommerce is really bringing in the big bucks. Social media guides 74% of consumer purchases. The term “social media” usually conjures up images of the Facebook logo, but Facebook isn't the only social media site that's putting money into eCommerce retailer's pockets. "In 2013, 75% of social generated eCommerce sales came from Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest." - Infographic: Rise of Social Media in eCommerce Pinterest is actually outselling Facebook in direct sales. According to a Javelin Strategy & Research report, Pinterest users' average order value is $123.50 which is about 126% more than Facebook users, whose average order value is $54.64. The beauty products retailer, Sephora, adopted the use of Pinterest early on in the game. They were one of the first online retailers to include the 'pin it' button site wide. "Pinterest followers spend more money than Facebook followers, and not just a little bit more. In fact, Pinterest users spend 15 times more on Sephora products than Facebook followers," Pinterest is the clear winner when it comes to driving commerce. Is Facebook just a good customer interaction and engagement site, or could Facebook also be increasingly associated with shopping? Right now, shopping is an afterthought for Facebook users… you go to Facebook to find out what's going on with friends and family, glancing to the right you see an ad for a ring or some other item. Many will click on the advertisements and purchase from that retailer, but the shopping mindset is inherently different for users of Facebook. They largely go there to socially interact, not shop. Researching products that a Facebook user may be looking to purchase in the future is the reason 39% of them 'like' brand pages. These brand pages will post ads that, in turn, post to 'friends' pages, giving that brand exposure and possibly customer engagement. What if there was a button to click right there on the post to purchase said item, without even moving from your feed? Making it easier to purchase an item from a brand already 'liked' could improve Facebook's social eCommerce. This would not only make Facebook a page to keep up with friends and family, but a site to shop with social input, as well. This could also be used as a means to collect donations for an organization a Facebook user has 'liked' or sell crafted items made by the Facebook user. Thankfully, PayStand has an incredible social shopping aspect of our eCommerce payment solution. We offer the improvement to Facebook's Social eCommerce that the merchants need. When posting products to your Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook profiles, followers are able to purchase the product directly from the page, without clicking over to a third party payment site, without having to sign up for any account, and without having to add the item to a cart on your website. All your social connections can buy right from within that site. Contact Us today to find out how PayStand can help with social eCommerce. Our platform provides everything you need to accept payments anywhere, at anytime, on any device, from your website or social media pages. Image Photo Credit: Edgar Barany via photopin cc

4 Essential Tips for Small Business eCommerce

Aug 27, 2014 by Camille Brenkwitz

Taking your small business online can be a bit intimidating, especially if you aren’t entirely web savvy. However, the draws of increased profits and an expanded customer base are too appealing to pass up. There are countless resources available online, and you should be able to get up and running in no time. When embarking on your eCommerce journey, keep in mind these 4 essential tips for small business success: Tip #1 Get a Good Copywriter Online, you have only a few ways to express yourself. Your customers need to know what your company’s message is and how awesome your products are. A copywriter is going to help use language to fully describe your product and make it very appealing to prospective buyers. Because a buyer cannot pick up the product and look at it, you need to harness the power of words to bring the ecommerce buying experience to life. A good copywriter can effectively communicate to your customers, persuade them to purchase, and differentiate your small business from the competition. Tip #2 Get a Good Photographer Like the copywriter, a good photographer can go a long way in getting sales for your online shop. Detailed product shots can help your customers explore your product and see if it fits their needs. Pay attention to good lighting, and use high resolution images on your site. You need your products to look their very best. In addition to product photos, including styled “lifestyle” shots of your products in use and/or people enjoying them help sell. Show your customers what their life could be like if they purchase a product from your small business. You want excellent product photos to go with your excellent copy. Both factors can make or break a sale. Tip #3 Make it Easy to Check Out The easiest way for any small business to lose a sale after your copy and photos are all set is to have an awful check-out experience. Make sure your shopping cart works properly and the purchase can be completed in a few clicks. Ensure your customers trust putting in their payment information and that they feel secure through the process. If checking out is overly complicated or broken in any way, you are likely to lose the sale and the customer. The highest rate of shopping cart abandonment takes place at checkout, so it is essential to keep this process smooth. Tip #4 Use Testimonials Testimonials are very powerful tools that allow your existing customers to help you get more sales. Small businesses don’t often have nationwide recognition, so they need to rely on social proof to validate their offering. Try to capture positive feedback from your customers and ask if you can feature them on your ecommerce site. Include their testimonial on your product pages. You can even go further in eliminating purchasing hesitation by including video testimonials. If you optimize your ecommerce efforts by utilizing the above tips, you will save yourself time, increase sales, and improve your bottom line. PayStand loves small business. Check out how our next-generation payment processing will change your life. Image Photo Credit: Image by Joi

Using Outbound and Inbound Marketing To Grow Your Small Business

Aug 25, 2014 by Camille Brenkwitz

When you’re running a small business, having a solid web presence opens up a lot of doors for you. You’ll find a whole new set of customers on the internet, some of whom might even live on the other side of the world. When you set up an ecommerce website for your small business, anyone who has access to the internet can buy from you. Armed with a global audience and competitive prices, you can increase sales exponentially. The key here is making sure you reach your target audience in the right way. Getting your small business’s name and products in front of the right people is necessary to increasing conversion rates and bolstering sales. You can go about internet marketing in two distinct ways. Outbound Marketing Outbound Marketing is very similar to what is traditionally referred to as marketing. In this type of marketing, you reach out to your current and potential customers via emails, advertisements, and calls. With this marketing method, small businesses often cast a large net, and see if they get any “bites” or replies from interested parties. Depending on the call to action set forth in the outbound marketing material, this could include making a purchase or getting on the phone with a sales agent. By contacting people directly using outbound marketing, you can educate them about your offering and entice them to buy. There are many advantages to outbound marketing. Emails are easy to send out and don’t cost anything. Placing advertisements on websites can also yield positive results, especially if the websites are about subjects related to your products and services. For example, if you sell textbooks for students, then a website which provides students resources for getting into colleges would be a good place for you to advertise. Inbound Marketing Inbound Marketing is currently all the rage when it comes to internet marketing. With more robust analytics online, inbound marketing is proving more successful now that the results are measurable. Unlike outbound marketing, inbound marketing doesn’t involve reaching out to the customer. You instead create a good web presence and valuable content so that when a customer hears about you and tries to find out more about your product or service, they are likely to find all the information they need. Setting up an informative website, helpful social media pages and a blog all support your inbound marketing efforts. Inbound marketing tends to appeal more to customers because they are not overtly being sold anything but are merely given all the information they need to make up their minds about a product or service. Inbound marketing requires a well-thought-out approach. You have to identify your audience, create materials that speak to them, and track the results of who you attract. The beauty of inbound marketing is that the marketing material you create is evergreen, it can live on and keep attracting customers quarter after quarter, year after year. Most small businesses use a combination of both inbound and outbound marketing. The optimal marketing mix for your small business depends on your industry, consumer demographic, geographic region, and countless other factors. As you build your small business, you’ll be able to find the right blend that works best for you. PayStand loves small business. We like to help you grow by keeping more money in your pocket with our next-generation payment processing. Get started in 5 minutes: Photo Credit: Image by Sebastiaan ter Burg

FinDEVr 2014

Aug 20, 2014 by Camille Brenkwitz

To all of our Silicon Valley finance comrades, and also those of you abroad - we invite you to join us at FinDEVr in San Francisco Sept. 30 - Oct. 1 2014. FinDEVr is a conference showcasing the most innovative tools and platforms from Fintech developers. It feels really good that PayStand is on that list and included as one of the most innovative tools in the Fintech market. We've worked really hard to get here, and tirelessly try to make our product better and our offering more robust. We'll be joined by some really excellent companies that are doing big things in payment technology, and it's awesome to be able to collaborate with them. On day two of the event, we'll be presenting and including a big announcement. I can promise you, this news is about as juicy as it comes. Game-changing? Yes. Door-opening? Yes. Next-level? Yes. It'll be awesome if you're there with us to share in all the excitement. We make no promises on how entertaining our powerpoint slides will be - but can guarantee the information coming your way will all but blow your mind. The excitement level is at an 11. Are you going to FinDEVr? Let's catch up! Whether you want us to blow your mind or simply want to hear what all the fuss is - drop us a line and we'll see you at FinDEVr. Still need to register? Hop to it, we're busting at the seems to get this announcement out and want to you to be there to hear it! FinDEVr September 30th - October 1st, 2014 UCSF Mission Bay Conference Center, San Francisco Follow us on Twitter to get our thoughts from the stage and show floor.  

What Kind of Entrepreneur Are You?

Aug 18, 2014 by Camille Brenkwitz

As an entrepreneur, you get to guide the direction of your company and establish a company culture you believe in. One determining factor that will strongly influence culture is your leadership style. Do you savor the thought of ruling with an iron fist or do you want an egalitarian company where everyone has a voice? Below are five distinct management styles for entrepreneurs. You may lean strongly towards one leadership style, or embody characteristics from a few different styles. There are pros and cons to each, but understanding your distinct style can help you increase the positive effects and minimize the negative aspects. Which management style suits your personality and creates the type of company culture you believe would fit your business? DIRECT The director leadership style is perfect for entrepreneurs who like to take control of their environment. If this is your preferred style, you generally like to do things your own way and are unlikely solicit input from others. One advantage of this unilateral management style is that tasks can be completed faster according to your exact specifications, but your employees may feel stifled and undervalued. EMPOWERED Do you like to empower others? Entrepreneurs that embrace the idea of serving others tend to hire talented people and trust their employees are competent enough to do their job without micromanaging them. This management style encourages everyone to take the initiative and serve their customers. TASK-ORIENTED Task-oriented entrepreneurs are great at noticing the details. If you gravitate towards this type of management style you may frequently delegate key roles and tasks to other employees while coordinating every aspect of the project. If you have an eye for detail and love to set firm benchmarks, this may be the ideal management style for you. Employees that are also task-oriented will flourish in your company. FLAT An entrepreneur that favors a flat management style will encourage employees to make decisions based on their own knowledge. They will also specifically assign employees to different projects according to their expertise. This type of management style will allow the collective whole to create an atmosphere of innovation in your company. DEMOCRATIC A democratic leadership approach focuses on gathering everyone's opinion and reaching a mutual consensus before making a final decision. If you would like to get insight from others, this is a great option. However, it should also be taken into consideration that your decision making process will be dramatically slower. Overall, only you can decide which management style works best for you and your company. Based on your personality type and entrepreneurial spirit, you probably already identify with one or two management styles. PayStand loves entrepreneurs. We are all about supporting you and your bottom line in order for your venture to succeed. Learn how our next-generation payment processing will change your business forever. Photo Credit: Image by Sebastiaan ter Burg

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